Monday, February 28, 2011

A Path Through the Legos--Monday Manna

Today I’m joining in Monday Manna over at Vonnie Blake’s blog, My Back Door.  The purpose of Monday Manna is to get to know God’s word a little better by meditating on a selected verse, then writing about it and linking up with fellow bloggers.

This week’s verse is Psalm 18:36 --
“Thou hast enlarged my steps under me,  that my feet did not slip.” (KJV)

Living in a house inhabited by boys, the first image that sprang to mind was of carefully navigating the minefield of Legos, Hot Wheels, and Star Wars figurines that emerges in our living room every day after school.  You don't step on the Legos (ouch); you stick to the uncluttered path (wherever that might be).

The smooth path is the better way.

The NIV gives a different translation, “You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.”  The HCSB translates the verse, “You widen [a place] beneath me for my steps, and my ankles do not give way.”

One of my favorite classes in seminary was the “maps class”: Historical Geography of the Bible.  For an entire semester we traced the paths the Israelites took as they traveled to and through the Promised Land.  The Psalmist was quite familiar with the difference between the wide and narrow paths. The best roads to travel were between mountains and across the wide, flat plains. These became the highways that merchants, kings, and armies used.  It’s possible to travel over the mountains, but you need nimble feet and steady ankles.

The smooth path is the better way.

The New Century Version translates, “You give me a better way to live, so I live as you want me to.”

You have to navigate through life's problems and dangers, they come to the believer as well as the unbeliever.   Walk in the way of the world (be this thin, buy this car, earn this much, you can do it--just think positive) and you're likely to wind up with a foot full of Legos.  Walk in The Way of Jesus and he will enlarge your steps:  “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30)

Let Jesus be your guide. His smooth path is the better way.

You clear the way for me, and now I won't stumble. (CEV)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quiet Time - Monday Manna

I’m participating in Monday Manna today over at Joanne Sher’s blog, “An Open Book”.  The purpose of Monday Manna is to get to know God’s word a little better by meditating on a selected verse, then writing about it and linking up with fellow bloggers.  It’s interesting to see how each verse impacts us since our lives and locations are different.

Today’s verse is Psalm 27:8 from the New Living Translation (NLT)  “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.”

As a stay-at-home-mom with two active boys and an erratic schedule, I struggle with finding...

Quiet Time

Dear Lord,
I hear you call
and I’m coming
Then I hear a crash and a child wails and a voice cries, “Mom” and
there’s milk all over the kitchen floor.

Dear Lord,
I hear you call
and my heart is warmed
Then the cat throws up and the children shriek and
are we out of paper towels again?

Dear Lord,
I hear you call
as I tiptoe out of my dawn-lit room
Then a child walks in, yawns “You woke me up” and
sits on the open Bible in my lap.

Dear Lord,
I hear you call
but my heart is torn
‘Cause it’s finally quiet and I can talk
in complete sentences
with the man that I married
before I forget his first name isn’t “Daddy.”

Dear Lord,
I hear you call
and I want to choose the better part
Then one voice whines, another cries, and someone needs
(was that a meow?)
and Martha is pulled back to her kitchen.

Dear Lord,
Photo: Geri-Jean Blanchard

I hear you call
in a quiet oasis when
I’m early for car line with ten silent minutes
Just the two of us

And my heart cries, “Lord, I am here!”

Friday, February 18, 2011

What are we waiting for?

Here's the weekly Jesus Boat Blog post.  I've had waiting on my mind lately...I'm not always a very patient person.

What are we waiting for?

Instant coffee. Instant messaging. Instant replay.  We live at speeds unimaginable to earlier generations.  Ours is the era of fast forward, our Internet-fueled lifestyle feeding our desire for instant gratification.  And the faster we move, the more we need the words of Scripture to teach us to slow down...and wait.

We don’t like to wait.  But, then again, neither did Abraham and Sarah, nor the disciples praying with Jesus in the Garden, nor the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land.

But our Lord knows that it is good for us to wait, to learn how to wait well, and to learn how to live our lives in the in-between times.

Through Scripture we learn:
  It is good to wait quietly (Lamentations 3:26)
  Wait patiently (Psalm 40:1)
  With courage (Psalm 27:14)
  And in his word put our hope (Psalm 130:5)

As believers in Christ, we are not passively waiting, but active as we learn:
  From the widow, to pray with persistence (Luke 18:1-8)
  From the bridesmaids to keep ourselves ready (Matt. 25:1-13)
  From Paul to depend on the Lord for strength (1 Cor. 1:7-8)
  From James to refrain from grumbling (James 5:7)

There are times, however, when we’re told not to wait...

To read the rest, visit The Jesus Boat Blog.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Since I'll probably be pretty busy on Monday (school holiday), I thought I'd post an early Valentine tonight.  Here's a love-themed post that I wrote for the Jesus Boat Blog.  This one sprang from an idea I had while waiting for my kids at church and was fascinating to finally put together.


Without Love, I Gain Nothing

The most thrilling words ever written about love are not found within the pages of a romance novel or the inside of a greeting card. They’re found in the cherished stories, the powerful declarations, and selfless acts of fidelity woven throughout Scripture.

Scripture contains examples of, not only God’s great and abiding love for us, but love expressed between husband and wife, father and son, mother and daughter-in-law, and close friends.

Today we’ll allow the men and women of the Bible speak to us as we reflect on the timeless principles Paul shared with the Corinthians two centuries ago.

Love is patient  
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. (Gen. 29:20)

Love is kind
But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. (1 Sam. 1:5)

Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” (Ruth 2:2)

...Read the rest of this post at the Jesus Boat Blog

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

CAST your cares upon the Lord

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago for the Jesus Boat Blog.  This post originated in my desire to read more about how not to worry.  I guess I'm not the only one concerned with worry....this post had the highest number of views, "likes," and comments since I started writing for JBB last year.

Hope this blesses you as well!

Shalom y'all. --Karen

CAST your cares upon the Lord

Bad news in the papers.  Dire warnings on television and the Internet.   We live in uncertain times.  But when have times ever not been “uncertain”?  Since the fall from Eden, our world has been plagued by crime, illness, division, natural disasters, and other ills.

Even when life is free from catastrophic disasters, there are still everyday epics.  Will I find a job? Can we afford a house?  Should we let our children play outside?

We know that Jesus tells us, “Do not worry.” We know that our Father cares about us.  We know this in our heads, but do we feel it in our hearts?

Visit the Jesus Boat Blog to read the rest...