It’s the small things in life that are momentous.
The small decisions that, taken together, influence the course of your day, or of your life.
The small adjustments to attitude that will lift you up—or bring you crashing down.
The few words—well-chosen, well-placed—that can either bring joy and fulfillment, or can crush a dream.
The moment taken to pray that can change an outlook, or an outcome.
The tiny, tiny germs that can force a blogger back to bed.
Hannah was tired as she walked home from the well, her jar heavy with water. She’d just learned that yet another friend was with child. While happy for her friend’s joy, her own circumstance stood out in bold relief.
Elkanah was a good man, a God-fearing man. She was fortunate to have such a loving husband. But soon it would be time to journey to Shiloh, to worship the Lord there. Her husband would bring the offering, and to Hannah he would give a double portion, a sign of his love for her. It should have been a joyful time, but it was not.
Peninna, Elkanah’s other wife, would also be there … along with her sons. Peninna managed to make Hannah’s life a trial, baiting her and mocking her for her childless state. As though that lack in itself weren’t burden enough, magnified in a culture in which women were esteemed for their ability to bear children. And it all seemed to come to a head when they made their annual journey, with Hannah crying so much she couldn’t eat.
Welcome! Today’s Intermission features two very different videos.
The first is a study in graciousness, professionalism and winning over a crowd:
The second is dedicated with love to my husband and two sons. Specifically, it’s dedicated to their many eye rolls throughout the years. (Thanks to my sister for sending it my way; forgive the commercial aspect and focus on the action, and we’ll be fine.)
“I don’t pray enough.”
How often have you heard that? How often have you said it?
Usually it means we aren’t setting aside the time to pray consistently, or we’re not praying for very long when we do pray.
Once, years ago when I hadn’t been a Christian for very long, I was asked to pray about a given situation for an hour. People in the church were “covering” something in prayer by taking hour-long shifts to pray. I signed on, then panicked. How could I pray about one thing for a whole hour? Keep Reading
There’s one thing that almost all of us avoid.
When we start a fresh year, resolutions and commitments in hand, it stops us.
When we find ourselves needing to focus and work in order to grow in a particular area, we face it.
When we think we see an avenue to pursue in order to grow in our walk with God, this is the roadblock that halts us.
I’m a reader. I enjoy fiction and nonfiction, various genres, various moods. And I do a lot of that reading via ebooks. I’ve read books electronically since I could first get them onto an old Palm. Now that I have an iPad, it’s become my preference. I like the ability to search, to add notes, to change the font size.
Some people don’t like ebooks, though. They prefer the heft of a printed book, the texture of the paper, the slight rustle of the page turn. Besides those things, here’s something else you can’t really enjoy with an ebook.
New Year … new goals. We make resolutions—we resolve to sacrifice, to stop doing one thing in order to do another; or we make commitments, to change our lives for the better.
This year, pause. Even if you’ve already resolved, committed, decided.
Before you focus completely on what’s ahead, take a look back. Remember what God has done; look for His work in your life over the past year. Keep Reading
I needed that break. Life’s been busy here, with great things going on—and a few not as great.
Often when a new year comes in, I’m ready for it. There are things I’m looking forward to, things I want to accomplish. That last week of the year is, for me, a time to tie up loose ends, to finish up the year’s leftover projects.
2012, on the other hand, came stumbling breezily in before I was ready for it. Keep Reading
Hey, there! It’s time once again for our weekly break.
Josh Sundquist shares some motivation appropriate for a new year:
And this quick video is in memory of our bearded dragons, Gus & Mo, Chaya & Ramandu, who would probably do the exact same thing. (Well, except for possibly Ramandu. He was handsome, but his dragon flame didn’t necessarily burn the brightest, if you know what I mean.)
As we enter a new year, theologian N.T. Wright’s words put things into perspective.
Paul couldn’t stop talking about Jesus, because without Jesus nothing else he said or did made any sense. And what he wants the Corinthians to get hold of most of all is what it means to have Jesus at the middle of your story, your life, your thoughts, your imagination. If they can do that, all the other issues … will sort themselves out.
In particular, he wants them to have Jesus at the centre of their understanding of the world and of history. Most of the Christians in Corinth … had been Gentiles, believing in various gods and goddesses, but without any idea that history, the story of the world, was going anywhere, or that their own lives might be part of that forward movement. Again and again Paul wants them to learn this lesson: that they have been caught up into a great movement of the love and power of the one true God, the God of Israel, whose work for the whole world had now been unveiled through the events concerning his son. That’s why Jesus is at the centre of the picture.
–N.T. Wright, in Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians (John Knox Press, Kindle Edition).
(With thanks to Pastor Todd Risser for sharing this quote.)