Today’s Bible passages are: Exodus 36, John 15, Proverbs 12, and Ephesians 5

Exodus 36By Kendra Roberts

Today’s art is a response to all four of the day’s passages. Kendra explains:

The embellishment and coupling of the tabernacle curtains in Exodus 36 inspired me to thread together all of today’s Scripture selections. Some references are symbolic, others are obvious. Can you make the connections?

From Exodus 36:

He made the veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; with cherubim skillfully worked into it he made it. (verse 35)

From John 15:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (verses 1-2)

From Proverbs 12:

No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved. (verse 3)

 

Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit. (verse 12)

 

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy. (verse 20)

From Ephesians 5:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

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Today’s Bible passages are: Exodus 8, Luke 11, Job 25-26, and 1 Corinthians 12

By Kendra Roberts

1 corinthians 12
Today’s art is a response to 1 Corinthians 12:

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

 

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?

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Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 38, Mark 8, Job 4, and Romans 8

genesis 38By Laurie Short

I have a confession to make. I took one look at the Old Testament passage assigned to me today, and made a bee-line to the New Testament. But somehow, that Still Small Voice pulled me back.

Genesis 38 is one of those chapters nestled in the Old Testament that makes you wonder what in the world God had in mind having it there. (I wish it were the only one). Right in the middle of the story of Joseph, we find a little sidebar. The story of Judah and, um, his daughter-in-law.

It’s one of those blips in the Bible that makes you scratch your head and secretly hope your non-believing friends never see it.

The funny thing is, when I tried to escape it and find refuge in the New Testament passage, I landed in Romans 8, which is home to a famous verse we’ve all memorized and loved.

“In all things God works for the good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.” (v.28)

“There is plenty to focus on right here in this verse,” I said to myself.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 30, Mark 1, Esther 6, and Romans 1

romans 1By Hannah Anderson

If you were to meet me, you wouldn’t have a hard time figuring out my ethnicity. My fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair immediately reveal strong western European roots. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a mutt—a healthy mix of French, Scotch-Irish, Welsh, and Swiss-German ancestors.

Along with these telltale genes, my parents also passed on a strong Christian heritage. Both my mother and father were believers as were their parents before them. In fact, on my father’s side, our Christian heritage stretches all the way back to the early Swiss Anabaptists who were persecuted for their faith, had their property confiscated, and eventually fled to the New World in search of religious freedom. With a heritage like this, it’s easy to forget my true roots.

It’s easy to forget that I’m the progeny of pagans.

Even though Christianity plays a significant role in my family heritage, it didn’t always. Flashback a 1500 years and those Swiss-German ancestors weren’t worshiping Jesus; they were worshiping Woden. My Scotch-Irish forbearers?  Celts who deified the natural world and were led by druids.

In fact, dial back far enough and you wouldn’t find any of my family worshiping Jesus or even Jehovah.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 29, Matthew 28, Esther 5, and Acts 28

matthew 28
By Kendra Roberts

Today’s art is a response to Matthew 28:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, ESV)


Kendra’s thoughts on her art follow here:

Water, fire…blood — all aspects that might be brought to mind by “baptism.” Mathew 28 begins with the two Mary’s heading to the tomb, the proclamation of resurrection by an angel and ultimately a face-to-face encounter with the risen Jesus. The chief priests want to pay the soldiers off to hide the mysterious events at the tomb:
“Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’” (verse 13)
Though, they might not have even bothered a cover-up considering some of Jesus’ own disciples doubted his appearance to them.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 14, Matthew 13, Nehemiah 3, and Acts 13

acts 13By Jane Graham

I’ve never kept my love for Hallmark much of a secret. In truth, my visits there are a guilty pleasure of candle-induced spending amidst easy listening music and pretty paper products that I’m certain I’ll have good use for.

To ease my guilt, I’ve decided this innocent delight isn’t just about me. I’ve managed to convince myself that it’s practically a ministry, because, well, I send these cards to other people after all.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.

I’m hooked on their snarky birthday cards and silly, been-there-done-that mommy cards. I buy up their weepy thinking-of-you cards and reach for more of their get-better-soon cards, just to have on hand — you know, in case of a card-worthy emergency.

But where Hallmark really works their magic is with encouragement cards. The ones that you send for no real “reason.” The ones that don’t get a stamp because of something “official” on your calendar, but rather, just because you care enough to tell someone, “You’re not alone today.”

Encouragement: what a lovely gift to give.

Today’s Scripture selection included Acts 13.  I love this chapter not only for Paul’s amazing gospel proclamation in Antioch but for how his monologue is framed.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 8, Matthew 8, Ezra 8, and Acts 8

matthew 8By Brenda Chance

“You can’t push a string,” a favorite expression of my husband’s late boss, found its way out of my husband’s sales office and became a well-played line and prevailing philosophy in our home. It was our parental rallying cry against the psychological torment of two very strong-willed children.

I grew up in a different era of family life. My four sisters and I had standard-issue sass and sneak but when push came to shove the convicted resolve in our father’s eyes sobered us quickly to the path of least resistance. “Because I said so” were magic-filled words children dare not challenge.

If there is such a thing, my two boys entered the world without the authority-deferent gene. From the time they could talk, ‘no’ was attached to every phrase they said. It seemed they learned to walk only to run away from us. They were put to bed only to keep us awake. Like a surprised hiker meeting up with a bear I often postured myself to appear bigger than I am in order to hold my ground against the rebellion forces. Prior to children Dennis the Menace was a favorite classic of mine.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 26, Revelation 13, Zechariah 9, and John 12

2 chronicles 26By Teri Vogeli, Guest Contributor

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

And so begins Charles Dickens epic, A Tale of Two Cities.…or does it describe the Christmas season?

We’ve roller-coastered through most of December, and Christmas itself is only a few days away. How’s your stress level? There are way too many important things to do, places to go, people to see, goodies to eat, families to appease. I’m starting a campaign to move Christmas to January. Then we can at least spread out the fall holidays a little and I’d have time to diet in between them. I might even have time to breathe. On top of it all, I’ve served myself a side of guilt because I know the flurry is not the point. It’s the best of times, and the worst of times.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 14-15, Revelation 4, Haggai 2, and John 3

matthew 1By Megan Oldfield

He came from Sweden in 1911 to homestead on the Hi-Line, that semiarid stretch of open prairie just south of the Canadian border and east of the Rockies that the U.S. government and the Great Northern Railway promised was free and plentiful.

Sailing on a ship named Victoria through Liverpool, then Halifax, then down the St. Lawrence River to the port of Chicago, he worked on an uncle’s ranch in North Dakota for two years before arriving in northern Montana to file on his own 320.

A few years later, he met and married Olefina, who came from Norway via New York, and together they proved up, farming wheat and raising cattle and three children, until a cerebral hemorrhage took his life too soon in 1944.

“Times were tough,” my husband’s uncle recalls as we sit around the table after Thanksgiving, eating pumpkin pie and listening to him retell the story.

“A person got to know what he needed and what he thought he needed, that’s for sure.”

I watch him and my mother-in-law, his sister, puzzle together the pieces of their past. There are records and letters to look through, and pictures, so many pictures, with dates and names scribbled on the back, some in English, but most in Swedish or Norwegian.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Kings 24, Hebrews 6, Joel 3, Psalm 143

2 kings 24By Megan Oldfield

A few weeks ago we took a family vacation to Washington D.C. It’s a trip we promised our youngest daughter for her ninth birthday, and because my old college roommate works as a Legislative Director in Congress, we surprised her with a private tour of the United States Capitol.

“Dear Federal Government,” I joked on Facebook the day before we left, the day the recent government shutdown ended, “Thank you for reopening just in time for our scheduled VIP tour of The Capitol with a dear friend from college. Sorry in advance for my three-year-old son who will most likely wreak havoc in your hallways. We’ll just call it even for the past sixteen days.”

I had no idea how prophetic those words would be.

My first hint should’ve been when he licked the escalator at the Metro station the next morning. Or maybe his refusal to sleep the night before in our camper that we parked, Griswold style, in my brother’s driveway just a few miles outside the city.

Because Congress came to a resolution to end the shutdown just hours before we arrived, they were in recess, and so most of Capitol Hill was empty.… Continue Reading