Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 25, Psalm 68, Isaiah 15, and 1 Peter 3
By Lisa Velthouse
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation. Psalm 68:19 ESV
The story is simple. It is rooted in military realities and in far grander realities too.
My husband is a Marine. Our life’s rhythms are intricately tied to and dictated by the Marine Corps. It is a life we love and one that leaves us shaking our heads and feeling entirely off-kilter sometimes.
When I set out to launch this blog, Nathan and I anticipated (as much as a Marine Corps family can reliably anticipate) that 2014 and 2015 would look a certain way. Then during the first week of November last year, a surprise assignment came Nathan’s way, and the whole scenario changed rapidly. Now our life looks dramatically different than we expected it would—without getting into the details, one direct result is that I no longer have the capacity to manage both my family’s needs and this site’s needs well. I expect that to be the case for quite a length of time. With that in mind, I’ve made the decision to halt the postings here.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 24, Psalm 66-67, Isaiah 14, and 1 Peter 2
By Kendra Roberts
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 66:
Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance (verses 8-12 ESV.)
I was intrigued by the rough path —a crushing burden, a smelting heat, fire, water, a trapping net— all along the way to abundance.
The beginning of Psalm 66 offers shouts of JOY and a directive…
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!”
Today I encourage you to look at the rough spots a little differently—gratefully? Believe and take courage that HE will not let your foot slip and will keep your soul among the living!
Today’s Question: What do you see when you look at life’s rough spots—is it a promise of abundance?… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 14, Psalm 50, Isaiah 3-4, and Hebrews 11
By Mary Freeman
Today’s two art posts are a response to all four of the scheduled Scriptures for the day. Mary Freeman’s thoughts on her art follow.
As I read the four scriptures for this post one word kept repeating. TRUST! In Numbers 14 verse 9 the Israelites were told:
“Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land…”
But they were afraid and their fear was greater than their trust in God. God asks:
“How long will they not believe [trust] in me in spite of all the signs that I have done?”
It’s hard to understand their lack of trust when I see in black and white all God has done for them. But then I realize I am guilty of the very same thing.
The Israelites wanted to turn back and return to Egypt. They preferred bondage to the freedom God offered; yes freedom involves walking into the sometimes scary unknown, but preferring bondage? There are days I too want to return to my “Egypts”, the things that are familiar to me, even if they do not offer freedom.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 7, Psalm 42-43, Song of Songs 5, and Hebrews 5
By Christina Vinson
If you were to look at my life as an outsider, this is what you would probably see: an almost-29-year-old living in Nashville, loved by a truly doting and selfless husband, working her dream job [at home, in sweatpants!], with a wardrobe almost wholly supplied by a twin sister who works for Anthropologie’s headquarters.
If you were to come in a little further and step into my home, my safe place, this is what you would find: rooms bursting with Southern sunshine, an eclectic mix of West Elm furniture, thrift store finds, and a rather obsessive collection of [dying] plants. If you’re a close friend, you’d also see the messy side of our lives: the dishes crusted with two-day-old food, the dust bunnies in the corners, the hair on the bathroom floor (really, does it ever end?).
But if you were to peek into my heart, you would find something drastically different from my somewhat curated home and the ‘ideal’ circumstances I live in.
If you were to take up residence in my heart and head, here’s what you would find: a girl prone to depression; not just the kind of ‘down in the dumps’ feeling that thinks, “Man, I feel kind of down today.” No, it’s the kind of depression that keeps me in bed, with the curtains drawn, and an utterly crippling feeling of numbness and apathy toward life.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 6, Psalm 40-41, Song of Songs 4, and Hebrews 4
By Amylee Weeks
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 40:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told. (verses 1-5 ESV)
Today’s Questions: What cries of yours has the Lord heard? What rock has he set your feet upon?
Amylee’s life verse is, “by the grace of God, I am what I am.” She believes whole-heartedly in God’s leading and his words speaking directly to her as she walks this life.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 27, Psalm 34, Ecclesiastes 10, and Titus 2
By Amy Kannel
I can’t read Psalm 34:10 anymore without hearing a catchy little tune from Seeds Family Worship. Our family loves their albums; each song is simply a verse of Scripture set to music. (This particular song is memorable for its startling beginning that features children roaring like lions.)
“The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing” (NIV).
Up until recently, I’ve coasted through this verse with a smug satisfaction about my sound theology. After all, I know that this verse does not say, “Those who seek the LORD lack nothing that they want.” No, “lack no good thing” means “lack nothing that is truly good for them.” God knows better than we do; in His sovereign, wise love, He gives us what we really need, not what we think we want.
All true. But then I think more carefully about that little word “good,” and I remember Jesus’ questioning of the rich young ruler: “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). When my attention is fixed on the “good things” God will give to those who seek Him, I’ve missed the point.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 36, Psalm 33, Ecclesiastes 9, and Titus 1
By Julie Chen
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 33:
The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you. (verses 18-22, NIV)
Bonus! Julie is making today’s art available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on her site, where she also shares what this image and this passage have meant to her over the years. Read Julie’s thoughts and get your copy of her art here!
Today’s Question: Where is your hope and your trust today?
Julie Chen dreamed of being an artist and missionary since the age of six. Though she has not been around the world as a missionary (in the physical sense), her work has shown the gospel to others across the globe. She designs books for Tyndale House Publishers (including PYP founder Lisa Velthouse’s Craving Grace) and was also the designer of The Jesus Storybook Bible for Zonderkidz.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 25, Psalm 32, Ecclesiastes 8, and 2 Timothy 4
By Megan Oldfield
Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.*
I have what some might call a lead foot. In other words, I like to drive fast. Really fast. Cruising around town in a minivan with three kids buckled up in the backseat has curbed my insatiable appetite for speed quite a bit. But more often than I care to admit, that speedometer needle pushes waaay past the legal limit.
Obviously this means I’ve been pulled over a few times in my life. I drive illegally not invincibly. And though I’m not proud of it, I’ve sometimes lied to try to get out of a ticket.
I didn’t know the speed limit in this neighborhood.
My cruise control must be broken.
Wait, what? I thought Montana didn’t have a speed limit.
I think I’m in labor.
None of these excuses has ever worked, especially the last one since I wasn’t even pregnant at the time.
Most recently, though, I took a slightly different approach.
“Do you know how fast you were going back there, ma’am?” the officer asked after pulling me over.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 20, Psalm 25, Ecclesiastes 3, and 1 Timothy 5
By Kelli Gotthardt
Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow. Psalm 25:4 (NLT)
How often I’ve asked God to show me the path I should go. Particularly when making a big decision like a job change, a move or other life transition.
If I’m honest, when I’m asking for this kind of clarity there’s an underlying expectation that if I walk in it, I will find it fairly smooth. Yes, there will be the necessary character building struggles, but overall, I’m hoping for a relatively comfortable path.
Then I meet people like Rose Mapendo. Rose is a Congolese refugee who has survived the execution of her husband and sixteen months in a death camp with her ten children. This was not a path she would have chosen and she admits that for a time she refused to speak with God. She was angry with him for the path that had been marked out for her. But to talk with her today she freely acknowledges that God’s path had a purpose. She now speaks for those who have lost their voice and travels all over the world inspiring others with her message of hope and forgiveness.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 19, Psalm 23-24, Ecclesiastes 2, and 1 Timothy 4
By Erin Leigh
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Erin’s thoughts on her art follow:
I love Psalm 23.
All of it.
The Lord is my Shepherd
(The lover of my soul.)
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
(I go kicking and screaming.)
He leads me beside quiet waters.
(After I throw a little tantrum.)
He restores my soul.
(When I take the time to sit and listen and submit and let go.)
He provides for our every need,
thankfully not for our every want.… Continue Reading