Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 18, Psalm 22, Ecclesiastes 1, and 1 Timothy 3

Psalm 22 artBy Brenda Chance

In my calmest yet most serious mommy voice I’d sufficiently warned them that if they asked me for one more thing I was going to lose my mind. It would unravel like a slinky on a step, twisting and tangling in on itself so as to never slinky straight again.

“Now take the string cheese you badgered out of me and for the love of unicorns and rainbows, sit down quietly and eat it…” A twenty-minute cheese standoff will have you talking like this. Without a single consideration of my mental state or the courtesy to wait for the end of my sentence, he made his vitriolic demand, “I don’t want string cheese; I want square orange cheese.” From the chessboard of my sanity this little three-year-old snatched up the queen.

I’m not exactly sure how I made it down the hall. Spinning and dizziness bumped me side to side down the walls, like a pinball launched into flight yet still trapped in its maze. Sinking into a puddle on the floor, with numb fingers I simultaneously locked the door and unhinged my anguished lament.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 15, Psalm 18, Proverbs 29, and 2 Thessalonians 3

Leviticus 15 artBy Mollie Bozarth

Today’s art is a response to Leviticus 15. Mollie’s thoughts on the passage and her art follow here:

As I started reading through the four available passages for today, I thought, “Leviticus! I probably won’t paint anything from there.” Then I began reading the chapter, Leviticus 15, and thought, “Yes, I really don’t want to paint any of these images!” It’s all about bodily discharges and how they cause basically everything and everyone you touch to become unclean. A good, solid Leviticus passage on hygeine from a time in history when breaking the contaminated pottery killed 99.9% of germs. Within 33 verses, I counted 34 instances of the term “unclean.”

But of course God wasn’t writing an early Lysol commercial, and the issue goes much deeper than hygiene. By the time I finished reading the chapter, I knew this was the passage to paint. After all, we’re in the Lenten season. Christ came because we ARE unclean…more than that, washing our hands and avoiding contact with other people until evening would not cleanse the filth that lies within. Discharges (from the male or female mentioned in Leviticus 15) come from the private, hidden parts.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 6, Psalm 5-6, Proverbs 21, and Colossians 4

04032014_NBBy Nicole Bennett, guest contributor

Life in the trenches of motherhood is not for the faint of heart. The days are long and on some days the rewards are few.

I press onward though, knowing that the battle I’m fighting is for the very hearts I’m nurturing in my home. I fight by seeking out bits of beauty in the ordinary of life.

And of course the more I train those in my care, the more I realize that I myself am in training as well. As I push through the challenges, I’m refined, sharpened, honed— my own heart is shaped as I do the hard heart-shaping work of raising kids.

***

Psalm 5 is one of those passages that I can’t help but read to the tune of a familiar old song. One that takes me back to my college days (those days when I thought I was busy).

I can remember learning its easy melody in a living room Bible study, singing with the accompaniment of a worn guitar with decorative etchings, in a circle of worshiping friends.

The words of the song, are simply taken from the King James Version of one of today’s portions:

Give ear to my words, O Lord
Consider my meditation
Harken unto the voice of my cry
My king and my God
For unto Thee will I pray
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning

 

O Lord, in the morning
will I direct my prayer
Unto thee, and will look up.

Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 4, Psalm 1-2, Proverbs 19, and Colossians 2

Psalm 1 artBy Cindi Koceich

Today’s art is a response to Psalm 1:

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
or sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1 ESV)


Cindi’s thoughts on her art follow:

I believe this  Scripture holds the answer to living a life that is truly free in Christ – a life that is deeply nourished, bears much fruit, and is filled with light in a very dark world.

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers…”

The word blessed in this passage literally translates, “Oh the happiness.” This world offers so many counterfeits to true happiness, selling us lies that power, wealth, comfort or status will fulfill us.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 1 Chronicles 5-6, Hebrews 10, Amos 4, and Psalm 148-150

Psalm 149By Amy Kannel

A while back, I was enthralled by a collection of wedding photographs that made the Internet rounds. Someone had compiled pictures of grooms seeing their brides for the first time, and the raw emotion captured in those photos was something to behold. In the pictures, the men clap their hands over their open mouths. They weep. They are unable to hide their awe and joy and amazement. Each man is captivated by the beauty of his bride, stunned that this incredible woman is actually his.

When a wedding processional begins, at that dramatic moment when the church doors open and all eyes turn toward the bride, I love to sneak a peek at the groom. I don’t want to miss his face when he drinks in the sight of his beloved, looking more beautiful than she ever has before.

And part of her beauty comes from being so loved, does it not? She has adorned herself with the finest dress she will ever wear; she has taken great care with her hair and makeup and accessories. But the extra beauty she possesses on her wedding day comes from the love that glows in her eyes, from her delight in her soon-to-be husband and her confidence in knowing he adores her.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 1 Chronicles 3-4, Hebrews 9, Amos 3, and Psalm 146-147

By Samira Gast

11142013_SGToday’s art is a response to Psalm 146-147:

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!

I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. (Psalm 146:1-2, ESV)

Praise the Lord!

For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,

but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:1-5, 11, ESV)

Today’s Question: For what can you choose praise today? (Respond in the comments.)

SamiraG_200Samira Gast is a bargain hunter, lip gloss lover and coffee enthusiast. Since she was a little girl, coloring was one of her favorite activities.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 1 Chronicles 1-2, Hebrews 8, Amos 3, and Psalm 145

migraineBy Brenda Chance

It always begins the same—a thousands specks of light converge above the right eye and break into pierces and prickles of pain coursing through my entire body. Some episodes I can muscle through, others lay me flat, as was the case this last time. From my upstairs bed I can hear the world moving on without me. The boy is bypassing breakfast in favor of Halloween candy from the entryway jar. His dad admonishes him not to slam the door, “Don’t forget, your mom isn’t feeling well.”

How I hate being the wife/mom/friend who doesn’t feel well. For several years now I’ve reluctantly accepted life with this stubborn autoimmune disorder. Because of it I have missed out on things I love. I have also seen the patience and kindness of steadfast love in the gracious care of family and friends. I lay blanketed in the woven mingle of guilt and appreciation.

Miroslav Volf says, “Patience with others is love, patience with self is hope, and patience with God is faith.” I find the latter of the three the hardest. On any given day I can find ten things that God could change if He were willing, but He withholds His intervention.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Kings 25, Hebrews 7, Amos 1, and Psalm 144

By Kelli Campbell

DSC_4886_1_WR(Kelli’s explanation of the photos follows.)

These photos came about in response to Psalm 144, in particular v 3-4:

“O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” (ESV)

Autumn words.

DSC_4922_1_WRI like how today’s passage in Hebrews seems to answer the psalmist’s question:

“This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25 ESV)

DSC_4814_1_WR

 

Today’s Question: Do you ever feel like your days are just a passing shadow? What does it mean, knowing that Jesus lives to make intercession for you? (Respond in the comments.)

KelliC_200Since marrying her Marine thirteen years ago, Kelli Campbell has lived in eight homes. She has planted zinnias at every one.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Kings 21, Hebrews 3, Hosea 14, Psalm 139

Psalm 139By Kelli Gotthardt

I led a retreat last week and, as is customary, the ministry that brought me in asked the participants to share about their experiences. Here’s what one woman wrote:

“I don’t really have time for this kind of seminar these days. I am comfortable in my relationship with God, my husband and myself.”

As you can imagine, I won’t be posting that comment on my website under “What People Are Saying About Kelli”.

For one thing, because it says more about the participant than it does about me or the material. But, she’s not alone. According to a recent Barna study, the vast majority of churchgoing women are “comfortable with their relationship with God.” Three quarters of Christian women say they are mature in their faith (73%) and more than one third (36%) of churchgoing women say they are “completely” satisfied with their personal spiritual development. An additional 42% say they are “mostly” satisfied.

I gotta be honest–I find that shocking. Especially in light of today’s reading and my own experience.

As a young college student I attended Urbana, the college missions conference directed by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Kings 20, Hebrews 2, Hosea 13, and Psalm 137-138

By Julie Chen

With My Whole Heart
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 138:

 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,

for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth,

and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life;

you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.

Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138, ESV)

Julie Chen is offering a FREE 4×6 download of this Scripture art over at her site today.… Continue Reading