Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 23, Psalm 64-65, Isaiah 13, and 1 Peter 2
By Lisa Velthouse
We have a five-week-old in the house, so we are sleep-deprived and groggy-eyed. We are basketfuls of tiny baby clothes in the laundry room. We are pacifiers everywhere. We are hunger all the time. Between the little guy and me alone, there is always at least one person who wants to be eating.
A few nights ago, while my husband was away at work and some friends were visiting, the baby cried seemingly forever. But he had just eaten. He had a dry diaper too, and it was an hour past his usual bedtime, and this was his angry cry. I knew him well enough already to know he was trying to pull a power play—this mama was determined not to be manipulated, and to help him learn the simple and basic skill of falling asleep instead. Still, it was mind-numbing to sit there, listening to him like that.
I’ve heard it said somewhere that an infant’s cry has a physiological effect on a woman: specifically, it elicits a sense of actual panic in her. I can’t say whether or not that claim is real science, but anecdotally I know it’s true.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 8, Psalm 44, Song of Songs 6, and Hebrews 6
By Emily Cummins
I heard a statement when I was 16-years-old that I haven’t been able to forget. I vividly remember sitting in a hotel ballroom in Orlando where I was attending a student leadership conference, when the keynote speaker said these bold, challenging words: “It’s time for the little girl to sit down and the woman to stand up.” Nearly seven years later, those words are still ringing in my ears.
The little girl in me wants life to be pretty simple…like picking what restaurant I want to go to for dinner. But life doesn’t always have concrete answers. I’m discovering there are many shades of grey. For me, tipping into adulthood felt strange at first—playing dress-up in your mom’s clothes only to find out that they actually fit you. It was this sensation of stumbling around in the dark, tripping over furniture I didn’t know was there, all the while searching for the light. Many days I feel like I’m standing at the crossroads of that little girl I once was and the woman I know I am called to be. And it’s in this crossroads that I know I must make a choice to either remain the same or embrace the freefall.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 2, Psalm 36, Ecclesiastes 12, and Philemon
By Tricia Lott Williford
Think of the greatest mentor in your life. The person about whom you might say, “She taught me everything I know,” or “I am the person I am today because of his influence.”
When I think of the most powerful mentors in my life, I can speak from experience: pretty much for the rest of my days, if they ask anything of me, I’m going to feel compelled to respond. I would be pretty hard pressed to act against what someone asks of me, be that person a camp counselor from the best summers of my life, a teacher who taught me far more than what was on the syllabus, or the youth pastor who led me think bigger and better than what I had known before.
That’s who Paul was to most of the early Christians. He was not their biological father, but he was their spiritual parent. He taught them how to live and showed them who to become as Christ followers. When he was imprisoned for sharing the gospel, I imagine that they lived for his letters – they waited eagerly to hear what their mentor had to say, this man who had so deeply loved them and influenced their lives.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 14, Psalm 17, Proverbs 28, and 2 Thessalonians 2
By Emily Cummins, guest contributor
Three months ago I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. I packed up my little 2003 Toyota Solara with everything I owned, and drove 2,220 miles away from my family and support system to land in perhaps what’s known as the sin capitol of the world … and to call it home.
Now many at first called me crazy. Some perhaps still assume I am. However, something much deeper drew me to Las Vegas than flashy lights, urban culture and an epic career opportunity. And my first three months in the desert have taught me something so much more valuable than anything I could have initially hoped this time could have. It’s taught me that I’m a warrior.
Moving across the country into a new environment forced me to evaluate my belief system. For the past 22 years, it’s been left somewhat unchallenged by my own mind, simply because I never had to face the tough questions that have met me out here on my own, in the valley. From where I sit today, I’m asking questions for myself.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Exodus 38, John 17, Proverbs 14, and Philippians 1
By Christina Vinson
Envy. Comparison. Resentment. These words used to flash through my mind when I thought of a close friend (let’s call her Katie), and sometimes, unfortunately, they still do.
It started as an innocent friendship in fifth grade, when she and a few other girls asked me, the new kid, to play four square. But, as our lives sped toward where we are today, jealousy began creeping in, little by little.
In college, as a teenager and then young twenty-something, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. Pick a subject that I should spend my lifetime pursuing? I could barely pick out my outfit before an 8AM class. Katie, on the other hand, knew she wanted to be an elementary school teacher, and had her class schedule mapped out when we were still in high school. Settledness in her life goals was also steady, while mine varied from day to day.
She began being asked out on dates, while I was sitting by the phone, alone. In fact, a lot of guys took interest in her, and she always had a story about a new guy, new date, new breakup.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Exodus 29, John 8, Proverbs 5, and Galatians 4
By Amylee Weeks
Today’s art is a response to Galatians 4:
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:1-7 ESV)
Today’s Question: How is a heart different, when the Spirit of the Son is alive in it?
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: Exodus 24, John 3, Job 42, and 2 Corinthians 12
By Kelli Campbell
Today’s art is a response to John 3:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21, ESV)
Today’s Question: What does it mean to you, that God is one who comes to save and not to condemn?
Since marrying her Marine thirteen years ago, Kelli Campbell has lived in eight homes.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Exodus 15, Luke 18, Job 33, and 2 Corinthians 3
By Patty Kirk
Every year, at the end of a course called Advanced Grammar, I give my students an assignment I call a “grammar devotional”: analyze the grammar of a short Biblical passage to tap its spiritual teaching.
At first they’re leery, but it invariably ends up being their favorite assignment—mine too—because it legitimizes a rather arcane and pointless-seeming topic of study, one that’s hardly necessary to effective communication, by putting it to use in service of unarguably valuable tasks like reading the Bible and learning more about God. They’re proud of what they come up with, and, of all the essay piles on my desk, I read theirs with the greatest enthusiasm.
Another reason I like this assignment is that it addresses an important requirement I’m evaluated over at my Christian university: the integration of faith and learning. Students—and believers—being as diverse as they are, I’ve found it hard to get good ratings in this area because people are rarely in agreement about what such integration entails. I may have written numerous books on faith and bring up Biblical examples all the time and even pray in class on occasion, but all some students will remember at the end of the course is when I said something they thought inappropriate or required them to read a book that was, in their view, unChristian.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 29, Matthew 28, Esther 5, and Acts 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 24, Matthew 23, Nehemiah 13, and Acts 23
By Mary Freeman
Today’s art is a response to Matthew 23:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others… (Matthew 23:1-5, ESV)
Mary’s thoughts on her art are below:
I think if one believes she has to live by a list of rules and do’s and don’ts to be loved and accepted she quite likely will impose those very same rules and do’s and don’ts on others.
However, if one lives believing she is loved and accepted by God and she knows she is under grace…that she has done nothing to earn that love and acceptance, that it’s been given… she is more likely to extend that grace to others. Yes, there are times when we all lapse, but if living in grace is a way of life, grace is what is lived out.… Continue Reading