Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 46, Mark 16, Job 12, and Romans 16

job 12 - 1By Kelli Campbell

Today’s art is a response to Job 12:

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;

or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;

and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know

that the hand of the Lord has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing

and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10, ESV)

job 12 - 2

Kelli’s thoughts on her art follow:

This passage speaks to me as a photographer—one more comfortable observing the natural world than struggling through a scholarly treatise on nature. Recently, I have been slowly chewing on The Gospel According to Job by Mike Mason, and in reference to these verses he states, “nature still stands as His first and sufficient revelation, His first Gospel” (p 143.) The Bible tells us in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and again in Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world.” Job got it.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 32, Mark 3, Esther 8, and Mark 3

genesis 32By Lisa Velthouse

We have settled on a name for the wildly moving mass of unborn boy that is taking over my torso. It is still a few months ahead of our son’s arrival, and we’ve known his gender for only a handful of weeks—still, it feels like this process of deciding took forever.

Any name my husband liked, I couldn’t stand, and vice versa. (We knew it would be this way. The disagreements were foreshadowed early in our marriage, when Nathan told me he loved the Puritan practice of naming children after virtues: Patience, Chastity, etc. I twisted up my whole face at him in response.) This time around was the same as with the naming of our daughter: one of us would toss out an idea, and the other would immediately make a face or say, determinedly and disgustedly, NO.

But we hashed it out, because names are important. This boy will wear his forever: infancy, childhood, awkward teenage years, early adulthood, old age—as long as he is privileged to live. The sounds made by his name will reverberate on people’s ears when he first introduces himself.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 3, Matthew 3, Ezra 3, and Acts 3

genesis 3By Lisa Velthouse

Last week, crammed into a house far to small for all of us, my (ever-expanding) family of origin gathered as a whole for the first time in two years. We relished the in-person hugs and the introductions of family members who hadn’t yet met. We caught up on the kind of news that gets forgotten or breezed over during Skype and Facetime chats. We laughed about the same old stories and made fools of ourselves playing ridiculous games. We sat around for hours over breakfasts, lunches, dinners. More than once, we wore pajamas well into the afternoon.

Since the last time we were together, we have added three members: two babies and a fiancée. We’ve changed for the better: degrees begun and completed; jobs changed; promotions earned; homes rented, purchased and sold; engagements announced; babies born. In all this change, there has been much to congratulate and celebrate.

But we are also the same as we were before, so  there is still plenty to mourn. In this little family alone, hearts are heavy under aches that haven’t gone away, unmet desires that haven’t faded, strains that haven’t been eased, questions that haven’t been answered, and griefs that haven’t worn fully away.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: Genesis 2, Matthew 2, Ezra 2, and Acts 2

01022014_NBBy Nicole Bennett, Guest Contributor

Oh, how I love the start of a new year!

We’ve made it through the excitement and abundance of the Christmas season—it’s a season of excess for me to be sure. I indulge in all the culinary delights, fill our days with beloved traditions, and deck the halls with memory-laden relics.

Throughout the last week of the year, we stretch out the celebrating, enjoy the décor and days off, and repose as much as we can until the year ends.

Over the last few years, as my family has grown, our New Year’s Eve celebrations have gone from loud and boisterous, full of family and friends, to quiet nights at home, kids tucked in snugly. But they always culminate in a final day of relaxation, food and football on the first.

And then comes January 2nd.  It’s the day I suddenly feel the climactic urge to simplify and purge—a physical manifestation of the newness of another year beginning.

The clean slate of a new year isn’t really any different than any other day—His mercies are new every morning after all (Lam. 3:22-24).

But as we start at the top of a new calendar I can’t help but embrace the fresh start that it brings.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 35, Revelation 21, Malachi 3, and John 20

revelation 21By Hannah Anderson

In less than two days, we’ll turn the calendar on yet another year. A year that started full of promise and expectation, but slowly, as its pages turned, a year that seemed to grow tired and worn by the week-in, week-out work of moving toward its end. And suddenly, before any of us realized it, we were done. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days under out belt. During this last week, there is a natural packing up and putting away, a shelving of all that has happened and a desire for the freshness of the coming year.

I’ve never known anyone to resist this process. I’ve never met anyone who wants to hold onto the past year even if it was a good one. Instead, every year, we experience a bit of a thrill as December turns to January. It’s an odd sense of liberation as that final page of the calendar comes off and a new one goes up. So that even if, like me, you’re not one to make resolutions, there’s something unmistakably exhilarating about a fresh slate. We’re drawn by the sheer possibilities; we’re drawn to the fresh and new.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 29, Revelation 15, Zechariah 11, and John 14

By Mary Freeman
Today’s art connects to several verses from today’s portion.

From Zechariah 11:

So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named Union. And I tended the sheep. (verse 7, ESV)

From Revelation 15:

“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!

Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (verses 3-4, ESV)

From John 14:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God…” (verse 1, ESV)

(Below is a journal entry from contributor Mary Freeman, including her thoughts related to today’s art post.)

Yes we believe, and yes we have faith. We have trusted God, and know in the deepest part of our soul that He is good, that His ways are best, right and good…always! But sometimes, sometimes right alongside of all that we know, we falter.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 2 Chronicles 25, Revelation 12, Zechariah 8, and John 11

2 chronicles 25By Stacy Sharpe, Guest Contributor

There once was a king in a distant land

Who occasionally followed God’s commands.

Sometimes he heeded Godly advice,

But too often by his own flesh was enticed.

Though God was clearly on his side,

This king was brought down by false worship and pride.

(My Mother Goose rendition of 2 Chronicles 25)

It’s so easy to point a finger at King Amaziah. Just thinkin’ he shoulda learned a lesson from the lethal consequences of his dad’s spiritual compromises. Instead this ninth king of Judah did what so many of us are tempted to do: he offered God a limp handshake and a lukewarm cup o’ coffee.

Amaziah didn’t pose as an enemy of God…though as a believer, we might be tempted to call him a “poser.” As newly appointed king of Judah, one of the first things on his hit list included swift execution of his father’s assassins…but he obeyed God’s command to mercifully spare their children (Deut. 24:16). In his quest to conquer the Edomites, he rashly purchased extra troops from wayward, idolatrous Israel…but he listened to wise counsel about recruiting an ungodly army, and reluctantly returned the Israelite soldiers…even though it really stung to lose the four tons of silver he had paid to acquire them.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 1 Chronicles 26-27, 2 Peter 1, Micah 4, and Luke 13

1 Chronicles 26 & 27By Hannah Anderson

The day after Thanksgiving.  For many of us, this means the pots and pans are once again clean, the fine china has been returned to the cupboard, and if we’re lucky, there are enough leftovers to save us from meal prep for the next couple of days. Some may have gotten up early in search of a deal; or others, like me, were content to do their shopping online sitting next to the warmth of a crackling fireplace. After the bustling activity of yesterday, it’s time to rest and recover.

Except no.

It. Is. Just. Getting. Started.

Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be caught in a whirlwind of decorating, baking, and gift wrapping as we prepare for Christmas. We will stay up late and get up early. We will forget the sugar cookies for the 2nd Grade Christmas party. So we’ll rush to the store, pay three times what it would have cost to make them ourselves and show up just in time to hand them over. And if we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves in the exact same position Martha did in Luke 10: “distracted with much serving.”

As I read through today’s portion in 1 Chronicles 26 and 27, I couldn’t help but think about this danger.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 1 Chronicles 22, 1 Peter 3, Micah 1, and Luke 10

By Mary Freeman

1 Peter 3
Today’s art is a response to 1 Peter 3. The artist’s thoughts on the passage are below.

I am feeling a little exposed here. God’s Word does that and really it’s a good thing, a scary and painful thing sometimes, but a good thing. You see, I am beginning to finally believe that God loves me and accepts me totally in my incompleteness, in my mess, and yes even in my sin. I am learning it is okay to come out of hiding. He longs for my freedom even more than I do, and I long for it a lot.

The Scripture portion I wanted to share with you today is 1 Peter 3. When I read the part that is written to wives, my feathers get ruffled. I’m okay with the part to husbands; oh don’t we love it when the spotlight is on the other. But then I begin to dig a little deeper and I see.

At the end of Chapter 2, Peter speaks about the kind of life Jesus lived, and the kind of life we are invited into.… Continue Reading

Today’s Bible passages are: 1 Chronicles 16, James 3, Obadiah, and Luke 5

By Amylee Weeks

1 Chronicles 16

Today’s art is a response to 1 Chronicles 16, specifically verse 32:

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth;

yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!

Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16:28-34, ESV, emphasis added)

Today’s Question: What goodness are you thanking God for today? Where do you see creation giving God praise? (Respond in the comments.)

AmyleeW_200Amylee’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