I'm happy to share this with you and hope that you're enjoying some of the new content.
Also, just a friendly reminder not to rely on social media :) Subscribe here to get these posts right to your inbox.
On the Blog (visit my words from the week)
In Articles (my list of curated articles)
Poll (I'd love to hear what you think!)
Five Things Essay
1 "Come, let's return to the Lord" (Hos 6:1)
Repeated, intentional, desirous rebellion.
As I immerse myself in the scriptures, now traveling through the prophets, I wonder at Israel's choices with incredulity. A people who have the law, whose history is laced with God's guiding hand for the purposes of his kingdom, yet time after time their wayward hearts rule the day.
From my seat, a haughty spirit may arise, but it can't get to far before noticing the recalcitrant root of my own. The deceitful heart isn't reserved for others, it's found in the prowling motivations of my own.
These words from Hosea are a balm for my soul, "come, let's return to the Lord" (Hos 6:1). Isn't God's grace an extravagant gift?
To repent and return, to have relationship restored with confession and repentance, means there's always belonging at his feet and a place at his table. The gospel so richly reminds us time and again of the blessing to be found in his mercy and grace.
So, I'm just in awe of it again this morning.
2 Serve with Courage
"God’s response to Moses is gracious. He gives him three signs that will prove to the Hebrews that Moses has been with God and act as warnings to Egypt, as well as showing Moses that his weaknesses are not barriers to serving God." (Steve Robinson, Serve: Loving Your Church With Your Heart, Time and Gifts)
Don't you feel this sometimes too? That your weakness prevents you from serving the Lord? I'm so encouraged by this reminder that God graciously gave Moses a partner and a plan because he had a purpose for his life.
Our weaknesses are God's strengths because we learn to consistently rely and depend on him. When we're in need we're most likely to bend our knees. When we don't know the way, we must trust the Shepherd to lead.
I'm grateful that though I feel weak, and see areas in my life where I'm not strong, God is.
3 Writing as a hobby.
In this weekly Mosaic feature I started to include posts from previous years, and was surprised to discover I've been doing this for 4 years.
What began as an effort to work through the stormy days of my youngest daughter's illness evolved into reflections about books and lessons in life and faith. In moments of inspiration words crafted—by the grace of God's—elicit shares by popular writers and sites or are accepted submission to a publication.
Even though it's exciting with small gains in street cred, in the end, I'm still a blessedly ordinary person who writes to serve my readers for the glory of God.
In a book on blogging I took note of this quote:
“My writing has not turned into a career. It’s mostly a hobby and a privilege." (Benjamin Vrbicek, Blogging for God’s Glory in a Clickbait World)
I enjoy this hobby. Crafting words is humbling, challenging my creative muscles and the organization of my thoughts. Untangling a ball of yarn is not for the faint of heart, and often it's what I feel my mind is like.
It's also a privilege. The email list continues to grow, small in terms of the world's numbers, but of great significant to me. I'm increasingly humbled that you take a gander through my words, and I pray that as click publish in spite of my imperfections and thoughts less artfully delivered, will bring truth, goodness and hope into your world.
4 A good decision in the moment, may not always be the best one on another day.
Making decisions isn't always easy.
Treatment plans are created with to best care for others and, for the believing practitioner, they're also crafted prayerfully.
Some situations are more complicated than others. There are times we don't have all the information and make the best choice we can at the time.
Then a new day dawns, maybe things haven't changed, a new tidbit comes to light, or the results aren't what expected and an alternative solution is required.
We don't like to second guess our decisions. It never feels good to go back on a plan. In our prayers for wisdom and discernment we move forward as best we can, but sometimes there may need to be a change.
God is gracious even in these moments. Only he knows the full extent of his plans and purposes. So, we continue seeking wisdom, leaning on the staff of the Shepherd who leads us, trusting that even when a plan goes awry, he gives more grace and will show us the way to go next.
5 Just one more thing.
It's my unspoken mantra when packing a suitcase.
I just want to fit one more thing.
There's ten days of clothing, bags of coffee beans for our hosts and a small pack for toiletries. I find my suitcase is quite satisfied.
Even though it seems I'm officially packed, I know there will be random items to throw in, at least my toothbrush, hair dust, and maybe a jacket I decide not to wear on the plane—items all easily squished into the cracks.
I hope I don't forget anything.
This Week on the Blog
It was a fun week with a little boost in writing for me. Hope you enjoy these reflections!
Quote of the Week
This Week in Articles
"Every single day, I must remind myself that God has a plan and a purpose for my life and that he will fulfill that plan in his perfect timing (Philippians 1:6, 2:13).“I pray that in the future I will not try so hard to earn the love I am looking for.”
I appreciated this article from Lauren as it was a helpful way to put our income into a biblical perspective.
Although once considered less common, girls watching porn is on the rise. I wouldn't have thought one of the reasons is just out of curiosity. The article also brought up the importance of discussing with daughters aggression in sexual scripts and how if guys are consuming porn, they consider this normal, and so women should be equipped to know what crosses the line.
Typically we wait for January 1 until we determine to start a new habit. Glenna encourages us, if we've held off, got sidetracked or stagnant in our spiritual disciplines to use the daylight savings weekend to kick off a fresh start.
One of Glenna's tips from the previous article is to write out a list of things to pray. So I added these into my journal for the advent season approaching. Thought you might benefit from them also!
I couldn't resist adding one more :) I enjoy this series from For the Church on "Theology in the Everyday." With war ongoing around the world, the topic of end times comes up more and more, so it seems good for us to consider the doctrine of eschatology and what it means for us today. Also, the second section features a way to discuss this with your kids.
This Week in Snapshots
(This piece of land has been prayed over for years and now our church is finally the owner! Thankful for God's gracious provision)
(You saw the snow, right?? Our warm beverage shelf is stocked and ready for the winter months)
(Needed a haircut, thanks Tiff!)
(Love my french press! What's your favourite method of brewing coffee?)