Tag: Bible study

Soul Food for a Fall Weekend

This has been a week of joy-filled experiences and rich, soul-strengthening conversations with dear friends, here in MN and in D.C.  where we traveled for a World Vision board meeting.

Today I am overwhelmed at the wonder of God and His sustaining presence even when the world is in a bad way. I’ve been doing a study of Job using the First 5 app which I highly recommend. (You can do any of their previous studies too.) Maybe my tiny dose of optimism is partially the result of this verse:

“I know that You can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:1-3

And few other things to share this week:

Made me laugh…

A creative idea from my friend Kathy Burleson who leads Community Bible Study leaders…

She filled this to-go cup with tea, hot chocolate, and other goodies for under $2 a piece. Such a fun, visual reminder of the importance of soul care. I don’t want to just look at this as a gimmick, but truly sit at Jesus’ feet before anything else.

A quote I like…


What I’m reading…

My friends and I went to hear Brené last week when she was in town at the beginning of her book tour on Braving the Wilderness, and I have been thinking about her words ever since. It was a powerful evening – what an effective communicator! She addresses how “sorted” and divisive our culture has become.  Although some reviewers dislike some of the political overtones, I thought it was particularly timely and convicting.

I feel there are really valuable insights in this book. My only note to those who are considering reading this is that it is not a “Christian” book and I took issue with Brown where she seems to orient everything in reference to self, not God.

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world.” Brené Brown

Lastly, one of my go-to Fall recipes…

Carrot Bars

4  eggs well beaten

2 cups sugar

2 ts. soda

2 ts. cinnamon

1 ts. salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I know, I know…and yes, you can try cutting it down, but I can’t guarantee results)

2 1/2 cups flour

3 small (4 1/2 oz. jars of baby food carrots

I spray pam on a jelly roll pan and pour the batter in. Bake @350 for 20-30 minutes.

You can frost with canned frosting, but scratch is easy and so much better:

1/2 cup butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese

2 ts. vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar



What to do With all the Big Feelings

I’ve shared before that the emotional trajectory of any given day (or hour) of my life can look a little like this.


Even if this isn’t your norm, perhaps there has been a day or two…

It seems that lately, many people around me have been facing circumstances that have thrown them for a loop even if usually their emotional life looks more like a merry-go-round than a monster roller coaster. So what do you do with all the Big Feelings?

One of the things I love about Scripture is that it’s so authentic, that often I may be experiencing something or feeling an emotion and one of the Bible people seems to jump off the pages and say “Me too!”

The community of young married couples I shepherd has started a study of David. I’m thinking David might have been a roller coaster kind of guy – a musician, shepherd, warrior, leader, and writer… As part of our study, this week we have agreed to read a Psalm written by David every day, starting with Psalm 3.

I love the Psalms because I feel kind of like a voyeur, peaking over someone’s shoulder, reading their journal.  The Psalms are just so dang real!

The Psalms are FULL of All Of The Big Feelings.

Can you say drama???

But the great thing is that the Psalms model how to deal with that drama.

Religiosity may say stuff or deny – don’t admit the messy feelings.

Secularism may say emotion is god – it rules all.

But the Psalms give us a third way to deal with our emotions.  Continue reading

Starting in Tel Aviv

Good morning from Tel Aviv!  I wrote on Monday that I’m going to be traveling in Israel/Palestine this week. It’s a trip devoted to entering into the heart of God for peace and reconciliation. Today we’ll spend some time here and in Nazareth.

We just arrived last night so I’m a little fuzzy, but I’m wondering if you might want to join me virtually.  I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post or how much time I’ll have to reflect, but this morning here was my view from the top of our hotel as I soaked in the goodness of God (that’s pretty easy to do with this view, sunshine and 70 degrees).


As I sat here, these are the words I read.  As you read them, what words stand out to you? Continue reading

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