Friday, August 7, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Bible Reading Tools
When I link a Bible verse in my blog, I always use Bible Gateway. I find it the easiest to navigate and the many tools are exceptional. They recently revamped their website and it is even easier now to navigate.
Read the BibleOne of the most impactful and important tasks we have as Christians is to read the Bible. This site provides a number of plans that span 40 to 365 days. I would like to see a plan for brand new Christians and I've given Bible Gateway that feedback.
Bible Gateway Plus
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
- we can simply go on with our lives as they are, secure in the knowledge that we will spend eternity in Heaven, or
- we can grow stronger in our relationship with Jesus and spread the news to others.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If someone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.
Friday, July 24, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Monday, July 6, 2020
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Sunday, May 17, 2020
I'm baaack! At least for a post or two for now. This is the first time in weeks that I've felt that I had any time to devote to Dances in the Light. 8 weeks ago, I added video producer, videographer, and video editor to my daily activities, when my church turned to online worship in the midst of stay-at-home orders.
I am not a professional. I've never had a course on how to make a video. YouTube has become my friend. So, you can imagine that creating a video from start to finish has been a slow process for me. And producing two videos each week (one worship service and one Children's Church) has taken up most of my free time. They are far from professional, but our church members and other folks who are viewing them are LOVING them, so I feel as though I'm pleasing God.
Although I'm looking forward to the end of all of this, I'm not complaining. It's been a humbling, exciting experience for me. It's one of those "be careful what you ask for" things. I never like to ask God to use me because I'm afraid he'll send me to some third-world country and make me eat bugs or something equally distasteful. But lately I've tried to be braver and I've actually been praying the Prayer of Jabez and asking God for more.
I could almost hear God giggle with glee when I first started stepping out. I'm sure He's thinking "Finally!" And the rest is history.
So, bear with me for a while until this craziness passes. I have continued to make graphics for my church, so I'll try to post those when I have time, but no devotions until I have the time to do them right.
Friday, April 10, 2020
The King of Translations
Living for Jesus
I love having such easy access to so many translations!
Back To Basics
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Right now, we're going through some pretty crazy times. But, honestly, we have troubles and stressors every day of our lives. If you find yourself overwhelmed by what's going on, try these suggestions to relieve your worries.
1. Turn Off The News
I remember clearly being glued to the television and internet on 9/11. I was at work but there was no "work" being done because we couldn't believe what was happening. As the events unfolded, the broadcasters knew no more than us and yet we couldn't turn away from the meaningless yammering.
Nona Jones, the head of faith-based partnerships at Facebook, posted some wise advice the other day. A former newscaster, she knows that the media feeds the natural tendency for humans to focus on worst case scenarios, which fuels anxiety and fear. You can read her post here. The crux of her post is this: "If we aren't careful, the news cycle will replace prayer with emotional exhaustion. Which is why we must guard our hearts with a diligence. ... But, please, DO NOT allow your heart to be troubled by an industry that is designed to trouble it for ratings."
It's natural to want to learn as much as possible in a crisis, but when you find yourself unable to do anything else or when you're learning nothing new, it's time to end your screen time.
2. Change What You Can, Accept What You Can't
3. Get Moving
4. Read Your Bible
Thursday, March 12, 2020
A Mother's Worst Nightmare
When my daughter was diagnosed with uterine cancer, I didn't handle it well. I have always been overprotective of my only living daughter, having lost two other daughters when they were infants, and this was one thing I couldn't protect her from. I felt helpless. Powerless.
My friend, Laurel, has spent the last few years dealing with breast cancer and her husband's terminal illness. When I told her about Maria's diagnosis, she told me that Psalm 91 has given her comfort. She reads it every day and uses it as a prayer. She urged me to give it a try.
When Emotions Take OverIntellectually, I knew that I should turn my worries over to God. I knew that He was in control. But, emotionally, I was a mess.
I had been able to turn it all over to God in the past, such as when my youngest daughter passed away. I knew I would go crazy if I tried to handle it all myself and so I willingly "let go and let God".
This time was different. Maybe because I'm older and have seen too many people suffer from the effects of cancer and, sometimes worse, the lasting effects of the chemotherapy and radiation. Maria was too young to have her long-term health jeopardized by the harsh treatments needed to conquer cancer.
Still, I figured if this chapter brought comfort to Laurel, with all she was going through, it wouldn't hurt for me to try reading it.
An Exercise in ReadingAt first, it was purely an impassive exercise. I was just reading the words and praying without feeling.
But, after some time, I realized that the words were starting to have meaning behind them. I really did trust God and believed that he was protecting me and, more importantly, Maria.
I began to worry less about the outcome. I knew that my precious daughter was protected by the Almighty and, no matter what the future held, it was going to be OK.
Channeling John WesleyMy transformation reminded me of John Wesley's journey through a loss of faith. Although my feelings weren't as extreme as his, I smiled when I realized that I was following in Wesley's footsteps in "fake it 'til you make it" style.
Don't Worry About AnythingAnd maybe that's all we can do sometimes. Let's face it. We'd all like to always have it together and fully trust in the Lord when we feel ambushed by life, but sometimes that's just not reality.
Not that we necessarily blame God for our misfortune, but there are times when our knee-jerk reaction is to become anxious and worried instead of leaning on Him for strength and guidance.
But Don't Beat Yourself Up If You DoIt's human nature to worry. I don't know why God made us that way, but we have to consciously make a choice to turn to God instead of our worry stones in times of stress. So, don't add to your anxiety and stress by finding fault.
Instead, do what you know God wants you to do, even if you don't feel it in your heart.
Last ThoughtsI am praying for you and your struggle. I know you can let go of the worry and give it all to our loving Father. Just take it one step at a time. 💖
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Friday, March 6, 2020
I have a love/hate relationship with the way Jesus described the New Covenant. The symbolism is so poetic. The words paint pictures in my mind. But, I am a pretty literal person. I never liked poetry because it's hard for me to understand the underlying meaning. My writing is straightforward, without flourishes, and I guess that's how I see life. So, while I love the beautiful images that His words bring to mind, I am like the clueless woman at the well when it comes to understanding the underlying meaning.
Woman At The WellIn John 4, Jesus tells a woman who is getting water from a well that he is the source of water that will end thirst. The woman is all "sign me up! I'm tired of trudging to this well everyday."
That would definitely be my immediate reaction as well. And Jesus would, no doubt, shake his head in frustration at my denseness.
Understanding The MeaningWhat do you do to ensure that you're hearing what Jesus is really saying? I rely on lots of prayer and guidance from people who are experts on theology. I participate in Bible studies at church and individual studies online.
As I learn more about the history and culture of Biblical times, I understand more about those puzzling stories.
What is your strategy? I'd love to hear how you get to the true meaning of those metaphors.