“By Him, therefore [Jesus, the one who suffered outside the camp], let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, even the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name. . . . For with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
One time in church we were singing the song Blessed Be Your Name, which tends to make me cry. A young friend later said, “That’s really hard to say. It’s hard to say ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ when everything is dark and hard.” Continue reading “Is praise really a sacrifice?”
It was three years ago this month that I participated in the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers’ Conference. I listened to speakers talk about how to write nonfiction, the merits of self-publishing, and how to be a dynamite storyteller. I chatted with experts at the dinner table.
During such an empowering week, it’s always hard to get away for quiet time. But in a corner of the beautiful lodge, I discovered a little desk tucked away. Continue reading “Acknowledging my inability”
Yes, the Science Guy. That one. The zany one who makes half hour programs that teach a modicum of science. [I used to have a photo of him here, but removed it for fear of recriminations from Disney, about which I’ve been hearing so much lately.]
One day, while Bill was teaching us that wetlands are wet, he held up two sponges, one dry, one damp. He told us that a wet sponge will soak up more water than a dry one. Even if you don’t actually do the experiment, you can picture a dry sponge and a damp one both being plunged into a big bowl of water and removed. Continue reading “Life lessons from Bill Nye”
Have you ever wished that there were some psalms that trumpeted the truths of the New Testament? In 1996, I modeled this writing after one of the Old Testament psalms:
Sing to the Lord!
Sing with loud voices to the Lord
for he is exalted on high.
With great power and mighty strength
He has brought His Son
His only begotten Jesus Messiah Continue reading “A Resurrection psalm”
Update February 2015: Joy Ridderhof’s biography became the second in the Potter’s Wheel series of Christian biographies for children. You can see the book here and read a sample chapter here. I’ve written here and here and here and here and I guess especially here about how important I believe it is to give children good examples of Christians who “do exploits” for the Kingdom of God.
A woman named Joy garnered fame
So different was she from her name.
Vindictive and rude,
Bitter venom she spewed–
But oh Joy! She was never to blame.
(This comes from being in bed with the flu. Sorry.) Continue reading “The joy of Joy Ridderhof”
I heard once that after World War II a call went out for missionaries to Japan. They had been defeated by a superpower, and they were open to that superpower’s religion.
But only a few missionaries went. So the story goes that Japan looked at the United States and embraced the religion they thought they saw. Continue reading “Perhaps another opportunity in Japan”
I’m a New Covenant Christian.
I say this without shame, with full understanding of the implications.
I believe that the New Covenant is not simply a new administration of the same covenant as the Old, but rather is a truly and radically NEW Covenant, based on the blood of Jesus Christ, completely fulfilling the Old. As we’re told in Jeremiah, Hebrews, Galatians, Colossians, and other places, the Old Covenant, by design, was not good enough. The New Covenant is better. Better. Better. In every way. Continue reading “On reading through the Bible in 2011”
Through the years, every time I read Leviticus, I felt as if I were wandering in the wilderness. It seemed vast, dry, and dead. And may I add, pointless?
I was reading through the Bible, over and over and over, and I knew that in order to really read through the Bible, I shouldn’t skip Leviticus, even though I really wanted to, every time. All the sacrifices . . . and so much detail . . . ugh. Why did I have to read all that? I struggled to keep my mind from wandering, usually without much success. Continue reading “Leviticus: My Wilderness Book”
The sands of time are sinking . . .
“Mother, you’re in the hospital. You had a stroke. Remember?”
Slow nod, barely perceptible. Eyes closed, a cloud of silver hair on the pillow.
The dawn of heaven breaks . . .
And there she is, at the piano with me, black hair, bright eyes, big smile, cheery voice. Continue reading “Mother’s Day in February”
One reason I quit wearing contact lenses was that I was always losing them.
But in one of those days when my absent-mindedness was still propelling me toward the inevitable decision, I stood at the window. One eye had a contact lens. The other was legally blind.
I looked out with first one eye closed, and then the other. The near-sighted eye could clearly see the screen, the dust, the cobwebs. Continue reading “Seeing beyond the screen”