Reading under the covers with a flashlight

I take off my glasses to peer at my tiny notes in the wide margins of my ancient Bible. I type them into the computer and add new notes from what the Lord is currently teaching me about the passage.  I love being able to use online commentaries and lexicons.

So the other day I had a little while to spend with the Word of God.

I don’t know if you have this problem, but for me it can actually be a little while before my mind and heart even settle down enough to be able to focus and enjoy and receive the nourishment that my soul needs. This time I kept being distracted. Continue reading “Reading under the covers with a flashlight”

You gotta laugh: hope in the midst of Alzheimer’s

My mother-in-law passed away six years ago this week. She died in her bed here in this house where we live now.

Almost five years earlier my in-laws had moved in with us so we could help with her care in her declining years, as she disappeared in the gray cloud of Alzheimer’s. You would think these wouldn’t be laughing years.

But we laughed. Continue reading “You gotta laugh: hope in the midst of Alzheimer’s”

Expecting the joy when you can’t feel it (joy part 4)

A friend listened to the song “If You Want Me To” by the blind songwriter Ginny Owens. She said, “I can’t say this is where I am all the time, but it’s where I want to be. I know it’s all true.”

That’s it. That’s it. “It may not be where I am all the time, but it’s where I want to be. I know it’s all true.”

This friend was about to have surgery and didn’t know if she might come out a paraplegic. Continue reading “Expecting the joy when you can’t feel it (joy part 4)”

Joy comes as a response in the realm of the spirit (joy part 3)

Have you ever noticed those verses in the Bible that talk about God’s judgment on the wicked coming in the form of birds picking out their eyes? (One of them is in Proverbs 30.) I know that’s really a disgusting image, but it’s describing something completely realistic: when the ravening birds would start to eat a dead body, the first place they would go was the eye. If the eye didn’t respond at all, they knew that creature was completely dead.

Not a very likely opening to a post about joy, I know.

But the point I’m making is about response. The Bible links life to responsiveness and death to unresponsiveness.  There are many, many places where this understanding of death and life bring into full focus what God is saying. Continue reading “Joy comes as a response in the realm of the spirit (joy part 3)”

Joy is a response (joy part 2)

Last week I gave the first part of a definition of joy, asserting the controversial opinion that we have to admit that it’s a feeling, an emotion.

This week I want to say something that might also be considered controversial: Joy arises as a response to something outside of us. A sensory response. I’m talking about the five senses here: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. As in . . . Continue reading “Joy is a response (joy part 2)”

He’s still the Hiding Place

This summer my two teenagers and I had the privilege of spending some evenings listening together to Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place (mending clothes, brushing the dog’s matted fur as we listened) and then watching the video.

It had been maybe a few decades since I had read The Hiding Place, so I was grateful to be impressed again at how suddenly life can take terrible unexpected turns . . . at how important it is to be spiritually ready to face these new circumstances . . . and at how, through it all, God is faithful. Continue reading “He’s still the Hiding Place”