This is the time of year when we throw ourselves into planning for family, food, football, and gifts. Décor for fall and Christmas lines every shelf from Hobby Lobby to Macy’s, and every food cooking show on the planet starts gearing up for holiday dinners. And we launch ourselves head-on into it. This isn’t a… Continue reading In Everything, Give Thanks
“For we are God’s masterpiece.” ~Ephesians 2:10, NLT That verse has been rolling around in my head for a week or two now. I happened to come upon it a while back, maybe in a meme, and it was encouraging. Having researched great artists of history for the past few weeks though, it’s taken on new meaning.
“Lord, we show our trust in your by obeying your laws; our heart's desire is to glorify your name.” ~Isaiah 26:8, NLT I came across this verse a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. When I see verses like this, written by the heroes of the faith, I get the feeling that they were written in a scene like something out of a classic movie. A bold, gray-haired, authoritative man speaks with power as the music swells. Clouds roll in the background and waves crash along a shore. (Not sure why this is always in my mind, since Israel isn’t known for its shoreline, but stay with me.) Although this scene evokes emotion, it also makes me feel like the glory of God is something that is totally removed from life as I know it. This verse speaks the opposite. Glorifying God is the essence of life as I know it. That’s kind of mind-blowing, if you think about it.
When I was in college, I worked at a Pier 1 store. It was fun – lots of new and crazy items all the time, laid-back atmosphere, interesting customers. I had varying levels of friendship with my co-workers, but one of my managers…I had a hard time figuring him out. One night, the store was insanely slow…we were literally the only two people in it for almost two hours. I was just preparing myself for a Really Boring Shift when he said, out of the blue: “Why are you always so happy?”
Every so often, I’ll see a book or study on the names of God. Some of these names are quite common to most of us, since they reassure us of God’s promises and strength. Others are less known, since their symbolism doesn’t make as much sense to us today. These, though, are some of the names that really stand out to me. One of them, El Roi, is one of them.
All week, I’ve been writing about ways to not only start out strong this year, but to keep going strong. To know your purpose, bend rather than break, stay in community while showing and receiving grace. To keep your eyes on the prize, rather than the million little daily distractions that can put your sight elsewhere. In that vein, I think today’s devotion is pretty appropriate.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I came across this scripture when I was preparing for a Hebrew lesson the other day…and noticed something I’d never seen before, having only read it in English. Time after time, I’ve heard teachings about this verse, saying that if you raise your child in a faithful home and educate them about God, even if they rebel as a young adult, they will eventually return to “the way they should go” – that it’s a scriptural promise.