Now Hiring: Priests

Now HiringI’m not sure I’d apply for the job.

The Levitical preisthood, descended from Aaron among the tribe of Levi, had a job I’m not convinced I’d want. When I reflect on their duties, I have a mixed reaction. One part of me esteems their role highly: what a privilege to be chosen among the thousands for such important duties. They taught and blessed the people. They led them toward God and interceded on their behalves. They entered the Holy Place in the tabernacle (and temple) and burned fragrant incense.

Another part of me experiences revulsion at what their daily duties entailed: the bloody sacrifices of animals for guilt offerings. (Do you think the teenage Levites from Aaron’s line dreaded adulthood and having to go into the family business?)  Read more

In the waiting

WaitingAs a kid, December moved at a glacial pace. Christmas just took forever to arrive.

(Cue the dramatic sensibilities of a nine-year-old girl.) Of course, as an adult, this month almost gives me whiplash, it goes by so quickly.

This week I revisited the promises made to Abraham about the Messiah. God told him that all the nations would be blessed by him in Genesis 12:3. The very first Messianic prophecy was spoken to the patriarch of the Jewish faith.

Pause and consider that, friends: the first time God calls a man to Himself, He points to the Messiah. Not just that, but He also mentions that this hope would be for “all the peoples.”  Read more

Three things to learn from the Magi

If you signed up to participate in the Advent Bible study but didn’t get questions on Monday, please reply to this email and I’ll make sure your profile is updated. And it’s not too late to join us; sign up here.

The wise men of the nativity story have much to teach us…

…despite their fairly brief appearance on the pages of scripture. Not the least of which is the reason for the name of our Bible study. (Pop over to Facebook for a video explanation on that.) A short reading of of Matthew 2 reveals much about these men, even though it leaves a good bit unsaid. Three things for us to learn:

Know the Word.

These men — and we don’t actually know how many there were, we know only the number of gifts — obviously knew the Old Testament prophecies well enough to set out on a long journey in response to them. Perhaps their knowledge was as a result of Daniel’s or Esther’s influence in Persia from long before? They arrived in Jerusalem looking for the King of the Jews (a logical, but errant, assumption to find Him in the Jewish capital). Matthew 2:2 reveals their knowledge. The chief priests, then, in 2:5, quote Micah’s prophecy directly (Micah 5:2). The Magi knew enough to respond; the priests knew the very words of the prophet. We, too, must know the Bible well enough that we can readily recognize truth, and act upon it.  Read more

Loop: Author interview with Jennifer Camp

Jennifer square new blue backgroundFriends, I want to introduce you to my friend Jennifer Camp. Jennifer’s book, Loop, has just released and I want you to know about it for the jewel that it can be in your life. Her writing is a tender invitation to hear God’s voice spoken over you. More info on getting your hands on the book below, but first I want you to listen to this dear woman’s heart for you… hear her responses to the questions I’ve put to her.

I think you’ll find, as I do, that her desire to internalize the fullness of God’s words to us in scripture is earnest, warm and beautiful.  Read more

The Back Float: Overwhelmed – Part 5

DivingConstant struggling against the overwhelming waters may well be the biggest reason for not being able to cope with life.

When a child learns to swim, one of the first skills instructed is floating. Being able to float on the water is a singularly valuable tool for a swimmer to cope with a crisis. Too often, however, this skill is neglected… disposed of after learning strokes. I suspect the same is true for the overwhelmed Christian who neglects rest in his or her life.  Read more

Above Water: Overwhelmed Part 4

Tip FourWhen the waters of life feel like they’re closing in, there is a way to stay above the rising tide.

The account of Jesus walking on water never bothered me. He is God and has full authority over the natural laws (Matthew 14:25). The part where he calls Peter out onto the waves, however, has long perplexed me. Particularly in this metaphor of coping with the perpetual feeling of overwhelmed-ness. Let’s look at it again:  Read more

5 Questions to help you stay afloat: Overwhelmed – Part 3

RiverThey may not be spiritual, but they are essential to helping us stay above water.

When I find myself overwhelmed by my responsibilities, I always have to take a step back and take inventory. I ask myself a series of questions to help me identify the root of the problem. From the answers, I can often navigate my way to shallower waters or even dry land once again. So jot these down and then sit with the Lord to see how they might help you cope:  Read more

Life (and sanity) preservers for the deep end of the pool: Overwhelmed – Part 2

Sky with gullI’m confident they’ve been trained.

Fire alarm batteries know how to strike with the precision of Seal Team 6. Their needy chirp to be replaced always occurs in the dark of the night. When it’s cold. And when my husband is out of town.

When you’re already overwhelmed (and trying to sleep), this is not a welcome noise.

My last post shared an important reminder for coping when we feel we are drowning in life. Today’s suggestion can (and should!) be applied in two ways: with people and with God.  Read more

For when you’re drowning in your life: Overwhelmed Part 1

OceanI couldn’t believe my eyes.

I had cleared just enough off my to-do list for the day and pulled out of my driveway to hit the grocery store.

And then I saw them.

The trucks. The ones with long ladders and a crew of at least two men. Parked in front of not just one, but two, of my neighbor’s homes on the very same afternoon. To install Christmas lights.

I just about came unhinged. Yes, I suppose partly because it’s only early November and I can’t wrap my head around Christmas just yet. But more because this just pushed me over the edge into the dark, scary void. That place where if anyone so much as asks me to tell them whether their head is still attached to their body, I will lack the intellectual faculty to answer them because I’m so overwhelmed.  Read more

Stretch Assignment

ExcellentI knew it would be a big commitment.

As part of leadership development, employees that have been identified as having great potential are given “stretch assignments” that put them in situations that will push the boundaries of their knowledge and skills. These experiences broaden their professional horizons and cultivate new traits, equipping them for the next steps in their career progression. Writing for thirty-one days on the same topic has been a such a stretch assignment for me. (Heck, just writing for 31 days straight was a stretch!) This goal seemed to sit barely on this side of the line between possible and impossible. Yet, here we are, thirty-one days and posts later.  Read more