Hi, Friends– I’m just delighted to introduce to you my friend, Bible teacher Kathy Howard, whose 4 R inductive method of Bible study has helped many truly dig in to the Word, learn from it, and apply its principles to their daily lives. I encourage you to check out Kathy’s study method–with a freebie printable resource on her 4 R method! Blessings! Janet . . . and now here’s Kathy . . . I love to be in God’s Word regularly, but I need a Bible study method that’s simple enough
In our son’s sophomore year of high school, he had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and torn cartilage. The timing worked out, because I had taken a semester’s sabbatical from teaching to write a book. The surgeon’s parting words at the hospital to me were, “Be careful as you lift the movement and ice machines because you don’t want to end up with back surgery.” That was wise counsel. However, I was not wise in following it. Our son wanted to move from the bedroom to th
Does your life look like a shipwreck right now? Maybe you’re sick or your loved ones are. Maybe you’ve lost someone dear to you. Maybe you’re frustrated and sad and just plain weary that you can’t spend time with loved ones. Maybe finances are just awful and you’re worried about what to do for the holidays. Paul was in a literal shipwreck. And to make matters worse, he was on the ship because he was being taken to Rome for trial on trumped-up charges related to his faith in J
When I taught high school English, Romeo and Juliet provided many an example of the oxymoron–a short figure of speech that has contradictory terms. Romeo (about Rosaline): “Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate…” Romeo again (about Rosaline): “Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep that is not what it is!” Juliet (on learning of Romeo’s murder of Ty
I am betting more people than normal will be using the word “grace” this week. “Will you say the grace?” After all, some kind of giving of thanks is expected for thanks-giving day, right? Dictionary.com provides insight into the English origin of the word. It was first recorded in 1125–75 in Middle English, taken from Old French, which came from the Latin grātia, meaning “favor, kindness, esteem,” as a derivative of grātus “pleasing.” The English teacher in me kept reading, a
Yesterday I was in such a funk. Because of winds up to 70 mph, the power went off around 10:30 in the morning and remained off all day and into the evening. While most others here in our mountain valley have woodstoves for their heat, we rely on electricity. People think we’re nuts, but years ago when we built the house we had an asthmatic baby boy, and his doctor recommended we not use wood heat to keep the air cleaner. Part of my concern was, of course, the food in the frid
Do you feel you need a time out? As though you’re in a fast-paced game and there’s no break in sight for a rest? For direction? For clarity?
I have too, but I’ve found great strength through one single practice: prayer.
And ever since I started prayerwalking 22 years ago, I’ve been studying prayer. Most of those years I’ve read through the Bible in a year, and when I saw a reference to prayer, I marked the verse(s) with a circled P in the margin. I find it interesting that
Do you have a comfy chair for relaxing and reading or even writing? Years ago several writer friends and I drove to Reno for the day to hear well-known writer Anne Lamott speak about the writing life. I’d read several of her books–the most famous perhaps being Bird by Bird–and I knew she had a wit, but I so enjoyed lots of belly laughing that night. She gave writers permission to do lots of things, one of which was to buy a comfortable chair for writing. I went out that week
Christmas is coming, and as I find myself making a Christmas list for my immediate family of 20, plus other family and friends, I remember again what my mom used to say when we kids asked her what she wanted for Christmas. “Peace and quiet.” She never said it as a joke. She was dead serious. I am the oldest of five. With my sister Nan’s passing five years ago next month, I have two brothers and a sister. There was a lot of racket in our family of seven. A year younger, Nan an
was thinking about the typical kid sayings the other day when I took four of the grandkiddos to the dentist. It was a day of . . . Five milkshakes . . . Four fillings . . . Three extractions . . . Two whiny kids . . . And a nana sitting in a Ford . . . two and a half hours. (‘Cause I couldn’t go in . . you know why.) So, that gave me lots of time for thought. My kids’ Top 8 “I’m . . . ” statements: #8 I’m scared. #7 I’m frustrated. #6 I’m not smart enough. #5 I’m not interest
I live in the largest alpine valley in North America: the Sierra Valley. At about 5,000 feet in elevation, the Sierra Valley is surrounded by mountains ranging in elevation from 6,000 to 8,000 feet. The valley is about 120,000 acres of cattle ranch land–pastures and planted fields of various kinds of hay. We live about an hour north of Lake Tahoe, and I tell people that our valley is just like Tahoe–except without all the water. Actually, the valley floor is filled with sedim
I never thought much of November when I was younger: all rainy and blowy and . . . plain. November strips away all of October’s pretty colors and seemingly leaves us with . . . a beige samemess. Beige fields, beige hills, beige leaves dying on the trees. Same old. And then one day I was walking and sensed I’d missed the point. Sameness. God is the same today as he was in all the previous generations: forever loving, forgiving, graceful, approachable . . . available and ready
Hope: n. desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment I can have hope for a good future because I trust God. I do not put my hope in men or women, all of whom are fallible. All make mistakes. All say dumb things. All inflict hurt one way or another. Instead, I can maintain hope in God, because he is worthy of my trust. Trust: n. assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something I trust God because his character is good. I’