As Loss Surrounds

Loss Surrounds

As loss surrounds
filling Facebook feeds
highlighting headlines
the unsuspected reads.
House fires. Car accidents.
Heart attacks. Terrorists.
Loss compounds
around the world
families grieving for
one more chance to hold.
Daughters. Fathers.
Friends. Co-workers.
Healer of the broken-hearted
May your grace abound
God bind up their wounds
as loss surrounds.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin [Book Review]

Are you a busy Mom who can’t seem to make it to a bible study but you want to get more out of your time in the Bible? Maybe you already have a Bible study method but are always looking for ways to enhance it. Then Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin is for you.

She begins with a definition for Bible literacy then walks the reader through a few common unhealthy habits that many of us may have found ourselves doing at one time or another. The next five chapters she equips us with her five P’s of sound study:

Study with Purpose

Study with Perspective

Study with Patience

Study with Process

Study with Prayer

I like the way the author encourages small steps in the Bible study process. She acknowledges that not everyone has a Hebrew/Greek Lexicon so she suggests just looking up a difficult word in the dictionary.  Her three distinct stages of understanding a passage of scripture is through:

Comprehension-What does it say?

Interpretation-What does it mean?

Application-How should it change me?

Included toward the end of the book is an exhortation for teachers in pursuing their own study time and facilitating a Bible study group which I found very helpful. She concludes with a reminder to seek His face and through that we will become imitators of him:

Our study of the Bible is only beneficial insofar as it increases our love for the God it proclaims. Bible study is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It is a means to love God more, and to live differently because we have learned to behold him better. And it means to become what we behold. The reciprocal love of God is a love that transforms. 

For more encouragement visit Jen’s blog at The Beginning of Wisdom and her resource page which offers some free downloadable bible studies.

Birthday Reflections

On Monday I became 48 years old. I don’t feel it even though my hair is already gray and my body aches more.To me it’s just a number-a way to determine eligibility for senior citizen discounts. A friend gave me this beautiful journal. The blank lines intimidate me as I wonder the future words that will be penned on them and the tears that may stain the crispness of a new page. Will we continue in our jobs and living here? What will our trip to Ecuador bring? Will the Lord lead us to serve there? There are two verses repeated throughout this journal:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.                                                                                -Philippians 4:6

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.                                              -Psalm 17:8

Some wait to the New Year to start to a journal but a birthday is also appropriate. At this time in my life these verses are fitting for me. I don’t want to be anxious about anything and seeing that verse at the top of each page will remind me to pour out my heart to God in prayer. And to give thanks…in everything.

Lord, keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me in the shadow of your wings for there’s no place I’d rather be during the next year.