Tag: Bible (page 1 of 4)

I Still Believe in the Bible

With all the failures of the Church, with all the mistakes of leaders, with all the confusion across years and cultures, I still believe in the Bible.

I believe the heart of the Bible beats wild and free inside its binding, no matter how many times it is held down or torn apart or thrown across a room. It is a living Word whose breath bursts through any attempts to suffocate it.

I believe when the living Word joins forces with the living Spirit and flows into living hearts, something is unleashed unlike any other power in this world.

I have been afraid to admit this. Fearful of this belief being my voice. Unsure what box would be placed around me after this sort of declaration. Nervous about saying things in such a way that I might drive the nails into that box myself.

But my fear is no longer strong enough to hold back this fire within my bones.

I still believe in the Bible. I still believe this ancient Book can speak new things to humanity, even on the thousandth reading of a text. I still believe the Scriptures have power to change lives, transform hearts, and speak into the deepest crevices of our souls.

I still believe in the Bible

That doesn’t mean I believe the Bible is easy. Or clear. I believe the Bible is often frustrating, and usually confusing, but absolutely worth wrestling through. We cannot give up.

Which is why I believe we need each other. We need a community that reads and shares about the Scriptures with one another. We need academics to show us context, artists to show us beauty, doubters to show us questions, servants to show us surrender, and visionaries to show us inspiration.

I believe the life surging from God’s Word is meant to make its way into the world through every wrinkle, mole, joint, muscle, and bone of the Body of Christ. I believe the Bible is meant to be the lifeblood for each of us: anchoring us, encouraging us, and spurring us forth to the beautiful lives God desires for His beloveds.

I still believe in the Bible. I intend to spend my life cracking it open, breathing it in, and letting its life flow from me.

How do you feel about the Bible these days? Have you seen it change lives?

Psalm 91

Question 1: How often do you read about the Bible?

Question 2: How often do you read the Bible?

I don’t know about you, but my time is more heavily weighted towards question 1 than question 2. So, instead of writing my own thoughts about Psalm 91 this week, I’d like to just leave you with the words of the Psalm itself, in the Message translation.

I particularly like the ending.

You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.

His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.

Yes, because God’s your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”

 Psalm 91.jpg


That was my post on Psalm 91. Link up with your own below. And stop back next week to hear and share thoughts on Psalm 92.

Leaving Room for the Sweet

sweets

—–

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

-Psalm 119:103

—–

The season of gorging on fudge and wolfing down toffee squares has begun. Cookie trays are being delivered to homes and offices everywhere, testing our willpower and tempting us with their sugars.

This is my first Christmas season eating gluten free, causing me to feel both thankful for the extra reason to not indulge and bitter for the barrier that keeps me from my favorite goodies.

I am a dessert person. I intentionally leave room to have sweet treats at the end of my meals. And if I don’t, I am bummed out by my lack of forethought.

That brings me to question that is a bit cheesy and predictable, but that doesn’t make it any less important: do I feel the same level of remorse when I don’t leave room for God’s Word?

I gorge myself on input: Twitter, Facebook, blogs, podcasts, books, television, movies, and Spotifiy shout at me all day long. I fill myself with their content, and then when it comes time for eating up the sweetness of God’s Word, I am full. It feels more like I am choking it down than savoring its flavor.

Especially at this time of year.

The Christmas story of Luke 2, in and of itself, without the exposition of podcasts or the ponderings of blogs (like this one) or the interpretations of songs should be sweet to our taste. I, for one, need to do a better job of leaving room for it.

—–

God, the author of book of life, help us leave room for the sweetness of Your Word. May we savor the love story of a God come to earth to rescue His people. Help us hear it with fresh ears and see it with fresh eyes. Recapture our wonder. Be the source of our joy. Amen.

—–

Instead of a song today, let’s enjoy this classic scene from Charlie Brown’s Christmas that reminds us of the sweetness of this Story, in and of itself.


NoticingImmanuel

Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.

When the Bible falls flat

Photo credit: jclk8888 via MorgueFile

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: sometimes the Bible falls flat.

 

As my old pastor used to say, the Bible is written for us, but is not written to us. It is seeped in context and history, and sometimes, that makes its words difficult to apply.

 

Here’s the thing: We don’t need to be afraid to say that out loud. The sanctity of the Scriptures is not threatened by our admissions.

 

In fact, I think we do a disservice to the real life process of following Christ and reading the Bible when we don’t admit our frustrations.

 

Right now, I am tired. I am a working mom of two young kids. I am trying to juggle schedules and responsibilities and exercise and relationships, and I am struggling from the work of keeping things moving.

 

Today I want a Psalm that tells me that I am loved no matter what. I want to hear verses that remind me how God is with me. I want to read words that open my heart to gratitude and wonder.

 

But I made the choice to go through Psalms in order, which means I don’t have the benefit of picking and choosing. That was an intentional choice, a discipline of not skipping through the hard stuff. It is a choice that has helped me grow and learn, but also caused me many annoyances.

 

Today falls in the second category.

 

Psalm 76 is not what I want to read right now. It’s not particularly gruesome, but it is about war and judgment and victory, and try as I might, I just cannot relate.

 

So I’m not going to. I’m not going to try to make up some blog post to prove I can make connection between the Bible and anything going on in my life.

 

Because sometimes I can’t.

 

And my faith is still okay when I say that out loud.

 


That was my reflection on Psalm 76. Please link up with your reflection below. And don’t forget to leave a comment here! Then join us next week for a reflection on Psalm 77.

 

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