Posted on July 22, 2013
Maybe it’s the midsummer blahs. Maybe it’s the heat. But I’ve seen lots of tuckered-out posts from TYMs (Tired Young Moms) lately. Those posts reminded me of a TYM I saw in Giant Eagle.
She was in the checkout lane next to mine. She was very pregnant, pushing a loaded cart, with her exuberant three-year-old daughter twirling all around her. The spinning child bumped the magazine rack, knocking several magazines askew. The weary mommy straightened them, saying, “Cassie, please stop spinning!”
Cassie stopped for half a second and said, “But Mommy, don’t you hear the music? It’s bee-you-tee-ful! Doesn’t it make you want to dance?”
Her mom glanced over and saw me smiling sympathetically, returned my smile and said, “No, it makes me want a nap!” Read More
Posted on July 17, 2013
Welcome back to our study on Mark. We’re on a mission to know Jesus better. So glad you’re here! Pick up your Bible and read on.
Read Mark 1, letting your mind wander back over all we’ve discussed during the past several weeks.
As the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14), Jesus came to speak God in human terms—to demonstrate how God would live as a man, so we can know how to live like God. If God was a man, what would His priorities look like? How would He treat His fellow man? How would He handle temptation, anger, betrayal? How would He manage His time? What would He do when, in His humanity, He wanted one thing while the Father wanted another?
Jesus came to show us, and He did it perfectly, without a single sin. If we want to be godly, we can confidently follow His example. Jesus said—and quite literally meant—”If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him…. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (Jn. 14:7,9 NIV)
Through Mark 1, we’ve caught flashes of understanding. Let’s take a quick look back at Mark’s first chapter, so we don’t miss lessons learned….
Posted on July 10, 2013
Hi! So happy to be with you again to study Mark’s gospel. If you’re just joining us, you’ll find earlier posts from this series in the archive. Each week we add another piece to the portrait of Jesus—the Word made flesh. Each week we understand a bit more about how God would live as a man (see week 1). Grab your Bible and come along!
Read Mark 1:40-45.
Also read Matthew 8:1-4 and Luke 5:12-16.
Jesus had left Capernaum and begun traveling through Galilee. In one town a man came, falling to his knees before Jesus. “If You are willing,” the man pleaded, “You can make me clean.” Gasping, the crowds drew back when they saw the man’s condition. He was a leper—an untouchable.
Posted on July 3, 2013
I’m so glad you’re back for another post of our study on Mark. We’ve set out to know Jesus as the living Word, who “speaks” or expresses God in a way we can understand. (See the first blog in this series.) The best way to know God is to know Jesus. Let’s find out more. Get your Bible ready!
Read Mark 1:35-39.
Jesus had spent a busy evening with the people of Capernaum. He’d healed and cast demons from many of them. The excitement among the townspeople was at fever pitch. As thrilling as it was from a spiritual standpoint, the physical side of Jesus was exhausted. We would have been desperate for a long night’s sleep—but Jesus knew where real rest was found. Read More
Posted on July 1, 2013
In John 6 is a Bible story many of us have heard since we were children. A hungry crowd had been listening to Jesus teach for hours. The only food to be found was a little boy’s lunch, meant to feed his own growling stomach. The boy willingly surrendered his five barley rolls and two fish to Jesus.
From that small offering, five thousand men—besides women and children—were fed. (Most estimate the total number to be around 20,000!) They ate until they were satisfied, then watched as twelve baskets full of leftover broken bread were gathered—much more bread than had been given to start with.
Jesus looked on hungry people with compassion, and filled them. They marveled at the bread and fish He produced, grateful and amazed at His generous provision. But in reality, they had been feasting all day! They’d spent the day listening to the Messiah feed their souls, long before a small boy shared his lunch. The miracle we remember involved physical food, but the best satisfaction had nothing to do with bread and fish. Read More
Posted on June 24, 2013
Two weeks ago, Jim and I were invited to attend a dance recital. It featured students from a large local dance studio—55 acts’ worth. Some of the acts were impressive, some were so-so. Some were cute as could be, especially the tiny dancers. I watched folks in the crowd around us read through the program, play games on their cell phones, talk quietly with their neighbors, or lean their heads back and sleep. It was a long evening, nearly three hours long.
Of that three hours, seven minutes grabbed our full attention—when two of the tiny dancers on stage were our granddaughters. Suddenly our minds were alert, cameras were focused, eyes were eagerly watching every move. Amazing the difference, when there was a heart-connection involved!
I couldn’t help thinking of the times I’ve watched people during Bible studies or sermons, their eyes glazing over, shuffling papers, playing with their cell phones, fighting sleep. I admit there’ve been times when I’ve done the same. Even during morning devotions, our minds can so easily wander.
The difference comes when our hearts are connected. Then our focus is strong. We’re alert and listening for God to speak. I want to be ready to hear His voice; I don’t want to sleep through it!
Here’s my pledge to approach future times in the Word with a ready heart.
• I’ll pray. Whether my personal study time or group opportunities, I want to spend a few moments in advance asking God to open my mind to His Word and my ears to His voice—to open a vital heart-connection between Him and me. I’ll ask, “Lord, what do You want to say to me right now?”
• I’ll open my Bible. I’ll bring my Bible and make the effort to look up scriptures, not just sit there.
• I’ll take notes, even if I only record one or two key thoughts.
• I’ll follow up by thinking about what I’ve learned, praying about it and looking for at least one way to put it into action.
What about you? Do you establish a focused heart-connection? How? I’d love to hear your ideas!