Let’s pretend you and I are sitting on my balcony on this quiet, sunny morning. We each have a calming or refreshing beverage—mine is likely jasmine tea or a matcha latte. As we watch the cows lounging in the distant pasture, we chat about the past week—what happened, things we’re thankful for, and stuff we struggle with. Free to spend as much time together as we want, I tell you how Lori, Kevin, Glenna, Cara, Stephanie, and Sylvia encouraged me this week. Now it’s your turn. Who or what encouraged you this week?
This week on the blog: Bible Study Tips for Beginners: How to Study the Bible in Context
FINDING GRACE IN OUR BROKENNESS: HOW GOD HANDLES OUR MISTAKES | LORI ANN WOOD
“While mistakes don’t define our identity, they do lay a foundation for the only relationship that should. Mistakes make us dependent on him. It is our very imperfection that brings us to the cross. This mindset removes the burden of faults from our days and from our destiny.”
ON THE CRUSHING GUILT OF FAILING AT QUIET TIME | KEVIN DEYOUNG
Must devotions be daily? “I was, compared to most of my peers, a quiet-time champion. But I also felt terrible if I ever missed a day. I knew intellectually that I wasn’t earning God’s favor, but in my heart it felt like I was only a good Christian once I read my chapters and prayed my prayers.” Kevin reflects on measuring up and following Jesus.
REST AS OBEDIENCE | GLENNA MARSHALL
“Rest is something we push to the edges of our peripheral vision, hoping the need for it eventually dissolves. Rest is something we often feel guilty for, something to chide ourselves for being so indulgent when the world is on fire and needy for our presence and work and ministry…But you and I are not solely responsible for righting every wrong, for addressing every topic, for responding to every single need. There’s a whole church, a whole Body, a whole kingdom of God at work.”
“The story of David and Goliath has become synonymous with the story of the underdog. We love to root for the little guy who overcomes great odds to defeat his foes… While those lessons are well-intentioned, is that what we’re supposed to glean from this famous story? Are we to identify with David, or are we someone else entirely? Is it possible that instead of playing the role of the champion, we’re actually the cowardly army waiting in the wings for someone else to fight the battle for us?”
YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN | STEPHANIE
“Do you feel it? This desire to be recognized, acknowledged, valued? Do you feel the angst of wondering if these ordinary things we do day in and day out will ever make a difference in someone’s life for eternity? I do. I fight against it every day. ” Stephanie beautifully reflects on the encouragement she found in the smallest discovery.
WHO ARE YOUR WISE GUYS? | SYLVIA SCHROEDER
“We can google it, youtube it, listen to podcasts or books all without moving from the chair we’re sitting on. We should be greatly concerned at the ratio of our overload of knowledge to our immersion in real wisdom… Experts of every kind abound at our fingertips. People describe it as information overload. But wisdom is not so easily found, nor has it ever been.”