A prayer for the New Year

Thy goodness has been with me during another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead…

See the rest of the post at Out of the Ordinary.

Happy New Year, friends!

P.S. I also wrote a Christmas reflection for Out of the Ordinary a couple of weeks ago. If you’re still in the Christmas spirit, you can check it out here.

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The Lord who fights

I don’t know what your battle is. I don’t know where the enemy is coming against you. I do know this: the Lord’s words of comfort to Joshua are for you too. You need not fear. If you belong to Jesus, the Lord Himself fights for you. And your enemy? His doom is sure and his time is short.

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary here.

To wholly follow the Lord

It is easy for me to read about Caleb and be impressed, inspired, and even a little intimidated. So brave and so bold, and, good grief, so very brave and so very bold at eighty-five years old!

I want to wholly follow the Lord but most days I don’t feel so very brave or so very bold. I don’t have the confidence or the strength to conquer giants. My life feels less like claiming the Promised Land and more like struggling in the same battles day in and day out…

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary here.

See the people

As children some of you probably recited the rhyme (with motions!), “Here is the church / here is the steeple / open the doors and see all the people.” I thought of its simple truth as I reflected on the church and her influence on me. It’s true: I see all the people.

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary here.

 

A word to the doubting

I recently finished reading Jared C. Wilson’s excellent book The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles. Tucked into this encouraging and thought provoking look at Jesus’ miracles is a word to the doubting, specifically five ways to battle the unbelief of doubt.

I’ve had periods of my life when I’ve doubted and I imagine you have as well. Like the father of Mark 9:24 I’ve cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” Wilson exhorts me and you to battle our unbelief in the following ways…

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary here.

Let’s be real

The blog posts and the Twitter feed and the Facebook timeline, while I strive to be as authentic as possible, they are not the sum of who I am. Neither are yours. The virtual life is the virtual life, important, perhaps, edifying, to be sure, fun, of course.

But it is not real life.

My real life has real people in it…

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary.

When you meet trials of various kinds

How does this work? Some difficulty arises, big or small, and I am faced with the testing of my faith: “Is God there? Does He hear me? Is He good?” As I wrestle with these questions, how will steadfastness have its full effect in me?

There is not time or space here for a full theology of suffering but here are three truths that feed my endurance when faced with trials, big or small..

Check out the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary here.

I need Christmas

It’s something of a strange Christmas for us this year. In fact, it doesn’t feel much like Christmas at all. I haven’t decorated nor do I plan to this year. Nope, not even a tree nor a wreath. I put out some red and white snowflake placemats, hung a “Merry Christmas Y’all” towel in the guest bath, and called it a day. Don’t worry, I’m not *exactly* a Scrooge, no more than usual that is, but we are in the process of packing to move to a new home in January so unloading and reloading boxes of Christmas decor is a little more than I care to take on at the moment.

I suppose the most Christmas-y part of the month has been the boxes arriving on my doorstep. Online shopping is my friend, yes and amen.

So, yeah, Christmas doesn’t exactly feel like Christmas to me.

Read the rest of my post at Out of the Ordinary.

Favorite reads of the summer

I, like all true bookworms, make reading a priority all year long, sometimes all day long if it’s an especially good day! However, there are those times of year that seem naturally suited to reading. The week between Christmas and New Year, for example, is a stretch of days where I tend to do not much more than lounge on the sofa with a book or two or five.

Summertime is another season that seems all the better for the happy enjoyment of a good book. Since we are now in September and at the close of another one of those perfectly suited reading spells, I thought I’d offer to you a list of some of the best of the best of the books I read this summer and I read some really good ones!

Read my list of summertime favorites at Out of the Ordinary.