I enjoy reading articles that encourage me. I hope you enjoy this one too.
In the Psalms, David expresses this divine purpose for writing our faith stories.
Write down for the coming generation what the LORD has done. So that people not yet born will praise him. (Ps. 102:18 GNT)
What has the Lord done for you? Do you have stories about God’s intervention? Click here to read the rest of this inspirational article.
The Cost of Parenthood
We all know parenthood isn’t free, and many couples delay having children until they think they are financially secure before doing so. I strongly recommend against such a plan.
Women have biological clocks that run down. Many of you may have been caught by such an approach, and now desperately want a child. My age played a role in my infertility. Only if one is destitute would I recommend waiting for financial reasons.
God has promised to provide for his people, and that includes our children. In the end, most people recognize that family is far more valuable than material blessings.
While parenthood is a blessing, the cost of that blessing is more than just financial. It also costs us our time, energy, talents and perhaps even a hobby or two for a time, but in most cases, the return is far, far more than the investment.
A Diamond in the Rough,
It is easy as a writer to forget the basics. Today’s article reminds us of the proper use of quotations.
Colorful, striking direct quotations enliven a news story, but not everything an interview subject says is worth quoting in its entirety.
An hour of note-taking might result in a lot of information, but little in the way of pithy remarks. It’s the writer’s job to distinguish between what’s worth quoting verbatim, and what would be better paraphrased. Click here to learn more.
Here is a nifty idea that might be an encouragement to you. I hope you enjoy this article.
Like many writers I’ve been choosing a “word for the year” for a few years now. Sometimes the word chooses me. It will be the word I meditate on, pray about and try to include in a conversation throughout the year. Ideally, I would do these things every day. But to be honest I have to remind myself. The past two years I’ve kept a sliver of a sticky note at the top of my computer. For 2013 it reads: Communion.
During the week between Christmas and New Year, with the last ginger cookie eaten and the last bits of wrapping paper recycled, I like to ponder the past year, look forward to the new and muse over the traditional resolutions. Somewhere in that jumble of thoughts a word for the next year might tumble out. Click here to read more.
Hark! How the Angels Sing
In Bethlehem, just a short walk from the Church of the Nativity, the place of Jesus’ birth, is a shallow cave. The opening of this cave is glassed in making it a small chapel.
Inside, we sat against the wall of the cave and sang a Christmas carol as we gazed out over the stony and hilly fields where the shepherds watched their flocks by night. I could picture them sitting around a small fire when suddenly, a host of heavenly angels appeared and the birth of Jesus was announced to them.
These shepherds tended the flocks of sheep that were used for the temple sacrifices. How prophetic it was, that Jesus, the Lamb of God was born in the place where the sacrificial lambs were raised.
This shows how specific God is as He works in our lives. As you hope for a child, He will work His beautiful will into your story. Keep your eyes on Him. Merry Christmas!
A Diamond in the Rough,
There was No Room for Him in the Inn?
During my travels in Israel, we had to visit Nazareth. After all it was the childhood home of Jesus.
We stopped at a place that was marked in antiquity as Mary’s house. Another house had been excavated just a stone’s throw away from Mary’s abode that shed light on the story of the Nativity.
I grew up thinking the people of Bethlehem had to be a bunch of heartless people. How could they turn away a young girl about to give birth and send her out to the barn?
Yes, perhaps there was something fishy about her pregnancy. But even so, how many people do you know, would send a young girl to the barn to give birth?
As we peered down into this house in Nazareth, our guide explained to us, that the word inn is a mistranslation. In those days, people built their houses over the openings of caves, making the cave a back room.
And because their animals were their most precious possessions, they would put the animals in this cave-room to protect them from thievery at night.
In those days, people travelling would stay with relatives if they could. So, Joseph and Mary most likely went to a relative’s house in Bethlehem along with others who had to return to Bethlehem for the census as well.
Because of this, there was no more room in the front of the house and the back cave provided more privacy. Hence, Mary and Joseph stayed there. Many scholars believe that Jesus was born in the heat of August. If that is true, it would have been much cooler in the cave-room as well. Just thought that was an interesting Christmas fact.
A Diamond in the Rough,
Understanding Olive Plants
As I shared in my last blog, all it takes to plant an olive tree is a branch from a tree and good earth to plant it in, and of course water. Notice, you don’t necessarily need a bag of seed to plant an olive grove.
Just like God has made it possible to plant olive trees two ways, He has made families to form in two ways, by birth or adoption.
We would never say a tree planted from a branch is not a real tree. So, why would we get the idea that a family formed through adoption is not a real family? In God’s eyes they are the same.
Psalms 128:4&5 says this:
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, within your house, your children like olive plants around your table.
Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”
A diamond in the Rough,