Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why the NCV?

First, it was the New American Standard Bible. A big black cumbersome book with written-upon pages and frayed edges.

For the past seventeen years, it's been a smaller teal New International Version, its cracked cover now protected inside a black zippered case with a handle. My handwriting appears throughout the thin pages. The familiar words bring instruction, reproof, comfort.

Both the NASB and the NIV will be my study companions in the months ahead. But for my daily reading, I'm turning to Becoming: the Devotional Bible for Women in the New Century Version.

With an unfamiliar, though still accurate, translation, I hope to gain new insights. I'll also be able to read without the distraction of earlier notations.

From the intro:
The New Century Version . . . is a fresh, straightforward, and strong translation of God's truth and it is something you can connect with in your daily life. You'll find it easier to experience God's Word as it truly is -- absolutely clear, powerfully alive, and completely life-changing.

This may be the greatest opportunity you will ever find to read and understand the Bible and to come to a personal understanding of God's plan for your life. The Bible, it should be remembered, is not an end in itself, but it is a means to the end of knowing God and doing his will. Through his Word we hear his voice and come to understand his mind (p. xi).
What version will you be reading this year?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bible Reading Plan

For the year 2010, I'm following a Bible-reading plan that follows the chronological history of Biblical events. For example, the plan begins with the first eleven chapters of Genesis, switches to Job, then returns to Genesis 12.

I will follow the plan, as I have before, without the dates. My intent is to read with purpose and thought, not to slavishly follow a daily regimen just so the Bible gets read in a year.

Here's the beginning of the chronological schedule I'll be following:

  • Genesis 1-11
  • Job
  • Genesis 12-50
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers 1-15
  • Psalm 90
  • Numbers 16-36
  • Deuteronomy
  • Psalm 91

Will you read along with me?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twenty-Ten: About to Begin

The Hearts Above Ladies Bible Study begins a Spiritual Journey to set our hearts and minds on things above where our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

We set our hearts on things above by:
  • praying to God
  • being still before God
  • practicing spiritual disciplines before God
  • serving God's people
We set our minds on things above by:
  • reading God's Word
  • studying God's Word
  • meditating on God's Word
  • memorizing God's Word
The journey begins with two simple steps: 1) commit to a daily Bible reading plan; 2) commit to a spiritual growth plan.
My Bible Reading Plan
I will abide in God's Word by reading the New Century Version following a chronological schedule.
My Spiritual Growth Plan
I will set my heart on things above by memorizing Scripture, going on daily prayer walks, and "establishing rest" on Sundays.
I will set my mind on things above by facilitating the Hearts Above Bible study; attending a study on Esther; and doing personal studies on the Gospel of John (Living the Questions in John) and the Old Testament book of Job (Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance). I'll also continue my daily practice of reading Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest. And I'll read:
  • A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle (already reading)
  • More than Words compiled by Philip Yancey
  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan
  • A Testament to Freedom by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Captvating by John and Stasi Eldredge
  • several titles by C.S. Lewis
What is the focus of your spiritual journey for the new year? Please feel free to share your commitment to spiritual growth.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing everyone a very happy Valentine's Day*

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26

"In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it." Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sand Crane Secrets

I saw an unusual sight on my morning jaunt -- a lone sand crane walking across a yard. Unusual, you see, because sand cranes are rarely seen alone. And I had passed several, heads tucked beneath wings, just a few moments before only a block or two over. Had this one not been invited to the sleepfest? Was she the same one I had watched the day before flying away from the group as a larger, menacing crane chased after her?

The answers are sand crane secrets.

Here's another puzzler. Earlier this week, two sand cranes flew into our backyard. They paced on their long spindly legs from one corner to another, looking for a way to escape. "You flew in," I told them from the safety of the screened porch. "Fly back out." They looked at me, but didn't heed my advice. I went back in the house to tend to morning chores. A few minutes later, I heard the loud raucous honks. Close ones from the cranes in our yard and farther away ones answering. When I looked back outside, the cranes were gone. I imagine the farther away cranes had said the same thing I did. "You flew in. Fly back out."

My mistake was saying the words in English instead of sand crane.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Christmas and Cookout

This photo was taken the first week in January. That's our undecorated Christmas tree and our just-used grill.

One of the blessings of living in the Sunland!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Jeremy Moment

The Scene: eating supper with Bethany, Justin, and Jeremy.

Bethany: I don't know why everyone thinks Jeremy looks like Justin. He has my ears, my eyes, my hair color.

Jeremy: Mommy, do you want your ears back?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We have been in God's thought from all eternity,
and in His creative love,
His attention never leaves us.

Attributed to Michael Quoist
From The Heart of a Mother is Love Perpetual Calendar
That sits right next to the monitor on my roll top desk*

Monday, January 26, 2009


I have drunk the only Pepsi I allow myself this day. The heavy glass, sitting on a coaster to the right of my monitor, holds only unappealing watery soda and melting ice cubes. Will I avoid tossing fresh cubes from the freezer into the glass? Will I resist the temptation to open another twelve-ounce bottle? To pour the carbonated, bubbling, foamy beverage on top of and into the current dregs?

I will resist. I must resist.

The white and blue flexi-straw leans away from me.

The glass mocks me.

But I will not give in

. . . to my Precious (visualize Frodo's glaring stare in Mount Doom).

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Truth Is Out!

I've been keeping a secret from my daughters for about three weeks now. But when I called Bethany from my car just before pulling into her driveway, the truth came out!

When I say that I was calling Bethany from my car, I mean exactly that . . . I was calling her from the phone number assigned to my 2009 Pontiac Vibe by OnStar. As fun as it was to make a call, that's not my favorite feature of the Vibe. No, it has something even better than its own phone number. It has . . .