Tuesday, February 4, 2014

CHANGE OF VENUE

When I was a child, I recall my mother's well-used Bible sitting on the table next to her bedside.  The daily devotional booklets were just inside the cover.  Perhaps that is where my maternal grandmother's devotion books and Bible were placed and used, too.  Most of my adult life, you could find my Bible and devotion books in the same place - my bedside table.


In retirement, my sleeping and rising are no longer the same.  I don't go to bed at the same time and I don't rise at the same time, so my daily reading time has changed. I get up when I wake up, and go to my computer to write, and carry out a few responsibilities that I have as an active volunteer. I might fit in a few exercises, then gather my thoughts as I make breakfast, and prepare for my day's activities.   I realized that I was not keeping up with my readings, and have felt I was leaving my faith behind.


Could I find a better place for my Bible and devotional books? They seem to belong next to my bed like my mother's. There is a personal space in reading next to your bed that until now seemed so appropriate.


It definitely was time for a Change of Venue.  Now my Bible now is next to my table on the couch, where I spend winter afternoons or evenings, and summer mornings. Seeing my Bible there is an encouragement to read. It is an encouragement just to see it, a reminder that Jesus is with me in my daily tasks. The new venue for my daily devotional book is on top of the microwave. Yes, on top of the microwave! Reading the daily devotional while I heat my breakfast has worked for me these days, even though it's not where you'd expect to find it.


In this day of technology, where a Bible app is on an iPad, Tablet, Nook, or iPhone, reading daily devotions can be done anywhere, anytime.  So, friends, where ever your venue is, may you be blessed as you read the Word and find Jesus in your daily life.


Photo from Two Cottages and Tea






Sunday, February 2, 2014

FOOTBALL AND THE O.T.

Understanding football....what's to understand?  One team has the ball, and special plays they use to get it down to their goal line without the other team getting it before they make a touch down.  Yeh?


That's what I remember from watching my home team in high school, while sitting in the band section.  Never having any brothers, there was no one to watch and hear the lingo while growing up; just Dad watching football on Sunday afternoons. 


I only attended one college game, and as I recall, it was more about making an appearance, who we were with, cheering, and after the game social events than it was about understanding the plays that caused the winning team to win.


My husband is a Green Bay Packer fan, so I guess I am too.  For years, I have sat with him as he watched (and participates) with gusto, while I am doing handiwork or some other past time.  When he gets loud and swings his fist in the air, or gives a big cheer, I always asked what happened, and he told me.  But I was by far understanding all the terms and plays, and really knew no more about the game than before his explanation.


But this year was different.  In 2013, our high school team went to compete for the State championship at the Detroit Lions stadium.  As we sat to watch the televised game, I decided I owed it to the coach and team to watch it, doing no handiwork on the side.  My husband explained every question I asked, and I felt I missed nothing!  Suddenly, something clicked, and I found that I could tell him what had happened when he left to get a cup of coffee.  Next thing I knew, I understood what was going wrong and what was going right.....now, this was exciting! Our team had won the State Championships again for the second year!


So what's the connection to the O.T.?  (Old Testament)  I took a course in college on the Old Testament and failed the test, but was permitted to take the test again, and squeeked through the second time.  It was 25 matching - that was a lot of guessing on my part.  Even though we hear scriptures from the old testament and the new testament every Sunday, there's something about understanding the old testament that was difficult for me.  So like watching football, with my husband, I heard it, but didn't quite get it; and yet longed to know it.


And this year was different.  In 2013, our congregation was invited to read the entire Bible according to assigned readings in order.  This was my chance to read and understand.  Even though there were many verses I didn't quite get the meaning of, I kept going.  For years I've only read my Bible in my bedroom in the morning as I rise.  But not anymore.  I started reading the assigned readings while sitting on the couch with my husband during football (and now basketball) games. Suddenly something clicked, and I found myself so interested in the story of God's people, that often I kept reading and reading because I wanted to find out what happened next.


Next thing I knew, I could understand what many things in the Psalms and New Testament were referring to, and I could have a conversation about wanderings of the people, the people and God's instruction for them.  It wasn't so difficult after all.  Now this is exciting!  God's people are my ancestors, and yours too!  I am reading and reading, and seeing my heart and mind opened to God's direction.


Two things that seemed so deep and hard to understand in 2013, are no longer that way, Football and the Old Testament, bring a smile to my face.


Go, Team, Go!  Praise the Lord!  What will be my 2014 conquests?