I left for our short trip to Santa Barbara feeling weary. The semester was ending here at Talbot--there had been several speaking engagements, grandchildren to tend and sick babies to hold. All good things, and needed things, but I felt stressed by the load.
How did this world we live in get to be such a crazy place?
And will 2013 be as crazy as 2012? Will it be filled with fiscal cliffs, slaughter of innocents, and nations bombing other nations?
It started in the Garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve and Adam and they yielded.
The custom of giving gifts at Christmas probably began when wise men arrived from the east with lavish gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn King. These important, wealthy and educated men had traveled far with camels and servants to find and worship the newborn King of the Jews.
But there were not three of them.
The colors and smells of fall have arrived, even here in southern California. Red, yellow, gold and peach-colored roses, fresh from my garden, are tucked into a round pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin bread, smelling of cinnamon and ginger is fresh from the oven and ready to be tucked into our mouths.
Thanksgiving is almost here.
How would you like to be going into exile? Leaving all you have known—your home, your beautiful yard and fields, your places of repose and safety, your income earning ability?
Two of my friends are going into exile this fall. One, the pastor of a church, is being exiled by leaders who had a different ‘vision’ for the church than he had. Never mind that he had served there faithfully for over a dozen years—yes, he had preached the Word, and yes, he had visited the sick—but, well, it wasn’t enough. He is facing the exile of not having a job, not knowing the future and not being able to see what God has ahead for him.
I wince when I look at the photo. Don and I are standing in the sun with our firstborn son, flanked by Don’s elderly grandparents. Grandpa has just lifted up our son toward heaven to give thanks. All of us are beaming with joy.
And I am wearing a very short dress.
Reading the Bible. It sounds so simple. Just read the Bible every day, or at least read it regularly for nourishment and insight and communication with God.
But how do we do it? In a time when the lack of Biblical knowledge extends from the average churchgoer to students entering Biola University, reading the Bible is more necessary than ever. But it’s harder than we thought.