About Barbara Harper

https://barbarah.wordpress.com

Laudable Linkage

A collection of good reading online

I am behind again in my blog reading, but here are posts that stood out to me this week:

Judging the Sins of Our Fathers, HT to Challies. “It should also make us less sanctimonious and more cautious when we judge the sins of our fathers and the systems in which they were participants. Our hands are not so clean.”

Give Me Nineteen Men“: Muslim Missions Twenty Years after 9/11, HT to Challies. “It could not have been a better time to go. Going when circumstances looked so dark made a statement to our new neighbors: we weren’t afraid because we knew Jesus went with us. It also bore testimony that we loved the people of the Arabian Peninsula, and that we had something important to share with them.”

The Americans Who Don’t Want to Leave Afghanistan, HT to Challies. “But there are indeed Americans who want to stay in Afghanistan. I don’t know how many and I don’t know the story of each one. But there are more who want to stay than you might think. Why? Because they love God and they love Afghans.”

Are Pro-Lifers Just “Pro-Forced Birth?” HT to Challies. “Abortion advocates are brilliant at playing word games. Using clever rhetorical moves, they are able to make protecting preborn children look bad and killing preborn children look good.”

Does This Really Matter? HT to Challies. “How we spend our days isn’t just how we spend our lives. It’s how we become who we are and who we will be. It’s not just about what we’re doing, but the heart behind how and why we’re doing it.”

All We Need. “Earlier this week a friend and I were talking about the difficulty of not casting blame when other people let us down.  We came up with a pretty simple prayer from the perspective of frail and fallible human beings who are walking side-by-side along life’s path with other frail and fallible human beings.”

Finalists of the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, HT to Laura. These are always so fun.

And finally, I just happened across this video. Having a little fun with the William Tell Overture:

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

In contrast to last week’s quietness, this week has been pretty busy. Here are some highlights:

1. Grandparents’ Day. We had planned to get together with the family on Sunday. But two people in our church and three at Jason’s place of work tested positive for COVID this week. Just to be extra safe, we decided we should put off getting together. (The adults are vaccinated, but vaccinations aren’t 100% effective. Plus one can carry the virus even if not sick personally. And Timothy has not been vaccinated–and kids can get COVID.) Jason, Mittu, and Timothy dropped off a wonderful meal (ribs, potatoes, green beans, rolls, and cheesecake), plus pink roses for me and beef jerky for Jim.

2. Granddad book. Also for Grandparent’s Day, Jason, Mittu, and Timothy gave me a throw blanket for the living room to replace the one I’ve been using, which is so old the threads are starting to break off. They gave Jim the cutest book called Why My Granddad Is My Super Hero. Each page had a prompt for Timothy to fill in.

3. Jesse’s birthday. Love celebrating the family’s special days.

4. Cake reclamation. Jesse wanted this Lemon Blueberry Cake, which Mittu had made back for his “10,000th day” celebration. Cakes are not my best thing, especially from scratch. And replacing the regular flour with a gluten-free blend doesn’t always go well. But I gave it a try. To make a long story short, it did not go well. There were tears. I didn’t take a picture of it at its worst, but, once I stopped crying about it, we all had a good laugh. My dear daughter-in-law did a wonderful job redeeming it and even making it look cute–and it ended up tasting good, too.

To give you a clue of just one of the MANY things that went wrong in the course of making this cake . . .

. . .when I went to mix the wet stuff with the dry, I dropped the wet stuff bowl, and it splattered.

I so appreciated that Jim, Mittu, and Timothy pitched in to help clean up the kitchen, and Jim did some straightening around the house I hadn’t been able to get to before everyone came over.

5. Cake strips. One thing that did go right! The blogger with the cake recipe recommended cake strips, which you wet and put around the cake pan. Normally my cakes end up thin around the edges and domed in the middle. Evidently that’s because the outside edge cooks more quickly, and the cake strips help avoid that. They worked great! But I’ll share this tip: I bought the kind he recommended from Amazon, but then later I saw them for half the price in Wal-Mart’s craft section.

And a bonus: today there’s nothing on the agenda and nothing that absolutely has to be done, so I’ve already had a nap and am looking forward to some rest.

How was your week?

Chris Fabry’s Dogwood

Dogwood by Christ Fabry is set in West Virginia and told from four different points of view.

Karin is a pastor’s wife with three children. But she feels far from God. She has trouble sleeping and spends most nights in her closet with a Bible and a book of poetry. She doesn’t seem to know what the basic problem is or how to feel close to God again. An aged woman in her church, Ruby, takes an interest in her and tries to help her.

Will Hatfield is from Dogwood, but has spent the last twelve years of his life in prison for his part in an accident that killed two children. He has loved Karin since he was a teenager and plans to go back to Dogwood and win her when he gets out.

Bobby Ray is Karen’s brother, a rookie police officer, and a soon-to-be dad of his first child with his wife.

Danny Boyd is a young boy who talks to a counselor about his feeling responsible for the death of his sisters.

At first, the four different points of view are confusing, especially as some of the names of side characters are similar. I listened to the audiobook, which makes it harder to backtrack to double check names or points. But after a while, I was able to distinguish who was whom and who belonged with which character.

I was able to piece various parts of the story together as the narratives went along. I had figured out one aspect, but the main twist, revealed in the last 30-45 minutes of the story, took me by completely by surprise.

I loved some of Fabry’s phrasing here:

My constant companions were fears, not God. I convinced myself he was simply on vacation, out carrying someone else on that beach with all the footprints. My heart had shriveled, and my soul was as wrinkled.

Ruthie was the first to tell me that God hadn’t abandoned me but was drawing me deeper, calling me out of the shallows, past the abyss, and into the current of his love and mercy. Yeah, right, I thought. God hadn’t asked me if I wanted to go deeper, and thank you very much, I liked the shallows. It’s easier to play when there’s no current. In the middle you lose your footing; you lose control.

Water that’s not moving becomes stagnant. And if there’s not someone pouring into you, the pitcher gets dusty. A person is most satisfied and most useful when she is both giving and receiving. In marriage. In life. In friendship. With God too.

There were a couple of statements that bothered me, like “I’m convinced God sometimes wants to communicate outside the usual box” and “Listen to your heart.”

And I didn’t like couple of scenes with a teen couple swimming in their underwear and mention of women displaying cleavages for Will to see.

But the overall story was very good. Chris tells some of his thoughts in writing the novel here. This is the first of a trilogy. I had already read June Bug, the sequel, a few years ago. I probably won’t read the last one, though, about an angel’s assignment in Dogwood.

Tidewater Inn

In Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble, Libby Hollander is an architectural historian. She and her business partner, Nicole, convince investors to let them restore old buildings.

While Libby checks out one house, Nicole visits a property on the Outer Banks. But what she discovers stuns both of them. Libby had been told her father died when she was five. However, he had been living on Hope Island all this time, remarried, had two more children, and left his Tidewater Inn to Libby when he passed away a year before.

Libby learns that her half-siblings knew about her. Even though they’ve received a sizeable cash inheritance, they’re not happy that she inherited the inn. Another investor is also interested in the Inn. Though Libby would dearly love to keep it, she doesn’t have the money to restore it. The investor wants to begin a ferry service to the island and build up some other properties, but long-time residents fear commercialization of the island.

Before Libby can even begin to delve into all this, however, Nicole is kidnapped right before her eyes—and the local sheriff thinks Libby is the prime suspect.

And a hurricane is heading toward the island.

There are different layers of mysteries tied up in the story, and a handsome Coast Guard lieutenant helps Libby untangle them.

Several years ago I had read a few of Colleen’s books about a woman named Bree and her rescue dog, Samson, and some of the rescues they were involved in. And, lo and behold, Bree and Samson turn up in this book for a bit.

I enjoyed the story, Libby’s journey, and the setting. I grew up on the Southern Texas coastline, near Padre Island, and stories set in a coastal town bring that back to me.

This is the first book in the Hope Island series, and I’ve already started the second.

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-Up

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. Books have to be 50 years old and fit within the categories chosen for the year in order to qualify. Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

Here are the categories I finished this year. Titles link back to my reviews. I actually finished back in June (a record for me, I think), but am just now finishing this post.

1. A 19th century classic: The Warden by Anthony Trollope
2. A 20th century classic: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
3. A classic by a woman author: Silas Marner by George Elliot (Mary Ann Evans)
4. A classic in translation: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
5. A classic by BIPOC author: The Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth and Olive Gilbert
6. A classic by a new-to-you author: Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title: Animal Farm by George Orwell
9. A children’s classic: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
10. A humorous or satirical classic: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction): A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
12. A classic play: Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

Karen wants us to put the number of entries we get for the prize drawing based on the number of categories completed. I have three entries because I completed all twelve categories.

Karen also wants us to put our contact email here: barbarah06 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Once again, I very much enjoyed this challenge. Some of the books were cozy; some were challenging. All stimulated thinking in one form or another. That they still speak and still provoke thought and discussion after to so long a time is, I suppose, what makes them classics.

Kindness

I shouldn’t look. But sometimes on Twitter a name or situation in the “Trending” sidebar catches my eye. So I click over. And I am usually sorry I did. All too often, the trending person or group is the subject of undeserved vitriol and ridicule.

Most people would say that the world should be kinder. If only people would just be nicer to each other, we think, then the world would be a better place to live. Wars, murders, and injustice would cease.

But then someone disagrees with our politics, and we lambast them. Or someone cuts us off in traffic, and we call them all kinds of names. Or we see someone wearing a mask while inside their car, alone, and we take to Facebook to make fun of them.

In the earliest days of the pandemic, I got in someone’s way in a store without thinking. As the young man passed me, he looked in my eyes, pulled his mask down, and told his companion, “I hope she gets COVID. I hope she dies from it.” Seriously—to wish death on someone for a minor inconvenience?

If we want a kinder world, we can’t wait for everyone else to make the first move. We need to evaluate our own words and attitudes.

Well, sure, we might say. We need to watch our temper. We probably shouldn’t get on Facebook or Twitter to vent. But, seriously, there are some people . . . like the guy who just will not listen to reason. Or who is totally wrong about the best way to handle immigration, economics, or whatever.

Sadly, many Christians are nor faring any better in the kindness department. Some are gracious and loving online. But many are harsh and judgmental, quick to argue instead of listen, answering in superiority instead of humility. We desperately need revival.

Kindness doesn’t mean passivity, never taking a stand, or never disagreeing. But I think it must at least involve assuming the best rather than the worst motives and not stooping to the lowest levels in the way we answer people made in the image of God, people Jesus loves and died for.

We’re to treat other believers as family: “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2). To unbelievers, we should shine as lights. We should be inviting, treating them as those we want to come into the family.

Jesus told his disciples, in the Sermon on the Mount:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

How is it that we apply this to everyone else under the sun, except the person who irritates us the most?

God doesn’t just give good things to those who believe on Him. He “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” He went so far as to die for people who were his enemies:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

And we’re called to be like him.

We can’t do that in our own strength. We need His.

The world at large won’t understand this. But maybe if they see it in action, their eyes might be opened, their hearts more receptive to the truth.

(I often link up with some of these bloggers.)

Laudable Linkage

Here are several posts that spoke to me this week:

What Can God Do with Broken Hearts? “Where we tend to dispose of what has been broken, God treasures it. Where the human instinct is toward those who are confident, assertive, and self-sufficient, the divine eye is drawn to those who are humble, who are contrite in spirit, and who tremble at God’s Word. Where the world looks to those who are whole and strong, God looks to those who are weak and broken, for his specialty is bringing much from little, beauty from ashes, strength from weakness.”

It’s a Terrible Thing for a Sheep to Go Astray, HT to Challies. “Baarack probably thought it was a great adventure when she wandered off from her flock. Yet, fast-forward a few years, and that freedom was shown to be a massive problem. With no-one to look after her or encourage her, she was close to death.”

Has God Abandoned Me? “He bends down and begins writing in the dirt. The Bible doesn’t tell us what he wrote. I wonder if that’s because his intention was deeper than words. He wanted to show us he’s not afraid to stoop low into our dirtiest messes and get our dirt on his hands.”

Is Your Wisdom Really Wise? “Although I’ve never seen these qualities hanging on a wall like the fruit of the Spirit, James 3:17 provides us a compact description of ‘the fruit of wisdom.'”

Being the Bad Guy, HT to Challies. “The thing is, all my terrible plots have ended in failure. I guess I’m not really that great at being an evil mastermind. Somehow, the children have always found a way to defeat me. Which is fine. Actually, I’m happy. I want the bad guys to lose, too.”

5 Things to Say to Help a Depressed Christian. “While these descriptions can help you understand depression a little more, you don’t have to know if someone has been clinically diagnosed to help them. You don’t have to be a counselor to be a loving and compassionate friend.”

The Commitment Cycle. “It’s a reminder to slow down, do less, and go deeper on the stuff that really matters. I want to be intentional about optimizing for quality over quantity, choosing focus over frenzy.”

No Purpose for Old Folks, HT to Challies. Loved this story with it’s ironic title.

The World Needs Your Story, HT to Challies. “I don’t need to go viral for my contribution to the world to be valuable. My story doesn’t have to be seen by the masses to be meaningful.”

Looking the World Back to Grace, HT to The Story Warren. A delightful piece about how Anne of Green Gables sees things: “If Anne seems out of touch with reality, it is because she is in touch with a deeper reality. Matthew and Marilla are good people, but they are pragmatic people, in bad need of a reminder that there is more to their world than meets the eye.”

A Prayer for Our Nation on September 11. “We remember the fear and uncertainty we felt that September morning. But like the Americans at Fort McHenry in 1814, we also remember the hope you gave us as the smoke began to clear and we saw our star-spangled banner, still waving, unfurled over the battlefield our enemies meant to be our place of defeat. Lord, encourage and strengthen us on this day, for You are our true hope.”

It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since 9/11. I shared my experiences and impressions of that day here as well as subsequent anniversaries. One of the young men in our church shared the following verse in the aftermath. Life is short and uncertain. Only in God is our refuge, strength, and comfort. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones that day.

Shared from The Story Warren, William Blake’s poem, “On Another’s Sorrow.”

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week
with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been a fairly quiet week, but that’s a good thing. Here are some highlights:

1. Lunch with a friend. It had been a little while since we’d seen each other. It was good to chat in person.

2. Cracker Barrel is where we met—lunch with this friend is about the only time I get to go there! I love it, but none of the rest of the family cares for it.

3. A long weekend. Labor Day is an odd holiday in that it’s not really celebrated per se. But it’s nice that all the family has the day off, and we had grilled burgers with all the usual accompaniments.

4. The first hint of cooler weather. I thought it would be a few weeks yet before it would begin to feel like fall, but I am happy to be wrong on that count!

5. Zaxby’s Grilled Cobb Salad. Wednesday evening, just as I was about to start making dinner, my husband said he was thinking about a Zaxby’s salad. Yes, please! I think this is my favorite restaurant salad, and the only one that seems like a full meal to me.

What’s something good from your week?

Be Dynamic: Experience the Power of God’s People

Warren Wiersbe has divided his commentary of Acts into two books, the first of which is Be Dynamic (Acts 1-12): Experience the Power of God’s People.

Wiersbe has commented on longer books than Acts in one volume. But I think he must have divided his notes on this book of the Bible because it is such a pivotal book.

Acts was written by Luke as a sequel to the gospel bearing his name. Both books are addressed to Theophilus.

At the beginning of Acts, Jesus had already died, been buried, and been resurrected. He spent 40 days teaching His disciples, then He ascended back to heaven. The last thing He told His disciples to do was to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth. He promised the power of His Holy Spirit would enable them to accomplish this task. The book of Acts tells the story of how that witness spread.

Perhaps another reason Wiersbe divided this commentary in two is that Peter is the main character in the first twelve chapters. Then the focus shifts to Paul.

Yet a third possible reason: there were so many changes over the course of Acts, some of which are confusing to people to this day. For one, Jesus’s ministry had been primarily to Jews, though He ministered to Samaritans and Gentiles as well. But when God used Peter to open the doors of the gospel to Samaritans and Gentiles (which most believe is what is meant by his being given the keys of the kingdom), many disciples were confused. But they couldn’t argue with the definite way God had led. Then came the whole question of what part the OT law had in the life of a NT disciple. They had to meet together and hammer out these issues, which some of the epistles go into further.

Another change was the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, as promised by Jesus in Acts 1:4-5 and 8. In the OT, the Spirit came upon certain people at certain times for specific tasks. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to inhabit every believer all the time.

The filling of the Spirit has to do with power for witness and service (Acts 1: 8). We are not exhorted to be baptized by the Spirit, for this is something God does once and for all when we trust His Son. But we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5: 18), for we need His power constantly if we are to serve God effectively. At Pentecost, the Christians were filled with the Spirit and experienced the baptism of the Spirit, but after that, they experienced many fillings (Acts 4: 8, 31; 9: 17; 13: 9) but no more baptisms (p. 35-36).

Another controversy has to do with Acts 2:44-45: “ And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Some have said that this is a form of Communism. Wiersbe says it is not, because “the program was totally voluntary, temporary (Acts 11:27-30), and motivated by love” (p. 43).

One striking feature of this era is that the church took persecution for granted as part of life.

They did not pray to have their circumstances changed or their enemies put out of office. Rather, they asked God to empower them to make the best use of their circumstances and to accomplish what He had already determined (Acts 4: 28). This was not “fatalism” but faith in the Lord of history who has a perfect plan and is always victorious. They asked for divine enablement, not escape, and God gave them the power that they needed (p. 68).

In one of my favorite chapters in Acts, chapter 12, Peter is delivered from prison and goes to the home of Mary, where the disciples were praying. If you remember the story, Rhoda comes to the door and is so astonished to hear Peter that she forgets to open it. She runs back in to tell everyone, and no one believes her. Almost every sermon or lesson I’ve heard from this chapter ridicules the disciples for praying without faith. Here they were praying for Peter, yet they couldn’t believe God had set him free. Even Wiersbe takes this view.

But Dr. Layton Talbert (one of our former Sunday School teachers), in his book Not By Chance: Learning to Trust a Sovereign God, brings up a different viewpoint. We don’t know that they were praying for Peter’s deliverance from prison. Dr. Talbert points out that the text doesn’t say. James was killed by Herod earlier in the chapter: since he was not delivered they may not have expected Peter to be, either. “The only precedent we have for the church’s prayer under similar circumstances is in Acts 4:23-30. There, in the face of recent imprisonment, persecution, and renewed threats, the church made only one request. And it wasn’t for deliverance from prison or persecution; it was for boldness in the face of both (4:29)” (p. 203).

A few more quotes from Wiersbe:

Repentance is not the same as “doing penance,” as though we have to make a special sacrifice to God to prove that we are sincere. True repentance is admitting that what God says is true, and because it is true, to change our minds about our sins and about the Savior, (p. 52).

If Satan cannot defeat the church by attacks from the outside, he will get on the inside and go to work (20: 28–31) (p. 79).

God has no grandchildren. Each of us must be born into the family of God through personal faith in Jesus Christ (John 1: 11–13) (p. 108).

Luke summarizes the events up to this point in Acts 12:24: “But the word of God increased and multiplied.

As always, Dr. Wiersbe’s notes were very helpful in studying the Bible.

Focus Determines Direction

When we first started house-hunting in eastern TN, I observed that there were few totally flat lots here in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Some houses had driveways so steep, I knew I could never get up and down them on my own.

The hilly land had an effect on roads as well. Many streets had a significant drop-off on one side—with no guard rails. Most were not steep enough to be fatal if one ran off the road. But many would cause injuries or bang up a car pretty well. Some roads were pretty scary even with guard rails.

Naturally, I tried to watch the edge of the road in order to stay in my lane. But when I did, I found myself veering in the direction I was looking.

Sometimes I’d be so concerned about getting too close to the edge, I’d overcompensate and drift in the oncoming lane.

Driving some roads here was nerve-wracking for me unless I disciplined myself to watch the road ahead.

It’s natural that the rest of our body will be drawn to what our eyes are focused on.

It’s natural, too, that our hearts will be drawn toward what our thoughts focus on.

When we focus on our fears, we remain stuck in them.

When we focus on our weaknesses, we remain discouraged and defeated.

When we focus on a sin we’re trying to overcome, that’s all we can think about.

When we fill our thoughts with someone who hurt us, we remain wounded.

How do we move forward?

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:18).

How do we behold Him?

In His Word:

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27).

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me (John 5:39).

In His house:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory (Psalm 63:1-2).

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4).

In repentance:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

In prayer:

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18).

I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces shall never be confounded. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:4-6).

When we’re driving, we have to glance around us and in our rear-view mirror sometimes. But to get where we’re going safely, our sustained focus needs to be on the road ahead.

In life, we can’t spend every moment in prayer or Bible reading. We have God-given responsibilities to families, communities, workplaces, dwellings. But a sustained focus on Him in His Word and prayer will help keep our sets set on Him in everyday life. Robert Murray McCheyne said, “For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief!”

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. . . .You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:8, 9, 11).

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

May we always respond like David when he said, “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek'” (Psalm 27:8). We have His promise, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

(Revised from the archives)

(I often link up with some of these bloggers.)