The Evolution of God’s Presence

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I have had the amazing privilege of being part of the lecturing team for our local women’s Bible study.  It has been one of the best spiritual communities that I have ever participated in.  And I must say that teaching adds a whole new dimension to the growth process.  You’ve got to take a good look inside before you challenge other people to do so!

Here is the final teaching on our incredible study of Exodus.  Be blessed!  (I have the audio recording, but don’t know how to link a .m4a file to this blog…Any help?)

The Evolution of God’s Presence

My daughter and I are Sound of Music fans and you may remember one of the big dilemmas in that movie was, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”  Well, this week, my big dilemma has been, “How do you sum up a Bible study on Exodus?!”  SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!  From “Let my people go!” to “Show me your glory!”, it’s been quite a wild ride.  So let’s start by taking a few moments to Explore Exodus again…

A baby in a basket, fostered in Pharoah’s family, matures only to murder a man, and runs to a remote region.

The shy shepherd beholds a burning bush, then this hesitant head of the Hebrews engages Egypt’s evil chief. Continue reading

Life Hacks with Food Scraps

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Fermentation Station: (L to R) Apple cider vinegar, Sauerkraut, Citrus peel cleaner, Sourdough starter, sprouts, kombucha, and perpetual bone broth.  I heart jars.

Perhaps this Chopped video served as my inspiration, or the slight obsession I have with wasting as little food as possible, but over the years, I have developed quite an intricate system for what to do with food scraps.

I started composting back in the day, but since inheriting 7 chickens three months ago (post to come!), we have even less to throw in the C-bin.  However there are some kitchen scraps that can get a little reuse before heading either direction and can even miraculously transform into items you would otherwise pay good money for.

So here is a collection of Life Hacks from Food Scraps:

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In Praise of Posture

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Photo credit: proactive4pt.com

During the last three years I have become more observant of the negative effects our technological, sedentary culture has had on our collective posture.  I have also learned how interconnected our posture is with the rest of our bodily functions (like breathing, digestion, circulation, etc.) And I have gradually improved my own posture through a number of helpful exercises.

My Posture Story

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BOOK BITES: The Count of Monte Cristo

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words:  Wait and Hope.”

– Edmund Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo

After our wonderful experience reading Les Miserables, my lovely book club decided to stick with the French and choose The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas as our bonus read for this last summer.  It had been recommended to me by a number of friends over the years, and this seemed like the right time to tackle its 1100+ pages.

For some reason, I never have the energy to write book reviews or summations (so you can read this summary/review here.)  But I love to underline phrases and passages that moved me and have included them below.  This beautiful story drew me in because of its complex characters, strong messages, and beautiful language.  But it has made my “favorites books of all times” list because of its realistic yet creative acknowledgement of God. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Proclamations and Probiotics

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I’m feeling nostalgic for the East Coast during these fall days.  Santa Barbara is undeniably beautiful, but we are longing for the seasons.

Enter Thanksgiving.

Crisp air and colorful leaves (or not), Thanksgiving declares Autumn like nothing else.  Obviously the fall foods play a big role, but it’s more than that.  There is something special about the timing of reminding ourselves to be grateful, just as we head into a season of longer nights, barren landscapes, and dormant life.  (Not to mention all the commercial Christmas nonsense…) Continue reading

Book Bites: Isaiah

“This is the one I esteem:  He who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”  Isaiah 66:2b
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Women’s Bible Study Group 2012-2013

Along with a group of lovely women, I just completed a year’s study on the book of Isaiah.  (For a summary on this interesting book go here.)

Initially I was both intrigued and anxious about digging into such a deep, complex book of Scripture.  And it has proven to be just that and more.  It is an intense proclamation of judgment on the wicked, and yet full of promises of compassion and joy for the humble and righteous.  And there are SO many reminders of God’s heart of justice for the oppressed and our responsibility to care for them. (1:16b-17, 25:4-5, 58:6-12)

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BOOK BITES: Like Dew Your Youth

Product Details

First things first.

God bless Eugene Peterson for all he did for Christendom by writing The Message (among many other things), but his publishers need to repent for coming up with a horrible title for an excellent book.  It’s even worse when you are verbalizing it to people.  “Like… Do… What?”

It originates from the scripture “From the womb of the morning, like dew your youth will come to you.”  (Psalm 110:3)  If you think long and hard about it, you may eventually be able to read between the lines.  Still, not every Bible verse is book title material.  (And we won’t even mention the cover…)

Redeemably, there is a subtitle and it gives a much better idea of what the book is actually about:  Growing Up With Your Teenager. Continue reading