Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Old Rugged Cross

As I sit here and contemplate Easter I can hear my grandfather's deep voice singing one of his favorite hymns...and it sums it up perfectly! Happy Easter, may the Glory of the sacrifice Jesus made wash over you and bring you peace.
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

        So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
        Till my trophies at last I lay down;
        I will cling to the old rugged cross,
        And exchange it some day for a crown.
  Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
  Has a wondrous attraction for me;
  For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
  To bear it to dark Calvary.
 In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
 A wondrous beauty I see,
 For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
 To pardon and sanctify me.

 To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
 Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
 Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
 Where His glory forever I’ll share.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On my mind & heart...

I have been remiss....and I am sorry.

There are many random thoughts floating in my head on this rainy day and  I have decided to spend the morning at home...alone!! This my friends is a rare treat these days:) Sot the question for right now is what should I write about as I sit here with a great cup of coffee??
*should I do laundry
*Austin stories
*habit forming behaviors
*Biblical literacy
*spring flowers
*mental illness 
*child literacy
 *which neighbor is making chocolate cookies

These are just some of the thoughts in my head, and I wonder which one has a story worth sharing today....hmmmm......

I am taken by the whole idea of Biblical literacy these days, the statistics of time spent in God's Word are actually quite sad (in North America anyway) so I was thrilled when I found out that Dr George Guthrie was going to be in Richmond giving a seminar. I made arrangements to go, set the alarm for 5:30 on a Saturday morning and off I went. Now, if you know me you also know that I am a wee bit directionally challenged so when I arrived at my destination (an hour early) having made no wrong turns I knew the day was off to an incredible start!!

The day was spent learning about foundational issues, ancient and modern context, dynamic and formal equivalence and how it pertains to translation and more. I was introduced to Dr Guthrie and his wife Pat, whom I found to be engaging and encouraging.

I love learning and found I was thrilled with how much more I wanted to learn.  I came away with a desire to spend more time in God's Word and more time learning the full story of the Bible. According to studies less than 20 % of church going Christians read their Bible on a weekly basis...ouch! I came away with a renewed interest in studying the Bible chronologically so I could gain a greater understanding of the whole story.

He shared some of the reasons that Bible literacy is on the decline.
1) Reading in general is down, a study entitled 'Reading at Risk' showed that only 56.6 % of American adults had read a book that year (down 4% from the previous year).
2) Contributing to that is that technology may be hurting our ability to read. It is suggested that our 'click & skim' mentality makes for more shallow reading and erodes our ability to read more substantial materials
3) We are distracted and  overextended in our schedules.
4) We do not know the Bible's grand story or how many of the parts work

I know that #3 is the one that affects me more than any, my chant of  "I'm busy" tends to overshadow the time I spend reading. Often what I read is a new book that I need to know about for work which again takes time away from study...shame on me.

The parable of the seeds and the sower (Mark 4:3-20) is used to illustrate that that the 'seeds' that grew needed not only soil but space as to not to be crowded out by weeds. We need to create some space in order to sit, read & think about the Bible...we need space in our hearts to take in God's words and respond to them appropriately.

I cannot concisely share all I learned that day but I was shocked by the statistics and inspired by the promise of 'transformation', the kind that can only be found by spending time with God...and learning His story.