Looking To Jesus, Chapter 10

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

On any given day, if I don’t think about it too much, I’m rather content. Now, Scripture calls us to contentment, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Most days I’m content to simply be average: averagely comfortable, moderately productive, and conveniently involved in the lives of others. I will see what’s happening among others in my church community or ‘out there’ in the world and I can get energized or upset by current events, but only until it pushes me against my comfort zone, and then—that’s quite enough already; simmer down; back to average comfort. After all, I’m an introvert. A low-energy introvert. Don’t even talk about looking inward. This is how God made me. Leave me alone—I mean, I’m fine. Continue reading

Looking To Jesus, Chapter 7

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

I spent last weekend in a place I’ve never been, with a great big group of people, most of whom I’ve never met. My husband and I drove for two days from South/Central Texas to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Wisconsin for a delayed celebration in honor of our youngest daughter’s marriage. A little over a year ago, Erin and Dusty were married in a sweet little wedding chapel in Memphis with only his parents, a couple of siblings, and us to share their day. And yet they each have families and friends with whom they wanted to share their joy, so a great gathering was planned for this summer at Dusty’s Grandparents’ farm. Continue reading

From The Heart, Chapter 6

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

Sisters, it is late Thursday afternoon, and I am still knee deep in trying to put my thoughts on paper where they make sense and might be of some benefit to you. I hope to complete this in the next few days. In the meantime, please enjoy this short article reprinted from the June 2017 issue of Tabletalk magazine,[1] which covered the Beatitudes. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, Chapter 6

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

It’s Summertime here in Texas, which means that school’s out, pools and waterparks are open, and shorts and sandals are standard everyday wear. Of course, being Texas, the shorts and sandals have been in use for several months already. When the sandals come out, it’s pedicure season; the footsies need some sprucing up for their higher visibility; after all, painted toes are part of the accessory package—right? I went for my first pedicure of the season a month ago, and part of the process of getting my feet ready for sandals involved a lot of soaking and special potions and lotions before bringing out the “cheese grater” to tackle my callouses. Continue reading

From The Heart, Chapter 5

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!”[1]

In last week’s blog, I wrote of my desire, along with my inability, to share with you all the riches of God’s sovereign covenant love that have been running around in my head these days. I ended by writing that I hoped, in the weeks ahead, that I would be able to take one facet of God’s love which has been deeply impressed upon my heart and share it with you. Continue reading

Looking to Jesus, Chapter 5

By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

In the summer of 2012 I grew tired of only hearing about my children’s adventures and decided to join our youngest daughter, Erin, and Venture Crew 241, for a four-day hike on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. I was training for my second half-marathon at the time and reasonably fit, after all; how hard could it be? After months of planning, preparation, and practice hikes, we arrived at the trailhead, made a final check of our gear, strapped on our packs (mine weighed approximately a thousand pounds), and walked into the beautiful woods and mountains of the Maine wilderness.

Continue reading

From The Heart, Chapter 3

By JANA HENRY|CONTRIBUTOR

“Scripture calls us to things that are utterly counterintuitive, utterly countercultural, and demanding in the extreme, but Scripture shows us the Savior and His bride. This glorious sight motivates us to live under God’s authority and to serve Him through the local church, for His glory and our good. Falling in love with Christ means falling in love with His Church.”[1]

The whole process of sanctification is countercultural, when we realize that if we are going to walk worthy of our salvation, we must not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing our mind. We need our affections for Christ to grow so we can loosen our grip on this world. And as our affections for Christ grow, so must our affections for His bride, for together we are members of His body. Continue reading