Tag: The Glorious Table

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Mary’s Willingness for the Greater Good

Mary’s Willingness for the Greater Good

I’m writing over at The Glorious Table today! Here’s a preview

Every time I read about Mary’s conversation with the angel who was sent to tell her she was chosen to carry the Savior of humanity, I’m amazed. Her simple surrender in Luke 1:38, “I am the Lord’s servant . . . May your word to me be fulfilled,” transformed the world.

We don’t know if Mary understood the weight of the burden she would carry in the months to come, let alone the next three decades. All we know is she said yes, and Jesus entered the world as her son.

How is a strong faith like Mary’s—one wherein she was willing to surrender her body and life and the trajectory of her future to an unknown plan—formed? I imagine she spent hours praying and learning about God, strengthing her personal relationship with him.

From the very beginning, God invited man into relationship with him  (Genesis 1:26-29). It is through relationship that we establish and strengthen trust and faith. This is how God created us.

Our relationships with friends, family members, and our spouses require our time and attention. Friends don’t come to us out of the blue and ask us for advice. They get to know us, learn to trust our heart and our intentions, and when they believe we have their best interests at heart, they come to us and ask for our input in hard situations.

When we are dating someone, we don’t enter into a commitment immediately. We get to know them. We see how they treat their family members and friends. We observe how they respond in hard situations and what they do in their spare time. When we do commit, we trust they will stay faithful to us in marriage because over time their character has revealed that they are loyal and true.

Our children don’t automatically obey us the first time we tell them to do something. They learn to obey when we teach them through repetition. They understand that we love them, that we set boundaries to protect them because we love them. Even so, sometimes they will disobey our rules and injure themselves. Our loving response assures them that the relationship is still intact, regardless of the consequences of their disobedience.

Read the rest over at The Glorious Table

The Value of Our Words

The Value of Our Words

One of the most amazing things about the Bible is that the authors didn’t fully comprehend what they were writing. As a shepherd boy, David wrote poems of praise to pass the time in the fields and journaled prayers on anguish and praise to God later in life. Paul wrote letters from a prison cell to the churches he counseled.

Similarly, in more recent history, we understand the complicated emotions of a Jewish child in hiding during World War II because of Anne Frank’s diary. We know how hard the journey through Ellis Island was for many immigrants because of historical records as well as how many people retained letters.

One of the features of Ancestry.com is the ability to read newspaper articles, letters, and oral histories about relatives. These vibrant pieces help to paint a picture of what was happening within a family during a significant point in history.

Perhaps we forget from time to time that today, we have more than newspaper articles and news reports documenting our daily history. Social media is a digital journal. Just like Anne Frank, every social channel we use can record our daily thoughts, images, and comments of the moment, likely without us considering who will see them beyond the next few hours, let alone beyond the next few centuries.

Occasionally we may regret overheated words (well, at least I do) and we’re thankful there is a delete button. That is, unless someone chooses to take a screenshot of our comments and archive them, right? While this scenario isn’t exactly true, a version of it is.

One of the first things my boss taught me when I started working in digital media is that nothing is ever wholly erased online. I know you want to believe that deleting your Facebook account is as simple as going through the steps Facebook provides, however, even if you delete your profile, your comments aren’t removed, nor are your images. Further, we’re relying on a company that’s proved repeatedly to not quite tell the truth about our data.

Essentially, when we use social media, we’re creating digital journals for future generations to view as part of our historical records. If you’re panicking right now, thinking of your great-grandchildren scrolling through your Facebook feed. Scary? I’m sorry. Stick with me for a minute, though, since we’ve already established the record isn’t going away.

Read the rest about creating an online legacy over at The Glorious Table

Don’t Miss the Middle

Don’t Miss the Middle

I’m writing over at The Glorious Table! Here’s a preview:

At the beginning of every year in elementary school, my teacher would hand out a worksheet with a long list of instructions. She would explain that the goal of this project was the complete the task correctly by the end of the day, which was drawing near.

The first instruction on the worksheet was always the same: “Read the entire list of instructions before starting the assignment.”

I tried to follow the instructions. I would get about halfway through the list, glance at the clock, and look around at my classmates. Most of them were already working on the assignment, so I would join in, only to end the day frustrated, without a completed assignment.

It was always in those last minutes that our teacher would sigh and ask us to read the last instruction in the list. The last instruction was also always the same. It said, “Now that you have read this assignment all the way to the end, turn your paper over and sit quietly until your teacher dismisses you.”

The point of this exercise was never to complete the complicated task; it was to learn to follow the teacher’s instructions.

Eventually, I figured out that the shortcut to accomplishing any assignment was always to take a glance at the last page to ensure there weren’t any surprises before I started, but I still haven’t mastered the skill of following instructions from start to finish.

As Christians, we risk missing some significant instruction from our Savior if we skip to the end of the story and metaphorically flip our paper over and wait. While there is certainly comfort in knowing we have a happy ending coming, there is more to know.

Jesus explained to the disciples in John 3,  a verse you may find familiar, that life will continue after we die. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV).

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