How Does A Beehive Reveal the Kingdom of God?

I asked my sweet friend, the Rev. H. Elizabeth Back, an Episcopal priest and beekeeper to share what she’s discovered God through her beehive. I hope her words will be as much of a blessing to you as they are me:

Jesus first made himself known to me when I was four years old looking at a blooming spring bouquet.

As the bees foraged, I heard God say the words, “This will be your life.”

You’ve heard of the burning bush. God spoke to me from a buzzing bush.

In that moment I understood God was calling me to be a priest in the Episcopal Church.

Forty years later I would accept another call: to become a beekeeper. After careful research and preparation of a hive I purchased a three-pound box crammed with 10,000 honeybees, a tin can filled with sugar water, and one virgin queen in her cage. Continue Reading...

Why The Season You're In Is So Complicated

People often use the word “season” to describe their lives.

I’m in a . . .

good season

hard season

painful season

I’m in a . . .

season of change

season of new growth

season of waiting

season of loss

season of blessing

season of dealing with my junk

season of healing from the past

Fill in the blank: I’m in a season of _____________________________________.

While most of us can identify descriptors of the season we’re in, the agrarian world of the Bible hints that every season is more complex than we realize. Consider the following: Continue Reading...

Did Jesus Really Call You To Live a Better Story?

Well-told stories capture the imagination, inspire the soul, awaken the spirit.

Well-crafted stories can also cast a dark shadow, embed prejudices, invoke enmity.

Like dynamite, a well-devised story requires careful handling, great attention to detail, accurate delivery, and perfect timing.

Jesus knew the potency of story in the human heart. He didn’t just tell jaw-dropping stories, He lived one.

John the Baptist provides a preamble to Jesus’ story. The contrast is startling:

Continue Reading...

Win More than $75 in Tasty Prizes Today—Celebrate the Kickoff of Our Summer Bible Study

It’s not too late to join the kick off the Scouting the Divine online summer Bible study (Lifeway). We kicked off on Monday, June 15th with the first session and diving into the meaning behind the more than 700 references to sheep, shepherding, and flocks throughout the Scripture.

In celebration, we thought you might enjoy some treats and tools to enjoy our summer study. That’s why were giving away this cozy package to help you dive deeper and taste sweeter this summer: Continue Reading...

What does “God Is Our Shepherd” Really Mean?

On June 15, we launched the online summer Bible study, Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey. I spent months with shepherds, farmers, beekeepers, and vintners in order to understand the agrarian themes of Scripture.

-Why is the Promised Land flowing with honey?

-What does it mean to abide in the vine?

-What is Jesus teaching in the parable of the sower?

-And what does it mean that God says He is our Shepherd?

It’s not too late to grab a friend, or invite your children or grandchildren to dive into a Bible study where you can taste and see and touch the goodness of God.

Those of you who are reading along in the Scouting the Divine book and study, know I made a special connection to Lynne, the shepherdess. We’ve kept up throughout the years throughout Christmas cards and emails. I asked her to talk about her flock today, what she’s still learning about God and faith, and about some of the most beloved sheep from Scouting the Divine—including Piaget.

As you read Lynne’s words, reflect on God’s heart and tender care for you. Continue Reading...