The One Question You Need You To Ask Today

I recently shared a cockamamie story of feeling led to give away McDonald dollars to someone I’d just met named Patton.

Maybe, like me, you’ve wrestled with the questions…

Is this a step of faith or a fabrication?

Is this a moment of Immanuel or my imagination?

In the post, How to Hear from God, I provide 5 crucial questions to ask to determine if that nudge is from God.

But we need to ask another crucial question… and not just when we’re trying to hear from God.

The question we need to ask:

read more…

How to Pray During a Hurricane

Another hurricane hits our nation. In the wake of Harvey, Irma creepily crawls up the coast of Florida.

Like you, so many friends and family are holed up in hotels and basements and bathtubs right now. Watching. Praying. Waiting.

Born near Cocoa Beach, Florida, I learned the hurricane drill all too well. Boards. Screws. Sandbags. Packing. Traffic. Sold-out bread and water and Duck Tape and blue tarps. Bare shelves. No more gas. No more places to stay inland.

The stress… the extreme stress of preparing and packing, waiting and watching…

The sense… of driving away and knowing life you once knew may be lost… that you may come back to nothing…

The losses… of roofs and homes and inventory and businesses and hospital care and life as you know it…

The wait… as we wait and we pray…and maybe like me, you wonder how to pray when you don’t know what to pray…

I’ve been wrestling with a question over the last few weeks:

read more…

Small Group Golden Toolbox of Ideas and Resources

More than anything, I want you to grow in your relationship with Jesus this fall.

That’s why I’ve put together a golden toolbox of resources for you and your church leaders.

In this free gift, you’ll find icebreaker questions, experiential activities, a connection sheet, and an outline to develop expectations for your specific group (i.e. what’s said in the group, stays in the group). read more…

New Advent Devotional: Your Invitation to Celebrate the Wonder and Joy of Advent

Following the spring Lent Bible study, many of you wrote and asked, “Will you do one for Advent?”

I’m not sure if it was the 4th or the 14th or the 40th request that convinced me, but I have some exciting news.

But before we get to that…

If you thumb through Scripture, you can’t help but notice how waiting weaves itself into the fabric of history.

God waits.

Creation waits.

Humankind waits.

We wait for reconciliation and redemption, healing and wholeness.

For four hundred years, the prophets wait in silence for a syllable from God.

All heaven and humanity hold their breath for the arrival of Immanuel.

Deep in the fabric of our souls, we wonder, “How long must we wait?” Well, the answer… read more…

Ooh la la… treasures for you and your friends…

 

Take a look around…. because Bible studies and books and gifts are up to 40% off during our BIG FALL SALE happening this week only.

If your small group or Bible study is looking for a fall, winter, or spring study…this is the time to save on…

a study of the Bible through a shepherd, beekeeper, vintner and farmer’s fresh eyes in…

Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey

a study of prayer and recognizing God’s presence and voice in…

The Sacred Echo: Recognize God’s Voice in Every Area of Your Life

a study of the awe and marvel of God for those who don’t know him or have lost the wonder in…

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God

The Big Fall Sale ends Friday, September 8 at midnight Eastern.

Thank you for all your love and support.
Margaret

P.S. When you make a direct purchases through the store, margaretfeinbergstore.com, it makes all the difference for Leif and I as we serve in ministry in our community and around the world. Thank you for loving and supporting us in this meaning and tangible way.

Little Known Ways to Handle Conflict Well

Who stomped on your nerves this week?

When was the last time someone annoyed you with their strong-willed opinion?

How did you respond when someone refused to drop a prickly topic?

If you’re living a healthy, vibrant life in a community, you’ll run smack into people with whom you chafe. You can’t always choose your conflicts, but how can you respond well?  read more…

How to Live in the Wonder and Awe of the #Eclipse2017 Every Day

Temperature plummeted. Darkness descended. Jaws dropped.

Yesterday we stood in holy awe of a heavenly display rapt by celestial power and beauty.

A black fireball compelled strangers to erupt in wild applause at the Idaho Falls airport and around the nation.

Whether you watched from behind awkward eclipse glasses or a television screen, the shifting shadows awoke our hearts to divine wonder in 100- to 200- second blast of beauty.

What if you could allow the sense of wonder you felt to come alive in you every day?

Yesterday I watched countless wonders, and the most stunning weren’t in the atmosphere.

My husband Leif and I used airline miles to fly to Idaho Falls, Idaho, to watch totality at the airport. Leif ended up on a later flight. The flight attendant felt annoyed by the “overhype” of the event, but when Leif offered to loan her glasses to watch out the window, she softened.

Within a few minutes, the generosity spread.

Half of the 30 people on the flight carried eclipse glasses. Soon everyone shared and passed the eye shades back and forth. The pilot circled a loop so those sitting on both sides of the plane could admire the unfolding beauty. Everyone landed with a sense of joyous awe.

Wonderstruck by the power of kindness and generosity

As the eclipse progressed our shadows wobbled and distorted in the light. The crescent shadows of leaves dotted the earth.

In a pinch of time, we were reminded of the One who hangs the stars and spins the planets.

Wonderstruck by beauty and splendor

Meanwhile strangers from around the world lined up outside the Idaho Falls airport. A young couple shared cashews, I offered fresh cherries, sunscreen passed among people who had never met. When totality arrived, everyone—including airport employees—began whooping and hollering and applauding at the dark beauty.

Wonderstruck by the joy and celebration

What if the awe and marvel you felt yesterday is meant to extend beyond August 21, 2017 into today, tomorrow and every day?

The wonder of God’s creation continues to unfold. They await in…

the nearest National Park to your home…

the cascading waterfall…

the alpenglow of the mountains…

the moon tides…

the sun perks and splashes during dawn and dusk…

the green flash

the snowflakes and rainbows and artsy clouds…

The wonder of kindness and generosity continues to unfold. They await in…

your readiness to share what you’ve been given…

your willingness to engage a stranger…

your heart to reach out to someone different from you…

your courage to speak up for the defenseless…

your offering of a snack to someone sitting next to you…

The wonder of joy and celebration continues to unfold. They await in…

the time you start the applause with your two palms…

the whoop and holler that release joy into the atmosphere…

the moment you catch someone doing something well and say something…

the gift you wrap to say thank you…

the gathering you host in a park or your back yard…

the candle you press into a cake for someone unsuspecting…

The great gift of the eclipse is the moon and sun passing primed our hearts to live in wonder and awe of God every day.

We are meant to live on high alert for God’s presence and faithfulness and power and might.

When we gather as believers…

When we utter syllables of prayer…

When we flip open the Bible…

When we respond to a sacred echo

When we give what costs us…

When we give voice to those who have no voice…

When we answer the call to live like Jesus lived…

The wonder of the eclipse still burns bright in my heart…

God pitched the tent of His presence with us in the middle of our darkness to bring us great light. 

My hope and prayer is through the upcoming days and months, you will continue to live wonderstruck.

If you’re looking for a fall Bible study, you may enjoy the 6-session DVD Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God.

To watch a preview, click here.

And if you’re leading a ministry or Bible study this fall, we’re hosting a special webinar on Thursday, August 24 at 11am EST with Heather Zempel for you:

5 Best Practices + 7 Pitfalls to Avoid for Your Fall Bible Study or Small Group

Click here to register. 

Now I want to hear from you.. what did you see during the eclipse that left you wonderstruck? 

How Do You Hear From God? … And a Crazy Story

What do you do when you sense God nudging you to action… and you know it sounds crazypants?

That’s why I struggled the first time I met Patton Dodd.

We talked about faith and writing until the cushions of the wingback chair almost swallowed him. When we got up to leave, I felt a sudden impetuous impulse, a surge of energy I could only attribute to something outside myself to give something to Patton.

Like most metropolitan cities, downtown Denver is full of homeless men and women on almost every block. Rather than hand out cash, which can be used for less-than-stellar purchases, I stock up on McDonald’s gift card—hoping the recipient will enjoy a hot coffee or meal.

I said good bye, but all my thoughts centered on the five McDonald’s dollars crammed in my pocket.

I felt a soul-penetrating urge, Give them to him.

The only thing stronger than the impulse to hand them over was the anxiety of handing them over.

I had more than a hunch that the impetus was from God, but my mind ping-ponged with self-doubt.

This was the first time meeting Patton. I wanted to make a good impression. The last thing I wanted was to come off like a fruit loop. Handing out meager faux money never ranked in the top ten ways to make friends and influence people.

What would Patton think if I gave? What would God think if I didn’t give? The tug-of-war raged as we said goodbye.

As he turned away, I said Patton’s name with of urgency, “Wait, you’re going to need these later.”

“Uh, okay,” he said and disappeared.

What was that? read more…

Charlottesville—Responding to the Hatred and the Horror

The shouting, the slurs, the swastikas, and hands raised in Nazi-style salutes. These types of images instill fear in my heart, thanks in part to the warnings of my Polish Jewish grandmother. Somehow these symbols and images have been resurrected in our time, now targeting not just Jews but also black people and Muslim people and immigrants. How can this be?

Seeing these images emanate not from black-and-white clips of Nazi Germany but technicolor shots of Charlottesville stoked anger inside of me. But the words of the Beloved Disciple rang in my ears: read more…

How to Study the Bible Through a Shepherd’s Eyes

The images and insights still haunt me.

I spent a year with shepherds and beekeepers and farmers and vintners and asked, “How do you read the Scripture—not as theologians—but in light of what you do every day?”

Their answers changed the way I read the Bible forever.

Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Spending time with Lynne, a shepherdess, revealed Jesus’ words weren’t just imagery or metaphor, but a daily reality for any good shepherd.

I’ll never forget the first time Lynne led me to her upper field. We slid through a narrow gate with sheep dotting the landscape like fluffy cotton balls.

Then she started whispering.

read more…

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