Archives For scripture

How to Live in the Present

Margaret —  December 25, 2013 — 42 Comments

How to Live in the Present

If only I can get through this season of life.

I just can’t wait until graduation... finances are in order… life becomes easier.

Counting down the days until vacation.

I wish I had a spouse… a child… a family…a job.

I’ve been known to whisper a few of those things before. How about you?

Even as children of God, we can be guilty of wishing away seasons of life. Instead of engaging in the present, our eyes are glued to the future.

We can miss out on the grace available to us right here. Right now.

Today, will you accept the challenge to live fully in the moment?

Here are 4 ways to begin living present starting today: Continue Reading...

How to Find Joy Today

Margaret —  October 20, 2013 — 2 Comments

How to Find Joy Today

The Bible isn’t a compilation of good ideas or religious ingenuity; its origin is rooted in God. This is His book and His story. God uses the Bible to reveal Himself to us, even today[Tweet this] Continue Reading...

The One Resource You Shouldn’t Be Without

Readers often ask me what my typical regimen looks like when I’m researching for books and Bible studies.

The truth is—it always looks different.

For the book and Bible study for Scouting the Divine, my research was hands on. Leif and I visited a shepherdess in Oregon, a beekeeper in southern Colorado, a farmer in Nebraska, and a grape-grower in Napa Valley, California. I latched on to each new friend’s words and insights, hungry to unwrap the goodness of Scripture once again.

Other times you’ll find me hankered down on my well-worn green couch with a daunting stack of books nearby, pouring over used commentaries I scored off Amazon.

Still other times, I sign Leif and me up for crazy-pants adventures like the time we traveled to Croatia to pick olives. And sometimes my research isn’t formal at all—chance conversations on golf courses, finding pixie dust on my favorite trail, and sitting in a hardened pew on a Sunday morning.

But I can’t help but shout out about one of my favorite and most-useful research tools: Logos Bible Software.

This downloadable Bible software is a must-have investment for all pastors, teachers, and writers who long to dig deep into Scripture. Logos Bible Software 5 is a high-end desktop app that helps people study the Bible in ways that fit their lives. Logos 5 digs deep into the Bible and hundreds of books with fast, precise searches, rich original language tools, and a smart theological library on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Here are 5 of my favorite features of the Logos 5 Bible Software: Continue Reading...

How Well Do You Know the Bible? 5 Ways to Encourage Bible Literacy

A slew of crazy-pants friends and I read the entire Bible cover-to-cover in 40 days for Lent. (You can read about that adventure, here).

I shocked myself by what I didn’t remember or didn’t know about Scripture. I would come across well-worn passages and an unfamiliar verse would pop off the page. Well-read stories became fresh once again as I read them with a hungry heart.

How about you? How well do you know the Bible?

Take the Bible Trivia Quiz below.1

Grab a pen and paper to record your answers. Don’t worry—you don’t have to keep score. Take this short quiz and see how you do! Continue Reading...

When Biblical Aha! Moments Feel Distant and Far Away

So often the Bible seems centuries and light years away. I struggle to connect with the old metaphors and ancient agricultural society.

I have a hunch, I’m not the only one.

What does it mean to know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd when the only place you’ve encountered sheep is at a petting zoo? How can you understand the promise of a land overflowing with honey when you buy yours in a bear-shaped bottle? Can you grasp the urgency of Jesus’ invitation to abide in the vine when you shop for grapes at a local grocery store?

Scripture is written in an agrarian context, but I’m a total city girl. Harvest, pruning, and livestock are things I see in movies and are especially difficult to grasp when I can’t even keep my living room plant alive.

A few years ago, I decided to do something about it. Continue Reading...