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Bible, Blog

The Book of James – #comestudywithme

April 3, 2018


I know that a good number of you are not on social media, so I wanted to share a post from yesterday.  I’ve gotten questions about what’s next, now that we’re nearing the end of Second Samuel. This post speaks to that. Although I am not moving directly into another Bible study on YouTube, I do plan to do more topical teaching videos. I have not had a chance to do those lately—“When God Doesn’t Seem Faithful” was the last one—so I look forward to that.  If you want to join the study of James, you can follow me here:



With the CLING YouTube study in First & Second Samuel winding down, I’d been praying about what’s next.  My plan was to take a break from online studies and prepare for the Cling Conference (while writing book #4 in the series).  But the Lord is moving me a different way.  I’m always studying a book of the Bible regardless.  And up next is a fresh in-depth study of James. Probably one of the questions I’m asked most is how do I study.  So I’m moved to simply share the process, thoughts, insights, gleanings… I move slowly through this book.

If you’ve followed the CLING YouTube study, this will be different. For one, it will be based primarily on Instagram (posting to my Facebook page as well).  Also, I won’t be covering a chapter per week.  I study daily, so I’ll post more often, in smaller bits.  I may spend three days breaking down one verse from different angles.  I envision utilizing impromptu video and  insta-stories as well.

Why an entire book?  For the past eighteen years, I’ve focused on studying one book of the Bible at a time. My heart’s desire is to know God and to know His will as revealed in His word—and to be continually transformed by that. Studying an entire book in context is key.  And there’s no “been there, done that” with respect to a book of the Bible.  These are living words.  No matter how many times I’ve studied a particular book, it blesses, strengthens, changes, convicts, and speaks in a fresh way.

I invite you to #comestudywithme.  James is a hard-hitting book, and I don’t have to wonder if I’ll be convicted.  But I know blessings will abound as well.  And this is a CLING study.  So as we study, we will seek to know God better and cling to Him.  As James 4:8 says:  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

When do we start?  Now.  I will post as led.  And this is #comestudyWITHme.  So I’ll look forward to your thoughts and insights as well. Let’s dive in!

Bible, womanhood

Let the Bible Tell You How To Be a Woman

July 12, 2016


There are biblical womanhood passages we hardly blink at. That older women should impart wisdom to younger women is esteemed. That women ought to love their husbands and children is expected, even if challenging at times. And as much as we may give attention to hair and clothing, we understand that in Christ, the inner person deserves our utmost adornment.

But other passages spark something more. Submission can ignite a lively exchange all by itself. Toss in “worker at home” and roles in the church, and you might be ticking towards an explosion. The casualty, however, is often the word of God. As believers, we have an obligation to treat Scripture — even “troublesome” passages — in a Christ-honoring way.

Treat Scripture with Humility

When we encounter hot-button issues in biblical womanhood, we do so armed with our own experiences and opinions. These issues are central to our identity as women and stir convictions that are deeply entrenched. Almost instinctively, we rise to defend them. But in Christ, we have a higher call, to elevate the Lord and his word above all.

Continue reading over at Desiring God . . .



When Time in the Word Seems Uneventful . . .

March 16, 2016
Power in Redundant

I’m sitting here with my Bible open, thinking, I do the same thing every morning. Make coffee, sit at my kitchen table, study the Word.

It’s uneventful. No glitz. No glam. Hair bunched under a satin scarf, wearing workout clothes from my run on the basement treadmill.

Exactly. I don’t even smell good.

There was a time my mornings were filled with activity. Excitement. Anticipation. Legal briefs were due. A deposition was scheduled of an opposing party. Or a court appearance, maybe in Chicago or San Francisco. Briefcase in hand, pumps on my feet, my life brimmed with energy. I was moving. Doing. It seems a lifetime ago. I left that world in 1999.

Continue Reading…

Bible, love

Not a Casual Kind of Love

February 11, 2016

Love 1 John

I love John . . . the apostle, that is. The Gospel of John is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I love Revelation as well, also penned by John. And yesterday, as I did a fresh read of another of his books—First John—I remembered how very much I love that one too!

Its boldness convicted, encouraged, and fired me up.

We can become accustomed to a certain tenor in popular culture. There’s “your truth” and “my truth,” and even if one believes there’s absolute Truth, it’s often stated in a wishy-washy way. Many Christians don’t want to offend people with truth, certainly don’t want to be rejected because of truth. So fear often keeps us from speaking the truth. Or lack of knowledge. Many believers simply don’t study so as to know truth.

Continue Reading…

believing, Bible

The Wonder of Unbelief

January 18, 2016

There’s nothing like that moment when you are stopped while reading the Bible. Those are the moments for which I pray. As much as I love the Word, my human mind might wander, hurry, or gloss over a passage I’ve read many times. So I pray for the Lord to not only keep me focused, but to laser focus me on whatever I need at that time.

A week and a half ago in the Gospel of Mark, I got this laser beam:

“And He wondered at their unbelief.” Mark 6:6

I stopped. Then once again I read the verses that came before. Jesus had been teaching in His hometown. Astonished, His listeners asked, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?” (Mark 6:2)

Seeing the extraordinary—the divine wisdom and miracles—one might think they’d be poised to follow . . . to learn more . . . to believe. After all, they knew Messiah was coming. Surely, this could be Him.

Continue Reading…

Bible, grace, killing sin, temptation, YouTube

My Day with Lust

June 30, 2015

Lust 4I began the week knowing that I had a ton of things to do in a short amount of time, since I’m leaving town midweek. I wouldn’t blog or do a video, I thought. Not enough time.

And then I sat down this morning with coffee and First Peter.

I read the first two chapters, then read them again, and my eyes were drawn to the word lust. I saw that the word repeated, but I’d never marked it in my Bible (as I often do with repeats).

Huh. Interesting that they hadn’t caught my eye sufficiently for me to mark them, yet today, they stood out. Don’t you love that about the Word of God? There’s always something new to focus on.

I read the verses again:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance . . . 1 Peter 1:14

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Do not be conformed to former lusts.

Abstain from fleshly lusts.

My mind began to pull up other “lust” verses, and then I turned to them, started a word study, thought about how I’ve encountered lusts in my own life. And as I cooked a spinach omelette, words to a video swirled in my head . . . and further study plus video filming and editing consumed most of the day.

So tomorrow I will do the ton of things I thought I’d do today. I love how God works. :-)

And I pray this video is fruitful.

Bible, prayer, worship

The Guilt Was Mine

April 2, 2015

Good FridayI have this clock that fools me every year.  It is factory-set on the old daylight savings dates, and every fall and spring, when I least expect it, it pulls a gotcha in the middle of the night.  This morning, I hopped up when the clock read 6:45, brushed my teeth, trudged downstairs, and read the clock in the kitchen.  It wasn’t yet six!  (I’m throwing that clock away…)

I made my coffee anyway, talking to God, praying He would show me why I was really up.  Coffee in hand, I sat down with my Bible and turned to the accounts of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion.  It didn’t take long to be riveted by these words:

“I find no guilt in this man.”

The words were Pontius Pilate’s, the Roman Governor. The Jews had brought Jesus to him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2). Pilate questioned Jesus personally, then announced:

“I find no guilt in this man.”

The Jews insisted He was guilty, and when Pilate learned that Jesus was a Galilean, he sent Him to Herod. Herod questioned Him at length—as the Jews again accused—and sent Him back to Pilate. Pilate announced again:

“I have found no guilt in this man . . .”

And not only that, Pilate added, “No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving of death has been done by Him” (Luke 23:15).

The people cried out anyway, “Crucify, crucify Him!” And a third time, Pilate said:

“Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death . . .”

I lingered with Pilate’s words. He was adamant. He wanted to release Jesus. His wife had even told him to release Jesus, because of a dream she’d had (Matthew 27:19). Yet, the Jews were in such an uproar. He couldn’t understand it. Crucify a man in whom there was no guilt?

Pilate could not have known. He was part of an eternal plan. He needed to send Jesus to the cross because there was guilt—and Jesus, the sinless Lamb, would pay the price, a sin debt He didn’t owe.

As all of this swirled in my mind, tears started in my eyes as I saw myself raising my hand to clear up Pilate’s confusion.

“You’re correct, Mr. Governor. Nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. The guilt was mine.”

The guilt was mine.

I’m the reason He had to die.

And in that earlier-than-normal hour, I allowed the grief and tears and praise and worship to flow.

Lord Jesus, let me never take lightly the debt of sin that You paid for me. Let me never take for granted that You had to endure even a trial for my sake, let alone the spitting and scourging and thorns and nails. You died for me. Jesus, I’m overwhelmed by Your love. I’m overwhelmed by Your sacrifice. I worship You and thank You, Jesus, for dying for me, so that I could live. Help me to live completely for You.


Bible, prayer, YouTube

Praying Scripture

March 10, 2015

Praying Scripture (5)I am nowhere near a prayer warrior. I count my mother one, praying several hours a day, often rising at three in the morning to do so. I admire her faithfulness and dedication in lifting up so many before the throne, and I thank God, because it’s a gift. We are all called to “pray without ceasing,” but how we pray (and how long we pray) is so unique to each of us. There’s no way I could sit in one spot and pray for hours. I would be fast asleep in no time.

I don’t even have a prayer closet to speak of, unless you count the shower. When my kids were little, that was my alone-time with God (though it got interrupted too!). Now it’s become a sanctuary of sorts. There’s hardly a time I shower when I don’t start talking to God.

And that’s what much of my prayer life consists of—talking to God whenever and wherever. I like quiet, which helps, so the television is rarely on during the day and, in the car, the radio is mostly silent. So I have running conversations with God throughout the day—lifting up specific requests, things that come up, people on my heart, what to cook for dinner… What, I’m not the only one who asks God about dinner, am I?

But there’s another special part of my prayer life—praying Scripture. Inevitably in my morning Bible time, I’m moved to pray something from Scripture. And some verses I’ve prayed so often that they come to mind when I need them.  I love how simple yet powerful it is. We don’t have to have a deep understanding of the verse. In fact, our prayer can be that we understand the verse. In praying Scripture, we renew our minds with truth while also asking God to establish that truth . . . in our own hearts and in the hearts of those for whom we are praying.

There’s more in the video, of course, and, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Also, how would you describe your prayer life?

Bible, YouTube

Meditating on the Word

February 22, 2015

How I MemorizeIt’s interesting how one’s view of a verse of Scripture can change over time. I’ve loved this verse from the first time I read it:

 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8

Reading it years ago, I focused on those words, “prosperous” and “success”. And I somehow thought that if I meditated on the word of God, and by Gods grace, walked in obedience, things would go well. Not only go well, but prosper. I would “have success.” I don’t know what I thought that would actually look like, but I certainly didn’t picture difficult trials in the mix.

It wasn’t until I was preparing for this video that I realized how much I’ve meditated on the word through Scripture memory, since about 2003. And through Scripture memory, as I’ve meditated, I’ve grown in my understanding of the word, and hopefully grown in obedience. (Did you notice Joshua 1:8 says to meditate day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it? Is it not awesome that meditating on the word leads to obedience to the word?) But in the past two or three years, there seems to have been one trial after another, in the midst of which I could have been hard-pressed to believe I was prospering or having success.

And yet, I was. Being in the Word consistently helped me to focus on the Lord in times of trial. It gave me a wellspring of knowledge about Him and His attributes, and an eternal perspective. It didn’t mean there weren’t hard days or anxious days. But I was able to draw upon Scripture that helped me to trust, believe, and endure.

And that means I was prospering, and having success.

I am amazed at the ways in which the word of God builds us up and causes our souls to prosper. This particular post is about memorization, which I know isn’t for everyone. Being in the Word consistently is what’s key.  But hey, maybe the video will persuade one or two of you to give it a try! :-)

So what do you do to stay consistently in the Word? And are you memorizing anything right now? If so, what? And if you’re persuaded to try memorization after watching the video, please let me know!


Bible, YouTube

How I Study the Bible – 10 Essentials

February 15, 2015

How I Study (3)In my first post of 2015 (ahem…Happy New Year!), I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects—bible study. Two people asked last month if I’d done a video on studying the Bible, and one of them suggested I do so. I thought, Great idea. If I ever get time. I can’t even say I prayed about it, because God had already been dealing with me about putting full-focus on the things He’s called me to do in this season. But on the treadmill last week—why do so many things come to me on the treadmill?—it surfaced again in my mind and wouldn’t let go. So then I prayed about. ;-)

For many years, through fiction, one-on-one conversations, women’s bible study, or with my own kids, it’s been my passion to help people learn to study the Word for themselves. As I say in the video, this isn’t a definitive “how to study your Bible” guide. I’m simply sharing from the heart as to how I study, and my prayer is that someone might be able to use a tip or two in her own study. There is nothing more life-changing than the mind-renewing, soul-impacting words of the Bible—and there’s nothing like learning to glean truth for yourself.

I’m posting the video below, and the link is here, in case you do not see it in your inbox. Here on the blog, I’d love to hear from you. How do you study? What tips can you share? If you journal, do you incorporate journaling into your studies?