Tag Archives: Guest Blogger

Friday’s Friends

It’s back. That wonderful end of the week where we we recommend another blogger, an insightful writer, and a thoughtful challenge to your journey with God. There are so many out there – way too many to even scratch the surface if I even tried to read them all – much less trying to recommend them. But that is not the case for today. Today is a special artist. Today, I am thrilled to introduce to you Katherine.

Katherine’s writings are from the heart. They are a bit more cerebral than what you read from my jumbled ramblings. And they are always God honoring, tender in her relationship connections, and give a deep, Christ-centric world view in a world that has people with world views that are often way too surface.

Oh, and the weird thing – this talented writer is my niece – the eldest daughter of my eldest brother.

Today’s article was her first for 2022 – ‘Since Last Year’s Turning’ …. a reflection on the New Year

I have been changed by the gentleness of Jesus. It was the kind hand of God that led Dane Ortlund to write Gentle and Lowly, and me to read it. This book has transformed my understanding of God as well as my approach to parenting. As I took it in, deep down, I began to see my own frighteningly sharp edges being smoothed away. I bless the Holy Spirit for his abundant aid.

I am more hopeful for my children. Through being in a church that loves them unconditionally, working through some therapy sessions, and experiencing a life lived next to other struggling, learning, growing, praying, helping, mothering women here, I am more confident in God’s presence with me and the wisdom that is mine as I am in Christ. I am more free to have bad days and not despair.

I am more aware of the astonishing gift that is every breath that I breathe. This last year held death and grief for so many. I am more careful to drink in the fullness of a beautiful moment, especially one that is shared. I am more eager to leave behind the land of shadows for the land of light unending — but full of gratitude for a pilgrimage not devoid of stunning pinpricks of glory, lighting my way and warming my face.

I am more excited and confident about continuing our homeschooling journey. Kindergarten at home (and at co-op weekly) has been a dream that I had hesitated to dream.

I want to be more faithful in tending to my writing craft. I am hopeful that a fresh commitment to small time blocks of journaling and blogging with good prompts will nudge me into growth and confidence, as well as light up corners where my gifts are needed. I feel an undercurrent of motivation to keep going and to see what is in store. 

I am so much more hopeful and encouraged by my husband, his health, and our marriage. I have seen good change this year all around, and his tenderness, hunger for God, and obedience to him are stunning. I know God has never left him, but how good it is to see him be sure of that again. We are, together, more engaged with our Bibles and Sunday worship. What a dream to be walking in step with this crowning priority. Our ministers are filled with light and truth, and their sermons are rich with true spiritual food. We are a mercied people, indeed.

This new year simply feels brighter, roomier, and cleaner. It doesn’t feel easier or less scary, though. In fact, a few recent days have held some heavily stormy feelings, words, and moments. But when the sun shines brightly again, the coming in and the going out of the day thrilling me with their glory, I see the steadfast love of God in brilliant color. I am endeavoring to stop and glory, too. To jump right in whenever I witness creation singing and dancing for joy in doing what it was made to do. What an honor to be sought out and dearly loved. God will always have me, he will always and ever delight in me. How can I not turn back to the faces in my home and my community and not stand amazed at their worth, and humbled that I should be the one to witness it? I get to nurture this same hope, to bid this same wonder to keep growing wider in all of us. I get to show them that our tender King is radiant, too — and we who look to him will be like Him, shining ever brighter evermore.

You can find her on Facebook or her WordPress page – These are a Shadow … theseareashadow.wordpress.com

Number Our Days

Years fly by don’t they? I just found a case of floppy disks, the old 3.5 inch ones. That’s the “save file” icon, kids. Out of curiosity, I looked to see what they could still be used for. I found out that you can coat them in epoxy and use them as drink coasters. That’s it. All my childhood nerd hobbies are nothing but drink coasters in 2019. I’m only 35. I’m not supposed to be freaking out about life slipping away right?

In Psalm 90 Moses asks God to help him be more perpetually aware of the brevity of life “teach us to number our days…”  He does this in the middle of a meditation on God’s view of time “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday…”

God sees all of the events and persons of eternity in a single moment. We have to buy calendars and planners to see, with any practicality, the events of next week. God has a planner for you written up for this day 8 billion years from now. Psalm 139:16 “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Moses tells us in Psalm 90 that he sees a danger in our childishly small perspective. People who don’t think about the future make dumb decisions. I don’t think that needs proving.

I would like to be happy. I will go and do things to make myself happy. But what if, God has already planned to make you happy? What if He has already planned to make you unthinkably happy forever? Every sin, every temptation starts with wondering if I can do better than what He has for me. Essentially, every sin you and I have ever fallen into was due to our short sightedness. We find ourselves stuffing our faces with dumpster scraps when God walks in to carry us away to a banquet that he prepared for us at GREAT cost to Himself. It’s not like He didn’t tell us to save the date. “If I go, I will come again to receive you…” Do you see why Moses tell us in Psalm 90 that our short sighted perspective offends our Father?

Will you complain about your “toil and trouble” this year, or will you rejoice about what your Father has prepared for those who love Him? Will you work overtime away from your family this year to afford things that will be forgotten 8 billion years from now? Will you step outside your Father’s boundaries this year to experience something that will pale in comparison to the experience He has planned for you for in the year 9999999?

Merciful Father, forgive us for our shortsightedness. Lead us not into temptation, but teach us to number our days so that we develop wise hearts.

Guest Blogger

Dave Detwiler is a public school educator in Appomattox Va, a youth pastor, and leads a home ministry group out of his house.