Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Bathsheba Battle helps women find hope in the unexpected and unplanned



Part 1 of an Interview with Natalie Chambers Snapp,
Author of The Bathsheba Battle

Has your life ever taken an unexpected turn, leaving you feeling hurt and stuck?  In The Bathsheba Battle (Abingdon Press), Natalie Chambers Snapp helps women find healing and hope when things haven’t gone as they had planned. Bathsheba, typically misrepresented as an adulteress, is one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Despite an unexpected turn in her life, which resulted in tragic circumstances beyond her control, there are glimmers of hope in her story. By studying her life, readers will find healing from their own painful pasts and hope for living the free and full lives God intends.

Q: You describe Bathsheba as one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. How is she typically misrepresented?

Bathsheba is often portrayed as the adulteress—as though she was a vixen with the intent to tempt David and hopefully, take her on as his wife. However, the fact remains that she was a victim of David’s own desires and paid a very dear price for his sin. Sadly, victims can sometimes be blamed and in the case of Bathsheba, that’s exactly what happened.

Q: What were some of the tragic circumstances that Bathsheba found herself in that were out of her control? How can we relate to her story today?

First of all, some commentaries claim Bathsheba was trying to entice David by bathing in the courtyard of her home. However, during the time in which Bathsheba lived, indoor plumbing didn’t exist! Therefore, most families had a basin in the courtyard for bathing purposes. When David saw her bathing, she was obeying the cleansing ritual required of women after monthly menstruation. She was not trying to entice David—she was simply following the rules of her culture! How would she even know David was going to be walking on his rooftop at the precise moment she was bathing?

When David saw Bathsheba, he was immediately impressed with her beauty and summoned her to his palace. During those days, when the king summoned you to the palace, you did not have a choice, you went. So off Bathsheba goes to meet David and once there, they have sex. We have no way of definitively knowing if David assaulted her, but she did go to his palace against her will. For that reason, we can speculate that was a likely possibility. Bathsheba became pregnant which is when things start to go off the rails!

David tries to hide his sin by summoning Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, one of his most valuable warriors, home from the war (which is where David was supposed to be as well). Once Uriah reaches the palace, David proceeds to feed him a large meal and encourages him to drink a lot of wine so he will go home and have sex with Bathsheba. Problem solved! He can then pass his child off as Uriah’s, and no one needs to know about his sin. However, David failed to consider the fact that Uriah was a man of honor and refused to visit his wife when his men were still waging a war. Instead, he slept on the front porch of the palace with the servants. David tried a second night to get Uriah to visit his wife, but Uriah refused.

At this point in the story, we can see how sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go. Instead of confessing and coming clean to everyone, David orders Uriah to the frontlines of the battle, and of course, he is killed. Now, Bathsheba was possibly raped by the king, pregnant, and her husband is dead. All these things were out of her control.

After Uriah’s death, David takes Bathsheba as his wife. However, the restitution of David’s sin is the life of the child Bathsheba was carrying. Soon after the birth of David and Bathsheba’s son, the infant died. We see Bathsheba as a grieving mother, another event out of her control.

I think so many people can relate to Bathsheba’s story because 1) suffering happens to all of us and 2) sometimes, our suffering is the result of someone else’s actions and choices. In no way should we remain victims, but I think Bathsheba’s story is God’s way of telling us that He sees us, understands our pain, and is the Ultimate Justifier.

Q:  Can you share about a hardship or disappointment in your own life that provided the inspiration to write The Bathsheba Battle?

Absolutely! When I was in my late twenties, I was married to a man with a drug problem, but I did not know it. As many who have loved addicts understand, there are often behaviors corresponding with addiction that are not healthy for a young marriage and therefore, we divorced. Two months after I filed for divorce, my father, who was in and out of my life due to his own addiction issues, passed away unexpectedly.

Life had definitely taken a very unexpected turn and was not at all going the way I had planned. It was a dark season, and yet also the very season in which I became a follower of Jesus. My deconstruction led to my reconstruction. I have been remarried for fifteen years and have three beautiful children; however, periods of suffering have also been peppered throughout those years as well. Suffering is often cyclical and that has been true of my life!

Q: Explain how transformation happens during renovation. Where does renovation take place?

It sounds so trite, and I’m not going to lie, there were times during my own periods of suffering when I just wanted to scream when people said this to me. But the fact remains, when we are deconstructed by trauma and circumstances in or beyond our control, if we humble ourselves to the process, we will indeed emerge with greater wisdom and grace. Suffering is the great equalizer—it does not discriminate between gender, race, beliefs, or socio-economic status. No one is immune. However, if we humble ourselves to the process, we will emerge with new eyes of strength and dignity.

Q: Do we always have the ability to choose how we respond to our situation? Why is this such a significant choice, especially when we must endure a consequence of someone else’s sin?

Yes, I believe we do. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we will respond. Living life as a victim will ultimately make you feel powerless, depressed, and distrustful of people. It will lead to a life of bitterness, resentment, and anger. On the other hand, when we respond to our trauma with a humble heart and a willingness to be molded by our suffering, we feel empowered, strong, and able to help others when their time of suffering emerges. When we choose to live as victims, we give others power over our lives. When we choose to live as survivors, we understand that we possess the power ourselves.

Q: How does your study on Bathsheba shift from part one of the book to part two?

In Part One, we discuss the byproducts of our suffering: fear, shame, anger, and comparison. In Part Two, we look at how to overcome these negative emotions and live empowered and with hope.

Q: What does Bathsheba’s story teach us about forgiveness?

We don’t really know about Bathsheba’s forgiveness process because it’s not discussed in the Bible. However, we do see her stand before David in 1 Kings 1 with an empowered and confident voice that exhibits love and respect towards her husband. Perhaps somewhere during the course of their marriage, Bathsheba made peace with her circumstances—she chose her response and not to live as a victim.

Not living as a victim involves forgiveness and yet, this does not mean she might not have felt like a victim for a while. It doesn’t mean that she didn’t feel shameful. And it doesn’t mean that she didn’t grieve the loss of the life she thought she might have. It does, however, indicate that she chose to keep moving forward without allowing her grief and shame to negatively impact who she ultimately became. A woman who is victorious over suffering is the most beautiful and inspiring to us all. 


Monday, October 7, 2019

Finding Blessing in God’s Delay


Part 1 of an Interview with Barb Roose,
Author of I’m Waiting, God


Need information quick? Just grab your phone and do a search. Didn’t plan ahead for dinner? Toss something in the Instapot. Forget about patience, we live a world where Prime shipping seems to take too long. Waiting on the little things is an inconvenience, so what happens when we have to wait on the big things? When the bills are stacking up because a new job hasn’t come along, a family situation is causing great heartache, or a loved one faces an illness, we pray for answers. We know God hears our prayers, but it’s hard when the clock is ticking yet He hasn’t shown us the answer. Sometimes he wants us to wait. In her new Bible study I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays (Abingdon Press), Barb Roose helps readers build patience until God’s plan comes to fruition.

Q: What is it about waiting that often reverts us back to toddler-like tantrums?

All my kids went through that crazy toddler phase when they would fall out on the floor screaming when I didn’t let them have something they wanted. What always amazed me was that those little girls were so focused on the one thing they couldn’t have that they forget everything they already had to enjoy.

Over the years, I’ve kicked up my own fuss when God hasn’t given me what I’ve wanted. There were times when I crossed my arms and pouted about not getting that bigger house, the job that would solve some financial issues, or why God hadn’t fixed the addiction issue that was breaking our hearts. I might not have thrown myself on the floor, but there were times when I didn’t want to pray or I’d withhold my worship because I felt like God being unfair.

However, during some of my long seasons of unanswered prayers, I’ve learned how to halt my tantrum long enough to look around and see what God has already blessed me with. As I’ve learned to embrace a life of gratitude, God’s gifted me a multitude of better blessings that have far exceeded anything that I could have ever asked for.

Q: An author writes about what she knows or needs to hear. Can you share an example of when you were waiting out God’s timing for what felt like forever?

For several years, I prayed for a full-time job to open up at the church where I worked part-time. I looked forward to paying the monthly bills without worrying if there’d be enough money to pay them.

Finally, I was offered a full-time job. However, the Great Recession devastated our automotive industry community. The loss of jobs led to reduced weekly giving at our church. In addition to some staff layoffs, my full-time position was postponed indefinitely. Disappointed, I was really angry with God. I was so tired of figuring out how to make ends meet month after month. After my big feelings calmed down, I kept trusting God to make ends meet and stayed faithful on my job.

Almost a year later, a different full-time job for me – a promotion and substantial pay raise. It was a better job than the one I’d gotten angry about losing the year before! While there were many years of sacrificing for what God calling us to do, he took care of my family during those difficult days until times got better.

Q: We often blame our impatience on the fact we live in a world of technology where everything is at our fingertips, but as humans, haven’t we always had that problem?

We live in an “Insta-Everything” world that makes it possible for us to get what we want by the press of a button. Hungry? Order delivery from Postmates. Run out of toilet paper? Amazon can be a hero and deliver the next day.

Even though technology highlights how much we love speed, human nature has always been to get what we want, no matter the cost. The tension is that when we try to fix or force solutions, not only do we miss out on God’s best, but we often wreck our human relationships.

In Genesis, Abraham and Sarah live with an unanswered prayer for a child. Even though she knows what God has promised, Sarah tires of waiting and cooks up a scheme. Impatience does result in a baby—and broken relationships and a lot of bitter feelings, too.


I’ve been like Sarah and got impatient with God. However, I bear the Jesus-healed scars of my foolishness. I’ve learned this: When I we try to push my way out of a waiting room, I will cause pain and problems in other people’s lives.


Q: What spiritual issues are usually being tested in us while we are in sitting in the waiting room of life?

Waiting room seasons of life challenge what we believe about God and how much fear and control are operating in our lives. Those long, frustrating days may prompt questions such as “Does God still love me?”, “Did I do something wrong?”, “Why is God answering their prayers, but not mine?” or “How long do I have to live like this, God?”

For more than a decade, our family felt the effects of a growing addiction issue. At first, I prayed, but my prayers were all about asking God to deal with the addiction because I wanted my happy, mostly pain-free and problem-free life back.

As the years went on, the effects of addiction began suffocating our daily lives. I stopped caring about getting my happy life back, I needed God’s power, presence and His peace to just help me get through the day, sometimes, even just the hour in front of me. Those last few years allowed me to discover there was nothing I needed more than God, even as I watched the once-lovely life I had fall apart and disappear. Yet, in God I found all that I needed.

Q: You write, “This journey looks more like a winding path instead of a formulaic three-step plan. Here’s the unique twist: your path to patience is paved right over the road of your unanswered prayers.” Can you talk about why there isn’t a formula?

There’s no formula for learning how to be patient, mainly because the human heart doesn’t respond to formulas. While there are formulas or strategies to bake cakes, build cars and even space travel, there is no formula that governs how a heart starts to love, begins to hate, moves toward God, or learns patience.

God knows our hearts need to experience certain situations, challenges and even heartache for us to learn how to trust his timeline for our lives. This means God is patient with us because part of our journey is learning we can’t fix people or force solutions in order to get what we want.

Unlike a plan, a winding path of learning to live on God’s timeline is more than just finding the fastest route from point A to point B. The winding path toward patience is a journey full of life-changing experiences, connections and relationships that we encounter along the way that God uses to help our hearts look more like His.

Q: Sometimes God’s plans for us are so much better than anything we could have ever expected. What are some important things to remember moving forward after a blessing in disguise or a prayer answered in an unexpected way?

It’s really easy to forget God when life is good! This is why gratitude is so important because the more we give thanks to God, the more we continue to share his glory through our story. Often, after we finally get that thing that we’ve been praying for forever, we forget all of the lessons God taught us while we were waiting. Gratitude keeps us connected to those lessons and allows God’s better blessings to keep flowing through our lives.

Q: What final piece of encouragement would you give to those who may be in an intense period of waiting right now?

This is the encouragement that I share whenever I speak before an audience: Today, you are doing the best that you can! Keep holding on! God has more for you because God has put more in you!

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).

Sunday, October 6, 2019

My God is So Big

I know I just posted this song about a month ago, but it's a new group of kids this time around.



My God is So Big

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

The mountains are his and the valleys are his
and the trees are his handiwork too.

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do for you.




Sunday, September 29, 2019

It's a Small World

We could have used some more practice, but I wanted to get some videos. We're a little rough here.


It’s A Small World

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears,
It’s a world of hope and a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware,
It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all. 
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all. 
It’s a small, small world.

He’s the Lord of the sky, He’s the Lord of the sea,
He’s the Lord of you, He’s the Lord of me.
Jesus died on the cross.  And he gives us liberty.
He’s the Lord of all.

Jesus is Lord of us all,
Jesus is Lord of us all,
Jesus is Lord of us all,
He’s the Lord of all.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Seek Ye First


Seek Ye First
(Matthew 6:33) and Karen Lafferty
Used by Permission. CCLI # 1132191

Seek ye first the kingdom of God      
And His righteousness
And all these things
shall be added unto you
Singing Allelu-alleluia.

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door
Shall be opened unto you.
Singing Allelu-alleluia.

Man shall not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from
the mouth of God.
Singing Allelu-alleluia.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Transformation Happens During Renovation


Transformation Happens During Renovation
The Bathesheba Battle helps women find
hope in the unexpected and unplanned

When you hear the name, Bathsheba, what is the first thing that comes to mind—vixen or victim? Bathsheba, typically misrepresented as an adulteress, is one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Despite an unexpected turn in her life, which resulted in tragic circumstances beyond her control, there are glimmers of hope in her story. In The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn, Natalie Chambers Snapp leads readers through an exploration of Bathsheba’s story, providing practical insights for the journey to wholeness after life has taken an unplanned twist.

Who hasn’t had their lives turned upside down when things haven’t gone as planned? We understand there are consequences to our decisions, but how do we deal with the aftereffects of the choices of others? There are other times when things happen beyond anyone’s control. Circumstances can leave us feeling hurt and stuck, but God promises healing and hope for all.

The story of Bathsheba may seem like an unlikely source of inspiration, but Snapp explains, “Bathsheba is often portrayed as the adulteress—as though she was a vixen with the intent to tempt David and hopefully, take her on as his wife. However, the fact remains that she was a victim of David’s own desires and paid a very dear price for his sin.”

While some commentaries claim Bathsheba was trying to entice David by bathing in the courtyard of her home, there is no evidence to prove she was doing anything more than obeying a required cleansing ritual or that she knew David was watching. Summoned to the king, Snapp writes there is also no way of definitively knowing if David assaulted her or if she was a willing participant of an affair. From there, she becomes pregnant and her husband is killed so that no one will find out about David’s sin. The restitution of David’s sins was the life of the child Bathsheba gave birth to. A chain reaction of events took place that were beyond Bathsheba’s control.

Rather than living as victims of circumstances, Snapp helps women find healing from their own painful pasts and hope for living the free and full lives God intends. Pain and suffering are cyclical on this side of heaven. However, transformation happens during renovation, and renovation happens when walking through the valley, not while on the mountaintops. Snapp shares how the thief wants Christians to stay confused, bitter, angry, and resentful, because he knows if we emerge from our valleys victorious, then God will be glorified.

Through seeing similarities between their life and Bathsheba’s, readers will see that her suffering renovated her into a woman of confidence, wisdom, and love. Chapters address topics such as:

  • Choosing how we respond to our situation
  • Turning away from shame, anger, comparison and fear
  • Understanding trauma and its effects
  • Forgiving others and self

The Bathsheba Battle is written for anyone who has ever asked the question, ‘Why me, Lord? Why do I have to suffer through this?’ It’s written for anyone whose life has not turned out the way they had planned. And it’s written for those who want to learn how to embrace suffering and humble themselves to the trying, but beautiful, reconstruction of it all. I intended this book to be used as a great encouragement – Bathsheba is an inspiration! Her deconstruction led to a very inspiring reconstruction!”

The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn
By Natalie Chambers Snapp

Paperback ISBN: 9781501890802 / $16.99
eBook ISBN: 9781501890819 / $16.99
Available September 17, 2019 from Abingdon Press


About the author

Natalie Chambers Snapp is an author, blogger, and speaker known for her refreshing authenticity and practical approach to life and God’s Word. Not choosing to follow Jesus until the age of twenty-seven, she is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God’s love with others “regardless of your track record.” Her transparency and humor endear her to women of all ages.

Snapp is the author of the book Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have, Becoming Heart Sisters: A Bible Study on Authentic Friendships and The Bathsheba Battle: Finding Hope When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn. She has written for various blogs and online devotionals, including Proverbs 31.

Snapp lives in the West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband and their three children.



Monday, September 16, 2019

Sitting in the Waiting Room of Life is Never Easy

 


Sitting in the Waiting Room of Life is Never Easy
Barb Roose leads readers to find the blessings in waiting on God

Need information quick? Just grab your phone and do a search. Didn’t plan ahead for dinner? Toss something in the Instapot. Forget about patience, we live a world where Prime shipping seems to take too long. Waiting on the little things is an inconvenience, so what happens when we have to wait on the big things? When the bills are stacking up because a new job hasn’t come along, a family situation is causing great heartache, or a loved one faces an illness, we pray for answers. We know God hears our prayers, but it’s hard when the clock is ticking yet He hasn’t shown us the answer. Sometimes he wants us to wait. In her new Bible study I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Barb Roose helps readers build patience until God’s plan comes to fruition.

In this four-week Bible study, Barb Roose invites us to explore the stories of four women in the Bible who had to wait on God. Each grappled with unanswered prayers:
  1. One woman wondered if God loved her or had forgotten about her. (Hannah)
  2. One woman’s life took a tragic and unexpected turn. (Ruth)
  3. One woman suffered for over a decade with an embarrassing medical condition. (the unnamed bleeding woman)
  4. One woman prayed, but God said “no” to her prayer. (Martha)
For anyone who has ever felt anxious, angry, discouraged or depressed because God isn’t giving her what she wants, these stories will breathe fresh hope and practical next steps in life.

As a reforming control lover, Roose mixes in her personal stories of learning how to wait for God during long seasons of unanswered prayers, family difficulties, and challenging times in ministry. She knows from experience that taking matters into your own hands when you’ve run out of patience can make the situation worse. Together participants will discover there is goodness and blessing to be found in times of waiting, including a closer relationship with God than they would have ever dared to dream.


“Years ago, a crisis emerged in our home. At first, I tried to fix it. I failed. Then I prayed for God to make it go away. That went unanswered. So I prayed harder. The situation grew worse. Was God angry with me? Why wasn’t He answering my prayer? I wrestled with God, begging Him to end our struggle and heal my suffering,” Roose writes. “In the midst of that unanswered prayer, I discovered God’s better blessing for my life. When I stopped panicking and started focusing on being in His presence, God filled the parts of my heart broken by pain and suffering with what I needed most, which was more of Him. Experiencing the presence of God is greater than the good things that I prayed for, and that has been the best blessing of my life.”

I’m Waiting, God can be used as an individual or group study. Recognizing time limitations may be a challenge for participants, the study has been designed with a flexible format. The shorter four-week study is ideal for in-between or busy times for groups. Each week offers three days of Bible study homework, plus two optional days for more personal reflection to be enjoyed as time or energy permits. The participant workbook includes group session guides, discussion questions, prayers, video viewer guides, and leader helps at the back of the book. There is also a DVD, available separately, for group use with 20-minute teaching sessions.

For additional encouragement, readers can sign up for “The Patience Path,” a 30-day email devotional Roose created to go along with the study. To sign up, go to barbroose.com/patiencepath.

I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays
Women’s Bible Study Guide with Leader Helps
By Barb Roose

Paperback ISBN: 9781501888625 / $14.99
eBook ISBN: 9781501888632 / $14.99
DVD ISBN: 9781501888649 / $44.99
Available September 17, 2019 from Abingdon Press



About the author

Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God helping them apply the truths of God’s Word to the practical realities and challenges they face as women in today’s culture.

Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country, as well as internationally, including national platforms such as the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference, and the UMC Leadership Institute.

She is the author of the I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty Bible studies and the books Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. Her writing has been featured in many magazines, and she also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com. She is the host of the bi-monthly “Better Together” podcast.

Roose lives in Toledo, Ohio, and is the proud mom of three adult daughters. Her perfect day includes sleeping in, taking a long walk outside, shopping for shoes and eating two big bowls of chocolate peanut ice cream.

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook (BarbaraRoose), Twitter (barbroose), and Instagram (barbroose).



Sunday, September 15, 2019

Deep and Wide

It's the first video with my new crew! We didn't really know what direction we were going here.


Deep and Wide

Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

Hmmm and wide. Hmmm and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and wide.
Hmmm and wide. Hmmm and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and wide.

Deep and hmmm. Deep and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and hmmm.
Deep and hmmm. Deep and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and hmmm.

Hmmm and hmmm. Hmmm and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and hmmm.
Hmmm and hmmm.
Hmmm and hmmm.
There’s a fountain flowing hmmm and hmmm.

Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
Deep and wide. Deep and wide.
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I'm onto something good!


I really hate that the glare from the window gave me a less than perfect picture. I think the one on my iPad is a little better, so I need to switch it out. This weekend, I did a small local event to test out my latest items I'm taking to craft shows in a few weeks. I wanted to get some feedback on my new hymnal canvases. Much like my Dr. Seuss canvases that did so well last year, I take pages from song books and put a line or phrase from the song on them. The entire background is made from the song itself. 

These pictures were taken against my turquoise wall in my hall. Right now there isn't anything hanging on one side of the hall, and whatever I do hang may have to come down easy because I like finally having a background to take photos again.

By the end of the day, 7 of 11 of these sold, and I have orders for five. Three of those are new songs. The good news is, they are selling, the bad news is that I will never keep caught up. 


















Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Crafty Dad and Daughter schedule

We just added what we think is the final event to our fall schedule to make it official. Now I'm freaking out that I only have two weeks to some stock made up instead of three, especially new canvases!


Where can you find us this fall?
Check out our line-up!

Click on the school name for more information on the event. Click on the address for Google Maps.

October 5 ~ 10 AM - 4 PM
October 6 ~ 10 AM - 4 PM
October 13 ~ 11 AM - 5 PM


October 26 ~ 9 AM - 4 PM
Eaton High School

November 2 ~ 9:30 AM - 4 PM


November 9 ~ 9 AM - 4 PM



December 7 ~ 9 AM - 5 PM




Sunday, September 8, 2019

My God is So Big, So Strong and So Mighty



My God is So Big

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do.

The mountains are his and the valleys are his
and the trees are his handiwork too.

My God is so big!  So strong and so mighty.
There’s nothing my God cannot do for you.



Saturday, September 7, 2019

The craft room

I've been spending more time in the craft room as it gets closer and closer to craft season. I'll be spending late night soon. 

I guess when I took the pictures I thought enough light was coming in. It's super bright with the blinds open. I'll need to take more pictures.

It took Angie coming over one night to help me sort through the last of the Readers Digest books and get them sorted. Then, I finally got the last of the craft supply boxes in from the garage. 

Square footage wise, when I measured, it was about the same size as over at the last house, but the room is arranged where it seems a whole lot bigger because I can walk all the way around the island.




Friday, September 6, 2019

Blind Spots Are Dangerous


Part 2 of an interview with Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson,
Authors of Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You


We all know blind spots are dangerous when we’re changing lanes at 70 mph on an interstate highway. But just as critical are the blind spots that block us from seeing the truth about ourselves and others. No one is immune to either kind. 

Blind spots are, by definition, invisible to us. No matter how often we’re reminded to “check our blind spots,” we can’t—at least on our own. Our only hope is for God and others to come alongside us and help point them out. Once identified we can start becoming our best and most authentic self.

Blinds Spots coauthors Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson help readers learn how to recognize and avoid blind spots to become more like Jesus, remembering the Holy Spirit is the revealer and healer. By drawing on stories in Scripture and personal experience, the coauthors invite us to engage in an approachable, logical conversation about what blind spots are, why they exist, how to identify and remove them, how to keep them from returning, and how to point them out in others.

Q: You mention the “blind spot” metaphor is common for many Christians. How might readers avoid apathy in exposing and getting rid of blind spots?

Fil Anderson
Fil Anderson (FA): Minimizing, ignoring or denying our blind spots comes naturally and with gentle ease. On the other hand, avoiding apathy in exposing and ridding ourselves of blind spots requires humility, courage, and other people’s assistance.

Just like a mirror can help us identify a dangerous blind spot while driving, a trusted friend can do the same for our lives. In chapter two of Blind Spots, in the section entitled, “Finding the Aha Moments,” there are several questions that might prove beneficial. As suggested there, “If you feel really brave, answer each of these questions… Ask a few friends or family members to rate you as well.”

Q: The process of becoming like Jesus requires action and hard work, which you mention often. How do you handle the tension between avoiding a legalistic message for readers and cultivating a dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit?

FA: While our transformation is not achieved by us straining and striving, neither does it merely land in our laps. It is an undeserved gift we receive from our benevolent God. It is a way of living, an attitude our mind adopts and an orientation our soul adapts to. It is a gradual, progressive process.

It’s quite like how pickles are made, requiring a cucumber and a brine solution it soaks in. Gradually the solution works its way into the cucumber, changing it to a pickle. While this process takes several weeks, becoming like Jesus takes much longer. Our lives are much more complicated than cucumbers, and many factors are involved in our transformation.

Tim Riddle
Q: While you speak to what readers should do if blind spots return, what’s one encouragement you might give Christians who repeatedly focus on the same blind spot?

Tim Riddle (TR): First of all, we can’t do it alone. And as Christ followers, we have the promise of the Holy Spirit to help us nail our blind spots to the cross daily if needed. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so we have to move beyond reactive to proactive. The best proactive strategy is to surround ourselves with a few mirrors to help us recognize the blind spot before it causes damage. We would never consider driving a new car without adjusting the mirrors before backing out of the garage. But in life, we often head out into the world without the proper mirrors in place.


Three great mirrors are:

1)  Our time in scripture.
2)  Our one on one time with our Heavenly Father.
3)  Our willingness to surround ourselves with a few trusted accountability partners to help us see what we can’t.

Q: How does studying Scripture and continuously looking to the life of Jesus help Christians identify, expose, and get rid of their blind spots?

FA: The Bible is like no other book. It is practical and helpful at identifying, exposing and assisting us in the elimination of our blind spots. Its words possess the power to transform our lives, “It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Jesus, the “visible expression of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), is the perfect image of a human without any blind spots. Because he became human, he understands more than we do about human life. He felt the entire range of human emotions. Because he is also fully God, he understands the devastating and deadly consequences of blind spots. Jesus demonstrates it’s better to hear or tell hurtful truths than comforting lies, and he goes the second mile by showing us the way. Jesus is, therefore, our most reliable friend, redeemer, and guide.

Q: Can you speak to how essential Christian community is in recognizing and removing blind spots?

FA: Having a community of people who know us intimately, love us regardless and are willing to be completely honest with us about our blind spots is, in a word, “utterly” essential in recognizing and removing blind spots. Countless times I have experienced the value of another set of eyes trained on my blind spots, assisting me in seeing what can and will hurt me.

These invaluable “spotters” have demonstrated a level of care that exceeded any concern about how I would respond. One of the wisest choices a person can make is to invite those who know them best to observe and report how they live (publicly and privately).

For more information about Blind Spots: What You Don’t See Can Hurt You and other releases from New Growth Press, visit www.newgrowthpress.com. You can also learn more at www.discoverblindspots.com.