Tuesday, January 14, 2014


When I graduated from high school in 1990, I had the outlook that most seniors have when they graduate:  I was idealistic.  I was headed to college in the fall and I was most eager for independence.  I appreciated the education I received from a small, private high school, but I looked forward to wearing what I wanted, studying what I wanted, and exploring the bigger world.  It should be of no surprise, then, that Dead Poets Society was my favorite movie at the time.  I could relate the the uniformed school boys who were expected to be conservative in thought and action, but who desired to explore beyond their parents' rules and the rules of their boarding school.  I soaked in the words of Professor Keating, whose lessons in literature provided a gateway for them to intellectually grow.

When Apple released this commercial for the new iPad Air, I was struck not by the images, but by the audio.  It took me a while to recognize it.  I knew the voice, then the words came back to me, then the movie scene when it was spoken.  Apple used a key monologue from Dead Poets Society to promote the iPad Air and their vision of life as "poetry, beauty, romance and love".  When I saw and heard the commercial, I was taken back to that time when those were my aspirations, too.  Here's the ad:

If I compare my priorities as an 18 year old going to college to those of a 41 year old stay-at-home mom, I still see the "poetry, beauty, romance, and love" in my life.  The poetry is now that of the Psalms, meant for us to lift up and let out our hearts toward God.  I also know that "beauty is passing", but my goal is to be "a woman who fears the LORD, [for] she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31:30)  And, ah, the romance.  After 17 years of marriage to my college sweetheart, yet still "I am my beloved's, And my beloved is mine." (Song of Solomon 6:3)  I am completely blessed to love and be loved by a faithful man and four rambunctious sons, and to know the love of Jesus, for "We love Him because He first loved us." (1John 4:19)

So thank you, Apple, for taking me down memory lane.  You have reminded me that my life is this "powerful play", and by living it for Jesus I may "contribute a verse".

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I know many people choose January 1 as the start of their "something new" or "something better".  As for me, I'm just hoping to accomplish what the Lakers did by winning the NBA Championship in 2000, 2001 and 2002:  I'm going for a three-peat.

For the past two years, I have set a goal of reading through the entire Bible in a year.  The first year was really hard - when I got to Exodus 25-27 and read through the specifics of building the tabernacle, I glazed over at all the details and thought organic chemistry was easier to follow.  Then when I got to 1Chronicles and nine chapters of genealogy (yes, nine!) starting with Adam himself, I questioned why I would ever need to know that Ram begot Amminadab and Amminadab begot Nahshon.  But as I continued concurrently through the Old and New Testaments, I realized that it all came down to God's faithfulness.  He can give instructions so specific that we need not doubt what to do.  He lists generations and generations of people He has used for His will and His glory to assure me that His promises never fail, and that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."  (Romans 8:28)

Last year, I was more familiar with the time commitment and remembered which parts weren't, say, so exciting.  I forced myself to find one new thing about those parts of Scripture, something I had never learned before, "that all may learn and all may be encouraged." (1Corinthians 14:31)  As I checked off the days, I would remind myself to thank the Lord that I could even read the Bible freely, whenever and wherever I wanted.  Now, let's be real - in no way did I always stay on schedule.  Some days it really is a lot of reading.  Or, of course, I didn't make enough time to keep up.  In fact (confession looming), I read through the assigned chapters for the last five days of the year just THIS MORNING so I could say I did it!  (Fine, I know it's January 1 and not December 31, but I'm giving myself props anyway.)

Now that I'm starting my third year of reading the entire Bible, I thought I'd share about it, because maybe it's your time to start.  If you are seeking some kind of New Year's resolution, or for those of you who need a gentle reminder, we are called to be in the Word of God:  "you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it." (Joshua 1:8)  I am still trying to make it a habit, and I know there are will be times when I miss my daily or nightly reading.  But I know my efforts will draw me closer to Him, which is something He desires of us whatever time of year.

So come on, say it with me:  "Three-peat!  Three-peat!"

Happy New Year!