20 January 2015

How to be Brave

I'm struck today, as my fingers type out the words once more, writing them in my memory and not just on the screen, by the boldness of John the Baptist.

We think of him as the one who baptized Jesus, who preached in the wilderness by the river, who called Israel to repentance.  But did you remember he preached to Herod?

John said, right to the hardened king's face, You shouldn't be keeping company with your brother's wife.  In fact, you need to stop it right away.

Which means if John was preaching repentance to Herod, there was hope even for Herod.  And if there was hope for Herod?  There isn't anybody reading this right now who can't have hope.  It's there for the taking.

John's bold preaching cost him his freedom, and eventually his life.  But he didn't think about that when he preached, when he invited Herod into the kingdom of heaven.

He simply stayed true to the work God asked him to do, even though I'm sure he well knew it could cost him dearly.  He looked ahead to the reward of the faithful, and simply stayed true, through everything.  That's how we can be brave, too.

15 January 2015


I'll admit it.  I'm not used to January looking like this, but I certainly wouldn't dream of complaining about it.

All the zinnias are blooming.  We're still eating something out of our own garden every single day.  (This is day 137 in a row!)  The local orchards (both the professionals and the friends' home trees) are in full swing.

The piano students started coming through the doors again this week, and the closer it came to the time they walked into the studio?  I was as excited as a kid before a birthday party.  It's fun to like your job that much.

I haven't made resolutions.  At least not officially.  I hardly ever do.  Maybe because I've never felt like January was The Big Start.  That happens when school starts in August or September.  January is just a little re-start into what should already be a good routine.

So this January, my resolutions go about as far as trying to adhere more faithfully to the bedtime schedule I set for myself in August.

As I told a new little kindergarten-year-old friend of mine in December, I get really tired when I stay up past my bedtime.

"Me, too," she said solemnly.

And as I'm making progress toward managing my evenings the way I should, I'm getting reacquainted with that favorite time of day of mine.

Early morning.

Nothing like it, especially when you greet it with the fresh energy that comes only from a good night's rest, and spend it with Jesus.