We talked about Mary annointing Jesus with the costly spikenard…that she must have understood where His apostles did not. And what was she expressing? Her sadness? Her acceptance? Worship? Reverence? Submission? Undoubtedly her heart was full, and like the container of spikenard, broken – the contents poured out on Jesus. We looked at the nature of her offering – the container was not “re-sealable” – once it was opened all of it had to be used (no saving some for later or for something else) The fragrance filled the house – it was a very personal act of service but it certainly could not be kept hidden or secret. And though others questioned the propriety or wisdom of her offering, Jesus, himself received it and valued it and said, “She hath done what she could.” May He say the same of us.

Being the Good Samaritan

November 12, 2008

Today we considered each ‘character’ in Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan and how each of us can fill any of those roles in a given circumstance. A certain man – we are all travelers in life.  fell among thieves –this was a little harder for my class to identify with until I told them a story from my childhood; a time when I did mean things and ostracized a new girl at school to secure my own place in the ‘popular group’- stole from her any chance of acceptance and friendship in her new class. We really can play that role if we choose. The Priest and the Levite– people from whom the man could reasonably expect compassionate help – like us. At this point one of the students had to leave to finish a test at school and the ‘lesson’ became much more real and here-and-now. Read the rest of this entry »

Object Lessons

November 5, 2008

Today we skimmed the four gospels looking for things Jesus used as he taught as well as the principle he was teaching. The exercise itself is instructive – there are sooo many examples. And why? Because it is helpful to have something tangible to start from when learning abstract things; it establishes a point of connection between teacher and student; and whenever we see the object again we have the potential of remembering the lesson.  My students noticed that all the objects were common every-day things. We brainstormed a list of things Jesus might use if He were here in our time: i-pods, cell-phones, cars, guns…it was a substantial list. Then came the challenge. I asked them to choose a principle to teach and an object to teach it with. This will be our devotional for the next 20 days. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Moses 6:63 “And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me…”

help thou mine unbelief

November 3, 2008

 We talked today about the incident in which Jesus cast out a spirit of the kind that “…goeth not out but by prayer and fasting..” and how Jesus said to the father of the boy…”if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth…” The man’s response is one of the most meaningful phrases in the scriptures to me…”Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” My students couldn’t imagine a circumstance where they might feel that way – that the faith they had would not seem sufficient – I testified that any time we take one step in faith (act on a belief without seeing or understanding why) the next experience is likely to be challenges, questions or doubts. That is when we need to remember this man’s tearful plea and make it our own.

A Woman’s Place

October 30, 2008

Any apparent controversy about the place of Woman in God’s Plan resolved in my life years ago when I chose to heed the words of our latter-day prophet. For me it entailed abandoning my career and wholeheartedly embracing the roles of wife and mother. I not only have no regrets – I have been amazed at the richness of my blessings. I am publishing a new page “A Woman’s Place” to share some thoughts on the subject. The article was written several years ago but I have not changed my mind. I’ll let you know if I ever do.