Stephanie’s Blog

Skip to Contents | Log in

Thanks for coming out today!

August 12th, 2018 by stephanie

Just a quick note of thanks to all of you who came out to the book signing at First Presbyterian in Nashville. A very special thanks as well goes to Kathy Gaston and her team for not only making us feel so welcome but for facilitating this special time together.

We’ve got some good things percolating, so you’ll want to stick around and check back. Or better yet, be sure your signed up to receive our updates along with my latest blog right to your inbox! 

Simply click here…and thanks!

— Stephanie

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 17th, 2015 by stephanie

I had the privilege of being invited as a Guest Blogger for this St. Patty’s Day. In lieu of a post here, I hope you’ll support my host and click on over to her site. She’s a special young lady who has worked very hard to create a lovely place on the digital space.

The Colors of Ireland.

The Colors of Ireland.

My blog discusses the significance of the colors in the Irish Flag, as told to me by my grandfather. “Remember, we were orange…” he’d always say…

Enjoy!

Holy Week: Day 6 – Weird Wednesday

April 16th, 2014 by stephanie

Spy Wednesday. Dark Wednesday. Throughout church history, this day in Holy Week has earned a few interesting names.

Some scholars argue that today was the day Judas Iscariot made plans with the chief priests. (For 30 pieces of silver he agreed to show them where they could easily capture Christ.) No one is really sure what happened on this day. One thing we do know, Wednesday is a bit of a mystery.

Scriptures show that the Jewish leaders were very angry with Jesus and were busy planning His demise. Here’s a bit of how that looked:
Matthew 26:3-5 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.

MOMENT TO CATCH:

So where was Jesus when all of this was taking place? Well, He was heading back towards Bethany each evening. And, apparently, at the home of Simon the Leper during dinner on this night, His feet were anointed with an expensive ointment by a woman.

But during the day, we find this was his schedule:
Luke 21:37-38 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Tomorrow, we look at what they call Maundy Thursday in Holy Week. Watch those church signs as you drive around town this week. You’ll see services are being held tomorrow at some of the more formal, or what we call “high” churches. Maybe you can slip in and catch one! If so, let me know what you think about it.

Thot for today:
When you know someone is plotting or planning your demise, who do you turn to? If you find yourself in this situation, turn it over to Jesus…I think He has an idea of He exactly how that feels.

S.

Verses for Today:
Matt:26:1-13
Mark 14:1-10

How’s Your 40 Days Coming?

April 2nd, 2014 by stephanie

If you’ve been doing lent, 40 days can seem like a looooooong time. And then, at other times, 40 days can go by searchquickly and you wonder where time went. For those you of you that caught the new movie out, NOAH, you’re reminded in the story that it rained 40 days and 40 nights. Interestingly, did you know that 40 days is a bit symbolic?

Hard to believe, but the number 40 is mentioned 146 times in Scripture, and, it generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation.

———————————

THE NUMBER “40”

Of all the types and shadows of the Old Testament, none is as noticeable as  in the relationship between “forty,” and the fulfillment of promises.

  • The rains (in Noah’s day) fell for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:4).
  • Israel ate Manna for 40 years (Exodus 16:35).
  • Moses was with God in the mount, 40 days and nights (Exodus 24:18).
  • Moses was again with God 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 34:28).
  • Moses led Israel from Egypt at age 80 (2 times 40), and after 40 years in the wilderness, died at 120 (3 times 40; Deuteronomy 34:7).
  • The spies searched the land of Canaan for 40 days (Numbers 13:25).
  • Therefore, God made Israel wander for 40 years (Numbers 14:33-34).
  • 40 stripes was the maximum whipping penalty (Deuteronomy 25:3).
  • Israel did evil; God gave them to an enemy for 40 years (Judges 13:1).
  • Goliath presented himself to Israel for 40 days (1 Samuel 17:16).
  • Saul reigned for 40 years (Acts 13:21).
  • David reigned over Israel for 40 years (2 Samuel 5:4, 1 Kings 2:11).
  • The holy place of the temple was 40 cubits long (1 Kings 6:17).
  • The sockets of silver are in groups of 40 (Exodus 26:19 & 21).
  • Solomon reigned same length as his father; 40 years (1 Kings 11:42).
  • Elijah had one meal that gave him strength 40 days (1 Kings 19:8).
  • Egypt to be laid desolate for 40 years (Ezekiel 29:11-12).
  • Ezekiel’s (symbolic) temple is 40 cubits long (Ezekiel 41:2).
  • The courts in Ezekiel’s temple were 40 cubits long (Ezra 46:22).
  • God gave Nineveh 40 days to repent (Jonah 3:4).
  • Jesus fasted 40 days and nights (Matthew 4:2).
  • Jesus was tempted 40 days (Luke 4:2, Mark 1:13).
  • Jesus remained on earth 40 days after resurrection (Acts 1:3).
  • Women are pregnant for 40 weeks (time of testing).
  • (there’s more, but I think you get the idea.)

40 seems, says scholars, to represent a period of testing or judgment. Or, others say it like this:

 – the length of time necessary to accomplish some major part of Gods plan in his dealings with various portions of mankind.

If you notice, after 40, something good usually happened. Like Lent. Not only is it time to celebrate Easter and the beauty of what Christ did on that Sunday, you get your chocolate or whatever back. (wink).

Whatever the 40 has been in your life, we’d love to hear. Drop us a line and, especially, share what good came on the other side.

– Stephanie

Do you receive Stephanie’s blog? If not, subscribe today. Click here!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed.

March 31st, 2013 by stephanie

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed.

Such is the call and response that is very familiar to those in the church world. One person will say, “He is Risen,” to which the other will reply, “He is Risen Indeed.” Many of you will enjoy this exchange today in celebration of what happened over 2,000 years ago.
And it went a bit like this…
Matt. 28:1-9
Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.

And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

“Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

Then Jesus *said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

He is Risen-indeed.

Happy Easter, my friend.

The Girl Who Got Her Own Holiday.

February 22nd, 2013 by stephanie

I’m pretty fortunate. I will admit. My boyfriend decided shortly after we began dating, that I deserved my own holiday. Now, in all honesty, what gal doesn’t wan to hear that? I can say he has now kept the tradition and I do thoroughly enjoy it. But my holiday will never be as famous as one particular gal’s…

Here’s the story:  There was this king in ancient Iran who was angry with his Queen. Apparently, she didn’t show up in front of the drunken party he was throwing when he called her to the banquet hall. So, the royal advisors suggested he throw her off the throne for her disobedience. Which he did. She’d had the nerve to tell the king “no”, and, hey, other women might hear about it and follow suit with the men in their lives. Right? It had indeed been a humiliating event for the King to say the least. So, off she went.

In time, the King grew very sad, and his personal staff grew worried. It was time to find a new lady for the lonely monarch. So, they came up with a plan. It was decided that a nationwide beauty pageant-type-search would be put underway. And it was so. In a short amount of time, all of the lovely virgins from regions around were brought to the harem and prepared for their “audition”. Which translates as: you get one night with the king. Get the picture?

When it was all said and done, it was one exceptional creature that finally won the King’s heart. Her name was Esther. But there was a secret situation. Unfortunately for our new heroine, she was Jewish. Now, that’s not a problem in itself, except that a particularly powerful person, who had the King’s ear at that time, hated members of the Jewish race and he wanted to spread that hate. It wasn’t looking good for Esther or her people. It wasn’t long before this evil man, Haman, figured out a way to get rid of “those Jews”. But the plot was foiled, and the Hebrew people were, in the end, saved. And they all lived happily ever after. Hooray! In the end, it was the bravery of our lovely new Queen Esther who put her life on the line when it came down to the wire.

In case you didn’t know, this very story is remembered and celebrated as a holiday to this day, every year, by the Jewish people. It’s called Purim and it happens this weekend!

There will be food and festivities for two days (with some fasting before). And well, as you may know, if there’s a holiday or event that  has anything to do with food…I am so there. 🙂

Just my thoughts.

Stephanie

PS: They did a great movie on this story. It’s called One Night with the King.

Check it out!

 

Holy Week: Good Friday?

April 6th, 2012 by stephanie

If you have seen the amazing movie by Mel Gibson The Passion of the Christ, you know that calling the day Jesus was crucified “good” seems a bit strange. But the fact is, if you know the story, it does have a happy ending. Because this day is so dark and sad, I started a new tradition a few years ago.
My first plan of action for today will be to head out, with my sweet dog The Judge, to Panera Bread. There I will purchase some Hot Cross Buns. (They only have them through Easter Sunday.)
images
Sure, I make it sound like Good Friday is all about the food, but you and I both know the cross on those holiday buns is simply to remind us of what happened on this day more than 2,000 years ago.

Basically, in the middle of the night, (Thursday night) Roman soldiers captured Jesus. They arrested him then drug him to an illegal trial that the Jewish leadership set up in the wee hours of the morning. After that, He was brutally beaten. Passed between Herod and Pilate, he was finally handed over for a terrible torture – crucifixion. Where he was hung between two thieves.
Jesus was put on the cross close to 9:00 am in the morning and hung there most of the day. At noon, the sky grew dark, and there was an earthquake. Close to 3:00 pm, He gave up His spirit and died. One of my favorite parts, that you don’t hear much about, is that graves opened when that happened and the bodies of the saints came out and visited loved ones. If you don’t believe me check this out.
Matt. 27:52-53 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
It was a very full and powerful day.

I know we are all busy, but when you have a second, read the story. Matthew chapter 27 today.

In Remembrance of Him.

S.
Verses for Today:
Matt 27:1-61
Mark 15:1-47
Luke 22: 66- 23:55

Holy Week: Dark Wednesday

April 4th, 2012 by stephanie

Some say it was Tuesday, others say Wednesday. Others call it Dark Wednesday, or Spy Wednesday. Whatever you want to call it, scholars argue that this was the day Judas Iscariot, (the disciple who betrayed Jesus) agreed to show the chief priests where they could easily capture Christ. No one is really sure. One thing we do know, Wednesday is a bit of a mystery.

We do know from Scriptures that the Jewish leaders were pretty upset with Jesus and were busy plotting His death. Here’s a bit of how that looked:
Matthew 26:3-5 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.

So where was Jesus when all of this was taking place? Well, He was heading back towards Bethany each evening. And at the home of Simon the Leper during dinner on this night, His feet were anointed with an expensive ointment by a woman.

But during the day, we find this was his schedule:Luke 21:37-38 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Tomorrow, we look at what they call Maundy Thursday in Holy Week. Watch those church signs as you travel around town this week. You’ll see services are being held tomorrow at some of the more formal, or what we call “high” churches. Maybe you can catch one! If so, let me know what you think about it.

Thot for today: When you know someone is plotting or planning your demise, who do you turn to? If you find yourself in this situation, turn it over to Jesus…He knows exactly how you feel.

S.

Verses for Today:
Matt:26:1-13
Mark 14:1-10

Holy Week: Torrid Tuesday

April 3rd, 2012 by stephanie

The Tuesday before Christ was crucified was a rather full day for Jesus. Knowing it is His final week on this earth as a human, it seems we watch as He works to get in every little last bit of business that He can before His departure.

Holy Week Tuesday is the day when the famous incident between Jesus and the Pharisees is thought to have taken place. This is where they really tried to trap Jesus into making a blasphemous, or rather, anti-god remark. (Mark 11:27-33). Also, on this day Jesus taught some amazing parables. (Matthew 21:28-23:36).

Another thing that is interesting, though Jesus was taking on the Jewish leaders, some Greeks (the intellectual/philosophical types) who were intrigued came and asked to see Jesus and speak with Him as well. (John 12:20-26). If that wasn’t enough for one day, He then delivered what is known as the famous Olivet Discourse. Sound familiar? This was simply the message that he gave on the Mount of Olives where he talked about the coming destruction of Jerusalem along with signs of the last days. (Matt 24)

Lots of ancient prophecy was fulfilled on this day too. One of the prophecies said that Jesus would be rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:1,3.

In my opinion, that’s what made Tuesday really lousy. Supposedly on this day Judas, one of the 12 Disciples, agreed to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). Someone from His own personal, inner circle. What time of day, we’re not sure, but most agree, it was on Tuesday. So very heartbreaking, and sad.

Thot for today: Have you ever been, or felt betrayed by someone who is “closest” to you? It’s a very painful experience. Jesus understands. It happened to Him too.

S.
Verses for Today:
Matt. 22:15-46
Mark 11:20-33
Luke 21:1-38

Do You Celebrate Feb 2nd?

January 25th, 2012 by stephanie

There’s a holiday, of sorts, that many of us probably won’t celebrate too wildly.

How Ground Hog Day managed to find its way to “holiday” status is a mystery to most humble Americans.

Where the day originated from, I truly didn’t know. A little time searching the internet however, uncovered Ground Hog Day as a Pennsylvania Dutch (German) custom dating back to the 1700s. Our European ancestors, it seems, brought the tradition with them to the new world. Apparently, in the “old country”, a badger or “sacred bear” was the original weatherman.

For you trivia buffs, February 2nd also coincides with the Catholic Candlemas, and, it once also marked a Celtic holiday by the name of Imbolc. But back to our burrowing critter…

Punxsutawney Phil, is a superstar these days. His appearance from his hole now involves social events, food, speeches and entertainment. Crowds of up to 40,000 in attendance have been known to gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, since 1886.

The earliest American reference has been found in the diary of storekeeper James Morris (Berks County, Pennsylvania) :
February 5, 1841
“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

This winter has, overall, been pretty mild…so far. At least for those of us here in the South. But that doesn’t mean anything just yet. February could bring some interesting surprises. One never knows. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what the Ground Hog has to say.

Just my thoughts,

S.
HAPPY GROUND HOG DAY!

CSS Template by Rambling Soul | WordPress Theme by Theme Lab, Online Marketing and Gravity3D | Valid XHTML 1.0 | CSS 2.0
%d bloggers like this: