Steal My Show

With the publication of another book, I find my heart echoing the words of a recent song by Toby Mac. (See “Steal My Show” on YouTube.) In the lyrics, the musical artist is about to take the stage complete with smoke and lights. The crowd is amped up and screaming for him to appear. The artist’s backstage prayer is an offer to step out of the way and let God steal the show. To take all of

Like A Tree – The Three Trees Revisited

In honor of the Christmas season and my theme this year to “Be Like a Tree in 2012,” I bring you a version of a traditional folktale about three trees with big dreams. (For those who follow my blog regularly, you may recall this post from Easter, but it bears repeating!) Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to be when they grew up. The first little

Like A Tree – Christmas Trees Part 1

It’s beginning to look like Christmas both inside my house and in the community. Our artificial tree and boxes of decorations have made their annual trip out of storage while Christmas tree lots are popping up all over town. What’s so special about putting a evergreen trees inside your house? Does it mean anything? With this year’s emphasis on being like a tree, I thought it was worth a closer look. The roots of our

Like A Tree – Oak Trees

I was reading a book not too long ago where one character gave driving directions that included turning left at the big oak tree. Obviously, this tree was a local landmark and could be used as a signpost in life. Known for their longevity, oak trees were often a symbol of strength and endurance. They also were witness to certain events in history … and therefore served as a living memorial. God met with Abraham

Like A Tree – Olive Tree

Have you ever looked at the impressive people around you and felt insignificant in comparison? In recent weeks, we’ve taken a closer look at several varieties of majestic and notable trees. Colorful aspen groves. Towering sequoias. Fragrant cedars. Oasis-marking palms. Now picture the short and stubby olive tree. Twisted, gnarled, ancient. Yet hidden within the fruit, a valuable oil. In Bible times, olive oil was a main ingredient in making bread, was used to fuel lamps, and

Like A Tree – Palm Tree

Like A Tree – Palm Tree

Thanks to numerous Saturday morning cartoons and assorted other shows and movies, I have a vivid mental picture of a man (or rabbit) struggling across a parched desert landscape. Just as shaky legs collapse and the background music brings a feeling of doom … there on the horizon appears a palm tree. Our hero is saved. Why? Because palm trees offer food, shade, and the promise of water to weary travelers. The date palm, common

Like A Tree – Fig Trees

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts.” ~ Benjamin Franklin “With their doctrine they build, and with their lives they destroy.” ~ Augustine “Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:5 NIV The fig tree, common in the Mediterranean region, has been called the hypocrite tree. Why? Unlike apples or oranges, figs are green and are not easily detected among the

Like A Tree – Cedars

At the foot of my bed is a cedar chest. A basement closet in our old house was paneled with cedar. What’s so special about cedar wood? Cedar trees are large evergreen trees that often live for a long time. Why? Because natural oils in the wood are toxic to insects and fungus (and smell good!). In Bible times, the cedars of Lebanon were sought after for building palaces and even the Temple in Jerusalem. The logs

Like A Tree – Acacia

When God asks His people to do something, He often gives very specific instructions. Even down to the type of wood to be used in a building project. In Exodus 25, God instructed Moses to tell the people to bring an offering for the construction of the tabernacle as a sanctuary for worship. One of the items requested was acacia wood that would be used to make the ark of the covenant, the poles to carry it, the