God Speaks Softly

Karen Hoffman

READ : 1 Kings 19:7-18   How do you see God? In the verses we just read, God reveals Himself to Elijah by speaking in a “still small voice.” In the previous chapter is the story of the confrontation on Carmel-Baal’s 450 prophets versus Elijah, the prophet of the one true God. God revealed His power through fire that consumed the sacrifice. But 40 days later, when God appears to Elijah, He was not in the wind or earthquake or …

Gift of Generations

Karen Hoffman

READ : Genesis 48:8-11, 2 Timothy 1:3-7   The two passages we read today both show scenes of grandparents and grandchildren. In the Old Testament scene weak, elderly, nearly blind Israel blesses two of his grandsons – Ephraim and Manasseh. In 2 Timothy we read of the faith of Timothy’s grandmother Lois being passed down to Timothy. We can imagine Israel telling stories of his past to Ephraim and Manasseh. Whether or not he told them about tricking his brother …

Lessons from the Gladiolas

Karen Hoffman

READ : 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 12:27   God used gladiolas, not lilies, to teach me a lesson. You who have gladiolas know you dig up the bulbs in the fall, store them in a dry cool place and replant them in the spring. Often I’ve had to dig my bulbs by the light of my car headlights aimed toward the garden. I’d put off the job until at last I heard the forecast of cold weather and snow and …

Lessons from the Birds

Karen Hoffman

READ : Isaiah 40:26-31, Matthew 10:26-33   Rich metaphors taken from nature are found in the Scripture. God still teaches in parables today. A few weeks ago, teaching a high school Sunday school class, the lesson talked about friendship. The question was asked, “What kind of birds best describe your friends – eagles full of dignity, or vultures who feed on others’ misfortunes?” We then asked what kind of friends we were. We talked about how sometimes we were noisy …

Praise God for the Stumps

Karen Hoffman

READ : Daniel 4:1-27   There have been a lot tree stumps in my life. How about yours? I can relate to the story in today’s Scripture where Daniel is explaining the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him. Daniel tells him that the reason the stump was left in the ground was because, if he acknowledged God’s rule, his kingdom would be restored. Of course I don’t have a kingdom; but God has been so very patient with me. When …

Praise God for Gardens

Karen Hoffman

READ : John 15:1-17   I love gardening. I feel good when I’m digging in the dirt, and flowers bring me pleasure. My Mom is an expert gardener with beautiful flowers growing inside and outside her home. My Dad was a farmer who loved his work. As we grew up on the farm, we learned how to work, which is a blessing farm kids have which we didn’t always consider a blessing. Looking back, the memory of the heat and …