Timeless truth in a changing world



Day 26: Travel

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

Psalm 91:11
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When Sunscreen Isn’t Enough


We should have listened better. Here we were, college kids from Michigan, on a choir tour to Florida during spring break, a very welcome relief of sun and warmth. Our choir director warned us that we had to be careful in the sun. It was six times more intense that much further south than we were used to, and we would get a sunburn much more quickly than we would in Michigan. He told us to use plenty of sunscreen, drink lots of water, and stay in the shade when possible. Naturally, most ignored his advice. I mean, come on. You can’t very well come back from Florida without a tan. So despite the warnings, many students got some sun on the beach with little or no sunscreen to protect their skin. There were a lot of lobster-red faces for the remainder of that tour.

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Surviving in a Hostile Environment


I like to joke that I live in a hostile environment. As a Michigan transplant to Texas, I’m not at all used to the climate down here. It’s much hotter here, and the sun is a lot more intense. Some days I can’t get enough water. When the heat index is over 100 and the AC runs almost constantly just to keep it at 80, even being inside is dehydrating, and I drink water all day long. Summertime is downright miserable. My poor blonde-haired children are no match for the sun, so I need to be extra vigilant about protecting them, lest they burn or get dehydrated or get heatstroke. Like I said, we’re in a hostile environment.

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Our puppy is completely ridiculous. We have a fairly large fenced-in yard that allows her plenty of room to run and play, but what is the one thing to which she’s attracted? You guessed itthe gate. See, there’s this little opening between the fence and the gate itself, just big enough for her to squeeze through. Give her a few more months and she won’t be able to fit, but for now she can do it, so she does. It’s not enough that she has the whole yardshe wants to explore what’s beyond that fence. She doesn’t understand that we keep her fenced in for her own safety or that she actually has complete freedom in the yard itself. No, she wants what she can’t have. Silly, isn’t it? Good thing we aren’t that way…

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To Be Hemmed In

Some time ago, I was part of a women’s Bible study that looked at Psalm 139. This is a fairly familiar psalm where many of the different sections are well known. From the opening lines of “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me,” to the rhetorical questions of verse 7, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” to the affirmation that life begins at conception in verses 13-16, to the plea at the end for God to “search me and know my heart,” you can probably quote much of this psalm yourself. It’s a beautiful psalm. But in this particular Bible study, one lady brought up a curious phrase. Verse 5 says of God, “You hem me in.” What is that supposed to mean?

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