Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rotten Bananas

Psalm 119:53(MSG)
But when I see the wicked ignore Your directions, I'm beside myself with anger.

As I hurried out the door to whisk my daughter off to school, I grabbed my car keys in one hand and the coffee mug in the other.  Savoring the last few swallows of the steamy hot liquid, I strategically planned the next eight hours.  It would be one of those days with several commitments and not much lag time in between.  I know you can relate! 

As I left the kitchen, I could smell the lingering scent of ripe bananas from the few last lonely pieces of fruit that remained hanging from their metal tree on the counter.  At our house, it is a rare thing to find leftover bananas. We usually devour them before they have a chance to even hint at going bad.  They make excellent quick snacks for on the go.

Arriving at my daughter's school, where I have the privilege of volunteering on a regular basis, I set my purse down and headed off to tackle the various activities for the day.  Several hours later, when I returned to the office, I scooped up my purse and began the drive back home.  Throwing my satchel on the front seat next to me, I reviewed the plan in my mind for the night.  The two remaining events left on my plate, consisted of one more taxi trip across town for my daughter's swim practice, and a beautiful celebration banquet for the school, being held at a convention center.  Did I just smell bananas?   

It isn't often that I get to dress up, so tonight's event would be a real treat!  Most of my daily responsibilities do not require a formal dress code.  For example, laundry, playing taxi for kids, buying groceries, cooking meals, getting the dogs to the vet for their latest shots or to the groomer for a complete deskunking, does not warrant formal attire, right?  All that to say, when I have the opportunity to play "dress-up" and go out in something other than flip-flops and jeans, I get a little excited.  As the anticipation mounted for a fun filled evening, my mind was suddenly drawn back to the sweet smell of bananas.  Oh, I did miss my lunch today!  Perhaps a banana would taste yummy right about now. 

Arriving home, I snatched up one of the last bananas and dashed into the closet for a quick transformation into my "fancy clothes".  Glancing one more time in the mirror as I ran back out the door with my car keys and purse flung over my shoulder headed to chauffeur my daughter to practice, I smelled those delicious bananas once again.  I must be on a real fruit kick, I thought to myself, the smell of bananas just won't leave me!

I arrived safely at the swim practice and took my spot on the bleachers, so I could enjoy watching all of the talented athletes.  Perching on the narrow metal slates with a dress on was no small task, I might add!  After checking my watch for the fourth time, I decided it was about time to head out on my dinner date.  I reached in my purse to snatch the car keys, and upon retrieval of them, I noticed they were wet.  That seemed odd.  What could be in my purse that would have spilled?  Dismissively, I hurried out to the parking lot, confidently clicking my heels and feeling quite dignified.  In a few minutes I would finally be at the much anticipated main event of the day.  Sliding in the front seat, I turned on the car.  The air conditioner blew a cool banana breeze on my face.  Huh?

I arrived right on time.  Perfect!  It was going to be a fantastic night!  I turned off the car and reached for my purse.  I opened it to place the keys securely in and found myself overwhelmed with the smell of bananas again.  Wow, I must really be craving bananas, I thought.  Dropping the keys in, I reached inside to retrieve my nose powder for one last swipe, and my hand came out wet and sticky!  What in the world?!

I opened the purse wide and held it up to the light so I could peer deep inside.  As I carefully began digging and moving some items aside, I found the source.  There it was.... lying innocently at the bottom of my purse.....smeared in every corner and crevice available..... a rotten banana!!  Yes, my confident air of sophistication went right out the window!

Now, I know you are probably wondering what in the world a rotten banana could have to do with today's scripture.

Here's what I'm thinking.  Just like the forgotten banana in my purse sat there in the dark and changed into a rotten mess, a heart can change into a wicked snarl of confusion and rotten behavior when a child of God ignores His direction for their life.  The stench of our actions will follow us wherever we go.  We may not recognize the source right away (like the disintegrating banana in my purse), but it won't take long for the ugly scent of a disobedient heart to permeate every corner of our lives. 

Thank you for bringing our need for a Savior to our most immediate attention through the words of this verse.  May our hearts and minds be open to hear and respond to Your Word of direction in every area of our lives today. 
In Christ's Name,


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: The Voice Bible by Ecclesia Bible Society

The Voice Bible is a wonderfully descriptive work to add to your Bible translation library. 

It is a plethora of succinctly and beautifully written verses with the addition of historical narration which delivers a dramatic flair making it an unparalleled version of the Holy Bible.

The Voice Bible, by Ecclesia Bible Society is a beautifully written translation of the Holy Bible.  This work, beginning as a vision by Chris Seay, pastor of Houston’s Ecclesia Church, and ending with the publication by Thomas Nelson, takes on the arduous task of compiling ancient Greek and Hebrew writing and transforming it into modern American English.  The final presentation is a Bible translation that reads very much like a screenplay.  The result is an interesting and extremely engaging experience that draws the reader to the Word of God and therefore into relationship with the King.

I am especially impressed with both of the introductions into the Old and New Testaments.  The description of the “Four Covenants”, given prior to embarking on the New Testament reading, presents a very clear and accurate foundational teaching of the covenant relationship between us and our Lord.  The format utilized throughout the work, is one of various conversations between each of the characters.  Frequently interjected into the story is “the voice” which I would describe as a narrator.  These sections are not part of scripture, but serve to describe the culture of the day and play a vital role in assisting the reader’s depth of comprehension.

The Voice Bible translation is a collaborate effort from a team of translators who worked alongside poets, writers and musicians.  I found it to be refreshing and interactive.  I would highly recommend reading this translation and acquiring a “hard copy” to place in your library for easy access!

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishing Company for this review copy of The Voice Bible that I received through BookSneeze.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.