Moving on up–to the Fourth Floor

We’re officially moving West!

Remember last spring, when I told you David and I had decided to stay in our house? As usual God had other plans.

On January 2, we were told to sell the house and get ourselves permanently settled in our 4th-floor Denver apartment by February 1. As I’m sure you can imagine, this is not an easy task; and my work time is currently consumed by real-estate agents, stagers, photographers, nosy neighbors, and (eventually) buyers. After hours I’m touching up paint, shampooing carpets, moving furniture, packing boxes, and crying a lot.

The moving trucks roll in on January 22 to take us to Denver. Do you think we can sell the house in 14 days? I’ll take bets in the comments section below.

Healthy and Hopeful “in Exile”

Last week I introduced you to InScribed (the new book collection from Thomas Nelson Publishers) with a special giveaway. I am spending most of my time these days working on my book for the InScribed Collection, but one day each week I devote several hours to studying Ezra and podcasting with my friend, A. J. Farley. Every Thursday we get together via Skype (because he’s in Tennessee and I’m who-knows-where), and we record a 20 to 30-minute episode of “Living in Exile.” It is an opportunity for us to stretch our exegetical muscle, discuss how Scripture pertains to today’s church culture, and have a lot fun. I always look forward to this moment of meaningful levity in my week, and I want to share it with you!

Head over to The Podcast page on my website, and you’ll find links to the 5 episodes we’ve published so far. The first is an introduction to A. J. and me, and the next two are a great interview with David Capes PhD about the genesis, production, and impact of The Voice Bible translation, which A. J. and I use for the podcast. After that A. J. and I launch into our discussion of Ezra. I know, I know: Ezra is a strange choice for a podcast series, but listen for a few minutes and you’ll be intrigued by just how much the Jewish exiles of 500 BC have in common with the modern church.

Once you’ve listened to an episode or two (or five!), come back to The Podcast page and leave me a comment with your insights. They can regard your own thoughts on Christian culture and Scripture interpretation, suggestions for how we can improve our podcast, or anything else you’d like to share with us. Next Friday, when we release Episode 6 of “Living in Exile,” I’ll randomly draw a name from all the commentators and announce the newest winner of an InScribed necklace. (Guys–don’t count yourselves out of the giveaway. This Lisa Leonard design is a $40 value and would make an excellent gift for any lady in your life. Christmas is coming faster than you think; be prepared this year!)

Win the Official InScribed Necklace!

In honor of the InScribed Studies Blog-Hop Week, I am giving away an InScribed necklace to one of my readers on Friday. Be ahead of the fashion curve and sport this Lisa Leonard design before it hits stores. All you have to do is WIN!

I love to play games. David and I spend most of our weekends (when we’re in Tennessee) with friends and family playing Canasta, Munchkin, or Settlers of Catan. It’s a great way to get to know new friends because you quickly learn each other’s thought process and competitive spirit. And it’s cheap! I’d love to get to know my readers better, so here’s a little game David and I came up with while traveling out West.

Take a look at the photographs below. These are places I have been blessed to visit, and places where I felt especially close to God. Reply to this blog post in a comment, and guess where in the world I am. Then tell me your favorite place to have a little quiet time with God. It may be standing at the top of the world or sitting at your grandmother’s secretary in your bedroom. On Friday at noon MDT, I’ll do a random drawing of all my commentators and announce the winner on the blog.

Ready, set, GO!

1. Garden of Gethsemane or Biltmore Gardens?
2. Mendenhall Lake or Niagara Falls?

3. Petrified Forest or Mount St. Helens?

4. Key West or Hilton Head Island?

5. Israel or Utah?

6. Israel or Utah?