Marcia+headshotABOUT MARCIA LEBHAR, AUTHOR

The wife of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese's bishop, Neil Lebhar, Marcia has been actively involved in lay ministry since her college years. Marcia’s passion has always been to share the treasure of the Scriptures. Her column, Discipleship Journal, can be found in five different blogs: Face to Face, Threads, Fine Fire - Passing the Faith to the Next Generation, Wilderness Series, and Bare Branch, which is also available on Amazon in ebook and paperback versions. Learn about each of these blogs below.


ABOUT FACE TO FACE

Everywhere in the Scriptures, God is calling his people to get face to face with him, to come boldly, and to draw near. He pleads with us to call to him and to ask him directly to meet our needs. For reasons that need thought, even the most seasoned saints sometimes do everything but, or everything else before we come face to face with our Lord transparently. In Exodus 33:11 we’re told, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” And Jesus has made us God’s friends. (John 15:15) I’m eager to explore together the dynamic of being called into a friendship with God.

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ABOUT THREADS

After twenty-one years of parenting and twenty-six years as a Christian, many of them as a Bible teacher, the casual announcement of a five-year-old radically changed the way I saw the Scriptures and took its message to heart.

My son reported to me that his dad had told him a story that morning. I didn't hear that as particularly big news...

"What story did he tell you?" I asked absent-mindedly.

"He told me the Bible!"

"What?” I asked, "How long did it take him?"

"About five minutes!" he answered jubilantly.

I was astonished. How did he do that? This whole encounter made me realize that most of us have a pretty fragmented understanding of the Bible. We can recount various slices of biblical history ... we may understand the argument of Romans or Ephesians ... but we have little understanding of the sweep of the whole story. 

This series of articles considers the Bible as a rich and consistent narrative tapestry stretching from Genesis to Revelation, and it will trace some of the intriguing threads stretching end to end in that tapestry. We look at the awe-inspiring plot of the big story, tracing some of the themes that connect the whole, and considering what it takes to play our parts in that story.

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ABOUT FINE FIRE: PASSING THE FAITH TO THE NEXT GENERATION

What Christian parent of a newborn, or a teenager for that matter, hasn't trembled at their responsibility to help their child onto the path of a faithful life? This series explores seven principles for calling the next generation to discipleship. Here they are in bookmark form.

They come from our hard-won lessons as new Christians and new parents with few role models, and from the wonder of seeing grown children apply those principles in their own lives as disciplers of adults. These ideas were sovereign gifts to us as a young family, like a spring in a desert, and, many years later, they continue to refresh us in our various callings.

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INTRODUCTION TO THE WILDERNESS SERIES

Two times in his reference to the Israelites' wilderness sojourn, the apostle Paul says these things happened to them for our benefit. (1 Corinthians 10:1-11, esp. v.6 and 11) "These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age." (1 Corinthians 10:11 NLTI would not be so surprised if he merely said that these stories were recorded for our benefit, but that is less than what Paul claims. The entire wilderness sojourn, he claims, is meant for us. We are meant to be warned, chastened and encouraged by studying and understanding their experience. It instructs us, whom the Messiah has ransomed, as we similarly wait to enter the place Jesus has promised to prepare for us (John 14:1-3).

Paul's claim is clear, that Israel's history is a unified and intentional unfolding of God's story ... his plans and purposes. He is Lord of the story. It is not obsolete. In it we are meant to discern his character. And in it we are meant to find our courage for the present. So the wilderness sojourn, between slavery in Egypt and entrance into the Land of Promise, is worth our close inspection! Imagine that all along the way are signposts, if we follow Paul's argument, meant specifically for our notice. In this blog, we'll look at some of these signposts in the desert.

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ABOUT THE BARE BRANCH: ON SEEING

My experience of knowing God is one of repeatedly, suddenly, seeing. Through the lens of his word in the Scriptures or through the compassionate intervention of the Holy Spirit, some conundrum is resolved, some burden relieved or disaster averted. There are, of course, the "crash and burn" examples when seeing seems to come too late. But seeing is always better than blindness. And we are often blind without knowing it.

This is a collection of essays, most of them about looking at life through the Lord's lens. 

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