The Bare Branch: On Seeing

Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Featured Posts
  • All Posts

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. Neil and Marcia met and came to faith through the secondary school ministry of FOCUS. As a FOCUS leader, an associate staff member for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a Bible teacher in both churches and secondary schools, a ministry director and frequent speaker... but first as a discipler of the saints under her own roof, Marcia’s passion has always been to share the treasure of the Scriptures. Her column, Discipleship Journal, can be found in three different blogs: 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. 


In 1981, the Lebhars traveled to Israel on a study tour associated with CMJ (Church’s Ministry among Jewish people), based at Christ Church in Jerusalem. They have since led countless study trips to Israel and both say that few things have had a more profound impact on their own lives as disciples or a greater impact on their church. Marcia served as the Executive Director of CMJ USA during a period of rapid expansion.

Married for 45 years, the Lebhars have four children and eight grandchildren. They consider the friendship and mutual ministry they share as a family to be their life's greatest treasure. 


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.

Jesus promised recovery of sight to the blind. Sometimes spiritual insight comes as an answer to the sort of crying out the Scriptures urge the saints to do. Just as often, sudden sight seems to come unbidden, giving fresh perspective to the facts on the ground. 

What follows is a collection of essays written for the Anglican Diocese of the Gulf Atlantic. As is happens most of them are about looking at life through the Lord's lens. 

 

Faces (Invisibility)

We say he is the image of the invisible God, (Col. 1:15) but even in his coming to us and taking on flesh, Jesus is still invisible. Willing to be invisible... unrecognized... unacknowledged. You can hear the incredulity in his young friend, John's, voice, can't you? "He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize him." (John 1:10) I try to imagine...

Keep Reading

Know That I Know

A year of grieving loss is about to close for our family. We sat beside two dying loved ones a year ago this summer. First was my husband's mother, and then my sister. Both times we wondered what each woman knew, or remembered, of spiritual realities. Every death serves as a reminder of our own mortality. As we watched and waited, twice, I thought of the teasing request I...

Keep Reading

Do...Then See

One of the most oft repeated principles taught at the recent ACNA conference at Ridgecrest was Bishop Todd Hunter's reminder: obedience precedes understanding. The phrase is variously attributed to the church fathers, George McDonald, and a host of others. And I thought I discovered it! In the years when a large group of young adults met weekly at our house, the question ...

Keep Reading

Lists

I make lists. To-do lists. And then I feel so much better, even before I have actually done a thing. I make lists with paper and pen. Then I can see the progress of items crossed out. Neil makes lists in cyberspace, but I think it must be far less satisfying to have the accomplished task simply disappear from the screen. It vanishes without a trace to remind him of the mis...

Keep Reading

Wait!

There's something about having to wait that challenges each of us, and the way we wait tends to be pretty revealing. Neil seems to wait patiently for elevators. Why not? We can't make them come any faster. I tap my foot, turn in circles, and punch the button again and again. I multi-task in the kitchen. Why not? It is possible to do three things at once. Just watching Neil...

Keep Reading

White Hot Faith

Canon Jim Hobby prayed such a radical prayer on our recent clergy day. Referring to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego facing the furnace to which obedience in Babylon took them, Jim prayed, "Lord, would you give us that white hot faith that, without calculation and without hesitation, we would be bound and thrown into the furnace rather than displease You?" My friends know t...

Keep Reading

Supernatural Specs

Can those of you who are near-sighted like me recall the first time you ever put on a pair of prescription eyeglasses? I will never forget the shock of discovery, at age six, that the rest of the world could actually see individual leaves on a tree across the street from where they were standing! Other people have been seeing like this all along??? Perhaps because of this...

Keep Reading

What's Your Empty Stable?

OK. A little glimpse of Lebhar family history. Neil's fastidious mother and I were once working side by side in the kitchen of his childhood home. Neil was looking on. I was apparently being extra particular about whatever I was doing, because his mother suddenly teased me, "Marcia, you are so neurotic!" Neil howled at the irony and immediately broke into the chorus of tha...

Keep Reading

Eavesdropping

This summer Neil and I had the decidedly unhappy task of admitting to ourselves that the shrubs to one side of our front door were dead and must be removed. A small team of people with hatchets and shovels made relatively quick work of the removal. Then we had a lovely, empty patch of dirt, all raked and ready to be replanted. But we were interrupted by the daily afternoon...

Keep Reading

Bike Riding...Bible Reading

We spilled into our last sabbatical tired and out of shape in every way, physically, emotionally and spiritually. "There are bikes in the shed," they told us. "Help yourselves". Hmmm. Maybe. One day we ventured out, deciding to ride to another town, but, carelessly, not calculating the distance. I remember how grueling it was... on how many hills I had to dismount and push...

Keep Reading
Subscribe