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Here Be Dragons?
Legend has it that at the edges of medieval maps, marking the boundaries of the world the maps’ creators knew at the time, there’d be inscribed the words “Here be dragons”—often alongside vivid illustrations of the terrifying beasts supposedly lurking there.
There’s not much evidence medieval cartographers actually wrote these words, but I like to think they could have. Maybe because “here be dragons” sounds like something I might’ve written at the time—a grim warning that even if I didn’t know exactly what would happen if I ventured into the great unknown, it likely wouldn’t be good!
But there’s one glaring problem…
Fear ruled the man’s life for thirty-two years. Afraid of being caught for his crimes, he hid at his sister’s farmhouse, going nowhere and visiting no one, even missing his mother’s funeral. When he was sixty-four, he was discovered and learned that no charges had ever been filed against him. The man was free to resume a normal life. Yes, the threat of punishment was real, but he allowed the fear of it to control him.
Likewise, fear ruled the Israelites’ heart when the Philistines challenged them at the Valley of Elah. The threat was real. Their enemy Goliath was 9…
Our Guiding Light
At a museum, I lingered near a display of ancient lamps. A glance at some printed information revealed they were from Israel. Decorated with carved designs, these oval-shaped clay vessels had two openings—one for fuel, and one for a wick. Although the Israelites commonly used them in wall alcoves, each was small enough to fit in the palm of a person’s hand.
Perhaps a little light like this inspired King David to write a praise song in which he said, “You Lord are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light” (2 Samuel 22:29). David sang these words after God…
No Longer Afraid
When the Ethiopian police found her, a week after her abduction, three black-maned lions surrounded her, guarding her as though she was their own. Seven men had kidnapped the twelve-year-old girl, carried her into the woods and beaten her. Miraculously, however, a small pride of lions heard the girl’s cries, came running and chased off the attackers. “[The lions] stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest,” police Sgt. Wondimu told one reporter.
There are days when violence and evil, like that inflicted on this young girl, overpower…
Strengthened in Song
When French villagers helped Jewish refugees hide from Nazis during World War II, some sang songs in the dense forest surrounding their town—letting the refugees know it was safe to come out from hiding. These brave townspeople of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon had answered the call of local pastor André Trocmé and his wife, Magda, to offer wartime refuge to Jews on their windswept plateau known as “La Montagne Protestante.” Their musical signal became just one feature of the villagers’ bravery that helped save up to 3,000 Jews from almost certain death.
In another dangerous time, David sang when his enemy Saul sent…
False Places of Safety
When our dog Rupert was a puppy, he was so afraid of going outside I’d have to drag him to the park. After getting him there one day, I foolishly let him off his leash. He sprinted home, back to his place of safety.
That experience reminded me of a man I met on a plane, who began apologizing to me as we taxied down the runway. “I’m going to get drunk on this flight,” he said. “It sounds like you don’t want to,” I replied. “I don’t,” he said, “but I always run back to the wine.” He got drunk, and…
I Will Fear No Evil
In 1957, Melba Pattillo Beals was selected to be one of the “Little Rock Nine,” a group of nine African American students who first integrated the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In her 2018 memoir, I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith under Fire, Beals gives a heartbreaking account of the injustices and harassment she struggled to face courageously every day as a fifteen-year-old student.
But she also wrote about her deep faith in God. In her darkest moments, when fear almost overwhelmed her, Beals repeated the familiar Bible verses she had learned at…
You Have to Relax!
“You must relax,” pronounces a doctor crisply in Disney’s Rescuers Down Under, attempting to treat the injured albatross Wilbur, a reluctant patient. “Relax? I am relaxed!” a (clearly not relaxed) Wilbur responds sarcastically as his panic grows. “If I were any more relaxed, I’d be dead!”
Can you relate? In light of the doctor’s dubious methods (such as a chainsaw dubbed an “epidermal tissue disruptor”), Wilbur’s misgivings seem justified. But the scene is funny because it captures how we tend to feel when we’re panicking—whether or not what we’re facing is actually life-threatening.
When we’re terrified, encouragement to relax can feel ridiculous. I…
For years I wore a shield of fear to protect my heart. Eventually, my fear became an excuse to avoid trying new things, following my dreams, and obeying God. But more importantly, fear of loss, heartache, and rejection hindered me from developing loving relationships with God and others. Fear made me an insecure, anxious, and jealous wife, and an overprotective, worrying mother. As I continue learning how much God loves me, however, He’s changing the way I relate to Him and to others. Because I know my loving God will care for me, I feel more secure, more willing to…
The Call to Courage
Among a display of male statues (Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and others) in London’s Parliament Square, also stands a lone statue of a woman. The solitary woman is Millicent Fawcett, who fought for the right of women to vote. She’s immortalized in bronze and holding a banner displaying words she offered in a tribute to a fellow suffragist: “Courage calls to courage everywhere.” Fawcett insisted that one person’s courage emboldens others—calling timid souls into action.
As David prepared to hand his throne over to his son Solomon, he explained the responsibilities that would soon rest heavy on his shoulders.…
Dangers Of Pride
The Bible says that pride goes before a fall. Because no matter how high we try to lift ourselves up, we’ll always end up crashing down in the end. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs examine the dangers of pride as described in Proverbs 16:18. Pull up a chair […]
When Harmless Conversation Turns To Gossip
We all enjoy hearing and telling stories—stories about ourselves, and also stories about other people. But when does harmless conversation become gossip? Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs challenge us to examine our motives before sharing information about others. Join us today for Discover the Word!
Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart
We’ve all gone through seasons when we thought we knew what we were doing but then reality stepped in to remind us just how clueless we really were! Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs discuss this wise counsel from Proverbs: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and […]
Are You Preoccupied With What Others Think Of You?
From the clothes we wear to the car we drive, it’s easy to become preoccupied with what others think of us. But today on Discover the Word, the team and author Liz Curtis Higgs encourage us to trust in the Lord, rather than fear people. Another thought-provoking discussion on the Proverbs, today on Discover the Word!
To Hear From God . . . Start With Reading His Word
God wants to speak into our lives, to show us which path in life to take, and which to avoid. But hearing God’s voice starts with reading His Word. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and author Liz Curtis Higgs encourage us to spend time in God’s Word and commit it to memory. Join […]