Denise Day Spencer

August 29, 2008

Pepe, go home

Filed under: Home Front — denisedayspencer @ 8:20 pm

When I walk our dog, Maisie, at night, I walk in fear.

Am I afraid of being mugged on the street? No. Ours is a tiny, quiet little hamlet. Do I worry about being attacked by a wild animal, a coyote, perhaps? That’s actually more likely than a mugging given our rural setting, but no. I’ve never even seen one. Do I fear the supernatural or the bizarre? Maybe the aliens of Signs will creep out of the cornfield and force me onto their ship. Clay and I agree that the corn is pretty scary, but that’s not it, either.

What can make me so nervous that I start at every shadow? In a word, skunks. (more…)


August 23, 2008

Children’s object lesson: Why parables?

Filed under: Children's sermons — denisedayspencer @ 1:37 pm

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 13:10-15
OBJECT: A flashlight

Today we’re beginning a study of Jesus’ parables. What is a parable? It’s a story told to give us a picture of an idea. Jesus told a lot of parables. It was his favorite way to teach.

Let’s start by asking why Jesus told parables. Well, for one thing, everybody loves a good story. But there’s more to it than that, as Jesus himself tells us in Matthew 13:13. When the disciples asked him why he taught using parables, Jesus said, “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” He meant that the people could see him, but they didn’t see — as in understand — what he was talking about. They heard him, but they weren’t really paying attention.

Jesus taught in parables because he knew his stories would either show the people the truth or hide it from them.

It’s a lot like a flashlight. I’ve got one right here. You’ve probably all used a flashlight before. It lights the way where you shine the light. That’s why you use a flashlight, right? But what you may have not noticed is that it makes everything outside the beam of light — the things still in the darkness — even harder to see. The light makes the darkness seem even darker.

You see, Jesus knew there were some people who didn’t want to believe in him and would never believe, no matter what he did. They would listen to his parables and think, “Oh, he’s just telling stories” and walk away. But other people would listen and say, “Wait a minute. What does this story mean?” And someday they would understand not only the parables, but who Jesus really was. They would know that the very Son of God was the One who had been teaching them.

As we study Jesus’ parables, I pray that we will be like the people who listened and understood and believed.

August 5, 2008

Rote rite

Filed under: Home Front — denisedayspencer @ 8:08 pm

I have absolutely nothing against memorized prayers. I use a number of them myself on a regular basis. What gets tricky, though, are those prayers we pray that are not formal and memorized on purpose, but simply repetitive out of habit. Case in point–a recent conversation at our house.

I’m used to bringing home food from our school’s dining hall, prepared by our cooks. But the other night I cooked and…well, it went something like this:

ME: (asking the blessing) “…and we thank You for this food, and we ask Your blessing on those who have prepared it. Amen.”

CLAY: Mom. You prepared the food.

ME: Oh. (happily) Well, I just blessed myself!

August 1, 2008

A feet feat

Filed under: Random ramblings — denisedayspencer @ 9:42 pm

Do you ever wonder how you can do something on accident that you could never do on purpose if your life depended on it?

For instance, if you offered me big money to walk one lap around the track and while doing so to, using only my feet, propel a tiny pebble up off the asphalt, send it sailing through the air and be sure it landed inside my shoe, I’d continue to be the pauper that I am. I mean, come on! What are the chances I could ever possibly do that?

And yet I get a rock in my shoe nearly every time I walk the track. Sometimes my talents amaze even me.

Create a free website or blog at