Author Archives: 6intow

About 6intow

Erin (6intow) Raised in a Christian home, my faith became personal early on and grew immensely during high school and college. God has blessed me with an amazing, godly husband to lead our home and six kids ranging in age from four to seventeen. I love homeschooling, blogging, and sharing my faith with others. I look forward to walking through the Bible together this year and learning all that God has to teach us. I love that His Word is rich and living, and always fresh and refreshing.

Genesis 1-4; Luke 1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2 ESV

In the beginning the earth held just a promise of what was to come, like the deepest dark before the sunrise of a new day, or the final sleep before the first month of a new year. None of the beauty of creation was visible as God spoke the universe into existence on that very first day ever. Yet there was God, hovering literally and figuratively over the beginnings. He had a plan. For celestial wonders, vibrant plants, a diversity of creatures, and then the pinnacle of his creation. His final handiwork he could craft in his image. Man would have many physical similarities to the animals God created, but in people he put an imprint of himself.

So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 ESV

the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesus 2:7 ESV

God fashioned man according to his own image. With his own breath, God breathed life into that first man. This final creation could think, reason, communicate, and create on a level far beyond the rest of the material world. Everything else in existence God had made with simple words, but he took more time in the creation of one man than he had in conjuring the whole cosmos.The universe is a true marvel, but the creation of mankind holds greater complexity than everything else because of our immaterial substance, the breath of God, the God-imprint that we still bear.

Unfortunately, sin marred this beautiful creation. Sin has brought pain, disease, separation, and death. God’s marvelous intent for creation was relatively short-lived, as he knew it would be. In his divine plan, he even included his response to man’s sin and rebellion. He would provide a way of redemption. His promise of a Messiah he tucked into the story even here at the beginning of time. Animal skins, bruising of Satan. Judgement, but not without hope.

Thousands of years later, Mary and Zechariah would erupt with praise at the long awaited fulfillment of the Messiah’s coming.

And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.

Luke 1:50 ESV

because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1:78,79 ESV

God’s plan of redemption reawakened worship in a profound way. The beginning of the life of Christ was another creation, as is evident in the beginning of each gospel, especially John 1 that is patterned after Genesis 1. A new beginning. A moving out of darkness once again.

I envision God rewriting the first verses of Genesis each new year, on a smaller scale. “In the beginning of the year, God created January. January was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of each day. And the Spirit of God was hovering over all that was to come.” Obviously, that’s not what the verse says, but I feel a similar sense of anticipation for all of creation that is to come in Genesis 1 as I do in this beginning of a new year. I imagine that God hovered at that moment before creation with both joy and sorrow at what would follow. Despite the looming evil, God created and also planned for the needed redemption.

As I head into this new year, I carry that story in my heart. God’s hovering spirit over the year ahead as he continues to guide and orchestrate, and shower grace and mercy. The knowledge that sin will bring flaws to my beautiful hopes and dreams for the year ahead. The confidence that God redeems when I fail or when others disrupt. With a trusting heart, I will follow God’s example and begin crafting the year ahead with goals and plans and structure, resting in his continued hand over it all despite my humanness.

Creator God, I surrender this year ahead to your plan. Guide my thoughts, decisions, and actions to begin well, to continue when my energy wanes and I face disillusionment, and to finish strong. May this year be a beautiful testimony to your grace and mercy, giving light to those who sit in darkness around me as you guide our feet in the way of peace. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)



Filed under Genesis, Luke

Hebrews 2:11-6:20


We need it. We crave it. God created us with this longing. He set the example of rest during that first week of time, at the conclusion of creation. He built it into the law. He promised it again as he walked this earth and called the weary to come to him and find rest. And yet, even while we claim to desire rest, which God freely offers, we paradoxically keep chasing after tangible and intangible rewards and benefits convinced. We somehow fall into the trap of thinking that our own efforts still need to come into play or will provide better rest.

Rest is not necessarily relaxation. I think I often misdefine it in my hastiness. I think of a quiet moment to put my feet up. An empty day on the calendar. A cleared out email inbox. Retirement. Quiet. Lack of responsibility. None of those are true rest. In each of those scenarios, stress can still consume and bondage to this world can still ensnare.

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:13 ESV

Sin is a liar. We think it will bring satisfaction, so we chase after it, seeking what only God can provide. It gives some momentary pleasure, success, or solution and the thrill pleases our hedonistic selves. Instead, God offers rest.

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

Hebrews 4:8-11 ESV

I need to trust his promise. I fight, he says to be still. I struggle, he says the battle is his. I try to “do,” and he says to simply be. The Christian life is to be one of rest. The battle won, the price paid, the eternity secure.

We have a great high priest who is an example, our sacrifice, our savior, our mediator, our brother and his work assures our rest. God’s rest does not rise and fall, it is not illusive or artificial, it does not depend on my circumstances. His rest is what I truly need instead of whatever the world pretends to offer.

Dear Shepherd God, thank you for leading me to rest. Thank you for providing all that I need each day and into eternity. Keep opening my eyes to your work in my life and the true security and peace that you ensure. Forgive me for chasing fake or temporary rest instead. Thank you for the example and the faith to trust you more deeply each new day. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)


Filed under Uncategorized

1 Corinthians 12:12-15:28

22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

I Corinthians 12:22-26 ESV

The depth of the analogy of the body and the church runs deep. Just this passage shows layer after layer of this comparison, not to mention the other references to this concept in Romans, Colossians, Ephesians, and Hebrews.

In a recent bible study discussion about this concept, one lady said, “I must be the toenail.” She had deduced that toenails were nonessential and so was she. Now, we might all have days we feel non-essential, but just that week I had lost a good chunk of a toenail while running, and I could verify that even a toenail plays an important role in our body function.

While I do not think Paul’s purpose in writing this passage was for us to match body parts to ourselves or others in the local or global congregation, he does have many other purposes in using this illustration.

The church is made up of different people with different roles to play and different gifts.

The church is interconnected, and reliant on one another.

We cannot discredit someone else’s (or our own) place in the body of Christ.

The church is both complex and uniform, diverse and united, many yet one.

I should not diminish someone else’s place, nor should I discredit my own. On the days I feel like a toenail (or appendix or whatever organ I have deemed non-essential), I need to remember that even a cracked or missing toenail affects the whole body. It is not okay for me to sit on the sidelines uninvolved or feeling inadequate. I am a part of the body of Christ and I am indispensable!

What does it look like to function as the body of Christ? The next couple chapters lay that out with a little more detail.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:13 ESV

As I move about my life as the body of Christ, my faith in God and my hope of eternity with him, should overflow in love. Love that sacrifices self. Love that champions others. Love that swallows harsh reactions, love that celebrates, love that shoulders burdens, believes the best, endures the worst.

Love. God’s love. It reconciled me to him and should be the driving force behind each breath I take as a member of the church, his body, on earth.

Loving Father, you have created a marvel in your creation of the Church. The task you call us to would be impossible on our own or with simply human guidelines and so you reminded us to do it all in love. May love craft my everyday as I seek to fill the role you created me for. Thank you for the powerful tool that is the body of Christ and for my part in it. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)


Filed under 1 Corinthians, Uncategorized

Acts 12-13

. . . many were gathered together and were praying.

Acts 12:12b ESV

Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Acts 13:3 ESV

Prayer was not just a casual activity in the early church. I have a feeling their prayer meetings looked a bit different than our fellowship-driven contemporary counterpart.

We don’t know how many people were there, what the meetings looked like, how long they lasted, or the words they spoke. But, the brief references here stir my thoughts and convict me on the quality of my own prayer habits.

The prayer meeting that Peter interrupted was likely an all night vigil since the angel awoke him from a sound sleep for his jailbreak. So much to love about that account:

  • Peter was sleeping. Chained on either side to a soldier and rather than pleading for God on his own behalf, he decided to sleep.
  • Peter clearly had been sleeping soundly. Likely drooling on his chest, head propped up on a soldier’s shoulder. So out of it that the angel had to give him step by step instructions for dressing himself.
  • Takes him until he is outside the jail walking the city streets to realize he wasn’t just having a vivid dream.
  • Mary’s house is clearly central headquarters. He did not have a list of places to try to track down his friends, he knew right where to find them.
  • They did not disappoint. A group sat inside praying for his release. Even after James’s execution, they did not lose faith or hope. They continued to pray that God would work a miracle (of course, even their faith might have wavered since they doubted Rhoda when she said he was not in jail).
  • Rhoda – I want to meet this girl in heaven. In her excitement she forget to do the obvious (let Peter in), but she sticks to her story despite the criticism of her sanity and everyone offering counter-interpretations.
  • What were cultural norms about knocking on a neighbor’s door in those days? How long did Peter wait before he resumed his knocking after Rhoda left him on the step? How quickly did fear creep back in as he realized anyone who recognized him could jeopardize his freedom? Would an angel really break him out of prison just to let him get caught again?

Jump ahead to the next chapter and we see that in Antioch, they also understood the need to prioritize corporate prayer. It is intimately intertwined with worship.

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,[d] Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Acts 13:1-3 ESV

Worshiping, fasting, prayer. All woven together in a corporate plea to God for wisdom. At that time, the Holy Spirit made his intentions clear. They sought his wisdom, and he answered. He responded in a way that was clear to the church.

Usually when I think about the importance of prayer, I think about a personal discipline that I need to spend more time in. This passage is reminding me that corporate prayer is also a neglected habit. I often attend bible studies and church services where prayer is part of the time together. But, I don’t get the feeling from these passages that prayer was just a book end for their meetings. Prayer drove their gathering, at least some of the time.

How often do I seek out friends for times of concentrated prayer?

I’m seeing a need to adjust my thinking on prayer. Prayer closet prayer is powerful and meaningful, but I also need to chase after intentional prayer times with other believers. I need to step beyond the shared requests and 5 minute prayers that wrap up our times together. The early church completely altered their culture and world. What would happen in our world if we prayed with such intention and commitment?

Lord God, teach me again to pray. Not just on my own, but with the power of the early church. In the power of community. Bring people alongside me to stir this habit and pray with passion, faith, and concentrated times. Thank you for hearing my prayers whether offered alone or in a group and for continuing to widen my understanding of you. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)


Filed under Acts

Luke 24:24-53; John 1:1-2:11

Perspective altering faith.

25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:25-27 ESV

Even the disciples that lived with Jesus for three solid years weren’t sure what they were witnessing at the resurrection.

Even the two on the road to Emmaus could not interpret the burning in their hearts when Jesus, in veiled form, spoke to them.

The disciples were terrified when they saw Jesus, returned in the flesh, and they disbelieved at first.

Even when the all powerful Word became flesh, the “world did not know him” (John 1:10 ESV).

When Nathanael’s faith so quickly accepted Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus pointed out the strength of his faith.

And, when the servants dipped into the water jars and gave the sample to the master of the feast, they knew they were not in the presence of an ordinary man.

Faith must transcend sight. At times what we see might reinforce our faith, but faith must premeditate our interpretation of events. I can easily look back on my life, or evaluate a current circumstance through the lens of science, coincidence, or even human logic. These filters will at times have pieces of the truth.

In order for the disciples to finally put together all the puzzle pieces, for the crowd to bow in worship, for me to act against conventional wisdom, faith must first enter the picture. Some seem to pick it up naturally. Nathanael jumped there quickly when he recognized Christ’s prophetic perspective.

The servants that carried the water turned wine might have just acted without regard for the outcome of their actions, simply obeying the people in charge over them. And yet, I wonder the spark of marvel that exploded as they saw that water become the best wine. It reminds me of the time I saw a magician working a crowd gathered round a counter as he very obviously tucked two foam balls in a young person’s hand and closed it into a fist. A wave of the wand, and the audience’s contribution of the magic words, and the hand opened to reveal the balls had now doubled to four. The young person looked as if their hand had betrayed them. The fact that this miracle could happen while he had full control of the objects seemed impossible. And that was just slight of hand. Jesus altered the chemical makeup of the water without so much as a word or wand. The servants fully understood the magnitude of this transformation. That act had manifested the glory of Jesus, it stirred belief in his followers.

Whether faith erupts naturally, grows through years of fertilization, or blooms instantly from God’s direct intervention, faith remains an essential for following Christ.

Sovereign God, thank you for transforming my heart and perspective. Thank you for patiently leading and revealing yourself. Thank you for even going a step further when it should already be painfully obvious, and spelling out the truth of a situation or passage of Scripture. You meet me where I am and bring me to where I never thought possible. Thank you for your patience in love that creates me anew time and again. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Filed under John, Luke