I’m Busy Right Now (Nehemiah 4-6)

"I am doing a great work and I cannot come down..." (Nehemiah 6:3b) Have you ever found in your life that the urgent has a tendency to push out the important?  It never ceases to amaze me how, when I'm doing something important, someone or something tries to get in the way and stop me from accomplishing the task.  Even in the last several weeks, I've had some very ... [Continue Reading]

Pray Like It Depends on God (Nehemiah 1-3)

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4) Being a person of prayer doesn't mean that you never take action.  However, it does mean that you have an understanding that your actions will fall utterly flat unless they're the actions that God has directed you in doing.  Such was the ... [Continue Reading]

The Opportunity is Now (Esther 1-5)

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14b) Does anything happen by accident?  Does God put circumstances in our lives for no purpose?  Does He give us our jobs, our neighbors, or other relationships for no reason at all?  Or perhaps He uniquely places us where we are for the opportunities He has in store for us. The ... [Continue Reading]

Just When You Thought… (Ezra 5-7)

May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.  I Darius have decreed it.  Let it be carried out with diligence. (Ezra 6:12) There are times in life when a situation looks impossible.  The way out seems unfathomable, and we just don't know what to do.  In fact, ... [Continue Reading]

Today (Ezra 1, 3-4)

But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. (Ezra 3:12) Today is different than yesterday.  What happened yesterday may have impacted my today, but that is all history.  It can't be changed, relived, or even removed. ... [Continue Reading]

If Not To God, To Whom? (Isaiah 10)

What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?  To whom will you run for help?  Where will you leave your riches? (Isaiah 10:3) It's tempting sometimes to believe that we have a lot of say in what goes on in our lives and in the world.  While we do have some level of freedom in our lives, Isaiah reminds us that God is ultimately the One in ... [Continue Reading]

Becoming Popular (Amos 7-9)

Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer!  Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.” There's a sense in which we all want to be popular.  We all want to be liked, included, and appreciated.  Some people even go to great lengths to make sure that people like them, but becoming popular can be costly - particularly when it's at ... [Continue Reading]

Be Careful, Keep Calm, Don’t Be Afraid (Isaiah 7-8)

Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid.’ (Isaiah 7:4a) The phrase, "Keep Calm and Carry On" dates back further than World War II.  The story goes that the British government developed a number of posters to be placed in public areas to improve the morale of its people.  Though more than 2.5 million posters were printed, they were never circulated publicly. ... [Continue Reading]

Not Me! (Isaiah 5-6)

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  And I said, “Here am I.  Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) Life with a one-year-old certainly presents some interesting learning situations.  Right now we're working on teaching Madelyn to eat whatever is given to her.  She has a special gift of evading a spoon full of food that she doesn't want ... [Continue Reading]

To Whom Do You Listen? (1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18)

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.  He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” (1 Kings 22:8a) To whom have you given permission to speak truth into your life?  King Ahab only gave permission to those who would speak positively of ... [Continue Reading]