Ezra 1:5—So the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites—everyone God had motivated—prepared to go up and rebuild the LORD’s house in Jerusalem.
For seventy years the Jews lived in exile in Babylon and surrounding nations. Their severe unfaithfulness to God resulted in His fierce punishment which meant they were forcefully removed from their homes. But, in keeping with His promise communicated through multiple prophets, God opened a way through the Persian King Cyrus for the exiles to go home. As we read in the book of Ezra, those who were motivated by Godpacked up their belongings and moved back to their homeland to rebuild the Lord’s temple and settle.
Jackie called her friend Sandy and informed her that she was going to quit her job. When asked why, she said that her company changed management and the new boss was unfriendly towards her and very critical of her work. Rather than try and figure out the profile of her new boss and how she might modify her behavior, it was easier for Jackie to leave. Jackie does not like conflict. Not many people do.
Mark was one of my soldiers when I commanded D Company 3/502ndInfantry in the 101stAirborne (Air Assault) Division. How encouraging it is over 30 years later to hear his story and vision for manhood! It is a story about choosing the right path and may it bless you.
Genesis 26:21,22—Then they dug another well and quarreled over that one also, so he named it Hostility. He moved from there and dug another, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Open Spaces and said, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
The Philistines inhabited the land of Canaan and because water was precious in that arid region there was competition over who controlled it. In the passage above, Isaac, the son of Abraham could not escape quarreling with Philistine herdsmen who, envious of his wealth, claimed any wells Isaac’s servants dug up as their own. They should have been thankful for more sources of water. Instead, by their hostile actions, they were sending a message to Isaac—“Get out of our land.”
Psalm 138:8—The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me. LORD, Your love is eternal; do not abandon the work of Your hands.
There is natural reason for Ukrainians to dread Russia taking over their country again—oppression under communism was intense and costly. Ukrainian Kostyantyn spent many years in a Soviet labor camp. The authorities disliked his actions as an elder in his church so they sent him to be re-educated. Over 200 pastors were also sent to the same camp.
When we arrive in heaven will there be a Hall of Fame? Will we find an interactive display manned by select angels who share the stories of those living legends who served God exceedingly well? Conversely, will there be a Hall of Shame in hell for those who acted in the power of Satan? If Hitler was one of the worst men to walk the planet we might also find that his countryman Dietrich Bonhoefferwas an exceptional saint. This German Lutheran pastor and theologian could have successfully pastored in the United States or in Great Britain. Instead, he chose to go back to his country and preach and teach knowing that his life was in jeopardy.
Sandra, the leader of Jennifer’s home Bible Study, informed the women of her job promotion with Key Bank. As a result, she would be moving to another state. While the women cheered her good fortune, immediately they wondered what would happen to their group when she left. At first, there was quite a bit of discouragement. Jennifer was personally going through a rough time in her life as a parent and Sandra’s advice was often invaluable and encouraging.
Genesis 29:35--And she conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then Leah stopped having children.
Leah was not the favored wife of Jacob. He was in love with Rachel and only married Leah through her father’s deception. Imagine how it must have felt for this woman to compete with her sister for her spouse’s affection. Yet, when God saw the plight of this unloved woman, He opened her womb. She bore Jacob six sons! The fourth son she named Judah, which is derived from the Hebrew word yadah,meaning praise.
It’s hard to sleep at night with the realization that you may wake up with your house tumbling into the ocean. Such is the case of many Oregonian coast dwellers watching in apprehension each winter as Pacific waves continue to steadily devour beach and sand dune. The importunate cries of desperate homeowners have reached lawmakers who must decide whether to allow the emplacement of huge boulders that would form a wall against the water.
Drafting is such an amazing art. I find it fascinating how engineers depict buildings and objects through the skillful drawing of lines and shading areas. Did you know that perspective is defined in The American Heritage Dictionary as: “The technique of representing three-dimensional objects and depth relationships on a two-dimensional surface."
There will come a time in your life when your heart is surrounded by sorrow and the light of life seems remote, flickering against the howling wind of affliction. In times of tenebrific anguish, it is important to realize that you are emotionally at a much deeper level than most who are around you. This heightens the possibility that they will not understand what you are experiencing. If you are in a prolonged state of anguish, many will tire of your depressed condition and suggest you need to quit feeling sorry and move on with life. Misery may love company but not for long.
Psalm 57:4--I am surrounded by lions; I lie down with those who devour men. Their teeth are spears and arrows; their tongues are sharp swords.
The only marathon I’ve ever run was the San Diego Marathon. I trained hard and enjoyed running along the coastline. I determined to run at a 7:00 minute/mile pace. I was psyched on the day of the race to meet my goal of completing the 26+ mile race in under 3 hours.