I was loading up the car with boxes of books to take to our new apartment when my cell phone rang. When I answered the phone Taylor, one of the staff for Jefferson Gables Apartments, said, “Mr. York I’m so sorry but you cannot move in tomorrow. We found an error.”
“An error, what kind of error?”
“We have to replace the entire carpet. You can’t move in for at least two weeks. But the good news is you will have new carpet.”
Much of Israel—the Promised Land, is comprised of desert. God uses the barren to refine and teach; to rebuke and train. There are countless lessons to be learned in a place we would not choose. And always waiting is the truth that God, if we keep our eyes fixed on Him, will see us through to the resplendent sanctuary for His glory and our joy.
Jonathan Cahn shared a historical piece of information that is quite fascinating. In the time of the Jewish second temple, each Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), a scarlet cord was attached to the Temple doors. It represented the people’s sins in line with Isaiah 1:18, “‘Come, let us discuss this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.’” At the end of the day after the completion of the ordinances the scarlet cord turned white. This supernatural phenomenon occurred annually until the year Jesus Christ was crucified—then the cord remained scarlet. Why did this happen?
Today as I’m writing this Hamas is firing rockets into Tel Aviv and Israel is conducting counter air strikes. Seeing conflict flare up in Israel made me curious so I consulted the internet: “What city has been conquered the most?”
Occasionally when I’m reading my Bible a statement will just jump off the pages and grab me. It happened this week while I was studying Romans chapters 13-16. Look at the two verses below and see if anything strikes you.
Romans 15:23,24—But now I no longer have any work to do in these provinces, and I have strongly desired for many years to come to you whenever I travel to Spain. For I hope to see you when I pass through, and to be assisted by you for my journey there, once I have first enjoyed your company for a while.
When I conducted an search for the “10 most stressful events” on the internet, the first two sources listed moving as #7.I remember learning from a sociology class at West Point that moving was a big stressor. It does make sense. Moving is largely comprised of change, and the transitions change demand can be cortisol-producing. Imagine driving a packed 26-foot U-Haul truck from Colorado to Virginia and encountering drivers who seem clueless that one cannot slam on the brakes and immediately stop a fully-loaded truck!
 https://thriveglobal.com/stories/10-most-stressful-life-events/; https://kerryon.wordpress.com/2020/01/19/top-10-most-stressful-life-events-de-stress-and-kerry-on/
When the leaders of the military set as their highest priority rooting out right-wing extremists and ensuring transgender Americans can serve in the force we can be sure that our readiness is woefully compromised.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a devotional on leaving but it seems appropriate to write one. After six years in Colorado, a destination I arrived at with no expectation of ever moving again, once more I find myself getting ready to pack up a moving truck and transport my family. We are leaving the Rockies, a beautiful city, a great church, wonderful friends and a place we truly love because of health reasons. It seems that for some of us, living at a high elevation (almost 7,000 ft.) comes with a cost and it is one that is not worth paying if it can be avoided.
One of the biggest builders of strong relationships is the ability to communicate well. Scott Kersha wrote an article entitled, “Talking is Easy, Communication is Not.” In his article, Scott shares 10 pitfalls to avoid in order to build a strong marriage. I’ve taken these and converted them into eight positive ways to better communicate for any and all relationships.
Honesty requires the truthfulness to admit the attachment and addictions that control our attention, dominate our consciousness, and function as false gods . . . When we give anything more priority than we give to God, we commit idolatry. Thus we all commit idolatry countless times every day.—Brennan Manning in The Ragamuffin Gospel
Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your convictions instead of being devoted to God.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
It is ingrained in our thinking that competition and rivalry are essential to the carrying on of civilized life; that is why Jesus Christ’s statements seem wild and ridiculous.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
Started in 1994, the No Regrets Men’s Conference is an annual event whose purpose is to challenge men in their relationship with God at home, at work and in their ministry. Hosted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the organizers seek to create an environment over about a four-hour period that ministers in a great variety of host sites around the world. Spiritual growth is set in motion when men and boys come together to worship and to hear challenging messages. What is also encouraging is the effort by the leaders to provide ongoing Bible Studies and messages designed to stimulate men spiritually so they don’t just experience a “one and done” but have impetus to keep maturing.
Have you ever considered that during some of the worst, most difficult times of your life that God may have actually been right in front of you, standing on the rock?
Fellowship is a rich concept much deeper in meaning than we probably realize!
The post-apostolic fathers took the realm of the demonic so seriously that they automatically took new converts from paganism through rites of deliverance from evil supernaturalism, a practice we have lost to our detriment.—Dr. Ed Murphy in The Handbook of Spiritual Warfare
It might seem strange to start the year with a devotional on 1 & 2 Kings but it actually is quite appropriate. In this new year a president-elect is soon to be inaugurated. Somewhere around 1010 B.C., David, arguably the nation of Israel’s greatest king, just before he died passed great wisdom to his son Solomon. His words if heeded by any newly elected leader or monarch in modern times would make a significant difference.
Tragedies do not destroy the body of Christ when followers of Jesus stand together in unity.
Where there is unity there is always victory.--Publilius Syrus
Right now, in this age of dissension, the body of Christ must put its eyes on the Father, set aside debilitating differences and walk in obedience to its calling. Much is at stake—let us come together!
Did you know that there are approximately 80 million landmines that are lying around the world active and unexploded? Did you know that in Tanzania APOPO is a charity that trains rats so that they can detect landmines? Meet Magawa. This African Giant Pouched Rat is larger than the average rat but light enough to walk over a mine without setting it off. It took nine months to train him in the art of detection before shipping him to Cambodia.