If you are like me, I can get a little antsy in my prayer life. I pray and expect immediate results and if they don’t come the way I think they should... I start to fret and worry.
Pride mingled with bitterness is a dangerous combination, it is like ingesting two poisons and seeing which one kills you first.
Conflict and anger when unresolved blossoms into bitterness, resentment, and even rage. It is sad to see a person whose purpose in life has become the hurt of another person. Their focus is completely on the happiness or unhappiness of another, and the only contentment they have is when the other person is hurting, suffering, or “gets theirs”.
The book of Esther is an interesting book, and an encouraging book. It is interesting because if focuses in on the life of one Israeli girl and her impact on saving the people of God. It is encouraging because it shows God’s love for His people.
“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” - Mary Poppins.
“Why would you use poison if you can kill with honey?” - Bosnian Proverb
We have had to set a few live traps in the past in order to catch a couple stray dogs and several resilient raccoons. Nothing in any of these animals wants to walk into a metal cage... and yet they do, why? The food in the trap entices them. The desire to get a scrumptious meal overwhelms the danger and fear associated with where the food is kept. The result... captured.
Who would willingly offer themselves for an unpleasant duty? I have always been amazed at WWII veterans. The number of men who jumped excitedly at the call. Many were like Audie Murphey, a native Texan who falsified his birth certificate to join the Army at age 16!
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” - George Santayana.
One of the most important aspects of the Jewish family was to educate children about God’s Law and the history of being God’s people. Memorials were set up, feast established, and meticulous records kept to help accomplish these purposes. Even with these safeguards in place, the children of Israel often failed because they forgot (or more accurately they failed to remember)!
After the completion of the wall, a new task begins. The wall has been worked on and finished, but now the people themselves need work. Nehemiah will spend the remainder of the work in this more challenging task.
I’ve noticed people can be rather critical, not all, but some for sure. It is much easier to critique and criticize than actual be helpful and constructive.
When sad news hits you what is your first response... what do you do? What about a difficult challenge?
I will never forget the day we learned Andrew, while still in the womb, may be born with Trisomy 18. If this were indeed the case he would have likely died sometime in his first year of life. The test was noninvasive, and we elected to see if he indeed had the syndrome. The test would take about 2 weeks to get results. Those were long weeks. When the we learned this might be a possibility, it was like a ton of bricks hitting us... we were dumbfounded. But in the midst of it all there was a peaceful and quiet assurance.
Nehemiah, the book about building. Where Ezra dealt with the rebuilding of the temple and spirituality of the people, Nehemiah deals with the rebuilding of the city (mainly the walls) and the nationality of the people. Nehemiah is a wonderful example of a leader, and many have used his practical style of leadership as training points.