(May 07, 2022) Brian Bellchallenges us to be a worthy servant like ‘a man named Ezra’ …
With these four almost inconspicuous words contained in chapter 7 of the book of Ezra, we are introduced to the character of Ezra.
The book of Ezra tells us about the return of Jewish exiles from Babylon, beginning with those who returned with Zerubbabel and at a later time with Ezra. Ezra and the other exiles who returned to Jerusalem with him, got there about 13 years before the return of Nehemiah and other exiles, described in the book of Nehemiah.
The primary action carried out by the returning exiles as described in Ezra, was the reconstruction of the temple led by Zerubbabel, Ezra’s role is what I would describe as leading ‘spiritual renewal’ or ‘revival’ while the focus of Nehemiah was the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls which is replete with spiritual applications.
I believe both Ezra and Nehemiah could be said to be men who were ‘directed’ by the Holy Spirit, while those words are not specifically used when speaking of them, I believe it is borne out in the scriptural descriptions given of them. In this meditation I will share only some thoughts about Ezra.
(July 24, 2021) Mama Lava shares an important realisation…
My eyebrows threatened to send me into a tailspin a few minutes ago!
I thought I’d write about it… just in case anyone else is in a tailspin and needs to be reminded of their value.
Tailspin horrors So here’s what happened… I had just returned from a quick lunch date with my husband, Michael; nothing fancy, just a quick burrito at the place around the corner. I glanced into the mirror and noticed that my eyebrows really needed reshaping.
Suddenly, I heard the voice of one of my friends echo in my head about how vitally important it is for a wife to look ‘put together’ for her husband. I saw her beautifully kempt face in my mind’s eye, and I felt so inferior. ‘My poor husband must not feel as honoured by me as my friend’s husband does by her.’
Also in the mirror, I could see the shower door. It had water spots on it. The voice of another friend quipped up about how vital, and easy, it is to keep a clean house.
(May 16, 2021)Bonnie Spencer shares a meditation on our existence…
I rarely ponder philosophical questions.
They take me back to the merry-go-round of my childhood playground. We’d get the wheel spinning so fast that I’d hold on with a death grip to keep from flying off and bouncing across the hardpacked dirt!
Ride to nowhere In college I took the required Philosophy 101. It was one of my top five least favourite classes. I couldn’t wrap my brain around questions such as…
What are thoughts?
Where do they come from?
Do numbers really exist?
Are they something man has created?
Why do women open their mouths when they put on mascara?
Occasionally, though, I do end up on that ride that goes nowhere. That was the case recently when my mind encountered the idea of existence. What if I had not been born? What would it be like if I had never lived?
The alternative, of course, would be that I never existed… ever. I wouldn’t know anything. But that would be okay, I thought, because… well, I wouldn’t even know I didn’t know anything. By now, the wheel was spinning furiously while my neurons were off swinging on the monkey bars instead of communicating with their neighbours!
Reality The reality is that I do exist, and it can’t be undone. So here I am. I didn’t ask to be here, and no one asked me if I wanted to be here.
(November 13, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to seek God’s purpose for us in life…
‘Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails’ declares Proverbs 19:21.
Never doubting God
In 1975, I graduated from college and was immediately hired to teach in the public school system. While I never doubted my life’s calling as a teacher, God steered me from majoring in elementary education to that of a secondary educator.
And, because I was surprised by this unexpected turn in my path, I’ve never doubted it was God’s plan for me all along.
During my 30-year teaching career, God repeatedly reminded me through the relationships I had with my students, both during and after their high school years, that his purpose had prevailed.
Even after my retirement from education, God has used me to encourage, and to minister to, my former students.
Redirected by the Holy Spirit
But while I had post-retirement plans, God had a greater one. (more…)
One of my favourite songs contains a chorus which includes the phrase ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by…’
The message of the song is derived from specific instances in the life of Jesus. The brief meditation I share here is based on one – with suggestions as to how he made a difference and how we may try to follow his example.
Our daughter was married back in 2002 and I well remember the effort we made and (to be honest) the money spent to try to ensure the wedding guests were comfortable and would enjoy their meal.
Remember the incident of the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John chapter 2)? Let’s recall how the presence of Jesus ensured the guests Cana guests were able to continue enjoying the wedding. (more…)
(August 6, 2017) Tim Edwards brings a timely word based on 2 Kings 2: 1-8…
Sometimes life is tough. Sometimes in all our lives there are moments, days, weeks or even lengthy seasons where we struggle to understand what is going on, what to do about it.
As a pastor I have many conversations every week with a variety of people (and not only from my own church) – guess what I am seeing at the moment? Some tough times. I’m very aware that there are large numbers of people who are currently walking through difficult times.
Yes, life can be tough!
The reality is that that life can be tough, is tough, even for great Christians! And I am more and more convinced every day that we as humans, on our own and in our own limited capacity, have no answers at all to help us through the messiness of life.
Our search for purpose, meaning, security, stability, relationships and love is just not found in the things we as humans tend to value and count and attempt to accumulate – money, possessions, power, position, politics, business or anything else for that matter. None of it helps.(more…)
(March 6, 2017) Tim Edwards brings a timely, challenging kingdom word…
Church – and the kingdom – is not about me; it’s about God and all of us together. 2017 is the beginning of a new season, a new chapter, a new day and I personally can’t wait to see where God takes us all on the journey.
EveryChristian shares a clear purpose that is given to all who love and obey God. As Christians who who are aiming to live a Christ-like life, we all have the same purpose as recorded in Matthew 22 and 28…
The great commandment – asking us to ‘love God and love one another’
The great commission – asking us to ‘go’, to take that love out to the people, into life, and offer everyone the opportunity to connect to God
Loving God, people and life summarises ourshared purposeas Christians.
(October 12, 2016) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes shares on a modern missions’ trend…
The history of modern Christian mission can be helpfully described by trends in given eras of missionary enterprise. Dr Ralph Winter in his classic article on the Three Eras of Protestant Mission defines modern mission as the period since the resurgence of missionary activity in the 19th and 20th century portrays trends of great difference.
Significant eras and appeals
There was the era of …
Inland Missions era came next and
People Group Missions
Each era had its own distinctives and advocates. (more…)
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PENNSYLVANIA (PA) Allowing Jesus to use your talent
Author Hope Flinchbaugh shares good news resulting from her honouring God with her talent …
Readers of Across the China Sky, the second novel in my Daughter of China series, will recall the ins and outs of the dangerous eastern Lighting Cult.
Girl saved from a cult
Just recently a university student’s parents called me to say that my book had saved their daughter’s life. Their American daughter was in China and members of the EL cult were following her to coerce her into converting to their cult. (more…)