Monday, October 21, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Used: The Power of God

At the end of  Ezra 6, it was a time of joyful celebration. We see the first wave of exiles celebrating with joy all that God had done through them.

More than 50 years elapsed between the end of chapter 6 and the beginning of Ezra 7. During this timeframe, the events in Esther take place. The events in the book of Esther occurred from 483 BC to 473 BC, during the first half of the reign of King Xerxes, who chose Esther as his Queen. During this time, the first remnant of Jews who had returned to Judah struggled to reestablish temple worship according to the Law of Moses. But Esther and Mordecai, along with many other Jews, had chosen not to make the trek back to Judah. They seemed content to stay in Susa, the capital city of Persia, in which the story is set (Source:  The sovereignty and faithfulness of God permeated each scene in the book of Esther; this pattern continues in the book of Ezra.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Real Life Marriage - Funny Married Stuff

When I first saw an episode of Funny Married Stuff, the couple were in the bathroom - he on the toilet and she at the sink, talking. I laughed because it reminded me of the many times my husband and I have done the same thing. It was refreshing to see; I've been a fan ever since. Interestingly, because I live in Los Angeles, I meet a lot of creatives. I met Lony'e, the creator of this series at church when I had no idea who she was. So it's been a pleasure to see the growth of this web series.

Actress Lony’e Perrine,  created the show with her husband Peyton to promote positive relationships. Despite the facts, media representation of marriages is widely negative, with even the most successful black comedy shows such as Blackish showing the stars exploring divorce. Tired of seeing negative images of marriages in the media, the creators of this series are trying to change the narrative. Actress Lony'e Perrine and her husband of 15 years, Peyton Perrine, created the web series Funny Married Stuff as a way to promote positive, fun, and real images of marriage by combining improv humor with a touch of marital lessons.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Celebrate: It's About HIM

Joy leaps out from the last five verses of Ezra 6. "And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy (Ezra 6:16)." Joy is appropriate at this time as they remembered how God worked in and through them.

With God's help, the people of Israel had rebuilt the second temple. They started off enslaved, were freed by a new leader - King Cyrus, and journeyed to Jerusalem with directions to rebuild the temple. They mourned their losses while weeping for the promise of new things. Their leaders unified them, ensuring clearness of purpose. As they plodded along with the

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Verified: God is Working

Have you ever felt like you're not where you're supposed to be? While following God's plan for your life, there are bumps and hurdles along the way, but you persist. When you look back, you see that God's hand was evident, but amidst the bumps and obstacles, there are questions. You wonder if you should be doing what you're doing and struggle with continuing. I think they call this impostor syndrome which is a psychological pattern or a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success, usually marked by doubt.

In Ezra 6, the exiles had a similar experience. Though they were granted freedom by King