Monday, January 13, 2020

Joyful Expressions

Have you ever noticed the joyful expressions throughout the Christmas story, as told in Luke 1 and Luke 2? Through fresh eyes as I reread this familiar passage this past Christmas, joyful feelings resonated with me.




Monday, December 23, 2019

Discovering Advent

You, like me, may not have grown up celebrating Advent. You may not have ever heard about it until now. I became aware of Advent about 5 years ago, but I have not incorporated it into my routine until this year.

First, some background.  Here is some information on Advent that I discovered as I wrote this post:



Monday, December 16, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Change: There is Hope

The last chapter of Ezra does not end as we would expect; instead, we see what happens when we truly make a U-turn and change. In this final chapter, there's a recognition of error, coupled with a desire to correct even though it affects their life choices. You see, these men had married women from countries that did not believe in God, which means these women also did not believe in God. God placed a prohibition of intermarriage with the people of heathen nations (Deuteronomy 7:1-6). This chapter ends with a reckoning, listing all the men that left their wives, but let's not oversimplify it. This is


Monday, December 2, 2019

Ezra Bible Study - Appalled: God's People Fail to Separate Themselves

What can make a man so burdened for others that he pours out his heart to God on their behalf? Like a loving parent, when Ezra prayed (Ezra 9), he was appalled by the blatant ignorance of God's laws by the people of Israel. The Jews weren't always this way. In previous chapters, they stood firm. Ezra's love for God and his people, combined with his knowledge of God, brought him to his knees.

Ezra's prayer has a posture of reverential fear and priestly intercession. Ezra 9:1-2 seems to recall passages from the Law of Moses against intermarriage with the surrounding Canaanite tribes, in particular, Exodus 34:11-16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-4. The failure to separate was more