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Learning From a Lizard

Sitting outside this afternoon, enjoying the cool temperatures, I had a brief moment to observe a new lizard in my backyard. He’s new only because he was hatched in my rock garden just this summer. I’ve loved reptiles since I was a child, but in Iowa, you really only get to see them in pet stores. Living in Arizona for nearly 15 years I’ve been able to observe them nearly year round, and I have discovered one of their secret…

Building Our Temple

In response to 14 years of neglecting to build God’s temple in Jerusalem, God spoke through Haggai to the generation of exiles that were responsible for this. They laid the foundation of a temple, but then they fell into a state of indifference. When God spoke, He was not indifferent at all, He was all about going forward. He offered the exiles two strong things to consider for changing the situation of neglect: 1. “I am with you.” Our God…

Oppression

Through the Prophet Haggai, God sends a message to 50,000 repatriated Jews in Jerusalem and Judah who had let their priorities become wonky. They laid the foundation of a new temple, but ceased all activity for 14 years because of oppression and sabotage from enemies. God was no longer the priority, and giving Him glory as the God of Israel had slipped to the bottom of the “to do” list. They had no plan to get back on track, so…

Cares and Worries

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 When reading this verse recently, as often happens, something new jumped off the page: Give. Not “tell God about” or “plead with Him to deal with” those worries and cares, but give them to Him. When we give something to someone else, it is no longer ours. It now belongs to them. Whether it’s a birthday present, or even taking unwanted clothes to the…

Preach the Word!

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 The Apostle Paul wrote this exhortation to young Timothy who was now serving as the shepherd for the church at Ephesus. These words and the rest of the letter are the encouragement and instruction from an older pastor to a younger one. I couldn’t help but notice an aspect of this particular verse that has taken on a…
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