Blog

A place for biblical encouragement and other resources 
I pray will help you grow as a disciple of Jesus. 

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My study Bible interrupts Nehemiah 3 with a diagram of the wall in Jerusalem some time in the 400s BC. Included is a detailed drawing of the wall that Nehemiah and his community set out to build. This was certainly an extensive project, and yet we see how the people conquered it: one brick at a time. In some places, the wall needed only to be repaired, and in some places it needed to be rebuilt all together. Some places needed a solid wall and others needed a gate, still others a tower. Groups of workers were identified by their families and sometimes by where they lived.

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The good news for me, for you, is that God keeps His promises to Abram, even in the midst of Abram’s less than exemplary choices. God doesn’t let Abram’s fear thwart His ultimate plan, and He won’t let our fear hinder His good plans for us, either. God didn’t let Nehemiah’s fear stand in the way of His provision to build the wall. God didn’t let Peter’s doubt or worry keep Him in the prison. God didn’t let Israel’s unrepentance keep them from witnessing the resurrection of the Messiah.

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As I sat late into the night reliving our catastrophe over and over again, I began to see how God’s fingerprints were all over it. No, He didn’t stop it from happening and, no, He didn’t provide the instant, miraculous answers we were begging for. But there was also no way to deny that He was there, constant, working out little details on our behalf, putting the right people in the right places at the right times, gently guiding us not out of, but through, our darkest times. I saw that while our plans had changed, His plan to be with us was still completely intact, even in the unexpected.

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Throughout all of Scripture, and even in my own life, this is what God does – He makes the unlikely His disciples, He makes strangers into friends and friends into family. He gives us each other. To repent together, to weep together, to rejoice together, to weather the storm together, to pray together.

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I’ve prayed for miracles. Sometimes, I have been given miracles. And sometimes, I haven’t; my friends and family members have still died, they have remained sick, they have continued to struggle with pain and heartache. But I know this astounding truth – that no matter what we face here on earth, be it the shame of Noah or the confusion of the Israelites, the sorrow of Ezra or the illness of the people we encounter in Matthew, even if our past is as scarlet as Saul’s – our friend Jesus has the power to forgive all our sins and to bring us into eternity with Him.