Keep Reading (Esther 9 and 10)

Read until the very end of the book of Esther and you might just say, “Wow! That is not the Veggie Tales version of that story!” We tend to end the telling of Esther’s story with the triumphant moment when evil Haman is swinging from a gallows and Esther has saved her people. “On the […]

Dressed for Success (Esther 5)

I recently had a conversation with a woman who was devastated that her niece, whom she had not bothered to see more than a handful of times, and had no real relationship with, was not enthusiastically taking her advice on dating and marriage, now that the aunt had all of a sudden decided to jump […]

God’s Gentle Reminder (Esther 1)

If there is such a thing as an “easy” marriage (which I doubt), my husband and I did not get one. Like every marriage, our success hinges on both of us putting in a tremendous amount of effort. Do you want to know the truth? Sometimes its hard to want to keep working. During a […]

Laying Bricks (Nehemiah)

Have you ever breezed right past the long lists of names that sometimes occur in scripture? It’s certainly tempting. (I’ve been guilty of it myself!) However, all of those names teach us something important about great moves of God: They all start with people obediently getting up off the couch and getting to work. That […]

Not Today Satan (Nehemiah 6)

No one has more experience with conflict management than a mom with a bunch of kids. (By now, I should be an expert.) When my kids are fussing they will tell you that I always remind them: You do not have to attend every argument that you are invited to. That’s good advice for all […]

I’ve Got Your Back (Nehemiah 4)

If you are looking for practical wisdom on living the Christian life well, you can toss entire libraries of self-help books because the book of Nehemiah has you covered. When Nehemiah and the Jews rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem undertook this vast building project, they “worked with all their hearts.” (Neh. 4:6) Even though they […]

Getting Things Done (Nehemiah 1)

When I was in my college Master’s program, I was constantly annoyed that my professors kept assigning “reflection journals” and “debriefing cohorts.” Anytime we had a class discussion, or did even the most minor activity, we had to sit for an hour with our classmates and “reflect” (aka: chat about our feelings, complain, argue) about […]

No Such Thing as a Coincidence (Ezra 5)

Sometimes God sends an answer to our problem before we even know we need it. While attempting to reconstruct the broken-down temple in Jerusalem, the Jewish people faced obstruction from every side. Opposition persisted past the tenure of King Cyrus, who had originally commissioned the venture. When King Darius the Mede came to power, their […]