Have I got good news for you today! I find that I sometimes think it’s my responsibility to fight the enemy, to stand up to him in my strength. I am getting better at recognizing when my agonizing thoughts or churning gut are due to his adversarial lies. And I know I should rebuke him …

Tuesday after my blog posted, I talked to my husband. It was unrelated to the blog, but before we hung up he tentatively said, “Hey, I don’t want to criticize your writing or anything, but you just don’t have the facts straight in your blog today.” Hmmm…facts not straight? I have an incredible memory so …

Read Nehemiah 5:19; 6:1-3, 14 What do you do when you face an adversary? Or when an adversary wants to meet with you? Do you have a strategic plan? Nehemiah did. Continually throughout the story, Nehemiah responded to criticism, taunts, intimidation and accusations in several ways. First, he prayed. He asked God to remember him …

There is a really great story in the Old Testament about the children of Israel coming back to Jerusalem after seventy years in captivity. They were taken captive in three groups and they came back in three groups. The third group to return came back under the leadership of Nehemiah. He learned that the city …

The first day of a new week! A beautiful time to dedicate to the Lord. So wherever you find yourself today, set some time aside to see life in a new way and give thanks to him for all his goodness to you. Read: Psalm 19:1-4 Thursday I went to the beach to scavenge shells …

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. He baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and by all appearances, knew that he was the Messiah. But after his arrest, he seems to waver a bit. Read: Matthew 11:1-6 Now, I’m sorry Jesus. But you did not answer the question. …

Even those who lived in the first century wanted to know who Jesus’ was. But Jesus’ answer often seemed vague and veiled. Read: John 10:22-33 This encounter occurred near the end of Jesus’ life. The people are curious about his identity; they want to know if he is the Messiah. Jesus says the proof is …

Read: Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-19 Some passages, such as this one in Isaiah, are called Messianic because they point to and predict the coming Messiah. Isaiah wrote this hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, but it pointed to a future time, when the Messiah would appear. When Jesus was asked to speak in the synagogue, …

“Who do you say I am?” This is the question we are examining this week. Jesus has been asking it for a long time. Read: Mark 8:27-33 This is the only time Jesus’ asks that question aloud. He was with his disciples walking to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. I imagine as they walk they …

Read: John 1:10-12; 1 John 2:22-23; 1 John 3:23-24; I John 4:2 I like happy messages. Words that convey I am doing a good job, not falling short. Criticism has historically been difficult for me because I want to get it right. If I didn’t get it right, someone must be disappointed with me. Through …