Our Prince



Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 3-4, Hebrews 9, Amos 3, Psalms 146-147

“I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 

Put not your trust in princes,

in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;

on that very day his plans perish.”

Psalm 146: 2-4

 It’s been quite a week to live here on this earth in our little country called The United States. At least I’m sure our country is small to our Heavenly Father who is looking down on us, shaking his head as we struggle to be united. My heart has been heavy with the responsibility of writing today. Mostly, because I want to deliver an uplifting message to everyone and maybe because I need one myself. We’ve spent this week, this month, this year focused on the plans that one person has for our country. But we forgot. We forgot that there isn’t a person on this earth that can have dominion over everything.

“…when his breath departs, he returns to earth; on that very day his plans perish.” 

When we put all of our hope and our trust and our faith in a human being, there will be hardship. No matter who it is. No one can carry our lives in their hand, keep us safe, and protect our souls like our Father. It has been a hard lesson, but we are learning. Our country is swept up in fear, hostility and in some places violence. The division is deep, and it hurts. There is one that can heal us. One that shows us each day that our plans are just for now, while we are here. What endures is God’s love, generation after generation.

At another time in my life when I was afraid and alone, a friend took the time to write encouraging scriptures for me on some little yellow note cards. Those cards saved me. Literally, those cards brought the Bible into my life for the very first time. Despite growing up Catholic I had never opened a Bible. The first time I read about God’s promises, they were written on yellow index cards. This opportunity to write for Bible Journal has matured my faith more than I could have imagined, I am reading many of His sacred words for the first time. Now, I hold those passages close to my heart. I speak them out loud, read them in a quiet moment or simply think them while driving from place to place. That small act of taking an hour to write scripture onto note cards had such an impact on my life. As I prayed about what to write for you today, God told me to bring it back to the simplicity of his word. He reminded me that we can’t fix things here on earth. We are a broken world with broken people. He is the only “fixer.” I realized that the uplifting message I have to share with you today is just Jesus. He is our salvation.

Lord, we know that you are in control of everything. We know that you lead us each and every day. Help us to see your way Father.

A few of the yellow cards:


“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13


“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3


“Faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see…By faith, I understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3


“God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of calm and well balanced mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7


“Now unto Him who is able to do more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be the glory forever and ever, Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21


“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach me, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures I might have hope.” Romans 15:4

A New Covenant

But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.Hebrews 8:8-9

As I read about this New Covenant I wonder: Why did we need one? How does it work?

God once made a covenant with His chosen people. These were the descendants of Noah, and the children of Abraham. He promised to bless them and save them; and to save the world through them. They, in exchange were bound to his law, essentially the Ten Commandments. Law that focused primarily on loving God and each other, putting God above all while striving for purity and relying on ritual sacrifice to receive God’s atonement for sin.

As I read through the book of Kings and 2Kings, it reinforces the tremendous disappointment God experienced in the almost constant rebellion of his people. Though God appeared at crucial times, rescuing His chosen people, offering many signs and wonders, still they turned away — worshiping other gods, sacrificing their children, and leaning on their own understanding.

The New Covenant came despite God’s disappointment, perhaps even because of it. It came as an expression of His constant love for people. This is not His plan “B” but the final reconciliation, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Considering our tendency to rebel, it’s remarkable God extends salvation to us. When we receive God’s grace, in an instant our sins are washed away and we are made righteous by faith! No longer under the power of the law, we are set free in Christ and given freedom to pursue a relationship with the one true God. A holy God who declares our innocence, though we are guilty. A self-sacrificing God, who takes our place on the cross and dies for our sins so we don’t have to.

The New Covenant is based on an act of love that restores the fullness of God’s intended relationship with us — His created beings. Once set free from sin, we are able to pursue holiness in the power of God’s Holy Spirit and a life in the presence of a living God who offers everything we cannot attain on our own. In this way we are blessed with peace, freedom, power and joy in the truth and security of an eternal, dynamic relationship with the very creator of the universe! This is the New Covenant. Thank you God!

Reading: 1 Chronicles 1–2; Hebrews 8; Amos 2; Psalm 145

Sweat the Details

Crown of thorns hanging on a wooden cross at Easter

Today’s reading:  2 Kings 25; Hebrews 7; Amos 1; Psalm 144

Doug Lemov is the Managing Director of an organization called Uncommon Schools.  The group’s mission is to establish and manage urban schools that successfully prepare low income students for college.  Lemov attributes the success of this organization to talented, passionate teachers who use a variety of techniques to drive positive outcomes in some of the most challenging settings.  Their methods are summarized in his bestselling books, Teach Like a Champion (Jossey-Bass, 2010) and Teach Like a Champion 2.0 (Wiley, 2015).

In Teach Like a Champion, Technique 40 is called Sweat the Details.  The underlying principle of this technique is that if you want students to follow a specific order and do things a specific way, you must create and enforce an overarching sense of order.  Be on time, keep everything in its place, and always follow a specific routine to accomplish tasks.  The order achieved by these disciplines leads to efficiency.  It is a proven fact that an efficiently run classroom leads to less wasted time, fewer lost assignments and ultimately more successful learning.

Our study of Hebrews 7 today makes me think of “sweating the details”.  How God aligned every detail throughout all of history to point to Jesus as the promised Messiah, our Savior and Lord, is simply mind-boggling. The book of Hebrews was written to Jews who were struggling to reconcile Old Testament law with Jesus’ message of grace through faith.  I’ll be honest, Hebrews has helped me connect the dots on details of Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy that I never even considered.  Jesus’ link to Melchizedek, as referenced in Hebrews 4-7, is one of those dots.

The author of Hebrews, in chapters 4 and 5, talks about our need for a Savior. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).

The text then points to Jesus as our Savior, our High Priest. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:14-15).

It goes on to illustrate Jesus’ fulfillment of prophecy by referencing Psalm 110:4 where the Messiah is described as a priest from the line of Melchizedek. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. And God designated him to be a High Priest in the line of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:9-10).

Our text in Hebrews 7 today compares Jesus to Melchizedek.  It helps us understand the significance of Jesus’ priesthood through this line, rather than through the line of Aaron (Levites).

  • His priesthood has no end (Hebrews 7:3, 24).
  • His priesthood is superior to the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:6, 23).
  • His priesthood establishes the new covenant – grace through faith (Hebrews 7:12, 18).
  • His appointment was from God himself (Hebrews 7:20, 28).

Verse 22 sums it up perfectly – This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant (Hebrews 7:22).

Think about this for a minute. All the details God aligned to signify Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah aren’t going to make us perfect at managing our classrooms, managing our work, or running our households.  They certainly won’t make us perfect people.  We are still sinners, and nothing we could do will measure up to God’s perfect standards.  The beauty is God knows this.  Instead of trying to make us good enough, he aligned every detail, sent his son to pay the price on our behalf, and made a way for us to stand before the throne on judgment day without blemish, perfect in his sight.

What an amazing gift. As I reflect on things to be thankful for this holiday season, this tops my list.

What are you thankful for?

Recently in our space at work someone put up a huge magnetic whiteboard and wrote at the top “What are you thankful for?” I loved seeing this and was eager to write on it and see it fill up with expressions of gratitude. This specific work area accommodates maybe 75 people, and plenty more workers pass this whiteboard throughout the day so this was going to be fun and uplifting!

The immediate writing included only three things: “4:15 PM” (assuming this was what time the person left work… what a depressing thing to be thankful for), “friends” (ding ding! focus on others, much better than quitting time; hoping the same person who wrote 4:15 PM wrote this), and “my cat” (it has come to my attention that somehow cats can be considered valuable creatures to some sects of the human race; good for those of you who are better than me).

A few more days passed and there were no additions. There must have been at least 100 people who passed this board with at least 30 seconds to write something they’re thankful for, and this really started to bother me. I was picturing God’s response; perhaps inappropriate but I wondered if he might sarcastically say “you’re welcome!!!!”

After this experience I spent some time alone putting into writing some of the many things I’m thankful for. The deeper I engaged, the more seemingly small but yet extraordinarily precious thoughts came to mind; we all so much to be thankful for. Going through this left me energized, humbled, and joyful. God is so good.

Psalm 143:5 is one way to express our gratitude toward God; by meditating on all he has done. What a great way to start the day!

I remember the days of old;
  I meditate on all that you have done;
  I ponder the work of your hands. 

2 Kings 24; Hebrews 6; Joel 3; Psalm 143

Beset With Weakness

Small Fish With Ambitions Of A Big Shark - Business Concept

2 Kings 23; Hebrews 5; Joel 2; Psalm 142

How often are we told to focus on our strengths? There are, in fact, countless tools that help us identify and live from them. While I do not disagree with the strategy, focusing only on our strengths masks the reality of our lives. You see, we are all born into a fallen world, subject to sin.  Relative to God, we are weak.  Hebrews 5:2 says that we are “beset with weakness.” The risk, therefore, in living from our strengths is that we become fully reliant on our flesh. The results of which are well documented in the Bible.

  • Self-Glory
  • Admiration of others
  • Subject to error
  • Subject to death

Contrast living from our strengths with embracing our weakness.  Jesus, for example, chose the latter.  Rather than embracing achievement and soliciting the praises of man, he embraced his weakness.  We find the evidence in his prayers.  He “offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him” (Hebrews 5:7). The result? God heard him “because of his reverence” (v7).  God, therefore, bestowed upon Jesus perfection.  In perfection, Jesus would no longer be subject to error or death.

Jesus submission to God was so perfect, that he also became our eternal source of salvation. He is the ultimate proof that weakness is not something to run from. Instead, we are to offer our weakness to God “with prayers, supplications, and with loud cries to him who is able to save us.” Just as God honored Jesus reverence, Jesus showers our weakness with grace.  Not just any grace, but a grace that is so powerful that it conquers death.

Enter into His rest

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. – Hebrews 4:9-11

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:13-15

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:14-18

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4

Suggestions for prayer: Ask the LORD to help you not to want, to go last, to let your desires go. Ask the LORD to make His will your will, on earth as it is in heaven.

For further study: Make an exercise of Psalm 23:1. Study your response of resting from self and the peace of following Christ. Go an entire day without wanting. Do not want food or drink, let go of taking hold and positioning to have anything of this world. Instead let the LORD provide what you need. Be patient and meek, succeeding your will to others. First go an entire day. Then go another. Let God lead you and go in peace. 

Today’s reading: 2 Kings 22; Hebrews 4; Joel 1; Psalms 140–141

Election Day

November 8, 2016

Happy Tuesday, today’s post is written by good friend Kris Walker who has written for biblejournal.net a few times. Enjoy!

Who are you voting for?

Well? What’s it gonna be?!? Trump? Hillary? Johnson? Where do you stand? Democrat? Republican?! Third Party? Who is gonna be in control?! To some, these are the most important questions going on right now.. and with the election today, how could it not be.. but the reading in 2 Kings makes me think of a couple things.. it really has some horrible characteristics listed about these wicked rulers… it makes me think about the commercials we see these day… What if there were elections back in these times of the kings??

My opponent Manasseh.. he has been responsible for.. rebuilding the alters his father took down. He erected alters to Baal, he led God’s people away!”

It says he ruled for 55 years… that would be a long time to be under a horrible ruler.. 

His son ruled for 2 years.. and then was assassinated.. crazy… 

I feel this reading was perfectly timed for this week.. no matter what happens, we are going to have a ton of people NOT happy with the results.. for 4, or possibly 8 years.. but can you imagine 55 years under a horrible Ruler? I can’t… a ton of the people I know blown my FB feed up filled of “impeach him” posts to this day.. and that is just from the recent 8 year rule.. kind of mind blowing that it could have been 55… that is my first thought.. I guess it just makes me think that I am happy that we have a relatively short ruler time.. 

What makes me even happier.. is that.. we can think about this spiritually.. we know who really holds the power..  it’s not in the reading.. but …the Most High has power over human kingdoms. He gives them to whomever he wishes.

Daniel 4:17

I really think that’s important to remember.. we have to know God is going to take care of his people.. in this insane election.. it is a really good point to remember.. I also like how God made his promise to punish the kingdom for what was done.. what the leader and what the people have done… God kept his promise. We all know he is our God who keeps his word.. I am so thankful for both of these thoughts..

Politics is not the only thing we can take away from today’s scriptures.. some amazing psalms are in today’s scriptures.. 

I think it’s amazing to think about how well our Father knows us all.. 

Psalm 139:13-14 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

I find this so comforting. Our father knows us, and understands us. He has always been there. He always will be there. I think we are so lucky to have that.. and know that.. there are those that don’t. I think it’s important to know and realize that.. when we feel alone, or when we are upset, or when we need someone to talk to.. our father is there.. that’s where I think I’m gonna leave this. I hope everyone gets a chance to vote and make their voice heard.. say a prayer, and ask for God’s hand on our future.. no matter which way it goes.. God is with us.. he knows us.. he will take care of us.

Have a great Tuesday everybody!

Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 21; Hebrews 3; Hosea 14; Psalm 139 

Miracles and You

Empty wheelchair on the meadow at sunset. Miracle concept. Healed person raised and went away

Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 20, Hebrews 2, Hosea 13, Psalms 137-138

“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,“Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’” 2 Kings 20: 1-6

So, I was really hoping to find something in my readings today about healing. Ta -da!! I just picture God sitting on his throne saying, “ta-da!” all day long. No really, I spent some time earlier this week studying my scripture for today and had a totally different post in mind. After church, I was so moved by the number of people that responded to an alter call for healing I wanted to write about it. Some research revealed that Hezekiah’s reign lasted 29 years. His kingdom was invaded in the 14th year which means that this sudden and severe illness must have occurred in the same year as the Syrian invasion. Imagine how he must have felt knowing that his kingdom was threatened and his body is now failing. I think Hezekiah’s situation truly embodies our worst fears. The fear that we will fall ill quickly, lose our life and our “kingdoms” will perish. What follows of course is an instruction from God through the prophet Isaiah to “…put your house in order.” This immediately got me thinking. Do I have my physical, emotional and spiritual house in order?

What so moved me today in church was first the number of people that came forward asking for prayers of healing. I know that for every single person that came forward there were at least two more in the seats that were too fearful to do the same. The line grew and grew as the songs came to a close, those people still stood bravely in silence. The second thing that was so truly convicting was the love and support of our congregation for each one of those sick people. Not one person went to an elder alone, and in some cases there were 7 or 8 people gathered with arms around each other. I was listening to a TED talk this week about beating cancer. The speaker said that one day we will all be faced with big decisions about our health and ultimately confronted with death. He spoke about planning for that day ahead of time by making decisions ahead of time about quality of live versus quantity of time for life. What he didn’t speak about is prayer. I noticed that the very first thing Hezekiah does after being told about his impending death is pray. And yes, the very next sentence says that he wept. Bitterly. The story goes on. The Lord tells the prophet Isaiah to tell his servant Hezekiah that he has heard his prayer, that he has seen his tears and he will extend his life!

Through prayer and wholehearted devotion Hezekiah is healed. God performed a miracle. He saved his servant Hezekiah and his people. Are we brave enough to go to him in that whole hearted way? I found myself asking this question today in church. In fact when the alter call came, I asked my husband if we should go to get our 5 year old son out of Sunday school so that we could bring him up. I quickly decided against it, saying to my husband that he was learning and praying in his space and we shouldn’t interrupt that. The more I think about it though, what held me back was a feeling of unworthiness. A feeling that I couldn’t ask for our son’s Crohn’s to be healed. I’m not sure why. I wonder how many other people are feeling that same way. How many others think that maybe they aren’t a good enough Christian or maybe they have made mistakes that somehow disqualify them from God’s grace.

After reading and praying over this passage from 2 Kings I realize now that God saved Hezekiah not just for the one man but for the entire community of people he represented. Yes, he was a King but he was also responsible for defending the lives of God’s people. We are all God’s people. No matter what mistakes we have made, no matter how old or young, what kind of life we’ve led, we are worthy of being saved. What God responded to was not the seriousness of Hezekiah’s position but his heartfelt plea for salvation. What would happen if we made that same plea? Are we willing to believe in a miracle? Are we brave enough to ask for one? As I watched the line at church grow, my fear diminished. It’s not easy to share our vulnerability in public or online as the case may be. I pray that this post reaches at least one person that needs healing. I pray that you will reach out to Him and ask for it. We are all worthy.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Again I’m grateful and privileged to have my wise and wonderful sister-in-law Lisa Pruitt write for Bible-journal. Thank you Lisa!

Keeping up with the Joneses: What an exclusively American cultural statement of our sense of entitlement. If my house were on fire, in the literal heat of the moment, what would I grab as I made my way out the door? Certainly my family and pets – but what else? Well, I love my Omega juicer, my Breville tea maker, my Kuerig coffee maker, my phone, iPad, pottery, some of the art I have created, and the treasures from my daughters’ early years. But these are mere things. I can live without them and live happily (probably).

Psalms 135-136 remind us to praise God’s goodness and greatness. We should thank Him for all he has given us, the natural wonders, for delivering us from our enemies, for providing food and the land sustaining our food. God’s love does and will endure forever.

But – I take note that while his love endures, the material things do not. The juicer, coffee maker and electronics are temporary. I am reminded not to sweat the small stuff because most material things are small; even things which are big in size. Someone once asked me what would be my first act if I won the lottery. My answer? “I would go immediately to the Tesla dealership.” Is this wrong? Maybe so for perhaps my first thought should have been to thank God and give money to Him and to those in need.

Psalms 135-15 ESV reads that:

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them!

We all must be careful not to make idols of our material things. Isn’t it interesting that the IPhone comes in the tones of silver and gold? The iPhone may have a camera and a screen but has not eyes, it can not see. The juicer makes noise like a cow chewing grass but it can’t hear or talk. Manufactured goods make our lives easier but we must be careful not to elevate them above the things that matter. When my daughter wants the IPhone 7 or another Simply Southern t-shirt just because her friend at school has that color, isn’t this keeping up with the Joneses which is tantamount to making idols of the work of human hands?

I remember reading a novel about an artist who painted herself as a mermaid, swimming down to the ocean floor. As she swam from the surface down, she dropped items such as jewelry, money, wine glasses, electronics, tools, and keys. It was a symbolic letting go of superficial items. The deeper she got, the more free she felt.

We aren’t the things we own. If we can separate our identities from our things, we have more space to acquire good habits. Rather than striving to collect more amber jewelry, I should strive to collect discipline, time management and listening skills. I should seek friends from all social layers and refrain from our society’s tendency to decide a person’s worth based on their money or profession.

When we concern ourselves with the material world, we are easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth”, thinking that we will be happy or fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing. Satan wants us to be chasing after something he knows will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy—God Himself. We should seek to be content with what we have, not strive for more and more and more, all the while telling us that this will be the answer to all our needs and dreams. The Bible tells us that a person’s life is not about an abundance of things and that we should seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

I will strive to remember this the next time I have a decision to make and remember that it is only God’s love which endures forever.

Todays reading: 2 Kings 19; Hebrews 1; Hosea 12; Psalms 135–136


How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Unity; noun, plural unities.

          1. the state of being one; oneness.
          2. a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
          3. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.
          4. absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.
          5. oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.
          6. (in literature and art) a relation of all the parts or elements of a work constituting a harmonious whole and producing a single general effect.
          7. Mathematics.

a. the number one; a quantity regarded as one
b. identity

I am back writing for Jennifer this week.  She left me with such an easy yet powerful word “Unity”.  Unity is a word understood by most everyone throughout the world.  Unity exists everywhere around us and we may not even recognize it or appreciate it.  We are unified in our Bible Journal network.  We are unified in our church congregations.  You could take each one of these definitions above and write a chapter on it. You can also google unity and find many examples, including the name of a Church, a video game development, symbols and pictures of hands, a name of a college, a health insurance company and the list goes on.

When writing this post, two thoughts popped into my mind immediately:  how we unite every day and then how as a world we unite in response to a crisis or disaster.

Last Sunday, the Pantagraph was filled with photos of sporting events.  My oldest son made the front page in a crowd of NCHS foot supporters, cheering on the team to advance to the next round of playoffs.  There were pictures on the subsequent pages of UHigh winning the soccer state title, and I smiled as we picked out players we knew, all united for one reason: to win the state title as a team.  There were pictures of random people disappointed by the Cubs loss on Saturday and also fans cheering on the Cubs to victory.  Whether it was fans coming together “as of the parts of a whole; unification” to cheer their team to victory of whether it was the actual teammates, working as “the state of being one; oneness” toward victory, people were united.  How fun to rally with others to win, “…constituting a harmonious whole”.  How important to rely on others and unite when you fail or when life doesn’t go your way.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

If you are not an avid sports fan, we can all think about others ways people come together:  Marching Band, Spanish Club, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, small groups at church, bridge group, Book Club, a cooking club, a French class, Operation Christian Child, Lutheran World Relief, all ways we unite in common bonds.  We find a common purpose that brings us together.

The second thought I had was around crisis and disaster.  Unfortunately, during this Hurricane season, we did see part of the world impacted.  Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the US, and promised to cause significant damage with wind and water.  We saw people on the news working together to prepare.  The state of Florida was on high alert.  South Carolinians were told to evacuate.  The strike wasn’t as bad as expected and loved ones could reunite here in the US.  However, in other parts of the world such as Antilles, Bahamas, St. Lucia and Haiti, significant damage occurred.  People united to rescue others, to help those in despair and to begin the process of rebuilding.

Just in October alone;

                            • An earthquake hit India
                            • A Flash Flood in Indonesia killed one and damaged multiple homes
                            • A Landslide in Columbia killed seven
                            • Torrential Rain killed eleven in Egypt.

These nations and people throughout the world were struck with fear, with panic and ultimately with disaster.  Yet, these moments of crisis bring people together as a nation: “oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.”

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

As the election approaches, we need unity within our country.  Whether you follow politics or not, there is no dodging the division of the nation over the Presidential candidates.  Whatever the outcome, our new President will have the difficult task of finding a platform on which to unite our divided country.

As we move about our daily lives on Wednesday, let us remember the need for unity.   We can be unified in God’s word.  We can be stewards of God’s word in our thoughts and in our deeds.  Let us unite and come together as one nation.

2 Kings 18; Philemon 1; Hosea 11; Psalms 132–134