Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer pics and Nehemiah 4-6

Finally redeemed the pastor appreciation gift from our church for a family Cardinal's game!

The "pack-pack" girls...
not sure if we could go anywhere without our pack-packs.

Went on a short mini-vacay to St. Louis... the girls and me at the City Museum!
It was sooo cool.. the tunnels+artwork=awesome!

Kids with Daddy waiting for the water to splash in the cave!

I think the boys could have climbed through these metal tunnels for hours...
not me, my knees are stilling saying "ouch"!

We couldn't get over how fearless our girls were!

Dave and the treasure he found... a fire hydrant that claims his favorite state.

Anyone else have a two yr. old that adamantly says,
"I do it!" with EVERYTHING?? Good thing she's cute!

Our only family pic... at the Arch

It was a looong day of walking... everyone's feet were giving out.
So glad our big boy is growing up and can help carry the load!
(Dave had Sarah on his shoulders : )

Monkey see as monkey do : )

Always love the zoo!

Zach crossing home plate!

Caleb taking his stance on the pitcher's mound.

Nehemiah 4-6:
Thanks for not giving up on me... as you can see from the pics, we've had an event filled summer. It hasn't kept me from His Word but the blog certainly took a back burner for a while : )

Chapter 4- This chapter dealt with one major theme FEAR! Have you ever been afraid? I know I have! I've feared physical events, emotional and physical pain, and constantly battle the fear of the unknown. Fear is a tactic of the enemy and is especially effective with believers. Why? It paralyzes and is contagious. Check out any statements made by Adolf Hitler on his "weapons of war" and fear was one his best tools.

In this chapter, the enemy conspired together to wage war against the Jews as they set out to rebuild. When Nehemiah saw the fear rise up in his people, he reminded them who God is and not to fear. He told them to "fight". In verse 17, we are told the workers did their work with one hand and held their weapon with the other. They had a trumpet sound to rally for battle... knowing "Our God will fight for us."

In the current trial my family is enduring, fear has been a major component. It has sought to destroy and paralyze those of us doing our best to "build the wall", if you will. But when fear comes knocking, we are quickly learning to REMEMBER who the Lord is... how great and awesome is HE and to not be afraid. With one hand we build for God's glory and with the other we wield the sword of TRUTH, ready to confront the enemy. And when the enemy comes, we sound the trumpet to all the believers fighting this battle with us and PRAY for we know that "Our God will fight for us."

Chapter 5- I got a little help from my friend, Wiersbe, on this chapter. The first 5 verses require knowledge about Jewish customs and laws to understand the whole gravity of what was going on. Wiersbe entitle this section "selfishness". Basically Jews were cheating Jews and even forcing bondage on some. All for the almighty dollar... well, probably not the "dollar", but you know what I mean : ) Wiersbe makes an interesting point that when Satan fails at one attempt, he often tries to destroy internally.... through our own selfishness. Think about that for a minute... makes sense doesn't it??

When we are seeking to " build a wall" or God's kingdom , we must remember Christ humbly became the ultimate servant, taking the form of a bond-servant and we are to follow that example!

Chapter 6- Ok, so I finally decided, yep, this one's my favorite! Probably because of the HOPE we find in verse 16.

The chapter opens up with an attempt to lure Nehemiah to a"meeting", so that the enemy could trap him. Then another attempt was made to stop the work by spreading lies and an accusation that Nehemiah was a rebel. When that did not work, a traitor was sent to persuade Nehemiah to hide in the temple so that they could kill him.

And did Nehemiah falter, hesitate or submit to the threats and tauntings of the enemy?? Nope. He was steadfast. He recognized every attempt made by his adversary.

In fact the wall was completed IN THE MIDST of these "trials". It was finished in a mere 52 days. As a result of their enemies HEARING and SEEING it .... they lost their confidence. For they recognized the work had been accomplished with the help of God!

How can we apply this chapter to our lives?

1. We can be alert and aware of the schemes of Satan... there are a LOT of verses about this one. Why don't you spend a little time today looking some up? The best way of spotting a lie is to KNOW the Truth!

2. When we are faced with lies, we don't believe them. Be steadfast and stand firm in your faith!!

3. Never underestimate God's work in the midst of trials... remember, His ways are not our ways.

4. When GOD does something, even the enemy recognizes it! May we be people who do things WITH God's strength and FOR God's glory so that ALL may see HOPE of Christ!

Much love to you today and may His joy be your strength!

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