Tag Archives: Nehemiah

Exile – A Mini-Ghazal

Wandering in the wilderness
exiled in darkness, I will return

Lost and lonely in a foreign land
without hope unless I will return

Like Ezra and Nehemiah I travel
towards home I press, I will return

Longing for home and security
if His name I profess I will return

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Ancient Words, Ever True

At our Women’s Retreat this past weekend we sang the song “Ancient Words.” Then we sang it again in church on Sunday. I love this song and decided I wanted to share it for Music Monday. I found this version by Michael W. Smith on YouTube, and I love the graphics showing the different Bibles.

My favorite part of this song is when it says, “Ancient Words, ever true. Changing me and changing you.” It reminds me that spending time in God’s Word will change a person’s heart and will draw them closer to God.

Jeremiah 29:12-14a says:

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

We are all in captivity to sin, but when we seek God with all our heart in His glorious Word, we will find Him and He will bring us back from that captivity. We are then changed from what we were to someone so much better. We are changed from lost captives to beloved children. It is with His Ancient Words that He changes you; It is with His Ancient Words that He changed me.

Perhaps this thought is particularly special to me because the very first Bible study I ever attended was a study of Ezra and Nehemiah. These two books of the Old Testament are the story the Israelites’ return from exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. That study was the beginning of God changing me from an exile in the wasteland of depression into the confident woman of faith that I have become. It is because of my desire to learn from His Ancient Words that He has been able to effect such a huge change in me.

How about you? Do you feel a bit like you are in exile, lost and broken? Trust in God and seek Him with all your heart. Study and learn His Ancient Words and He will change you, too.

7 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011, Women

Holding on to What I Know

A dear and wise friend of mine once told me that I should never go by what I feel, but by what I know. Feelings can be fickle and reactionary, and oftentimes they do not reveal the truth about the situation they are a reaction to.

Lately my feelings have been all of those things. I’ve gone from sad to angry to depressed to disillusioned and back to angry again. My feelings have been a reaction to what has been going on with some dear friends of mine, and to things that have been said to me as well as about me and others whom I care deeply about. I’ve been feeling a bit hopeless and been in disbelief of the things that have transpired. I feel lost.

So I’m going to listen to my dear friend and turn to the things I know to help me get through how I am feeling, to get to the truth of the matter. Here is what I know:

  •  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. The important word in this verse for me is “all.” It is not just in some things, but in all things, that God works for the good of those who love Him. I may not see the good that will come from my present circumstances, but God does.
  • “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11. God has planned my days, now and for eternity, and His plan is one of hope.
  • “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31. Even though my own strength may be insufficient to get me through difficult times, the strength of the Lord is always there for me to lean on.
  • “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. God loves me and will take my burdens and anxiety if I will only let go.
  • “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3. Eternal life starts now by knowing Jesus, not just when this body dies.
  • “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38. This is one I have proven to myself. As I am a blessing to others I receive a blessing in return much greater than I gave.
  • “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. There is joy to be found when I trust in the Lord.
  • “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:16-17. Grace and truth go hand in hand, and they are the great blessing that we all have from Jesus.
  • “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10. Jesus came that we might live an abundant life, the best life that God could possibly want for us, something much better than we can ever imagine. Satan is the thief who promises pleasure and great things, but means us only harm.
  • “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6. This is a promise and a truth that can get me through any day.

These are just some of the things I know. God’s Word is full of promises of hope, love, joy, and redemption. It is full of stories of how those who had faith in God, who trusted in His promises, were blessed beyond measure. God is greater than my feelings. I may feel hopeless, but that does not negate the hope He offers. I may feel lost, but that does not change the fact that He has found me and will never leave me. For all these promises I am grateful.

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Life, Service