Day Twenty-Six: Habakkuk

So obviously this isn’t Deuteronomy. Again I made the decision to move to a smaller book. As we prep for vacation, a trip to Centrifuge with my students and carving out some time to celebrate our 10 years of marriage my days are getting fuller and fuller!

So Habakkuk it is! This book started off a little differently than the other minor prophets I’ve read so far- it started off with Habakkuk’s complaint! Through the book he has 2 complaints for the Lord. When he receives the Lords reply to those complaints he ends up praying and praising God!

Both of his complaints center around the wicked. First, that he is surrounded by those who love evil, love to argue and pervert justice. God responds by telling Habakkuk of the coming conquest by the Babylonians- which prompts the second complaint.

Habakkuk complains about the Babylonian conquest- surely the Lord will not let these evil people wipe out his chosen ones even as sinful as they are! It sounds rather similar to my children- pointing out the flaws of each other to ensure that if they go down, they at least go together. (Golden example: When they colored the cat pink.)

The Lords response to this second complaint is a call to faithfulness. He discouraged the people from trusting in their wealth, friendships or fortifications promising that sorrow will be found in all those places. He assures them that their trust should be in Him alone.

After this Habakkuk begins to pray, and the closing lines of his prayer in Habakkuk 3:17-18;

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Tomorrow is our anniversary and we are planning to be gone most of the day, so I am planning on reading the book of Nahum. Thanks for following along! Feel free to subscribe down below!

In Christ,


Day Twenty-Five: Malachi

Today I used my ability to switch books again and ended up in the book of Malachi. In this brief message God brings 4accusations against his people:

1. They are offering defiled sacrifices.

After spending so much time in the Old Testament lately, this is pretty horrifying to be honest. There was a time where kings and prophets offered hundreds of animals to the Lord, and did so joyfully! David and Solomon are some great examples. To see that the people clearly no longer offer their sacrifices with joy but merely out of duty is devastating.

2. The priests have left God’s path.

God specifically accuses the Levites of no longer serving Him with reverence- and thus passing that lack of reverence to the people. He says that the Levites “…have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.” (Malachi 1:9b). Their actions are leading the people into sin, and God demands that they stop.

3.They are unfaithful.

This accusation addresses the husbands and wives of Judah. God accuses them of marrying women who serve idols, and divorcing their wives. As a result the Lord declares that he is not going to accept their offerings.

4. They are robbing God of the tithes and offerings due Him.

Again, after reading so much in the Old Testament lately this is really disappointing. According to the Law every feast has a different purpose and required offerings. God uses these offering for many things- to give the people a way to demonstrate their faith and love for him, as an atonement for sin and as a way to provide for his priests. God promises to bring them into abundance if they just start obeying his commands again!

It all sounds pretty grim- except for promise God included in chapters 3 and 4. He says:

“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heavens Armies.- Malachi 3:1

They don’t know it, but Jesus is coming! And as I look at this list of accusations I am fully aware that God could lay these same things and more at the churches feet- but the promise of Malachi still applies to us!

Jesus is coming.

Tomorrow, I’ll be headed back to Deuteronomy. See you then!

In Christ,


Day Nineteen: Ruth

Today I am making use of the rule that this challenge has to be flexible. I had intended on reading Ezekiel today, but a migraine schedule changes and an overall topsy turvy day lead me to the book of Ruth instead.

Like some of the other books I’ve read, this one is an old favorite. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read Ruth over the years. As I looked at it again today I’m reminded of God’s abundant blessings.

Naomi left Israel with her family and returned with only her daughter-in-law. She even tells her friends and family who welcome her home to change her name to Mara because her life is bitter- by the Lord’s hand. She says that she “…went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty.” (Ruth 1:19b)

But starting almost immediately after that you start to see God’s abundant provision. He bring Ruth to Boaz’s field where he blesses her gathering and provides extra portions for her. And she stays through the entire barley harvest and the wheat harvest! After that, Boaz redeems Ruth and they have a son to continue the line of Naomi’s husband- something she told Ruth would be impossible (Ruth 1:12-13).

But even more so, the very end of the book leads us to God’s ultimate provision. Because it tells us that Ruth’s son was Obed, the father of Jesse. Who was the father of David- and through David we are most abundantly blessed with Jesus!

Tomorrow I’ll be heading back to Ezekiel. See you then!

In Christ,


Day Sixteen: 1st Thessalonians

I can not believe that we are 16 books into this challenge! It has gone by faster than I expected.

Today I am in 1 Thessalonians. I’m not super familiar with this book and right off the bat I learned something new! It states that this letter is from Paul, Silas and Timothy, and as you read the letter clearly reflects that. The word “we” is used liberally as these three praise and encourage the church in Thessalonica.

First they reflect on the first visit with the church- how they came to Christ and how proud they are of the way the new believers imitated Christ.

Then Paul, Silas and Timothy were called to another area and the scriptures say they were separated for a while. So long in fact that Paul admits that he got nervous and sent Timothy to “find out whether your faith was still strong.” (1 Thessalonians 3:5).

And the next paragraph is so beautiful! I can practically see the excitement of these 3 pastors and this section is penned. 1 Thessalonians 3: 6-7 says:

“But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports you remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you! So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith.”

As a pastor I can honestly say I completely understand their joy. I love seeing students I’ve poured into standing strong in their faith and doing what God has called them to do! It’s so easy to get caught up in the work that still needs to be done or the struggles we are currently dealing with.

I highly encourage you to look back at pastors or spiritual mentors in your life and call them, text them or send them a card saying how much their ministry is still influencing your life.

For example my youth pastor, Kyle mentored me my last 2 years of high school. He and his wife were like second parents to me in high school and it was while I was in his ministry that I was called into ministry.

Jeff Grof is the one who sat me down and helped me fill out a student leader application and constantly urged me to push myself.

My high school debate coach Colleen Averill taught me how to communicate well and was always there to encourage me or give me a hug.

Mac & Jen Dalton, a couple who constantly encourages our family and walked us through a season of change and waiting.

I could go on and on and on.

I know for a fact that these people are still there for me and rejoice with our family when they see what God has done- and many others. So take a moment and touch base with someone who has poured into you- and rejoice together.

Tomorrow join me in 2 Thessalonians!

In Christ,