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God is with Us!

 This is a guest blog from a friend, Laura Novey.  It's an insightful picture from the Old Testament Prophet that has application to our own time. Isaiah 8—In the days of Isaiah, things were going downhill FAST. Doom was on the horizon. Things were in turmoil, infused with evil, spiraling in the wrong direction, terrifying, confusing, hopeless. And yet in the midst of all that, God promised to “take to [Himself] faithful witnesses for testimony.” He was STILL actively working amidst those dire circumstances through people He had called to be His.  …and He still does the same today with a believing remnant who walks in His ways.  Twice in this passage, even in the midst of prophecies about impending disaster, the word “Immanuel” is used which simply means “God is with us.”  We need to remember that. When presidential elections and social upheaval are chaotic, “Immanuel.”  When COVID wreaks its havoc, “Immanuel.” When life gets hard and it seems like all around us is darkness and evi
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Pandemic Insights, a guest blog

 My friend Joel Alberti is a pastor in Madison, Wi.  He has written this to help us think our way through the Pandemic from a God-ward view.  He sent it out and I asked if he'd be ok to have me post it to my blog.  Its wisdom and sensible things to think. What is God teaching us in this season of life? In all my years I have never seen a year like 2020. With the ravages of a global pandemic which has killed nearly 2 million people; an economic depression that is second only to the Great Depression of the early 1930’s; racial tensions which have caused unprecedented civil unrest; and a divisive political landscape which has ripped our country in two; this has been chaotic, confusing, unsettling, frustrating (throw in your own adjective) and extremely challenging year for all of us. With all that is going on, there are many voices out there. Wherever you turn, there are strong opinions about why things are the way they are and what should be done about it. Dogma and intolerance a

New Year, New Goals

 As the New Year begins, I'm working on some new goals in both writing and learning.  One of the things is to increase my reading time each day.  Currently I'm digesting several books at a time and I love the variety from Theology to Church History to Puritans to Contemplative. Also, I started a new reading plan for Scripture as I work my way through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation once again.  I use the Bible Reading Plan Generator where you make your own plan for reading - here's mine: Bible Reading Plan Generator I am editing last year's journals into an Amazon Kindle Book, that I hope will be released by the end of January.  In the meantime if you are interested in getting the first month's readings email me at epollasch@gmail.com. Lastly, I plan on blogging through the Psalms this year, so keep coming back as I get started after the editing is over. Blessings on your New Year plans and goals

Reading Thru the New Testament in A Year?

  I am in the process of editing last year's blogs of "Reading the New Testament in a Year" and publishing it to Amazon Kindle as a book by the end of January. Right now I have a working Microsoft Word doc that is about 1/2 edited. It will take me a couple of weeks or more to finish. The issue is how Kindle requires formatting, and to that end, I had to work at "fixing" the doc, not the content, in order for Kindle to put it up. SOOOOOO... this is a long-winded way of saying, IF you are interested in the book, I'd be happy to send you the first Month's readings and devotionals to get you started. It is set up to begin this Monday, the 4th. Email me if you want it - epollasch@gmail.com

"What Have We Just Read?" - An Epilogue

 Thursday, December 31 – You have come to the end of our readings thru the New Testament in a Year.   First of all, I want to congratulate you for persevering in reading both the scriptures and these meager attempts of mine to give some devotional commentary.   I have one reading that I’d like you to do first, and then come back here to get a big picture view of “what have we just read this year?”   Please read Luke 1:5 – 37. Open to the front of your bible to the table of contents.   You’ll notice immediately that the Bible is a story in two “testaments” – we call them the Old Testament and the New Testament.   Testament relates the word “covenant”, which is an agreement made between two parties.   It can sometimes be “conditional” in that one party agrees to do something “IF” the other party agrees to do something (think of a bank loan).   Covenants can also be “unconditional”, where the one party says “I will do” for the other party (think of a last will and testament).   God m

Amen, Come Lord Jesus - Revelation 22:6 - 21

 Wednesday, December 30 – We have come to the next to last day in our reading thru the New Testament in a year.   Today’s reading is from Revelation 22:6 – 21.   Please read the passage and come back to take a second look at it together. John has been on a marvelous, wondrous journey.   I wonder what he felt like as he came towards the end? As John stands in the New Heaven, the New Earth, he sees the beauty of the re-creation in heavenly form.   Rivers of water that are full of life, trees bearing twelves different kinds of fruit every month of the year.   The leaves are for healing the people who are redeemed and have come out of the great tribulation.   Most of all, he sees and realizes we will all see the throne of God and the Lamb – Jesus, whose glory shone bright. (22:1-5).   “And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”  “And behold, I am c

The Heavenly City of God's Presence - Revelation 21:9 - 22:5

 Tuesday, December 29 – We are very near the end of our reading thru the New Testament in a Year.   Today’s reading is from Revelation 21:9 – 22:5. Please read the passage first and then we’ll walk through it together, and thank you. The book of Revelation is full of symbols and imagery that create difficulty for our ability to grasp some of its pictures.   I have a friend of mine in England who is a professional photographer and he uses aerial drones to do part of his work.   I’m always amazed at the pictures because they give us a vision from high above the landscape and everything in the picture is both expansive and framed perfectly. That is a helpful metaphor for reading Revelation.   Keep the big picture in mind – God is redeeming mankind through His Son, and eternity is when we get to live in the presence of God the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. “Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I