Monday, July 27, 2015


Today’s┬áReading: Nehemiah 7-8

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


A night view from inside Jerusalem’s Old City walls looking towards David’s Citadel near the Jaffa Gate entrance. Built to strengthen a strategically weak point in the Old City’s defenses, the Citadel that stands today was constructed during the 2nd century BC and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt by, in succession, the Christian, Muslim, Mamluk, and Ottoman conquerors of Jerusalem. It contains important archaeological finds dating back 2,700 years.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Nehemiah 8:12

And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.


Imagine the scene. A choir of 245 singers and Ezra, the priest, stepping forward to lead the worship, the prayers, and the reading of Scripture. When Ezra blessed the Lord, the people said, “Amen, Amen,” lifted up their hands, and bowed their heads. This was not only reading, it was expository preaching, giving the sense of the passage, and helping the people understand the reading. We would be blessed to have such a meeting in our places of worship! “Amen, Amen.”

Malachi, the Prophet author of the last book in the Hebrew Scriptures, was there. He was probably participating as a Levite. Over and over “the children” are mentioned in the list of families present. Malachi proclaimed that God would “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6a). These are the final words of the last book in the Bible from which Jesus and the Apostles would have read. This bonding of families was happening as the people in the temple square wept, rejoiced, and “understood the words that were declared unto them.”


Lord God, please grant me the grace to share Your Word with others every day. May I understand the meaning of Scripture so that those to whom I’m hoping to communicate will understand and respond, as the people did in today’s reading. I pray for all who read this blog. May it be a strong Word from You! “Amen, Amen!”


Dr. Hannah Shaheen, M.D. is one of our 16 grandchildren (picture below). She is spending the summer serving in a small community hospital in Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario. As highlighted in today’s reading, family is very, very important to Norma-Jean and me. To spend TIME (spelled LOVE) with Hannah, we crossed Lake Huron yesterday afternoon on the ferry ship from Tobermory to South Bay Mouth. She met us there and our first stop was a museum which took us back to our childhoods in one room country schools (picture below).

Norma-Jean, our children and I have some of our favourite and most cherished memories from a time in the 70’s when we got away from the pressures of daily life in our old 1958 ex-bread truck, which had been converted into a camper named Jonah (sometimes like the prophet, it didn’t want to go!). We did this in the month of July for several years. No telephones, no appointments, no commitments other than to each other. Our hearts, as in the words of Malachi, were truly turned to each other. I highly recommend such quality time to families everywhere.

Yours to help us all to “understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8b),


P.S. I believe that our priorities should be God first, family second, ministry and work in general third.

My granddaughter, Dr. Hannah Shaheen, checking out her grandpa...and the old ticker sounds good!

My granddaughter, Dr. Hannah Shaheen, checking out her grandpa…and the old ticker sounds good!

Yesterday we visited  an old one-room schoolhouse...taking us back to some childhood memories.

Yesterday we visited an old, one-room schoolhouse…taking us back to our childhoods.

14 thoughts on “Monday, July 27, 2015

  1. Thank you Pastor David for the fresh bread this morning. I prayed your prayer as well, I sometimes am timid, afraid I may not have the right words to say. Although it says in God’s Word in Matthew 10v19-20 that the Holy spirit will tell us what to say. Thank you for the pics from yesterday, what a beautiful talented young lady, you and Norma Jean are also looking very well. God Bless you, your family and all blogger today. Eleanor M.

  2. U must be so proud of your granddaughter. God has certainly blessed your family tree.
    Like your thoughts on a family vacation.
    Found a good quote on my pc this a.m.:
    God is sovereign over satellites and coin flips. Even though our society sees him as peripheral and optional, our opinion does not change his reality. God is present at every place in every moment. However, while he is close to us, we can be far from him. Jeremiah described his people to God: “You are near in their mouth and far from their heart” (Jeremiah 12:2). What would the prophet say of our culture?

    Have a great and blessed day Rev. M. and all bloggers.

  3. Thank you for the inspiration to get family together here at the homestead. Love the pics and rejoice with you concerning meeting with your granddaughter, Dr. Hannah Shaheen, a joy indeed. We haven’t heard from Beverlee lately. Does anyone know whether she is having her operation now? Our prayers are with you Beverlee. Please pray for a nephew Billy who is in the hospital and waiting for open-heart surgery. Thank you and God bless.

  4. Prayer for your nephew Billy, Ger…for the Lord’s intervention guiding the physician’s and attendants that nothing be done that should not be done, but that all goes well and a speedy recovery…in Jesus Name I pray…Amen.

    Great pictures Rev. David…what a blessing to you and Norma-Jean!!

  5. Welcome to Manitoulin Island Dr. Hannah, David, and Norma-Jean!!! We are so very blessed to have you here, and pray that you have a wonderful time visiting each other, and any ‘locals’ you may meet. I toured Israel with Hannah’s Dad and Reynold in 1996…trip of a lifetime! I am thrilled that the ‘fresh bread’ was posted to the world from my home turf! Enjoy!!!

  6. Wonderful pictures. You both look so well too. Have a wonderful summer. One of my son’s in-laws (I have 4 sons, this is #3 son) got burned out of their home on Sunday morning. The air-conditioner burst into flames. They lost everything. They are okay. This is a great stress for people in their 80s. they are Christian. Please pray for Shirley and David. Thanks.

  7. Lord God I know You have something very wonderful planned for Shirley and David, It appears Lord that they lost everything, the things, the stuff, some of it was indeed precious! So? Now what Lord? You have a plan for this family, I know it’s bigger and better than anyone can imagine! Speak clearly to Shirley and David, guide them as they make decisions of what to do next! I am so thankful Lord there was no loss of life! I am so thankful that the fire did not spread! Lord God comfort these precious people, and thank you for giving them direction, in Jesus Name We Pray AMEN.

    that one room schoolhouse was so precious to me in my day!
    I had the most marvelous teacher, Olga Graham was her name! If it had not been for her, I would not be here! She was a terrific teacher, I got the benefits of 7 other grades, the school went from Grade 1 – 8,
    she always brought the best out in every student! We all loved her very much!
    One day I came to school so excited because I had learned a new spelling word, so she asked me to spell it out to the class and I said “hure”,
    she then asked me to put it into a sentence and I said “well, my dad always calls me “hure”………..
    that started some action that I was not ready for, Mrs. Graham stopped by my home and spoke to my dad about the word and gave him a bit of a toungue lashing……of course, he turned around and beat the crap out of me and I finally learned the meaning of the word……it is spelled “whore” and that was just the beginning of my life as a child in a very dysfunctional family and a chemical imbalance setting in that would lead to some very unhealthy living…I also learned how to run very fast when my Dad was chasing me…..
    now all these years later, I know that God was there. and as the years rolled by thanks TO THE GRACE AND MERCY of Jesus Christ I forgave my parents and eventually 20 years ago the Lord removed smokes/alcohol from me completely and all I can say is
    Thank you Lord God, thank you.
    I still battle my illness plus a sleep disorder but God right beside me and He never judges me, but always forgives me…..PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW………..

  9. Mary & I have enjoyed several visits to Lake Mindemoya. Great sandy shallows for swimming.
    My last time there I felt the waves would Narnia me to Heaven.
    Glad you had that time there.
    The boat ride can be very nice too.
    In Christ,
    Dave & Mary

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