Burnt Stones

Originally published in July 1993

Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem with letters from King Artaxerxes.He was going to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.The wall had been broken down and its gates burned when the Babylonians took away Judah into captivity.

To rebuild the wall had been Nehemiah's dream.He had heard about the remnant left in Jerusalem.The reports he heard were of hardships and disgrace for these people of his nation.Nehemiah knew the answer to help restore them would be to rebuild the wall.He desired this dream so much that he wept and fasted before the Lord.

Just Me (And Just You)

Originally published in March 1993

I read recently a story from James Dobson.It was about his desires to have his name on that tennis trophy from college.I was thinking back to my college dreams.I was to be traveling nationally and writing books and have a name as recognized as Rick Olson.Who is that, you ask?Like Dobson's tennis trophy which ended up in the trash (and lovingly rescued and restored where it sits proudly in his office today), Rick Olson's name is no longer known.He had his moment of fame, his moment in the sun, his moment when he had great influence.And now, he still travels and speaks but it is different.

My dreams of being that great famous youth pastor never happened.The last church I worked at as a youth pastor (where many great and mighty things happened) has pretty much erased my name from their history.This is due to a staff overhaul which led to a church overhaul.I meet youth from that church now when I speak and they say, "You were youth pastor there?"

How Will This Be?

Originally published December 1992

A young teenager girl was given the surprise of her life one day.Certainly her life would never be the same again.The angel, Gabriel, came to deliver a message.He said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!The Lord is with you…Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.You will be with child and give birth to a sun, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.”Luke 1:28-33.This young girl’s response was, “How will this be?Luke 1:34.