Tag Archives: Chapter

Judges (May-Jun 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Judges published by Tom Vander Well in May and June of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Judges 1: Git ‘er Done! (or not)

Judges 2: This Chain That I Must Break

Judges 3: The “I” in Idolatry

Judges 4: Women and Prophets

Judges 5: Deborah the Leader

Judges 6: Willingness

Judges 7: Different Ways

Judges 8: King, or Not?

Judges 9: Two Paths

Judges 10: Leaders are Not One-Size-Fits-All

Judges 11: Childish Notions

Judges 12: And So, It Begins

Judges 13: Living a Great Story

Judges 14: Achilles’ Heel

Judges 15: Who I Don’t Want to Be

Judges 16: A Confession

Judges 17: Order, Disorder, Reorder

Judges 18: Willful Independence

Judges 19: Violent Times

Judges 20: Tribal Instinct and Higher Law

Judges 21: Series of Unfortunate Events

If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.

Joshua (Mar-May 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Joshua published by Tom Vander Well in March, April, and May of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Joshua 1: Succession

Joshua 2: “That Woman”

Joshua 3: Pivotal Moments

Joshua 4: Memorials

Joshua 5: Upstaging

Joshua 6: A Different Way

Joshua 7: Life-Long Lessons

Joshua 8: Awareness and Ego

Joshua 9: Shrewdness

Joshua 10: Evolution of Conversation

Joshua 11: Facing the Giants

Joshua 12: We are Family

Joshua 13: My Inheritance

Joshua 14; Dense Fog Advisory

Joshua 15: Family Patterns

Joshua 16: Small Things, Big Consequences

Joshua 17: The Land of Entitlement

Joshua 18: Go!

Joshua 19: The Reward

Joshua 20: Justice Then and Now

Joshua 21: A Good Place

Joshua 22: The Fear Factor

Joshua 23: Success(ion) and Failure

Joshua 24: At Your Service

2 Chronicles (Jun-Aug 2018)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of 2 Chronicles published by Tom Vander Well during the summer of 2018. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

2 Chronicles 1: Childen’s Stories, Powerball, and a Really Good Question

2 Chronicles 2: Family Business

2 Chronicles 3: “It’s Boring!” (Until You See the Connections)

2 Chronicles 4: “Sea”

2 Chronicles 5: The Work

2 Chronicles 6: “Hello?!! Yo! Tom!! I’m Right Here!!”

2 Chronicles 7: Mine, Yours, Ours

2 Chronicles 8: Not Getting It

2 Chronicles 9: The Hard Facts

2 Chronicles 10: The Wisdom of Those Who’ve Gone Before

2 Chronicles 11: It’s Not About Me

2 Chronicles 12: Faith, Strength, and Suffering

2 Chronicles 13: Differences In Interpretation

2 Chronicles 14: Hamilton, History, and Me

2 Chronicles 15: The Slog Will Give Way to the Passion

2 Chronicles 16: The Spiritual Barometer of Comfort

2 Chronicles 17: Reduced to a Label

2 Chronicles 18: When the Opening Hints of Doom

2 Chronicles 19: Overturning the Scales on the Spiritual Economy

2 Chronicles 20: The Implosion of Evil

2 Chronicles 21: The Epitaph Being Written Today

2 Chronicles 22: The Story is NOT Over. The Story WILL Go On.

2 Chronicles 23: Time is Not My Enemy. She’s My Dance Partner.

2 Chronicles 24: Transition of Leadership

2 Chronicles 25: Matters of Heart

2 Chronicles 26: The Strength That Leads to Destruction

2 Chronicles 27: The Junior Babcock of History

2 Chronicles 28: When Trouble Unexpectedly Blows In

2 Chronicles 29: Carrying Out the Filth

2 Chronicles 30: “Return”

2 Chronicles 31: Fail, Rinse, and Repeat

2 Chronicles 32: The Improbable Actually Happens

2 Chronicles 33: Paying Heed

2 Chronicles 34: The Book and the Journey

2 Chronicles 35: Who Will Sing for Me?

2 Chronicles 36: Time, Distance, and Perspective

Pivotal Moments

Pivotal Moments (CaD Joh 3) Wayfarer

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
Joshua 3:5 (NIV)

I will never forget that day. I had no real plan; No idea what I was going to do. As a husband and father of two rug rats under the age of five, this was not ideal. I just knew that I couldn’t remain in my current job. The circumstances had become untenable. So, I gave my notice.

That afternoon I was offered the job that has been my career for almost thirty years.

Driving home from the Village Inn restaurant where I’d been offered the position, I prayed for God’s direction. It wasn’t exactly a sure thing. The work might be inconsistent, as well as the income. It would require some faith that the business would grow along with my position. It felt precarious, and I asked God for guidance.

I remember the moment clearly. I was pulling in the driveway in my blue Volkswagen Fox. It was a gorgeous summer afternoon. It is one of a small handful of experiences in my life journey in which I received a clear and direct answer in my spirit. I can’t really explain it. I heard it clearly:

“Take this job. Stick with it. You will be blessed.”

It was a pivotal moment in my story. One chapter closed. A new chapter began.

Today’s chapter is incredibly significant in terms of the Great Story. It’s a climactic moment for the Hebrew people. One chapter of their story is ending, and a new one is beginning. It’s been about 750 years since God promised Abraham that his descendants would be numerous and inherit the land God showed him. It’s been an entire generation since the miraculous escape from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. The Hebrew nation is finally crossing over the Jordan River and entering the Promised Land.

God makes it clear to Joshua that He is doing three things in this event.

God is leading the way. The Ark of the Covenant was a metaphor for God’s power and presence. The fact that the priests carried the Ark into the Jordan first was a living reminder to God’s people that it was God leading them, and it was God on whom they should put their trust.

God is making the impossible possible. The miraculous holding back of the Jordan River’s waters echoes the crossing of the Red Sea and reminds God’s people that God’s power is still very much present as they begin this challenging new stretch of their journey. It also bookends their wilderness wanderings with two matching miracles, reminding them that the chapter of wandering is over and a new chapter is beginning.

God is sealing Joshua’s leadership in the eyes of the people. Moses had some mighty big sandals to fill. The stories of Moses’ exploits and the miraculous things God did through Moses were legendary. As the challenging conquest of Canaan begins, God makes it clear to His people that He can and will pour out His miraculous power through Joshua just as He had done through Moses.

In the quiet this morning, I’m looking back at my own life journey and the various stages of that journey: childhood, becoming a follower of Jesus, high school, college, marriage/fatherhood/pastoral ministry, returning home to Des Moines, career, the years of many moves, the dark years, the return, Pella, divorce, theatre, Wendy, lake, leadership, infertility, house, empty nest… In hindsight, I can see the thread of God’s presence, purposes, and guidance through each stretch. Yep, even “the dark years.”

This, in turn, reminds me that I can trust that same presence, purpose, and guidance on this day, and the road ahead until I reach the journey’s end and the “great crossing over” that ends my earthly wandering and begins a new, eternal chapter.

If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.

Hebrews (Feb-Mar 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of 2 Peter published by Tom Vander Well in February and March of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Hebrews 1: New Layers of Perception

Hebrews 2: Slaves to Fear

Hebrews 3: Version 2.0

Hebrews 4: A Die-Hard Tradition

Hebrews 5: The Mysterious Order

Hebrews 6: The Goal

Hebrews 7: The Gray
Hebrews 8: The Tension
Hebrews 9: The Sober Truth

Hebrews 10: Pajama Worship

Hebrews 11: Making it Into the Hall

Hebrews 12: Bitter Roots

Hebrews 13: Vertical and Horizontal

Matthew (Jan-Feb 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Matthew published by Tom Vander Well in January and February of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Matthew 1: Adding it Up

Matthew 2: God of the Foreign

Matthew 3: Herald

Matthew 5: Alignment of Being

Matthew 6: Two Retirement Funds

Matthew 7: Simple Difference

Matthew 8: “Ins” and “Outs”

Matthew 9: For or Against

Matthew 11: A Hobby Kind of Thing

Matthew 12: Two Guys Alone in a Mall

Matthew 13: Heart and Words

Matthew 13: Finding Forrest

Matthew 14: Between Quiet and Noise

Matthew 15: “Leave Them”

Matthew 16: Jesus’ PR Pitch

Matthew 17: Behind the Veil

Matthew 18: The Debt

Matthew 19: The Sticky Wicket

Matthew 20: The Old Couple Who Lived Up on the Hill

Matthew 21: Jesus vs. the System

Matthew 22: The Context

Matthew 23: “The Weight”

Matthew 24: Hot Times and Cold Love

Matthew 25: Three Stories, Three Questions

Matthew 26: The Contrast

Matthew 27: Mob Justice

Matthew 28: The Presence

2 Peter (Aug 2018)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of 2 Peter published by Tom Vander Well in August of 2018. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

2 Peter 1: Excersize and Add

2 Peter 2: The Freedom that Leads to Slavery

2 Peter 3: Conflict, and What Needs to Change in Me

Lamentations (Dec 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Lamentations published by Tom Vander Well in December of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Lamentations 1: Blue Christmas

Lamentations 2: How I Should Grieve!

Lamentations 3: “Yet This I Call to Mind”

Lamentations 4: It Stinks to Be Right

Lamentations 5: A Different Spirit of the Season

Genesis (Sep-Dec 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Genesis published by Tom Vander Well from September through December of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Genesis 1: And So it Begins

Genesis 2: Ezer Kenegdo

Genesis 3: Entering a World of Pain

Genesis 4: In the Land of Nod

Genesis 5: Beneath the Text

Genesis 6: Order>Chaos>Reorder

Genesis 7: Destruction and Redemption

Genesis 8: The Inflection Point of Kindness

Genesis 9: Blood and Covenant

Genesis 10: Passing Notes

Genesis 11: Back to Babel

Genesis 12: The Journey

Genesis 13: “Greener” Grass

Genesis 14: A Sage in the Story

Genesis 15: Santa God

Genesis 16: Namaste God

Genesis 17: The Last Laugh

Genesis 18: Divine Hospitality

Genesis 19: Warning Signs and U-Turns

Genesis 20: Grace and Cancel Culture

Genesis 21: The Other Side of the Valley

Genesis 22: Faith Challenge

Genesis 23: The March of Time

Genesis 24: Wisdom in Knowing the Difference

Genesis 25: Value Judgment

Genesis 26: The Straight Man

Genesis 27: Dysfunctional

Genesis 28: Me and Messy Family

Genesis 29: Chip Off the Ol’ Block

Genesis 30: Flawed Characters

Genesis 31: Letting Go

Genesis 32: Wrestling

Genesis 33: Stuck in a Moment

Genesis 34: “It’s Not Business; It’s Personal”

Genesis 35: Exile and Return

Genesis 36: Connected

Genesis 37: Favoritism

Genesis 38: Different Times, Same Journey

Genesis 39: The Whispers

Genesis 40: Circumstances I Don’t Control

Genesis 41: “I’m Over It!” (or Not)

Genesis 42: Both/And Family

Genesis 43: Generational Impact

Genesis 44: Lessons in the Layers

Chapter 45: God in the “Hevel”

Genesis 46: Knowing and Not Knowing

Chapter 47: Pilgrimage, Pandemic, and Perspective

Genesis 48: “Effed Up Family”

Genesis 49: The Words of a Parent

Genesis 50: The Choice