Judah's "ace in the hole" was Solomon's temple in Jerusalem. They reasoned that they were invulnerable since God lived there. The prophet Jeremiah taught that religion is more than a building.

The day was long, but around 7 p.m. we had worship. They were tired, we were tired, but they came with Bibles ready for God’s word. The Holy Spirit drew us together as we sang and worshiped Jesus Christ.

Our plans for this trip were to help the families with morning harvest of crops, afternoon Bible study, and evening worship. However, heavy rains the previous week set the harvesting back; and now, with good weather, the corn, peas and wheat must be gathered. Once again God adjusted us to his plans of building relationships.

A few weeks ago I heard a man ask a group of older people, “What’s wrong with America today?” Almost unanimously, the group answered:  “Today’s youth. They are disrespectful. They only care about themselves. They won’t listen to us older folks.”

I vaguely remember the high school dating scene with multiple cases of “going steady” and break-ups. Some of these on-again, off-again relationships were hard to keep up with since they were on-again today and off-again tomorrow! I’ve thought lately that we need an ecclesiastical break-up service in the church.

With heightened rhetoric and intense divisions across our great nation, disagreements often get expressed in hateful terms, especially on social media where every voice, no matter how irrational or uninformed, carries as much volume as the next. But disagreement does not equate with hate. Or at least it shouldn’t.