God Will Stir Up Fresh Hope

I started with soup cans. The weight-lifting exercises were not difficult but I could only complete them with 10.5 ounces. After a few weeks, I moved up to 2 lb. weights.

I realized I was rushing through the movements and needed heavier weights. David offered to pick up 5 lb. weights.

Then my future daughter-in-law left her glasses here. My son asked me to take them to her. She works across the road from Wal-Mart. I decided to shop while on that side of town.

I leisurely strolled through the aisles picking up items as I went. The last thing I picked up was the weights. I tried some and found – 5 pounds are heavy! I put them back and bought 3 lb. weights.

Ezekiel 30:24, “I’ll make the arms…strong…” The Message

God knew I could not handle 5 lb. weights. He knew I could hurt myself. He made arrangements for me to buy the weights, not David. I will increase the weights at a steady pace.

“Once we learn to wait for the Lord’s leading in everything, we will know the strength that finds its highest point in an even and steady walk. Many of us are lacking the strength we so desire, but God gives complete power for every task he calls us to perform. Waiting – this is the secret of strength. And anything that does not align with obedience to Him is a waste of time and energy. Watch and wait for His leading.” Samuel Dickey Gordon, “Streams in the Desert,” August 16

Yes, God is my trainer! He knows how much I can handle.

Matthew 11:30, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“It’s not about who you are, but Whose you are! That day God revealed His name to Moses as ‘I am.’ His name is the solution to every problem and the answer to every question.” “All In,” Mark Batterson, The Word for You Today, August 16

God wants to take care of you, too. Eight times today we read the phrase, “(They’ll) realize that I am God.” (See Ezekiel 29:5, 9, 16, 21; 30:8, 19, 25, and 26.) He wants to give us a future and a hope, (See Jeremiah 29:11).

Ezekiel 29:21, “And then I’ll stir up fresh hope…” The Message

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Go About Your Work

Sometimes, when I get bad news, I just want to sit down and cry. I shared that Saturday I wanted to go back to bed after my relapse. I didn’t.

Every time I felt overwhelmed and teared up, I just did the next thing. Meals need cooking and laundry needs washed. Had I given in to my tears I would have been literally buried in laundry.

Friday, I poured water around the edge of my washer to clean it. The “lid lock sensor” got wet and the washer wouldn’t turn on. I called the repairman and he told me it may dry out on its own. I was grateful it started working again on Saturday. I did laundry all day.

After yesterday’s news, I hoped for an encouraging word in today’s chapters. Instead, I saw a command – twice!

Ezekiel 24:16, 17, “…But, please, no tears…. (17) Get dressed as usual and go about your work. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 24:23, “You’ll get dressed as usual and go about your work. No tears…” The Message

I was already dressed and this blog is my work. I continued my devotions. In studying Proverbs 14:1, I read of the wise and foolish woman.

Proverbs 14:1, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” New International Version

* * * * * * *

“She [the wise woman] is a source of strength and an example of diligence for her family (see Proverbs 31:10-31).” New International Version Study Bible Notes on Proverbs 14:1.

One of the cross-reference verses was Proverbs 1:7.

” ‘Fools’ are those who ‘hate knowledge’ (Proverbs 1:22) and correction of any kind (Proverbs 12:1), who are ‘quick to quarrel’ (Proverbs 20:3) and ‘give full vent’ to their anger (Proverbs 29:11), who are complacent (Proverbs 1:32) and who trust in themselves (Proverbs 28:26) rather than in God (Psalms 14:1).” New International Study Bible Notes on Proverbs 1:7

I have a choice: diligent (wise) or complacent (foolish). Even when wounded, crushed, or broken, God is still planting good things.

“The best things in life are the result of being wounded. Wheat must be crushed before becoming bread, and incense must be burned by fire before its fragrance is set free. The earth must be broken with a sharp plow before being ready to receive the seed. And it is a broken heart that pleases God.” “Streams in the Desert,” August 15

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No More “Business as Usual”

“They say sometimes you win some

Sometimes you lose some

And right now, right now I’m losing bad…

“It’s easy to sing

When there’s nothing to bring me down

But what will I say

When I’m held to flame

Like I am right now…”

“Even If” Mercy Me

Two members of my immediate family went to the doctor this week. They both received life-changing news.

Ezekiel 21:26, “…No more ‘business as usual.’ ” The Message

I found hope in my devotional, “Streams in the Desert.”

“Someone who was passing through the deep water of affliction wrote a friend: ‘Isn’t it glorious to know that no matter how unjust something may be, even when it seems to have come from Satan himself, by the time it reaches us it is God’s will for us and will ultimately work to our good?’… (Romans 8:28).” Hannah Whitall Smith, “Streams in the Desert,” August 14

I moved on to studying Proverbs 13. One of the cross-references for verse 24 was Hebrews 12:7.

Hebrews 12:7, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. …” New International Version

The Message version made this verse and passage clearer.

Hebrews 12:7-11, “God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. (8) This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. (9) Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? (10) We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. (11) At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” The Message

These hardships are training. Discipline is not punishment. Another definition of discipline is an “area of study” or “specialty.” God’s purpose is training us in the “specialty” for which He created us.

As always, Steven Furtick’s “1:Minute Motivation” was on point.

“If your life is under attack, that means you must be carrying something good inside.” “How the Devil Plans His Attacks…” “1:Minute Motivation,” Steven Furtick, emailed 8-14-18

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Live Well and Obediently

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Ezekiel 16:8, “…I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. …” The Message

Does this mean I can stay in bed?

Galatians 6:5. “Take responsibility for…your own life.” The Message, The Word for You Today, August 11, 2018

I guess not.

* * * * * * *

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ezekiel 17:24, “All the trees of the field will recognize that I, God, make the great tree small and the small tree great, made the green tree turn dry and the dry tree sprout green branches. I, God, said it – and I did it.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 19:14, “…(This is a sad song, a text for singing the blues.)” The Message

I have a choice. I can sing the blues or wait for God to make my dry branches green.

* * * * * * *

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ezekiel 20:9, “I acted out of who I was, not by how I felt. And I acted in a way that would evoke honor…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 20:11, 12, “I gave them laws for living, showed them how to live well and obediently before Me. (12) I also gave them my weekly holy rest day, my ‘Sabbaths,’ a kind of sign post erected between me and them to show them that I, God, am in the business of making them holy.” The Message

God is not in the business of making me happy. He’s in the business of making me holy.

“Nurture the root and you’ll always have fruit.” Beatty, Melody. “More Language of Letting Go.” (Center City, MN: Hazeldon, 2000). 223-231

* * * * * * *

“How can we have rain without clouds? Our troubles have always brought us blessings…Our Lord’s love letters often come to us in dark envelopes.” Charles Spurgeon, in “Streams in the Desert,” August 13

* * * * * * *

“What if God wants to show you His strength? …How did He strengthen you, Paul? Through letting me struggle. I saw His strength through my struggle.” “Strength Through Struggle,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Today:

  • Remember Who God is and everything He is doing will bring honor.
  • I cannot act based on how I feel.
  • Am I breaking God’s law – eating healthily, drinking water, rest?
  • Examine my “roots.”
  • Look for the blessings in the clouds.
  • Keep struggling and God will show me His strength.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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The Big Three

A relapse. When will this end?

Ezekiel 14:14, “Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job – the Big Three…” The Message

Noah worked 2 jobs for 100 years – building the Ark and preaching to warn people of the flood. Then he endured 40 days and 40 nights of a flood. Only his family survived the flood. When God opened the door to the Ark, Noah had to start over, (See Genesis 6:8-9:29; Hebrews 11:7-9).

Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” King James Version

Daniel lost everything and became a captive. He stayed true to God and endured a night in a lion’s den. Slated for execution, he interpreted the king’s dream – saving all the wise men. He never returned home but God revealed mysteries of future events to him. (Read the book of Daniel.)

Daniel 12:13, “And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.” The Message

Job lost everything but his wife and his life. He lost all ten children and his riches in one day. He broke out in boils all over his body. He was living in the town dump. He endured his friends’ “consolation” that was really a condemnation. (Read the book of Job.)

Job 42:12, “God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life.” The Message

He ended up with double riches, 7 more sons, and 3 more daughters. He lived to see 4 generations of his descendants!

“Who can estimate the great debt we owe to suffering and pain? If not for them, we would have little capacity for many of the great virtues of the Christian life. Where would our faith be if not for the trials that test it; or patience, without anything to endure or experience and without tribulations to develop it?” “Streams in the Desert,” August 10

* * * * * * *

“Your real enemy is not even a situation. …Fight your fear. …Fight discouragement. If you can fight your discouragement, you can fulfill your destiny.” “Are You Fighting the Wrong Things?” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick, emailed 8-10-18

This will not last forever.

Proverbs 13:19, “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” New International Version

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Above the Dome

“In the small town of Seadrift, Texas during World War II a church posted the pictures of soldiers in their town who were going off to war. There were 52…five of them were brothers. It was the Psalms 91 promise of protection that the prayer warriors prayed over those young men…and not one of them died. …God had them literally bombard heaven. And one by one, every Seadrift soldier returned safely from the battlefields of Europe, the South Pacific, and the Far East, in spite of…hundreds of thousands…that were lost on those battlefronts.” (p. 195) “Psalms 91,” Ruth, Peggy Joyce and Angelia Ruth Schum. Peggy Joyce Ruth Ministries, 2010, quoted on prayerineverycity.com 

I pray Psalms 91 over David, myself, my children, my extended family, church family, the Pastors, missionaries, our town, the soldiers, policemen, firemen, and paramedics. I pray a hedge of protection around these that the spirit of suicide cannot penetrate; cancer cells can not live within; that gives us safety when we travel; and protects our marriages.

As I prayed yesterday, I saw a clear dome over my head and body. There is no fear under the dome because God’s Word protects me.

Was that my imagination? I wasn’t going to mention it in my post. Who would believe me? Then I opened my Bible.

Ezekiel 10:1, “When I looked, oh! Above the dome over the heads of the cherubim-angels was what looked like a throne, sky-blue, like a sapphire.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“We know the will of God when we read and pray the Word of God.

5 Questions to Know If We’re Hearing From God

  1. Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture?
  2. Is what I’m hearing consistent with God’s character?
  3. Is what I’m hearing confirmed through messages at church or in my quiet time?
  4. Is what I’m hearing beyond me?
  5. Is what I’m hearing pleasing to God?

Lysa Terkeurst, “5 Questions to Know If We’re Hearing From God,” Proverbs 31 Ministries, August 9, 2018

* * * * * * *

“You let too many thoughts dominate your mind. …God never called you to second guess yourself; He called you to trust in Him. …I’m going forward in faith…and I’m brave in my heart. …My heart is steadfast. My spirit is secure. His promises are true. His Word is everlasting.” “Go Forward in Faith,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick, Emailed 8-9-18

* * * * * * *

“Pastor and author A. W. Tozer wrote: ‘God is above, but He’s not pushed up. He’s beneath, but He’s not pressed down. He’s outside, but He’s not excluded. He’s inside, but He’s not confined. God is above all things presiding, beneath all things sustaining, outside all things embracing, and inside all things fulfilling.’ “ The Word for You Today, 8-9-18

Why pray God’s Word? Because it puts us under the “dome” of God’s protection. It’s for regular people like you and me – not just angels.

This week has been a trial. I am assured that God is over me. He walks beside me during the dark times.

“Comfort is not given to us when we are lighthearted and cheerful. …when we experience even the thickest darkness, we must remember…the comforting drops of heavenly dew fall only after the sun has set.” “Streams in the Desert,” August 9

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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The Revealer of Mysteries

When I read today’s verses, I thought, “Maybe God will show me how to link Twitter and Instagram to my new Frugalfish Facebook page. After all, He’s the Revealer of Mysteries!”

Daniel 2:27-30, “Daniel answered the king, ‘No mere human can solve the king’s mystery, I don’t care who it is – no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner.

(28) But there is a God in heaven who solves mysteries…

(29) The Revealer of Mysteries showed you what will happen.

(30) But the interpretation is given through me, not because I’m any smarter than anyone else in the country, but so that you will know what it means, so that you will understand…’ ” The Message

I tried the same thing that worked to link my blog posts to my Facebook page. After getting several error messages on Twitter, I switched to Instagram.

I posted a picture and shared it on Twitter and Facebook. It went to my personal Facebook profile! Wait, Facebook said that would not be possible! Go figure. I don’t understand.

“Never pray for an easier life – pray to be a stronger person! Never pray for tasks equal to your power – pray for power equal to your tasks. Then doing your work will be no miracle – you will be the miracle.” Phillip Brooks in “Streams in the Desert,” August 3

I gave up and started reading emails.

“You don’t have to position yourself in front of people to be used by God. …And when God gets ready to use you, there’s no devil in hell that can stop Him.” “When God Gets Ready to Use You,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Am I working so hard on these social media accounts just to position myself?

I switched to Facebook. I shared #FindingMollieTibbetts new poster and 6 other missing children. My friend commented 1 had been found. I went back and double checked those I shared. Three others have been found!

I procrastinated further by reading a book. On the first page of the last chapter, I read something so stupid that I wanted to throw the book through the window! You read that correctly, not out the window – through the window.

(What now, God? I quoted that book! Should I delete those posts? Should I delete the quotes? I’m overwhelmed. Tell me what to do.)

“The problem isn’t that God no longer speaks to us; it’s that we don’t recognize His voice. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the random thoughts that cross your mind (see 1 Corinthians 2:16). …God won’t send a thunderbolt from heaven…More often He speaks through your thoughts, a family member, a friend, a teacher, a pastor, a change in your circumstances, the sudden discovery of the perfect Scripture, the writing of a gifted author, or in the quietness when He fills your heart with perfect peace. So learn to listen to God’s voice.” “More Language of Letting Go,” Melody Beattie, 2000, p. 223-231″ in The Word for You Today, August 3

These two events humbled my pride. That was a good thing.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Rescue Victims from Their Exploiters

My personal Facebook feed is full of pictures of #Mollie Tibbetts. She is a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa. She was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18th around 7:30 p.m. Yesterday, the reward for information on her went from $2,000 to $30,000. Today 172,000 has been raised so far and is offered for the safe return or release of Mollie.

I shared her picture after she disappeared. Yesterday, I shared the reward poster. Then I thought, “I wonder if I should share it on my Frugal Fish Facebook page? Someone may have information.”

When I got up this morning, the thought was still there. I asked God for direction.

Jeremiah 22:3, “This is God’s Message: ‘Attend to matters of justice. Set things right between people. Rescue victims from their exploiters. Don’t take advantage of homeless, the orphans, the widows. Stop the murdering!’ ” The Message

Sharing posts about missing people is not my blog’s mission. Helping people is. I could help Mollie Tibbetts. I could lose friends at Facebook and followers on my blogs.

“Obedience to God in the pressures and stresses of day-by-day living and trust in God’s ways in the large sweep of history are always at risk, but especially in times of suffering and persecution. Obedience to God is difficult when we are bullied into compliance to the God-ignoring culture out of sheer survival. Trust in God is likewise at risk of being abandoned in favor of the glamorous seductions of might and size.” The Message Introduction to Daniel

Then I remembered 2 girls who were missing in the last 8 months. One from our small town was found in the next county. The other from a neighboring town was found in Connecticut! But they both found!

I decided I had to share Mollie’s story and any others who are missing. I am hoping you will share them too. We need shares and prayer! As you share, pray for the victims and their families.

I know what you are thinking. What can one person do?

Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Daniel 1:11, “But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” The Message

Stand up and others will stand with you.

Proverbs 13:1, “A wise son heeds his father’s instructions…” New International Version

Daniel and his friends stood up for their beliefs. They wanted to adhere to a Kosher diet as God commanded.

The Result of 10 Days on Vegetables and Water:

  1. They looked better, 1:15.
  2. They were more robust, 1:15.
  3. God gave them knowledge, 1:17.
  4. God gave them skills, 1:17.
  5. God gave them ten times the understanding in books than the magicians and enchanters, 1:17, 20.
  6. God gave them ten times the understanding on anything in life than the magicians and enchanters, 1:17, 20.
  7. God gave Daniel an understanding of visions and dreams, 1:17.
  8. The king found them far superior to all the other young men, 1:19.
  9. No one was a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 1:18.
  10. They took their place in the king’s service, 1:19.

“People who eat the most fruits & veggies have fewer wrinkles.” Better Homes & Gardens, August, 2018, p. 136

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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#FindingMollieTibbets

#MollieTibbets

#Missing

#Crimestoppers

Mollie Tibbetts

 

I’m Braced for the Worst

I tried linking my blog to my new Frugalfish Facebook page yesterday. I got this error message several times:

“There is no page associated with this blog.”

I closed all the windows on the computer and walked away.

* * * * * * *

When I got up this morning, my head was full of questions:

  • Why didn’t it work?
  • Was I wrong starting the frugalfish.org blog?
  • Is frugalfish.org my Ishmael?
  • Should I delete all my social media accounts and start over?
  • Why did I pick such a long domain name – thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com?
  • Should I combine the blogs? No, wait – I tried that and lost $300.00.

I prayed and did my devotions.

Habakkuk 2:1, “What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst. I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how He’ll answer my complaint.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Habakkuk 2:3, “…If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 77:11-14, “Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; (12) I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long loving look at your acts. (13) Oh, God! Your way is holy! (14) You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do.” The Message

I made breakfast – burning my toast. (Our toaster broke yesterday and David bought a new one. I left it on the factory setting. That was a mistake!)

As I ate, I asked myself:

  • Could you let this all go, if God asked?
  • What if it never works, will you keep writing?
  • Are you willing to wait?

Then I went over the times I locked myself out of my former website. God always led me to the place to fix it.

I finished breakfast and walked to my office. God whispered, “Try this.” I did and the new Frugalfish Facebook page linked up to this blog! God is my tech guy. I can trust Him.

“You can trust the Man who died for you.” J. H. M. in “Streams in the Desert,” August 1

* * * * * * *

“There’s more victories behind me than there are battles ahead of me.” “Don’t Stop in the Gap” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

#bible

God Welcomes Anyone Looking for Help

Today is the day! I have to switch my posts to publish on my new Frugalfish Facebook page. I decided to publish today’s post before I switched.

Then, I procrastinated and planned August. I wish I had a tech team to do this for me. But there’s only me.

Psalms 49:7-8, “Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. (8) The cost of rescue is beyond our means.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Living by faith is a bewildering venture. We rarely know what’s coming next, and not many things turn out the way we anticipate. …That God-followers don’t get preferential treatment in life always comes as a surprise.

…Habakkuk…gives voice to our bewilderment, articulates our puzzled attempts to make sense of things, faces God with our disappointment with God. He insists that God pay attention to us.

…It is in his waiting and listening – which then turns into his praying – that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God’s sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life, the only real life. …where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” The Message Introduction to Habakkuk

* * * * * * *

Nahum 1:7, “God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“When you are unsure which course to take, totally submit your own judgment to that of the Spirit of God, asking Him to shut every door except the right one. But meanwhile keep moving ahead and consider the absence of a direct indication from God to be the evidence of His will that you are on His path. …And when you open it and walk through, you will find yourself face to face with a turn in the river of opportunity – one that is broader and deeper than anything you ever dared to imagine, even in your wildest dreams. …” F. B. Meyer in “Streams in the Desert” July 31

See you tomorrow! I hope – and pray. (Help, God!)

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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