Emptying Out the Pockets of My Life

I had the keyboard set up 20 minutes before the sound man arrived. I poured a cup of coffee, settled in my seat, and scanned Facebook.

One post resonated with me. It reminded me of the “1 Min Motivation,” (Steven Furtick), that I heard this morning. I wanted to share a few sentences I read in my devotional in a comment. Instead, I sent a message asking to share part of it in today’s post.

Mandie serves on a worship team in another state. Today, she “emptied the pockets of her life” and shared her heart.

Psalms 42:4, “These are the things I go over and over, emptying the pockets of my life. I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd, right out in front. Leading them all, eager to arrive and worship, shouting praises, singing Thanksgiving – celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…I felt like nothing I did mattered. I was leaving no legacy. I wasn’t doing what God planned for me, I was a disgrace. I was a let-down….I was NEVER ENOUGH…” Mandie C.

* * * * * * *

“That might be the devil’s favorite sermon – NOT ENOUGH!…We have five loaves and two fish but that’s not enough. Because they were starting with themselves but they were standing next to the Source….Check the Source; He’s more than enough!” Steven Furtick, 1 Min Motivation, The Devil’s Favorite Sermon

* * * * * * *

“…I felt God saying to me,…”I know you needed all the broken, sad, lonely things to make you empathetic, grateful, and kinder….I saw your potential to grow far away from me, and your eternal soul is worth far more to me than your temporary, earthly success….Can you dare to trust that I always have your best interests at heart? Can you dare to dream that your best years can still be BEFORE you and not behind you?” Mandie C.

* * * * * * *

“Scripture tells us that Abraham, ‘without weakening in his faith,…faced the fact that his body was as good as dead’ (Romans 4:19). He was not discouraged, because he was not looking at himself but at Almighty God.” Streams in the Desert, April 22

* * * * * * *

“Can you dare to trust that I know EXACTLY what I’m doing; and that I really do have a plan to prosper you, increase all that I’ve placed within your heart, and give you opportunities to use the gifts and talents I gave you?…Will you trust that I am well-pleased with you and who you are becoming – that you’re not a completed short story but an epic novel in the making? Will you just rest in me and know that I am perfecting you for just the right moment, and that nothing will be able to prevent what I’ve got in store for you? That you’re ENOUGH because I say you are. Because I’m your good Daddy; and I’m the King of the Universe, and you’re my much-loved daughter…My heir. My princess.” Mandie C.

We focus on the temporary, earthly success and the good things God blessed us with before. God sees:

  • Our potential
  • The worth of our eternal soul
  • Our best years ahead
  • The plan to prosper us
  • The increase of everything in our heart
  • The opportunities in our future
  • The gifts and talents we have yet to discover
  • The epic novel of our lives
  • The person we are becoming
  • The preparation for the right moment
  • The moment nothing can stop
  • Everything He has in store for us
  • We are ENOUGH
  • A much-loved child
  • An Heir
  • A prince or princess

It’s hard to see this when you are buried in diapers, dishes, and dirty clothes! But Mandie has 2 children. She has already tripled her influence on this earth. Mandie said it better than I could even though I have felt the same things! We both know to turn to God during those times.

Psalms 42:5, “Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God – soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.” The Message

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

Hidden Away

2 Kings 11:3, “He was there…hidden away…in the Temple of God….” The Message

I understand being “hidden away” by God. There were 3 years where I was completely housebound. And several times sickness left me “hidden away” for weeks at a time.

When we are “hidden away” wherever we are is a “Temple of God.” We are flat on our back but God is operating in our heart.

Two weeks ago I spent 4 days down with a virus. During that time, God spoke to me about my routine. I would get up early and work all day. I kept trying to schedule projects in the evenings. I was a workaholic and never left work!

God wanted to lead me through my days. The first day my assignment was to get out my decorative coasters.

I switched to wood and cork coasters when my granddaughter was a toddler. She ignored the toys and played with the coasters! She stacked them, hid them, and clapped them together! I had to put the glass, marble, and stone coasters up! She’s 7 now and no longer plays with them.

I got out my glass coasters and marveled at the pictures from 2009. Then I remembered Jill gave me picture coasters for Christmas a few years ago. They were still in the box! I got them out and spent an hour choosing photos for them.

The response from my family when they saw the new coasters was priceless. There was never time to print pictures and cut them for the coasters before. (Yesterday’s assignment was to make a spring wreath!)

* * * * * * *

Other times, I’ve been “hidden away” and missed something bad. Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy, (see John 10:10). He is constantly setting things up to that end. God destroys what Satan has built to distract you from your God-given purpose.

2 Kings 11:18, “The people poured into the temple of Baal and tore it down, smashing altar and images to smithereens….” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Israel’s Baal worship did arrive in Judah in the person of Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab….The Chronicler highlights the part played by the religious personnel in making Joash king (2 Chronicles 23:4-7) and in leading a purge of Baal worship (23:16-19).” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Are you flat your back? It’s a safe place while God destroys the things intended to hurt you.

Things didn’t fall into ruin while I sick. Those projects I worried about are now finished. Work will wait. You will complete it before it’s too late.

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

God Said!

“There is much folklore recorded about April’s fickle weather. ‘If it rains on Easter Day, there will be good grass but very bad hay.’ ‘Change not a thread (your clothing) ’til April’s dead.’ ” Steve Gottschalk, “Our Iowa Magazine” April/May 2018

I* * * * * * *

“Chicago sees its coldest start to April in 137 years!” chicago.suntimes.com

It seems spring will never come! It snowed again last night. No wonder my friend, Kimi, is frustrated!

“Putting away my ‘spring’ decorations. I’m over it. Bringing out my ‘summer’ Americana decorations. I’m skipping spring.” Kimi G. on Facebook

By faith, I spent an hour making a spring wreath for my front door. God promised spring would come – eventually.

Genesis 8:22, “For as long as Earth lasts, planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never stop.” The Message

* * * * * * * *

2 Kings 10:10, “God doing what…He said He would do.” The Message

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We’ve Got Nothing to Lose

The dishwasher repairman came today. After taking it apart he found the motor was not working effectively. Tiny bits of food get caught in the motor and damage it. (My dishwasher does not contain a garbage disposal.) His cure?

A half-gallon of vinegar!

He told me to let the dishwasher fill and add a half-gallon of vinegar. I’m to let it sit overnight and run a complete cycle tomorrow. The vinegar will loosen and dissolve the food bits.

He’s not sure it will solve my problem because I let it go for several weeks. Why didn’t I call him when I first heard the noise? I waited until it broke down.

2 Kings 7:4, “…We’ve got nothing to lose.” The Message

He also told me to rinse the dishes in hot water to remove the grease. The grease builds up on the drain pipe and it will not drain correctly. That extra step will prolong the life of my dishwasher. (He has the same brand and model in his home!)

“…Sometimes it’s in doing the thing that seems beneath you that releases the blessing.” Steven Furtick, 1-Min Motivation, “Will You Do The Small Things,” April 19, 2018

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God Says There’s Plenty

I was cleaning the papers out of my Bible and found several “giving” envelopes. I put them in there a few weeks ago. My plan was to put a bill in one at each service. I was thinking of giving one dollar bills and five dollar bills.

I opened my wallet – no ones or fives! The only options were a ten or a twenty. I decided to wait until noon to see if David had an offering. (Don’t put me on a pedestal. I always fall off.)

All morning God worked on my heart. I have no trouble giving but would there be enough left over? I’m just like the widow with 2 sons in 2 Kings 4.

2 Kings 4:2, “…’What do you have in your house?’ ‘Nothing,’ she replied. ‘Well, I do have a little oil.’ ” The Message

God meets our needs using what we already have on hand. There are seeds all around us. They can’t grow unless we plant them.

2 Kings 4:7, “…Go sell the oil and make good on your debts. Live, both you and your sons, on what’s left.” The Message

That’s the crux of the problem. Will there be enough left over? We like to keep a cushion in our checking account and some bills in our wallet. It keeps us comfortable. But God is constantly pulling us out of our comfort zones.

“We…pushed through our discomfort zones….My brother and I both knew that if we stopped, we’d freeze to death before morning. On the other hand, if we depleted our resources, we’d be unable to continue….we don’t always work smart….we need to pace ourselves because it allows us the time to prioritize our values and what is important to us.” FBI Agent LaRae Quy – 6 Ways to Get Through Adversity

When we live only in our comfort zones, we are not prepared to face adversity. In fact, it surprises us when adversity comes! But sooner or later adversity comes and more than once.

Funny. I have no problem coming home from the mall with an empty wallet. It’s easy to deplete my resources there! I rarely pace myself there and come home exhausted.

God reminded me how he multiplies our resources later in 2 Kings 4. The man from Baal Shalishah brought 20 loaves of bread to Elisha. He told his servant to feed the 100 men who were there. Elisha’s servant said there wasn’t enough.

2 Kings 4:43, 44, “…Elisha said, ‘Just go ahead and do it. God says there’s enough.’ (44) And sure enough, there was. He passed around what he had – they not only ate, but had leftovers.” The Message

Looking into my wallet again, God reminded me of Isaac. He planted seeds during a famine and reaped 100 fold. He didn’t double his seed, he harvested 100 times more, (see Genesis 26:12-33). I just have to decide – do I want to grow $1,000 or $2,000?

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

My Father, My Father!

My “permalink” is showing the date. When that happens, Google search engines ignore the post because it is “dated” or “old news.” The option to change that is missing!

I sent an email to WordPress.com support but it may take a day or two before I get an answer. Discouraged, I considered giving up. Then I read these:

“…Christians like Samuel inspire us to pursue every opportunity the Lord gives us to advance His Word.” Voice of the Martyrs Magazine

* * * * * * *

“…Right now I feel a little lost. But He will fulfill His purpose for me….I’m going through this little thing with depression right now. But He will fulfill His purpose for me. I’m kind of confused. But He will fulfill His purpose for me….I’m in a position where I don’t seem to get much validation. But He will fulfill His purpose for me…..I got a promise!”

1-Minute Motivation – Steven Furtick – April 17, 2018

I’m not depressed, I’m grieving. My dad died on April 17th. Facebook kept showing me memories from that year.

  • April 13th – “Dad is spending the day with me tomorrow. I baked him a pie. The man loves his pie.”
  • April 14th – “Laura came to eat lunch with Dad and me. She told him he couldn’t have pie unless he ate the “healthy” sandwich Mom sent. He didn’t like the “healthy” biscuit Mom used. I gave him 2 pieces of pie and we hid the rest from Laura!”
  • April 15th – “Dad collapsed.”
  • April 16th – “Dad is in Iowa City.”
  • April 17th – “Daddy’s gone.”

2 Kings 2:11, 12, “And so it happened. They were walking along and talking….(12) Elisha…shouted, ‘My father, my father!…’ ” The Message

My father taught me many things but 2 came to mind today: 1) Respect men of God, and 2) Respect life.

Respect Men of God

2 Kings 2:24, “Elisha turned, took one look at them, and cursed them in the name of God. Two bears charged out of the underbrush and knocked them about, ripping them limb from limb – forty-two children in all.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Frequently, the age at which young men became warriors in ancient society was younger than in modern Western armies. The ‘boys’ of 2 Kings 2:23, like the ‘young men’ of Genesis 4:23, could have been armed and dangerous.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Elisha was not taunted by school children but by a gang of armed young adults. Their lack of respect for a man of God cost them their lives.

Respect Life

2 Kings 3:27, “Then he took his son, his firstborn who would succeed him as king, and sacrificed him on the city wall. That set off furious anger against Israel. Israel pulled back and returned home.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…the absolute condemnation of human sacrifice in the divine law of Judah and Israel (Exodus 34:20; Deuteronomy 18:10). Child sacrifice was so appalling and detestable that they fled what was to them a place of absolute apostasy.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

The best way to honor my father is to follow his example…

“2 Chronicles 26:4, ‘He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father…had done.’ (New International Version)…Your example will have more impact than all your exhortations….so set the right example.”  The Word for You Today, 4-17-18

…and to remember – God will fulfill His purpose for me.

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God Intervened

“Are you able to genuinely say, from your knowledge of God and your relationship with Him, the He is indeed a beautiful Being?” George Mueller, “Streams in the Desert,” 4-15

How well do I know God? They say your perception of God can correlate with your relationship with your dad. If that is the case, then God is busy!

My dad left for work before we got up. After supper, he would go to his shop and work a few hours more. When I was a girl, he hung a circular swing in the center of his shop in the basement. I would swing there for hours. He was working and I was just in his presence.

I like being in God’s presence, too.

When I read the first verse today I wondered, “Why did Jehoshaphat need an alliance with Ahab?”

2 Chronicles 18:1, “But even though Jehoshaphat was very rich and much honored, he made a marriage alliance with Ahab of Israel.” The Message

Why? For his army. We read in 2 Chronicles 13:2, 3,  that Israel had twice as many soldiers as Judah.

“The English word ‘humbled’ (in some versions ‘shamed’) refers to an inner attitude or feeling. But the Hebrew word refers more to public disgrace. Shame or humiliation accompanies the experience of defeat and applies even to those who are not personally responsible for what happened (Psalms 44:9). Trouble resulting from a natural cause or providential act that no one could foresee or prevent could still be said to shame or confuse the one who suffered.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Those soldiers couldn’t protect Jehoshaphat. He was humbled and shamed by the defeat. In the heat of battle he cried out to God and God protected him.

2 Chronicles 18:31, “Jehoshaphat yelled out, and the chariot commanders realized they had the wrong man – it wasn’t the king of Israel after all. God intervened and they let him go.” The Message

Some are like Ahab. They believe God only preaches doom, doom, doom, (see 2 Chronicles 18:7). They just don’t know God. They haven’t spent time in His Presence.

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Became Stronger by the Day

I obeyed my directions from God yesterday. I threw the last load in the dryer at 5 p.m. Then I ordered the “2 Pizzas, Pasta, and Breadsticks Box” from Pizza Hut. (The instructions were to get up and eat!)

Derek brought home the DVD – “The Greatest Showman.” David is at a Men’s Retreat. Yes, I ordered all that food for 2 people! I may not need to cook all weekend!

* * * * * * * *

I felt good when I woke up. I ran the dishwasher; sanitized the kitchen and bathrooms; and folded that last load. I was carrying the towels upstairs when I felt shaky. Now I understand the verse God showed me today.

2 Chronicles 17:12, “So Jehoshaphat became stronger by the day, and constructed more and more forts and store-cities – an age of prosperity for Judah!” The Message

I will get stronger each day but I need to pace myself. My assignment for today? Store-cities – I will update my food inventory and make a grocery list. The menu for tonight is already done – pizza!

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Get Up and Eat

Today I woke up before the coffee brewed. It’s been two weeks; that virus must have run its course. Yesterday I caught up on my Bible reading.

Monday.

I didn’t even get out of bed. I wish I would have had David get my Bible for me. Reading of Job’s restoration would have lifted my spirits. But I didn’t read it.

1 Kings 12:24, “This is God’s word:…I’m in charge here….” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Chronicles 11:23, “He was shrewd….” The Message

Solomon was wise. Rehoboam was shrewd but not wise. Staying in bed was shrewd. Reading my Bible while in bed would have been wise.

Tuesday.

I moved to the couch and watched movies. When I read the chapters assigned for that day, none jumped out at me.

God whispered to my heart, “The verse for Tuesday was only for that day. You can’t see it now.”

Wednesday.

Back on the couch, I binged on a historical Netflix show. I folded 1 load of laundry.

2 Chronicles 12:14, “But the final verdict on Rehoboam was that he was a bad king – God was not important to him; his heart neither cared for nor sought after God.” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Kings 15:11, 12, “Asa conducted himself well before God. He cleaned house….” The Message

(Had I read these verses on Wednesday, I would have cleaned the house. I would have gone to church and been stronger Thursday.)

Thursday.

Back in my office for an hour. I took my Bibles and read on the couch.

2 Chronicles 15:2, “…God will stick with you as long as you stick with Him. If you look for Him He will let Himself be found; but if you leave Him He’ll leave you.” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Chronicles 15:7, “But it’s different with you: Be strong. Take heart. Payday is coming!” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Chronicles 15:8, “Asa heard the prophecy of Azariah son of Obed, took a deep breath, then rolled up his sleeves, and went to work.” The Message

Roll up my sleeves. Clean the kitchen. Clean up. Do some laundry. Figure out the keyboard part of the bridge on that new song before practice tonight.

* * * * * * * *

David pulled up Derek’s sermon from Wednesday night on the E3 app. We watched it together while eating lunch. Derek’s title? “Get up!”

When David went back to work, I pulled up Pastor Monte Knudsen’s sermon on Facebook. Pastor’s title? “Cleansing and Wholeness.”

“Ten lepers were cleansed. The leprosy was cured. But only one became whole. The effects of and scars from the leprosy were gone.” Pastor Monte Knudsen 4-11-18

At one point in his sermon, he referred to a soldier in 2 Kings. The name of the man slipped his mind. He asked the congregation if they remembered the name. No answer.

Naaman. The man’s name was Naaman. But I wasn’t there to say it.

I washed 2 loads of laundry and went to worship practice. I want to become whole, not just be healed.

Friday.

“…I laid it down in silence,

This work of mine,

And took what had been sent me –

A resting time….”

“Streams in the Desert”

4-13

* * * * * * *

1 Kings 17:4, “You can drink fresh water from the brook; I’ve ordered the ravens to feed you.” The Message

* * * * * * *

1 Kings 19:5, “Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, ‘Get up and eat!’ ” The Message

“Get up and eat!” Those are my orders for today…along with 5 or 6 loads of laundry. (Sigh.) God took care of me this week. I haven’t cooked since Sunday!

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