May, 2014 Readings

• 1 – Amos 6-9; 2 Kings 15
• 2 – Hosea 1-6
• 3 – Hosea 7-12
• 4 – Hosea 13, 14; Psalms 78; 2 Chronicles 27
• 5 – Micah 1-6
• 6 – Micah 7; Isaiah 1-3
• 7 – Isaiah 4-6; 2 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 28
• 8 – Isaiah 7-9
• 9 – Isaiah 10-13
• 10 – Isaiah 14; 2 Kings 17; Psalms 80
• 11 – 2 Chronicles 29-31
• 12 – 2 Kings 18; Psalms 84; Isaiah 36
• 13 – 2 Kings 19; Isaiah 37; Psalms 33, 75
• 14 – Psalms 76; 2 Kings 20; Isaiah 38, 39; 2 Chronicles 32
• 15 – Psalms 25, 69-71, 116; Isaiah 15, 16
• 16 – Isaiah 17-21
• 17 – Isaiah 22-25
• 18 – Isaiah 26-29
• 19 – Isaiah 30-33
• 20 – Isaiah 34, 35, 40, 41
• 21 – Isaiah 42, 43, 46, 47; Psalms 79
• 22 – Isaiah 48-51
• 23 – Isaiah 52-56
• 24 – Isaiah 57-60
• 25 – Isaiah 61-65
• 26 – Isaiah 66; 2 Kings 21; 2 Chronicles 33; 2 Kings 22
• 27 – 2 Chronicles 34; Nahum 1-3
• 28 – Zephaniah 1-3; Jeremiah 1
• 29 – Jeremiah 2, 3
• 30 – Jeremiah 4, 5
• 31 – Jeremiah 7-9

Remember Your People

Last night I watched a movie called “Firefox,” starring Clint Eastwood. It was about an aircraft designed by three Russian, Jewish scientists.

As I watched them try to outwit the KGB, I thought, “These are God’s chosen people and that is why they are so intelligent. Wisdom comes from God.”

Today I read that this week has been set aside to honor the Holocaust victims. I thought of the horrible atrocities committed against the Jews 60 years ago.

Some want to pretend it never happened. Some want to forget, but God will never forget. He not only remembers the Nazi crimes, but also the ancient crimes.

Amos 1:3, “…I will punish Syria for countless crimes…”

Amos 1:6, “…I will punish Philistia for countless crimes…”

Amos 1:9, “…I will punish Phoenicia for countless crimes…”

Amos 1:11, “…I will punish Edom for countless crimes…”

Amos 1:13, “…I will punish Ammon for countless crimes…”

No, the Holocaust will not be forgotten and will not go unpunished.

Psalms 122:6, “Jerusalem, we pray that you will have peace, and that all will go well for those who love you.”

 

 

Non-Refundable

2 Chronicles 25:9, “Amaziah replied, ‘What am I supposed to do about all the silver I paid these troops?’ ‘The Lord will give you back even more than you paid,’ the prophet answered.”

How many times have we made a decision, put our money down and then realized it was not the best decision? Yet, since we have already paid for it, we sometimes keep going.

It would be better to lose the money and trust the Lord to give us back more than we paid.

When You Live There, You See It

I attend a satellite church. Everything is live, except the sermon which we view on a huge screen. It is recorded at the main church during the first service and copies are sent to the two satellites.

In my former position as administrator for another church, I was constantly taking note of things that needed repaired and replaced. Over those two decades we updated the sanctuary twice. It was easy for me to spot problems because I was there seven days a week.

When God moved us to FCOC, Faith Christian Outreach Church, I was thrilled because we meet in a fairly new convention center. It has not had time to wear out.

But the background at the home church, where the sermon was recorded, included glass block. I felt it was time for an update, but I no longer held a position of influence and I had to keep my mouth shut. Every Sunday, when the sermon started I prayed God would change the background.

He did! At the first of the year the glass was gone, there were four architectural pieces added and a different pattern of decorative panels added to the side walls. The new background has been enhanced with colored, accent lighting that makes it subdued, but different and fresh each week.

The best part? This time, I wasn’t one wielding a paint brush!

2 Chronicles 24:4, “Some time later, Joash decided it was time to repair the temple.”

Joash would not have known the state of disrepair if he had not lived in the temple six years.

“Better is One Day” – Kutless

God Will Make a Way

2 Chronicles 22:11, “But Jehosheba rescued Joash son of Ahaziah just as the others were about to be murdered. Jehosheba, who was Jehoram’s daughter and Ahaziah’s half-sister, was married to Jehoida the priest. So she was able to hide her nephew Joash and his personal servant in a bedroom in the Lord’s temple where he was safe from Athaliah.”

As a princess, Jehosheba was allowed into the palace where the women and children lived. Very few were allowed access to those rooms.

As the wife of the priest, she was allowed into the private rooms of the priests in the temple. Only the priests and their families were allowed access to those rooms.

We all have areas of influence where others do not have access. We need to be ready should God need us to make a way for someone else.

“God Will Make a Way” – Don Moen

Reduction May Lead to Redirection

2 Kings 10:32, “In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel’s territory…”

We like to think that God will always give us more, but sometimes he takes away.

I loved my job at church and I remember how awkward it was when God started reducing my areas of influence and responsibility. More staff was hired and my job description continued to be whittled away.

When my health deteriorated to the point I was housebound, my responsibilities were reduced to the tasks I could complete from home.

Then in July, 2007 God clearly told me I would only be working six more months. I stepped down at the end of that year.

I finished the Relevant Bible Reading Guide for the year 2008 and a few friends started using it in 2009. I started sharing it online in 2010 and I wrote the Babysteps Bible Reading Guide in 2011.

I didn’t know then that God planned for me to minister at a new satellite church. He was taking the job away to make me available for the next phase of his plan for my life.

It was four years later that I became a member of FCOC and started playing keyboard at the Fairfield satellite.

Reduction may be leading to redirection.

“Forever Reign” – Hillsong

“…you are peace when my fear is crippling…you are true even in my wandering…”

Nothing’s Gonna Hold Me Back

I was asked to substitute for the keyboard player last night. The Worship Pastor was so excited because the new keyboard had arrived. I would be the first to play it.

The only problem was I had been battling hives around my eyes for several days. Occasionally, mucus would form and slide over my eyeballs making everything blurry.

It was raining and I took Allega180 before leaving for church. I thought I would be fine. Halfway there, I pulled the mirror down in the van and looked at my face.

It wasn’t pretty.

The hives were bright red, thick and spreading down my right cheek.

I took a Prednisone tablet, that I carry for emergencies, and one Benadryl. I hoped the Benadryl would temper the jitters from the Prednisone and that the Prednisone would keep me from dozing off from the Benadryl. I prayed they would get rid of the hives….in the next ten minutes!

It was an interesting worship practice…almost comical.

The bass player was missing, but the new keyboard had a built-in keyboard bass.

I was thinking….

  • Play a bass pattern with your left hand.
  • Alternate between piano and pads with your right hand.
  • Tip head down to hide hives.
  • Stand up straight to sing back-up.
  • Don’t forget to switch from alto to second soprano on the bridge and final chorus.
  • Don’t rush the tempo because of the Prednisone.
  • Pay attention because the Benadryl will slow your reactions.

After rehearsing, the Worship Pastor asked me if I was having fun.

I responded, “No, I’m waiting for the cymbals to be strapped to my knees like a ‘one man band!'”

He didn’t do it. But by the final song, I was enjoying myself as I sang, “Lord, I Need You!”

Sometimes problems come at us from two different directions. That is what King Jehoram experienced.

2 Chronicles 21:10, “….Even the town of Libnah rebelled at that time.”

“This was a town on the border between Philistia and Judah, which means that Jehoram was facing rebellion on both sides of his kingdom.” CEV Bible Notes

“Holding Nothing Back” – Jesus Culture

A Word With Many Meanings

2 Kings 5:1, “…Naaman was a brave soldier, but he had leprosy.”

“The word translated ‘leprosy’ was used for many different kinds of skin diseases.” CEV Bible Notes

If Naaman lived today they may have said he had eczema, because it is also a term used to cover many different kinds of diseases.

No Such Thing as a Hopeless Situation

In many western movies you will see people arrive at a dry riverbed and if they dug a hole, they sometimes found water.

2 Kings 3:16, “The Lord says that this dry riverbed will be filled with water.”

“Or to dig holes everywhere in this riverbed.” CEV Bible Notes

When the Israelites and Edomites dug holes in the riverbed it left shallow places where water coming downstream could pool. It was those pools of water that the King of Moab mistook for pools of blood in the early morning light.

“Mighty To Save” – Hillsong

That Was Some Coat

Elijah used his coat, rolled up, to part the waters of the Jordan River, 2 Kings 2:28. He was recognized by his coat.

2 Kings 1:8, “‘He was hairy and had a leather belt around his waist,’ they answered.”

“Hairy – or wearing a furry coat.” CEV Bible Notes

After Elijah was taken to heaven, 2:11, Elisha used the same coat to part the Jordan River and go back across, 2:14.

In other versions of the Bible, the coat was referred to as a mantle. You may be familiar with the term, “A Mantle of Authority.” That coat defined the term.

“Overcome” – Jeremy Camp