Lest Anyone Should Think of Me Above That Which He sees

I got another follower yesterday on my frugalfish.org blog. As usual, I went to his blog and read a few posts. If a blogger has an “About Page” written, I will leave a comment thanking them for following my blog.

If they don’t, I find a post I like and hit the “Like” button. It leaves an icon of my blog next to it. (Search engines count “comments,” “likes” and “shares.”)

Many of my followers are new to blogging. They feel comfortable going through my sites because they are not professional. They think, “If she can do it, I can do this!”

I’m glad to encourage to others. My former boss used to tell me I was transparent – “What you see is what you get.”

2 Corinthians 12:6, “. . .lest anyone should think of me above that which he sees me to be or hears from me.” Modern English Version

Paul was transparent. He shared his struggles as well as his victories. He even shared his thoughts. He would have been an awesome blogger!

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Protected from Perils in a Journey

The recliner we purchased on “Black Friday” broke. It has felt “jiggly” for a few months. When you sat down it seemed to rock from side to side, not just back and forth. Maybe there was a cracked board it finally broke.

David called the store and they said the head manager had to look at it. He is only at the store Monday – Thursday until noon. David’s boss is gone and that means I have to return it to the store.

I’m concerned about the trip, not because I have to move the chair, they will do the heavy lifting, – it’s the weather. Multiple tornadoes touched down in Iowa last night and they predict more for today.

Paul traveled far and wide. He encountered all types of weather. That did not stop him from traveling.

2 Corinthians 11:26, 27, “In journeys often, in perils of water,…in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness,…in cold and nakedness.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

The Message says, “…blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.”

I checked weather.com and the storm should reach our area around 3:00 p.m. I just need to hit the road and get back before then.

I’m grateful I will be in a van, not walking. I will not feel the heat or the rain. The rain even knocked down the pollen!

I also have the promises in these verses:

2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”

* * * * * * *

1 John 5:18, “I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.”

 * * * * * * *

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

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The Reward of Working with Teenagers

I’m updating my prayer list. One page is full of the names of servicemen. Some are in my son’s unit and others are children of our friends.

I sent 5 messages yesterday to friends and family to verify their relative was still in the service. It was a walk down memory lane with some of these names.

One friend, David E., responded saying their son was still in the service and asked if I had a few minutes to talk. He was in the youth group when David and I started helping the Youth Pastors, Larry & Bonnie R.

David E. was on his lunch hour and had a rather trying morning. It was wonderful catching up with his family. We both have 2 sons and 1 daughter. We have one in the service, one who worked with the Sheriff’s department, and both of us had difficult pregnancies when our daughters were born.

Even more amazing, we both had prayed for Timothy N. who suffered from Cystic Fibrosis and lost the battle last week. We both continue to pray for his family.

After I hung up, I felt the same way Paul did in today’s verse.

2 Corinthians 7:4, “Great is my boldness of speech toward you; great is my boasting of you. I am filled with comfort, and I am exceedingly joyful…” Modern English Version

I look forward to teasing my sister-in-law, who was in David E.’s class because I got to hear his voice. It was fun sharing memories with my David as I relayed our conversation. But the best part was the reminder that when we take the hand of Jesus, He never let’s go.

He holds us on the bad days, through hard times, through times of victory, and rejoices with us when our children make us proud. We live in different states, belong to different denominations but all are holding on to the same Jesus.

The reward of working with teenagers is they are old enough to remember your name! Decades later, they call just to catch up and you realize all your work was worth it!

P.S. Thanks, Joel L. for working with the youth when I was a teenager!

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He Sought a Message

David and I were trying to decide where to go to celebrate our anniversary. He can only get away for a few days and didn’t want to drive all day.

I finally decided to read all the ads in the “Our Iowa” magazine. David would love Dyersville, where they filmed “Field of Dreams,” but that would bore me.

Then I saw the ad for Clear Lake and Mason City where they filmed “The Music Man” and the home of the “Surf Ballroom” – the last place Buddy Holly sang. We both like music, maybe that would be an option.

When I saw the “Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture Tour,” I was sold! (I secretly dream of living in “Fallingwater!”) I figured my lumberman husband could explain the features on the homes that captured my attention.

I broached the idea when he came home for lunch. I talked about the “Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture Tour” and told him about swimming at Clear Lake when I attended youth camp. He wasn’t impressed; that left me depressed.

But, on a break at work, he googled Mason City. After reading about “Music Man Square” and the “Surf Ballroom,” he changed his mind.

When he got home he asked, “Do you remember how to get to that camp?”

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“Country Mission Camp” was held in a church at the intersection of 2 gravel roads. I think we drove west from Swaledale, IA, but I’m not sure.

The directors, (we called “Ma and Pa Lamb”), are gone and I think the church died with them. So many are gone – Midge Lamb (my favorite counselor), Danny Zenor, Priscilla Christner, Rev. James A. Salvador, and Diane Krutsinger are a few we lost. As much as we loved those people, they were not why we returned year after year. It was for the message.

2 Corinthians 2:13, “I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother. So taking my leave of them, I went from there into Macedonia.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“When I arrived at Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I found the place wide open: God had opened the door; all I had to do was walk through it. But when I didn’t find Titus waiting for me with news of your condition, I couldn’t relax. Worried about you, I left and came on to the Macedonia province looking for Titus and a reassuring word on you. And I got it, thank God!” The Message

Paul was seeking Titus for the message he had concerning the church at Corinth. The message we received year after year at “Country Mission Camp” was the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul described the message of Jesus Christ this way: “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation – an aroma redolent with life.” The Message

I carry that message in my heart. If we make that trip, the message will go with me, even if I don’t find any of the people.

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Facing Difficulty? Take a Hike!

Sunday afternoons and evenings are when I get alone and recharge. Sometimes, I will put on pajamas right after church! My cell phone and fitness tracker are left in the office while I nap and then read or watch a movie.

Yesterday, I watched “The Wackiest Ship in the Navy.” Captured by the Japanese, they freed themselves by untying the boom and ducking as it swung around, knocking most of the Japanese soldiers overboard.

Sailing is dangerous! It was not unusual to hear, “Man overboard!” Was that why Paul decided to walk to Assos?

Acts 20:13, “We went ahead to the ship and sailed to Assos, intending to take Paul on board there. For he had arranged this, intending to go on foot.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“In sailing southward from Troas to Assos, one has to round Cape Lectum, and keeping due east to run along the northern shore of the Gulf of Adramyttium, on which it lies. This is a sail of nearly forty miles; whereas by land, cutting right across, in a southeasterly direction, from sea to sea, by that excellent Roman road which then existed, the distance was scarcely more than half. The one way Paul wished his companions to take, while he himself, longing perhaps to enjoy a period of solitude, took the other, joining the ship, by appointment, at Assos.”

Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

Did Paul walk to visit friends he had met before? This was his third journey and the second time he was in Troas, see Acts 16:8-12. I found the answer later in the chapter.

Acts 20:22, 23, “Now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what shall befall me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.” Modern English Version

The last time I visited Pinecrest, (now Whitestone Academy), in New York, I was a teenager. The first morning there, I took my Bible on a familiar trail to get alone with God.

I left the trail and sat on a carpet of pine needles to read. I was immediately surrounded by gnats. Then I remembered the pine snakes and Copperheads! I got back on the trail and walked to our dorm room.

By the time I returned, my sisters had left the room for breakfast and I finished my devotions there. But I will always cherish the memory of my walk through the woods, alone with God.

Are you facing something difficult or painful? Prepare yourself by taking a long walk – alone with God.

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I Planted Seeds and Was Rewarded Immediately

I really wanted a nap. I could justify it because of the Nursing Home Service today which will delay and shorten my Sunday snooze. But there were 3 projects on my list and I still needed to practice for both services.

It didn’t help when David woke up from a 20-minute catnap and cheerfully said,

“I’m going to paint the house!”

(He painted the east side of the house and added a coat to the east side of the shed.)

I started by practicing and the music pushed the drowsiness away. I moved on to painting the boards that I use to raise the keyboard pedals. (Derek said they looked “Ghetto,” whatever that means.) I primed them yesterday but had to wait until David brought home paint after work this morning. I painted the bottom sides and stole Derek’s fan to help them dry more quickly.

Then I got out my biggest planter and filled it with the rest of the soil I have on hand. Earlier this week, I wrapped 4 kinds of seeds in a paper towel and put them in a Rubbermaid container. My daughter-in-law laughed when I admitted the seeds were from 2011. Vindication came when I opened the container and showed her the seeds had sprouted!

I got out small signs and wrote the name of the four plants on them. I put the signs in the pot and planted the seeds. After watering the pot, I put the planter behind the sheer curtain in the living room, just like I wrote about in an earlier post.

1 Corinthians 15:37, 38, “When you sow, you do not sow the body that shall be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. Then God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural.” The Message

That left one nasty task – ants in the cupboard. The traps I set out last month must have been too old. My sugar, honey, and marshmallows are hiding in the refrigerator. I emptied the cupboard, washed it with Windex, (the ammonia will cover the trail from the first ant), and shut the door. I hoped the ammonia would asphyxiate any ants that snuck in. Then I set out new traps.

I decided to take a break to read before starting supper. David came in from painting and said,

“How about Taco Johns for supper?”

God blessed me for working when I really wanted to nap. I believe that was my reward for obeying God and planting those seeds!

Proverbs 6:6, “Look to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” Modern English Version

I was not a sluggard! I finished all of my projects, painting the last coat on the boards at 9:00 p.m. I did consider the ant’s ways – not one went after my vegetable bin! They surrounded the sugar, honey, and I even found one on the peanut butter!

I decided to stop feeling guilty when I ate dessert. I will just be wise and not eat it in excess!

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Men Should Be Silent in Church

I take my 5-subject notebook to church with me – the same one in which I write my blog posts. (I number the pages and keep an index in the front.)

God speaks to us constantly. He will show us something in the scripture and we will hear the same thing in a sermon! I take notes in church and try to record all the references. It’s easy to look back at sermons this way.

My husband also takes notes. If Pastor gives us 5 points, it is not uncommon for us to get the ones we missed from each other. But, I get irritated when David asks,

“What does he mean?”

(or worse)

“What’s for dinner?”

I love sharing the things I’ve learned from reading the Bible but not when I’m trying to take notes!

1 Corinthians 14:34, “Let your women remain silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak. They are commanded to be under obedience, as the law also says.” Modern English Version

* * * * * *

“In orthodox congregations, men and women are not permitted to sit together during prayer services….In some synagogues,…the women’s section is in the balcony and the men’s section is on the main floor of the sanctuary.” myjewishlearning.com/article/mehitzah-separate-seating-in-the-synagogue/

Paul was talking about women asking their husbands, who were sitting on the main floor, “What does he mean?” – from the balcony!

“Wives should not disrupt worship, talking when they should be listening, asking questions that could more appropriately be asked of their husbands at home. God’s Book of the law guides our manners and customs here. Wives have no license to use the time of worship for unwarranted speaking. Do you – both women and men – imagine that you’re a sacred oracle determining what’s right and wrong? Do you think everything revolves around you?” The Message

The passage applies equally to men and husbands! They should not:

  • Disrupt worship.
  • Talk instead of listening.
  • Ask questions they could ask at home.
  • Use bad manners by talking when someone is preaching.
  • Do any unwarranted speaking.

Did women speak in the New Testament Church?


1 Corinthians 11:5, “But every woman who prays or prophesies…” Modern English Version

You cannot prophesy without speaking!

1 Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Modern English Version

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Significance is Only Because of What You are a Part

We practice for the worship service at the E3 Center. E3 is the teenager ministry. There is a stage with a lower level for the singers and monitors. Sometimes, I have trouble hearing the vocals because the monitors are far away. (I know, I should plug into the AVIOM and use the in-ear monitors.)

We prefer using the stage monitors because we don’t have in-ear monitors at the Civic Center. I plug my headphones directly into the keyboard. We like to play “live” and “loud.” (The teenagers like it even louder which is another reason I don’t plug into the AVIOM!)

Last night at practice, I couldn’t hear the lead vocalist on one of the songs. I turned my volume down from 75% to 25%. Steve gave me a questioning look because the keyboard disappeared out of the stage monitor. (I could still hear it through my headphones.)

Being a Christian is like being in a band. There is a lead vocalist that is louder than the others but needs the support of the other vocalists. When one part is not heard the band sound suffers. Play each part in balance.

1 Corinthians 12:14, 18, 22, “The body is not one part, but many….But now God has established the parts, every one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. No, those parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” Modern English Version

The Message puts it this way: “As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where He wanted it. But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster….the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach….If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?…Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.”

“Some people do large important things. Other people do the small, essential tasks that make the important thing possible. I’ve always just done simple, small things. But I know that I can do those things well. I’m proud of the part I’ve played. I know that the larger success is mine as well.”

Gena, Magnolia Market Host

“The Magnolia Journal” Summer 2017

God has carefully placed me where He wants me. I will do the small, simple, essential tasks as well as I can.

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It’s Possible

Pastor Monte Knudsen shared this story before he preached last night:

“I know a woman who always wanted to blog. She had a job she loved but this desire was in her heart. She saw a contest in “Good Housekeeping” and submitted a video to it. She won $75,000. Then “Good Housekeeping” asked her if she would try products and blog about them for a small monthly salary – $5,000.”

Yeah, he wasn’t talking about me.

My friend, Marcella, leaned over and asked, “Doesn’t that encourage you?”

“Nope, my blogs don’t work that way.” 

Two years ago, God told me to remove ads, not to use pop-ups (to get followers), and to never ask for donations. The blog Pastor shared about would be advertising the products she tested. God made it clear I am not to go that route.

Basically, God shut the door to financing my blog naturally. The funds I needed came from other sources. An inheritance paid the first 2 years and winning a court case paid the following 2 years. I closed the website which dropped the bill significantly for 2 years but paying to keep all ads off of both blogs brought the bill back up to $100.00 a year.

God still provided. When I started the frugalfish.org blog, I had hoped I could make money on it to cover the fees, but God has other plans.

My devotion today, Facebook.com/TheWordForYouToday/us, was on Acts 20:24, “…finishing the work assigned me by the Lord.”

“To help you discover your life’s assignment, answer these questions: (1) What’s your temperament and what’s your talent?…Peak performers…care deeply about what they do, and their efforts, energies, and enthusiasms are traceable back to that particular mission. (2) Why do you do what you do?…because you believe God’s called you to do it, [or] what your parents, friends, or ego wants you to do. (3) What do you not do well?…discovering what you’re not called to do.”

“Believe You Can” John Mason

Pastor Monte put it this way: “When you are in God’s will you push the gas pedal and the car goes. When you are not in God’s will – you are pushing the car!”

  1. According to the book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” writing suits me. According to my Grammarly.com report: I wrote more words than 85% of Grammarly users did and I was more accurate than 79% of them. (I need to work on my keyboarding skills.)
  2. I started the frugalfish.org blog after encouragement from my sister and friends. These days, writing for that blog is like pushing a car. (Although, being Frugalfish does stroke my ego.) The idea for this blog came to me when I was 13 and there wasn’t even an internet at that time!
  3. What am I not supposed to do? Anything technical and looking to frugalfish.org to supply my financial needs. I’m supposed to look to God. He hasn’t failed me.

Then I read today’s verse –

1 Corinthians 9:13, “Do you not know that those who minister unto holy things live from the things of the temple? And do you not know that those who wait at the altar partake of the altar?” Modern English Version

The Message, says, “…those who offer sacrifices at the altar eat their meals from what has been sacrificed.” God has a plan to provide for me through this blog. He does not need to use ads, pop-ups, or donations.

Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing is impossible.” Modern English Version

* * * * * *

Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ” Modern English Version

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After Circumcision, How Do You Become Uncircumcised?

I remember when I was young that long hair was the style. At some churches, you would not be accepted until you cut your long hair off. A buzz cut was the trademark of their denominations.

There were a few trademarks of Judaism, uncut sideburns and circumcision. As a mother of boys, I understand circumcision but how do you become uncircumcised?

1 Corinthians 7:18-20, “Is any man called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any man called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God is everything.” Modern English Version

It surprised me to find there was an actual procedure to become uncircumcised!

“Not become uncircumcised – by surgical operation (1 Maccabees 1:15; Josephus, Antiquities, 12.5.1). Some Christians in excess of anti-Jewish feeling might be tempted to do this.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol I

Confusing – until I read the same passage in “The Message.”

1 Corinthians 7:18-20, “Were you Jewish at the time God called you? Don’t try to remove the evidence. Were you non-Jewish at the time of your call? Don’t become a Jew. Being Jewish isn’t the point. The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following his commands.” The Message

We put too much emphasis on physical things – like the “mullet” in the 80’s or the “rat-tail” in the 90’s. God accepts us just the way we are.

Obey God’s call, follow His commands!

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