The Assigned Work

It’s the last day of February. I don’t want to put the Valentine’s Day decorations away. My first goal for 2018 was to make Valentine’s Day table runner. I love it!

This is the first holiday I did not share my decorations on I prayed during the month of January about continuing that blog. I didn’t get an answer. I waited another month. Still no direction.

Yesterday, I had a long talk with God. Am I trusting Him? Or something else? He reminded me how I used one Saturday a month decorating for the next holiday. He put that desire in me. Why wouldn’t He want me to use it?

I opened my Bible.

1 Chronicles 23:3, “David sorted them into work groups….”  The Message

I need to organize a few places around here! Maybe I should start spring cleaning.

1 Chronicles 23:28, 29, “From the assigned work…maintain courtyards and closets, keep furniture and utensils…clean,…provide bread for the table…-all baking and mixing,…” The Message

It looks like I am to concentrate on the house for a while. I will keep decorating as usual and will keep waiting for an answer. But I couldn’t resist sharing my new runner!

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What Am I Trusting?

“What am I trusting?”

1 Chronicles 21:8, “…substituting statistics for trust; forgive my sin – I’ve been really stupid.” The Message

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“David’s military census (see vv. 2-3) does not appear to have been prompted by any immediate external threat. Since he wanted to ‘know how many there are’ (v. 2), it is evident that his action was motivated by pride in the size of the empire he had acquired, by reliance for his security on the size of the reserve of manpower he could muster in an emergency or, more likely, by both.” New International Version Study Bible Notes

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The Road I Must Travel

I woke to a beautiful day – sunny, with a high of 56°! I turned on Pandora and the song was “Glorious Day” by Kristian Stanfill. I read my Bible.

I read the chapters again. I read the chapters a third time. There wasn’t one verse that seemed stronger than the others. I thought about reading another chapter in “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp. But I already read my chapter for today and copied a page of quotes.

After supper, I read the chapters for the fourth time. God whispered to my heart, “Write down all the verses that speak to you.”

I did but it didn’t make sense. They didn’t seem to relate to each other. I went to bed.

This morning I read a chapter in “The Broken Way” and wrote down more quotes. The last quote could have been one of the verse paraphrased. I read through the other quotes and found they related to the other verses.

“Instead of giving someone a piece of your mind – it’s far better to give them pieces of your heart.” “The Broken Way,” by Ann Voskamp

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Psalms 141:3, “Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips.” The Message

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“He will entice you and woo you. He will say what a lover says to his lady when they walk away from the party into the garden….Wildernesses are not where God takes us to hurt us – but where He speaks to our hearts.” “The Broken Way,” by Ann Voskamp

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Psalms 143:8, “If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting you. Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you.” The Message

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“Sometimes – some things have to break all apart so better things can be built….The best yields always start as broken fields.” “The Broken Way,” by Ann Voskamp

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“2 Samuel 23:10, “…but all there was left to do was the cleanup.” The Message

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“Sometimes, it helps in the moment to think: people aren’t being difficult – they are having difficulty.” “The Broken Way,” by Ann Voskamp

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2 Samuel 24:25, “…God was moved by the prayers and that was the end of the disaster.” The Message

The hardest part of waiting is doing, and saying, nothing.

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God Prepared Each Day

Sitting on a couch at the nursing home, I had music spread out around me. I was writing the number of verses for each hymn in our new songbooks. My left ankle was on my right knee supporting the songbook open on my lap.

David was dragging chairs from the dining room in for the service. He was somewhere behind me when…

…a man kicked my foot off of my knee!


“I’m sorry. I don’t think I know you.”

“Sure you do!”

“DAVID?” I said, loudly and with a little panic. (He slowly walked over.)


“This man says I know him.”

“You do. This is Bob Major.”

They laughed, and I let out the breath I was holding. Bob has known me since I was a baby. He lives part of the year in another state. (I’ve seen him 4 times in my life!) He has to introduce himself to me every time I see him! (I don’t remember names very well.)

I was ready to berate him for scaring me half to death. Then he redeemed himself, “You looked just like your mother sitting there.”

Best. Compliment. Ever.

In my defense, David thinks I know everyone he knows. Later, at Connect Group, I asked the name of an unfamiliar couple.

“You remember, that’s Skip. We met him at the breakfast.”

“The Men’s Breakfast? Yeah, I wasn’t there.”

All in all, it wasn’t the easiest day of my life.

  • We didn’t get much sleep.
  • The bass player was out-of-town.
  • The keyboard player was sick.
  • I had to play all three parts.
  • The Senior Pastor was there. (He speaks in Fairfield once a quarter.) Yeah, that was not stressful.

But I read today that God prepared each day. He provides grace, strength, and ability beyond my physical ability. (That was 10% me playing and 90% God!) He blesses us with good days and carries us through rough ones!

Psalms 139:16, “The days of my life all prepared before I even lived one day.” The Message

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Start the Day Fresh

I’m grateful that I can enter the Presence of God at any time. He hears my cry.

2 Samuel 22:7, “A hostile world! I called to God, to my God I cried out. From His palace He heard me call; my cry brought me right into His Presence – a private audience.” The Message

What happens when I am in His Presence?

  1. “God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him.” 2 Samuel 22:21; Psalms 18:20.
  2. “When I cleaned up my act, He gave me a fresh start.” 2 Samuel 22:22; Psalms 18:21.
  3. “Indeed, I’ve kept alert to God’s ways; I haven’t taken God for granted.” 2 Samuel 22:23; Psalms 18:22.
  4. “Every day I review the ways He works, I try not to miss a trick.” 2 Samuel 22:24; Psalms 18:23.
  5. “I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.” 2 Samuel 22:25; Psalms 18:24.
  6. “You stick by people who stick with You, You’re straight with people who’re straight with You.” 2 Samuel 22:26; Psalms 18:25.
  7. “You’re good to good people, you shrewdly work around the bad ones.” 2 Samuel 22:27; Psalms 18:26.
  8. “You take the side of the down and out, but the stuck up you take down a peg.” 2 Samuel 22:28; Psalms 18:27. 

God wrote these eight promises in 2 books of the Bible. The best time to read His promises is early in the morning.

Psalms 19:12, 13, “Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.” The Message

After spending time with Jesus, we can handle any difficulty.

“If you live with difficult people, win them over through love. If you once made a great mistake in life, do not allow it to cloud the rest of your life, but by locking it secretly in your heart, make it yield strength and character.” George Matheson, “Streams in the Desert” February 24

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A Place at Your Table

The noodles are drying on the kitchen table. I will bake the Strawberry/Cream Cheese/Pretzel Dessert and Peanut Butter Cookies next.

Tomorrow we will have Bethany’s Birthday Dinner. I’m making her favorites: roast beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, candy carrots, rolls, and fruit salad.

I set the table last night. I rolled cloth napkins into roses and I like the result. I love eating with tablecloths and cloth napkins. Would you like a place at my table?

2 Samuel 19:28, “…But you took me in and gave me a place at your table….” The Message

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I’ll Wait As Long As God Says

The first four words I read today jumped out at me! They gave me direction and a focus.

2 Samuel 18:1, “David organized his forces….a third under Joab, a third under Abishai…and a third under Ittai the Gittite.” The Message

We need to organize and make a plan. But, sometimes, it’s better to let others fight for us and defend us. We are the most helpful when we stand back and let God work.

2 Samuel 18:3, “…It will be better for us if you stay in the city and help from there.” The Message

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“…a sweet, elderly woman…answered a young man who asked, ‘How do I obtain the Lord’s help for my needs?’…she said with great insistence, ‘You just have to believe it is done!’ ” from Days of Heaven upon Earth, “Streams in the Desert” February 22

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Psalms 62:1, “God, the One and only – I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from Him, so why not?” The Message

I am going to act as if the tangle was completely resolved.

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God Determined

The truth always comes out, no matter how we try to rewrite it! Circumstances may take us somewhere we don’t want to go. Absalom tricked Ahithophel into being a part of his revolt, (2 Samuel 15:12).

Ahithophel’s advice was still “as if God himself had spoken.” And David knew it, (2 Samuel 16:23). That is why David prayed God would turn his counsel to foolishness, (2 Samuel 15:31). He sent Hushai to confuse Ahithophel’s directions, (2 Samuel 15:34). Hushai spoke long and hard to turn Absalom from Ahithophel’s plan, (2 Samuel 17:7-13).

2 Samuel 17:14, “Absalom and all his company agreed that the counsel of Hushai the Arkite was better than the counsel of Ahithophel. (God determined to discredit the counsel of Ahithophel so as to bring ruin on Absalom.)” The Message

God’s purpose was to ruin Absalom’s revolt, not permanently discredit Ahithophel. Had Ahithophel gone home and waited, he would have been proven correct. David would have learned Absalom tricked him. Ahithophel would have continued as the advisor.

But waiting is hard. Even harder? Waiting patiently.

“Have you prayed and prayed, and waited and waited, and still you see no evidence of an answer?…Are you to the point of giving up? Then perhaps you have not waited in the right way, which removes you from the right place – the place where the Lord can meet you.

‘Wait for it patiently.’ (Romans 8:25). Patience eliminates worry…weeping…self-works…want…weakness…wobbling…. Patience yields worship.” C.H.P.

“Streams in the Desert” February 21

Waiting is temporary. Patiently waiting is worshiping as if the tangled mess were already untangled.

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From a Full Heart

Before I opened my Bible, I listened to a song on Worship Central Radio. I closed my eyes and pictured Jesus. He was standing on a hill offering me a hug.

I wrapped my arms around Him and He pulled me close. After a minute, I leaned back and asked Him what my job was. (I heard we all have a job in heaven.)

He shook His head and said, “Let me hold you a little longer.” I did. When the song ended, I opened my eyes and read today’s chapters.

Psalms 9:1, “I’m thanking You, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on Your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing Your song, High God.” The Message

Today is even gloomier than yesterday! We had ice storm warnings in the night and flash flood warnings all day.

The tangled mess is still tangled. It’s rushing down a river headed to Niagara Falls and I can’t stop it.

My friends will be here in a few hours. Only half of the bedding is clean. I haven’t cleaned the house. There are two loads of laundry to fold. I didn’t thaw anything out for dinner.

Yet, I have peace.

The circumstances didn’t change. I changed. I’ve been with Jesus. He has everything under control.

  • It is possible for believers…to trust…the Lord for their safekeeping and victory….
  • It is possible to daily “cast all your anxiety on him,” (1 Peter 5:7) and experience deep peace in the process.
  • It is possible to have our thoughts and the desires or our hearts purified in the deepest sense of the word.
  • It is possible to see God’s will in every circumstance and to accept it with singing instead of complaining.
  • It is possible to become strong…by taking refuge in the power of God and by realizing that our greatest weakness and the things that upset our determination to be patient, pure, or humble provide an opportunity to make sin powerless over us.”

from “Walking with God” by H.C.G. Moule

“Streams in the Desert” February 20

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Waiting, Hoping, Knowing God is Working

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I’m looking at a tangled knot. Each action and reaction made another knot. Every day that passes another gets trapped in the tangle. It’s a sticky mess and I can’t fix it. All I can do is pray and wait.

Psalms 38:14, 15, “I don’t hear a word they say, don’t speak a word in response. What I do, God, is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God – you will answer!” The Message

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“Lift up your head and begin praising Him right now for the deliverance that is on its way to you.” from Life of Praise, “Streams in the Desert” February 17

Sunday, February 18, 2018

No resolution. There is an absence that cuts like a knife. Another knot tied. I’m still praying and waiting. I have to keep up my hope.

Romans 4:18, “Against all hope,…in hope believed.” 

“And while he was trusting, Grandma was working, and in due time faith became sight.” Streams in the Desert, 2-18

Amnon gives us an example of what happens when we don’t wait.

  1. Amnon loved Tamar. David could have given her to him as his wife but he couldn’t wait. His love quickly turned to lust and then hate, 2 Samuel 13:9-19.
  2. His cousin, Jonadab, couldn’t wait for him to get out of his funk. He set the stage for Amnon to get what he wanted without a covenant, 2 Samuel 13:1-5.
  3. Amnon refused to wait and took what he wanted ruining Tamar. Then he refused to make an honest woman of her, 2 Samuel 13:9-19.
  4. Tamar went to her brother instead of her father. Absalom took on her offense, 2 Samuel 13:20.
  5. Absalom decided to “keep it quiet” instead of reporting it to his father, King David, 2 Samuel 13:20.
  6. The proper authority, King David, heard about it from another source, 2 Samuel 13:21.
  7. King David did nothing! He did not discipline Amnon for his treachery, 2 Samuel 13:21.
  8. Absalom gave Amnon the silent treatment, 2 Samuel 13:22.
  9. The hatred in Absalom festered for two years, 2 Samuel 13:23.
  10. Absalom invited all the king’s household to the banquet to cover his plan, 2 Samuel 13:26, 27.
  11. Absalom’s murder of Amnon was premeditated, 2 Samuel 13:28.
  12. Absalom waited until Amnon was drunk to have his servants kill him, 2 Samuel 13:28.
  13. Jonadab, the cousin who made it possible for Amnon to rape Tamar, stayed behind. He knew Absalom was going to kill Amnon, 2 Samuel 13:32, 33.
  14. David failed to discipline Amnon and it cost him both of his sons, 2 Samuel 13:37-39.

Nothing good comes from taking matters into my own hands.

Monday, February 19, 2018

It’s a gloomy, rainy day. We had our appointment to file our income taxes. It is just not a fun day. When it comes to taxes, it is what it is. Tangles are the same. I have to trust that God is working in the background.

2 Samuel 14:14, “We all die sometime. Water spilled on the ground can’t be gathered up again. But God does not take away life. He works out ways to get the exile back.” The Message

Absalom wanted to see his father again. By the end of chapter 15, he wanted his father’s throne.  He forced others to help him.

  1. Absalom destroyed a harvest to get his way, 2 Samuel 14:28-31.
  2. Absalom usurped his father’s authority, 2 Samuel 14:3-6.
  3. Absalom didn’t know how King David would respond in a case. He made people feel like the king wouldn’t even listen, 2 Samuel 14:3-6.
  4. Absalom used false humility and flattery to get people to trust him, 2 Samuel 15:3-6.
  5. Absalom covered his treachery with religion, 2 Samuel 15:7, 8.
  6. Absalom used underhanded methods to gain the kingdom, 2 Samuel 15:12.
  7. Absalom used innocent people for his own gain, 2 Samuel 15:11.
  8. Absalom tricked Ahithophel, making it look like he was part of the conspiracy, 2 Samuel 15:12.
  9. David assumed the worst, 2 Samuel 15:14.

“The gardener leaves it alone, because its fruitfulness is gone and further effort now would yield no profit. In the same way, freedom from suffering leads to uselessness.” Homera Homer-Dixon “Streams in the Desert” 2-19

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“So when you’re tempted to throw up your hands in despair and say, ‘Who knows?’ remind yourself, ‘God knows!’ and today remind yourself that He’s working things out for your good and His glory.” The Word for You Today

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“Be brave and do not pray for the hard thing to go away, but pray for a bravery that’s bigger than the hard thing.”

“The Broken Way” Ann Voskamp

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