God Took Care of Us

We went to a fundraiser dinner for “Cornerstone Community Well” this evening. It is a local ministry that offers a hand up, not just a handout. David and I had a few “seasons” living under the poverty level. It was wonderful giving to help others instead of receiving help.

Our situation was different from others. Because whatever hole life threw us into, our faith always got us out.

“Each of three boys once gave a definition of faith that illustrates the important aspect of tenacity. The first boy defined faith as ‘taking hold of Christ,’ the second as ‘keeping our hold on Him,’ and the third as, ‘not letting go of Him.’ ” Streams in the Desert, April 29

Looking back over those hard times I can honestly say:

  • We never missed a meal.
  • We always had a roof over our head.
  • Our children never went without clothes.
  • We stayed current on our bills.
  • Because God met our needs.

Hosea 13:5, “I took care of you during the wilderness hard times, those years when you had nothing. I took care of you, took care of all your needs.” The Message

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You’re My Dear Somebody

It’s 2:30 a.m. and I am finally writing my post. Why? Because I finally get it! I turned on the tea kettle for herbal tea and washed dishes while it heated.

I used to get up early just to get that first cup of freshly brewed coffee. The rest of the pot never tasted as good as that first cup. Then I had a cup made from a Keurig machine. It tasted like that first cup! I thought, “Keurig’s are for rich people or newlyweds who received one as a gift.”

Recently I read on Pinterest that Kohl’s has them on sale quite often. And deducting the Kohl’s cash you get, you can get it for half price. I priced the pods and decided to get the “My K Cup” insert. I could use my ground coffee and still be frugal!

Another issue was the amount of coffee we drink. I have a little coffee with my whipping cream and sugar. The number of cups I drank was creeping up, right along with my weight. Insomnia and heartburn are frequent midnight companions.

We had to pick up a few things at Kohls anyway. The machine was on sale and they were giving Kohl’s cash. We came home with a basic machine and the wrong “My K Cup!” It didn’t fit the classic machine. David had to run to the store for more coffee pods.

“Maybe we will drink less coffee now,” he said.

“Dear friend, let the Holy Spirit prepare you, through the discipline of life.” Streams in the Desert, April 28

I went to bed feeling guilty. “Why did I buy a Keurig? I should have saved that cash for a new dishwasher. It’s not frugal. Now our grocery bill will go up. Who do I think I am? Rich? I’m nobody.”

God woke me up at 1:27 a.m. “What was that verse I gave you today?”

Amos 2:23, “…I’ll say to Nobody, ‘You’re my dear Somebody,’ and he’ll say, ‘You’re my God.’ ” The Message

I’m Somebody! Somebody who needs to cut back on coffee! Somebody who washed that coffeepot for the last time!

(No, I am not getting paid for mentioning Kohls or Keurig. Sigh.)

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Happening So Fast

I remember back spasms while I played the piano for worship practice. (I didn’t think of back labor.) I was so relieved when we finished at 9 pm. I went home and sank gratefully into bed. At 11 pm I woke up.

“David, I think I wet the bed. Wait, my waters broke!”

The contractions were 3 minutes apart by the time we talked to the doctor. They checked me in a little after midnight. And at 7:33 am, our first son was born. Everything changed.

Amos 9:13, “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.’ God’s Decree. ‘Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once – and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again.’ ” The Message

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Seek God and Live

“…What was required of me last year is not what is going to get me where I want to be this year. John 15 talks about allowing yourself to be ‘pruned.’ Pruning hurts. It isn’t fun – it requires something from you. Time. New Habits. Self-Discipline. Refocus. But if I want to continue down my path – sometimes I have to shake off extra weight I am carrying….”  thepreacherswife.me

Ouch! Her post confirmed what God was asking me to do – prune away something.

There are 2 hours each day when I cannot write – lunch hours. David and Derek’s lunch hours are back to back. They both do the same thing…turn on Sports Center. I can’t think over the arguing on TV. Or they turn on the St. Louis Cardinals game and I just want to nap!

My coping strategy was computer games. After eating lunch, I play games until they both went back to work. Today God asked me to give up the games.

“What am I supposed to do during their lunch hours?”


I have 2 rows sewed together on Laura’s quilt and a 3rd row ready. I ate lunch and then started pinning. I finished pinning at the end of the 2nd lunch hour. It was satisfying to sew it on. I’m ready to sew the next row of blocks together. I just might finish that quilt before Christmas!

“The glory of tomorrow is rooted in the drudgery of today. Many people want the glory without the cross, and the shining light without the burning fire, but crucifixion comes before coronation.” Streams in the Desert, April 26

“Have you heard the tale of the aloe plant,

Away in the sunny clime?

By humble growth of a hundred years

It reaches its blooming time;

And then a wondrous bud at its crown

Breaks into a thousand flowers;

This floral queen, in its blooming seen,

Is the pride of the tropical bowers,

But the flower to the plant is sacrifice,

For it blooms but once, and it dies….”

“Streams in the Desert” April 26

* * * * * * *

Amos 5:6, “So seek God and live! You don’t want to end up with nothing to show for your life…” The Message

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Do It God’s Way

Sunday I wrote about seeing myself like God sees me. Like Abraham, I faced facts but was not discouraged. Monday’s post was about God’s timing and not taking matters into my own hands.

Yesterday the topic was “change.” I don’t like change. My dislike is so strong that I didn’t write the post until this morning! Then I had to make a change.

I wanted to comment on another blog. Unfortunately, the comment showed my personal Facebook profile picture. It was of David and I dressed up for a 50’s themed dinner. It was not the image I wanted next to my first comment on this blog!

It took me 40 years to accept my curly hair. My profile pictures everywhere else were of my hair after it was cut and straightened. They were also two years old. I pulled up a recent picture of myself, sitting at my desk, with my natural curls. I accepted what I look like today and replaced all my profile pictures with it.

* * * * * * *

Today we read of Uzziah changing. Only he did not change for the better! When he was crowned king, he:

  • Behaved well, v. 4.
  • Followed in the footsteps of his father, v. 4.
  • Was loyal to God, v. 5.
  • Sought God, v. 5.
  • Was trained by his pastor, v. 5.
  • Was reverent, v. 5.
  • Was obedient, v. 5.
  • Lived a godly life, v. 5.

The result?

  • God prospered him, v. 5
  • He became well-known, v. 15.
  • He became famous, v. 15.
  • Everything went his way, v. 15.

Then he changed.

  • The strength and success when to his head, v. 16.
  • He became arrogant and proud, v. 16.
  • He became contemptuous of God, v. 16.
  • He walked into the temple like he owned it, v. 16.
  • He took over, v. 16.
  • He burned incense, v. 16.
  • He rebuffed the priest, v. 19.
  • He lost his temper, v. 19.
  • He spoke angry words, v. 19.
  • He quarreled, v. 19.

“It’s not enough to do God’s will, you’ve got to do it God’s way.” Steven Furtick, 1 Min Motivation, 4-25-2018

* * * * * * *

2 Chronicles 26:18, “They confronted Uzziah: ‘You must not, you cannot do this, Uzziah – only Aaronite priests, especially consecrated for the work, are permitted to burn incense. Get out of God’s Temple; you are unfaithful and a disgrace!’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

“The Law of Moses stipulated that only the priests could perform ritual sacrifices (Numbers 3:5-10)….The common Near Eastern belief was that the most significant person in the community should also be the one to represent the people before the god….Judah’s king Uzziah (Azariah) was trying to act like the other kings of the ancient world by burning incense on the altar of the temple, (2 Chronicles 26:16-20).” Chronological Study Bible Notes

The result?

2 Chronicles 26:21, “Uzziah had his skin disease for the rest of his life and had to live in quarantine; he was not permitted to set foot in The Temple of God….” The Message

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 22:4, “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” New International Version

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

Change Your Life

I watched “The Zookeeper’s Wife” today. It started on a bright, sunny day. She breezed through her routine with a baby camel following her. Then the Nazi’s bombed Warsaw and everything changed!

“When disaster strikes, understanding God is at risk.” The Message Introduction to the book of Joel.

The Nazis took their rarest animals to Berlin “for safekeeping.” And shot the rest, saying they wouldn’t make it through the winter. Of course, the head zoologist shot the eagle himself. “Stuff it and bring it to my office.”

“I don’t think I’m gonna find a solution if I start with myself.” Why you need a new loop, Steven Furtick, April 24, 2018

Desperate to keep their zoo, they talked the Nazis into letting them raise pigs. After all, the soldiers needed meat.

“Where will you get food for them?”

“From the garbage in the Warsaw ghetto.”

The Nazis liked that idea and agreed.

“We can fight change, or we can trust God has a plan and purpose for it. And allow our trust in His faithfulness to be the foundation for joyful living.” Tracie Miles, Proverbs 31 Ministries, 4-24-2018

Each time they collected garbage, they smuggled a few Jews out in it. It was extremely dangerous. They were the first step to freedom for the Jews. There were others who made fake identification papers for them. Some transported them to a “safe house” and others hosted a “safe house.”

Joel 2:8, “They don’t get in each other’s way. Each one knows his job and does it.” The Message

God’s mercies are new every morning, (see Lamentations 2:22-23). Each day is an opportunity to change our lives in spite of circumstances.

Joel 2:13, “Change your life, not just your clothes.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“If you change the way you think about change, the way you’re looking at that change just might change.” Tracie Miles, Proverbs 31 Ministries, April 24, 2018

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Only God Can Help

Today we read the story of Jonah and the whale. If I was in the belly of a whale, I would have begged God to release me right away! But the whale waited until he could vomit Jonah upon the seashore. If released even an hour earlier, he would have drowned.

It doesn’t matter what circumstances surround us. God still has His eyes on us.

“God smiles on his child in the eye of the storm.” Streams in the Desert, April 23

Amaziah stopped relying on God and bought troops. That ended badly. The troops killed and ransacked villages on their way out of the country. The money he spent on them was gone, too.

2 Chronicles 25:8, 9, “Instead, you go by yourself and be strong. God and God only has the power to help or hurt your cause. (9) But Amaziah said to the holy man, ‘But what about all this money – these tons of silver. I have already paid out to hire these men?’ ‘God’s help is worth far more to you than that,’ said the holy man.” The Message

Circumstances are temporary. When we stay in the eye of the storm, eventually the storm blows over.

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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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