He’s the Gardener

“Good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity. …My first judgment is my best. …Make a prompt deposit. …Procrastination is the enemy. …” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

God gave the Israelites a great opportunity. He gave them good land but they had to work it. They depended on Him for rain.

Deuteronomy 11:11-12, “But the land you are about to cross the river and take for your own is a land of mountains and valleys; it drinks water that rains from the sky. (12) It’s a land that God, your God, personally tends – He’s the gardener – He alone keeps His eye on it all year long.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…for thirty years, Tel Aviv, on the coast, has never recorded rain in June, July, or August. After such a dry summer, the coming of the rains is especially important for the farmer. They should begin in mid-September, but the start of the rainy season is sometimes delayed. This gives the farmer less time for ploughing, and there is also less time for the wells to fill up again after the summer’s use.

…The margin of the desert is not fixed. In some years the margin withdraws east and south. In other years it overruns the area and there is drought and famine. These exceptionally wet and exceptionally dry years…constantly remind God’s people that they depend on Him.”

“The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible” Edited by Pat Alexander, 1978

Everything depends on God. There is none more dependable!

Deuteronomy 11:1, “So love God, your God; guard well His rules and regulations; obey His commandments for the rest of time.” The Message

Then in my study of Proverbs 19, I read this:

Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” New International Version

* * * * * * *

“The truth is, you’ll never know how close you are to a breakthrough or a blessing until you learn to listen.” The Word for You Today, 11-28-18

What opportunities do you have today? Have you missed an opportunity because of procrastination?

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


Keep Commandments, Live and Prosper

I am studying, “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. I just finished the chapter titled, “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse.” Each “cure” is a precept or law. If you follow these laws you will grow wealth.

It’s the same with the commandments of God. If you follow His commandments you will live and prosper.

Deuteronomy 8:1, “Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that you’ll live and prosper…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“You have taught yourself how to acquire money, how to keep it, and how to use it.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 8:2, “Remember every road that God led you on…pushing you to your limits, testing you so that He would know what you were made of…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Willpower is but the unflinching purpose to carry a task you set for yourself to fulfillment.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 8:6, “So it’s paramount that you keep the commandments of God, your God, walk down the roads He shows you and reverently respect him.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Opportunity wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 18:18, “Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“More interest in my work, more concentration upon my task, more presistence in my effort, …The more wisdom we know, the more we may earn. …If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

In my study of Proverbs 19, I found this verse.

Proverbs 19:16, “Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.” New International Version

* * * * * * *

“Be not too confident of thy own wisdom in entrusting thy treasures to the possible pitfalls of investments. Better by far to consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

Learning commandments, rules, laws, or precepts are not enough. You must live them.

What book are you studying? Are you learning more about your selected field?

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



Live Them

“Rest is an opportunity to exercise faith that we’ll be taken care of in the absence of our ‘doing.’ …we rest in different ways. One sleeps…another likes to draw, read, and be creative. …a 20-minute power nap…sitting in the sunshine…connect with God outdoors, …going for a run. …May your time of rest demonstrate the trust you have in God…” “Give Me a Break: Exchanging the Guilt of Rest for the Gift of Rest,” Katie M. Reid, Proverbs 31 Ministries

I find rest when I decorate! I’ve “rested” that way a few hours every day. Yesterday I got out my Christmas cups and glasses. I’m washing the Christmas dish towels today.

I’ve put some clues to my Christmas theme on Instagram.com/frugalfishorg/. But, I am not taking a picture of everything.

Example: I dug out a piece of gold material. I pressed it and wrapped it around an accent pillow in my bedroom. I secured it with a tiny gold pin. It brings Christmas into the bedroom but is not Instagram worthy. I choose to decorate in my free time.

“If you don’t make your own decisions, somebody else will make them for you.” The Word for You Today, 11-27-18

Rest is important. God instructed us to take a day off each week. It was one of the “10 Commandments.”

Deuteronomy 5:1, “Moses called all Israel together. He said to them, ‘Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them.’ ” The Message

This verse includes all the rules for a good life:

  1. Pay attention.
  2. Listen.
  3. Obey.
  4. Follow the rules.
  5. Respect authority (Regulators).
  6. Learn the precepts.
  7. Live what you learn.

How do you spend your free time? What is your “resting” activity?

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


Stay Vigilant

“So, you like Jewish authors?”

“…He loved to talk Torah. …I…read the third command: ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain.’ …”

‘Don’t think language; think lifestyle,’ he instructed. …”

“It’s Not About Me” Max Lucado

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 4:32, “Ask questions. Find out what has been going on all these years before you were born. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

“He proceeded to create a story involving a Manhattan skyscraper. ‘…the CEO, …on the top floor. Most have not seen him, but they have seen his daughter. She exploits her family position to her benefit. …Making demands. Calling shots. Interrupting schedules. Never invoking the name of her dad. …No need to. Isn’t she the bosses child? Doesn’t the child speak for the father?…

And more than one employee questions the wisdom of the man upstairs. ‘Does he really know what he’s doing?’…”

“It’s Not About Me” Max Lucado

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 4:9, “Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“But what if the daughter acted differently? …Rather than demand…she hands him a gift. …she bumps into a woman with an armful of documents. ‘My, I’m sorry. Can I help?’ the daughter offers…

She, through kindness and concern, raises the happiness level of the entire company. …And because they think highly of her, they think highly of her father. …

The daughter takes the elevator to the top floor to see her father. When she arrives, he is waiting in the doorway. He’s aware of her good works and has seen her kind acts. People think more highly of him because of her. And he knows it. As she approaches, he greets her with six words. …

‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ ”

“It’s Not About Me” Max Lucado

* * * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 4:39, 40, “Know this well, then. Take it to heart right now: God is in heaven above; God is on earth below. He’s the only God there is. (40) Obediently live by His rules and commands which I’m giving you today so that you’ll live well and your children after you – oh, you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.” The Message

It’s not about me.

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


Don’t Start a Fight

I was enjoying a Christmas movie when the phone rang. I could tell by the sound of his voice that David was not happy.

Deuteronomy 2:5, “…restrain yourselves. Don’t try and start a fight.” The Message

I swear I could hear David’s blood pressure going up. Our credit card number was stolen for the second time this year. I blamed his Hotmail account.

Deuteronomy 2:9, “…don’t try to pick a fight…” The Message

He ended the call and gave me the details. I suggested changing email addresses. He didn’t want to deal with it that late in the evening.

Deuteronomy 2:19, “…don’t try and pick a fight with them…” The Message

I dropped it. God told me 3 times not to pick a fight.

“…As the weeks passed, I started seeing this journey with my friend as “chalk-line faith.” It was like God had drawn a chalk line around my feet. Everything within that chalk line was something I could do. I could pray. I could be present. I could love her.

Everything outside of that chalk line was either my friend’s assignment or God’s. …” “Chalk-Line Faith” Suzie Eller, Proverbs 31 Ministries

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


These Are the Borders

It took 2 – 1/2 Hallmark movies to complete. That was 5 hours putting together the new Christmas tree and decorating it.

I ate some Thanksgiving leftovers and pulled out the lights. David spent the afternoon hanging lights outside. I wanted to put lights in the windows.

The third burned out bulb stubbornly refused to come out of the string. After several attempts, I realized how tired I was. I set them aside and went to bed. My verse today told me to know my limits.

Numbers 34:2, “…these are the borders of the land you are getting as an inheritance.” The Message

God gives us boundaries for our own good. His plan never included working until exhausted.

“…without boundaries is like a house without walls. It’s like living in a carport; there’s no protection from outside influences. Nobody feels safe.” The Word for You Today, November 24, 2018

Is your Christmas tree up? Or, do you wait until December?

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


Their Hearts Weren’t In It

I brought the tubs of Christmas decorations out and put them on the dining room table. I chased a big, old spider and killed it on my 3rd attempt. Carrying the new Christmas tree upstairs made me glad I’ve worked out with 8-pound weights. (Don’t laugh – I started with condensed soup cans.)

The phone rang. It was David.

“Hey, we’re closing at four today.”

“What time is it now?”

“3:50 p.m.”

“What! You tell Fred (David’s boss) that he is in big trouble. I just carried the Christmas tree upstairs. Had I known you would be home in 10 minutes, I would have waited. No pie for Fred!” (I bake his favorite pie for him at Christmas.)

“I could stay away until five,” David suggested.

“No love for David.”

“I’ll be right home.”

* * * * * * *

I looked at the Christmas tree still in the box. My heart just wasn’t in it.

Numbers 32:11, “…They weren’t interested in following me – their hearts weren’t in it.” The Message

What was my heart into? Was God leading me away from setting up the tree into doing something else?

All day long, I thought of things to include in my kitchen centerpiece. I carried the Thanksgiving decorations downstairs. I dug out the Christmas placemat and one of the crafts we made on Thanksgiving. I opened the box of kitchen Christmas decorations and using two items from it, I arranged the centerpiece.

Then I took the new Christmas towel I found and hung it with some red towels in the bathroom. I pinned an old brooch on them and hung a Christmas ornament above it.

I decorated 2 spots because my heart was in it. Then we went Black Friday shopping.

Do you let your heart guide you when choosing your next task?

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


Following the Prescribed Recipes

“Pamela, did you wash long underwear yesterday?”

“No, I ran out of time.”

“I’m out. I need a pair for work tomorrow.”

I threw them in the washer and realized I had a load of flannel shirts and pajamas, too. I washed them second because they could spend the night in the dryer. Why didn’t I do laundry first on Wednesday? Then I wouldn’t be doing it while cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Numbers 29:21, “…gather in holy worship and do no regular work.” The Message

Thanksgiving would have gone a lot smoother had we followed the advice in the Bible.

Numbers 29:18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, and 37, “…following the prescribed recipes.” The Message

When Mom arrived, I asked her advice on the turkey gravy. She said she never made turkey gravy. I didn’t think there was enough. I decided to pour it into gravy boats instead of the Crockpot with a ladle. We only used half of one gravy boat.

* * * * * * *

We had 7 pies for 11 people. Laura brought 4 of them. She put a mystery ingredient in each. The cherry pie had cocoa sprinkled on top. She put chocolate chips in the chocolate pie. Those who had a piece said there was something crunchy in it that wasn’t chocolate chips!

Late in the afternoon, Laura lamented, “No one ate my apple pie.” 

Luke cut himself a piece. I think he had 7 pieces of different pies throughout the day. She cut herself a piece.

She took a bite and said, “This is awful.”

Luke replied, “I know! I didn’t want to say anything because I was afraid I would hurt your feelings!”

Laura got up, grabbed the remainder of the pie and threw the whole thing away. I never did find out what the mystery ingredient was.

* * * * * * *

Finally, Facebook lied. I read the best cranberry sauce was the one in the can. I bought a can, sliced it up, and put it in a pretty dish. No one touched it. They thought it was beets!

Next year, I will follow the prescribed recipes!

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


The Line Did Not Die Out

“Mom, I need to borrow a sheet pan.”

“What for?”

“I’m bringing pie.”

“What kind of pie?”

“Apple or cherry, or maybe, grape.”

“Grandma is bringing an apple pie.”

“Why don’t I just bring the cooked crusts and have everyone build their own pie?”

(Only my daughter…)

* * * * * * *

Thanksgiving is a family day. God cares about families. Children and grandchildren are our rewards.

Korah rebelled against God, (see Numbers 16). He and his family died – but not all of them. God spared at least one.

Numbers 26:9-11, “The sons of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. [10] (These were the same Dathan and Abiram, community leaders from Korah’s gang, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron in the Korah Rebellion against God.  The Earth opened its jaws and swallowed them along with Korah’s gang who died when the fire ate them up, all 250 of them. After all these years, they’re still a warning sign. [11]  But the line of Korah did not die out.)” The Message

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy time with your family.

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


Balak Took Balaam

Balak wanted Balaam to curse the children of Israel. Balaam could not curse what God had blessed. Balak kept trying.

First, he took him to his god.

Numbers 22:41, “At daybreak Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal (The Heights of Baal) so that he could get a good view of some of the people.” The Message

Second, he took him to the highest point.

Numbers 23:14, “So he took him to Watchmen’s Meadow at the top of Pisgah [The Summit].” The Message

Finally, he took him to the wasteland.

Numbers 23:28, “So Balak to Balaam to the top of Peor, with a vista over the Jeshimon (Wasteland).” The Message

We lose when we put anything before God. We cannot get high enough to change His mind. We find ourselves sinking lower and lower.

The blessing only comes when we put God first.

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