Home Safe and Sound

March 29, 2019: 2 Chronicles 19; Psalms 82; 2 Chronicles 20; Psalms 14, 15, 53, 83, 117.

I waited until David was home from work to publish my post. I had him read it. It’s controversial and I may end up in Facebook jail for 3 days.

But we talked it over and David and I agreed to post it.

(We have a funeral out-of-town tomorrow and I stopped posting on Sundays. I decided to type up Saturday’s post.) 

Where did I get the courage?

2 Chronicles 19:1, “But Jehoshaphat king of Judah got home safe and sound.” The Message

King Ahab was wounded in that battle and died in the evening. Jehoshaphat didn’t get a scratch. I knew I was doing the right thing when I read this…

Proverbs 29:24, 25, “…When the victims cry out, you’ll be included in their curses if you’re a coward to their cause in court. (25) The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” The Message

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God Intervened

March 28, 2019: 2 Chronicles 18; Psalms 44; 1 Kings 22.

I didn’t want to go but David talked me into it. I knew I would have to shut my eyes part of the time.

Cradle of Hope, a pregnancy resource center, purchased a theater for one night. They showed the movie, “Unplanned.” It is the story of Abby Johnson.

She was the youngest manager of a Planned Parenthood clinic. She even won an award – “Employee of the Year.” We may not understand the choices she made but that is not unusual.

Yesterday, we read about Jehoshaphat becoming king. He built up his defenses against Ahab king of Israel, see 2 Chronicles 17:1. We don’t understand what he did next.

2 Chronicles 18:1, “But even though Jehoshaphat was very rich and much honored, he made a marriage alliance with Ahab of Israel.” The Message

Why would he bring the daughter of his enemy in to marry his son? Why would he choose a Baal worshipper to be the mother of his grandchildren?

Abby was the director of the clinic when the abortion doctor, George Tiller died. He was handing out bulletins in his church and a man shot him. Would she be next?

Jehoshaphat went to war with King Ahab. Ahab went in disguise and instructed Jehoshaphat to wear his royal robes.

2 Chronicles 18:29, “The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Wear my kingly robe; I’m going into battle disguised.’ …” The Message

Ahab was a marked man. The king of Aram told his commanders to only go after him.

Jehoshaphat stood out in his royal robe among the soldiers. It looked like doomsday for him. But God was with him.

2 Chronicles 18:31, 32, “When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, ‘There he is! The king of Israel!’ and took after him. Jehoshaphat yelled out. (32) and the chariot commanders realized they had the wrong man – it wasn’t the king of Israel after all. God intervened and they let him go.” The Message

God never abandoned Abby either. She walked away from the money and the lies. Planned Parenthood sued her and…

…just go see the movie!

Critics say, “A man should not tell a woman what to do with her body.” But it was men coercing these young women to abort. It was fathers and boyfriends that drove them to the clinic. Husbands and boyfriends abandoned other girls. These men were telling these women what to do with their bodies.

Men need to step up, not walk away when they find out they are a father. If raising their child is not an option – they can support her through the pregnancy.

Adoption is a priceless gift for an infertile couple. Some wait decades for a baby.

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See What Has to Be Done

March 27, 2019: 1 Kings 20, 21; 2 Chronicles 17.

I knew I shouldn’t, but I did.

I was finishing lunch and saw the Spider Solitaire icon. I clicked on it – again.

I had already lost 3 games and moved on to reading email. But I went back and got sucked in for another half hour.

My mind kept telling me, “You’ll win the next one.”

I couldn’t spare 30 minutes. I finished my tasks but did not have time to practice. It was late when I cleaned up. I dried my hair using the van air vents on the way to church.

“When you get tempted it’s from the lust of the flesh. …Fights come from lusts in our body. …“You ask, and do not receive, because you ask to spend it on your passions,” James 4:3. …If you live by the flesh, it dictates your mind, and grace stays boxed up. …” Pastor Monte Knudsen, “Blueprint of Faith,” March 27, 2019

I wanted to say the devil made me do it. But I learned this morning that it’s not the devil.

“…in the realm of our mind, that’s where the attack happens. …We’ve been calling the wrong stuff the devil. …I got a flat tire. It’s the devil. No, it was a nail. …I ate a doughnut. It’s the devil. No, it was delicious. …” Steven Furtick, “That’s Not the Devil,” 1:Minute Motivation, 3-27-19

The chapters I read this morning showed me how to battle my flesh. (It also works in bringing my finances under control.)

Do I take one thing at a time?

1 Kings 20:19, 20, “The commandos poured out of the city, with the full army behind them. (20) They hit hard in hand-to-hand combat. …” The Message

Do I stay alert? Do I build up my defenses, know my capabilities, and see what needs to be done?

1 Kings 20:22, “Sometime later the prophet came to the king of Israel and said, ‘On the alert now – build up your army, assess your capabilities, and see what has to be done. Before the year is out, the king of Aram will be back in force.’ ” The Message

Do I evaluate my generals? Are my banker, insurance agents, and investment advisor, working for my best interest? Or theirs? Do they fight for me to win or are they satisfied with the status quo? Are they leaders or experienced soldiers.

1 Kings 20:24, “Here’s the strategy: Remove each sheik from his place of leadership and replace him with a seasoned officer.” The Message

Do I make rash decisions? Or take the time to weigh the pros and cons?

1 Kings 20:29, “The two armies were poised in a standoff for seven days.” The Message

Do I stay focused? Or do I get distracted and work on other things?

1 Kings 20:40, “But I got busy doing one thing after another and the next time I looked he was gone.” The Message

Do I protect the important things? Or sacrifice the important for the unimportant?

1 Kings 21:4, “…’I’ll never turn over my family inheritance to you.’ …” The Message

Do I have a good defense system? Do I have the right insurance? Do I have enough or too much? When was the last time I evaluated it?

1 Chronicles 17:1, “Asa’s son Jehoshaphat was the next king; he started out by working on his defense system against Israel.” The Message

What am I going to do? I can’t tell you!

Proverbs 27:1, “Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.” The Message

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Then This Happened

March 26, 2019: 1 Kings 17-19.

Eastern Iowa has started to flood. Western Iowa is already under water.

I watched a video of a train moving slowly through standing water next to the Mississippi River.  I thought of the food on that train.

They rerouted trains and trucks that normally come into western Iowa. Soon they may need to reroute those entering eastern Iowa.

My imagination got the best of me.

Grocery stores only have 3 days worth of goods. Trucks come and replenish the stock every few days. If they can’t get in from the east or west, will there be shortages?

“David,” I called, “you need to plant a garden!”

I opened my Bible.

1 Kings 17:1, “And then this happened: Elijah the Tishbite, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab: ‘As surely as God lives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, the next years are going to see a total drought…’ ” The Message

Why am I concerned?

God miraculously fed Elijah during a drought – with a bird! I wonder if he wanted to eat the bird? (Don’t eat the bird that feeds you.)

Then God made what the widow had on hand multiply. The one serving of meal and oil replenished daily. The drought lasted 3 years.

David may not dig up the back yard and put in a garden. But, I might talk him into one tomato plant.

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Because We Sought God

March 25, 2019: 2 Chronicles 14-16; 1 Kings 16.

It’s quiet enough to hear the ticking of the clock and the twittering birds. Everyone in the neighborhood is at work. No traffic on my street until lunchtime. It’s peaceful and perfect for writing.

Writing in my journal the events of the weekend took 2 hours. The highlight being our granddaughter’s birthday party! Olivia is 8!

Writing my posts took 2-1/2 hours. (I stopped writing a post on Sundays. I had to get up so early that I was drowsy during church.) I took advantage of this quiet, peaceful time.

2 Chronicles 14:6, 7, “…God kept the peace. (7) Asa said to his people, ‘While we have the chance and the land is quiet, let’s build a solid defense system, fortifying our cities with walls, towers, gates, and bars. We have this peaceful land because we sought God; He has given us rest from all troubles. So they built and enjoyed prosperity.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 28:5, “Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” The Message

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Ten Loaves of Bread

March 24, 2019: 1 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 12, 13; 1 Kings 15.

The theme for the Nursing Home Service was “Salt and Light.” We sang, “I Saw the Light,” “Send the Light,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”

Bev always brings a gift for the residents: homemade cookies, candy, or a small token. Last month each resident received a red or pink balloon. This month she gave them each a mini flashlight.

* * * * * * *

In the Bible, a man took a gift to the prophet when seeking his help.

A man from Baal Shalishah brought 20 loaves for bread from the first ripe grain. Elisha fed 100 men with it and had some left over, see 2 Kings 4:42-44.

Did Jeroboam send sweet rolls hoping for a sweet answer?

1 Kings 14:3, “Take along ten loaves of bread, some sweet rolls, and a jug of honey. Make a visit to him and he’ll tell you what’s going on with our boy.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“False prophets usually adjusted their message to the desires of those who supported them (1 Kings 22:6, 8, 18; Jeremiah 28; Micah 3:5, 11). – New International Study Bible Notes on 1 Samuel 9:7.

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Jeroboam Made a Fort at Shechem

March 23, 2019: 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10, 11; 1 Kings 13.

I spent the morning in research. When I read Jeroboam made a fort at Shechem and Penuel, I wondered why.

1 Kings 12:25, “Jeroboam made a fort at Shechem in the hills of Ephraim, and made that his headquarters. He also built a fort at Penuel.” The Message

What else happened at Shechem?

  1. Abraham built his first altar in the Promised Land, and received his first divine promise (Genesis 12:6, 7).
  2. Jacob bought a parcel, settled with his household, which he purged from idolatry by burying the teraphim under an oak tree, (Genesis 33:19).
  3. Joshua gathered all Israel “before God” and delivered to them his second parting address (Joshua 24:1-15).
  4. Shechem became a “city of refuge,” (Joshua 20:7).
  5. They buried Joseph’s bones there, (Joshua 24:32).
  6. Rehoboam was appointed king there, (1 Kings 12:1).


What about Penuel?

Jacob wrestled with God there, (Genesis 32:24-32). Jeroboam chose sites with Godly history. But his actions were ungodly.

  1. He made 2 golden calves, 1 Kings 12:28.
  2. He discouraged the people from worship at Jerusalem, 1 Kings 12:28.
  3. He built forbidden shrines, 1 Kings 12:31.
  4. He recruited priests from wherever, 1 Kings 12:31.
  5. He created a new holy festival, 1 Kings 12:32.
  6. He offered sacrifices before the golden calves, 1 Kings 12:32.
  7. He staffed Bethel with priests from local shrines, 1 Kings 12:32.
  8. He appointed himself as high priest and lead the worship at his altar, 1 Kings 12:33.
  9. He dismissed the Levites, 2 Chronicles 11:14.

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Don’t Hoard Your Goods

March 22, 2019: Ecclesiastes 11, 12; 1 Kings 11; Psalms 73.

I’ve searched “Goodwill,” the “Bargain Box,” and “Stuff” for years. I wanted a Tupperware half-gallon “Ice Cream Keeper.” (They are no longer available. It’s too bad because they make the ice cream last twice as long.)

Unfortunately, the lid to mine got washed on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher. It warped and no longer sealed.

Monday, after my dentist appointment, I stopped at the “Bargain Box.” Under a table in a box marked “plastic,” was a dirty, Tupperware “Ice Cream Keeper!” I gladly paid the $2. (The profits go to the hospital auxiliary.)

I put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher. After washing it, I tackled the stains with a “Magic Eraser.” Then I washed it again. It looks new!

As I put it away, a stack of Rubbermaid containers tipped over. I really need to get rid of some of them!

In fact, I may never use the spring-form pan on the shelf below. Time for spring cleaning.

Ecclesiastes 11:2, “Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.” The Message

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Sticking to It

March 21, 2019: Ecclesiastes 6-10.

I intended to watch the first part of the last “Financial Peace University” video. But I had an eye doctor appointment. It can wait. Two weeks ago he shared the secret book billionaires read over and over.

Ecclesiastes 7:8, “Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I took another walk around the neighborhood and realized that on this earth as it is – The race is not always to the swift…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Your steps to success: (1) Recognize your gift. (2) Know your goal. (3) Dedicate yourself to the process no matter how long it takes. (4) Trust God to bless your efforts.” “The Word for You Today,” March 21, 2019

At the eye doctor’s I learned my distance vision has improved. My near vision didn’t. I needed new glasses.

It took me an hour to choose new frames. (My current frames steam up or slide down my nose.)

Google said, “A modified cat eye or rectangular frame is the most flattering for a diamond-shaped face.” (Oval frames work for defined diamond-shaped faces, not rounded ones.)

They didn’t have any green frames that I liked. I chose a pair with a touch of blue to enhance my gray/green eyes. It has adjustable nose pieces. They can move them away from my face to avoid steaming over. (Maybe that part in my left eyelashes will close.) Next time, I will only need to replace the glass.

Sue was shopping for her first pair of glasses. I told her the pros and cons of nose pieces. Her total seemed large to her husband.

“My glasses start at $500,” I informed them.

I know I could get them cheaper, but this eye doctor was a neighbor. Our kids are friends. I’ll gladly pay the difference to them. (I shop locally.)

But God had a surprise for me!

They took $30 off of my frames for their 30-year-anniversary. And their lab package special included everything I needed plus an anti-glare coating for $249. I got my $500 glasses for $349! Thank you, Jesus!

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Prayer for Nebraska and Iowa

Dear Father,

I pray for those affected by the flood. Jeremiah 34 tells us You search for Your sheep and seek them out.

Deliver them from all the scattered places. Seek the lost and bring back those driven away.

Bind up the broken and strengthen the sick. Don’t let them be afraid. Do not let them be hungry, nor bearing shame.

Show them that You are with them. Remind them that they are men and You are their God.

Come from the four winds and breathe on the land, Jeremiah 36:9. Restore their hope, Jeremiah 36:11. Wind of God, pass over the floods and make the water recede, Genesis 8:1.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,


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