Look at Things from God’s Point of View

The view of a city from an airplane is vastly different from the view on the ground. We see tall buildings and small buildings. Looking straight down the pilot sees squares.

We look at others the same way. We think they are bigger and better. But God looks at our hearts. If hearts could be viewed like lights in a building, we would see people differently.

“That’s a big building, but abandoned.”

“The skyscraper has many floors but no lights.”

“The railcar diner is red hot with light!”

We would head straight to the diner! Oh, to have God’s point of view.

“…you will learn restraint and not rush into making judgments without knowing all the facts. It’s important to look at things from God’s point of view…” 1 Corinthians 4:6. The Message

June 28, 2019: 1 Corinthians 2-4. “2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”


©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

He Will Never Give Up on You

“Some books I read quickly and others I scan. “The Legacy – Secret of the Shetlands” by Michael Phillips, made me pause and think. I even looked for the book, “Life at the Center,” that is mentioned in it. (I didn’t find it.) Do I work as hard on my inner life as I do in my physical life? Now I’m curious to read George Macdonald!”

My review on goodreads.com.

I did some soul searching while reading this book. Is my life centered on Jesus Christ? I found myself enjoying time in the basement because I was alone with my thoughts.

What am I saying? I’m alone most of the time! But being alone with a computer is a lot different than being alone with yourself.

I spent an hour looking online for the book “Life at the Center.” Finally, I just emailed Michael Phillips, the author. Surprisingly, I heard back from him a half hour later!

Hello Pamela,
How nice to hear from you!
The answer to your question is…sort of. Technically, there is no book by that title–it is fictional only. However, I have used that fictional title in my writings so often that I am frequently asked exactly what you asked. So, I recently compiled a small booklet that is my personal version of Life at the Center. In the Introduction, I explain the title, where it originated, and why I refer to a fictional book in my writings.
I titled my book Principles of a Centered Life. It is the closest thing to “Life at the Center” I have written or published….
Many blessings to you.
* * * * * * * * * *
As I look back over this week, I think of things I wish I had done differently. God gave me a verse each day to let me know what was up ahead. I didn’t follow them completely every time.
That is why they call this a “Walk with Jesus Christ.” He helps us and never gives up on us. We shouldn’t give up on ourselves or each other.
“God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of His son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that. (10) “…I’ll put it as urgently as I can. You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.” 1 Corinthians 1:9, 10. The Message
June 27, 2019: Acts 19; 1 Corinthians 1. “2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”
©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Be Cheerful No Matter What!

The teenagers are at “Summer Scream 2019” camp this week. I got a night off from cooking at the E3 Center.

Unfortunately, Pastor Gary went with them! He is one of the worship leaders on Wednesday nights. Several others were gone. The bass player was asked to sing while playing.

Brenda, the other scheduled singer, was late. She is never late. After 20 minutes, I started to worry.

“Now friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions…” 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

The Message

I left my phone in my purse. We took a break and I checked it. There was a text from Brenda. She was fine but couldn’t make it.

* * * * * * *

We practiced one song Pastor Gary normally leads. It was too low for Barb. I dug through my pages and found a copy in a higher key. Barb tried it and then read the chords off for the guitar players.

While working on the third song, Barb asked me to layer strings in with the piano. We tried a few different combinations on the keyboard. The piano/synth voice combination made me burst out laughing. We stuck with the piano/strings.

I couldn’t play.

On the piano, I play arpeggios and different rhythm patterns. They sounded awful on strings. I survived the practice.

During the service, Barb threw in an extra chorus – on a song I was playing 16th notes. I faltered but jumped back in.

When I switched to piano/strings, I stopped using the damper pedal. That helped. She threw in extra choruses on the last song, too but I was not surprised.

“Since we are creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation… (15) And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. (16) Be cheerful no matter what.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8, 15, 16.

The Message

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Not in a Dogged Religious Plod, But in a Living, Spirited Dance

Who would believe I’m having fun cleaning my basement? I am putting things away, rearranging furniture, labeling, organizing, and decorating.

Last week I brought a plant downstairs thinking it would die. Instead, I placed it on the west window sill.

It looked so cute that I put the ivy there, too. I pulled out all of my clear vases and set them in the same window.

David was pleased with the result. We took it all down to clean the window. He figured out a way to clean between the screen and back side of the window. He used a folded washcloth and a broken drumstick to move it up and down. Then he went outside and cleaned the outside of the other window.

I added some clear, veined plates for privacy and moved the plants and vases back. I’m ready to tackle the next task!

1 Thessalonians 4:1, “One final word, friends. We ask you – urge is more like it – that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance.” The Message

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Simple Guidelines

“Word in, work out, work plan.” Ann Voskamp

Simple but effective! I woke early and read Acts 16, 17. I worked on my core exercises and then ate breakfast.

I went downstairs to declutter the basement. Last week, I typed a list of tasks and prioritized it.

Today’s task was to unload the 4′ table and fold it up. It didn’t take long and I kept going, following my list:

  • Folded up bed frame.
  • Swept area.
  • Put the Christmas tree tote in the corner.
  • Stacked the Christmas totes along the west wall.

Since I tackled this early in the morning, I had more energy. I dug out my new label maker and labeled the totes. I filled 2 empty totes and repaired a broken coaster.

“As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with. That turned out to be most helpful.” Acts 16:4.

The Message

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Kind Mercy Wins

June 23, 2019: James 2-5.


James 2:13, “For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.” The Message

She was standing by the outer door when we pushed the code to leave the nursing home. She was still wearing the red, white, and blue lei that Bev passed out during the service.

“I don’t see my car,” she said. “I can just walk, my mother lives over in those apartments.”

We coaxed her back into the nursing home. She wandered around the hall.

We asked Vivian, a member of our team, about her. Vivian told us she had just lost her husband and moved into the home.

We punched the code again and walked out. The automatic door stayed open too long and she slipped out again. As we walked back toward her, she burst into tears.

“I can’t find my husband.”

I put my arm around her and promised we would help. Back in the hall again, David asked about her children. (Thank God he knew her!) He told her we got married on the same day as her daughter.

David kept asking her questions and I went to the break room to find a nurse. The nurse distracted her and we were able to leave.

“…when we fail to count our blessings, we rob ourselves of the happiness, the peace, and the gratitude that should rightfully be ours. … ‘So much has been given me, I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied,’ Helen Keller.”

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” June 23

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

God Knows A Person’s Thoughts

June 22, 2019: Acts 15; James 1.


Acts 15:8, “And God, who can’t be fooled by any pretense on our part but always knows a person’s thoughts…” The Message

I’m mad.

A million tiny things grew into a haystack. I’m buried, wheezing, and suffocating.

“Write it down.”

I had to get it off my chest. I opened up Microsoft Word and typed, “Why am I mad?” in 72-point font. Then I listed 20 things I’m mad about. Of course, they are all David’s fault. 😉

I felt better and started my day.

“Delete the page.”

What, God? No, he needs to fix these things! I ignored that still small voice and went on to my next task.

“Type, ‘I forgive you,’ after each point.”

That I can do! I felt better after that and a little self-righteous. (Yes, I know that is wrong.)

“Now, act as if you have forgiven him.”

That one was harder but I did it.

“Send an email to resolve #16.”

I sent the email. When David got off work, I mentioned the email. We sent the same email from his address. Later, I casually talked about #17 and #18. They can be handled with one phone call.

“Poet Christina Rossetti had this sound advice. ‘Better by far you should forget and smile than you should remember and be sad.’ It’s better to forget than regret.”

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” June 22

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Live Creatively

June 21, 2019: Galatians 4-6.


Galatians 6:1, 4, 5, “Live creatively, friends. … (4) Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. (5) Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” The Message

I trimmed the ivy back to fit in the pot. The small plant had several dead leaves. I took it downstairs.

I moved the table with the large, snake plant further back into the corner and put the ivy on the lower shelf. That is the only spot I have for plants. If they don’t make it there, they are gone.

I moved the floor lamp from behind the side table and then slid the table back. I replaced it with a smaller table lamp.

I moved the floor lamp across the room next to the chair. I took down the horizontal print of a young girl. I replaced it with a vertical print of a blue flower. I’m not satisfied with the floor lamp there but it will have to do for today.

Decorating is one way I express my creativity. I now have two fresh spaces in my living room. Next time, I will take “before” and “after” pictures.

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Embracing What God Arranges

June 20, 2019: Galatians 2, 3.


Galatians 3:11, “…The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him.” The Message

Using Excel, I typed out all the steps to organizing the basement. I prioritized my list and let Excel sort it.

I remembered there was on “under-the-bed” storage container without a lid. It fit under the dining room table. I could place our luggage in it. That would protect the luggage if the basement flooded.

God arranged the lidless storage container for me years ago. I almost gave it away.

It’s easy to embrace what God arranges when it helps me. It’s harder to realize God arranges everything!

Do I embrace the difficult things? No matter what, God promises to work everything for my good, see Romans 8:28.

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Stay on Good Terms with Each Other

June 19, 2019: Hebrews 13; Acts 14; Galatians 1.


Hebrews 13:1, “Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love.” The Message

Two regular workers at the E3 Cafe were sick. I sent a message to a lady who sometimes helps out. Her son was sick!

It was time for me to go to play and Sarah was the only other worker there! David walked in to take me to the main building. I took the keys and…

…volunteered him to serve!

They had a cooler of free lemonade. One middle schooler asked for 2 glasses.

David quipped, “I don’t know. Are you driving?”

A few minutes later, more volunteers showed up. They let David come up to the regular service.

It was “Float Night” at E3. David came back with me after worship to help.

“Move that hot fryer to the other counter.”

“The ice cream is frozen solid. Can you help scoop?”

“Can you lift that fryer? I want to wash the cookie sheet underneath it.”

(He came in handy!)

Sarah and I had the last 2 floats. I finished off the last of the grape soda. It barely covered the ice cream. I added the last of the orange soda and then topped it off with Cherry 7-Up. It looked like marble and tasted like Fruity Pebbles! It wasn’t bad.

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.