A Firm Grip on His Integrity

Have you ever felt singled out? Does it seem like life is going merrily along for everyone else but you keep facing trials? Did you know Satan can’t do anything without permission from God?

Job 1:7, “God singled out Satan and said, ‘What have you been up to?'” The Message

God allows the trials and walks through them with us. He carries us through the things we cannot endure alone.

Tests and trials come to everyone. When something bad happens, we try to explain it by judging them. In Job’s case, there was no sin.

Job 2:3, “…There’s no one quite like him, is there – honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity. …” The Message

Do we have a firm grip on our integrity?

August 30, 2019: Job 1-5.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Workers from All the Tribes

We are all farmers. The seeds God gives us is money from the job He provided. We are not given the same amount of seeds. Sometimes, those with the fewest seeds have the largest harvests. They make each seed count.

If you have tons of seeds, you may be careless and drop some in the ditch instead of planting them. Or you may think, “There’s plenty more where these came from,” and eat it all. Either way, you will have no harvest.

Planting seeds is work! You don’t want to plant in an area where it will not grow or be washed away.

No one is exempt from this work.

Ezekiel 48:19, “Workers from all the tribes of Israel will serve as field hands to farm the land.” The Message

You have to plant to get a harvest.

August 29, 2019: Ezekiel 48; Isaiah 13, 14.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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None Run Off Their Land

We had a “Financial Peace University” reunion last night. We shared struggles and victories. Each person that shared started with, “We are not where we want to be. We are not done.”

“We are never done,” I said, “We will review our insurance every year and watch our retirement every month.”

We rejoiced with the couple who paid off their credit cards and will pay off their mortgage in January. What a joy to be mortgage-free!

Ezekiel 46:18, “None of my people are to be run off their land.” The Message

No one won the lottery. No one received an inheritance. The soon-to-be mortgage-free couple both work at Walmart. Each couple worked on one thing at a time.

We also shared the goodness of God:

  • Appliances working for a decade longer than their life expectancy.
  • Cars with over 200,000 miles run smoothly and everything works on them.
  • Repairs are only 10% of the estimate given.

God is looking out for us.

“Daniel 4:25, ‘The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, …’ New King James Version” The Word for You Today, August 28, 2019

August 28, 2019: Ezekiel 45-47.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Draw a Picture

After the fire, after the flood, after the tornado, people talk about their losses. They go into detail about the heirlooms that cannot be replaced or the new items that were blown to bits or washed away.

But what if the disaster could have been avoided? What if the fire was due to their carelessness? That burden of guilt would be excruciating.

* * * * * * *

In Ezekiel 33:21, we read “a survivor from Jerusalem came and told Ezekiel the city had fallen.” The Temple was destroyed because of their sin. God measured the Temple and went over the details to show them what they had lost.

Ezekiel 43:10, 11, “Son of man, tell the people of Israel all about the Temple so they’ll be dismayed by their wayward lives. Get them to go over the layout.

(11) That will bring them up short. Show them the whole plan of the Temple, its ins and outs, the proportions, the regulations, and the laws. Draw a picture so they can see the design and meaning and live by its design and intent.” The Message

The Temple was where they went when:

  • They were beaten by an enemy, 1 Kings 8:33.
  • There was no rain, 1 Kings 8:35.
  • There was a disaster, famine, catastrophe, crop failure or disease, 1 Kings 8:37.

1 Kings 9:3, “…I’ve sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; My eyes are on it and My heart in it always.” The Message

They lost the physical access to the heart of God.

The Temple was large and sturdy. The measurements show us that. And yet, its contents were stolen, it was destroyed and left as a pile of rubble.

That’s what sin does. It destroys or steals everything leaving behind a pile of useless rubble.

August 27, 2019: Ezekiel 42-44.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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The Measuring Stick

Bethany sent 3 pictures of our granddaughter Olivia’s first day of school. She’s a princess and chose a fit and flare dress in her favorite shade of pink.

She’s also an Iowa country girl. So, she wore a jean jacket and cowboy boots!

And she looked taller. Did she grow an inch over the summer? I can’t be sure. There wasn’t a yardstick in the photo.

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel had a vision of a man with a measuring stick. Together they measured the New Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 40:5, “…The measuring stick in the man’s hand was about ten foot long. …” The Message

Amazing, Ezekiel saw 1/4 feet, 1/2 feet, and 3/4 feet looking at a measuring stick that was about 10 feet long. (See, Ezekiel 40:5-7, 9, 11-13, 15, 21, 25, 29, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48; 41:1-3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 22.) The details in the vision were so clear that he recorded them all.

Someday, we will live in the New Jerusalem!

August 26, 2019: Ezekiel 40, 41.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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I’ll Look Them Full in the Face

I woke at 4:42 a.m. I didn’t practice for hours on the new song. I set it aside because I had to choose hymns for the Nursing Home Service. I practiced those instead.

“Courage in a Fearful World. ‘Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ John 14:27 KJV …God…wants to remind you that even when you find your courage waning, He is with you.”

Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women, August 25

I made a cheat sheet of the chord changes of the new song and taped it to the keyboard. Before practice, I checked to see which octave the synth player was playing. Then I checked the lead line the guitar player would be playing.

Ezekiel 38:7, 8, 9, 16, 23, “Get ready to fight… (8) Take charge and wait for orders. … (9) …You’ll rise like a thunderstorm… (16) …I’m putting my holiness on display. … (23) I’ll show you how great I am, how holy I am. I’ll make myself known all over the world. Then you’ll realize that I am God.” The Message

The bass player was out-of-town. I played his part and the chord changes. I let the guitar player cover the sixteenth notes. I relaxed and worshipped.

Ezekiel 39:29, “After I’ve poured my Spirit on Israel, filled them with my life, I’ll no longer turn away. I’ll look them full in the face. Decree of God, the Master.” The Message

Worship is all about seeking God’s face. He always shows up. It’s all about Him, not about me.

Proverbs 25:6, “Don’t work yourself into the spotlight…” The Message


August 25, 2019: Ezekiel 38, 39.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Make It Possible

I practiced with the wrong video. Sigh.

Today we are singing, “Raise a Hallelujah.” I played with the lyric video for weeks. I just couldn’t hear a piano part.

The synth player missed practice because of work. I played her part in practice. I told David there wasn’t a piano part.

“Sure, there is,” he exclaimed. He pulled up a live version. Sadly, he was right.

Sixteenth notes in 7 sharps!!!!

Lucky me, I found it 16 hours before I have to play it – from memory. That is after I learn it and transpose it down 2 steps. Then, I’ll need to learn it down a half a step by Wednesday night. I decided I needed a tutorial for this one.

“God, I can’t even…”

“Look at your verse.”

Ezekiel 36:27, “I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you…”  The Message

* * * * * * *

“Unafraid to Fail. ‘Be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged!’ Joshua 1:9 CEV”

Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women, August 24


August 24, 2019: Ezekiel 36, 37.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Life-Nourishing Ways

It took twice as long to journal as I recorded the details of applying for a passport. It also took twice as long to write and publish my post.

Coffee pods were on sale. David bought a month’s supply. I had to rearrange the pantry to make room for them.

I ironed and published a frugalfish.org Instagram post. It was late in the afternoon and I still needed to practice, memorize the new song, type notes from the book I’m studying and plan next week. Then I remembered my verse for today.

Ezekiel 33:14, “On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, ‘You’ll die for your wicked life,’ and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life – being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don’t hurt others – he’ll live.” The Message

A righteous and just life:

  1. Repent, or turn away, from sins.
  2. Be generous to the down-and-out.
  3. Restore what I stole.
  4. Cultivate life-nourishing ways that don’t hurt others.

I failed on the fourth one. I skipped exercising today. I got down on the floor and worked on my core. (Tomorrow is “weights day.”)

Cultivating life-nourishing ways is exercise, drinking water, eating right, taking time to relax, and getting sufficient rest. After supper, I did two more tasks and worked until 7:00 p.m. Then I put in a movie and relaxed. The rest can wait until tomorrow.

August 23, 2019: Ezekiel 33-35.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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I Will Make Things Right

I got out our birth certificates and clipped them to the passport applications. As instructed online, I took mine to the post office. (David will get his later.)

The postmaster finished with the customer he was helping. There was only one person in line – Brian, who used to work at the Civic Center. A brunette came in and got in line behind me. Brian left.

“I’m here to apply for a passport.”

“You can’t do that here,” the brunette behind me said, “you have to go to the recorder’s office. I work there.” The postmaster just smiled and nodded.

* * * * * * *

At the recorder’s office, a blonde helped me. She rejected my birth certificate!

“This one is not valid to apply for a passport.”

“It’s the only one my mother had.”

“You have to apply for a new one. The lady who does that just went to the bank.”

“No,” I replied, “she’s at the post office. I just spoke with her.”

“Come back in an hour.”

Jeremiah 49:4, “Why do you brag of your once-famous strength? You’re a broken-down has-been, a castoff…” The Message

(I used that birth certificate for my driver’s and marriage licenses. Am I driving illegally? Am I married?)

I went to the library. Then I stopped at the lumberyard to get water from David.

“You’re married to an alien,” I informed him, “they rejected my birth certificate.”

(I was born here and have lived in this town for 39 years. Suddenly, I’m not valid?)

I went to Goodwill until the hour was up. When I went back to the courthouse, my shirt was stuck to my back, my hair started to frizz, my makeup melted off, and my lip color faded to an outline.

Jeremiah 49:6, “Still, the time will come when I will make things right…” The Message

I filled out the paperwork with the blonde while the brunette looked for my name in the record book.

“I found it,” she said, “Virginia Cary.” 

(She’s my cousin.)

I gave her my name again. She kept looking.

Meanwhile, the blonde said, “I need a check for the birth certificate.”

I dutifully wrote it out. The brunette found my name and made a birth certificate.

I thought I would have to wait on the passport. But, no, the blonde took me to a cold room in the basement.

“Sit on that box and take off your glasses.”

I did.

“And the ones on your head.” 

I forgot my sunglasses.

She took the picture. “I don’t like it. There are dark circles under your eyes and a line of pink by your mouth.”

(An hour earlier, I had pink lips.) “The dark circles are from allergies,” I explained.

She took another one. “I still don’t like it. You are as pale as the background.”

(Well, the last time I was outside for more than a few minutes was July, 2018.)

She decided to darken the background.

The picture is awful!

“I need a check…oh, you didn’t fill out your parent’s information.”

“I thought that was just for minors. I don’t know what year they were born.”

“We can get that off of your birth certificate.”

“The one that is invalid?”


Jeremiah 49:7, “…Is there nobody wise left…no one with a sense of reality?” The Message

I filled out that portion and wrote a second check for the passport.

“I need another check for $45.00 for the picture and processing.”

(That picture is not worth $45.00!)

“I hope that is the last check you need because I am out of blank checks.”

She gave me an extra copy of the passport photo. I think I’ll put it in the basement to scare the spiders.

They gave me a pretty envelope for my new birth certificate. I will have to wait 8-10 weeks for my passport and another 21 days for my birth certificate to be returned. Then I will be bonafide!

August 22, 2019: Jeremiah 49; Obadiah 1.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Sloppy Work is Cursed

I just need to slow down.

I pushed the “snow cone” syrup dispenser too quickly. It sprayed up the teenager’s arm. The next teen was wary. He backed up. The syrup completely missed the cup, sprayed the table and pooled on the floor. I had 3 messes to clean up.

It was “Snow Cone” night at E3. And that wasn’t the only mess I made.

I cut packets of marinara sauce and put them in dispensers. The funnel was not allowing it to flow through. I lifted it a bit to let air escape. The sauce slid down the tube.

But I had too much in the funnel. It splattered on my shirt. I didn’t notice it until I was getting ready for bed.

I bagged up the extra popcorn. There was more this week than usual. The popcorn machine seemed cleaner. Why? I forgot to salt the popcorn!

Jeremiah 48:10, “Sloppy work in God’s name is cursed…” The Message

I have one more week of my commitment to work in the E3 cafe…unless they fire me first!

Proverbs 21:2, “We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives.” The Message

Why am I working in the cafe?

August 21, 2019: Ezekiel 32; Jeremiah 48.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide.”

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