Its Eye on God

The football team of the home church played the football team of our satellite church. Since everyone was in Mt. Pleasant, the E3 Youth met for a “5th Quarter.” They played games and enjoyed free food.

It was Homecoming for Mt. Pleasant. But we wondered if it would happen at all. It all depended on God. All eyes were on Him.

Zechariah 9:1, “…The whole world has its eye on God. Israel isn’t the only one.” The Message

There was a tornado watch, flash flood watch, and a severe thunderstorm warning from 4 pm to 11 pm. They held the Homecoming parade at 3 pm.

They canceled the junior varsity game and had kick-off for the varsity game at 6 pm. They kept their eyes on heaven all evening. They finished the game and the “5th Quarter” event went off as planned.

Things always go more smoothly when we keep our eyes on God.

September 27, 2019: Zechariah 9-13.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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A Reputation for Honesty and Hard Work

My long-time readers have met many people in my life. I talk about my family and my bandmates.

I’ve shared many times about Joe the guitar player. He alternately compliments and then slams me. I do the same to him. (We speak fluent sarcasm.)

Joe is semi-retired from the band. He plays whenever his schedule allows. He was available this weekend.

But he was late to practice. His wife texted that he was helping someone change a tire.

After 45 minutes, Derek wanted to start practice without him. I reminded him of the time Kyle the bass player forgot about practice. We waited an hour for him.

We waited a bit longer and Joe arrived. It didn’t take long to go through the songs.

I surprised myself by sticking up for Joe. I knew he was helping someone out.

Nehemiah 13:13, “…These men had a reputation for honesty and hard work. They were responsible for distributing the rations to their brothers.” The Message

That’s the reputation I want!

September 25, 2019: Psalms 146-150; Nehemiah 13.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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The Outside Work

I keep trying to turn David into a farmer. (No, ladies, you cannot change a man.)

We bought a tomato plant this spring. He stuck it in the ground next to the house and put a tomato cage around it. (Our ground is clay.)

We harvested 3 tomatoes from it. Another one disappeared after turning red. Squirrel? Rabbit? Deer? Someone walking by? We’ll never know.

As we pulled in after the Nursing Home Service, David lamented the lack of tomatoes.

“The plant itself hasn’t even grown!”

“Did you water it?”

“No, it rained.”

As I said, I could not turn him into a farmer. But I know very few farmers who are comfortable leading worship!

* * * * * * *

The Levites were the only tribe that worked in the Temple. Some sang, some played instruments, some baked bread, some offered sacrifices, some burned incense, and some worked outside.

Nehemiah 11:16, “…two of the leaders of the Levites who were in charge of the outside work of the Temple of God.” The Message

Every job is important. We may not grow our own food but we don’t waste it. Those tomatoes are in the freezer along with some we bought from our son’s father-in-law. He is a farmer!

September 25, 2019: Nehemiah 10-12.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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The Warnings You Gave

Autumn is my season of caution. Once Ragweed blooms, everything changes. Even my diet.

I cut out: melons, cucumbers, zucchini, chamomile, bananas, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and strawberries. After a killing frost, I will be able to eat most of them again. Chamomile and sunflower are in the Ragweed family. I avoid them all year.

I actually prefer rainy days. It cleans the pollen out of the air. Hot, sunny, windy days are the hardest. The pollen is all stirred up.

In 2011, I didn’t leave the house after Ragweed bloomed for 104 days. I was sick for 6 weeks during that fall.

I ask God for guidance. When opportunities come, He tells me whether to go or not. (It’s like listening to your conscience.)

I was asked to go to 2 different places on Monday. I really wanted to go but all morning I felt a cloud over me. Verses in the chapters that I read that day warned against it. I finally gave in and decided not to go to either one.

The second invitation was for Thursday. I feel like I am letting my family down when I say no.

Nehemiah 9:34, “They ignored your commands, dismissed the warnings you gave them.” The Message

That verse reminded me that God said no. I will obey and heed the warning. I called and left a message that I couldn’t go.

After I hung up, God reminded me that I am not their source, He is. He has a plan for that day. I would just be in the way.

September 24, 2019: Nehemiah 7-9.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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They Were Scheming

As I prayed before writing, I asked God to say what He wanted to say. Then I said, “Even if I’m to say nothing.” That surprised me.

I normally write Saturday’s and Sunday’s post on Monday. This Monday – I got nothing. I didn’t understand until later in the day.

* * * * * * *

The weekend was packed. My niece got married, I had a class reunion, and our annual church hayrack ride. I couldn’t figure out how to be three places at once!

The wedding was in Virginia and it was Derek & Rachel’s first anniversary. (We made a deal to cover for each other on our anniversary weekends.) They went to the wedding, as did our daughter, Laura.

It poured all day. There were flash flood warnings until Sunday night. Our reunion was set at a building near the river. That concerned me. I prayed there would not be a flash flood while we were there.

God came through! As we drove to the river, the rain stopped, and the sun came out. During the evening Rachel sent pictures of the wedding.

Ezra 7:5, “…Because God’s hand was on Ezra, the king gave him everything he asked for.” The Message

September 21, 2019: Malachi 3, 4; Ezra 7, 8.
* * * * * * *

Sunday was just as busy. Pastor Gary and Shannon came over to beef up the band. David switched from vocals to the drums.

Of course, it wasn’t easy. There were glitches with the sound set up. We practiced until the very last minute. But God blessed the worship time.

We tore down, put everything in storage, ran home for the Nursing Home Service music, and met our friends at a restaurant. They hosted the hayrack ride and told us about it. I told them about my class reunion and the wedding.

Then we four headed for the Nursing Home. Imagine our surprise when we arrived, and the meeting room was empty! The Nursing Home booked 2 events at the same time!

Undaunted, I started playing hymns on the Steinway – loudly. That woke up the residents that didn’t go on the outing. After 10 minutes we had 6 residents come to the meeting room.

One resident came to the piano and asked, “Are you going to play this loud the whole time?”

“No,” I replied, “I was trying to wake everyone up from their naps!”

I played softly for the rest of the time.

Proverbs 22:1, “A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich; a gracious spirit is better than money in the bank.” The Message

After that service, I went home, put pajamas on, and climbed into bed. I was worn out!

Ezra 9:15, “…No one can last long like this.” The Message

September 22, 2019: Ezra 9, 10; Nehemiah 1, 2.


* * * * * * *

Monday was a hectic day. David’s boss was gone and the left him as the lone salesman. My daughter-in-law wanted me to go to one place and my sister-in-law to another. I wanted to talk to David before answering.

He was over an hour late for lunch. We decided against my going to either. (Ragweed bloomed.) He hadn’t been home for 10 minutes when my sister called.

I didn’t recognize her voice. She has bronchitis and fluid in her lungs. But she wanted to tell me about the wedding. We talked for an hour and then I prayed for her and told her to go to bed!

Ten minutes later, my sister-in-law knocked on the door – with cheesecake! She went to listen to cousin Todd preach on Sunday. The weekend before she took her son back to college. We had a lot to catch up on. I told her about the wedding and my class reunion.

An hour later, she had to go. I finally understood why I couldn’t write a post. If I had, I would have rushed through those two conversations. Since I didn’t, my sisters were able to share everything in their hearts. And I enjoyed every detail!

The devil tells me I must do everything on my list. Jesus always took time for people. I’m glad I didn’t fall for the devil’s scheme.

Nehemiah 6:2, “…I knew they were scheming to hurt me.” The Message

I’m getting better at listening to God. When He says, “no,” there is always a good reason.

September 23, 2019: Nehemiah 3-6.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Look at History

“I can’t believe you bought an office chair! It was not a need,” David grumbled.

Instead of getting mad, I thought of the extra-large, walnut mirror. I bought it for $5 but had others load it in the van. The frame is solid walnut. David got it out of the van and was not happy. But after it was mounted behind the couch – he bragged about it!

Malachi 2:2, “…Look at history…” The Message

After getting my haircut, I went to “Buys on Broadway” in Mt. Pleasant. There was an office chair for $60 that was $150 at “Staples.” I sat in it. The hydraulics worked. I bought it with the cash in my wallet.

As David unloaded my new chair, I uncovered the old one. The plastic was peeling everywhere. I took the black baseball socks off the arms. I rolled it into the living room, leaving a pile of fake leather behind. I moved it next to the new chair.

“I guess it did need to be replaced,” David admitted.

I vacuumed the mess up and moved the new chair into the office. Let the record show I did not lose my temper or even respond. I let the old chair speak for itself.

Ezra 4:19, “I gave orders to search the records…” The Message

This is one benefit of keeping a journal. You remember old disagreements and how they were resolved. It gives you patience.

Esther 10:2, “For the rest of it, King Xerses extensive accomplishments along with a detailed account of the brilliance of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, that’s all written in ‘The Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia.’” The Message

Anyone interested in a distressed, high back, office chair with stubborn hydraulics?

September 20, 2019: Esther 10; Ezra 4; Malachi 1-2.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Took Up a Position

I can’t imagine how scared she must have been. She had no food or water for 3 days and 3 nights.

Her life was on the line. All her relatives would die if she did nothing. Just being in that room uninvited was a death sentence.

Yet, Esther bravely walked in. She did not march boldly to the king and demand attention. She did not cower in a corner. She chose a place where the king could see her. Then she patiently waited – holding her position.

Esther 5:1, “Three days later Esther dressed in her royal robes and took up a position in the inner court of the palace in front of the king’s throne room.” The Message

There is injustice I may not be able to change but I can take up a position.

People come and go. I can’t stop them from coming or keep them from leaving. I can stay in my position.

God has “positioned” each of us. Many are in more dangerous positions than I. My job is to know my position. I do not need to demand attention or cower in a corner. I’m to stand and wait until my King calls for me.

September 19, 2019: Esther 5-9.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Scattered Through the Provinces

Bittersweet. That is the only way to describe it. The last night at E3 with Kyle and Paige. I’m excited about their new jobs and a new church but they will be missed.

Proverbs 18:24, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” The Message

There were tons of selfies taken with them. Some in groups and some with just one person. There wasn’t a teen there that Kyle and Paige did not connect with.

Proverbs 18:1, “Loners who care only for themselves spit on the common good.” The Message

You can’t leave the service without a hug or two here. You may think it odd but it shows we care.

Esther 3:8, “…There is an odd set of people scattered through the provinces of your kingdom who don’t fit in….” The Message

I would rather be loved and odd than a loner unloved.

September 18, 2019: Esther 1-4.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Live Wisely

The headlines today were about the attacks on the world’s biggest oil-producing facility. Oil prices soared 20% and then fell after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said he expected production to be fully back online by the end of the month.

Do we react in faith or fear? I read of a similar scenario yesterday.

“…I was riding with a friend past our neighborhood gas station. He looked up and saw that the price of oil was going up, …To him, the sky is always going to fall…he showed me all the stats as to why the price of oil was going to go up over the next few years. …With that information, I immediately…found a new undervalued oil company…and I bought 15,000 shares for 65 cents per share…those 15,000 shares went up to more than $3 per share…”

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki

* * * * * * *

Daniel 12:10, “…Those who live wisely and well will understand what’s going on.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 119:165, “For those who love what you reveal, everything fits – no stumbling around in the dark for them.” The Message


September 17, 2019: Daniel 12; Psalms 119.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Drunk on Dreams

Writing has been my dream since childhood. I admired Laura Ingalls Wilder and faithfully kept a journal.

Writing is different now than it was when she published her books. You must have an online presence.

I considered writing for others. I copied the writing guidelines for Dayspring, Redbud, and (In)Courage. These would be new essays written after I wrote my daily post.

It’s fun to dream but I cannot let it consume me. I can’t neglect writing the 2020 Bible Reading Guide to pursue it. I have to wait for God’s timing.

Daniel 11:14, “…Hotheads from your own people, drunk on dreams, will join them. But they’ll sputter out.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 16:1, “Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.” The Message

September 16, 2019: Daniel 11, 6.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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