Standing

My husband and I were born in this town. Am I doing everything I can to push out any wickedness here?

Ezekiel 21:30, “…In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you.”

New American Standard Bible

***

I am not called to serve in our civil government, but am I praying for my city? Am I contributing to projects that build a wall around my city to protect the inhabitants: Food Bank, The Well, Goodwill, and the Hospital Auxiliary?

Ezekiel 22:30, “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis spoke about this in his sermon entitled, “Battle Stations.”

“They humbled themselves, fasted, and prayed. They stood as one and said something. They pointed to God. They didn’t have to fight but they manned their battle stations. They bowed and worshipped God. Fear not, stand firm, speak, and go forward.”

Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis, 8-21-22

***

Ezekiel 7:27, “…According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Dear Lord, give me a new heart so my words are uplifting. Show me where to improve my conduct. Forgive me for judging. I know You are the Lord of all. Amen

“Attacks may be vicious but they are never victorious.”

Deb Steenblock,
After round 11 of chemotherapy

***

Jeremiah Stood at His Battle Station

Jeremiah’s last prophecy given in Jerusalem was not to the king or the high priest. Ebed-Melech was not a Jew or of middle-east descent. He was an African from Ethiopia, possibly a slave because there were men he dreaded – but he trusted God.

Jeremiah 39:15-18, “Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guardhouse, saying,

16) ‘Go and speak to Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day!

17) But I will deliver you on that day;’ declares the Lord, ‘and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread.

18) For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,’ declares the Lord.” ‘ “

New American Standard Bible

***

Everyone in Jerusalem is starving. The Babylonian army is ready to tear it apart. But God notices one man who trusts Him despite everything. He sends him a prophecy of assurance. Jerusalem’s downfall was his escape.

“The truth is, faith can’t grow without hardship; it must incubate in the darkness of adversity.”

The Word for You Today, 8-24-22

***

The Jews Stood Even After Jerusalem Fell

Their families starved to death. Their country was captured and their temple burned. Enslaved, they were marched across the desert to Babylon.

Their response?

Lamentations 5:19, “You, O Lord, rule forever; Your throne is from generation to generation.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Psalms 79:13, “So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever, to all generations we will tell of Your praise.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Two Verses to Help Me Stand

Psalms 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Jeremiah 42:11, “Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you are now fearing; do not be afraid of him,” says the Lord, “for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hand.”

New American Standard Bible

***

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

September 2022 chapters

  • 1 – Ezekiel 33, 34
  • 2 – Ezekiel 35-37
  • 3 – Ezekiel 38, 39
  • 4 – Ezekiel 40, 41
  • 5 – Ezekiel 42-44
  • 6 – Ezekiel 45-47
  • 7 – Ezekiel 48; Isaiah 13, 14                                                 
  • 8 – Ezra 1-3; Haggai 1                                        
  • 9 – Psalm 85; Haggai 2; Zechariah 1-3                                          
  • 10 – Zechariah 4-8
  • 11 – Psalm 128; Ezra 5, 6; Psalms 81, 107
  • 12 – Psalms 111-115, 120-122, 125, 126, 129, 130, 135-137
  • 13 – Isaiah 43-45                    
  • 14 – Daniel 10, 7, 8
  • 15 – Daniel 5, 9                                  
  • 16 – Daniel 11, 6, 12                       
  • 17 – Psalm 119                                                                  
  • 18 – Esther 1-3
  • 19 – Esther 4-8
  • 20 – Esther 9, 10; Ezra 4; Malachi 1
  • 21 – Malachi 2-4; Ezra 7
  • 22 – Ezra 8-10
  • 23 – Nehemiah 1-4
  • 24 – Nehemiah 5-8
  • 25 – Nehemiah 9-11
  • 26 – Nehemiah 12; Psalms 146-150; Nehemiah 13
  • 27 – Zechariah 9-12
  • 28 – Zechariah 13, 14; 1 Chronicles 1-3
  • 29 – 1 Chronicles 4-6
  • 30 – 1 Chronicles 7-9; Psalm 134

The chapters for the year are posted under the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide menu.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Chosen

Each person chooses a mate with which to build a life. Raging hormones convince us that those feelings will last forever.

Love grows, but not in the direction we expect. Love grows roots. It deepens beyond those first exciting feelings.

Unfortunately, some prize the feelings over the roots. So, they tear their plant apart and try to begin again.

But roots take years to develop. They don’t have as many years left to grow. The shallow roots cannot stand up to the storms that inevitably come.

***

As individuals, we grow. We only have two options: grow closer to God or away from Him. A life away from Him is a life of hardship. He has a plan and a purpose for our life. Without God, we miss it and wander around in a desert looking for the path. Or worse, we end up in a prison of consequences for our actions.

The good news is: We can always turn back to God. Then He “plants” us and establishes our roots. He can prosper us right where we are, even in prison.

Look at the Life of King Jehoiachin

2 Kings 25:27, 28, “Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28) and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Jehoiachin was a royal and became king when he was eight. But he had an evil heart and only reigned for three months, see 2 Chronicles 36:9, 10. He was a prisoner for the next 37 years. He must have had a change of heart because he became king again above all the other kings who served the king of Babylon. The Babylonian king provided him with clothes and a regular income, and he ate at the king’s table.

Living on Love

Most newlyweds start with very little. They are living on love! Slowly, with good planning, they build their net worth. Tearing the marriage apart does not divide the net worth equally because you can build it together more quickly than you can individually. It puts one or both of you in poverty. Those who stay planted in their marriage will have a harvest financially.

Children help a marriage. They give you a reason to get up in the morning. They help you establish routines and disciplines that lead to a healthy life: regular bedtimes, healthy meals, playtime, and time outside.

Grandchildren are all joy with very little work! They are your reward for the work you spent on your children!

We married young and will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this year. We are going out of state for a few days for the honeymoon we couldn’t afford when we married.

You may think we are old, but we are not. God can lengthen the days of our youth or shorten them. We do not need to be old before our time.

Psalms 89:45, “You have shortened the days of his youth, you have covered him with shame.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Young and Beautiful

Flour, sugar, and oil are things we are instructed to avoid now. Could it be the portion sizes, not the food that makes a difference?

Ezekiel 16:13, “Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Beauty is a reflection of God’s splendor. God’s Spirit in me makes me beautiful.

Ezekiel 16:14, “‘Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,’ declares the Lord God.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Wise Words

“How to live wisely and well: 1) Time is precious; don’t waste it. 2) You’re making memories; make them good ones. 3) It’s not what happens, but how you respond that counts.”

The Word for You Today, 8-17-22

***

God exalts the low tree and makes the dry tree flourish!

Ezekiel 17:24, “All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will perform it.”

New American Standard Bible

***

I pray that our children learn from our mistakes and don’t repeat them.

Ezekiel 18:14, “Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise.

New American Standard Bible

***

You are Chosen

Ezekiel 20:9, “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself know to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

New American Standard Bible

***

God freed them because He chose them. He freed them despite their wickedness because He promised to and He keeps His promises. He can free you, too.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Write All the Words

All night, the devil reminded me of every time I felt like an outsider, awkward, unsure, abandoned, ignored, and alone. Normally, I journal about those moments. God told me to write about the times I was clever, ingenious, smart, relaxed, and laughing instead.

“God repeatedly instructed His people to write down what He told or showed them, Exodus 34:27; Deuteronomy 27:8; Jeremiah 36:2; Habakkuk 2:2. In fact, after His people were delivered from bondage in Egypt, He had them keep a written record of the things He had done for them so that whenever they faced an intimidating enemy, they could review the records and remember God’s powerful hand and loving guidance in their behalf, thus building their faith as they faced new obstacles and difficult adversaries.”

“Write All the Words”
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
p. 1157

***

Jeremiah 30:2, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.’ “

New American Standard Bible

***

These are some of the things I wrote down this week:

  1. His desire will be satisfied in the hill country, Jeremiah 50:19.
  2. God is a God of recompense, Jeremiah 51:56.
  3. Take into your heart all My words; listen closely, Ezekiel 3:10.
  4. They found grace in the wilderness, Jeremiah 31:2.
  5. They will walk by streams of water on a straight path, Jeremiah 31:9.
  6. God will remember them, Jeremiah 31:20.
  7. God will heal them and give them an abundance of peace and truth, Jeremiah 33:6.

***

Every day, God shows me at least one verse or phrase. I write it down. I encourage you to do the same.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

God Showed His Bondservants

As happens every summer, members of the worship team went on vacation. Unfortunately, one weekend I was the only instrumentalist and David was the only vocalist! Pastor Gary offered to sing with us.

Tuesday

The song list was posted. Usually, when I have to play alone, I stack the synth over the keyboard. I play strings with my left hand and piano with my right. But it takes several steps to change sounds on the synth.

At home, I practice on a keyboard set on the folded-down music stand of the piano. I pretended the piano was a keyboard bass.

For the service, I decided to set the keyboard on the top of the double stand and the synth on the bottom. It could be my “keyboard bass.”

I listened to the videos of each song and chose a sound based on the dominant instrument. I found a similar sound on the keyboard. I layered piano and strings for the first song, played only strings on the second, and switched to an electric piano on the third. I kept the bass line simple.

Friday

Pastor Monte announced that he would be preaching live in Fairfield on Sunday. (We normally watch the sermon on a large screen.) I looked to heaven and cried, “NO!!!” Our pastor has sung and played the piano all over the world. (I bought his Christmas CD for Mom.) He plays circles around me.

That night, I had a dream. Jesus was standing in the center of the platform with us. His hands were open and inviting but his face was tipped up. He was joining us and encouraging us to worship God, the Father. I felt at peace and stopped worrying.

Saturday

David sang along as I practiced for the final time. He didn’t like the sound I chose for the second song. I had dropped the pick-up lines I normally played on the piano. I had to switch back.

But I had peace.

When I got to church, I went to the platform and looked at the spot where Jesus stood in my dream. I had peace.

We set up both keyboards and I couldn’t find the bass sound on the synth. It has 2000 sounds and 50+ buttons. The book didn’t help!

I pushed all of the numbered buttons. It was 15-20 different piano sounds. (Sigh.) I was ready to put it away but I saw David walking away from me down the hall. The synth is heavy and expensive. I don’t move it.

Then, I wondered: “What if I shut the voice button off and pushed the control button?”

That showed piano sounds but as I kept pushing it, or maybe it was the second section of buttons, I found different instruments: trumpet, violin, cello, and strings. The last button was a bass.

Each button is the first sound in a list. I didn’t care about finding the perfect bass!

As we practiced, the vocalist asked for more. More lead lines. More fills. I looked to heaven for more help! I could tell by their excitement that the vocalists could feel the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, I feel the Holy Spirit on my hands and I can’t play a wrong note! I relax and enjoy my fingers running along the keyboard. I hoped that would happen today.

It didn’t.

No goosebumps. No tingly fingers. No feeling of someone else playing through my fingers.

But – I had peace.

They call it “peace that passes understanding.” It’s peace without fear or nervousness. It’s a peace that tells you to just play what you practiced.

At service time, I listened to the metronome on my phone for the correct tempo. I played the tempo on the bass for two measures for the vocalists. I played the introduction to the first song as Pastor Gary welcomed everyone. I don’t remember mistakes. I remember the peace. (Pastor Monte said it sounded good.)

Why did God give me a dream? It wasn’t because I am his favorite keyboardist. I was just one of the thousands who played in His churches all over the world. I am His bondservant. But God shows things to His bondservants.

Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bondservants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bondservant John.”

New American Standard Bible

***

God Showed John, the Bondservant

“…John, the ‘beloved disciple,’ Jesus’ best friend…He and his brother, James, the sons of Zebedee, were among the first disciples Jesus ever called to follow Him – tempestuous hotheads known as the ‘sons of thunder,’ willing to call fire down from heaven on a Samaritan village because they did not give Jesus an appropriate welcome. It’s fascinating to see how the love of God has shaped and tamed John’s heart over these many years.”

“…John was the disciple who laid his head on Jesus’ chest when they were reclining at a meal one night. I imagine being able to hear the heartbeat of God does something to you…truth is more caught than taught.”

The Founder’s Bible,
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
Introductions to 2 John and 3 John

***

John wasn’t perfect. He was a bondservant. I kept seeing that term as I read through Revelation.

  • We have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads, Revelation 7:3.
  • Hurt only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads, Revelation 9:14.
  • The time came to reward your bondservants, Revelation 11:18.
  • He has avenged the blood of His bondservants, Revelation 19:2.

While We Were in Israel

After touring Jericho, Elle told us about the 150 kinds of flesh-eating birds that are currently living in Israel. The winds have changed. The birds cannot fly any further north. The Israelis are concerned because they don’t have enough food for them. Pastor Monte directed him to Revelation 19:21.

Revelation 19:21, “And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

New American Standard Bible

***

The pieces are falling into place for the battle of Armageddon. The birds are ready and hungry!

But we have nothing to fear. We are bondservants and God takes care of His bondservants. He shows us what will happen in the Bible and He gives us peace.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.