How to Endure

I looked at my greasy fingers pointing to the verse as I copied it. Two fingers have been broken out for over a year. I applied Vaseline over the steroid ointment to strengthen the medication. It’s called “slugging.”

But that’s not why I couldn’t go to church.

Psalms 42:4, “I will remember and weep. For I was once walking along with the great throng to the temple of God, shouting and giving thanks along with the crowd as we celebrated the holy festival.” New English Translation

I started the day stretching my arches on the stairs, writing the alphabet with my feet, and rolling my foot over a frozen water bottle. The doctor said it is plantar fasciitis.

But that’s not why I couldn’t go to church.

I’m finishing off a bottle of cranberry juice. It does clear up a UTI.

But that’s not why I couldn’t go to church.

I woke up with mattered eyes. I washed them and started antibiotic eye drops.

But that’s not why I couldn’t go to church.

I carefully washed my face. I put steroid cream on the eczema patches, and Vaseline on the cracks around my mouth. I was careful not to touch the infected area which made me contagious.

That’s why I couldn’t go to church.

I put on white gloves, (to keep from scratching), gathered fluids, and watched the service on my tablet. Sometimes, you just have to endure.


Three weeks ago, was Easter. Sickness kept two of the worship team home for the last two weeks. The army and family travel will take other members over the next two weeks.

It will be Mother’s Day before we are all back together again. I look forward to that day when we all will be shouting and giving thanks along with the crowd.


I read many verses this week about enduring as my health took hit after hit.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

2 Chronicles 18:1, “Jehoshaphat was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made an alliance by marriage with Ahab.” NET

I enjoy reading books written by millionaires. One common theme is: Be careful with the friends you keep. They try to befriend billionaires because of what they will learn. You rise to the level of your closest friends.

Later we read how Jehoshaphat’s descendants were killed because they were also descendants of Ahab, 2 Kings 10:13-14.

Encourage Others

2 Chronicles 19:3-4, “…you were determined to follow God.

4) …He went out among the people…and encouraged them to follow the Lord God.” NET

2 Chronicles 19:11, “…act courageously, and may the Lord be with those who do well.” NET

Keep Your Covenant with God

“…2 Kings makes clear that devotion to the Word of God has the power to preserve us from total enslavement to the cultural blindness of the moment.”

New English Translation Introduction to 2 Kings


2 Kings 2:19-22, “…the city has a good location…But the water is bad and the land doesn’t produce crops.

20) Elijah said, ‘Get me a new jar and put some salt in it.’ …

21) He went out to the spring and threw salt in it. Then he said, ‘…the Lord has said, “I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or fail to produce crops.”‘

22) The water has been pure to this very day. …” NET

The spring at Jericho is still good! It pumps out 1000 gallons per minute!

A “Covenant of Salt” is a covenant of perpetual obligation, Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19. Elisha applied the “Covenant of Salt” to the spring. God did the work deep in the earth where the spring originated.

When we believe Jesus died for our sins, God does a deep work in us. After that what we produce is full of life, not death. We have an abundance to enrich the lives of those around us. (See, “Save Me, Jesus” Prayer.)

Bless Your Food

2 Kings 4:42-44, “Now a man from Baal Shalisha brought some food for the prophet – twenty loaves of bread made from the first fruits of the barley harvest, as well as fresh ears of grain. Elisha said, ‘Set it before the people so they may eat.’

43) But his attendant said, ‘How can I feed a hundred men with this?’ He replied, ‘Set it before the people so they may eat, for this is what the Lord has said, “They will eat and have some leftover.”‘

44) So he set it before them; they ate and had some leftover, just as in the Lord’s message.” NET

The attendant didn’t believe it could feed a hundred men. Elisha promised there would be some leftover and there was.

The prophets traveled with their families. They fed one hundred families.

How do you feed a crowd?

  • Have a potluck.
  • Make stew, not steak, 2 Kings 4:38-41.
  • Eat bread to fill you up.
  • Bless the food. God multiplies blessed food, 2 Kings 4:1-7.

God’s Plan Will Save Others

2 Kings 6:13, “… He is in Dothan.” NET

When Joseph found his brothers, they were near the city of Dothan, Genesis 37:17. It was there that he was sold into slavery.

Elisha had a different result. He didn’t kill or enslave the army. God struck them with blindness and he led them to Samaria. He gave them food and water and sent them home, 2 Kings 6:15-23.

Had Joseph’s brothers not sold Joseph, the Hebrews would have starved to death. Most of the world would have died, Genesis 37:18-36.

The Egyptians would not have stored the abundance of those first seven years. They fed the world out of that stored grain, Genesis 38-43.

It May End Tomorrow

2 Kings 6:24-25, “Later King Ben Hadad of Syria assembled his entire army and attacked and besieged Samaria.

25) Samaria’s food supply ran out. …” NET

God didn’t provide a brook, ravens, or a widow as He did with Elijah, see “Surviving Storms.” Elisha had to endure, sitting in his house, 2 Kings 6:32. The siege ended the next day, 2 Kings 7:1-20.

Feel like you are under siege? Endure, persevere. It will be over soon.

Follow God Wholeheartedly

2 Kings 10:31, “But Jehu did not carefully and wholeheartedly obey the law of the Lord God of Israel. He did not repudiate the sins which Jeroboam had encouraged Israel to commit.” NET

“Although Jehu zealously destroyed the worshippers of Baal (see vv, 19, 25-28), he did not follow the Lord with his whole heart (see v. 31). How often are we, like Jehu, prone to act in ways that give an appearance of righteousness while dishonoring the Lord in our attitudes or thoughts?”

NET notes on 2 Kings 10:18-31


Proverbs 21:2, “All a person’s ways seem right in his own opinion, but the Lord evaluates his thoughts.” NET

Help the One You Can

2 Kings 11:2, “So Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah’s son Joash and stole him away from the rest of the descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. So he was hidden from Athaliah and escaped execution.” NET

“Jehosheba chose to act righteously by saving Joash’s life; while she could not save all the sons of Ahaziah, she took action to save one.”

NET note on 2 Kings 11:1-3


As we endure, who can we encourage or help? Something as small as a text can change how someone feels.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

Surviving Storms

During David’s haircut, we talked about the recent tornadoes. His stylist lives across the road from one of the homes that were destroyed. Her house is brick. She rode the storm out safely in her basement.

A rainbow after the storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Fortify What’s Yours

Rehoboam was king over Judah and Benjamin. He strongly fortified the cities with food, soldiers, and arms. Oil and wine were the medicines they used, 2 Chronicles 11:11-12.

I belong to God. Angels fight for me. I have the armor of God to protect me. He provides me with food and medicine and gives me strength and safety.

But I must manage our resources. When items are on sale, I buy two. I try to eat food up and not waste it.

We care for our home. When something is broken or wears out, we repair or replace it. We fortify our home by not letting it fall into ruin. It belongs to us.

Stay Faithful

Rehoboam was unfaithful to the Lord. King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and captured the fortified cities of Judah, 2 Chronicles 12:1-4.

Shemaiah the prophet told Rehoboam, “You rejected the Lord, so He will reject you.” (2 Chronicles 12:5.)

The leaders and king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.” (2 Chronicles 12:6.)

The Lord saw that and did not let King Shishak annihilate them. But they became his subjects and he took away their treasures, 2 Chronicles 12:7-11.

There are always consequences for unfaithfulness.

Don’t Fight Against God

Rehoboam died and his son Abijah became king. He was at war with Jeroboam and the Israelite army. He declared, “God is with us as our leader. …don’t fight against the Lord God of your ancestors, for you will not win.” (2 Chronicles 13:12.)

Jeroboam attacked the Judahite army and lost. The Lord struck him down and he died. (2 Chronicles 13:1-20.)

Trust God, Stay Humble

When Asa, Abijah’s son, became king, he did what the Lord his God desired and approved. (2 Chronicles 14:1-2.)

“Asa had a history of trusting God and avoiding idolatry. But…he began to rely on the Syrians for protection. …as a result, …Judah’s peace would end… Asa became angry rather than humble.”

New English Translation Notes on 2 Chronicles 16:7-10


Asa was so mad at Hanani the prophet for confronting him, that he put him in jail. (2 Chronicles 16:10.)

God Provides

Elijah, the prophet told King Ahab a famine was coming, 1 Kings 17:1. God provided for Elijah. He told him to hide out in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. He drank from the stream, and God had ravens bring bread and meat each morning and evening, 1 Kings 17:3-4.

During the food shortages of 2020, God told me to keep a spare. I didn’t stock up on cases of anything. I kept a spare and when I opened it, I bought another spare. I still practice this on items I use the most.

Our food bill went way down when we switched to buying only tea bags and coffee grounds. We drink lots of water. I filter my water, boil it, and keep it in glass pitchers on top of the refrigerator. Any chlorine left from those two processes evaporates. (See Instagram post.)

The Famine Got Worse

The creek dried up. God sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath. She was gathering wood to make bread with the last of her flour and oil. Elijah asked her to make him bread first and prophesied. “The jar of flour will not be empty and the jug of oil will not run out until the day the Lord makes it rain.” (1 Kings 17:7-16.)

Last week, I was low on powdered sugar. I made cherry cheesecake and lemon bars for Easter. There was a little leftover to sprinkle on top of the lemon bars. I had enough.

Lagom is the Swedish word for enough – not too much, not too little. God provides enough. (We are to share our abundance.)

God is Our Healer

The widow’s son got sick and died. Elijah prayed for him and the boy’s breath returned to him, 1 Kings 17:17-24.

Don’t Sacrifice Your Family

King Ben Hadad gathered 32 other kings and marched against Samaria. His terms of surrender were to take King Ahab’s wives, sons, silver, and gold.

Ahab didn’t resist him! (1 Kings 20:1-4.)

Why not! Why would he sacrifice his wife and children?

Ben Hadad added he would send servants to search the palace and other houses. They would carry away his valuables, 1 Kings 20:5-6.

Ahab didn’t agree with this term and prepared for battle. He put his valuables before his wives and sons, 1 Kings 20:8-9.

God would not do that! He saw and heard Ben Hadad’s actions. After the battle, the prophet confronted King Ahab for releasing a man God had determined should die, 1 Kings 20:42.

Storms are inevitable but God promises to take care of us despite them.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

I Saw It!

We almost had a major electrical fire!

Our dryer wouldn’t turn on. The repairman said we needed a new timer, electric board, and wire harness. He could only get two of the three parts. And one side of the 220-volt electrical plug wasn’t working.

David called our neighbor who takes apart appliances and sells the working parts on He said he could get all three parts but asked to look at the dryer first. We agreed.

He checked the parts and the outlet. He took the cover off of the breaker box and tested the breaker.

“Pam, you better come and see this!”

The meter showed 120 volts on one side and 8 volts on the other. There was not enough electricity to run the dryer. He heard crackling and was surprised there were no burn marks in the breaker box.

David called our favorite electrician.

He checked the outlet and the breaker. Both were okay.

“Pam, your dryer is broken.”

“I’m sorry, I saw the 8 on the voltage meter.”

“It’s fine.”

“I saw the 8.”

“Let me check another way. Nope, the electricity is flowing correctly.”

“I saw the 8 with my own two eyes.”

Sighing, he took the breaker out of the box and his face was immediately sober. The breaker’s prongs were too far apart and it was arcing. There were black marks on the inside of the breaker. No wonder I sometimes smelled smoke!

“You have to replace this. I will take it to show David.”

It didn’t arc all of the time, that is why the repairman didn’t catch it. It didn’t arc for the electrician but I saw the evidence on the voltage meter and wouldn’t be dissuaded.


The first four books of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written by a tax collector, a rich young man, a Gentile physician, and a fisherman. They could not be dissuaded because they witnessed the events with their own two eyes.

Let’s meet them and I will share the verses I highlighted this week from their books.

Matthew, Tax Collector

“Matthew…provides a perspective on Christianity’s roots in Judaism. …refers repeatedly to the Old Testament, offers a strong Jewish outlook, and explicitly discusses the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities…to form a fitting bridge between the Old and New Testaments. …emphasizes that all God’s purposes are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.”

New English Translation Introduction to Matthew


The chief priest Caiaphas was wealthy and lived in a palace, (Matthew 26:3). But he couldn’t heal people, cast out demons, or raise the dead! God used his jealousy to bring Jesus to the cross. There Jesus died for Caiaphas’s sins, yours, and mine.

This is one of the exits from Caiaphas’s house.


There were two men named Jesus, (Matthew 27:16). One took lives, Barabbas; and one gave His life, Jesus Christ.


The crown of thorns did not rest on top of Jesus’ hair. It was pounded into his skull, (Matthew 27:29-30).


Jesus will be with us always, even to the end of the world, (Matthew 28:20).

Mark, Rich Young Man

“Mark…[his] main source was the apostle Peter. …the earliest surviving written account of the life and ministry of Jesus. …in the simplest and most straightforward way. …we see Jesus’ emotions and humanity on display. …shows Jesus to be the Son of God (1:1, 15:39), who has authority over humanity and over the natural and spiritual realms.”

NET Introduction to Mark


Examine yourself before you pray and if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, (Mark 11:25). We forgive because God already forgave us.


Jesus said they would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven, (Mark 14:62).

A man could not be condemned to death unless there were three witnesses. The best the chief priests could do was find two, (see Matthew 26:59-64).

The only exception was when someone blasphemed. Jesus knew he had to die. When they couldn’t find three people to agree, he incriminated himself in their eyes. But He spoke the truth!


The disciples left the empty tomb in terror and bewilderment. They said nothing because they were afraid, (Mark 16:8). After they saw Jesus, they went from terror, bewilderment, and silence to telling everyone! (Mark 16:19-20).


Luke, Gentile Physician

“Luke…the only Gentile among the Gospel authors. …a physician by profession (Colossians 4:4) as well as a researcher and historian. After a careful investigation…Luke presented an orderly and easily comprehensible account. …wrote primarily for Gentile believers. …used the Greek equivalent of Hebrew words…the common language of the time…enabled more people to understand his book. …had a special interest in those marginalized by society, such as women, children, and the poor. …emphasized that Jesus is the Savior…of the whole world, especially those who are abused and neglected in society. …to reveal that Jesus is the focus of all history and to authenticate the reliability of the information in his Gospel.”

NET Introduction on Luke


Do I welcome Jesus quickly and joyfully like Zacchaeus? (Luke 19:6.)

John, Fisherman

“John…wanted his readers to understand that Jesus was both divine and human, …the source of salvation for all humankind. …to know what Jesus said and who Jesus was. …Jesus’ ‘I am’ statements make up another unique element… In addition to affirming His divinity, Jesus used these metaphors to indicate ways in which He was the ultimate solution to the human condition. …the Messiah whose words were clear only to those who believed in Him.”

NET Introduction to John


Jesus commanded that we love one another, just like He loved us. We are identified as His disciples by our love, (John 13:34-35).


Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). That question has been repeated for two thousand years. Truth has been denied and ignored. It is rewritten by the whim of those in power.

Truth is simple. Lies are loud. Truth is quiet.

The Bible is Truth. To deny the Bible is to deny there is the Mediterranean Sea. It is referred to several times.

God presents His Truth in a large, undeniable way – like the Mediterranean. But we ignore or overlook it.

Every day, the sun comes up and sets. The moon shows a full face and is slowly obstructed by the earth’s rotation.

Spring buds and winter ends. Summer’s warmth brings the harvest of autumn.

And no matter how crazy the world gets – God still forms babies in their mother’s tummies. God is constantly creating new life.

And that’s the Truth. Truth trumps facts.


“There are 650 copies of ‘The Iliad.’ But there are over 24,000 copies of the original Bible.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, April 9, 2023

Over 24,000 people painstakingly copied each letter of the Bible. They saw it. They believed.


“…The rooster announces the beginning of a brand-new day. After his worst night of failure, the sun came up for Peter. And it will come up for you, too. By God’s grace, you can start your life over any day you choose to. Today, you can repent of your sin and go on to do great things for the Lord.”

The Word for You Today, April 6, 2023

Are you ready to see for yourself? Do you want a new start? See the “Save Me, Jesus” Prayer.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

God Speaks in Tornadoes

An EF4 tornado ripped through our area last Friday, taking 5 houses, 2 farms, and several other structures. One bus driver saw a funnel and unloaded the kids into the house where they were stopped. They hunkered down in the basement with the family. Several tornadoes touched down around us.

I had Gideon for the day. Early in the morning, I took the “Pack and Play” and some toys to the basement. He napped there. His mama, Rachel, got off early and the three of us were downstairs when the sirens went off. A tornado touched down south of town.

Rachel’s brother, Jacob, and our oldest son Luke are firefighters. Luke’s unit was called to a fire and Jacob’s to a search and rescue. They found the missing safe.

Job 40:6, “Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind.” New English Translation

In the whirlwind, God reminded me of other storms He had brought us safely through. God kept us all safe and He answered my prayer that no lives were lost.

“Be still in God’s presence. Recognize that you are known, loved, and cared for greatly by your heavenly Father.”

New English Translation Notes on Job 41:1-11


Job Argues His Case

Job 13:3, “But I wish to speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God,” NET

“Job had three friends who offered human thoughts about the causes of his suffering. In these verses, he expressed fatigue with the empty talk of men (vv. 4-5). …The insufficiency of human ‘wisdom’ left Job longing more for God’s truth about his life (see v. 3).”

NEY Notes on Job 13:1-19

When I present my case to others, I am given human thoughts. They are ashes and clay, (see 13:12). But God, who sees all and knows all, is working everything for my good.

Job 15:6, “Your own mouth condemns you, not I; your own lips testify against you.” NET

Control My Thoughts

Job 20:2, “This is why my troubled thoughts bring me back – because of my feelings within me.” NET

My thoughts control my feelings. I am not to look in the rearview mirror, rehashing the past. Nor am I to look through the windshield far ahead to the future. I need to look out the side windows and enjoy the present.

Keep Priorities Straight

Job 29:4-5, “Just as I was in my most productive time when God’s intimate friendship was experienced in my tent, 5) when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me.” NET

“…notice the things that Job most valued during his good years. …he enjoyed the presence of God, the company of his children, the respect of his community, and the opportunity to help the poor. …”

NET notes on Job 29:2-25


Write Down Your Dreams

Job 33:14-17, “God speaks… 15) In a dream, … 16) Then he gives revelation to people and terrified them with warnings, 17) to turn a person from his sin, and to cover a person’s pride.” NET

Look for His Light

While studying Isaiah, I came across this verse in a cross-reference.

Psalms 118:27, “The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.” New International Version

Three days after I read this verse, we celebrated Palm Sunday. I pray that you find God during this Holy Week, (see, “Save me, Jesus” Prayer).

This paved road is the path they took on the Palm Sunday procession.

Job 35:10, “…God, my Creator, who gives songs in the night.” NET

Job 37:22, “From the north, he comes in golden splendor; around God is awesome majesty.” NET

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.