About Frugal Fish

I grew up on Elim Bible Institute, Lima NY and Pinecrest Bible Training Center (Now the Whitestone Academy), Salisbury Center, NY, where my father, Charlie Cary, was on staff. When we moved back to Iowa, (12), I joined the "Gospel Lighthouse Telecast" choir, a local weekly program sponsored by the Gospel Lighthouse in Batavia. I have read the Bible through, every year, since I was 13. I became the church janitor when I was 16 and played piano for services. I moved to Fairfield and started playing the piano, when I was 18, at the Fairfield Foursquare Church. I married David Fishel there when I was 20. At 21, I became secretary/treasurer and served for 24 years, stepping down due to a health issue. My family now attends the Fairfield satellite of Faith Christian Outreach Center, Mt. Pleasant, where we serve in the worship band. We have three grown children and one grandchild. ©2009-2016 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

Leaving Unprepared

We eat either very early or very late on Wednesday nights. Those who eat late grab a snack-size bag of homemade trail mix to tide them over. Last week, I told Rachel there was only 1 bag left because I packed the rest.

It was midnight on Tuesday when I got home from my trip. I only ate one bag of trail mix and put the rest back. When Rachel arrived, I told her there was trail mix in the basket.

“Wow,” she said, “I thought you would be too tired to make more!”

“I didn’t,” I confessed, “those are the bags I brought back!”

I rarely travel anywhere without snacks. The children of Israel had to leave so quickly that they had no time to prepare.

Exodus 12:39, “They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened because they were driven out of Egypt and could not linger, nor had they prepared for themselves any food.” Modern English Version

They were able to pack in a matter of hours because they had nothing beyond their basic needs. They even had to borrow clothes, see Exodus 12:35!

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Nothing Left Behind

I spent last weekend visiting my brother in Virginia with my Mom and sisters. We used the buddy system while traveling. We never left Mom alone and went everywhere in pairs.

When we met up with Jon’s family, our group grew to 11 people. Jon uses a different approach, “No Cary left behind.” When we left a restaurant, we all checked to make sure no one was missing.

Exodus 10:26, “…Not a hoof will be left behind…” Modern English Version

The children of Israel were not going to leave anything behind. That was my plan, too, but somehow part of my cell phone charger took up residence in Kentucky! At least it is an inexpensive item to replace.

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God Sees a Warrior

I’m tired. We drove for two days to spend two days with my brother in Virginia. Then we drove two more days to come home. Can you get jet lag in a car?

I didn’t even do much driving. I was the navigator! Navigators do not get to nap!

I don’t know how professional musicians do it – sleeping in a different bed each night, riding a thousand miles and doing it all over again.

I thought about calling my 80-year-old mother to see how she was doing after our trip. Then I remembered the last time, I called and she wasn’t even home, having resumed her normal schedule.

When 3 cups of coffee and a Mountain Dew failed to perk me up, I gave up and took a nap. If I’m lucky, I will catch up the laundry and finish unpacking today. I feel like such a wimp.

But God sees a warrior!

Exodus 6:26, “It was that Aaron and Moses to whom the Lord said, ‘Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.’ ” Modern English Version

The Israelites saw themselves as slaves living under cruel bondage. God saw them as armies. Each family was an army. We see people; God sees their potential.

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Who Am I?

“When God uses you, people often assume you’re strong and don’t need anything. They don’t realize you’re a regular person who’s half scared to death at times, and who’s more amazed by your success than they are.” facebook.com/thewordforyoutodayusa

Reading the Bible every day is like looking in a mirror, through a magnifying glass…no, make that under a microscope! The more I read it, the more it reveals my flaws, weaknesses, and failures. It’s humbling and sometimes discouraging.

But today’s verse reminded me that God never stops working on me.

Exodus 3:11, “Moses said to God, ‘Who am I…’ ” Modern English Version

That is a sharp contrast to Exodus 2:14 where Moses acted like a prince and a judge! The good news…every one of those flaws, weaknesses, and failures has been forgiven, forgotten, forever.

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Another Reason They Stayed

Joseph was the only brother interred in Egypt. He was the last to die and he left instructions for his descendants to carry his bones back to Canaan when they left. Isn’t it funny that the brother who lived as a slave for 13 years lived the longest?

Genesis 50:26, “So, Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“Joseph’s body remained in Egypt until the exodus to the promised land of Canaan about 200 years later. Its final resting-place was Shechem, near Samaria, “in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem” (Joshua 24:32). Here each of his brothers was also buried (Acts 7:15, 16).” Amplified Bible Notes

At least 12 times the Hebrews returned to Canaan to bury Jacob and the 11 brothers. Why didn’t they just move back?

One answer was found in Exodus 1:7, “…the sons of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty…” Modern English Version

“They had risen to great prosperity – as during the lifetimes of Joseph and his royal patron, they had, probably, enjoyed a free grant of the land…Having first obliged them, it is thought, to pay a ruinous rent, and involved them in difficulties, that new government…degraded them to the condition of serfs.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

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God Went With Them

Every time I read the story of the Israelites’ move to Egypt, I wonder why they didn’t move back after the famine was over. Today’s verse helped me to understand.

Genesis 46:4, “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” Modern English Version

God stayed with them in Egypt. He didn’t leave when they became slaves. It was His plan for them to stay 400 years. He even told Abraham about this plan.

Genesis 15:13, “Then He said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will live as strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.’ ” Modern English Version

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God Sent Ahead

The greatest wounds are those inflicted by members of our own families. They are not usually cruel, just careless, imperfect human beings.

If we give those hurts to God, He can use them to make something wonderful. If we hold on to them, or to our own guilt, Satan can use it to make us sick or to sever the relationship completely.

Genesis 45:5, “Now do not be upset or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Modern English Version

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A Wise Man Fleeing From Pollution

Sometimes, I feel forgotten; but today God showed me others see.

Genesis 41:45, “And Pharoah called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-Paneah, and he gave him a wife, Asenath daughter of Potiphera priest of On.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

Zaphenath-Paneah – variously interpreted, “revealer of secrets;” “saviour of the land;” and from the hieroglyphics, “a wise man fleeing from pollution” – i.e. adultery. Gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of – …On being founded by an Arab colony, Potipherah, like Jethro, priest of Midian, might be a worshiper of the true God; and thus Joseph, a pious man, will be freed from the charge of marrying an idolatress for worldly ends. On – called Aven (Ezekiel 30:17), and also Beth-Shemesh (Jeremiah 43:13).” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

The name Pharaoh gave him showed he was aware of his innocence in the charge by Potiphar’s wife. He was also aware of Joseph’s piety and chose a woman from a pious family for his wife.

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The Coat of Many Colors

I saw an episode of “The Walton’s” where Olivia made a sweater as an anniversary present for John. She unraveled the sweaters of the children that they wore when they were younger and used the various colored yarn to make a striped sweater. Each stripe represented one of the children.

Jacob made Joseph’s coat of many colors the same way.

Genesis 37:3, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

Made him a coat of many colours – formed in those early days by sewing together patches of coloured cloth, and considered a dress of distinction (Judges 5:39; 2 Samuel 13:18). The passion for various colours still reigns amongst the Arabs and other people of the East, who are fond of dressing their children in this gaudy attire.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

John Walton’s sweater was special because of the memories attached to it and the love in each stitch. Joseph’s coat represented more than love, it showed he was the most honored son. In the eyes of God our Father, we are all the favorite child.

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Closer Than an Aunt

My sisters and I sometimes joked that God sent us the wrong daughters. One niece was studious, like me; and another niece is good with money, like me. (My third niece is artistic and definitely her mother’s daughter!)

My daughter did not keep her room clutter free and likes to play pool; both traits of my sisters. I like every room perfectly clutter free and never did take an interest in pool. When my daughter was growing up, I said it was like living with my sister again. I’m sure my nieces heard the same statement.

The relationship of aunt is a special one. My sisters were the best aunts. I didn’t do as well. In my defense, my children were born first, 21 months apart, and when my nieces were 2 and 4 I had my third baby. I had my hands full.

* * * * * * *

Deborah was the first woman listed as a nurse, not a handmaid. She would have been a second mother to Esau and Jacob and would have been where they turned when they were sick or hurt. She would have been closer than an aunt. No wonder there was great grief at her death.

Genesis 35:8, “But Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried beneath Bethel under an oak. It was called Allon Bakuth.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“…she would have been of invaluable service to his young family. Old nurses, like her, were not only honored, but loved as mothers; and, accordingly, her death was the occasion of so great lamentation. She was buried under the oak – hence called “the terebinth of tears” (1 Kings 13:14).” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

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