A Bondservant of Jesus Christ

3:30 a.m. The Medical Helicopter woke me as it flew over my house. The new hospital is a mile south of us. When I hear the helicopter, I pray for the patient, medical staff, air flight personnel, and the patient’s family. They will be driving an hour to Iowa City.

My dream is to move to a house in a wooded area in the country. After I prayed, I wondered, “Who will pray for the Medical Helicopter’s patients if I move?” Praying is one thing a bondservant of Jesus Christ does.

1 Peter 1:1, “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

New American Standard Bible

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Peter listed bondservant first before apostle. Jesus is my Master; I am His slave. Serving Jesus is more important than my “ministry.” As long as this is the house in which I serve Him, I will pray each time I hear the medical helicopter.

I am grateful for the faith and righteousness of God that I received from Jesus Christ. When I became Jesus’ bondservant, my life turned from black and white to color. It’s the difference between watching a movie on TV at home or watching it in a 4D theater. I don’t need a new home to enjoy my life.

All week long, I noted verses showing me how to walk as a bondservant of Jesus:

  1. In a manner worthy of my calling, Ephesians 4:1.
  2. With humility, gentleness, patience, and showing tolerance for one another in hope, Ephesians 4:2.
  3. Being diligent to preserve unity and the bond of peace, Ephesians 4:3.
  4. Renewed in the spirit of my mind, Ephesians 4:23.
  5. Putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice, Ephesians 4:31.
  6. Being kind, tender-hearted, forgiving as Christ forgave me, Ephesians 4:32.
  7. Leading a tranquil, quiet, godly, dignified life, 1 Timothy 2:2.
  8. Engaging in good deeds to meet pressing needs, to be fruitful, Titus 3:14.
  9. Being sober, enduring hardship, doing the work, fulfilling my ministry, 2 Timothy 4:5.
  10. Giving account for the hope that is in me with gentleness and reverence, 1 Peter 3:15.
  11. Arming myself to suffer in the flesh, 1 Peter 4:1.

I am not to avoid problems but face the wind!

“When the gale force wind of adversity blow, put your face full into the wind. Let it do its intended work and blow your chaff away. Welcome the sifting; let reality reveal itself in your heart.”

The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
Introduction to 1 Peter

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August 2022 Chapters

  • 1 – Psalms 49, 50; Habakkuk 1-3
  • 2 – Psalm 77; Jeremiah 7, 26
  • 3 – Jeremiah 46, 36
  • 4 – Jeremiah 25, 45, 35; 2 Kings 24
  • 5 – Jeremiah 24, 29; Psalm 102; Daniel 1
  • 6 – Daniel 2, 3
  • 7 – Daniel 4; Jeremiah 27
  • 8 – Jeremiah 28, 50
  • 9 – Jeremiah 51
  • 10 – Ezekiel 1-3; Jeremiah 21
  • 11 – Jeremiah 34, 37, 30
  • 12 – Jeremiah 31, 32
  • 13 – Jeremiah 33, 38
  • 14 – 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 8
  • 15 – Ezekiel 9-12
  • 16 – Psalm 89; Ezekiel 13, 14
  • 17 – Ezekiel 15, 16
  • 18 – Ezekiel 17, 18
  • 19 – Ezekiel 19, 20
  • 20 – Ezekiel 21, 22
  • 21 – Ezekiel 23, 24                                            
  • 22 – Ezekiel 4-7
  • 23 – Ezekiel 29-31
  • 24 – 2 Kings 25; Jeremiah 39, 52
  • 25 – Lamentations 1, 2; Psalm 74
  • 26 – Lamentations 3-5; Psalm 79
  • 27 – Psalm 94; Jeremiah 40-42
  • 28 – Jeremiah 43, 44; Ezekiel 25
  • 29 – Ezekiel 26-28        
  • 30 – Ezekiel 32; Jeremiah 48
  • 31 – Jeremiah 49: Obadiah 1

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

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Paul Gathered a Bundle of Sticks

After the shipwreck, Paul could have said, “I told you so!” Or “Now do you believe that I am an anointed man of God?” Or “You should have listened to my prophecy!”

Instead, he gathered sticks and threw them on the fire, Acts 28:2. He worked to meet the physical need of everyone. It was raining; they needed warmth.

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When we were on tour in Israel, we took several bathroom breaks a day. There were times no one needed a break.

Our guide, Elle said, “It doesn’t matter how informed I am. I can give you a ton of information but if you need a bathroom, you won’t remember or appreciate it.”

A mural outside of a bathroom in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem.

A person’s basic needs must be met before they can listen. Instead of preaching, we could ask, “Do you need anything?” Or “How can I serve you?”

They will automatically ask questions because we are different from everyone else. We give; others take.

Acts 28:8, “And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid hands on him and healed him.”

New American Standard Bible

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Once again, Paul met a physical need. This time it was through a work of God, not his physical work.

Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

New American Standard Bible

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“How can I serve you?”

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The Majority Reached a Decision

A decision that plagues me is how to go forward with my blogs:

  • Should I combine this one with frugalfish.org?
  • Should I continue posting to two separate blogs?
  • Should I start a third blog and only post there?
  • Should I import my posts from both blogs to a new one?
  • Should I stop posting and concentrate on my book about my trip to Israel?

I learned a lot while reading about Paul’s journey and shipwreck.

Acts 27:12, 13, “Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to put out to sea from there, if somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. 13) When a moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete, close inshore.”

New American Standard Bible

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  1. They weren’t comfortable.
  2. The majority ruled.
  3. They wanted to reach Phoenix, (It means a bird that rose renewed from its ashes).
  4. A warm breeze was blowing.
  5. They believed they were right.
  6. They sailed along the shoreline, playing it safe.

I wonder. Would they have made it had they sailed straight to Phoenix instead of following the shoreline? I don’t know, but I did learn:

  1. Comfort is not the best reason to make a decision.
  2. The majority is not always right.
  3. Another harbor always looks better.
  4. A warm breeze at the wrong time of year is deceptive.
  5. Confirmation of a wrong idea does not make it right.
  6. Playing it safe is not safe.

Acts 27:14, 15, “But before very long there rushed down from the land a violent wind, called Euraquilo; 15) and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along.”

New American Standard Bible

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The moderate south wind turned into a “nor’easter!” The violent wind came down from the land. They were caught and couldn’t face it. Finally, they gave up and were driven along. Acts 27:16-43 shows us how it went from bad to worse!

  • They lost control, v. 16.
  • They lost their cargo, v. 18.
  • They lost their ship’s tackle, v. 19.
  • They lost hope, v. 20.
  • They lost their appetite, v. 21.
  • They lost courage, v. 22.
  • They lost their lifeboat, vv. 30-32.
  • They lost their food, v. 38.
  • They lost their anchors, v. 40.
  • They lost their ship, v. 41.

Yet, they were all brought safely to land, Acts 27:44.

I must continue as long as it takes, even in discomfort. I cannot follow the crowd or wait for a new beginning. I can’t trust the winds, believe I am always right, or play it safe.

If I get ahead of God, I could lose everything. I need balance. I cannot just play it safe. I do know no matter what happens, God promises that I will land safely.

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A Short Time or Long Time

Am I willing to wait for as long as it takes?

I am for my family. It took 10 years of prayer for my child to return to faith. My mother prayed for 40 years for hers.

Paul was willing to speak as long as it took to lead everyone to Jesus Christ. Even when he had to do so while living in a prison in chains.

Acts 26:29, “And Paul said, ‘I would wish to God, that whether in a short time or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.'”

New American Standard Bible

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Dear Jesus, I pray that everyone who reads my words will meet you in a personal way. Show yourself to them when they ask. Amen.

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

What Has Been Appointed for You to Do

I have been appointed to:

  • Sing, for as long as I can remember
  • Play the piano, age 12
  • Write, age 13
  • Marry, age 20
  • Work in a church office, age 21
  • Have children, age 24
  • Become a grandmother, age 39

My appointment to work in a church office and be a full-time mother is completed. I will receive new appointments. (Grandma Moses didn’t fulfill her appointment to paint until she was 80!)

This year I was appointed to write a book about our trip to Israel. Someday, I will be a great-grandmother!

Acts 22:10, “…you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.”

New American Standard Bible

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Each appointment has times of joy and times of trials. I dreamed of being a writer since I was a young girl. Writing while housebound was not part of my dreams!

I knew I would serve in a church office. I didn’t know it would include several months working in a garage, and using an outhouse, while I was pregnant with our first child!

Paul’s Appointment

Paul was appointed to speak to the Gentiles, see Acts 22:21. That involved years as a prisoner in Capernaum and other cities!

Acts 23:35, “He said, ‘I will give you a hearing after your accusers arrive also,’ giving orders for him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.”

New American Standard Bible

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The jail under Herod’s Praetorium. (Why I post blurry pictures.)

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His appointment to speak included time on trial.

Acts 24:10, “When the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded…”

New American Standard Bible

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This was Paul’s view as he spoke to Governor Felix. David is standing in the Governor’s spot.

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Your Appointments

Acts 22:14, “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.”

New American Standard Bible

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God wants you to know His will for your life. He whispers it to you in your dreams. Remember Satan will work against you.

“…First you assume you won’t fail, so you’re unprepared for Satan’s attack when it comes. Next you allow problems and pressures of life to make you forget that your first commitment must always be to the Lord. Finally, you end up spiritually defeated. You say, ‘That will never happen to me.’ That’s what Peter said! The reason ‘Satan hath desired to have you’ [Luke 22:31] is because he knows when you become passionate about doing God’s will, you will be unstoppable. So, never lose your passion for God.”

The Word for You Today,
July 10, 2022

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We don’t find our passion; we fulfill our purpose. Our passion belongs to God.

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Eyes That See not

Our church held an Independence Day celebration last night. They had 7 food trucks, 5 bouncy houses, music, and a special speaker.

(I chose to stay home and play with twenty-two-month-old Gideon.)

Our daughter Laura went with David. She surprised us by staying for the fireworks.

Laura gets up between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. for work. I wondered if she got enough rest last night.

“Did Laura sleep on the way home?” I asked David.

“No,” he replied, “but her eyes were glazed over.”

That was a perfect example of someone in a stupor!

Romans 12:8, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.”

New American Standard Bible

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Dear Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear. Amen.

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

Ollie, Ollie, in Free

Yesterday, I talked about freedom and liberty. True freedom is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“This is the ‘ollie, ollie, in come free’ opening book of the New Testament. Hide and seek is over; the Savior has been found! Everyone can come home, we all win!”

The Founder’s Bible,
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
Introduction to the book of James

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As we walk in faith, we do our best to live a holy life. But it is not “do,” but “who.”

“First, we are called to ‘be’ holy, not ‘do’ holy. Second, holiness is relational: it’s not so much about an absence of wrong behavior as it is about the presence of Someone. When Moses was told to take his shoes off because he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:1-5), the ground was not holy because it was some special kind of dirt; it was holy because the presence of God was abiding there. Third, God is the source of our holiness…because He is holy, and He lives in us, we shall be holy, for we shall be like Him.”

The Hope of Holiness,
The Freedom Bible,
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
p. 2017

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We cannot be holy in ourselves but we can do everything to “keep ourselves unstained by the world.”

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

New American Standard Bible

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It is by grace that we are saved and God’s grace makes us holy.

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Freedom Versus Liberty

“Freedom is something that a government grants; liberty is something we own that a government cannot take away. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” President John Adams

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom Versus Liberty”
The Founder’s Bible, The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
p. 1860
John Adams, The Works of John Adams (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851) Vol. VI, p. 484, to John Taylor, April 15, 1814
Benjamin Franklin quotes, Notable Quotes. (at http://www.notable-quotes.com/f/franklin_benjamin.html) (Accessed April 26, 2012)

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Works of the Law Versus Faith

Galatians 2:15, 16, “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles, 16) nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

New American Standard Bible

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Galatians 2:29, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.”

New American Standard Bible

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I am grateful that we can celebrate liberty in America. We are more than free! (America is a Republic, not a democracy. Remember, you learned that in the Pledge of Allegiance.)

I am more grateful that I do not have to rely on the works of the Law to be justified. Jesus Christ paid the price so I can live justified (just as if I hadn’t sinned). It is by faith in what He did on the cross that I can live in liberty!

Since I belong to Christ, I will receive everything promised to the Jews.

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The Love of Money

The most misquoted verse in the Bible is 1 Timothy 6:10. They say, “Money is the root of all evil.” But the verse says it is the “love of money.”

1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

New American Standard Bible

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We assume this verse only applies to the rich. But the poor can be greedy, grasping, and discontent, too.

David and I have lived under the poverty level a few times. We had a choice. We could continue giving to God over and above our tithes (10%) or we could buy lottery tickets and try our luck at gambling. We chose the first option every time and God pulled our income back up.

I was sure we didn’t have a problem with money whether it was just enough or we had extra.

Then I read Hebrews 13.

Hebrews 13:5, 6, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have, for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ 6) so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’ “

New American Standard Bible

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Is my character free from the love of money? Do I rejoice when my friends get a new car, house, or go on a trip? Or do I think, “It must be nice?”

Am I “saving for a rainy day” or hoarding? Have I missed church working for money?

Am I content with everything God has provided or do I treat it with disdain wanting newer, bigger, or better? Do I clean and maintain them or treat them like junk?

Do I fill my refrigerator with food and then throw it away when it spoils?

God promises never to leave us. He helps us stretch our money to its greatest potential. He provides our food, (see 2020 post). We don’t have to be afraid of going hungry.

We need not fear rising gas prices. He will show us where to cut back on our spending to cover it.

He has a new car for us. Our job is to save to pay for it when it is delivered!

I look at external things. God is working on my character.

1 Timothy 6:17, 18, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18) Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.”

New American Standard Bible

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Dear Lord, keep my character free from the love of money. Amen

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