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.

When He Came to Himself

Our trip to Israel was postponed three times, canceled, and then reinstated. David and I joked that we wouldn’t believe it until we stepped on Israel soil. It was a dream.

After flying all night, we were ushered through the Tel Aviv airport by a guide. We shuffled through another COVID test and were led to our bus.

Elle, (short for Elijah), talked and told jokes to keep us awake on the drive to our hotel. Tel Aviv is a growing city. I gawked at the architecture, statues, and sculptures. We stopped at many “roundabouts,” each with its statue and flower garden.

I fell for all of Elle’s jokes.

“This is Israel’s national bird.” He pointed to the cranes next to buildings going up.

The hotel in Netanya was upscale and it felt like a weekend get-away. Caesarea Maritima, Tel Megiddo, and Mt. Carmel reminded me of a school field trip. Israel is a history explosion!

At the Sea of Galilee, I started waking up. Jesus preached here.

It was at Capernaum, standing in front of the ruins of the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught, that I came to myself.

The White Synagogue was built upon the remains of the Synagogue of Jesus.

David said it best, “Nothing else matters except for believing. That is what life is all about.”

We looked at the remains of Peter’s house where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. I went back to the bus and filled my notebook with notes. I went over each picture and wrote down what Elle taught us.

At dinner, Elle sat by me. I didn’t say a word. I wanted to learn everything.

I set my alarm for 4 am. In the predawn hours, I pored over the pictures and notes. I wrote down what Elle said, what I felt, the weather, what we ate, and the things that happened.

I was no longer dreaming. I had come to myself.

I understand how Peter felt when the angels freed him from prison. It was too good to be true and yet it was true!

Acts 12:11, “When Peter came to himself…”

New American Standard Bible

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

All Is Well

Several times a day, Eli the guide gathered us together and counted us. Then, before moving on, he would ask, “All is well?”

He meant, “Is there anything you need?” He would direct us to the nearest restrooms. That was also when he answered questions and checked any malfunctioning “whisperers.” (We could hear him whisper in our earpiece.)

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We read three variations of that phrase today.

2 Kings 4:23, “…It will be well.”

New American Standard Bible

Her son was dead but she told her husband, “It will be well.” She had faith that God could raise her son if Elisha prayed for him.

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2 Kings 4:26, “…It is well.”

New American Standard Bible

Her faith had grown into full confidence. She knew God would answer. She didn’t rush back to her dead son but traveled slowly with Elisha.

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2 Kings 5:22, “He said, ‘All is well.’ …”

New American Standard Bible

Gehazi was not putting his faith in God when he used the phrase. He was getting what he wanted through deception instead of waiting for God to provide. It didn’t bring a blessing but a curse.

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While we were in Israel, someone hacked into our router. They connected two devices and were enjoying free WIFI at our expense. The router was from 2008 and I already patched it once.

I ordered a new router. I connected the computer, tablet, and phones on the first day.

All is well.

I tried again to connect the printer for two more days.

It will be well.

I connected the two Blu-ray players to the new router. One works, and the other turned to a black screen.

It will be well.

Yesterday, I found the set-up disk for the printer in my “Office Warranties” file. I put it in and was finally able to connect to the new router.

All is well.

My immediate needs are met. I still have a black screen on one Blu-ray player and I don’t have everything I want or desire but…

All is well!

Eli is ready to adjust a “whisperer” for one of our group members in the synagogue at Masada.

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

Back from Israel

I prayed for 30 years to go visit the Holy Land. That prayer was answered on March 21st. Three years ago, God showed us where to get the down payment. Then he showed us what to do to raise the rest of the money. Each sacrifice became easier.

Our plane was to leave 2 days before the world shut down because of COVID-19. The trip was postponed three times and then canceled.

When Israel opened up for tourism, the trip was reinstated. Twenty-four of the original 39 took a leap of faith, and 3 COVID tests, to tour the relatively empty sites.

David and I took a selfie at the Dead Sea!

It was a huge miracle. But God is a God of miracles, large and small.

1 Kings 17:24, “Then the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.’

New American Standard Bible

Raising her son from the dead was the second miracle the woman received, vv.17-23. The flour in her bowl and the oil in her jar didn’t run out for three years, v. 16. She didn’t believe Elijah was a prophet of the Lord until she received a big miracle.

Statue of Elijah on the top of Mt. Carmel

Dear Lord, forgive me for not recognizing the miracles of provision that you send every day. Amen.

Hebrews 11:6, “We must believe that God…rewards everyone who searches for Him.”

Contemporary English Version

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

Ask Me

Ten years ago, the doctor said there was nothing more he could do. He sent me home and told me to avoid allergens. On Labor Day weekend, I moved my office home and was housebound for 87 days while my body healed.

Three years later, I stepped down from my job as administrator of the Fairfield Foursquare Church and bookkeeper of Agapeland Preschool and Childcare Center.

The following May, they took the only antihistamine that worked for me off of the market. It looked like being housebound was permanent.

I asked God if it was, and if not, how long. He said, “Three years.”

At the end of 2010, I was sitting at a potluck, (honoring Dean & Nellie Oosthoek and Betty Leafgreen), when God clearly told me it would be the last time I attended the Foursquare Church.

I couldn’t believe it, I thought I heard wrong. But, early in 2011, God directed David to visit the Faith Christian Outreach Church Satellite here in Fairfield.

In July, 2011, I started sneaking into church at FCOC…when I was not on Prednisone. I went early, wore a mask, scarf, large glasses, and sat alone in the balcony to avoid crowds. I was one of the last ones out the door because I had to wait while the drums were torn down and loaded in the van.

Over the last 3 years, I have been taking “babysteps” of faith…like sneaking into church…and gained freedom one step at a time.

Three weeks ago, I called the doctor because I was doing another round of Prednisone and had to spend the first week in the house. I asked if I was still restricted.

I heard the most wonderful words, “There are no restrictions on your chart!” I am normally restricted from the time Ragweed blooms until we get a killing frost…that was 104 days in 2011.

Since then, I have been going out, (without a mask, glasses or scarf), to church, worship practice and even shopping!

I spent the first three years knocking on a door God had closed. I cannot wait for heaven. I will be with all the people I love from the Foursquare Church, my new friends that I love from FCOC, and my friends from the churches of my childhood.

If you want to know your future, all you have to do is ask.

Jeremiah 37:7, “…Zedekiah, you wanted Jeremiah to ask me, the Lord God of Israel, what is going to happen. So I will tell you…”

I was sitting at my kitchen table yesterday writing, when God reminded me of a particularly hectic time when I was working at the Foursquare Church. I was on an IRS deadline and was struggling with concentration as the childcare center was active, full and noisy. My boss sent me home with the laptop for a few hours to finish the report.

I remember thinking, “It’s so peaceful here. I wish I could work here full-time.” God saw the desire of my heart, but knew I could not have it and remain in my current job.

He closed that door and opened the door to writing blogs. His plan was better than anything I could ask, think or imagine, (see Ephesians 3:20)!

Paid a Little; God Covered Most

I shared on an earlier post about the medical bills we were facing, see “Chipping Away at It,” http://wp.me/pK67X-UI.

This week we received two letters stating that 100% financial assistance on two of the three largest bills was granted. That left one small bill at that hospital which an income tax refund covered.

Now we only owe one hospital. Praise God!

Today we received a letter from our insurance company stating they reprocessed the bill at the third hospital. They paid 3/4 of that bill! Instead of paying on bills totaling thousands of dollars, we are left with a balance of a couple hundred dollars! Thank you, Jesus!

“How Great is Our God” – Hillsong

August 17, 2013

Our time on earth is the only “Hell” the believer will ever experience. We go through times of hardship and think things just have to get better…but they may not! Jeremiah was in such circumstances.

Jeremiah 37:13-15, “…a sentry…seized Jeremiah the prophet saying, ‘You are deserting to the Chaldeans’…then said Jeremiah, ‘I am not’…the sentry would not listen…and brought him to the princes…the princes were enraged…and beat him and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe….”

It went from bad to worse!

Jeremiah was:

  1. Falsely accused, 37:13.
  2. Not believed when telling his side, 37:14.
  3. Brought to the princes who became enraged, 37:15.
  4. Beaten, 37:15.
  5. Put in prison, 37:15.
  6. Left in the cells in the dungeon for many days, 37:16.
  7. Moved to the court of the guard, 37:21.
  8. Threatened with death, 38:4.
  9. Cast into a cistern full of mud, 38:6.
  10. Left to starve, 38:9.
  11. Rescued and moved back to the court of the guard, 38:13.

No matter how bad things are going now, God will still take care of you. In the case of Jeremiah, he used an Ethiopian, Jeremiah 38:7-13.

June 18, 2013

The wisest financial decision you will ever make is to serve God and give him 10%, called a tithe, of your income, right off the top. If you are determined to live on the income you now have, and live debt-free, God will multiply the funds you have. He doesn’t multiply it into more funds, as much as he makes it stretch to meet the needs. The secret is in being generous, even when you are struggling.

2 Corinthians 8:2, “For in  the midst of an ordeal of severe tribulation, their abundance of joy and their depth of poverty [together] have overflowed in wealth of lavish generosity on their part.”

I received my last paycheck in 2007, and although I have ads on my frugalfish.org blog, I have not generated any income on it or this website.

I am determined to live within our means, even though my husband’s income has also been reduced four times. We set aside a small percentage of our income to help others and are consistently looking for items we no longer need to give to Good Will.

God has honored our giving beyond my wildest dreams. We have paid off our medical expenses, credit cards, van, truck and house during these last five years.

When you serve God, you get abundance and over flowing generosity.

June 15, 2013

The postmark on the card was from Stamford, CT. The card inside showed a beautiful little girl, Olivia Rose Engel. It was a “Thank You” for the sympathy card and letter I sent.

I was touched – and impressed with God’s timing. I received the card on Flag Day, 5 months to the day of Olivia’s death in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

My first thought was, “She’s beautiful. I can’t wait to meet her.”

Someday, I will join her in heaven and at some point, during eternity, I will meet her. I will tell her about my granddaughter, Olivia, and about my grandmother, Marie Rose. I will ask about her brother, Brayden and tell her about my nephew, Brayden.

Today’s verse reminds us that our hope is not restricted to this life.

1 Corinthians 15:29, “If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all, then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied.”

I will continue to pray for all the families who were affected by this tragedy. I know God answers prayer. He answered my prayer for my computer, which was not repairable. I was able to replace the broken components with the cash we had on hand in our “appliances category.”

May 28, 2013

They took Bromfed off of the market in May, 2008. It was the antihistamine that worked the best for me. Without it, I could not leave the house, unless I was using Prednisone. Doctors have to limit the use of Prednisone due to its side effects.

In the natural, it looked like I would be housebound until I died. By faith, I continued playing the piano, believing that one day I would play in a church service again. I planned ahead, just like Joseph did in today’s verse.

Hebrews 11:22, “[Actually] by faith Joseph, when nearing the end of his life, referred to [the promise of God for] the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his own bones. [Genesis 50:24, 25; Exodus 13:19.]”

In November of last year, I was released to attend church on Sunday mornings. In March I was again playing the piano substituting for the keyboard player at regular services.

After reading today I realized, since that first prayer had been answered, I needed to believe for something else and act on it.