Lifespan

My dad told us he would die when he was 77 – just like his father, and he did. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, lived to be 97. I tell my kids I will live to be 100. How do I know? I don’t. The day of my death was written before I was conceived, see Psalms 139:16.

But I am living my life planning to be alive until I’m 100. I exercise, drink water, eat a lot of raw fruit and vegetables, and get plenty of rest. As I was reading the chapters today I realized my goal may be too short!

Genesis 6:3, “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.'” New Living Translation

Dear Father God,

Show me how to take care of the body you gave me to allow it to last for 120 years. Help me to always remember it is a temple of Your Spirit.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Fill

David enjoys mowing. One year he mowed 5 lawns. He likes the exercise but does not like going around trees and other things. He mows a different direction every time making patterns. In the fall, when the grass in the back yard does not grow as quickly as the front, he mows it to look like a football field with lines every 10 yards.

I grew up in the mountains. I love the woods and to be surrounded by trees. Over the years we planted 25 trees – 4 survived. I would love to fill our yard with trees, flowers, paths, and a vegetable garden.

In our chapters today, one phrase stuck out to me. Genesis 1:28, “…Fill the earth and govern it….” New Living Translation

David would say our yard is full. There’s room to play basketball and “home run derby” in the front yard and football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, and tennis in the back yard. Have I mentioned he’s a jock? He governs it with the mower.

Me? I govern the house, and David will be the first to tell you, it’s full.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for our tiny corner of the street. Thank You for giving David a big, empty backyard. Guide him as he landscapes our lot.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Remembered

Blogging can be like walking through a corn maze. There are so many options, but many lead to a dead-end.

I spent the last month exploring options and have run into many dead ends. I will sign up for a free service that is supposed to help with SEO, (Search Engine Optimization), only to find when I try to add the link to my blog that it’s not allowed unless I upgrade to “Premium.”

I am not blogging to make money; my goal is to help people. I do not want to invest any more money – my allowance can only go so far! But, I must have done something right!

When I started blogging in 2009, this blog was on the first page of Google. Then it disappeared as other churches, Bible Schools, Christian schools, and organizations started publishing their own Bible reading guides.

Today I wanted to print off the assigned chapters for October but I am unable to print from my Chromebook. I went on our laptop and typed “2016 Bible Reading Guide” in Google search. I was thrilled when my blog was #4 on page 1!

I clicked the link, clicked on the “Relevant Bible Reading Guide” tab, scrolled down to October, and printed it off. (Happy dance!)

I met my goal! I feel good! I’m doing good! I pray this is what I am remembered for – not like Ezer and Elead. I’m sure they did a lot of good during their lifetimes. I’m sure they met their goals, but that is not what was remembered about them.

1 Chronicles 7:21, “The descendants of Ephraim were…Ezer, and Elead. These two were killed trying to steal livestock from the local farmers near Gath.” New Living Translation

We don’t know the details. All we know is they died when they tried to steal. That left their families without a husband, father, or means of support. Women were not allowed to work or own a business back then. It was even rougher on their baby brother, born after their deaths. He was named Beriah.

“Beriah sounds like a Hebrew term meaning ‘tragedy’ or misfortune.'” New Living Translation Bible Text Notes

I want to finish strong. I want to be a source of pride for my relatives.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for putting me back on page 1 on Google! Thank You for encouraging me to keep studying and to keep trying. Help me to stay strong.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Universal

Sometimes a verse stands out to me and a word, or phrase, helps me to understand the text. Other times the verse will raise a question and I have to dig around to find the answers.

******

Jesus called himself “The Rose of Sharon,” but he was from the tribe of Judah, not Gad. Yesterday we read of Salma, a descendant of Judah, who founded Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, see 1 Chronicles 2:51. His father Joseph was from the tribe of Judah. But “Sharon” was located where the tribe of Gad lived.

1 Chronicles 5:16, “The Gadites lived in the land of Gilead, in Bashan and its villages and throughout all the pasture lands of Sharon.” New Living Translation

“The Rose of Sharon …It has three things in perfection – shape, colour, and fragrance….it is in its sweetness expecially that the rose reminds me of the Lord Jesus Christ….it is the universal flower; it belongs to everybody….Christ is the common porperty of all…..” G. Calthrop, M. A. biblehub.com/sermons/auth/calthrop/the_rose_of_sharon_and_the_lily_of_the_valleys.htm

When Christ called himself the “Rose of Sharon,” he was saying he was sweet, not bitter or sour. And he was universal, the common property of all.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for sending Jesus Christ. Thank You for filling our lives with sweetness, not bitterness. Thank You for sending Him to all of us in the universe. Help me to bring His sweetness to those around me.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Quiet

I can hear the hum of the refrigerator and the ticking of the wall clock. That’s all. It’s in the 60’s today and I shut the ceiling fan off. The windows are closed, to keep out the Ragweed pollen, and I don’t even hear traffic. It’s the perfect day to write – quiet and peaceful.

1 Chronicles 4:40, “They found lush pastures there, and the land was quiet and peaceful.” New Living Translation

Dear Father God,

Thank You for giving us days that are quiet and peaceful. Help me to use it to accomplish all You have for me to do.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Excellent

For 24 years, I served as treasurer in a local church. My job was to report the amount of money received and where the money was spent.

There were 2 or 3 ushers who counted the money and took it to the bank in a locked bag. Another volunteer kept track of the individual giving records. The cash was always counted by 2 and the amounts had to match. This system ensured the money given did not get lost.

The offerings brought to the temple were grain, wine, oil, and flour that were to feed the priests and Levites. Ezra wisely chose 4 men to be in charge of the distribution.

Nehemiah 13:13, “I assigned supervisors for the storerooms: Shelamiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites. And I appointed Hanan son of Zaccur and grandson of Mattaniah as their assistant. These men had an excellent reputation and it was their job to make honest distributions to their fellow Levites.” New Living Translation

  1. Shelamiah, the priest – because the offerings were holy.
  2. Zadok the scribe – He was the secretary who recorded how much was given and distributed to each family.
  3. Pedaiah, one of the Levites – He did the heavy lifting. He was not a descendant of Aaron and could not be a priest. He could be a musician, a gatekeeper, one who prepared the grain offerings, cared for the sanctuary, interpreted the law, or was a teacher, see thywordistruth.com/questions/Question-137.html#.V-pYBk0rLnA.
  4. Hanan, son of Zaccur was a treasurer – he tallied the offerings and did the math in the distribution.

“Hanan, one of Nehemiah’s treasurers was a descendant of a certain Zaccur the son of Mattaniah (Nehemiah 13:13).” biblicaltraining.org/library/zaccur

These men had 2 things in common: 1) An excellent reputation and 2) honesty. Those are two things that need to be said of all workers in our churches.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for all the workers in our church. Thank You for those who took a paid position because they could make more money working elsewhere. Thank You for those who work without pay because You are the one who will reward them. In the areas where I volunteer, help me to do my work with excellence.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Keys

I woke up with a start and realized I only had an hour and a half to get to church. I washed my hair right away because it takes a few hours to dry. I sat under the ceiling fan, to hurry the process, eating breakfast while I read my Bible.

Not one verse jumped out at me. That’s odd. Sometimes I have to choose one out of 2 or 3 that impressed me.

We left church early to attend an out-of-town reunion. We got back home, changed clothes, and drove to Mt. Pleasant for the evening service with Keith and Mary Hudson. We didn’t get home until after ten and went to bed.

When everyone left for work this morning, I started reading yesterday’s chapters out loud. The phrase “all outstanding men” seemed to jump off the page. I wrote down my thoughts, typed them up, and published the post.

Then I read today’s chapters out loud. I found a few keys for hearing from God during my daily reading: 1) Read out loud, and 2) Listen closely.

Nehemiah 8:3, “He faced the square just inside the water gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.” New Living Translation

If I still do not find a verse, I will use the third key – 3) Stand up!

Nehemiah 8:5, “…When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.” New Living Translation

Dear Father God,

Thank You for Your Word. It is alive and I find something to help me in my daily life every day. Thank You for opening the mysteries in the Bible to me. Thank You for the guidance I get from reading the Bible. Help me to learn everything I can.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Outstanding

Keith and Mary Hudson were the guest speakers at church. They have been in the ministry for 44 years and have traveled all over the world. Their son started ministering when he was 11. He has ministered in 33 countries. Oh, and their daughter is Katy Perry.

They prayed for the couples who had a child that was not living for God. They quoted Acts 2:17, “In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy….'” New Living Translation

They are looking forward to the day when their daughter puts God first in her life. Then it will be said of the Hudson children what was said of the descendants of Perez.

Nehemiah 11:6, “There were 468 descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem – all outstanding men.” New Living Translation

We all want that to be said of our descendants.

Dear Father God,

We know that You hold each of our children in Your hand. You have a plan for each of them. When they get off track, you work to bring them back. We stand on Proverbs 22:6. Give us wisdom.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Confined

Overslept. Bed head. Thank God for Fedora hats!

Meeting with a financial advisor. Advice? “Don’t retire. Don’t die.”

Home again, I washed the Ragweed pollen off and changed my clothes. It’s risky being outside during Ragweed season.

I just wanted to take Benadryl and a nap. I felt guilty about that until I read today’s devotion in, http://www.facebook.com/TheWordForYouTodayUSA/

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest,” Mark 6:31. New International Version

Then I read of a man confined to his home in today’s chapters.

Nehemiah 6:10, “Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home….” New Living Translation

“Perhaps as a symbolic action to indicate that his own life was in danger….” New International Version Study Bible Notes

I’m not the only one who finds it is risky to leave my house. I’m glad God sent the message to get some rest. I’m going back to bed!

Dear Father God,

Thanks for looking out for me. You know I am such a workaholic and I planned on making a pillow today. You know that pillow can wait. Thank You for giving me rest.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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Memoirs

Sometimes, I think I’m crazy to keep a journal. After all, I’m just a writer in a small town in southeast Iowa. But I have no idea what God has in store for me. I’m amazed at the people who like my posts. It’s not my writing; it’s God speaking to people through my pen.

If the men in the Bible had not recorded the events during their lifetime, we would not have a Bible! It’s Biblical to write your memoir.

Nehemiah 1:1, “These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.” New Living Translation

I would love to read my mother’s diaries and I think my children and grandchildren would enjoy reading mine. My youngest son found our love letters and read them. He told me he understood us better because of it. I’m sure your descendants would enjoy reading about you.

Dear Father God,

I know You have a plan for each of our lives. I hope others can learn from my mistakes and not repeat them! Help me be kind to others as I record the events of the day.

In Jesus Name, 

Amen

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