How to Live Well and Obediently

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Ezekiel 16:8, “…I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. …” The Message

Does this mean I can stay in bed?

Galatians 6:5. “Take responsibility for…your own life.” The Message, The Word for You Today, August 11, 2018

I guess not.

* * * * * * *

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ezekiel 17:24, “All the trees of the field will recognize that I, God, make the great tree small and the small tree great, made the green tree turn dry and the dry tree sprout green branches. I, God, said it – and I did it.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 19:14, “…(This is a sad song, a text for singing the blues.)” The Message

I have a choice. I can sing the blues or wait for God to make my dry branches green.

* * * * * * *

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ezekiel 20:9, “I acted out of who I was, not by how I felt. And I acted in a way that would evoke honor…” The Message

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Ezekiel 20:11, 12, “I gave them laws for living, showed them how to live well and obediently before Me. (12) I also gave them my weekly holy rest day, my ‘Sabbaths,’ a kind of sign post erected between me and them to show them that I, God, am in the business of making them holy.” The Message

God is not in the business of making me happy. He’s in the business of making me holy.

“Nurture the root and you’ll always have fruit.” Beatty, Melody. “More Language of Letting Go.” (Center City, MN: Hazeldon, 2000). 223-231

* * * * * * *

“How can we have rain without clouds? Our troubles have always brought us blessings…Our Lord’s love letters often come to us in dark envelopes.” Charles Spurgeon, in “Streams in the Desert,” August 13

* * * * * * *

“What if God wants to show you His strength? …How did He strengthen you, Paul? Through letting me struggle. I saw His strength through my struggle.” “Strength Through Struggle,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Today:

  • Remember Who God is and everything He is doing will bring honor.
  • I cannot act based on how I feel.
  • Am I breaking God’s law – eating healthily, drinking water, rest?
  • Examine my “roots.”
  • Look for the blessings in the clouds.
  • Keep struggling and God will show me His strength.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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The Big Three

A relapse. When will this end?

Ezekiel 14:14, “Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job – the Big Three…” The Message

Noah worked 2 jobs for 100 years – building the Ark and preaching to warn people of the flood. Then he endured 40 days and 40 nights of a flood. Only his family survived the flood. When God opened the door to the Ark, Noah had to start over, (See Genesis 6:8-9:29; Hebrews 11:7-9).

Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” King James Version

Daniel lost everything and became a captive. He stayed true to God and endured a night in a lion’s den. Slated for execution, he interpreted the king’s dream – saving all the wise men. He never returned home but God revealed mysteries of future events to him. (Read the book of Daniel.)

Daniel 12:13, “And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.” The Message

Job lost everything but his wife and his life. He lost all ten children and his riches in one day. He broke out in boils all over his body. He was living in the town dump. He endured his friends’ “consolation” that was really a condemnation. (Read the book of Job.)

Job 42:12, “God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life.” The Message

He ended up with double riches, 7 more sons, and 3 more daughters. He lived to see 4 generations of his descendants!

“Who can estimate the great debt we owe to suffering and pain? If not for them, we would have little capacity for many of the great virtues of the Christian life. Where would our faith be if not for the trials that test it; or patience, without anything to endure or experience and without tribulations to develop it?” “Streams in the Desert,” August 10

* * * * * * *

“Your real enemy is not even a situation. …Fight your fear. …Fight discouragement. If you can fight your discouragement, you can fulfill your destiny.” “Are You Fighting the Wrong Things?” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick, emailed 8-10-18

This will not last forever.

Proverbs 13:19, “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” New International Version

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Above the Dome

“In the small town of Seadrift, Texas during World War II a church posted the pictures of soldiers in their town who were going off to war. There were 52…five of them were brothers. It was the Psalms 91 promise of protection that the prayer warriors prayed over those young men…and not one of them died. …God had them literally bombard heaven. And one by one, every Seadrift soldier returned safely from the battlefields of Europe, the South Pacific, and the Far East, in spite of…hundreds of thousands…that were lost on those battlefronts.” (p. 195) “Psalms 91,” Ruth, Peggy Joyce and Angelia Ruth Schum. Peggy Joyce Ruth Ministries, 2010, quoted on prayerineverycity.com 

I pray Psalms 91 over David, myself, my children, my extended family, church family, the Pastors, missionaries, our town, the soldiers, policemen, firemen, and paramedics. I pray a hedge of protection around these that the spirit of suicide cannot penetrate; cancer cells can not live within; that gives us safety when we travel; and protects our marriages.

As I prayed yesterday, I saw a clear dome over my head and body. There is no fear under the dome because God’s Word protects me.

Was that my imagination? I wasn’t going to mention it in my post. Who would believe me? Then I opened my Bible.

Ezekiel 10:1, “When I looked, oh! Above the dome over the heads of the cherubim-angels was what looked like a throne, sky-blue, like a sapphire.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“We know the will of God when we read and pray the Word of God.

5 Questions to Know If We’re Hearing From God

  1. Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture?
  2. Is what I’m hearing consistent with God’s character?
  3. Is what I’m hearing confirmed through messages at church or in my quiet time?
  4. Is what I’m hearing beyond me?
  5. Is what I’m hearing pleasing to God?

Lysa Terkeurst, “5 Questions to Know If We’re Hearing From God,” Proverbs 31 Ministries, August 9, 2018

* * * * * * *

“You let too many thoughts dominate your mind. …God never called you to second guess yourself; He called you to trust in Him. …I’m going forward in faith…and I’m brave in my heart. …My heart is steadfast. My spirit is secure. His promises are true. His Word is everlasting.” “Go Forward in Faith,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick, Emailed 8-9-18

* * * * * * *

“Pastor and author A. W. Tozer wrote: ‘God is above, but He’s not pushed up. He’s beneath, but He’s not pressed down. He’s outside, but He’s not excluded. He’s inside, but He’s not confined. God is above all things presiding, beneath all things sustaining, outside all things embracing, and inside all things fulfilling.’ “ The Word for You Today, 8-9-18

Why pray God’s Word? Because it puts us under the “dome” of God’s protection. It’s for regular people like you and me – not just angels.

This week has been a trial. I am assured that God is over me. He walks beside me during the dark times.

“Comfort is not given to us when we are lighthearted and cheerful. …when we experience even the thickest darkness, we must remember…the comforting drops of heavenly dew fall only after the sun has set.” “Streams in the Desert,” August 9

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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The Revealer of Mysteries

When I read today’s verses, I thought, “Maybe God will show me how to link Twitter and Instagram to my new Frugalfish Facebook page. After all, He’s the Revealer of Mysteries!”

Daniel 2:27-30, “Daniel answered the king, ‘No mere human can solve the king’s mystery, I don’t care who it is – no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner.

(28) But there is a God in heaven who solves mysteries…

(29) The Revealer of Mysteries showed you what will happen.

(30) But the interpretation is given through me, not because I’m any smarter than anyone else in the country, but so that you will know what it means, so that you will understand…’ ” The Message

I tried the same thing that worked to link my blog posts to my Facebook page. After getting several error messages on Twitter, I switched to Instagram.

I posted a picture and shared it on Twitter and Facebook. It went to my personal Facebook profile! Wait, Facebook said that would not be possible! Go figure. I don’t understand.

“Never pray for an easier life – pray to be a stronger person! Never pray for tasks equal to your power – pray for power equal to your tasks. Then doing your work will be no miracle – you will be the miracle.” Phillip Brooks in “Streams in the Desert,” August 3

I gave up and started reading emails.

“You don’t have to position yourself in front of people to be used by God. …And when God gets ready to use you, there’s no devil in hell that can stop Him.” “When God Gets Ready to Use You,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Am I working so hard on these social media accounts just to position myself?

I switched to Facebook. I shared #FindingMollieTibbetts new poster and 6 other missing children. My friend commented 1 had been found. I went back and double checked those I shared. Three others have been found!

I procrastinated further by reading a book. On the first page of the last chapter, I read something so stupid that I wanted to throw the book through the window! You read that correctly, not out the window – through the window.

(What now, God? I quoted that book! Should I delete those posts? Should I delete the quotes? I’m overwhelmed. Tell me what to do.)

“The problem isn’t that God no longer speaks to us; it’s that we don’t recognize His voice. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the random thoughts that cross your mind (see 1 Corinthians 2:16). …God won’t send a thunderbolt from heaven…More often He speaks through your thoughts, a family member, a friend, a teacher, a pastor, a change in your circumstances, the sudden discovery of the perfect Scripture, the writing of a gifted author, or in the quietness when He fills your heart with perfect peace. So learn to listen to God’s voice.” “More Language of Letting Go,” Melody Beattie, 2000, p. 223-231″ in The Word for You Today, August 3

These two events humbled my pride. That was a good thing.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Rescue Victims from Their Exploiters

My personal Facebook feed is full of pictures of #Mollie Tibbetts. She is a 20-year-old student at the University of Iowa. She was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18th around 7:30 p.m. Yesterday, the reward for information on her went from $2,000 to $30,000. Today 172,000 has been raised so far and is offered for the safe return or release of Mollie.

I shared her picture after she disappeared. Yesterday, I shared the reward poster. Then I thought, “I wonder if I should share it on my Frugal Fish Facebook page? Someone may have information.”

When I got up this morning, the thought was still there. I asked God for direction.

Jeremiah 22:3, “This is God’s Message: ‘Attend to matters of justice. Set things right between people. Rescue victims from their exploiters. Don’t take advantage of homeless, the orphans, the widows. Stop the murdering!’ ” The Message

Sharing posts about missing people is not my blog’s mission. Helping people is. I could help Mollie Tibbetts. I could lose friends at Facebook and followers on my blogs.

“Obedience to God in the pressures and stresses of day-by-day living and trust in God’s ways in the large sweep of history are always at risk, but especially in times of suffering and persecution. Obedience to God is difficult when we are bullied into compliance to the God-ignoring culture out of sheer survival. Trust in God is likewise at risk of being abandoned in favor of the glamorous seductions of might and size.” The Message Introduction to Daniel

Then I remembered 2 girls who were missing in the last 8 months. One from our small town was found in the next county. The other from a neighboring town was found in Connecticut! But they both found!

I decided I had to share Mollie’s story and any others who are missing. I am hoping you will share them too. We need shares and prayer! As you share, pray for the victims and their families.

I know what you are thinking. What can one person do?

Daniel 1:8, “But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Daniel 1:11, “But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” The Message

Stand up and others will stand with you.

Proverbs 13:1, “A wise son heeds his father’s instructions…” New International Version

Daniel and his friends stood up for their beliefs. They wanted to adhere to a Kosher diet as God commanded.

The Result of 10 Days on Vegetables and Water:

  1. They looked better, 1:15.
  2. They were more robust, 1:15.
  3. God gave them knowledge, 1:17.
  4. God gave them skills, 1:17.
  5. God gave them ten times the understanding in books than the magicians and enchanters, 1:17, 20.
  6. God gave them ten times the understanding on anything in life than the magicians and enchanters, 1:17, 20.
  7. God gave Daniel an understanding of visions and dreams, 1:17.
  8. The king found them far superior to all the other young men, 1:19.
  9. No one was a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 1:18.
  10. They took their place in the king’s service, 1:19.

“People who eat the most fruits & veggies have fewer wrinkles.” Better Homes & Gardens, August, 2018, p. 136

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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#FindingMollieTibbets

#MollieTibbets

#Missing

#Crimestoppers

Mollie Tibbetts

 

I’m Braced for the Worst

I tried linking my blog to my new Frugalfish Facebook page yesterday. I got this error message several times:

“There is no page associated with this blog.”

I closed all the windows on the computer and walked away.

* * * * * * *

When I got up this morning, my head was full of questions:

  • Why didn’t it work?
  • Was I wrong starting the frugalfish.org blog?
  • Is frugalfish.org my Ishmael?
  • Should I delete all my social media accounts and start over?
  • Why did I pick such a long domain name – thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com?
  • Should I combine the blogs? No, wait – I tried that and lost $300.00.

I prayed and did my devotions.

Habakkuk 2:1, “What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst. I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how He’ll answer my complaint.” The Message

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Habakkuk 2:3, “…If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 77:11-14, “Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; (12) I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long loving look at your acts. (13) Oh, God! Your way is holy! (14) You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do.” The Message

I made breakfast – burning my toast. (Our toaster broke yesterday and David bought a new one. I left it on the factory setting. That was a mistake!)

As I ate, I asked myself:

  • Could you let this all go, if God asked?
  • What if it never works, will you keep writing?
  • Are you willing to wait?

Then I went over the times I locked myself out of my former website. God always led me to the place to fix it.

I finished breakfast and walked to my office. God whispered, “Try this.” I did and the new Frugalfish Facebook page linked up to this blog! God is my tech guy. I can trust Him.

“You can trust the Man who died for you.” J. H. M. in “Streams in the Desert,” August 1

* * * * * * *

“There’s more victories behind me than there are battles ahead of me.” “Don’t Stop in the Gap” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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God Welcomes Anyone Looking for Help

Today is the day! I have to switch my posts to publish on my new Frugalfish Facebook page. I decided to publish today’s post before I switched.

Then, I procrastinated and planned August. I wish I had a tech team to do this for me. But there’s only me.

Psalms 49:7-8, “Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. (8) The cost of rescue is beyond our means.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Living by faith is a bewildering venture. We rarely know what’s coming next, and not many things turn out the way we anticipate. …That God-followers don’t get preferential treatment in life always comes as a surprise.

…Habakkuk…gives voice to our bewilderment, articulates our puzzled attempts to make sense of things, faces God with our disappointment with God. He insists that God pay attention to us.

…It is in his waiting and listening – which then turns into his praying – that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God’s sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life, the only real life. …where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” The Message Introduction to Habakkuk

* * * * * * *

Nahum 1:7, “God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“When you are unsure which course to take, totally submit your own judgment to that of the Spirit of God, asking Him to shut every door except the right one. But meanwhile keep moving ahead and consider the absence of a direct indication from God to be the evidence of His will that you are on His path. …And when you open it and walk through, you will find yourself face to face with a turn in the river of opportunity – one that is broader and deeper than anything you ever dared to imagine, even in your wildest dreams. …” F. B. Meyer in “Streams in the Desert” July 31

See you tomorrow! I hope – and pray. (Help, God!)

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Follow His Instructions

The email came last week but I waited until Monday to deal with it.

“As of August 1, Facebook will no longer allow you to automatically share a blog post on your profile. You can only share to a Facebook page.”

I didn’t have a Facebook page. It couldn’t take that long to set up – right?

Wrong. During the process, I accepted a friend request from a hacker. He sent requests to all my friends on both profiles saying he knew me! I blocked him and tried to fix the damage.

My Frugal Fish Facebook page is public. I don’t know many of the people there. They follow my blogs and joined my Facebook page. Normally, I check each profile before accepting a friend request. Skipping that step today caused a lot of trouble.

Proverbs 12:26, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” The Message

I am so, so sorry.

A few friends sent me messages asking if I knew Thomas Westley. I let them know it was a hacker. I’m afraid he got more friends posing as my friend.

He froze the page where I could report him in both profiles. I sent a message to Facebook another way. In light of the big change on August 1st, I don’t expect a prompt reply. I was ready to throw in the towel and delete both Facebook pages.

“Moses had all the potential in the world at forty, but felt like a lost cause at eighty. Instead of doing God’s will God’s way, he tried to expedite God’s will and delayed it for four decades! At some point in our lives most of us feel like life has passed us by. Our dream seems like a lost cause. The crises presents us with a choice: Throw in the towel, or throw our hat back in the ring. Many of us give up on our dreams because we feel like God has given up on us. But we serve a God of restoration (See Joel 2:25).” “All In” Mark Batterson

My first mistake was working on the Facebook page before I prayed and read my Bible. Tuesday I prayed and had my devotions before I did anything!

2 Kings 23:3, “The king stood by the pillar and before God solemnly committed them all to the covenant: to follow God believingly and obediently; to follow His instructions, heart and soul, on what to believe and do; to put into practice the entire covenant, all that was written in the book. The people stood in affirmation; their committment was unanimous.” The Message

I do not believe God was punishing me for working before devotions. That’s not how God works. Although, I do have to deal with the consequences of getting things out of order. Once again Steven Furtick’s “1 Min Motivation” encouraged me.

“Let me warn you. When you make God a priority the enemy will send a storm. You never cross over without conflict. …The reason the storm is raging might not be…because you are headed away from the will of God. It might be because you are crossing over into the calling that is on your life. …” “You Never Cross Over Without Conflict”

I’m crossing over into the fullness of God’s plan for my life.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Serene and Calm

Sunday service at the Civic Center is always a surprise. We set up our instruments and microphones. Then their worker patches the wires up to our soundboard in the control room.

Every sound level remains from the last show. Every show is different. When we first turn everything on it is really loud. Our sound man has to adjust over 30 places to get the sound balanced for the church service.

Yesterday, the keyboard monitor shut off during the service. They could hear us in the house but we couldn’t hear the sounds we were playing. This happens often and I use headphones for that reason.

The poor synth player couldn’t hear anything! I unplugged the headphones to let her hear what I was playing from the external speakers on my keyboard. (Her keyboard doesn’t have external speakers.)

We kept playing. At the next song, the monitor turned back on – and we were together! Woo-hoo! Then it shut off again but came back on for the last song. Amazingly, we both were playing together – calm and serene. God did that!

Jeremiah 17:7-8, “But blessed is the man who trusts Me, God, the woman who sticks with God. (8) They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers  – never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Our trials are great opportunities, but all too often we simply see them as large obstacles. If only we would recognize every difficult situation as something God has chosen to prove His love to us, each obstacle would then become a place of shelter and rest, and a demonstration to others of His inexpressible power. If we would look for the signs of His glorious handiwork, then every cloud would indeed become a rainbow, and every difficult mountain path would become one of ascension, transformation, and glorification.” A. B. Simpson, in “Streams in the Desert” July 29

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Use Words Truly and Well

Saturday, I read about using words truly and well. We communicate three different ways:

  • Cheap whining.
  • Words that change people.
  • Words people want to hear.

We had a family reunion. The food was great and I waited all year for a piece of Cousin Ronnie’s Black Raspberry Pie. (I love pie!) He picks the raspberries and makes the pies from scratch. I skipped supper to justify the calories from that one piece of pie! Worth it!

After eating, several went outside to play “Corn Hole.” (Good job, Brenda! Bringing that game extended the reunion for an hour.)

I’m not a fan of outdoor activities. I leisurely ate my pie looking at pictures my sister-in-law brought. A cousin sat down and asked a question. It brought up a painful subject. I found I am fluent in cheap whining. *Sigh* (I repented.)

Jeremiah 15:19, “…Use words truly and well. Don’t stoop to cheap whining. Then, but only then, you’ll speak for Me. Let your words change them. Don’t change your words to suit them.” The Message

After the reunion, we drove through Lake Lacey State Park. I did obey that direction from the Lord.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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