We Won’t Be Afraid When the World Falls Apart

Covid-19 “Shelter in Place” – Day 1

Journal – March 16, 2020: “It’s a cloudy day and the streets are quiet. Schools are closed until April 13th. My granddaughter Olivia is safe. My pregnant daughter-in-law Rachel is working from home. She is safe.

I had 5 chicken wings buried in Bacon Mac and Cheese leftover from Cashus Italian Cuisine. I cooked peas to go with it for supper. (I only eat one anyway.)

My daughter-in-law Bethany gave us 2 pieces of cheesecake. I ate mine at lunch thinking I could work it off. 

It didn’t work.

My blood sugar spiked and then dived. I was lethargic all evening.

But we are safe.”

Psalms 46:1-2, 11, “God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble. 2) That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, … 11) The Lord of heavenly forces is with us! The God of Jacob is our place of safety.” Common English Bible

March 16, 2020: 2 Chronicles 6; Psalms 46-48, 87, 93.

©2009-2020 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

They Began to Sing

Journal – March 15, 2020: “…We held church but Pastor Monte asked us to refrain from hugging or shaking hands. …the Civic Center canceled all April events. We will be the only ones using it. …” 

II Chronicles 5:13, “The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord as one. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, they began to sing, praising the Lord: ‘Yes, God is good! Yes, God’s faithful love lasts forever!’ Then a cloud filled the Lord’s Temple.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“…worship isn’t fully complete without joy and music. …David appointed the Levites ‘to remember, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord’ with singing and instruments. …” Common English Bible Sidebar Note “Worship and Music”

It was good to get together with our church family. Everyone sang a little louder today. Our hearts were lighter as we left.

Proverbs 15:13, “A joyful heart brightens one’s face, but a troubled heart breaks the spirit.” Common English Bible

March 15, 2020: I Kings 8; II Chronicles 5.

 

©2009-2020 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Plans of the Diligent

“Breaking news coming out of Israel indicates that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government will impose a self-quarantine for a period of 14-days due to the coronavirus.”

“Israel will Begin Quarantining All Arrivals for 14 Days”

Our flight was in 14 days! The trip is postponed.

While notifying family, I told them, “God has a plan.” Though disappointed, I am choosing to trust God.

Proverbs 21:2, 5, “Everyone’s path is straight in their own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. …

5) The plans of the diligent end up in profit, but those who hurry end up with loss.” Common English Bible

 

  • We prayed for 30 years.
  • We saved for 8 years.
  • We sacrificed a truck, satellite TV, and a dishwasher.

Proverbs 10:24, “What the wicked dread will come on them, but what the righteous desire will be given to them.” Common English Bible

We are going to Israel!

“…Your faith must be in God, not your faith! …what God has promised, knowing that in His time it will come to pass because it’s His will….”

The Word for You Today, 3-10-2020

March 10, 2020: Proverbs 19-22.

©2009-2020 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Create a Clean Heart, Part 2

Our wrongdoing is forgiven because God has mercy, is faithful and compassionate. After repentance, we are not guilty and there is no dishonesty in us. God is able to create and re-create a clean heart in us making new life possible!

God does all the work!

Psalms 32:1-2, “The one whose wrongdoing is forgiven, whose sin is covered over, is truly happy! 2) The one the Lord doesn’t consider guilty – in whose spirit there is no dishonesty – that one is truly happy!” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“Truly happy: The repetition recalls Psalm 1:1, making it clear that true happiness derives not from being sinless but rather from being forgiven (see sidebar, ‘True Happiness’ at Psalm 1).” Common English Bible Note on Psalms 32:1-2

* * * * * * *

“…true happiness is God-centered. It means constantly focusing on God’s will (see Psalms 1:1; 94:12; 119:1), which means doing justice and righteousness (see Psalms 106:3; 112:1; 128:1). Justice involves caring for the poor (see Psalms 41:1; 72:1-7, 12-14, 17). Being righteous doesn’t mean doing everything right but relying on God for forgiveness and grace (see Psalms 32:1-2). True happiness also means depending upon God rather than self, trusting and hoping in God (see Psalms 40:4; 84:12; 146:5), seeking God’s presence in worship and elsewhere (see Psalms 84:4; 89:15; 119:2), and always relying on God for strength and protection (including taking ‘refuge’ in God; see Psalms 2:12; 34:8; 84:5). The ‘truly happy’ are called ‘the righteous’ (see Psalm 1:1).” Common English Bible Sidebar, “True Happiness” at Psalm 1

I’m truly happy, or blessed because God continues to create in me His righteousness!

“The Psalm makes it clear that to be righteous means to depend upon God’s grace (see Psalm 1:56 and often in the prayers for help), not to do everything right. This is why the apostle Paul quotes Psalms 32:1-2 when he writes about righteousness in Romans 4 (see Romans 4:6-8).” Common English Bible Notes on Psalms 32:11

* * * * * * *

Romans 4:6-8, “In the same way, David also pronounces a blessing on the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from actions:

7) Happy are those whose actions outside the Law are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8) Happy are those whose sin isn’t counted against them by the Lord.” Common English Bible

I don’t have to do everything right! In fact, I can’t because I am human.

But God’s grace is always available. He is ready to re-create a clean heart in me.

Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you about the direction you should go. I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

Psalm 41:1, “Those who pay attention to the poor are truly happy! The Lord rescues them during troubling times.” Common English Bible

Forgiveness = True Happiness!

February 18, 2020: Psalms 32, 38-41, 69.

©2009-2020 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

He Has Made Atonement

A new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate. Forgiven. Justified. Free.

These all describe my life after I was born again. It’s nothing I do on my own. The price was paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. I simply believe and accept it.

Leviticus 14:7, “…Finally, he will release the live bird in the open field.” The Message

I am that live bird. I am free because of Jesus’ blood covering me. When I accepted his sacrifice, I was released, see “Save me, Jesus, Prayer.”

Now, I learn how to walk with Jesus. I fall, get back up, fall again and get back up. No matter how many times I fall, I get back up. No matter how far I fall, I get back up until walking comes naturally.

* * * * * * *

I grow and find walking is slow. I need something to help me get there faster – a bike. I learn to ride a bike. Now I can go farther and faster.

Water Baptism is like comparing walking with riding a bike. You confess you are following Jesus Christ and bury your old life in the water. Now you have people to help you stay on the straight and narrow.

Leviticus 14:53, “…Cleansing the house with the blood of the bird, the fresh water…” The Message

But which Water Baptism? Sprinkle or submersion? In these two chapters, the phrase “bathe with water” is mentioned 13 times, see Leviticus 14:8, 9; 15:6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 22, 27. It takes a lot of water to bathe.

* * * * * * *

I continue growing. I’m going places on my bike and maturing. The next step? A car!

Leviticus 14:18, “The priest will put some of the remaining oil on the right earlobe of the one being cleansed on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, placing it on top of the blood of the Compensation-Offering.” The Message

Jesus bled and died for us. His blood covers our sins. But He didn’t stop there. He sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The oil of the Holy Spirit is added on top of the blood. We need both.

The Holy Spirit takes us farther than we dreamed. It can be compared to going from a bike to driving a car. He shows us wonders we didn’t know existed. He protects us from the elements and comforts us with warmth. All of this is possible because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross.

Leviticus 14:18, “…He has made atonement for him. He is clean!” The Message

November 5, 2019: Leviticus 14-15.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

On the Eighth Day

The eighth day is the day of new beginnings. There is pressure to keep me from entering that new beginning. But the very thing holding me back, I may not need. What am I holding on to?

Leviticus 12:3, “On the eighth day circumcise the boy.” The Message

On the eighth day, Moses and the priest offered an Absolution-Offering. On the eighth day after birth, infant boys were circumcised. This was a painful cutting away of skin in their most private area. But they don’t need that foreskin.

Is there something that is a part of me that I don’t need? Am I willing to endure the pain of having it removed?

What sacrifice is God asking of me? What price do I need to pay to move forward? What will I offer?

When I let go or remove the thing holding me back, that is when I will break through the narrow gate. The pressure is intense to move away from the gate and follow the crowd.

Matthew 7:13-14, “…for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction…” Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

I cannot move forward without leaving my place of comfort. But a whole new world awaits.

Leviticus 9:23-24, “…When they came out they blessed the people and the Glory of God appeared to all the people. (24) Fire blazed out from God and consumed the Whole-Burnt-Offering and the fat pieces on the Altar. When all the people saw it happen they cheered loudly and then fell down, bowing in reverence.” The Message

The results of cutting away and sacrifice are:

  • Blessing others
  • Seeing God
  • Celebration
  • Submission
  • Reverence
November 4, 2019: Leviticus 12-13.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Offer Your Life to God

A baby is formed in a neonatal sac filled with warm water. It cushions him from bumps against his mother’s abdomen. But that sac has to break and the warm waters drain away before he can be born. He cannot exit the womb in his warm comfy sac.

He is forced through the birth canal and compressed. He is squeezed and all the fluid in his lungs and airways are pushed out. His lungs are empty and free to take in his first breath.

This is a picture of entering the straight and narrow gate. We would rather stay where we are. It’s warm, comfortable, and everything we need is provided through the umbilical cord. But if we stay, it becomes our tomb. We will die. We must be born again, see “Save me, Jesus, Prayer.”

* * * * * * *

My devotional, “The Word for You Today,” talked about this narrow gate.

Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate… (14) But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life…” Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

After a baby is born, he takes his first breath and fills his empty lungs. The transfer of nutrition and oxygen from the umbilical cord stops. The doctor cuts the cord. He no longer needs it.

* * * * * * *

On the eighth day, Moses and the priest offered an absolution offering. (Absolution means forgiveness, pardon, or acquittal from confessed sins.) A bull bled and died.

Leviticus 9:1-2, “On the eighth day, Moses called in Aaron and his sons and the leaders of Israel. (2) He spoke to Aaron: ‘Take a bull-calf for your Absolution-Offering, and a ram for your Whole-Burnt-Offering, both without defect, and offer them to God.'” The Message

Thankfully, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins, once and for all. He is our absolution offering. But we have to believe and accept His free gift.

Are you ready to be born again? Or are you waiting to die? You don’t know what you’re missing!!!

Like a baby, you aren’t breathing. There are sights to see and wonderful things to taste. There are people to meet and beautiful things to hear – like your Father’s voice. You have never felt anything soft or enjoyed an embrace. There are many who long to cuddle and love on you. Wait until you feel the pure love of your Father!

But you won’t stay a baby. You will grow and reproduce. You will find the joy of leading others out of their womb/tomb to experience real life.

It’s like going from a silent movie to a 5-D Movie.

November 3, 2019: Leviticus 9-11.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Three Months After Leaving

“…there is no such thing as ownership of a nonprofit. A nonprofit is a public organization…it is controlled by a governing body of stakeholders called the Board of Directors.”

“Successfully Starting a New Nonprofit”

Foundation Group, Inc.

501c3.org

One of my goals was to set up frugalfish.org as a nonprofit organization. Reading this eBook showed me it would not be a good fit. I considered nonprofit status because I give away my tips and my writings are about the Bible.

Eventually, I would like to combine my blogs and generate enough income to cover the costs of a website. (I’m not sure how but an eBook is an option.)

Everything takes time. It usually takes more time than you think.

Exodus 19:1, “Three months after leaving Egypt the Israelites entered the Wilderness of Sinai.” The Message

The Israelites traveled for 3 months to reach Mount Sinai also called the Mountain of God. It was there He gave the “Ten Commandments” and all of the laws. God was teaching them how to live and conduct business when they reached Canaan.

“Honesty, ethics, and moral values were taught in the classrooms of major business schools. Professors placed strong emphasis on a company’s responsibility toward its employees, customers, and creditors. Why? Because prior to the twentieth century, business courses and indeed, business schools themselves were based on biblical principles.”

“Business by the Book: The Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for Business Men and Women” by Larry Burkett

My blogs, frugalfish.org and thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com are my business. This is my 10th year blogging and I’m nearing my 4000th post on this blog.

How should I celebrate that milestone?

October 23, 2019; Exodus 17-19.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

To Turn Around

Mel and I went to “Ladies Night Out” last night. The food was great:

  • Sweet Chili, Regular Chili, and White Chicken Chili
  • Cheese & Crackers, Snack Mix, and White Chocolate Popcorn
  • Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Bars, and Snickerdoodles
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte, Spiced Cider, and Clementine Infused Water

(Yes, the scale went up a few ounces. LOL)

Pastor Peggy Knudsen spoke on being a mentor instead of a “celebrity influencer.”

“Use social media to talk about Jesus.”

* * * * * * *

On the way home, Mel wanted to stop at HyVee for a sweet tea. I said “sure” but missed the first exit to Fairfield.

I drove to the second exit out of habit because it is the closest one to our home. She thought I was going to drive to the third exit and backtrack!

That’s exactly what the Israelites did!

Exodus 14:1, “God spoke to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites to turn around…'” The Message

The first exit was a straight line to HyVee – just like the route through the land of the Philistines, see Exodus 13:17. But the shortest route would also lead to war.

The second exit took us north on Highway #1 and then west on Highway #34. It was like the wilderness road that looped around the Red Sea, see Exodus 13:18.

The third exit bypassed the city but you had to backtrack east to get to HyVee. God led the Israelites that way. He led them to camp at Etham and then told them to turn around!

It was all part of God’s plan. They got a good night’s rest at Etham. They needed it because they would soon walk through the Red Sea.

The Egyptians thought they were lost. They followed them into the Red Sea and all died when the waters came down on them. The Israelites had walked across on dry land.

This is how God leads us. He takes us on the long way to spare us from an attack. Sometimes, we think we went the wrong way when we have to backtrack. It may not be. God is just confusing our enemy.

It’s okay to take a long way home!

October 22, 2019: Exodus 14-16.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

God Saw to It

We attended “The Cradle of Hope Tip Night” at Pizza Ranch. We found a table across from Cliff and Michelle B. It was fun visiting with them and watching their 2 small children.

Their son is named David. Every time she said his name, my David would answer.

The kids climbed all over her and clambered for attention. In exasperation she said, “Someday I will be able to eat in peace, right?”

“Yes,” I replied, “in around 30 years.”

She laughed. It was good timing to be there when they were.

* * * * * * *

Sunday Pastor Monte preached about time.

“There is “Chronos time” that we set our clocks and calendars by. It is where we get the word chronological. “Kairos time” is described as the fullness of time; in the moment of opportunity; when God opens doors.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, fcoc.net, 10-20-19

The Israelites asked for silver, gold, and clothes right before they left Egypt. It was the right time. God opened the door of opportunity. They did not leave Egypt wearing slave rags. They left as rich men.

Exodus 12:35-36, “…they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing. (36) God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for. Oh, yes. They picked those Egyptians clean.” The Message

 

October 21, 2019: Exodus 11-13.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.