November 4, 2013

Sometimes I get sidetracked as I go through my day.

Today I took the laundry downstairs, and before I brought the empty hamper back upstairs, I had: switched bath mats, cleaned out the picnic basket, rearranged storage under the stairs, got the vacuum from the closet upstairs to sweep up the dust and lint from under the stairs, grabbed a coat from that closet that I wanted to donate, took empty hangers out of that closet, and replaced the batteries  in the touch light.

Those tasks were not even on my list for today! It is easy to get caught up in the details. Moses had a lot of details to take care of in today’s verse.

Leviticus 8:10, “And Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them.”

“Walk peacefully with Me…with all that is expected of you…one step at a time…Instead of mentally rehearsing how you will do this or that, keep your mind on My presence and on taking the next step. The more demanding your day, the more help you can expect from Me.” Jesus is Calling, by Sarah Young

“One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture

 

 

October 31, 2013

My husband is on vacation this week. He has done several “Honey-Do” projects around the house.

In the middle of it all, the heater on our water-bed broke and had to be replaced. That meant draining the bed, taking up the liner to install the new one, putting it back together and refilling it.

While the bed was away from the wall, I asked him to lower the headboard to let it rest on the frame. That would block cold air from coming in between them.

I was glad he was in the mood to work on these projects.

Exodus 36:2, “And Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab and every able and wise-hearted man in whose mind the Lord had put wisdom and ability, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.”

My heart is stirred up to work!

“Build Your Kingdom Here,” Rend Collective Experiment

 

 

October 29, 2013

I got up thinking of the projects I wanted to accomplish. I was in high gear and thought maybe I could get to the tasks I did not finish yesterday.

I opened my devotional and read…“Rein in your impulses to plunge into the day’s activities.” Jesus is Calling, by Sarah Young

I didn’t consciously make myself slow down until I read today’s verse.

Exodus 30: 7, 8, “And Aaron shall burn on it incense of sweet spices; every morning when he trims and fills the lamps he shall burn it. And when Aaron lights the lamps in the evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.”

I can see Aaron at sunrise, putting out the lamps, trimming the wicks, and replenishing the oil as the smell of the burning incense surrounded him. And at sunset, I can see him burning more incense on the altar and inhaling the fragrance as he lit the lamps.

It is when we slow down that God can show us His glory. As for the tasks…one thing was postponed and my husband, who is on vacation, decided to take a big one off of my list and did it for me!

“Show Me Your Glory” by Jesus Culture

September 23, 2013

When I read today’s verse, I mistakenly thought the temple had a landscaper!

Nehemiah 11:16, “And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had charge of the outside work of the house of God.”

“Those things which were done outside, or in the country, such as the collecting of provisions.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

Whatever job God assigns us, and wherever he sends us, we must do our best.

“Awesome is the Lord Most High” by Chris Tomlin

September 22, 2013

Since I am, temporarily, completely housebound, I watch Joel Osteen on Sunday Mornings. Today he talked about when you are close to giving birth to your dream, the enemy will attack. That was confirmed in today’s readings.

Nehemiah 6:1, “Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates.”

Joel Osteen could have preached his sermon from this chapter:

  • v. 1. Everybody is not going to celebrate your success.
  • v. 1 When you are close to accomplishing your dreams the enemy will attack.
  • v. 2 No weapon formed against you shall prosper.
  • v. 3 Don’t fight battles with small-minded people; ignore them.
  • v. 14 Those who try to put you down, will see you promoted.
  • v. 15 Bigger problems mean bigger victories.
  • v. 18 Some family members you have to love at a distance!

“Great I Am” by Jared Anderson

September 21, 2013

I have a puzzle set up on the “Puzzle Board” my husband made me. it is divided into two parts. On one side is the puzzle and on the other side are the extra pieces. I store it under the loveseat and get it out when I want to work on it.

The "Puzzle Board" my husband made me.

The “Puzzle Board” my husband made me.

I had it out the day my granddaughter came to visit. She wanted to “help” me. I told her to look for pieces with yellow flowers on it. She stirred up all the pieces, that I had so carefully turned right-side up, until she found a piece with yellow flowers!

Rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem was like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle with most  of the pieces missing. They built on the foundation, using as many pieces of the rubble as could be reused.

A puzzle can be put together in one day, if you have several people working on it and each person works on one section. That is how they rebuilt the wall. No one was exempt from the work.

Nehemiah 3:8, “Next to them repaired Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths. Next to him repaired Hananiah, one of the perfumers, and they abandoned [fortification of] Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall [omitting that part of the ancient city and reducing that area].”

The jewelry makers and perfumers were not the only ones working:

  1. Eliashib (or Jeshua) – the first high priest appointed after exile, v. 1.
  2. Men of Jericho  – Jericho was rebuilt by Hiel, (See 1 Kings 16:34), v. 2.
  3. Daughters – heiresses, rich widows paid the expenses for that section, v. 12.
  4. Zanoah – townspeople from two towns in Judah, v. 13.
  5. Beth-Haccerem – inhabitants of that city, v. 14.
  6. Nethinims – servants of the temple who carried wood and water, v. 26.
  7. The priests, v. 22.
  8. Men of the plain, v. 22.
  9. Merchants, v. 32.

Everyone is needed for God’s work…right where you live.

“God of This City” by Chris Tomlin

September 20, 2013

God used Esther to save the Jews from annihilation. In my studies today, I found she was present to influence the king to release Nehemiah to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 2:6, “The king, beside whom the queen was sitting…”

“As the Persian monarch’s did not admit their wives to be present at their state festivals, this must have been a private occasion. The queen referred to was probably Esther, whose presence would tend greatly to embolden Nehemiah in stating his request; and through her influence, powerfully exerted it may be supposed, also by her sympathy with the patriotic design, his petition was granted, to go as deputy-governor of Judea, accompanied by a military guard, and invested with full powers to obtain materials for the building in Jerusalem, as well as to get all requisite aid in promoting his enterprise.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

“Build Your Kingdom Here” by Rend Collective Experiment

September 18, 2013

Today I read why Haman hated Mordecai.

Esther 6:13, “…If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the offspring of the Jews, you cannot prevail against him, but shall surely fall before him.”

Haman could see Mordecai’s honor and honesty would bring promotion. He feared Mordecai would earn his position.

“The experience of this pious and excellent Jew verified the statement, “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

“Romans 16:19” by Christ Tomlin

September 17, 2013

This weekend I watched a show called “Larks Rise to Candleford.” It was about a young girl who grew up in the hamlet of “Lark’s Rise” and moved to a hamlet called, “Candleford.” She went from a farm-house, where she shared a room with her sisters, to the post-mistresses house to be apprenticed.

She moved to a bigger house where she had her own room. The promotion to the nicer house also came with a job. She started delivering the mail.

Esther was promoted to queen and she found God had a job for her, also.

Esther 4:14, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?”

There’s a purpose with every promotion.

“This Is Your Time” by Michael W. Smith

May 22, 2013

The air care helicopter flew over my house as I headed to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee. I immediately started praying for the family, the patient and the medical staff treating him or her.

Every time I hear the helicopter I am transported back to April 15, 2010 when the patient was my father. Twice they lost him on that ride and twice they were able to revive him.

I pray for the family first because I can relate to them the most. I also know how the support of family keeps a patient fighting to stay alive. My mother and sisters were with him at the first hospital but I had to wait until my children drove home from work and school. We raced to Iowa City and beat the helicopter! He had family by his side until his death.

I have been totally housebound for six years now and once during my devotions I asked God, “Why?” A helicopter took off from the new hospital built a mile my home at that moment.

God told me one of the reasons was so I would always be available to pray when the helicopter was needed. When we go through difficult times God is always planning for it to be used in a way that will bring good.

Acts 8:1, 5, “…On that day a great and severe persecution broke out against the church which was in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles (special messengers).” “Philip [the deacon, not the apostle] went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ (the Messiah) to them [the people].”

“It was the deacon of that name, who comes next after Stephen in the catalogue of the seven, probably as being the next most prominent. The persecution may have been directed especially against Stephen’s colleagues.” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. II

God used the severe persecution as a way to start spreading the Gospel to the entire world.

“Tradition says he (the eunuch) was the first preacher of the Gospel in Ethiopia…” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. II