Experience Will Tell

What’s worse than a Pinterest fail? A Frugalfish fail – the project doesn’t look good and you lost money. I knew better because there was a scripture that warned against it. But I tried anyway.

* * * * * * *

I love my white coat with the black “pleather” lapels. The #1 reason? I receive compliments when I wear it.

But after several years, the “pleather” cracked. I was still getting compliments, so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some “pleather.”

Last fall, I took the coat and new “pleather” to a seamstress. She told me the material was thinner than the original and suggested a fake suede instead. She gave me a sample to test for colorfastness. I soaked it in the sink and it didn’t seem to bleed.

She replaced the sleeve inserts and pocket trim. (She couldn’t do all of it at that time because she was having surgery.)

This spring, I took the coat back and she replaced the lapels and collar. She sent the extra material home and I planned on replacing the facing myself.

I started ripping it out but there were three layers with the trim. Last week I decided it wasn’t worth it and sewed the lining back up.

The coat is washable. I put shampoo on the hems and soaked the coat. (The shampoo works as a stain remover on the edges of the sleeves.)

When I took it out of the sink, I found black spots where the black material touched the white. Undaunted, I sent David to get “Rit Color Remover.”

He quoted Matthew 9:16, “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? …” New Living Translation

It didn’t work and the fake suede shed all over the coat.

Job 32:8-9, “I kept thinking, ‘Experience will tell. The longer you live, the wiser you become.’ (9) But I see I was wrong – it’s God’s Spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible. The experts have no corner on wisdom; getting old doesn’t guarantee good sense.” The Message

The worst part? I spent twice as much money repairing the coat than I paid for it. And the repairs cost more than the new, heavier coat I purchased at Christmas.

I’m not looking forward to telling David. It’s a wonderful deterrent for trying this again. (Sigh.) There are many things I never tried – like illegal drugs – because I knew I would face God.

Job 31:23, “The fear of God has kept me from these things – how else could I ever face Him?” The Message

September 5, 2019: Job 31-34.

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I’ll Never Regret It

I regret:

  1. Eating the leftovers on Tuesday. (There’s less time to cook on Wednesday.)
  2. Eating a piece of cheesecake at lunch. (It was “cheesecake night” at E3 and I had two more pieces.)
  3. Playing computer games for 2 hours. (That added 2 more tasks to today.)

But there is one thing I will never regret – holding on to my integrity.

Job 27:6, “I’m holding fast to my integrity and not loosening my grip – and, believe me, I’ll never regret it.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Integrity – 1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. 2. the state of being whole and undivided.” Oxford Dictionary

I admit I was not acting with integrity when I failed to plan, overindulged, and wasted time. But all I had to do was repent and God forgave me. God sees my heart. It is where my integrity lives.

Proverbs 4:23, “Keep diligent watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” The Message

September 4, 2019: Job 27-30.

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I Go

Mom has never flown before. She will fly for the first time to attend my niece’s wedding in Virginia. She’s excited and a little nervous.

“Once you fly to Virginia, you will never want to drive again,” I assured her.

Once a year, one of us drives her for two days to visit our brother. We stay for two days and then spend the next two days driving back. It’s an exhausting trip. This year he drove back to bring his family to visit.

I know when she returns home from this trip, it will be different. She will look back at those long road trips in shock.

Job 21:6, “When I look back, I go into shock…” The Message

Don’t look back. Look forward. Look up.

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.” Corrie Ten Boom

September 3, 2019: Job 21-26.

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Quiet Picnics

Facebook is flooded with pictures of people by the water. Some traveled to the ocean and others to a lake. Some are boating on a river and others fishing in a pond. It’s Labor Day weekend – the last of the summer – and we are…going nowhere.

This is my situation at this time. Several years may pass before I spend any time by the water. I went to the Atlantic Ocean in 2012 but had enough after an hour. I went to a lake in 2018. It’s just not a part of my life.

Job 6:5, “Donkeys bray and cows moo when they run out of pasture – so don’t expect me to keep quiet in this.” The Message

* * * * * * *

But we did something new this weekend – nothing.

When you work from home there is always work! Sometimes, I work harder on the weekends. And holiday weekends meant time for larger projects.

Job 11:18, “Full of hope, you’ll relax, confident again; you’ll look around, sit back, and take it easy.” The Message

I’m good at observing the Sabbath. After church, I eat lunch and go to bed! I nap, read, or watch movies. It’s a time of total rest.

* * * * * * *

I seek direction each day in the chapters we read. Job is going through a time of no rest from his trials. He shows us how to truly rest.

Job 20:18, “No quiet picnics for them beside gentle streams with fresh-baked bread and cheese, and tall cool drinks.” The Message

I spent the day relaxing with iced, sweet tea. I will relax on the couch all day when I am sick. This is the first time I just relaxed while healthy!

And I didn’t feel the least bit guilty! Jesus often told his disciples to come away to a quiet place and rest, Mark 6:31-33.

August 31, 2019: Job 6-10.
September 1, 2019: Job 11-15.
September 2, 2019: Job 16-20.

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A Firm Grip on His Integrity

Have you ever felt singled out? Does it seem like life is going merrily along for everyone else but you keep facing trials? Did you know Satan can’t do anything without permission from God?

Job 1:7, “God singled out Satan and said, ‘What have you been up to?'” The Message

God allows the trials and walks through them with us. He carries us through the things we cannot endure alone.

Tests and trials come to everyone. When something bad happens, we try to explain it by judging them. In Job’s case, there was no sin.

Job 2:3, “…There’s no one quite like him, is there – honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity. …” The Message

Do we have a firm grip on our integrity?

August 30, 2019: Job 1-5.

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Workers from All the Tribes

We are all farmers. The seeds God gives us is money from the job He provided. We are not given the same amount of seeds. Sometimes, those with the fewest seeds have the largest harvests. They make each seed count.

If you have tons of seeds, you may be careless and drop some in the ditch instead of planting them. Or you may think, “There’s plenty more where these came from,” and eat it all. Either way, you will have no harvest.

Planting seeds is work! You don’t want to plant in an area where it will not grow or be washed away.

No one is exempt from this work.

Ezekiel 48:19, “Workers from all the tribes of Israel will serve as field hands to farm the land.” The Message

You have to plant to get a harvest.

August 29, 2019: Ezekiel 48; Isaiah 13, 14.

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None Run Off Their Land

We had a “Financial Peace University” reunion last night. We shared struggles and victories. Each person that shared started with, “We are not where we want to be. We are not done.”

“We are never done,” I said, “We will review our insurance every year and watch our retirement every month.”

We rejoiced with the couple who paid off their credit cards and will pay off their mortgage in January. What a joy to be mortgage-free!

Ezekiel 46:18, “None of my people are to be run off their land.” The Message

No one won the lottery. No one received an inheritance. The soon-to-be mortgage-free couple both work at Walmart. Each couple worked on one thing at a time.

We also shared the goodness of God:

  • Appliances working for a decade longer than their life expectancy.
  • Cars with over 200,000 miles run smoothly and everything works on them.
  • Repairs are only 10% of the estimate given.

God is looking out for us.

“Daniel 4:25, ‘The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, …’ New King James Version” The Word for You Today, August 28, 2019

August 28, 2019: Ezekiel 45-47.

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Draw a Picture

After the fire, after the flood, after the tornado, people talk about their losses. They go into detail about the heirlooms that cannot be replaced or the new items that were blown to bits or washed away.

But what if the disaster could have been avoided? What if the fire was due to their carelessness? That burden of guilt would be excruciating.

* * * * * * *

In Ezekiel 33:21, we read “a survivor from Jerusalem came and told Ezekiel the city had fallen.” The Temple was destroyed because of their sin. God measured the Temple and went over the details to show them what they had lost.

Ezekiel 43:10, 11, “Son of man, tell the people of Israel all about the Temple so they’ll be dismayed by their wayward lives. Get them to go over the layout.

(11) That will bring them up short. Show them the whole plan of the Temple, its ins and outs, the proportions, the regulations, and the laws. Draw a picture so they can see the design and meaning and live by its design and intent.” The Message

The Temple was where they went when:

  • They were beaten by an enemy, 1 Kings 8:33.
  • There was no rain, 1 Kings 8:35.
  • There was a disaster, famine, catastrophe, crop failure or disease, 1 Kings 8:37.

1 Kings 9:3, “…I’ve sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; My eyes are on it and My heart in it always.” The Message

They lost the physical access to the heart of God.

The Temple was large and sturdy. The measurements show us that. And yet, its contents were stolen, it was destroyed and left as a pile of rubble.

That’s what sin does. It destroys or steals everything leaving behind a pile of useless rubble.

August 27, 2019: Ezekiel 42-44.

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The Measuring Stick

Bethany sent 3 pictures of our granddaughter Olivia’s first day of school. She’s a princess and chose a fit and flare dress in her favorite shade of pink.

She’s also an Iowa country girl. So, she wore a jean jacket and cowboy boots!

And she looked taller. Did she grow an inch over the summer? I can’t be sure. There wasn’t a yardstick in the photo.

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel had a vision of a man with a measuring stick. Together they measured the New Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 40:5, “…The measuring stick in the man’s hand was about ten foot long. …” The Message

Amazing, Ezekiel saw 1/4 feet, 1/2 feet, and 3/4 feet looking at a measuring stick that was about 10 feet long. (See, Ezekiel 40:5-7, 9, 11-13, 15, 21, 25, 29, 30, 33, 36, 42, 48; 41:1-3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 22.) The details in the vision were so clear that he recorded them all.

Someday, we will live in the New Jerusalem!

August 26, 2019: Ezekiel 40, 41.

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I’ll Look Them Full in the Face

I woke at 4:42 a.m. I didn’t practice for hours on the new song. I set it aside because I had to choose hymns for the Nursing Home Service. I practiced those instead.

“Courage in a Fearful World. ‘Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ John 14:27 KJV …God…wants to remind you that even when you find your courage waning, He is with you.”

Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women, August 25

I made a cheat sheet of the chord changes of the new song and taped it to the keyboard. Before practice, I checked to see which octave the synth player was playing. Then I checked the lead line the guitar player would be playing.

Ezekiel 38:7, 8, 9, 16, 23, “Get ready to fight… (8) Take charge and wait for orders. … (9) …You’ll rise like a thunderstorm… (16) …I’m putting my holiness on display. … (23) I’ll show you how great I am, how holy I am. I’ll make myself known all over the world. Then you’ll realize that I am God.” The Message

The bass player was out-of-town. I played his part and the chord changes. I let the guitar player cover the sixteenth notes. I relaxed and worshipped.

Ezekiel 39:29, “After I’ve poured my Spirit on Israel, filled them with my life, I’ll no longer turn away. I’ll look them full in the face. Decree of God, the Master.” The Message

Worship is all about seeking God’s face. He always shows up. It’s all about Him, not about me.

Proverbs 25:6, “Don’t work yourself into the spotlight…” The Message

 

August 25, 2019: Ezekiel 38, 39.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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