Whatever They Felt Like Doing

“Have you experienced a sorrow caused by unkindness, when others cruelly mistreat your trusting heart, and you even begin to wonder if there is really a God above who sees what is happening yet continues to allow it? …God has allowed the difficulty to come upon you, in order to bring you closer to Himself.”

“Streams in the Desert,” 12-22

Christmastime is family time. Wherever there are siblings – there will be a rivalry! It goes back to Cain and Abel.

* * * * * * *

The People of Israel asked the Benjaminites to surrender the men who killed the concubine. They refused.

Judges 20:12-14, “…’What’s the meaning of this outrage?’… (13) ‘Surrender…’ (14) But they wouldn’t do it. …” The Message

The Benjaminites fought the other tribes. Everyone wanted justice for the concubine. The Benjaminites saw everyone was against them and went to war.

Judges 21:25, “At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” The Message

Most of their tribe died. The soldiers that escaped lost their wives and families. The rest of the tribes swore they would not allow their daughters to marry a Benjaminite. They got wives from 2 different sources in Chapter 21.

“When you hold resentment it feels like there’s a war going on inside you. …the more you fight, the more ground you lose. Arguing just drains you of energy and leaves you more hurt and angry. You’re in a no-win situation. You struggle with who’s right and who’s wrong. You spend so much time trying to out-do, out-shout, and out-maneuver others that you lose your peace and joy. …Don’t allow someone’s actions to determine your reactions. …”

The Word For You Today, December 22, 2018

I like that. “Don’t allow someone’s actions to determine your reactions.”

Will you be with your siblings this week?

 

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

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Think About It

I don’t watch the news – not even Fox news. Why? Because they show every gory detail. It burns the image on your brain.

I don’t watch movies with violence or read horror stories – except in the Bible. And the chapter I dread reading is Judges 19. Like the people in verse 30, I ask, “How could this happen?”

* * * * * * *

They did whatever they wanted.

Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.” The Message

They took whatever they wanted.

Judges 18:24, “Micah said, ‘You took my god, the one I made, and you took my priest. And you marched off? What do I have left? How can you now say, “What’s the matter?” ‘ ” The Message

They did not acknowledge their sin.

Judges 18:25, “But the Danites answered, ‘Don’t yell at us.’ …” The Message

The victim did not get justice.

Judges 18:26, “…Micah saw that he didn’t stand a chance….” The Message

They killed those unable to protect themselves.

Judges 18:27, “…they arrived at Laish, that city of quiet and unsuspecting people. They massacred the people and burned down the city.” The Message

They kept other’s property for their private use.

Judges 18:31, “…they kept for their private use the god-figure that Micah had made.” The Message

They ignored their marriage vows.

Judges 19:2, “…But she quarreled with him and left, returning to her father’s house…” The Message

(The New International Version says she was unfaithful to him.)

They quit early instead of doing an honest day’s work.

Judges 19:9, “Look, the day’s almost gone…enjoy yourself. Tomorrow you can…” The Message

(Contrast that to this verse.)

Judges 19:16, “Then late in the evening, an old man came in from his day’s work in the fields.” The Message

They ignored the homeless.

Judges 19:15, “The Levite went and sat down in the town square, but no one invited them in to spend the night.” The Message

They viewed everyone as a sex object.

Judges 19:22, “…We want to have sex with him.” The Message

They didn’t shelter and protect their women. They saved themselves.

Judges 19:24, “Look, my virgin daughter and his concubine are here. I’ll bring them out for you. Abuse them if you must….” The Message

He dismembered his raped and murdered wife.

Judges 19:29-30, “…he took a knife and dismembered his concubine… (30) …’Has such a thing ever happened?… Think about it! Talk it over. Do something!’ ” The Message

Each step was viler.

* * * * * * *

Fast forward to 2018 – it’s worse.

  • “Don’t tell me what to do.”
  • “You are rich – don’t charge the thief.”
  • “It’s not a baby.”
  • “My boss doesn’t pay me enough, I need these supplies.”
  • “It’s only sex.”
  • “No work gets done after 4:00 p.m.”
  • “All homeless are con artists.”
  • “There’s nothing wrong with porn.”
  • “I’m too busy to pick you up tonight – walk home alone.”
  • “See the Christians beheaded in Egypt, here.”
  • “Planned Parenthood sells baby parts.”

The New International Version says “Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, ‘…We must do something! So speak up!’ ” 

But what can I do?

Go back to the first step. Submit to King Jesus and do what he tells me.

  1. Speak for the victims.
  2. Support organizations protecting the unborn.
  3. Be faithful to my husband.
  4. Do an honest day’s work.
  5. Support organizations that help the poor and homeless.
  6. Share posts of missing children.
  7. Click “Unfollow,” instead of watching a video.

Proverbs 21:13, “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.” New International Version

I need to gather some food for the Lord’s Cupboard to take to church tomorrow!

Proverbs 21:16, “Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead.” New International Version

The King’s birthday is Tuesday. What are you giving for Him?

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

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…Or We’ll Burn You

My sister complained to that social media platform because she couldn’t see my posts. They forwarded the message to me.

One person said, “That is offensive” and they removed the post. Then they threatened to disable my account.

Another person said, “I want to see this!” and they forwarded the message to me? Why? Do they want me to promote my post? Do they want me to buy an ad? Probably.

But I learned from Samson’s story – complying when threatened does not work. They may carry out the threat anyway.

His fiancée complied and lost Samson. Then they burned her and her father alive anyway.

Judges 14:15, “…Worm the answer out of your husband or we’ll burn you and your father’s household. Have you invited us here to bankrupt us?” The Message

* * * * * * *

Judges 15:6, “The Philistines said, ‘Who did this?’ They were told, ‘Samson, son-in-law of the Timnite who took his bride and gave her to his best man.’ The Philistines went up and burned both her and her father to death.” The Message

Forget social media. I would rather be in isolation than allow them to control me.

“It is in the experience of isolation that the Lord develops an independence of life and of faith so that the soul no longer depends on the continual help, prayers, faith, and care of others.” “Streams in the Desert,” December 20

Do you feel isolated? Without hope?

“Maybe God is trying to show you the nature of true hope. …the kind that gets down deep enough in your heart where people can’t get it. …” “Having Hope When God Seems Silent,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

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

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My Family

Yesterday, we had lunch with Aunt Lesta. Cousin Todd and his wife Melinda are moving to pastor a church in Nebraska.

We ate with my mother-in-law, 2 aunts, 4 cousins, and 1 grandchild. There was a lot of laughter and no tears! We are all excited for Todd and Melinda.

* * * * * * * *

Reading the Bible makes me appreciate our extended families! I know how lucky we are. Jephthah, a judge in the Bible, did not have happy family dinners.

Judges 11:7, “But Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead: ‘But you hate me. You kicked me out of my family home. So why are you coming to me now? Because you are in trouble. Right?’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Aunt Lesta brought small gifts for the ladies. The “old-fashioned” among us, (Yes, that’s me!), exchanged Christmas cards.

The grandchild asked, “Hey, how do I get one of those?”

“Send one to me,” I replied.

You get what you give.

Do you send Christmas cards?

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

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An Honest Days Work

Mom called and asked about the problems with my blog posting on social media. I told her everything – about everything.

Judges 9:16, “Now listen: ‘Do you think you did a right and honorable thing?…’ ” The Message

Talking about it made it worse. I considered tossing my task list and making fudge…

Judges 9:19, “If you think this is an honest day’s work,…” The Message

…I could watch Christmas movies while I rolled Buckeye centers.

Judges 10:15-16, “The People of Israel said to God: ‘We’ve sinned. Do to us whatever you think best, but please, get us out of this!’ (16) Then they cleaned house of the foreign gods and worshipped only God. And God took Israel’s troubles to heart.” The Message

It’s cleaning day – no Christmas movies for me. I washed the inside of the medicine cabinet and tossed old medications. Then I cleaned the house from top to bottom.

When I finished my task list, I got out the ingredients for Buckeyes. The butter must not have reached room temperature. I dumped it in with the peanut butter and powdered sugar anyway. I put my hand mixer in the bowl and turned it on. That sprayed powdered sugar all over my freshly cleaned floor. (Sigh.)

Proverbs 21:2-3, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. (3) To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” New International Version

After supper, David turned on the movie, “Polar Express.” He had never watched it and Pastor used it in his sermon on Sunday. (I went to bed.)

Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” New International Version

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They’ll Take all the Credit

“I found something deep within me that would not stay pleasant, patient, and kind. I did what I could to keep those traits suppressed, but they were still there. Finally I sought Jesus for help, and when I gave Him my will, He came to my heart and removed everything that would not stay pleasant, patient, and kind. And then He shut the door.” George Fox in “Streams in the Desert,” December 17

I’m grateful #God accepts me just as I am. He knows my faults and loves me anyway.

I give in to frustration. And the thoughts I try to suppress come tumbling out of my mouth – usually in sarcasm. I would rather be pleasant, patient, and kind.

There is nothing I can do to make #God love me more.

There is nothing I can do to make #God love me less.

Even when I fail.

On Sunday, I spoke out of frustration. I worked really hard on the music but inside, I wanted to take the credit.

Judges 7:2, “…they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about Me.” The Message

The beauty of walking with #Jesus Christ is – His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness, see Lamentations 3:22.

He shows me a fault or a flaw. I repent and I’m once again as innocent as a newborn baby. He paid for all my failures on the cross. Only He could fix it.

“I couldn’t help but think what a comfort it would be if, after each mistake I made in real life, I could hear someone interrupt my thoughts and state in a deep, booming voice: ‘I’ll fix it.’ …” “Meet the God Who Fixes Things,” Stephanie Raquel, Proverbs 31 Ministries

Is there a trait you want to suppress? Give it to #Jesus. He already paid for it. And walk away.

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

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Volunteered with Abandon

December 16, 2018

I think I’m ready.

I practiced for an hour and a half each of the last three days. The synth player, bass player, and guitar player are all gone this week. It’s just me and the drummer.

I practiced each song with the videos on youtube.com. By Saturday, I was having fun practicing. I had the first three songs memorized.

Judges 5:2, “When they let down their hair in Israel, they let it blow wild in the wind. The people volunteered with abandon, bless God!” The Message

I admit I was a little nervous. So much could go wrong. I would be playing 2 keyboards and the pedals are iffy. One has a taped up cord and the other lost a screw.

The keyboards also shut off automatically. The big one turns on to recorded, obnoxious music. It takes pushing three buttons and turning a dial to set.

Judges 6:12, 13, 14, 16, “The angel of God appeared to him and said, ‘God is with you, O mighty warrior!’ (13) Gideon replied, ‘With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us?…’ (14) But God faced him directly: ‘Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?…’ (16) God said to him, ‘I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.’ ” The Message

We set the keyboards up on a double stand. I used 36″ of gaffe tape to keep the bottom keyboard from sliding. I taped down one pedal and ignored the one with the missing screw.

I split the big keyboard between the bass and the pads sound. I started practicing and it sounded awful!

This keyboard made everything sound muddy. The worship director asked me to play the songs on the other keyboard.

I switched but it didn’t have the pads sound. He didn’t like the bass part I was playing. He played a pattern on the drum and asked me to duplicate it.

“I need to play piano, synth, bass, and now a drum riff?” I exclaimed! (The worker from the Civic Center burst out laughing.)

The worship director decided I could play straight piano. We started the first song. It was so empty with just piano and drums. I layered strings with the piano. And played the other keyboard for the softest parts of the songs.

After practice, one of the vocalists said, “You look like a whipped pup.”

I told her I felt like a whipped pup! I explained about practicing all three parts. We threw out everything I practiced and I wasn’t sure what I was doing.

Then the worship director said, “Pamela, why don’t you pray for the service.”

“Perfect,” I replied, “I’m the one with the bent attitude.” I prayed the most disjointed prayer.

I didn’t know what I was doing now!

God whispered, “If you knew exactly what to do, you wouldn’t need Me.” Boy, did I!

Judges 6:23, “But God reassured him, ‘Easy now. Don’t panic. You won’t die.’ ” The Message

I ran into the guitar player after playing. (He is recovering from a broken arm.) We had a hot chocolate bar and I wasn’t going to miss out on that! We both got hot chocolate and he told me I did a good job.

God did a good job.

Has God ever switched things up on you?

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

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No Battle Experience

December 15, 2018

“…through all delays, in spite of all the difficulties, and in the face of all the rejection we encounter in life. And in spite of our feelings and evidence to the contrary, and even when we cannot understand our way or our situation, may we still ‘trust also in Him; [for] He shall bring it to pass.’ The way will open, our situation will be changed, and the end result will be peace. …” Streams in the Desert, December 15

* * * * * * * *

Judges 3:2, “He did it to train the descendants of Israel, the ones who had no battle experience, in the art of war.” The Message

I’m learning to take my fight to the highest power – God. I am not finding blogging success in the traditional way. Others will have to share my posts on social media.

I can identify with Shamgar. There is only one verse in the Bible about him. There is no record of his conversations with God or details of his battles. We don’t know how people reacted to him. Did they help him? Or were they indifferent?

Judges 3:31, “Shamgar son of Anath came after Ehud. Using a cattle prod, he killed six hundred Philistines single-handed. He too saved Israel.” The Message

Shamgar did not fight the way others fought. They had knives, swords, bows, and arrows. All he had was a cattle prod, or as the King James Bible puts it, an oxgoad. But he used the tool he had and saved Israel.

Other bloggers are writing books or about products or selling tee shirts. Not me. Here I am…over here…with a cattle prod…killing it…for the last ten years.

What tool do you have?

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

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Obediently Do Everything

December 14, 2018

I say the number of followers does not matter. I block the number on my blog. No one sees it. I hadn’t even checked it since last summer. But I was curious since I disconnected from that social media outlet.

I lost over 96% of my followers. Discouraged, I wasted an hour playing Spider Solitaire.

Judges 23:4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 19, “Stay alert. … (6) Now stay strong and steady. Obediently do everything written in the Book of Revelation of Moses – don’t miss a detail. …(8) Hold tight to God, your God, just as you’ve done up to now. … (10) Think of it – one of you, single-handedly, putting a thousand on the run! Because God is God, your God. Because He fights for you, just as He promised. (11) Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God. …(14) …Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing’s left undone – not so much as a word. … (19) …He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t put up with your fooling around and sinning.” The Message

That convicted me. I know playing game after game of Spider is just fooling around.

Proverbs 20:24, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” New International Version

We finished the series, “The Condition of Your Soul,” on Wednesday night. I knew I had to get a handle on my emotions. Steven Furtick provided just the word I needed.

“As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the ability within you to bounce back. …the harder the bottom, the higher the bounce!” 1:Minute Motivation, “Bounce Back!” Steven Furtick

How do you get out of the doldrums?

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

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Shoulder The Task

“In the famous lace shops of Brussels, there are special rooms devoted to the spinning…completely dark, except for the light that falls directly on the developing pattern, from one small window. Only one person sits in each small room, …

Sometimes, the darkness in our lives is worse, because we cannot see…or understand what we are doing. Therefore we are unable to see any beauty or any possible good arising from our experience. Yet if we are faithful to forge ahead and ‘if we do not give up’ (Galatians 6:9), someday we will know that the most exquisite work of our lives was done during those days when it was darkest.” “Streams in the Desert,” December 13

I’ve been silent for a week. It’s time to share what happened. Here’s the post I wrote on December 6th.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Confirming the Work

I’m in Facebook jail. Yes, there really is such a thing. (I didn’t believe it either.)

Someone marks your post as offensive and they send you a warning. My first warning came after I shared a post of #MollieTibbetts. I shared several posts of missing children.

My Frugal Fish Facebook page was public. Someone in the “public” reported my posts as “offensive.” Facebook blacked out all the pictures of missing children.

Someone reported another post as “offensive.” Facebook locked me out of my personal page for 24 hours. I could not even see it! Although I could see my Frugal Fish page. Go figure.

Thinking of Daniel, I wrote my post as usual and it automatically published to my Frugal Fish page. That angered Facebook. They blocked me from posting for another 14 hours. I could read it, but couldn’t post, comment, like, or share.

I’m not surprised. Peter told us the gospel would offend.

2 Peter 2:7-8, “This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, ‘The Stone which the builders rejected, this became the very cornerstone,’ and, ‘A Stone of stumbling and rock of offense,’ for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.” New American Standard Bible

Why did I write a post when Facebook told me not to? Because it just confirmed I was doing what God told me to do.

Proverbs 90:17, “And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!” The Message

Facebook let me know they will disable my pages, both Frugal Fish and my personal page if I continue posting from this blog. So, I cut the link that shared to Facebook. I won’t stop writing daily – they just won’t go to Facebook.

My posts will still publish on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Those who give their email to follow this blog will still read them there.

I’m not blogging for money. (It’s a good thing because I haven’t made a penny!)

Each day I read the chapters and God speaks to me. Sometimes, it’s just one verse or a phrase. It gives assurance or direction for what I’m facing today. I will continue until the day God calls me home. It’s what keeps me young.

Deuteronomy 34:7, “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyesight was sharp; he still walked with a spring in his step.” The Message

December 6, 2018

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

God spoke to me each day and I recorded verses and notes. I will not share them all with you, but one post brought great comfort.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gibeon Joined Up with Israel

“In God’s kingdom you don’t achieve success on your own, you receive it from God. …Let others compete and compare! Just stay faithful in what God has given you to do – and when the time is right He’ll come and get you! …When you try to promote yourself, you have to sweat, strain, and struggle, but when you trust God and do things His way, it comes ‘easy.’ That doesn’t mean you won’t have to work hard or sacrifice in order to succeed. It just means you won’t have to strive to get it, or keep it.” “The Word for You Today,” 12-10-18

* * * * * * *

Joshua 10:4, “Come and help me. Let’s attack Gibeon; they’ve joined up with Joshua and the People of Israel.” The Message

These events happened because five kings attacked an ally of Israel. They weren’t attacking Israel – just their ally, the Gibeonites.

  1. Joshua took them by total surprise, 10:9.
  2. God threw them into total confusion, 10:10.
  3. Israel chased them, 10:10.
  4. They ran, 10:11.
  5. God pitched huge stones on them, 10:11.
  6. The sun stopped, 10:13.
  7. The moon stood stock still, 10:13.

The earth paused and all the inhabitants knew it. Descriptions of that day are in the “Book of Jashar.”

Now we see what happens to those who help others attack Israel.

Joshua 10:33, “Horam, king of Gezer, arrived to help Lachish. Joshua attacked him and his army until there was nothing left of them. No survivors.” The Message

I stand with Israel.

December 10, 2018

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The sad and most frustrating thing is, I have no recourse. The one who reported me is kept anonymous. I cannot face my accuser or explain my motives. I am not safe from further attacks. I wish there was a “City of Refuge” in situations like this.

“Cities of Refuge…were not places where justice could be avoided, but places where further bloodshed could be prevented while an investigation took place (20:6).” Chronological Study Bible Notes

I want to fight back but my study of Proverbs 20 reminded me that the battle is not mine.

Proverbs 20:22, “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and He will avenge you.” The Message

God spelled out my directions clearly today.

Joshua 22:3, “…you’ve shouldered the task laid on you by God…” The Message

My task? Write the “2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide” and keep blogging. My 10-Year Anniversary for this blog and being on Facebook was on Sunday. Funny, since they aren’t connected to each other anymore.

God provided the blogging fees for 10 years without ads, affiliate marketing, sponsors, or donations. He can grow this blog without Facebook.

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

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