Live Well and Wisely

Our truck pulled in at 10:00 a.m. and my heart sank. “It’s too early for lunch. Is David sick?”

I opened the front door and found my daughter, Laura, on the front step. Her car was getting serviced and she borrowed our truck. She took her birthday off and had an hour to wait before her haircut. I invited her in and went back to my office.

God nudged me, “It’s her birthday, you can do your next task on the couch.”

Deuteronomy 29:9, “Diligently keep the words of this Covenant. Do what they say so that you will live well and wisely in every detail.” The Message

I knew God was right. How many Moms get time alone with their adult daughter on her birthday?

She turned on Netflix. God nudged me again, “Why don’t you offer her a drink.” (Have I mentioned I am not the best hostess?)

As the coffee was brewing, I remembered the “Chocolate Chip Torte” I made on Monday.

“Hey, Laura, do you want to spoil your lunch with a piece of Torte?”

“Sure.”

Then I remembered the Ghirardelli chocolates David received as a gift. I got them out and set the bag between us.

The phone rang. It was David.

“Hey, the truck is missing. Have you seen it?”

“That’s not funny!”

(I no longer felt guilty about the candy.)

* * * * * * *

When he got home for lunch, he asked which piece of chocolate we ate.

“How did you know?”

“Laura told me.”

“I can’t believe she ratted on me!”

(Silly man, he thought we each ate only one piece.)

Today I lived well and wisely spent time with my daughter.

* * * * * * * *

The first part of this verse instructed us to “Diligently keep the words of this covenant.” Later, it said, “Don’t let down your guard.” Then it explained what happens to someone who exempts themselves from “The Covenant.”

Deuteronomy 29:18-20, “Don’t let down your guard lest even now, today, someone – man or woman, clan or tribe – gets side-tracked from God, our God, and gets involved with the no gods of the nations; lest some poisonous weed sprout and spread among you, (19) a person who hears the words of The Covenant-oath but exempts himself, thinking, ‘I’ll live just the way I please, thank you,’ and ends up ruining life for everybody. (20) God won’t let him off the hook. God’s anger and jealousy will erupt like a volcano against that person. The curses written in this book will bury him. …” The Message

How do you live well and wisely?

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

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The God of the Impossible

4:43 a.m. That moment when you realize you typed in the lyrics to the wrong song on your last post.

(Sigh.)

They both had the same title. I memorize the chords…the words?…not so much. Below are the correct lyrics.

“God of the Impossible”

 

“Lord, I come with newfound faith.

I will trust ev’ry word You say.

All my fears I’m laying down at Your feet.

 

I will trust in Your grace that cannot be earned,

Walk through the fire and not be burned.

All my doubts have lost their sound to Your voice.

You are who You are,

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible.

 

Lord, I come with willing hands;

Use my life to fulfill Your plan.

All I have I give to You, an offering.

You are who You are,

You are who You are.

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible.

 

You can do all things,

You can do all things.

Even in the valley,

Still my heart will sing.

You can do all things,

You can do all things.

Nothing is impossible for You.

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.”

 

Lincoln Brewster and Mitch Wong

I corrected the post and printed a new one for Mom. I decided to post the correction. It is good for me to type “The God of the impossible” over and over!

What song is going through your head? “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury is going through my head right now.

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

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All These Blessings

We all have storms in our lives. We are either going through a storm, coming out of a storm, or a storm is around the corner.

At our Thanksgiving Service, people gave testimonies. Deb shared about her fight with cancer. One thing she said was she didn’t talk to people about her diagnosis. She spoke to the area the Word of God. In less than a month the doctor told her they couldn’t find the mass. You can hear the service here.

How? We serve the “God of the Impossible.”

* * * * * * *

That is the name of the song we are learning.

“God of the Impossible”

 

“Lord, I come with newfound faith.

I will trust ev’ry word You say.

All my fears I’m laying down at Your feet.

 

I will trust in Your grace that cannot be earned,

Walk through the fire and not be burned.

All my doubts have lost their sound to Your voice.

You are who You are,

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible.

 

Lord, I come with willing hands;

Use my life to fulfill Your plan.

All I have I give to You, an offering.

You are who You are,

You are who You are.

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible.

 

You can do all things,

You can do all things.

Even in the valley,

Still my heart will sing.

You can do all things,

You can do all things.

Nothing is impossible for You.

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.”

 

Lincoln Brewster and Mitch Wong

* * * * * * * *

“Keep trusting God and He will bring you through this storm!” The Word for You Today, 12-4-18

We need to stop talking about the storm and start speaking to it. I find Bible verses to pray over my storm, like these:

Deuteronomy 28:1-2, “If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all His commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. (2) All these blessing will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God.” The Message

The blessings are:

  1. In the city, v. 3.
  2. In the country, v. 3.
  3. On my children, v. 4.
  4. On my crops, v. 4.
  5. On the young of my livestock, v. 4.
  6. On the calves of my herds, v. 4.
  7. On the lambs of my flocks, v. 4.
  8. On my basket and bread bowls, v. 5.
  9. When I come in, v. 6.
  10. When I go out, v. 6.
  11. My attackers will come on one road and flee on seven, v. 7.
  12. On my barns, v. 8.
  13. In my workplace, v. 8.
  14. On my land, v. 8.
  15. God will make me holy, v. 9.
  16. All people will hold me in respect, v. 10.
  17. God will lavish me with good things, v. 11.
  18. God will pour rain on the land on schedule, v. 12.
  19. God will bless my work, v. 12.
  20. I will lend to others, v. 12.
  21. I will not need to borrow, v. 12.
  22. God will make me the head, not the tail, v. 13.

I pray these verses like this:

Dear God,

I listen obediently to Your Voice. I heartily obey Your commands. I respond to Your Voice. All of these blessings are mine – especially # ___ and #___. This storm has to ‘be still’ at Your Word.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen

“If it wasn’t hard, you would trust in yourself. …So, I’ve gotta allow some things into your life that are impossible for you. …I’m not gonna take you around it. I’m gonna take you through it. …I’m about to drown what’s chasing you down. But I’ve got to take you the hard way.”

“Why It Had to be Hard,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

What verse do you pray over your storms?

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

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Yes. Absolutely.

I was late. I grabbed my watch in the dark bedroom and tried putting it on. After three attempts – I turned on the light. The buckle on my watch strap folded under. I pulled it out and secured my watch.

David was already in the van. I tossed my Bible bag in. It turned sideways, and the handle hooked over the lever of the adjustable cup holder. It blocked the space I normally set my purse. I untangled it, put down my coffee, dropped my purse, and jumped in.

The handle of my purse wrapped around my ankle. I couldn’t get it out. Frustrated, I lifted my leg which flipped my purse up on the dash. David burst out laughing.

I untangled it and we set off.

When I arrived at church I decided not to take any chances. I put my backpack purse on. I put my Bible bag in one hand and my coffee in the other.

I had one foot on the ground when I realized I couldn’t move. An elastic loop on my coat caught on the lever that reclines the seat. I put my Bible bag on the seat. I worked the loop off of the lever – while standing on one foot.

I can’t make this stuff up.

Am I cursed?

(I want my mommy.)

“Everyone you meet is hiding something, and it’s not because they’re deceptive. It’s because some wounds are too personal to talk about. …Is that where you are today – struggling with something too difficult to talk about? If so, remember other people are struggling too! …So instead of adding to their burden, try to ease it. You may be the only healer that crosses their path today. And when you help lift their burden – God will lift yours.” The Word for You Today, 12-3-18

I had my first “empty nest” moment last week. Each year I decorated my Christmas tree and waited up. When Derek came home, he would always exclaim, “Wow, Mom. You outdid yourself this year.” Last year he even put a picture of my tree on Facebook!

I stepped back admiring the tree. I thought, “I can’t wait until Derek gets home.” Then I realized, he is home – with his bride decorating his own tree.

We will be alone on Christmas Day. We told our children we will celebrate on the 26th. We remember having 3 Christmases on Christmas Day when our kids were small. It was exhausting.

We finally switched to Christmas morning with our immediate family. We alternated Christmas Day between my parents and David’s parents. We would celebrate with the other set of parents on a different day.

It worked well until our son married. Now, it is a jigsaw puzzle finding a day everyone is free.

Then, I thought of my mom. Her nest has been empty for years. And dad has been gone for almost 9 years. We give all our attention to the youngest members of our family at Christmas. We should take pictures with the oldest members.

We lost David’s dad right before Christmas 2 years ago. We know first-hand the grief of an empty chair at Christmas.

* * * * * * *

The 5th commandment is the only one with a promise. Honor your parents and God will give you a long life.

Deuteronomy 27:16, “God’s curse on anyone who demeans a parent. All respond: Yes. Absolutely.” The Message

I would never intentionally dishonor my mom or mother-in-law. But, I have neglected them. I need to call more often.

As if I wasn’t feeling guilty already, my study of Proverbs 19 added to it.

Proverbs 19:26, “Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother is a child who brings shame and disgrace.” New International Version

I let life push my mom to the background. I set down my pen and called her. It went right to voicemail. I can’t keep up with her.

I called my mother-in-law. She had a few minutes but was leaving when the bank opened. It was nice catching up with her.

Later, Mom called back and we caught up. My moms have better social lives than I do. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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

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An Ox and a Donkey

An ox and a donkey were 2 modes of transportation in ancient civilizations. An ox could pull more weight and endure longer distances. A donkey carried you to your destination more quickly. They were both needed for different purposes. But they couldn’t work together.

Deuteronomy 22:10, “Don’t plow with an ox and a donkey together.” The Message

In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul instructed believers to marry believers. Marriage is like being yoked together.

2 Corinthians 6:14, “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark?” The Message

An ox and a donkey yoked together is a good picture of being unequally yoked in marriage. The donkey has to go wherever the ox wants because it is weaker. The ox has to carry more of the load than necessary and works himself to death.

Life is hard. Every marriage will go through the fire.

“Steel is the product of iron plus fire. …In the same way, the development of human character requires the plus attached to it, for great character is made not through luxurious living but with suffering. …the very things they now rebel against are the instruments He has used to perfect their character…” Courtland Myers, “Streams in the Desert,” December 2

* * * * * * *

“Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer for the roots of character. The great objective of this life of character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity.” Austin Phelps, “Streams in the Desert,” December 2

Some of the strongest marriages come from the deepest trials: the loss of a child, catastrophic events, debilitating sickness, bankruptcy. Other marriages implode at the first one. “I didn’t sign up for this,” they say.

Yes, you did.

You vowed: “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death parts us.”

“To cherish” is loving and nurturing someone who can’t love you back. We all have times where our spouse carries everything because we physically cannot. But those times are temporary. We can’t let our spouse do everything permanently.

I’m guilty. We all are.

But then we are like the ox and the donkey. The Bible had another name for donkeys. When we don’t share the load equally, that is what we become.

God designed marriages to be rich. An intimacy that we share with no other. The only one who “gets me.” The one who knows my deepest faults and failures and cherishes me in spite of them.

“When you think about it, you can be rich in one of two ways: either in how much you have, or in how little you want. …Many financial experts say credit is the motivating factor for perhaps 80 percent of all divorces….” The Word for You Today, 12-2-18

The most important thing is that we pull together. We must go in the same direction.

“…hopeless debt is like a deep pit into which one may descend quickly and where one may struggle vainly for many days. It is a pit of sorrow and regrets where the brightness of the sun is overcast and night is made unhappy by restless sleeping.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

Marriage is a 3-strand rope. The third partner is God. He guides us through difficult paths. Sometimes coaxing and sometimes prodding. When we follow God’s leading, we are unstoppable.

I have to ask David – am I an ox, sharing the load in our marriage? Or, am I donkey?

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

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Study It Every Day

While scrolling through Facebook, I learned former President George H. W. Bush passed away. I wonder – would our presidents be more effective if they followed the requirements of the Israelite kings?

Deuteronomy 17:18-20, “This is what must be done: When he sits down on the throne of his kingdom, the first thing he must do is make himself a copy of this Revelation on a scroll, copied under the supervision of the Levitical priests. (19) That scroll is to remain at his side at all times; he is to study it every day so that he may learn what it means to fear his God, living in reverent obedience before these rules and regulations by following them. (20) He must not become proud and arrogant, changing the commands at whim to suit himself or making up his own version. If he reads and learns, he will have a long reign as king in Israel, he and his sons.” The Message

President Bush is most remembered for leading us in the 1991 Gulf War. A veteran himself, he assured us we would win. That 100-hour ground war routed Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Deuteronomy 20:34, “He’ll say, ‘Attention, Israel. In a few minutes you’re going to do battle with your enemies. Don’t waver in resolve. don’t fear. Don’t hesitate. Don’t panic. God, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win.’ ” The Message

We read Deuteronomy 17-20 on December 1st every year. God knew I would read of President’s Bush’s death the day I read these verses. The Bible is relevant to what is happening in your life today. We would be wise “kings” of our own castles if we kept it by our side and studied it every day.

Now, if I could just get a Rabbi to explain everything to me!

Can you recommend a Jewish website? If so, type it in the comments below.

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

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As the Sun Goes Down

“I’m sorry,” David stated as he walked in the door after work, “we can’t go to Olivia’s Christmas Concert. The freezing rain has started. They predict snow and fog later this evening.” 

As the sun went down freezing rain coated everything. We weren’t the only ones disappointed. My sister-in-law, Melinda, missed seeing her granddaughter play in the band. We called to let everyone know we weren’t coming. I thought they would postpone the concert. They didn’t.

That’s Iowa weather. Olivia’s school must not have gotten the weather we got.

We had a major storm last weekend. My niece in Des Moines saw a few flurries. An hour south, they received 15 inches of snow. 

As we snuggled on the couch, David commented, “I haven’t been out, except for work, for over a week!”

The Thanksgiving service was on Tuesday and there was no church Thanksgiving eve. We didn’t have practice on Thanksgiving.

We did go to church Sunday morning but left 30 minutes later. Our service was canceled because of freezing rain. The main church 30 minutes away didn’t get anything until later in the morning.

I haven’t been out of the house since Sunday – but I’m used to it. It felt like a vacation for David.

* * * * * * *

The Israelites took a week off a few times a year for festivals. The biggest one was Passover. It started in the evening when the sun went down. Today I learned why.

Deuteronomy 16:6, “…offer the Passover-Sacrifice at evening as the sun goes down, marking the time that you left Egypt.” The Message

I don’t mind sunset these days. When it starts to get dark, I turn on the Christmas lights and tree. Then I watch a recorded Christmas movie with just those lights burning.

How’s the weather at your house? Do you have snow?

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

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He’s the Gardener

“Good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity. …My first judgment is my best. …Make a prompt deposit. …Procrastination is the enemy. …” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

God gave the Israelites a great opportunity. He gave them good land but they had to work it. They depended on Him for rain.

Deuteronomy 11:11-12, “But the land you are about to cross the river and take for your own is a land of mountains and valleys; it drinks water that rains from the sky. (12) It’s a land that God, your God, personally tends – He’s the gardener – He alone keeps His eye on it all year long.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…for thirty years, Tel Aviv, on the coast, has never recorded rain in June, July, or August. After such a dry summer, the coming of the rains is especially important for the farmer. They should begin in mid-September, but the start of the rainy season is sometimes delayed. This gives the farmer less time for ploughing, and there is also less time for the wells to fill up again after the summer’s use.

…The margin of the desert is not fixed. In some years the margin withdraws east and south. In other years it overruns the area and there is drought and famine. These exceptionally wet and exceptionally dry years…constantly remind God’s people that they depend on Him.”

“The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible” Edited by Pat Alexander, 1978

Everything depends on God. There is none more dependable!

Deuteronomy 11:1, “So love God, your God; guard well His rules and regulations; obey His commandments for the rest of time.” The Message

Then in my study of Proverbs 19, I read this:

Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” New International Version

* * * * * * *

“The truth is, you’ll never know how close you are to a breakthrough or a blessing until you learn to listen.” The Word for You Today, 11-28-18

What opportunities do you have today? Have you missed an opportunity because of procrastination?

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Keep Commandments, Live and Prosper

I am studying, “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. I just finished the chapter titled, “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse.” Each “cure” is a precept or law. If you follow these laws you will grow wealth.

It’s the same with the commandments of God. If you follow His commandments you will live and prosper.

Deuteronomy 8:1, “Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that you’ll live and prosper…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“You have taught yourself how to acquire money, how to keep it, and how to use it.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 8:2, “Remember every road that God led you on…pushing you to your limits, testing you so that He would know what you were made of…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Willpower is but the unflinching purpose to carry a task you set for yourself to fulfillment.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 8:6, “So it’s paramount that you keep the commandments of God, your God, walk down the roads He shows you and reverently respect him.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Opportunity wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

* * * * * * *

Deuteronomy 18:18, “Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“More interest in my work, more concentration upon my task, more presistence in my effort, …The more wisdom we know, the more we may earn. …If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

In my study of Proverbs 19, I found this verse.

Proverbs 19:16, “Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life, but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.” New International Version

* * * * * * *

“Be not too confident of thy own wisdom in entrusting thy treasures to the possible pitfalls of investments. Better by far to consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

Learning commandments, rules, laws, or precepts are not enough. You must live them.

What book are you studying? Are you learning more about your selected field?

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

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Live Them

“Rest is an opportunity to exercise faith that we’ll be taken care of in the absence of our ‘doing.’ …we rest in different ways. One sleeps…another likes to draw, read, and be creative. …a 20-minute power nap…sitting in the sunshine…connect with God outdoors, …going for a run. …May your time of rest demonstrate the trust you have in God…” “Give Me a Break: Exchanging the Guilt of Rest for the Gift of Rest,” Katie M. Reid, Proverbs 31 Ministries

I find rest when I decorate! I’ve “rested” that way a few hours every day. Yesterday I got out my Christmas cups and glasses. I’m washing the Christmas dish towels today.

I’ve put some clues to my Christmas theme on Instagram.com/frugalfishorg/. But, I am not taking a picture of everything.

View this post on Instagram

More clues to my Christmas theme. #christmasdecor

A post shared by Frugal Fish (@frugalfishorg) on

Example: I dug out a piece of gold material. I pressed it and wrapped it around an accent pillow in my bedroom. I secured it with a tiny gold pin. It brings Christmas into the bedroom but is not Instagram worthy. I choose to decorate in my free time.

“If you don’t make your own decisions, somebody else will make them for you.” The Word for You Today, 11-27-18

Rest is important. God instructed us to take a day off each week. It was one of the “10 Commandments.”

Deuteronomy 5:1, “Moses called all Israel together. He said to them, ‘Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them.’ ” The Message

This verse includes all the rules for a good life:

  1. Pay attention.
  2. Listen.
  3. Obey.
  4. Follow the rules.
  5. Respect authority (Regulators).
  6. Learn the precepts.
  7. Live what you learn.

How do you spend your free time? What is your “resting” activity?

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