Men from Thirty to Fifty

In Numbers 1:3, we read they counted the men 20 years old and older. These men were eligible for the army – but not for ministry.

Numbers 4:3, “Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who enter the ministry of work in the Tent of Meeting.” The Message

The same sentence was in 4:23, 30, 35, 39, 43, and 47.

“This age was specifically fixed on (see on ch. 8:24) as the full maturity of bodily energy to perform the laborious duties assigned them in the wilderness, as well as of mental activity to assist in the management of the sacred services. And hence it was the period of life at which [John] the Baptist and Christ entered on their respective ministries. The term prescribed for active duty was a period of 20 years, at the end of which they were exempted from the physical labours of the office, though still expected to attend in the tabernacle (ch. 8:26).” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

Only the Levites worked in the Tent of Meeting. They did not count them and register them in the army, (see Numbers 1:48). But, they did train for war. They were Israel’s “National Guard” or “Secret Service.”

Numbers 1:53, “…The Levites are responsible for the security of The Dwelling of The Testimony.” The


I stand corrected

From the ages of 20-30 20-25, the Levites guarded The Temple. They learned discipline and to follow orders. When they turned 30, their minds were also mature. Then they started the heavy lifting.

The Levites never retired. At the age of 50, they were excused from heavy physical labor but still performed all other duties.

Numbers 8:23-26, “God spoke to Moses: (24) ‘These are your instructions concerning the Levites: At the age of twenty-five they will join the workforce in the Tent of Meeting; (25) at the age of fifty they must retire from the work. (26) They can assist their brothers in the tasks in the Tent of Meeting, but they are not permitted to do the actual work themselves. These are the ground rules for the work of the Levites.’ ” The Message

Ministry looks fun and exciting. But it is discipline, patience, following orders, practice, and heavy lifting.

How do you minister in your church? Usher? Altar worker? Nursery Attendant? Teacher? Janitor? Prayer Partner?

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Say to Them…

“Are you going to move the boxes out of the guest room?” David asked.

“I can’t until I make space in the storage room,” I replied.

I spent the morning in the storage room. I packed the drums and moved the cases to the bottom of the stairs. Then I texted Derek to pick them up.

David moved the drum shield on his lunch hour. (I couldn’t lift it.) I cleared the corner; rolled up the rug, and swept the floor.

“…God is for you. That means you can do the thing you are afraid you can’t do. …Beginning is usually the hard part. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; after that it gets easier. …Radio commentator Paul Harvey says, ‘You can always tell when you’re on the road to success. It’s uphill all the way.’ ” The Word for You Today, 11-13-18

I spent the afternoon putting fall decorations away. Then I put away the decorating boxes. I cleared the suitcases and boxes off of the bed. When David got home from work, we took the bed apart. We leaned the pieces against the wall in the storage room. We swept the floor and called it a day.

* * * * * * *

This morning, David asked if I had a plan for the game/craft room. I got out my floor plan and showed him. It helps him to see the plan.

“…A Harvard study has demonstrated that our brain cannot tell the difference between a visualized image of our success and reality. However, it can tell the difference between a visualized image and a fantasy. …our brain looks at fantasies as a threat. …” How to Visualize Your Success in 3 Easy Ways, LaRae Quy, FBI Agent

The first step was “Be very intentional with the way you talk to yourself.” We also need to be intentional about how we speak to others.

Numbers 6:23-27, “…This is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them, (24) God bless you and keep you, (25) God smile on you and gift you, (26) God look you full in the face and make you prosper. (27) In so doing, they will place my name on the People of Israel – I will confirm it by blessing them.” The Message

Are you procrastinating on a project? Can you draw a picture of the result? Can you write steps to your goal? What is the first step?

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More Than Enough to Eat

We settled into our new shared office. David paid bills and I wrote my post. The sun at my back and the heater on the floor kept me toasty warm. It was 12° outside.

The arrangement worked great. When David finished he went to the living room to watch a game. I moved to the main desk and opened my Bible.

Leviticus 26:5, “…you’ll have more than enough to eat and will live safe and secure in your land.” The Message

I planned on organizing our “new” office and eating leftovers for dinner. But – my verse was prophetic.

Our friends called, “Do you want to go to Martini’s tonight?”

We ate at this restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Our friends told us we had to try the “Grazing Meal.” There was another couple who never tried it and the six of us were all free tonight.

* * * * * * *

They seated us by the window and I had a view of the Mississippi River. David and Mike had a view of the Iowa Hawkeye Game.

The first course was Spring Rolls with Plums Sauce, Bacon Pizza, and Chicken Lips with Ranch or Blue Cheese Dip. (I was a chicken and skipped the lips.)

They brought out the second course – Caesar Salad and warm Sourdough Bread with real butter. They may have made it there because it was white. The rolls disappeared but they had to box up half of the salad.

Then they brought out the main course. My eyes kept getting bigger and bigger. I thought they were going to pop out. Petite Filets with Béarnaise Sauce, Pork Chops with Mango Chutney, Pasta with Ham, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and fresh Green Beans with a seasoning I did not recognize. But it was all so good.

I cut the end off of a pork chop and took small servings of the pasta and vegetables. I ate the entire filet because I am all about that beef. I thought I was going to pop when they brought out dessert.

It was a 6″ slice of Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie on a dark chocolate cookie crust. I couldn’t cut the cookie. We think they crushed Oreos and mixed them with melted butter.

Two hours later, I understood my verse for the day. There were windows on 3 sides of us and I was totally safe. This is not a post for because we spent over 1/4 of our monthly food budget.

We split up the boxes of leftovers. One couple was only interested in that remaining chicken lip. The other couple took the pasta and salad. We brought home a filet, pork chop, potatoes, and green beans. I’m not cooking tonight.

It was a special evening with special friends. And God was laughing.

How many times have I settled for leftovers when God had a four-course meal ready for me? Has God surprised you beyond your wildest expectations?

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Reunite with Extended Family

I emptied the bookshelf and pulled half of the files out of the 2 drawer filing cabinet. I shoved it next to the desks. The long desk is next to my desk forming an extension.

I brought the oval table up for the printer. At lunch, David helped me move the bookshelf. I loaded it with the books we would use the most.

Then I took down the shelves and pictures from the wall over the desks. I filled in the holes. I’ll decide what to put on it later.

Mom gave us a small TV. We decided to use it as a computer monitor. I dug through my drawer of extra office equipment for a USB Cord. (I found an extra typewriter ribbon for a typewriter I donated 5 years ago. I threw it in the box for Goodwill)

I plugged the cord into the laptop and found the TV did not have a USB port. I took it downstairs. I will hook it up to my Blu-Ray player in my “soon-to-be” craft room.

I set up lamps around the office and called it a day.

I’ve rearranged 3 rooms and have 3 to go before Thanksgiving. I hope to have a guest room and a game/craft room set up. And a somewhat organized storage room. I’ve invited some extended family to dinner.

Leviticus 25:10, “…Each person will go back to his family’s property and reunite with his extended family.” The Message

I look forward to the day, the aromas, and the food – especially the rolls. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread.

Leviticus 24:5, “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using about four quarts of flour to a loaf.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Leviticus 24:8, “Regularly, every Sabbath, this bread is to be set before God, a perpetual covenantal response from Israel.” The Message

They used a gallon of flour to make one loaf of bread. Those were big loaves and they made twelve of them.

Every Sabbath smelled like fresh-baked, homemade bread. And there was plenty to feed the priests and their families. Just like Thanksgiving.

Will you be enjoying Thanksgiving with extended family? Are you hosting the dinner? Or, are you traveling back to your family’s property?

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Do What I Tell You

I had a mild headache and tired eyes. There was tension in my neck and shoulders. I spent 4 hours on the computer for the 3rd day in a row.

But, my spirit was laughing, jumping, turning cartwheels, and ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound. My soul was sitting quietly in the corner.

Starting in Jeremiah 26, I compared the “2018 Relevant Bible Reading Guide” to the Chronological Study Bible. (I completed the first part earlier.)

The Chronological Study Bible not only breaks up books but splits chapters. I checked the place of each section of the chapter. Then I read my notes from the New International Version Study Bible. I looked at the “2018 Relevant Bible Reading Guide” and decided where each chapter would go in 2019.

I moved entire books and single chapters. It was like solving a Rubik’s cube – on steroids. But the puzzle is nearly complete.

After walking away, I decided to move another chunk of chapters. Next, I will print it and compare it to the “2018 Relevant Bible Reading Guide.”

This is my 10th “Relevant” Guide. In 2009, I had two couples read it with me. Their enthusiasm and encouragement helped me take the leap to publish online.

This is much more exhilarating than playing Spider Solitaire!

Leviticus 22:31, “Do what I tell you; live what I tell you. I am God.” The Message

Now comes the math!

It’s okay. I like math.

Using the Amplified Bible, you need to read 2400 words a day to read the Bible in one year. I will add the words in each chapter until I reach the average.

Then I count the days in the sections where I rearranged books and chapters. (I did not change Christmas, Easter, or the Gospels.) Sometimes, I need to shuffle chapters to have fewer days. Or, I need to stretch them for an extra day – like on leap years.

I’m excited to dig in and would like to finish before Thanksgiving. But I also read a caution today.

Leviticus 23:3, “Work six days. The seventh is a Sabbath, a day of total and complete rest, a sacred assembly. Don’t do any work. Wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to God.” The Message

Do you have a project you want to finish before Thanksgiving? (Hey Jill, how are you coming on stripping the wallpaper from your dining room?)

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Live a Holy Life

Pastor Peggy Knudsen spoke last night on “The Condition of Your Soul.” Your soul is comprised of your intellect, mind, emotions, and will.

“When we are oblivious to the condition of our soul, we are leaving messes everywhere. …Our spirit and our body are affected by our soul. …I’m a spirit, I possess a soul, and I live in this body.” Pastor Peggy Knudsen, 11-7-18

It was a hard sermon for me because I spent the afternoon playing Spider Solitaire. Spider is like Superman’s Kryptonite. It feeds my soul – but not in a good way.

  • My intellect says – “You can solve this.”
  • My will says – “I will try again.”
  • My emotions say – “I’ll feel better when I win.”
  • My mind says – “I will win the next time.”

My body reacts with a headache and my spirit is down from feeling guilty. I know this was not God’s plan for my afternoon.

Leviticus 20:7, 8, “Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. (8) Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy.” The Message

Do you know your “Kryptonite?” How do you conquer it?

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Don’t Do What They Do

The election results are in.

That’s it. I’m moving.

I purposely voted with an absentee ballot. I took the time to research each judge. I talked with family members about the locals who were running that I did not know. I voted for the man or woman, not the party.

I’m just cold.

I’m moving out of my office. We bought a heater, but it has to be 3 feet from fabrics. My office is 8′ X 8′. It is impossible to use in here. I’m moving to David’s office. I spent 2 hours moving furniture on paper. I had to make room for 2 desks, 2 office chairs, 2 filing cabinets, a bookshelf and a table for the printer – in a 9′ X 11′ room.

Sorry, moving has nothing to do with the election.

I saw the expected reactions on Facebook. But, I choose not to react. I left the election results to God. I will keep following Him.

Leviticus 18:3, 4, “Don’t do what they do. (4) Obey my laws and live by my decrees. I am your God.” The Message

God has a plan for those elected and for those who did not get in. Any disappointment is tempered with the realization that God is in control.

After I heard the results, I remembered my life verses. And said nothing.

1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12, “And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, (12) so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” New International Version

Do you have a life verse? Would you like to share it? You may type it in the comments below.

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Seven Days

The laws in Leviticus were given before antibiotics. They had to be extremely careful or a sickness could wipe them out, (see 2 Samuel 24:15). That is why they quarantined the sick.

Today I noticed something unusual. Even after a person was healthy again, they could not enter the temple for another 7 days. They had to wash all their clothes and shower.

Leviticus 15:13, “When a person with a discharge is cleansed from it, he is to count off seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes and bathe in running water. Then he is clean.” The Message

Bathing in running water would have been difficult. They were in the desert. Showers had not been invented. This precaution was to keep sickness from spreading.

There’s a nasty infection a few of my friends contracted. But with the use of antibiotics, they only missed one day of work. Their coughs have hung on for weeks.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they could take an extra week off to rebuild their strength?

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Examine It Again

Last Monday, I was mad at David. I wanted to rearrange the basement for Thanksgiving and he wouldn’t even look at the plans.

I ranted to God. “I know there are three in this marriage. I won’t give up, but I’m getting nowhere with David. You be my husband.”

“Good,” God replied, “go put away David’s clothes.”

(Years ago, our children were not putting their clothes away. David had me pile his clean clothes next to theirs. After work, he put them away. He led by example. He was showing them that I was not the maid.)

I put his clothes away.

God worked on David’s heart and you know the rest of the story. It’s amazing the difference a week can make.

Leviticus 13:5, “On the seventh day…examine it again…” The Message

Today, all the furniture is in place. There are pictures on the wall. The ironed tablecloths are on the tables and dressers. The Thanksgiving tablescape and candles are ready. The table is set and waiting under dust covers.

Through the week, I learned a new approach to dealing with problems in a relationship:

  1. Exclude them from the conversation. The Israelites excluded one from the congregation, (see Leviticus 7:21). I excluded him from the conversation. I stopped talking to David about the problem and talked about it with God.
  2. I choose my attitude. On the hardest day, I studied Proverbs 17:22. It talked about a cheerful heart. The cross-reference verses talked about a peaceful heart, (Proverbs 14:30), and a happy heart, (Proverbs 15:13). I took a break from the basement and finished a Christmas project. That made my heart happy.
  3. Let God pick the time for the conversation. I wanted David to accept my reasons for rearranging, (see Leviticus 10:20). He didn’t on Monday but did on Thursday. I had to let God choose the time for the conversation.
  4. Wait until evening, (see Leviticus 11:24). Give yourselves a day to cool off and ponder the conversation. Look at the issue from their perspective.
  5. It might take a week, (see Leviticus 13:5). We are an instant society. We want problems solved now. We want everyone to agree with us. But God is not dealing with just the problem. He is dealing with hearts. Each heart has to come into submission to God before the problem resolves.

Have you had a problem resolve in a week?

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No Mourning Rituals

A few weeks ago David made pancakes – 4 of them.

They tasted fine but usually, that recipe makes more. We went over it together.

He left out the salt.

And he used 1 teaspoon of baking powder, not 3. The batter did not rise.

Recipes are a lot like the rituals of the ancient world. You had to use the right things in the right amount.

“…in the ancient world the ritual was considered something to be performed correctly. …To make an error in the prescribed forms of the rite was not just a mistake, but an act of impiety. …” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Nadab and Abihu put coals and incense in their censers. They did not take the coals from the altar but from another fire, (see  Exodus 30:7, 8; 2 Chronicles 13:11; and Leviticus 16:12, 13). It was a “strange fire” they offered. It blew up in their faces and killed them.

Moses told Aaron and their brothers they could not mourn because they had the anointing oil on them. Their cousins removed the bodies.

Leviticus 10:6, “Moses then said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, ‘No mourning rituals for you – unkempt hair, torn clothes – or you’ll also die and God will be angry with the whole congregation.’ ” The Message

Today, I learned why…

“Nadab and Abihu’s evil was their decision to determine for themselves right and wrong ways to worship. Even mourning for these dead priests was denied, lest it be seen as condoning their sin (10:6, 7).” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Besides, they were wearing their priestly robes. They could not tear them.

I wondered about this for years. I love it when I find an answer to a long-standing question. Have you ever found the answer to something that puzzled you in the Bible?

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