God’s Paths

April 11, 2019: Hosea 9-14.

We are reviewing our insurance policies. I’m getting three quotes on homeowners and auto insurance. The last quote for personal liability was really high. I emailed to see if we could reduce it. I want to get sufficient coverage at a good price. (See Proverbs 27:23-27.)

The man from Alliant Energy came while I was working out with weights. They are switching to new meters. ( See 1 Corinthians 9:27.)

My Mother’s Day wreath is wrapped with green ribbon and pearls. I wrapped lace in the spaces between. I enjoy feathering my nest. (See Proverbs 31:13).

Each day starts with renewing my spirit. I work on tasks for physical and financial gain. I work to make our home beautiful and repair things as needed. These are God’s paths.

Hosea 14:9, “If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll learn this inside and out. God’s paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk them easily, wrong-living people are always tripping and stumbling.” The Message

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I Want You to Know God

April 10, 2109: Hosea 3-8.

Each week I “deep clean” one room. I run a damp cloth over and under everything. I wash the inside of the windows and the glass on the mirrors and pictures. I vacuüm the edges and corners. And I declutter – a lot.

This week the office was my zone. I cleared off my desk and found a place for everything currently on the floor. My goal is to get my house ready to sell. God cannot give me a different house if this house is not ready to show.

“God has written in a book everything we are supposed to do. …We ask God for the right direction. …The more we go in the wrong direction, the more callused our heart becomes. …We are to be productive, not just busy. …Learn the difference between activity and accomplishment. …Faith has a plan.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, April 10, 2019

This is why I love going to church! I get direction for my daily life. And I love Jesus. God has a plan for me. I don’t want to miss it.

Hosea 6:6, “I’m after love that lasts, not more religion. I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings.” The Message

It’s not about attendance; it’s about paying attention.

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God’s Somebody

April 9, 2019: Amos 9; 2 Kings 15; Hosea 1, 2.

Ever feel like a nobody? Ever feel unimportant? Is your life turning out the way you planned? Do you feel hopeless – like it’s too late?

You are not alone!

I’m reading “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way,” by Lysa Terkeurst. She experienced all these feelings.

“…God uses dust. If I want His promises, I have to trust His process. …We must let God’s Word become the words of our story. I am: wonderfully made, a treasure, beautiful, fully known by Him, lavishly loved by Him, chosen, special, set apart. …Your story will not be wasted.”

“It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way,” by Lysa Terkeurst

You are not “nobody.” You are God’s “somebody.”

Hosea 1:10, “But down the road the population of Israel is going to explode past counting, like sand on the ocean beaches. In the very place where they were once named Nobody, they will be named God’s Somebody.” The Message

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Life Without Wrinkles

April 8, 2019: Amos 5-8.

First, I used alcohol. I dabbed it on the discoloration. Then, I tried hydrogen peroxide.

I’m working on my letters from school. I shoved them in a small box with the white, National Honor Society academic stole. The dye from the letters bled on to the white stole. I’m trying to get that red out!

I have a shadow box set aside just for my letters and award pins. It matches David’s school shadow box. (I made his several years ago.)

As I work, I remember the people from choir, band, journalism, cheerleading, and football. (Yes, I was on the football team. The coach picked a math tutor to keep their stats!)

We have a reunion this year. (I hope Pam makes it. She took me home when our house burned. I spent the night and she loaned me some clothes.)

Then I think, “I want to lose weight. Should I color my hair?”  Of course, God answered that question right away.

Amos 6:6, “Woe to those addicted to feeling good – life without pain! Those obsessed with looking good – life without wrinkles! They could not care less about their country going to ruin.” The Message

Ouch…again.

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For the Most Part

April 5, 2019: 2 Chronicles 25; 2 Kings 14; Jonah 1-3.

 

2 Chronicles 25:2, “He lived well before God, doing the right thing for the most part. But he wasn’t wholeheartedly devoted to God.” The Message

Dear Father God,

Show me where I am not following you wholeheartedly.

Amen

* * * * * * *

April 6, 2019: Jonah 4; Joel 1-3.

It was a dangerous prayer I prayed yesterday. God did show me.

Jonah 4:2, “…I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness.” The Message

I have acted like Jonah! He:

  • was furious, v. 1.
  • lost his temper, v. 1.
  • yelled at God, v. 2.
  • said, “I knew this would happen!”, v. 2.
  • wanted to kill evil people, v. 3.
  • wanted to die, when it didn’t happen, v. 3.
  • just left, v. 5
  • sat down and sulked, v. 5.
  • made himself comfortable in his pity party, v. 5.
  • sat back and waited to see what happened, v. 5.
  • was happy when God made things easy, v. 6.
  • wanted to die when things got hard, v. 8.
  • believed he had the right to get angry, v. 9.
  • changed his feelings from pleasure to anger overnight over things he didn’t work for, v. 10.

Joel 2:13, “Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God.” The Message

* * * * * * *

April 7, 2019: 2 Chronicles 26; Amos 1-4.

I thought God finished pointing out areas that I needed to work on. Nope. I learned from Uzziah.

Uzziah (also known as Azariah):

  • Behaved well in the eyes of God.
  • Followed in the footsteps of his father.
  • Was a loyal seeker of God.
  • Was well-trained by his pastor and teacher Zechariah.
  • Lived in reverent obedience before God.
  • For as long as Zechariah lived, he lived a godly life.

Uzziah was doing everything right. Then his success went to his head.

2 Chronicles 26:16, “But then the strength and success went to his head. Arrogant and proud, he fell.” The Message

* * * * * * *

After my nap, I read the “77 Habits of Highly Ineffective Christians,” by Chris Fabry. Below are 7 that made me the most uncomfortable.

#2 Make Tolerance Your God

#5 Shun Pain

#29 Measure Success by Numbers

#38 Do Not View Your Body as a Temple

#50 Have All the Answers

#58 Live a Safe Life

#67 Be a Poor Receiver

Be careful what you pray for! (I have a lot to work on.)

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Use Them to Renovate

April 4, 2019: 2 Kings 12; Psalms 42, 43, 88; 2 Kings 13.

On Fridays, I pray over our financial needs, wants, and desires. Sometimes, I get them mixed up.

A high school girl hit our truck in December and totaled it. We thought we “needed” a new truck. When we received the insurance settlement, we decided we “wanted” a new truck. After several months with only one vehicle, we “desired” a new truck…someday. In the meantime, we save for it.

We received a small income tax refund this week. (It’s not enough for a new truck.) We are debt-free and this money is not earmarked for any pressing need. We even considered giving it away.

2 Kings 12:5, “And, keeping a careful accounting, use them to renovate The Temple wherever it has fallen into disrepair.” The Message

There are many items on my prayer list for repair or replacement. I decided to make a careful accounting of them. I divided them into categories: Repair, Replace, Maintenance, and Improvement.

Now we pray over the list and the money. We ask God what to do first and how much to allocate for that project.

Someday, He’ll say, “Buy a new truck!”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Temple of Your God

April 3, 2019: 2 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 22-24.

This is my second year using “time study” sheets. It starts at 4:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm. Every half hour I record what I did.

The morning is easy. I enter “Write” and draw an arrow down to my completion time. I can easily see my “time wasters.”

“Don’t plan without God. …‘Make every minute count,’ Ephesians 5:15-16.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, April 3, 2019

Today I turned my time study sheet into a planning sheet. My task list is too long! There are not enough hours in a day. No wonder I rarely complete it.

And I have no breaks or downtime. Things will have to change. I may have to get creative.

“Creative thinkers:

  1. Explore every option. …Albert Einstein said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Why? Because it looks for new ways to put your knowledge to work.
  2. Embrace ambiguity. Creative people don’t feel the need to stamp out uncertainty.
  3. Celebrate the offbeat. Creativity explores off the beaten path.
  4. Are not afraid of failure. …They refuse to let the ideas that don’t work prevent them from coming up with ones that do.”

The Word for You Today, April 3, 2019

Joash had a plan to repair The Temple. He even implemented his plan. But it didn’t work.

2 Chronicles 24:4, “He got the priests and Levites together and said, ‘Circulate through the towns of Judah every year and collect money from the people to repair The Temple of your God. You are in charge of carrying this out!’ But the Levites dragged their feet and didn’t do anything.” The Message

Why didn’t it work? He left God out. He referred to it as the Temple of your God.

Joash never did make God his God. He feared and respected Jehoiada. But after he died Joash deserted The Temple, (2 Chronicles 24:17-18).

* * * * * * * *

I’m glad I wrote my plan in pencil. With God’s help, I will have to erase a few things!

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Son of Nimshi

April 2, 2019: 2 Chronicles 21; 2 Kings 9, 10.

I covered the pork roast with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley flakes. After I finished my tasks for the day, I cooked green beans. There were leftover potatoes to warm up. I looked over in the Crockpot and…

…the meat was raw!

I forgot to check the setting. That roast sat on “warm” all afternoon. At least it was frozen to start.

David went to Taco John’s for “Taco Tuesday.” Our oldest son was picking up tacos for his family.

“Guess what your Mom did. She put a roast in the Crockpot all day on warm!”

It’s always a treat running into our adult children. Our lives are so busy we don’t see them often.

* * * * * * *

Today we read about the mixed up family of the kings of Israel and Judah. King Jehoshaphat made a marriage alliance with King Ahab. Then they named their children after their uncles. We ended up with two sets of kings sharing the same name! And then there was Jehu!

2 Kings 9:2, “Look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Israel (northern kingdom)

Ahaziah was the son of Ahab, brother of Israel’s Joram (or Jehoram), and uncle to Judah’s Ahaziah. He continued the alliance with Jehoshaphat, building ships and conducting an unsuccessful joint trading venture (2 Chronicles 20:35-37).

Joram, (or Jehoram) was the son of Ahab, brother of Israel’s Ahaziah, and uncle to Judah’s Ahaziah. He allied himself with Jehoshaphat to fight Moab (2 Kings 3:6). Later he allied himself with Judah’s Ahaziah, his nephew, to fight Aram (2 Kings 8:28-29).

Judah (southern kingdom)

Jehoram, (or Joram) was the son of Jehoshaphat and brother-in-law to Israel’s Ahaziah and Joram. He married their sister Athaliah (2 Chronicles 21:6).

Ahaziah was the son of Jehoram and the nephew of Israel’s Ahaziah and Jehoram. He joined his uncle, Israel’s Joram, in a campaign against Aram (2 Kings 8:28).”

Chronological Study Bible Notes, p. 554

* * * * * * * *

“Israel (northern kingdom)

Jehu led a violent extermination of the Ahab dynasty. After killing Israel’s King Joram (Jehoram) (2 Kings 9:24), the son of Ahab, Jehu also influenced the deaths of Ahab’s wife Jezebel (9:33) and 70 sons (2 Kings 10:1, 7).

The slaughter of Ahab’s family continued with the killing of Judah’s King Ahaziah (9:27), who was Ahab’s grandson. Jehu continued an attack against Judah’s royal family by executing Ahaziah’s brothers (10:12-14). These attacks on Judah’s royalty allowed Athaliah to seize Judah’s throne.

Judah (southern kingdom)

Athaliah was the daughter of Israel’s King Ahab and sister of Israel’s King Joram (Jehoram). She was married to Judah’s King Jehoram. When her husband died, Athaliah’s son, Ahaziah became king, but was killed after one year.

Desiring Judah’s throne for herself, Athaliah ruthlessly tried to kill all her grandsons (2 Kings 2:11). Had she succeeded, there would not have been a descendant of David to sit on Judah’s throne. One grandson survived, the infant Joash (2 Kings 11:2).”

Chronological Study Bible Notes, p. 571

* * * * * * *

“Jehu ben Nimshi was in fact the son of a man called Jehoshaphat (not to be confused with Jehoshaphat king of Judah) and Nimshi was Jehu’s grandfather,… He was one of the military officers of Jehoram King of Israel…”

Azamra (Torah for Our Time), Avraham ben Yaakov

Had Jehu been a descendant of King Jehoshaphat, 2 Kings 9:2 would have read: “Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, son of Asa…”

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Updated “Habit-Forming” Bible Reading Guide

The “Habit-Forming” Guide is 21 66 days of Psalms. Based on the Amplified Bible, it starts with the shortest chapters going to the longest. (It takes 21 days to form a habit!) According to Dr. Oz, it takes 66 days to form a habit. (“Change Thinking for Better Health Habits,” in an email on April 3, 2019.)

Day

  1. Psalms 117
  2. Psalms 131
  3. Psalms 133
  4. Psalms 134
  5. Psalms 123
  6. Psalms 15
  7. Psalms 43
  8. Psalms 70
  9. Psalms 93
  10. Psalms 100
  11. Psalms 125
  12. Psalms 127
  13. Psalms 1
  14. Psalms 13
  15. Psalms 23
  16. Psalms 53
  17. Psalms 126
  18. Psalms 128
  19. Psalms 150
  20. Psalms 11
  21. Psalms 14
  22. Psalms 150
  23. Psalms 11
  24. Psalms 14
  25. Psalms 54
  26. Psalms 67
  27. Psalms 87
  28. Psalms 110
  29. Psalms 120
  30. Psalms 142
  31. Psalms 3
  32. Psalms 4
  33. Psalms 12
  34. Psalms 61
  35. Psalms 82
  36. Psalms 101
  37. Psalms 114
  38. Psalms 121
  39. Psalms 124
  40. Psalms 129
  41. Psalms 130
  42. Psalms 138
  43. Psalms 8
  44. Psalms 20
  45. Psalms 28
  46. Psalms 47
  47. Psalms 52
  48. Psalms 98
  49. Psalms 99
  50. Psalms 113
  51. Psalms 122
  52. Psalms 137
  53. Psalms 149
  54. Psalms 6
  55. Psalms 24
  56. Psalms 64
  57. Psalms 75
  58. Psalms 111
  59. Psalms 112
  60. Psalms 141
  61. Psalms 146
  62. Psalms 16
  63. Psalms 29
  64. Psalms 32
  65. Psalms 42
  66. Psalms 46

Congratulations!

You established the discipline of reading the Bible! Now print off Days 1-141 of the “Babysteps” Guide and cross off the Psalms. You already read the Psalms through Day 96. Starting on Day 5 read the short chapters in the other books.

Or switch over to the “Relevant” Guide and read the chapters assigned to today. You can start reading it any day of the year.

Be sure to keep a notebook handy. The secrets to life are hidden in these chapters! God will bless you as you read.

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Give Us Permission

April 1, 2016: 2 Kings 6-8.

“Our house is 634 square feet.”

“That can’t be right. Let me get my tape measure.”

“That was the square footage on the former owner’s insurance documents. I’ll check our assessment.”

David started measuring rooms and I went online. I chose our county at iowaassessors.com. Clicking on the GIS Map, I zoomed in until I found our home.

I clicked on it and then chose the “parcel report.” David was right. It was more than 634 square feet.

We entered the correct square footage on the insurance form. We had not reviewed our insurance coverage since 2005.

Yes, our home is small. Yes, we did look at larger homes when our kids were teenagers. We always liked our home better than the ones we saw for sale.

When our oldest was a junior in high school we stopped looking. We realized in another year or two our children would be moving out.

God led us to this house. We bought it while we were living under the poverty level and I was pregnant!

As we added children, it did get crowded. We did run out of elbow room. But God never directed us to another home. So we stayed put.

2 Kings 6:1, 2, “One day the guild of prophets came to Elisha and said, ‘You can see that this place where we’re living under your leadership is getting cramped – we have no elbow room. (2) Give us permission to go down to the Jordan where each of us will get a log. We’ll build a roomier place.’ ” The Message

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