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 All Rights Reserved.

That About Wrapped It Up

March 15, 2019: 2 Chronicles 4; 1 Kings 8.


2019 “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide

It’s done. Finally. The 2019 “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide is posted and scheduled. You may print it from the menu above. Or print each month when they publish on the 25th.

I had the most trouble with this year’s guide. I actually went through the double-checking process twice. I recorded the date we will read each chapter next to it. I had to finish it today. God made that clear in the verse He showed me.

2 Chronicles 4:1, “…And that about wrapped it up: Hiram completed the work he had contracted to do for King Solomon.” The Message
Missing In Action

I apologize for being “MIA” the last week. I was sick. I still read every day but didn’t write a post. I did want to share a few highlights of the week.


Tuesday, March 11th

My sore throat made my voice come and go. I’m ready to get off the couch and back to life.

Proverbs 24:13, “Eat honey, dear child – it’s good for you…” The Message


The honey helped! I’m turning the corner.


Wednesday, March 13th

I did one of the three tasks I normally do on a Wednesday. I’m making a comeback!

After playing for the worship service, I gathered my music and headed to class. I forgot to unplug my in-ear headphones from the Aviom. When I reached the end of the cord, I realized my mistake.

I turned around to unplug the cord and accidentally stepped into the strap of my purse. When I turned back around, I felt it wrapped around my ankle. Luckily, I didn’t wipe out.

Yeah, I’m back.

Proverbs 30:32, “If you’re dumb enough to call attention to yourself…” The Message


Most of the time, I’m hoping no one is paying attention to me!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

We have only one more class in Financial Peace University. I watched the video to see the part I missed while playing for the service. There is so much information and many ways to improve our finances.

I thought when we have a certain amount of money in savings I would be secure. God showed me I can’t have security without stability. If I can’t live on less than we make, our savings will quickly disappear.

Proverbs 3:17, “He placed the pillars in front of the Temple, one on the right, and the other on the left. The right pillar he named Jakin (Security) and the left pillar he named Boaz (Stability).” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Pillars were commonly used in this way to mark the entrance to ancient temples. …Their names seem to make them symbolic of God’s presence in His strength.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

“…Regardless of how much money I earned or saved, I never felt quite secure. …I’ll never forget a conversation I had with my first coach about security. …He said, ‘Cheryl, true security comes from having a reserve in all areas of your life – community, love, self-esteem, a connection to God, and health, in addition to financial reserves. Until you invest in these other areas, you’ll always feel insecure, regardless of how much money you have.’ ” “Life Makeovers” by Cheryl Richardson


Security and stability are only found in God’s strength.

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


Surprise Me in the Middle of the Night

February 7, 2019 – Psalms 17, 22, 54; 1 Samuel 27, 28

3:00 am – It’s too early to get up. I can’t function on 5 hours of sleep! After praying, tossing and turning, I got up and read until I was drowsy.

Psalms 17:3, “Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night…” The Message

7:30 am – I finally wake up to more freezing rain, the second storm this week. (Although, Sunday and Monday were nice.)

Mom called on Tuesday. She was going to visit while they serviced her car. She got an earlier appointment. She hoped to get groceries and beat the ice storm. She would not stop by.

She called later that afternoon to let me know she was safe at home. They finished her car early. She stopped at the doctor’s, refilled her prescriptions, and stocked up on groceries. The freezing rain started as she reached her hometown.

Psalms 22:4-5, “We know You were there for our parents: (5) they cried for Your help and You gave it; they trusted and lived a good life.” The Message

The storm lasted until 3 am on Wednesday. The temperatures hovered just above freezing. We went to church but drove home a bit more slowly. God kept us safe.

* * * * * * *

More freezing rain started in the middle of the night. Laura texted to let us know she arrived at work. She texted her dad again at 1:30 pm.

“I’m stuck in the parking lot.”

“Put your floor mats under the wheels for traction.”

He left work and drove 5 miles to help her. When he arrived – she was gone! He called her. She didn’t answer. (Some people helped her out and she drove straight home. She doesn’t use her phone while driving.)

David drove back to work. Then she called, “I’m home.”

* * * * * * *

The area schools closed again today. Our granddaughter, Olivia gets another snow day. I would hate to make that decision! They get yelled at either way!

One superintendent put it best: “I would rather go to school in June than to a funeral in February.”

(I remember the winter of 1978. We missed so much school that we had to go on a few Saturdays!)

* * * * * * *

After supper, I caught up on Facebook. Sarah’s baby could come any day now. She had an OB appointment. She thought she would be home by dinner. Her van slid right by her driveway. Others were having difficulty getting up the ice-covered hill. She finally made it at 9:30 pm.

(Dear Lord, protect Sarah and her baby.)

Psalms 22:30-31, “Our children and their children will get in on this as the word is passed along from parent to child. (31) Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news – that God does what He says.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” New International Version

* * * * * * *

“The ‘apple’ of the eye is the pupil, the dark opening through which light enters the eye. Its beauty, its function, and its delicacy make the eye the object of protection, and a source of anxiety if threatened. The use of this metaphor in the Bible expresses faith that God treats his own as especially precious (Psalms 17:8; Deuteronomy 32:10). Chronological Study Bible Notes

We are especially precious to God and He protects us. No matter how many storms we endure this winter!

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


Kept Moving, Here, There, Wherever

I think I broke a WordPress “Happiness Engineer” – maybe 2.

Each post I type morphs into one paragraph when I hit “preview.” We can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I opened my email to see the latest instructions.

Two emails from Pinterest caught my attention. Two different people hacked my account on the same day! I went to Pinterest and changed my password.

Psalms 7:1, “God! God! I am running to you for dear life; the chase is wild.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 142:6, “Oh, listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low. Rescue me from those who are hunting me down; I’m no match for them.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 57:1-3, “Be good to me, God – and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. (2) I call out to High God, the God who holds me together. (3) He sends orders from heaven and saves me, He humiliates those who kick me around. God delivers generous love, He makes good on His Word.” The Message

My second “Happiness Engineer” instructed me to make a video as I typed my post. They sent a link to download a program that would do that. I told God I was out of my league technology-wise. Then I read about David running from Saul.

1 Samuel 23:13-14, “…They left Keilah and kept moving, going here, there, wherever – always on the move. … (14) David continued to live in desert hideouts and the backcountry wilderness of Ziph. Saul was out looking for him day after day, but God never turned David over to him.” The Message

How did David know where to go next? God led him each day, one step at a time. David inquired of the Lord whether he should save Keilah. God said, “Yes. Go.”

“…Before battles, kings would consult with soothsayers and diviners to ensure divine favor. Mosaic law prohibited such divination (see Luke 19:26), but even in Israel there were means of seeking a word from God. One of these evidently was the ephod that Abiathar the priest had brought to David’s camp (1 Samuel 23:9-12). In Exodus, the ephod refers to the linen apron worn by the high priest (Exodus 39:2-7). With Abiathar’s ephod David would ask a yes-no question, and by some means that is not clear the ephod would reveal God’s answer. …” Chronological Study Bible Notes.

* * * * * * *

“The Urim and Thummim were a means of revelation entrusted to the high priest. No description of them is given. This oracular means apparently consisted of a material object or objects since it was physically stored in the breastpiece of the high priest (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8). …Sometimes the mention of the ephod (on which the breastpiece housing the Urim and Thummim were fastened) includes a reference to the Urim and Thummim (1 Samuel 23:9-12; 30:7-8). Also the verb ‘inquire of’ followed by ‘the Lord’ or ‘God’ when no means of revelation is specified refers to a usage of the Urim and Thummim.”

* * * * * * *

My devotional, “The Word for You Today,” quoted Ann Lander’s writings on maturity.

“Maturity is the ability to control your anger and settle your differences without violence or resentment. Maturity is patience; it’s the willingness to pass on short-term pleasure for long-term gain. It’s the ability to ‘sweat it out’ in spite of heavy opposition or discouraging setbacks. It’s the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration without complaining or collapsing. Maturity is humility. It’s being big enough to say, ‘I was wrong,’ and when you are right, never needing to say, ‘I told you so.’ Maturity is the ability to make a decision and follow through with it instead of exploring endless possibilities and doing nothing about any of them. Maturity means dependability, keeping your word, and coming through in a crisis.” The Word for You Today, 2-4-19

Today I would need patience. I would “sweat it out” and have discouraging setbacks and frustrations. But God promised to lead me each step – just like he did David.

I downloaded the video program. I was not sure which option to use. I googled it.

Of course, I had to set up an account. I hit the first training video and – they wanted money to teach me how to use this free program. I shut the browser. I went back to the program and tried 3 different options.

After choosing what I hoped was the correct one, I started typing. I have never typed slower or more inaccurately in my life! I feel sorry for the “Happiness Engineer” who has to watch this video!

I hit “preview” and it morphed into one paragraph. I shut off the recording and hit save and upload. Going back to the email, I answered the questions and hit the attachment button. I attached the most recent download.

I hit send. The thumbnail showed my attachment was the new arrangement of “Joy to the Word!” (This is beyond embarrassing.)

I tried to undo the message. I deleted the attachment. I hit the attachment button again and then hit paste. A video link appeared. I hit send. Why do these things happen to me?

Psalms 7:9-10, “Close the book on Evil, God, but publish your mandate for us. You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges. (10) And I’m feeling so fit, so safe; made right, kept right.” The Message

Then I laughed and laughed! I can’t believe my “Happiness Engineer” will be getting the words and chords to a Christmas Carol. God does have a sense of humor. He sure is working overtime on my soft spots and rough edges!

Psalms 63:7-8, “Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play. (8) I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.” The Message

Did you laugh with me today? If so, put an emoticon in the comment section.

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.

His Own Royal Robe and Weapons

David drove to Des Moines for our niece’s birthday party. We had a great time and lunch at the “Cheesecake Factory.”

While we were in town, I picked up a few things at Office Max, Hobby Lobby, and Penney’s. After driving home, David limped back into the house at 4:45 p.m.

The Volunteer Banquet was at 6 pm in Mt. Pleasant. Derek and Rachel rode with us. I volunteered to drive.

Driver’s Ed started as I backed out of the garage. (David and Derek were my instructors and they didn’t even agree with each other!)

As I turned on to the bypass, one of them said, “I would have waited for that oncoming car.”

“Me, too,” the other quipped.

“Why aren’t you using the cruise?” (There were wet areas on the highway and we ran into fog earlier. I dutifully turned it on.)

I noticed a car coming up behind me pretty quickly. I was overtaking the pickup in front of me. I switched lanes. The pickup sped up! (Boy, did I get harassed.)

“It’s illegal to drive in the left lane.”

The pickup slowed back down on a hill and I easily passed him without increasing my speed. I switched back to the right lane and the car behind me whizzed by.

A car tailgated me as I exited to Mt. Pleasant. I lowered the cruise to the correct speed limit and ignored him.

At the light on the square, a van came up to his red light too fast. I swerved instinctively. He managed to stop before the intersection but blocked the crosswalk. Both instructors yelled at me.

I stopped at the door to let my passengers out. One of the ushers asked if David had lost his license. (No.)

* * * * * * *

The banquet had a Carnival theme. David headed for the corner and rang the bell with the sledgehammer.

I decided to try it. I swung the sledgehammer behind my back and hit the lever. It surprised me how far the marker went up. I tried again.

The third time, I widened my stance. I put all my frustration from my backseat drivers in that swing and tinked the bell.

“Congratulations! You are one of the few women who rang the bell!” (I’ve been lifting weights – 8-pound weights.)

A sledgehammer is not a tool I normally use. I use a claw hammer. But, if I keep working with heavier and heavier weights, the next time I will ring that bell.

1 Samuel 18:3-4, “Jonathan, out of his deep love for David, made a covenant with him. (4) He formalized it with solemn gifts: His own royal robe and weapons – armor, sword, bow, and belt.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“There was more to Saul’s offer of the royal armor and sword to David than meets the eye (1 Samuel 17:38-39). …when Saul offered David his armor, he would have been understood by Israelite culture as offering David his own position as king of Israel. The transfer of clothing signified a transfer of status. …(1 Kings 9:19)… But David could not wear the armor or the sword; he was not ready to rule, even though he already had the favor of God and the courage to defend Israel. By returning the military gear, David showed that he did not intend to replace Saul as king. …Eventually, however, David would be king. When Saul’s son Jonathan covenanted with David, the transfer of clothing and armor was repeated, but with a different result (1 Samuel 18:1-4).” Chronological Study Bible Notes.

* * * * * * *

“…with the acceptance of the sword of Jonathan, David became who Jonathan was. David was now the heir apparent to the throne. …Jonathan acknowledged that God’s decision had been made: David was to rule rather than himself and he was willing to step aside. …Saul began sending out David to battles he had previously fought himself. …(1 Samuel 18:5). …Saul began to refer to David as ‘my son’ (1 Samuel 24:16; 26:21).” Chronological Study Bible Notes

I was not ready to combine my blogs in 2017. I will get another opportunity.

Social media pulls me into too many directions:

  1. Maintaining Google+.
  2. Twitter can no longer post automatically to Facebook.
  3. The rules changed for the Frugal Fish Facebook page. I had to start over.
  4. Learning Instagram.
  5. My posts being marked offensive on Facebook.
  6. Being locked out of Facebook and no longer free to share there.

I’m in a waiting period. The last blogging course I took showed me what I did wrong in 2009. I can’t go back – but I can move forward.

What new tool or program are you learning to use?

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


Hold on Tight

“The movie ‘Ben Hur’ won more Academy Awards than any other movie in history. Charlton Heston, who played the hero in this movie, had to drive a chariot for his role. He was supposed to win the climactic chariot race, but there was a problem: He was having trouble learning to drive the chariot. He walked over to his director, William Wyler, and said, ‘Mr. Wyler, I can barely stay on the chariot. I can’t win this race.’ Wyler looked at Heston and said, ‘Son, your job is to stay on the chariot; my job is to make sure you win.’ …Stay on the chariot. Don’t quit on God and don’t stop trusting in Him. Your job is to obey; His job is to make sure you win. …” The Word for You Today, 1-19-19


A chariot race is a good picture of a marriage. Everything goes so fast. You have 4 horses who want to go in 4 different directions.

Those who try to win the race – keeping ahead of their neighbors – don’t survive. Those who survive win.

Those who jump off are either killed or maimed. Sometimes, it’s really exciting. Other times it’s really scary. If you’re married – just hold on tight!


Matthew 19:10-12, “Jesus’ disciples objected. ‘If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?’ (11) But Jesus said, ‘Not every one is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. (12) Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked – or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.’ ”  The Message


* * * * * * *

“Two leading schools of Pharisees debated over what constituted appropriate grounds for divorce. The school of Hillel said that divorce was unfortunate, but that a man could divorce his wife for simply burning his toast. By contrast, the school of Shammai declared that a man could divorce his wife only if she had been sexually unfaithful in some manner …He [Jesus] replied by allowing divorce in only one situation: when the wife had committed ‘sexual immorality’ (19:9). …When ancient divorces went to court, a charge of immorality could determine who got the wife’s dowry. …he considered the innocent party in a divorce, and allowed exceptions for those divorced or betrayed against their will (Matthew 5:32; see 1 Corinthians 7:15).” Chronological Study Bible Notes


Jesus chose not to marry for the sake of the Gospel. He knew His mission and let go of everything else.

Marriage is one of the blessings of God. He blesses us with other things but we are to hold them loosely. They may pass through our hands to someone else.


Matthew 19:22, “That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.”  The Message


God’s blessings are not reserved for the saints among us. The same grace and mercy extended to Mother Teresa is given to the deathbed convert.

“God’s rewards are not earned by the time we serve or the energy we expend. They are His gracious gifts to all who follow Him faithfully. Matthew’s parable explains the proverb ‘first will be last’ (Matthew 19:30; 20:16).” Chronological Study Bible Notes


How long have you been following God?

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


According to Plan

I forgot to send the songs to cousin Brenda. I told her I would in August. Of course, I only remembered in the middle of the night.

This time, I wrote it on my task list: Send the songs that have portions of hymns in them to Brenda. 

My list was long and my basement is in disarray. The stockings are hung on the clothesline with care. (I dry-cleaned them yesterday.) The other clothesline is full of Christmas throws and blankets. Two partially packed totes of Christmas ornaments are in the living room.

Luke 8:1, “He continued according to plan, traveled to town after town, village after village, preaching God’s kingdom, spreading the Message. …” The Message

What is my plan, Lord? I started with the first item on my list. I thought of goals for this year. Some scare me!

Luke 8:37-39, “Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave – too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off. (38) The man whom He had delivered from the demons asked to go with Him, but He sent him back, saying, (39) ‘Go home and tell everything God did in you.’ So he went back and preached all over town everything Jesus had done for him.” The Message

I don’t want to push Jesus away because there are changes. And everything happens so fast. (Like right now! I’m typing on a new editor and I have to do everything differently! Type a paragraph – set the bold, set the quote, get out of that box and start a new one. I am not a fan. This is taking forever!)

I want to follow Jesus. Hitting the road looks so glamorous. It’s not. (Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. Television and concerts are not glamorous.)

He keeps telling me to stay home and talk about everything He has done for me. I wondered why He told the parents of the little girl to keep quiet?

Luke 8:56, “Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. ‘Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Keeping a secret of the new life given Jairus’s previously deceased daughter would have been impossible (Matthew 9:26). So some have thought that when Jesus charged her parents ‘not to tell anyone what had happened’ (Luke 8:56), He was referring specifically to what had transpired in the girl’s room. Perhaps Jesus wanted to leave open the possibility in the minds of some that the girl had actually only been sleeping (Matthew 9:24; Mark 5:39; Luke 8:52), lest His fame for raising the dead should become a hindrance to His continuing ministry. …”

Chronological Study Bible Notes

If the parents spread the news, everyone would have pressed Jesus to raise their dead. He would not have had time to preach, heal the sick, and set the captives free.

Yes, He had a long task list, too! I followed His example and prayed, “Father, what would you have me to do next?”

I marked off all but one item on my list. The Christmas throws are still on the clothesline downstairs. But, the ornaments are all safely packed away – even the new ones!

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Corrie ten Boom

Do you have a plan?

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


What You Believed Could Happen Has Happened

“Let’s read Mark 11:23 in the Modern English Version. ‘For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.’ How many times did we read the word ‘believes’? Once. How many times did we read the word ‘says’? Three times. …Be careful what you say.” Pastor Monte Knudsen, 1-2-19

In Matthew 8, the captain’s servant was sick. He believed Jesus could heal him. He said to Jesus, ‘Just give the order.’

Matthew 8:13, “Then Jesus turned to the captain and said, ‘Go. What you believed could happen has happened.’ At that moment his servant became well.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Last night we attended a cousin’s funeral. While talking with aunts and uncles another relative joined us.

She said, “You should read Pam’s Bible posts. They’re really good. She uses the messenger Bible.” (I think she meant The Message.)

Two of our uncles are preachers. I thought I would get chided for not using the King James Bible. I told them, “I grew up on Bible schools reading the King James Version. I didn’t understand it. I don’t speak Elizabethan English. I read the modern versions so I can understand what I’m reading.”

* * * * * * *

Funerals today are much different from in Bible times. We remembered good things and there was a lot of laughter.

Matthew 8:21-22, “Another follower said, ‘Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.’ (22) Jesus refused. ‘First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life!’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…No son whose father had just died would be talking with Jesus in public before the father’s body had been laid in a tomb. …Even today in the Middle East, the expression ‘Wait until I bury my father’ expresses a desire to wait until the father has died before embarking too far from home. …Jewish people in the 1st century let the flesh rot off of a corpse’s bones for a year, then returned to the tomb and gathered the bones into a box which they deposited into a slot in the tomb wall. If the disciple was referring to such a reburial, known as ‘secondary’ burial, then he was asking for as much as a year’s delay in following Jesus. …” Chronological Study Bible Notes

Your business is life! Pursue life! What are you believing for?

©2009-2019 All Rights Reserved.


Determined to Take Care of Things Quietly

Did you pray the “Save Me, Jesus, Prayer” yesterday? I hope you responded liked the shepherds did to the angel’s message.

Luke 2:17, “They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. Seeing was believing.” The Message

Your life is forever changed! You’ll see. Faith is believing before you see it. Seeing makes your faith grow but you have to believe first and then do something.

Now what? Follow Jesus. He shows us how to live.

Luke 2:46, “The next day they found Him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.” The Message

Find a Bible-believing church. Be found there every time the doors are open. Listen and ask questions.

What about the rest of the time? Live obediently with your parents and those in authority. If you’re married do everything in your power to live peacefully with your spouse.

Luke 2:51, “So He went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. …” The Message

“But you don’t know my family!” 

Well, let’s look at Jesus’ family:

  1. Matthew 1:3, “Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar), …” Tamar was his daughter-in-law, see Genesis 38:1-30.
  2. Matthew 1:5, “Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab), …” Rahab was the prostitute who hid the spies in Jericho, see Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17, 22-25.
  3. Matthew 1:5, “…Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother) …” We read about Ruth 2 days ago. She was a foreigner of another race, see Ruth 1-4.
  4. Matthew 1:6, “…David had Solomon (Uriah’s wife was the mother).” David had an affair with Bathsheba and arranged for Uriah’s death in battle. Their first child died, see 2 Samuel 11:1-12:24.
  5. Matthew 1:7, “Solomon had Rehoboam,…” Rehoboam lost 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel in the first year that he was king, see 1 Kings 11:1-20.
  6. Matthew 1:8, “Asa had Jehoshaphat,…” Jehoshaphat won a battle without fighting, see 2 Chronicles 20:1-29.
  7. Matthew 1:9, “…Ahaz had Hezekiah.” Hezekiah also won a battle without fighting, see 2 Chronicles 32:1-22. He got sick and was dying. He asked God to extend his life. Then he asked God to make the sun go backward to prove He would! He lived another 15 years, see 2 Kings 20:1-11.
  8. Matthew 1:10, “Hezekiah had Manasseh, …” Manasseh was evil, vile, and murderous, see 2 Kings 21:1-18.
  9. Matthew 1:10, “…Amon had Josiah.” Josiah found the Book of the Law. He commanded it taught to everyone. He cleaned out the Temple and restored it, see 2 Kings 22:1-23:28.
  10. Matthew 1:11, “Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers…” His sons did not serve God. Everything went from bad to worse until the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem. The people were either killed or taken into exile, see 2 Kings 23:31-25:21.

In every family, there are relatives who make you proud. In every family, there are relatives whose decisions cause shame. Joseph is our example of responding to our family.

Matthew 1:19, “Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.” The Message

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“The commitment of a betrothal was so legally binding that a divorce was required to break it off (1:19). Joseph had little choice. If a man’s betrothed wife became pregnant, people would assume that she had regarded him as an inadequate man and this would publicly humiliate him. Worse yet, should he not divorce her most people would assume that he was the one who had gotten her pregnant, and he would bear great shame in a culture that was obsessed with shame and honor.

Jewish law required a man to divorce a wife who had been unfaithful. Joseph could have divorced Mary publicly in a court. The court would not only establish his innocence, but also profit him financially: he would get to keep all of Mary’s dowry (the money her father gave her for her marriage). By planning to divorce her privately (writing out a certificate of divorce for her in front of two witnesses), Joseph elected to forfeit profit rather than shame her any further.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

We can pour on more shame or act with honor – knowing it will cost us. We don’t act alone. We ask Jesus to love through us. He can when we can’t. We won’t feel like it. It will be hard – possible excruciating. But only Jesus can heal a family.

As for the shame? Jesus carried all shame to the cross. He took it with him to Hell and left it there.

Hebrews 12:2, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” New Living Translation

We do not have to live with shame.

Psalms 25:2, “O, my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.” New American Standard Bible

Will you be getting together with family this week?

©2009-2018 All Rights Reserved.


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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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 All Rights Reserved.