We Won’t Be Afraid When the World Falls Apart

Covid-19 “Shelter in Place” – Day 1

Journal – March 16, 2020: “It’s a cloudy day and the streets are quiet. Schools are closed until April 13th. My granddaughter Olivia is safe. My pregnant daughter-in-law Rachel is working from home. She is safe.

I had 5 chicken wings buried in Bacon Mac and Cheese leftover from Cashus Italian Cuisine. I cooked peas to go with it for supper. (I only eat one anyway.)

My daughter-in-law Bethany gave us 2 pieces of cheesecake. I ate mine at lunch thinking I could work it off. 

It didn’t work.

My blood sugar spiked and then dived. I was lethargic all evening.

But we are safe.”

Psalms 46:1-2, 11, “God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble. 2) That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, … 11) The Lord of heavenly forces is with us! The God of Jacob is our place of safety.” Common English Bible

March 16, 2020: 2 Chronicles 6; Psalms 46-48, 87, 93.

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They Began to Sing

Journal – March 15, 2020: “…We held church but Pastor Monte asked us to refrain from hugging or shaking hands. …the Civic Center canceled all April events. We will be the only ones using it. …” 

II Chronicles 5:13, “The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord as one. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, they began to sing, praising the Lord: ‘Yes, God is good! Yes, God’s faithful love lasts forever!’ Then a cloud filled the Lord’s Temple.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“…worship isn’t fully complete without joy and music. …David appointed the Levites ‘to remember, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord’ with singing and instruments. …” Common English Bible Sidebar Note “Worship and Music”

It was good to get together with our church family. Everyone sang a little louder today. Our hearts were lighter as we left.

Proverbs 15:13, “A joyful heart brightens one’s face, but a troubled heart breaks the spirit.” Common English Bible

March 15, 2020: I Kings 8; II Chronicles 5.

 

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Solomon Began to Build

Journal – March 14, 2020: “The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has caused a panic. People stocked up on toilet paper, bottled water, paper towels, Kleenex, baby wipes, medications, disinfectants, cleaning supplies, and rubbing alcohol. Many store aisles are empty.

They canceled all sporting events. Colleges switched to online classes. Illinois closed all schools and restaurants. Churches are airing messages online. Disney shut down. Broadway shut down. President Trump declared Sunday a ‘Day of Prayer.’ …”

* * * * * * *

It’s time to build an altar. We all will sacrifice something: our favorite sport, freedom to travel, church services, et al.

II Chronicles 3:1, “Solomon began to build the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah…” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“…the temple was located where Abraham bound Isaac (Genesis 22), the same place where the plague was stopped and David built an altar to God. …the site reminds the reader that the area has physical links to the ancestors and is chosen by God as a place of divine revelation.”

Common English Bible Notes on II Chronicles 3:1

Moses took Isaac to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him but God provided a ram. It was also the place where David offered sacrifices when the plague ended. A new plague is sweeping through the earth. Only God can stop it.

God has a greater plan. The place where Abraham and David went to sacrifice became the site of Solomon’s Temple.

  • Yes, we will sacrifice – but God has a plan.
  • Yes, we are facing a plague – but God has a plan.

His plan will bring beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Isaiah 61:3, “To provide for Zion’s mourners, to give them a crown in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning, a mantle of praise in place of discouragement. They will be called the Oaks of Righteousness, planted by the Lord to glorify Himself.”  Common English Bible

March 14, 2020: II Chronicles 3; I Kings 7; II Chronicles 4.

 

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Skilled and Experienced Craftsman

I remember finding the picture at the “Quarter Store.” I replaced the missing wire with twine and took some photos of it.

I shared a photo of it on Instagram and Twitter. I pinned it to my St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest board. I posted it to my Frugalfish Facebook Page. I was ready to post it on my Frugal Fish timeline when I noticed a reflection in the glass.

It was my face…during the worst allergy flare…my eyes were almost swollen shut! I went back and deleted it everywhere. Then I chose another photo and went through the process again.

* * * * * * *

God is showing me my decorating posts are as important as my Bible posts. He put the decorating gene in me. Look at the details and craftsmanship used in Solomon’s Temple.

II Chronicles 2:13-14, “I’m sending you a skilled and experienced craftsman, Huram-abi, 14) whose mother is from the tribe of Dan and whose father is from Tyre. He’s skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, as well as purple, violet, and crimson yarn, and fine linen. He can do any kind of engraving and make any design given to him. …” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“This same artisan is mentioned in I Kings 7:13-14, although his name is spelled slightly differently (‘Hiram’), and his mother is from the tribe of Naphtali. His heritage in II Chronicles, descending from Dan, links him back to Oholiab, the chief artisan of the Lord’s wilderness sanctuary, who also came from the tribe of Dan (Exodus 31:6). …

Common English Bible Notes on II Chronicles 2:13-16

Even the foundation was made from the finest quality, carefully cut stone.

I Kings 5:17, “At the king’s command, they quarried huge stones of the finest quality in order to lay the temple’s foundation with carefully cut stones.” Common English Bible

I used to save decorating projects until all my work was done. I never got to them. When I did have time, I didn’t have the energy!

John Maxwell says to schedule your day with your passions first:

  1. Passion
  2. Creativity
  3. Influence
  4. Priority of Importance
  5. Flexibility
  6. Timing – Big stuff in the morning
  7. Teamwork – Stuff you do with family

Now my decorating project is listed after devotions. I may have more time to decorate thanks to COVID-19. My devotions today spoke to that threat.

“…Sometimes your greatest blessings come from your most negative circumstances. …Remain calm, discipline yourself to focus on what you can do, and trust God to do what you can’t. …Let your emotions subside – before you decide.”

The Word for You Today, March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020: I Kings 5; II Chronicles 2; I Kings 6.

 

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Will Lack Nothing

I was writing in my yellow office and noticed the time.

“Luke was born on this day at this time!”

This was his bedroom. We painted it John Deere Green colors, yellow with dark green trim. (He is also a Green Bay Packers fan.)

When he moved out, I painted over the green. It’s a sunny southwest office. We filled his former closet with shelves for office supplies, scrapbooks, yearbooks, etc.

Getting the stepstool from the kitchen, I climbed up and pulled his baby book down from the top shelf. I remembered the joy of bringing him home. There was a baby in the house! A baby fills a house with sunshine.

I looked at pictures from his first six years. I dressed Luke adorably – thanks to the generosity of my friend Paula. As her son outgrew his clothes, she loaned them to me.

And those curls!

His hair had a reddish tint when he was born. I found the picture taken before his first haircut. Paula cut it for me. I didn’t have the heart to do it.

I keep one of those curls in his baby book. I didn’t get it out this year. I’m not sad. I’m bursting with pride over the man he became – soldier, fireman, mechanic, farmer, husband, and father.

Looking back to that year, I realized we may have been poor but we were never needy. (Yes, there is a difference.) God always provided our needs.

Proverbs 8:3, “Poor people who oppress the needy are rain that washes away food.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“…The poor are those who find themselves in situations of temporary want that can be alleviated by the generosity of those around them. The word translated ‘needy’ in 28:3 suggests that these are people who, because of some devastating life situation, most likely will never be able to care for themselves, and must rely on the goodwill of others for their wellbeing.” Common English Bible Notes on Proverbs 28:3

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 29:27, “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who turn a blind eye will be greatly cursed.” Common English Bible

A baby changes everything in the best possible ways.

March 12, 2020: Proverbs 27-30.

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Your Hope Won’t Be Cut Off

The owner of Nose Worthy Travel flew to Israel on Monday. He was checking accommodations for all his tours. He found the hotels were double-booked in March and April.

He arrived right after the announcement. Thank God he found a flight out.

God spared us that nightmare!

The expensive insurance did not work in this scenario. They said we should have known the Coronavirus was going to cancel all flights. (We should have known last August?) If we cancel, we lose all our money.

We rescheduled.

We are going to Israel.

Proverbs 23:17, 18, “Don’t let your heart envy sinners, but fear the Lord constantly; then you will have a future, and your hope won’t be cut off.” Common English Bible

March 11, 2020: Proverbs 23-26.

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Plans of the Diligent

“Breaking news coming out of Israel indicates that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government will impose a self-quarantine for a period of 14-days due to the coronavirus.”

“Israel will Begin Quarantining All Arrivals for 14 Days”

Our flight was in 14 days! The trip is postponed.

While notifying family, I told them, “God has a plan.” Though disappointed, I am choosing to trust God.

Proverbs 21:2, 5, “Everyone’s path is straight in their own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. …

5) The plans of the diligent end up in profit, but those who hurry end up with loss.” Common English Bible

 

  • We prayed for 30 years.
  • We saved for 8 years.
  • We sacrificed a truck, satellite TV, and a dishwasher.

Proverbs 10:24, “What the wicked dread will come on them, but what the righteous desire will be given to them.” Common English Bible

We are going to Israel!

“…Your faith must be in God, not your faith! …what God has promised, knowing that in His time it will come to pass because it’s His will….”

The Word for You Today, 3-10-2020

March 10, 2020: Proverbs 19-22.

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Those Who Hate Correction

Early each morning, I write down the Bible verses that speak to me. Sometimes, I wonder if the verse it prophetic. When I see “discipline” and “correction,” I think of punishment. Then I remembered reading about discipline a few days ago.

Proverbs 13:24, “Those who withhold the rod hate their children, but the one who loves them applies discipline.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“…Many readers know this verse better as ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child,’ but these words don’t occur in the Bible. Proverbs 13:24 and other verses in the book use the term ‘rod’ (Proverbs 22:15; 23:13, 14; 29:15). The Hebrew word translated ‘rod’ is shevet. It occurs 190 times in the Old Testament and can mean ‘stick, staff, rod, scepter, tribe, division, lance, spear.’ In this verse, rod occurs with another Hebrew term, musar, which can mean the idea of physical or oral reproof and the idea of a body of knowledge to be mastered. Together the two words may refer to a physical punishment; they may refer to a verbal correction, and they may have to do with sharing knowledge with a young student (see Proverbs 19:27; 20:30).”

Common English Bible Notes on Proverbs 13:24

A shepherd’s rod blocks a lamb from going into danger. It works like a baby gate at the top of the stairs. It’s a correction – “Don’t go that way.”

A king extends his scepter to invite you closer. But pointed away, you are rejected and possibly condemned.

A child reaching for a hot pan gets his hand smacked away. That physical correction spares them excruciating pain.

Oral reproofs may be whispered, “Please chew with your mouth closed.” Others are screamed, “Stop! There’s a car coming!”

And there’s discipleship – like teaching your child to tie his shoes. God is teaching me about my diet. With his correction, I will live longer.

Proverbs 15:10, “Discipline is severe for those who abandon the way; those who hate correction will die.” Common English Bible

All areas of my life need discipline. My piano playing will improve with the discipline of daily practice.

I dream of combining my blogs. I need a plan and discipline for that to happen.

“Your dream and your talent are important, but long-term success won’t happen without a plan. …A plan takes your dreams and talents and maximizes them by bringing structure to the concept. It involves being committed to a budget; it means constantly working on specific goals and details. …Write down your plan, which includes specific actions and deadlines to fulfill it. …”

The Word for You Today, March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020: Proverbs 15-18.

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Wisdom Brings Humility

I was confident about my new diet plan…until I started adding up the calories.

  • Chicken Zoodles, 1/2 serving – 365
  • Olive Garden Salad – 140
  • Olive Garden Breadsticks, 2 – 300
  • Andes Mints, 2 – 50

Thank God, we didn’t order extra breadsticks or dessert!

My plan fell apart.

We stopped for ice cream – 330 calories. But, hey, we were celebrating Olivia’s birthday!

* * * * * * *

That evening we went to a small town, soup supper fundraiser. Derek was playing and I promised to go.

My choices for the meal weren’t bad but they had pie. I snatched it up not caring about the calories!

At intermission, they offered a second serving of dessert. They didn’t want to waste them.

Of course, I got in line.

Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, so does shame, but wisdom brings humility.” Common English Bible

What food is irresistible to you?

March 8, 2020: Proverbs 11-14.

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Become Wiser

I swished the chocolate milk around my mouth and took the Prednisone. Those pills stick to your tongue and leave a bitterness you can’t scrape off. It helps to coat your mouth with thick, chocolate milk.

Following my plan, I ate 2 poached eggs, 2 pieces of toast, and a banana. (A banana or apple count as 2 servings of fruit.)

* * * * * * *

We took our granddaughter, Olivia, to the Olive Garden for her birthday. My goal: 2 Bread, 2 Vegetables, 1 Meat, 1 Dairy, and 1 Fruit. I ordered Chicken Zoodles, but after noting the calories, I ate half.

I’m learning to plan my food choices.

Proverbs 9:9, “Teach the wise, and they will become wiser; inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.” Common English Bible

March 7, 2020: Proverbs 7-10.

 

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