When Your Heart Stops

Monday, September 26, 2022

Ragweed has blinded my eyes. Please, open them, Lord!

Psalm 146:8, “The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.” NASB

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

My eyes are still flaring and watering constantly. I struggle to read.

Zechariah 9:1, “… (for the eyes of all …, are toward the Lord.)” NASB

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

I thought my watering eyes were unbearable. I was going for my second cup of coffee when my heart felt like a hand squeezed it and it stopped.

Repenting, I exclaimed, “Jesus, take me home!” (The pain did not stop but I forgot about my eyes!)

Then, I remembered coughing could start your heart again. I coughed a few times and the pain finally eased.

***

“The books of Kings are the history of Israel from the perspective of the eyewitnesses in the court and the prophets at the time; the books of Chronicles are a recounting of that same history for those who returned from the exile in Babylon drawing spiritual lessons from the heart of the priests. It has been said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat it. At first glance, 1 Chronicles reads as a condensed recap of the entire Old Testament. From Adam to Abraham to Jacob to King David to the exile and finally, to the return of the Jews to their homeland, it’s all there. It’s the official condensed record of Judah’s history from Genesis to Malachi, and that’s just the first nine chapters.”

Introduction to 1 Chronicles
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom

***

How is history recorded? Through genealogy.

1 Chronicles 1:1, “Adam, Seth, Enosh.” NASB

Father, son, grandson. The story of Adam in the garden of Eden is not recorded here, just his son and grandson’s names. (See Genesis 5:1-8).

These chapters don’t list occupations or titles. Chapter three lists the genealogy of the kings. Yet, only their names are recorded.

1 Chronicles 3:17, “The sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner, .” NASB

King Jeconiah was captured by Nebuchadnezzar, see 2 Kings 24:6-16. He was a prisoner for 37 years, see 2 Kings 25:27-30. But here he is recorded as Jeconiah the prisoner.

***

After feeling my heart stop, I evaluated my life. The only things that matter are my children and their children. They are more important than any occupation, title, accomplishments, or ministry.

The chest pain was replaced by the feeling of a steel band around my ribcage. I went to the ER. My EKG and blood tests showed I did not have a heart attack.

X-rays ruled out pneumonia even though the doctor heard crackling. I am in great health on paper. I just can’t breathe. He was perplexed.

“It’s ragweed,” I stated, “I will blow it out with the nebulizer.”

He was surprised that I had a nebulizer. He prescribed Aleve and Baby Aspirin for the “inflammation.” I declined Prednisone. The doctor agreed when he saw I had 14 rounds in the last three years.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

1 Chronicles 4:4, “…These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem.” NASB

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Ephrathah. The city was named after this man, not the firstborn son, Hur. I’m glad God uses second-born and third-born children. (I’m a middle child!) 😉

***

1 Chronicles 4:14, “…for they were craftsmen.” NASB

This is the third occupation listed in 1 Chronicles.

  1. Scribes, 2:55.
  2. Kings, Chapter 3.
  3. Craftsmen, 4:14.
  4. Potters, 4:23.
  5. Shepherds, 4:39.
  6. Soldiers, 5:18.
  7. Priests, Chapter 6.
  8. Musicians, 6:31-32.

Friday, September 30, 2022

The “inflammation” moved to my right lung and left bronchial tubes. I got to meet my new doctor. (My doctor retired.) 😦

My new doctor liked my curly hair, (because his wife has curly hair), and said I didn’t look my age. I like him! 🙂

He said I look great on paper but breathing is important. I talked him down to the lowest dose of Prednisone and am on Round 15. (Sigh.) I’m at war with Ragweed.

***

1 Chronicles 7:5, “… families of Issachar were mighty men of valor, …” NASB

The mighty men of valor were troops for the army. (See, 1 Chronicles 5:18; 7:5-11; 7:40.)

  • Issachar, 87,000.
  • Benjamin’s son Bela 22,034.
  • Benjamin’s son Becher 20,200.
  • Benjamin’s son Jediael 17,200.
  • Ashur 26,000.
  • Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh 44,760.

King David’s nephews were the officers of the army. His sister, Zeruiah’s sons were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, 1 Chronicles 2:16; and 2 Samuel 2:18. Amasa, the son of his sister Abigail, replaced Joab, 1 Chronicles 2:17 and 2 Samuel 17:25.

***

Those who returned to Jerusalem were:

  1. The Levites – those in charge of teaching God’s Laws.
  2. The Judahites – the worshippers, princes, and officers.
  3. The Benjaminites – the soldiers.
  4. The sons of Joseph – the Ephraimites and Manassehites. (Israel transferred the birthright of the Firstborn from Joseph to Reuben, 1 Chronicles 5:1.) They were the elders.

To rebuild America, we need to send those who know the Laws of God to Washington.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Genesis 1:12, “The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” NASB

We talk about bearing fruit but does our fruit have seeds that reproduce? My children are serving the Lord. Am I doing everything I can to help ensure my grandchildren serve the Lord?

Because when my heart truly stops, that is what matters.

Stalls of vendors in the Jewish Quarter during Jesus' time.
A mural of what the Jewish Quarter looked like in Jesus’ time. Each stall was a different occupation. The artist added a young boy with a baseball cap and backpack in the front for whimsy.

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Hazor

I was reading in Nehemiah when one word made me stop – Hazor. (See Nehemiah 11:33.) I’ve been to the ruins of that city, now called Tel Hazor. It was once a major trade center of 200 acres for merchant caravans traveling to and from Babylon.

Hazor was the only city the children of Israel burned to the ground when they conquered Canaan. You could see the burn line in the foundation of the ruined buildings. They built on top of the burned foundation. The ruins consisted of a rock foundation, a layer of wood, brick, and sand bricks, and then were covered in plaster.

The building that showed the burn line was protected with a pergola. Walls were built in front of it. After the burn line was exposed, they marked the line on the stones in the newer wall. Both walls were cordoned off to keep people from removing more stones.

Deborah and Barak were the ones who conquered Hazor. It was a fortified city of King Solomon. Its water supply system is from the period of King Ahab.

“In Ezra, the people focused on rebuilding the temple. In Nehemiah, they begin rebuilding the walls of the city. It tells us that once we take care of the heart issues inside, we can begin to address the character issues on the outside.”

The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
Introduction to Nehemiah

***

Character Building Verses I Read This Week

  1. “…words of peace and truth.” Esther 9:30 NASB (There is no peace without truth.)
  2. “…take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. 16) For I hate divorce…” Malachi 2:15-16 NASB (How I treat my spouse affects my spirit.)
  3. “According to the good hand of our God upon us, they brought us a man of insight…” Ezra 8:18 NASB (God doesn’t give me a challenge without sending counsel.)
  4. “…So they put their hands to the good work.” Nehemiah 2:18 NASB (Nothing is accomplished without work.)
  5. “I applied myself to the work…” Nehemiah 5:16 NASB (It takes more than showing up. It takes effort.)
  6. “For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.’ But now, O God, strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9 NASB (God strengthens me when I am frightened or discouraged.)
  7. “…he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.” Nehemiah 7:2 NASB (I need to be faithful and reverent to God.)
  8. “We will also bring the first of our dough…” Nehemiah 10:37 NASB (Is there anything I am holding back?)

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Circles Around the Mountain

Journal, March 27, 2022:

The lines on the mountains are sheep trails. Shepherds lead sheep around mountains to feed on both sides. Psalm 23:3, “…He guides me in the paths of righteousness.” NASB

Those paths are circles on the mountain. In Hebrew, they are called circles of righteousness.

We are supposed to go around the mountains. Plants that grow at different elevations have varied nutrition. We learn everything we need to at this level before our Shepherd leads us higher.

The Bible gives us promises and corrections. Like sheep, we eat sweet greens and bitter greens. Bitter greens have more nutrients. We grow when we are corrected.

Those lines are sheep trails made by circling the mountain and feeding on both sides. This was taken on our way to Jerusalem from the Dead Sea.

My Top Ten List of Verses I Did NOT Want to Share This Month

  • 1. “I will deal with you according to your anger and according to your envy which you showed.” Ezekiel 35:11 NASB (Ouch.)
  • 2. “For everyone who goes astray or is naive; so you shall make atonement,” Ezekiel 45:20 NASB (There’s hope for me!)
  • 3. “Wisdom…sets her table.” Proverbs 9:2 NASB (It’s easier to eat on the couch. Sigh.)
  • 4. “When you shall eat the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you,” Psalm 128:2 NASB (This verse must be for my friends who have gardens and can their produce. What is the fruit of my hands?)
  • 5. “He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary.” Isaiah 44:12 NASB (Does sweet tea count?)
  • 6. “Then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it,” Daniel 7:1 NASB (Some dreams I would rather forget than summarize but I know God speaks through dreams.)
  • 7. “Daniel began distinguishing himself…because he possessed an extraordinary spirit,” Daniel 6:3 NASB (How is my spirit? Hopefully, it would not be described as bitter, jealous, or proud.)
  • 8. “Remove the false way from me.” Psalm 119:29 NASB (Ouch again.)
  • 9. “Give honor to their husbands, great and small,” Esther 1:20 NASB (No comment.)
  • 10. Finally, from Wednesday night’s sermon, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 NASB (I’m totally humbled now!)

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Eyes That See not

Our church held an Independence Day celebration last night. They had 7 food trucks, 5 bouncy houses, music, and a special speaker.

(I chose to stay home and play with twenty-two-month-old Gideon.)

Our daughter Laura went with David. She surprised us by staying for the fireworks.

Laura gets up between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. for work. I wondered if she got enough rest last night.

“Did Laura sleep on the way home?” I asked David.

“No,” he replied, “but her eyes were glazed over.”

That was a perfect example of someone in a stupor!

Romans 12:8, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.”

New American Standard Bible

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Dear Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear. Amen.

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Ollie, Ollie, in Free

Yesterday, I talked about freedom and liberty. True freedom is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“This is the ‘ollie, ollie, in come free’ opening book of the New Testament. Hide and seek is over; the Savior has been found! Everyone can come home, we all win!”

The Founder’s Bible,
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
Introduction to the book of James

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As we walk in faith, we do our best to live a holy life. But it is not “do,” but “who.”

“First, we are called to ‘be’ holy, not ‘do’ holy. Second, holiness is relational: it’s not so much about an absence of wrong behavior as it is about the presence of Someone. When Moses was told to take his shoes off because he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:1-5), the ground was not holy because it was some special kind of dirt; it was holy because the presence of God was abiding there. Third, God is the source of our holiness…because He is holy, and He lives in us, we shall be holy, for we shall be like Him.”

The Hope of Holiness,
The Freedom Bible,
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
p. 2017

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We cannot be holy in ourselves but we can do everything to “keep ourselves unstained by the world.”

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

New American Standard Bible

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It is by grace that we are saved and God’s grace makes us holy.

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Freedom Versus Liberty

“Freedom is something that a government grants; liberty is something we own that a government cannot take away. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” President John Adams

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom Versus Liberty”
The Founder’s Bible, The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,
p. 1860
John Adams, The Works of John Adams (Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1851) Vol. VI, p. 484, to John Taylor, April 15, 1814
Benjamin Franklin quotes, Notable Quotes. (at http://www.notable-quotes.com/f/franklin_benjamin.html) (Accessed April 26, 2012)

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Works of the Law Versus Faith

Galatians 2:15, 16, “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles, 16) nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

New American Standard Bible

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Galatians 2:29, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.”

New American Standard Bible

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I am grateful that we can celebrate liberty in America. We are more than free! (America is a Republic, not a democracy. Remember, you learned that in the Pledge of Allegiance.)

I am more grateful that I do not have to rely on the works of the Law to be justified. Jesus Christ paid the price so I can live justified (just as if I hadn’t sinned). It is by faith in what He did on the cross that I can live in liberty!

Since I belong to Christ, I will receive everything promised to the Jews.

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Show Hospitality

My cousins gathered for our family reunion a few weeks ago. I have 47 cousins on that side of the family. The hot, breezy weather kept me from attending. (I attended a cool, rainy, send-off picnic in May and battled allergies for a few days afterward.)

Another cousin, Danny, lives three blocks from us. They were hosting three of the out-of-town cousins. His wife Laura brought Jerry over to meet me. He lives in California and hadn’t been back to Iowa for years.

After a few hours of visiting, they rose to leave. They planned to go to my cousin’s farm.

“Can we stop somewhere for food?” Jerry asked. “I haven’t had lunch.”

Embarrassed, I realized I hadn’t even offered him water, sweet tea, or lemonade! I am not the “hostess with the mostest!”

********

David went to the reunion with our daughter, Laura, and met our son’s family there. Derek and Rachel were amazingly able to put twenty-one-month-old Gideon down for a short nap. David made a video of Gideon playing on some “rocker animals” to show me.

He casually said, “David and Becky are in town until Wednesday. Cousin Laura is going to bring them over one night.”

After failing my hostess duties on Friday, I went into high gear! Monday, I cleaned the house and made more sweet tea, lemonade, and “no-bake” cookies. I was prepared! (I hid the cookies.)

They came over Tuesday evening and I “talked their leg off” about our trip to Israel. (That means I did most of the talking.)

I apologized and explained, “I don’t get out, literally!”

My favorite memory was David’s face when I brought out the cookies!

“Where did you hide those?”

I didn’t tell.

I felt better about being a hostess until I read Hebrews 13.

Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some had entertained angels without knowing it!”

New American Standard Bible

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I think I’m doing okay but Jesus wants me to go above and beyond what is required. Obviously, it is too dangerous to invite the stranger walking by to come in for cookies. But I could carry some extra water to give away.

The temperature is in the 90’s and humid this week. A bottle of water could be a life saver.

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Money Answers Everything

COVID-19, “Shelter in Place,” – Day 6

Journal – March 21, 2020: “My sister, Michele called. She went to Dutchman’s and bought 50 pounds of white potatoes, 50 pounds of red potatoes, and 25 pounds of carrots. She shared them with family and will can the rest. There were no carrots in the store but God provided them another way – for free!

I texted my friend Brenda and asked how to use Boric acid. She is a nurse on the worship team. Sunday, I asked for help with my clogged tear duct. She mentioned Boric Acid. (It’s not the same as Borax.) She was getting groceries for herself and her parents. She offered to get me some. She bought the last bottle in town. I printed off instructions from leaf.tv and used it to soak my eyes.”

Ecclesiastes 10:19, “…money answers everything.”

Common English Bible

“Our money is everyone’s answer.”

Common English Bible Translation Note

“Yet another translation could be ‘money preoccupies everyone.'”

Common English Bible Note on Ecclesiastes 10:19

“In the final reflections before closing the poem, the Teacher discusses what one should do, given the brevity of life. This involves charity, taking risks while working wisely, and enjoying life while one can.”

Common English Bible Notes on Ecclesiastes 11:1-10

“The Bible teaches that God wants you to have enough money to:

1. Provide for the needs of your family and help them succeed. …

2. Tithe and finance His work. …

3. Pay your taxes and your obligations. …

4. Send His word to the four corners of the world. …

5. Help the poor and needy. …”

“The Word for You Today” 3-21-2020

When the shelves are empty, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. When the shelves are empty, God provides through other people.

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Whatever You Are Capable of Doing

COVID-19, “Shelter in Place,” Day 5

Journal – March 20, 2020: “After yesterday’s pancreatitis attack, I can’t eat much. I printed off a low-fat diet and stopped all caffeine.

Today is Olivia’s birthday! She chose Cashus Italian Cuisine for her birthday dinner. He is offering carryout meals. David picked up our dinner at the same time as Luke. He got to see Luke, Bethany, and Olivia on her birthday!

As he was leaving, Rachel’s brother pulled in. Our families are doing what we can to keep Chef Bobby in business.”

(No, my dinner was not low-fat but it was delicious! I only ate half of it and gave the rest to David.)

Ecclesiastes 6-9, “Whatever you are capable of doing, do with all your might because there’s no work, thought, knowledge, or wisdom in the grave, which is where you are headed.”

Common English Bible

There is so much talk about the Coronavirus. The experts can’t agree on the best response. People are choosing sides and scoffing at those who don’t agree with them.

Ecclesiastes 9:17, “The calm words of the wise are better heeded than the racket caused by a ruler among fools.”

Common English Bible

I’m staying in and David is working, getting groceries, and picking up meals once or twice a week. When he returns home, he puts his clothes in the washer and cleans up. I don’t have to worry about contracting the Coronavirus from his clothes.

March 20, 2020: Ecclesiastes 6-9.

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Hoarding, Only to Give It All to Those Who Please God

COVID-19, “Sheltering in Place,” – Day 4

Journal – March 19, 2020: “Yesterday I took my last dose of Prednisone and a red hive has already started forming under my right eye. I won’t go to the doctor because my immunity is knocked down.

In January, God told me to wait until I run out of something to buy it. We bought a medium-sized package of toilet paper on February 28th. Now the shelves are empty! I’m trusting God to multiply our toilet paper!

I canceled my doctor’s appointments. We are sheltering at home.

I wrote a post “Housebound and Happy – Year 12” on frugalfish.org. I shared my coping mechanisms and routine.

I ended the post by saying, “If you get sick – throw this list out and go to bed!”

Today I had a pancreatitis attack. It felt like a gall bladder attack but my gall bladder was removed in 2015. I took my last Tramadol leftover from surgery and lay on a heating pad. When I felt better, I finished cooking supper but I didn’t eat. Fasting is the recommended treatment for pancreatitis.

There were only 3 slices of bread left. Thanks to the hoarders, there is no bread on the shelves. (There were no carrots either.) I mixed up wheat bread and put it in the bread maker.

I dozed off and on waiting for the bread to bake and then cool. I got to bed late.

I know God will take care of us. And those hoarders have a surprise coming!

Ecclesiastes 2:26, “Because God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please God. But to those who are offensive, God gives the task of hoarding and accumulating, but only so as to give it all to those who do please God. This too is pointless and a chasing after the wind.”

Common English Bible

These are difficult times, especially for huggers. We have to keep a safe, “social distance.”

Ecclesiastes 3:5, “…a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces.”

Common English Bible

This is a time to refrain from embracing!

March 19, 2020: Ecclesiastes 2-5.

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