The Terebinth Tree

God cares about the tiniest details in our lives. It was no coincidence that I was reading Proverbs 24 when I was considering cutting back on my workouts. (I read one Proverb a day.) I could do strength training twice a week, instead of three times, and take weekends off. Then I read…

Proverbs 24:5, “A wise warrior is strong and a man of knowledge makes his strength stronger.” New English Translation

I read how God cares about the world, my pain, my stress, my waiting, and my burdens.

Psalms 9:7-8, “But the Lord rules forever; he reigns in a just manner. 8) He judges the world fairly; he makes just legal decisions for the nations.” NET

Psalms 31:7, “I will be happy and rejoice in your faithfulness because you notice my pain and you are aware of how distressed I am.” NET

Psalms 31:24, “Be strong and confident all you who wait on the Lord.” NET

Psalms 55:22, “Throw your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be shaken.” NET

King David

David’s son Absalom tried to take his throne. When facing war with him, he looked to God.

Psalms 3:8, “The Lord delivers; you show favor to your people.” NET

Psalms 4:1, “…Though I am hemmed in, you will lead me into a wide, open place. …” NET

David was escaping Jerusalem, where he was hemmed in, and headed to the desert. Yet, he chose to see the positive – a wide, open place.

He had many options for places to go. He wandered in the wilderness for 15 years when Saul was trying to kill him. He knew the towns and the water sources.

He crossed the river and spent the night in Bahurim. Early in the morning, he met God.

Psalms 4:3, “Realize that the Lord shows the godly special favor; the Lord responds when I cry out to him” NET

Psalms 5:3, “Lord, in the morning you will hear me; in the morning I will present my case to you and then wait expectantly for an answer.” NET

David laid down his worries, frustrations, disappointments, and fears. He waited expectantly for direction.

Psalms 5:8, “Lord, lead me in your righteousness because of those who wait to ambush me, remove the obstacles in the way in which you are guiding me.” NET

He knew Absalom wanted to ambush him and he recognized the Lord leading him to leave. He asked God to remove the obstacles before him, not the threat behind him.

Yet, he was human.

Psalms 6:6, “I am exhausted as I groan. All night long I drench my bed in tears; my tears saturate the cushion beneath me.” NET

He kept his focus on God.

Psalms 6:9, “The Lord has heard my appeal for mercy; the Lord has accepted my prayer.” NET

Then David wrote a beautiful Psalm of worship, Psalms 8, before the battle with Absalom!


2 Samuel 18:9, “…Now as Absalom was riding on his mule, it went under the branches of a large oak tree. His head got caught in the oak and he was suspended in midair, while the mule he had been riding kept going.” NET

In Israel, I learned “the large oak” was called a Terebinth tree. The branches grew close together and it is easy to see how his hair got tangled.

This Terebinth tree was growing on top of Tel Hazor.

I noticed two things in this verse:

  1. Absalom let the mule lead. He wouldn’t have turned into the Terebinth tree if he had been guiding it.
  2. The source of his pride – his hair (see 2 Samuel 14:25-26) – snared him, leading to his death.

(Am I riding out the day or directing it – choosing the activities that are the most important? What is my greatest source of pride?)

“Because Absalom had rebelled against his father, David’s men pursued Absalom and his militia. …Think about how David’s love for his son is similar to God’s love for you. …God spared your life because of His love.”

NET notes on 2 Samuel 18:1-15


“David mourned his son, despite how his son had treated him. Imagine God mourning over you in this way, desiring to take your place and save you (see v. 33). Think about God’s choice to allow Jesus’ death on the cross in your place.”

NET notes on 2 Samuel 18:29-19:7


Joab and Amasa

2 Samuel 20:9-10, “Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?’ With his right hand, Joab took hold of Amasa’s beard as if to greet him with a kiss. 10) Amasa did not protect himself from the knife in Joab’s other hand, and Joab stabbed him in the abdomen, causing Amasa’s intestines to spill out on the ground. …” NET

Amasa just faced Joab in the war with Absalom, 17:25. He was promoted to Joab’s place in the army, 19:13. Why would he trust him?

Joab was cousin, 17:25.

Proverbs 24:1, “Do not envy evil people, do not desire to be with them.” NET

The Choice

2 Samuel 22:24, “I was blameless before him; I kept myself from sinning.” NET

I always have a choice. I chose to sin or leave, speak or press my lips together. I am envious or I thank God for blessing others.

The amazing thing is God forgave me before I sinned, spoke, or gave in to envy. Jesus paid the price for all of my failures before I was born. (See, “Save me, Jesus.”)

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

How to Live

Jesus Taught Us to Be

  1. Grateful that we’re invited to the wedding banquet, Matthew 22:9.
  2. Looking for His return, Mark 13:24-27.
  3. Enduring, Matthew 24:13.
  4. Peaceful, not alarmed, Matthew 24:6.
  5. Faithfully working, Matthew 24:46.
  6. Calm, not distressed, John 14:1.
  7. Speaking plainly, John 16:29-30.

We finished reading the teachings of Jesus. We will return to the first four books of the New Testament on Palm Sunday.

We started reading about the first kings of Israel.

We Learn from Other’s Mistakes


“…[1 Samuel covers] the selection, reign, and rejection of King Saul and the God-ordained rise of David under him as his replacement…1 Samuel calls us to slow down and focus on David as a common man with uncommon faith and integrity whom the Lord chose to replace a failed king.”

New English Translation
Introduction to 1 Samuel


Saul lived and died as King. But after he disobeyed God, his life was miserable.

God didn’t “strike him with lightning” but He let Saul know that Jonathan would not reign.

His regret turned to bitterness and jealousy consumed him. He spent the last fifteen years of his life hunting David and trying to kill him.

(I may be a common woman but I can live my life with uncommon faith and integrity.)


1 Samuel 2:25-26, “…But Eli’s sons would not listen to their father. Indeed, the Lord had decided to kill them. 26) However, the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the Lord and with people.” New English Translation

Even though Eli’s sons were doomed, God allowed them to live while Samuel was growing up. They may have thought they could do as they pleased without consequences. They were wrong.

The people told Eli of his son’s behavior, 2:22. A man of God came to Eli and warned him, 2:27-36. Then Samuel told him the future, 3:3-18.

1 Samuel 2:30, “…I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed.” NET

People of Beth Shemesh

1 Samuel 6:19, “But the Lord struck down some of the people of Beth Shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; he struck down 50,070 of the men. …” NET

In the first battle, 4000 men died, 4:2. In the second, 30,000 died, 4:10. But when the people of Beth Shemesh looked into the ark, 50,070 men died. Even the High Priest was not allowed to do that!

They fought in hills like these.

How are we to live? Grateful, expecting, enduring, peacefully, faithfully, calmly, speaking plainly, obediently, full of faith, with integrity, honoring God, and reverently.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

More Questions

Why Do I Worry?

Luke 12:25, “And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life?” New English Translation

Last year, Derek auditioned for a couple of worship pastor positions. David was excited.

I cried and cried and cried. I worried because that would leave us with two instrumentalists and two vocalists on Sunday mornings. When would I see Gideon?

I wrestled with God and finally gave up. I decided God can move his children anywhere.

They prayed about each position and God closed the doors. I lost a few hours worrying for nothing!

Later, God moved our guitar player and soundman. We miss them.

Sunday, we had a new guitar player join the worship team. Our oldest son Luke will play part-time. (We share him with the army.)

When I was a teen, I dreamed of having a family band. Back then, family bands traveled from place to place. I’m much happier playing with my family in one place! That was another secret desire God granted me.

Did I Say That Out Loud?

John 11:16, “So Thomas (called Didymus) said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us go too, so that we may die with him.'” New English Translation

I can identify with Thomas. My thoughts have popped out of my mouth more times than I care to admit. And I wonder, “Did I say that out loud?”

Caiaphas showed me the cure. Study the Bible and the Bible will come out of your mouth.

John 11:51, “(Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation.)” New English Translation

How Did He Disperse the Crowds?

Matthew 19:2, “Large crowds followed him, and he healed them.” New English Translation

Last week, I questioned how Jesus dispersed the crowds. Here’s my answer – “He healed them!”

Not everyone needed healing, some needed a kind word. Some were satisfied to go home and ponder His teachings.

But it would take hours. Perhaps this is why He sent His disciples ahead in the boat. He knew they would tire while waiting. And why He fell asleep in the boat?

Matthew 19:13, “Then little children were brought to him for him to lay his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded those who brought them.” New English Translation

When Jesus fed the five thousand, they only counted the men. They had large families. Who knows how many were there – 20,000? Or more?

Yet, he took the time to lay his hands on each child and pray for them. Then He went on his way, verse 15.

Have I Ever Been a Spy?

Luke 20:20, “Then they watched him carefully and sent spies who pretended to be sincere…” New English Translation

Have I ever been a spy – judging another church? Or a Christian artist? Or organization? Repeating what they said?

Am I spying to find faults or to make myself look better? Even worse, do I gossip about it?
Dear God, forgive me!

“Why do you think hypocrites and prideful people will receive a more severe punishment (v. 47)? Ask God to show you any areas of hypocrisy or pride in your life. Ask God for forgiveness and strength to live a humble life.”

New English Translation notes on Luke 20:45-47

What Else Did I Learn?

  1. The Lord sent others ahead of himself, Luke 10:1.
  2. I need to stay salty, Luke 14:34.
  3. Jesus loved Martha and Mary equally, John 11:5.
  4. I can either hush the hurting or encourage them to go to Jesus, Mark 10:48-49.

The steps to the temple where Jesus taught.

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023  All Rights Reserved.

God Rewards My Work

Seven Days

“I have so much to do before Christmas. It’s overwhelming. Some things I planned to do last week didn’t get done.”

Judges 9:52-53, “So Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and approached the entrance of the tower to burn it with fire. 53) But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull.” NASB

Abimelech had just killed a thousand men and women by setting a tower on fire, Judges 9:46-49. He planned on doing the same thing here but a woman fought back!

She didn’t kill him but she wounded him. He asked his armor-bearer to kill him. He didn’t want people to say a woman killed him.

Whatever situation you face – never give up! Do something. One small action may diffuse the entire situation. With God, nothing is hopeless.


Six Days

“I finally finished Laura’s quilt. It took me 13 years to embroider the signatures on her tee shirts, sew them together, and make the quilt.”

Judges 13:12, “Manoah said, ‘Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?'” NASB

The angel didn’t answer Manoah because God gives that information to each child. He will guide them and train them for their life’s work.

I was sure Luke would be a preacher. He practiced preaching to Laura! Derek told me that he would join the army.

Luke is a career soldier and Derek earned a Certificate of Ministry. He is my boss on the worship team!


Five Days

“I made the candy that I planned to make yesterday. The fudge was set up before I got all of the sweetened condensed milk stirred into the melted chocolate. I had to beat it and it still has lumps. It doesn’t look good. I didn’t get the cookie dough made.”

Judges 14:2, “…get her for me as a wife.” NASB

In Biblical times, a son did not choose his wife. His parents arranged marriage from their own tribe. Parents wanted their children to live close by. Both parents, v. 3, asked why he wanted a Philistine wife.

His reply? “She looked good,” 14:3.


Four Days

“I need to take cookies to the E3 Party tonight. I mixed them up and chilled them for two hours. They were the consistency of toothpaste. I couldn’t roll them out. I finally texted the team that my cookies flopped. Christy offered to have her teens make extra. Thank God for Christy!”

Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” NASB

Proverbs 21:2, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.” NASB


Three Days

“I rolled out, cut, baked, and frosted the cookies. While mixing up “Merry Cherry Bars,” one beater stopped completely. I tried to finish with one beater. When the bars were in the oven, I made the pie for David’s bosses.”

Judges 20:22, “But the people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and arrayed for battle again in the place where they had arrayed themselves the first day.” NASB

When 400,000 Israelite soldiers couldn’t overpower the 26,000 Benjaminite soldiers, they encouraged themselves and tried again. When they were unsuccessful on the second day, they wept, fasted, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, v. 26.

Why were they unable to overcome the Benjaminite soldiers?

Because they were “slingers.” They could stand in a protected area and sling their stones. They never missed. Seven hundred of them were left-handed. The stone would come from the side you were not expecting, 20:16.

The only way to win the battle was to draw them out of the city.

Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” NASB

The Benjaminites fought for the right to do whatever they wanted – including gang-raping which killed the concubine, 20:5.


Two Days

“I planned on making two lasagnas for our Christmas Dinner tomorrow. Mom’s recipe used Laury’s spaghetti mix. It is no longer available. I decided to make my homemade marinara. I doubled the recipe. I forgot that I always double the recipe. I quadrupled it! I had just enough celery for the “Bucket Salad” and enough carrots and broccoli for appetizers. God knew what I needed.”

“This beautiful Old Testament story gives new meaning to our prayer, ‘Give us this day, our daily bread,’ as well as incredible insight when the baby Jesus (the Bread of Heaven come down) is placed in a manger (a feeding trough) in Bethlehem (House of Bread). It is hard to imagine that all these parallel elements are an accident. Our Great Kinsman Redeemer is ready, waiting for the return of His longed-for Bride and willing to redeem.”

Introduction to Ruth, The Founder’s Bible, The Origin of the Dream of Freedom, p. 429


Ruth 1:9, “‘May the Lord grant that you may find rest, …” NASB

Seek God, find rest.

Ruth 2:12, “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” NASB

God rewards my work. He pays my wages.


Ruth 3:2, “Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? …” NASB

Boaz could have married one of the maids. But he didn’t. Perhaps his father Salmon instructed him to wait for the bride God had chosen. His mother was Rahab. She hid the spies and converted to the Hebrew faith. Salmon “redeemed” her. As the wife of an Israelite, she had a position of respect.

Boaz was not a young man, Ruth 3:10, but he was rich. He waited a long time for his bride and prepared well.

Ruth was not known as a foreigner, or a poor widow, she was called “a woman of excellence,” 3:11. The first two were facts but the truth of her character trumped the facts.

“If you’re having a tough Christmas, don’t beat yourself up. Remember, you can get through anything for one day. (See Deuteronomy 33:25). Jesus understands. He came to ‘heal the heartbroken,’ so turn to Him this Christmas and ask Him to restore your peace and joy.”

The Word for You Today, 12-23-22


One Day

“Our family Christmas is today. I was up at 3:30 a.m. My daughter had to work in the morning and she dropped off her gifts and food before driving to work.

After devotions, I cleared the table and set it. I decluttered the buffet and laid out towels with tablecloths over them. (Then I don’t need hot pads.)

It’s zero degrees. I had to wash our long johns. When the laundry finished, I set out the supper items on the washer and dryer. I put the ham in the Crockpot and plugged it in.

Back upstairs, I cleaned the house and put the lasagnas in the oven.

The pretty Christmas paper plates could not handle the lasagna. It burnt our fingers and left marks on my wooden table. After we ate, I put most of the food away and changed clothes for practice.

Right before the service, Derek reminded me that I was supposed to play a Christmas Carol for communion. I forgot. I ran to an extra piano and pounded out the chords to “Away in a Manger.”

I had asked Lois to play “Silent Night” during the candlelight part. I panicked when I couldn’t see her. She was behind me in the wings. She did great!

Back at home, I found the power bar that the Crockpot was plugged into was not on. (Sigh.) Luke rescued me by cutting the ham in half and cooking it in the Instapot.”

Luke 1:1, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us. …” NASB

Luke wrote it:

  1. Exactly as he heard it by eyewitnesses and students of the word, v. 2.
  2. Appropriately, v. 3.
  3. Investigated it carefully, from the beginning, v. 3.
  4. In consecutive order, v. 3.
  5. To share the exact truth, v. 4.
  6. About the things you have been taught, v. 4.

Luke 1:17, “…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” NASB

Mary, Elizabeth, and Zacharias were filled with the Holy Spirit, Luke 1:35, 41, 67.

“Everyone gathered up their gifts and took some food home. I put the perishables in the refrigerator and went right to bed. I couldn’t have survived this week without the Holy Spirit.”


Join me in reading December’s chapters and the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 All Rights Reserved.


Harod’s Spring (Gideon’s Spring)

Judges 7:1, “Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon), and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.” NASB

Harod’s Spring is still the site of camping. The streams coming from the spring are rock-lined with strategically large, flat rocks on which to cross. I could easily imagine soldiers bedding down around them.

The spring is in the cave behind our tour guide, Elle.

Today, people picnic, wade in the streams, hike the trails, view the memorial to Israel’s fallen soldiers, and climb to the lookout at the top of Mt. Moreh. In the evening, they gather around the bonfire area or relax near their RV or tent. It’s a peaceful place.

“…’Harod’ means timid, fearful, trembling. The men who gathered with Gideon at this spring were experiencing different types and degrees of timidity and fear. Many trembled in terror at the prospect of a battle where they would be so hopelessly outnumbered. Had they known that it was God’s intent to reduce the ratio of the fighting forces from one to four (1:4) down to one fighter for every 450 Midianites (1:450), imagine their terror! This quiet spring witnessed trembling, testing, and trusting. Here God ensured that the glory would be His (Judges 7:2). When we tremble at the foe, we can remember Ein Harod – the battle is the LORD’s, we need not fear the foe. …”

Dr. David Dunn, Representative (Ret.), BFP Canada


Judges 7:8, “…So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands, …” NASB

Joshua had 300 men but he had the provisions of the tens of thousands who left.

Judges 7:10, 11, “But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, 11) and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened…” NASB

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting despite your fears. When Gideon heard what the man said, Judges 7:13-15, his fear was replaced with peace. He still had a battle to fight, but he had peace.

Judges 8:4, “Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, weary yet pursuing.” NASB

Gideon didn’t lose one man!

Isaiah 54:14, “In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” NIV

Isaiah 9:4, “For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors.” NIV

Judges 6:24, “Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.” NASB

Isaiah 54:13, “All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” NIV

I Learned:

  1. God makes room for families, Joshua 15:1; 17:15-16.
  2. Joshua settled in the land of Ephraim, Joshua 19:49-50.
  3. The Kohathites, who carried the holy things, were assigned to live in the land of Ephraim, Joshua 21:5.
  4. Not one of the good promises of the Lord failed to come to pass, Joshua 21:45; Isaiah 54:10.
  5. The Lord is the source of our rest, Joshua 23:1.
  6. We are tested to see if we will continue to walk in the Lord’s way, Judges 2:22.
  7. Deborah judged Israel sitting under a palm tree named after her in the land of Ephraim, Judges 4:5.

I pray for peace for you and your children.

Merry Christmas!

Join me in reading December’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 All Rights Reserved.

Counting My Blessings

Take a Census

Thanksgiving. I need 10 places at the table. And 10 comfortable chairs for the inevitable food coma after dinner. Upstairs the couch seats four and I have a rocking chair. The couch downstairs seats three and the loveseat two more. I line the walls with kitchen chairs upstairs.


God has a sense of humor; we are studying Numbers in November. He commanded the Israelites to take a census of their families, too, Numbers 26:2.


Extended Families

We love our families – but if they turn from God – don’t follow!

Numbers 31:2, “Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites; afterward, you will be gathered to your people.” NASB


Moses’ wife was a Midianite. But the Midianite daughters seduced the Israelite sons and led them into idolatry, Numbers 25:1-3. God ordered the Israelites to be hostile to the Midianites, Numbers 25:16-18.

I don’t know if the second half of the verse brought Moses sadness or relief! He was 120 years old, Deuteronomy 34:7. He spent 40 years in Egypt as a prince and 40 years as a shepherd. The last 40 were leading the Israelites around the desert following the cloud.


Shelter, Water, Bread, Meat

Numbers 13:5, “Then the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses and camped in Succoth.” NASB


“Succoth means booths, weavings, or to weave a protection. There are two places called Succoth in the Bible 1) Genesis 33:17, “And Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built for himself a house, …” and 2) Israel’s first camp out of Egypt, Exodus 12:37; 13:20.”


When they left Egypt, they went to Succoth and obtained shelter. You can’t go camping without a tent! They packed for 11 days and survived for 40 years.

The Lord provided water, Exodus 15:22-27, and daily bread (manna), Exodus 16:1-7, and meat, Exodus 16:8. The order is the opposite of Thanksgiving!



“Deuteronomy means ‘second law’ because in this book there is a renewing of the covenant and a repetition of the law. …Moses is recounting their history, the great and mighty acts of God on behalf of the nation; seeking to inspire hope, engender trust, and renew their courage. …”

Introduction to Deuteronomy
The Founder’s Bible
The Origin of the Dream of Freedom
p. 279


Deuteronomy 1:6, “The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.'” NASB


Mount Horeb or Sinai is where the Israelites met God. They received the Ten Commandments there. Moses got the instruction on building the tabernacle. They built it and saw God’s Spirit fill it. I would be tempted to stay there, too!

Deuteronomy 1:11, “May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you!” NASB

Isaac was blessed a hundred-fold, Genesis 26:12. I can’t imagine receiving 1000 times the amount I planted! But to receive that increase they had to move into Canaan and conquer it.


I also learned:

  1. God keeps His promises, Numbers 23:19.
  2. Everyone who blesses Israel will be blessed, Numbers 24:9.
  3. Do not defile your land for God dwells with you, Numbers 35:34.
  4. God provided land for Esau, Moab, and Ammon, Deuteronomy 2:4-22.
  5. During the 40 years in the desert, they didn’t lack anything, Deuteronomy 2:7.
  6. God is fighting for me, Deuteronomy 3:22.
  7. Hold fast to the Lord, He keeps you alive, Deuteronomy 4:4.


“Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God, faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”

F. B. Meyer


Join me in reading December’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 All Rights Reserved.

Holidays and Harvests

Did you know there are holidays, camping, and weeklong vacations in the Bible?

Leviticus 23:24-25, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, and holy convocation. 25) You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.'” NASB


This day of rest reminds me of Independence Day. It’s at the beginning of the seventh month. Businesses are closed. Farmers come to town. Trumpets are blown in parades and fireworks light up the night sky.

God commanded the Israelites to rest. We should too.

Leviticus 23:34-35, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fourteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the Lord. 25) On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind.'” NASB


The Feast of Booths, 23:34-43, is like a family vacation. You go to church on Sunday and rest. On Monday, you set up your booth, tent, or unpack in your hotel room, v. 40. You spend the week feasting with your family, v. 41. And end your vacation by worshipping the Lord in church, v. 39.

The Blessing of the Sixth Year

When we visited Israel, we saw some fallow fields because 2021 was the seventh year. Despite the empty fields, food was abundant.

Imagine, planting a garden in 2027 and having such a large harvest that it lasts until 2029! That is the blessing of God!

Leviticus 25:21, “Then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years.” NASB


From Season to Season

Leviticus 26:5, “Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land.” NASB


God promises we will not run out of food. Each season we eat the produce He provides and there is always enough to last until the next season.

Numbers Don’t Mean Counting

“Numbers means ‘in the wilderness.’ …In the book of Exodus, it took only forty hours to get the nation of Israel out of Egypt, but in the book of Numbers, it takes forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. …”

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



Eleazar was responsible for the transportation of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the grain, the anointing oil, and all the furnishings inside the tabernacle. He directed the 2,750 men who carried those items, Numbers 4:16-20, 36.

Ithamar helped Aaron and Eleazar cover the holy things, 4:5-15. Then he directed the 5,830 men who transported the curtain panels, poles, and sockets, 4:28, 33, 40, 44. God put him over twice as many men as his brother, Eleazar.

To be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all, Matthew 20:26-28.

Proverbs 12:2, “A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, …” NASB


I Learned

  1. Holidays and vacations are ordained by God.
  2. The crop in the sixth year will feed you for three years.
  3. Your food from one season will last until the next season.
  4. Numbers means “In the wilderness.”

Join me in reading November’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

©2009-2022 All Rights Reserved.

Noah, the Animals, and the Ark

I wrote 42 pages of notes while reading last week’s chapters! I may need to start writing ebooks!


God told Noah to get some of all kinds of food. He didn’t say to take a year’s supply of their favorite food on the ark.

Genesis 6:21, “As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” NASB

I need to eat all foods in their season at the peak of freshness. My pantry should have a variety, not just my favorites.

Ezekiel 2:8, “…Open your mouth and eat what I give you!” NASB

The Beasts and Cattle

The order of who God remembered struck me: People, beasts (wild animals), and cattle (domestic animals).

Genesis 8:1, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; …” NASB


We are living in the days when good is called evil and evil is called good. Domestic animals are treated like children. Wild animals are protected and great fines are incurred if you damage one of their eggs. But human babies are aborted.

Plants are protected for wild animals to live in. Dogs are offered the best meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains. But humans are supposed to live off of chemical concoctions for protein and plants to replace meat. The dog gets the beef and the kids get pink slime with the feet and beak from a fast food joint. (Guilty. My kids ate chicken nuggets.)


We are on the earth to take care of it. We have a responsibility to wild animals but that doesn’t mean we let them live in our homes.

They establish boundaries in the wild by marking trees and urination. We establish boundaries with doors on the houses, and fences in the backyard.

I’m grateful for the deer who favor my backyard. I love waking up early to see the rabbits feeding on the clover.

We are to care for our domesticated animals, Proverbs 12:10; 27:23. I don’t farm or have pets but I recycle and set out birdseed.


David and I supported children through World Vision and Feed the Children. I still pray for them. Chandrakant is 30; Jimmy and Vitumbiko are 11.

When Jimmy’s family moved away, we happily adopted Vitumbiko. This month we asked Feed the Children to give us a second child. #goals

We support “Cradle of Hope” which helps all mothers, married and unmarried. They are raising funds to buy a mother’s home for girls who find themselves homeless. And a survivor’s home for girls rescued from human trafficking.

These are the things I am doing to remember people, beasts, and cattle.

The Ark

Genesis 8:4, “In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.” NASB

It didn’t get stuck on top of a mountain. God directed it to a place where the water receded and it settled on the land. It was a place where the ark would remain level to allow the people and animals to disembark safely, (Genesis 8:14-16).

God moves slowly and safely. I want out of “my ark” right away! He makes small adjustments.

Noah couldn’t leave the ark until the vegetation had grown and produced food for his family and the animals. That took over 6 months! I have to be patient, knowing that God is moving.


Genesis 8:19, “Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.” NASB

You are not dormant while you are in “your ark.” You are reproducing. The animals went into the ark as a couple and came out as families.

Defender of Life

Genesis 9:5, “Surely, I will require your lifeblood; from every beast, I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother, I will require the life of man.” NASB

God requires the lifeblood of every man or animal that takes a life. God is the defender of preborn babies.

“God himself is the great defender of human life (see 4:9-12), which is precious to him because people were created in his image (v. 6) and because they are the earthly representatives and focal point of God’s kingdom. In the theocracy (kingdom of God) established at Sinai, a domestic animal that had taken human life was to be stoned to death (Exodus 21:28-32).”

New International Version Study Bible Notes on Genesis 9:5


I learned to eat a variety of foods, to help where I can, and to remember that slowly, God is moving.

Join me in reading this month’s chapters. I would love to hear what you learned in the comments section below!

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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.

©2009-2022 All Rights Reserved.


Each person chooses a mate with which to build a life. Raging hormones convince us that those feelings will last forever.

Love grows, but not in the direction we expect. Love grows roots. It deepens beyond those first exciting feelings.

Unfortunately, some prize the feelings over the roots. So, they tear their plant apart and try to begin again.

But roots take years to develop. They don’t have as many years left to grow. The shallow roots cannot stand up to the storms that inevitably come.


As individuals, we grow. We only have two options: grow closer to God or away from Him. A life away from Him is a life of hardship. He has a plan and a purpose for our life. Without God, we miss it and wander around in a desert looking for the path. Or worse, we end up in a prison of consequences for our actions.

The good news is: We can always turn back to God. Then He “plants” us and establishes our roots. He can prosper us right where we are, even in prison.

Look at the Life of King Jehoiachin

2 Kings 25:27, 28, “Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28) and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon.”

New American Standard Bible


Jehoiachin was a royal and became king when he was eight. But he had an evil heart and only reigned for three months, see 2 Chronicles 36:9, 10. He was a prisoner for the next 37 years. He must have had a change of heart because he became king again above all the other kings who served the king of Babylon. The Babylonian king provided him with clothes and a regular income, and he ate at the king’s table.

Living on Love

Most newlyweds start with very little. They are living on love! Slowly, with good planning, they build their net worth. Tearing the marriage apart does not divide the net worth equally because you can build it together more quickly than you can individually. It puts one or both of you in poverty. Those who stay planted in their marriage will have a harvest financially.

Children help a marriage. They give you a reason to get up in the morning. They help you establish routines and disciplines that lead to a healthy life: regular bedtimes, healthy meals, playtime, and time outside.

Grandchildren are all joy with very little work! They are your reward for the work you spent on your children!

We married young and will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this year. We are going out of state for a few days for the honeymoon we couldn’t afford when we married.

You may think we are old, but we are not. God can lengthen the days of our youth or shorten them. We do not need to be old before our time.

Psalms 89:45, “You have shortened the days of his youth, you have covered him with shame.”

New American Standard Bible


Young and Beautiful

Flour, sugar, and oil are things we are instructed to avoid now. Could it be the portion sizes, not the food that makes a difference?

Ezekiel 16:13, “Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.”

New American Standard Bible


Beauty is a reflection of God’s splendor. God’s Spirit in me makes me beautiful.

Ezekiel 16:14, “‘Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,’ declares the Lord God.”

New American Standard Bible


Wise Words

“How to live wisely and well: 1) Time is precious; don’t waste it. 2) You’re making memories; make them good ones. 3) It’s not what happens, but how you respond that counts.”

The Word for You Today, 8-17-22


God exalts the low tree and makes the dry tree flourish!

Ezekiel 17:24, “All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will perform it.”

New American Standard Bible


I pray that our children learn from our mistakes and don’t repeat them.

Ezekiel 18:14, “Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise.

New American Standard Bible


You are Chosen

Ezekiel 20:9, “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself know to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

New American Standard Bible


God freed them because He chose them. He freed them despite their wickedness because He promised to and He keeps His promises. He can free you, too.

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