I Saw It!

We almost had a major electrical fire!

Our dryer wouldn’t turn on. The repairman said we needed a new timer, electric board, and wire harness. He could only get two of the three parts. And one side of the 220-volt electrical plug wasn’t working.

David called our neighbor who takes apart appliances and sells the working parts on ebay.com. He said he could get all three parts but asked to look at the dryer first. We agreed.

He checked the parts and the outlet. He took the cover off of the breaker box and tested the breaker.

“Pam, you better come and see this!”

The meter showed 120 volts on one side and 8 volts on the other. There was not enough electricity to run the dryer. He heard crackling and was surprised there were no burn marks in the breaker box.

David called our favorite electrician.

He checked the outlet and the breaker. Both were okay.

“Pam, your dryer is broken.”

“I’m sorry, I saw the 8 on the voltage meter.”

“It’s fine.”

“I saw the 8.”

“Let me check another way. Nope, the electricity is flowing correctly.”

“I saw the 8 with my own two eyes.”

Sighing, he took the breaker out of the box and his face was immediately sober. The breaker’s prongs were too far apart and it was arcing. There were black marks on the inside of the breaker. No wonder I sometimes smelled smoke!

“You have to replace this. I will take it to show David.”

It didn’t arc all of the time, that is why the repairman didn’t catch it. It didn’t arc for the electrician but I saw the evidence on the voltage meter and wouldn’t be dissuaded.


The first four books of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written by a tax collector, a rich young man, a Gentile physician, and a fisherman. They could not be dissuaded because they witnessed the events with their own two eyes.

Let’s meet them and I will share the verses I highlighted this week from their books.

Matthew, Tax Collector

“Matthew…provides a perspective on Christianity’s roots in Judaism. …refers repeatedly to the Old Testament, offers a strong Jewish outlook, and explicitly discusses the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities…to form a fitting bridge between the Old and New Testaments. …emphasizes that all God’s purposes are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.”

New English Translation Introduction to Matthew


The chief priest Caiaphas was wealthy and lived in a palace, (Matthew 26:3). But he couldn’t heal people, cast out demons, or raise the dead! God used his jealousy to bring Jesus to the cross. There Jesus died for Caiaphas’s sins, yours, and mine.

This is one of the exits from Caiaphas’s house.


There were two men named Jesus, (Matthew 27:16). One took lives, Barabbas; and one gave His life, Jesus Christ.


The crown of thorns did not rest on top of Jesus’ hair. It was pounded into his skull, (Matthew 27:29-30).


Jesus will be with us always, even to the end of the world, (Matthew 28:20).

Mark, Rich Young Man

“Mark…[his] main source was the apostle Peter. …the earliest surviving written account of the life and ministry of Jesus. …in the simplest and most straightforward way. …we see Jesus’ emotions and humanity on display. …shows Jesus to be the Son of God (1:1, 15:39), who has authority over humanity and over the natural and spiritual realms.”

NET Introduction to Mark


Examine yourself before you pray and if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, (Mark 11:25). We forgive because God already forgave us.


Jesus said they would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven, (Mark 14:62).

A man could not be condemned to death unless there were three witnesses. The best the chief priests could do was find two, (see Matthew 26:59-64).

The only exception was when someone blasphemed. Jesus knew he had to die. When they couldn’t find three people to agree, he incriminated himself in their eyes. But He spoke the truth!


The disciples left the empty tomb in terror and bewilderment. They said nothing because they were afraid, (Mark 16:8). After they saw Jesus, they went from terror, bewilderment, and silence to telling everyone! (Mark 16:19-20).


Luke, Gentile Physician

“Luke…the only Gentile among the Gospel authors. …a physician by profession (Colossians 4:4) as well as a researcher and historian. After a careful investigation…Luke presented an orderly and easily comprehensible account. …wrote primarily for Gentile believers. …used the Greek equivalent of Hebrew words…the common language of the time…enabled more people to understand his book. …had a special interest in those marginalized by society, such as women, children, and the poor. …emphasized that Jesus is the Savior…of the whole world, especially those who are abused and neglected in society. …to reveal that Jesus is the focus of all history and to authenticate the reliability of the information in his Gospel.”

NET Introduction on Luke


Do I welcome Jesus quickly and joyfully like Zacchaeus? (Luke 19:6.)

John, Fisherman

“John…wanted his readers to understand that Jesus was both divine and human, …the source of salvation for all humankind. …to know what Jesus said and who Jesus was. …Jesus’ ‘I am’ statements make up another unique element… In addition to affirming His divinity, Jesus used these metaphors to indicate ways in which He was the ultimate solution to the human condition. …the Messiah whose words were clear only to those who believed in Him.”

NET Introduction to John


Jesus commanded that we love one another, just like He loved us. We are identified as His disciples by our love, (John 13:34-35).


Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). That question has been repeated for two thousand years. Truth has been denied and ignored. It is rewritten by the whim of those in power.

Truth is simple. Lies are loud. Truth is quiet.

The Bible is Truth. To deny the Bible is to deny there is the Mediterranean Sea. It is referred to several times.

God presents His Truth in a large, undeniable way – like the Mediterranean. But we ignore or overlook it.

Every day, the sun comes up and sets. The moon shows a full face and is slowly obstructed by the earth’s rotation.

Spring buds and winter ends. Summer’s warmth brings the harvest of autumn.

And no matter how crazy the world gets – God still forms babies in their mother’s tummies. God is constantly creating new life.

And that’s the Truth. Truth trumps facts.


“There are 650 copies of ‘The Iliad.’ But there are over 24,000 copies of the original Bible.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, April 9, 2023

Over 24,000 people painstakingly copied each letter of the Bible. They saw it. They believed.


“…The rooster announces the beginning of a brand-new day. After his worst night of failure, the sun came up for Peter. And it will come up for you, too. By God’s grace, you can start your life over any day you choose to. Today, you can repent of your sin and go on to do great things for the Lord.”

The Word for You Today, April 6, 2023

Are you ready to see for yourself? Do you want a new start? See the “Save Me, Jesus” Prayer.

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

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 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

God Wants to Make You Great!

I thought God made Israel great after they received their inheritance. I was wrong. God made them great while they were slaves in Egypt!

Acts 13:17, “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it.”

New American Standard Bible


They were in Egypt for 400 years. Nothing can stop God’s blessings!

Acts 13:19, “When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance – all of which took about four hundred and fifty years.”

New American Standard Bible


When you add in the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, you see it took a thousand years to take Israel from a family to a great nation! God is making us great right here and right now!

Let’s look at David…

Acts 13:22, “…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.”

New American Standard Bible


Many times, people referred to King David as “a man after God’s heart.” We leave the last part out – “who will do all My will.”

David killed the giant Goliath. He spent 15 years running from Saul in the wilderness. He had 2 opportunities to kill him but didn’t.

“The wilderness is where the Word is heard and we’re formed into a person of the Word. The promised answers to our prayers may not be found in the promised lands, but in wildernesses. Every wilderness, every desert – is not where God deserts – but is where God woos with whispered Word. But you will have to be still to hear his whispered Word.”

June 9, 2022 email from annvoskamp.com


For the rest of his life, he was the one who destroyed the seven nations in the land of Canaan.

Following God’s heart, and doing all of His will, means:

  • facing giants,
  • years of loneliness,
  • being unjustly treated,
  • fighting those who are opposed to God’s purposes.

We remember the glamor of being king. We forget the impossible and excruciating road David walked to get to the throne. (His parents were murdered while he was in the wilderness running from Saul.) And we forget that he was human.

“Centuries later, the Gospel of Matthew mentions David’s ‘slimy rotten’ predatorial, power-abusing, libido ingratiating sin in the family tree of Jesus where we read, ‘Jesse [was] the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon (by the wife of Uriah) …’ (Matthew 1:6, emphasis mine)

This same David wrote nearly half of the Psalms. He is the one about whom God would later say, “…a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22) Most notably, he is also the one that the New Testament writers had in mind when they repeatedly called Jesus ‘the son of David.’ If you have ever doubted Jesus’ love, affection, and never-give-up love for you, are you willing to reconsider?”

“Rotten Bananas, Bent Humans, and Delicious Grace” Scott Sauls, from the book, “Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen: How God Redeems Regret, Hurt, and Fear in the Making of Better Humans


Acts 13:48, “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”

New American Standard Bible


That means us! We are appointed to eternal life!

Hebrews 3:12, 13, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13) But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

New American Standard Bible


Hebrews 4:1, “Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.”

New American Standard Bible


Hebrews 6:11, 12, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12) so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

New American Standard Bible


Hebrews 6:19, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.”

New American Standard Bible


Hebrews 10:14, “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”

New American Standard Bible


Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.”

New American Standard Bible


“When God is first, everything changes!”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, 6-12-22, fcoc.net


Believing brings a promise of rest, an assurance of hope, removal of sluggishness, inherited promises, an anchor of hope, sanctification (just as if I had never sinned), gifts, and faith that speaks even after we die!

It’s time to click on the “Save me, Jesus, Prayer” above. God wants to make you great!

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Heat of Summer

We experienced all four seasons while we were in Israel. It was the last three days of winter but it felt like fall – cold and rainy. We were on top of Tel Megiddo when a storm hit. Our umbrellas turned inside out and on some, the material tore off of the spokes! Peggy Knudsen, our Pastor’s wife called it a monsoon!

On the third day, the high was 39 degrees. I didn’t bring a coat!

I put on the capris and long-sleeved Henley top that I planned to sleep in. I layered a tee-shirt, 3/4 length sleeve tee-shirt, and jeans over them. I put on my cardigan sweater and stowed protein bars in my backpack.

When we reached Caesarea Maritime, I put a hooded rain poncho over all of it. I cinched my gardener’s hat, aka tourist hat, under my chin and kept my hands under my poncho. I looked like a soldier with a full pack!

David did not do as well. He didn’t bring a coat either. When we were packing, I asked him if he wanted the black raincoat or the red one. He packed the black one.

They were rain pants!

We left the red raincoat at home! He wore two shirts and a hoody and carried our umbrella.


We drove through the Golan Heights while they were getting 3-5 inches of snow! The bus driver and guide had never seen so much snow. I pulled a scarf out of my backpack to wrap around my torso under my sweater.

I didn’t need it. We drove down the mountain and the snow turned to rain. Flowers seemed to bloom right in front of our eyes. Spring had sprung!


Two days later, I struggled to corral my curls into a scrunchie. Peggy asked me what I was doing.

“Probably tying my hair into knots,” I replied.

We were at the Dead Sea and it was hot! I had to get my hair off of my neck and back. People were wearing shorts.

Not only was it hot, but it was also dry. Our guide kept reminding us to drink water.

We took a cable car to the top of the MASADA fortress. The sun beat down on us and the wind parched us. They had a water station at the bottom and the top to refill our bottles.

I looked over the edge and saw a new, straw hat below. I was grateful for the cord that kept my hat secure. The wind caught it twice but the cord kept it from blowing away.

I can’t imagine how uncomfortable Jonah was sitting on the east side of Nineveh.

Jonah 4:4, “The Lord said, ‘Do you have a good reason to be angry?'”

New American Standard Bible


The landscape on the Dead Sea.

God delivered Jonah from his discomfort on the first day with a plant that shaded him, Jonah 4:6. The next day, the plant died and God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat on his head until he felt faint and begged to die, Jonah 4:8.

God cares about our comfort. But God does not want us to get so comfortable that we forget about others. Our first concern is for those who don’t know Him.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Everything Was Harder Than I Imagined

The room was circular. It used to be a cistern. When I got to the bottom, I couldn’t find a comfortable place to stand. The floor was like a bowl and the surface was uneven rocks. I felt like I was falling into the center.

High above my head, approximately 20 feet was a hole just large enough for a man to be let down. Pastor Monte Knudsen read about Jesus being held in this place. I hoped his devotion was short.

Jesus’ experience was much worse. They let him down by a rope. There was most likely water in the cistern. There were no steps to sit on, no lights, and no windows.

He had been up all night praying. He was tired but couldn’t even sit down. It was winter. He was wet, cold, and facing three trials, torture, and finally crucifixion.

First, Jesus was tried by His church – High Priest Caiaphas

The chief priest and officers of the temple arrested him, Luke 22:47-54. The temple soldiers mocked him, blindfolded him, and beat him, Luke 22:63, 64.

They wanted to see him prophesy, asking, “Who hit you?”

Second, Jesus was tried by the mayor – King Herod

Luke 23:11, “And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.”

New American Standard Bible


Jesus was questioned, accused, treated with contempt, and mocked in Luke 23:8-12.

Herod wanted to see a sign.

Third, Jesus was tried by the governor – Pontius Pilate

Pilate found him innocent, Luke 23:4, 14. Yet, he still wanted to punish him before he released him, Luke 23:16, 22.

We read yesterday how the Roman soldiers scourged him, put a crown of thorns on him, beat him on the head, spit on him, mocked him, and finally, crucified him, see Mark 15:15-24.

Pilate wanted to forget Jesus. He took a bowl of water and washed his hand, saying, he was innocent of this man’s blood, Matthew 27:24.


Everything Jesus experienced was a million times harder than I perceived from reading the Bible. He hiked down the Mt. of Olives and crossed the Kidron stream. He hiked halfway up Mt. Moriah to Caiaphas’s house. He hiked further up Mt Moriah to be tried by Pilate.

Then he dragged the cross back down through the steep, narrow, crowded Via Dolorosa over bedrock, patches of bricks, uncut rocks, and sections of pavement. It is amazing that he only fell once. He climbed the last hill, Golgotha, or place of the skull.


I walked on paths, steps, rocks, and ancient roads. I turned my ankle twice. I rode a bus from site to site. We hiked 1-3 miles a day.

Jesus hiked up and down mountains, through packed streets because it was the week of Passover. I can’t comprehend how many miles he hiked that day and each stop was worse than the last!

He did it for me…and you.

I invite you to go to your local church. I don’t care what your motive is: to hear a prophecy (the future is written in the Bible); to see a sign, or to declare your innocence.

Jesus was up all night. We can get up early because tomorrow we celebrate!

Hole in the ceiling of the cistern at Caiaphas’s house where Jesus was held.

©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Why Jesus Didn’t Drink the Wine with Myrrh

Jesus refused pain relief. He felt all of the torture, abuse, and pain of crucifixion.

Mark 15:23, “They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.”

New American Standard Bible


“…The Talmud gives evidence that incense was mixed with wine to deaden pain (cf. Pr. 31:6).”

New Internation Version Study Bible Note on Mark 15:23


Mark 15:36, “Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, …”

New American Standard Bible


“A sour wine, the drink of laborers and common soldiers. Jesus refused a sedative drink (see Mt. 27:34; Mk 15:23 and notes) but later was given the vinegar drink when he cried out in thirst (see John 19:28-30 and notes). Luke shows that it was offered in mockery.”

New International Version Study Bible Notes on Luke 23:36


Why did he drink the sour wine? To fulfill prophecy.


Psalms 69:21, “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”

New International Version


Jesus was conscious through the arrest, torture, and crucifixion. He felt everything. He knew he had to fulfill all of the prophecies.

Had he drunk the wine and myrrh; the prophecy would not have been fulfilled. He waited until sour wine, aka vinegar, was offered to him. He drank it, fulfilling the final prophecy and then he died.

The King James Bible says, “He gave up the ghost.” He chose the moment when His spirit left his body.

That was strength under control during excruciating circumstances.

In the center is the place of the skull or Golgotha. They said the nose fell off years ago.


©2009-2022 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Your Love was More Amazing

There are many kinds of love. The love of parents and siblings, friendships, brotherly love, and the love between a man and his wife. I believed the last to be the strongest. It was not always the case.

2 Samuel 1:26, “I grieve for you my brother Jonathan! You were so dear to me! Your love was more amazing to me than the love of women.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“…David gives expression to the deep friendship that bound him to Jonathan, beyond even the love of women (1:26). In a time when marriages were formed by arrangement and not love, deep friendships were more common among men than between men and women.” Common English Bible Notes

* * * * * * *

“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.”

― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Today let’s remember all those we love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

(Yes, I am behind.)

February 9, 2020: 1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10; 2 Samuel 1, 2.

©2009-2020 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

God Calls Nobodies and the Unloved

I’m a middle child. They say middle children are sometimes called the forgotten children. (I’m sure my daughter would agree!)

In the Bible, the firstborn child was the lucky one. Take Esau and Jacob: When Isaac died, Esau got two-thirds of his riches and Jacob got one-third. In every family, the firstborn would get twice as much as his siblings.

Esau was the firstborn; Jacob was a nobody.

Romans 9:13, “As it is written, ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’ ” Modern English Version

This verse confused me until I read Romans 9:25 in The Message…

“…I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, ‘You’re nobody!’ they’re calling you ‘God’s living children.’ ” The Message

Genesis 25:28, tells us Isaac loved Esau. Esau was the firstborn and his father’s favorite. Jacob was nobody and unloved. But God changed that! God is “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Jacob is God’s living child and Esau was forgotten. God determined this before Esau and Jacob were born!

Genesis 25:23, “Then the Lord said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples will be separated from your body; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.’ ” Modern English Version

* * * * * * *

“What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative….Is that grounds for complaining that God is unfair? Not so fast, please. God told Moses ‘I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.’ Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy….’If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled “chosen of God,” they’d be numbers still, not names, salvation comes by personal selection. God doesn’t count us, he calls us by name…’ ” The Message

I serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…and Pamela.

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Greatly Loved

Daniel 10:19, “And he said, ‘O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.’ And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'” ESV

This was the second time he told Daniel he was greatly loved, see v. 11.

I love chocolate, but not as much as I love David. He is greatly loved.

I love my children, but not as much as I love David. He is greatly loved.

I love my parents, but not as much as I love David. He is greatly loved.

That is how God loves me. I am greatly loved.

He doesn’t want me to be afraid. He wants me to live in peace. He wants me to be strong. He wants me to be courageous.

He gives all of those things to me because I am greatly loved…

…and so are you.

Gloating Over Your Brother’s Misfortune

When my children were young, the school presented a discipline program called, “1, 2, 3, Time Out.”

When a child misbehaved, you said, “That’s one.” If they repeated it, or talked back, you said, “That’s two.” If they still disobeyed, it became the third strike and they had a time out.

I was surprised, when during an illustration, they showed a child acting up, and when the first child was sent to time out, the parent turned to the second child and said, “That’s one.”

What did the second child do? The second child smirked when the first child got a time out.

Obadiah 1:12, “But you should not have gloated over your brother’s day, the day when his misfortune came and he was a stranger; you should not have rejoiced over the sons of Judah in the day of their ruin; you should not have spoken arrogantly in the day of their distress.”

No matter how evil a person is…they are still God’s child.

No matter how much they may seem to deserve misfortune and ruin…God still extends mercy and love.

“Dear Lord, Please forgive me for every time I spoke arrogantly in the day of another’s distress. Amen.”