God is in the Details

Willing to Do Anything

Aaron had four sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu went up to the mountain with Moses, Exodus 24:1. Ithamar and Eleazar were probably too young. But Ithamar loved God and His tabernacle. He was willing to do anything – including counting the inventory, Exodus 38:21.

Nadab and Abihu died after offering strange fire to the Lord, Leviticus 10:1-7. Eleazar became the High Priest after Aaron, Numbers 20:23-29. Ithamar served anonymously.

God is in the details. That is why he had Ithamar count everything in the tabernacle. God is interested in the details of our lives, too.

***

I am replacing my plastic dishes with glass and ceramic. My dining room table was covered with plasticware to give away. There was glassware that used to be displayed on the bookshelf and an accent lamp from the bathroom.

Thanksgiving is coming soon and I need to clear the table! Imagine my surprise when I read God’s direction to do just that!

Exodus 40:40, “You shall bring in the table and arrange what belongs on it; and you shall bring in the lampstand and mount its lamps.” NASB

I cleaned the accent lamp and put it back in the bathroom. David helped me box up the plasticware and I cleared away everything else. Now I can create a centerpiece for Thanksgiving!

I Have to Keep the Fires Burning

Leviticus 6:8, “…the fire on the altar is to be kept burning…” NASB

What can I do to keep the fire burning in my love for God? For David? For my family? For my friends? For my church?

Each Requirement is Linked to a Promise

The priests were consecrated on the eighth day, Leviticus 9:1-6. Male babies were circumcised on the eighth day, Leviticus 12:1-3.

Why were consecration and circumcision important? Because it was required to see the Glory of the Lord, Leviticus 9:6.

Sin and Guilt Offering

The priests took a portion of the offerings for his family. The family who offered the animal ate the rest. But the sin and guilt offering was given entirely to the priest, Leviticus 14:13. Sin and guilt take everything!

I Learned This Week

  1. I need to be willing to do the most menial tasks anonymously.
  2. I need to have on each surface only what belongs there. (Yes, I’m looking at you, piles of paper!)
  3. I have to keep the fire burning in my love for Jesus, David, my family, my friends, and my church.
  4. Consecration is required to see the Glory of God.
  5. Eczema would not have kept a man from serving as a priest in the tabernacle. He is ritualistically clean, Leviticus 13:38-39.
  6. Sin and guilt take everything.
  7. The High Priest took sweet incense into the Holy of Holies, Leviticus 16:12-13. Our prayers are like sweet incense before the Lord, Psalms 141:2.

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

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

The Ten Commandments: Frugalfish Translation

This was my birthday week. I found many guidelines for my next trip around the sun in the chapters we read.

The Ten Commandments: Frugalfish Translation

  1. Love God
  2. No competition
  3. Respect His Name
  4. Sunday = Rest Day
  5. Call your mother!
  6. Protect Life
  7. Sex is for spouses
  8. Honesty
  9. Truthfulness
  10. Contentedness

As the week went on, I read more instructions in Exodus

Do not follow the masses in doing evil, 23:2.

Do not kill the innocent, 23:7.

Do not take a bribe, 23:8.

Celebrate a feast three times a year, 23:14.

  1. Feast of Unleavened Bread, 23:15. (Easter)
  2. Feast of Harvests, 23:16. (Thanksgiving)
  3. Feast of Ingathering, 23:16. (Christmas Dinner)

Obey your guardian angel, [Your conscience], 23:20-21.

Serve God and He will bless your bread, and water; remove sickness; prevent miscarriages or barrenness; and He will fulfill the number of your days, 23:25-26.

God Confirmed My Calling

Exodus 29:1, “Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them to minister as priests to me: …” NASB

I was in my early twenties when our church held a special service to ordain and consecrate the members of the worship team. They anointed us with oil and the congregation prayed over us. Leading worship, with your voice or an instrument, is a ministry and calling.

What a wonderful reminder, on my birthday, of my special position in the church. God’s callings and election cannot be revoked, Romans 11:29.

I Learned More About God

Exodus 33:13, “Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found favor in your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, …” NASB

Exodus 34:6, “Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.'” NASB

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

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

Standing

My husband and I were born in this town. Am I doing everything I can to push out any wickedness here?

Ezekiel 21:30, “…In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you.”

New American Standard Bible

***

I am not called to serve in our civil government, but am I praying for my city? Am I contributing to projects that build a wall around my city to protect the inhabitants: Food Bank, The Well, Goodwill, and the Hospital Auxiliary?

Ezekiel 22:30, “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis spoke about this in his sermon entitled, “Battle Stations.”

“They humbled themselves, fasted, and prayed. They stood as one and said something. They pointed to God. They didn’t have to fight but they manned their battle stations. They bowed and worshipped God. Fear not, stand firm, speak, and go forward.”

Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis, 8-21-22

***

Ezekiel 7:27, “…According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord.”

New American Standard Bible

***

Dear Lord, give me a new heart so my words are uplifting. Show me where to improve my conduct. Forgive me for judging. I know You are the Lord of all. Amen

“Attacks may be vicious but they are never victorious.”

Deb Steenblock,
After round 11 of chemotherapy

***

Jeremiah Stood at His Battle Station

Jeremiah’s last prophecy given in Jerusalem was not to the king or the high priest. Ebed-Melech was not a Jew or of middle-east descent. He was an African from Ethiopia, possibly a slave because there were men he dreaded – but he trusted God.

Jeremiah 39:15-18, “Now the word of the Lord had come to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guardhouse, saying,

16) ‘Go and speak to Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to bring My words on this city for disaster and not for prosperity; and they will take place before you on that day!

17) But I will deliver you on that day;’ declares the Lord, ‘and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread.

18) For I will certainly rescue you, and you will not fall by the sword; but you will have your own life as booty, because you have trusted in Me,’ declares the Lord.” ‘ “

New American Standard Bible

***

Everyone in Jerusalem is starving. The Babylonian army is ready to tear it apart. But God notices one man who trusts Him despite everything. He sends him a prophecy of assurance. Jerusalem’s downfall was his escape.

“The truth is, faith can’t grow without hardship; it must incubate in the darkness of adversity.”

The Word for You Today, 8-24-22

***

The Jews Stood Even After Jerusalem Fell

Their families starved to death. Their country was captured and their temple burned. Enslaved, they were marched across the desert to Babylon.

Their response?

Lamentations 5:19, “You, O Lord, rule forever; Your throne is from generation to generation.”

New American Standard Bible

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Psalms 79:13, “So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever, to all generations we will tell of Your praise.”

New American Standard Bible

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Two Verses to Help Me Stand

Psalms 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”

New American Standard Bible

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Jeremiah 42:11, “Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you are now fearing; do not be afraid of him,” says the Lord, “for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hand.”

New American Standard Bible

***

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

Chosen

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.

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

A Bondservant of Jesus Christ

3:30 a.m. The Medical Helicopter woke me as it flew over my house. The new hospital is a mile south of us. When I hear the helicopter, I pray for the patient, medical staff, air flight personnel, and the patient’s family. They will be driving an hour to Iowa City.

My dream is to move to a house in a wooded area in the country. After I prayed, I wondered, “Who will pray for the Medical Helicopter’s patients if I move?” Praying is one thing a bondservant of Jesus Christ does.

1 Peter 1:1, “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

New American Standard Bible

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Peter listed bondservant first before apostle. Jesus is my Master; I am His slave. Serving Jesus is more important than my “ministry.” As long as this is the house in which I serve Him, I will pray each time I hear the medical helicopter.

I am grateful for the faith and righteousness of God that I received from Jesus Christ. When I became Jesus’ bondservant, my life turned from black and white to color. It’s the difference between watching a movie on TV at home or watching it in a 4D theater. I don’t need a new home to enjoy my life.

All week long, I noted verses showing me how to walk as a bondservant of Jesus:

  1. In a manner worthy of my calling, Ephesians 4:1.
  2. With humility, gentleness, patience, and showing tolerance for one another in hope, Ephesians 4:2.
  3. Being diligent to preserve unity and the bond of peace, Ephesians 4:3.
  4. Renewed in the spirit of my mind, Ephesians 4:23.
  5. Putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice, Ephesians 4:31.
  6. Being kind, tender-hearted, forgiving as Christ forgave me, Ephesians 4:32.
  7. Leading a tranquil, quiet, godly, dignified life, 1 Timothy 2:2.
  8. Engaging in good deeds to meet pressing needs, to be fruitful, Titus 3:14.
  9. Being sober, enduring hardship, doing the work, fulfilling my ministry, 2 Timothy 4:5.
  10. Giving account for the hope that is in me with gentleness and reverence, 1 Peter 3:15.
  11. Arming myself to suffer in the flesh, 1 Peter 4:1.

I am not to avoid problems but face the wind!

“When the gale force wind of adversity blow, put your face full into the wind. Let it do its intended work and blow your chaff away. Welcome the sifting; let reality reveal itself in your heart.”

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

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

What Has Been Appointed for You to Do

I have been appointed to:

  • Sing, for as long as I can remember
  • Play the piano, age 12
  • Write, age 13
  • Marry, age 20
  • Work in a church office, age 21
  • Have children, age 24
  • Become a grandmother, age 39

My appointment to work in a church office and be a full-time mother is completed. I will receive new appointments. (Grandma Moses didn’t fulfill her appointment to paint until she was 80!)

This year I was appointed to write a book about our trip to Israel. Someday, I will be a great-grandmother!

Acts 22:10, “…you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.”

New American Standard Bible

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Each appointment has times of joy and times of trials. I dreamed of being a writer since I was a young girl. Writing while housebound was not part of my dreams!

I knew I would serve in a church office. I didn’t know it would include several months working in a garage, and using an outhouse, while I was pregnant with our first child!

Paul’s Appointment

Paul was appointed to speak to the Gentiles, see Acts 22:21. That involved years as a prisoner in Capernaum and other cities!

Acts 23:35, “He said, ‘I will give you a hearing after your accusers arrive also,’ giving orders for him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.”

New American Standard Bible

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The jail under Herod’s Praetorium. (Why I post blurry pictures.)

********

His appointment to speak included time on trial.

Acts 24:10, “When the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded…”

New American Standard Bible

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This was Paul’s view as he spoke to Governor Felix. David is standing in the Governor’s spot.

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Your Appointments

Acts 22:14, “And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth.”

New American Standard Bible

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God wants you to know His will for your life. He whispers it to you in your dreams. Remember Satan will work against you.

“…First you assume you won’t fail, so you’re unprepared for Satan’s attack when it comes. Next you allow problems and pressures of life to make you forget that your first commitment must always be to the Lord. Finally, you end up spiritually defeated. You say, ‘That will never happen to me.’ That’s what Peter said! The reason ‘Satan hath desired to have you’ [Luke 22:31] is because he knows when you become passionate about doing God’s will, you will be unstoppable. So, never lose your passion for God.”

The Word for You Today,
July 10, 2022

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We don’t find our passion; we fulfill our purpose. Our passion belongs to God.

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

Winnowing is Like Spring Cleaning

Last summer, as I read about the seasons of Israel, I realized there are more than four. I decided to split my year into 7 sessions (since the week has 7 days) and assign one area to each session.

  1. January 1: Paperwork, Budget, Review Insurance, Income Taxes
  2. February 23: Writing Next Year’s Bible Reading Guide, eBooks, Books
  3. April 16: Spring Cleaning
  4. June 7: Painting, Maintenance, Improvements
  5. July 29: Organize Basement, Laundry Room, Storage Room
  6. September 19: Fall Cleaning
  7. November 10: Prepare for the Holidays

Today I finished the 3rd session – spring cleaning. I scrubbed the refrigerator, freezer, and oven. I emptied the cabinets under both sinks and wiped them out. I cleaned the windows and washed curtains, drapes, blinds, and valances. I got into corners and removed cobwebs. I wiped down the baseboards.

I tackled each closet and assigned 2 days for the linen closet and another 2 for the office closet. It was rewarding to toss or donate unused items, wipe down the shelves, and organize the remainder.

The office closet took 3 days. I pondered that as I spent an hour finishing up on Saturday. (I try to leave Saturday for fun projects.) I realized it took so long because I organized everything. I didn’t toss much or donate many items.

There is freedom in assigning tough tasks to a time with a deadline. I kept going because my 4th session starts tomorrow. I told myself anything that did not get cleaned could wait until fall cleaning. But I managed to finish everything assigned each day.

At Easter, I cleared the dining room and David’s “Man Cave.” I stacked the boxes in the storage room. I hung a curtain in front of it. (At Christmas, I hung the curtain in front of the “Man Cave.” No one bothered looking behind it, LOL!) 😉

Each time I went into the storeroom and dug through the boxes stacked to the ceiling, I reminded myself that this room will be decluttered, cleaned, and organized starting July 29th. When it is unbearably hot outside, I will be in the cool basement filling boxes to sell, donate, and toss!

The living room wall got scuffed at Easter by an office chair. Instead of adding it to my list of projects on Saturday, I remembered I could do it first on June 7th when I start painting and improving. I gave myself time to work on everything during the year instead of working on everything at once.

How is that like winnowing?

Winnowing is throwing the wheat into the air, allowing the chaff to blow away. We are winnowed every day as we become more like Jesus. We are “up in the air” about something and we don’t know where we will land! But we can trust Jesus because He is the one holding the winnowing fork.

Jeremiah 15:1, “I will winnow them with a winnowing fork…”

New American Standard Bible

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Anything lost was unnecessary and unfruitful. It was just dragging us down. Each time we let go of things it leads to more freedom. The things we no longer need are taking space that is needed for something new God has prepared.

Isaiah 43:18, 19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19) See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

New International Version

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After the events in May, we question God just as Jeremiah did.

Jeremiah 12:1, “Righteous are You, Lord, that I would plead my case with You; indeed, I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why had the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?”

New American Standard Bible

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God answered Jeremiah saying to strengthen himself and prepare for battle. Wars were fought in the thickets of Jordan.

Jeremiah 12:5, “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?”

New American Standard Bible

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We are to wholeheartedly turn to God.

2 Kings 23:25, “Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.”

New American Standard Bible

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Jeremiah 22:3, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.'”

New American Standard Bible

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And on Pentecost Sunday, when we started reading Acts, we were instructed further on how to live.

Acts 2:46, 47, “…taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47) praising God and having favor with all the people. …”

New American Standard Bible

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Acts 3:19, “Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

New American Standard Bible

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Like a good spring cleaning, times of refreshing are coming!

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

August 17, 2013

Our time on earth is the only “Hell” the believer will ever experience. We go through times of hardship and think things just have to get better…but they may not! Jeremiah was in such circumstances.

Jeremiah 37:13-15, “…a sentry…seized Jeremiah the prophet saying, ‘You are deserting to the Chaldeans’…then said Jeremiah, ‘I am not’…the sentry would not listen…and brought him to the princes…the princes were enraged…and beat him and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe….”

It went from bad to worse!

Jeremiah was:

  1. Falsely accused, 37:13.
  2. Not believed when telling his side, 37:14.
  3. Brought to the princes who became enraged, 37:15.
  4. Beaten, 37:15.
  5. Put in prison, 37:15.
  6. Left in the cells in the dungeon for many days, 37:16.
  7. Moved to the court of the guard, 37:21.
  8. Threatened with death, 38:4.
  9. Cast into a cistern full of mud, 38:6.
  10. Left to starve, 38:9.
  11. Rescued and moved back to the court of the guard, 38:13.

No matter how bad things are going now, God will still take care of you. In the case of Jeremiah, he used an Ethiopian, Jeremiah 38:7-13.

July 15, 2013

Yesterday a man told me he was glad I was able to attend church. A year ago, I was only attending when I was on Prednisone. I thought back to my life then. It was not unusual for me to go for weeks or months without leaving the house.

Unfortunately, the Prednisone that was supposed to protect me from allergic reactions, lowered my immunity to the point that I could not fight off any virus or bacteria. It seemed that if someone at my husband’s workplace sneezed, I would catch the cold! He would bring the germs home on his clothes, but he never got sick.

After two months of continuous infections, the doctor ordered me to go out, a little at a time, to build my immunity back up. I attend church on Sunday mornings, but I do not mingle with everyone like I used to do. I am grateful for those few hours away from the house. I can agree with Isaiah in today’s verse.

Isaiah 25:1, “O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things, even purposes planned of old [and fulfilled] in faithfulness and truth.”

July 12, 2013

The letter from my insurance company asked for additional information. It was a form that I voluntarily sent, but was not required. It was on my computer that was struck by lightning on May 28th. I am not even sure I could reconstruct it, and even more discouraging, they wanted it to go back too May, 2012.

I called the company and my worker was on vacation. I left a message explaining why I would not be sending it with the receptionist. I felt overwhelmed. Today’s verses could not have been read at a better time.

Psalms 25:1, 2, “Unto You, O Lord, do I bring my life. O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause.”