…Or We’ll Burn You

My sister complained to that social media platform because she couldn’t see my posts. They forwarded the message to me.

One person said, “That is offensive” and they removed the post. Then they threatened to disable my account.

Another person said, “I want to see this!” and they forwarded the message to me? Why? Do they want me to promote my post? Do they want me to buy an ad? Probably.

But I learned from Samson’s story – complying when threatened does not work. They may carry out the threat anyway.

His fiancée complied and lost Samson. Then they burned her and her father alive anyway.

Judges 14:15, “…Worm the answer out of your husband or we’ll burn you and your father’s household. Have you invited us here to bankrupt us?” The Message

* * * * * * *

Judges 15:6, “The Philistines said, ‘Who did this?’ They were told, ‘Samson, son-in-law of the Timnite who took his bride and gave her to his best man.’ The Philistines went up and burned both her and her father to death.” The Message

Forget social media. I would rather be in isolation than allow them to control me.

“It is in the experience of isolation that the Lord develops an independence of life and of faith so that the soul no longer depends on the continual help, prayers, faith, and care of others.” “Streams in the Desert,” December 20

Do you feel isolated? Without hope?

“Maybe God is trying to show you the nature of true hope. …the kind that gets down deep enough in your heart where people can’t get it. …” “Having Hope When God Seems Silent,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Obediently Do Everything

December 14, 2018

I say the number of followers does not matter. I block the number on my blog. No one sees it. I hadn’t even checked it since last summer. But I was curious since I disconnected from that social media outlet.

I lost over 96% of my followers. Discouraged, I wasted an hour playing Spider Solitaire.

Judges 23:4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 19, “Stay alert. … (6) Now stay strong and steady. Obediently do everything written in the Book of Revelation of Moses – don’t miss a detail. …(8) Hold tight to God, your God, just as you’ve done up to now. … (10) Think of it – one of you, single-handedly, putting a thousand on the run! Because God is God, your God. Because He fights for you, just as He promised. (11) Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God. …(14) …Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing’s left undone – not so much as a word. … (19) …He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t put up with your fooling around and sinning.” The Message

That convicted me. I know playing game after game of Spider is just fooling around.

Proverbs 20:24, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” New International Version

We finished the series, “The Condition of Your Soul,” on Wednesday night. I knew I had to get a handle on my emotions. Steven Furtick provided just the word I needed.

“As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the ability within you to bounce back. …the harder the bottom, the higher the bounce!” 1:Minute Motivation, “Bounce Back!” Steven Furtick

How do you get out of the doldrums?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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All These Blessings

We all have storms in our lives. We are either going through a storm, coming out of a storm, or a storm is around the corner.

At our Thanksgiving Service, people gave testimonies. Deb shared about her fight with cancer. One thing she said was she didn’t talk to people about her diagnosis. She spoke to the area the Word of God. In less than a month the doctor told her they couldn’t find the mass. You can hear the service here.

How? We serve the “God of the Impossible.”

* * * * * * *

That is the name of the song we are learning.

“God of the Impossible”

 

“Lord, I come with newfound faith.

I will trust ev’ry word You say.

All my fears I’m laying down at Your feet.

 

I will trust in Your grace that cannot be earned,

Walk through the fire and not be burned.

All my doubts have lost their sound to Your voice.

You are who You are,

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible.

 

Lord, I come with willing hands;

Use my life to fulfill Your plan.

All I have I give to You, an offering.

You are who You are,

You are who You are.

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible.

 

You can do all things,

You can do all things.

Even in the valley,

Still my heart will sing.

You can do all things,

You can do all things.

Nothing is impossible for You.

 

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.

You are who You are,

The God of the impossible,

The God of the impossible.”

 

Lincoln Brewster and Mitch Wong

* * * * * * * *

“Keep trusting God and He will bring you through this storm!” The Word for You Today, 12-4-18

We need to stop talking about the storm and start speaking to it. I find Bible verses to pray over my storm, like these:

Deuteronomy 28:1-2, “If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all His commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. (2) All these blessing will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God.” The Message

The blessings are:

  1. In the city, v. 3.
  2. In the country, v. 3.
  3. On my children, v. 4.
  4. On my crops, v. 4.
  5. On the young of my livestock, v. 4.
  6. On the calves of my herds, v. 4.
  7. On the lambs of my flocks, v. 4.
  8. On my basket and bread bowls, v. 5.
  9. When I come in, v. 6.
  10. When I go out, v. 6.
  11. My attackers will come on one road and flee on seven, v. 7.
  12. On my barns, v. 8.
  13. In my workplace, v. 8.
  14. On my land, v. 8.
  15. God will make me holy, v. 9.
  16. All people will hold me in respect, v. 10.
  17. God will lavish me with good things, v. 11.
  18. God will pour rain on the land on schedule, v. 12.
  19. God will bless my work, v. 12.
  20. I will lend to others, v. 12.
  21. I will not need to borrow, v. 12.
  22. God will make me the head, not the tail, v. 13.

I pray these verses like this:

Dear God,

I listen obediently to Your Voice. I heartily obey Your commands. I respond to Your Voice. All of these blessings are mine – especially # ___ and #___. This storm has to ‘be still’ at Your Word.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen

“If it wasn’t hard, you would trust in yourself. …So, I’ve gotta allow some things into your life that are impossible for you. …I’m not gonna take you around it. I’m gonna take you through it. …I’m about to drown what’s chasing you down. But I’ve got to take you the hard way.”

“Why It Had to be Hard,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

What verse do you pray over your storms?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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A Most Jealous God

At the top of several pages of my sermon notes is one word – “testimonials.” In the middle of a sermon, #God would nudge me and whisper, “Make a testimonials page.” I would write the note and plan on doing it the next day. Then I procrastinated.

Listening to Steven Furtick’s “1:Minute Motivation” jolted me. There was that word – procrastination.

“Whatever is in your heart to do you better do it now. …sometimes the devil will tell you you’re being patient…if he can get you to mistake procrastination for patience, he can keep you locked out of the blessing that is on the other side of your obedience.” “Don’t Blow It,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

I had put every other task ahead of the assignment #God gave me. I repented and pulled up the one testimonial I had copied.

Over the next four hours, I read every comment on my blog and LinkedIn. Then I went to my Facebook page and read the comments there.

I typed the comments and the title of the post. I added the name and job of those I knew. I noted where the comment was from and the date. Then I added links to each post. As I published the page, I realized, procrastination is an idol – it’s putting other things before God.

Exodus 20:5, “…I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me.” The Message

I learned something else, too. I thought the phrase “punishing the children to the third and fourth generation” meant God punished them for their parent’s sins. That is not necessarily so.

God punishes children for sins they commit. They may justify them because their parents did the same thing.

However, sin has consequences. Unfortunately, children suffer the consequences right along with their parents. These consequences are for unrepentant people who hate God. There’s a promise for those who repent and love God.

Exodus 20:6, “But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“You don’t have to do anything to experience God’s love, but you must know His voice and follow His direction to experience His blessing.” “The Word for You Today,” October 24, 2018

Have you completed a task you procrastinated over? How do you defeat procrastination?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Jacob Buried Them

We took the family to “Appanoose Rapids” to celebrate Derek’s birthday. Olivia, 7, brought a doll that poops! She tired of holding it. I offered to put it in the booth beside me. I misjudged the space and bonked the doll’s head on the table.

“Good job, great-grandma,” Laura quipped.

I froze.

When Olivia has a child I will be a great-grandma. That was a sobering thought.

Then David shared how Kyle, the bass player, calls me “Grandma Pamcake.” (I tell him only Olivia can call me grandma.)

I started feeling self-pity. Why do they tease me about my age?

After eating, we debated about going to Kohls. I wanted to see if they had a space heater on sale. I spend most of the day in my office. I could just heat it.

But everyone was tired. We went home.

Self-pity reared its head again. The lies started going through my head:

  • David always says “no” to me.
  • Nobody cares about what I need.
  • I always have to go without.
  • Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I guess I’ll go eat worms…

😦

As a child, I was miserable most of the time. I was itchy, bleeding, and in pain with my clothes stuck to the Atopic Dermatitis. It tormented me day and night. I was sleep-deprived. And children are cruel. Self-pity was a constant companion.

“May we remember that if self-pity is allowed to set in, we will never be used by God again until it is totally removed.” “Streams in the Desert,” October 12

I could justify self-pity. But I know it does not please God.

Genesis 35:4, “They turned over to Jacob all the alien gods they’d been holding on to, along with their lucky-charm earrings. Jacob buried them under the oak tree in Shechem.” The Message

Have I allowed self-pity to become an idol in my life? It is a habitual reaction. It’s one I need to bury.

“Feel locked out? Feel unincluded?…Need some direction in your life? Get behind Me and follow Me through the valley, through the pain. …If you feel disconnected, hook up with Me. …I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And I’m making a way for everybody who will walk by faith.”

“Need Something? God’s Got It…” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Do you struggle with self-pity? How did you overcome it? How can we share empathy without giving pity to one in pain?

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He Went to His Father

Shelly-Pam-Cheryl!

Those three names had the same result as “Atten-hut” or “Attention.” Usually, it meant it was time to eat. I always happily responded to that command. I knew Mom’s voice and she knew mine.

Isaac knew Esau and Jacob’s voices, too. He was waiting to give Esau his “firstborn blessing.” (The firstborn was given twice as much as the other children. They called it a double portion.) He knew it was Jacob and gave him an opportunity to come clean.

Genesis 27:18, “He went to his father and said, ‘My father!’ ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Which son are you?’ ” The Message

Jacob tricked Isaac into giving him the “firstborn blessing.” Isaac was human and human fathers make mistakes.

But our Heavenly Father does not. He knows my name. He knows my voice. He reserved a blessing for me alone.

“…Praise unblocks the blessing of God in your life. …” “Unblocking God’s Blessing in Your Life,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Share a time when God heard your voice and answered. Have you ever heard God call your name? Or did your Mom use a nickname to call you? Did you like that nickname?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Shout and Celebrate, Daughter of Zion!

“…’What did you learn today?’ I asked my daughter Lizzy, as we headed home from her first day of preschool…

‘I have to wear a name tag every day at school even though I already know my name! …I guess my teacher just doesn’t want me to forget who I am,’ she said with a shrug…”

“It You’ve Forgotten Who You Are…” Alicia Bruxvoort, Proverbs 31 Ministries

We are learning a new song this weekend, “Who You Say I Am,” by Hillsong. Sometimes, we forget who we are in Christ.

“…You feel kind of dirty and kind of ashamed of yourself and kind of like you don’t belong…You’re still His child…You’re still bought with His blood. Every drop He spilled was on purpose and one of those drops had your name on it. …God will never love you any more than He loves you right now!”

“Just in Case You Haven’t Heard It in A While…” Steven Furtick, 1:Minute Motivation

Zechariah is about who God says we are. God provided clean clothes for Joshua in Chapter 3. He provides clean clothes for us.

“Zechariah shared with his contemporary Haggai the prophetic task of getting the people of Judah to rebuild their ruined Temple. …But Zechariah did more than that. For the people were faced with far more than a ruined Temple and city. Their self-identity as the people of God was in ruins. …Zechariah reinvigorated their imaginations with his visions and messages. …The messages forged a fresh vocabulary that gave energy and credibility to the long-term purposes of God being worked out in their lives.”

The Message Introduction to Zechariah

* * * * * * *

Zechariah 2:10, ” ‘Shout and celebrate, Daughter of Zion! I’m on my way. I’m moving into your neighborhood!’ God’s Decree.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Zechariah 3:6-7, “God’s angel then charged Joshua, (7) ‘Orders from the God-of-the-Angel-Armies: “If you live the way I tell you and remain obedient in my service, then you’ll make the decisions around here and oversee my affairs. And all my attendants standing here will be at your service.” ‘ ” The Message

I’m a daughter of Zion – part of a royal priesthood, a chosen one, (see 1 Peter 2:9). God says I am.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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No More “Business as Usual”

“They say sometimes you win some

Sometimes you lose some

And right now, right now I’m losing bad…

“It’s easy to sing

When there’s nothing to bring me down

But what will I say

When I’m held to flame

Like I am right now…”

“Even If” Mercy Me

Two members of my immediate family went to the doctor this week. They both received life-changing news.

Ezekiel 21:26, “…No more ‘business as usual.’ ” The Message

I found hope in my devotional, “Streams in the Desert.”

“Someone who was passing through the deep water of affliction wrote a friend: ‘Isn’t it glorious to know that no matter how unjust something may be, even when it seems to have come from Satan himself, by the time it reaches us it is God’s will for us and will ultimately work to our good?’… (Romans 8:28).” Hannah Whitall Smith, “Streams in the Desert,” August 14

I moved on to studying Proverbs 13. One of the cross-references for verse 24 was Hebrews 12:7.

Hebrews 12:7, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. …” New International Version

The Message version made this verse and passage clearer.

Hebrews 12:7-11, “God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. (8) This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. (9) Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? (10) We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. (11) At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” The Message

These hardships are training. Discipline is not punishment. Another definition of discipline is an “area of study” or “specialty.” God’s purpose is training us in the “specialty” for which He created us.

As always, Steven Furtick’s “1:Minute Motivation” was on point.

“If your life is under attack, that means you must be carrying something good inside.” “How the Devil Plans His Attacks…” “1:Minute Motivation,” Steven Furtick, emailed 8-14-18

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How to Live Well and Obediently

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Ezekiel 16:8, “…I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. …” The Message

Does this mean I can stay in bed?

Galatians 6:5. “Take responsibility for…your own life.” The Message, The Word for You Today, August 11, 2018

I guess not.

* * * * * * *

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Ezekiel 17:24, “All the trees of the field will recognize that I, God, make the great tree small and the small tree great, made the green tree turn dry and the dry tree sprout green branches. I, God, said it – and I did it.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 19:14, “…(This is a sad song, a text for singing the blues.)” The Message

I have a choice. I can sing the blues or wait for God to make my dry branches green.

* * * * * * *

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ezekiel 20:9, “I acted out of who I was, not by how I felt. And I acted in a way that would evoke honor…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ezekiel 20:11, 12, “I gave them laws for living, showed them how to live well and obediently before Me. (12) I also gave them my weekly holy rest day, my ‘Sabbaths,’ a kind of sign post erected between me and them to show them that I, God, am in the business of making them holy.” The Message

God is not in the business of making me happy. He’s in the business of making me holy.

“Nurture the root and you’ll always have fruit.” Beatty, Melody. “More Language of Letting Go.” (Center City, MN: Hazeldon, 2000). 223-231

* * * * * * *

“How can we have rain without clouds? Our troubles have always brought us blessings…Our Lord’s love letters often come to us in dark envelopes.” Charles Spurgeon, in “Streams in the Desert,” August 13

* * * * * * *

“What if God wants to show you His strength? …How did He strengthen you, Paul? Through letting me struggle. I saw His strength through my struggle.” “Strength Through Struggle,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Today:

  • Remember Who God is and everything He is doing will bring honor.
  • I cannot act based on how I feel.
  • Am I breaking God’s law – eating healthily, drinking water, rest?
  • Examine my “roots.”
  • Look for the blessings in the clouds.
  • Keep struggling and God will show me His strength.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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The Big Three

A relapse. When will this end?

Ezekiel 14:14, “Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job – the Big Three…” The Message

Noah worked 2 jobs for 100 years – building the Ark and preaching to warn people of the flood. Then he endured 40 days and 40 nights of a flood. Only his family survived the flood. When God opened the door to the Ark, Noah had to start over, (See Genesis 6:8-9:29; Hebrews 11:7-9).

Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” King James Version

Daniel lost everything and became a captive. He stayed true to God and endured a night in a lion’s den. Slated for execution, he interpreted the king’s dream – saving all the wise men. He never returned home but God revealed mysteries of future events to him. (Read the book of Daniel.)

Daniel 12:13, “And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.” The Message

Job lost everything but his wife and his life. He lost all ten children and his riches in one day. He broke out in boils all over his body. He was living in the town dump. He endured his friends’ “consolation” that was really a condemnation. (Read the book of Job.)

Job 42:12, “God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life.” The Message

He ended up with double riches, 7 more sons, and 3 more daughters. He lived to see 4 generations of his descendants!

“Who can estimate the great debt we owe to suffering and pain? If not for them, we would have little capacity for many of the great virtues of the Christian life. Where would our faith be if not for the trials that test it; or patience, without anything to endure or experience and without tribulations to develop it?” “Streams in the Desert,” August 10

* * * * * * *

“Your real enemy is not even a situation. …Fight your fear. …Fight discouragement. If you can fight your discouragement, you can fulfill your destiny.” “Are You Fighting the Wrong Things?” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick, emailed 8-10-18

This will not last forever.

Proverbs 13:19, “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” New International Version

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