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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Above the Dome

“In the small town of Seadrift, Texas during World War II a church posted the pictures of soldiers in their town who were going off to war. There were 52…five of them were brothers. It was the Psalms 91 promise of protection that the prayer warriors prayed over those young men…and not one of them died. …God had them literally bombard heaven. And one by one, every Seadrift soldier returned safely from the battlefields of Europe, the South Pacific, and the Far East, in spite of…hundreds of thousands…that were lost on those battlefronts.” (p. 195) “Psalms 91,” Ruth, Peggy Joyce and Angelia Ruth Schum. Peggy Joyce Ruth Ministries, 2010, quoted on prayerineverycity.com 

I pray Psalms 91 over David, myself, my children, my extended family, church family, the Pastors, missionaries, our town, the soldiers, policemen, firemen, and paramedics. I pray a hedge of protection around these that the spirit of suicide cannot penetrate; cancer cells can not live within; that gives us safety when we travel; and protects our marriages.

As I prayed yesterday, I saw a clear dome over my head and body. There is no fear under the dome because God’s Word protects me.

Was that my imagination? I wasn’t going to mention it in my post. Who would believe me? Then I opened my Bible.

Ezekiel 10:1, “When I looked, oh! Above the dome over the heads of the cherubim-angels was what looked like a throne, sky-blue, like a sapphire.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“We know the will of God when we read and pray the Word of God.

5 Questions to Know If We’re Hearing From God

  1. Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture?
  2. Is what I’m hearing consistent with God’s character?
  3. Is what I’m hearing confirmed through messages at church or in my quiet time?
  4. Is what I’m hearing beyond me?
  5. Is what I’m hearing pleasing to God?

Lysa Terkeurst, “5 Questions to Know If We’re Hearing From God,” Proverbs 31 Ministries, August 9, 2018

* * * * * * *

“You let too many thoughts dominate your mind. …God never called you to second guess yourself; He called you to trust in Him. …I’m going forward in faith…and I’m brave in my heart. …My heart is steadfast. My spirit is secure. His promises are true. His Word is everlasting.” “Go Forward in Faith,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick, Emailed 8-9-18

* * * * * * *

“Pastor and author A. W. Tozer wrote: ‘God is above, but He’s not pushed up. He’s beneath, but He’s not pressed down. He’s outside, but He’s not excluded. He’s inside, but He’s not confined. God is above all things presiding, beneath all things sustaining, outside all things embracing, and inside all things fulfilling.’ “ The Word for You Today, 8-9-18

Why pray God’s Word? Because it puts us under the “dome” of God’s protection. It’s for regular people like you and me – not just angels.

This week has been a trial. I am assured that God is over me. He walks beside me during the dark times.

“Comfort is not given to us when we are lighthearted and cheerful. …when we experience even the thickest darkness, we must remember…the comforting drops of heavenly dew fall only after the sun has set.” “Streams in the Desert,” August 9

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

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The Revealer of Mysteries

When I read today’s verses, I thought, “Maybe God will show me how to link Twitter and Instagram to my new Frugalfish Facebook page. After all, He’s the Revealer of Mysteries!”

Daniel 2:27-30, “Daniel answered the king, ‘No mere human can solve the king’s mystery, I don’t care who it is – no wise man, enchanter, magician, diviner.

(28) But there is a God in heaven who solves mysteries…

(29) The Revealer of Mysteries showed you what will happen.

(30) But the interpretation is given through me, not because I’m any smarter than anyone else in the country, but so that you will know what it means, so that you will understand…’ ” The Message

I tried the same thing that worked to link my blog posts to my Facebook page. After getting several error messages on Twitter, I switched to Instagram.

I posted a picture and shared it on Twitter and Facebook. It went to my personal Facebook profile! Wait, Facebook said that would not be possible! Go figure. I don’t understand.

“Never pray for an easier life – pray to be a stronger person! Never pray for tasks equal to your power – pray for power equal to your tasks. Then doing your work will be no miracle – you will be the miracle.” Phillip Brooks in “Streams in the Desert,” August 3

I gave up and started reading emails.

“You don’t have to position yourself in front of people to be used by God. …And when God gets ready to use you, there’s no devil in hell that can stop Him.” “When God Gets Ready to Use You,” 1:Minute Motivation, Steven Furtick

Am I working so hard on these social media accounts just to position myself?

I switched to Facebook. I shared #FindingMollieTibbetts new poster and 6 other missing children. My friend commented 1 had been found. I went back and double checked those I shared. Three others have been found!

I procrastinated further by reading a book. On the first page of the last chapter, I read something so stupid that I wanted to throw the book through the window! You read that correctly, not out the window – through the window.

(What now, God? I quoted that book! Should I delete those posts? Should I delete the quotes? I’m overwhelmed. Tell me what to do.)

“The problem isn’t that God no longer speaks to us; it’s that we don’t recognize His voice. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the random thoughts that cross your mind (see 1 Corinthians 2:16). …God won’t send a thunderbolt from heaven…More often He speaks through your thoughts, a family member, a friend, a teacher, a pastor, a change in your circumstances, the sudden discovery of the perfect Scripture, the writing of a gifted author, or in the quietness when He fills your heart with perfect peace. So learn to listen to God’s voice.” “More Language of Letting Go,” Melody Beattie, 2000, p. 223-231″ in The Word for You Today, August 3

These two events humbled my pride. That was a good thing.

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

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I’m Braced for the Worst

I tried linking my blog to my new Frugalfish Facebook page yesterday. I got this error message several times:

“There is no page associated with this blog.”

I closed all the windows on the computer and walked away.

* * * * * * *

When I got up this morning, my head was full of questions:

  • Why didn’t it work?
  • Was I wrong starting the frugalfish.org blog?
  • Is frugalfish.org my Ishmael?
  • Should I delete all my social media accounts and start over?
  • Why did I pick such a long domain name – thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com?
  • Should I combine the blogs? No, wait – I tried that and lost $300.00.

I prayed and did my devotions.

Habakkuk 2:1, “What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst. I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how He’ll answer my complaint.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Habakkuk 2:3, “…If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 77:11-14, “Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; (12) I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long loving look at your acts. (13) Oh, God! Your way is holy! (14) You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do.” The Message

I made breakfast – burning my toast. (Our toaster broke yesterday and David bought a new one. I left it on the factory setting. That was a mistake!)

As I ate, I asked myself:

  • Could you let this all go, if God asked?
  • What if it never works, will you keep writing?
  • Are you willing to wait?

Then I went over the times I locked myself out of my former website. God always led me to the place to fix it.

I finished breakfast and walked to my office. God whispered, “Try this.” I did and the new Frugalfish Facebook page linked up to this blog! God is my tech guy. I can trust Him.

“You can trust the Man who died for you.” J. H. M. in “Streams in the Desert,” August 1

* * * * * * *

“There’s more victories behind me than there are battles ahead of me.” “Don’t Stop in the Gap” 1 Min Motivation, Steven Furtick

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

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Follow His Instructions

The email came last week but I waited until Monday to deal with it.

“As of August 1, Facebook will no longer allow you to automatically share a blog post on your profile. You can only share to a Facebook page.”

I didn’t have a Facebook page. It couldn’t take that long to set up – right?

Wrong. During the process, I accepted a friend request from a hacker. He sent requests to all my friends on both profiles saying he knew me! I blocked him and tried to fix the damage.

My Frugal Fish Facebook page is public. I don’t know many of the people there. They follow my blogs and joined my Facebook page. Normally, I check each profile before accepting a friend request. Skipping that step today caused a lot of trouble.

Proverbs 12:26, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” The Message

I am so, so sorry.

A few friends sent me messages asking if I knew Thomas Westley. I let them know it was a hacker. I’m afraid he got more friends posing as my friend.

He froze the page where I could report him in both profiles. I sent a message to Facebook another way. In light of the big change on August 1st, I don’t expect a prompt reply. I was ready to throw in the towel and delete both Facebook pages.

“Moses had all the potential in the world at forty, but felt like a lost cause at eighty. Instead of doing God’s will God’s way, he tried to expedite God’s will and delayed it for four decades! At some point in our lives most of us feel like life has passed us by. Our dream seems like a lost cause. The crises presents us with a choice: Throw in the towel, or throw our hat back in the ring. Many of us give up on our dreams because we feel like God has given up on us. But we serve a God of restoration (See Joel 2:25).” “All In” Mark Batterson

My first mistake was working on the Facebook page before I prayed and read my Bible. Tuesday I prayed and had my devotions before I did anything!

2 Kings 23:3, “The king stood by the pillar and before God solemnly committed them all to the covenant: to follow God believingly and obediently; to follow His instructions, heart and soul, on what to believe and do; to put into practice the entire covenant, all that was written in the book. The people stood in affirmation; their committment was unanimous.” The Message

I do not believe God was punishing me for working before devotions. That’s not how God works. Although, I do have to deal with the consequences of getting things out of order. Once again Steven Furtick’s “1 Min Motivation” encouraged me.

“Let me warn you. When you make God a priority the enemy will send a storm. You never cross over without conflict. …The reason the storm is raging might not be…because you are headed away from the will of God. It might be because you are crossing over into the calling that is on your life. …” “You Never Cross Over Without Conflict”

I’m crossing over into the fullness of God’s plan for my life.

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

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