I Was Detained

I failed my mammogram.

The receptionist was sympathetic when I checked in for the second one. I told her I wasn’t worried. All-day long I said, “There’s nothing there.”

They took pictures of 2 places and then looked at them with an ultrasound. One was nothing to worry about but the second looked suspicious.

“It looks like a milk duct that did not form correctly. The tubules are growing in every direction,” the doctor informed me.

I told David I had a “milk duct dud.” From then on, we referred to it as a “milk dud.” We didn’t tell anyone about it.

My verses that day, November 5th, was Numbers 9:3, “…following all the rules and procedures.” The Message

Numbers 11:23, “God answered Moses, ‘So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough…'” The Message

* * * * * * *

The next step was an MRI in Cedar Rapids. David took the day off and we ate lunch at Culvers. I had the best salad!

When I arrived, I told the technician I was there to get a picture of my “milk dud.” Then I explained it to her. She laughed.

To take the MRI, you lay on your stomach with your face in a padded doughnut, like when you get a massage. You are on your knees leaning on your stomach at an angle. They stabilize the breasts and give you a “panic ball” in case you feel nauseous, claustrophobic, or panic.

They asked if I would like music. I said, “‘Contemporary Christian Music’ or ‘Skillet,’ but ‘Skillet’ makes me bop my head!”

She said, “Contemporary Christian would be better.”

The first song was “Do It Again,” by Elevation Worship:

“Walking around these walls

I thought by now they’d fall

But you have never failed me yet.

Waiting for change to come

Knowing the battle’s won

For you have never failed me yet.


Your promise still stands

Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness

I’m still in your hands

This is my confidence,

You’ve never failed me yet.


I know the night won’t last

Your word will come to pass

My heart will sing your praise again.

Jesus, you’re still enough

Keep me within your love

My heart will sing your praise again”

I started crying with the second chorus…

“Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness…”

Then I remembered I was supposed to lie perfectly still. I let the words of the bridge wash over me.

“I’ve seen you move, you move mountains,

And I believe, I’ll see you do it again.

You made a way when there was no way

And I believe, I’ll see you do it again. …”

The next song was “Unstoppable God” by Elevation Worship. As we neared the clinic, I started feeling apprehensive. David turned on the radio and it was playing.

“Let your glory go on and on

Impossible things in your name shall be done…”

I smiled and relaxed. I started to drift off…then the MRI machine kicked into high gear! The beeps and pings turned into bangs and clangs. It sounded like a war in a movie.

I started rehearsing, “Great is your faithfulness.” And I remembered what I prayed this morning. “God, I choose to trust you.” When I’m scared and don’t feel like trusting, I will choose to trust.

The clanging ceased and I heard the chorus of the next song, “Need You Now (How Many Times?) by Plumb

Chorus: “How many times have you heard me cry out

‘God, please take this?’

How many times have you given me strength to

Just keep breathing?

Oh, I need you, God, I need you now.”


Verse 2: “Standing on a road I didn’t plan

Wondering how I got where I am

I’m trying to hear that still, small voice

I’m trying to hear above the noise!”


Bridge: “Though I walk,

though I walk through the shadows

And I, I am so afraid

Please stay, please stay right beside me

with every single step I take…”

The machine went back into “war mode.” (At least I didn’t jump this time.) The magnet sounded like a machine gun!

I reminded myself, “Just keep breathing” and took several big breaths. At that point, I regretted eating that large salad!

The noise stopped and the fourth song started – “My Hope Is In You” by Aaron Shust.

“I meet with you and my soul sings out

as your word throws doubt far away

I sing to you and my heart cries holy

Hallelujah, Father, you’re near!”


“My hope is in you, Lord

All the day long, I won’t be shaken…”

The technician unplugged the IV that delivered the dye. A nurse took away the “panic ball.” They whisked away the towels I was laying on, removed the IV, and wrapped the site. The rest of the verse scrolled through my head.

“…by drought or storm

A peace that passes understanding is my song

and I sing my hope is in you, Lord…”


The bridge of that song is “I will wait on you. You are my refuge.” And that is what I have to do – wait. The next step is a biopsy.

* * * * * * *

David took me to Cedar Rapids on Sunday and we spent the night because I had an early appointment. Shopping and eating out kept my mind off of the biopsy. He took me to see the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

* * * * * * *

I slept well but after breakfast, I started getting nervous. At that moment my daughter-in-law Rachel sent a text telling me they were praying for me.

* * * * * * *

We took a wrong turn and David stopped for gas. I went inside for a coffee. When I took a cappuccino to the front a man at the next register offered to pay for it.

He said, “You might think I’m crazy but God told me to pay for your drink.”

“Of course,” I replied. I explained our church was raising money to give away before Christmas.

He asked which one. I gave him a card and explained about truelife.org on the back.

“It’s a website with verses to help during hard times, like death or going to get a biopsy like me.”

He replied, “You know you’re being followed – by goodness and mercy.”

I laughed. I was no longer nervous or afraid.

* * * * * * *

In the examining room, the nurse started explaining what would happen. I suddenly needed the restroom!

The bathroom was full of God’s presence. Someone else had been praying in there! I couldn’t help but raise my hands whispering, “I raise a hallelujah in the presence of my enemy.”

Back in the room, the nurse noted my birthdate. We are the same age and started talking like old friends. She kept me talking through the procedure. I never took my eyes off of her face. I couldn’t feel anything and I refused to look.

They bandaged me up and walked me back to David. The biopsy showed “atypical cells” but was inconclusive. They made an appointment for a surgical biopsy.

* * * * * * *

The surgeon looked at the site with ultrasound, and said, “I’m not going to biopsy it. I’m going to excise it.”



At the look of panic on my face, he retreated, “I was just joking. My nurse does the scheduling.”

They went to get David from the waiting room and I went to the bathroom. I hid in there for 20 minutes but I figured the doctor owed me because I waited in the room that long for him.

I needed a week off from the piano and wouldn’t be able to lift more than 10 pounds for 3 weeks. We scheduled it for December 30th because there was no church on New Year’s Day.

I was in shock for the rest of the day. We stopped at Mom’s and told her about the surgery. Then I called my kids and siblings.

* * * * * * *

Christmas kept my mind off of the surgery. I wrote down 2 verses for that day:

Mark 2:3, “They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men.” The Message

My job today is to let others carry me.

Mark 2:28, “The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He is in charge!” The Message

Jesus is in charge of this day.

* * * * * * *

My daughter Laura went with us to the hospital. My youngest son Derek took a half-day off and met us there.

When we arrived, they called my sister Cheryl down who works there. She was such a comfort!

I was pleased when Dana, the “Care Pastor,” came a few minutes later. He brought me a get-well package with books and a mug. He shared a couple of key verses to meditate on and prayed for me.

My granddaughter Olivia gave me a rock with “Courage” stamped on it for Christmas. I placed it on the bed next to the hospital gown and took a picture of them.

I sent it to my daughter-in-law Bethany and told her, “Tell Olivia I have everything I need.”

* * * * * * *

The incision was twice as long as predicted but he took extra tissue to test.

No tumors! No cancer!

The margins are clear!

On January 1st I started reading my new Bible, the Common English Bible.

Luke 7:48, “It’s like a person building a house by digging deep and laying the foundation on bedrock. When the flood came, the rising water smashed against that house, but the water couldn’t shake the house because it was well built.” Common English Bible

* * * * * * *

“Flood: an image for hard times (see Isaiah 43:2, Psalms 69:2). Living by Jesus’ instructions prepares a person to survive life’s trials.” Common English Bible Notes

I was detained but God was with me every step of the way.

P. S. I read my Bible every day but most of the verses were personal. Our church is fasting and I am seeing even more things to work on. I hope you understand why I may not post every day.

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

He Has Made Atonement

A new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate. Forgiven. Justified. Free.

These all describe my life after I was born again. It’s nothing I do on my own. The price was paid by Jesus Christ on the cross. I simply believe and accept it.

Leviticus 14:7, “…Finally, he will release the live bird in the open field.” The Message

I am that live bird. I am free because of Jesus’ blood covering me. When I accepted his sacrifice, I was released, see “Save me, Jesus, Prayer.”

Now, I learn how to walk with Jesus. I fall, get back up, fall again and get back up. No matter how many times I fall, I get back up. No matter how far I fall, I get back up until walking comes naturally.

* * * * * * *

I grow and find walking is slow. I need something to help me get there faster – a bike. I learn to ride a bike. Now I can go farther and faster.

Water Baptism is like comparing walking with riding a bike. You confess you are following Jesus Christ and bury your old life in the water. Now you have people to help you stay on the straight and narrow.

Leviticus 14:53, “…Cleansing the house with the blood of the bird, the fresh water…” The Message

But which Water Baptism? Sprinkle or submersion? In these two chapters, the phrase “bathe with water” is mentioned 13 times, see Leviticus 14:8, 9; 15:6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, 22, 27. It takes a lot of water to bathe.

* * * * * * *

I continue growing. I’m going places on my bike and maturing. The next step? A car!

Leviticus 14:18, “The priest will put some of the remaining oil on the right earlobe of the one being cleansed on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, placing it on top of the blood of the Compensation-Offering.” The Message

Jesus bled and died for us. His blood covers our sins. But He didn’t stop there. He sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The oil of the Holy Spirit is added on top of the blood. We need both.

The Holy Spirit takes us farther than we dreamed. It can be compared to going from a bike to driving a car. He shows us wonders we didn’t know existed. He protects us from the elements and comforts us with warmth. All of this is possible because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross.

Leviticus 14:18, “…He has made atonement for him. He is clean!” The Message

November 5, 2019: Leviticus 14-15.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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On the Eighth Day

The eighth day is the day of new beginnings. There is pressure to keep me from entering that new beginning. But the very thing holding me back, I may not need. What am I holding on to?

Leviticus 12:3, “On the eighth day circumcise the boy.” The Message

On the eighth day, Moses and the priest offered an Absolution-Offering. On the eighth day after birth, infant boys were circumcised. This was a painful cutting away of skin in their most private area. But they don’t need that foreskin.

Is there something that is a part of me that I don’t need? Am I willing to endure the pain of having it removed?

What sacrifice is God asking of me? What price do I need to pay to move forward? What will I offer?

When I let go or remove the thing holding me back, that is when I will break through the narrow gate. The pressure is intense to move away from the gate and follow the crowd.

Matthew 7:13-14, “…for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction…” Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

I cannot move forward without leaving my place of comfort. But a whole new world awaits.

Leviticus 9:23-24, “…When they came out they blessed the people and the Glory of God appeared to all the people. (24) Fire blazed out from God and consumed the Whole-Burnt-Offering and the fat pieces on the Altar. When all the people saw it happen they cheered loudly and then fell down, bowing in reverence.” The Message

The results of cutting away and sacrifice are:

  • Blessing others
  • Seeing God
  • Celebration
  • Submission
  • Reverence
November 4, 2019: Leviticus 12-13.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Three Months After Leaving

“…there is no such thing as ownership of a nonprofit. A nonprofit is a public organization…it is controlled by a governing body of stakeholders called the Board of Directors.”

“Successfully Starting a New Nonprofit”

Foundation Group, Inc.


One of my goals was to set up frugalfish.org as a nonprofit organization. Reading this eBook showed me it would not be a good fit. I considered nonprofit status because I give away my tips and my writings are about the Bible.

Eventually, I would like to combine my blogs and generate enough income to cover the costs of a website. (I’m not sure how but an eBook is an option.)

Everything takes time. It usually takes more time than you think.

Exodus 19:1, “Three months after leaving Egypt the Israelites entered the Wilderness of Sinai.” The Message

The Israelites traveled for 3 months to reach Mount Sinai also called the Mountain of God. It was there He gave the “Ten Commandments” and all of the laws. God was teaching them how to live and conduct business when they reached Canaan.

“Honesty, ethics, and moral values were taught in the classrooms of major business schools. Professors placed strong emphasis on a company’s responsibility toward its employees, customers, and creditors. Why? Because prior to the twentieth century, business courses and indeed, business schools themselves were based on biblical principles.”

“Business by the Book: The Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for Business Men and Women” by Larry Burkett

My blogs, frugalfish.org and thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com are my business. This is my 10th year blogging and I’m nearing my 4000th post on this blog.

How should I celebrate that milestone?

October 23, 2019; Exodus 17-19.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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To Turn Around

Mel and I went to “Ladies Night Out” last night. The food was great:

  • Sweet Chili, Regular Chili, and White Chicken Chili
  • Cheese & Crackers, Snack Mix, and White Chocolate Popcorn
  • Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Bars, and Snickerdoodles
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte, Spiced Cider, and Clementine Infused Water

(Yes, the scale went up a few ounces. LOL)

Pastor Peggy Knudsen spoke on being a mentor instead of a “celebrity influencer.”

“Use social media to talk about Jesus.”

* * * * * * *

On the way home, Mel wanted to stop at HyVee for a sweet tea. I said “sure” but missed the first exit to Fairfield.

I drove to the second exit out of habit because it is the closest one to our home. She thought I was going to drive to the third exit and backtrack!

That’s exactly what the Israelites did!

Exodus 14:1, “God spoke to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites to turn around…'” The Message

The first exit was a straight line to HyVee – just like the route through the land of the Philistines, see Exodus 13:17. But the shortest route would also lead to war.

The second exit took us north on Highway #1 and then west on Highway #34. It was like the wilderness road that looped around the Red Sea, see Exodus 13:18.

The third exit bypassed the city but you had to backtrack east to get to HyVee. God led the Israelites that way. He led them to camp at Etham and then told them to turn around!

It was all part of God’s plan. They got a good night’s rest at Etham. They needed it because they would soon walk through the Red Sea.

The Egyptians thought they were lost. They followed them into the Red Sea and all died when the waters came down on them. The Israelites had walked across on dry land.

This is how God leads us. He takes us on the long way to spare us from an attack. Sometimes, we think we went the wrong way when we have to backtrack. It may not be. God is just confusing our enemy.

It’s okay to take a long way home!

October 22, 2019: Exodus 14-16.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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God Saw to It

We attended “The Cradle of Hope Tip Night” at Pizza Ranch. We found a table across from Cliff and Michelle B. It was fun visiting with them and watching their 2 small children.

Their son is named David. Every time she said his name, my David would answer.

The kids climbed all over her and clambered for attention. In exasperation she said, “Someday I will be able to eat in peace, right?”

“Yes,” I replied, “in around 30 years.”

She laughed. It was good timing to be there when they were.

* * * * * * *

Sunday Pastor Monte preached about time.

“There is “Chronos time” that we set our clocks and calendars by. It is where we get the word chronological. “Kairos time” is described as the fullness of time; in the moment of opportunity; when God opens doors.”

Pastor Monte Knudsen, fcoc.net, 10-20-19

The Israelites asked for silver, gold, and clothes right before they left Egypt. It was the right time. God opened the door of opportunity. They did not leave Egypt wearing slave rags. They left as rich men.

Exodus 12:35-36, “…they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold things and clothing. (36) God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people and so readily gave them what they asked for. Oh, yes. They picked those Egyptians clean.” The Message


October 21, 2019: Exodus 11-13.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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They Ripen Later

After church, we went to McDonald’s for lunch. I love their southwest salad.

They were out.

So, I ordered a Big Mac meal. (If I’m going to blow my diet, I might as well really blow it. Besides, David had already ordered 2 apple pies.)

My meal wasn’t ready. They asked us to pull forward. They were making the salads, too. I should have waited for the salad.

Exodus 9:31-32, “(The flax and the barley were ruined, for they were just ripening, (32) but the wheat and spelt weren’t hurt – they ripen later.)” The Message

These were not 10 plagues in 10 days. There were days, weeks, and possibly months between the plagues. The people did not suffer for only 1 day.

Everything takes more time than we think. But we are better off if we patiently wait.

October 20, 2019: Exodus 9-10.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Your Brother Aaron

I enjoyed my day with my sister Cheryl. But I am not a night owl. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. I knew I could not function on four hours of sleep.

I had hives around my mouth. I took 2 Benadryl and went back to bed. I was in a Benadryl fog for the rest of the day.

It was worth it to have time with my little sister. I know God placed her in our family for a purpose. God gave Moses a brother for a specific purpose, too.

Exodus 7:1, “God told Moses, ‘Look at me. I’ll make you as a God to Pharaoh and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.'” The Message

October 19, 2019: Exodus 6-8.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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Moses Raised Another Objection

Cheryl picked me up at noon. She had the day off and wanted to take me to Des Moines for my birthday.

We decided to eat lunch in Oskaloosa. But both restaurants we chose were closed. We took the old highway to Pella.

I had the restaurant location on my phone but we missed it. We drove out of town and turned around. That’s when we saw the sign – “New Sharon.”

Wrong town.

We followed a 2-lane highway through the cornfields and came in on the northeast side of Pella. We found the restaurant.

It was closed.

We walked down 2 blocks to a Chinese restaurant for an afternoon lunch.

* * * * * * *

Pella has an awesome second-hand store sponsored by “The Well.” We started in the back of the store and loaded up 2 carts. I bought Christmas items, housewares, jackets, and sweaters. We closed them down!

* * * * * * *

Cheryl’s daughter Sam lives in Des Moines. Cheryl asked if I wanted to see where she lived.

Of course!

She was in the parking lot of the apartment. We made arrangements for her and her boyfriend to eat dinner with us. We had a leisurely Italian meal – complete with Tiramisu!

I didn’t estimate how long everything would take. We thought we would shop there but we were too late. We drove home and I climbed into bed at 1:00 a.m.

* * * * * * *

I’m not a good navigator or scheduler but God uses me anyway. When things work out perfectly, I know it is God working! He uses our weaknesses. Moses is a perfect example.

Exodus 4:10, “Moses raised another objection to God: ‘Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.'” The Message

October 18, 2019: Exodus 3-5.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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They Organized Them into Work-Gangs

What if you knew something was going to happen to your grandchildren? Wouldn’t you warn your children?

Genesis 15:13, “God said to Abram, ‘Know this: your descendants will live as outsiders in a land not theirs; they’ll be enslaved and beaten down for 400 years.'” The Message

Abraham knew his descendants would become slaves. He warned Isaac and Jacob. This is why Jacob was afraid to go to Egypt. He knew his descendants would become slaves in a foreign land.

Genesis 46:3, “God said, ‘I am the God of your father. Don’t be afraid of going down to Egypt…'” The Message

* * * * * * *

Exodus 1:11, “So they organized them into work-gangs and put them to hard labor under gang-foreman.” The Message

God told Abraham the future. It was not a future He planned for them. They chose to stay in the best land in Egypt, see Genesis 47:6.

They got comfortable and complacent. God knew they would. But His plan was for them to live in Canaan and eventually they did.

October 17, 2019: Genesis 49-50; Exodus 1-2.

“2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide”

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