Sticking to It

March 21, 2019: Ecclesiastes 6-10.

I intended to watch the first part of the last “Financial Peace University” video. But I had an eye doctor appointment. It can wait. Two weeks ago he shared the secret book billionaires read over and over.

Ecclesiastes 7:8, “Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Ecclesiastes 9:11, “I took another walk around the neighborhood and realized that on this earth as it is – The race is not always to the swift…” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…Your steps to success: (1) Recognize your gift. (2) Know your goal. (3) Dedicate yourself to the process no matter how long it takes. (4) Trust God to bless your efforts.” “The Word for You Today,” March 21, 2019

At the eye doctor’s I learned my distance vision has improved. My near vision didn’t. I needed new glasses.

It took me an hour to choose new frames. (My current frames steam up or slide down my nose.)

Google said, “A modified cat eye or rectangular frame is the most flattering for a diamond-shaped face.” (Oval frames work for defined diamond-shaped faces, not rounded ones.)

They didn’t have any green frames that I liked. I chose a pair with a touch of blue to enhance my gray/green eyes. It has adjustable nose pieces. They can move them away from my face to avoid steaming over. (Maybe that part in my left eyelashes will close.) Next time, I will only need to replace the glass.

Sue was shopping for her first pair of glasses. I told her the pros and cons of nose pieces. Her total seemed large to her husband.

“My glasses start at $500,” I informed them.

I know I could get them cheaper, but this eye doctor was a neighbor. Our kids are friends. I’ll gladly pay the difference to them. (I shop locally.)

But God had a surprise for me!

They took $30 off of my frames for their 30-year-anniversary. And their lab package special included everything I needed plus an anti-glare coating for $249. I got my $500 glasses for $349! Thank you, Jesus!

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Listen to Birdsong

March 5, 2019: Song of Solomon 6-8; 2 Chronicles 1; 1 Kings 4.

 

Just an Ordinary Tuesday

 

Nothing exciting to report. David paid bills and I posted them to “Every Dollar.”

I finished reading “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker. The first two chapters matched the first two chapters of “Battlefield of the Mind.” He spelled out wrong thought patterns but you have to go to a seminar to “retrain your brain.” Joyce Meyer gives you the scriptures to retrain your brain in her book.

“…your disappointment may turn out to be God’s appointment!”

The Word for You Today, 3-5-19

I started reading “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson. He wrote “The Prayer of Jabez.” I couldn’t put it down! I finished it before lunch. David started reading it on his lunch hour.

Mom stopped by and we visited for an hour. I published my post and made a grocery list. See, just a boring Tuesday. Maybe I should plan a weekend get-away.

Song of Solomon 7:11, “Let’s sleep at some way-side inn, then rise early and listen to birdsong.”

The Message

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God is On the Side of the Victims

February 26, 2019: Psalms 140, 141, 143-145; 2 Samuel 23.

 

“In the upper room the disciples all looked for a prominent place to sit, but Jesus looked for a place to serve! …The world bases importance on the number of people serving you, but God is much more interested in the number of people you are serving.”

The Word For You Today, 2-26-19

Letters to Linda

 

Linda was my neighbor when I was a teenager. I admired her voice and her style. She carefully decorated her home and smartly landscaped her yard. She sang at our wedding.

They admitted her to a nursing home and gave her a year to live. I heard this in May 2008, the same month they took Bromfed off the market. Bromfed was an antihistamine developed in the fifties. It was the only one that worked for me. It looked like I was housebound permanently.

I decided to write a letter to Linda each week. I wanted her grandchildren to know about the neighbor I admired. When one year stretched into two, I started sharing the funny things my children said and did.

Today, I wrote my letter to Linda. She is a victim of a disease that put her in a nursing home decades early. This is her third nursing home. The doctors say she doesn’t have long to live. (Yeah, their first prediction was so accurate.)

I needed Linda. She gave me a reason to get up on Monday morning. I had to write a letter. She is the reason I put such detail in my journal. She made me a better writer.

Psalms 140:12, 13, “I know that you, God, are on the side of the victims, that you care for the rights of the poor. (13) And I know that the righteous personally thank you, that good people are secure in your presence.”

The Message

Keyboard Tutorials

 

We are singing a new song this Wednesday in Mt. Pleasant. We will introduce another new song on Sunday in Fairfield. They sent me the keyboard tutorials to the second song.

I dutifully listened and wrote out the notes. When I practiced I found it was in the wrong key! I listened to 2 more tutorials. They have 3 different versions! I decided I’ll listen to the original and play it by ear.

“Romans 12:11, ‘Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.’ New Living Translation. ‘Whatever you choose to do, you have one other obligation, and that is to yourself. Do it with passion. If you’ve not yet found your passion, keep searching. You never know when it will find you.’ Condoleezza Rice”

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” February 26

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David Organized His Forces

February 22, 2019: 2 Samuel 18; Psalms 61, 62, 89.

 

I plugged our tax refund into the “Every Dollar” app. I set money back to pay the CPA next year. I overpaid for years when I did my own taxes. She knows what is due and where we can save.

I left the rest uncategorized until David and I can decide together. We tithe on and save 10% of our gross income. We won’t tithe on this again but we will give a designated offering.

It’s like a little army. We decide categories and then deploy each dollar.

2 Samuel 18:1, “David organized his forces. He appointed captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. Then David deployed his troops…” The Message

* * * * * * *

My friend Jill called. She is going on an extended trip and wanted to print off the 2019 March Bible Reading Guide. She said she read I was struggling to complete it.

“Yes,” I admitted, “I lost Ezra 4.” (Sigh.)

I sent her the March guide because I thought everything was good through May. It wasn’t.

I found Ezra 4 and moved things around to keep the average. Then I saw earlier I had moved things around in March!

I made corrections and emailed it to her. I called to let her know. She said they wouldn’t return until April and she would catch up the readings then.

I told her that would be difficult. I corrected April and emailed it to her. She thanked me and said she couldn’t believe I went through all of that work. I didn’t know how to respond.

Psalms 62:12, “Love to you Lord God! You pay a fair wage for a good day’s work.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Make God’s will the focus of your life day by day. If you seek to please Him, you’ll find yourself satisfied with life.” Kay Arthur

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” February 22

* * * * * * *

I ordered a shower and wedding gift for the bass player. Then David and I decided on a TV antenna. While going over reviews, we saw it was 1/2 price at Amazon. Why didn’t I order it with the gifts? I could have saved on shipping!

That prompted me to make an Excel spreadsheet for purchases. I listed all the stores where we shop. Next time, I’ll research it and find the best deal.

“…God has a plan for you that’s unique and personal. His methods may sometimes seem strange and His training laborious, but His results are always worth waiting for.”

The Word for You Today,” February 22, 2019

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I Have God’s More Than Enough

February 21, 2019: Psalms 3-6, 8, 64; 2 Samuel 17.

 

Today I set my favorite Pentel blue pen aside and picked up a pencil. Satan wants us to write with ink. He wants us to see each scribbled-out word, scrawled-out sentence, and crossed-out paragraph. He wants us to believe our mistakes are permanent. He wants us to think we are a mess – just like our notebooks.

But with Jesus, everything is in pencil. He erases mistakes for us. We correct the error and go from there. We can even change our mind and write something new! We know where the erased mistakes are but no one else sees them.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and got up. That was a mistake! I was groggy at 8 a.m. – even after 3 cups of coffee. God reminded me that Jesus was napping in the boat when the storm hit. If Jesus could take a nap – so could I! I stretched out on the couch for an hour.

“But it’s not enough to know God’s will, you’ve got to do things God’s way. Moses was working from early morning until late at night, six days a week, with no vacations and no time off. He was eating on the run, planning appointments, meeting deadlines, and seeing everybody who wanted to see him. …‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Exodus 33:14 New King James Version”

“The Word for You Today,” 2-21-19

* * * * * * *

I knew it was coming. The first verse I wrote down warned me that there would be a test.

David picked up the finished taxes on his lunch hour. As he was making his sandwich, he grumbled, “I wish I didn’t have to make my lunch.” We’ve had this conversation before and it still hurt my feelings. Without that nap, I would have reacted badly.

Psalms 4:1, “When I call give me answers, God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room; now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!” The Message

I told myself, “He’s having a bad day,” – several times. David likes a sandwich and chips for lunch. It’s not healthy. I quietly reminded him, “If I make your lunch, it will be a salad!”

* * * * * * *

I’m studying, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker. He recommends figuring your net worth every month. We made changes since starting “Financial Peace University.”

Curious, I printed off the form. I even looked up the value of our van at edmunds.com. I told David my goal was to have a net worth of X dollars. I added it up and we are almost to the next X!

Psalms 4:6-7, “Why is everyone hungry for more? ‘More, more,’ they say, ‘More, more.’ I have God’s more than enough, more joy in one ordinary day.” The Message

I traded more stuff for God’s “more than enough!” When Laura stopped by I shared some of the good things God has done. Then I gave her some old hand towels. The joy of living is found in giving!

Psalms 8:1, “God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name.” The Message

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Thirty-Seven and a Half Tons of Silver

February 17, 2019: 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19; 2 Samuel 11, 12.

 

I asked God for money to replace the shower.

He replied, “I sent it. You gave it to Dish.”

* * * * * * *

We are going over our expenses with a fine-toothed comb. We want to increase our retirement savings to 15%. That money has to come from somewhere!

When we signed up with Dish, we had three teenagers and 4 TVs. We ordered a “Hopper” and “Joey” for the girls and the same for the boys. The men’s “Hopper” is full of sports. The ladies “Hopper” has dramas and movies. When our kids started working full-time, they paid one-fifth of the bill.

As they moved out, we sent the “Joeys” back and got rid of TVs. We were down to 2 “Hoppers” and 2 TVs. It was nice knowing we could afford both “Hoppers.” But do we want that more than we want to remodel the bathroom? Do we want to be comfortable now or comfortable in retirement?

I added up what we spent on Dish over the last 10 years – $13,000. That would have given us a nice second bathroom!

* * * * * * * *

1 Chronicles 19:6-7, “When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned, they stank to high heaven, (7) they hired, at a cost of a thousand talents of silver (thirty-seven and a half tons!), chariots and horsemen…” The Message

The Ammonites sent 37½ tons of silver to the Arameans to hire them to fight. That was not a good investment. When the Arameans found themselves facing the best soldiers, they ran away!

1 Chronicles 19:14, “But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat.” The Message

* * * * * * *

What was King David doing during this war? Taking it easy. He took a nap and then went for a walk admiring his kingdom.

2 Samuel 11:2, “One late afternoon, David got up from taking his nap and was strolling on the roof of the palace. From his vantage point on the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunningly beautiful.” The Message

Uriah stayed diligent. He had – as David Ramsey puts it – “gazelle intensity!”

2 Samuel 11:11, “Uriah replied to David, ‘The Chest is out there with the fighting men of Israel and Judah – in tents. My master Joab and his servants are roughing it out in the fields. So, how can I go home and eat and drink and enjoy my wife? On your life, I’ll not do it!’ ” The Message

Uriah’s priorities were in order: God first, his work second, and pleasure last. David let his priorities slip until “pleasure” had first place. His actions slipped to a place he never would have gone.

  1. He committed adultery with Bathsheba.
  2. He ordered the murder of Uriah.
  3. He had the gall to send Uriah’s death sentence with him to Joab!

2 Samuel 11:14, “In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.” The Message

* * * * * * *

In our discussion of canceling Dish, David said one thing that stuck with me. “It will all be on again.” We really don’t miss out – we postpone.

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. What is your focus today?”

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” February 16

Keeping Dish instead of getting a new shower would definitely be settling for less!

“Satan tried to get Jesus to settle for less, and he’ll try the same with you.”

“The Word for You Today,” February 16, 2019

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He’s Been with Me a Long Time

February 8, 2019 – 1 Samuel 29, 30; Psalms 35, 109; 1 Samuel 31

It’s been a hard winter. The storms just keep coming – 2 ice storms this week and 2 snowstorms in the forecast. There’s nothing I can do about the weather but I can remove all “snow” decorations.

I decided to make my front window look like a Valentine envelope. I wrapped it in red lights and made a heart “sticker” with white lights.

The sun was shining brightly through my huge window. I took the long-sleeved tee-shirt off and worked in a tank top and jeans.

I was stretching to put the lights in the cup hooks around the window frame. A woman drove by, smiled and waved. It took me a few minutes to place her.

Verda was the bookkeeper at Fairfield Lumber for decades. She was honest and loyal. When Fairfield Lumber closed its doors for the last time, she retired. She had an honorable reputation.

1 Samuel 29:3, “…He’s been with me a long time. I’ve found nothing to be suspicious of, nothing to complain about…” The Message

I wish I had more on than a tank top when I saw her. I waved cheerfully and felt my upper arm wave, too. (Maybe I need to increase my weights to 10 pounds.)

I talked to God for a few minutes about my frustration with aging. I repented for worrying about how I looked but reminded God I want to finish strong. I want to be like Caleb and Moses!

“Religious-sounding clichés and the usual run-of-the-mill prayer request list can undermine your opportunity to connect deeply and personally with God. Open up to Him instead. Get down to the nitty-gritty where you talk honestly about where you’re coming from and what you feel, think, and desire. That’s what being friends with God is all about!” The Word for You Today, 2-8-19

I’m sure Verda did not see my less than toned arms as I waved. That thought comforted me.

1 Samuel 30:6, “…David strengthened himself with trust in his God.” The Message

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Don’t Bother

I opened my email and noticed one in the drafts folder. It was the correct email to WordPress with the video link. (Sigh.)

The “Happiness Engineer” replied, confirming she received music to “Joy to the World.” She mentioned my posts had both formats in them: Classic Editor and New Block Editor.

I remembered something in the video. Before typing each post, I copy the copyright information from yesterday’s post. That information could be in the “block format.” That may be why my posts revert into a block when I preview them. I decided to type a post and test my theory before answering the email.

* * * * * * *

Then I read the “Daily Digest for WordPress.com, on February 5, 2019” email. The subject was writing a good blog post.

“Focus on the story…

  • Set up: Explain why readers are here…
  • Conflict: …
  • Resolution: …”

“How to Write Good Blog Posts: A Quick-Start Guide,” by Karol K.

I could start each post with the date and assigned chapters from the “2019 Relevant Bible Reading Guide.” I can’t seem to get through a day without some sort of conflict. My resolution is always found in the Bible. Easy peasy!

I started…

February 5, 2019: 1 Samuel 22; Psalms 63; 1 Samuel 24; Psalms 57, 142, 7.

Wait! What happened to 1 Samuel 23? I looked at my February list. I wrote down the first chapter for February 4 and the rest of the chapters for February 5! I read the wrong chapters. Then I wrote a post about them. Maybe, I should read yesterday’s chapters today and save today’s post for tomorrow.

Psalms 37:1, “Don’t bother your head…” The Message

I read the chapters for the 4th but typed the post for today’s chapters. Everyone will know I made a mistake.

Psalms 37:1, “Do not be agitated…” Christian Standard Bible

Another thought popped into my head. I didn’t receive a confirmation email from Pinterest. Did my changed password email go to the hackers?

Psalms 37:1, “Don’t be angry…” International Standard Version

I opened Pinterest and changed the Password again. My “about” paragraph was empty. I retyped the blurb. There was an option to highlight 5 boards. I clicked the link and did it.

When I went back to the “settings” page, the blurb was gone again! I hit save and left. I’ll change the password again tomorrow.

Psalms 37:1, “Don’t be annoyed…” Contemporary English Version

Freezing rain started while David was home for lunch. I wanted to contact each of our grown children and ask them to text me when they got home.

Psalms 37:1, “Do not be preoccupied…” God’s Word Translation

I ignored the winter storm and started typing my post. I typed the copyright information and hit “Preview.” It was perfect!

I emailed my “Happiness Engineer.” I told her everything that happened. I apologized for sending music and included the video link.

Psalms 37:1, “Don’t worry…” New Living Translation

* * * * * * *

“The life of Moses can be summed up in two words: ‘He endured.’ …Stand firm.” The Word for You Today, 2-5-19

What was your conflict yesterday?

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Kept Moving, Here, There, Wherever

I think I broke a WordPress “Happiness Engineer” – maybe 2.

Each post I type morphs into one paragraph when I hit “preview.” We can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I opened my email to see the latest instructions.

Two emails from Pinterest caught my attention. Two different people hacked my account on the same day! I went to Pinterest and changed my password.

Psalms 7:1, “God! God! I am running to you for dear life; the chase is wild.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 142:6, “Oh, listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low. Rescue me from those who are hunting me down; I’m no match for them.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 57:1-3, “Be good to me, God – and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. (2) I call out to High God, the God who holds me together. (3) He sends orders from heaven and saves me, He humiliates those who kick me around. God delivers generous love, He makes good on His Word.” The Message

My second “Happiness Engineer” instructed me to make a video as I typed my post. They sent a link to download a program that would do that. I told God I was out of my league technology-wise. Then I read about David running from Saul.

1 Samuel 23:13-14, “…They left Keilah and kept moving, going here, there, wherever – always on the move. … (14) David continued to live in desert hideouts and the backcountry wilderness of Ziph. Saul was out looking for him day after day, but God never turned David over to him.” The Message

How did David know where to go next? God led him each day, one step at a time. David inquired of the Lord whether he should save Keilah. God said, “Yes. Go.”

“…Before battles, kings would consult with soothsayers and diviners to ensure divine favor. Mosaic law prohibited such divination (see Luke 19:26), but even in Israel there were means of seeking a word from God. One of these evidently was the ephod that Abiathar the priest had brought to David’s camp (1 Samuel 23:9-12). In Exodus, the ephod refers to the linen apron worn by the high priest (Exodus 39:2-7). With Abiathar’s ephod David would ask a yes-no question, and by some means that is not clear the ephod would reveal God’s answer. …” Chronological Study Bible Notes.

* * * * * * *

“The Urim and Thummim were a means of revelation entrusted to the high priest. No description of them is given. This oracular means apparently consisted of a material object or objects since it was physically stored in the breastpiece of the high priest (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8). …Sometimes the mention of the ephod (on which the breastpiece housing the Urim and Thummim were fastened) includes a reference to the Urim and Thummim (1 Samuel 23:9-12; 30:7-8). Also the verb ‘inquire of’ followed by ‘the Lord’ or ‘God’ when no means of revelation is specified refers to a usage of the Urim and Thummim.” biblestudytools.com

* * * * * * *

My devotional, “The Word for You Today,” quoted Ann Lander’s writings on maturity.

“Maturity is the ability to control your anger and settle your differences without violence or resentment. Maturity is patience; it’s the willingness to pass on short-term pleasure for long-term gain. It’s the ability to ‘sweat it out’ in spite of heavy opposition or discouraging setbacks. It’s the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration without complaining or collapsing. Maturity is humility. It’s being big enough to say, ‘I was wrong,’ and when you are right, never needing to say, ‘I told you so.’ Maturity is the ability to make a decision and follow through with it instead of exploring endless possibilities and doing nothing about any of them. Maturity means dependability, keeping your word, and coming through in a crisis.” The Word for You Today, 2-4-19

Today I would need patience. I would “sweat it out” and have discouraging setbacks and frustrations. But God promised to lead me each step – just like he did David.

I downloaded the video program. I was not sure which option to use. I googled it.

Of course, I had to set up an account. I hit the first training video and – they wanted money to teach me how to use this free program. I shut the browser. I went back to the program and tried 3 different options.

After choosing what I hoped was the correct one, I started typing. I have never typed slower or more inaccurately in my life! I feel sorry for the “Happiness Engineer” who has to watch this video!

I hit “preview” and it morphed into one paragraph. I shut off the recording and hit save and upload. Going back to the email, I answered the questions and hit the attachment button. I attached the most recent download.

I hit send. The thumbnail showed my attachment was the new arrangement of “Joy to the Word!” (This is beyond embarrassing.)

I tried to undo the message. I deleted the attachment. I hit the attachment button again and then hit paste. A video link appeared. I hit send. Why do these things happen to me?

Psalms 7:9-10, “Close the book on Evil, God, but publish your mandate for us. You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges. (10) And I’m feeling so fit, so safe; made right, kept right.” The Message

Then I laughed and laughed! I can’t believe my “Happiness Engineer” will be getting the words and chords to a Christmas Carol. God does have a sense of humor. He sure is working overtime on my soft spots and rough edges!

Psalms 63:7-8, “Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play. (8) I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.” The Message

Did you laugh with me today? If so, put an emoticon in the comment section.

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How Long Are You Going to Mope?

The first verse I read today stopped me in my tracks.

1 Samuel 16:1, “God addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? …” The Message

 

How long am I going to mope over my blog? So what if I couldn’t combine them. So what if I can’t post to Facebook.

Then I got an email from Google+. My account is going away. So what if I can’t post to Google+.

“Some people stay in hopeless situations their whole lives without ever making a decision to seek God’s power to get through them. …When you renew your mind with God’s Word, He’ll show you His will and strengthen you to get through – once and for all – what you’ve been going through for years. Instead of complaining about your circumstances, determine to get through them. Author John Mason says: ‘Don’t accept your present temporary situation as your future permanent situation…determine to get on with life and fulfill your purpose. …’ ” The Word for You Today, 2-1-19

 

I will get through this. God has another plan.

On the plus side – I got a new follower! Woohoo! I ask God to send followers and He did!

Are you moping? Or determined to get through?

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