Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 27 of 90: Jesus has got my back.

I'm late. Today's been one of those days. And I thought I would have plenty of time so I didn't write my post ahead. So, this won't be earth shattering, but it will come from the heart.

The verse that stuck out to me in this section was 2 Kings 6:16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 
That's what I should think about God. I shouldn't be afraid of anything or anyone because I have Him. And He is greater than anything or anyone else.
It reminds me of something Jesus said in John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
And also 1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

So, no matter what I have going on in my life, no matter what trials I am dealing with, I can relax, and take comfort in the fact that God is always there for me, He is on my side. Jesus has already proven that He can take whatever this world can dish out. With Him on my side, I have nothing to fear.
Jesus has got my back. I am protected.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 26 of 90: Sneeze

Today's reading is from 1 Kings 16:21- 2 Kings 4:37. One verse leaped out at me, and it was from the very end of the section.

It's in the section where Elisha brings a boy back from the dead. It's very similar to when Elijah brought a boy back from the dead. But one little phrase that was part of a verse jumped off the page. 2 Kings 4:35 He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
He sneezed 7 times! Crazy! Not so crazy that a boy sneezed but crazy that it's in the Bible. And not crazy in a out of your mind kinda way, but crazy in I can't believe it's there.

I think it's so interesting that God saw fit to put such a strange detail in the Bible. It doesn't mean anything spectacular, it doesn't have any special significance, but it's there. I think it's a wonderful statement about the Bible and the men who wrote it. There wasn't a reason to include a boy sneezing in the Bible. It adds nothing to the story; the story is in the boy being raised from the dead. But the writer of the book (I found differing views on who this was, most say Jeremiah) added that detail because he was under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. There's no other explanation that I can see. That detail is in the Bible because God wanted it in the Bible.

That makes me so excited! The Bible is full of details that are there because God wanted them there. He is telling us what He wants us to know, He is revealing His nature through the words of the Bible.
Wow! The Creator of the universe wants me to know all about Him by reading His word.

Isn't that awesome?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 25 of 90

What struck me about the reading for today (1 Kings 8- 1 Kings 16) was the detail Solomon gave to the building of the temple. He leaves nothing out. There is a portion of Solomon's prayer of dedication that really spoke to me. 1 Kings 8: 27-30 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.

God is in His temple. He's everywhere. But think about how wonderful it is to come into His house to worship Him. It's a gift He's given us to be able to worship with other believers in His holy place.
Thankfully, I think that I have finally found the place I am going to worship. We've been without a home church for several months. We've tried several, but nothing was just right. Until a few weeks ago. We've been to a new church now and it seems to fit just right. And it's glorious to be able to worship my God with other believers.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 24 of 90: Benaiah

Reading today I only thought about one thing, a person really, Benaiah.

The first time I did the Bible in 90 Days program, I was in a group and we watched the DVDs that come with the program. I know I've mentioned before, but they were wonderful. And you can listen to them online. Jack Modesett is the leader of these weekly lessons.
He had a section on Benaiah. It was on the week 6 lesson where this same passage is repeated in 1 Chronicles 11:22-25 almost word for word as it is in 2 Samuel 23:20-23 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.

So, everything I am sharing comes from this lesson. I did not come up with it on my own. But it was such a moving lesson that I have not forgotten it and I heard it the first time in February this year, months ago.

Benaiah is the son of Jehoiada and he is one of David's best men. He is appointed over David's guard. Benaiah did three great deeds: he struck down two of Moab's best men; he killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day; he struck down a 7 1/2 foot tall Egyptian.
What makes this interesting?
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
So, we know that the past is important, and we know that even if something makes little sense to us at first, if we dig, we can find it out.

Now, a little on the three deeds performed by Benaiah.
He struck down two of Moab's best men. Moab is the son of Lot, the son Lot had with one of his daughter's who came into him after they left Sodom. Moabites were cousins, always there, always at war with the Israelites. Moabites represent the flesh in the Bible. The flesh is what is always there, we can't get rid of, we are always at war with it.
He killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. In 1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Satan is a roaring lion. Lions are big, strong, fast, clever, the most dangerous animal in Africa. The worst possible foe. A pit is the very last place you'd want to meet a lion. It's the worst possible place. A snowy day can make you blind, it's cold, it's slippery. It's the worst possible time. Yet Benaiah defeated the lion.
He struck down a 7 1/2 foot Egyptian. Egypt was the most powerful nation in ancient times. It represents the world.

So these are our three greatest enemies: the flesh, the world, the devil.

Benaiah brought something with him. Names mean something in the Bible. Benaiah's father is Jehoiada. That means "God Knows". Benaiah means "God Builds". Those two names together mean God knows me and He's always building in my life.

When we are in the worst possible place, at the worst possible time, facing the worst possible foe, God knows, He is with us, and He is building us up.

I have not forgotten Benaiah. I don't imagine I will. In the midst of the history of Israel, using a person who isn't famous or well-known, God shows us how much He loves us. How awesome is that!!

So, go listen to Jack Modesett give this lesson. I took really good notes, but it's not the same. You won't forget Benaiah after listening either.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 23 of 90: David came alive!

2 Samuel 22 is a beautiful chapter. David is just pouring his heart out to the Lord. I love how he switches between talking about God and talking to Him.
While reading this passage, I felt like David was someone I knew. He came alive for me. He was so real. And I realized that he was a man, with feelings and thoughts just like any other man. But he turned to the Lord for his strength. He leaned on the Lord when he was weak. He held onto God when there was nothing else to hang on to.
He was human, sinfully so, but he was a man who wanted God so desperately that he was willing to follow Him always.
I can now picture David leaping and dancing in the streets when the ark came back to Jerusalem. I can see David's sorrow when his infant son died, when any of his children died or betrayed him. He was a real live, breathing, walking, talking, dancing, loving human being. And he loved the Lord with all that he was.

I pray that one day I will love the Lord with that kind of abandon, above all else, no matter what anyone else thinks, love God with all my heart, soul, mind, strength. Thank you Lord, for loving me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 22 of 90: Medium

Something hit me when I was reading 1 Samuel 28. The Israelites believed in sorcery. It was a light-bulb moment. I mean, d'uh, they believed in mediums, seers, the supernatural. Ummmm, I sorta knew that, but until today, it didn't hit me what all that meant. And what it means now.

The Israelites were not unfamiliar with the supernatural. They believed in all the miracles that God had shown them. It was personal for them. But it also became easy to believe in the supernatural that wasn't from God. So the people went to mediums.
I just never fully comprehended what that meant. Saul sent all the mediums and spiritists out of the country. And then he went to one. And the medium was afraid. She said, "“Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”  (1 Samuel 28:9) Saul convinced her she would be okay and then he asked her to raise Samuel's spirit. Which she did. Yikes! This woman is doing something supernatural that didn't come from God. And that's when it hit me, Satan can make things happen, too. Things that look like they are supernatural, from God.

Wow! And right now, there are people who do things that look amazing. Things that look like miracles, that are miracles. But they are not always from God.
So it's not strange to believe in the supernatural, but it is a sin to practice things apart from God. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
I do believe God still performs miracles today. But I don't think that everything that is a miracle now is from God. 
There was just something about this passage in 1 Samuel that brought it home to me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 21 of 90

I'm squeaking in under the wire on this one. And it ain't going to be a pretty one.
I've been visiting my father-in-law this weekend. All in all, it wasn't a bad trip. But it's never great when visiting FIL. He can be difficult. And I had several moments where I had to bite my tongue this weekend.
Then I read about David and Saul. And it dawned on me that Saul is David's father-in-law. David had a FIL that wanted to kill him, that tried to kill him multiple times. And yet David never retaliated. He had several chances to kill Saul himself, but wouldn't.
Hmmmm, so, I guess I need to remember that when dealing with my FIL. It could be worse. But I could handle it so much better.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 20 of 90: I'm only a paramedic

Yay!! 22% of the way there! Time flies.
And I have to confess, I just figured something out. I now know (well, I learned it a couple of weeks ago) how to post something at a time later than I wrote it. Yay me! So silly, but I love it when I figure out something technological. I was all excited when I first started figuring out HTML. Not that I really know that much, but I know just enough to keep myself happy. And when I learned how to link and have the link all pretty instead of just the web address, well, that was a day of celebration.
Anyway, I am not here right now. I am on a mini-vacay with the family and have no internet access. Cool, no? So I wrote my post ahead. Didn't get far enough ahead in my reading to post Day 21 but I hope that by the time I get home Sunday evening, I will be several days ahead.
Now, onto my post about Day 20's reading from 1 Samuel 2:30- 15:35.

I love Samuel's story. He was a wanted child. His mother prayed for a child and wanted one so much, she was willing to dedicate the child to the Lord. And then she followed through. Samuel grew up in the Lord. He spent all his time with the Lord. What a mighty man of God he was. So, it is interesting to me that his children were not such mighty men of God.

In 1 Samuel 8:3 we are told that "his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice."  And that seems so odd to me. I am trying my best to make sure that I raise my children to put God first. I want nothing less than three sons who love the Lord more than anything else in this world. And I am putting everything I have into that. I imagine that Samuel did the same. But somewhere along the line, something happened. And I am sad.
How is it possible that Samuel could raise sons who did not love the Lord? It just seems impossible.

I was reminded of an example a friend gave once, and it has always stuck with me. She talked about getting into a car accident. The police come, the paramedics come, all kinds of people rush to the scene of the accident. If someone is injured, the paramedics will do what they can temporarily, and rush to the hospital with the injured person. Then they hand the person over to the doctors at the Emergency Room. The paramedic is not the one who is there to save the injured person. It is their job to do whatever possible to keep the person alive long enough to get them to the hospital and the doctor.

A lot like me. My job isn't to save someone. I can talk til I'm blue in the face. I can give out Bibles, I can pray, I can offer support, I can take someone to the hospital. But I am not the person who will save them. That's God's job. I can't do it. But I do have to do my part. If a paramedic decides not to go to the scene of the accident, they can't help anyone, and someone might die. The same is true of me. If I keep my mouth shut and never proclaim the Gospel, people might die in sin. But if I do my job, the job God has given me, then I can point people to right place; I can point them to God. He can save them.

And that's what Samuel had to figure out, too. He wanted so badly to protect the people from themselves, but it wasn't his job. God reminded him of that. 1 Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

God let Samuel know that it wasn't personal. The people were not acting the way that they did in response to something Samuel did or didn't do; they were reacting that way because they were making a point to God. It wasn't about Samuel; it was about God.
And when I see that I am not leading someone to God and I start to get down and think what difference does it make, I am lousy at this. Well, I need to remember it's not about me, it's about God. I just have to be the paramedic and do my job. I point them to Him; He saves them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 19 of 90

Ruth, ah, Ruth. I have a cousin named Ruth. Used to be, she was the first person I thought of when I heard the name. But the Ruth in the Bible is the most famous Ruth of them all. And why not? She is one amazing woman.

I don't have a single original thought in my head tonight. So, I'm going to share some thoughts from Jack Modesett, who you can listen to at the Bible in 90 Days website. I was lucky enough to be in a group the first time I went through B90Days that watched the DVDs of weekly lessons. You can listen to them online. (totally worth it)

He talked about how Judges shows how we try to do it ourselves but make a complete mess of it. He says that we have a degenerative disease: sin. Sin will take you farther than you meant to go; keep you longer than you meant to stay; and make you pay more than you meant to pay. Judges is full of sin.
And yet, in the middle of all this failure, God inserts the book of Ruth, a story of redemption and love. It seems impossible that God can restore the brokenness in Ruth's life, and yet He does. And then Ruth is added into Jesus' family tree.
Wow! A non-Jew becomes the great-grandmother of David, King David. God can restore us all.

Thank you Lord.

*Hop on over to B90Days and have a listen at Jack Modesett give this lesson. I cried while he was talking about Ruth. It was truly memorable.*
**I think the weekly lessons are the same as the DVDs I watched. I need to listen and make sure.**

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 18 of 90: waiting

I am really enjoying reading the Bible. Most of my life, you would never have heard me make that statement. But the closer I have gotten to the Lord, the more I want to read His word. And the more I read His word, the more I can't wait to read His word. And enjoy reading. And it starts to seep into my very being. And I find myself talking about what I am reading more often. It is becoming who I am. And then I realize why it was written.
Wow. God is good.

Today's reading was from Judges. And a part of one verse jumped out at me right away. It was in the beginning of the story of Gideon. It's not a part of the story I had noticed before. And at first, I thought it didn't really matter to the story at all. But then I came to realize, it is the story. It is the story of me.

Judges 6:19  And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”

The He in the verse is God. Gideon just cannot believe that God would have chosen him. So he puts God through all these test to make sure. But God knew. God knew Gideon and He knows me. He knows that even when I run so far and so fast to try to get away, I will come back. And He is always there waiting for me. I spent much of my late teens and almost all of my twenties running away from God. But He was still there. He's always there. And even when I am mad at Him, even when I don't want to talk to Him, even when I shut Him out, He is still there waiting. I am His child, He will never leave me. He will always waiting until I come back to Him. Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 17 of 90: All came to pass

Joshua 21:43-45  So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

God honors His promises. He does what He says He will. The end.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 16 of 90: Read carefully

I learned a big lesson today. I was reading and got to a point and couldn't figure out how I had gotten there. I backtracked and found that I had missed the first verse of the chapter.

I was reading Joshua 7 and missed this verse, "But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel."

So when I got to verse 11, "Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.", I felt lost.

Then I realized that that's what I do too often. I read what I want to read, I don't always read what's written. It is very easy to take one verse and read into it what I want to without really looking at the true meaning, the meaning God meant for the verse.
So, my lesson for today is to read carefully so I can get the true meaning out of scripture. That's the only way I can truly learn who God is.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 15 of 90

I am really tired tonight. I am writing this ahead to post in the morning. But I am so tired I don't know for sure that I will make sense. I pray that the Lord will give me the right words.

I'm going to do another SOAP from MomsToolbox.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 24:19  When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Observation: This was an expected practice at the time. This verse makes me realize why Ruth was in Boaz' fields. An ah-ha moment. Now I see!

Application:  If Christians were doing what the Lord wanted for us to do, the poor and needy would not be quite so poor and needy. I know that there will always be poor people in this world. Jesus said, "For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always." Matthew 26:11
But, if we were doing the right things, I don't think it would be so bad. How often do we see someone who claims to be a Christian making sure they get every last dollar they "deserve" but yet not give that much, or anything to someone who needs it? It makes me so sad that people are so uncaring.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for all of the blessing you have given me. I want to be a good steward to what I have because I know that I would have nothing without you. Please help me to have a giving heart, help me to truly desire to help the poor and needy. Help me to care more about others. Amen

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 14 of 90: Repetition

Today's reading, Deuteronomy 8-23, is more looking back. Moses is still making it clear to the Israelites that they had better not forget what God has done for them.

  • 8:1 Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply
  • 8:6 Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.
  • 8:11 Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today
  • 8:18 And you shall remember the LORD your God
  • 9:7 Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness.
  • 10:12-13 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good
  • 10:20 You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name.
  • 11:1 Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.
  • 11:8 Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today
  • 11:13 And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul
  • 11:22 For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him
  • 11:27 if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today
  • 11:32 And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today.
  • 12:28 Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.
  • 12:32 Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.
  • 13:4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
  • 13:18 because you have listened to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
  • 15:5 only if you carefully obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today.
I find it amazing how many times keeping God's commands is referenced. I'm sure I missed some, but there's 18 times in just 8 chapters. God really wants to make sure that the Israelites hear Him. It is perfectly clear what it is that He requires of them. No one will ever be able to say, "But I didn't know!"

I can't say I didn't know. God made it crystal clear to me today that He is the one in control. He makes the rules and expects my obedience. I am to follow His commands.
And if I didn't get it from all of that, He showed me again with another series of verses. These all say "in the place the Lord your God chooses." Deuteronomy 12:5, 11, 14, 18, 21, 26; 14:24, 25; 16:2, 6, 7, 11, 15, 16; 17:8; and 18:6.
Again, He made it crystal clear that it's all about Him. Everything is all about where God chooses, what He chooses, who He chooses. It's not about me. It's all about Him.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 13 of 90: History

I'm sure you've heard the expression "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it". That's what I kept thinking while reading today's passage. Deuteronomy is full of Moses' words reminding the Israelites what all God has done for them. There isn't necessarily anything new so far, but it is interesting that God is having Moses tell the people again.

There were a few verses that stood out to me:
Deuteronomy 4:15-16  You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman.
That never clicked for me before. God didn't have a form when He interacted with the people. I never thought about why. But this makes sense.

Deuteronomy 4:29  But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Mostly, I read passages like this and leave out a word or two. This time, if is the important word. If you seek with all your hear and soul, then you will find.

Deuteronomy 5:33  Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
There's a condition on our blessings. We have to walk in the way of the Lord, then we get blessing.

Deuteronomy 6:5  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
This is another favorite verse. And the important word is all; all your heart, all your soul, all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6:7  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
It's my job to teach my children what is really important.

Deuteronomy 7:7-9  The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
This passage is amazing. There was nothing special about the Israelites. But God is the special one. He chose them and because He did, He will always keep His covenant.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Just a thought...

I'm sure everyone has verses from the Bible that are favorites, verses that mean something special to a person, verses that were read at their wedding, verses that remind them of family members, all kinds of special verses.

One of my favorites is in today's reading.
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? ~Numbers 23:19

All too often I forget that God is not like me. He isn't human; He doesn't make mistakes. He cannot lie; He will not change His mind; He never breaks His promises. I am so thankful for that.

As I wrote this, I was reminded of something I saw in one of the Bible in 90 Days DVDs. Man was created in the image and likeness of God. Image is the potential to show God's character, and likeness is the ability to carry it out. As humans, we have retained the image but lost the likeness.
There is nothing that can adequately express how grateful I am that God sent Jesus to be my savior. It is only through Him that I can even see that I need to try to become more like Him. I want to do my best to find a way to show the likeness of God. I can't do that without Him.

Day 12 of 90: Misconceptions

I have a confession. There are some parts of the Bible I know very little about. And there are some parts that I thought I knew but it turns out I didn't.

The story of Balaam and his donkey is one I didn't know completely.
So, we all know that Balaam had a donkey and the donkey talked. Honestly, I get a little tickled at that part. I mean, really, a talking donkey. And Balaam didn't even act surprised that the donkey he'd had for years was all of a sudden talking.
But the part that I never paid attention to was who Balaam was. I had always assumed he was one of God's people. I mean, after all, he and God talked, and he blessed the Israelites.
As a child, that's mainly what I got from that passage of scripture. (which is Numbers 22)

Guess I was missing a lot. It wasn't until I read this section in January that I realized Balaam is not a good guy. He is not one of God's children. In fact, he would bless or curse anyone for enough money.
But, of course, he couldn't go against the one true God, so he could only bless Israel.

But I never realized all that. I'm sure growing up I heard about Balaam. I knew that there was a passage in the Bible that had a talking donkey. But I never knew all the details.
I wonder what else in the Bible I only know a part of? Having just read through the Bible in January-March this year, I should know more. But I still find myself questioning things. I still have misconceptions about certain parts of it. There are places where I read into it instead of just reading it. I need to pay more attention and pray, ask God to help me see what He wants me to see, to hear what He was saying instead of what I want to hear.
I'm trying. I want to read the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit. I want to be able to discern what God is telling me. I want to understand. And the best way to do that is to pray and ask for His help.

But it means I have to keep reading. And never forget Balaam and his donkey. That's what I think of now that reminds me I don't know it all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 11 of 90: God's anger

Reading Leviticus and Numbers can be difficult. But it's also very interesting. God was very detailed in the rules that He gave the Israelites. There are even provisions for times when people unintentionally sin or become unclean. He thought of everything.

But the people still disobeyed. Even though they witnessed numerous miracles (the plagues, parting of the Red Sea, the cloud, the pillar of fire, manna, and on and on) they still whined and complained. It was always, "Why did you bring us out in the desert to die? We were fine being slaves in Egypt. At least we had food to eat." Whine, whine, whine. Never satisfied. A lot like people now-a-days. And, well, a lot like me.

So it should come as no surprise (even though it does) that God got angry and punished them.
  • Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. Numbers 11:1
  • and the anger of the LORD was greatly aroused; Numbers 11:10
  • So the anger of the LORD was aroused against them, and He departed. Numbers 12:9
He does get angry. But He is holy, His anger is not wrong. The people deserved His anger and punishment.

Then the LORD said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?  Numbers 14:11
They had no reason to doubt Him and yet they did. They deserved whatever punishment the Lord meted out to them.
Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD— because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. Numbers 14:20-23

The same is true of me; I deserve to be punished for my sins. But I am so thankful that God provided for me. By giving me His Son, Jesus, the one who took my punishment for me. I would be nothing without Him. Thank you Lord. And help me to stop complaining, to stop whining, to follow Your commands, to stop testing You. Thank you for sending Your Son to be my savior. Nothing else compares. I am blessed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 10 of 90

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.    ~Numbers 6:24-26

I had forgotten that was in Numbers. It is such a beautiful passage. But I think that too often we forget what it really means.

The Lord bless you and keep you.  He blesses me all the time. Every morning when I get out of bed, it's a blessing. I am not promised one single day on this earth. So each day that I have is a blessing.
He also keeps me. Keeps me. Hmmmm, here's what I think that means. I think it means that He keeps me close, He takes care of me, He protects me. That is so true, especially if I follow the Bible. He lays out the path for my life in His word. And if I follow Him, he blesses and keeps me.

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  Wow! Who wouldn't want the Lord's face to shine upon them? I know I do. How wonderful it will be that day when I stand face to face with my Lord and get to see His shining face. I imagine it won't be so much face to face as me lying flat on my face, but I want that moment, I long for that moment.
Gracious, what a word. I think of someone who is kind, compassionate, someone who thinks of others even when others are not kind and compassionate. And isn't that just like my heavenly Father? He still showers me with love and kindness and compassion, even when I don't deserve it. He is gracious.

The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. Imagine the Lord turning His face toward you. Joined with the previous verses, this is another blessing. He is turning His face toward me and giving me peace. Not world peace, not the peace that others think of, but the true, everlasting peace that can only come from Him.

This whole blessing is tied up as the most marvelous gift ever in Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, ever part of this blessing is fulfilled. Isn't that amazing? God gave us a gift, the gift of His Son, the gift of everlasting life.
While it is a free gift, there is something we must do. We must believe Jesus, believe that He is our savior, believe that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that He is the only way to heaven. We have to accept Him, and obey His commands.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 9 of 90: Jesus

I admit it; reading Leviticus is hard. I feel like I'm slogging through mud. And I don't get every part of it. There are some of the rules I scratch my head and try hard to understand, but honestly, I just don't. And the punishment for sin is so harsh.

But yet, God is holy. In Leviticus 22:31-33 He says, “Therefore you shall keep My commandments, and perform them: I am the LORD. You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the LORD who sanctifies you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.”

And even though I don't always understand it all, I know there is a reason. He is holy, and because He is holy, He has provided for us. We will never be able to live up to the rules He gives us in the Bible. I cannot ever be holy or righteous enough. But God, in His infinite compassion, has given us a way out.
His name is Jesus. The most beautiful name on earth. The only name by which we may be saved.
I will always mess up. I will always sin. And the punishment for my sin is death, and it is deserved.

Jesus took my place. If I had to make a sacrifice every time I broke one of God's commandments, I would never do anything but sin and sacrifice. But God gave me a way out. There is no more need of the blood sacrifices that are outlined in Leviticus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus is my blood sacrifice. And He gave Himself willingly for me. For me. Think about that. Personalize it. It is about me. I'm not being self-centered when I say that. Jesus knew my name, He knew everything about me when He chose to hang up there on the cross and become my blood sacrifice. He did it for me.

I guess that sums up Leviticus for me. It's not about the rules and punishments, well, it is, but it's so much more. It's shining a light and showing us Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 8 of 90: Pity Party

Okay, raise your hand if you find it hard to read Leviticus. Anyone? Anyone? Wow, I must be the only one.
I have to admit that my mind wandered a bit here. I think part of it is that I just did B90 in January, so it's more fresh. Well, okay, it's more that I know that I just read it so it's like I want to skim. I'm working hard at not doing that. But I am not there completely yet.

But here's what I've been thinking about the last couple of days. I'm such a spoiled brat. Really. I've been having a pity party all by myself. I've been hearing so many that are on this journey with me talk about having a Kindle or a Nook, or downloading the Bible on their phone. And I don't have any of those neat gadgets. And I loves me some gadgets. But I can't afford to buy any. I really, really, drooling down my chin really, want an iPhone or blackberry or anything that is a phone that I can also get online with. Ooooh, I dream about it. And even though I am at home most of the time, the couple of times I have left the house since we started reading B90, I've thought how nice it would be to have something that had the Bible loaded on it, something small, and easy to hold. I have been coveting like crazy.

And it hit me, that's breaking a commandment. I just read about that. D'oh. And I'm feeling so sorry for myself. And it's not a pretty sight.

Then yesterday morning, I was in the bathroom, where I keep a Bible, and I read a chapter. Then I went into my room and picked up a different Bible and read another chapter. Then I meandered into the kitchen. I didn't feel like walking all the way back to my bedroom to get my Bible so I just got my son's Bible that was on the shelf with all our homeschool books. And then, even later, I went to church where, in case I forgot mine, there were plenty of Bibles for me to read. And when I came home, I was able to get online and read some different versions on BibleGateway.
And there is not one thing special about that. Not one. I'll bet no one reading is amazed by what I just wrote.
Wow. I am totally spoiled. I can touch a Bible within a minute, at any point in the day. Here I've been whining about not having a Bible downloaded on some electronic device and I have several Bibles that I own, that I can read whenever I want.
And yet, there are people all over this world that can't do that. There are even places where it is against the law to own a Bible.

So, please forgive me for being selfish. I've prayed about it and know I'm forgiven, but I want to do more. I need to find somewhere I can donate some of the old Bibles we have in our house that we don't use anymore. I would also like to find a place I can make a donation that gets Bibles into the hands of those without. So, anyone know of a reputable charity?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 7 of 90: Are you willing?

I'm tired. Still not completely over my cold. So today's entry is going to be very short. I hope everyone who is reading along is staying caught up in the reading. Next up is Leviticus and that can be harder to read, and easier to fall behind. Stay with it though, the reward is priceless!

What jumped right out at me for today's reading (which was Exodus 29:1 - 40:28) was Exodus 35:21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.

God could have forced every Israelite to bring offerings. But He didn't. Only the people who were willing and whose heart was moved brought offerings.
That's a lot like it is now. He is offering us the gift of salvation, but we have to be willing to accept it. Plain and simple.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 6 of 90: Rulers

Reading for today: Exodus 15:19- 28:43

One thing jumped out at me in this section. And it's very timely for me. Let me just say this, it should come as no surprise to people who know me, either through this blog or personally, that I am not a democrat. I do not approve of many of the ideals of that political party. I am registered as a republican, but can't say I'm all that impressed with that party either. I think the direction our country is going is simply in the opposite direction of God, a direction both parties have led us.

I don't get into politics all that much. I don't really understand a lot of it. But I know what I believe. I believe that God is my ruler. He is the only one I need to worry about obeying.

And I try. I don't always succeed. But I try.

Lately in my house, we have had many discussions about our government. My step-father, who we live with, is staunchly republican. He watches Fox News, reads WorldNetDaily, watches Glenn Beck, oh, if it's conservative politically, he knows about it. I don't always agree with everything he says, but he does research everything and think it through and really means what he says. So, politics come up a lot. And you can imagine that President Obama is not someone who is looked at favorably here. However, everyone in this household does respect him. He is our President and he deserves respect just as everyone does.
But that said, there are many times our discussions have led to the thought that President Obama is leading our country to a terrible place.

And even though I don't care for the job he's doing, it annoys me when people completely trash him. I don't like him, but that doesn't make him less of a person to me, less worthy. So I steer clear of insults and put downs.
But I never know how to respond to others who do hurl insults and sneers his way.

Now I know. God showed me today.
Exodus 22:28 You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
The commentary in my Bible says "Since God is the ultimate sovereign, to curse a lesser ruler might encourage disrespect for God's authority."
Wow! I always knew that we should show respect for those in authority even when we didn't agree, but to see it in the Word is amazing. 

So now my plan is to pray for President Obama, and to pray for all of our political leaders. More than anything, I am going to pray that they find God. They need Him so much. And I'm going to pray that they will allow God to lead them and show them how to govern in a way pleasing to Him.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 5 of 90: Here I am?

Hi to anyone reading along with B90Days. Hope your reading is going well. In another couple of days, we'll be in Leviticus. That's some hard reading, but it is worth it. So keep reading, keep reading, keep reading. Today, I took my Bible with me to Health Plus, where I waited about an hour to be seen. Thank goodness I do not have strep throat. I did get a lot of reading done. It is always good to have a Bible handy so you can read wherever you are. *Blush* I even keep a Bible in the bathroom. Sometimes I escape there and lock the door and just read for a few minutes. I can usually read a chapter or two before someone comes looking.

Now, here's my SOAP for today:

Scripture:  Exodus 4:13  But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."

Observation:  Moses did not quickly and without hesitation say "Here I am" as Abraham did.

Application:  All too often I say "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." I want to be as obedient as Abraham and say "Here I am" but unfortunately I am more like Moses.

This B90Days is a perfect example of that. My friend Kari, one of the mentors, asked me if I was up for doing it again. At first, I hesitated. While I enjoyed my first journey through the Bible in 90 days, I wasn't sure if right now I was ready to do it again. But I realized it would be good for me. So I told her I'd love to do it. And was excited that this time we could do it together. Then she asked if I was going to be a mentor.

Ummmmmm, "Oh Lord, please send someone else to do it." Not kidding at all, that is really what I thought. He has been pushing me to do more, poking at me, nudging me, and lately, flat out shoving me. I knew it, I even remarked on it to a couple of people. But when asked point blank if I was going to do something that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt was the kind of thing He'd been pushing me toward, my first thought was "Me?? Really?? Wouldn't someone else be a better choice?"

But, I obeyed. I did. I'm nervous, afraid I will let people down, afraid I'll let God down. But I'm doing it. I'm a mentor. (Hi all my mentees out there!)

Even though Moses didn't immediately jump up and do as God had asked, he still did it. There's something to be said for that.

Prayer:  Father God, here I am. I know I didn't come as soon as You called, forgive me for that. But I am here now. I am willing to do what You ask. Lord, please help me to continue to do whatever it is You ask of me. I pray that I will be a good mentor, that I will bring glory to You. I pray for each of my mentees. Let them feel Your presence during this journey. Let them get what they need from Your Word. Amen.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 4 of 90: Go where the grain is.

I have a cold, and am in a not-so-good mood. I thought this morning would be a great time to sit down and read all of my reading for today in one sitting. Something I never did the first time I did B90Days. So I made the boys go outside to play, since it's too hot in the afternoon to do so, and I got my coffee and sat on the porch. Ahhhh, the best of intentions. Yeah, not so much reading going on. But such is life with three young children. I am actually ahead in my reading so I still have time to get more read today.
But the best part is, being in God's Word every day helps me get over my bad moods faster and helps me deal with the boys in a calmer, more patient way. Yay!

So, onto my  SOAP from MomsToolbox  for day 4, Genesis 40-50.

Scripture:  Genesis 42:2 He continued, "I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die."

Observation:  Jacob, very wisely, pointed out that Egypt is where the grain is. There is no grain in Canaan. You have to go where the grain is in order to have enough to eat.

Application:  "Go where the grain is", it seems so simple and yet, how often I miss it. If I want to be fed, I have to get food. I can't just make it materialize where I stand. I have to actually go where the food is and get some for me and my family. It requires action on my part.
The same is true of God's Word. If I don't read it, it doesn't feed me. I have to actually get my Bible out and read it for it to mean anything to me. I can read all the commentaries I want, I can listen to sermons all day long, but I won't get truly fed until I pick up my Bible and read it. While there may be kernels of truth in a sermon or a commentary, there is no substitute for the whole meal you can find in the Bible.

Prayer:  Lord, I love You. I love reading Your Word. It is the only thing that shows me who You really are. Help me, father, to be hungry for more of Your Word. I want more of Your Word, so I may live and not die. Amen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 2 of 90: Here I am

SOAP from MomsToolbox

Scripture: Genesis 22:1  Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

Observation: Abraham did not hesitate. There was no second guessing. God spoke and Abraham answered.

Application: When God calls on me to do something, I should do it. There should be no hesitating, no questioning, no wondering if God made a mistake and called on the wrong person. I should be ready to do whatever He asks, whenever He calls.

Prayer:  Lord God, creator of all the earth, help me to recognize Your voice all the time. Help me know that when You call, I can answer. You will always be with me and will help me with anything. I am strong because I have You. I can do anything because You are with me.
Please help me to have courage to say "Here I am" without hesitation. Help me to do what You ask. Amen.

Monday, July 5, 2010

B90Days, day 1

Today is Day 1 of my journey through the Bible. For those of you just joining me here from MomsToolbox, I'll do a quick intro.

I am Mae, the truly blessed wife of Hub, who I have been married to for going on 13 years. We are even more blessed to have three wonderful boys, Dino is almost 8, Frog is almost 6, and Monkey is 3. And I get to homeschool these smart fellas. Yay!

I have been a Christian for what seems like my whole life, but it wasn't until I was an adult, in my mid-twenties, that I really found out what it meant to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. I grew up in church, read bits and pieces of the Bible along the way, but I never read thw whole thing cover to cover. I attempted many times, but always found that something got in the way. Until January of this year. I started the Read the Bible in 90 Days program with a small group of ladies, my mother being one of them. It was a wonderful experience and I'm so thankful I got a chance to participate. I did not finish in 90 days though; it took me 91. (wink)

The experience was such a good one that I decided to do it again. I don't know how well I'll do with the technical side of things, like Twitter, but I am ready to do the reading.

Now, anyone want to explain how I can get one of the cute bible in 90 Days, Join Us, thingies in my post? See, told you I was going to have problems with the technical side.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


So, the last post notwithstanding, we shall ignore the fact that it's been almost 2 months since my last update.
What? You didn't notice? Well, we're moving right along anyway.

The last week has been crazy. I have a cold, which has been developing for several days and is full blown now. I hate having colds. Blech. Oh, and Dino and Frog had the chicken pox. Spots started last Monday and followed the classic pattern. They both had very mild cases and haven't had new spots in a few days. Monkey has so far not had any spots. The awesome part is that they've all three had the vaccine. Yippee!! So glad I made them get that shot just so that they could get the pox anyway a few years later.
Okay, just a little sarcasm. I will say that had I known all I know now about immunizations, I don't think I would have done them all. The boys have had all that are recommended, on a slightly delayed schedule. I don't like them to get more than one shot at a time, so that delayed things a bit. But now, eh, I don't think I would have done them all.

Moving right along, I signed up to do another Read the Bible in 90 Days, this time through MomsToolbox. Last time I did this, I was in a group and we met once a week. I'm not sure how I'll be able to handle the online version, but I really want to do it again. It was such a wonderful experience the first time around so I'm sure it will be again. I just don't know how I'll manage with the online aspects, especially Twitter. I just don't get Twitter. But, I guess I can learn.

And well, that's all I've got for tonight. I started this post at 2ish this afternoon and it is now almost 10. It's been a long day. Because we were "quarantined" for the pox, we had a fun 4th celebration here at home. We ate dinner outside, picnic'ish style, roasted marshmallows and had s'mores and the boys and Hub are sleeping in the tent. Okay, Monkey is in the house, and, yep, now Frog is in the house. We'll see who makes it all night. So, I'm tired and going to go to bed soon. I've got a busy day reading ahead of me tomorrow!