Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 11, Numbers 9-20

Moses, Faith Images from
Numbers 11:14 (New King James Version)
14 I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.

Moses grew a bit exasperated with the israelites, who were whining and complaining over what they were given to eat, and kinda took it out on God.

i have felt like this fairly often lately... my husband and our housemate haven't always seemed very interested in finding work that actually pays, and my income sure isn't sufficient! but i know that God's provision IS sufficient, as long as i am being obedient to Him. complaining to God may not be the right approach, (even if it does yield results), but i can go to Him in prayer and supplication, and i can count on Him to meet our needs, somehow.

Lord, i don't want to be like moses was in this particular instance. it's not right to use you as a sounding board. i imagine you'd appreciate it more if i'd always remember to come to you without whining when i voice my concerns! i'm gonna pay more attention to that, and instead of complaining when i come to you, i'm going to try to always remember to praise you for what you have blessed me with, and to thank you for having everything in your control.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 10, Numbers 1-8

Cathedral Rock Hike near Las Vegas, Oct. 2009, photo by me
Numbers 6:24-26 (New King James Version)

24 “The LORD bless you and keep you;
25 The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’ 

This was the way that God instructed the priests (via moses) to bless the people of israel

There really isn't much to say about this, other than it's just as beautiful and relevant today as it was back then.

Lord, to all those who read this note, please shine your face upon them. bless them and keep them safe from harm, put joy in their hearts, and let peace and harmony rule their home. (even those homes that are on wheels!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 9: Lev. 15-29

Leviticus 26:3-4 (New King James Version)

3 ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them,
4 then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

God was giving the Israelites the conditions of His provisions. Later in the chapter, God lays out the terms of disobedience.

Why do we, as humans, fail to grasp the simplicity and significance of this? walk with God, and He provides for you, and protects you. step out of His will and you're stepping out from under His umbrella of protection. and then when we get drenched by the storm, whose fault is it? there's this common misconception in america today, i hear people all the time asking "why is God punishing me?" and people responding saying that God doesn't punish people like that... well, not true! when we live our lives in defiance of God's will, He does punish us by allowing calamity to befall us. we aren't all like job, living uprightly and righteously and undeserving of punishment, being allowed to be tested. yes, we go through tests and trials, but many of those, if we were to trace them backwards, are a result of our own stupidity, a consequences of our own disobedience to God. 

Father, i screw up so frequently, and there are so many areas of my life that i know i do not fully submit to you. help me to let go of those areas, and give you full control. not just temporarily, but permanently! thank you for allowing us to live under grace, and not under the law. thank you for your unending patience and love for me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 8, Lev. 1-14

From Northrop's "Treasures of the Bible" 1894
Scripture: Leviticus 5:18 (New King James Version)

18 And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him.

Observation: this is a recurring thing throughout what i read today... it's always the priest that makes atonement for the people.

Application: we don't have to have a priest make atonement for us anymore. Jesus not only became the perfect sacrifice for our sins, but He is the only intercessor we need. and i'm so grateful for that, because i don't think i'd have even wanted to try to remember all the rituals regarding all the many kinds of sacrifices and offerings! i'd be so afraid of screwing it up and being cast out and killed for it. all i have to do when i sin, knowingly or not, is to just ask forgiveness!

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving us your Son! thank you for the simplicity of being able to have a personal relationship with you, with Jesus, and not having to rely on a fallible human to be our middleman.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 7, Exodus 29-40

Leonardo Da Vinci's Hand of God, 1509
Exodus 29:45-46 (New King James Version)

45 I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

God dwelt among the israelites and made Himself known to them in ways that just don't happen today. I don't see a cloud going before me by day and a fire burning by night. we don't have a temple that is built to specifications given by God, with gold and silver and expensive linens, and all that stuff. but we do have God with us every day, and if we pay attention, we can know without a doubt that He is present, and that He is the Lord our God. it's in the everyday little things that we see Him most, but at the same time, it's those same little things that we overlook, and chalk them up to anything BUT God most of the time.

Father, i know you're in the little things. i know it's you when i'm searching all over for my car keys and have to stop and ask for you to lead me to them.... and you do. i know it's you when i pray that the grocery total will be under my budget, and it is. i know it's you when our needs are met, and i know it's you when you grant us more than we need and give us something extra. Thank you, God, for always being here with me!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 6, Exodus 16-28

Moses, supported by Aaron and Hur, is praying for victory  Millais, 1923 
Scripture: Exodus 17:11-13 (New King James Version)

11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 

Observation: can a more perfect picture ever be painted? this is my new favorite passage in the whole bible! this isn't about what moses did, it's not about what israel did, it's about how the battle was won... with arms lifted up in praise to the Father.

moses and the israelites, their battle was physical. and as long as moses's hands were lifted up to God, the israelites were winning. but the enemy would begin overcoming them the second that moses would grow tired and let his arms fall. it was so obvious to him, and to aaron and hur, that aaron and hur got him something to sit on and they held his arms up!

Application: every day i go through some sort of battle... whether it's physical or emotional or psychological, it all comes back to spiritual battle, because somewhere or other (i'm not good at remembering chapter & verse) scripture tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness. and unless i want to fall completely apart and let the enemy gain ground, i must keep praising God, no matter how bleak the situation looks.

and not only do i need to be like moses, i need to be like aaron and hur, holding up the arms of my friends and loved ones when they are too tired to keep praising God.


wow, God! i'm just really so much in awe right now, i don't even have the right words to say! so i'm going to quit typing and just sit here and meditate on you for a little bit...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 5, Exodus 1-15

Seventh plague by John Martin, 1823
Exodus 5:22-6:1 (New King James Version)

Israel’s Deliverance Assured

22 So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”
Exodus 6

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

it always surprises me, for some reason, when i read in the bible about godly people who question God in a moment of doubt or frustration. i think there's this part of me that believes that if we dare to doubt God even for a second, or question Him, that He's gonna zap us with a lightening bolt or something. i don't know why i expect that to happen, i've yet to ever be struck by lightening. shame, yes. lightening, no.

God is consistent. His answer is always pretty much the same... "wait and see". it's never a "because yada yada yada", it's always "wait, and see". and sometimes, we have to wait a long time to see! but God's plan, His reasons, are always revealed. eventually.

God, sometimes i get so frustrated and bent out of shape with impatience... i know i'm supposed to wait and see as your plan unfolds. and i know that a thousand lifetimes to me is like a split second to you, or whatever the saying is. but on my end, time just seems so maddenly slow! especially when what i'm waiting to see is your light in my husband's life. and who do i take that out on? yeah. so God, please forgive me for my impatience. and heal the hurt that my words must have caused to mark this morning. really heal it. like, undo it! help me to learn to bite my tongue, Lord!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 4: Genesis 41-50

Joseph Forgives His Brothers
Scripture: Genesis 50:15-21 (New King James Version)

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.


joseph's brothers had good reason to be concerned. they pretty much deserved whatever was coming to them, at least from my point of view. but from a godly perspective, this is what total forgiveness is all about. joseph had never, not for one moment, forgotten the cruelty of his brothers, but his forgiveness was so complete, that it was his desire to help them, to provide for them, when they were down and out.


when people have hurt me deeply, it takes a while for the healing to take place, sometimes even after the forgiveness has already happened. joseph had many years for those wounds to heal, and when his brothers came before him, those wounds opened back up, and he wept, on more than one occasion. (why does the word "wept" sound more palatable and masculine when talking about a guy? if it had been a woman, she'd have just cried!)

but even though those emotions still needed to be expressed, God was faithful to bring about total forgiveness and complete healing from the past. i've been in joseph's shoes! hard to imagine that all these thousands of years later, i could actually experience the same thing that one of the biblical patriarchs experienced. am i in a place now where, if it were necessary, could i be so gracious to those who have hurt me in my lifetime? 

yes, i believe so. i can't think of anyone off the top of my head whom i would even hesitate to help, no matter what the history was.


Father, i thank you for all the times you have heard me cry out, and have healed my broken heart. sometimes forgiveness comes a little slow on my end, and it takes a lot of work to allow you to forgive through me, and in the future, Lord, i hope you will help me to get my pride out of the way a little quicker! there is such freedom in forgiveness!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 3 Genesis 29-40


Genesis 39:20-24 (New King James Version)

Joseph interpreting dreams in prison
20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,[a] because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.


being poorly treated, spitefully entrapped, and wrongly imprisoned seems to have been a recurring theme in joseph's life. but instead of letting that make him bitter, joseph submitted himself to God in spite of his circumstances, and as a result, God gave joseph what some would call a "midas touch".


i wonder if joseph ever, even for a moment or two, allowed himself to indulge in anger towards the spiteful snots that caused him so much trouble? did he ever feel hatred towards his brothers for having thrown him first in a pit, then selling him into slavery? did he ever want to call potiphar's wife a hateful name after she lied and had him thrown in prison? i'll admit, it's a struggle for me not to write a hateful name about her, and i didn't even live back then!

but there's a big lesson i should learn from joseph's life. and in my head, i already know this! nothing good comes out of being angry. when you allow yourself to get consumed by emotion, that's all you can see... yourself. you sure can't see God through the haze of fury. you can't accomplish anything to make your situation better if you're ticked off all the time.

why do i forget that so often?

when we get out of our own pity party and turn our eyes back to Jesus, our sorrow can turn to joy. or even if it doesn't turn exactly into joy, it can sure seem brighter than the doom and gloom we feel when we're mad. and when we focus on doing our best for Him, in spite of our circumstances, it doesn't go unnoticed! He starts pouring out His blessings on us.


Lord, i get awfully self-centered a lot. i frequently remind myself that i'm working for your glory, not my own paycheck... and that i should be doing it without complaint and certainly without being a bad witness. and most of the time, when i remind myself of that, i start doing a much better job! but that doesn't seem to apply to me when i'm at home. i don't do my best for you right here where it counts. i'm not always a good witness to my husband, or to our housemate. and the stuff that needs to be done around here, i tend to do half-way. i need some improvement in those areas, Lord. i know i do. but... i'm not going to ask right this moment for you to teach me how to improve! i'm just going to stop for a minute and say thanks that i HAVE a husband, and a beautiful home. you really have blessed me. for what, i'm not sure, but i am thankful. and i'm going to try to show a little more appreciation to you for what you've given me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 2: Gen 17-28

Genesis 22:9-17 (New King James Version)

Rembrandt's depiction of the sacrifice 
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide;[a] as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”
15 Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

what strikes me about this passage is two-fold... not only is abraham 100%, unwavering in his obedience to the Lord, but he has raised his son to be equally as obedient, even when asked to do the most unimaginable thing!

This passage has always, my entire life, troubled me. what if i were in abraham's shoes? could i have trusted God enough to provide an alternative and spare me from what He asked? would i be so obedient as to strap my child down on an alter and raise a knife above her chest? (and have i raised my daughters to be so trusting and obedient? no, my kids would have knocked me six ways to sideways and taken off for the hills.)

i'd like to think that i could say yes, i'd be so obedient, and so faithful. heck, i'd like to even use the excuse that "nobody really knows what they would do in that situation, we just have to thank God that He would never ask such a thing of us". i remember my mom used to say something similar when i'd ask about being totally obedient to God in certain circumstances.

but i'm without excuse. i KNOW the answer. i would not be so obedient. i'd be bawling and screaming and throwing a major temper tantrum before the Lord and in the end i'd tell him forget it, find someone else. my obedience would have gone only so far as to get to the destination and build an altar. and then i'd have sat there. and sat. and sat. but not in my wildest dreams can i imagine being so obedient that i would be willing to put my child on that altar. i would not have the kind of faith that God would stay my hand and provide a suitable offering at the last minute. 

i would fail the test.

God, i can't even begin to say how sorry i am that i'm so stubborn, and that my faith and trust in you is so shaky at times. i guess i don't get any brownie points for honesty, but God, i can tell you this much... i'm extremely thankful that your grace and mercy cover my weaknesses. and i do really want to become more trusting, more faithful, and more obedient to you! teach me to trust you more, Father, but please, let my tests be a little less gut-wrenching than abraham's was.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 1 Gen 1-16

Sarah listening to Abraham & the Angel by Provoost.
Genesis 15:2-3 (New King James Version)

2 But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” 

when God makes promises, He doesn't just make empty ones. abram, in his impatience and frustration, got a bit attitudinal with God.

boy, how i can relate to that! how many times does God promise things, and yet we (i) get impatient and skeptical, and start whining about it? i could cite about a thousand examples of things i've questioned God's sincerity about. and it's not that i don't believe Him, i DO! i absolutely believe in His promises. the attitude comes from not knowing the "how" and the "when" that follows His promise. kinda reminds me of the sermons that were given at family camp.... "why, God?"

here, i'll cite a "fictional" example that entered my mind while watching a movie last night. (the book of eli). God had promised eli that if he would carry the last bible to the west coast, He would remove all obstacles and protect him, and His Word. at one point in the movie, it appeared that God failed to protect eli at all, and i found myself getting mad, thinking "hey God, but you promised!" of course, as the movie progressed, i realized that God had not failed eli at all, and that no matter how dire the circumstances appear, He is ALWAYS going to keep His promises. sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Father, i know that i can count on your promises. and i also know that i have a tendency to get impatient and try to "help" you do your job... and all that does is delay things even further while you fix the damage i do when i get in your way. Forgive me for being so arrogant as to think that you could ever need my help, and teach me (gently, Lord) that the most important thing i can "do" to help you is to keep my mouth shut, my temper in check, and pray, pray, pray.