Monday, January 30, 2017

Deliverance and Timing

In my daily Bible reading I am up to the point in Exodus where God sent the plagues and now finally, Pharoah says to go.

As the children of Israel are preparing to leave, there is a verse that states that the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. All those years. All those generations. Now God has sent his deliverer, Moses.

But the number of years. 430, stuck in my mind. Why? I remembered that between the Old Testament and the New Testament is estimated some 400 years of silence from God. Then He sent the ultimate Deliverer, Jesus.

In bondage for 400 years plus. Then the blood of a lamb in the Old Testament and the blood of the Lamb in the New Testament brought on deliverance.

I have studied the connections between the Passover and Jesus' sacrifice before. But I hadn't zoomed in on the similarity of even those 400 some odd years in the accounts.

God waits for exactly the points in time that are perfect, according to His plan.

At just the right time, God sent Moses to Pharaoh to bring the people out.

At just the right time, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us all, once and for all.

And as we who are His children await His second coming, we might think He is slow in returning. No, His timing is perfect. It is even reiterated in scripture that God isn't slow. He delays, wanting all to come to faith in Jesus.

We don't have the exact moment of Jesus' return, just like the children of Israel didn't know the exact moment of their deliverer. And that's just like the people didn't know the exact moment of Jesus' coming the first time.

So what do we do? We are on mission to make sure as many people come to Christ, as God desires for them to do. And when that eastern sky splits and Christ descends, we'll be delivered eternally. Perfect timing!

Monday, January 23, 2017

What Are You Reading?

As I sat down to write out a post for today, I decided to share with you what I've been reading.

I just finished reading Sandra Bricker's The Big 5-Oh! Sandra passed away earlier this year. When I realized I had another of her books on my kindle that I hadn't read yet, I started reading it immediately. As I wrote in the review for Amazon: Never read a Sandra Bricker book I didn't love. I suppose this book hit me close to home as well, since I'll be turning 50 in 2017. This book had sweet romance with a mix of unpredictable dilemmas. You won't be disappointed.

The  Big 5-OH! by [Bricker,  Sandra D.]

My newest fiction title is Give the Lady a Ride by Linda Yezak. With cowboys involved, what's not to love? I haven't gotten very far in but so far, I've loved it.

Give the Lady a Ride: Circle Bar Ranch Series by [Yezak, Linda W.]

In nonfiction I've been reading and meditating on Have a New You by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. Now I didn't follow the timeline with this book. There's a lot more to read and think on than for only a few days. I love the way he explains personality types in a much easier way to understand, using dogs of all things. Then one of the sections that most prompted thought for me was the birth order part. Leman brings up some things I had never considered. You're probably better at reading and digesting and can stay on the "by Friday" timeline. But I would recommend this book to everyone, even if you don't want a new you by Friday. You just might get some insight into why you are the way you are and about those around you.

Have a New You by Friday: How to Accept Yourself, Boost Your Confidence & Change Your Life in 5 Days by [Leman, Dr. Kevin]

Dr. Leman has some other versions of this that you might want to check out, relating to teenagers, children, and your sex life.

Now as for my writing craft book, I'm rereading Inspired Writer - How to Create Magic With Your Words by Brian Hutchinson. I'll give one warning with this one: there is some language that I don't care for. It's really not needed, but it tends to be the way of this author. But what Hutchinson has to say to writers about being inspired and getting past perfectionism and negative critics is really worth ignoring the profanity. Any writer who might feel a little less than motivated should check into this book. With each chapter, I feel encouraged and ready to write for all I'm worth.

Inspired Writer: How to Create Magic With Your Words by [Hutchinson, Bryan]

So there you have it. Those are the books I have my nose stuck in right now.

What have you been reading that you would encourage others to read? Please share in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I Will Be With You

"Then the Lord said to Jacob, 'Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.'" Genesis 31:3

In my Bible reading plan through the One Year Bible, I've been reading about Jacob. Poor guy - he was in love with Rachel and worked for seven years for her. Then he was tricked into marrying Leah, the older sister. I would have been angry and pitched a big fit. We're only told that Jacob speaks to the father and asks why he has done this. The father calmly answers that he couldn't marry off the younger daughter without getting the older one hitched first. (Well, he doesn't say it in exactly those words, but that was the gist.)

What does Jacob do? He agrees to work more years for Rachel. He must have really been smitten with her. Finally he has Rachel as well.

Now Jacob works for his father-in-law and brings much prosperity to his flocks. I'm sure that's why the father-in-law wasn't too happy when Jacob said it was time to head back home.

Of course, Jacob had to also be thinking about that little incident with his brother Esau. Last he heard from him, Esau wanted to kill him.

But the Lord told Jacob to go home, and the Lord would be with him.

I got to thinking about that. There are times I wish God would speak clearly about His direction for my life. Some instances in my life, I've been very sure of God's leading. Everything has pointed in a direction. But other times in my life, God hasn't been as clear. I think in those times it is like Abraham's experience. God told him to get up and go to a land He would show him. But Abraham didn't know the exact itinerary or have an X marked map. He just had to follow.

But I have to focus on the last part of the verse above rather than the first part.

Focusing on the first part means I want God to be specific with me on His direction. However, I don't think that is the best part to focus upon. The last part of the verse says that God would be with Jacob. I have that same promise from God.

The important thing for me is to know that God is always with me. He may decide to shine a big light on the dark path up ahead and let me see far away. But He may only shine a tiny light which means I can only see far enough to take the next step.

This is a hard lesson for me. I am a planner. I like to know what I'm doing. I crave a nice filled in schedule. But God knows that my trust in Him can grow when I don't quite see the whole plan laid out. When I'm forced to just depend on Him for the next step, my faith grows. And I know I can depend on Him to be there because He promised. I have to rest in that. Or at least I'm learning to rest in that. The controller in me says, "Could you make this path a little more blatant and clear?" And God says, "I'm here. That's all you need to know."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Four Days into the New Year - How Are You Doing?

Evaluation time. At least for me. I told you about my word for this year - diligent. Let me report one way I feel I have been diligent.

Normally, I go through a One Year Bible each year. This year I decided to be more earnestly involved in reading God's Word by keeping a devotional journal.

Here's what I do:

Read the Old Testament passage in the One Year Bible.
Write something in my journal that stood out to me in that passage.
Read the New Testament passage.
Write something in my journal that stood out to me.
Read either the Psalms or Proverbs passage, whichever is included.
Write something in my journal that stood out to me.
Sometimes write out other things that come to mind or maybe even a prayer for God's help in an area noticed in the passages.

How does this make me more diligent? Acting on what I read means I have to truly think, meditate on the scriptures. By doing this, I can begin to apply what I am reading into my life.

I have often fallen into the trap of just reading through the Bible passages so I can mark it off for the day. But if I truly want God's Word in my heart and influencing me always, I have to be more attentive.

I'm sure you'll end up hearing about some of the passages here throughout the year. You know how I love to share when God teaches me stuff.

How about you? What are you doing in your personal devotion time this year? I would love to hear about them all in the comments.