I made it to the next round of interviews! Tomorrow—8 am! Send up a prayer for me if you think of it.
This is a turbulent, uncertain time so I just wanted to share the comfort of Psalm 91.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Last year I found a “One Year Bible” at a Goodwill and decided to give it a try. For those not familiar with the type, it breaks out the Bible over 365 readings and if you read every day, you finish the Bible at the end of the year. Every day it includes a few chapters from the Old Testament, a few from the New, and then some Psalms and Proverbs. I’ve read through the Bible a few times before (my friends and I used to read the whole Bible over Christmas break) and thought this sounded like a good way to get back in the habit.
But it is so disjointed. Partially it is probably a natural result of not physically flipping from the Old Testament to the New Testament. It will be confusing regardless. But also partially, the lack of transition between the readings makes it feel weirdly…abrupt. For example:
Genesis 7:23: Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
Matthew 3:7: But when he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘we have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the tree, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Now, imagine that, but instead of two paragraphs side by side, it is chapters. You’re really feeling the flow about Noah and then BAM WE’RE SUDDENLY TALKING ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST. And then you start getting into the swing of Matthew when the next paragraph begins, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them…” and whatdoyouknow, we’re in Proverbs.
I just feel like there has to be a better way to give daily readings without giving the reader whiplash. And if you’re not already familiar with the various portions of the Bible, how would anyone keep track of what was going on? Not user friendly at all.
This past week, I heard an interesting talk on 2 Kings 6:8-17. The presentation was on how we handle crisis. However, re-reading the Scripture, another element of the passage stuck out to me. As a quick reminder:
8 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”
9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.
11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”
13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he senthorses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Super cool passage, right? But here is what I want to know. Did Elisha always see the horses and chariots of fire? Think about how cool, and terrifying, that would be! Definitely something to ask him about in heaven.
Happy Resurrection Sunday, everyone 🙂
Never forget how much you are loved by God. He came to earth, died, and rose again to set you free.
He is risen, indeed!
I’ve been listening to Villette by Charlotte Brontë on audio book and I’m almost done. I have maybe 40 minutes to go. By this point, I’ve gotten the gist of the story and am now simply waiting for things to be tied together. It is a good book. An interesting one. I might even share a more thorough review once I’m finished with it. The thing is though…I feel like I was lured in under false pretenses. This is how the book was described in its Goodreads bio:
“Arguably Brontë’s most refined and deeply felt work, Villette draws on her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. Lucy Snowe, the narrator of Villette, flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the great cosmopolitan capital of Villette. Soon Lucy’s struggle for independence is overshadowed by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë’s strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.”
You see, I braced for a love triangle. I expected a “strikingly modern heroine” trying to find a man that would let her continue to teach or at least let have her own opinions or something. That’s not what I’m getting. Lucy Snowe is a somewhat interesting character in the mode of Jane Eyre but nothing spectacular. She doesn’t so much “decide” to look for a man as much as she falls for the only two men of her acquaintance. The one it appears she will end up with in the end is selfish, chauvinistic, sexist, and possibly bipolar. I wouldn’t mind so much if this book wasn’t presented as something modern. Maybe it will end well? We shall see.
Tonight I decided to read Psalm 100 and I noticed the heading read “A psalm. For giving grateful praise.” That really stuck out to me. I wanted to flip to something else. I had been thinking about posting a Psalm but it seemed like overkill to post about gratitude again. I don’t want to come off as fake. My day wasn’t all good; I had some stressful moments. It wasn’t a bad day. It was a day. However, as I read through the Psalm, I was reminded that even a day has many wonderful moments I can be grateful for. Today I am grateful for Mrs. Hassi who is organizing my office. I am grateful that I have an awesome cousin named Charlie who turned 8 and that I got to be part of his party, even if I arrived late. I am grateful for my wonderful extended family!
My day was a ‘meh’ day until I started to think of things to be grateful for. I may have to make this chapter a nightly reading!
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Today I have begun working through the bible study devotional Live Fearlessly: A Study in the Book of Joshua by Lenya Heitzig & Penny Rose. It is part of their Fresh Life Biblical Study Series, though this is the first one I have tried by them. I saw it at the Christian bookstore the other day and was immediately attracted to the bright, cheery colors and balance of Scriptural analysis and personal application. It was hard to pick between Joshua, James, Ruth & Esther, Ephesians, the women of Genesis, the parables of Jesus…there were quite a few options. Joshua won because (1) I really like the book of Joshua, (2) I don’t know as much about it as I do James and Ruth & Esther, (3) Joshua always bring a connection to Generation Joshua, and, most of all, (4) Joshua symbolizes leadership to me and I really want to learn more about the leadership of men and women in the Bible. Joshua struck me as a good place to start.
So here I am. I hope this series will be good. The first lesson provided some interesting tidbits, but I gained more from the notes of my new study Bible. One of the benefits to having this devotional will be getting into the Word more consistently.
I really like the quote this first day’s lesson ended on. From John Bunyan,
“I would say to my soul, O my soul, this is not the place of despair; this is not the time to despair in. As long as mine eyes can find promise in the Bible…as long as there is a moment left me of breath or life in this world, so long will I wait or look for mercy, so long will I fight against unbelief and despair.”