Sunday, July 31, 2011

DAY 374: EXODUS 14

Overwhelmed by the to-do list versus lack of energy today. It's only 11am and my kids have already watched an obscene amount of tv. Thankfully the wretched babysitter is now off. There's nothing wrong with a little tube time. However, I used it as a crutch today instead of leaning into Him to provide me with all the energy and strength needed for today. Still a long way off from ditching self-reliance.

EXODUS 14:
I'll be teaching the little monkeys tonight about this chapter so thought I'd might as well break from Job to fully wrap my head around it. Talk about a great chapter to be reminded about how futile self reliance can be. Even when it seems impossible that anything could be left after pouring out everything God steps in to replenish. I forget this daily.

In this chapter God tells Moses to go back and camp by the sea. This plan seems bizarre especially since they are supposed to be fleeing from Egypt not going back towards it. God reminds Moses that this is about God's glory being seen throughout Egypt and the rest of the world. I love how God plan for our lives is not always the most obvious or even the shortest route. He has so much to teach us along the journey to get us ready for the actual destination.

God's display of power at the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Egyptian army was not just for Egypt it was for the Israelites to learn that God works in impossible situations. Pharaoh sent all his chariots and armed men in hot pursuit after the Israelites. To an unarmed people this had to be unnerving. They obviously had forgotten the miraculous signs of the plagues and the power that God displayed throughout Egypt. That is so like me though. I forget about the times when God showed up in the impossible in my life. This is where self reliance is truly futile. We are left most awestruck with God when the circumstances and situations in life are so stacked against us that only God can provide an answer.

I'm so disjointed with my thoughts right now. There's just so much packed into this one chapter. Love how later on in Israel's history the Lord tells Israel not to stock up on horses and chariots. These were major war machines back in the day and not stocking up seems crazy. Yet, through oral tradition the Israelites when willing to listen remember that even when faced against great obstacles like chariots God can still give His people great victory. It still always blow me away how God wants us to walk in ways that are completely contrary to the world. This rule breaker loves this!!

I'll end with this:
Vs 14
The lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:14 NIV)

Can't put into words how comforting this verse is to me. For so long I thought I needed to fight solo. I'm learning more and more that I need not fight at all, God will be my defender and protector. Now if only I could get this be still thing down.

D

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

DAY 373: JOB 24

To say I was a crab-cake this morning would be an understatement. I feel exhausted and completely off today. Craving milk and ice cream and red meat like crazy so pretty confident Baby Popcorn is on a growth spurt. All I know is I feel yuck and could have spent the entire day in bed. Thanks to my sweet husband I got to spend at least half of it there. Not sure how long this will be as sweet Brownies are running to and fro.

JOB 24:
Bildad responds. This chapter is super short and I can agree with all He says about and His standard of righteousness. This is a peach.

Vs 6:
how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot— a human being, who is only a worm!" (Job 25:6 NIV)

I really do love this verse. It brings home the simple fact that compared to God we are but maggots. It's by His love and His grace that He desires to call us royalty. Crazy.

Watched a documentary with my beloved last night. Not exactly an uplifting date night movie but so good. The movie was called God Grew Tired of Us and was about Sudanese refuges which have been called the Lost Boys. Talk about a movie that will bring you to your knees in thankfulness. Couldn't help but think about Job through all of this. I am so stinking blessed and yet on a daily basis I find reason to grumble. Of God please change my self focused heart. Open my eyes to the opportunity and blessing all around me.

D

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Friday, July 29, 2011

DAY 372: JOB 24

Got a wake-up call by God a little after 6am by a cute baby boy. Decided to suck it up and try to serve me family in my sleepy state. I ended up with a lovely date with my Lukeypotamus to Braum's to get milk. I am head over heels for this kid right now, even in his 3 year old state. Fumbled around without a plan for the first part of the morning but got a grip once baby grumpy pants went down for a four hour nap (!) and the caffiene kicked.

Today I discovered a new tactic for my oldest son's fit throwing, completely ignore it. I had asked Millye about a year ago what to do with all the fussing and she totally suggested this to me. I might have tried it once but failed miserably since fussing is my mommy kryptonite. A year ago I might not have realized that his escalated fit still resulted in me not trying to control him and Momma being victorious. He followed me around screaming louder and I just laughed and asked him to dance with me. Hoping this new strategy will help Paul realize that this method of dealing with life is futile. We'll see.

Abbie wowed us once again with her gift of evangelism. Seriously this girl runs circles around me in this department and it's incredibly humbling. She asked Les to invite one of our neighbors to WM. The only thing to do was to invite him and it opened the door to talks about Jesus. Now we also know were he is spiritually. She recited Romans 3:23 while we were talking to him. This girl gets it! We celebrated her by having ice cream sundaes to celebrate her wonderful idea and her heart. This is sweeter than any soccer goal could ever be. I needed this in a lot of ways to be reminded of her heart. We've been wrestling with one of her struggles lately and it's been disheartening at times knowing she's making decisions that will always reap bad consequences. It's good to step back and see the full picture. To remember that we get to encourage and celebrate her strengths and gifts and walk with her and shepherd her through her weaknesses and struggles. Very thankful for this view today.

On a bonus note kids went down at record speed tonight and I'm looking forward to getting to start an in home date night early. Thank you 6am risers!!

JOB 23:
My brain is turning to mush so I'll let Spurgeon summarize this chapter. He's got some pretty awesome words.

c. Now if it is not so, who will prove me a liar? "Job challenges all men to contradict what he affirms, — that the righteous may be greater sufferers, and the wicked may for awhile prosper, but that God will, in the end, overthrow the ungodly, and establish the righteous." (Spurgeon)

The only thing missing from here is that Job is in a crisis wrestling with the above facts. He wants to know why the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper on this side of the grave. Frankly many times I don't get this either. I used to shake my fist at God wondering why He allowed things to operate this way. Now I just need to be reminded that God is Sovereign and He is good and I'm so thankful His ways are not my own. Besides the sons and daughters of darkness that appear prosperous really are not. The evil one shoots his arrows at those that are the biggest threat to him just like he did to Job. It's his mission to have us walk away from a life of integrity and curse God and die. 

D








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Thursday, July 28, 2011

DAY 371: JOB 23

The aroma of this morning smelled of stale dirty diapers. I woke up at 6:30am but it was still a disobedient 6:30. I would not have gotten my bum out of bed if my Brownies hadn't woken up shortly after me. Today I get to painfully confess that anger got the best of me. I want to give a list of excuses why my actions were justified but the list matters not. The condition of my heart is what matters. I shoved a door and Paul consequently got hit in the head with the door knob. My intent was not to hit him with the door knob but in the moment was not bothered by the least bit if he got bonked by the door. Even now I want to fully explain the situation so my actions don't seem so vile but sin is vile no matter what the circumstance. It doesn't matter what the situation is that surrounds me. I'm still the one responsible for the condition of my heart and the actions that flow out as a result.

JOB 23:
Job responds and his tone has softened even more. In this chapter it's very apparent that he longs to have his relationship restored with God. He feels as if at every turn God has vanished. This would cause despair upon despair. It's so hard to feel as if God is a billion miles away. It's this very feeling that caused me to turn from God in my earlier days. If I wasn't experiencing a feeling of closeness or a mountain top experience I just assumed God had left. It took me a long while and a pretty monumental sermon in my life to realize that my relationship to God had nothing to do with a feeling. Most often when I allow my emotions to rule my decisions chaos soon ensues.

This is the verse of the day for me and it's really strong.

Vs 12:
I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. (Job 23:12 NIV)

After all that's happened to him and in the midst of feeling as if God is nowhere to be found Job is able to bust out this beaut. This man loves him some God. Oh to treasure God's Word more than food. This is the kind of heart for God that I want to grow. I want His Word to be what I long for when in search of comfort. Often I turn to a cheap substitute which never satisfies. God please continue to grow and to change my heart. I am so thankful that your wonderful grace covers all my failures and weaknesses.

D


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DAY 370: JOB 22

So busted about not getting up early today. It's painfully obvious that my disobedience wreaks havoc on not just myself, but my family as well. It's just hard to believe that while struggling with insomnia that waking up at 6am is a good idea. Obedience should trump even sleep. Oy!

This morning obviously I was disobedient yet God showed up in such gracious way. I was a grumpy mess this morning. My focus was on myself and how people should be serving me. God stepped in and I made a choice to ditch my crabitude to seek His face. I saw a glimpse of the provision He would bestow upon me if I'd choose to obey.

Hanging with Jesus today was sweet but today was not easy. Experiencing the pain of a child choosing to walk in ways that will bring heartache to them is hard. I've yet to even dip my toe in water of things that are to come for better and worse. My heart aches for my beloved today too. There is great hope in what the future holds yet sometimes the journey to get there squeezes in the some of the most painful and unexpected ways. I am now more convinced than ever that God's hand truly is in everything. My desire is to remember this when I myself am found in a painful squeeze. May my hands always be left unbound in order to lift them in praise and thanksgiving.

JOB 22:
More careless wind is tossed around by Eliphaz. The word perseverance stood out to me today. Tonight as I think back on this chapter the word remain sticks with me. Oh to remain in Him while life comes crashing down. My life has been marked more by the word run than remain. I pray that I would learn how to remain in all circumstances, the good, the bad, the mundane and even the insanely crazy.

Vs 21:
"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. (Job 22:21 NIV)

Eliphaz is so right on with this but his own interpretation could not be more wrong. In my flesh I want this prosperity to look like that of the world's. I'm less concerned about material prosperity but I want my family to prosper. I want us to thrive and be strong and most importantly be healthy and tragedy free.

God wants to prosper us. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) However, this prosperity does not always look the way we want it to look nor does it equal prosperity in the world's eyes.

When a family can find joy and thanksgiving in the littlest of things while they face the most painful circumstances of their life watching their daughter battle brain cancer, I'd say they found prosperity. I wrestle with this. This family has seen a face of Jesus that I've never known. I want to want Jesus more than anything. I want to know what it's like to walk this closely with Him. Yet there's an opposing force that is much more interested in the world's prosperity than God's. God take my heart. May it grow to become 100% yours. Help me to die more and more each day so that I may learn what it truly means to live.

D
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DAY 369: JOB 21

So many things have been brewing and churning in my head the last week or so. There's no real handles to grab in order to even write about it yet and maybe there never will be but there are things at work.

Today I was talking about somebody whose style doesn't exactly mesh with mine and my perspective had changed. I'm ashamed by my critical spirit and prideful heart. I still have so much to learn about love.

JOB 21:
I feel like there's finally some beginning to a logical argument by Job here. He reminds his friends that although God does pour out His justice upon the wicked this side of heaven this is not always the case. Some people who are wicked appear to greatly prosper. These people may appear to prosper but I know one for certain, they are not walking in freedom.

Mark 8:36
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

In this regard the wicked never truly prosper yet to a worldly standard it may appear as if they do.

D

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Monday, July 25, 2011

DAY 368: JOB 20

Battery about to die so this will have to be short and sweet. Zophar takes a crack once again at Job. At this point I'm just kinda dumbfounded. These guys don't have any evidence of the wickedness they claim Job to be surrounded in. The theology that they believe in just doesn't support bad things happening to godly people. In their minds Job's suffering in and of itself proves Job's guilt. It is so easy to put trust into a bogus theology. I think it's easy to make piecemeal gods for ourselves. We take the things we want to believe about God and His ways and make our own god. For some of us, we not only take the things we like but we have bought into the lies we believe about God. Lies that cause us to fail to see His extravagant love for us. Honestly I don't know what the cure is for belief in a bogus theology. All I know is that a heart that is truly willing to seek and dives in and studies His word will find truth. He promises us this.

The first two verses of zophar's speech caught my attention the most. The rest of the chapter is filled with his notions about the wicked man. There is truth that rings true in these following verses but what Zophar doesn't understand is that even God's own children are not immune to suffering. As Christians today we should not be blindsided by this fact. It's written everywhere in the bible and we are told over and over how we as believers should respond in our suffering.

Vs 2:
"My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed. (Job 20:2 NIV)

Zophar is responding out of his emotion and his depth of understanding. God's not prompting his mouth to speak. I don't know about anybody else but it becomes painfully obvious to me when God wants me to speak. Generally when this happens my desire to speak up is none existent. Most often when I speak it's out of my own prompting to speak not out of divine revelation. This is such a good reminder to shut up. Be quiet and still first and pray if still stirred to speak then by all means speak. However, I want to be wise to not be like these lugnuts and blow a bunch of religious hot air.

Vs 3:
I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply. (Job 20:3 NIV)

Homeskillet is more concerned about his vanity and pride. Again the big question begs to be asked, where is the love in all this "truth" telling? Father please help root out the pride that is so ever present in my life. May you squash and vanity that I attempt to hold onto in my life. I am reminded again that if we are humble our actions will speak louder than our words. There is no need to defend ourselves. God is our great defender. He's not always there right off to zap every instance of injustice but if we are patient He does show up to defend us. God allowed Job's friends to carry on for awhile but He showed up in big ways to defend Job and lovingly discipline.

Phone fading fast....

D

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

DAY 367: JOB 19

The song In Christ Alone wrecked me this evening. "No power of hell, no scheme of man, could ever pluck me from His hand". This in light of Job is so beautifully comforting. Satan thought he could throw hardship Job's way and cause him to turn from God. Yet there is no power of hell that can pluck us from His hand. All the things in life that the evil one does to try to kill, steal and destroy from us are futile in taking us from Christ. Love this!

JOB 19:
Job responds to Bildad. This chapter really highlights Job's loneliness. He feels not only despised by God but by his friends and family as well.

Vs 2:
"How long will you torment me and crush me with words? (Job 19:2 NIV)

Again the power of words is brought to my full attention. Oh may I learn to be wise and loving with my words and not loose lipped.

I sense continued change in Job in this chapter. His tone is much less hostile towards God and it seems as though his hope is beginning to rally. He desperately longs to be reunited with God.

Vs 25:
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. (Job 19:25 NIV)

Job busting out gold. How he is able to still stand unwavering in his desire to commune with God is amazing.

I know I'm not doing this book justice. It's hard to put into words exactly what this book is doing to me. It is living and breathing and oozing into the very marrow of my bones. I am changing due to this one man's horrific story and pain. If Job had known then how his story would change so many people I believe he would have suffered with great joy.

D

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

DAY 366: JOB 18

Sweet friends thank you so much for rallying around me and celebrating the completion of the my 365 Experiment. Ya'll have spurred me on numerous times through out this journey and have provide me much needed accountability. I am so very thankful for each and everyone of you!!

AMy thankfulness over you is illuminated in the light of Job. His friends are unrelenting. It seems their mission is much more about being right than loving and comforting Job. I'm ashamed to admit that I too have gotten side tracked with people I love and been more passionate about being right than about love. This is so messed up especially after seeing it first hand in Job. Yuck!

JOB 18:
Bildad responds to Job. He describes what circumstances surround the wicked. Oddly enough the circumstances he describes sound exactly like Job's situation. How odd. Bildad ends with this verse:

Vs 21:
Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man; such is the place of one who does not know God." (Job 18:21 NIV)

How awesome to not just be accused of being guilty of sin but of actually being an evil man. Ouch! I wish this kind of poor theology was reserved only for these three knucklehead friends but unfortunately it's not. Many downtrodden have been hurt by the church by this kind of bankrupt theology. Heartbreaking! This fuels my fire all the more to daily seek out truth. It opens my eyes to vast importance of being entrenched in God's Word.

D
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Friday, July 22, 2011

DAY 365: JOB 17

Today wraps up my 365 Experiment. I started this on a mission to know God better. I always wondered why it was so hard to buck up and spend time with God. It occurred to me one day that I was living out of the lie that I was constantly letting God down. Although my head knew this was not true it was so hard to make my heart believe that God wasn't disappointed in me. I decided that the only way to break the cycle was to spend time in the Word daily despite how I felt and have God himself replace the lie. This has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. For the last 365 days I've been reminded of who God is and of His extravagant love me. Daily I've been faced with the reality of my sin and my desperate need for a Savior. God's Word has begun to penetrate my heart and truly at times it's cut straight to the bone. I thought I knew all the stories and was arrogant to think I could walk sufficiently without being emersed in God's very words. My hope is to grow to rely on the Word of God as if it truly was the very air that I breathed. The most remarkable thing that has happened over the past year is that I've learned what it means for God to be the Father to the Fatherless. He has truly become my father and there are no words to express my gratitude for becoming His child.

JOB 17:
Job continues to pour out his anguish but flashes of hope begin to break through. With all his previous desire to just go to the grave he now realizes that the grave is not where his hope should lie.

Vs 1:
My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. (Job 17:1 NIV)

These are not words spoken flippantly. These are words spoken by a man who has been allowed to be crushed. Agony hangs on every single one of these words.

Vs 9:
Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. (Job 17:9 NIV)

This is the first time I've seen Job utter a single word about restoration. Even in his utter despair God is continuing to do a mighty work in God. Our God is a God who is in the very business of restoration. He begins to restore us even in the midst of our darkest hour.

Vs 11 & 12:
My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near. (Job 17:11-12 NIV)

My plans have been shattered. Oh the heartache this can cause. The ache we feel when the plans we've laid out or even dreamed about are ripped apart into shreds. I am so thankful for a God who will lovingly destroy our best made plans and flip us completely upside down so that we would be made more holy. I cringe at even writing that but in my being that is willing to follow after Christ no matter what the cost I will face whatever it may be in order to know Him more.

In the face of darkness light is near. These words are strong and they are ever so true for those who place their hope in the Lord. Reading this is like eating a delicious comfort sandwich. It's better than any brownie sundae I've placed my comfort in before.

So very thankful that over the past 365 His Word has become alive. I look forward to all He teaches me in the next 365!

D

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

DAY 364: JOB 16

Job responds to Eliphaz. I can see why Job's friends jump to the conclusion about Job's sin. It's really hard to read what Job has to say to God. I could almost hear his friends gasping and saying how dare he say that to God. I want to gasp myself. Job's emotions are running around rampant and he's spewing all kinds of things out of his hurt. I am reminded yet again that I do not want to be loose lipped. I spoke very harshly to my kids this afternoon after they had woken up the baby and were being toots about napping themselves. They desperately needed rest and I won't lie, I was looking forward to nap time since the very beginning of the morning. My words have so much power. I don't want to carelessly throw them around crushing my children's spirits. A friend recently reflected about what her life would look like if her mouth opened more for prayer than to speak. Can you imagine the power and beauty of a person who actually did that? Would love to get me some of that!

The chapter closes with Job talking about wishing their was a defender in heaven that would champion his cause and clear his name in front of God. These closing verses scream out Jesus. Little does Job know that one day God will send His very son to serve as that very defender. Through his death on the cross we are declared not guilty in the God's courts. Love how Jesus's name is weaves through out the entire bible.

D

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SO THIS IS HOMESCHOOL

The little boys decided to focus their attention on art while the bigs and I worked on reading. The littlest served as a living canvas and the artist tried his hand at the much desired technique of staining with permanent marker.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DAY 363: JOB 15

Basking in His grace and His sweetness this afternoon. Had the beginnings of a tantrum this morning. Thankfully my oldest lead the way with a full out tantrum of her own which gave me a great illustration to reflect on. I like to tantrum as well it just looks different.

Looks like we won't get to repeat the awesomeness of a homebirth. It was hopeful when we began this process but is now looking not so good. We have the money to cover the birth in our HSA but it would be foolish to do so when I know we have a house full of kids that will need to go the doctor this fall. I wanted to write a long series of angry rantish tweets on how crazy insurance companies are and the insanity of health care costs. I wanted to be defiant and choose a homebirth anyway by myself. The vision of my sweet baby girl throwing a fit popped into my head. Our discussion on appropriate ways to deal with disappointment rang in my ears. It still seems completely silly to have to fight for a homebirth but thankful I have an option. Thankfulness breaks in and softens the heart. It gives eyes to see frustrations as opportunity. So today I lift my hands and give thanks.
- thank you Father for the wonderful gift of five beautiful children. I am living the dream that so many women wish they could have. May I remember this when I'm tempted to complain out the discomforts of pregnancy. It is a joy, a gift and a blessing to be able to be apart of bringing forth new life.

- thank you God for the body you have given. Although pregnancy has changed my body in ways that this world would call undesirable, it is through pregnancy and birth that I understand well that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

- thank you God that pregnancy for me has been complication free. You have created my body to help bring forth the miracle of life.

- thank you Father that birth has been easy for me. My body has been knot together in such a way that labor is efficient and quick. This is through nothing I've done or could do but by the graciousness of your hand.

- thank you for being able to experience birth at home not once but twice. It is such a holy experience in many ways and I am grateful to have been able to experience it.

- thank for the joy and blessing that is I feel squirming around in my womb. Although tears have been shed over this miracle as well as two others I have living examples around me daily that remind me that your ways are so much better than mine.

- thank you for the amazing insurance WM so generously has provided to us as a family. This has been one of the many great provisions that has allowed me to be at home to enjoy my Brownies.

- thank you that I live in a country where healthcare is readily available. My family and myself do not fear a curable disease because we have access to amazing care. I take this for granted daily.

- thank you Father that you have created our hearts to find much joy, peace and comfort in raising our hands to give you thanks.

JOB 15:
Holy smokes does Eliphaz ever lay into Job in this chapter. I read this in the NIV version as well as the Message and I have to say the Message is my favorite.

Vs 2:
"If you were truly wise, would you sound so much like a windbag, belching hot air? (Job 15:2 MSG)

It just gets worse from here. Eliphaz lays it on thick. Compassion was with these men the first 7 days they were with Job and then somewhere in the mix it all went down the toilet. I'll be the first to admit it's hard seeing Job say the things he is about God. Job is very demanding in his speech towards God but he never turns his back on God. Job is raw and emotion is oozing out just like his skin. God would rather have our honestly than get lip service from us. He wants a relationship with us and honesty is key to a good one.

I read the speeches of Job's "friends" and I am left flabbergasted. After all he's been through not even his friends have his back. I'm all about being willing to speak truth to friends even when it is hard however these three knuckleheads have forgotten to brace their words with love. There's a lot of finger pointing and accusations going on instead. However, I really think it's these three friends that gave Job back his fire. Job was on a mission to prove his innocence. It was in this fight that Job in some ways was given "life" once again. Even though this condemnation was painful it gave him a cause to fight against. Without this drive to vindicate himself it's likely Job would have been swallowed up by the pits of depression. I love how God will use all things to work together for our good.

D

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DAY 362: JOB 14

Ah the joys of mandatory quiet time. There's one little three year old and oh my is he ever three that is going to wreck it but for this moment it's glorious. Woke up in the middle of the night and struggled to go back to sleep. I knew 5:45 would come way too soon yet I committed myself to obedience and trust to keep my 6am appointment. The flow of BrownTown goes much smoother when I wake up before the kids. Today also proved my theory that a 7am wake up call for the kids also can lead to a morning that actually has order. Big surprise! Now time for confession. I had begun to finally drift off back to sleep when I heard my oldest son whimpering. I rolled over knowing that if I got up it would probably mean a 2AM start to my day. I hoped Paul would settle but Les had to get up which caused him several hours of sleep. If only I had chosen the best thing and lovely served my husband. Sleep is a precious commodity in BrownTown and unfortunately I am fiercely selfish about it.

Today we took a trip to the library. Going to the library with this crew is kinda like playing Russian Roulette. Our trips usually are either great or equal the carnage of a train wreck. Today just happened to be of the train wreck variety complete with open mouth stares onlookers and mutters of bless your heart. Obviously I needed a good lesson in patience today. Let me paint a picture for you. Oldest running around chasing youngest, one middle boy screaming at the top of his lungs while the remaining Brownie scampered around looking for things to knock over and destroy. I mustn't forget the mountain of books that began to tumble out of the stroller while the BrownTown hullabaloo was occurring. Yes I've become one of those parents who checks out ninety billion books at one time. Overall I think I at least passed my test in patience. I do get big deductions for the grip of death I had on the feral three year olds shoulder for running down the isles knocking books over. Biggest lesson learned? Don't rock the library without a double stroller. EVER!

JOB 14:
No new thoughts on Job. He continues to pour out bad theology and raw emotion. His heart is for his relationship to be restored to the Lord. Pretty stinking amazing!

D


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Monday, July 18, 2011

DAY 361: JOB 13

Another day of not feeling very wordy. Very aware that this could change at any moment. Job gets a wow from me today. I love wow moments. It's as if I'm left so awestruck that the only thing my mind can generate is a simple three letter word.

Vs 15:
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. (Job 13:15 NIV)

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. Wow. This half a verse makes it all make sense in some ways. Job utters these words and satan is defeated. Oh to have a faith that is not crushed by the suffering of this world.

I read this in commentary tonight and I just love it:
ii. Writing fictionally in the voice of a senior demon instructing a junior demon in his popular book The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis stated – from a demon's perspective – this dynamic of trial in the life of the believer: "He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

I'm beginning to see the bigger picture here in Job. He's a man who is suffering and raw. His believe about why suffering occurs has been shattered but it's faith in who God is that carries him along. The fact that God is good is something that Job might very well be clinging to. He feels as if he has become God's enemy and clearly expresses that over and over. Yet, he does not allow himself to get so carried away by emotion and how he feels that he looses his very hope in God. As scary as the thought of loosing all my Brownies or being afflicted with such a horrible skin disease, the thought of God feeling as if He's nine hundred million miles away is even scarier. Not feeling God's hand and comfort in the midst of suffering is not something I'd like to experience.

Lost my train of thought so I'm out. So thankful that Job is wow.

D

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

DAY 360: JOB 12

Tired and having one of those parenting evenings where things are nothing but shades of gray. Today something new hit me about Job. Job's theology was off about God. If you obeyed God and walked a righteous path good things were headed your way. If you chose to walk in the path of wickedness then suffering and misery would surely come. The hard part of this theology is that it's partly true. Living a life with God although not easy can lead to abundant living. I'm not talking about health, wealth and prosperity but rather the secret of being joyful and content at all times in all circumstances. Those who chose to live life without God are always looking for things to fill up the God hole we were all created with. I can attest first hand that cheap imitations do not work and lead to suffering and misery even if it's not apparent on the outside.

Job's theology resembled more of the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. When this theology did not pan out for Job it completely flipped him on his head. Job was a man of righteousness so he just couldn't understand why he was suffering. He wanted to know the reasons behind his pain. In Job's head God must randomly chose and enjoy
making the innocent suffer. Even when his theology failed him and he was wrong about God's character he still never chose to walk away from God. This is pretty stinking remarkable to me. It's one thing to be grounded in the goodness of God and the beauty of His sovereignty. I can't imagine standing firm in my walk with God and not being able to hold onto the fact that He is good. To Job it didn't matter if God was good or not because He was still God regardless. Job understood that we are not owed a good God. Awesome for us that God is good but He doesn't have to be. I don't even know if I'm making any sense whatsoever but for me and my struggle with entitlement this is huge. God is good all the time and I am so very thankful!

D

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DAY 359: JOB 11

I don't desire to check the box but I'm exhausted and falling asleep. Busy day and I'll be the first to admit that I wish I had more time to have played with my Brownies today. The time passes so quickly and I desperately desire to make the most of my time with my kids and not waste it chasing after the wind.  

Another day filled with strong emotions. Met with my sweet Shelter sisters this morning and heard more of ones story that has brought me much sorrow. I wish I could sit with her and weep buckets with her. My heart aches for my Beloved as well. Oh to have your son grow up to be the kind of incredible man my husband is and completely miss it, is so sad to me. 

Job 11:
Zophar's turn to speak tonight. He is harsh with his words towards Job and even tells Job that he deserves worse. Ouch! I am again reminded of how powerful our words can be.

This sums up Zophar's theology better than I can tonight:
iii. Bradley captures the idea of Zophar well: "Wherever there is suffering, there is sin, real and tangible sin, proportioned to that suffering. God governs the world by rewards and punishments, and those rewards and punishments are distributed here below with an unerring justice. It follows therefore that this Job, this seeming Saint, is really a man full of heinous sin."

On this note I'm out for I can not keep my eyes open.

D


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Friday, July 15, 2011

DAY 358: JOB 10

Not feeling very wordy tonight. No particular reason. Possibly used up all my deep thought on Les today.

JOB 10:
Job continues to vent and pour out his pain to God. These chapters are another great example of God's amazing love and patience for us. Job's words are strong and his perceptions are just off. It's completely understandable though. He's in lots of pain emotionally, physically and spiritually. He desires to know the reason for his great suffering. Job doesn't have the benefit of the bible in his hands or even the rich history of God's relationship with His people. God's character can be revealed while walking with Him through life but His character is splash across every page of the bible. His faithfulness, Sovereignty, power, mercy, ect are echoed through out His word. Often times my eyes are closed to see the character of God on daily basis in my life. When doubt and lies begin to creep in my mind I can stand on what I know to be true about God. When I waver I can read and be reminded of truth. Job did not have this ability. I am reminded at how I take the access I have to the Bible for granted. There are many people through out the world who still don't have this blessing. I live in a house where bibles are scattered through out the house in many different sizes, translations, ect and it's easy to take God's very words for granted.

This just points to another example of why struggle isn't such a bad thing. I take so many things for granted because they don't come at a cost to me. I turn on the facet and clean water flows. How often do I give thanks for the immense blessing of that? Electricity is what is cooling my house right now. Have I thanked God for that today? I went to the grocery store today and did I give thanks for the access to food or the money to buy it? I jump in the van sometimes several times a day and do I think twice about bowing my head to give praise for transportation? It all comes so easy. It's when struggle enters the scene that we are forced to open our eyes. God's desire was never for struggle to enter the lives of His people yet in His great Sovereignty and goodness He is able to use it for our benefit.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, (James 1:2 NIV)

D

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

DAY 357: JOB 9

It's been one of those days that has been mixed with extreme joy and frustration. The good had been really good but the frustrating has been a battle to not give into the flesh but to fight the good fight taking every thought captive. I wish there was no fighting and no struggle. Yet in the struggle I get to walk with God. In the struggle there is growth and opportunity. I've often viewed the struggle as lack of maturity. I'm beginning to think there's always struggle because we never fully reach perfect maturity here on earth. Today I learned a new appreciation for the fight. Hopefully, I'll have time to elaborate later.

I began the day getting to view the beautiful shades of sunrise and ended the day watching God paint the sun set. This is a rare occurrence for me and I'm hoping it will become more of a regular thing. Les and I were both tired this afternoon and the ache in our heads were throbbing. I was not excited about the Meat Up tonight. Yet God showed up as always and guided conversations. I invited my neighbor to church and she said she would come. I did ask if she would come to church with us sometime instead of just asking for her to come this weekend but felt like this was the step to take. I've learned more about my neighbors than I ever would have imagined this summer. I feel like we have a good handle on where our neighbors are spiritually. I'm so thankful for this opportunity and kicking myself for waiting so long to be available. Please pray for us as we process through whether to continue this format in August or whether to change it. Also pray that we would know what this should begin to look like in the fall.

I wanted to go into a little more of why my daughter made me cry this morning but that will have to wait till tomorrow. The fruit from that precious girl today was so incredibly sweet. Tonight my neighbor was telling me how she hated how big her head was and Abbie said "God made you just the way you are". Perfect end to a great day for her.

JOB 9:
This chapter is sad to me. Job speaks so many verses of the majesty of God. He understands God's power and His strength. Yet Job does not understand God's great love. His view of God is as a powerful ruler who is not just and who operates on a whim. I know some of my heart knowledge of God is still off and perverted. Walking with God on this journey has helped my heart get a much better grasp on the character of God. I've only stuck my toe in the water and what I now know is incredible. Our God is beautiful beyond words and I'm so thankful He is removing my false beliefs about who He is. I truly wish I could go through this chapter verse by verse but my head is still pounding and I'm exhausted. It's been a long and incredibly rich day including the struggle.

I'm out but wanted to reiterate how much I'm enjoying this walk through Job. Hopefully my next dance with Ester will yield the same results.

D

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DAY 356: JOB 8

The day has only yet begun and I'm aware of the incredibly sinful condition of my heart. I drop off the kids at VBS and one of my kiddos class was walking down the hall and I tried to get her to just join but was told to sign her in and another teacher in the room would take her. No other teacher. Two initials on a piece of paper caused me so much extra effort of having to walk my girl all the way to the worship area. Oh the horror! I was irritated but the fact that I would be irritated is incredibly silly. These people have taken off time from work to love and serve MY kids. Thankfulness should replace irritation.

I was pulling into the alley and another car was pulling out. My first thought come on dude don't make me pull this big beast into a driveway. Where is love your neighbor as yourself or put others first? I'm very me oriented. With me as the center of the universe of course I'm going to be irritated at minor inconveniences. I'll desire for people to put ME first instead of ordering things the other way around. This is a gross way to live. Put the sin nature of the attitude aside this type of living does not produce the joy or abundant living God desires for my life.

The fact is that every day is a fight. It may not always be at the forefront of our minds, especially when we are not walking in the fire, but there is a daily battle that rages all around us. There is one that desires to kill, steal and destroy. Kill, steal and destroy. These are not fluffy words. Our enemy is not a cute pitched forked devil. The evil one hates you and would love nothing better than to drag you down and cause you to renounce Christ or worse yet to live a life that's lukewarm and ineffective.

I've been such an arrogant and prideful fool for so long. Filling up my days with busyness and things of trivial nature and passing it off as an excuse not to spend time in the Word. I thought I had this God thing down. I knew the stories and walked with God. I prayed, went to church, had accountability, and all the other churchianity things that one is to do. Yet day after day I would walk out to battle without my sword allowing it to get rusty and dull. Does a soldier in battle sit around eating twinkies while watching tv? Let me reiterate this we are in a battle, daily. Daily. It's not just a battle that involves ourself. It's a fight for our spouse, our children, the salvation of our friends, family and neighbors. Who will go to hell for an eternity because my mouth was too bound to tell them the Good News? It's a battle and the stakes are high. I have found the very reason why I was made to be a feisty scrappy gal. I'm a soldier and I refuse to sit on the sidelines while the battle rages. I will fight and I will daily arm myself and train for the battles ahead. Kill, steal and destroy? Not without a fight!

I must interrupt my current stream of consciousness to express my gratitude for Sesame Street, VBS, dancing little boys and the provision to buy groceries at the store today. Let me not forget transportation or AC!!! May my lips praise the heat of the day and may it be a reminder that the stakes are high and there has never been a better time to invite my neighbor to church.

JOB 8:
Bildad takes a turn speaking to Job. If you took this chapter as a stand alone there are many true statements he makes about God. Without knowing the story or any background people might even give an amen! Bildad even mentions several times of the hope there is in God's restoration. There is much hope in the restoration of Christ but it doesn't always happen in the way we desire. My thoughts often go back to Kate McRae. Her parents cling to hope and the truth that she will one day be restored. Their deepest hope and desire is that she would be restored on this side of heaven. I hope and pray that will be the case as well. All God has to do is say a single word and she would be completely healed. That may not be the story God is writing in this family's lives. I can possibly fathom the reason why healing would not glorify God the most but I am not Him. I am not three in one nor did I create the entire universe.

There is one verse in this chapter that shook me to the core. I can not even imagine the power these words had on a man who was suffering like Job and who had lost his children.

Vs 4:
When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. (Job 8:4 NIV)

Can you imagine telling a friend that the reason why they lost their child was because they sinned against God and He had only given them over to the penalty of their sin. My heart is crushed at these words. People all over have been wounded and crushed by words like these in times of need by the church. I've heard stories personally from those I know and love. Words are so much more powerful than I give them credit for. I so often throw them around so incredibly carelessly without even a single thought or consideration. This is foolish and reckless. May my words be a life giving river that helps to build people up not to tear them down. Yet may my desire be not to please man but to always speak truth when needed surrounded by a heart motivated by love. My time comes to a close as Elmo has said farewell.

D

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DAY 355: JOB 7

Exhausted. Feeling much better today so I am very thankful. Sinuses still buggin but I'll take it! Lots rolling through my head. A lot inspired by Job and some just wondering what my thing is supposed to be. Many things get my goat and when I look at them together I think my thing is family. Duh. But I think family is the cause I'm supposed to champion. More praying most definitely needs to be applied as well as quiet time alone with God but I think I might be on the right track.

Again my exhaustion is going to cut my train of thought short and make it cloudy. I drug my feet at the thought of reading Job and yet it has given me a renewed passion to truly discover who this God is that I follow. I know so very little about Him. One of the amazing things about this journey with God is that the depth of knowledge of who He is, is endless.

Fading fast and I'm sitting upright so might bullet point and come back later.

- knowledge of God leads to a heart filled with gratitude. This to me is a prime example of how little I truly know Him. I have to make an effort to possess a heart of gratitude. I imagine the more I come to know the greatness of my Savior thanksgiving will flow out of my heart and off of my lips with great ease. To know Him is to fall head over heels in love with Him.

- One of Job's main afflictions was lack of knowledge of the character of God. Job's struggles were all the more difficult because his view of God was flawed. We have the advantage of God's Word which Job did not. His nature and the very story of His love and faithfulness is spelled out chapter after chapter. I want to consume it and never stop. May it begin to penetrate every cell in my body. May my tongue begin to speak words that are less consumed by the flesh. May be eye sight be changed to see God in His very creation all around me EVERYWHERE. May my hands be used to glorify the one who created me. May my feet be used to walk across to those who do not know the good news. May I die in order that I may truly live.

D

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Monday, July 11, 2011

DAY 354: JOB 6

I feel like I'm in a poetry class going through Job. The words are beautiful but they make my already aching head want to explode. In this chapter Job replies to Eliphaz. He once again expresses the depths of his pain and wishes that God would end his life. He also calls Eliphaz out in how his words lack sympathy and that since he was wrong about his judgement he was not any comfort at all.

I loved this quote from commentary today:
i. "When the answer does not come, when instead of the release of cutting off, we have the continuity of pain, and a great silence, then let us remember this story: and remain confident that there is some explanation, and that when it comes, we shall thank God that He did not give us our request." (Morgan)

This such a great reminder that God is good and He allows pain for a reason and it's not to harm us but to prosper us. Still hard to wrap my brain around this in the midst of things like childhood cancer. Yet I did not create the world or the many creatures in it. I do not know the secrets of the deep and my knowledge of life itself is so vastly limited. What I have seen over and over again though is that God is indeed good.

I read this chapter in the Message version to get a different take on what I was reading. I love verse 13 in this version.

Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps?
 
Why, I don't even have any boots!
 
My So-Called Friends (Job 6:13 MSG)

I love the pull yourself up by your bootstraps analogy. This thought is so prevalent in our culture. I struggle with letting go of this idea myself. It really wouldn't do me harm to realize at times when I don't even have any darn boots.

D

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

DAY 353: JOB 5

Woke up this morning and felt like a truck had run over my face. An hour later I was stuck in bathroom and kept having to run back. Needless to say Brownies indulged in lots of tv today. My sweet husband took the boys to church and I'm home with a most precious girl. Thankful my stomach eased up today. Thankful for forced rest, an absolutely incredible husband, an some quiet alone time with the most amazing girl I've ever known. Right now she is drawing a picture of the story of Moses we just read together. She prayed the sweetest prayer for a girl who is going to WM tonight and hopefully is open to running back to Jesus. My sweet girl gets it more than I do sometimes.

JOB 5:
Eliphaz continues his speech. So many things he says is true. It's almost like reading a psalm sometimes however he continues to assume Job has reason to repent. I've held onto the assumption myself that if I do A, B and C then God will do D, E and F. My first rude awakening that this thinking was way jacked was during our time in Portland. Things don't always go smoothly for those who love God and in a sinful world tragedy affects believers and nonbelievers alike.

I'm off to spend some time with a most precious girl.

D
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Saturday, July 09, 2011

DAY 352: JOB 4

Figured out why I was so exhausted yesterday, I've caught a lovely summer cold. It's nothing crazy but it has slowed me down a bit and there's nothing like feeling like you've been repeatedly kicked in the face. Thankful for this cold and reminder of how miraculous our bodies truly can be. I truly am blessed to have a functioning immune system. Tomorrow's Sabbath might be a little more forced and for that I'm thankful too.

Been reading the Chronicles of Narnia to the kids. We are on The Horse and His Boy. Tonight I read the chapter where Shasta meets Aslan. Shasta pours out his heart and Aslan explains how He was involved in many of Shasta's "misfortunes". Aslan was using these situations to guide Shasta on the path he needed to be on. I know it's silly but the way C.S. Lewis describes these encounters with Aslan really brings it home for me. Landing on this book and this chapter in the midst of Job is no coincidence either. I must confess that I do at times fear what God might be preparing my heart for in the midst of this book. My spirit yearns for Christ more than anything yet my flesh has made comfort a highly regarded idol. I'm not sure anyone longs to experience hardship though. I have a choice to either embrace the fear or walk in gratitude for the very gift of today. Many have read Job and hearts have been changed without their world crashing in. Still hard to get over waiting for the bottom to fall out. I grew to know that if things were going well it would certainly mean that something would come crashing in at any minute. 

Job 4:
I loved this quote from commentary today:
iii. "The speaker seems serenely unconscious that he was saying anything that could drive a knife into the tortured man. He is so carried along on the waves of his own eloquence, and so absorbed in the stringing together the elements of an artistic whole, that he forgets the very sorrows which he came to comfort." (Maclaren)

Eliphaz's speech is beautiful. I myself got wrapped up in eloquence of his words. It was easy to overlook Eliphaz's flaw in his speech to Job. Job's situation is not brought about by his sin yet Eliphaz's is convinced that truly righteous men do not suffer in this way. 

I hate to do this but I must stop here. My cold kicking meds have kicked in and my eyes and my mind will not stand for staying awake any longer.

D



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Friday, July 08, 2011

DAY 351: JOB 3

> Job's heart is bleeding in this chapter. His poetic speech is completely raw. Although I've never had the same amount of pain in my life I've definitely questioned why I was ever born. The misery one has to endure in life simply did not seem worth it to me.

Vs 26:
I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil." (Job 3:26 NIV)

I completely understand Job in this verse. I have lived this. I am overcome with thankfulness that this verse nowhere nears describes my life today. I was reading in commentary and the take of several scholars is that Job is not distraught over the loss of his wealth, his children, or even his health; he is this distraught because he feels as if God has left him. I think this scares me the most about being willing to dive completely in with Christ. I know that no matter how treacherous the road is if God is with me then I'll be okay. I know what it's like to walk a difficult road and feel like God is a billion miles away. God is never a billion miles away but I don't ever want to feel like He is either. I'm not always on a mountain top with God but He's always drawing me back and showing me things. I'd rather be sitting on a pile of ashes with Jesus than be living it up in the Promise Land without Him. Little by little He truly is becoming the bread of life to me. I'm still a long way off but I'm starting to get the dust from His sandals on me.

I think about Job and then others such as Paul. Paul handled hardships with great joy. Job has lost all sense of joy. In my book Job has every reason to have lost all joy. Why does God seem to withdraw His presence at times? It seems as though David experienced moments of this as well as others through out the bible. Could gratitude be the answer? Is gratitude during stormy seasons what we need to draw our hearts closer to Him? Could it be that during trials it's our very own tendency to drift that causes to feel alone and without God? I have no answers but a common theme I've seen amongst people who stand joyfully in times of hardship are those who have gratitude seeping out of their very pours. This is a message this pregnant grumpasaurus desperately needs to hear and act on. May gratitude begin to well up within my very bones despite what my circumstances might be.

D
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Thursday, July 07, 2011

DAY 350: JOB 2

My heart aches for Job in this chapter. Rhe loss of wealth and servants which would be painful in itself. Job and his wife also content with the loss of every single one of their children. All the dreams they had of growing old together and enjoying the fruits of raising children to love and fear the Lord are dashed in one fell swoop. Then Job is afflicted with an incredibly painful disease. His wife has to bear watching her husband in intense pain and wondering if he will endure this for the rest of his life. I have yelled at God for much much less than this yet Job remains faithful in his integrity.

Why did God allow such pain and misery to befall his servant? Why were any of us created? For His glory, not for our own or for our own enjoyment. Our very life is not our own. In order to gain life we must be willing to surrender our very own lives. Job has impacted millions and millions of people through out the ages. His story is living and breathing and it shakes God's very own children to the core. Do we possess the same integrity as Job? I fear that I do not yet know that this is the type of heart the Lord desires me to have. The beauty in all of this is that He is the one who will grow my heart to be more like Job's. My part is to be willing. I approach this willingness with much fear and trembling. Do I run off the cliff with full force knowing that God is good, that He is ever faithful and sovereign? I desperately want to.

Paul's words echo in my head when considering all of this.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

I don't want to cling to a single thing if it means loosing Christ. What's the use of possessing the Promised Land if God is not there? I see the great value in Paul's singleness right now. To be willing to place your spouse and your children on the alter of Christ is not an easy task. In singleness it matters less what happens because it's just you and Jesus. Having to take others down the treacherous path is not easy.

New International Version (©1984)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

May this be the very battle cry of my life. How am I to raise up passionate followers of Christ if I fail myself to pursue Him with great passion. May the greatest lessons I teach my children be the ones that I teach by my actions not by my words.

Oh to think I drug my feet at the thought of reading this most precious book. 

D

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

DAY 349: JOB 1

Ditching the last day of Le Souffle to kick off Job. Actually kinda excited to dive into this book now. Tired and phone about to die so not quite sure where this will go. Hoping to be able to throw down some thoughts from our trip to the panhandle tomorrow.

JOB 1:
I want to have Job's attitude. Job gets slammed with messenger after messenger of bad news yet he never pulls a why me. His first response other than tearing his robe and shaving his head in grief is to praise God. I really wish my response in times hardship was to praise God.

This makes me think of the end of our Portland adventure and we were broke as broke could be and we were "excommunicated" from our church and I had just watched my dog die unexpectantly In front of me. I sat in the living room and yelled "God why are you punishing us?". The situation we were in was nothing like Job's yet my first response was to shake my fist at God. This book itself has made me want to shake my fist at God in the past. I'm hoping this time around instead of shaking my fist at God I'll begin to see His face more clearer.

I'll leave you with this.
Vs 22:
In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

This is where I want to grow to be.

D

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

DAY 348: PSALM 2 & 110

I don't much like these chapters. I need to reread them and will but at first glance not a big fan. I have a hard time reading about God's wrath. Tender loving and kind Jesus is what I like to read about. He's not just one or the other though, He's both. I saw anger and fury growing up and when I read about God's wrath this is exactly where my mind goes. I have to remember that what I saw growing up is not who or what God is about. God's anger is righteous and He never sins in His anger. I'm little miss angry myself. It's so much easier to be angry than to feel anything else. It's exhausting though and it consumes the soul like a cancer. God is incredibly compassionate and full of mercy but He's not an enabler. People are given free will and ultimately they are allowed to make their own choices. I know first hand that God goes through great lengths to pursue us. He endures the wicked acts of His created in hopes of them turning to Him. He is also a holy and just God and if His people chose to turn away and reject Him then there are consequences to those actions.

Exhausted. No way I'll be able to finish this.

D

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Monday, July 04, 2011

DAY 347: GEN 28

I am Jacob. There are so many others in the bible that I'd rather resonate with but I can't deny the fact that my walk with God resembles that of Jacob's. God as long as things go well for me I'll worship you. As long as our relationship can be on my terms it's cool and if it's not be prepared to wrestle. God is changing this in me but there's still a bent for me to be Jacob for sure.

Every time I read this chapter Led Zeppelin gets stuck in my head. In fact there's a good rendition of Stairway to Heaven rolling around in my head as I try to write. "And she's buying the stairway to heaven." Oh the memories that this song brings. Actually it's more of a feeling than a memory per say. Oh the loneliness and despair one can feel yet be so far removed from it all at the same time is quiet interesting.

I'm tired and hungry and feel like I have a bad case of ADD. I haven't been able to settle into these chapters this past week. I'm not sure if the disjointedness of the chapters is difficult or if God's words just seem repetitive to me. The one theme that is reflected over and over again with the Covenant God made with Abraham is His faithfulness. That's all I got as far as God in this chapter. Seems like nothing much but God's faithfulness is this girl who finds it so hard to trust is beginning to cling to God. His words are true and He is faithful to His people and true to His word. Can you imagine if He wasn't faithful? Even though Israel was clearly not faithful God has and will always be faithful to God people. This is incredibly comforting to a sinner like me.

D

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

DAY 346: GEN 22

I don't have anything new to say about this chapter. I really liked commentary on this chapter. It put more skin on the bones for me. The thought of God growing Abraham to the point in his life where he would willing put his own son on the altar is a beautiful picture to me. The walking and growing part is beautiful, not the whole altar scene itself. I go back to this story often with my own children in mind. I want to have the willingness of Abraham to place my children on the proverbial altar yet I want there to be stipulations to this. These precious ones are not mine to cling to and hold onto with a white knuckled death grip. They are His and they were created for His glory. My desire is that He would be glorified through them, I just pray that the road is not too painful.

It is hard at times to look at this chapter and wonder why God would ever make this request. Why would He put Abraham and Isaac through this awful test? I don't fully understand it but I know that somehow this is a foreshadowing to how His sinful children will one day be saved. The Father of Israel gets to have a firsthand view of how the Messiah will rescue his very descendants. When I look at it from that viewpoint the test is beautiful and almost poetic. I also know that even though the circumstances may cause me to question I believe more and more everyday that my God is good. There's a reason for even the most chaotic of circumstances and His desire is to use it for our benefit and for His glory. He is good not only when the sun is shining but He is good even when it feels like the very stars are crashing down.

Wish my posts had more umph to them. Lots bouncing around in my head right now. I love how God takes these moments to bring life together with His very words and wraps it up in a beautiful lesson. Right now I'm just taking it all in.

D

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Saturday, July 02, 2011

DAY 345: GEN 18

It's one of those days where I don't even know where to begin. The fact that the bigs are watching Looney Tunes right now is not helping at all. My brain is mushy enough as it, I don't need any help.

Okay this is so not going to be perfect. The two things that stood out to me about God in Ch 17 & 18 is how He renames us according to His purposes and His crazy mercy and grace. Sarah and Abraham laugh about the promise God has given them. God doesn't remove the promise he has made to give them a child eventhough they doubt. If my brain worked I'd go into the greatness of God's plan but brain cells will not allow.

God's grace and the reminder that He is a just judge is reflected in his conversation with Abraham over Sodom and Gomorrah. God wants to have a relationship with us and is willing to be patient with evil in order to bring as many of His children as possible into His fold. His love is crazy amazing and this passage helps to explain why God allows evil to happen to those He loves.

Off to a b-day party. Feel bad about cheesing on these chapters but I reckon something is better than nothing on "vacation".

D

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Friday, July 01, 2011

DAY 344: GEN 17

Day started at 4AM. Tired. I read but my brain hasn't had time to mull over this and isn't working well enough to compute much. The only thing I can really think about is how God's promise became hard for Abram to understand too.

GEN 17 & 18 make a beautiful union so I'll combine these together tomorrow. This insanely grouchy and tired lady has a date with a pillow.

D

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