Monday, June 22, 2009

Thanks, Job's Example, Meal Plan Monday

Thank you for bearing with me in my absence. I stayed away longer than I originally intended.

The death, funeral and burial of my step-grandfather went smoothly. The entire thing has taken a toll on my poor grandmother, who suffers from age-related dementia (age 92). And my mother, as usual, has born this burden like a true champion. Me? I just worry about and pray for everyone. It’s all I know to do. The 100-mile distance between them and me keeps me from doing much more.

I appreciate your prayers.

Job’s Example

While reading Saturday’s entry from My Utmost For His Highest, I was made aware of something I had never noticed before. The title of the entry was “Have You Come to ‘When’ Yet?” It spoke of how we demean the cleansing power of the cross when we try to make deals with God.

The author also recommends this: If we are not feeing fulfilled in Christ (in whatever manner), then we should follow Job’s example and pray for our friends. (This is what I’ve never noticed.)

The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.

Job 42:10

That hit me like a ton of brick. Job suffered unbelievable loss. He lost his family, his health and his possessions. He almost lost his faith. But he came around. And when he prayed for his friends, those who had been ill advisors, everything he lost was restored to him double what it was before.

As a believer I am to pray for others, first and foremost for their spiritual health and then for their other needs. It’s just like any other type of service. The reward comes in the offering.

I “chewed” on that all weekend.

I highly recommend Oswald Chambers’, My Utmost For His Highest. His devotions are powerful and thought-provoking. If you do not have a copy of your own, you can read it online here:

This is the today’s language version, which is the version from which I read. It’s similar to the difference between the King James and New International versions of the Bible. The message is the same.

Thanks for stopping by!

Meal Plan Monday

Monday – Pizza

Tuesday – Grilled fish (depends on what looks good at the grocery), rice, steamed broccoli

Wednesday – Cracker Barrel marinade Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, green beans

Thursday – Spaghetti or Lasagna, salad, bread

Friday – Grilled pork chops, corn on the cob, spinach

Daily Bible Reading Plan

II Kings 10-11; Psalm 119:137-144; Luke 5:27-32; Philippians 2:1-11

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Brief Hiatus

Hi friends. It seems I always have an excuse not to post these days. I will need to take off for a few days again, this time for good cause.

My mother's step-dad, who has been married to my grandmother since my mom was a teenager, passed away yesterday from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Those of you who know me know that this past year has been a tough one since my dad passed in March 2008. After that, my grandparents went into some sort of tailspin, and they both ended up in nursing facilities. From December to early February, my step-grandfather evolved from a walking, talking, beligerent being into a bed-ridden, fully dependent, non-coherent one.

Please pray for my grandmother, as her imagination is going all over the place. And also please pray for my mother. This past year has been tough on her. But she has come through like a trooper. God has revealed strength that she didn't know existed. I am so proud of her.

Thank you for your understanding. I hope to meet with you again next week.

Blessings and love ...

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Cost of Sacrifice, Menu Plan Monday

School is out, and summer break has officially begun! I don’t know who is more excited, Olivia or me. I will be happy when my habit of awaking at 5:50 a.m. is broken, however.

During my Bible reading this morning the middle part of this verse jumped out at me:

But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.

II Samuel 24:24

(emphasis added)
David had taken a census of his “fighting men” and felt guilty afterwards. My assumption is that he was feeling his oats a bit and not giving God the credit for the sheer numbers. Because of this, the Lord punished Israel. He had given David a choice of punishments, and David said he would take anything except for having his life pursued by others. So the Lord sent a plague over Israel.

After 70,000 Israelites died, the Lord stopped the plague, because it “grieved” him.

Gad the prophet told David to go to the threshing floor of a man named Araunah to build an altar and offer a sacrifice. Araunah was so honored to have the king in this household that he offered to donate the animals and materials for the altar and sacrifice. The verse above was David’s reply to him.

I think, however, the statement had deeper meaning for David. Of course, the literal interpretation applied. But David had to sacrifice another costly item that day, and that was his pride. David saw the Israelites being struck down as a result of his pride over the size of his army. And he chose a punishment that didn’t directly affect him.

Others were bearing the cost of his pride.

Jesus bore the cost of my pride at Calvary.

God stopped the plague on the Israelites, but He didn’t stop the sacrifice at Calvary. He couldn’t. And He couldn’t watch. Jesus felt the abandonment.

I’ve always heard from the pulpit that God turned away because He couldn’t look on sin. Which is true. But maybe God couldn’t look for an additional reason.

Would watching have caused Him to feel the same way He did in II Samuel 24? Could He possibly have wanted to stop the entire process?

I don’t know. It’s just a thought. He was a daddy. He loved His boy. I’m certainly not trying to make up something that isn’t so. God knew the sacrifice must be made. There was no other way. But He didn’t watch.

In another vein, I must remember that the daily offerings I make are more meaningful when they have a cost associated. If I give something that means nothing to me, then what have I offered?

Thank you, Father. As great as the cost was, thank You for loving me enough that You were willing to pay for my soul with Your Son’s life. Keep me ever mindful that nothing I have done or ever will do is enough to save myself. Remind me that I must be thoughtful when I give to You or others, whether it’s of my time, abilities or from my bounty. I want my offerings to be pleasing to You.

Menu Plan

- Leftovers (in preparation for grocery shopping Tuesday)

Tuesday - Rotisserie chicken from Sam’s, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes

Wednesday - Smoked sausage, black beans, rice

Thursday - Spaghetti, salad, bread

Friday - Out

Saturday - Pizza

Sunday - Ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, bread

Daily Bible Reading Plan

I Kings 1; Psalm 119:1-8; Luke 1:1-25; Ephesians 1:1-14