Hymn #1 – Day by Day

I’ll be posting some hymns from time to time. I’m choosing things that are over 100 years old to avoid copyright infringement. The words will be posted so you can sing along with me. I wish I could hear you.

Day by Day – Sandell Berg / Oscar Ahnfelt

Day by day and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here.

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best,

Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour.

All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me, He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.

The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid.

“As your days, your strength shall be in measure,” This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation So to trust Your promises, O Lord,

That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation Offered me within Your holy Word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting, E’er to take, as from a Father’s hand,

One by one, the days, the moments fleeting, Till I reach the Promised Land.

 

Wilderness Journey #4 – Called to Service

 

Moses has spent the last 40 years tending sheep. He seems to have forgotten his former zeal for his brethren, but God had a plan that involved Moses. God had not forgotten. Read the following passage and work through the questions.

Exodus 3:1-22; 4:1-17

  • What did God use to get Moses attention?
  •  When did God speak to Moses? (vs. 3-4)
  •  What is God doing in your life to get your attention?
  •  God’s word is our burning bush. If we turn aside God will speak to us through it. See II Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12
  •  God introduces Himself in vs. 5 & 6. List the verbs God uses in verses 7-9.
  •  What was the problem? What was God going to do?
  •  How does God want to include Moses? vs. 10
  •  How does Moses respond in vs. 11?
  •  The argument continues. Take note of Moses’ misgivings and God’s solutions.
  •  How has Moses changed? Compare Exodus 4:10-13 with Acts 7:22? Why the shift?
  •  Our confidence needs to be in God, not our own abilities. At this point Moses had lost confidence in both. Did God write him off?
  •  What is God asking you to do today? How can you be faithful? Is there an area that you feel inadequate? Is that a good or bad thing?
  •  Learning to trust God is a daily process. Pray that you don’t get so busy arguing with God that you never move forward in obedience. The road ahead is uncertain, but our God has never been uncertain. Our God has never been more faithful. Our God is bigger than the problems we face.  He is there with us.. Believe it.

 

Wilderness Journey #3 – Preparation

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Waiting. I don’t wait well. Today we find Moses sitting by a well in Midian.

Read Exodus 2:16-25 and Acts 7:29-30a and then work through the questions.

  • What trouble did Moses witness in verses 16 & 17?
  •  What did Moses do?
  •  Does this remind you of the incident in vs. 11 & 12?
  •  What did the priest of Midian do for Moses?
  •  What do we assume was Moses job for the next 40 years?
  •  Why would this have been good training for his next position?
  •  Meanwhile what has been happening in Egypt? (vs. 23)
  •  List the verbs associated with God in vs. 24 & 25.
  • How does that bring you comfort?
  •  These few verses cover a 40 year span. He will be almost 80 when we see him next.
  •  How can I learn to wait well? What can I be doing while I wait?

Just a reminder that our timeline is not God’s timeline. He is patient towards us.

I have pulled out an old hymn book. I’m reminded how rich the words are. I need to do more singing. I might post one or two next week. Time will tell. Let me know if you have a favorite.

Until next time.

Karen

 

Wilderness Journey #2 – False Start

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Mid-life crisis. We’ve all had moments when we realize how old we are and fret about missed opportunities or determine to change the direction of our lives.

Today we catch up to Moses when he is almost 40. Notice the two worlds he is a part of. Read Exodus 2:11-15. There are two New Testament passages that would also be helpful. Acts 7:22-29 and Hebrews 11:24-26.

  • What has he been spending his time doing up to this point? What kind of man had he become? (Acts 7:22)
  • Unlike the movie version he knew what his roots were.
  • What did he think his destiny was? (Acts 7:25)
  •  What did Moses do when he saw a Hebrew being mistreated?
  •  Whose job is it to take vengeance? (Deuteronomy 32:35)
  •  How did the sons of Israel respond to Moses the next day when he tried to be a peacemaker?
  •  What did Pharoah try to do?
  • What did Moses do?
  •  What or who had he been looking to for the freeing of Israel?
  •  Who am I looking to for help in trouble? Do I ever overstep my role in trying to fix things?
  • How do I get ahead of God?
  •  How was God using these circumstances in Moses life to prepare him for service?
  •  What difficulties in my life is God using to prepare me for service?

God’s time table is not the same as ours. Forty years old seems like a reasonable age for someone to start their ministry or leadership, yet God had other plans. We will learn more about that on Friday.

 

Wilderness Journey – #1 – Background

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“Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.” Genesis 15:13-14

It had been 320 years since God had said this to Abraham. If anyone was counting that meant they had 80 years to wait.

Today we will learn about Jochebed. Her story is found in Exodus 1:22-2:10. The names of her and her family are found in Numbers 26:59. Take some time to read through it and then answer the following questions.

  • Why did Pharaoh decide to murder the innocent baby boys? (Exodus 1:8-10)
  •  How did Jochebed manage to hide Moses for 3 months? (Talk about social distancing.)
  • When that becomes unmanageable what does she do? Who does she involve?
  • Who is she trusting? (see Hebrews 11:23)
  • Who does God send to protect and care for Moses? How is this ironic?
  • What role does Jochebed continue to play in Moses life?
  •  What does she eventually do in verse 10?
  •  What impossible situation am I facing?
  •  How can I live each day well? What can I do today to trust God?

This is the last we hear of Jochebed. I don’t know if she never made it out of Egypt, but because of her faithfulness a nation was delivered from bondage.

This series will be looking at the next 120 years in Israel’s history. It is an amazing story. I hope you come on the journey with me.

Karen

Hollow of His Hand

When I was a little girl my Father would sing to me. Often encouraging me to sing along. One song in particular sticks in my memory. When I was afraid he would pull me up on his lap, put his arm around me and lean his head towards mine as he sang.

The words and melody are from my memory. I can find no record of it in my many searches. If someone knows the name of the composer please tell me so I can give them credit.

Somehow late on this Good Friday  it seems like the sort of song we need to hear.

Here are the words and a short recording.

  • ( chorus) In the hollow of His hand. In the hollow of His hand. I know my Lord will hold me in the hollow of His hand.
  • One day as I was walking along this pilgrim way, the Savior came and spoke to me and then I heard Him say.  (chorus)
  •  Well I may not preach like Peter and I may not pray like Paul, but I can tell the love of Jesus and say He died for all. (chorus)

 

Take courage …Sunday’s coming…

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 11 – Thomas

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Anxiety that lasts too long can lead to depression. Having dealt with depression in my 30s it is something I fight against when the first signs appear. Sometimes no matter how hard we fight we can’t overcome it. Just such a case is found in John 20:24-31.

His name was Thomas. We know from John 11:16 that he was already discouraged. He was willing to follow Jesus to Jerusalem and to death. (Remember the Lazarus episode?)

Now things were truly hopeless. His worst fears were realized.

His leader was dead. The disciples were all in hiding. They feared for their lives. They seem to have forgotten all Jesus had tried to tell them while He was still with them.

It is one thing to die with your leader in a glorious battle. It is another thing to be left alone and expected to carry on when your Captain is dead.

Read John 20:24-31. Here is the template anxiety template

Thomas was absent when Jesus first appeared to His disciples. (vs. 19-21) What was Thomas’ reaction when they tried to tell him they had seen the Lord?

What did he demand in order to believe?

Since Thomas was in such distress why do you think Jesus waited another 8 days before He appeared to him?

What is the first thing Jesus said? Why did he say it?

What did he say to Thomas? What was His tone?

Remember Jesus had told them these things again and again. I find his gentle patience amazing.

What was His final word to Thomas (and to us) in verse 29?

Do I ask God to prove Himself? Do I demand answers when God expects me to trust Him?

Why was the book of John written? (vs. 31)

What are we asked to believe and what is the result of that belief?

Our faith isn’t dependent on our circumstances. Thomas and the disciples were done in. They were completely discouraged, but they had forgotten that their real life was in heaven. They were here for a purpose, and it wasn’t to have a soft, easy life.

They were to engage in the battle that was raging. Jesus death was not without meaning. It sealed their redemption. It brought them life. They were just beginning to understand.

…and so, like Jesus, I say to you “…be not unbelieving, but believing.”

If you have any questions please comment below or e-mail me.

For further study:

I Peter 1:3-9, 18-19

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Dealing with Anxiety – Study 10 – Mary Magdalene

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“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12

We have all had situations that didn’t turn out as we expected. A job offer that fell through, a betrayal by a friend, a baby that didn’t arrive, a lost love.

We all make plans in our head and when life turns out differently we grieve what might have been.

Today we are looking at Mary Magdalene. Her story is found in John 20:1-18. Here is the template. anxiety template

We don’t know very much about her, but Luke 8:1-3 gives us a little information. We know she was one of the women who followed Jesus from city to city. This group of women helped support Jesus and his disciples financially. It also mentions that 7 demons had been cast out of her. To say that her life was changed by her encounter with Jesus is an understatement.

She was all in. Her life was completely focused on following Jesus. Imagine her brokenness when He is crucified. This is where we pick up the story.

Notice what she does, where she is, who she tells.

We know from Mark 16:9 that she was the first one to see Jesus alive. Why do you think that was?

How am I like Mary Magdalene? How am I like all the other followers who were in hiding?

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 9 – Mary & Martha

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Our time line is different than God’s. We have all been in our houses longer than we want. We continue to pray and wait for God to act in supernatural ways. I fluctuate between contentment and restlessness. How can I learn to wait better?

Today we are looking at two sisters who asked in faith, but Jesus didn’t follow their timeline. Their names are Mary and Martha and their story is found in John 11:1-53.

Here is the template. anxiety template

What were the disciples struggling with. (vs. 8, 16) For a background on why they felt so strongly look at John 8:58-59 and John 10:24-31.

Notice the two different responses of the Jews in verses 45-46. Which group am I in?

How did the chief priests and Pharisees respond when they got the report. (vs. 47-48) What were they worried about? What was their ultimate goal? (vs. 53, 57)

Our hope is plainly laid out in verses 25-26. Take note of what it is. What have I been focused on these past weeks? What is my ultimate goal?

There are so many layers here. Take your time.

 

 

Dealing with Anxiety – Study 8 – Mary

Two days ago Lake Michigan was dark and brooding.

Spring has been hard on the shoreline. Big sections of the beach are underwater. Crashing waves have taken bites out of the dunes, hungrily ripping some trees out by their roots.

The fallen trees emphasized the mood of the day. I was discouraged…tired…

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Two days later the lake’s mood had shifted.

The sun was warming our faces and there was no wind to speak of.

The lake was one with the sky. Only a sliver of white separated them.

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It was as if God had used a pallet knife to put the clouds in place, just so.

We found comfort in the stillness.

God uses every means available to Himself to reassure us of His presence and care.

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Today we will be looking at someone who was reassured by an angel. Her name is Mary and her story is found in Luke 1:26-51.

Here is the template if you need it. anxiety template

Her world was about to be turned upside down. Notice her response.

Notice what the angel says to her that calms her spirit.

Verses 47-56 give quite a description of God. Take comfort in who He is.

All for now.