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August 2020

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Books for the Journey:

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Proverbs--it's only one line, but so much there!-"Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation."

(I've only posted once before, but have been reading the OYB & blog comments.)

This one line...touches me-hurts me-haunts me-heals me --- all at once. As I mentioned, disaster struck my family when the good Lord took my 4yr old daughter to be with Him, just 19 weeks ago. It's a disaster, but she was not wicked...was an angel on earth! I've always had faith, but now it's being tested and I'm here to listen and learn. I know there must be an eternal plan. My foundation/rock is God himself as well as my family, friends, neighbors and parish...they are all God to me...keeping the foundation of my faith in tact. Thank you Lord, for your love is shown to me in these people.

Welcome Marty to our community. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I can understand your mixed emotions. God is our mighty healer. It's nice to know that our ultimate destination is a place of no tears. And a place that we can all be at peace and one with the creater of the universe.

We look forward to having you onboard as we all go on this journey with OYB. Blessings and Peace to you.

Discipline and orderliness is is an interesting topic for me this week. I've been meditating on Jubilee since we read about it the other day. The thoughts about Jubilee sound something like this to me: "What is it that I have inherited in Christ that I have either sold off or neglected that God would like me to have back?" and "What do I need to be serious about reclaiming because He redeemed me and paid full price for it by dying on the cross?" (1 Pet 1:13-25)

And the result has been that I have been working on two personal self discipline projects. I have been humbled and have asked God to show me His way to accomplish and complete these disciplines. While praying about it and seeking the Counsel of the Holy Spirit, I was reminded by the Lord that self discipline is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. One who matures in their walk with Christ will also mature in self discipline. ( Gal 5:23, 2 Pet 1:6) For it is natural that when good seeds of life in the Holy Spirit are planted and nutured, good fruit will grow.(Gal 6:7-9) So I am in the process of allowing God to break up some fallow ground in my life and plant the good seeds of righteousnes and godliness which will become fruit that others will see in the form of orderliness and self discipline.

I grew up in a family of packrats and have enjoyed leaving that old life behind. Because of what the Lord has done in my life, I don't think that anyone I know now would believe the situation I grew up in. In my childhood home, the outward extreme clutter and filth was just a symptom of the inward problems and struggles of physical and financial disorder and rebellion. My mother grew up in an extremely unhealthy perfectionistic environment where she would do nothing to please her mother. By the time I came on the scene, my parents procrastinated about everthing in life. Clutter piled up, bills piled up. If everything couldn't be fixed immediately and perfectly, they would just procrastinate until"someday" when things would all work out. Procrastination is very crippling and our home was extremely disorganized and chaotic. And it just became too overwhelming for my parents to deal with any of it.

There was something about the overall chaos of my childhood home that seemed to give my parents excuses about their personal relationship with God. They were too busy and life was too complicated for them to give any time over to the Lord and to attending His church. Fortunately, my aunt and uncle took me to church and I found the way to escape my life of frantic chaos. Salvation through the blood of Jesus set me on the path of righteousness and my life has certainly been different than " the empty way of life handed down by my forefathers" (1 Pet 1:18).

It was very interesting that years later in their 70's, my parents really came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Now as my mom is living alone and trying to follow Christ with her whole heart, her apartment is neat, tidy and well organized. She takes care of eating well, exercising and spends a lot of her day with the Lord. He directs her path and she has completely given herself over to a life of loving obedience and discipline in Him. It's all the fruit of seeking Him first of all and best of all, and giving Him first place in life. The proof is in the fruit.

I believe that walking in the Spirit and living for today is what plants the good seeds. Pretty soon you turn around and enjoy a whole tree full of goodness, blessing, discipline, and holiness as a gift from God.

Jeremiah 32:38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.

Numbers 2:1-3:51

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8 KJV)

I was really impressed upon reading these two chapters how God is interested and desires to not only love us, but to “order our steps.” More often than not we want to chose our paths and ask God to “bless” what we have chosen. Here, in today’s reading, God gives the order: where to pitch the tents and what order each tribe will march. Again, our blessing is tied up in our obedience just like Israel blessing and protection was tied up in her following God.

I must confess I am also a packrat, but about sixteen months ago when I had to remove things from my apartment so that my walls could be dismantled due to finding mold, I had to get rid of all those things I was saving because, “I probably could use that.” I’m not sure about this but I think the more we give our lives over to God, like Israel in the desert, God will show us where to pitch our tent and where to march and what to bring along, ordering our steps. I believe we hold on to things because somewhere in the back of our minds we think we will never have all the stuff again. But after all it’s just that, “stuff,” and that stuff doesn’t’ belong to us anyway; God is the creator of all things.

Grace and peace,


"I’m not sure about this but I think the more we give our lives over to God, like Israel in the desert, God will show us where to pitch our tent and where to march and what to bring along, ordering our steps."

YES!!! Sorry, but this is SOOOO important. When we submit to the will of God and do the things (my post to Andrew B. 2 days ago) we are supposed to do joyfully and with reverence - then the blessings will flow and we can be directed toward Eph 2:10:

"we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

This is so hard for mankind. It is extremely hard for me. We have so much Pride, and too often we do the things we think we are to do in this world, rather than depend on direction from God.

If we ask for direction and don't feel that we get it, we are at a loss. We cry out, What about "free will"? Yet Jesus is our greatest example. He did nothing that was not in His Father's will. We will not be complete until we submit to the Father's will. Do the things we are told. Do them joyfully. When we are in fellowship with God then the connection is strong, and He will show us the way in our lives.

Be obediant, be still(patient), and know that He is God.

The times I have done this in my life (albeit too infrequently), I am at peace because I know that I am in the Will of God. Rather than being restrictive, I can only tell you it is - an incredible feeling and "place to be" in our relationship with God.

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