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MIke--I am a morning person. Even when I want to sleep in my body’s alarm clock begins ringing at 5am.

I do my reading time is in the morning. I have a second read through the bible program that I usually use first. Then I read a chapter in Proverb, and finaly a come to the BLOG.

What I post, whether A.M or P.M, usually comes out of my Devotion/quit time. When I read the Word in the morning, there seems to always be a verse, a passage or passages that dwell in my mind all day, which I then mediate on. I am a journaler and what I journal usually winds up here, or at least part of my thoughts get posted here.

Genesis 11-13:4

The whole earth had a common language and a common vocabulary. When the people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." (They had brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar.) Then they said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise we will be scattered across the face of the entire earth."
(Genesis 11:1-4 NET.)

Mike’s words about building a name for oneself has really hit home and has caused me to think about broken relationships held up to the light of the story of the tower of Babel. Could shattered relationships really be the product of trying to build a name for oneself? Are our us-four-and-no-more groups really be about lifting up ourselves to get a name? Did God come down and scatter the relationships because we were going in a direction we were not suppose to be going, up and not out?

On January 1st my first post began with a quote from the Book of Ecclesiastes,

Wisdom or money can get you almost anything, but it's important to know that only wisdom can save your life. Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don't fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?
Enjoy prosperity while you can. But when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. That way you will realize that nothing is certain in this life. (Ecclesiastes 7:12-14)

My focus was on the statement, Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Funny how what comes out of our mouths, in this case, what is typed out on the keyboard, comes back to hold us accountable, ouch!

Mike—looking at the Map you inserted in today’s comments I couldn’t help but observe that Haran, where Abram and the gang hung-out for ten years until dad died, seems like a spike in the journey that lead away from Canaan. It is like a spike on an EKG reading heralding a warning of danger to come.

I’ve often wondered each time I’ve read through this story what would have happened if Haran had never been a stopping point in this journey. If Abram had arrived in Canaan, the land God would promise to his descendents, but not him, would they have had enough grain/hay and what ever else grows, to stave off the effects of the famine? If Abram had trusted God, in spite of the famine, so that God would prove to him that He would meet all their needs, how would the rest of the story turn out.

Abram seemed to be conflicted by two fears pulling inside of him like a perverted game of tug-of-war. Unable or unwilling to trust God in the midst of the famine, fear of starving to death drove him to a country that presented him with another fear, fear of death from the hands of Pharaoh. One fear drove him smack into the other. Fear is a rough taskmaster and allowing it to drive one’s decisions and choices oft times leads to bad choices and regrets.

Fear drove Abram to “pimp” his wife to feed himself and his household. He offered up his wife as a sacrifice to save his own life. Can today’s families find themselves doing the same thing? Are we offering up our husbands, wives, children on the alter of a idolatrous god of fear? We may even find ourselves pimping the gospel, offering up half-truth, like Abram, about our situations to avoid or stave off the death of our finances, the death of relationships, family and friends while we construct an alter of justification for doing our deeds: comprise and sin. Finally, if Abram hadn’t gone down to Egypt, would we be reading about Hagar, Sari’s Egyptian hand maiden and the boy Ishmael in the chapters to come, and, the fall-out from that relationship, would we still be reaping the effects today?

I wonder about these things because I think about the consequences of my actions and or inactions of following God whole-heartedly. Thank God that He redeems, restores and reconciles us back to Him. Yet walking in His perfect will is so much easier than walking in His Permissive will. All unnecessary bumps are removed when we obey.

Grace and peace,

So true Ramona..all necessary bumps are removed when we obey!

Comments and Questions of the Day:

What do I do to set my heart and mind on God? I get up early -pray, journal, read, drink a cup of hot tea or coffee, meditate on God's Word and listen to worship-personal development in the morning. That helps me in my day.

Comments from my readings today:

Genesis 11:1-13:4
Trying to make a name for themselves - what I got out of this story is sometimes when you don't understand geographically- God will get your attention -where you are at-God will get your attention and have the last Word and use whatever means to bring about order out of chaos.

It's neat how you get a lineage and out of all that geneology-God chooses or calls out one. You hear about Nahor and Milcah later with Isaac and Jacob, you don't hear much about Terah but his son., Abram oh yes. Abram! And in bibe geneology you never hear about the women, apparently Abram and Sarai had same father but different mothers, you never hear them mentioned. And I love the obedience of even Abram built an altar to the Lord, and Abram left immediately when God told him. So we see Abram worshipin gthe Lord three times in the story. Think worship is very important in our daily walk? I think so, and obedience -even when we mess up, lie, cover up, or are afraid and mispeak, God still loves us.

Matt 5:1-26
The Sermon on the Mount
God blesses the poor
God blesses those who mourn,
those who are humble..
those who hunger & thirst for justice
blesses those who are merciful
those whose hearts are pure
those persecuted for doing right
and list goes on.. for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs..

beautiful words of Jesus

v13: You are the salt of the earth.
Love that. be salt today for others
be their comfort-nourish their soul
season others life for better not be tasteless
or harmful but essential

v14 Ye are the light of the world
'be effervescent-shining for him-not hidden away
be good and let the deeds you do be unto the Lord

be blessed!

First thing in the morning I make a cup of coffee and listen to a 10 minute meditation reading in the Bible. Thank you for allowing me to share the website: https://pray-as-you-go.org/

As do Ramona and Dee I will journal and find my direction in the reading. I have been doing this for over 10 years. I also find the Beatitudes a wonderful grounding for kingdom living. I love Peterson's paraphrase and I would like to offer additional insight by suggesting the Beatitudes reversed: https://troychapel.org/the-beatitudes-inverted/

1. Cursed are the proud. They are not members of God’s Kingdom.

2. Cursed are those who are happy in the present world system. They will not be happy in the world system that is coming.

3. Cursed are the go-getters, for they shall get nothing.

4. Cursed are those who are satisfied with their current level of righteousness. That’s as far as they’ll get, and it’s not that far.

5. Cursed are the unmerciful, for God will be unmerciful toward them.

6. Cursed are those with mixed motives. They will not see God present and active in their life.

7. Cursed are those who stir up fighting. They are not God’s children, but children of the Devil.

8. Cursed are those who get through this life without ever having had to suffer for doing right. They are not members of God’s Kingdom.

9. Cursed are those who get through this life without ever having to suffer for following Jesus.They are not members of God’s Kingdom either.

The one that I found hit home for me was 4 where I see righteousness in levels that has to be tempered with my pride.

I try to give my day to God before I open my eyes. I pray before falling asleep that I will remember to pray before opening my eyes. Thanks be to God I am alive. Please help me to remain in your will today. Dont let me go astray.

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