Friday, September 30, 2011

Abigail in the Bible

I Samuel 25:3 The man’s name was Nabal, 3 and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was both wise and beautiful, but the man was harsh and his deeds were evil. He was a Calebite.

We studied the story of when future king David meets Abigail last Wednesday night at Bible Study. It is a small group lead by the pastor. I am amazed how the Bible comes alive when studied with other believers under the direction of the pastor as apposed to when I just read it for myself.

What jumped out at me on Wednesday was the phrase about Abigail's intelligence. Is this the only time a woman has been labeled intelligent in the Bible? I wish I had my old search phrase program on the computer as it would tell you how many times the word "wise" or "intelligent" occured, and you could scroll through them and see.

Or, was she wise in contrast to her husband whose name means, "fool". On the one hand, what idiot parents name their kid, fool? But, sadly, though the guy was very wealthy, he lived up to his name. It does not look like they had any children, but Abigail stuck with him. She even went behind his back and saved his life and stood up to David, who was coming for revenge. David's 300 men armed to the teeth were a clue. Abigail fed them with provisions after her servant wisely warned her about how her husband had blown David's servants off.

Ah, to be wise and beautiful, eh? For all eternity she shall be known.

In the story of David and Samuel and Saul, (king Saul) there is this underlying story of insanity---king Saul tried to kill David on numerous occasions. And David though he was annointed, never felt led nor directed to take revenge. Even after Saul slaughtered the innocent priests and their families.

Maybe God is trying to teach us that to take up arms against another is something so monumental that it must be done prayerfully, under authority, and under God's specific instructions. There are a few times in the Bible when they were instructed to take out whole peoples, and ciminals, and fornicators. Even today, the Jews in Israel bend over backward to preserve life.

And I was wondering about the Jacob wrestling with God story. Was that not the most bizarre?? So many stories in the Bible are a picture of the unseen conflict going on above us. I wonder if the Jacob and wrestling story is a picture of God and Satan? Jacob's name means deceiver. tricker. or is it a picture of the Jewish people wrestling with who will be their God?

I cannot imagine wrestling all night with a stranger. A stranger who lets you. A stranger who seems to toy with you. God could have taken Jacob out at any time. Instead, God touches Jacob's hip---an injury to remind Jacob of that night for the rest of his life, and even to this day, the Jews do not eat the hip joint on Passover. God appears and speaks to Abraham. God repeats His Promise to Isaac. And God wrestles with Jacob. It was not to make him worthy. It was physical, and hands on, and with a man probably close to 80 years old...yet only half way through Jacob's life on earth.

Was it a what if? or, a picture of the struggle with God and satan? God is allowing satan to wrestle for a while, but his end is decreed. done. Jacob's end is also decreed, and yet much suffering and travel, and wonders will occur in that play--as Jacob's life plays out. God wrestles with Jacob before the scary meeting with his brother. Is God showing us a part of His character? No where in that physical only match meet does God warn Jacob that he will lose a son, and think him dead, then gain him back. God reassures Jacob closer to the part where they troop back to Egypt because of the drought.

Droughts are a part of the weather pattern here on earth. God can deliver us through them, or make us wise to prepare for them. And last night we were given a half inch breather. Thank You, Lord. We sure need rain to refill the lakes, but You know what we need. Your Will be done.

Please guide and direct us, Lord to know how to prepare for the coming economic disaster, and to know how to stand with Israel. When to fight, and when to help. Only You, Lord, can turn our country back to You. Seems like half the folks have bought into the lie that is progressivism, liberalism, idolatry. Our ancestors would shudder to see this day where the Bible and even copies of the Constitution are not allowed in some schools and colleges having been labeled hate speech.

Please help us spend our money and our time wisely. Your Will be done.

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am slipping

For thirty years, we used one electric company. Bob decided it would be cheaper to change, so he did. For about three months, we got the electric bills, and I wrote out checks and paid them.

We have a system. We put the bills in the basket on top of the microwave which is stacked on top of the oven, and twice a month, I get the basket down and pay the bills. It is a very fancy basket which holds stamps, and receipts to match up to our credit card statement.

Early last summer, one son was going to Afghanistan, and one was coming home from a deployment. Then our daughter-in-law of the currently deployed moved to Houston, and her mail came here while she was intransition.

When our youngest had trouble with his mail at his dorm during the summer, his mail started coming here, too. I set out sacks and boxes with their names, and would either give or mail everyone their stuff.

Then the mail stopped, and I found a tag in our mailbox saying not to deliver any mail here. Everything was being forwarded to our daughter-in-law who had found an apartment near Houston. It was not her fault. The post office decided that her new address was for the whole "family". (the clerk at our post office guessed)

I did not receive the natural gas bill---water heater and furnace---but since we don't use the furnace during the summer, and water in Texas comes out of the faucet already hot, our ATMOS bill was puny. I looked up the address online (it is NOT on the statements, amazingly) and paid ahead guessing what our monthly bill was. We got one last week, and sure enough, my balance was zero.

But, the electric bill fell between the cracks somewhere. I got a card from my aunt in Colorado that someone had used as a coaster to a leaking drink.

So, is the post office not delivering mail? are they throwing it away somewhere? or forwarding it, and because it is an electric bill---not being forwarded? It is a mystery.

The "new" electric company cuts you off if you miss ONE payment. Isn't that lovely? Needless to say, Bob was none to pleased to come home last night, open the mail and see a disconnect notice. Thankfully, we got that! What if they had just cut us off without warning? or what if the warning notice was not delivered?

Bob wanted to know why I had not paid the electric bill. I replied that I had not received it.

Now I have to watch the mail, and make sure we get our bills. I have been reluctant to pay bills online, because sometimes it costs extra, and I don't like funds removed from our bank account. Somehow you have to okay the transactions. But, I bet they involve passwords, and I have a list of passwords longer than I can remember as it is. I don't even try to access the bank account online because of the password.

We did not get an insurance bill, either. So, I need to call them today and spend time in robot phone hell.

When the post office fails, I figure I will be forced to pay bills online. Our bank seems TOO eager to help set us up with online paying. They nag me about it every time I go in. Why are they so eager?

I have had computers crash. I have lost pictures, journals, stories. Can you imagine the nightmare of losing all bills and accounts online when the next computer crashes?? when. not. if.

And what do other "old" folks do that are computer and password challenged like me??

Or, let's say, for example, that we have a power outage for weeks while the power company works to restore power after a storm like last year? Bills would come due on the computer, but we could not access them. Do we need to pay our bills a month ahead so that we have a hedge against computer crashes, storms, power outages, and post office failures?

Just sayin'

I am slipping.

There is an attitude among the American people that electricity is a right. a need. a necessity. Everything we do, all commerce, even buying milk and groceries is tied to electricity. According to Reza Kahlili, all the irians would have to do is detonate a bomb over Kansas to knock out the power of the three major grids. Then we would be knocked back to the century of horse drawn carriages. Cars made after 1980 would not start because computer chips would be fried. We would leave hour homes within weeks and months looking for fresh water and food.

Maybe the small, silly tests of not getting your electric bill is a test to give us a warning. Wake up.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, 25 year old JAMES !!! and Happy Birthday, Mother!

Today, our son, James is 25 years old. I is so fun to see him with his own baby boy these days. That little guy lights up like a Christmas tree whenever he sees both of his parents. It is a delight to watch. Baby James is keeping his folks up at night teething, but he is healthy, happy, and quick to grin and fun.

This is also my Mother's 75th birthday. Let's see if I can download the picture of her and my niece, Hannah having fun in Colorado (facebook picture I found today). Happy Birthday to my MOM! I am so glad she is getting to see her youngest sister, and enjoy some much cooler weather.

Diving into Deuteronomy

Driven back into Deuteronomy

I listen with guarded interest to a certain talker on the radio, but his recent non-violence pact bothered me and drove me back to Deuteronomy. Surely, our forefathers used it as a template for what a Godly nation looks like. Without God, we fail. We self-destruct without God’s laws, God’s way, God’s design.
Deuteronomy 1:8
God, occupy the territory that I, the Lord, promised to give to your ancestors: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to their descendants.
1:10 The Lord your God has increased your population to the point that you are now as numerous as the stars in the sky…may the Lord make you one thousand times more..
1:15 (Our God is one of order, authority, leaders, judges: no discrimination, no fear, no intimidation by human beings, for “JUDGEMENT BELONGS TO GOD” (emphasis mine)
1:32 (Even while God was constantly going before them as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night—they rebelled, only saw giants) God will fight for you just as you saw Him do in Egypt…
1:30 (they did not have confidence/TRUST/Faith in the Lord your God)
1:31 …you saw Him carrying you along like a man carries his son… (brought to mind our son, James, age 25, carrying his baby boy)
God pronounced that none of this generation…so they strapped on their military gear, wept, and god said: DO NOT GO
1:43 God spoke, but you did not rebelled against the Lord
2:5 (respect Esau’s and Lot’s –the Moabites, purchase food and water)
2:14 thirty-eight years for the MILITARY men of that generation to die.
2:16 the Lord eliminated the military men (He could have done it quicker, as when the earth swallowed up the rebellious ones at the golden calf incident, but it is like God allowed this generation, though they had done wrong, to teach their sons the necessary military skills?)
2:24 Get up..Look! I have already delivered over to you Sihon the Amorites and his land. Go ahead. Take it! Engage him in war!
2:25 This very day I will begin to fill all the people of the earth with dread and to terrify them when they hear about you. They will shiver and shake in anticipation of your approach.
2:33 The Lord our god delivered him over to us and we struck him down.
2:34 and we seized all his cities and put every one of them under divine judgment; including even the women and children. We left no survivors. (sixty cities)
(order, authority, God’s direct instructions, specific instructions, and the complete slaughter of all: Divine Judgment: there is a time and place for it, only when God so instructs)
(God gave this land to the half tribe of Manasseh, but: “you warriors are to cross over before your fellow Israelites equipped for battle” Deut. 3:18
3:20 fight until the Lord gives your countrymen victory, then return (to your wives, families, land allotted)
3:22 Do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God will personally fight for you.
4:4 remain faithful to the Lord your God. Learn God’s statutes and ordinances
4:9 teach them to your children (responsibility)
4:10 revere the Lord and teach your children to revere the Lord.
4:15 (Be very careful: no form. No image making. No likeness of humans, animals, no worship of nature nor stars, the whole heavenly creation, no idols, no idolatry.)
(and Bob has been relating what his brother, Joel told him about the danger of us creating our own image of God in our heads)
4:20 to be His special people…do not make an image of any kind—for the Lord your god is a jealous God.
(if/when with children and grandchildren you become corrupt, God will scatter you to the nations)
4:29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find Him, if indeed you seek Him with all your heart and soul.
4:30 in your distress, when all these things happen to you, in the latter days, if you return to the Lord you God and obey Him…
4:38 The Lord is God in heaven above an on earth below! There is no other!
5:4 The Lord spoke face to face with you from the middle of the fire. He said:
5:6 I am the Lord Your God. He who brought you from the land of Egypt from the place of slavery…you must not have any other gods besides me. No making of images. No worshipping images.
5:9 punishment 3 generations for the sin of the fathers who reject Me.
5:10 God says: I show covenant fuathfulness to the thousands who choose Me and keep My commandments.
Love the Lord your God with your whole mind, being, all your strength
(I love the constant reminder that God bought us out of slavery—them in Egypt, and us from the slave market of sin)
7:1 When the Lord your God delivers over to you…attack, utterly annihilate, make no treaty, show no mercy, do not intermarry with them (because)
7:4 for they will turn your sons away from me to worship other gods…tear down their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, cut down the poles, burn up their idols (where they sacrificed babies---the abortion of their day)
8:14 do not feel self-important
9:6… understand, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is about to give you this good land as a possession, for you are a stubborn people! (we are all wicked, and sinners in need of a Savior)
Moses reminds them of the golden calf incident in 9:15
(know history, be humble, teach your children)
10:12 Revere God. Obey His commandments. Love God. Serve Him with all your mind, being…the heavens and earth belong to God. Cleanse your heart. Stop being so stubborn…
11:24 even to the Euphrates and Med. Sea!
17:18 (God tells Moses that your future king was to make a copy of this scroll—be responsible for what is written here.) (I think every president, every member of Congress, every judge needs to write it out, too)
17:20 before battle say: Do not be fainthearted…the Lord your God goes with you…to fight on your behalf against your enemies to give you the victory.
(God judged the idolatress nations that were killing their newborns---and eventually, God judged the people of Esau and Lot---we need to take note as a nation, their sin and get back to the morals and principles.)