Category Archives: Journey through Lent 2021

A little catch-up on my annual read through and thankful to be out of the season of Judges…sigh <3

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I am thankfully moving into 1 Samuel now in my yearly read through.

Since I have used The Message on a previous year (2013), I am visually aware of just how far behind I have gotten. The passages of the opening of this book are dated May of that year.

But I am not discouraged or quitting. I am taking in what I can each day and not racing to keep up with a date. My hope is to have longer periods to read but I am accepting that the annual read through this year may be more like a year and a half…we shall see. 

Reading Judges was particularly painful for me this year because the insanity of this period in Israel’s history that used to make me wonder how on earth a nation could get so far off track and in such a mess now seems much more easy to believe. 

If you have never read the book of Judges in its entirety, it is one shocking foray into disobedience after another. 

We like to cherry pick characters such as Gideon and Sampson for our kids, but on closer inspection, these guys are far from the stellar heroes portrayed on a few glossy pages of a toddler’s Bible Stories board book. 

Sampson would make better fodder for a reality show or a steamy mini-series and Gideon is exemplary until he decides to collect one earring from each conquering warrior and then fashions an ephod that pulls him and his whole household into idolatry. 

But it is the closing pages of this book that just leave a person undone with the depravity of Israel. This is not something you would want to read as a bedtime story for your child nor yourself. 

It starts with a concubine who is handed over to an entire city of sick men. She dies as a result. Her “husband” divides up her body and sends the pieces out as a clarion call to the twelve tribes to rise up and fight against the perpetrators of a crime that he allowed. 

The atrocity happened in the land of Benjamin so they ask their brothers to hand over the guilty parties, but Benjamin will not do it. 

They attack and kill and get their revenge and kill everyone except 600 Benjamite men who escape. 

Then lo and behold, they feel bad because now Benjamin won’t be a tribe anymore because they have killed all the women…so they concoct another plan in which they abduct women to be wives for them from other places. 

It’s bizarre. 

As I read I can only imagine the outrage of our culture on so many levels in all of this and my mind reels with the fact that God is even involving Himself still with a people like this. 

And then I look at us. 

I look at the insanity of what is considered good and right and true in this world as we try to appease and please everyone except God and yet God continues to bail us out. Time and again. 

I look at the disgusting spiraling into sin and idolatry and rebellion in the stories of the Judges and how God continued to work and I think how a mocker would say what kind of God lets this stuff happen…

And my answer is…the kind of God who had planned all along to put on skin like the rest of us and walk this earth with some rag-tag disciples and teach them what the Kingdom of Heaven is really like. 

The kind of God who remains holy and yet is willing to work amongst us when we are at our worst.

A God who sent His Spirit to live in us who believe and who would walk through many more culture shifts and world changes and proclaim that He is the way and the truth and the life. The same yesterday, today and forever. 

The One who conquered death by taking our sin and the sin of all the world upon Himself and dying and rising and ascending. 

The One who will return and will pass the final judgement on all the living and all the dead. 

The One who will make all things right again. 

I take comfort that no matter how far off the track we get, He is still the same and His promises and covenants hold fast. 

When we are unfaithful, He remains faithful.

I praise Him this morning for He alone is worthy.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could even think to ask or imagine…to Him be glory forever <3 

Loose translation of Ephesians 3:20
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Long time, no post <3

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I don’t even know where to start.

It’s Holy Week and I want to be focusing on sharing something substantial and worthwhile with you but I cannot gather my thoughts and get them down in a way that is meaningful.

I want to share that it is not that I am not having substantial thoughts regarding this week, but putting them down to give to you is not happening this morning so I hope and pray YOU are making the effort to work through some meditations on your own.

In the meanwhile for this Monday, here’s a little photo recap of last week and why I was off the grid…

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Last week we took two of the four on a road trip that included seeing our new great nephew and spending some time with Russ’s brother and wife.

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Along the way we stopped to meet our new great-nephew…

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and yes…mom is doing amazingly well!!!

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We only had a short time to with Randy and Sonja…

but managed to drag out every toy in the arsenal of their storage area…

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I watched Sonja mastermind a perfect train set up and had flashbacks of her doing this with our three and I may have possibly gotten a little teary eyed.

On Friday night, the organization John works for had a virtual gala that has been postponed twice due to the horrible ice storm that wrecked Texas last month.

We dressed up for five minutes to take a photo…

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and then put on our comfy clothes and watched how this nonprofit is maximizing resources to help heal children and families through foster care and adoption.

It was inspiring.

After a quick one day recovery, we were back up to the shenanigans of a Saturday with this crew as dad was working and mom was showing them the fine art of making a tank top out of a t-shirt….

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Sunday was a very cold soccer game that involved yet another road trip…

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and here we are back to Monday.

Hope you are doing well and enjoying some sunshine.

I have spotted daffodils and some budding trees so spring is upon us…though here in the Midwest we keep one eye out for that last surprise snow storm….but please no…please ….

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The danger in saying, “I’ll be the judge of that….”

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I feel like I say this every Monday, but we have a crazy jam-packed week ahead. And this one is for sure out of the norm. 

We are returning the crib our family loaned us to host little ones when they came to visit, but now they have their own sweet grand to settle into for naps and overnights and we are so happy for them. 

This involves a road trip that we will cram into 48 hours and Russ figured …. Go big or go home….so we are taking two of the fab four with us. 

They are bringing a joke book that is the size of an unabridged dictionary and are packed and ready to go as of 7 a.m. this morning according to their mom. 

We are leaving tomorrow night…I haven’t even thought about what I need to pack. 

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All that to say, I may or may not get a post down…but most likely will have some stories from the journey and if you follow me on Instagram…a picture or ten along the route. 

For a devotional thought today, I am slugging my way through Judges in The Message. 

People who grow faint of heart usually do so in Leviticus, but for me Judges is the one where I just grit my teeth. 

What. A. Mess.

I think of how God sent the flood to wipe out all the evil that had festered and botched up His creation back in Genesis, and I can’t even imagine His patience as Israel just ran completely amok in the time of the Judges. 

And yet, it gives me hope.

While the margins of this particular book are filled with my ink drawn sad faces and question marks, God somehow continues to work. 

Some of the ways He intervenes for His people are mind boggling because these people were just plain awful. 

And yet, when they repented and turned to Him and humbled themselves, He worked victories. 

I think of the judgment that runs rampant in our culture; and how little mercy and grace are extended towards any and all “offenders.”

And I know the world likes to point out the judgey ways of Christians but the culture, politicians, celebrities and media are pretty good at passing judgement themselves and condemning and condoning and making up the moral structure we should all live by so…there is that. 

Basically we are in a world much like the one I am reading about in Judges…

One where there is no “king”…no established governing authority and so the people all did what was right in their sight and the results were catastrophic. 

It could wear me out if I didn’t keep focusing on how God never gave up on His people and He won’t give up on us. 

This is praiseworthy. 

So praise Him <3

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