Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Numbers 16-18

"You take care of My business and I'll take care of yours."

When I was moving to college I remember my Mom telling me a story, however it didn't make its divine impact on me until the summer I graduated from college. I was half-jobless working as a temp for a nanny agency. I never quite knew when I'd be working until the day before...most often, 10pm the night before. As you can imagine, it was frustrating and nerve racking. 

In the midst of this learning experience, my Mom reminded me something she had told me years ago; something that God has promised her when we moved to Africa nearly 25 years ago. She was 29 years old and moving across the ocean to a land where she and my Dad thought they'd live and die. With them came two small kiddos. As I'm nearing her age, I can't image how that would have felt, especially knowing that her own family didn't quite "get it". She told me that on her way to this new land, God made a promise to her: "You take care of My business and I will take care of yours." 

I think of this when we're reading our chapters this week. Yahweh tells the Levites that everything He has, is there's. He says, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites." He was theirs...His fullness was theirs.

That is what strikes me most while reading. My parents have never been in need, and I know it's because they have taken care of His business. Like the Levites taking care of the temple, what is it that God has asked you to take care of? Trust that when you do, He'll be taking care of your business. Whether that's your friends or toys or parents or anything...He'll take care of it. He is your reward. He is your goal. He is your inheritance.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Numbers 11-15

Today I wanted to talk a little about perspective and our outlook on different circumstance and situations.

This week's reading highlights a defining moment in the history of Israel. The Lord told Moses to send scouts to explore the promised land. This was the Israelites inheritance, what the Lord had promised them. All of the scouts agree that the land was beautiful and plentiful:

27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.

However we hear two different perspectives from the scouting party:

28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan...31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

The majority of the scouting party brought a negative perspective about the promised land and were concerned about the people living there. However Caleb saw all of what the other scouts did but had a different perspective:

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

There are a couple of things I want to highlight about perspective:

The perspective we choose to take has a direct effect on our actions. The Israelites chose to embrace the negative perspective and as a result a generation of Israelites missed out on the promised land (Num 14:26-30). Often I have to check my own perspective on different situations I face, especially when its things I don't really enjoy doing. I find that when I choose to have a positive attitude or perspective on things, they usually turn out better than I anticipated

Another point is that I believe God is looking directly at our attitude and perspective. The Lord blessed Joshua and Caleb because of their perspective and how they trusted the Lord even though in the natural the circumstances didn't seem easy. Our actions are important to God but above all else he looks at our heart first and foremost.

Finally perspective is contagious. We see in Numbers 13 that the negative perspective spread throughout the Israelite camp. How different would the outcome have been if Caleb's attitude and perspective had spread throughout the Israelite community? Each one of us have amazing influence and our attitude and perspective are contagious. I want to spread God's perspective and attitude and give him the opportunity to be contagious and infect the people and situations around me.

Written by Philip Day

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Numbers 8-10

Have you ever been in a cave or a really dark room? When something is pitch black it almost impossible to see, even your own hand in front of your face. What happens when you bring a light of some kind into that dark place? The things you couldn't see before are now visible and things become clearer. A torch can be an excellent source of light but it has to be pointed in the right direction to serve its purpose.

In this weeks passage we read about the placement of the lamps in the tabernacle at the beginning of chapter 8:

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’ ” 3 Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the Lord commanded Moses.

This may seem like a simple portion of the passage but as I was reading it struck me how the Lord was specific about which direction the light was shining. Light can serve a great purpose but it needs to be pointed in the right direction. A torch in a cave is needed to light a path. A spotlight on a stage is used to highlight the main character in a play or musical. Light is always used for a purpose. God spoke to Moses about how he wanted the lamps to shine and in what direction.

Each one of us has a light that needs to shine. Jesus talks about letting our light shine in Matthew 5:
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Our lives can be a real light for Christ. Our actions, words and thoughts can shine brightly or we can hide them away where no one can see. Its important to ask is your light burning brightly and is it shining in the right direction?

Written by Philip Day

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Speaking of Joy...

...This is an email from my Aunt Joy.  My Uncle Bill had a stroke last Saturday.  God is really intervening on his behalf.

Tomorrow will be 1 week since Bill had a serious stroke in his brain stem which should have killed him or rendered him paralyzed.  However it was not time for my Bill to leave and tomorrow I get to be by his side at the hospital and we can talk together about God's great mercy and grace and love toward us.  We can marvel at the miracles we have seen and continue to affirm our trust in Jesus for each day ahead.  We are overcome with thankfulness and for all your caring prayers.

He may be discharged in the next 2 or 3 days, then will do out-patient rehab at a vision center.  Dr. Hart, the neurologist was with him a week ago in the ER and acknowledged today that the miraculous is part of Bill's recovery; not making light of his diminished vision, he is "lucky" to have only that problem.

Tori returned to MN this morning and it was hard for her to leave her dad but we are so blessed that she could come home during this traumatic time.

We have lots of adjustments to make coming up.  Bill's type of vision loss is not in his eyes--they were not damaged--but in the injury to the optical area of the brain during the stroke.  So we stand on God's promises and press in to Him, our Healer.

This evening with just Bill, Ann and I in the room, we were enjoying God's peace and presence and our friendship together.  We had so many things to laugh about.  Bill's nurse came to the door and told us she had never heard such merriment come out of these rooms before.  It delighted her and others as well.  This is something only God can do...give His joy in the midst of trials.

"In His presence is FULLNESS of JOY" (Psalm 16:11)

He'll always be the center of our attention! :-)

That's my Uncle Bill!

Friday, November 9, 2012


This is how I've felt since going to sleep last night!  It's been a long time since I've really felt joy, so I've felt like I've been on cloud 9 all day.  This last year I've been singing this song...simply out of faith.  Today, I got to see it become reality!  Listen and sing along :-)


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Numbers 5-7

I'm realizing I have never explained where these devotionals are from.  Phil (my husband) and I are group leaders of an online Bible reading program called iDiscipleship.  We're in charge of the ISMK section...International Society of Missionary Kids--a bunch of awesome MKs (Missionary Kids).  Of which, I am one.  Every week we put together what's called A Thought of the Day(s) for that weeks Bible reading.  I thought it would be cool to post them on here so then I had them saved somewhere.  So if anyone reads this, I hope you're encouraged.  There will be one every week.  Feel free to read along.  We're doing Numbers 5-7 this week, and Numbers 8-12 next week.  It's roughly 4 chapters a week.


To be honest with you, I tried to do a Thought yesterday, however I became a bit prideful and in turn developed a blank mind in the middle of what I was trying to write.  I didn't want to share that with you, but I really felt like God wanted me to.  So, there you go.  You're not the only one that struggles with pride.

After I repented, God released another direction for my Thought this week.  I had originally thought to talk about Moses as a leader...but I know I am to talk about how God has a specific way of doing things. 

In our reading we cannot help but notice how intentional (as Phil said last week) and specific God is in his directions to Moses and the Israelites.  He's almost too specific for my liking and it's hard to even care about most of what's in our reading because it just turned into lists that are ALL THE SAME!!!  (don't feel bad, you again, are not the only one to feel this way)  Because of how specific God is, makes me think of Moses and what kind of man he would have needed to be for God to want to use him in this crazy task of creating a nation.  He had to be willing to follow EXACTLY what God was saying instead of improvising or doing what he "felt" best.

I think sometimes we don't realize that God is only willing to do things one way.  It's easy in our society (any society) to get caught up with the different ways people can obey God, after all, Jesus is the goal, right?!...but while reading all these commands here in Numbers, it shows me that there was not more than one way God was asking the Israelites to take care of the Tent of Meeting.  There was 1 way He wanted them to do things.  There were specific tasks He had for every single person.  Often I think that when God gives me a goal, or even my calling, I can then go fulfill that goal or calling or gift (the list continues) however I "feel" He may be leading me...but I wonder if I took time to specifically ask Him, if He'd have a specific way for me to do it.

So that's my Thought for you this week.  Ask God to specifically show you what He wants you to do, whether in school or with friends or work, and how He wants you to do it.  I know there may be a bunch of really great ways to fulfill what it is that God has put on your heart, but I can't help but think that He has one, specific, way for you to go about doing it.  Does that make sense?  I hope so.  This is what God's doing in my life, and even though I'm not old I have learned that I'm usually not the only one facing the things I'm facing.  Again, be encouraged...you're not alone!  Whether it's killing your pride, or following God's 1 way, you're not alone.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Tuesday, 2012

Everyone has their opinions...but if you're anything like me, you're more afraid to share your opinion due to the response of those you're sharing it with than actually having one.  For those out there like me, remember that voting yes or no doesn't determine your eternity, nor does the outcome of voting one way or another rise or fall solely on you.  I saw this post on my Mom's Facebook and thought it's the best thing I've seen this whole election-season!

Before you share your opinion, be sure you're saying it out of love and kindness to those you're talking to and not just out of political conviction.  There are too many politically convicted out there and not enough loving and kind political communicators.  (And maybe just share it if you're asked to share it :)

From John Wesley's journal Oct. 6, 1774:
"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Numbers 1-4

While reading the assignment this week one thing that struck me is how intentional God is. I love having friends but more than that I love having friends who are intentional. Friends who care about me. Friends who call me or ask me how I'm doing. In the first four chapters of Numbers I believe we see how intentional God is. Everything that God was telling Moses was for a purpose. Each person in the tribe of Levi was created for a purpose and given a task to complete during the time in the desert. Every person had a role to play, it might not have been the most exciting and glamorous thing but each person was appointed to that role.

God is an intentional God. He has put each one of us in different situations and in very different places. The Israelites found themselves in the desert but within that place God gave each one of them a task and each one of them a purpose. My challenge for all of us is to ask God what our purpose is in the situations we find ourselves in. We are spread out all over the globe and in many different situations. Some might be a lot easier than others but each one of us has a role to play. Let's be intentional. Don't let situations just pass you by but see them as an opportunity to grab a hold of and to make a difference.

By Philip Day