Kibroth-hattaavah

What? you might be asking? What in the world does that mean?

Then a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quails from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits deep on the ground. 32 So the people worked all that day and night and all the next day, gathering the quails; the least anyone gathered was ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth.

Numbers 11:31-35

The people wandering in the desert were complaining about only having manna to eat. The Lord God had given them a heavenly food, unknown before or since, a food to nourish and sustain them. They complained and he brought them quail to eat. The quail lay all around them about 2 feet deep and the minimum they gathered was “enough to fill the bed of a full sized pickup truck to overflowing, mounded high.” They gathered much more than they could possible eat. Perhaps their plan was to dry them or preserve them with salt? We are not told. No language scholar here, but thankfully the references translate Kibroth-hattaavah for us. It means, the graves of craving. While the meat was still between their teeth, the anger of the Lord was kindled against them. Yikes.

Have you asked the Lord for something other than what you have? Has He given you that very thing? Have you been greedy about it?

Many years ago I was leading a study about these verses. Me, being the Queen of object lessons, decided we needed one for this verse. So we made a tombstone out of “Fimo” type clay that can be baked. Then we took alphabet beads and spelled out the name. Baked it and placed it in a prominent location to help remind us that there are consequences for acting on our cravings. The beads did not hold up well to the baking, but the idea worked.

Grave of Craving

Amused that it is now in my display of tiny things and the carved wooden pliers are pointing to it! (Lord, perhaps pulling out my cravings is like pulling teeth?) And those tiny glass birds could represent the quail, though I did not consciously place them for that. Oh Lord, remove my inordinate cravings with Your holy pliers, I pray.

The grave of cravings. What would you bury in that grave? Or would you be the one in the grave, the one who craved things inordinately and gave in to the greediness of wanting more than needed? I confess, I waver between the two.

 All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]. 

1 Corinthians 10:23 Amplified

I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 

1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV

Yes, Lent is over and the Easter season continues with rejoicing, Alleluia! That does not mean my self discipline ends. If I crave anything more than God my walk is in jeopardy. Here is a video with a little preaching from Keith Green.

Are you putting cravings to death or are you in the grave of craving? If you are stuck remember “a rut is just a grave with ends kicked out.” Ask the Lord to help you worship Him above all else. He is faithful to do just that.

Are You Full Yet?

Did you get a Chocolate rabbit? What part did you eat first?

Years ago when I saw this in a hospital gift shop I purchased it immediately. Fondly remember my mother teaching us about “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Now bunnies demonstrating their limited abilities after someone ate the ears, ate the eyes, ate the mouth. Ha!

Has your Lenten discipline brought you to a new place in your walk with Jesus? Or like so many New Year resolutions have you already forgotten what you were aiming for in what you ‘gave up’ for the 40 days of Lent?

I hope and pray that the Easter Season brings you into a closer and richer fellowship with the One Who died for each of us. He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

Childhood memories

How many playground rhymes do you remember? Some of these popped into my brain this week. If I am ever in a nursing home wing for Alzheimer’s I hope these songs and rhymes help restore me to some form of sanity. (Here Bob might chuckle “Sanity is too much to hope for even today!” Ever the tease. He is oldest of five kids. I’ve learned how to give it back!)

My Dad worked for the N & W railroad. Mom wasn’t the only one who sang in the car! Daddy taught us this one.

I left my wife
Alone in the kitchen
With 28 children
And nothing but gingerbread left
Left, left, right, left

Oh it ain't gonna rain no more no more
Ain't gonna rain no more
How in the heck can I wash my neck
if it ain't gonna rain no more?

I woke up in the morning 
the bread was hard and stale
the coffee tasted like tobacco juice
from the US county jail, OH ( with gusto!)

So what poems or verses are in your memory bank?

A my name is Alice
and my husband's name is Al
we live in Alabama where we grow apples

How far in the alphabet did you get? Do you remember? Was this for jump rope or bouncing a ball against the wall and passing it under your knee when you hit the A words? Ah! memory lane can be fun sometimes.

Guidance and Direction

It is said that the best way to discern God’s will is through prayer, the Word, confirmation through fellowship with other Christians and circumstantial situations God sends your way. If you want to rely on this method you need to learn the Word. Few of us can quote chapter and verse, but we can learn the principles of Scripture and how to find the verses that correspond.

Years ago I had a book about prayer that listed these Scriptures for guidance and direction. I made it a habit to pray them every morning off and on over a period of years, asking the Father to indeed give me guidance and direction for that day. If you want practice in finding references in your Bible, you can go to Deuteronomy 31:6 and mark in the margin Joshua 3:4, then at Joshua mark the next reference in your margin, etc., etc. The references that just say 25:9 refer to the book listed just before. So 25:9 is Psalms 25:9, etc. PROV is proverbs, ISA is Isaiah, JN is John and REV is Revelation. There are many such lists on line. This list has helped and taught me much. May it do the same for you in your study. If you use an electronic Bible on your phone or computer you will not have the advantage of being able to note the next verse in sequence. Bibles like the Thompson Chain reference give you space to add another reference.

Or you can paste something like this in your Bible cover.

Now, years later these verses still come to mind on occasion and remind me of His faithfulness. I also learned that if we “hide the word in our heart” and mind, that gives the Holy Spirit more to work with when I am asking for guidance or seeking to comfort another.

Tradition says that God was silent while Jesus was in the tomb on Holy Saturday. Rather than expound on the miracle of the resurrection, I thought this might feed your soul now and in the future.

Deut 31:6  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Josh 3:4 NKJV  Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.

Psalms 16:11  You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

25:9  He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

32:8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

37:23-24  The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;  though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

73:23-24a  Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.  You will guide me with Your counsel.

121:8  The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

PROV 2:6-8 NKJV  For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;  He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;  He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints.

3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

11:3  The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

ISA 30:20-21  Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

45:2-3  I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron,  I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

48:17  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go.

JER 6:16  This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

29:12-14  “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

32:17  Ah Lord God! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

JN  16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

REV 3:8  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Sword of the Spirit

Daily reading of the Word is one of our best weapons in warfare. The Word is our Sword of the Spirit. Let the Word guide and direct you, mold and teach you. The results are ‘out of this world!’

No rights

This seemed to me to be fitting for Good Friday reflection. I have no idea who taught me this truth, but it was many years ago. Since I have given my life to Jesus, I have no rights. The life I now live ….

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:19b-20 NRSV

Those who are crucified die. No one gets partially crucified. Jesus wants only our full surrender to Him. When our son was in nursery school (oh about 40+ years ago) I was driving and worshiping one day. I was led to a little hillside cemetery. Imagine my surprise when I, a daughter of God my Father, came upon this headstone.

I realized that this point in my walk was where ‘daughters come to die,’ for “Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith.” From then on it has been a continuous lesson for me as to what that means. Dead women do not have rights. I do not have the right when I get angry to remain mad. I am to walk like Jesus. Oh, so much to learn! I do not have the right to get my own way. His ways are higher than mine.

 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
 but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
     he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:6-8 NRSV


One writer said, ” It doesn’t matter what you want. The only thing that matters is what God wants.” Patti Callahan wrote a wonderful book entitled Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a fictionalized version of the love story between Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis. I just loved that book and will likely read it again. She mentioned that C. S. Lewis did not have Christianity ‘all figured out.’ He is purported to have said, “It is an unfolding. A constant unfolding to new life – or at its best that’s what it is.”

I get that explanation. Yes, as a child of the King, though I am an inheritor of the Kingdom, I also have to die to my desires and yield to His. Unfold into the right here and right now that God is asking me to walk in and live in.

I combined two ideas recently for my own object lesson. I went on Facebook and asked if anyone locally knew how to make origami. I wanted something to illustrate to me that my life is unfolding. Sure enough, some friends came up with Joe’s name. We found a pattern on line and he was able to make a few of these for me.

“heart box” is open and unfolding

There is another lesson about marbles in a jar representing how many weekends you have left in your life, or working life, obviously I do not remember the details. The point was how are you going to spend that time? So this is what sits on my desk now.

This daughter is finished playing games with God. I want to live truly and fully to His glory. At our house we used to have some marble shooters, you know, the larger marbles you use to shoot the smaller ones in marble games? Well I suppose God has all the marble shooters now since I cannot find ours. That is fine with me. He is in charge of this. I will simply contemplate how well I am using the time I have left with the marbles I have in this unfolding life.

Occasionally I remove them from the paper box, like when I took the photograph for the top of the blog. Ha! yep, you guessed it! They rolled all over the desktop. Thought I had caught them all until I found Lucky trying to chew on one. Goofy toothless beagle. (At this point Bob is likely thinking, “I knew she had lost some of her marbles!”)

I am the daughter. He is my heavenly Father. I am learning to be like Jesus, my Brother. Father is teaching me His will and His ways.

Keepsies Playing for keeps. God gets to keep all the marbles He wins. He is a master at this game! I am His and He is mine. Glorious.

Are you willing to yield to Him, even though it means death to your SELF and your desires? Consider this and respond to His call upon your heart. He is a good, good Father.

Things Learned in Darkness

“Each part of each life is a lesson.” Some of us never realize this; however, some of us learn and cherish the lessons and move on.

To me “things learned in darkness” are unknown by most other people yet known to God. Others have no clue what you have endured or struggled with. Frankly, there are few on earth who would still love and accept you if they knew your struggles. Each of us is quick to judge others. God knows all about us. Palm 139:1-7 NIV says:

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?


God knows. This is what omniscient means: “One having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding.” He also knows our struggles in the dark.

even the darkness is not dark to You;

    the night is as bright as the day,

    for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139:12 NRSV

My struggles are often against things from the past. Sins done both by me and to me. Things said about me that were never corrected by the speaker. Things I have wrestled with God about. Things I have wrestled with against the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers of this present darkness and spiritual forces of evil. (Ephesians 6:12 NRSV) There are also struggles in the present. Keeping my tongue in check. Being kind when it is habitual to lash against others. Staying the course, choosing to walk in the Light of Christ even when chronic illness crushes me.

Each of us faces struggles on the earth with other earthlings and with those wicked forces of evil. With Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit we can overcome those forces. We must be willing to endure the warfare. We must be willing to put on our armor and go into the fight. If not, the battles can continue to wage in and about us all of our lives. The same old, same old, over and over and over again.

People see you on the outside. For the most part, they do not know what struggles you have faced in your soul and spirit. But the Father sees. He is willing to come alongside you with the Spirit and the Son for each skirmish.

When I taught a Bible study on the women’s unit at the Hamilton County Justice Center I wore a button telling the women I was “not as innocent as I looked.” And I am not as innocent as I look today. God, Who reads the heart, knows what each of us have endured, as well as what each of us has done. The Word says, But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NRSV

We are all broken. We each have need of the Holy Healer and Savior.

Rescue
Lauren Daigle
You are not hidden
There's never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It's true, I will rescue you

There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You're not defenseless
I'll be your shelter
I'll be your armor

I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS

I will send out an army to find you

Weeks in My Soul

For weeks this melody and parts of the lyrics have been rolling about in my soul. I could not track ti down. Totally cluueless what the title was. I have many old hymns on Cd and in my soul and when they surface I cannot always find them, even in a computer search. Finally, I found this one! My hymnal notes Ephesians 1:12 “That we … might be for the praise of His glory.”

Praise the Savior Lyrics by Thomas Kelly
Praise the Savior, ye who know Him!
Who can tell how much we owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him
All we are and have.

Jesus is the name that charms us;
He for conflict fits and arms us;
Nothing moves and nothing harms us
While we trust in Him.

Trust in Him, ye saints, forever;
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those He loves from Him.

Keep us, Lord, oh, keep us cleaving
To Thyself and still believing,
Till the hour of our receiving
Promised joys with Thee.

Then we shall be where we would be,
Then we shall be what we should be;
Things that are not now, nor could be,
Soon shall be our own.

Gladly let us give Him all we are and have. Trust repeated. Nothing can separate or sever us from Him. Keep us cleaving: adhere, cling, stick fast. Then we shall be – Oh Lord, transform us into Your likeness.

Adhere, cling, stick fast, like a tendril adheres a vine firmly

Why is it important to track down these glimmers of song? Almost every time the Holy Spirit is leading me to me a truth I need. I do not know why it sometimes takes longer to find the song than at other times? When I do find the song it is with rejoicing and praise that my God is bigger than me and smarter than me and knows what I need when I need it – often before I know!

This week Bob has gone to the Convent in Glendale for time away. As he pulled out of the driveway this song rolled through me again. I decided to search for it one more time. And there it was!! This is also special time for me to draw closer to the Lord while Bob is gone. The routines are broken up and Lucky and I are on our own. I am praying I will not waste this time, but “gladly render to Him all I am and have.”

Yes! Let us live for the praise of His Glory, always.

Nothing Impossible

I saw an advertisement recently that used a quote from Audrey Hepburn. I had never heard this one! She said,

I just love that! The word itself says I’m possible. That is just the optimism I believe the Lord had when He created you and me! He makes us possible and He provides what we need to fulfill His plan on the earth.

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.

2 Peter 1:3-4

He has given us His Son. The power of resurrection life through the sacrifice of Jesus and the indwelling Spirit. Everything we need for life and godliness is ours. Are we taking advantage of the things we have been given? Are we telling ourselves “I’m possible.”

There was a time when it would have been thought impossible that people of color could star in Cinderella, and I would ask “Why not?” There was a time when my mother took my sister for modeling lessons while I stayed home to strip the wax off the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. I called myself “CinderLinda.” (Molly is a nickname.) Yet the following shows how very possible “impossible” things are!

You may have asked God if there is some way He can use you in His Kingdom. I would cheer a resounding, “Yes!!” Our Pastor often quotes Henry Blackaby.

“We don’t choose what we will do for God; He invites us to join Him where He wants to involve us.”

― Henry T. Blackaby, Experiencing God

So have you asked the Father where He wants to involve you? If He shows you where He is working will you be willing to join Him? Even if it is not a place you choose to serve? Are you willing to declare through His power “I’m possible!”

Many years ago the following praise chorus was popular. Praise choruses are a great way to learn Scripture. This one quotes Jeremiah proclaiming praise in The Amplified Bible Jeremiah 17:32. ‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You—. The outstretched arm is the weakest position. You will get the idea after the first minute!

God can use anyone yielded to Him for the growth and building of His kingdom. The best question is “Are you willing to serve Him?”

His Grip

It’s not my grip on him that matters but his grip on me. And his grip is sure. So is his presence in my life. God is always near us. Always for us. Always in us. We may forget him, but God will never forget us. We’re forever on his mind and in his plans. He called himself “‘Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” Matthew 1:23 NRSV

Oswald Chambers

My hands are getting weaker the older I become. God is not worried. He has me in His grasp.

Even when I was a very young Christian and did not understand much of His Word, He had His grip on me. Now that I am aging, I am still within His grip.

I love that quote that my grip on Him does not matter – but His grip on me.

He is able to keep all that the Father has given Him.

Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.  This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day.  For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:35-40 CSB

But I am not ashamed, for I know the One in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to Him

2 Timothy 1:12-12 NRSV

I can commit my life and my all to Him. He is able to keep me until the Day of His glorious coming again.

Rest on Your Laurels

… means to be satisfied with one’s achievement, by implication enough so as not to expend further effort. Wikipedia: wise one of the earth says, “The term, dating from the mid-nineteenth century, alludes to the wreaths of laurel leaves use to crown the winner of athletic contests in ancient Greek and Roman times; the laurel today remains a symbol of victory.”

Still boasting about something God used you for?

Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth;  but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 NRSV

Some have made mission trips and saw the Lord move mightily and use them in significant ways. May all glory go to God. Some have never traveled far at all, yet the Lord often uses them frequently in the local store.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NRSV

Matilda Kipfer said she was a simple woman, not wise. Being foolish by the standards of the world was fine by her because the Lord chose what is foolish to confound the wise.

Seems to me there was an image like this in my childhood Bible

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus (blessed be he forever!) knows that I do not lie.  In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me,  but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 11:30 – 2 Corinthians 12:1

Most humans do not want to be seen as weak. Yet Paul tells us how he was lowered in a basket to escape a king who wanted to seize Paul. The Bible says it is better to be weak and a fool than to follow after things of the world. Let God be seen as strong and mighty, even at your own expense.

Did God do something mighty through your service? If so, we must remember we were God’s tool just as Balaam’s donkey was God’s tool. Numbers 22 tells the story of how Balaam was known as a professional prophet who traveled about and cursed military enemies for money. He was a seer for hire. His only power was words to put curses on others. (Isn’t the Bible full of interesting characters?) His donkey saved his life three times when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord blocking the path with a drawn sword. How do we know this? The third time it happened as Balaam beat his donkey with anger and the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth to speak!

Numbers 22:21-35 Donkey saves Balaam’s Life

Being corrected and saved by a donkey has to bring humility I would think. In the end of the story God had victory over the evil troops. No curses were allowed.

So what now? Give thanks for the ways God has used you in the past. What have you done recently with God? Have you found where He is working and joined His project? Or are you still telling others what He did long ago and far away? Has your laurel wreath withered and become only an old story? Do you know Jesus and have you talked with Him today? What are your marching orders from Him? Are you walking in obedience to His orders?

I hope you are not sitting on your laurels and letting the Kingdom work fall to others. “Let those who boast boast that they understand and know Me.” “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” The Lord wants it known that He acts with steadfast love, justice and righteousness on the earth. Have you shared that message? As we gain a deeper understanding of Him let’s spread that knowledge every place we go. Perhaps He will use us to His glory! Meanwhile, let your laurels bloom and move on.