Author Archives: 6intow

About 6intow

Erin (6intow) Raised in a Christian home, my faith became personal early on and grew immensely during high school and college. God has blessed me with an amazing, godly husband to lead our home and six kids ranging in age from four to seventeen. I love homeschooling, blogging, and sharing my faith with others. I look forward to walking through the Bible together this year and learning all that God has to teach us. I love that His Word is rich and living, and always fresh and refreshing.

2 Chronicles 6-7; Matthew 3; Psalms 98-99

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 3:2 ESV

Repentance – a turning from sin, a recognition of wrongs done, contrition that leads to a change of direction

John the Baptist was calling the people to repent of their wrongs. He knew what God had assured Solomon of centuries before.

 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV

When Solomon oversaw the building of the temple, he was creating a place for God to reside with his people, a place that they could come in corporate worship and repentance and cry out to him. There they knew he would hear them.

As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 7:1-3 ESV

God’s presence visibly filled the temple and I have no doubt that each witness of that event felt the security of his promises. I cannot imagine the overwhelming, instant response to worship and give thanks. The presence of God was a visible, tangible response to the sacrifices and humble prayers, but skip ahead to the world that John the Baptist was paving the way for.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Matthew 3:11-12 ESV

That same awesome presence of the Holy God that had filled Solomon’s Temple, was walking around in dusty sandals in Israel. And, in just a few short years would be indwelling all who believed as a seal of the promise of salvation.

What a picture of the triune, eternal, holy God!

He still responds to those that come to him in repentant humility with his awesome presence and promises.

Praising him today with the psalmist:

O Lord our God, you answered them;
    you were a forgiving God to them,
    but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the Lord our God,
    and worship at his holy mountain;
    for the Lord our God is holy!

Psalm 99:8-9 ESV

Erin (6intow)


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2 Samuel 21-23; 2 Corinthians 7; Psalm 55

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 ESV

Godly grief.

As I ask God to search me and know me, to bring to mind areas of weakness and error, he stirs a grief that leads to repentance. This is not the same as the shame-filled guilt that Satan uses to drag us into depression. The fitting outcome is joyfully repentant restoration not isolating self-condemnation.

David lives this out as he pleads to God for the cause of a famine and drought that has stretched into multiple years. This time the cause is not a personal sin, but a national oversight, a political action is needed.

 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

2 Samuel 21:1 ESV

When God revealed the cause of the judgment, David didn’t curl up in a ball and call himself names, he went to work to make it right. He drew out the pus that had been allowed to fester since before he was even king. His resolution might chafe against our modern-day culture, but at the time it brought peace and resolution even as the grief climaxed before resolving.

But I call to God,
    and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He redeems my soul in safety
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
19 God will give ear and humble them,
    he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
    and do not fear God.

Psalm 55:16-19 ESV

David knew how to pray. Maybe that is why I love using the Psalms as patterns for my own prayers, reframing the words for my situation, whether painful or joyful. He knew God, and received responses from God, to a depth that I crave as well and as a result was both brutally honest and at times uncomfortably vulnerable.

His faith carried him from his birth as the youngest of a lot of boys, to isolation as a shepherd, to the victory over Goliath, to the throne room of a united Israel, to his deathbed as a victorious military leader and political ruler. Yes, there were many mountainous bumps along that road. And, he had to wrestle with his human sinfulness time and again. However, he showed a relentless desire to follow God’s heart and prune sin and wrongs from his life.

Loving Father, thank you for David’s transparent example of a heart for you. Expose my sin and areas needing resolution as you did for him. If anything stands in the way of fruitful service for you, open my eyes to that and give me the boldness to seek wholeness. May I also come to you with such regularity and humility that my heart may similarly be completely interwoven with your own. Thank you for pursing me, drawing me, transforming me. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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1 Corinthians 14; Psalm 139

Known and loved.

Growing up believing in Santa Claus, I always was a little scared of the creepiness of him and an overworked sense of guilt if I deemed myself not “good enough.” After all, he apparently could see me when I was sleeping, see me when I was awake, knew if I was bad or good and my gift haul supposedly relied on my goodness.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 139:7-10 ESV

Psalm 139 could feel a little like Santa, but in reality it is nothing like that. Yes, God sees me when lie down and when I rise up. He knows my thoughts and seems my sin. He knows it all. And, he knows I have fallen far short of his standard. Additionally, he saved me anyway. He does not reward me based on my worthiness, because he knows I am not worthy of what he wants to give me. He bought that with his own blood because he loves every woven piece of me.

The psalmist does not come away bemoaning that he can’t get away from God, instead he recognizes that no matter how dark of a place he finds himself, God’s hand carries him there. I think of the many individuals throughout scripture who share their knowledge of or wrestling with this truth. Jonah thought he could run, not remembering God’s mercy and grace that would hold him wherever he went. Daniel and his three friends threw themselves whole-heartedly on God’s presence in the lion’s den and fiery furnace. David ran toward the giant with God leading the way. And, Peter even after denying he knew Jesus three times, jumped in the sea fully clothed because he could not wait for the boat to get to dry land where Jesus waited for him. No matter our condition or situation, God sees us, knows us, loves us, and holds us.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

Psalm 139 23-24 ESV

With that powerful assurance of God’s presence and protection on our lives, we draw close to God in humble repentance. Exposed and vulnerable, he peels back each layer to flush out the sin and lead us more closely in unity with him.

Father God, thank you for choosing to love me even while knowing everything about me. You know every action and every motive, every physical cell and every emotional expression. You know everything about me from conception through eternity and love me anyway. Help me to patiently surrender to the work you have yet to do in my heart and mind. Thank you for your constant presence in the highs and lows, light and dark. I need you every hour. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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1 Samuel 23; 1 Corinthians7; Psalm 31, 54

This amazing tour video shows the strongholds of Engedi, where David fled at the end of I Samuel 23, as they appear today

Now it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah. And Saul said, “God has given him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” And Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. David knew that Saul was plotting harm against him. And he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” 13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the expedition. 14 And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.

I Samuel 23:7-14 ESV

David wedged himself into some tight places. Sometimes he hid in plain sight, and other times he hid in remote desert regions. However, whether he chose a town with gates or a desolate cave, he rested safely in God’s care.

For you are my rock and my fortress;
    and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
    you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Psalm 31:3-5 ESV

David recognized that his protection was not the people or fortresses around him. His faith did not cling to his strategies or alliances. He knew that God was his fortress.

Love the Lord, all you his saints!
    The Lord preserves the faithful
    but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
    all you who wait for the Lord!

Psalm 31:23-24 ESV

Psalm 31 rings out such rich truth when you acknowledge the desperate places in which David found himself throughout his lifetime. He lived these truths. Besieged, lied about, surrounded, and in places without human hope. In those places, David yet dared to hope. In those places he learned the strength of God’s protection. He rested in God’s leading and ability to accomplish the impossible.

With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
    I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble,
    and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Psalm 54:6,7 ESV

David’s confidence hums through every refrain of these psalms. Security had nothing to do with his physical surroundings. He sought and trusted God first, last, and always.

May my heart sing the same chorus of worship to our God, the Ancient of Days. May my eyes not stray to the strength of my visible protections or the impenetrability of my plans. May God always own my confidence.

Oh God of might, hold my gaze fixed on you. Hold my confidence unwavering in your truth. All that matters in life is your design and intent, not my limited interpretation of events. Open my eyes to the brazenness of your way that completely disregards the appearance of strength. May I rest in your true strength regardless. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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1 Samuel 1-3; Galatians 3; Psalm 66

The brightness of God seems more clear from the midst of the darkness of struggle.

Hannah’s dark struggle with infertility drew her to the only place of comfort and hope.

15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord16 . . . I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”

I Samuel 1:15-16 ESV

For years, Hannah remained childless and trusted God with that heartache. And, when he chose to give her a child, she gave him that child by committing him to serve in the temple.

For you, O God, have tested us;
    you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 You brought us into the net;
    you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12 you let men ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Psalm 66:10-12 ESV

Throughout Scripture, I am thankful to find God showing the benefit of suffering. He often intentionally draws people into hard situations for our long-term growth and benefit. Reading the way Hannah is able to praise God when she reaches the end of this trial, shows the way her faith had been cultivated by years of calling out to God and learning to trust him when there was nothing else to trust.

“There is none holy like the Lord:
    for there is none besides you;
    there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
    let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
    and by him actions are weighed.

I Samuel 2:2-3 ESV

And on, and on she goes. God has proved himself her rock, not because he gave her a child, but because he carried her through the years without children. She knew humility first hand when others derided her because of her childlessness. In those moments she learned to trust in God and knew that she ultimately rested in his justice.

I do not crave hard situations. However, I know that God uses the challenges to draw me closer to him, to teach me full reliance, to remind me that he is all I truly need. Like the Hillsong song lyric in “What a Savior,” “Should my life hold nothing but my Savior, I will praise you always.”

Always. I will praise him regardless of what my eyes witness around me or what heartache fills my emotions. That sounds foolish in seasons of ease, but it somehow makes complete sense when the waves of life beat against me. His comfort is beyond comprehension, beyond understanding. I am thankful for the intimacy with him that comes more readily in the pain of trials.

Lord God, thank you for the hard times. Help me to learn through them as you intend. May I lean into you, always. May I praise you, always. May I trust your plan, always. May I glorify you always. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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