Author Archives: carolvorw

Ruth 1-2; Acts 3

Ruth 1:8-9 (MEV): Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law,” Go, return each to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with your deceased husbands and with me. May the LORD grant that you each find rest in the house of another husband.”


This story reminds me that I have choices to make when I am facing trials. My sufferings lead me to crossroads in life and I have to make decisions that may affect the rest of my life. One choice is to return to things familiar, even if it means I forsake God, and of course the other choice is to keep moving towards God. When my thoughts are clear, it seems like the choice is obvious, which brings me to the next choice; I can choose to blame God for my troubles, or I can trust God that He has my life in His hands and move closer still to Him. Many people choose to blame God when one of their loved ones die, but I don’t think God is responsible at all. He has broad shoulders and will let me work through my grief, even if it means I turn my back on Him. God sees my hurts and my pains and He will wait patiently for me to reach out to Him once again.

Ruth 1: 16-17 (MEV): But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do thus to me, and worse, if anything but death separates you and me!”

Also, when I have troubles, there may be people who walk away from me, and there may be people who will lift me up and encourage me. Ruth is an example of a true friend. I think this is how God wants us to be to others. God wants me to lay aside my problems and reach out to someone else who is hurting. Both women were grieving, but in reaching out and helping someone else (Naomi), it was Ruth who was helped in the long run. When I do unto others, God will do unto me!

As I have mentioned before, I am a strong believer in the power of words and what you say over yourself impacts the way you think, and the way you act, and the way you perceive things:

Naomi said:
It is much more bitter for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has turned against me”(v.13)
“Call me Mara, because the Almighty has brought great bitterness to me”(v.20)
“I was full when I left, but the LORD has caused me to return empty.” (v.21)
“The Lord has opposed me.” (v.21)
“The Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” (v.21)

Unfortunately, if I were God, I wouldn’t want to bless someone who is going around town saying these things. But fortunately, I am not God! God is bigger than my negative words. He sees my heart and knows my pain. Sin entered the world, and thus so did death. It is not God’s desire for anyone to die, for there is no dying and pain in heaven, but on earth, alI have free will and that causes things to go awry and to spill over and touch those around them. It is what I have to remember when I face troubles. Hurts can make you bitter or they can make you better. Naomi chose bitter, Ruth chose better.

I want to be a Ruth to a Naomi, to walk next to someone even when all they can see is their emptiness.
Sometimes it is like that with God. I can feel so alone and desolate, but God is still right there, beside me, every step of the way. Like Naomi, I may not see God at work in my life, but that doesn’t mean He is not working. It takes time for me to walk through my issues, but that doesn’t mean that God has deserted me! It is often when I am on the other side of my trials that I can look back and see how God was truly working. Who is the Ruth in your life? Who is the Naomi in your life? Ruth gave of herself to Naomi and the Lord blessed Ruth with protection, food, and kindness from others. Those blessings spilled over to those around her (Naomi). Ruth has a beautiful heart and spirit. She is someone I would like to imitate.

Acts 3: 4-5 (MEV): Peter, gazing at him with John, said, ”Look at us.” So he paid attention to them,
expecting to receive something from them.

Sometimes I need to see the people that I am talking to. Sometimes I listen with my ears, but my eyes may be looking downwards. I can remember that one time my sister bent over trying to make eye contact with me. That is what this verse reminds me of. When someone is speaking to me, I should look at them, and give them my full attention, because I will never know the things they may speak, or do, that will bring me wisdom and blessings.

Acts 3: 8 (MEV): Jumping up, he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.

Some of you may not know this about me, but I have two feet that think they are flippers instead of feet. I can walk with braces or other helps, but I cannot jump or run. But I can still praise God! Like this man, I believe I will be able to walk and jump and praise God. I can see where I was, and I can see where I am today. So much healing has already happened, so my faith tells me there is more to come. I am not giving up and I know God will not give up on me!

Acts 3: 17-21 (MEV): Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold through all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled. Therefore, repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the one who previously was preached to you, Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke through all His holy prophets since the world began.

I have been told of many things that will come, just like they were. Will I miss the signs? Will I make bad decisions that I will later regret? God gives me many chances to get things right. I need to be strong, courageous, brave and confident in my faith to speak like Peter. I want the refreshing that comes from the presence of the Lord. I want to be ready and not ignorant.

Father God, I so want to have a heart like Ruth, one that is willing to encourage the down-trodden, and to lift them up. I want to serve You and not men. Help me to be strong and courageous and ready to help when you call me to serve someone. It is in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Joshua 14-17, Luke 17

Joshua 14:1a (NIV)- Now these are the areas the Israelites received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan…

Finally, as the Lord promised, the Israelites received their inheritance. This in itself shows me that even if I, at some time or another, am a rebellious, complaining, stubborn, and stiff-necked person, God will still honor the promises He has made to me. This is not condoning bad behavior by any means, it is showing the grace and mercy of an amazing God towards His people. If God said it is to be, then it will be, in spite of my behavior. I do not fit into the equation.

Joshua 14:8 (NIV)- but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.

Caleb reminds Joshua that he followed the Lord wholeheartedly and should have Hebron as his inheritance. Even after wandering 40 years in the desert, Caleb still believed God was with him, and Caleb still believed he could take the city. Caleb said “with the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” Those are steadfast convictions. Convictions, no matter how much time has past, remains the same, or grows stronger.

This story reminds me that what I say can affect other people and their outcomes in life. People can see the same events, and based on their upbringing, life experiences, etc. can see different happenings, or interpret them differently. There were 12 spies. Only 2 believed God was able. 10 spies convinced the rest of the people that fear was bigger than their faith. So therefore, all of those people, who were voting that day, except Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness. See how powerful words are, and how they can alter your experiences in life? I need to be careful whose words I am following. God said Caleb had a different spirit and followed him wholeheartedly. Can He say that of Me? It is like being on a jury, you follow the evidence, and then you follow your heart, even if you are the only one who believes the way you do. Even if it brings criticism. Convictions are what makes up who I am, my character, my beliefs: whether I am kind and giving or whether I am wayward. If my roots run deep in the Word of God, then I will strive to follow Jesus in all that I do. By doing so, I will stand out and be different, even if my flesh is crying out to blend in with the crowd. I must overcome my flesh to please God.

In this day and age, where the world is trying their best to fill me with fear and despair, I must hold firm to hope, I must hold firm to my faith. I must put faith over fear everyday, all day!

The rest of the passages deal with the actual allotments for each tribe. It seems that there were 3 cities that the Israelites could not conquer entirely. The Jebusites could not be dislodged by Judah in Jerusalem. Ephraim did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer, and Manassites were unable to occupy their towns because the Canaanites were determined to live there. It does say though, that they both subjected the Canaanites to forced labor. Could convictions be the cause of this as well? Lack of determination, laziness or complacency? One thing we know : nothing is impossible for God!!

Luke 17: 1-3a (NIV) – Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.

It seems that words are not the only thing can lead a person astray, my actions can as well. Jesus said that sin is inevitable, but woe to him who causes someone to sin. This causes me to ponder–what have I done, either intentionally or unintentionally, that has caused someone to sin? I can only say “I’m sorry” and the Lord will forgive me for each and every time, but then I must try to change my behavior, so that no one else is tempted to follow me down a wrong path.

There is so much more involved than praying, reading your bible and singing praise and worship songs to the Lord to being a Christian. I must be fully aware of what I say and what I do and who it is affecting. We do not know who is watching us, maybe they will say ” Well, Carol is doing it, so it must be okay with God if I do it!” God have mercy with me, and make me more aware of my surroundings and who I am affecting!

Luke 17: 15-19 (NIV)- One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him–and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked,” Were not all ten cleansed? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, ” Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

In this passage Jesus adds one more thing to our list of things we ought to do. Say “THANK YOU!” How may times have I prayed to God and asked for something and when it came to pass, I did not say thank you? This was a Samaritan, the others were from Galilee. Shouldn’t the Galilean be the first ones back, after all they have heard all about God in their temple meetings? The Samaritans were hated by the Jews. But yet, it was the foreigner whose heart was touched by what Jesus did for him. It was his heart that told him to come back and say thank you! Seemed as if the Samaritan had stronger convictions than the Jewish men! I pray my convictions tell me to return and say, “Thank You God!”

Luke 17:31-33 (NIV) – On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

I believe it is God’s desire to bless us with good things. However, when He returns, we are to lay aside those things we treasure, and never look back, lest we become a pillar of salt, like Lot’s wife. That is not a natural thing for us to do. Look at what happens when there is a fire–if I have notice, I will save the humans, the cat and dog, grab my pictures and some clothes and maybe any other valuables and documents that I may need. But that is if we have notice! But what if I wake up, and fire is around me, and someone is at the window saying come? In those moments I do not try to find these valuable things–I go out in my pajamas. So it should be when Jesus returns. I should just go, not looking back. The treasures I have built up in heaven are far greater than the ones I have here on earth. The one thing I should be doing, while I have the time, is to bring as many people to heaven with me. That is the real valuable treasure while here on earth. God gives me many instructions, all for my good, all to warn me of what may lie ahead, whether good or bad. But it is my job to know the instructions, so that I will be ready, when the time comes, to carry them out.

Father God, Your Word is for my good. Please open my heart to hear what I need to hear. Please lead my hands to do all you have for me to do and my feet to go where you would like me to go. Please help me O God to be willing serve you in any way you need. If I am willing, then my convictions are for You, if I am not, well, then help me O God to change my heart. You have proven over and over that Your way is the best way. Help me to walk in Your way! In Jesus’ Holy name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Deuteronomy 6-9, Luke 7

Deut. 6:15 (MEV): (for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you.) Otherwise, the anger of the Lord your God will be inflamed against you from off the face of the earth.

Several years ago, I went to a Beth Moore conference and her topic was the jealousy of God. Most of us, including me, think of jealousy in a negative context; to be envious, or show suspicion towards someone else. But I learned that day that God’s jealousy is for me, not against me! He is Jealous or fiercely protective of things that belong to Him and that would be me (and you too, if you belong)!

Deut. 6:24-25(MEV): The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us, as He has to this day. It will be our righteousness if we are careful to keep all these commandments before the Lord our God, just as He has commanded us”

And, to continue on, I see that His statutes are for me as well. The more I study God’s word, the more I see love poured out on the pages. Every thing God asks me to do is for my good. He has made a way for me to be fiercely protected, if I just ponder these things in my heart, and make up my mind to do things God’s way.

Deut. 7: 10-11 (MEV): yet He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face. Therefore, keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you today, by doing them.

But, there are consequences if I choose not to be fiercely protected by God– destruction! So, He begs me, please keep My commandments. Don’t just merely think about them, but do them, and He will lavish His protection on me for all my days.

Deut. 8:3 MEV): He humbled you and let you suffer hunger, and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Our clothing did not wear out on you nor did your feet swell for these 40 years.

God teaches me, and trains me by means that may seem strange to me. They may even feel like a curse at the moment……

Deut. 8:7-9 (MEV): For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs that flow out of valleys and hills, a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper.

But If I just wait, have a little patience, I will see what he was preparing me for, blessings forevermore.

I was once in a bad relationship. I should have known better than to get into it, for so many reasons, but still I continued on in it, for about 13 years. It was during this time that I fully came to recognize that God saw me and knew my name, and saw what I was going through. It was during this time that I surrendered to God. I began to talk to God as though He was sitting next to me. It was the beginning of my relationship with Jesus. Years later I got into a new relationship. This person treated me so different. It was because of what I went through earlier, that I was able to appreciate and notice the good of the new relationship.

It is the same with Israel. Would they have appreciated the good land if they had not gone through the wilderness?

Deut. 9:6 (MEV) Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess on account of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

This verse made me laugh! God knows I don’t deserve what He blesses me with. Yet He chooses to bless me any way!

Deut. 9:20 (MEV): The Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, so I (Moses) prayed for Aaron at the same time. (referring to the golden calf)

Just this week I heard a person ask a minister “Why didn’t God punish Aaron? He sure punished a lot of the people, but it looked like Aaron walked away scot free.” The minister said he did not know, but this verse tells us it was because Moses prayed for him. Moses interceded on behalf of the people over and over, not just Aaron. I need people praying for me like Moses prayed for Aaron and the people of Israel. Perhaps the Holy Spirit?!?

Luke 7 is so filled with nuggets I would type the whole chapter. I read about the faith of the Centurion, that got his servant healed, the single mom whose son died and Jesus brought him back to life, John the Baptist’s doubts, and the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears. But here are my observations:

Faith is not the only way I can be healed. Jesus can have pity/compassion towards me.

Lack of faith is not held against me. Jesus understands my heart and my questions. I should never be too afraid to come to Jesus with my concerns.

Sometimes I do things based on my faith, and I end up where I never thought I would be. John the Baptist was like this too. His thoughts focused on the here and now, God focuses on the eternal. John only saw the prison bars, but I now see his story to encourage me not to waver in my faith based on my surroundings.

Faith can lead me to do bold things for God that someone is always ready to criticize. I should do it anyway!

It is my faith that saves me, I should never take it for granted.

Oh God my Father, I come into Your presence with a grateful heart. I am grateful that you train me sometimes with painful situations, so that I can appreciate the good. I am grateful that you bless me even though I am a stubborn person. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me. And, I am grateful that you give me faith. Everything that I have, comes from You, and so most of all, I am grateful for YOU! Thank you that with confidence I can say that I am a child of God. In Jesus’ name…Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Numbers 8-11; Colossians 1

Numbers 8:16b (MEV):   … instead of the firstborn of the children of Israel, I have taken them (Levites) for Myself.

I had never noticed this verse before.  Being a mother of one that was so difficult to conceive, I always wondered “what if I had to give my firstborn to the Lord, could I do it, would I do it?” But I thankfully see that God has swapped out the firstborn of Israel with the Levites.  I am so glad and relieved as I read this today.  This feeling might be inappropriate, but I am sure I am not the only one feeling it, both the Israelite mothers as well as the Gentiles.

Numbers 9:20 (MEV):  When the cloud remained a few days over the tabernacle, according to the commandment of the Lord they dwelt in their tents, and according to the commandment of the Lord they journeyed.

Can you imagine living like this? I can’t! How difficult it would be to plan things.  I would always have to have my eyes on the cloud.  I would have to keep my focus on it, instead of on me.  But this is exactly how God wants me to live.  One day at a time.  Every single day following His every lead.  It may seem foreign to live like this, but it is exactly how I am to stay under His umbrella of protection. It is how I am to serve God.

Numbers 10:9 (MEV):  And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you will blow an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.

How comforting would it be if only the sound of a trumpet would cause the Lord to remember me.  Wouldn’t we all have trumpets or shofars in our back pockets or purses, instead of guns?  Trumpets could never be outlawed.  Can you picture it?

Numbers 11:11b-12a (MEV):  ….and why have I not found favor in Your eyes, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Have I conceived all this people?

When the tables turned, and I became the parent and my parents became the children, I remember asking the Lord this very question.  “Who died and left me boss?” So, I understand where Moses was coming from.  Day after day, someone complaining because their life had changed, it wasn’t the life they asked for, or wanted.  Like Moses, the only thing I could do was to pray “God help me!” And He did!

Numbers 11:20 (MEV):  ..but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils, and it will be nauseating to you because you rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before Him saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”

Will I never learn that if I don’t accept and be satisfied in the goodness of God, that He may just give me what I want, until it is nauseating and comes out my nostrils? Now that is a word picture!! Moses may have been dealing with a million plus people.  Can you see his problem? I need to stop my complaining about insignificant things I want, when all my needs are already met.  My mother used to say: “If God didn’t give it to me, then I don’t need it.”  I think I am beginning to see her reasoning.

Colossians 16b-17a (MEV):  ….All things were created by Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Such powerful words!  I take so much for granted; the stars, the moon, the sun, the oceans and the mountains.  All I see is the beauty of it, not what might happen if they may go awry. God has let me have a small taste of it through tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados.  Though I have watched from afar, it gives me an idea of what may happen if God didn’t hold all things together.  Powerful words indeed!! And yet, this powerful God (v22) presents me holy and blameless and above reproach if I am grounded and settled in my faith. Such Amazing Grace!!!

Dear Father, I pray to you and ask that I may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.  That I may walk in a manner worthy of you Lord, to please You in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of You God.  I pray that I may be strengthened will all the power that comes from Your glorious might, for You have all kinds of patience and steadfastness.  With joy I give thanks to You God, who qualifies me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. Amen and Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Leviticus 8-11; Psalm 110 and Hebrews 4

Lev. 8: 24 MEV- He brought the sons of Aaron, and Moses put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears, and on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet.

My first thought was– what is the significance of the right? The only thing I could think of was the sheep and the goats, where the sheep went to the right (believers), and the goats to the left (unbelievers). Therefore, I am thinking of the right signifying someone who believes in God and is accountable to God. Then the placing of blood on the ear, the thumbs, and the toes was also puzzling to me at first. but then I wondered: What if it mattered to God what God’s people heard? What God’s people touched? and where God’s people went? And to make it more modern: What God’s people wrote or typed to others? If it matters to God, then it should matter to me! God called Aaron and his sons to be set apart and be Holy. I am no different.

Lev. 09:23-24 MEV – Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out, they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. A fire came out from before the LORD, and it consumed the burnt offering and the fat that were on the altar. When all the people saw this, they shouted and fell on their faces.

I can only imagine how wonderful to see the glory of the LORD, and also how terrifying to see the fire that came out before the LORD. The bible says they shouted. Can you hear it? I can! But in my head it sounds more like a hallelujah, that turned into a gasp, and then, they fell on their face! I think it was both in awe and in fear. Maybe that is just how GOD wanted it!

BUT, one verse later…….

Lev. 10:1-2 MEV Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense in it, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He did not command them to do. Then a fire came out from the LORD and devoured them and they died before the LORD.

What were they thinking? Didn’t they just witness the power of God. Verse 24 said all people saw. God has clearly shown He was a GOD of detail and order. And God clearly meant for everything He said to be followed down to the letter of the law. Did not Moses make that clear? But we will never know what they were thinking because that is the last thing they did, and the last thing they will be remembered for. What if. the last thing I did, is what I would be remembered for, would I still do it?

Lev. 10:3b MEV And Aaron held his peace.

How hard this must have been. Yet he knew his sons disobeyed God. There was nothing he could say, only to learn from his son’s mistakes. As a parent, this is a hard lesson to learn.

Lev. 10:10-11 MEV so that you may differentiate between what is holy and common and between what is unclean and clean. And, so you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.

Unfortunately, today these lines have become very blurred. Also, my fear of God has been made common, not Holy. I see Him as my friend, my helper, and my provider….and He is all that, but, I have lost sight that, if I cross the lines, at any time, a fire can come out before God and consume me. Maybe not literally, but lots of things could consume me and draw me away from God. God doesn’t want me to be afraid to approach Him, for He wants an active, daily personal relationship with me. But what He does want, is for me to respect and honor His ways. He wants me to have the Holy courage and the Holy boldness to come out from the world and be separate from them. If I am not supposed to do the unclean things of this world to satisfy my needs or wants, then I can trust that God will supply a clean way to meet my needs and wants. If I do it any other way, it makes me blend in with the world. God calls for me to be Holy, because He is Holy!

Psalm 110:3 MEV Your people will follow you in the day of your battle: on the holy mountains at dawn of the morning, the dew of your youth belongs to you.

I realize this chapter is talking about Jesus, leading His people to God. But the same applies to me. Do I realize who my people are? How they watch what I do, and follow me? Will I lead them to the Lord, or will I lead them into the hands of destruction. I must make every effort to lead my people to victory, to lead them in God’s ways of doing things, not the world’s . To lead them to Jesus, so that He can lead them to God.

Hebrews 4: 1 MEV Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest remains, let us fear lest any of you should seem to come short of it.

Since I have believed, I have entered God’s rest. But I still need to fear God and respect His ways. He knows my motives and thoughts and intents. He sees all, yet I can come before Him to obtain mercy and find grace to help in my time of need. The bottom line from today’s readings is that our actions matter to God. It is all decided day by day, choice by choice. Do I choose live clean or unclean? Do I believe Jesus or the world? I saw an acronym for the word faith: Forsaking All, I Take Him! In my opinion, Jesus is worth many times more than anything this world offers. He offers eternal treasures, the world offers temporary pleasures. I choose to be clean.

Dear Heavenly Father, I see from your word that you want us to come out from among the world and be clean. How different this world would be if all your believers were like this. Lord help me to be strong, and be bold. Help me to be clean. Your ways are higher than mine. You are holy, I am not. So, I can only do what you help me to do. Help me God, every single second of every single day! Help me to uphold your ways, one day at a time. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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