Author Archives: carolvorw

Daniel 7:13- 11:13

So glad for today’s reading to start out on a positive note, because God needs to keep reminding us that the darkness is not forever, and that one day it will turn into a glorious light.

I saw a human form, a son of man, arriving in a whirl of clouds. He came to The Old One and was presented to Him.  He was given power to rule—All the glory of royalty.  Everyone—race, color, and creed—had to serve him.  His rule would be forever, never ending.  His kingly rule would never be replaced.  (Daniel 7: 13-14 MSG)

But unfortunately, the world, and especially I, am going to have to go through some stuff, to get to the point where Jesus is the ruler, now and forevermore!  The visions Daniel saw shook him to his core, so can you imagine what it will be like to actually have to live through it.  There are going to be leaders that rise up and who will be determined to make war with God’s holy people.

I watched as the ram charged: first west, then north, then south.  No beast could stand up to him.  He did just as he pleased, strutting as if he were king of the beasts.

While I was watching this, wondering what it all meant, I saw a billy goat with an immense horn in the middle of its forehead come up out of the west and fly across the whole country, not once touching the ground.  The billy goat approached the double-horned ram that I had earlier seen standing at the gate and enraged, charged it viciously.  I watched as, mad with rage, it charged the ram and hit it so hard that it broke off its two horns.  The ram didn’t stand a chance against it.  The billy goat knocked the ram to the ground and stomped all over it.  Nothing could have saved the ram from the goat. (Daniel 8:4-7 MSG)

Then I overheard two Holy angels talking.  One asked, “How long is what we see here going to last—the abolishing of daily worship, this devastating judgement against sin, the kicking around of God’s holy people and the Sanctuary?’

“The other answered, ‘Over the course of 2,300 sacrifices, evening and morning.  Then the Sanctuary will be set right again.”  Daniel 8:13-14 MSG)

And then he continued, “I want to tell you what is going to happen as the judgement days of wrath wind down, for there is going to be an end to all this. (Daniel 7:19 MSG)

The horns represent leaders and kingdoms.  All battling to be the greatest among all.  Killing and destroying whatever and whoever gets in the way. Daniel was obviously disturbed by his visions.  He couldn’t make sense of it.  It made him sick, but he kept it all to himself (7:28). What he did is the same that I, myself can do:

I, Daniel was meditating on the Scriptures that gave, according to the Word of God to the prophet Jeremiah, the number of years that Jerusalem had to lie in ruins, namely, seventy.  I turned to the Master God, asking for an answer—praying earnestly, fasting from meals, wearing rough penitential burlap, and kneeling in the ashes. I poured out my heart, baring my soul to God, my God: (Daniel 9: 2-4a MSG)

Daniel believed compassion from God was our only hope! And he is right.  I need to keep the scriptures in front of me and pour my heart out to God.  Like Daniel, my answer may become part of a spiritual battle and be delayed (9:23), but God hears even the smallest voice, and He know the intention of every heart. He can calm in the middle of chaos!

“Then this humanlike figure touched me again and gave me strength.  He said, ‘Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace.  Everything is going to be all right.  Take courage. Be strong.’

“Even as he spoke, courage surged up within me.  I said, ‘Go ahead, let my master speak. You’ve given me courage.’ (Daniel 10:18-19 MSG)

If I look to God, as my one and only source, He can calm me on the inside, even when the outside is falling down all around me.  He is truly a great reward to me, and has proven Himself faithful through many things, building my faith and trust greater and greater each time.  He can do the same for anyone who gives Him the opportunity to show up in their lives!  But to me, I can find comfort knowing that at the end of the destruction of many people, good and bad, that there is an end to it all, and that there is a Kingly rule that will never be replaced. 

Father God, like Daniel, I thank you that you hear my prayers, I thank you for your forgiveness! Please look at what is going on around me and in this world and do something.  Please do not delay! There are so many that need to be lifted up out of their troubles! It is more than my mind can comprehend.  Only you can come to our rescue!  I trust you, and I am looking to you to bring the change that all these hearts need, including mine. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Ezekiel 13:1-16:43

I try to pray every day “Lord, help me not to be deceived.” Deception can come from everywhere, even in the church.  Therefore, it is important to recognize when someone is not telling me the truth.  My truth should be based on the scriptures, and not what comes out of any man’s mouth.  It is sad that God is not the priority of whom people should want to please.  Facts are twisted or hidden, to make it fit whatever they want to convey.

God’s message came to me: “Son of man, preach against the prophets of Israel who are making things up out of their own heads and calling it “prophesying.”  (Ezekiel 13:1 MSG)

All they do is fantasize comforting illusions and preach lying sermons.  They say ‘God says. . . ‘when God hasn’t so much as breathed in their direction.  And yet they stand around thinking that something they said is going to happen. (Ezekiel 13:6 MSG)

The fact is that they’ve lied to my people.  They’ve said, ‘No problem; everything’s just fine,’ when things are not at all fine.  When people build a wall, they’re right behind them slapping on whitewash.  Tell those who are slapping on the whitewash, ‘When a torrent of rain comes and the hailstones crash down and the hurricane sweeps in and the wall collapses, what’s the good of the whitewash that you slapped on so liberally, making it look so good?’ (Ezekiel 13:10-12 MSG)

This is nothing new, Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun.  I guess he was right. How much do I whitewash myself before going out in the world.  The hair, clothes, makeup, jewelry, handbags and shoes all matching. Guys have it so easy—they only need hair, clothes and shoes.  Anyway, I try to look so perfect on the outside pretending that I have it all together, but my insides are falling apart. My thoughts can be all over the place, my heart sad, or my body riddled with sickness.  But I try to hide the truth of what is going on, pretending day in and day out.  But whitewashing doesn’t do a thing for me.  What would be better is if I would share with others what I am experiencing, so that they could help me or I could help them.  If I were honest, I think it would bring more people closer to God, than pretending all is good.  I am “false preaching” when I am lying and saying everything is fine.  How much worse would it be if someone was standing in a pulpit saying things that they would like to see happen, instead of what actually is.  It is no wonder God is so angry with Israel.

The Message of God, the Master: All in Israel who install idols in their hearts and embrace the wickedness that will ruin them and still have the gall to come to a prophet, be on notice: I, God, will step in and personally answer them as they come dragging along their mob of idols.  I am ready to go to work on the hearts of the house of Israel, all of whom have left me for their idols. (Ezekiel 14:3-5 MSG)

Idols can be anything that we place before God.  And as I read this verse, I see that idols are heavy and weigh me down.  Why else would I have to drag them?  God gives me a warning lesson—get rid of them so you will realize that I am God. (v.8) I realize God is talking about eliminating the people with the idols, but I can still take it as a warning for today.  God wants my burdens to be light.  He doesn’t want me dragging around things that make my life cumbersome and difficult.  Jesus said to cast all my cares on Him, to take His yoke, for His burden is light. He wants me to have an abundant life, a full life.  The things He tells me to put down are for my own good.  Not to keep me from fun, or enjoyment.

God says in Chapter 14 that if he sent his four catastrophic judgements on Jerusalem- war, famine, wild animals, and disease, and if Noah, Daniel and Job happened to be alive at the time, as sure as He is the living God, not a son, not a daughter would be rescued.  Only these three would be delivered because of their righteousness.  This tells me that I am the only one who can save my own life. I can’t depend on the lives of others, no matter their station in life.

But look! Believe it or not, there’ll be survivors.  Some of their sons and daughters will be brought out.  When they come out to you and salvation is right in your face, you’ll see for yourself the life they have been saved from. (Ezekiel 14:22 MSG)

I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover.  I took care of you, dressed you and protected you.  I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you.  I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. I gave you a good bath, washing off all that old blood, and anointed you with aromatic oils.  I dressed you in a colorful gown and put leather sandals on your feet.  I gave you linen blouses and a fashionable wardrobe of expensive clothing.  I adorned you with jewelry.  I placed bracelets on your wrists, fitted you out with a necklace, emerald rings, sapphire earrings, and a diamond tiara.  You were provided with everything precious and beautiful: with exquisite clothes and elegant food, garnished with honey and oil.  You were absolutely stunning. You were a queen! You became world-famous, a legendary beauty brought to perfection by my adornments. Decree of God, the Master.

But your beauty went to your head and you became a common whore. (Ezekiel 16:9-15a)

How am I like Israel? God has watched over me and protected me my whole life.  How satisfied am I with that? Or do I become a prostitute to things I want that God hasn’t provided, even though his provisions are stunning, and nothing is missing for me to have a wonderful life. It is amazing that I could still want more when God has lavished all things good on me, including the life of His Son.

Father God, I am sorry for the idols and discontentment in my life.  Help me to get rid of them, and help me to be content with all that you have provided me with.  You are for me, You would never try to deceive me, help me to ground my life solely in You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Jeremiah 21-24

Sometimes I stop and reflect on how my life was without God.  I think I was protected by my mother’s prayers for me.  But the people of Israel and Judah weren’t so fortunate.  Their ancestors had turned their back on God.  They did not have divine protection like I did.  I may not have been doing the same things that the Israelites were doing, but I was still doing wrong, and the potential for disaster was still there.  But God!

Sure, they heard of God, sure they heard the stories, but, that was all that they were to them, stories.  I know a couple of girls from a different religion that think the Bible is like a history book, it doesn’t apply to them, only to the people of that day.  How sad!  The scriptures say the Bible is alive and active, sharper than any two- edged sword. Does that sound like a history book?? I can attest that the spirit lives in the word, and it is living and breathing life into anyone who will give it a chance.

King Zedekiah must have heard the stories of how God protected his people in battle, so he thought ‘why not try?’ But God sees the motives behind the words and replied through Jeremiah:

This is the God of Israel’s message to you:  You can say goodbye to your army, watch morale and weapons flushed down the drain.  I’m going to personally lead the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans, against whom you’re fighting so hard, right into the city itself.  I’m joining their side and fighting against you, fighting all-out, holding nothing back.  (Jeremiah 21:4-5 The Message)

Listen carefully, I’m giving you a choice: life or death.  Whoever stays in the city will die—either in battle or by starvation or disease.  But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who have surrounded the city will live.  You’ll lose everything—but not your life. I’m determined to see this city destroyed.  I’m that angry with this place! God’s decree. I’m going to give it to the king of Babylon, and he’s going to burn it to the ground. (Jeremiah 21:8-10 The Message)

Sometimes I get arrogant, and think I am in control and succeeding.  I am sure that the king probably thought that too.  I’m an Israelite! (I am a Christian!) God is for me and not against me. But God’s favor depends on my heart and my actions, it is not automatic.  Sometimes it is grace, but not always. There is a limit on when, how much, and how often.

Sometimes when God is for me, it may look like He is against me.  He told the people if you want to live, then you have to lose everything and let the Chaldeans capture you. 

The exiles from here that I’ve sent off to the land of the Babylonians are like the good figs, and I’ll make sure they get good treatment.  I’ll keep my eye on them so that their lives are good, and I’ll bring them back to this land.  I’ll build them up, not tear them down.  I’ll plant them, not uproot them. (Jeremiah 24:4-7 The Message)

That is what Jesus says too. Give up your life and follow me. If I let Jesus capture me, I am sure the same applies–He’ll keep His eye on me, He’ll build me up and plant me in fertile ground. But I have my part to do.  I need to be sure I don’t lead any people away from God because of my actions or my words.  I need to make sure I don’t make stuff up so it sounds good, or say ‘everything will turn out good,’ when I do not know if it will or not.  

“Instead of claiming to know what God says, ask questions of one another, such as “How do we understand God in this?” But don’t go around pretending to know it all, saying God told me this…God told me that…I don’t want to hear it anymore.  Only the person I authorize speaks for me. Otherwise, my message gets twisted, the Message of the Living God-Of-The-Angel-Armies. (Jeremiah 23:35-36 MSG)

Quit the “God told me this…God told me that…kind of talk.  (Jeremiah 23:38 MSG)

O land, land, land, listen to God’s Message! (Jeremiah 22:29 MSG)

God is definitely for me, but I have to be for Him too! That is the most important part!

“Am I not a God near at hand” -God’s Decree (says the Lord)— “and not a God far off? Can anyone hide out in a corner where I can’t see him?”  God’s Decree.  “Am I not present everywhere, whether seen or unseen?”  God’s Decree. (Jeremiah 23: 23-24 MSG)

It is God’s desire to be alive and active in my life.  With Him, I can do anything, without Him, I struggle through each day, whether I realize it or not.  I am only my best when I am walking hand in hand with my God. And God is delighted to be near to those who desire to live in His promises to His people.

Another one of His promises:

“Time’s coming”—God’s Decree—“When I’ll establish a truly righteous David-Branch, A ruler who knows how to rule justly, He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.  In His time Judah will be secure again and Israel will live in safety.  This is the name they’ll give Him: ‘God-Who-Puts-Everything-Right.’ (The Lord is our Righteousness) (Jeremiah 23:5-6 MSG)

Doesn’t that sound like heaven? I sure would like to see unity, justice and safety where I live.

Father God, I praise your name.  I thank You for Your word that teaches me how to live, and how not to live.  If I abide in You, You will help me through this world each step of the way.  You are faithful and true.  I can trust You and Your word to carry me into eternity.  You are so worthy of all praise and honor! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Isaiah 28:23 – 32:20

It is clear from these verses that God has a specific way for things to proceed. Of course, He is at the top of the list, and the most important step. Keep Him there and things fall into place. Forget Him, and well you know, all hell will break lose and everything in between. I don’t like to use that word, but sometimes it is appropriate.

Do farmers plow and plow and do nothing but plow? Or harrow and harrow and do nothing but harrow? After they’ve prepared the ground, don’t they plant? Don’t they scatter dill and spread cumin, plant wheat and barley in the fields and raspberries along the borders? They know exactly what to do and when to do it. Their God is their teacher.
And at the harvest, the delicate herbs and spices, the dill and cumin, are treated delicately. On the other hand, wheat is threshed and milled, but still not endlessly.
The farmer knows how to treat each kind of grain. He’s learned it all from God-Of-The-Angel-Armies, who knows everything about when and how and where. (Isaiah 28:24-29 The Message)

So, if God gives wisdom to the farmers and explains to them everything about when, and how and where, is that enough for the crop to survive and flourish? No! They still need the proper amount of sunlight and rain to grow. So, if I try to do anything without God, I am destined to failure right from the start. It’s like when someone gives you a recipe and leaves out a key ingredient. It just doesn’t taste right. And so, my life just doesn’t taste right without God. Sure, I can live without God and do just fine for a time. He gives me free will. But I can’t imagine how I would get through the tough stuff without His sunshine and His rain to grow and flourish me. Also, there are so many times I need His wisdom on how to do things. More than once I have had a project that I couldn’t figure out how to fix, and then at night, while lying in bed, a thought would pop into my head. I would try it out later, and it would work! I don’t have to get it right 100% of the time, but God knows where He stands in my life.

“No longer will Jacob hang his head in shame, no longer grow gaunt and pale with waiting. For he’s going to see his children, my personal gift to him—lots of children. And these children will honor me by living Holy lives. In Holy worship they’ll honor the Holy One of Jacob and stand in Holy awe of the God of Israel. Those who got off-track will get back on track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude.” (Isaiah 29: 23-24 The Message)

I have to say that lately whining is what has taken me off course. There are things going on at my job that are falling in the gray areas, and I whine about it to my son (we are both accountants) and he always says, “Why do you care, you are getting paid aren’t you?” The truth is my job has given me a lot of perks. I work from home 4 of 5 days, I am allowed to go to Aquatics in the morning three times a week before starting my work day, and like my son says—I get paid every two weeks. So, I should be grateful for my job! And I am mostly, I just have this tugging that there is something going on behind the scenes. I need to practice gratitude. Every time a negative thought comes into my mind, I am going to try to turn it around and say “Thank you God for my job!” and if God wants me to leave, He will open a door somewhere else, but until then—Thank you God for my job! I don’t want to be rebellious or ungrateful!

So, go now and write all this down. Put it in a book so that the record will be there to instruct the coming generations. Because this is a rebel generation, a people who lie, A people unwilling to listen to anything God tells them. They tell their spiritual leaders, “Don’t bother us with irrelevancies.” They tell their preachers, “Don’t waste our time on impracticalities. Tell us what makes us feel better. Don’t bore us with obsolete religion. That stuff means nothing to us. Quit hounding us with The Holy of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:8-11 The Message)

“Your salvation requires you to turn back to Me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on Me—the very thing you’ve been unwilling to do. (Isaiah 30:15 The Message)

But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for Him are the lucky ones. Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment He hears, He’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your Teacher alive, and present among you. Your Teacher, will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road, walk down this road.” (Isaiah 30:18-21 The Message)

I believe this also applies to all the citizens of the United States and beyond. I can’t tell you how to experience God, it is an individual process. But it is definitely not obsolete or impractical. It is very alive and active. But the only way I can experience it is to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. As long as I play it safe, I will not fully see how active God really is in my life.

I don’t know about you, but I see so much love in the promises of God. He understands my stumbling and complete face dives into the concrete. But I only need to cry for help, and He’s right there with amazing grace. He will provide the right amount of rain and sunshine in my life. He will treat me delicately when I need delicateness, and He will thresh me with the right amount of threshing, but not enough to destroy me. My Teacher is present and alive in my life trying his darndest to keep me on the right road that will provide my safety and security though out this time on earth.

Oh God my Father and Teacher, help me to stay on the road you have for me. Never let me wander too far off before you nudge me back towards you. Thank you for the love of your promises and your amazing grace that is new every morning. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Proverbs 17-20

The Bible tells us you reap what you sow. This is so evident in the Proverbs. You sow evil, you reap evil. You sow goodness, you reap goodness. It is so practical, yet hardly ever followed or thought about. Some things we just want. Wealth is one of them. Last night (Friday) was the Mega Millions drawing for over a billion dollars. A lot of people were dreaming about what they could/would do with it. Some were funny, other not so much. One kid said he would definitely buy a Tesla because they can drive themselves, and he wasn’t old enough to drive. Another man said if he won, he would not share it with his wife and kids, but most said they would help others, plenty to go around. Whether we realize it or not, these are Proverbs at work.

Those who return evil for good will meet their own evil returning (Proverbs 17:13 MSG)

It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing, or run up huge bills you can never repay (Proverbs 17:18 MSG) Another version (NLT) says: It’s a poor judgement to guarantee another person’s debt or put-up security for a friend. (My mother quoted this verse to me many times, and I saw what happened when she tried to help others, and then they defaulted. She ended up paying, especially with family. I quoted this verse to my son, and, if he ever has children, I hope he will pass it on as well. It saves a lot of hard feeling from sprouting.)

Better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust. (Proverbs 18:1 MSG)

Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies, but poor people are avoided like a plague. (Proverbs 19:4 MSG)

Lots of people flock around a generous person; everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist. (Proverbs 19: 6 MSG)

Mercy to the needy is a loan to GOD, and GOD pays back those loans in full. (Proverbs 19:17 MSG)

Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger, beware of accepting what a transient has pawned.
Stolen bread tastes sweet, but soon you mouth is full of gravel. (Proverbs 20:16-17 MSG)

Money can be used for good, and it can be used for evil. Money draws people. Lack of money unfortunately keeps people at arms distance. Especially those who always have their hand out. We all desire good relationships. But, we must be careful of who we invite into our lives. There are takers and there are givers and anywhere in between. Like money, friends invite life or death.

Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and –good-bye, friend! (Proverbs 17:9 MSG)

The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts (Proverbs 17:14 MSG)

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. (Proverbs 17: 17 MSG)

Answering before listening is both stupid and rude (Proverbs 18:13 MSG)

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit– you choose. (Proverbs 18:21 MSG)

Find a good spouse, you find a good life—and even more: the favor of God!
The poor speak in soft supplications; the rich bark out answers.
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family (Proverbs 18: 21-24 MSG)

When you are down on your luck, even your family avoids you—yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost. If they see you coming, they look the other way – out of sight, out of mind (Proverbs 19:17 MSG)

Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget (Proverbs 19: 11 MSG)

Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths. (Proverbs 20: 19 MSG)

People are hard to distinguish sometimes. Real motives can be disguised, whether good or bad. The only way that I can have a true friend, is to be a good friend. I can only do this with the help of God, and using His wisdom. He can help me see things I wouldn’t otherwise see. He can help me to forgive. He can help me want to be loving, kind and generous. So, to me, the best relationship to concentrate on, is my relationship with God.

God’s name is a place of protection—good people can run there and be safe. (Proverbs 18: 10 MSG)

Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life. (Proverbs 19: 8 MSG)

Fear of God is life itself, a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises (Proverbs 19:23 MSG)

Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within.
Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving, but where on earth can you find one?
God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children. (Proverbs 20:5-7 MSG)

Ears that hear and eyes that see – – we get our basic equipment from God! (Proverbs 20:12 MSG)

Don’t ever say, “I’ll get you for that!” Wait for God; he’ll settle the score. (Proverbs 20:22 MSG)

God hates cheating in the marketplace; rigged scales are an outrage.
The very steps we take come from God; otherwise, how would we know where we’re going? (Proverbs 20: 23-24 MSG)

God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out. (Proverbs 20:27 MSG)

If I try to live a life pleasing to God, wealth, health, relationships with others will still come, perhaps with some trials. It is so much easier for me to know God is with me, and will help me to discern what my next steps should be. I can rest knowing that the God of Joseph, Abraham, Jacob and Isaac is the same God that walks with me. He can still open the seas, take undeserved situations and give undeserved favor. I can wrestle with the things of God but choose not to let go, no matter the cost. I can be close to death, and God can provide a ram in the thicket, to spare my life. Without God there is no hope, with God, I see all things as possible. I have hope in all things, even if I can’t see beyond the darkness.

Father God, You have been with me since conception. I may not have realized it at the time, but you watched over me and kept me from getting into harms way when I was not even following you. I am so glad you used an unpleasant situation to get my attention. I am so glad you got it! I pray you never lose it again. You have been my confidence, my strength, my joy and peace. Thank you for loving me into eternity. Thank you for your many blessings; friends, family, health, and wealth, even though it may not be physical dollars, it is enough! You are an amazing mystery. Just when I think I have something figured out, you change the goal posts. You are never boring to me. Thank you for all things, even those things I don’t know about. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.

Carol (carolvorwe)

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