Author Archives: carolvorw

2 Kings 7-8; 2 Chronicles 21; Matthew 6

2 Kings 7: 1-2 (MEV): Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” Then an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, “If the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this thing happen?” And he said,” You will see it with your eyes, but you will not eat from it.”

I hope when I hear the word of the Lord spoken, I would not be like the officer. I want to believe God’s word spoken to me. But most of all, I do not want to make fun of it. Can you imagine being Elisha and speaking under the power of God, and someone shouts “that’s the craziest thing I ever heard”. I may not have an Elisha in my circle of friends, but I may have those who may try to give me words of wisdom, how sad it would if I quickly dismissed what they were saying, and quickly dismissed the benefit the words could have in my life. Unfortunately, the officer heard these words from Elisha; “You will see it with your eyes, but you will not eat from it”.

Then the Lord performed a miracle! The Arameans thought they were being attacked by several armies. Because of this, they fled and left behind all their treasures. (v6) Because they left behind all their treasures, the Israelites plundered their belonging and had plenty of food, animals, and other goodies which had been in short supply. So, the words of Elisha became truth.

And also, unfortunately for the officer, the people trampled him in the gate and he died. Which were also true words spoken by Elisha.

So, what if my friend is speaking truth into my life? I may not die, as the officer did, but I may miss out on plunder that could enrich my life. I need to take the words spoken to me, to God, and/or to the Bible, to see if they line up with the Word of God. Not everything spoken to me will be from a man of God, but I need to be able to discern which ones are, and pay attention to them. I believe the Lord has things to say today, just as He had words to say that day in Israel.

2 Chronicles 21:4 (MEV): The Jerhoram rose up over the kingdom of his father and he became strong. And he killed all his brothers with the sword and even some of the officials in Israel.

2 Chron. 21: 11(MEV): He even made high places in the hill country of Judah and caused those in Jerusalem to be like prostitutes, and he led Judah astray.

Elijah wrote a letter to Jehoram , and part of it said “Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, but have walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and have led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom, as the house of Ahab led Israel into whoredom, and also have killed your brothers, those of your father’s house, who were better than you, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your possessions, and you will have great sickness with a disease of your intestines” (v12b-15)

2 Chron 21:17 (MEV): And they (Philistines and Arabians) went up against Judah and broke through, and they took every possession found in the palace of the king, even his sons and wives, so that no son was left with him except his youngest Ahaziah.

2 Chron 21: 20 (MEV): He was thirty-two when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret. They buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

The more I read about these kings and how they acted just amazes and disgusts me. I grew up with seven siblings, and I cannot even imagine killing them. They may have gotten on my nerves from time to time, but not once did killing ever cross my mind. But that was only the beginning of his sins. Day after day his evil doings seemed to increase. I don’t believe in Karma, but I do believe in “do unto others as you would like done unto you”. It may be the same in this respect. I can’t even imagine someone doing, or treating others as he did. But I hope that if I had a leader over me like Jehoram, that I would be steadfast in my beliefs and not follow in his ways. I would like to be part of the town of Libnah who revolted from being under his rule because he had abandoned the Lord God of his fathers. (v.10) I am so glad I do not live in that era. But I am not surprised that he died with “no one’s regret”. That to me would be sad if I died and no one cared. But worst yet would be if the people cheered because I was dead. It reminds me of a scene in the Wizard of Oz when the wicked witch was killed and all the munchkins came out from hiding, happy that the witch was dead. But if I treat those around me with disrespect or treat them like dogs, the same could happen to me. It does matter what I do! God sees everything I do, and will intervene when, or if I get too ugly. I can’t say “I’m not as bad as that guy” because it is not about “that guy” it is about me! God only sees what I do, and how I react in situations, and I am only judged by what I do! I matters how I think, and about how I treat others. If I am not kind and loving, compassionate and forgiving to those around me I am not being as I should be. Jehoram was way off course, therefore he was not buried in the tombs of the kings. I say amen to that!

Matthew 6

Everything I do for God should be done in secret. If I go around telling everyone what I do and get man’s praise then I will not receive my heavenly reward. This applies to tithes, prayers, good deeds, and fasting. (v.1-18)

I need to store my treasures in heaven, not in my earthly home. What I value most is where my heart lies. (v. 19-21)

My eyes determine the light of my body. If I watch or see things that are dark, then it affects me negatively. (v. 22-23)

I cannot serve God and money. I don’t think it means that I can’t have money, it just means I can’t worship it. (v. 24)

If I don’t forgive others, God will not forgive me. I can’t have it one way. It must go in both directions. (v. 14)

I should not worry about what I will drink, eat, wear. God knows what I need and He will provide them for me. (v25-34)

In 2017 I was in the hospital for 2 months, I couldn’t drive for 2 more years, and not once was there ever a time that I needed anything. My neighbor mowed my grass, groceries were brought in weekly, even my cats were taken care of while I was in the hospital. I wasn’t on the phone asking people to do this, they just did it. I know firsthand what God will do for those who “seek first the kingdom of God”. I learned to take one day at a time. My time is wasted if I dwell on what may be. My day is ruined when I fear about my future. I trust God and choose to walk with Him daily. I cannot worry about tomorrow. Today has enough trouble of its own. And so far, God has been extremely faithful.

If only Jehoram had walked like this!

Father God, Holy is Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done; on earth as it is in heaven! Teach us to walk in your ways, provide for us, and forgive us, as we forgive others. Please keep us from all evil now and forever more. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, the glory and honor Amen!

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I Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10-11; and Titus 1

1 Kings 12:3-4 (MEV): …they called and sent for him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “ Your father made our yoke unbearable. Now, therefore, make the grievous service to your father and the heavy yoke he put upon us lighter, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam asked the people to return in three days so he would have time to consult others and then decide.

First, he asked the elders who used to work for his father, and in verse 7 they advised: “If you will be a servant to this people this day and will serve them and answer them and speak kind words to them, they will be your servants forever”.

Then he asked the young men who grew up with him (his peers) and they told him to answer: verses 10-11: “Thus shall you answer this people who said to you, “Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter for us’; thus shall you say to them ‘My little finger will be thicker than my father’s loins! Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your burden. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions!’”

With new leadership brings new ways. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam did not use Solomon’s wise elders. Instead, he decided to side with his peers. Though young people don’t always get it, sometimes the older generation, because of their age, their life experiences, things they saw along the way, and things they wish they never saw, makes them wiser than the younger generation.

The young men had a limited amount of life experiences. They sounded puffed up, thinking they knew what was best, but in fact it was the opposite. It may have made them feel good that the king listened to them, but their advice did not benefit the greater amount of people, i.e. Israel, and came with great consequences.

The decisions we make today affect our tomorrows.

As the elders suggested, a little kindness goes a long way. But Rehoboam didn’t see it their way and decided to be a harsher task master. This division cause a chain of events to occur:

v18- Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor was stoned to death by Israel.
v18- King Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem
v19- Israel rebelled
v20- Jeroboam became Israel’s king
v20- Only the tribe of Judah followed the House of David

But what was more shocking to me was that the events were of God!

11 Chronicles 10:15 (MEV): The king did not listen to the people, for the event occurred because of God, that the Lord might establish His word that He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

1 Kings 12:24 (MEV): “Thus says the Lord: You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers the children of Israel. Every man is to return to his house, for this thing is from Me.”

Rehoboam went home and fortified cities. Jeroboam went home and made golden calves to worship. He thought it would be too difficult to travel to Jerusalem to participate in the festivals of God. He wanted convenience, so he twisted the truth to the people and they followed his lead. This created still further division from the priests and the people of Israel who still wanted to follow after God and go to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts and festivals where the temple and God’s presence was located (11 Chronicles 14-17).

All the rebellion, the chaos, and the division was from the LORD! Is it possible that the division is from God? Is it possible that God’s plans are better than man’s comforts? Sometimes God shakes things up, but is it always for our harm? Maybe it is for our good! Was God trying to separate the true believers from those who believed out of convenience. Which group would I have fallen into if I lived in Israel at that time? Which group do I belong to now? Only God truly knows my heart! I am not sure that I know it fully.

Titus 1: 5b-9 (MEV): ..appoint elders in every city, as I commanded you: any man who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children who are not accused of being wild or unruly. For an overseer must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not easily angered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not greedy for dishonest gain but hospitable, a lover of what is good, self-contolled, just, holy, temperate, holdng firmly the trstworthy word that is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to convince those wo oppose it.

Is there such a person alive? We all have stuff in our families. I can remember many years ago an elder in our church resigned because his son was unruly. When will people realize their stuff affects other people’s stuff?

But, like in Israel, the new Christians were struggling between the two groups: the pure and the defiled. People who profess that they know God, but in their deeds they deny Him(Titus 1: 15-16)

And likewise today, we are still struggling. What is it going to take for God to turn the heads of God’s people (both Jews and Gentiles)? If it were me I would have kicked the earth off its axis long ago . Thank goodness for the patience of God. His patience with mankind exceeds all I could ever think or imagine.

Dear God in heaven, they say history repeats itself and I can truly see that this is so! Thank you for your patience with us! Help me to seek your heart, your will, and your ways all the days of my life. Help me not to take shortcuts. And dear Lord I pray that there are many others who join me in keeping your ways. They may not be convenient, and they may not be easy, but your ways are wiser and you are far more trustworthy than anything here on this earth! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3; 1 Timothy 1

1 Kings 6: 1 (MEV): In the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Ziv (which is the second month), he began to build the house of the Lord.

Before he died, David told Solomon to do two things—take care of those who betrayed him and build a house for God. Solomon had the men killed right away, yet he didn’t start to build the house of the Lord for four years?

How am I like this? What do I do to satisfy the flesh before I do what God asks me to do? They say you see and are critical of things in other people that are most similar to how you are and how you treat others. The bible says to take the plank out of your own eye before you try to take the toothpick from someone else’s eye. I need to give God his proper priority in my life. He doesn’t deserve anything less. I believe God gives us these examples to help us along our life’s journey.

1 Kings 6: 11-13: Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying,” Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My judgements and keep all My commandments and walk in them, then I will carry out My word with you, which I spoke to David your father, and I will dwell among the people of Israel and will not forsake My people, Israel.”

God felt the need to remind Solomon of the importance of doing things His way. If you do___, then I will do __. I remember what He told Solomon. “If you keep my statutes, I will give you peace on all your borders for all your days.” This is just what we pray for Israel today—Peace!! Will that be enough incentive for Solomon? That is yet to be determined.

But what if God said to me, “If you do__, then I will do__ .” Would that be enough for me? We know for sure that God keeps His promises, but do I keep mine? Thank goodness God gives me do overs and forgives unlimitedly. It doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for me, it just means that God knows that I am “but dust” and is patient with me. God sees my heart, and He knows if I am moving towards Him, or away from Him. He knows the difference between straying or an occasional mishap. That is the grace and mercy of God. The ways of God are a mystery to me, but I am so thankful for grace and mercy.

1 Kings 6: 37-38 (MEV): In the fourth year, in the month Ziv, the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, and in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul (which is the eighth month), the house was completely finished. All the details and plans were met. So, he took seven years to build it.

God’s many details in the temple were amazing to me, and I am sure the end result was breathtaking, but 7 years?

7 is the number of completion– coincidence? I think not!

1 Timothy 1:

Like God reminded Solomon, Paul likewise reminded Timothy what was truly important:

V3: …Teach no other doctrine…

V5:…love from a pure heart, and from a good conscience and from sincere faith.

V18: …..fight a good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience……

Paul said good conscience twice. Have you ever had a guilty conscience? I sure have. I am miserable until I do the thing I need to do to make it right again. God gave us a conscience to direct us and show us where we messed up. A good conscience is a good and important thing for me to have. It is truly a blessing.

Paul came from a background contrary to Christianity. He even killed to defend his beliefs. But Paul was wrong in his beliefs. God showed Paul mercy. The grace of God overflowed into Paul’s life so much and he never stopped being thankful for God’s forgiveness and grace. He could never stop talking about all God had done for him. Christ, whom Paul persecuted, had patience with Paul and loved him into the faith. Christ will do that for anyone, not just Paul. And He did it with such great patience so that we could learn the lesson from Him, and treat others with the same patience that Jesus showed Paul. If we loved others the way Jesus loved us, wouldn’t the world be so much better?

Paul reminded Timothy that he was the worst of the worst. He told his testimony to show the love of God that is available to anyone, even if they think, like Paul, that they are the worst. Don’t be afraid to share your testimony. You never know whose life you are going to touch! God uses your past, to teach others, so that perhaps they won’t need to travel down the same road. Nothing is wasted in God’s kingdom journey.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your love. Help me to keep your ways by keeping a pure heart, a clear conscience and a strong faith in You! But most of all help me to love others, share my testimony, even though I think it is nothing, it may be just what someone needs to hear. Help me to follow the Holy Spirits promptings, even when I am afraid to do so. God, I want to honor you with my life. Help my faith, help my heart, and help my life bring you the praise and glory that you alone deserve. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen!!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Proverbs 16-18; Romans 15

Prov 16:24 (The Message):
Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
Prov 16: 27-29 (The Message):
Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn.
Trouble makers start fights; gossips break up friendships.
Calloused climbers betray their very own friends; they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.
Proverbs 17: 4 (The Message):
Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liar’s itch for dirty gossip.
Proverbs 17:14 (The Message):
The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.
Proverbs 17:17 (The Message):
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
Proverbs 17:27 (The Message):
One who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.
Proverbs 18:4 (The Message):
Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
Proverbs 18: 7 -8 (The Message):

Fools are undone by their big mouths; their souls are crushed by their words.
Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?
Proverbs 18:13 (The Message):
Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.
Proverbs 18: 15 (The Message):
Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.
Proverbs 18:20-21 (The Message):
Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

All my life I have struggled with the things that come out of my mouth. My family liked to jest at someone else’s expense. But I found that in the real world, other people didn’t understand this type of behavior, and took it differently than what I intended. I hurt people’s feelings, or I offended them which resulted in misunderstandings, on both sides actually. This was not at all what I intended to accomplish, because mostly the people I jested with, were people I cared about and wanted near me. But my words actually did the opposite and pushed them away. It is not how I intended the person to receive my words that counted, it was their perception of the words that they heard.

But as I got older, I began to read and meditate on the Word. And because of my life experiences, I realized why it is better to leave some things unsaid. My mother always used to say “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I just thought it was a dumb saying. She had lots of those , but what she had was a lot of wisdom.

I don’t want to be poisonous, I don’t want to gossip or listen to gossip, I don’t want to quarrel, especially over things that won’t matter five minutes from now, and I certainly don’t want to kill anyone, even if it is only with my words. So, there are things I must practice to achieve those things. First, I have to pray every day about the words that come out of my mouth and off my fingertips (and I do this!), I need to listen more and speak less, and I need to walk away from some conversations even if I desperately want to hear all about it. I’d rather be a friend in every sense of the word. Life is hard enough without damaging relationships over unnecessary words.

How I treat and what I say to other people matters. It matters to me, and it surely matters to GOD!
Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can I learn to form a lifetime of good habits. I cannot change the poison I already spewed, but I can surely change tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.

Romans 15:1-5 (The Message):
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us , asking ourselves, ” How can I help?”
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever He will do next. May your dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir–not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

What if each of us thought of how our words and actions affect the kingdom of God? What if all Christians united as a choir and sang in harmony, not only in song, but also in how we treat those around us? What if we were warm, calming and personal to all we came in contact with, at all times? God can give us the strength to do this and the result is so much more than what we think about down here on earth. The result is all believers lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

Do you think this world would be different if we did this? I can only imagine!

Father God, you are our source of hope, Fill us completely with joy and peace as we trust in you. Help us to overflow with goodness, confidence, and boldness to help those around us every day. Help us to tap into the power and energy of the Holy Spirit every minute of every day! Help us to affect the kingdom of God. In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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1 Chronicles 22-25; Psalm 78; Romans 5

1 Chron 22:5 (MEV): “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all the lands. Therefore, I will make preparation for it now. “So, David made extensive preparation before his death.
1 Chron 22:9 (MEV): A son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. Solomon will be his name, and I will give peace and tranquility to Israel in his days. He will be the one to build a house for My name. He shall be a son to Me, and I will be a Father to him, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.

God loves details, He knows who will do what for Him, and who will supply what is needed to complete the project. God chose this people (Israel) to fill his great promises and purposes. God is still their God and He is not finished with them, even if they have proven over and over to trust things besides Him. He often uses those who aren’t qualified to do the task. That way we will know it is all Him! This week He is asking Israel to come together to build him a temple.
If I were Solomon, I would read these words over and over. It is amazing, especially knowing how much unrest is in Israel even this week, that God would show so much mercy to Solomon for all his days. Only one thing is required: to keep the law of the Lord your God.
I Chron. 22:12-13 (MEV): Only may the Lord give you insight and understanding and give you charge over Israel so you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper if you carefully observe the statutes and the judgments which the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed.
Prosperity depends on observing God’s way. If I want to be strong and of good courage, I need to place my faith in God. To do that involves not being afraid, or worrying about my future, but believing that no matter what, God has me in the shelter of His Wings. My name may not be Solomon, but God will still give me a life of peace and tranquility if my heart rests in His. That doesn’t mean I won’t have troubles, but it does mean that I will be able to walk through each one with the strength that God supplies.
In addition to stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and men skilled in all kinds of work- gold, silver, bronze and iron, (v.16), God also provided the Levites to be officers of God, officers of the sanctuay, to be judges, gatekeepers, He also provided for those trained in playing lyres, harps, and cymbals and for those trained for singing praises. This is my favorite provision, I am so glad that God desires music to be in His temple.
Psalm 78:6-8 (MEV): that the generation to come might know them, even the children who are not yet born, who will arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and they might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set their hearts steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
What God desires is so simple in theory. It is for His name to be honored and His fame to be declared from generation to generation. He wants me to have hope and for me to remember all the blessings that God has done for me. That I keep my heart steadfast on God and that His spirit is welcome in all that I do. He desires that I pass His fame to the next generation.
But over and over, Israel did not believe in God nor trust in His deliverance. When God turned His wrath against Israel, they turned back to Him time and time again. They turned back and longed for God. They remembered that God was their rock, and The Highest God, their redeemer. (v.35)
Psalm 78 36-39 (MEV): Nevertheless, they flattered Hm with their mouth, and they lied to Him with their tongues; for their heart was not devoted to Him, neither were they committed to His covenant. But He being full of compassion forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them. He constantly restrained His anger, and did not stir up all His wrath; for He remembered that they were but flesh.
Over and over Israel did not remember God’s power, over and over they forgot how He delivered them time after time. God knew their heart’s; He knew that their intentions was only to avoid punishments. Yet God chose to show mercy over and over because His heart is for His people. That is such a great love! He chose to lead them in safety, He chose to spare them from death. Even when they didn’t choose Him!
Romans 5:16 (MEV): For the judgement from one sin led to condemnation, but the free gift, which came after many trespasses, leads to justification.
Romans 5:20-21 (MEV): But the law entered, so that sin might increase, but where sin increased, grace abounded much more. So that just as sin reigned in death, grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And God in His great love and mercy also choose to send His son Jesus Christ because He knew we were “but flesh” and incapable of keeping all that He asked, so He made a way in the wilderness. Therefore, I, an undeserving person, might find grace through Jesus Christ and live forever with Them in eternity. Now that is a happy ending for all who believe.
Dear God, your love amazes me. As we thought about Israel’s journey this week, and how many times they made you angry, it makes me sad. Sad because I did the exact same thing. Thank you for turning your wrath away from me because you remembered that I was “but flesh”. Thank you for sending Jesus to die so that I could live. It is far from an even exchange, but it is love, pure love, and I thank you for making a way for all who will believe. Again, your love amazes me! You amaze me! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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