Tag Archives: Acts

2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20; Psalms 51, 32; Acts 27

 The lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.

I will advise you and watch over you.

Do not be like a senseless horse or mule

that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Psalm 32:8-9

Parenting is NOT for the faint of heart!

Yesterday was one of the scariest days of my life. I could not find my 4 year old daughter anywhere. She disappeared while she was playing outside in the few minutes that I went inside to take care of my dog poop/mud-covered 2 ½ year old. For more than an hour, I (along with other friends, family, and even people I didn’t know) searched around 6+ acres of property, inside houses and out, for more than an hour before she was found.

The police finally found her in our upstairs neighbor’s apartment hiding in her friend’s room, playing with toys; they were gone for the day, but the door had been left unlocked and she went right in not caring if anyone was home or not. I noticed the door open and had searched the apartment 3 times and my mom searched once, each of us calling for her to say ‘I’m here’, telling her that we weren’t playing a game of hide and seek and we just wanted to see her face, but we never saw her. My daughter told me later that she didn’t respond because she didn’t want to stop playing.

I think I felt every imaginable emotion and thought of every possible (horrible) scenario, and as much as I felt like yelling and screaming at her, once she was found, I also just wanted to hold her for as long as possible because she was safe!

I ended up waiting to talk to her about what had happened until I knew I had better control over myself. I felt like if I lost self-control, I would also lose a teachable moment.

As I began processing how I would talk with her about it, I thought about how in my own life there have been so many moments like this – times when I’ve ignored what I knew was ‘right’ to get my own way.

And yet, God has never ‘lost it’ with me, He lovingly guides me to better understanding. He gives me counsel and watches over me until I am able to make good choices. He gives me freedom to learn how to manage myself.

As I strive to parent as effectively as possible, I need to continue to imitate my Heavenly Father as He parents me, allowing me to make bad choices, and trusting in His goodness and love to lead me with His eye.

Yesappa, Help me have Your guiding eyes that offer true freedom! In Jesus’ name.Amen.


Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

2 Samuel 7-8; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 132; Acts 25

II Samuel 7:11 “Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.”

King David wanted to build a temple, an earthly house, for God’s presence to dwell; but God responded by saying that He would build David a house, a dynasty, from which our Messiah would come. Where does God want to live?

After owning a house for over 30 years, it has been difficult for me to move, not once but four times in the past five years.  Each move a lesson in letting go – separating self from friendly faces full of promise and breaking ties with coveted objects like the shattered ceramic pitcher completer of Grandma’s china set.

God allowed David to build His house, complete with detailed instructions to David and his son, Solomon, and that structure was glorious for the years that it stood before the temple’s total destruction. Glorious and yet a small thing compared to God’s promise for David’s offspring. I Chronicles 17:12-14 quotes God saying to David, “I will establish his throne…I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him…and I will establish him in my house and in my kingdom forever.”

What is the purpose of a house? A place where a man can hang his hat, a refuge from the storms in life, a labyrinth of secret cubby holes for giggling children to play hide and seek, an extension of a woman’s character and kindness? Houses are occupied and vacated, built and torn down, inherited or sold with barely a memory. Even the churches in which we worship are not our eternal dwellings.

We promise God that we will use our homes and our churches for His glory as if these wooden beams and nailed panel walls will hold His glory.  Like David, we promise God “I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob” (Psalm 132:4,5). Do we really believe that these homes we cherish and that will perish with the last breath we take are exchanged for mansions in the heavens? I find this Hollywood image of a multi-million dollar open house viewing meaningless. Craning my neck at the end of a long, stately table to get a good look at Christ causes me anxiety. I fear that I am of no concern in the grand scheme of eternal life, so I do not find comfort and peace in my worldly view of the Big House in the Sky. I cannot think that I will find a dwelling place for Christ by walking or driving or flying. It seems too simple an assertion that I will see Christ in the next room or down the hall from where He sleeps.

David was humbled by God’s answer to his prayer. God basically said, yes, yes, David, go on and build me a house.  But understand that what you see is not my home; My Holy One will dwell inside you, your descendants, and people of all nations to come. And when you die, you will still be with Me; no separation, no loss, no doors between Us, and no moving away. We are His temple; not just a flesh and bones house. Our spirit hears His voice when He calls us home – His home – His eternal dwelling untethered from this earthly tent.

1 Comment

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 2 Samuel, Acts, Psalms

2 Samuel 3-5, 1 Chronicles 12, Psalm 122, Acts 22

David and Paul. Both passionate, seeking the heart of their Lord not self serving desires. They were both strong leaders who endured repeated hardships before meeting their Savior. Both determined and strong leaders with a heart for the people they served. I am reminded by their difficult journeys that life isn’t fair. Often as Christians we are left thinking, “why did this happen to me? I’m a good Christian….I love the Lord.” We question why bad things happen to good people and why, if God promises all things will work together for the good, why are there hardships and struggles that sometimes don’t work out to our liking?

Throughout the pages of the old testament story of David and the new testament story of Paul I have often found myself cheering and routing for them to stand up for themselves and seek the justice they deserve but each time they lay down their own pride and selfishness and do what they are called to do. I don’t believe I would have reacted the same way they did. David, anointed at 15 but not King until 37, chased by his beloved hero, Saul who sought his death. On several occasions he had the chance to take Saul out and take over as King. Instead he frequently stood by and either served or spared Saul. Paul, a roman citizen, a Jew and a believer, beaten and imprisoned. He endured more physical hardships and imprisonments for the name of Jesus than any other and yet continued traveling to bring the gospel to the unsaved. Both of these men were servants of the Lord. It was more important to them to remain faithful and obedient to their Lord than to seek their own comfort or justice.

In this day and age there are many uncertainties in the world around us. Religious rights and freedoms that we have taken for granted for many years are starting to slip away. Whether in big ways or small ways, we are all challenged on a daily basis; will we remain faithful, obedient and selfless or will we give in to selfishness? Will we seek our own justice or comfort or will we lay down our own pride and love others. Despite their struggles, David and Paul endured the hardships, pressed on and they both knew who it was that was guiding and protecting them.

“And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.” 2 Samuel 5:12

Gods’ hand of protection and even blessing remained on both of these men through many trials as long as they remained obedient to the One who called them. My hope and my prayer is that I will be able to do the same when, not if, persecution comes my way. The struggles that David and Paul endured are what made them who they are and strengthened their faith that their God would deliver them. Let us rest in that same assurance and hope.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 2 Samuel, Acts

1 Samuel 25; 1 Chronicles 7; Acts 17

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11

When I began my journey with the Lord, rather than going deep into scripture myself, I relied heavily on the studies of the pastors in my life. I listened to their words and gained understanding through their revelations.

I had a desire to go deeper, but I wasn’t sure how and I was overwhelmed by not knowing where to start. I would try to read the Bible, but I had a difficult time understanding. The verses that I read often were just writings on a page that translated into a jumble in my brain and would more often than not lure me into sleep.

When I was in ministry school, I encountered so many amazing teachers and one in particular broke open the flood gates to my desire to search the scripture in a new and revelatory way. My homework every night during this particular class was to read the book of Galatians in a different translation. I was encouraged to read beyond the standard versions that can easily be purchased at a local Christian book store.

I grew up with the New International Version and many people I had encountered held to the belief that the King James Version was the ‘true’ Bible. At first I didn’t understand why I would need to read so many versions. It seemed like wasted time, because I figured they would all just be saying the same thing. But as I read through, I was amazed at how similar and yet how different many of the versions were. I came to realize that the value in studying the Word in different translations was found in the opening of the eyes of my heart to better understanding and a desire to delve into the meanings of the Words He spoke.

As I read one translation, if I didn’t understand something – a word, a concept, the history, etc. – I’d look to another translation to help me piece meaning together. If something differed, curiosity sent me to a Greek or Hebrew interlinear Bible and usually also to the Strong’s Concordance to help me understand the original meaning better.

As I have continued to study this way, God has become more and more real to me; His Rhema Word bringing life to the dry bones of my soul. My mind has expanded to better recognize and understand and every time I open the scriptures He reveals more of His truth, His promises, His revelations to my heart.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your Word, Your Truth. Thank You for giving me scripture to chew on like meat so that I can grow and learn as I search for You and as I search for understanding of truth. Open my eyes, open my mind, open my heart to the revelations You’ve prepared for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

1 Comment

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Acts, New Testament, Old Testament

I Samuel 21-22; I Chronicles 5; Psalm 52; Acts 15

Psalm 52:1 The goodness of God endures continually.

Psalm 52:8 I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever

Psalm 52:9 I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

There are several movies that I watch over and over, like Napoleon Dynamite and Open Range.  I also cannot toss a shelf-full of books that I periodically browse, choosing one, such as Screwtape Letters, to re-read for the umpteenth time. Something about those stories draw me back even though I know the ending and can quote favorite lines. Maybe I crave the emotional connection I felt at the first – love, war, thrills, horror, tear-jerking sadness, laughter – a reflection of myself or an image of who I want to be.

Yet, I’ve been told that if we could see the future we might not want to know the ending. Such was David’s story when he was running from Saul and needed the help of the local priesthood. I Samuel 22: 20-23 tells us that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests because they gave David provisions. When David heard the news from the lone survivor, he said, “I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all the persons of your father’s house.” Would David have made a different decision if he knew he could change the ending of that story?

And is the story’s end even possible to change? Philosophers have wrestled with this question for eons. Fate, destiny, existentialism, karma – man’s attempt to make sense of what befalls him. Today I hear many people pronounce the most limpid sentiment of all, “It is what it is.” To me this statement seems a low blow to the purposeful life created by God. David did not see that the tragedy of the priests’ deaths fulfilled a prophecy made years ago about the family of Eli. David could not have stopped what had already been determined in the heavens. So shall we say we have no control over what happens to others by our actions? I wonder.

I also wonder what plans God has for me. He knows His works from all eternity (Acts 15: 18), and “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them, (Ephesians 2:10). Will I trust that my Creator knows all that I need do? If so, then this testimony will produce courage and confidence in times of uncertainty.  Not knowing what is to come, will I wait on His mercy, believing that He alone is truly good?  If so, then I may yet see that God breathed life into my being for a purpose. My years on this earth are numbered, to be sure; but these numbered years are mine to live.


1 Comment

Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Samuel, Acts, Psalms