Tag Archives: plan

Ezra 5-6; Psalm 95; 3 John

13So, Tattenai, the governor west of the Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai and the others obeyed. They carried out King Darius’ order quickly and carefully. 14So the Jewish elders continued to build. And they were successful because of the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished building the Temple as the God of Israel had said. It was also done to obey the kings Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes of Persia. 15The Temple was finished on the third day of the month Adar. It was the sixth year that Darius was king. Ezra 6:13-15 (ICB)

Many years had gone by since King Cyrus had given a special order for the Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. At the urging of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Jeshua picked up the work again to complete the project so that God’s people could worship Him in the Temple once again.

But the governors of the land were not pleased. They approached the men demanding to know who had authorized their project; and sent a letter to King Darius to confirm that the men were telling the truth.

They were (of course) and King Darius not only enforced King Cyrus’ ruling, but raised the stakes, issuing a decree saying that anyone who hindered the progress of the temple construction would be severely punished. The temple was completed in record time with the help and finances of the king.

So many years before God set the rebuilding of the temple in motion, even before the Israelite returned to Jerusalem, and put protection in place so that no one would be persecuted for following God’s instructions.

This story makes me wonder about how many different ways God sets up and provides for my own journey and the successes I find well before I am even near those moments.

I am reminded of an instance a few short month after I was married. I found that I needed to leave India unexpectedly due to a change in visa laws. When looking at my pre-purchased plane ticket, I realized that the departure date was three days later than when I needed to be out of the country.

In a whirlwind, I was forced to cancel my ticket and book a flight on the only airline that had seat available in that short notice. I was frustrated because the flight would take me through the middle east and that made me nervous.

Throughout the trip God provided “angels” in the form of flight attendants and seat mates who made the journey much easier than it could have been.

The following day after I arrived stateside, I learned that all of the flights from my original airline had been grounded because of the volcanic ash plume in the atmosphere coming from Iceland. Because the middle eastern flight took a much lower flight pattern, my plane was not delayed at all, and therefore I was still able to honor the visa stipulations.

1Come, let’s sing for joy to the Lord.
Let’s shout praises to the Rock who saves us.
2Let’s come to him with thanksgiving.
Let’s sing songs to him.
3The Lord is the great God.
He is the great King over all gods.
4The deepest places on earth are his.
And the highest mountains belong to him.
5The sea is his because he made it.
He created the land with his own hands.
6Come, let’s bow down and worship him.
Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us.
7He is our God.
And we are the people he takes care of
and the sheep that he tends. Psalm 95:1-7a (ICB)
Often times, this kind of provision and protection is recognized only in hindsight.In the remembering, I’m able to give God His due praise and my faith is strengthened in the difficult times, understanding that He is there for me and will never leave me nor forsake me.
Yesappa, Thank You for having a plan for my life. Thank You for looking toward the future with provision and protection in mind. Thank You for caring for me as your own sheep. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings, Julie

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Filed under 3 John, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Isaiah 48-49; Colossians 4

Have you ever been asked the question, “How do you know God speaks to you?” If not, you probably have never answered anyone with “God told me to do this,” or “God brought me here for a purpose.” In fact, it may be looking back that you even realize God’s hand in the events of your life. This is especially true in my reflections.  What I thought were decisions made based on few, if any options were later found to be divinely ordained, life-producing surprises (to me, at least) where God’s Spirit protected, provided, opened doors, or blessed more than a few through my bumbling efforts to obey Him.

For example, a recent move and a new job appeared to be the result of family upheaval, illness, and financial strain. The decision to make this move seemed impulsive to some, yet my thoughts about the move could better be described as compulsive. When the opportunity arose, my husband and I felt compelled to bounce out of that frying pan, even if into…well, you know the old adage.  So it seemed.

I wonder if this is how Jesus felt speaking in Isaiah (49:1-3), describing how God, the Father, hid Him until the right time to spring redemption on Israel and on to the Gentiles. He said, “The Lord has called me from the womb… In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me… In His quiver He has hidden Me…” And so that we would know this was God’s plan, in Isaiah 48:5-7, God says, “…Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you; Lest you should say, “My idol has done them…” and “I have made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things, and you did not know them…Lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them…”

As God unfolded His plan of redemption, He created events that no one could have heard about before, and He operated this way so that we would learn that the Lord knows and controls the future. Likewise, what seemed like a misguided choice based upon catastrophizing life, stability, and sanity is now ringing with certainty God’s plan that is unfolding in our family’s life; an answer to prayers I have made time and again over the last 30 years.

Over and above answering prayers for home, health, and work (why do I even need to concern myself with these), I pray that my Lord, God continues to commune with my spirit. My heart’s desire is to follow His words of life and to be a part of His plan of redemption as He tells me to “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one,” (Colossians 4:5-6).

Lord Jesus, help us live virtuous and impeccable lives – we have been hidden until the right time; we are a shaft in the quiver of the Lord; prepare us to spread the gospel through Your words, our obedience, our weakness, and Your power.



Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Colossians, Isaiah, New Testament, Uncategorized

Exodus 27-28; Matthew 21:23-39

You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. 2And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. You shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and forks and fire pans. You shall make all its utensils of bronze… Exodus 27:1-3

All the pillars around the court shall be filleted with silver. Their hooks shall be of silver, and their bases of bronze. The length of the court shall be a hundred cubits, the breadth fifty, and the height five cubits, with hangings of fine twined linen and bases of bronze… Exodus 27:17-18

Exact measurements, thorough instructions, directions about the minutiae of each facet…

And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and of fine twined linen, skillfully worked. It shall have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges, so that it may be joined together… Exodus 28:6-7

You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth… Exodus 28:9-10

A meticulous plan, specific materials, colors, gemstones, metals, in depth ornamentation and decoration…

You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, in skilled work. In the style of the ephod you shall make it—of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen shall you make it. It shall be square and doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth. You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row; and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold filigree. There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes… Exodus28:15-21

I am struck by the detail.

Piece by piece, item by item, God described the various aspects of the bronze altar, the court of the tabernacle, the Priest’s garments. Each precise feature was designed to be functional and beautiful, as a part of the rituals of praise and atonement. Each portion was also designed to be a prophetic illustration, a foretelling of the coming Christ, as well as a reminder of God’s goodness.

Every time I read these passages about the tabernacle. Every moment I spend in nature, looking at flora and fauna, and learning more about my surroundings. Every day as I watch my daughters grow, I am reminded that God is a remarkable Creator. I look at each element and see the intricacies of each part; and I know that even as I observe, I am still not aware of all of the complexities.

Like God designed the tabernacle and all of its pieces, He designed me. He formed me in my mother’s womb from the inside out. He knows my name and every hair on my head. He sees my going and my coming. He crafted me complete and full of detail. He molded me into a unique being, yet He fashioned me in His image. He created me for such a time as this to show Himself, His love to the world through Christ in me. He chose me.

Yesappa, Thank You for being in the details of everything from the tiniest atom to the largest galaxy and everything in between. Thank You for helping me see Your finished work in those intricate details, for helping me understand pieces of Your vastness. Thank You for letting me be a part of Your plan. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Exodus, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Lev. 4; Ps. 1,2; Prov. 19; Col. 2

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21


We’ve often heard of a “double-minded man,” well lately I’ve been walking around feeling like a “quadruple-minded woman.”  I know that sounds tongue-in-cheek, but I felt like one minute I wanted to go left and the next, right.  Then a few minutes later, I wanted to go sideways, then slantways.  I could find “comfort” in my decision, but only for a little while.  It wasn’t the peace of the Lord at all.


One evening, when I couldn’t sleep, because being a quadruple-minded woman keeps the mind fully active, I hung out with God and laid out all the cards and asked Him to show me which way I was really supposed to go.  He revealed to me that I had “made plans in my heart” and those plans seemed right to me, but were not His plans for me.  He revealed to me that I had married myself to those original plans and when they didn’t come to pass as I thought they would, I was devastated.  He said that as a result, I was in a period of mourning, as a person would the loss of something very important and precious to them.  He said that my focus needed to be on Him and that He’d show me His path for me.


Psalm 1:6 says, “For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside of God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to naught).  Even though I’ve seen God’s vision for me, I was no longer on His path to get me there.  I don’t want my way to end in ruin.  I want God’s plan, purpose, & vision for my life.  God, I want you and all that you have for me.  Father, forgive me for each time I’ve stepped outside of your plans for my life, thinking that my way is best, because it seem right.  Help me to walk closer with you that I will always be attentive to your Word and follow more closely to your path.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.



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