Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Job's Job

And then there is God's servant Job......   Just stop and think what a day in the life of Job might have been like. He had all a man could hope for or ever want;  family, friends, influence, and riches.   If Job were alive today, he would be the ultimate celebrity on the reality show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."   Yet Job's prized possession was his relationship with God.  Job displayed a keen spiritual awareness of God's character. He was very aware of the importance of  keeping his relationship with God vibrant and alive. He knew God was the center of his everything.  His practice of sacrificing in behalf of his children after every family gathering shows Job knew that God was the Alpha and Omega of all that he had and all that he knew. I can imagine how wonderful it was for him as a parent to know that his children loved to spend time with one another.  Yet, he still took time to sacrifice and worship just in the event that one of his children had sinned during their merry making. He was a true patriarch.  He was a true priest of his family.  He was a true believer in God.  Even with ALL that he had, he knew what was truly important in life.

 I wonder how many of us would be as faithful and thankful as prosperous Job.  I can't imagine what it must have felt like to have all that Job had here on earth coupled with the knowledge that he had about God and God's nature and character. He was living on the top of the world.  Can you imagine sitting on your veranda sipping your ice tea and before the beverage is gone you have one survivor after another tell  you that all you had is gone.  Before you can grasp the gravity of one report another survivor tells of one catastrophe after another.  Then the final blow comes, the deaths of all his children and likely all of any grandchildren that may have been living at the time were taken away forever.

We often are quick to run to God during the hard times but not so much when everything is going well.  I think that aggravated Satan. Satan was well aware of humanity's weaknesses.  Satan  knew and knows what works and doesn't work to get us to sin.  I think that is one of the reasons he was so determined to destroy Job.  He knew that Job loved God period.  He knew that Job's focus and goal was to serve God.   It wasn't about what Job had or didn't have.  So what does Satan do; he did what he is still doing: accusing the brethren before God and trying to kill, steal and destroy us.  Just like he did to Job.  When taking away all that Job had here on Earth wasn't enough, he then took Job's health.   Job's wife didn't deal with this drastic life altering challenge as Job did.  I think she dealt with the overwhelming loss like most of us would.  She became depressed, angry and bitter.  She lost all hope.  She lost sight of God and God's true nature.

Job made God  his primary job. Job's job was to live a life pleasing to God no matter what was going on around him.  Job didn't hide his confusion or his sadness or his suffering.  Job was as transparent and as human as anyone could be during this time.

I know God not only restored but increased all that Job lost.  But I also believe that God did something even more supernatural for Job.  I think God somehow healed Job in a way that Job was able to move past the grief and the emotional scarring of such a loss so that Job could truly live a life blessed of God.  That life is a life with living and making our primary job.

Job is a great example of how to turn to God in the good times and the bad times.

I thank God that we have the example of Job.  Our job is the same as Job's.  We are to learn all we can about God and reverence, love and serve Him.

God bless you all,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Godly Foresight

Hello all,
So glad to hear from each of you at church this morning that are joining in on the Bible Reading blog.  Some are doing different Bible reading plans and not a chronological plan which is great. Sister Bettie Carter has found an on-line site called  This site provides free Bibles for your computer, notebook and phone. It also provides for reading plans.  For those that like a hardcopy in your hands, you'll find printed the chronological reading plan at the information table in the Faithbridge Church foyer.

How many times have we heard people or even ourselves say "hindsight is 20/20"?   Well, I am excited to tell you that you have that 20/20 hindsight which could also be called foresight.  God's Word prepares us for every thing, person, event, feeling, need, blessing etc that we could imagine or even encounter, after all there is NOTHING new under Heaven.   Unfortunately for some, they have not learned how much knowing the Word of God gives them the Godly foresight needed to persevere and be an overcomer.  If that's you, don't fret, just start today and pick up your favorite Bible and take the time to READ it.  This isn't about pressure and stress to read to get that day's assignment done.  Take the time to read the Word and let it speak to you.

If you join us and get behind,  no sweat;  just pick up where we are or go at your own pace.  God's promises and insights can be found on every page.  For those of us who have read the Bible through often, we still find a new insight or the Holy Spirit will speak to us a new way of understanding. 
In the Torah there is this scripture:  "Should all the nations of the world unite to uproot one word of the Torah, they would be unable to do it. (Leviticus Rabbah 19:2)  Wow,  what wonderful assurance that the Word we are reading is indestructible. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts, praise reports, insights etc. 

God Bless,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year all!  It's been over a year and a half since I posted anything.  To be honest, I am in a better place this year than I have been in a long time and I thank God for that.

I had been searching for an occupational health nursing position during this time period.  Every time I thought I had the job something would not work out.  I was working per Diem for a couple of agencies.  My schedule was very erratic and I had to drive all over Houston to work which I HATED.  I finally realized that I had been grumbling and whining to God about it.  So, I asked forgiveness and went on from there.
In May,  my daughter, her husband and sons moved to Indiana.  That meant; all my children, grandchildren and family lived in Indiana.  I was still actively pursuing work and getting job offers but either, I was too late, or it was too far or....   Finally, in October, I got a call from one of the major hospitals in the area who needed an RN to work at a local industry.  I had planned a trip to Indiana in November for 3 weeks. I went to the interview and told them about the trip and that I would try to shorten the number of days if needed to obtain the job.  I got the job which is only 2.24 miles from home, they agreed to let me go on my 3 weeks trip, and I love the people I work with.  Isn't God awesome!  He knew how much I needed this job with my family in Indiana.  Well, enough about me.  

This year, I have decided to read the Bible through chronologically.  I'll be using "The Daily Bible" published by Harvest House.  It is NIV and has daily devotions to go along with the daily reading material. I'll also have chronological reading plans at Faithbridge Church's information desk.  Please feel free to join in with me and make comments.   

May God bless you this year as you follow focused after Him.

Jacqueline Dodd

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Understanding vs Discernment

Ok, I'm just going to be honest here but I have trouble reading some of the books of the prophets.  Page after page of God's verbal warnings and judgments.  But.... every once in a while interposed among the chapters there are wonderful passages such as the prophecy given in Isaiah 27.  My Bible titles it as "A Spiritual Awakening".

This is a passage about God restoring his vineyard.  The vineyard represents his church and how he cares for it.  He watches over it day and night.  He waters it continually.  He protects it from harm.  He isn't angry.  It would be easier if He had something to fight against for them but what is needed is for them to make peace with Him.  It isn't a foreign enemy He has to contend against but He needs his people to seek refuge in Him and make peace.

In Isaiah 29 :24 it reads "Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction."  Wow, what a mouth full in that verse.  But in Isaiah 29:11,   it reads "For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor."   Some translations say discernment instead of understanding.

I wish more of us had both spiritual understanding and discernment.  I think those attributes are paramount if we are to be mature and Christlike.  Understanding to me is knowledge and how to apply the knowledge.  Discernment to me is the next step forward in understanding.  How many times have I walked into a situation or talked with someone and God, through the Holy Spirit has provided me with insight beyond the natural but supernatural.   We always taught our children as they grew to know the Word so that they could be a workman, not ashamed rightly dividing the Word of Truth.  We also taught them where ever they went to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to them so that God could either protect them or bless them depending on the situation.   I can remember that as teenagers they may be leaving to go hang out with friends and we always advised them that as soon as they got there to turn on their spiritual receivers and to allow the Holy Spirit give them discernment.

We are more than halfway through reading the Bible.   We are reading Isaiah right now.  Some of my favorite passages are found in Isaiah.

Well, until next time,
Bon Apetit

Monday, June 20, 2011

Two Officers on whose Arms Kings Leaned

 Naaman was commander of the  king of Aram's army.  So important was Naaman that his master, the king, leaned on his arm when entering the temple of Rimmon.  Yet even with all of Naaman's success and importance,  he had some type of skin disease.  The "leprosy" must have caused him some degree of distress to the point that a young slave girl from Israel told her mistress about Elisha and how he could cure Naaman.

So one thing leads to another.  Naaman, a military man, follows the chain of command.  He first requests permission from the king of Aram to go see "the prophet", and a letter is sent to the king of Israel requesting that the king of Israel heal Naaman. (This is totally odd to me since Aram and Israel were at war off and on.) Now to me the kings involved knew exactly who the prophet was.  The kings themselves and/or their father's had had dealing with Elijah and Elisha for years.  Elijah and Elisha were constant sources of irritation to the kings of Israel and Aram. The king of Israel, definitely knew who Elisha was and where he was but he did not request for Elisha to come.  Why???  Because he was Ahab's son and the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.  Instead, the king of Israel tore his robes and threw a hissy fit complaining that his enemy was trying to pick a quarrel with him.

Can you imagine Elisha's face when he heard the account of Israel's king tearing his robes and carry on so?   If I were Elisha, I would likely have to have a little laugh while I sent my message to the king. Remember Elisha's message to the king of Israel "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will see that there is a prophet in Israel?"  I just see the king of Israel turn red in the face and fume when reading the message.  Oh to be a fly on the wall.

We have heard the account of Naaman many times.  After all, Elisha didn't even come out to talk to him but had his servant tell Naaman what to do which was to dip seven times in that nasty dirty river Jordan. So he headed home the same way as he arrived only he was in a rage on the way home.  His servants finally talk some sense to him after they chip gently away at this ego.   So Naaman finally followed Elisha's instruction and dipped seven times in the river Jordan and was healed.  I agree with those who think that he wasn't healed until after that seventh dip.  Naaman returns to thank Elisha and give him gifts.  Elisha wants nothing to do with any of the gifts.  Naaman vows to only sacrifice to Elisha's God, even to the point requesting as much dirt as two donkeys can carry so he can have a piece of land not defiled by all of Aram's idolatry.  This shows Naaman has an idea of understanding of God's requirements of true holy offerings and relationship.  Naaman also requests God's forgiveness ahead of time for assisting his master the king into the temple of Rimmon and bowing since his master leans on his arm.  Elisha tells him to go in peace. 

In 2 Kings 6:32-7:2 we read an account of a second officer on whose arm a king leaned but this time it is the king of Israel.   We read how the king of Israel is furious at Elisha because of the famine God sent because of Israel's sin.   The king sends a messenger.  Elisha tells them that the famine in the city of Samaria will be totally the opposite in about 24 hrs; from famine to feast plus more.    The officer on whose arm the king was leaning states" Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of  the heavens, could this happen?"   Elisha tells him that he will see it with his own  eyes but he will not eat any of it.

2 Kings 7:3-8 tells of the lepers findings the Aramean camp where they had fled and left everything behind.  After enjoying themselves and taking what they wanted they decided that maybe they should share the good news to keep themselves out of trouble.  So they headed for the palace but only got as far as the city gate and shouted the news to the gatekeepers.   After a short investigation proved them right all of Samaria wanted a part of the pie.  2 Kings 7:17-20 tells us that the officer arm the king leaned was in charge of the gate and the prophecy regarding him seeing the abundance but not any of it came true as he was trampled by his own people as they rushed to get their share.

The first account shows God's mercy to an Aramean (basically a non believer and a non Jew).   It shows how a young girl made a big difference in a leaders life.  It shows that God doesn't care who we think we are or what "appearances" we like to maintain.  God deals with Naaman directly in his heart.

The second account shows God's expectation of an Israelite.  True, Israel had practiced idolatry for years but that officer was still one of Abraham's offspring.  The officer's lack of belief in God's abilities cost him his life.  The officer may not have seen God's blessings but he definitely had heard the accounts of the miracles of Elijah and Elisha.

When I read these events I pray that I will rightly discern what God is trying to teach me through His Word and through preaching.  That I will rightly discern what He is trying to teach me through events that occur directly and indirectly in my life.  I pray that I will have a heart like David.

God bless and Bon appetit


David's grief and God's plan.

I have to comment on the lives of David and Solomon before going forward. 

First of all about David, a shepherd boy, who became king after a lengthy and dangerous transition period.  David, a worshipper and a servant of God, who knew what true praise and worship could do. David, a man after God's own heart, who was acquainted with personal sin and God's forgiveness.   David, a husband, who knew about adultery and disrespect from a wife.  David, a friend, who knew about how to be a real friend.   David, a king, who was a defender of the faith and God's people.  David, a father, who knew about grief and estrangement regarding a child.

David loved Absalom perhaps to the fault of spoiling him or not providing the guidance Absalom obviously needed.  Nothing can break the heart of a parent like a child.  David's and Absalom's relationship was bumpy at best.  Can you imagine, your son rising against you to the point that he has people willing to kill you.   A son who has so little respect that he sleeps with David's wives and concubines.  David had many reasons to grieve about Absalom. The event recorded in 2 Samuel 18 is the outcome of a son filled with arrogance and selfishness.  There David waited for word of the battle between his men and Absalom's army.  The outcome for all to hear was David's heart breaking cry "O my son Absalom! My son, my son, Absalom!  If only I had died instead of you - O Absalom my son, my son!"  Yes, David knew the joy and the heartbreak of being a parent.  His hopes dashed for his son's future as king of Israel.  Absalom just wasn't willing to sumbit to God's plan and timetable.  Absalom just wanted things done his way.  Yet, God had a promise to keep to David.  God had promised that someone from David's lineage would always sit on the throne.  It makes me wonder if God knew that Absalom was not the right person for the job and that this was God's way and plan for David's and Israel's future.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  One thing is for sure, Absalom did not fulfill the commandment that held a promise.  Honor your father and mother fournd in Exodus 20:12 holds the blessing of a long life.

Then there is the account of David's and Bathsheba's first born child's death.  Here is David desperately seeking God for the child's life.  Psalm 51 records David's earnest petition for forgiveness of his sin which he knew could hold the penalty of death even by David's own estimation. Then Nathan shows up again in 2 Samuel 12:13 ("Nathan replied:  The Lord has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die.  But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.") Why was the son going to die??  It wasn't because of the sin of adultery and murder directly but because David had caused God's enemies reason to mock Him.  Just goes to show that to whom much is given much is required.  When God blesses us and the world sees that we are blessed of God, God holds us responsible to live our lives as holy as possible so that the world doesn't have reason to mock God because of our actions.  I can hear him praying and sobbing, begging God not to hold the child accountable for his sin.  He knows what Nathan has said but as long as the child is alive there is hope.  Can't you hear him saying " Please oh God, I have asked you forgiveness for my actions with Bathsheba and having Uri killed.  I know it was wrong and I have sinned against you.  Please, oh please dear God, don't hold my child responsible for my sins.  Oh God I know his illness is my fault due to my sin and actions but if there is some other way oh Lord....."  There was not another way.  After about 7 days of fasting and prayer, the boy dies.  David gets up washes and eats then goes to Bathsheba to comfort her.  His hope now is that he will see his son again in eternity.  Here is the most interesting outcome of the union between David and Bathsheba.  God choses their son Solomon as the next king.  God choses the son of two people who committed adultery and one of them murder.

If this isn't an example of God's grace and mercy, I don't know what would be.  If you ever are in a position where you doubt that God can forgive you; read this account.  If you are ever in a position of condemnation over a past sin: read this account.  If you ever doubt God's grace and mercy; just try to follow David's example of admission of sin, servanthood and worship.

In a couple of days, I'll post on Naaman.  I'll get caught up.  I promise.  LOL

Bon Apetit and God Bless

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

God I need to see you.....

I first want to apologize for my lack of maintaining this blog.  I asked God's forgiveness first since I believe it was He who told me to do this.  Most of you know my excuses; all having to do with illness and family.   Primarily, I have been pre-occuppied about our little Hudson. 

Today's entry is more about what has been going on in my life.  A testimony.  After all, we are overcomers by the word of our testimony.

In the weeks prior to Hudson's birth, my petition to God was "God I need to see you active in MY LIFE, not someone else, not through prayers I pray for someone else.  I need to see you working actively in my life.  I want first hand experience".    And then Hudson was born.  My first reaction was an attitude of  "Thanks a lot God.  I ask for you to show yourself active and real in my life and what you give us is a handicapped child."  I bet you can guess what God said. 

This journey with Hudson is surreal right now.  All the literature that we read and the literature that has been given to us to read paints a fairly bleak picture. He has been diagnosed with Cry of  the Cat or 5minusP.   Worse case scenario is a child that harms himself, wears a helmet, has no verbal skills, unable to walk or feed himself, no emotional connection, or knowledge of the world around him or ability to recognize the people who love him or even to recognize love.  In saying the above, that is what I felt was the worse case scenario.  The fact that over half of these children do not live through infancy was not the worse that could happen in my eyes.  I'm just being real here.

Last week, Hudson was examined by the geneticist who said he didn't see anything wrong with him and that he is doing remarkably well and he didn't need to see him for a year.  PTL!!!  Please understand, Hudson still has Cry of the Cat.  His chromosomes aren't  going to change short of a miracle.  Hudson, right now is defying the disease.  He's not suppose to be able to suck or swallow or have an appetite BUT he's eating baby cereal from a spoon.  He's not suppose to have any muscle tone BUT he's rolling over and is very vigorous and strong.  He's suppose to have heart and kidney conditions which he doesn't.  He's suppose to eye problems which is doesn't.  He's a baby that loves to cuddle  and very definitely is in love with his Mommy.   Every day is a reason to praise the Lord for Hudson's progress.

Has God told me that Hudson is healed?  No, He hasn't.  What God has told me is that this is going to be a faith walk.... this is going to be a journey and I don't know the destination yet.  I guess that's a little like Abraham starting out for the Promised Land.   I am sure that there will be tests and hurdles to over come along the way just like Abraham did.  BUT, I definitely see God working actively in Hudson's life and body.  Not exactly what I wanted from God when I asked Him to show himself real to me but I know that God knows best.

Thank you for letting me share this.  I know it isn't about our Bible reading directly.  I'll have another post this week about what we've read and then one about what we are reading currently.

PS   THANK YOU GENE AND RICK FOR YOUR COMMENTS.....  I appreciate it more than you know.

Bon Apetit