Bible Journal 17 Chaos and Promise of Hope

A week of comparing bad examples of obedience and faith, to good examples of obedience and faith. Also some interesting happenings with unwanted visitors in the house. Stay tuned as the developments with the critters continue. You could also check out my blogs to see what I’ve posted there. Heltsley.net or
the blog of my Retro Radio Podcast on WordPress.com.

Sunday, April 26

ASunday Open Mike

Having an open mike night at church later. Robin’s practicing for it. For some reason, my throat has been dried out all day. Not tempted to sing in the least. Hope its better tomorrow though, got plans to chat with Nathan C.

Need to work on some writing that I didn’t get to last week.

Actually had to miss the open mike. Robin was suddenly having a spell of being too adhy to move much.

Passage: Jeremiah 29-30, 1 Thesssalonians 4.
Theme: Rest and Restoration for the Obedient.
Who’s in it, and what’s happening:

Jeremiah 29. A letter to the exiles who were carried away.n Build houses, buy land, marry, and give in marriage. Take part in the communities where you are, praying for the prosperity there. Note: in other words, you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t believe any false prophets who may try to tell you otherwise.

God says. After 70 years I’ll send for you to bring you back.

11 `For I know the plans that I have for you,Ā“ declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Then you will call on me, seek me, and find me. I’ll restore you, and bring you back.

Jeremiah assures the people that they are where they need to be. The ones left behind will be in a worse situation, made a horror to the nations. Sword, famine, and pestilence because they refused to listen and obey.

God says. Regarding false prophets, they’ll be roasted in fire by Nebuchadnezzar. They would be a curse, acting like fools, adulterers, and spoke falsely about the word from god.

A false prophet wrote to confront the priests on the matter of staying a long time in the land. Trying to challenge Jeremiah’s words.

Jeremiah responds to the charge. He won’t live to see the good come, and he won’t have any kids who will either.

Jeremiah 30. At this time, Jeremiah was commanded to write all these things down in a book. Specifically to those in Judah.

God says. The sound of terror, dread, and no peace. Men holding their loin, like a woman in labor. The time of Jacob’s distress. But he’ll be saved from it. Note: loins, maybe bellies, or lower bellies.

On that day, the yoke will be broken, and god will restore. No longer slaves of strangers, but servants of god. No fear, no dismay, god will save from afar. The nations who held the captives will be destroyed, and the chastened people will return.

Your wound is serious and incurable. Your lovers abandon you. You have been wounded like an enemy. Your sins are great and numerous. Your devourers will be devoured, the plunderers will be plundered. You will be restored.

God says. Restoration and compassion to Jacob. Multiplied, and honored. The oppressors punished.

The tempest and wrath bursting on the head of the oppressor. It won’t stop until god is satisfied.

1 Thessalonians 4. Exhortations to walk, pleasing to god. In fact, the way you are walking. Avoiding lustful desires. Stay pure and sanctified. To not be is to reject god.

You do well in loving one another. keep it up, and keep improving in it. Keep treating outsiders well.

Don’t be uninformed regarding the dead. Don’t grieve, since they’re in the hope of the resurrection. When Christ returns the dead in him will rise first, then we’ll join him. Shouts of joy and victory, remaining with him forever.

Monday, April 27

Back in the Recording Saddle

Was able to do some recording this morning with Nathan Caldwell. Had some recorder issues. Wasn’t sure if the Skype recorder did its job. It didn’t. Did some creative editing to get the episode out.

Kind of cool in the office today. I need to get something going with recording a bible journal, and I know Robin has some plans to do things.

There’s a possibility that Dorcas could be coming for an extended stay. Not until later in the year though. Maybe September time frame.

I need to make some phone calls to the VA,. Need to iron out details over an appointment, and ordering some replaceable things.

Still need to do the usual office stuff, emails, the last week of the writing challenge.

Squirrel Report. Oh yeah, we have a critter in the house somewhere. Robin had been hearing something in the house, finding things knocked over, etc. I chalked it up to just typical noises from the wind. There was definitely something going on in the furnace room last night. Today, when I walked into the kitchen to plug in my iPhone, something jumped off the table, and dodged behind the washing machine area. It sounded to be the size of a small cat, or maybe a squirrel. Robin thinks it came in down the chimney. It has a hole near the bottom of it where the retro fitted furnaces use the original chimney for the old coal furnace. She was going to see if the mayor could help, or get animal control in here.

Passage: Jeremiah 31, 1 Thessalonians 5.
Theme: Sanctified Until the End.
Who’s in it, and what’s going on:

Jeremiah 31. God will again be the head of the families, and they will be his people.

God says. People are saved from the sword while in the wilderness. God loves with an everlasting love, he draws you back to him. You’ll be rebuilt, and dance again.

God says. Sing, shout, proclaim, praise. He’s restoring you. The lame, blind, and widow will come back along paths next to streams of water. Note: Contrasted to the strong multitude who went through the wilderbness and complained of the lack of water.

Listen, and say, the one who scattered will gather. Your mourning will be turned to joy.

God says. A voice of Rachel weeping for her children is heard. You will be returned, restored, rewarded. And have a future of hope. Though god has spoken against his people, he misses them, yearns for them, and is ready to welcome them back.

You left by the highway, you’ll return by the highway. A new thing, a woman will encircle a man. Note: I’m clueless as to what that last part means.

God says. You’ll again dwell in your cities. Jeremiah woke from his dream, feeling good.

Look. The day is coming for man and beast to multiply as much as they had been destroyed. Each man being held accountable for his own sins, not those of his fathers.

Look. The day is coming to make a new covenant. The law will be written on their hearts. They will all know me.

God says. The one who created the vast universe. The creator of the heavenly bodies, the depths of the sea. As long as I live, Israel will be favored, and also exist.

Look. The temple will be rebuilt, and the land restored, and won’t be plucked up.

1 Thessalonians 5. Brothers, I don’t need to tell you, the end will come as a thief in the night. While they say peace ande safety, destruction comes You are children of the day and light. Be alert and sober. Put on the breastplate of faith and love, the helmet of salvation. We’re not destined for wrath, but salvation through Jesus. Whether we’re awake or asleep, we’ll live with him. Encourage one another.

Appreciate and esteem those in charge of you as teachers and preachers. Live in peace, admonish the unruly. Encourage the faint hearted, be patient, and love one another. Seek after good for all people. Note: This is addressed to believers particularly.

Rejoice, pray, give thanks. Don’t despise the holy spirit, or prophetic utterances. Examine everything carefully, hold to good, abstain from evil.

May god sanctify you entirely. He calls you, and will bring it to pass. Pray for us.

Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. Read them this letter. The grace of Jesus be with you.

Tuesday, April 28

Yard Work and Critter Update

The goal today is to get the yard mowed, but running up on delays. The rider isn’t charging the battery, or staying running. Could just be out of gas. Got it filled at least half full, and the battery cells toppd off and charging. Keeping fingers crossed.

The push mowers we got from Daves all have the handles broken, there’s som debris in gas tanks, and Robin is frustrated.

Squirrell Report. Taking a break, and digging out tools downstairs, I came to the office to get in a little reading and writing. Robin called out that she spotted the critter. A squirrel. Ha! I thought so. But there could be at least two of them.

Passage: Jeremiah 32-33, 2 Thessalonians 1.
Theme: Doom and Promise.
Who’s in it, and what’s going on:

Jeremiah 32. A particular time, with kings serving is mentioned. The king of Judah is not happy over Jeremiah’s prophecy about the pending captivity and destruction. Jeremiah is shut up as a prisoner in his court.

A relative came to Jeremiah to ask him to buy some land. Jeremiah saw it as a sign from god, and bought it. He had it signed, sealed, witnessed, registered, and preserved. It was a sign that an age of prosperity would come.

Jeremiah prays to god to prais him. God of strength and provision, delivering from Egypt. He confesses sins of the forefathers when he talks about god giving them the land, but they were disobedient. Now the siege ramps are coming.

God responds at great length that the destruction is coming. He is strong, but the people havebrought this on themselves. Disobedience, turning from god, worshipping idols, and child sacrifices.

At even greater length, god tells that the time for destruction and exile is at hand. However, he will bring them back. He’ll renew his covenant, and rebuild them. People will again buy and sell, and do business as usual.

Jeremiah 33. While Jeremiah is still held as a prisoner in the kings court, at length, god visits Jeremiah again to say that though the doom is impending, he’ll restore the nation.

God again says there is certain desolation, but he’ll restore.

God says. There will again be flocks and shepherds in this desolate land.

The day will come when god makes good on his word. The line of the kings, and the priests will be restored.

God’s covenant will last forever. The number of his people will be multiplied.

God goes on to say that people now think they are rejected by god because of what they’ve done. The gentiles despise them for the alleged rejectoion. Not so, god will raise the nation from the same people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They will be restored, and have mercy shown on them.

2 Thessalonians 1. A letter from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. To the church in Thessolonica. Grace and peace.

Paul gives thanks and is glad over their strong face. They held fast to their faith in the face of persecution and a ffliction. It’s god dealing justly, and to expect the ones dishing out the affliction, to recieve affliction from him. One day, he’ll punish those who don’t know him, or don’t obey. What matters is that he finds you still faithful on that last day, when Jesus returns.

Wednesday, April 29

Yard Work

Squirrrel Report. Strangely, I haven’t heard any critter activity today. Hope that means they’re just lethargic from lack of food and water, and not that the died. David is coming later to drop off a live critter trap. Hopefully by tomorrow, we’ll have them in the traps, fed, watered, and set free.

Robin has more outdoor work lined up. While she did some hedge trimming, it got me some time to record the bible journal. Mostly. Had a lot of interuptions to get up to do whatever stray errands Robin needed. While she was inside, we talked instead of recording. Finally got it pieced together around luch time. Afterward, did some raking up the hedge branches, got in some stray edits to the journal file. Will I ever get this done. I hate interuptions during edits. Its a sure path to a botched file.But today, I gotta squeeze it in before too much more time marches by.

Passage: Jeremiah 34-35, 2 Thessalonians 2.
Theme: Steadfast in Truth.
Who’s in it, and what’s happening:

Jeremiah 34. The fighting was going on, hot and heavy, with Nebuchadnezzar, and Jeremiah was sent by god to talk to the king. You’re gonna lose, and be carried away to exile. However, you won’t die violently, but in peace. Like your fathers, you will have a respectful burial.

Jeremiah continued, by telling the king that all the slaves ought to be set free. They were, but the people had second thoughts, and made them slaves again.

Jeremiah reminded them, hey, remember that law god gave about setting your fellow Hebrews free every 7 years? Your fathers didn’t do it either, and look where it got you now. You recently set your slaves free, good for you. You’re disobeying me. This is why I’m making you a terror and horror to the nations, and why you’re going to die. You wouldn’t release them, so I’m going to release you to the sword, all who continue to disobey me on this. Utter, and horrible death is described in lengthy detail.

Jeremiah 35. As an object lesson, Jeremiah calls the Rechabites to him, in the temple, and offers them pitchers of wine to drink. We find that one of their founding fathers commanded his descendants to never drink wine, plant vineyards or crops. They were to always be nomads, and live by being shepherds. They’ve kept those vows, and refuse to drink.

God tells Jeremiah to announce to the people at large about the dedication of the Rechabites. Though they refuse to listen to him, or obey, these people are exemplary. I keep telling you, all you gotta do is repent and obey, and you can keep dwelling in your land.

Jeremiah assures the Rechabites, they’ll never lack a man to stand before the lord. Note: I need to check to be sure, but the name of Rechab is on one of the role calls of people listed in Nehemiah, or Ezra among those who were instrumenta;l in the rebuilding process later.

2 Thessalonians 2. The people of Thessalonica are encouraged to holdfast, and not be deceived. False teachers are claiming the second coming is at hand. Paul claims that before it can happen, the apostacy, and man of destruction (or man of lawlessness) needs to come. Note: Apostasy means to stand apart, or actually to fall away. The man of destruction is one who will stand in the temple, claiming to be higher than any god.

These are things Paul taught while he was with them. The mystery of the lawlessness is already at work. God restrains him from being revealed, but when he is, Christ will defeat him. The coming one gets all his power from Satan, and a spirit of deception will delude people to follow him. Note: The people are said to be those who did not receive the love of the truth. They were told it, maybe even experienced it, but still refused it. For that, they’re ones who perish.

They’ll believe what’s false, but they’ll still be judged for it.

Paul gives thanks for the faith of those in Thessalonica. Chosen from the beginning, for salvation. Through sanctification by the spirit, and faith in the truth. Note: Salvation was fore knoledge. Sanctification means to be set apart, and it’s a work of the holy spirit. It’s also an ongoing process to grow closer to god, again under the work of the holy spirit. The other part of this is faith in the truth. Faith is a gift from the holy spirit to open our eyes, and the truth is the truth of the gospel. The work that Jesus did for us to make us acceptable to god.

Paul gives a parting word of love, comfort, hope, and grace.

Thursday, April 30

Still Have Critters

Getting an early start in the office. Robin is sleeping in a bit, after working her butt off the past couple days. Though I think I can hear her stirring around. Not sure what her plans are today.

Squirrel Report. Dave couldn’t bring the traps yesterday. Not surprised, we sprang it on him kinda quickly. Robin says she heard them still moving around yesterday, but they’re not as spry. Hope we can get them trapped, and out today.

Wre also had a phone call about getting some carpet to roll out in the basement. We just have to send a pick up truck to get it.

I also got responces from the VA yesterday about those replacement items.

Passage: Jeremiah 36-37, 2 Thessalonians 3.
Theme: Always Doing Right.
Who’s in it, and what’s happening:

Jeremiah 36. Four years into the reign of the king, God told Jeremiah to write down everything god had told him since his calling. Give it to the king to read.

He dictated it to his secretary, Baruch, since he was held captive, and restricted from going himself. Jeremiah seemed to be encouraging Baruch of the impportance of the words, and the message of doom, or repentance. Read them in the lords house,k to the people there. Baruch did it. It took until the fifth year to get it all written, but during a feast, when there would be the most people there, it was read.

News of the reading got to the king’s house, where the scribes, and all the other officials were. Note: Hmm… why weren’t they at the feast? Are they above such things. I’d say they thought they were. The officials sent for Baruch, and had him read it to them, and they were afraid. We have to tell the king, but tell us, did he (meaningJeremiah) dictate all these words to you? Yes. Then go and hide.

The scroll was reported to the king, who sent for it to have it read. He promptly burned each section as it was pulled out and read. The officials begged him not to, but he did. He also sent for Jeremiah and Baruch, but god had hid them. Note: the officials seem to have had a sudden case of guilt at god’s command to obey. Or were they just afraid to bring treasonous words to the king?

God then came to Jeremiah, and said to write a new scroll, with aolol the same words on it. An addition was put in it to tell the king he would die, have his body lay in the open, and have no descendants for the throne. Jeremiah and Baruch did it.

Jeremiah 37. Zedekiah, also a son of Josiah, took over, but he wasn’t any better than the king that had just been booted out for burning Jeremiah’s scroll. However, the king did ask that Jeremiah pray for them, and the siege was temporarily lifted when the Egyptian army came.

God told Jeremiah that this is only temporary. Don’t lie to yourselves, this problem won’t go away by itself. That even if they had fought the enemy, and all that was left was a rag tag band of wounded warriors, they would kick their butts, and concquer the city.

During this lul in the action, Jeremiah was trying to leave the city. He needed to take care of business in the land of Benjamin. A guard arrested him, and tossed him in jail, thinking Jeremiah was desserting.

The king freed Jeremiah, and called him in private for a personal word from god. Yes, there’s a word, you’ll be captured and taken away. What have I done wrong to you, or your people to be in jail? Where are the prophets who prophesied thqat the enemy wouldn’t come? Notre: Clearly implying it should be them in jail for misleading the nation.

Jeremiah asks to not be put back in jail, so the king doesn’t put him back where he was… instead, he puts Jeremiah in the jail in his own house… nice. I guess the king had better prisoner accomodations.

2 Thessalonians 3. Paul asks for prayer. That the gospel be spread rapidly, and he would be rescued from evil men. For the Thessolonicans they would be strengthened and protected under gods faithfulness.

Paul is confident thety’ll continue doing right.

A command: keep away from brothers who live an unruly life. You know our example. We didn’t take anyone’s bread without paying for it. We actually could’ve claimed the right to it, but it was more important to be an example for you. Do honest work, eat your own bread. Don’t grow tired of doing good. Note: It doesn’t say you won’t grow tired when doing good, because it can be very tiring indeed. Just don’t get tired of doing it, do good when you have the chance, rather than doing bad.

If anybody is caught disobeying what we taught in this letter, make note of him. Don’t associate with him, but

not to cut him off, but to correct him as a brother.

Grace and peace from god. Paul signs off in his distinctive hand.

Friday, May 01

May Day the Squirrel is Still with Us

Squirrel Report. Still no traps. Dave said that since Robin was going to be in Effingham to do things anyway today, she could do it herself. That’s yet another day with squirrels in the house. They’re not getting fed, or watered, and the poor things, as wild as they are, need to be outside. They don’t make much noise for the most part. But when we’re not particularly active downstairs, the one will get brave, and run around in front of you. They’re most active around the noon hour, so hopefully, if the traps don’t catch sometghibng this evening, by tomorrow, they’ll be trapped, and out. Mostly worried over the one in the furnace room. He doesn’t have access to food or water, like the one in the kitchen.

Been getting some retro stuff worked up. A new original, and all the show notes I have so fqar are posted, and stacked up. Gottqa finish the pending stuff for May, and get files ready for upload for the next 2 months.

Passage: Psalm 40, Jeremiah 38-40.
Theme: Rescue from the Pit.
Who’s in it, and what’s happening:

Jeremiah has gone through phases. He didn’t have confidence in his words. Then he was very verbose in his proclamations. Repeating himself, and being detailed in his warnings. Lately, after the burning scroll incident, his book takes on more of a biographical or history story telling form, rather than a series of proclamations.

Psalms 40. David says. I waited on the lord, and he brought me out of the pit. My feet from the mire to the rock. A song of praise in my mouth to make men fear him.

Blessed is the man who trusts god, not turning to the proud. Gods wonders are too many to count. What can compare?

God doesn’t want sin offering, but to have his words on our hearts.

I speak at liberty of gods righteousness, faithfulness, salvation, lovingkindness.

You won’t hold back on lovingkindness and truth for me. Enemies surround me, and can’t be counted.

Hurry to deliver me, make the enemy ashamed. Those who love you continue to magnify you. Hurry to deliver me.

Jeremiah 38. After hearing Jeremiah’s preaching, officials wanted the king to kill him. The claim was his words discouraged the people. He’s speaking harm on the people, not good. Note: as if they couldn’t figure out it was god’s words, notJeremiah’s. And the solution was to obey god, not themselves.

The king didn’t see any other way, and let them lower Jeremiah into a cistern in the guard house. An Ethiopian eunick heard of the evil deed, recognized it for what it was, and appealed tpo the king to let Jeremiah out. King wishy washy authorized the eunick to have 30 men to bring Jeremiah out.

The king called for a private meeting with Jeremiah, promising no harm would come to him. Jeremiah was skeptical the king would follow his advice.

Once again, Jeremiah told him that if he would surrender to the Babylonians, the king would live. If not, he would die, and thge city be burned. The king was afraid he would be mistreated by the Jews who had already been captured, if he gave himself up. Jeremiah assured him otherwise, and prophesied that the wives and children would be captured, and the city burned.

The king made Jeremiah keep the meeting a secret, not telling the officials what exactly they talked about. Jeremiah kept his word.

Jeremiah 39. Sure enough, the city fell. The king and officials tried to flee, but were captured. The king’s officials, and his kids were killed before his eyes, then he was blinded, and taken to captivity in bronze shackles. The city burned, the walls torn down, and everyone taken away. Only some of the most poor remained, and vineyards were given them by the Babylonians.

Jeremiah was taken out of jail, and set free to stay in the land. While still in jail, god told Jeremiah that the eunick who rescued him would also be preserved.

Jeremiah 40,. Focusing back on the instance of Jeremiah being set free, more details are given. He had been in chains with all the rest, but pulled aside by the Babylonian commander. Apparently his fame as the prophet who foretold the capture, due to the disobedience of the Jews had caught the Babylonian commander’s attention. He offered Jeremiah the chance to astay, or go. He would protect Jeremiah if he went. Jeremiah was given a ration, and a gift, and was released.

Jeremiah now told the poor people who remained not to worry. Live under subjection to the Babylonians, and all would go well. When other scattered, or formerly captured Jews heard it, they came back to inhabit their cities. Note: Before Jeremiah had said that only those who allowed themselves to be carried away would survive. Those who stubbornly stayed were doomed. His message changed, because the ordeal was now over. He was now telling them it was OK to be there.

Though the land had been ravaged in the siege, the meager pickings from the vineyards and fields were more than enough for the survivors to have plenty.

A rumor of an assassination plot on some of the ruling officials had come to light, but it was considered to be nothing.

Saturday, May 03

Sunday Visitors

Squirrel Report. Still have squirrels. The kitchen one has had opportunity to keep himself fed. apparently well enough to not be so interested in the bait. The furnace room squirrel took the bait, and somehow managed to escape being caught in the trap. Robin hasn’t reset that one yet, so we’re waiting.

Had some carpet delivered yesterday.

Mike came over around midnight last night. He went to church, and is helping Robin with a dead branch in a tree. Saylah also came over to help.

Later is movie night, but Mike also brought over a movie so we’ll have a double feature today. One at home, then one at church.

Gotta write the last installment in the wordpress writing challenge. I have an idea for it. I just need to clear the time to get it done.

Passage: Jeremiah 44-46, Psalm 93.
Theme: Accountability, Wrath or Relief.
Who’s in it, and what’s happening:

Jeremiah 44. A word to the Jews who just fled to Egypt. You witnessed it yourselves, all the desolation god sent on Jerusalem. It was all because the worship of idols, and disobedience to god. Many prophets were sent, its not like you weren’t warned. Why are you cutting yourself off by leaving the land, and god behind? Doom and destruction are all that you can expect. Have you forgotten all about the legacy of sin from fathers to kings to your wives?

All of you in Egypt will die, from small to great. You long to return, but none will. Only a few refugees. Note: stay tuned, and learn who thoase exceptions are.

The people answered Jeremiah ,All the women, and all the men who were aware of their wives idol worship, apparently all the Jews in Egypt as well. We’re not listening to you. We’re going to keep on sacrificing to idols, just as our fathers did. Back home we had food and drink, up to the time we stopped sacrificing to the queen of heaven.

Jeremiah replied. No, you have it wrong. God tolerated all he could stand. Then he turned his back, and all the prosperity in the land went away. It was the rebellious idol worship that ruined things there.

Listen up. You said it, now do it. God doesn’t want to hear his name on your lips anymore. He’s watching over you, but for harm, not for good. You will die by sword and famine, until you are totally gone. Refugees who manage to escape back to Judah will be OK. Here’s your sign so you’ll know this is true. Pharoah will be attacked, and Egypt will fall.

Jeremiah 45. Word to Baruck. You wrote the book for Jeremiah. Your heart was broken, and said woe is me over the calamity. Don’t seek any blessings yet. more work in uprooting and tearing down needs to be done. However, your life will be preserved in all places you will go.

Jeremiah 46. A prophecy to the nation in general.

To Egypt. Line up for battle, but the warriors will flee. No one is too strong, or too fast to run away and escape. Gods wrath will cover the land. The sword of vengance, with no healing will be widespread.

Apparently to the Jews about Egypt. Last chance… flee back to Judah. Egypt has no strength to stand.

God will wipe out Egypt, and all who rely on her as a life support system. A day is coming to rebuild.

Jacob will be rescued from afar. You will by no means go unpunished, but you will be fully restored one day, and under my protection again.

Psalms 93. God reigns in majesty and strength. The world is established, but not as securly established as your kingdom.

The floods rise, and are lifted up. $Even more high and mighty is god. The testimony and throne of god is established forever.

Additional tracks heard in the show are:

  • Agnus Dei – Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty
  • Audrey Assad – Known

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