Rehearse the good…

So that you won’t be so inclined to focus on the bad.

I have a long way to go until this baby is born. The tentative due date is May 14th, although I have yet to visit the midwife to have that date confirmed. Either way it goes, I know I have at least six or seven more months of discomfort left ahead of me. Right now, I have a little belly but that is not the major issue. The major issue is the nausea and fatigue–mainly the nausea. I am a foodie. I love cooking, I love using different spices and trying new flavors. I love spicy food. I love pasta. I love sauces and condiments.

Unfortunately, this baby doesn’t like ANYTHING at all. And guess who is in charge right now?

Not I.

No, this kid has already pulled rank and is commanding what I can eat, when I can eat, and how I feel after I eat. I understand that there are a whole bunch of hormonal things going on that contribute to the nausea. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Already I found myself complaining to God. Does it have to take nine months? Why couldn’t it be something reasonable like four or five? When can I eat regularly again?

Then I remembered that this baby, as are all babies, a blessing. God decided my husband and I had been faithful stewards of the two he has already given us and thought we were worthy of another, one that can bring special joy to this family in the midst of our grief. Being able to carry my own children has been a blessing that I know some other women can only hope for. It is a special thing to have another life inside of me–and yes, this is LIFE. I know I am at an early stage but I cannot understand how someone could get rid of such magic.

I often think of my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother birthed twelve children naturally, my maternal grandmother, eleven. The families my parents grew up with were all pretty big. I think the largest one consisted of 23 children (a nightmare in my opinion!). They birthed and raised them with limited means and did a darn good job.

So as for my little nausea, I will take care of myself as best I can and grin and bear it. At the end of the day, there is nothing else to do. When it passes, I will thank God for it. I thank God REGARDLESS. He has been super good to me, good beyond anything I’ve ever deserved. I have not always been a good representative for Jesus and yet He has kept me anyway.

Just like everyone else, I get overwhelmed with things. I’ve made it a point when that happens to rehearse, recite, or even write down the good in my life and compare it to the bad. The good side always outweighs the bad–as a matter of fact I usually have to quit writing the good because I find myself unable to stop.

Now, before this little pumpkin commands me otherwise, I’ll finally finish up Deuteronomy :-)

We were in chapter twenty-nine. In this chapter the covenant that God is making with the Israelites is renewed. Again, God is preparing the people to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. This is kind of like the pep talk coaches give their teams before they begin a game. “Okay… Now this is what we have been training for…” The coach may give players last minute reminders based on footage they’ve watched of the opposing team. The coach also reminds the team that there is victory when the team is united… whether they do this indirectly or not, when coaches design plays that involve all players, there the concept of unity is strengthened. The Israelites were a team and the people in Canaan were their opposition. Deuteronomy kind of serves as that pre-game “pep talk”.

The location was Moab, which no longer exists in name but is considered part of current-day Jordan. The Moabites were descendants of Lot–with his daughter. Surely you remember the sordid story in Genesis of how Lot’s two daughters got their father drunk and lay with him in order to conceive sons, right? The son of Lot’s firstborn daughter was Moab, and he became the father of this group of people, the Moabites. The second son by the other daughter fathered the Ammonites (see Genesis 19 for the whole story). All of Israel is before Moses, where he reminds the people of all of the many signs and wonders. In the forty years that they have wandered in the wilderness, their needs have been met–even though they were technically being punished for their disobedience and lack of faith, God still provided for them. Their clothes have not worn out, nor have their sandals become tattered and torn. The Bible says “You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God” (v. 6). They have already defeated the people on that side of the Jordan and gave their land to the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh. The people should have full faith and confidence in God at this point that can travel with them during the rest of their journey.

All of Israel is present, and God is entering into this covenant with the entire assembly. They are warned again to refrain from idol worship. If anyone within the assembly accepted the covenant (at least by appearance) but conspires within himself to be stubborn, they will feel the fullness of God’s anger: The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law” (vv. 20-21). If the Israelites break this covenant, generations after them and foreigners will look upon their desolate land and wonder what the people did to the Lord to make him so angry. They will know the answer to that question–because the people abandoned God.

As always with our loving God, there can be forgiveness if the people repent and turn from their sins. This is discussed in chapter thirty. Our all-knowing God knows full well that these people are going to do exactly what he is telling them not to do. So the next thing is to remind them that they can come back to the Lord after they have sinned. If they come back to the Lord they will be restored, and he will gather together all of them, even those who have been scattered. They will be numerous and prosperous, more than their forefathers. If the people take delight in prospering in the Lord, the Lord will in turn delight in prospering them. God tells the people that the commands he is giving them is not too hard for them to keep. God presents his way as that of “life and good”, as opposed to the worldly way, which leads to “death and evil”. If the people keep God’s commandments and statutes, they will have it good. If they turn from him, they will surely perish: But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (vv. 17-20).

A very important event occurs in chapter thirty-one. Moses has reached the ripe old age of 120 years and as we already know, he will not be the one to lead Israel into the Promised Land. That job will go to Joshua, son of Nun, who has already been acting as Moses’s right-hand man, thus being mentored and prepared for his role by the best source available. God will go before the people and destroy the inhabitants of the Promised Land so that Israel may dispossess them of their land. The land will be given over to Israel. Knowing that God is with them in this endeavor, the people are exhorted to “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (v. 6). I tend to think that is a good verse for all of us Christians to commit to memory. Every day we leave the comfort and solitude of our Christian homes we open ourselves up to worldly temptation. Even in the face of evil and adversity we have to be strong and courageous representatives of the Lord. Even though our beliefs are not popular in today’s carnal microwave society where people demand instant gratification, we still have to adhere to them and tell people about Jesus. As I tell the kids in Sunday school, whether or not people accept the Gospel message is not up to you. The only job we have to do as Christians is to tell people about Christ. If they reject the Gospel message it is not a person rejection–that person has rejected Jesus, as has the world. And unfortunately they will have to pay for it.

Now Moses summons Joshua and gives him a little pep-talk: Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (v. 7-8). This was done in front of the entire assembly of Israel. It was important for them all to see Moses, their current leader, do this mini-coronation of sorts of their new leader. Then they could truly accept Joshua’s authority.

The law is given by Moses to the priests. The law is to be read to the entire assembly every seventh year at the Festival of Booths. The Lord tells Moses the time is near that he will die, and requests that Moses bring Joshua to the tent of meeting where the Lord will commission him. Moses does as told (wonder how he felt knowing he was about to die?? I tend to think he might have been a bit relieved–after all he was an old man and the Israelites had been giving him the blues for DECADES) and once Joshua is in front of the tent of meeting, the Lord comes down in a pillar of a cloud and stands over the entrance of the tent.

Here, we find that God absolutely knows what the Israelites will do:

And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods” (vv. 16-18).

It’s like when we are born the first time. God knows that because of our sin nature handed down to us by Adam that we are going to do wrong. So he has established a way for us to come into fellowship with him–through his son Jesus Christ–and ways for us to remain on “good terms” with him–through confession of sins and repentance. God knows that we are not going to be perfect while we’re down here. He doesn’t expect that. He does expect spiritual maturity and growth.

Side bar–I must admit I am fighting getting extraordinarily irritated right now. At one point in time in Bible class we were discussing how it is easy to get distracted from reading and praying every day, and that sometimes the devil himself will put stumbling blocks in our way. One of the ladies in the class happened to bring up how her daughter always found a reason to interrupt her when she was doing Bible study at home, causing the teacher to ask her jokingly, “Are you saying your daughter is a devil?” Of course the answer was no–she was just making an observation about how some things, some of them priorities in her life such as her daughter, always seemed to get in the way of the time she wanted to devote to God. We discussed ways around that. Sometimes maybe she would have to get up earlier or go to bed later to get her time with the Lord, or keep her Bible on her and during a rare down time at work, maybe get a Scripture or two in.

The reason I brought that up is because my daughter keeps interrupting me right now and I am getting annoyed. It is not because she needs anything. It is because she has decided she doesn’t want to go to sleep.

Time has passed and I am alone. Let’s wrap this up before one of my two kids (or even this third one–the nausea still has not subsided completely) decides they need my attention.

God gives Moses a song to write down to teach the people to be a witness for him against the people of Israel. God knows once they get into Canaan and get settled in and comfortable and begin reaping the benefits of the land they will forget about God (isn’t that how we do now–when things go well we forget that it was because of God’s blessing and start getting the prideful big head, like we did it on our own??) and turn to idols. The song is given in chapter thirty-two. I’ll let you read that.

However as chapter thirty-one concludes we see the Lord formally commissioning Joshua: Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you” (v. 23).

The Book of Law that Moses has just compiled is given to the Levites, who are to place it by the side of the ark of the covenant. Once again Moses reminds the people that God already knows what they are going to do. He knows of their sins to come.

As I just mentioned the song that God gave Moses makes up the bulk of chapter thirty-two, but at the end of that chapter God tells Moses to go up to Mount Nebo which is in Moab, where he will die. AGAIN, God reminds Moses as to why this is happening in this manner–because he did not treat God as holy. Therefore he will only see the land, not cross into it.

In chapter thirty-three Moses bestows blessings upon the twelve tribes. In these passages I found the word “Jeshurun”. I don’t recall seeing it anywhere else in the Bible leading up to now, but from what I understand it is another way of referring to Israel as a nation. The root of the word means “upright” or “straight”… which is befitting, knowing that Israel was supposed to be an upright, Godly nation. The most interesting of these blessings is the one that is bestowed upon Reuben. It is brief and kind of a blessing and a… non-blessing??

Let Reuben live, and not die, but let his men be few” (v. 6).

Interesting. I suppose that this is because of the sin Reuben committed against his father Jacob when he slept with Bilhah, his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22).

The rest of the blessings are more happy-happy-joy-joy than the one bestowed upon Reuben.

The book of Deuteronomy concludes in chapter thirty-four with the death of the leader of Israel, Moses. God allows Moses to see the fruit of his labor–he allows him to see Canaan, but up there on Mount Nebo Moses died and was buried by none other than the Lord: “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended” (vv. 5-8).

Joshua is now fully in charge. Since Moses laid hands on him, Joshua is filled with the spirit of wisdom and the people of Israel obey him. (Laying on hands is not necessary now because once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit comes to live and dwell within us. No one needs to put their hands on us for that to happen). As for Moses, the Bible says:

And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (vv. 10-12).

That concludes the first five books of the Bible. Referred to as the Torah by some, the Pentateuch by others, these first five books are the very foundation for all the rest that follow. There would be no New Testament without the Old, and the importance of Moses’s writings (and his deeds, of course) cannot be underscored. Christians ought not neglect reading these books. When we read about Moses and his life, we can draw many parallels between him and Christ. Moses was the “middle man” so to speak, the Israelite’s connection to God the Father, just as Jesus Christ the Son is our connection to God the Father. Moses delivered the people from sin and bondage, just as Jesus does for us presently. And as much as the people got on Moses’s last nerve, he did not leave them. On many occasions, he pleaded on their behalf, just as Jesus, our Advocate, Intercessor and Intermediary does for us when we fall short of God’s expectations.

We can also look at Moses’s life to see an example of true leadership. True leaders depend upon God. Moses had undeniable faith. If he didn’t, surely he would have broken under the pressure of dealing with such a large and demanding group of people. When they people had an issue, he took it to the Lord. When HE had an issue, he took it to God. In all things, Moses consulted God.

What I love about the Bible is that God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. What I mean by that is that there was nothing special about Moses. He wasn’t a good speaker–he admitted that himself. What was important was not his ability to speak well, but to be flexible and faithful enough for God to use him. Now, we know that there are no more prophets, but certainly God can and does use his children to accomplish his will. People use other people all the time. I can think of no better example than in the corporate world, where people get to the top by climbing on the backs of others. There is no benefit when someone in this world uses you. But look at where you can end up if you allow God to use you! Look at what Moses has accomplished. While we are not going to be a prophet or deliver a nation from bondage, we can do great things through Christ if ONLY we are willing to let go of self and give our lives over to God.

Congratulations on reading through the first five books of the Bible! The story gets good in Joshua. But right now I have to go tend to my stomach. This baby is killing me softly right now. Part of me wants cookies and the other part of me is hoping to just puke and get it over with (TMI, I know).

Great actress, classic, un-siliconed beauty


The lovely Maureen O’Hara acted in many movies… I’ll let those who do not know who she is examine her profile on IMDB or some other similar website. Although Miracle on 34th Street was probably one of her most memorable films, it’s not one of my favorites…one of my all-time favorite movies is none other than The Parent Trap. Maureen O’Hara was brilliant as the mother of separated twins Susan and Sharon (both delightfully played by Hayley Mills. I flippin’ HATED the remake with Lindsay Lohan, just like I was majorly displeased with the remake of Freaky Friday, another childhood favorite, which originally starred Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris).

Maureen O’Hara died recently at the ripe age of 95. Rest in peace. Your body of work lives on.

May I say something before I get into Deuteronomy?

I understand women are under a lot of pressure to conform, but we bring a lot of it on ourselves. When we stop looking to the media and whomever else to decide what is considered beautiful, I am sure we’d all be a lot happier. I love looking at old pictures. Not just of classic Hollywood beauties, but older pictures in general, to see when women actually looked like natural, regular women, not these plastic build-a-body women we see today on Botched or shows like that. Since when did it become such a bad thing to look like this:

Diahann Carroll

Marilyn Monroe

Sophia Loren

Raquel Welch

Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith–Charlie’s Angels, of course!

Pam Grier

Eartha Kitt

Cicely Tyson

Dorothy Dandridge

Phylicia Rashad–who doesn’t love Clair Huxtable??

I could have posted hundreds more pictures, both of beautiful celebrity women AND some regular Janes. Point is, I don’t understand how or why the ideals of beauty have changed to where so much unnatural is being accepted in the place of working with your own natural beauty. I’m not saying women shouldn’t use makeup or experiment with their hair, paint their nails, etc. What I am bothered by is the Fix-a-Flat behinds, lips plumped up with fat, and ZZZ breasts. If God intended for everyone to have a huge behind, soup cooler lips and back-breaking breastises He would have given them to us. (And yes, I said breastises).

You know what I don’t understand? People are so fickle, and what is considered fashionable is likely to change from minute to minute. Years ago, typically Black features like big lips and even big behinds weren’t fashionable. Now all of a sudden big lips and huge butts are in. I even remember there being an uproar about an article in Allure magazine that was a tutorial on how White women could get Afros–at one point in time, Afros were a no-no… they still are in the corporate world, as far as I can tell…So what happens if those fashion standards change? Are people then going to get the reverse procedures done, and are they going to keep destroying their bodies based upon what some random person has decided is in or not? Kind of pathetic. Everyone is not supposed to look the same.

Now on to Deuteronomy chapter 23, now that my little beauty rant is over. It begins by discussing people who are cannot join in worship.This chapter starts off with a super-random statement–that a man with a crushed testicle or missing a part of his sex organ cannot worship with the other men of Israel. This is a confusing passage, because I can understand how a man with a crushed testicle or other type of injury might be considered unfit for specific types of service to the Lord, but to not even be able to worship with the other men seems harsh–unless that man’s condition is the result of having been a willing participant in some type of pagan ritual where this type of mutilation occurred. Once again, everything God is doing is so that the Israelites will be a set apart, sanctified, holy people, completely unlike the people who are currently in the land they are going to inhabit, Canaan. It is my humble opinion that this verse and a lot of others that seem kind of random or have little explanation behind them are God’s way of making sure His people don’t look anything like the other people. I will have to research this passage a bit more carefully.

People born to unmarried parents cannot join in worship either, nor can his descendants down to the tenth generation. Again–admittedly this sounds harsh. I will never pretend to like everything the Bible says. Some things God decreed that I did not understand. What I DO know is that thank Jesus these regulations do not apply to us today! ALL are welcome to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and all are free to worship Him. What was considered unacceptable, unclean and blemished per the Old Testament standards can be made acceptable, clean and pure by the blood of Jesus Christ. Whenever I read these passages and think “Geez God… what was the point of that???” I just remember how the Old Testament points to the necessity for Jesus. This is another passage of Scripture for which I have no explanation. In my modern mind, it seems harsh that a person would be punished for sins committed by their parents, but God has already said that would be the case in previous Scriptures. And THAT again shows us how Jesus just paved that perfect way… with Him the only sins we’re accountable for are our own. We don’t have to deal with our parents’ sins (at least not in terms of blessings and salvation. Not saying our parents’ wrongs might not influence our lives).

The Israelites are never to make friends with the Ammonites and Moabites, the individuals who refused assist the Israelites as they journeyed from Egypt and hired Balaam to curse them. They are not allowed to join in worship, and the Israelites must never make peace with them. There are some people that the Israelites are to embrace: The Edomites, who are their relatives and, interestingly enough, their former masters the Egyptians. Those people are allowed to worship God alongside the Israelites.

Even when the Israelites are encamped against their enemies they are still to remain set apart and keep themselves and their campground holy. Any man who has a nocturnal emission that renders him unclean he is to go outside the camp, bathe himself with water and re-enter the camp as the sun sets. There is to be a place outside the camp for Israelites to relieve themselves. They are to dig a hole and once they have finished their business, they are to cover their excrement so as to not offend the Lord their God who walks through their camp.

Another set of miscellaneous laws follows. If a slave has escaped his master and runs into the arms of another Israelite, that Israelite is not to give the slave back. The escaped slave is allowed to choose a place to dwell within one of the cities that he has escaped to. I suppose this is because of the regulations God has given the people regarding the treatment of slaves. Remember that slaves were supposed to be treated well, and were allowed the option of freedom after seven years or during the Year of Jubilee, whichever came first. I guess only slaves that were being mistreated would flee their masters, so apparently in that situation it is okay to do. They are not to be turned back over to a harsh master.

The sons and daughters of Israel are forbidden from being cult prostitutes. This warning obviously stems from the practices and rituals performed by the native Canaanites, as I believe I have discussed in previous posts. Temple prostitutes were especially popular in terms of worshiping Baal. Verse 18 says that “You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God”. There has been some discussion as to what this verse means, particularly in terms of “wages of a dog”. It is my humble understanding that God is referring to male prostitutes when he talks about the wages of a dog, and that no one who has acquired money via involvement in prostitution ought to bring that dirty money to the house of the Lord for any reason. I’m definitely open to other explanations though :-)

Israelites are not to charge interest on loans made to other Israelites, although they can collect interest on loans made to foreigners. Israelites are to be careful in terms of making vows to the Lord–if they make a vow and fail to fulfill it they will be held accountable. As such, it is best not to make a vow at all, so as to not become guilty of any sin. Vows made to the Lord are voluntary, even now. God requires us to live a certain way and wants us to do things to bring glory and honor to him, but he does not physically compel us to do anything. It is a choice we get to make on our own. So if we tell God we are going to do something, we should make good on our promises to him as he does with his promises to us. (I could go on a marriage rant here, because it baffles me as to why marriage is so hard for people these days, but I’ll refrain).

Israelites are to be hospitable toward one another and respectful of each others’ property. If someone went into their neighbor’s vineyard, they were allowed to snack on some of their grapes, but could not take a doggie bag. The same applied if they went into their neighbor’s field of grain. They could eat some of the free grain but weren’t expected to get greedy and take a sickle (one of those farm tools that kind of looks like a question mark, used for cutting grain–has a wooden handle and a curved blade) and get more than they ought.

Chapter twenty-four begins with laws concerning divorce. When I first read this years ago it seemed kind of convoluted and made my head spin, so I’ll do my best at being brief:

  1. Man marries woman.
  2. Man decides he does not want to be married to woman.
  3. Man writes her a certificate of divorce and sends her out of his house (how kind).
  4. Woman marries another man.
  5. Second man either A) also decides he wants nothing to do with woman and writes her a certificate of divorce or B) dies.
  6. The man in numbers 1-3 cannot re-claim woman as his wife after she has been defiled.

Not sure why the woman would want anything to do with the man who has divorced her, but we’ve all heard stories of couples who have married each other two or three times after realizing it was a mistake to divorce. I guess the moral of the story is you shouldn’t take marriage and divorce lightly.

Verse five begins a new series of miscellaneous laws. If a man has just married, he is allowed to remain from fighting with the Israelite army for a year, giving him time to enjoy his new bride. Verse six tells us that Israelites were not allowed to take someone’s mill or upper millstone as part of a pledge. Of course I looked that up, because I wondered what the significance may be of those two items. Turns out those tools were a part of someone’s job, so basically God was not about to allow someone to take away someone’s livelihood. If an Israelite was caught stealing a fellow Israelite to enslave him or sell him, he is to be put to death. In the case someone is afflicted with leprosy, they are warned to follow the instructions given them by the Levitical priests to a T. When an Israelite went to collect on a pledge, they were not to go into the person’s home, but instead were to wait outside for the person to bring what was owed to them outside. If the pledge is that of a poor man, and, from the way the Scripture is written, is his cloak, the person to whom the pledge was owed was forbidden to sleep in that pledge overnight. It is to be restored to the person before sunset. I know these days most of us have several sweaters, a couple winter coats, some jackets, some hoodies, etc. that can keep us warm on these crisp fall days and, unfortunately, soon-to-come blistering wintry winds. The same was not the case back in these Old Testament days. People had one cloak on which they slept and protected them from the elements. God wanted the Israelites to treat all people well, even the poor, and even those who owed others money.

Oppression of hired workers who are poor is prohibited, whether they are native Israelites or sojourners. The poor person is to be given his wages that same day. People are responsible for their own sins–fathers are not to be put to death for the sins of their children and vice versa. Justice is to be fair in all cases, and there should be no perversion of justice against the sojourners, widows and orphans–three highly vulnerable groups of which God showed great tenderness and mercy. His mercies extend to cover all of their needs–for those who are blessed enough to have plentiful crops and harvests, they are commanded to let those vulnerable individuals glean from their fields: When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this” (vv. 19-22).

Can you imagine this type of society, where everyone has a vested interest in looking out for everyone else?

I can’t. Not in these times.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it–God’s way is selfless, man’s way is selfish. This society is heavily vested in man’s way. We’ve become far too individualistic for our own good. Why are people these days so mean and nasty? Their selfish black hearts are in bad shape. Think of the last time you did something nice for someone, an act you performed just out of the kindness of your heart. Didn’t it make you feel good? Didn’t you want to do it again? It’s unfortunate that when we read stories about people doing nice things for others we get happy, because it should be NORMAL BEHAVIOR, not EXCEPTIONAL BEHAVIOR. SMH.

On to chapter twenty-five…

If two men have a dispute and present themselves to the judges, and the judges render a verdict finding one man guilty and the other innocent, the guilty man’s punishment may be a beating. In this case, the man is to lie down and be beaten in the presence of the judge. No more than forty lashes is to be given. Then that quickly the Word jumps to talking about oxen. An ox is not to be muzzled when treading out the grain (maybe so it can eat some of it? I don’t know).

Next is another slightly convoluted marital situation:

  1. There are two brothers.
  2. One of them dies and has no son, but has a wife.
  3. The surviving brother has the option to take the wife as his own.
  4. If the wife gives birth to a son, she is to name the son after her late husband, so as to not blot his name out of Israel’s register.
  5. The brother may refuse the wife.
  6. The wife can speak to the city’s elders about his refusal, and they are to speak with him.
  7. If he consistently refuses to take the wife, she is allowed to pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. He has degraded his brother’s memory by allowing his name to be removed from Israel.  I suppose the shoe was a sign of dignity, and thus removing it symbolized a loss of dignity.

More miscellany:

If two men fight and the wife of one of the men tries to help her husband and grabs the offending man’s testicles during the fight, her hand is to be cut off. This reminds me of a discussion I have had several times with my husband. It’s actually kind of funny. We’ve talked on numerous occasions (jokingly) about what I would do if he ever got into a fight while I was around and started to lose. He said even if he is losing I am NOT supposed to jump in for a couple of reasons:

1. I might get beat up right along with him… LOL

2. Or, I might kick the guy’s behind and emasculate my husband in the process (that sounds more like me)…

I wonder if other men feel the same way? Either way, I thought the conversation was pretty funny. It was just one of many that illustrated how men and women often think differently, because until he said that I figured there was no way I could ever watch him get beat up.

There is a brief discussion on fair weights and measures: You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God” (vv. 13-16).

The people are then reminded to remember what Amalek did to them as they were on their way out of Egypt, how he attacked them when they were at their most vulnerable. Once the Lord has given them rest in their new land, the Israelites are to blot out the Amalekites from under heaven.

Chapter twenty-six begins with a concept we’ve discussed on many occasions–that of the offering of the firstfruits. Once the Israelites are established in their new land they are to offer the first some of their first fruits to the Lord while recounting the story of their deliverance from Egypt. In verses 12-13 God says that When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled, then you shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover, I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all your commandment that you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor have I forgotten them”. Remember that in every third year the people were to fill the storehouses with produce for the Levites, the poor, the widows, the sojourners, and the fatherless (Deuteronomy 14:28). The Lord has promised to make Israel a great nation, and if they will obey, they will be set higher than other nations.

In chapter twenty-seven, Moses instructs the people to build an altar of uncut stones on Mount Ebal when they cross over the Jordan into the land the Lord is giving them. In verses 9-10 we see that this thing is really becoming official official:”Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, “Keep silence and hear, O Israel: this day you have become the people of the Lord your God. You shall therefore obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping his commandments and his statutes, which I command you today”.  After they cross the Jordan and enter the new land, they are to assemble at Shechem, where the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin are to stand on Mount Gerizim to hear God’s blessings upon the people, while Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali were to stand on Mount Ebal to hear the curses.

The Levites are to declare the following curses to all of the people (after each curse is pronounced, the people reply with an “Amen”):

1. Cursed is he who makes a carved or cast metal image and sets it up in secret

2. Cursed is anyone who dishonors his mother or father.

3. Anyone who moves his neighbor’s landmark is cursed.

4. Anyone who mislead a blind man down a road shall be cursed.

5. Anyone who perverts justice to those vulnerable sojourners, widows or orphans is cursed.

6. Anyone who lies with his father’s wife and thus uncovers his nakedness is cursed.

7. A person who lies with an animal is cursed.

8. A person who lies with his sister is cursed.

9. Cursed is the person who lies with his mother-in-law.

10. Cursed is anyone who strikes down his neighbor in secret.

11. Cursed is anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.

12. Anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them is cursed.

I wondered if there was any significance to how God gathered the tribes together, i.e., was there any special reason why he grouped the tribes the way he did to receive the blessings and the curses? I found what appears to be a sensible argument at

The list of tribes in Deuteronomy 27:12-13 composing the two groups is also striking. Those on Mount Ebal, the mount of cursing, are the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali, sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, slave women of Jacob’s two lawful wives. Those on Mount Gerizim are Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. Those on Gerizim, the mount of blessing, are children of Jacob’s lawful wives, Leah and Rachel (Gen 35:23-26). Reuben is the exception—though he was one of Leah’s legitimate sons, he was cursed because he had sexual relations with Bilhah, his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22; 1 Chron 5:1)” (May 2010).

There you have it. I love that there is just so much to be learned in the Bible, and that God has given so many people the gift of Biblical wisdom that we might learn from one another. (I’ve looked at other postings at that site too–pretty good stuff there).

Blessings and curses for obedience are given in chapter twenty-eight. The curses are the opposite of the blessings, so I will briefly describe the blessings. If the Israelites would just obey God, they would be set high above all other nations. They will be blessed in all ways–their produce, their fields, their children, everything would multiply and be fruitful. They will reap the benefits of God’s boundless protection whether they are in their own cities and fields or not. The other peoples will see these benefits, recognize that God is with them and be afraid. The Israelites would “abound in prosperity” (v. 11). They will lend to many nations but never borrow. The exact opposite is the case if they disobey. Every part of them would be afflicted–their land, their bodies, their produce… and a king from a foreign nation would be set over them.

Here is a particular passage that makes me want to retch at the very thought of it:

They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the Lord your God has given you. And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you. The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, and to the last of the children whom he has left, so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because he has nothing else left, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns. The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, to her son and to her daughter, her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns” (vv. 52-57).

People are going to start eating each other??? GRODIE! But it does in fact begin to happen. The most vivid exchange I can remember involving eating one’s child is in 2 Kings 6. It’s a pretty disturbing passage about a time of famine and a mother boiling her son.

To sum it up, if the people disobey they face the consequence of ultimate, thorough destruction.

And now I must lay down. I have been sleeping a lot more the past few days. I have been physically exhausted and sick to my stomach. I rarely get sick to my stomach, so I knew once that started happening something was amiss. And I was right. I took three pregnancy tests and they all came back positive. So my party of four will become a party of five sometime in May. I am very excited, but I am looking forward to the time when I can eat again and not have to suffer the consequences. I want to eat everything and nothing at the same time. I get to where I can go from content to ravenous in 0.005 seconds, and then when I placate myself with food Mattphanie decides not to appreciate it (I called both my son and daughter Mattphanie before we knew what their sex was. It’s a mash-up of our names). I’ve noticed I’m sicker during the day than I am at night, but that is subject to change. I’m taking it all in stride, resting when I need to, eating when I can. I thank God for this because our family needed some good news. God is still blessing us even as we continue to grieve my Dad, who I still miss (and always will) dearly. God took someone very important to us home, but he sent someone else for us to love and teach him all about his wonderful Granddad.

Happy Friday!

My poor sweet little boy is sick today.

He had a great ninth birthday. Although I spent the day feeling pretty nostalgic, leafing through his old baby book and looking at the pictures of him in his little crib in the NICU, there was little time to relax after he got out of school. He had about ten or twelve of his little friends from school and some relatives join him for a bowling birthday party. Then, on Friday, we went to what is now my new favorite (relatively) close family destination, Kalahari Resorts in Ohio. MAAAAAAAN that place had it ALL! A fantastic buffet, little shops, a huge arcade, a zoo, well-equipped rooms with fireplaces (we had a FABULOUS suite with a hot tub on the balcony), and, of course, a FANTASTIC waterpark with one of the best slides ever…

Image result for slides at kalahari resort ohio

It was a ton of fun. What made it even more fun was that we had a big group of people. I was especially pleased that my father-in-law was able to come, all the way from Alabama. After my Dad passed (it still bothers me to say that) he decided he wanted to see his grandkids more often. I don’t blame him, and I am glad that he made that decision. My kids just love him. He’s a fun guy :-)

All in all, the ninth birthday was a success for my son. He works hard at school and he is so kind.

With him in bed already and my daughter on her way, I have time to hopefully get through a few more chapters of Deuteronomy. I believe I was on chapter sixteen.

Here, the Israelites are reminded that they are to celebrate the Passover in the month of Aviv (which roughly corresponds to when spring begins, around March 21), because that is when God delivered them from Egypt.They are reminded of their Passover instructions–the sacrifice to be made and there is to be no yeast used for seven days. The Passover sacrifice cannot occur just anywhere; it must be done where the Lord decides to choose a dwelling place for his Name. The people are also reminded of the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. In verse 16, we see that the men of Israel are the ones who are required to attend these Festivals: “Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, at the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles”. Although women were allowed to attend, and were expected to worship God outside these festivals, their primary place was at the home with their children. The man, as the head of the household, was also the spiritual leader of the house, if you will, so it makes sense that the men were required to attend while the women’s attendance was voluntary.

The people are then exhorted to appoint judges within each of the tribes who shall judge the matters of the people fairly. God tells the people–again–not to set up any Asherah poles or erect any sacred stones.

In chapter seventeen, God again warns the people against idolatry. The discussion begins with God telling the people that their sacrifices to him are to be flawless. Almost as an addendum to previous Deuteronomy scriptures, God tells the people that anyone among them who engages in idol worship, including bowing down to the sun, moon, or stars, the matter must be investigated thoroughly. If the investigation reveals that the person is guilty, they are to be taken to the city gate and stoned. There have to be two to three witnesses before conviction–the testimony of one witness is not sufficient for a death sentence. The hands of the witnesses have to be the first ones to take part in the stoning, followed by all the rest of the people, in order that full purging can take place.

With the understanding that there was the possibility that there might be a case presented to the human judges that would confound them, God gives them some additional help. In this situation, the party or parties involved are to be taken to the place where God chooses (as his dwelling place). The Levitical priests and the judge who is in office at that time will render a verdict in the case (sounds like the Supreme Court, doesn’t it? Are we also seeing some reflections of what would eventually become the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council that was instrumental in having Jesus put to death?). Whatever the priests and judge decide, the person is to adhere to or risk being put to death for showing contempt. God does not want the people to think it is ever okay to show disrespect for those who are ministering in his name, and he explains that in verses 12-13: “Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel. All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again”. Imagine that–if after the failing and punishment of one person, the people might learn their lesson. That just doesn’t happen anymore. People have no respect for God. More and more people are denying his very existence, and trying to take away from his many accomplishments. SMH. I guess one who doesn’t believe in God wouldn’t have any fear of him, but for those who do, I wonder if they have quenched the Holy Spirit, because I see far too many people who call themselves believers acting completely out of order.

This next passage of Scripture interests me. God with all of his knowledge knows that Israel is going to follow in the footsteps of other nations and eventually want to have a human king. One would think that God would be sufficient, but as we see in later books of the Bible, the Israelites did indeed follow the lead of pagan nations and request a king. God lays out the instructions for choosing this king right here. This king must be a fellow native-born Israelite. Here are the other qualifications, and here is a spoiler–in later books, the kings do not follow these rules:

“The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, ‘You are not to go back that way again’. He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver or gold. When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel”  (vv. 16-20, italics added by me).

IMAGINE that kind of leadership. I must admit, that is what I think is wrong with a lot of our politicians. I find it hard to believe that people who make hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars can relate to someone like me. For a long time, I’ve had a problem with rich politicians, because number one, most of them in my humble opinion may have come upon their money in less-than-honorable transactions (not all, of course), and number two, we all know how money pollutes the mind. I would rather have someone representing me that makes forty to sixty grand a year and UNDERSTANDS the STRUGGLE of the many people he or she is expected to represent. The vast majority of Americans are NOT millionaires. We need representation of the people BY THE PEOPLE. Not saying millionaires are all blissfully unaware of the plight of others, but the millionaire politicians just don’t seem to get it–or don’t always seem to care. Some of them seem to think that they made it all by themselves with no help from anyone and because of that, everyone should be able to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. I find it hard to believe that everyone who was become wealthy had NO help at all–no help from family, no financial backers, no support or grants from the government ever? Yeah right.

Unfortunately when money and power come together a lot of people tend to forget where they come from and begin to blame those less fortunate for their circumstances. Of course there are some people in bad situations due to their own mistakes. That is not the vast majority of people. What do you think would happen if the same elite school that exists in Beverly Hills or something existed in Detroit? Do people really believe people would rather be poor than be comfortable?

That reminds of me of something else I have to get off my chest, now that we’re on people thinking they’re better than others… I know this is now considered old news at this point, but it burned me up…

So… apparently Raven-Symone believes that her name is traditional? But as per the main point of that segment… I’ll admit I have been appalled at some of the names I’ve seen popping up as of lately. Take when I go to my son’s school, for example, or from working at the office. I see parents bring in an absolutely darling little boy or girl, and when they write their name down, I can’t pronounce it correctly. Now, I stuck to fairly common names for my kids–I liked the way they sounded and what they meant. I did consider their future when I named them–neither my husband nor I really cared for unique names. But the point is that it is SAD that I even considered that my son or daughter’s application for a job might be trashed because I made the wrong name choice for them. Let’s say I had wanted to give my beautiful baby boy or girl something unique, that no one else had, something I had thought up. He or she might grow up to be an excellent student with great credentials, yet his or her resume might end up in the shredder because of the name that is at the top of the cover letter? How is that FAIR or RIGHT to anyone??

In my life, I’ve encountered tons of people with names that were, to me, DIFFERENT. Heck, Indian names are different. I went to middle school with some Vietnamese kids whose names were different. I remember one girl’s name was pronounced “Tampon” (that’s not how it was spelled, but that was how it was pronounced). I’ll never forget when I graduated from Eastern Michigan University–one of the names that was called out, belonging to a man, was Vijaynah. I’ll let you figure out how it’s pronounced. Did their name, and the fact that I had difficulty pronouncing it or because it sounded funny per my American standards, have any bearing on who they were as a person or their capability to learn and be productive? Absolutely not. I meant to do this awhile ago, but even after the bland apology she gave, here’s to you Raven-Symone:

Image result for have several seats

It is BAD ENOUGH that Blacks still have to face the possibility of being discriminated against by others because of skin color. Unfortunately we also have to worry about being discriminated against by our own because of petty stuff like names. SMH.

But I digress.

In chapter eighteen God discusses the offerings for the priests and Levites, reminding the people that the priests and Levites (remember that all priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests) did not have an allotment or inheritance among Israel, as the Lord is their inheritance. Details are given as to what part of the sacrificial animals belong to the Levites, as well as the firstfruits of their grain, wine and olive oil, and first shearing of their sheep. Levites are free to travel between the towns of Israel, and are to be welcomed in their servant role wherever they go. Other Levites are to welcome them with open arms.

When the people of Israel have fully inhabited the new land, they are prohibited from engaging in the practices of the people who currently reside in Canaan. Some of the detestable practices that God warns the people of Israel about are sacrificing their own children in fire, practicing divination or sorcery, interpreting omens, engaging in witchcraft, casting spells, or acting as a medium or spiritist or person who consults the dead. These are some of the practices for which God is driving those people from their land. The same can happen to the people of Israel if they decide to live in that way as well.

While those nations are practicing divination and sorcery, God informs the people that they will have something better–prophets. I like this passage of Scripture quite a bit, as it helps clear up any misunderstanding about prophets and prophecy:

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”

The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed”  (vv. 15-22).
GOD is the one who called those particular men or women to be prophets. Was there something special about the people God chose for such a monumental task? Well, I’m sure being a prophet must have required strict obedience, as they could not do any “ad-libbing”, if you will. They had to say exactly what God told them to say, to whom God wanted them to say it. It was no small job, particularly if we consider the stressful economic situations during which the prophets spoke their messages, which were not always happy-happy-joy-joy messages. And we see that the punishment was severe–if a prophet said something he had not been commanded to do, or a person who prophesied in the name of any other god, was to be put to death.
Determining whether or not a prophet was truly sent by God was easy–if their message did not come true, they were not acting on the Lord’s behalf.
The only prophecy that is needed today has already been covered in the Instruction Manual. The entire Bible tells us what is going to happen, so we don’t need anyone to proclaim they know something different. And for people who go to other limited people and ask them about whether or not they are going to have a baby, get married, or get a job promotion, I wonder why you aren’t taking those questions to the ONLY ONE who really knows the answers–GOD.
That brings us to chapter nineteen. I’ll be brief here–God reminds the people they are to establish cities of refuge (three on each side of the Jordan for a total of six), and that there have to be multiple witnesses to a crime. Cities of refuge are only for people who have committed crimes without malice. The example given is very clear–if a man is cutting wood in the forest with a neighbor, and he swings his axe and the head comes off and hits his neighbor in the head, killing him, that man can go to one of those cities of refuge so as to avoid the wrath of the deceased’s family. God says that initially the people are to set aside three cities, and if he so decides to enlarge them (and eventually it becomes so) that they are to set aside three additional cities (that is why there ended up being six). Someone who plans and executes a cold-blooded murder are not to be shielded. They have to be turned over to the appropriate authorities and killed. God takes false witnesses seriously–if someone is found to have given false testimony (this person is referred to as a malicious witness), the punishment intended for the claimant will now be handed down to the person who provided the false witness. A phrase that is repeated multiple times in these chapters is you must purge the evil from you (or some other form of that phrase). One of the mothers from my church (now deceased, may she rest in heaven) used to say “if you give the Devil an inch, he’ll take a mile”. Sin has to be dealt with immediately and thoroughly so as to decrease the chance of widespread corruption.
(I guess I wasn’t that brief).
Chapter twenty deals with war. The Israelites ought not be afraid of any army, even if they have more horses and chariots and appear to be outnumbered, because they have God on their side. Before battle, the priest will address them to calm any fears they may have by reminding them of God’s protection. Although the following Scripture is intended for the Israelites as they prepare for battle, doesn’t this make for a good mantra or whatever for all believers to use at the beginning of our days, as we prepare to go out into the world, where our beliefs are in opposition to the entire world system???
“…(Hear, Israel): Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” (vv. 3-4, parentheses added by me).

Some men may be exempt from a particular battle. If a man has just bought a home and not had the chance to yet live in it, he may go home and enjoy his house, lest he die in battle before being able to enjoy the fruit of his labor. The same goes for a man who has just planted a vineyard or become engaged to a woman. Interestingly enough, a man who is frightened or disheartened can be dismissed from battle too, because God would not want his fear to spread throughout the group. I assume not participating in battle was not necessarily an admirable thing to do, particularly for that last reason, but there were ways out.

Before attacking any city, Israel is to make them an offer of peace. If those people accept the peace terms, they are to be slaves to Israel. If they refuse the terms, the Israelites are to lay siege to their city, killing all the men and taking the women, children and livestock as plunder. They are able to use that plunder as they see fit. This is ONLY for the cities that are distant from them, not the ones they are to inhabit. The cities in the Promised Land are to be wiped CLEAN. Anything that breathes has to go:

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God” (vv. 16-18).

When the Israelites attack the cities they are not to cut down the trees that bear fruit they can eat, but they can cut down other trees and use their wood.

Myriad topics are covered in chapter twenty-one. Atonement has to be made for any bloodshed, and that includes in the case of a murder where the assailant is unknown. If a body is found in a field, for example, the elders and judges are to measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns. The elders of the nearest towns are to take a heifer that has never been worked or worn a yoke and break her neck in a sacrificial act in a valley that has never been plowed or planted and has a flowing stream. The elders of that nearest town are to wash their hands over the heifer, clearing them and the city of any bloodshed.

One of the easiest ways to get a man to fall is with a beautiful woman :-) God knows this. We have seen many instances where women have led men into bad decisions or even idolatry. Yet, God knows that beautiful women from the cities that Israel is demolishing or taking over may catch the eye of an Israelite man. If among the captives an Israelite man notices a beautiful captive woman, he can take her as his wife, but once home he is to shave her hair, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. In essence, she is being stripped of her former identity in order to make way for the new. Think about it–a lot of most women’s identity revolves around her hair. We take pride in our hair. For most of us, in order for us to do something extreme to it there has to be a very good reason. She is allowed to mourn her mother and father for about a month before the husband and wife thing becomes truly official. If the man decides he is not pleased with her, he has to let her go wherever she chooses, but he cannot sell her or treat her as a slave, since he has dishonored her (by quitting her, I suppose).

Interesting circumstances are discussed in the next passage. Suppose a man had two wives, one he loved and the other he didn’t (I’m thinking Jacob and the situation with Leah and Rachel, perhaps?). If his firstborn was borne to him by the wife he doesn’t love, that firstborn still gets the firstborn rights. The firstborn son is considered the “first sign of his father’s strength” (v. 17) and as such he is entitled to a double portion of the father’s belongings.

The next set of Scriptures talks about a rebellious son (but not a rebellious daughter, interestingly enough). If a son consistently disobeys his mother and father, they are to take him to the elders of the town at the city gates, where he is to be stoned to death by ALL the men of the town. Again we hear that familiar phrase: “You must purge the evil from you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid” (v. 21).

Now, do you think God intended that to be an everyday thing? No. One would think it would only take ONE rebellious son being put to death before others would think twice about it. And if you notice in that passage of Scripture in its totality, the parents accuse the son of being a glutton and drunkard. Apparently they are not referring to a rebellious seven-year-old. I don’t think God ever expected small children to be perfect in their behavior. This sounds to me more like older rebellious sons whose behavior was disgracing themselves and their parents. Obviously, if God prohibited child sacrifice, he wouldn’t turn around and tell people to stone their small children, would he??

To close out this chapter, God discusses an interesting concept… if someone is put to death and their body is displayed on a pole (sound kind of familiar?) they cannot be left hanging overnight. It must be buried that same day, because “anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse” (v. 23). Yes, our Lord Jesus subjected Himself to becoming a curse in God’s eyes, all so people like you and me could be counted among those who inherit the kingdom of heaven.

And now duty calls. Hopefully much more later :-)

I’m not a huge football fan… but ummmm…


This is why I can pass on being famous.

A highly talented basketball player is in life-threatening condition, and in response, the media has dragged up every piece of dirt on the encounter that played a role in his hospitalization.

By now, most people have heard that Lamar Odom of Los Angeles Lakers fame is in critical condition after falling unconscious at a brothel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The media is gleefully falling all over itself to be the first to get all of the juicy details that ought to be kept private.

Among other things, I was mildly surprised that the 911 call placed on behalf of Odom was released to the public as fast as it was. I’ve heard some before, and unless the person dies, I wonder if that person’s health privacy rights are violated when people find out why an ambulance was called on their behalf? Other than that, was it necessary for people to know the kind of drugs he had ingested or the name and background information of the individual or individuals he was partying it up with?

On Odom’s behalf, I must admit I take slight offense to him being labeled a “reality star” in any sense. No, this man is an ATHLETE. He plays BASKETBALL. That’s who he is, that’s what he does. Just because of his brief marriage to Khloe Kardashian and their spin-off series does not mean that his major contribution to the game of basketball should ever be discounted. THAT is where Lamar Odom made his biggest impact. It is also apparent that  Odom was not comfortable with the idea of being a reality star, as it opened him up (unfairly) to all kinds of unsolicited and perhaps unfounded media attacks that he did not receive as a basketball player:

Interestingly enough, the media has been covering the story in two ways–either they have been digging up the dirty details about Odom’s encounter OR they have been following the moves of the Kardashians and Jenners as related to Odom. “Kylie cuts off livestream in mid-broadcast”… “Kris Jenner arrives at hospital looking distraught”… Seriously? What is with people’s fascination with this family? I am definitely no fan of theirs, but it did seem like Khloe loved Lamar (and still does) and the family is rallying around him. But this is not about the Kardashians or the Jenners. This is about a young man with children who has had some difficulties and now needs support, not a bunch of rumors and gossip.

Of course the Internet discussion boards are full of self-righteous people who have never done anything wrong–never squandered an opportunity, never made a mistake, never committed a sexual sin, never done any drugs or alcohol, never had problems dealing with loss or a difficult childhood. We are given details of Odom’s life. We know his father was an addict and his mother died when he was young. We know he lost a baby to SIDS. We know that the grandmother who raised him died when he was in his early twenties–basically still a kid. What we can’t fill is in anything that happened in between. What we don’t know is how all of those things have affected him. We also don’t know whether if everything the media has printed about Odom is true or false.

I wish people understood that the media has a job to do. They have papers and magazines to sell. They want people to visit their website. In order to line their pockets they have no problem destroying someone in the process.

Try this instead…

Look at some clips of his basketball excellence.

Learn about him from the people who REALLY know him–his kids, his teammates, his coaches, his friends.

Think of the mistakes you’ve made, and realize some of those could have put you in dire straits too… Be thankful for what you have overcome and pray for strength for those who are going through it.

There is absolutely no benefit to tearing someone else down.

Oh metabolism… come out come out wherever you are…

Ahh, Jazzercise.

I shouldn’t complain because I have always loved Jazzercise. It is a fun aerobic workout that combines the latest music and dance moves. It burns a lot of calories and it’s nice to take one hour and do something healthy for myself. What I wish is that getting un-fat was as fun and easy as getting fat was. I have noticed that I don’t eat as much, and I am getting leaner. I’m not losing weight quickly, but I am toning up and becoming less of a shell of my former athletic, muscular, toned self. I know I have to patient, but I would have no problem if I woke up tomorrow and didn’t have this pouch I got after carrying my babies. Just call me Kanga-Mom. Ugh.

I took a sleep aid so before I drift off, let me post a bit quickly…

Deuteronomy chapter twelve involves a discussion about the laws that guide proper worship. Not trying to beat a dead horse, but just recall that Deuteronomy is basically a recitation of previous material, if you will. The Israelites are being given a “refresher course” of sorts before they prepare to enter Canaan, the Promised Land. Despite the fact that the Israelites have seen wonders that people in modern times can only imagine, they are still, overall, spiritual babes, having emerged from hundreds of years of Egyptian bondage in an environment engulfed in pagan worship. It has been a very trying time getting the people to be faithful to the Lord their God. They need constant reminders of who God is.

But aren’t people these days the same way? I try to remember as I read the Word, and particularly these first five books of the Bible, that my life journey in the Lord has mirrored that of Israel. As I have mentioned before, my belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior was accomplished at a very young age, but I did some serious backsliding in my late teens and early twenties. At that time, I was a slave to sin. The Israelites were slaves living among a sinful nation–sinful in that they practiced rampant idolatry. Like Israel, God delivered me from a sinful life, and sought to build me into what He would have me to be. I have not always done what I know He would want me to do; I have not always been what I know He wants me to be. I have never committed the sin of idolatry in terms of worshiping any other gods, but I have idolized other things and allowed them to replace God in terms of importance.

Look at people as a whole. Just like the Israelites, people tend to forget about God when things are going well. As soon as calamity comes, they cry out to God for rescue, when the entire time before they weren’t thinking about God. So as I have seen before, as appalling as Israel’s behavior is, we aren’t that different.

So the people are reminded that once they reach the land they are to destroy everything related to idol worship–their altars, sacred stones and Asherah poles. The people are reminded that they must not worship the Lord their God in the same manner that the inhabitants worship their gods. But God will pick an area that will be the central location of their worship, the capitol city if you will, and in that place the people will go to “bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and clocks” (v. 6).

One might not see the big deal, why it was imperative that Israel totally destroyed the idols. I like to think of the Bible in contemporary contexts. I also like to apply it to my own life and personal experiences. As I have mentioned plenty of times, I used to drink–heavily. Every now and then, particularly when I was heading out for a night on the town, I liked to have a good buzz. When I first committed myself to being alcohol-free, it wasn’t easy right away. The best thing for me to do was stay away from situations where I might be tempted to drink. That was right around the same time I finally figured out that the nightclub scene was no longer for me, after I actually found myself being more and more disinterested and altogether disgusted with clubbing. It took awhile before I was as confident as I am now, that I can cut through the alcohol aisles in the grocery stores to get to the frozen food without thinking twice, or go into a corner store to get a Peppermint Patty fix and go on about my business.

As good as I am doing, I of course cannot say with one hundred percent certainty that I will never slip up. I know that some habits die harder than others. The curse words are probably the hardest–it was easier to stop drinking than it has been to stop cussing. Admittedly, I do it a WHOLE lot less than I used to, and I don’t aim my cuss words at people anymore–I am more likely to slip when I am driving, because for some reason when I get behind the wheel my Jekyll/Hyde really comes forth–but it still comes more often and easier than I’d like for it to. I said all that to say this–it was absolutely necessary for the Israelites to remove any possible temptation from their lives, just as we ought to do as Christians today. No one is safe from occasional backsliding. As we mature spiritually we do it less, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.


God reminds the people that they will live in safety… of course we know that is contingent upon whether or not Israel keeps up their portion of the agreement. Of the central place of worship, God tells the people to bring their entire family to rejoice in the Lord: “…you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own” (v. 12). We know that our God is a God of order, and everything is to be done properly. Sacrifices are not to be done just anywhere in any old form or fashion. (It doesn’t say that worship has to be confined to the worship center, though…) The people are reminded not to eat the blood of any animal or their tithes (whether in the form of grains, wine, olive oil or animals), firstborn of their herds and flocks, anything they have vowed to give, and any freewill offerings or special gifts. Basically, once someone had vowed to give something to God, they could not take it back. (How in the world could one rationalize that anyway??)

The main point of this chapter is that Israelite worship is not to mirror pagan worship. They cannot offer sacrifices just any and everywhere. Their God of order has set decrees to guide them in proper worship. They are to be set apart from the pagan nations in all other ways. God reminds them that they must be careful not to even inquire about pagan worship, and he informs the people of some of the detestable practices the native Canaanites perform: “They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods” (v. 31).

What kind of god is that??? I’ll pass!!! Whenever I read this, I think of what possible benefit would I have to be promised before I could sacrifice my own son or daughter. Ahh…nothing came to mind. SMH. I wouldn’t be interested in worshiping a god that tells me to kill my children. I mean, seriously? And not just my own children, I wouldn’t be interested in worshiping a god that told me to kill ANYONE. Why would any true god need a mere mortal to kill someone? A true powerful god could just…do it himself..?

In chapter thirteen we continue discussing worshiping other gods. When I read Deuteronomy I think of how I learned best in school and all throughout life, as a matter of fact. Think of it this way–imagine that you are trying to learn a new language. You take a one-day class on the language. Have you mastered it in just that one class, or do you need some repetition, some practice? Maybe some flashcards, etc.? There are common tools that people use to teach others. Repetition is one of them. God really wants Israel to understand that this whole idol worship concept is a no-no.

God says he might send a false prophet to the people as a test: “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, ‘Let us follow other gods’ (gods you have not known) ‘and let us worship them’, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul” (vv. 1-3). False prophets and false teachers are very much alive and thriving even today. We all know of people who use Christianity as a scam. Easiest way to tell if a person is false is if what they say does not align with the Word.

The prophet or dreamer who has brought the message to disobey God is to be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord.

I think we all know family members can be a thorn in one’s side sometimes. In Moody class, we often talk about how family members are the most difficult ones in terms of accepting your newly saved status. Family members know your dirty secrets from your illicit past and some have no problem bringing them up when they find out you are saved. Some of that may be due to disbelief, some of it may be jealousy, and some of it may be out of anger for losing their former drinking buddy, former chasing buddy, former whatever. Either way, the people we loved can pull us away from God if we allow them. God says this is not okay. He tells the Israelites that if they have a family member–sibling, child, or even wife, or a close friend, tries to entice them to worship another god, they are to be put to death too. Not only that, but “Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you ought of Egypt, among the land of slavery” (vv .9-10).

Wow. That would suck. But obviously God took that seriously and expected for the Israelites to do the same. Imagine if that command had been adhered to completely–each time someone tried to lead someone else astray, they were stoned immediately. I’d be willing to be less people would do it. Can you imagine Christian society, and society in general, if, as soon as other practices began to fully infiltrate our society, we completely squashed them? Would there be as much sin and confusion as there is today? When Madalyn Murray O’Hair first contested her son having to read the Bible, imagine if she had been rebuked right away…

The following passage of Scripture leads me to believe that indeed, in this situation that stoning the offender is supposed to serve as an example to the rest of the community: “Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again” (v. 11).

The Israelites are supposed to keep each other in check. If members of the Israelite community hear that their brethren in another town are engaging in idol worship, they are expected to investigate the claim thoroughly. If the rumor is found to be true, every person and the livestock of that town are to be put to the sword. None of the consecrated things from that town are acceptable for use. The town itself must be obliterated, never to be rebuilt. That tells me that as Christians we should say something when we see our brothers and sisters falling into sinful, ungodly practices. We all have to keep each other in check even today. People always say “don’t judge”, but as I have mentioned before, I think the understanding of what judging truly is is being misrepresented. We cannot judge whether or not one is truly saved, but it is our responsibility to tell other Christians AND the world when they are doing something that is unacceptable in God’s eyes. Why would God give us the gift of His Word and tell us to make disciples out of people if we weren’t supposed to tell them how to live correctly? It doesn’t make sense. Of course we cannot put ourselves on a pedestal because we are still sinners–sinners saved by grace. But if we see a Christian brother or sister living wrong and we tell them, that is not “judging”. That called correction.

I will say, that in the case that you confront a brother or sister about ungodly behavior, be armed with appropriate Scriptures and the right attitude, because people these days do not like to hear that they are doing anything wrong. People today are living much like the Canaanites–doing whatever they see fit to do, whatever brings them instant gratification and pleasure. You have to be backed by the Word because most people aren’t going to listen to you otherwise.

I’ll be brief about chapter fourteen, because again, many of these concepts have been discussed fully. The chapter begins with a discussion of clean and unclean food before moving into tithes–a tenth of all that their fields produce each year. Here, we see God providing an alternative for people who lived far away from the central place where the sacrifices were to be performed: “But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away) then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place where the Lord your God will choose. Use the silvert o buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice” (vv. 24-26). Instead of hauling a bunch of cattle meat several miles, for example, Israelites had the option to go to a Cattle Coin-Star and get money instead. They could then take the money and buy whatever they wanted to present to the Lord once they reached their destination.

At the end of every three years the people are instructed to bring that year’s tithes and store it for the Levites, foreigners, fatherless and widows so that they may have adequate provision. Imagine that. The poor and vulnerable were not looked down upon. They were to be taken care of, not ridiculed.

Chapter fifteen begins with an expansion on how people of lesser means are to be treated. As was discussed before, all debts are to be cancelled in seven years. And that means cancelled completely. Loans were forgiven, slaves were given the option of going free. No, creditors could not sell a person’s debt to another collection agency and buy another seven years worth of collection efforts. At the end of seven years, the debt is forgiven.

It is amazing to me that people who claim to be Christians can have a bad attitude toward poor people. There are far too many examples and Scriptures in the Word that teach us we are to have compassion toward poor people for me to make sense of that. God tells Israel that no one among them needs to be poor–if they would just obey him when they have established themselves in Canaan, he will bless them richly. They would lend to many nations and borrow from none; to rule over many nations but be ruled over by none. IF ONLY they could obey and keep the commandments.

God admonishes the people to refrain from becoming tighfisted or hardhearted toward the poor; instead they are to lend freely. They ought to refrain from the possible practice of refusing to give to a fellow Israelite as the seventh year of debt cancellation approaches. As an example: Israelite A approaches Israelite B and asks for two hundred bucks. Israelite B knows that the seventh year is coming up in two months, and since it’s November (I’m thinking in terms of our calendar. Of course theirs was different. Go with me here) that would only give Israelite B one year to try to collect on the debt. If Israelite B had the money to give and refused to do it because his chances of collecting the money in full decreased, it was considered sinful. God wants his people to give generously and without a grudging heart. In verse 11, God says “There will always be poor people in your land”. No, this does not contradict the above passages of Scripture where God says if the people of Israel obey they will not be poor. Why? Because that section seems to address the nation as a whole. Remember, the Israelite was supposed to be a tight-knit community in that they took care of each other. If the people were truly doing what God told them to do, technically there might be poor people there, but God would bless obedient Israel so much that there would be enough resources that everyone would still be provided for, rich or not.

Hebrew servants are to be freed in seven years, and once their period of service is over, the master should give them a number of parting gifts. The servant has the option to stay, and if he chooses to do so his ear will be pierced with an awl (same for a female servant). Masters should not be bitter when their servant is freed the seventh year–as a matter of fact, they should be pleased. If they have taken care of the slave and done everything God has told them to do, God will bless them: “Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you those six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do” (v. 18).

This chapter concludes with God telling the people to set apart all of the nation’s firstborn male animals for him.

Whoa. I can feel the sleep aid kicking in.

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I’m exhausted but proud.

On this very day, nine years ago, I received one of the best blessings a person could ever receive.

I went to Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital’s Birthing Center at 7:40 in the morning. I was over forty weeks pregnant. My firstborn did not want to come out. Who could blame him? I am sure it was warm and cozy in there, and he was eating REALLY good. (Too good, as a matter of fact. I have no one to blame for myself for all of the weight I put on during both of my pregnancies. I took that whole “eating for two” entirely too far. I was eating Burger King Whoppers with extra tomatoes almost daily. That was my thing. And Slurpees–incidentally, my boy was 7-11 when he was born–7 pounds, 11 ounces, LOL).

They put me in one room, then moved me to another. I got IVs and they started the Pitocin. For awhile I was okay, even okay enough to take a short nap, but then it wore off and those contractions kicked in STRONG. But I had an epidural, and although it wore off at the very end, my labor with my boy was easy-peasy.

At the end of it, I looked in wonderment at what God had done for me. I could not believe something so beautiful had come from me. Seven pounds, eleven ounces, 19 and 3/4 inches long, he was rushed away before I even got to hold him. They thought something was wrong with his little heart. He ended up being in the NICU for a couple days, but, to God be the glory–the problem they had thought would require surgery went away on its own.

We named him Jayden Matthew, but a better name for him is Sunshine. He is pure sunshine. Every single day he wakes up with a brand new sunny resolve and disposition. It does not matter what happened the day before–he wakes up sunny. Even moving from one daily occurrence to the next, he has this super metabolized resilience and if he gets sad, he does not stay sad. He finds joy in the smallest things and does not ask for much. He is a kind, smart, sensitive, thoughtful, caring, encouraging little boy. He has always been easy-going and just happy to be alive. I am happy that he has made it to nine years today, although I miss my sweet, chubby little curly-headed baby. It hurt that his best friend, his hero, his Granddad, wasn’t here to see him, but he held up remarkably well. I think his little birthday party at the bowling alley with about twelve of his little classmates helped :-)

I am glad he had a good time, but boy am I tired, and my head is trying to hurt. It was quite the task to supervise fourteen kids on three lanes. When it came time to eat, we had to pour drinks, and everyone wanted something different, of course :-) Then the woman who cooks the food for the grill was late, and when she got there, we found out they do not make large pizzas as they used to–only small individual pizzas. So we ordered a ton of chicken wings and fries, and they were a big hit with the kids. We weren’t allowed to take the cake inside, but the kids bowled, ate, sang happy birthday, and left. Next year, MAYBE Jayden can have a party where my husband and I don’t have to do so much :-)

Everything that happened today made my admiration for my husband just quadruple. He pretty much decided what kind of man and what kind of father he wanted to be on his own. He didn’t have much growing up, and instead of being bitter about it, he has made it his point to give his kids everything he did not have when he was growing up, often at his own expense. I am sure he was exhausted as he drove into work this evening. Yet, he went back and forth to the front desk to get bumpers for the lanes, check on the food, pay for shoes, etc.., picked up cupcakes for Jayden’s classmates this morning before he even had any sleep, and drove us all the way out to United Memorial so Jayden could pay Granddad a birthday visit as his resting place.

June through July 098

Dad with newborn Jayden

Going to Kalahari surprise

Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank you that you blessed me with my children. I thank you that you have allowed my son to overcome his initial obstacles and make it to nine years old today. I thank you for the person he is. I thank you that your love shines through him. I thank you that he is a saved person and I pray that you will continue to protect him and guide him. Protect and guide his little friends that came to support him this evening, and their parents and guardians. Help all of us adults so that we can do better at making this world a better place for our sweet children to grow up in. They are not failing us; we are failing them. I thank you for giving my husband the means to make the party and the trip to Kalahari happen for our son. I thank you for making my husband into the wonderful father that he is. I pray that you will continue to lead us as we try to raise our children according to your principles. We all need your strength still as we grieve my Dad–so many unanswered questions. Please be with us. Please be with my brothers and sisters in Christ, strengthen them as they do your work. Please use us to reach the unsaved. We will give your name only all the honor and glory. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Monday madness, my style

A number of stories have garnered my attention this week.

Just like millions of other Americans, I have been paying close attention to Oregon and South Carolina, praying for the people at Umpqua Community College, especially the victims, their families, and the survivors. I read that the people of that area are not trying to give the shooter the infamy he hoped to gain by committing the crime. I’m going to respect their wishes. His name will never appear on my blog again. I agree with them. These are the people who ought to be talked about, from here on out, not only to honor their memories, but also to show any other LOSER who might be thinking of doing something similar that their name will be blotted out of society:

Victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting

Their families have to be absolutely heartbroken. Perhaps because my pain is still fresh from my Dad, who at least died a natural death, I really feel for those surviving people. I can’t imagine what they are going through right now. My Dad went peacefully, and I am still consumed with thoughts about wondering if he was afraid or at peace, or lonely or anything like that when he died. I can only imagine the questions those family members are asking themselves right now.

I have to wonder why the mother of the shooter has not said anything. Is she responsible? Uh, yeah. From everything I have read, it sounds as though she knew something was wrong with her 26-year-old “baby”. Yet he still had guns, as did she. Of course, the blame goes on the one who committed the crime first and foremost, but any time someone knows a family member is a possible danger and doesn’t take steps to prevent a tragedy, in my very humble opinion, some of the blood is on their hands.

It is said that the gunman was targeting the Christians. Those who boldly stood and proclaimed their faith made the ultimate sacrifice. I know Jesus welcomed them with open arms. I hope they received their crowns and put on their white robes PROUDLY. Some people said that they should have just lied, because they would have been forgiven. Technically, they could have. The shooter shot those who didn’t respond or responded with some other faith in the leg. Theoretically a survivor who had lied could have confessed his sin to Jesus, repented and been forgiven. And we know that once we are saved, we are always saved. Salvation is not given and then taken away. However, there are a few Scriptures that lead me to believe that denying our faith does have consequences:

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33).

“…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38).

“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26).

I’ll take my chances if I am in a similar situation. I fear God, not man. Apparently, those brave Christian warriors felt the same as they looked certain death in the face. SMH.

South Carolina flooding

South Carolina is going through it, and it may not be over.

So far the death toll is at 11, and I am pretty sure that number will climb. Entire neighborhoods have been devastated. Can you imagine having to rebuild your entire life?? The house you grew up in, destroyed? Your family pictures, important papers, heirlooms…gone? For me, that would be the most devastating thing… to lose those things that cannot be replaced. A home can be rebuilt, and it can be rebuilt to be even better and stronger than before, but will it still be the same? Probably not. And as for those who died–mostly by drowning–my heart goes out for them and their families. Of course I won’t have a choice but if I do, there are two ways I would never want to die–caught in a fire or drowning.

May the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting and those of the South Carolina floods rest in peace.

Those were the heaviest stories that caught my eye, but there were some that were a tad fluffier, if you will:

McGraw-Hill to rewrite textbook after mom’s complaint

I know it wasn’t technically funny, but when I first heard that McGraw-Hill, the textbook publishing monster company, had the absolute gall to imply that slaves were paid “workers”, I laughed, a good, robust laugh. Only because it was so unbelievable. In ALL of my years of schooling, NEVER have I seen a single textbook call slavery anything other than what it was–SLAVERY. Should we also start saying that the Native Americans vacated their land voluntarily??

Jim Carrey’s girlfriend was married


I guess it is considered salacious because this young woman was married and dating Jim Carrey. But I wondered why this was even news. This young lady was no celebrity, and even if she were, she is now deceased (apparently by suicide, as it seems thus far). I am just wondering why the media has no decency to at least let the family bury her, for Pete’s sake, before they start going in on her life.

Speaking of the media and their lack of decency…

Cosmo rag labels Kardashian-Jenner clan “America’s First Family

Not sure who, but someone at Cosmopolitan magazine decided to do a cover (and story, and photo spread) of the Kardashian-Jenner ladies, and label them “America’s First Family”.

If ever such a group of people achieved anything more than the fame and wealth they have already amassed by doing absolutely nothing, if they ever truly became “America’s First Family”, that would be the day I moved to our friendly neighbor, Canada. I cannot, for the life of me, understand the fascination with this group of people. I do not think any adult should let their teen or pre-teen daughter watch their show. Out of curiosity, I watched a few clips, and they way they spoke to each other AND their mother was absolutely appalling. Just as a reminder, Cosmopolitan (and who still reads that magazine anyway??) America’s First Family is that group of four Black people that live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. ‘Member them?

The constant disrespect leveled against these people is absolutely amazing. Disagree with Barack Obama’s politics all you will. I have not liked everything he has done. But the office of president still ought to command more respect than it has been given in recent times.

Fire your entire staff, Cosmo. And how about having the decency to keep curse words off your cover? Last I checked magazine stands were right at the front of the store, at the check-out lane, right where kids try to pick up candy, chips and pop, and your magazine talks about how to get an “Epic A–” on the front.

And AAAAAARGH my daughter is awake. I’m not sure what is going on with her sleep schedule, what has been throwing it off, but I can promise you I am going to figure it out! This is the perfect time for me to write, to write here on this blog, study my Bible and my Sunday school lesson, and to work on my manuscript. I cannot do those things with thirty pounds hanging all over me. Kids, I tell ya.


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