I Love the God of Leviticus

Discipline is not a strength of mine. I have started at least 9 journals in my lifetime, and maybe gotten to page 3 in each. I build grandiose plans in my head for a house cleaning schedule, and then barely do the dishes each day.

And my whole life I’ve struggled to consistently read the Bible. I even got a cool app with a Bible reading plan! Let’s just say I’ve had to catch up my reading plan at least 10 times now.

Despite my lack of self-discipline, I have made it to Leviticus in my reading plan. Hooray!

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Some describe Leviticus as the obstacle for all earnest efforts to read through the Bible.

I’ve known a couple of folks who read Genesis and Exodus without an issue, but stop cold in Leviticus because:

It’s boring.
It has too many rules.
It has nothing to do with my life today.

I have to admit that I had these thoughts each time I opened my Bible app to listen to another chapter. But as I traveled through Leviticus, I kept asking the question, “What can I learn about God?”

And you know what? I actually realized a couple of things: Continue reading

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5 Ways to Put Worry to Bed

I love sleep. If sleep were an Olympic sport, I’d surely medal! I’d even consider myself a professional napper (that is, BC – Before Children). There’s nothing better than collapsing into a cozy bed, pre-warmed by my DH, snuggling into a soft pillow, and drifting into a heavy deep sleep.

There’s nothing worse than being assaulted by worry and anxiety as I’m trying to settle in for the night. Worry has often been the thief of sound sleep in Brandy-land.

Some nights dark shadows chase me and other nights my Baby Girl is falling down the stairs. And still some nights I endure a general feeling of anxiousness while I sleep. I can tell it’s been an especially stressful night when I wake and my face is sore from clenching.

So I’ve been trying some tactics to fight worry…even while I sleep!

5 ways to put worry to bed Continue reading

The Worry Hidden in Perfection

Meet a dear friend of mine. Let’s call her Mandy.

Mandy has never called herself a perfectionist. In fact, she believes herself to be the exact opposite. You might say an imperfectionist…or as she says, “I’m more type ZZ than type A!”

Mandy’s dresser has been covered with clothes (outside the drawers) since she and her husband married.

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Mandy’s dresser in her first apartment…note her husband’s (we’ll call him Tim) dresser which is perfectly clean. Not much has changed in 10 years!

When company comes, they can often find unpaired socks in the kitchen next to pizza crumbs under the table. But Mandy doesn’t mind. She believes it shows character. Continue reading

What No Mother Can Do

It’s the week after Mother’s Day and I’m still riding the waves of chocolates and the promise of a new-athletic-wear-shopping trip. I’m still exercising in my old college t-shirts. It’s about time for some new gear!

Our local Christian station is also coming off a Mother’s Day high. I feel like I’ve heard the Plumb song “In My Arms” enough to perform it for Plumb…in other words, a lot! If you haven’t heard it, give it a listen when you get a free moment.

As I listened to the song for the 8th time in 2 days I realized Plumb and I could be besties. The song is a melancholy lullaby inspired by her son Solomon. She describes his baby beauty, his growth, and that someday

clouds will rage and storms will race in but you will be safe in my arms.

rains will pour down, waves will crash all around but you will be safe in my arms.

Continue reading

I Never Knew This About the Plagues

I’ve heard the story of the 10 plagues a gazillion times. I’ve seen the movie Prince of Egypt about a million times.  If I thumb through the 3 or 4 kids Bibles we have at the house, the Exodus account takes up about half of the Old Testament stories.  The account of the 10 plagues is a well-worn story.

 But God’s Word is living and active.

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And I learned something new about the plagues…rather, something new about God through the plagues.

See, whenever I heard the plagues story, I thought about the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and that God is super-duper powerful.

The aforementioned are still true.  But there is so much more to learn about our God.

So here are 2 things I learned:

1. God used the plagues to set His people apart.
In the 4th plague, the one with pestering flies, God mentions in Exodus 8 verse 22-24 that

On that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land. I will make a distinction between my people and your people.

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And again with the plague on livestock, God tells Pharaoh in Exodus 9:4 that

But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.

God’s distinct, chosen Israelites were also protected from the plague of hail, the plague of darkness, and the plague on the firstborn.

God wanted Pharaoh, the Egyptians and the Israelites to know that He was not only powerful enough to choose on whom the plagues would land, but that He also had chosen a people to be distinct and separate from other peoples.  A people that He loves enough to come in and rescue from 400 years of oppression.

This theme continues all throughout the Israelites story.  As they wandered for 40 years in the desert, God set them apart with the 10 commandments…with the unique ways of winning battles…with circumcision…with His peculiar provisions…and just think – their identity as set apart started when no flies swarmed their houses.

This identity is not reserved for the Israelites.

We as modern-day disciples have been adopted into the royal priesthood of believers.  1 Peter 2:9 proclaims that

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We are set apart just as the Israelites were set apart from the Egyptians.  And just as God flexed His muscles in choosing the geography of the plagues, He reveals His supreme power in choosing to adopt us, little ole’ you and me.

It is like curling up with a cup of hot chocolate (with whipped cream) to know that I am God’s special possession, distinct and set apart.

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Nice and cozy-like

2. Our God is so so so so so so patient.

Pharaoh pulled a bait and switch 4 times on Moses and God.  Four times Pharaoh said he would let God’s people go if Moses would just ask God to remove the plague.  Four times Moses went to God and prayed for the plagues to subside…and four times God dispelled the plague.  And, you remember, four times Pharaoh hardened his heart and changed his mind.

If I were Moses, or God, I would have gone bananas on Pharaoh for repeatedly lying.  I’m a total rule keeper, and if we make a deal, I expect you to keep up your end of the bargain especially if I’ve kept mine.

Let's shake on it!  By the way, neither of these is my hairy hand.

Let’s shake on it. By the way, neither of these hairy arms are mine.

But our perfect and holy God is extremely patient with Pharaoh.  He relents each time Pharaoh lies.  In Exodus 9:15 God notes His restraint

…by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.

God knows Pharaoh is jerking Him around.  But He doesn’t destroy him.  He’s patient.  He’s long-suffering.

This same God who’s restrained with the Egyptian ruler is also patient with me.

This awesome characteristic of God is described in 2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Sometimes I fear that God is going to give up on me – get tired of me apologizing for my worry and my lack of self-discipline.  I wonder when my forgiveness is going to run out.  But if God is so so so patient with Pharaoh (who consistently hardened his heart), how much more patient will He be with me who’s heart is weak and pliable?

I can’t wait to read the Exodus account again and discover something new about God.  I believe that when we know God more intimately through His Word, our trust in Him grows.  

So I challenge you this week to revisit a familiar story.  Read with new eyes and ask yourself

What does this story teach me about God?

Leave a comment sharing what you’ve learned!

Happily linked with:
The Time Warp Wife
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

 

 

 

 

Just Trust God

I have heard this so many times before…

Just trust God.

Not sure how to work out the conflict in your marriage?
Just trust God.

Concerned about a lingering bruise on your leg?
Just trust God.

Scared that you won’t have enough money to cover all the bills this month?
Just trust God.

Worried that you’re going to fail?
Just trust God.

Anxious about a family member who’s making poor choices?
Just trust God.

I often get this answer when I share a struggle or worry.  Continue reading

Control Steals Blessings

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Don’t be deceived; this sweet little lion is not trying to give me her candy.  Far from it.  She’s showing me her candy.  I don’t think 30 lion tamers could pry the candy out of her hands without screams, scratches, and one heck of a battle. Continue reading

How to Think Through Your Own Thoughts

We love fall at our house.  My Little Man in particular loves fall because of an awesome event called Touch a Truck.  Kids of all ages pretend to be construction workers, police men, farmers, and truck drivers by sitting in all of their vehicles…and honking all of their horns.  It’s an incredibly LOUD and festive day.  Festive until I started to notice the hazard signs on the vehicles.  Like this one Continue reading

Gonna Die on the Way

Hmm...I don't know about this zoo thing.

Hmm…I don’t know about this zoo thing.

Do you remember this song?  We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…

My song goes more like, “We’re gonna DIE on the way to the zoo, zoo, zoo”

In fact, the night before this zoo field trip, I told my DH I hoped it would be canceled.  Not because of the long day, or tired cries from a 1-year-old, or nagging to buy popcorn – or ice cream – or toys, or even the potential of a lost child.  I hoped it was canceled because I was scared to drive there. Continue reading

Dirty Little Secret

 

eye-716008_1280I have a dirty little secret. It’s not one I like to share with many people. Who likes to share their secret struggles? If I do tell somebody, I make excuses and exceptions, but inwardly I’m cringing with shame that now someone else knows…and is judging me! So I don’t want to talk about it too much, even though it’s something I battle daily. It’s a lonely world when you can’t share what keeps you up at night. And shame only adds to problem. So why bother sharing? Continue reading