Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Computer Is Sick

Dear Friends,

Just want to give you a heads up. My computer is being very temperamental. Yesterday it denied me access all day. I sat for an hour and a half straight last night trying to log in, and nothing. Today I have tried off and on, and finally around 4:30pm it let me in.

I have no idea when I'll be back here. If it lets me on, I will try and transcribe the videos still, but I can't make any promises. As you know I've been praying for direction still in regards to continuing this, but I'm sensing God calling me away from this 'beast' entirely to make more time for Him, family and friends nearby who need me just now.

Thank you to each one of you who continues to write comments or send me e-mails sharing how you miss me over at Wendy's site. How you have touched my heart. Thank you for finding worth in the words shared last year. You are all so dear.

God bless you as you continue on this journey.
Hugs,
Joy

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Friday, January 29, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Hi Everyone! It's Friday! We have reached the conclusion of another week of great reading and great fellowship. Wendy has compiled a list of all the prayer requests for husbands and this weekend she hopes to add a button on the right hand side of her blog that we will be able to access to see those names and be able to pray for them. If Wendy does not have your name there, please e-mail her. Wendy is excited about what the Lord is going to do in the lives of our husband's as we pray for them. She doesn't want to forget the men either. She had one gentleman contact her and give her his wife's name. She appreciates both the men and women who are doing this study. God's Word is for everyone.

She begins today with two of her favourite scriptures. They are from the New Testament. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Then in Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.”

That's our Word. That's what we're digesting every single day. Today as Wendy read about Elihu and his further counsel and defense of God to Job, she came to Job 36:5-6, “God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone. He is mighty in both power and understanding. He does not let the wicked live.” The word “wicked” rebuked Wendy. It also judged the thought and attitude of her heart. She felt wicked would include a murderer, someone beyond reproach, a menace to society and she was thinking all kinds of things of what wicked would mean. Guess what she found out? Wendy is wicked. Wicked refers to those guilty of a crime, hostile to God, or guilty of sin against God or man. That pretty much covered Wendy as she is pretty much guilty of sin against God or man, as well as being guilty of sin and being hostile towards God at one time or another. But, she loved what he said about the wicked. He says in verse 11, “If they (the wicked) would listen and obey God, then they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.” If Wendy will listen and obey God, she will be blessed with prosperity throughout her life.

What does prosperity mean? Does is mean Wendy is going to have a lot of cars, a fine home to live in, the choices foods around her, the greatest wardrobe that any woman could ask for, that her husband financially would be able to quit his job and be able to hunt and fish and they'd be able to travel the world? What does prosperity mean? Prosperity means good things, benefits, welfare, happiness and bounty. None of those material things are listed there. Welfare, our overall being, benefit, good things, happiness, if we will listen and obey. According to Wendy's study, 'listen' and 'obey' come from the same word and mean the same thing. To hear with attention or interest, listen to understand, give heed, consent, agree or grant request.

Today Wendy got some rebuking, teaching, training and her thoughts and heart were judged. She's wicked. But, if she listens and obeys God, she will be blessed. Wendy wants some of that. How 'bout you?

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Thursday, January 28, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Today Wendy is shooting this video on 'location' at her friend Erin's home. Wendy is old enough to be her mother, but young enough to be her friend. She's taping this video in Erin's bonus room. Wendy is cuddled up there waiting for the winter weather that is forecast for the weekend. In the South that means you have purchased your milk and bread and are prepared to camp out for the weekend. Wendy has done that and she's prepared for the wintry weather.

Wendy was fascinated by today's reading. She found it comical in verse 1 that Job's friends refused to reply further. They were done. They were finished. They sat silent for seven days then they said all they wanted to say. They were supportive and cut throat, combative and non-combative with him. Now they're not talking anymore. Suddenly we discover there's a fourth person there with them – Elihu. Elihu had sat quiet and listened and was not going to speak until everyone else had finished. In Job 32:8,18 we see the word 'spirit'. That is Spirit or breath of God. Elihu is saying that he is speaking for God or from the Spirit of God. Elihu means, “He is my God”. This is a man who has a relationship with God. He has held his tongue up until now and listened to the others share, but now he is getting his chance to speak. Wendy wanted to stand up and cheer for him because he had something worthwhile to say, and boy did he say it.

In Job 33:14, “For God speaks again and again though people do not recognize it.” So often we think God doesn't speak, but He does. He speaks again and again as Scripture tells us here. He speaks in dreams and visions in the night and whispers in our ear. Oh that we would be close enough to hear his whispers. He also speaks through messengers, Pastors, Bible teachers, music etc. He speaks again and again.

When Wendy was in her early 30's she didn't think God would speak to her. She wasn't in leadership, she wasn't an author, she wasn't an influence in the Christian community, but that doesn't matter. God speaks to us. He wants to speak to us daily even if it's a whisper.

He also speaks through friends and that's what Wendy wants to talk about today. Job has had some friends speaking to him. We don't know their relationship with the Lord. We know very little about them. We see Elihu had a relationship with God. Elihu is speaking from the Spirit. Wendy has a couple of friends like that. They speak to her and they are “straight shooters”. They speak plainly, bluntly, but with love, grace and mercy and with the perspective that they know Wendy wants a close relationship with the Lord. They want to encourage her in her walk with the Lord, keep her humble and away from sin, and they will call a spade a spade in her life. She has a couple of friends that do this in her life. Her BFF is Kristy and they have known each other since being in the church nursery together. They are always straight and up front with one another. Wendy also has some really good friends that she has made in her adult life that shoot straight with her. One is Stacey. They can go to one another and cut to the chase. They can ask each other about their relationship with the Lord and how God is speaking to them. Her friend Cheri helped Wendy release a stronghold of watching Soap Operas. Wendy was addicted to about four different “Soaps”. Cheri prayed for her. Sometimes Wendy would come home and find her answering machine flashing and it would be Cheri. “Wendy, it's 3:00pm and I want to know what you're watching.” What a friend. She cared enough about Wendy that she would call and ask what she was watching. Cheri wanted the very best for Wendy and cared enough to speak truth straight with her in grace and mercy.

In your comments today lets talk about our friends who encourage us in this way. If you don't have one, pray and ask the Lord to give you one. Basically today, Wendy wants to hear, who is your Elihu?

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Wednesday, January 27, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Wendy can’t believe it is already Wednesday. Time goes by so quickly.

Wendy’s heart is so very tender to those who have left prayer requests about husband’s who are not saved, or husband’s who are not walking with the Lord. Wendy knows that there must be someone who has collected all your names and she would love to have all those names. The names of the ladies as well as the names of the husbands. If you have that list could you send her an e-mail. She would just love to have those names and pray for those husbands and intercede on your behalf. Wendy’s husband’s name is Scott and he is walking with the Lord. He has struggles himself and she would love it if you would pray for her husband as well.

As Wendy read through today’s reading for the second time, she felt this presence of the Lord asking her to reverse some of the things Job was saying and apply them to our lives. Job was asking questions about himself and what he has or has not done. Wendy jotted the questions down in her Bible.

The verse that really caught Wendy’s attention today was Job 31:4, “Doesn’t he see everything I do and every step I take?” She underlined that and emphasized it in her journal. Everything and every step. Job is questioning didn’t God see all these things? Job asks, “Have I lied to anyone or deceived anyone?” God is telling us there to be honest with our relationships. Don’t be a deceiver. “Let God weigh me on the scales of justice, for he knows my integrity.” Don’t seek revenge or justice on your own, let God do that on your behalf. He does that so much better than we do.

The next few verses from 7-9 that talk about straying away, encourage us to keep our passions pure. Let’s keep our eyes and hearts focused on pure and not impure. Pay attention to what we’re reading, watching, and looking at, guarding our hearts and eyes so that we’re not pulled down in that direction.

Also then, down in verse 13, “If I have been unfair to my male or female servants when they brought their complaints to me, how could I face God?” Treat others fairly as you would like to be treated, even if they're not treating you kindly. Kill them with kindness. Be fair with people.

Verse 15 says, “For God created both me and my servants. He created us both in the womb.” Don’t think more highly of yourself than you really are. We all put our pants on the same way. Don’t get too big for your britches. We’re all created the same way.

Then in verses 16-20 he talks about the widows and orphans and how he cared for them. Wendy thinks the Lord wants us to see that He wants us to care for the widow, orphans, homeless and the poor. This is a great foreshadowing of the New Testament where we are still taught to care for those in need.

In verses 24-25 it asks, “Have I put my trust in money or felt secure because of my gold? Have I gloated about my wealth and all that I own?” Let’s not be proud of our money or material possessions. Let’s not put our trust and faith in those things because they are going to fade. The only thing that doesn’t fade is the Word of God and God Himself. We have to watch where we’re putting our faith and our treasure.

Then verses 26-27, “Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies, or the moon walking down its silver pathway, and been secretly enticed in my heart to throw kisses at them in worship?” We’ve got one God that we’re suppose to be worshipping. Let’s make sure it’s not money, wealth, material possessions, another person or education, but that it is the One and only God.

Verse 29, “Have I every rejoiced when disaster struck my enemies, or become excited when harm came their way?” Wendy has to confess that there have been times when’s she’s been excited that somebody got there’s, but we’re not suppose to rejoice when others suffer, even people who we felt deserve it. We’ve got to be careful with our reactions. God doesn’t want us to react in that way.

Then skipping down to verses 33 and 34, “Have I tried to hide my sins like other people do, concealing my guilt in my heart? Have I feared the crowd or the contempt of the masses, so that I kept quiet and stayed indoors?” We need to be open and honest with ourselves and our sin. If we have sinned against a brother we need to confess that. If we have sinned against God we need to confess that.

What great little nuggets sprinkled between verses 8-34. Wendy is going to pray that we take these truths and apply them to our lives. How much easier our lives would be if we applied these simple truths.

Thanks for listening today and Wendy hopes you have a great Wednesday. We have two more videos this week and then an Open Blog weekend. It’s wonderful to meet with you today and she’ll see us tomorrow.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Tuesday, January 26, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Hey everyone. Today was an exciting day in our reading. Wendy had several things that jumped out at her. She’s so thankful that whenever we pray and ask God for that nugget of truth, He provides it. She’s so thankful for the way we inspire one another in our journey and spur each other on to dig deeper in God’s Word. She encourages everyone to comment. Don’t be afraid. The one comment you share might be the one thing someone needs to hear. Don’t be nervous. Even share it anonymously if you desire, but let’s share together.

Some of what Wendy read today reminded her of something she and her husband were talking about after church on Sunday. They were talking about how things used to be before they had children. They used to take what they called, “100 lapers”, as they were really big race fans. That means they would watch some of the race, then take a nap for 100 laps and then come back and watch the end of the race. They talked about other things they did “BC”, before children. They then thought about how much richer their lives are now with children. As she read today’s reading, she sort of thought Job was doing the same thing.

Over in Job 29:2, he said, “I long for the years gone by…” Then, in verse 7 he said, “Those were the days…” She recalls her parents saying that, “Those were the days”. She never thought she would say that, but she has said it in the past. Job was reflecting back on the way things used to be. Sometimes when we do that, it’s great to reflect, but sometimes we get lost and get, what Wendy calls, "crossed-I’ed". We get fixed on what it used to be like for us. Back when I could do this…or I could do that…I, I, I. We get "cross-I’ed". Job does the same thing here. Wendy counted Job saying “I” 16 times, “me” 9 times and “my” 7 times between verses 7-25. Job was really thinking of himself. He had no idea what God was doing in the heavenlies. He had no idea what God had planned for him. He was self absorbed and wallowing in self-pity. Wendy realized her heart has the same condition too many times. We can get filled with PRIDE. Wendy said it’s hard to realize that life isn’t all about us. It’s not about whether we get to have a nap Sunday afternoon. It's not about whether we get to sit and watch that Hallmark movie. It’s not about whether we get to do something, or if we feel our rights are infringed upon. When we get “cross-I’ed” we forget where our focus should be and that’s on Jesus Christ.

Now, Wendy does have great sympathy for Job, as he went through a lot. He lost his family, livestock, money, children, health. Wendy can understand how you can get there. She wants to make some application to us.

One day Wendy came across a very special verse that encourages her when it feels like things are hard and not going the way she hoped. Her friend Kristy shared this verse with her. It is Isaiah 43:18-19. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” This is God speaking to Isaiah about what He was going to do with the remnant that was remaining after captivity in Babylon. “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Our friend Job thought he was in the desert. He had no idea that God was about to do a new thing for him. He could not perceive it. Sometimes we can’t perceive the new thing and when we can’t perceive it, we must believe it. God says, I’m doing a new thing in you Wendy. I’m doing a new thing in you Susan. I'm doing a new thing in you Karen. I'm doing a new thing in you Jodie. I'm doing a new thing in you Lori. We have no idea what is going on, but we have to believe it.

Recently Wendy had opportunity to watch one of her favourite Pastor’s on television, Tony Evans, on a program called “The Urban Alternative.” Wendy just loves him because he speaks the truth. He said, “When God shakes up things in the invisible realm it’s because He wants to show something to us in the visible realm.”

God was shaking things up for Job and shaking out the visible things. What poured out of Job today was pride. God wants to do a new thing, but He’s got to shake up some old things so He can do a new thing. God wants to show us something.

Wendy prays we will keep our eyes open so we can perceive the new thing…and if we don’t perceive it, that our hearts are open to believe it.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Monday, January 25, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Happy Monday. Wendy hopes we all had a wonderful weekend. Wendy had writing and laundry to do and she hopes to share about her writing project soon. Everyone has clean clothes, and for about an hour, every laundry basket in her home was empty.

Today started another week of dialogue between Job and his friends. We meet a new friend. It was expressed in the comments on the weekend that some of Job's friends voices are getting “irritating” and you can tell by the elevated tone of their words that something has changed. Their responses aren’t quite as nice. Things are getting a little heated. Sometimes that happens when we’re receiving counsel from a friend and we can get kind of combative. That is where Job seems to be. Looking back on our reading on January 23rd, Job even said that God hated him. He is getting worn down by the heavy hand of the Lord and also by his friends who seem to be relentless in their pursuit that Job must be guilty and all he needs to do is confess. That would be the answer to everything.

Tucked away in today’s reading in Job 22, we see Eliphaz’s response. Beginning in verse 21, “Submit to God, and you will have pace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored - so clean up your life.” Amid all the combative dialogue, every now and then we see a sprinkle of truth we can apply to our lives in any given situation. Wendy came up with three little steps: Submit, listen and store.

Submit literally means acquaint or yield. Now that gives a different, clearer picture. Submit means surrender and give up. Acquaint means become familiar with. Yield means give into. Those two words paint a great picture of the word submit. To be used, exhibit use, be familiar with, know intimately. We are to know God intimately. Exhibit a relationship with Him.

Peace, Wendy would describe as tranquil and everything going well. Peace is the same word from the Hebrew as “good”. It means to make peace and be in covenant with peace. To be complete, finished, sound and uninjured. For your heart to be spiritually, physically and emotionally uninjured. The beautiful picture of being complete and sound.

The third step is to store or to establish. To put in place, set apart or to make. We must put a place in our hearts for God’s instruction. That word ‘listen’ in verse 22 means to receive. To seize or take hold of. Think of physically taking hold of this and we need to, as we read His Word daily, seize it, own it, take hold of it and store it in our hearts, so that when we come to a place where we’re at a crossroads of sin we have it to fall back on. Psalm 119:11 says to hide Thy Word in my heart so I might not sin against Thee.

We need to submit to God which means we need to acquaint ourselves and know God intimately. Then we need to listen to or receive His instruction. Then we need to store and put His Words in our hearts. Treasure His Word in our hearts.

Submit, Listen and Store! Three simple words we can take to heart.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

FROM JOY: Well, ladies I'm still having computer issues. I'm also still waiting on the Lord each day regarding transcribing these posts. As I have felt no clear direction either way, as time permits, for this week at least, I will continue. Trusting for Him to provide.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Friday, January 22, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Today is Friday. We’ve made it through three full weeks of teaching. Wendy is completely blessed by the participation and comments. Wendy appreciates the e-mails that need clarification as well. Wendy does not claim to be an expect, nor is she flawless, and is with us as a student of the Word. Wendy never wants to misrepresent the Word of God. At the close of today’s blog post she addressed one concern about the mediator discussed yesterday. She encourages us to share our thoughts with her.

Today, Wendy got a little bored with the reading. It was hard for her to find her nugget of truth. She read it twice asking the Lord to show her something. Under the heading, “Job Asks How He Has Sinned”, Wendy read Job 13:20-21.

“O God, grant me these two things, and then I will be able to face you. Remove your heavy hand from me, and don’t terrify me with your awesome presence.” Now, if you’re not completely familiar with confession and repentance as a natural way of life, which it isn’t natural for Wendy, coming into the presence of the Lord when you’re going to come face-to-face with that confession, that is a terrifying moment. Wendy loves the presence of the Lord. It feels good and lifts her spirit. Many times she weeps in His presence, for His Sovereignty, grace and goodness. Job is referring to that dread or terror. That’s a terrible place to be when you’re faced with sin before a Holy God. He is feeling the heavy hand of the Lord in some way. Wendy could walk in Job’s shoes as she read his words.

Wendy has been trying to take better care of herself and in doing so she has given up “Dr. Pepper”. Last year just before the 'She Speaks' conference, the girls as a staff decided to fast something. They individually gave up, or sacrificed something. It’s mentioned in the Bible many times as a food fast, but we give up something that means something to us in order to draw closer to God. The Lord put on her heart to give up “Dr. Pepper”. She has been drinking “Dr. Pepper” for many years and enjoys them. This was a challenge and sacrifice to give up something she had depended on every single day. The Lord asked her to give it up. She wilfully and blatantly did not. She tried to modify God’s Words to her and instead of getting a medium “Dr. Pepper” at “Chic-Fil-A” she would get a small size drink. In her mind she was justifying that she was giving it up, but she was not completely sacrificing it. Wendy began, after a period of time, to feel a heaviness upon her. During this time of disobedience the Lord did not completely shut-off from her, for which she is grateful, but there was something between herself and God, but she wasn’t able to confess it to God or to anyone else. Towards the end of December she did confess and repent of what she had done. It’s not about a drink or a show or not reading certain things, it’s not about the thing or object, but about obedience or disobedience to the Lord. Wendy was walking in a path of disobedience until the heaviness of God’s Spirit came upon her.

Wendy went to Psalm 32 today. Verse 3-4 says, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your heavy hand was upon me...” This is the same thing he was talking about in Job. When we confess and allow God to remove the heavy hand of conviction upon us, we are set free. When Wendy turned the calendar over January 1st, she can’t even explain the hallelujah’s she was singing. The difference in her spirit and in her whole person.

She is encouraging us today that if there is something we need to confess to Jesus Christ, it’s not too late. He is faithful and just to forgive us. Allow Him to remove His heavy hand from us today and bless us through our confession.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Thursday, January 21, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

FROM JOY: Ladies, I am so sorry. I am having continual computer issues. I may have to send this 'baby' away for repair. It's just so frustrating. Something that was taking me just over an hour, is now taking well over two hours at the very least. If I go "missing", I trust you will understand.

Wendy recorded a video last week in her favourite room with her Jesus chair. Today she is recording the video in one of her least favourite places and that is near her treadmill. She committed at the beginning of the year to take better care of her temple and she has given up one of her favourite things to drink and that’s Dr. Pepper, along with some other things and she is also exercising 5 times a week, 30 minutes a day. She uses weights. She doesn’t really sweat, but she gets a healthy glow. She is feeling so much better and seeing evidence of her physical workout. She is also seeing evidence of her spiritual workout.

Her first teaching today comes from Job 9:33. Job responds to Bildad and says, “If only there was a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together." Wendy loved that because we have a mediator who brings us together with God, and that is the Holy Spirit.

Her main teaching starts at Job 8:11. "Can papyrus reeds grow tall without a marsh? Can marsh grass flourish without water? While they are still flowering, not ready to be cut, they begin to wither more quickly than grass." He compares that to this. “The same happens to all who forget God." This suggests people who had a prior knowledge of God. Someone who forgot God. "The hopes of the godless evaporate."

Wendy looked up “forget” and it means ignore, cease to care. She said it's hard to imagine herself ever ignoring or ceasing to care for God. There have been times she has put her fingers in her ears and sang "la la la la la" so that she doesn’t hear what He has to say because she doesn’t necessarily want to do what He is asking, but to totally ignore that God is there and to cease to care about your relationship with God or who He is, is hard for Wendy to fathom. How can we choose to do that if we at one time had a relationship with God. Bildab breaks down what happens to the person who forgets about God. Their hope vanishes, disappears, evaporates, perishes, goes away, alters, all hope is gone when you ignore or no longer care about God. "Their confidence hangs by a thread." A thread is thin and fragile. The person who forgets God doesn’t have confidence to sometimes even get out of bed maybe or even utter words at all. It also says they lean "on a spider’s web." A spider’s web is fragile. Their life is fragile. The person who forgets God has a fragile life. "They cling to their home for security, but it won’t last. They try to hold it tight, but it will not endure." This person who has ceased to care about God believes that material things can bring hope and joy, but they discover these things cannot endure. Silver and gold rust and fade. It’s a bleak picture of what happens to someone who forgets God.

Over in Job 11:13 we see the treatment for someone who has ignored God temporarily. This is Zophar’s first response. Wendy loves “if/then” statements. If the person who has forgotten God (and they are assuming Job has done this, that he has forgotten God), "If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! (Did you notice the exclamation mark?) “Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you." (In other words, repent.) Then your face will brighten with innocence.” Wendy wants a bright face. “You will be strong and free of fear.” You don’t have to hold on to material things or grab that fragile spider web. Instead of forgetting God, "You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away. (Wendy likened it to a stream taking your misery away.) "Your life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help.” Why? Because you have a confidence about you. You are happy. You will have a brightness about you and people will be attracted to you.

Let’s let this be us today. Let’s decide it. Me and you. Let’s make a difference wherever we go.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

FROM JOY: Ladies I am so sorry. I have struggled for over two hours now to listen to the video today and get this transcription posted. The video wouldn't play. My computer wouldn't co-operate. Needless to say, I'm pretty frustrated. I finally moved to my son's laptop, but I still was faced with challenges. I am so sorry for how late this post is appearing. A thousand aplogies.

Wendy thanks everyone for their sweet comments and prayers concerning her cold.

Today is our second day with out new friend Job and we actually got to hear Job have some dialogue with his first friend, Eliphaz about the situation Job is in. If you are not familiar with the book of Job, there is a lot of dialogue to come between Job and his friends. It’s not until chapter 38 that God appears in the conversation. He finally has had enough and He just intervenes. We have several days of dialogue to unpack, so don’t be discouraged and ask God for that nugget each day.

Wendy found it humorous yesterday that when Job’s friends first appeared they sat around for seven days in silence. She thought that if Job had been a woman that would never have happened. Women just can’t sit around for seven minutes in silence when another sister is crying or in pain. Those men sat there in silence for seven days, yet in the chapters to come they certainly will make up for their week of silence. Today we met Eliphaz and he responded back to Job when he said he wished he had not been born and declared his innocence. Job claimed he was not guilty of anything. His friends think that he is guilty of something and you can tell by the way they talk.

Eliphaz says in Job 5:8, “If I were you, I’d go to God and present my case to Him.” Eliphaz is saying that he believes Job must have something he has to get off his chest, so go to God and talk to Him about it. He then goes on a little monologue about how wonderful God is. He says God does “great things, too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles. He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields. He gives prosperity to the poor and protects those who suffer. He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed.” Job 5:9-12 Wendy loves that we have a God that will do that. He sees all. The enemy cannot do that. God can interfere with the plans of the schemers. God's Word continues in verses 13-18, “He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted.” Sometimes people are too wise in their own eyes and have plans that they think are real clever, but God can thwart these plans. “He rescues the poor from the cutting words of the strong, and rescue them from the clutches of the powerful. And so at last the poor have hope, and the snapping jaws of the wicked are shut." The poor have hope. Wendy loved the way in which that is written. This is our God. El Shaddai. "But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin. For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal."

Wendy circled the word “joy” in her notes. There is joy in correction. Coming from someone who has needed a lot of correction in her life, she doesn't like correction. She never really cared for it very much. She doesn't like discipline or someone telling her that they would prefer her to do something in a different way...until the last ten years when she has been in a strong pursuit of Jesus Christ. Prior to this she didn't like discipline, nor did she look at herself through the eyes of Christ, therefore she didn't feel like she needed discipline until she started to let Christ into parts of her life. Now she looks at discipline and realizes the Lord is bringing her closer to Him and molding her into His image. It shows her that God cares about her and that this is an act of love that He corrects us.

The word “corrected” in the KJV says “correcteth”. The NASB says “reprove” meaning to criticize, correct, strongly disagree or censor, to rebuke or express strong, stern disapproval of. The word “blessed” is translated as happy. We should be happy when we are disciplined by the Lord. We should be happy when He strongly expresses disapproval for what we are doing. That sounds like a bunch of “ouchy”. Wendy never wants to do anything that her heavenly Father could look upon her and say, “Child, I strongly disapprove of what you are doing”, yet at the same time she appreciates that He loves her enough to do that very thing.

In the next verse it says, “Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin.” Despise there means reject. Do not reject the discipline of the Lord. It is for our good. Don't fight against it, go with it. God loves us. Wendy encourages us to please go and read Hebrews 12:5-6. She couldn't include it here for sake of time.

“For those he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal.” John Gill says that a surgeon makes a wound more sore by probing and opening it up, but what he does is he releases the sickness and illness to come out so the medicine can go in. Wendy loves the picture that portrays. God opens us up with painful discipline so that sin can go out and His grace can go in. Wendy just loves that illustration.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Tuesday, January 19, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Wendy is chuckling as she reflects back on yesterday’s video. She saw the position of her lips that we were forced to look at as the video froze on that picture and she thought that was funny. It looked like she was giving us all a big smoochy kiss. You just never know what position the picture will be in when the video is posted.

Today we had the opportunity to meet a new character after losing two character’s yesterday. We got to meet Job. We were also introduced to the Accuser, which is also what Satan means, who is our enemy. She found it fascinating to read that the enemy would even be allowed in the presence of God. That was one of the things she jotted down that she found interesting. Job 1:6 says, “One day the members of the heavenly court”, (those are just angels), “came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.” Twice when Job was tested, Satan, or the Accuser came into the presence of God. That sends shivers down her spine. Wendy can’t understand why God would allow him in His presence. That was just big to Wendy.

(As an aside, Wendy explained that she was sniffing today because she has a cold.)

She wants to camp out on the first section of Job 1 and also retreat to the end talking about who Job is as a person. She can’t answer why God allowed these tests for Job or why God allows innocent people to suffer. She doesn’t understand all that, but it happened. This is Job’s life. He was tested in this way, and you will find that God does bless Job. It does come back, so hang in there.

We learned some important things about Job in the first chapter. Job 1:1-3 says, “There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless - a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was in fact, the richest person in that entire area.” We see right there that he was successful, wealthy, important and very influential. He had to have been to have had all of that and been the richest man of his region. Just pulling away from his wealth and success, digging into verse one was just beautiful and Wendy wanted to unpack that today because it gives us great lessons to live by today.

Job was blameless, he feared God and stayed away from evil and was a man of integrity. Wendy wanted to do a word study on what this meant. Blameless sounds like he never did anything wrong…that he was sinless. The Bible also talked about Noah being blameless, but the Hebrew there for the word blameless was actually different. Blameless in this case meant completely moral, innocent, having integrity, morally and ethically pure. It doesn’t mean that he didn’t do anything wrong, but that he lived at a higher standard. If he had integrity, Wendy would believe that he had a relationship with God where he has come to terms with any sin that he had and was found innocent. Interestingly enough, Genesis 25:27 describes Jacob with the word ‘plain’ and it means the same thing. He was described this way before the whole birthright scheme and Wendy thought that was cool that he was described in the same way as Job.

We can be blameless before the Lord. We can be above reproach. We can be in a place of integrity with the Lord if we are honest with Him, honest with ourselves and we are willing to stay in that confession and forgiveness place with the Lord.

He feared God. That does not mean he was in terror of God, afraid that God was going to get him, which so many people believe today, that God is a vengeful God. This means he reverenced God and was respectful of His authority and position. That is really important.

The third thing that described Job, and was used three times in our reading today, was that he turned away from evil. The original translation used the word eschewed. This means to turn aside, depart, reject, abolish and avoid. Basically what we’re saying here is that this man had a right relationship with God, He respected God and he could turn away from evil, depart from it and reject it. That is how God described him. Wendy thought today as she read this, Lord, find me to be this way. Let something be written of me that says, Wendy was blameless, a woman of complete integrity. She feared God and stayed away from evil. Could that be said of her? Oh God let it be.

Y’all have a great day!

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Monday, January 18, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Happy Monday..although today's reading was not that happy. We lost our third patriarch today. We had previously lost Abraham and Isaac and today we lost Jacob. Also in today's reading we lost Joseph, who was not a patriarch in the same way as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but he certainly was a great history maker and a person of great influence. It certainly was a tender day today as we lost two of our main characters in our story.

Wendy was touched by the blessing that Jacob spoke to Joseph after he gave his blessing to Manasseh and Ephraim. You may have noticed that he took on fathership of Joseph's sons so that they would be included in the land allotment when they arrive in Canaan. You will see that later, after the slavery and the exodus, they will be allotted land in Canaan that they would not have received if they remained as Joseph's sons. Jacob brought them into his fold and under his blessing so they could receive this land allotment.

Wendy loved what it said in Genesis 48:15, Jacob said, “May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked – the God who has been my shepherd all my life, to this very day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm – may he bless these boys. May they preserve my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac. And may their descendants multiply greatly throughout the earth.” Wendy loved the way that Jacob referred to God as his Shepherd, his God, his leader. A shepherd is gentle in his leadership and we saw that evidenced throughout Jacob's life. “The Angel who has redeemed me from all harm”. He wants the same type of relationship that he had with God for his sons. He wants his sons to preserve His name as well as the name of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Wendy has heard people say, from generations behind her, that when they would leave the house their mom's and dad's would say, remember who you belong to. Remember how our name will be represented in the things that you say and do. These verses just reminded Wendy of that and it was very tender to her.

Wendy also noticed that both Jacob and Joseph, as they died, presented their brother's again the promise of God. He is telling them in Genesis 48:21, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors.” I don't know what's going on now son, but you will get to go back. Now, we know that Joseph doesn't get to go back, but that promise is right there fresh. Joseph says to his brothers in Genesis 50:24, “Soon I will die, but God will surely come to help you and lead you out of this land of Egypt. He will bring you back to the land he solemnly promised to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Joseph didn't receive it, but that promise was still there. Sometimes we receive a promise or a revelation or a Word from the Lord, an assurance that we're going to move forward in an area or be blessed in some way or something is going to happen through the Holy Spirit and it just hasn't happened yet. Continue to remind yourself what God has told you. Wendy likes to mark these things in her journal and put a date beside them so that when she starts to wonder and question, she can go back to that date and know that she knows that she knows that God told her this. Whether it comes today, tomorrow, or not even this side of glory, we can see it there. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, none of them saw it, but it was still there and it was a promise that was passed down through generations. Today if you're experiencing this, go back to what you know God told you and remind yourself of that and remind God of that, not that He needs reminding, but say, “Lord, this is what you told me. If there's something different please tell me.”

Also, Wendy wonders if you noticed that neither Jacob or Joseph wanted to stay in Egypt in their death. Joseph and the brothers took Jacob back to Mamre and buried him there with his ancestors. Wendy thought it was interesting that the Egyptians had 40 days of mourning for Jacob. There's so much hostility between the Hebrews and Egyptians and it will be played out even more later on. She guesses that because Joseph was such a hero in their eyes, saving them from the famine, that is why they mourned his death for so long. That piece of the story was interesting to her. Joseph says in Genesis 50:25, “When God comes to help you and lead you back, you must take my bones with you.” Wendy supposes he needed to have his body remain there because he had been leader, but he wanted his bones taken back to the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the descendents. You'll find it refreshing later that someone does remember to go back and get the bones and that will tie this back together.

Wendy hopes you enjoyed today's reading and the nostalgia of it and the similarities between the blessing of Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim being the youngest and Manasseh being the oldest. Ephraim got the right hand blessing, which was the blessing of power. Manasseh got the left hand blessing. Jacob was the youngest who would rule over Esau. She hopes we saw some similarities there. Wendy hopes you're able to thread these things together and the tapestry of the story of the Old Testament.

Have a great rest of your Monday and Wendy will be back tomorrow. Tomorrow we begin the book of Job and that's another interesting story.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Video Update

Thanks to all of you who left comments regarding the time you visit here. That has been so helpful.

In saying that, I really feel the Lord asking me to step back and seek His will in regards to transcribing these videos every Monday to Friday. I may have rushed ahead of His plan here and I need some time to seek His will. This week I will be posting the video transcriptions later in the day to allow for my quiet time in the morning. Since taking this on my personal prayer time has suffered and I need to return to the Lord. In the past two weeks I have already felt the affect on my life of my missed time in His presence. Maybe implementing this simple change in the time I do this will be all that is required. Thank you so much for your understanding.

This morning my devotional began...in capital letters: "INSTEAD OF RUSHING TO PURSUE A GOAL, TAKE TIME TO TALK WITH ME ABOUT IT." I'm ashamed to say I feel like I did rush ahead of the Lord and He is calling me to step back and listen to His heartbeat in this regard. I have a tremendous need to be needed and I hate...positively hate letting anyone down. I am praying that should the Lord direct me to withdraw from this endeavour at the close of this week, that He is already raising up the next lady who will carry this on with excellence. My obedience in letting this go, should the Lord direct that way, will open the way for the one of His chosing to take over.

Desiring to be a Christ-FOLLOWER!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Friday, January 15, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

FROM JOY! First, a thousand apologies for being so late today. My husband didn’t set the alarm this morning, but he neglected to tell me. I feel like I’ve been running behind all day. I had friends visiting from out of town, so when I missed my early morning opportunity to transcribe the video, I knew it would be later in the day before I arrived here. Those of you who read this, would you please leave a comment and let me know what time you visit here. I try so hard to get this posted early in the day, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. However, I’d appreciate knowing what time you come looking for this post. Thanks. Ok…on to Wendy!

Today it is 55 degrees in Charlotte. Praise God. Wendy is sitting in the office area and the sun is shining through. She’s so excited. She didn’t even have to wear a coat today. She wore gloves to keep her hands warm, but no coat.

Today is the end of a great week of study. We covered more of Joseph’s life today. We saw Joseph move from being Potiphar’s advisor to being thrown into prison. He did the right thing, resisted the temptation of Potiphar’s wife and was thrown into prison. We said yesterday that sometimes when we do the right thing, it does not always end in the right way. We see here today, praise God, we can move from the pit of our lives, to a palace, a place of blessing so to speak. We read in Genesis 40:1, “Some time later, Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer and chief baker offended their royal master.” Nothing was wasted there. They were in prison with Joseph and God knew what was going to happen to Joseph and he was going to need some friends that had been in high places. What Wendy wants us to see first is that we can learn anything in a pit. Joseph got to be friends with lots of people and was moved to a high position, and found favour, there in prison. Sometimes when we’re in a “pit” or “prison” there are things to be learned, and blessings there. God was preparing Joseph for what was to come. God was preparing Joseph by putting this cup-bearer and chef in prison with him. Wendy was amazed at this. These two would know a lot about what went on in the palace and would have a lot of stories about what happened in the palace. Joseph was able to learn something while he was in the pit. Sometimes when we get in the pit we just want to wallow in it. Wendy says she’s right there with us. She’s probably the queen of wallower’s. She sometimes feels sorry for herself and wants others to join her in a pity party. Joseph did not do that. He made the best of a bad situation. He made the best of an unfair situation.

She says she also noticed in Genesis 40:14, that it is OK to ask to get out of the pit. After he interpreted the dream he said, “And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place." "When things go well", when the time comes, please remember me and get me out of here. It’s OK to ask to get out of the place of distress that you might be in right now, and ask for relief, but we have to trust God while we’re there to teach us, to mold us, to prepare us, and look at this place of despair or discouragement or season of grief, that God is preparing us for the next phase we will be encountering. Joseph didn’t get out right away. It says in Scripture, “two years later”. He was in prison two more years before he got out. Two more years before the cup-bearer told Pharaoh about Joseph interpreting his dream. It’s OK to ask to get out, but if we don’t get out right away, two years or longer, don’t get discouraged. It’s easier to say than do, but God is always working and everything He is doing is for our good. He will work it out. Whether it’s our bad decisions. Whether we were wronged or unjustly accused of something. All bad will be worked out if we love the Lord.

The next thing Wendy wanted to highlight today was that we will get out of the pit when God says it’s time to get out of the pit. Genesis 41:40 says, "You will be in charge of my court, and all my peopole will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours." When God is ready to move you out of that place of despair and discouragement He will make a way for you to get out and take everything you have learned while there and use it for your good.

Wendy’s last point is that when you are trusted with little you will be blessed with more. Joseph was trusted with looking after prisoner’s under the chief guard in the king’s prison. That was a little bit of responsibility. Now he is given charge of the entire land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:41) He went from managing prisons to managing a whole entire country. Everyone, except Pharaoh, was subject to him. All of that was prepared for him even when he was sold into slavery at 17 years of age, and he’s now 30 years old. It took Joseph a while to get to that place of leadership and that place where God wanted him to be and he got there and God used everything for Joseph’s good in preparing him.

In her closing thoughts, Wendy loved the meaning of Joseph's sons names. Joseph received a new name too that meant “interpreter or revealer of secrets”. He had a son, Manasseh that meant, “God made me forget my troubles”. He had another son Ephraim, “God can make me fruitful in my grief”. Wendy loved that. Nothing is wasted with God. Even in our troubles, God can make us forget our troubles. Even in our grief, God can make us fruitful in our grief.

Today’s lesson made Wendy look at the pit a little differently and she hopes it did us as well.

“Y’all have a great weekend and I’ll see you Monday!”

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Thursday, January 14, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Yesterday we got to see the account of Esau and today we get to start the account of Jacob. It’s rather a lengthy account. We are introduced to the story after they have settled back into Canaan. That is where Wendy’s first point jumped out at her. It really doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of her points today, but this is just too good to pass up. In Genesis 37:1 Wendy loved that it said, “settled again”. She needs many “again’s” in her life. She usually does her blog video in one take, but today she has started it repeatedly and she’s laughing at the Lord as He’s going, “again, again, again”. She hears You Lord. Wendy needs many agains. We need many agains. Our God is a God of many agains. When we leave that area of promise like Jacob did, when we wilfully disobey, it doesn’t mean our promise is over. It doesn’t negate His promise or change His plan for us when we leave our land of promise. He can still orchestrate our lives, our situations, our circumstances to bring us back to our land of milk and honey. A place that is fertile, prosperous and where He wants us to be. He can work all things out to bring us back. Jacob was willing to listen and go back. God blessed that willingness with an again. Wendy doesn’t know about us, but it’s freeing to her that she can have more agains than she deserves.

Now, onto Joseph. Joseph appears today as a bratty 17 year old. He’s a tattletale, reporting to his father the bad things his brothers are doing. Being a tattletale is enough to cause sibling rivalry, but Joseph’s dad gives him a coat that is really beautiful and his brothers obviously see that Joseph is loved more by their dad than they are loved. We have the tattletale, the coat and then we have the dream. Joseph starts having these dreams and it sounds like to Wendy, the way the brothers refer to the dream, Joseph is very proud of his dreams and he’s very happy to share his dreams with his brothers…his OLDER brothers. After the first dream, the brother’s say in Genesis 37:8, and this is Wendy’s first point, “they hated him all the more”, which indicates they already hated him, and now they are hating him even more now that he’s having dreams. It’s the way Joseph talked about the dreams. Wendy’s lesson here is that we need to be careful what we say and also how we say it. When we receive words from the Lord, or a prophecy, dream or vision, a blessing that is beyond ourselves, be careful how it is presented. Present it with humility and make sure God receives the glory. Remove ourselves from the picture. Wendy wasn’t there when Joseph shared his dream, but our reading indicates that his brothers did not like the way he talked about his dream, especially considering the fact that they are going to serve him later.

The second thing we see here is that Joseph has been asked again to go check on his brothers. He leaves the valley of Hebron to go to Shechem. Before today Wendy just thought this was another neighbourhood. After some research Wendy learned that Shechem was 45 miles away from Hebron. Dothan was an additional 14 miles away. This was a long way. His brother’s weren’t excited to see him. What Wendy took from this was stay where you are suppose to be. They were in Shechem and they were sent to Shechem and should have remained in Shechem. So many times Wendy says she wilfully chooses to do something different. That goes back to her first point of having an again and an again with the Lord. She has grown in her relationship with the Lord that she now loves the boundaries He gives her. The lines He draws in the sand give her security. She wants to be a person who doesn’t move unless He say’s “Girl go”. Now sometimes He says “Girl Go” and she sticks her fingers in her ears and sings, “Lalalalalala” because she doesn’t want to do what He wants her to do. Sometimes she gets too comfortable where she is and doesn’t want to move. If God tells us to move we need to move, but if He doesn’t direct us anywhere, stay put. Dig your toes in the sand and stay where you are suppose to be until He tells you to move.

The last point in today’s reading comes after the whole fiasco with Potiphar’s wife. Genesis 39 opens up the way it ended, “The Lord was with Joseph”. Through all that happened with Potiphar’s wife, the Lord was with Joseph and caused him to be prosperous. Regardless of what Joseph did there with Potiphar’s wife, he told the truth. He did not succumb. It would have been easy to succumb and Wendy’s sure that Mrs. Potiphar probably had success with other servants in that area, but Joseph was willing to stand his ground. He did the right thing. The right thing didn’t work in his favour.

In Genesis 39:20 it says, “So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.” Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t end in the right way for us, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we should still do what is right. It’s not always going to end the right way. It’s not always going to be the best for us. Being in prison certainly wasn’t one of the comfort creatures Joseph would have chosen in his life. He had finally risen to be in charge of the whole household of Potiphar and all of a sudden there he goes back into prison. You know what? Things get better. Tomorrow the dreamer turns into the interpreter and things get better for Joseph. Things are looking better on the horizon.

Wendy can’t wait to see you tomorrow….again.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Wendy begins by saying that we’re one day closer to solving the problem of the comments. There is a section over to the right side of the home page on her blog that says “Comments RSS”, “Entries RSS”. Many of you are going there where it asks you to subscribe to her blog through that avenue. You can subscribe through those places, but if you comment there, that’s why your comments aren’t appearing with the others. So for today, what she would like all of us to do, no matter how we receive her post, she’d like for us to comment on the home page. Underneath her signature, after the post, there is a link that says “comments”. Click on that link and it will take you to a place where you can read all the comments, as well as leave your own. She is trying to streamline everyone’s comments to one place, so let’s try and do that today. No matter how you receive her post today, come to her home page and comment there. She thinks that’s the issue, so we’ll try this as an experiment today.

Today’s reading was quite interesting. She said that if we’re completely honest, we may have skimmed over the genealogies. She confessed that she did that the first time she read them, because it seemed kind of boring. There’s not a lot of fun, not a lot of joy in genealogies. When she read back through it she found some interesting things and she wants to share those things today.

The first thing we can glean out of our reading today was that prophecy has been fulfilled. Jot down this reference, Genesis 25:23, where the Lord spoke a prophecy over the two babies that were in Rebekah's tummy as they were fighting and struggling. He said to her, “ The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” We see that birthed now through this genealogy. Esau has his own nation the Edomites. Jacob has his own nation, the Israelites. The Edomites will soon be under the authority of the Israelites. That’s what it means that the older will serve the younger. We haven’t really arrived at that place in our reading yet, but we have arrived at the place of hostility. Wendy would say that it’s kind of hostile when your brother wants to kill you. So, that prophecy was fulfilled and we can see it laid out like here. We can see that Esau did have a great nation behind him.

The second thing Wendy pulled out of Scripture today was that blessings were fulfilled. If you can remember the scam that Jacob and Rebekah cooked up, it was to allow Jacob to have the blessing, instead of the firstborn, Esau. Momma Rebekah convinced her son Jacob to carry out this trick to receive Esau’s blessing. Wendy wanted to say, “Hey, Isaac you were tricked. Take it back and give Esau the blessing.” She just didn’t understand this, but she just has to trust that this is the culture. This is the way it was and Esau couldn’t get it back. However, when he came back and realized he had been tricked, he was begging his father for a blessing. Wendy felt really bad for him. He was saying, would you please give me a blessing, just one? He was crying out to his father. So Isaac gave him a blessing, but the blessing was not really of God. That first blessing that comes that the first child receives is a prophetic blessing and is truly blessed by God. This second child, (which was really the first child here), receives a more "pat you on the back", common type blessing that was not ushered by God like that first blessing given to Jacob. However Isaac still wanted to bless his son Esau, so over in Genesis 27:39-40 we see his blessing. It says, “You will live away from the richness of the earth, and away from the dew of the heaven above.” Wendy is taking from our reading today, that the "dew from heaven above", that this means it is not from God, not prophecy fulfilled. Now as far as living away from the “richness of the earth”, that came from today’s reading. “The richness of the earth” was Canaan. That was the place to be. The land of milk and honey. We can see over in today’s reading in Genesis 36:6, “Esau took his wives, his children, and his entire household, along with his livestock and cattle - all the wealth he had acquired in the land of Canaan - and moved away from his brother, Jacob.” He moved away from his brother, from the land and the richness of the land. It says that he will “live by the sword“, and he has lived by the sword. He did not have all that Jacob received. He had to get what he got on his own. He acquired his wealth, cattle and herds and had to fight for his own and he got it.

Then we see, that he will serve his brother. We will see shortly that the Edomites will serve the Israelites. And then it says, (still back in Genesis 27:39-40), “But when you decide to break free, you will shake his yoke from your neck.” That will happen eventually. The Edomites will move out from under the Israelites. So we’ve seen prophecy fulfilled and blessing fulfilled in what appeared to be meaningless genealogy.

Wendy kind of had a little bit of fun today and she wrote this:

“Wendy is the daughter of Bob and Faye, who are the children of Charlie and Neely and Boyd and Mary.” That’s her genealogy, but at the top of the list, Wendy is a daughter of the Most High King….and so are you.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Happy Tuesday! Happy Day 12!

Before beginning today Wendy wants to let us know she is aware of the problem some people are having trying to comment on her blog. People are leaving comments in two different places and she is not computer literate and she had no idea that there was a place, other than her blog, where you can comment. She’s getting advice and working with someone she considers to be an expert in the field of blogging and she’s going to figure out the best way to streamline comments so everyone is commenting in one place. She personally doesn’t want to miss any comments because the Lord is teaching her through the treasure God is pouring out in your spirits. She loves that and knows others are encouraged in the same way. She doesn’t want anyone to miss anyone else’s comments, so she’s on top of that, but not exactly certain when it will be fixed. She will let us know.

Yesterday Jacob left Laban, made a monument, actually put stones down not to cross over and agreed to live in peace. Laban said finally, take my daughters, take my grandchildren, it’s Ok, you are free to go. They had agreed to part their way. Jacob was ready to go home and the Lord sent an angel to guard and protect him on his way home. Wendy thought how precious that was of the Lord. El Roi, the God who sees, knew what was going to happen when we turned the page. He knew that Esau was going to appear soon and Jacob needed some extra assurance and he needed some guardianship and so He sent angels to meet Jacob. How comforting that must have been for Jacob. Jacob declared, “This is the Lord’s camp.” Wendy loves those words and wants to adopt those words herself when she's moving towards something that is possibly fearful. After all, Jacob knew he was going to run into Esau and you can tell he was preparing for the possibility of conflict with his brother. When he left his brother he was fleeing for his life. Esau wanted to kill him. It has been 20 years now, but you just don’t know with family or foe what will happen after 20 years. Maybe time was not as good to him and he hadn’t changed as much as Jacob had changed.

Wendy asked if we enjoyed watching how Jacob has evolved from the time he was the deceiver and stealing the birthright and putting on that animal skin cover until today where he is putting himself humbly before the Lord and reminding the Lord of the promise that He made to his family to have that land and now he was going to go back and claim his promise. How precious that was to see the turning point he has made in his life. All of that aside, he knew he might face imminent danger with his brother and God knew that too and God knew his fear and was sensitive to that fear and sent angels to protect him. Wendy thought that was really special.

What Wendy loved most of the story we read today was the Hallmark ending. Whenever she gets the opportunity, which isn’t often, Wendy loves to sit down and watch sappy Hallmark movies that always end happily. Everybody ends up with somebody. There’s hugs. There’s smiles. There’s cries. Just good, good movies. Not all chick flick movies, but they are just really good, wholesome movies and that’s hard to find now. She loves to sit down and watch a good happy ending on Hallmark and that’s what this reminds her of now. Esau running from afar and meeting Jacob. Jacob was on his knees, humbly bowing and Esau was running toward him, and wanting to mend and heal that relationship. Wendy loved that. It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. Then they hugged and wept and then ‘The End’. It was beautiful. Wendy loves that they have mended their relationship and loved that God had changed Esau’s will. Even someone who was as hard and brute and insensitive as Esau. God can change anyone if they are submissive. Somewhere along the way, Esau must have submitted to the Lord himself otherwise it would not have been such a beautiful reunion.

That’s really not Wendy’s most favourite part of today’s story. She loved the part of Jacob wrestling with God. There have been many times in her life where she has felt that she has just been wrestling for something. Sometimes it’s been for a prayer request. Sometimes for a desire that she has been fighting for faith with the Lord. Sometimes she’s been fighting for the next step in her life and the Lord’s will for her life. She’s felt that struggle. Jacob was not going to give up, being persistent until he got the blessing. He fought all night. You have to remember that Jacob was tired at this point. He had been travelling. He had had all that emotional upheaval with Laban and finally that had come to pass and he was moving forward. But moving forward to possible danger, there is anxiety there. There’s a fear there and that takes up energy. He was tired, but he was not going to rest until he got his blessing. Wendy loves that picture, but she also loves the point where God gives Jacob a new name. God changed his name from Deceiver to Prince of God.

Ladies, gentlemen, friends, we can get a new name, regardless of what we’ve done, regardless of what we’ve experienced, regardless of what we’re doing at any given time, we can receive a new name from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Travis Cottrell, Beth Moore’s worship leader, is by far Wendy’s favourite worship leader ever. Wendy goes straight to God’s throne of grace just listening to songs that he sings. He recorded a song called, “You Changed My Name”. Wendy jotted down the words because this song captures the picture beautifully of Jacob receiving a new name.

“You changed my name when You called me forgiven
You changed my name when You called me redeemed
You took my shame and wrote a new beginning to the story I was living and I’ll never be the same.
You changed my name.”

We have been redeemed. We have been forgiven. We have been redeemed. We have been given a new name in Jesus Christ. We don’t have to live under the old self. The New Testament tells us in 2 Corinthians that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Let’s go live like we have a new name.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Monday, January 11, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Wendy begins today by welcoming readers from Encouragement Today devotions and invites their participation in our discussion. She said that there are about 1800 people, as far as she knows, reading through the Bible this year and all are welcome to still join. She suggested new readers check out http://www.proverbs31.org/ and click on the “Shop P31” link to the left of the page and learn how to purchase a Bible and join us. She emphasized again, that it is not too late to begin.

Wendy thanks the rest of the on-line readers for allowing her the weekend to be with her family. She would love to be teaching every day. This weekends material was so rich. Saturday she filled two pages with valuable information. She is enjoying all the comments so much.

This weekend was fun as Wendy’s cousin was married. The last of 13 grandchildren and her grandmother, who will be 93 in April, has attended every wedding. It was an exciting weekend, but she says now we are back where we should be and that’s meeting face-to-face here this morning.

Wendy is coming to us today from her bonus room in her house and behind her we see a huge chalkboard on the wall where she does educational therapy with her son and also some home-schooling. She’s also sitting in one of her favourite places in the whole house and that is on the floor in front of her Jesus chair. This is the chair she has sat in every day for over 12 years now to have her quiet time. Recently she is more on her knees than in the chair. It’s where she sits and prays for us, our love for one another, our love for the Word and our commitment to the Word. This is a special place.

The main part of today’s teaching made her feel tense as she read through Genesis 30-31. There’s strife and conflict between Laban and Jacob. Already we’ve seen conflict that wasn’t quite as pronounced between Rachel and Leah, which comes up more later, but being married to two sisters would cause conflict. Wendy found it interesting at the beginning of the reading how Jacob was still living under Laban’s house when his children were born. He has already worked off his purchasing, yet he still has to prove he has to get out. Laban would not give up and he was messing with Jacob with the sheep and the goat and the strife and the dotted and the white and causing so much conflict. Now Wendy realizes that this is a dad and granddad, daughters and grandchild, but she says, let the man go or at least give him peace. She just felt so bad for him.

Wendy reflected on the conflict we experience every day. Wendy does not like conflict. She said that there are some people who get into conflict and try to keep it going. Wendy tries to avoid conflict at all cost, sometimes to her detriment. She will do anything to avoid conflict with anyone and tries her best to keep peace with people. If there isn’t peace with someone she does her best to avoid that person just so she doesn’t have to face it. That’s not good either and that’s another lesson. Still, conflict was very real here and Wendy saw a great application for us.

The heading over Genesis 31:51 reads, “Jacob’s Treaty with Laban”. She read verses 51 & 52, “‘See this pile of stones,’ Laban continued, ‘and see this monument I have set between us. They stand between us as witnesses of our vows. I will never pass this pile of stones to harm you, and you must never pass these stones or this monument to harm me.’”

What a great lesson there. Sometimes we just have to draw the line between the conflict, whether we’re the one causing the conflict, like Laban, or we’re on the receiving end of the conflict like Jacob. Sometimes enough is just enough. Build a monument on that issue and move on. Agree to disagree. Agree to draw the line. You won’t cross me and I won’t cross you and let’s try and have peace in our lives. She said that this is not always possible. Both parties must agree on this, but you yourself can decide not to be bothered by the conflict anymore. That’s going to take the power of El Shaddai, God Almighty in us, for us to be able to stay at peace with the situation. Maybe the other person isn’t ready to come to us and not cross the line, but we can draw a line ourselves. We’re not going to be bothered by this. I’m not going to let you steal my joy. Oh my goodness, these are joy stealer moments here. Jacob had a lot of joy stealer moments in these few chapters. Wendy is glad to be able to see Jacob move on and get past this.

Wendy says the main point today is let’s try to live at peace with people. Let’s try to end conflicts. It’s not easy, but maybe today there’s a monument you need to build and just say, “Today Lord, I’m leaving this thing and I’m not going to return or cross over to agitate or aggravate this person or situation anymore and I’m not going to cross this monument or this pile of stones ever again through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Y’all have a great day!

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Friday, January 8, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

We lost one of our main characters today, one of the old patriarch’s, and that is Abraham. Throughout the Old Testament you’ll be reading about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob synonymously, the three patriarch’s. Our fathers, "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. We lost Abraham today and Wendy thought how tender it was for his sons Isaac and Ishmael to go bury their father in memory where Sarah was buried. That has always touched Wendy. Number one, that they remembered that this place was their family burial area, and number two, that they came together at the funeral. She thought that was very interesting to read and wondered if Abraham had ever done anything to try and mend the relationship between Ishmael and Isaac over the years. We were told in today’s reading in Genesis 25:18 that Ishmael’s relatives lived in hostility to one another, but she wonders if he ever patched up things with Isaac. Regardless, they did come together at the funeral and did the family funeral thing in the right way. Wendy hopes that if they had not mended their relationship until that point that the death of their father helped them put some water under the bridge and let them move forward.

Wendy also wants to spend some time reading today about Abraham from the New Testament. She read from the NIV, selected verses from Hebrews 11, known as the “Hall of Faith”. What the writer does, and it’s believed to be Paul although we’re not sure exactly, he goes through and talks about all the great men and women of faith that we have to look back on and learn from and recalls them in this passage of Scripture. Abraham was mentioned more than any other name in the “Hall of Faith”.

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore....By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death."
Hebrews 11:8-12, 17-19


All of these verses, when it talks about the men and women of faith start with "By faith". Wendy was challenged years ago by one of her favourite Bible teachers ever, sister Beth Moore. Hebrews 11 ends with verse 40, and Wendy was challenged by Beth to add a verse 41. Not adding or taking anything away from the Word of God which Revelations strongly discourages, but just to remind herself that putting a “By faith Wendy…”, that one day when her family looks back on her life, maybe even generations to come that won’t even know she existed, somehow they can look somewhere and know that their descendant was a woman of faith.

Wendy’s a little nostalgic and melancholy reading of the death of Abraham because she truly wants “And by faith Wendy” that her descendants would know that she was a woman of faith and that she believed God and it was counted righteous to her. She passes that down to the next generation and the next, that her faith that is built on Christ Jesus would be an inheritance to those to come. She can’t make them a great nation and she can’t give them greatness and descendants as many as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, but she can pass down a heritage of faith that is strong if she has a strong faith herself. That’s why she’s stepping out of this crossroads whenever she gets a chance and not getting struck there so that those who come behind her will find her faithful.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Thursday, January 7, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Wendy begins by telling us she is taping this video in Renee Swope’s office. She has just dropped her children off at the church and she’s using the time to record today’s session.

She was surprised that the reading took longer than usual. She is so thankful for everyone’s comments. She is learning so much from all of you.

She wants to make sure that everyone has seen the two new names for God, El Roi and El Shaddai. Today we meet God as Eternal God, in Genesis 21:33. Eternal God is El Olam, forever God. We also see God as Yahweh-Yireh, the Lord will provide, Genesis 22:14. She encourages us to keep track of the names of God. She said to pray in the name of God. There’s power in praying this way. Wendy is glad we’re taking on the concerns of others and praying for each others needs. Let’s put power behind our prayers.

Wendy wanted to camp out on the Abraham story, but God would not let her do that. There was a verse that would not let her go - Genesis 11:32, “Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.”

If you remember, Terah was Abraham’s father. Terah took his family on a journey and they stopped in Haran and God blessed their family there and they acquired a lot of wealth there. But if you recall, on that particular day of our reading, Nathan (the only male Chronological Bible follower brave enough to comment) made a comment that taught Wendy something. He said “Haran” means “crossroads”. Terah died in the crossroads.

Wendy’s heart skipped a beat. She doesn’t want to die in the crossroads. She wants to be progressing and moving towards the Lord. She wants to be moving by being in His Word. He wants to be moving by loving His people. He wants to be moving by giving and caring for His people. She wants to be going on. How sad. Terah died in the crossroads.

Several years ago she had the opportunity to make a choice. She stopped somewhere. She stopped in her relationship with the Lord. She was at a crossroads. She felt the Lord calling her closer to Him. She had just completed two in depth Bible studies and was getting into the Word a little bit more and learning more. She had friends praying for her and she felt the Lord beckoning her to come. For circumstances she’s choosing not to share now, she chose not to come. Now, she didn’t stop going to church. She didn’t stop singing in the choir. She didn’t stop doing all the right things, but she didn’t answer His call. Her life was blessed in the crossroads and after two years of infertility she became pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl. Her husband and she built a home in White Forest, North Carolina. In the crossroads they moved back to Charlotte where their family lives. Her husband owns his own business now. In the crossroads God took care of her. In the crossroads she did the right thing. In the crossroads the Lord never forgot her. But then one day about ten years ago, the Lord called her again, and this time she didn’t stay in Haran. She moved and she’s been moving ever since and it’s the best decision she’s ever made.

She thought her life was blessed in the crossroads, “but girls I’m telling you what, I am living in the Promised Land.” We can find it here in Scripture. In not so many pages away, we’re going to get there, but her prayer is that everybody within the sound of her voice and anyone who hears her teach ever, finds their crossroads, identifies them, and moves on to their Promised Land while here on earth because that is God’s intention. His intention is to give you a full and abundant life (John 10:10). Wendy’s prayer is that you would live that full and abundant life right here on earth because that’s God’s plan for you.

“Y’all have a great day!”

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wendy's Video Summary - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

(For those of you not participating in the Chronological Bible reading with Wendy Pope, please visit my other blog, “Pondering In His Presence”. Thank you.)

Wendy has just come off the treadmill today. She has committed to doing five days, 30 minutes each day this year.

She said she almost underlined all of the reading today, but what jumped out at her was the intercessory prayer that Abraham beckoned on behalf of Lot to the Lord, found in Genesis 18.

Wendy defined intercessory prayer as falling flat on your face before the Lord and petitioning for somebody else. You are interceding for someone else. You are the middle person from another to the Lord.

She said we don’t always know what to pray about and that’s OK. Wendy says she doesn’t want too many details because she doesn’t want her prayers influenced at all by human knowledge of a circumstance. She claims Romans 8:26,27 where the Holy Spirit ushers the groanings of our heart up to the Lord Himself. We don’t have to know what to pray.

Here we see Abraham pleading for Lot, but did you notice he never even said Lot’s name? That gave Wendy insight into Abraham. The Lord really looked at Abraham’s heart and He saw Abraham’s concern. The Lord even saw Sarah laughing. (As an aside, Wendy said she thought that was so funny that the Lord was a tattletale and told Abraham that Sarah laughed. That entire passage of scripture made Wendy laugh.)

God knows our intent. Wendy believes Abraham was not only praying for Lot but for everyone. He approached the Lord and pressed his request further. Abraham asks the Lord not to be angry. Wendy always thought it wasn’t the right thing to do to question the Lord as Abraham asked, would You take the righteous with the unrighteous? Would You punish the innocent with the sinful? In this circumstance Wendy believes that Abraham wasn’t questioning the Lord, but petitioning and reasoning and trying to get the Lord to look again and possibly change His plan in the circumstance of getting rid of Sodom and Gomorrah and everyone involved there.

We have a great message from Abraham here. Number one, when we go to the Lord, we need to go with the right heart and motives. That’s why it’s important no to know all the information about something. We need to go with honest hearts. Lord, I don’t understand this. How can this be? Why are You allowing this? Wendy has often prayed on behalf of those who have cancer and they have died and she doesn’t understand. She has prayed for families to be mended and they are broken and she doesn’t understand. She still however went on their behalf and questioned and still questions to this day why God would, in His Sovereign plan, take her husband’s father over 20 years ago. She doesn’t understand why that happened, but God has secrets He reveals to no-one and that’s OK. She has learned how to live with prayers that aren’t answered in the way she desired.

Wendy felt the reverence in Abraham’s beckoning of the Lord and she just loved the gentleness and patience that the Lord had as He was listening to Abraham. That could have only happened if He had really looked at Abraham’s heart and understood the meaning. The bottom line was, don’t destroy my nephew. Don’t destroy my nephew and his family. Please Lord, is there another way?

We do see that Lot was able to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah before it was destroyed. Wendy loved Gen 19:29, “But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.” That stopped Wendy. Abraham had never mentioned Lot’s name. God knows the intentions of our hearts, our thoughts, the fullness we feel, the emotions of our prayers and He looks upon that and takes it into consideration when He hears our prayers.

Wendy wants to encourage us to pray fervently. Her theme verse for 2010 is John 3:30, Lord increase so that I (Wendy) might decrease. Wendy is currently praying for some hurting families. She’s praying on the behalf of some P31 team members who are suffering through some situations. She concludes by saying let’s look at Abraham’s example and lets not give up. Let’s not have impure motives when we go to the Lord. Let’s be honest and lay it on the line and say I don’t know the details to the problem, but you are O Sovereign Lord (how Abraham called the Lord). We can approach God Almighty, our El Shaddai, and El Roi, the God who sees, because He is faithful and He is true.

(All thoughts transcribed from Wendy's blog to aid those whose computers are not capatible to view these videos.)