August 5 2 Kings 23; 2 Chronicles 35; John 7

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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On My Own | Kelley Deases

S~ Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did — with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 2 Kings 23:25 (NIV)

O~ When I read the previous and subsequent chapters to today’s reading, I learned King Josiah’s grandfather, father, and then later even his son, who all reigned as kings for some amount of time, all “did evil in the sight of the Lord.”  But yet it says of Josiah he turned to the Lord and wholeheartedly served Him. This is a good reminder that whatever our upbringing or the prevailing culture, we can be people of righteousness. We all stand before God on our own.

A~ I am so fortunate not to stand on my own. I have a faithful, godly husband who supports and encourages me. I have dear sisters in Christ who meet with me, serve with me, and keep me accountable. We have a “culture of faith” in the two churches I attend regularly and in the Christian school my younger son attends. And even with all this support, I can still succumb to worldly ways — selfishness, impatience, lack of discipline getting into The Word, a harsh tongue, etc. It gives me an even greater respect for Josiah, who stood for God even in opposition to his own family.

P~  Father, Renew my resolve to live for You each day and remember that I alone am accountable to You for my actions, attitudes, and decisions.

What a Mess! | Michelle Myers

S~ Neither before or after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—-with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. Nevertheless, the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger.  2 Kings 23:25-26 (NIV)

O~ God took notice of Josiah’s faithfulness and obedience towards him and his love for him.  God was angry with Judah, because of prior kings unfaithfulness,disobedience, and idols.  He had severe consequences in store for them.  He promised not to bring any of them about as long as Josiah was king.

Although the people listened to Josiah about God and did what they were told when he was king, they quickly went back to their sinning ways, once Josiah wasn’t around to keep them in line. There was never a true heart change for them.

When all is well with my emotions, turning to You isn’t hard.  That doesn’t mean that everything is going well, or situations are the way that I would like for them to be.  However, anytime my emotions get out of whack, my heart has a harder time turning to You. This starts with my thoughts.  When something happens, and the “what if, doom and gloom” takes over, or I start to think of everything that has happened in the past (not how You brought me through it), but the pain, the struggle, and the frustration of it, I start to lose strength, and before I know it, I am struggling to turn to You.

A~ After a great day out with my family, we returned to a note on our door.  It was signed by the manager of our apartment complex, and it stated that we were out of compliance with our lease.  Apparently, we had been too loud and disruptive.  It stated that quiet hours were from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Also, it said that if we did not correct this matter within 14 days, or had any more complaints in 6 months time, we could be evicted.  I was shocked.  We are not wild, partying people.

I wasn’t sure what we exactly we were doing to warrant this letter, but I was quite sure that it was the people below us who complained.  I thought we had worked things out with them last week. My mood had quickly changed from peaceful, joyful, and happy to angry, confused, and frustrated.

The old Michelle started to come out to my husband, in regards to the people downstairs……The snarky, mouthy, sarcastic one, who didn’t respond well to people when she is upset…….The one who wanted to start REALLY stomping around and jumping like a freakin’ frog having a hay day on a trampoline…..That Michelle, has not been around in a really long time……. I started hoping they got our bed bugs.  Which my husband pointed out, would not be good for us, because that means the building we live in still had them.  I knew I wasn’t being rational.  I knew that I wasn’t being a good representative of You.  I knew my thoughts were running my emotions.  I started thinking of all the junk I or my husband had seen them do to their children…..scream at them, snatch them up, grab the backs of their necks.  I became very critical and judgmental.

Then you reminded me of my own mother’s behavior when there was conflict in our neighborhood growing up, when would get offended, etc.  I, again, was resorting back to the bad behavior I had learned from.  I started to feel sick inside.  I knew this wasn’t who I was supposed to be.  I knew this wasn’t who I wanted to be.  I knew these thoughts, feelings, and this attitude was hurting me, more than it was them. Yet, I couldn’t stop my mind from racing and get my emotions out of overdrive!  I asked for prayer from a friend, and then went to bed.

When I woke up, my husband had decided that he was going to speak with our other neighbors.  He wanted to apologize, if we had disturbed any of them.  We hadn’t, and they actually acted surprised that there was a complaint made, as they had never heard anything loud coming from us.

I went downstairs to talk to the people who complained and give them our number, so they could call us if there was an issue.  I wanted some clarity on what exactly we were doing to disturb them.  I didn’t get any clarification, just a lot of absolutes…. we are loud, running and jumping around all night and all day, it was awful, etc.  I explained that we are not up all night.  We aren’t jumping around.  We are not running.  Heck, if we were doing that 24/7 we would all be a lot skinnier than we are!  Even our cats are on the lazy side.  Seriously, if we leave in the morning and come back in the afternoon, they are in the same spot they were when we left.

I was still frustrated, but remembered that I was representing You.  I humbled myself.  Apologized for the disturbance and gave him our numbers. Then we went over to talk to the head manager, who is usually in the office on that particular day.  She said that she just got back from vacation, and wanted to see the letter.  She read it, and said that even though her name is on it, she didn’t sign it.  She said to be honest, she is very aware of the people who live below us, because they complain a lot, about a lot.  Had she been here, she wouldn’t have even sent the letter.  After hearing what we did do to try and mend any relationships with all of our neighbor’s, she said that we went above and beyond what most do.  She said to be aware of the noise level, and that they were intolerant, but seriously, she understands that there is only so much we can do.  She said we would just leave it at that.

The night before, I could hear You telling me to trust You.  Reminding me that not everyone is rational, but I need to be rational.  I could hear You telling me that it wasn’t the doom and gloom situation that I was making it out to be in my head.  I could hear YOU telling me to turn to YOU and trust YOU, with all of my heart, soul, and strength.  I didn’t at first, and I was a mess.

P~ Thank you God for giving me the wisdom and strength to eventually pull it together and be a better representative of You.  Please help us show Your love, peace, and grace to our very intolerant neighbors.  Please change their hearts, so they can experience Your love, peace, and grace first hand.

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Posted on August 5, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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