Thursday, September 29, 2011

Veggies or Rich Food (What Would You Eat?)

Daniel 1:11 - 14

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

I despise tests and being tested for anything.  I get nervous, think terribly of myself, and usually second guess everything I do.  I admire Daniel for his confidence.  He knows that the food from the table of King Nebuchadnezzar is not in his best interest and goes against all he has learned.  So he challenges the chief official over him and his acquaintances to a test.  He asks that they be allowed to eat nothing but veggies and water and compare them with the other young men that eat the royal food.  

Now, I like veggies, especially vegetable soups, fresh vegetables from my garden and salsas.  But ten days of nothing but vegetables?  Maybe there is something to that.  I could make this all about how there are too many preservatives in our food and how a lot of us doesn't make anything from scratch anymore, but that is not what this is about.  This is about Daniel showing that his upbringing and faith in God has been instilled in him to the point that he feels it is important to keep.  How many of us would have caved and started to feed from the king's table?  How many of us would have accepted what was happening and went with the flow and not made a stand?  I hope none, but put in that situation, I'm not so sure what I would have done.    I pray that I stay strong in the Lord and always keep his commandments, especially when I am tested.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daniel's First Order of Business

Daniel 1:1 -10

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god.
 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
 6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

I love this book.  It gets right in to the story and doesn't mess around.  The second verse immediately tells that God's hand was on this adventure from the start.  God delivered King Jehoiakim to Nebuchadnezzer.  Then Nebuchadnezzer decided to take the brightest and most promising young men and train them.  Being taken from their country against their will was bad enough, but then he renamed them and gave them his food and wine.  The plan was for them to be trained for three years, and then be servants of the king.  Daniel was loyal to God and knew right from wrong, even if it meant he would lose his life.  He defied the king and would not eat the food from his table.  The official was concerned and tried to talk to Daniel about it.  Daniel didn't budge, but instead made a deal to see if eating things other than the food from the king would have a difference in his health.  This scared the official.

I think I'd be scared every day that if I messed up, I'd be killed.  Daniel must have been scared.  But God was watching over Daniel.  He showed the official in charge of the young men that Daniel was smart, had a good head and that he was special.  Sometimes, you just know who to put in charge.  Sometimes, you know that there is something not right.  Sometimes you know that something is not good for you and you need to fight it, no matter the consequences.  I have a problem tooth.  I had a root canal for it last year, but it is starting to hurt again.  The dentist could not find a problem on the x-ray, but he realizes that I know my mouth as well as he does and is listening too me.  Maybe I need a crown.  Maybe I need to have the tooth pulled.  That remains to be determined.  But I know it is bothersome.

 Daniel knew that the food and wine the king offered was not the best for him, so he took matters in to his hands.  He didn't do it to defy God, he did it because of God.  What are you doing because of God that seems to be upsetting people?  Look around at friends that you have.  Are any of them refusing to do something and you are not sure why?  Don't push them to do something a certain way because that's the way we have always done it.  Push them to resolve it in a loving, Christian manner that will help everyone, or at least give everyone an understanding of the situation.  You may not always agree, but that is why God made us all different.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My little insight

I have been away from this for about two weeks.  I lost my job, and I've been resting and trying to find myself. I threw myself into helping the marching band and helping others.  Things have been okay for us, but they are going to get hard.  I'm not sure what God has planned, but I am sure it will bring me to where he exactly wants me to be.  I don't know if this is true, but you know that little voice in the back of your head that tells you what you don't want to think or talk about, yet you can help it?  It's been telling me that I am probably off for a very good reason, like maybe my Dad's upcoming tests.  I keep saying, Nah, but what if?  And, if I live by what ifs, then I will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So I am going to do what I know.  I don't know a lot, but I do know that I want to talk about someone else that went through a lot of ordeals or opportunities.  His name is Daniel.  Daniel is one of my heroes of the Bible.  When my son was younger, we read the whole book of Daniel.  We both enjoyed that time together and we enjoyed that God gave us something to think about.  So starting tomorrow, I will start a devotion on the book of Daniel.

I pray that each of you will join me in it.  I also pray that you will pray for my unemployed situation, and that we will be able to make the right choices for us.  I am praying for you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Yesterday was full of tears, patriotism, sadness and hope.  9-11 for most of us was spend with in some kind of service, whether it was watching television and seeing the official memorial service from the Ground Zero Memorial, a special service at church, or a city service.  The day was emotional for all of us who remembered where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt when our country was attacked by terrorists.

I was at work when the President of our company came on the paging system and told us what was going on.  We had a stunned moment of silence as it began to sink in what was happening.  How it was hard to fathom that someone or something attacked our country in this horrific way.  I personally couldn't wait to get home and see the television, to hold my kids, and to be reassured that there was nothing else going on.

At noon, my youngest was released from school and I met him at home.  He went to play, and I watched television.  I am glad that at the time my children were very young and didn't understand all that was going on.  Now, though, we have a generation of kids who doesn't understand the solemnness of the day, the rush of emotions most of us get when we think about what transpired, and the changes that came because of it.

Kids from all over the country does not understand what the big deal is.  It's a shame that we all can't tell them our stories, our personal tributes, and how historical those events of that day were.  When my daughter's eighth grade class went on their class trip to Washington D.C. a few years ago, my father and I went with them as chaperone's, as we passed through Pennsylvania, close to where Flight 93 went down, my dad got on the bus microphone and talked to the kids a few minutes about that sight and the Memorial that was being built there.  Though we didn't see it, those kids were respectful and listened.

Today, as we go back to the grind of our daily lives, a lot of us are still thinking about that day ten years ago.  I hope that we can instill in future generations the importance of remembering the past and learning from it.  I know that I want to try.

Deuteronomy 8:2

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rejoice Always

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for

this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)

When you are going through something, it's easy to tell God all your problems, to ask for help, to complain, to be down on yourself and everyone else.  Whether you have an illness, a hurt, or going through some other trial, you are not alone.  There are people that surprise you with encouragement.  I am thankful for those people.  They are your true friends.  They are your support and the ones that you can go to when you need to talk.  They are the ones that I rejoice with, pray for and give thanks to God for. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


John 16:22-24
22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Last night at Bible Study, my dad reminded me of these verses.  If you want something, no matter how big, like money, a healing, or a job, and no matter how small, like to find a parking spot, or for a good day, you will never get it if you do not ask.  And Jesus says that we need to ask for whatever it is in his name. 

The biggest hinderance for us it that we feel we are being selfish or petty.  If we are, God will answer our request in the correct manner.  You can't out do God, so ask him for your heart's desire, or maybe ask him for his heart's desires.  What a difference there will be in your life.