Monday, October 31, 2011

Time Constraints

Daniel 2:13 - 16

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact. 15 He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.

Daniel was such a logical person.  He started asking questions, trying to figure out what what was going on.  He then went to the king and asked for time.  Time to tell the dream.  Time is something that we all need.  Time is not always there, and normally, we all want more of it.  There seems never enough hours in a day, never enough minutes during a contest, and never are we happy with time constraints.   But honestly, we just need to budget our time better.  For the past two months I have had all the time in the world.  I did not rush in cleaning, looking for a job, or dealing with things.  I now need to learn to budget my time because I have a part time job.  Luckily it has started just as Marching Band is over, so I am not doing too many things at once.

Daniel asked for time and logically talked to the king about it.  The king agreed and gave that time to Daniel. We just need to do as Daniel and use our time wisely.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

God's Plan for Me

It’s turning out to be a long journey.  I found myself unemployed at the end of the summer and we have been okay with that.  We are trying to follow God’s leading and appreciate all the advice and encouragement from our family and friends.  It’s been a blessing to be able to help my kids, parents and others during this time.  When I was first let go, I wasn’t even that sad.  The place I left was not my favorite place.  I liked a lot of my co-workers, people I met, but there were aspects of the job that left me sad and longing for something else.  I can honestly say that it was not a shock to be let go.  I was in the process of looking for something closer to home and something that I thought would be more my style.

I have found that God always has a plan.  I saw this from the beginning.  My kids and I needed to reconnect better.   I have been able to be at all their school functions, and luckily, they are okay with that.  They don’t get angry that I am around and for that I am grateful.    My husband has expressed that he likes having me home has been a blessing for him too.  He knew I was unhappy, more than I knew.  Again, God’s hand was there.  My father is going through some heart issues and will be in the hospital part of this week.  Again, God has not led me to a job so I can be there for both Dad and Mom.  I see God’s hand everywhere in my life.    Even my dog has enjoyed that during this cold weather, she doesn’t have to spend all day out on the back porch.  She can come in and be warm.

Isn’t it amazing that what most people would have found as devastating, my family has turned into a blessing?  It doesn’t mean that that house is cleaner, and we are still worrying about how to pay bills and have a nice Christmas for everyone, but we are enjoying our time together.   As a family, we are learning to get by on less, though some days it doesn’t feel like it.  I thank God everyday for what we have and what we are trying to do. 

I am still looking for a job and have been on several interviews.  I’m not in a hurry, and I know when God has a place for me, I’ll be happy and take it.  But for now, it’s nice to be a stay-at-home mom.   I think my faith and the faith that we have developed as a family has helped me not turn this in to a pity party.  I just praise God for what he has given me, and continues to supply for us.  I hope that this encourages you, as it has encouraged me.  It’s a journey and an adventure that I do not wish on anyone, but  if you are going through this, keep your attitude checked in to God and his promises.  It changes your whole outlook on what is important.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Doing the Impossible

Daniel 2:10 - 12

10 The astrologers answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer. 11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”
 12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree was issued to put the wise men to death, and men were sent to look for Daniel and his friends to put them to death.

The demands placed on workers by unrelentless and selfish employers can sometimes get crazy!  Take King Nebuchadnezzar as an example.  He wants the wise men, magician, enchanter or astrologer to tell him what he dreamed without revealing any of it himself.  As most people would react, those around him, told him that it was impossible!  Of course, this made the king so angry he decided to put them all to death.  No one got a chance, no once was looked on any other way.  Unreasonable.  That's what I call it.  But that is the way of the boss, right?  I don't think it is always, but it does seem that sometimes the employer puts hard tasks on the employee.  In this day and age of downsizing-getting-more-work-for-less-time/pay, the crunch to do our best is always there, but sometimes hard to find.  But remember, Daniel was a level-headed young man who did not seem to let a lot of things excite him.

"...with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26b

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Failing to Succeed

Daniel 2:8-9

8 Then the king answered, “I am certain that you are trying to gain time, because you realize that this is what I have firmly decided: 9 If you do not tell me the dream, there is only one penalty for you. You have conspired to tell me misleading and wicked things, hoping the situation will change. So then, tell me the dream, and I will know that you can interpret it for me.”

To be in charge, you must be able to show the authority, be smart and able to lead.  King Nebuchadnezzar did all these.  He realized that the astrologers and wise men around him were trying to trick him.  He set a trap of sorts for them.  He wanted them to tell him what he dreamed.  If any of them could do that, then he would know that they could tell him the meaning.  

Knowing someone so well that you know what they are thinking is one thing, but to actually know about a very strange dream  they had is next to impossible.  I am not a huge risk taker.  I would not want to be in this predicament.  I am sure neither did the astrologers and wise men.  But Nebuchadnezzar was cunning and new how to get to people.  It makes you think that he really was setting people up to fail, with terrible consequences.  I always feel that people are already waiting for me to fail. Sometimes I do, sometimes I succeed.  But God wants us to rely on him and know that no matter what he will make all our successes or failures turn good for his glory.  Just trust him!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tell Me Your Dream

Daniel 2:5-7

The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and explain it, you will receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. So tell me the dream and interpret it for me.”

 7 Once more they replied, “Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”

Do you look at dreams as a gateway to the subconscious?  Do you think it may be a way of unlocking something you would rather not remember?  Do you think that God is trying to tell you something by giving you the dream? I think many people read way to much into things.  The media over-analyzes every syllable, every action, and every job people do or say.  But that is today.  In ancient times, God did send messages through prophets, seers, and everyday people.  So when Nebuchadnezzar had this dream, he wanted an answer.  But, he wanted the real meaning to the dream.  He was very specific with his request.  He made sure that those who wanted to "help" (and with that I mean impress the king), knew that if he wasn't satisfied, they would suffer.

That seems like a lot of pressure.  If the king doesn't like your answers you would be chopped up and your house destroyed.  But, if you gave a good answer, he would shower you with gifts and honor.  I think Nebuchadnezzar had and idea of what the dream meant, but wanted it confirmed.  I am not sure he really trusted his advisers.  But he was giving them a chance to be able to prove themselves to him.  And as you read, they were up to the challenge.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

Daniel 2:1-4

1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. 2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.[b]

Do you have dreams?  I usually do not remember any dreams I have.  Maybe I just don't sleep long enough.  But, King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed and they bothered him.  Dreams can make you crazy.  You can worry about what they mean, why you dreamed them and you wonder if God is trying to tell you something.  So when I get to heaven, I want to ask God why some people dream.

Anyway, Nebuchadnezzar was so disturbed by these dreams that he gathered his advisors.  If a dream bothers you that much, you should talk about it.  My kids tell me their strange dreams and I giggle at them because sometimes they are just crazy.  I have also been there for the nightmares.  Those can be awful.  I am sure that Nebuchadnezzar was worried about his night dreams.  But this time, God was giving Daniel an edge to get in good with the King, as we will see next time.  I hope this weekend you have sweet dreams!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Daniel 1:18-21

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
 21 And Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.

After three years of studying, teaching and being groomed for service in King Nebuchadnezzar's court, the young men that were stolen from their home finally came to the King and showed their stuff.  They were wise and showed understanding about everything they were asked and he thought them to be much better than the magicians and enchanters throughout his kingdom.    They did everything asked of them and impressed the king.  But, in doing so, they made enemies, the magicians.  Wouldn't it be upsetting to find out that these young men were essentially smarter and more impressive than your so-called magic?  What you dazzled on, is no longer amusing your king.  How would you feel?  First things first, you want to get the offenders out of the king's sight.  This is where the plot thickens.

Just know that these four young men are now known as Daniel, Shadrach, Meschah and Abednego.  Did you know that they were connected to Daniel? Lots of questions, not a lot of answers today.  But as we delve into the book of Daniel, lots will be answered.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Do You Trust God?

Daniel 1:17

 17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

God gives us everything.  These young men that were stolen from their native land and taken to Babylon were almost perfect.  They were from the royal family and nobility of the court.  King Nebuchadnezzar wanted those men to help him be his servants.  If you want someone to help you, why not pick those who know what it means to be in the presence of the king?  

God gave these young men the smarts and know-how to reading and literature.  They could carry on an intelligent conversation.  God gave extra talents to David.  David was a seer.  He could understand visions and dreams.  That was going to be helpful in times to come.  Even with all these talents, all the men could do was trust God.  They had no foresight of what was going to happen in the future.  All they could do is what we should do.  Trust a faithful God and know he will bring us to where he wants his glory to shine.  Can you do that?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Eat your Veggies!

Daniel 1:15-16

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

If there was ever an argument for eating your vegetables, this is it.  Daniel and the other young men who were captured by King Nebuchadnezzar, didn't want to eat the rich foods offered to them by the king.  They made the deal of eating just vegetables and relied on God to keep them healthy.  God blessed them and they looked better and were healthier than the men who ate the royal food.  How's that for telling your kids to eat their vegetables?

It makes me giggle.  I use to hate most vegetables.  My tastes have changed, and I like a lot more of them now, but I might have thought twice about it if someone had told me this story.  It seems silly, but to an eight year old, I'll bet eating is serious business.  God wants us at our best and eating healthy is a part of that.  Having a healthy body, helps with a healthy mind, and a healthy soul.  All three, when working together, provides us with the opportunities that we can't create when we are sick.  So, eat your vegetables and help your self stay healthy!