Season 3

Charge Me Up Lord

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2 Samuel 15:1-17:29
May the Lord show you his unfailing love and faithfulness. 2 Samuel 15:20
I don’t know about you but I could really use some of that today! My battery is drained and I could really use a charge from the Greatest positive force in the universe and beyond. How about you?

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Another Day Another Dollar

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2 Samuel 12:16-14:33
I actually had a really great day today. We even took a quick trip to Meijer where Sean found the bike of his dreams. I posted a picture of it here on Facebook. (I can’t seem to get it on here for some reason.)
I LOVE the look on his face! He was like a kid in a candy store!

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It’s Short but Here!

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2 Samuel 8:1-12:15

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Another New Book

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2 Samuel 3:26-7:29
OK, for any of you reading through the Bible in a year, we’re in the home stretch with less than a month left! 19 days to be exact! And I don’t know about you, but my 19 days are set to be packed!
I’ve got to tell you, I’m going to have to dig in deep to make it that far folks. You know how in the Olympics when the race is almost finished and you can see by your favorite runner’s face that they’re exhausted and they really have nothing left, so you cheer as loudly as you can to help them get across the finish line? I could really use that right now.
I am pouring almost everything I have into these kids, my own flesh and blood children and the ones at school and I’m left with little for spiritual blogging at the moment. Most days I simply don’t have the time because I’m working on homework for my classes. And the other days when I do have the time I don’t really have any inspiration, unless you want to hear about the lessons I’m planning for my classes. I’d love to tell you about my kiddos at school, but I think their privacy is more important than me sharing my joy with you.
I have gotten much satisfaction from working at the school with these kids who are AMAZING! The whole time I was working at Dollar General, it was nice and I had no real problems working there, but it wasn’t feeding my soul and I hated that about it. Here at the school my soul is overflowing with purpose and the satisfaction that comes from doing what God made me to do by using the talents that God bestowed on me. It’s frustrating and heart breaking and EXHAUSTING and I L O V E IT! I come home tired, but refreshed because I know that I made a difference today for them.
So while I love writing and blogging and I cherish you all to pieces, it’s hard for me to keep putting effort and time into something where I get no feedback. At school I can see their smiling faces telling me that what I’m doing is working. I don’t get that here. And for the last seven years talking to the brick wall of cyberspace has been OK because it’s fulfilled a need that I had. But now that I’m at the school, I’m not so sure that I’m going to be blogging through the Bible in a Year again.
Oh, I’ll still have the blog! But I’m acutally hoping to have my own classroom next year and I would be using the blog to keep in touch with students and parents. No real decisions have been made, and yet, in my heart I know that’s where things are headed. So I guess I’m giving you advance warning that things are going to be changing again around here. 😉  Perhaps you could consider this my three week notice that I’m… well I’m not quitting… actually I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to be doing to be completely honest. But I can feel it, things are going to be different… and yet blissfully the same as they always have been. Whatever that means, I have no idea! But isn’t that part of being a follower of Christ? We never know what exactly is going on, and yet we know that we can trust whatever comes next because it comes from the hand of the Father who loves us. Isn’t that amazingly comforting?
I can face tomorrow because I know who holds the future in His hands. Jesus. The One who died for me! And YOU!
It’s funny, I don’t know if any of you are feeling this way right now, but I feel like I’ve only got a few pages left in the book I’m living before the next volume begins. It’s not a new chapter, it’s a whole new book with a new title and new white hardbacked covers. I don’t know if God will let us see the Table of Contents or if He will keep those a secret, but I’m pretty sure this new book is going to be a good one!

Categories: 2 Samuel, 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sigh…

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1 Samuel 31:1-132 Samuel 1:1-3:25
It was a very long day yesterday. Forgive me for not getting this to you sooner.

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A Full Cross is Good News

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1 Samuel 26:1-30:31
This morning was a very exciting morning for my husband and I. We were blessed beyond measure to witness our close friend from Alpha class at church being baptised alongside his daughter! One by one their baptism class filed onto the stage heavily burdened with their sins freshly inked upon on paper. On their way to the water they passed the cross where they paused to pin their sins upon its strong uplifted arms. And then dipped their toes into the Water of Life that cleanses those sins and burdens and infuses the power of Jesus IN us. From the smallest (who couldn’t even been seen over the side of the pool) to the tallest, they each stepped into the stage with a burden much heavier than mere paper and yet as they walked soaking wet from the stage they felt lighter than air!
Jesus saves my friends!

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As I stared at the cross pinned full of sin and shame I marveled at how just one piece of paper (and the things it represents) is enough to weigh one of us down to the point of uselessness and impotence. And yet there it is, FULL of those papers and instead of being emptied of strength and significance, like we would be, it is more powerful, it’s MORE amazing, it’s MORE glorious than it was before our sins lay upon it! While our strength wanes with every addition of sin when those sins are pinned to THE cross of Christ His strength gains! There is NO amount of sin, shame, or human imperfection that could ever possibly drain the cross of its power. Ever!
Isn’t that GOOD NEWS!

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Oops I Did it Again!

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1 Samuel 23:1-25:44
Well, here I am again sitting in bed, Sean brushing his teeth and BAM! I remember I haven’t posted yet. I could feed you all kinds of excuses, but honestly why bother? Basically, I’m tired.
I’m tired of a lot of things. Things I could list and list and list, but it wouldn’t do either of us any good. So instead,  I’ll both lie down and sleep for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. I will be still, like a weaned child at its mother’s breast, and KNOW that You are God. MY God. Lord I thank You that YOU will fight for me I need only to be still. And that no matter what enemy army is charging toward me, YOU have the power to part the Sea behind me and allow me to pass through on DRY ground while my enemy’s wheels get clogged with mud. I know that once I am securely on the other side of this mess turned miracle You will close up that pass behind me swallowing up the enemy that once chased me so doggedly my entire life leaving me freer than I ever could’ve imagined!
YOU LORD, only You could do such a thing.
And do it all for me! Because You love me!
Thanks be to God!
Yes. I WILL lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

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Oops!

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1 Samuel 19:1-22:23
Sorry folks. I had a sick little girl home today and completely forgot about posting until just now as I was laying in bed and Sean was brushing his teeth. Good night friends. Sleep sweet and may your dreams be from God alone, in Jesus name.

Categories: 1 Samuel, 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

There’s a Fight in the Bathroom!

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1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
There was a fight in the boys restroom last week that I can’t seem to stop thinking about. When I found out that it was over a girl, I kid you not, my very first thought was, “What’s so amazing about her that they would fight over her?” Now I wasn’t thinking this in a sarcastic or derogatory way, I was genuinely curious! What was it about her that made it worth, not only getting punched in the nose to win the right to date her, but also taking the very obvious risk of getting suspended or expelled from school for fighting over her. What characteristic does she possess that makes her worth all that?
It was the talk of the school for the rest of that day, and it has even continued on for the beginning of this week. Everyone has their take on it, especially the girls. Yet NONE of them have voiced any of the questions that are deep within my heart. Mainly, what does it feel like to have two boys fighting for the right to have you? Is she insulted that they’re treating her like a possession? Is she a little impressed by everything that they risked in order to duke it out over her? What does it feel like to have two people like you to the point of battling over you?
There’s got to be at least one of you out there that can agree with me in the romance of this right? Because I honestly can’t stop thinking about it. What is it that makes her so special that she worth spilling blood on the bathroom floor for? And they did by the way.  
Sure, this girl is beautiful inside and out and has a smile that could slay dragons but is that all? Is there more? This inquiring mind wants to know!
Then yesterday on the 2 minute ride home from school a new aspect of this scenario hit me in the nose when the Holy Spirit whispered in my soul, “I fight for your love every single day of your life. I fight for it in the bathroom mirror, I fight for it at work, in the bedroom, in the living room, in the kitchen, in the classroom, in the hallways, in the streets, in the office, you name the place and the time and I’m there fighting for you. I fight for your honor, for your respect, for your love and attention and trust. I fight for you against foes that you’ve never seen yet you know them all too intimately. Here you’ve been filling your brain with thoughts of what it would be like to have your man fight for you, when all the while I have been! Satan and I meet daily in the depths of secret to battle over your head and who will get to speak over it today. (He never really wins, although sometimes I let him think that he does.)
Every day my darling.
Everyday there are battles fought over you and your love.”

You know He’s not just talking to me right? That’s you too! You have a Savior who fights for YOU daily! He loves you enough to risk everything to have your love and attention directed towards Him.

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Tamar’s 10 in ’15 Book Challenge – Not a Fan

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1 Samuel 12:1-14:52

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Well, I’m posting this a little early this month, mostly because I have homework to work on this week. But I’m also posting this early because I am on chapter 8 of 14 and I can tell you that thus far, I’m not a fan of Not a Fan. While I completely agree with almost all his scripture and his entire premise for his book, I don’t agree with the way he’s going about doing it. For a follower like me who is so head over heels in love with her Savior that I am constantly plauged with worry that I’m not “doing” enough; that I’m not enough for Him, this has not been a good book for me to read. Well, OK, it has been, but only to test my ability to take everything with a grain of salt and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and actions and to remind me that is NOT about me.
I’m not sure if you’ve been able to tell over the last week by my posts, but I have really been struggling with old demons through this book! Everything religious in me has come back and tormented me in it. In fact, it might even be the kind of book I would have written before I experienced the GREAT power of the freeing love of Jesus. And yet, I have experienced it. I now KNOW what it’s like to be loved with such a ferocity that it washes away all sin. I know what it’s like to be loved with such tenderness that it soothes ancient wounds that run soul deep. I KNOW what it’s like to be loved to the point that it compells me to do what is right and good and just. I KNOW what it’s like to be loved by Jesus and not condemned by Him.
In the beginning of his book Kyle Inman criticizes those who offer Christ without fully detailing the cost of following Him. And to a certain extent I agree with him. But really, if we’re honest with ourselves we all know that there are consequences to every decision in life, good and bad. Inman is right, over and over in the New Testament Jesus tells people the cost of following Him and they turn away from Him. But, I think anyone who has experienced what I have would agree that at no point were the costs of following Jesus weightier than the benefits!
Sure it’s not easy being a Christian, it never has been and it never will be! But, NEWS FLASH, life isn’t easy either! I mean seriously, at what point has anyone ever said, “Gee! I sure am glad that this natural disaster happened and killed thousands of people including my family.” There are days when life is hard and it hurts and it’s not fun and people are mean and you just want to give up. EVERYBODY has those days, Christian and non-Christians. The real difference in life comes for those who believe in Christ. For those who believe, yes there will be trouble in this world, BUT we can take heart because Jesus has overcome this world and so can we!
My friends, rain falls on the just and the un-just alike. The real difference lies in the Truth that the just have the hope of becoming dry again while the un-just don’t. Life is hard and it hurts, but those of us who believe in Christ and profess that belief have a helmet of salvation & the sheild of His faithfulness to protect us against those blows. What’s more, we not only have things to protect us, we have a sword of the Spirit to defend ourselves as well! Yes, in this world we will have trouble, but we too can overcome that trouble with the TRUTH! Jesus loves us!
Jesus loves YOU! You are a beloved Child of God if you choose to believe in His Son. Yes, there are consequences of following Him, there will people who won’t like you simply because you’re a Christian. That’s OK, not everyone is going to love you anyway. And there are plenty more people out there who will LOVE you simply because you’re their new brother or sister in Christ. And really, what’s more important than having someone who will ALWAYS be there for you when the going gets really tough? Jesus promises to do that, and He has always held up His end of that bargain with me. ALWAYS. There isn’t enough tea in China for me to give that one thing up. If I had to give up all the other benefits of Christ, I could, but my relationship with Him? No way! That guy has pulled me out of more sticky situations than I can count! And I’m not referring to the physical ones, those He usually leaves me in to learn my lessons. I mean the sticky spiritual situations where the powers and principalities of this world are dragging me down the drain and often causing me to throw the baby out with the bathwater!
Love is more powerful than fear. Love casts out fear. And it is not possible for fear to pull in love. Yet that is the very tactic that Not a Fan uses to try to inform people of a relationship with Jesus. So while the scriptures and the premise in his book are Biblically sound, this is not a book that I can recommend to you to read. This girl is not a fan of Not a Fan.

Now, if you recall, when I first announced this Book Challenge I told you that there would be a reward for everyone who participated. Today is when you get to participate! 😀 Simply leave a comment below letting me know that you read the book, feel free to comment on how you felt about it, or if it taught you anything. For everyone who participates this month you will receive the free e-book of the month Dandelion Season! 😀 So comment below and I’ll email you a copy of your very own! 😀

If you read all ten books with me and comment on each 10 in ’15 Book Challenge post, you will receive one SIGNED book of your choice from the “Books” tab on TamarKnochel.com for FREE! So keep reading my friends! Let’s grow together! 😀

*Note: if you read this book with me, were traumatized and need an antidote, may I suggest either Dandelion Season, The Pink Polka Dot Kitty,  or better yet, BOTH!*

Categories: 1 Samuel, 365 Life, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 3 Comments

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