Not One

Joshua 22:30-24:33 & Jude

“Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:43-45

I don’t know if you’ve ever received a promise from the LORD, but I have and I can tell you that God’s promises aren’t small. He’s not a small God with small dreams for us. He’s not a God that thinks small things towards us, He has BIG dreams, BIG thoughts and BIG hopes for us… which makes them all the harder for us to believe Him for them because to us they’re impossible. They are totally and completely unattainable on our own, which is exactly why God dreams them for us, because He wants us to accomplish them WITH Him.

I have always loved dogs. When I was in elementary school my best friend had a little chestnut Dachshund. She was the spunkiest, cutest little thing I had ever seen and I wanted one desperately. I grew up, got married and immediately started hounding my husband to get a dog… we got a cat. Fast forward another 11 years and two cats later (the first one died) and I was still begging my husband for a dog. One day we were in Tractor Supply Company looking for something for my dear hubby and it just happened to be one of their pet days, where they host animals from a local shelter and you can adopt them. There was this beautiful pit bull named Rumpke. They named him that because he was found next to a Rumpke dumpster. He and his foster person were just walking through the store and he walked right up to us. The look in his eyes absolutely broke my heart, he wanted a home, and I wanted to give it to him. As Rumpke and his person left, the kids and I immediately turned on my husband with our own puppy dog eyes and pleaded to take Rumpke home with us. He was a rock, “No”. I gotta give him credit, he never budged and that had to be really really hard for him because he’s a great dad and husband and loves to spoil us. I will be completely honest and tell you that I went home and prayed and sobbed over that dog for weeks. Literally, for weeks! I prayed and prayed and prayed for Rumpke. I even went so far as to pray that he would run away from the foster home and come find us… if it be God’s will for us to have him of course. But day after day, there was no Rumpke on my front porch. The other thing I prayed during that time was for my Isaac dog. Sarah’s son Isaac was the child of promise, I wanted my dog of promise; the PERFECT dog for our family. And I thought I knew what that was, except I’m not God. So as I prayed and prayed for Rumpke, each time I would end with, “but LORD, if he’s not my Isaac dog, then I don’t want him.” And I really did mean it.

About a year later I caught the dog fever again, but it was different this time. I can’t explain how it was different; all I can say is that it was just different. I started surfing PetFinder.com, but not for just any dog I was looking for my Dachshund. I spent hours over months looking for just the right dog, at just the right price from just the right place. Maybe that’s how it was different this time, I could just feel God’s Spirit leading me. If you’re not used to that feeling, then there’s no way that you can understand what I mean when I say that, but there’s just this feeling in your gut when you just know something is right. Some say it is women’s intuition, but I’ve learned it’s the Holy Spirit moving within me, leading me in the way that I should go. Anyway, the day came when I searched PetFinder and saw this precious miniature Dachshund named Luigi. It was his name that caught my attention first because at the time my son was playing Mario Kart ALL the time! The second thing that caught my attention with Luigi was his picture, he was licking his nose! It was such a silly pose that it made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it and I loved him instantly. Although he was a little farther away than I wanted to drive, it was only an hour. I made some phone calls and a LOT of prayer and we ended up bringing him home. He was so malnourished that all the fur had fallen off his ears and he was beginning to even lose the fur on his tail! L He needed love and food, fast! I’ll never forget the day I brought him home. He had just had his surgery when I picked him up from the vet, he was still shaky and sleepy so I had to hold him in my lap all the way home (oh darn). I brought him into our house and he tried to stand up and walk, but still couldn’t. His legs were so wobbly he almost fell down several times! The kids were due to get off the bus in about thirty minutes, the dog and I had both had a huge day, so I scooped him up, lay down on the couch and he curled up on my chest. His poor little skinny naked body shivered from cold and probably a little anxiety from all the drastic changes he had just undergone, but I think part of him knew that I loved him because he snuggled his little black and brown head up under mine. For half an hour I just lay there petting him trying to get him to stop shivering.

Before we brought him home we discussed his name. We all liked Luigi, quite a bit in fact, except we were giving him a new home and a new life so didn’t that warrant a new name as well? We thought so. Oh the names that we came up with, but the one we liked the best, the one that fit the best, was the name that my husband chose; Skippy. You see we have a story in our family that my great grandma Tyra had a dog named Skippy… a very spoiled dog. We’ll just say he was quite “plump”. And one day my great grandpa came into the kitchen and started giving grandma a hard time about always spoiling the dog and giving him food he shouldn’t have. The next thing you know grandpa turns around and says “Here Skippy, have some bacon”. Yeah, GRANDMA is the one spoiling the dog… sure grandpa! To this day whenever someone in our family is making bacon the Skippy story usually gets told.

So here we are adopting this dog that is literally skin and bones and barely anything else and what he needs more than anything is love and some bacon. What better name than Skippy? A name that means “spoiled”. He came from a home where they couldn’t feed and provide for him the way that he needed, he was so socially inept that it has taken many hours of training to get him able to function in a town full of other dogs. And yet I doubt that he remembers much of those five years in his life because all day every day he is reminded, by his name and full food bowl, that he is no longer in that place anymore.

In our reading today I was overwhelmed by how many times the word pastureland was used. I couldn’t help but think of the twenty-third Psalm while I was reading it.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

This week’s reading has been so wonderful in that it is all about entering into a new place. Entering into a new land, the land that God had promised them generations earlier. The reading this week has been about promises being fulfilled and God showing His people, not just His provision and protection but also His amazing grace and faithfulness. These Israelites that were fighting these battles throughout the promised land had never tasted the food of Egypt, they had never felt the taskmaster’s whip flicking their skin and tearing through it, they had only ever known the provision of God in the wilderness. They had only ever heard of what a life of slavery was like, never having experienced it themselves. Neither had they experienced the amazing abundance and goodness of the Promised Land and everything that it held within its bosom. Then one fateful day, they up and move out of the wilderness and across the Jordan. When they get to the other side, like Skippy, they undergo a bit of surgery; they shed some blood in preparation of entering their new forever home. And then the battles start, and one by one by one each and EVERY enemy is defeated; they all go home and REST from the war. It has been won. And as they each settle into their lounge chairs at the end of the day they sigh at the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living because not ONE word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed. Not… one.

This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Jude, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Week 2 Video Guide

Handprints of God

Pictures of God’s faithfulness:

-The Good Shepherd

-He called them to b______.

-“I have shown you many g______ w______ from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone Me?” John 10:32

-“If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, b______ the w______.” John 10:37-38


-“I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a s______ of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13

-God has given us something p______ that we can look to and we can touch and see them and k______ and r______ that God has made a promise.

-He is faithful and good and just and He w___ do what He says He will do.

-God gave Noah a picture of His promise, the r______.


-God gave Abram a picture of His promise, the s____.

-John 10:17-18 “I lay down My life that I may take it up again. N__ o__ takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have a______ to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”

-The two identical ingredients in the four gospel “casseroles” are:

1) Cried out loudly

Matthew:     Krazo – Raven’s piercing cry. Cry out loudly with i______ sounds that express deep emotion.

2) Gave up His Spirit

Mark:     Ekpneo – To G______ up the G______.

Ek – Out from and to. Out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object. A separation from something with which there has been close connection.

John:     Paradidomi – from para & didomi, properly means to give (turn over); hand over from, as in to deliver over with a sense of close personal involvement.

Para – an emphatic “from”, means “from close beside“. It stresses nearness. Para implies an intimate participation.

-God is with us, no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter what is going on in life, God is w______ u__. He gave us His Holy Spirit to remind us of the promise of H___ l______ for us.

-He is so f______!

-Isaiah 41:8-13

-We need to imagine b___!

After the Video:

-Jesus called His Disciples to believe and He calls us to the same thing. What is He calling you to believe Him in/for right now? (There’s always something.)

-“Tell us plainly” – how many times do you wish that God would just speak plainly to you??? Does God ever answer your questions… but not the way that you want Him to?

-Compare the definition of the Greek word Krazo with Romans 8:26, what do you think? Cool right?

-If we need to be imagining big, what is the biggest thing that you could imagine?

Categories: 365 Life, Joshua, Jude, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Running

Joshua 23:1Jude

Word of the Day: “Be very strong… &… cling to the LORD your God” 23:6 & 8

I’m going to be honest; I’m on the verge of losing it right now. There are some things in life that God calls us to that just aren’t easy and all you want to do is run as far away from them as you can… the story of Jonah comes to mind. Running away didn’t work so well for him so I’m going to guess it won’t for me either. God has whales in all kinds of shapes and sizes and He knows how to use them to effectively bring His runaways back around to where He wants them to be.

The saddest part of it all is that the very thing I want to run from is most likely the very thing that God is planning to use to deliver me to the place He wants me to be. It’s one of those things that I can feel in my gut that it’s right… but it’s hard to tell because at the same time the butterflies in my stomach are flapping their little wings ragged right now!

And then here is today’s reading, always perfectly timed, and all about clinging to God and reminding us of His faithfulness in the past. Because after all, He is “the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever.” Jude 25

And we “have seen all that the LORD [our] God has done to all these nations for [our] sake, for it is the LORD [our] God who has fought for [us].” Joshua 23:3 So we’ve got to be strong and do it! We’ve got to do those hard things that God calls us to do. We’ve got to stand up and fight for Him, with Him, through Him! Why? Because, “as for [us], no man has been able to stand before [us] to this day. One man of [us] puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD [our] God who fights for [us], just as He promised you.” Joshua 23:9-10 God has promised to fight for us, did you catch that? He has promised to fight for you, in whatever way you need fought for, He fights for you.

We can’t forget that “not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” (Joshua 23:14) Not one.

Categories: 365 Life, Joshua, Jude, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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