Bible in 365 Days – Day 93

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Focus Chapters:

  • Judges 9:22-57
  • Judges 10
  • Judges 11:1-28

 

Standout Verse(s):

Judges 11:1-8 NLT

Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.” So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him.

At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel. When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. The elders said, “Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!”

But Jephthah said to them, “Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?”

“Because we need you,” the elders replied. “If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead.”

 

Observation (s):

  1. Jephthah’s half-brothers drove him away out of greed.

    Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.”

  2. The tribe called Jephthah back into the fold because they needed his prowess.

    At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel.When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. The elders said, “Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!”

  3. In order for Jephthah to return, the tribe offered him something they knew that he desired; acceptance and a spot among them.

    But Jephthah said to them, “Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?”

    “Because we need you,” the elders replied. “If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead.”

     

Application:

We all have a strong desire to be accepted and belong. Jephthah’s half-brothers took that feeling of security from him in their attempts to cut him off from getting any of their father’s wealth. Shockingly, their tribe also seemed to side with the brothers. They did not need Jephthah. His presence restricted them, when everything was progressing smoothly, so they chased him away.

But there came a time when the tides changed. In the moments of light, they chased him away but in the moments of darkness, they sought and bribed him, using what they knew he desired most as bait. “Jephthah, come now! If you come now, we will accept you among us.”

The treatment of Jephthah is a stark correlation to the way we sometimes treat God. Oftentimes, we only want God for what He can do for us. When everything is going well, we chase God away because we feel restricted and that we don’t need Him. Then come the moments of trouble where we seek and try to bargain with and bribe Him. “God, if You do ______________, we will do ______________.” God’s presence should be constantly accepted in our lives. Don’t chase or push Him away in the good times and call upon Him in the bad. Maintain your relationship with God, all year round.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

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Bible in 365 Days – Day 24

Focus Chapters:

  • Job 19-21

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Job 19:13-20 NLT

“My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me. My servants and maids consider me a stranger. I am like a foreigner to them. When I call my servant, he doesn’t come; I have to plead with him! My breath is repulsive to my wife. I am rejected by my own family. Even young children despise me. When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me. My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me. I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Job’s life changed drastically. He went from being a rich healthy man, respected and accepted by his friends, workers, neighbors and family and relatives to someone who no one wanted to be around.

    Those I loved have turned against me. I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.

  2. Job’s situation was heightened by his rejection by everyone he loves. Satan’s strategy extends beyond just wounding us physically. He endeavors to make us feel isolated, lonely and unloved. This then gives him the opportunity to work on our minds and doubts of self-worth. Being rejected, despised and judged by all he loves would have been a bigger blow to Job that could have caused him to throw in the towel.
     

Application:

We are creatures who are created for companionships. From the early days of creation, God said that it was not good for man to be alone. Feeling alone and unloved is worse than physical pain because it affects you emotionally and mentally. This is a result that the devil is well aware of and is not afraid to exploit. This is a plot that we have to be cognizant of and refuse to contribute to.

Everyone around Job focused on his present circumstances and what it meant (Job must have sinned, God was punishing Job, etc.). Nobody considered what it meant to walk a mile in Job’s shoes. No one thought to consider what they would have needed if they had been in a similar position. Loving your neighbor as yourself means providing a safe space for companionship and acceptance that you know you need. This is something that Job’s friends and family forgot. You shouldn’t.

 

XOXO,
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 10

Focus Chapters:

  • Genesis 28:6-22
  • Genesis 29
  • Genesis 30:1-24

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Genesis 29:16-18, 22-23, 25-28, 30 NLT

Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.
So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her.
But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
“It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too.
So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.

THE REACTION

Genesis 29:31-35 NLT

When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”

She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.

Observation (s):

  1. Rachel was the love of Jacob’s life. Leah was considered the consolation prize. Leah was the daughter her father had to marry off first through deception. She was the means-to-an-end, the bride and wife her husband did not want and cast aside after a week of marriage to marry his first choice.

    But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied.
    A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah.

  2. At the birth of her first three sons, Leah’s focus was on gaining the love of her husband and nuetralizing the results of how her husband’s rejection made her feel. She went through the difficulty of birth, hoping the fruit she bore would change her husband’s feelings towards her.

    So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”

  3. Leah did not praise God for her blessings until her fourth child, Judah. This is when she shifted her focus from how she is feeling and pleasing her husband to thanking God. Her husband did not love her but she had children and God who did.

    Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.

Application:

I can relate to Leah. Not because I have a husband who doesn’t love me but because I have family and friends who don’t. It’s hurtful when you are rejected. It’s all-consuming when your focus is on gaining acceptance. Like Leah, I’ve gone through a lot of pain and sorrow to bear victories that I thought would please and make loved ones love and accept me. It is painful when your loved ones only perceive you in a way that doesn’t change no matter what you do. Leah’s first four sons were Jacob’s first four children but Jacob still could not love her or appreciate the tribulation that she went through to bear him these blessings.

In the midst of all that trying, I oftentimes forget to see and acknowledge the blessings that my victories represent. Consequently, I forgot God! I forgot to give Him praise. If only we would be wiser like Leah. Don’t wait until the fourth blessing to praise God. It is time that we stop focusing on achieving victories to gain worldly love and acceptance. Instead, let us gain victories and praise God!

XOXO,
Chañel

I Don’t Even Like Wine!

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I guess you can say that the cat is out of the bag with my post title, huh? I remember the first time I had wine…my initial thought was “who in heaven’s name would drink this horrible-tasting stuff?” Well, hello, it’s clear that I did for years… Fabulous toast to my idiocy…?

After my first experience, everytime I found myself in a social setting, I opted to fit in, be polite and have what everyone else was having. Before I realised it, it was considered my drink of choice and I found myself buying wine to relax after a long day at work. Despite this, my tastebuds protested everytime I decided to take a sip but I kept at it! While some were better than others, acquired taste is a myth (well except for coffee)! It was simply a long journey of taste after taste! Acquired taste, my ass! 😂

Well, one day I woke up! As I held a glass in my hand, I asked myself, “why the hell do you keep having this stuff when it’s obvious you don’t enjoy it…?” I had no answer.

I realized something though. I had developed this attitude towards quite a few things in my life. I did them for the sake of acceptance or just to fit in… Like the times I:

  1. Kept silent about something because everyone seemed to be on a different wavelength and I didn’t want to be the dissenting voice.
  2. No longer recognized myself but clung to the version of the person everyone expected me to be while I slowly felt like screaming inside.
  3. Refrained from saying no although I felt like I was constantly being taken advantage of.
  4. I refrained from voicing how I felt about the action of others because it offended others or resulted in argument that I couldn’t foster the energy to fight about.

All these are done at a cost to myself! These costs added up! Everytime I bit my tongue, I embraced another aspect of timidity and lost a piece of myself! Everytime I said yes when I wanted to say no, I lost the opportunity to do something I really wanted to do. Only to do something I had little desire. And everytime, I chose to cling to a older version of myself, my evolved self screamed a bit louder.

There has to be a tipping point though. I had to seriously ask myself: “How much of myself was I willing to forsake and sacrifice in order to fit in?” Mine took a while to come but when it did, I realized that there was no law that required my continuous agreement with everyone but myself. If I didn’t like something, I had the power to either accept it or walk away. I also realized that I didn’t have to be loud to be heard because my actions spoke volumes. The hardest part about coming to that conclusion was taking the first step. And even after the first step, it is still not easy when everytime you are faced with a situation where you are forced to make a decision about putting forward something the majority would agree with or putting a foot forward and being willing to say what I think and feel. It’s hard to consciously chose you!

Step by step. Day by day. I have decided to choose me. Be true to myself. Will you join me on my journey of truth?

XOXO,

Chañel.

The Epiphany of a Lifetime

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I must say that I had the epiphany of a lifetime yesterday. I mean, this is the kind of enlightenment that makes you want to cry and rejoice all at once. Man I don’t even know which one to do first. All I can say is that God is truly incredible!

Let’s get into the meat of the matter. If you have been following my blog for quite a while, you will remember how I was bitching from last year into a few months ago about a guy who had done some serious damage to my self-esteem and emotional stability. I haven’t been complaining about him lately because, this butterfly had been learning to fly again and enjoying life afresh.

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To A Dream Killed Dead

Despite everything, for years my secret self entertained the yearnings of finally communicating and working things out. Though my conscious self worked hard at looking ahead and moving forward, my subconscious self waited in bated hope, being a positivist and refusing to see the futility of waiting. How can two persons who clicked from the beginning be so far apart? I could not understand.

It is strange that it took death to understand. Death to accept. In your own way you do love me. In your own way you do love your mom yet your callousness made her cry and her cries were of how disappointed you, as the new head of the house, made her feel. If you can do that to her, why should I expect that you would do any different to me?

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