I can’t really remember a time in my life that I didn’t have God and Jesus in it. I am a 4th generation Christian and from my beginnings, my home was filled with prayer, worship, going to church, VBS, church school and…well, Jesus.
Of course, there were times when I wandered and didn’t really want to think about Jesus. I wanted to do my own thing and not think about the consequences, but even through those times, He would never leave me.
Something that continues to astound me is how God rushes ahead of me and sets things up for my best interest before I even know I need it. Years ago, I was encouraged by a new friend to come work at her company as a CNT doing home health. “What’s that?” I asked. Well, before you know it, I had “on the job trained” to be a Certified Nurse Technician. My two girls were 3 and 6 and I really didn’t want an “outside the home” job, but I did the job PRN (per as needed) for 1 year. Many times I thought, “I don’t know why I’m really doing this, I don’t really want to be working outside the home while having little children,” but I did enjoy the work, my patients, and the little extra money I made.
A year later, my husband, Todd, entered a Masters program that entailed us moving from Utah to Tennessee and because of the difficulty of the program, was told he could not have a job and do the program at the same time. I needed to get a job!
I was astounded by what I saw when we drove up to Todd’s school the first time and the building right next to it was “Sunbelt Home Health.” I quickly applied for a job for which required 1 year experience ….Hmm, God knew I would need that. They supplied a car to drive around to my patients and encouraged me to use for personal use as well…that saved us money. We got VERY cheap health insurance…definitely needed that for our little family. I was able to set my own schedule and could get my girls to school, go to their little programs and pick them up from school. I know I couldn’t have set things up so perfectly for myself. Thank God!
Psalm 103 says, God makes everything come out right: God is Mercy and Grace: He knows us inside and out…making everything right for us and our children as we follow his Covenant ways.
So...I continue to sing, “O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his Holy Name! Oh my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing!” Ps 103 (the Message Bible)
and her husband, Todd, were longtime members of Hood View church and still consider themselves family even though they moved away a year and a half ago. She loves traveling in many forms: motorcycle, car, cruise and sometimes even bicycle. Spending time with family and friends is a favorite!
2 Kings 8
The King Restores the Shunammite’s Land
1 Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and dwelt in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3 It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land. 4 Then the king talked with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me, please, all the great things Elisha has done.” 5 Now it happened, as he was telling the king how he had restored the dead to life, that there was the woman whose son he had restored to life, appealing to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him.
So the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now.”
Death of Ben-Hadad
7 Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” 8 And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ” 9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ”
10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the Lord has shown me that he will really die.” 11 Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?”
He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”
13 So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?”
And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.” 15 But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
Jehoram Reigns in Judah
16 Now in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoshaphat having been king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king of Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.
20 In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves. 21 So Joram went to Zair, and all his chariots with him. Then he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots; and the troops fled to their tents. 22 Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day. And Libnah revolted at that time.
23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 24 So Joram rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.
Ahaziah Reigns in Judah
25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel. 27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab, for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab.
28 Now he went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 Then King Joram went back to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
2 Kings 9
Jehu Anointed King of Israel
1 And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, “Get yourself ready, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 Now when you arrive at that place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take him to an inner room. 3 Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” ’ Then open the door and flee, and do not delay.”
4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 And when he arrived, there were the captains of the army sitting; and he said, “I have a message for you, Commander.”
Jehu said, “For which one of us?”
And he said, “For you, Commander.” 6 Then he arose and went into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7 You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free. 9 So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’ ” And he opened the door and fled.
11 Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?”
And he said to them, “You know the man and his babble.”
12 And they said, “A lie! Tell us now.”
So he said, “Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” ’ ”
13 Then each man hastened to take his garment and put it under him on the top of the steps; and they blew trumpets, saying, “Jehu is king!”
Joram of Israel Killed
14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had been defending Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, against Hazael king of Syria. 15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, “If you are so minded, let no one leave or escape from the city to go and tell it in Jezreel.” 16 So Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was laid up there; and Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.
17 Now a watchman stood on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company of men.”
And Joram said, “Get a horseman and send him to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’ ”
18 So the horseman went to meet him, and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’ ”
And Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? Turn around and follow me.”
So the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger went to them, but is not coming back.”
19 Then he sent out a second horseman who came to them, and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’ ”
And Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn around and follow me.”
20 So the watchman reported, saying, “He went up to them and is not coming back; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously!”
21 Then Joram said, “Make ready.” And his chariot was made ready. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot; and they went out to meet Jehu, and met him on the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 Now it happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?”
So he answered, “What peace, as long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft are so many?”
23 Then Joram turned around and fled, and said to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!” 24 Now Jehu drew his bow with full strength and shot Jehoram between his arms; and the arrow came out at his heart, and he sank down in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, “Pick him up, and throw him into the tract of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember, when you and I were riding together behind Ahab his father, that the Lord laid this burden upon him: 26 ‘Surely I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will repay you in this plot,’ says the Lord. Now therefore, take and throw him on the plot of ground, according to the word of the Lord.”
Ahaziah of Judah Killed
27 But when Ahaziah king of Judah saw this, he fled by the road to Beth Haggan. So Jehu pursued him, and said, “Shoot him also in the chariot.” And they shot him at the Ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28 And his servants carried him in the chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the City of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king over Judah.
Jezebel’s Violent Death
30 Now when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window. 31 Then, as Jehu entered at the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?”
32 And he looked up at the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” So two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 Then he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses; and he trampled her underfoot. 34 And when he had gone in, he ate and drank. Then he said, “Go now, see to this accursed woman, and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35 So they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they came back and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, in the plot at Jezreel, so that they shall not say, “Here lies Jezebel.” ’ ”
2 Kings 10
Ahab’s Seventy Sons Killed
1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote and sent letters to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to those who reared Ahab’s sons, saying:
2 Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and weapons, 3 choose the best qualified of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, “Look, two kings could not stand up to him; how then can we stand?” 5 And he who was in charge of the house, and he who was in charge of the city, the elders also, and those who reared the sons, sent to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, we will do all you tell us; but we will not make anyone king. Do what is good in your sight.” 6 Then he wrote a second letter to them, saying:
If you are for me and will obey my voice, take the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.
Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them. 7 So it was, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons and slaughtered seventy persons, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel.
8 Then a messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.”
And he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”
9 So it was, in the morning, that he went out and stood, and said to all the people, “You are righteous. Indeed I conspired against my master and killed him; but who killed all these? 10 Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of the Lord which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the Lord has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
Ahaziah’s Forty-two Brothers Killed
12 And he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way, at Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, “Who are you?”
So they answered, “We are the brothers of Ahaziah; we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”
14 And he said, “Take them alive!” So they took them alive, and killed them at the well of Beth Eked, forty-two men; and he left none of them.
The Rest of Ahab’s Family Killed
15 Now when he departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab, coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?”
And Jehonadab answered, “It is.”
Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot. 16 Then he said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” So they had him ride in his chariot. 17 And when he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to Elijah.
Worshipers of Baal Killed
18 Then Jehu gathered all the people together, and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now therefore, call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of destroying the worshipers of Baal. 20 And Jehu said, “Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then Jehu sent throughout all Israel; and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. So they came into the temple of Baal, and the temple of Baal was full from one end to the other. 22 And he said to the one in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out vestments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out vestments for them. 23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that no servants of the Lord are here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24 So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed for himself eighty men on the outside, and had said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escapes, whoever lets him escape, it shall be his life for the life of the other.”
25 Now it happened, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “Go in and kill them; let no one come out!” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; then the guards and the officers threw them out, and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 And they brought the sacred pillars out of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27 Then they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump to this day. 28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.
29 However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that wereat Bethel and Dan. 30 And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.
Death of Jehu
32 In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel; and Hazael conquered them in all the territory of Israel 33 from the Jordan eastward: all the land of Gilead—Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh—from Aroer, which isby the River Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 35 So Jehu rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36 And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
2 Kings 11
Athaliah Reigns in Judah
1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the Lord for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
Joash Crowned King of Judah
4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds—of the bodyguards and the escorts—and brought them into the house of the Lord to him. And he made a covenant with them and took an oath from them in the house of the Lord, and showed them the king’s son. 5 Then he commanded them, saying, “This is what you shall do: One-third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath shall be keeping watch over the king’s house, 6 one-third shall be at the gate of Sur, and one-third at the gate behind the escorts. You shall keep the watch of the house, lest it be broken down. 7 The two contingents of you who go off duty on the Sabbath shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord for the king. 8 But you shall surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes within range, let him be put to death. You are to be with the king as he goes out and as he comes in.”
9 So the captains of the hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each of them took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 And the priest gave the captains of hundreds the spears and shields which had belonged to King David, that were in the temple of the Lord. 11 Then the escorts stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, all around the king, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, by the altar and the house. 12 And he brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony; they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”
Death of Athaliah
13 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the escorts and the people, she came to the people in the temple of the Lord. 14 When she looked, there was the king standing by a pillar according to custom; and the leaders and the trumpeters were by the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. So Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason! Treason!”
15 And Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the army, and said to them, “Take her outside under guard, and slay with the sword whoever follows her.” For the priest had said, “Do not let her be killed in the house of the Lord.” 16 So they seized her; and she went by way of the horses’ entrance into the king’s house, and there she was killed.
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, that they should be the Lord’s people, and also between the king and the people. 18 And all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord. 19 Then he took the captains of hundreds, the bodyguards, the escorts, and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, and went by way of the gate of the escorts to the king’s house. Then he sat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah with the sword in the king’s house. 21 Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.
Praise for the Lord’s Mercies
A Psalm of David.
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!