Thursday, January 31, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 29 through 32

(This reading was done on 1/30/2013; published on 1/31/2013)
Hello my fellow Internites and before I lay my head down for the night I will post my studies for the day.  I hope you will find this as enlightening as I have.  I do have to start off with a huge blunder I made yesterday with regards to the chapters.

Yesterday  reading was supposed to entail Exodus Chapters 24 through 28.  Unfortunately I had over read into 29 and incorporated that description into what was Chapter 28.  I have corrected it and will include the little bit about Chapter 29.  Again, I'm sorry about that, I have corrected the information.

So again today I started with a prayer for understanding about what I was about to read and to help me pull the gems of my everyday life out so that I could more understand the bible itself.

Chapter 29 (This was erroneously entered as Chapter 28 from yesterday's writing)
This chapter dealt specifically with the armor that Aaron was to wear and how exactly to make it. Again, very instructional, but nothing really specific on every day life.

Chapter 30
This chapter deals specifically with the altar that is to be made for the incense before the veil of the tabernacle.  Again, the exacting detail is more then we have seen in the bible save this entire section.  To me this all feels specific.  Why would this be left in the bible itself and take up so many chapters?  Because we need to know this information.  Everything in the Bible is there for a reason, why would it help us day-to-day, I do not know, but it was left in for a specific purpose.

Chapter 31: 14-15
14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is‍ holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any‍ work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is‍ the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any‍ work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
 
This is something I firmly believe in now.  I think that we have all traveled far enough away from God that this is something simple that can be done to get us back on the right path.  Sunday should be a day consecrated and used to help serve the Lord.  For me it includes going to church and spending time with my family.  I will also be taking up other church books to read during these days to help fully immerse myself into this Sabbath day.
 
Another thing that I have found is that God will not repeat himself without a reason.  In both of these verses he includes the same dour consequence for not keeping the Sabbath holy; death.  Now I am refinding myself in a spiritual manner, but I want to work for the Lord now, I want to do right by God, and this is one of his basic commandments.  Everyone who is a religious or spiritual person should be looking at this as something they can do.
 
Chapter 32: 10-14

10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
11 And Moses besought the Lord‍ his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it‍ for ever.
14 And the Lord‍ repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
 
Usually I do not print out this much scripture I just break it down for you but I think there is something here and I think that it needs to be said.
 
I will admit, I am not a Biblical scholar, I don't know if I ever will be, but from what I have read I think that God is quick to anger.  Now, this could be taken a couple different ways before those who have studied start to berate me.  With Noah and the ark it did take years of sin to finally make God break, but when he did his anger was quick and decisive.  He saw the sin on the earth and said, that's it, build an ark, I'm killing everyone.
 
In this passage God finds out that the children of Israel are all worshiping a golden calf.  This anger comes quicker because he is there in the midst of it, and the same angry judgement comes.  That's it, they're sinning egregiously, I'm going to kill all of them and just make you a great nation Moses.  But here it was Moses who literally talked God out of smiting everyone.
 
The reason I included this is because of my message yesterday.  All this time, all these sins that are being committed, how many times has someone stopped God from raining judgement down upon us.  We know it's coming, something has to break, but how many times has the hand of judgment been coming down only to be stopped by someone asking for a little more time.  I shudder to know to be honest. 

(Reading for 2/1/13 - Exodus: 33-36  - will be posted 2/2/2013)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 24 through 28

(This reading was done on 1/29/2013; published on 1/30/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and welcome back to my blog.  I have to say that tonight, it will be short.  While I found the reading informative, I could not find anything to use in my everyday life.

I started off, as always, with a prayer for understanding and a thankfulness for teaching me as much as God has while reading the scriptures.

So I started my reading and realized, very quickly that these chapters were very instructional.  While it was informative, I was not able to glimmer any of the information for use in my daily life.

Chapter 24
This chapter deals specifically with the children of Israel acknowledging the covenants that was made from the mount and their full acceptance.  After Moses sprinkles some blood of an offering on the people of Israel the covenant is sealed and Moses receives the stone tablets with the commandments on them.

Chapters 25-28
These chapters are interesting in the specific nature of them.  These are the instructions on building the ark of testimony upon the Mount.  It is very, very specific on the measurements and what all needs to be done to create the tabernacle itself.  This is not the first time we have seen specifics on how God wanted something built but this is the most extensive instructions that were given.  Even down to how many loops were to be put in the cloth that hangs as curtains.

I am sorry I do not have more then that, I do want to say thank you to all my faithful readers.  We are up to 203 pageviews, which is pretty big news for me.  I have a special gift that I will be giving my readers when I hit 500 so tell your friends and families and anyone else who you think could benefit from my ramblings and pass the message on.

Thank you all again for your continued support.

(Reading for 1/30/13 - Exodus: 29-32  - will be posted 1/31/2013)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 19 through 23

(This reading was done on 1/28/2013; published on 1/29/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and I am sorry to say that tonight's study will be kind of bland.  While these passages are very powerful and they do contain the 10 commandments a lot of the rest of the reading is God's law to the children of Israel.  As hard as I tried nothing really stood out for me to add to my studies.  I do have a few thoughts and I will present them later but besides that nothing too much that I feel I can use in my every day life.

So today, as always, I started with a prayer of both understanding and thanking the Lord for the information he has given me over these past days.  It has been tremendous, the information that I have learned over this time and I wanted Him to know that.

Chapter 19: 4-6
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how‍ I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey‍ my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure‍ unto me above all people: for all the earth is‍ mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom‍ of priests, and an holy nation. These are‍ the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

 I do love this passage here.  The imagery that goes along with it is very powerful to me.  My favorite part of all of it is the line "I bare you on eagles' wings," what could be more comforting then that.  That imagery presents freedom and flight with no worry or care.

Another reason that this means so much to me is that while my inactivity has been a sore spot in my life, I just received a copy of my Patriarchal Blessing and there is a line in there that says "I bless you Michael that you might recognize that you are, indeed, of the House of Israel."  I know that if I can keep the covenants of God then I can be that peculiar treasure that he speaks of. 

Chapter 20
The 10 Commandments given to Moses that are the rules of life, in general, as we should obey them.  It scares me though how often these commandments are not followed.  Everyday there is something new in the news where more and more people are skimming away from the commandments that they should be keeping always.  These are powerful scriptures and the only way that I could include them would be to copy the whole chapter itself and that would kind of defeat the purpose as to why I am doing this.  If nothing else is gathered from you in these readings, the focus should be looking at this chapter and the next few as well.

Chapters 21-23
The rest of these chapters are rules that God has set up for the children of Israel to follow and the punishments that should be meted out if these rules are broken.  Again, I would have to copy and paste the whole of each chapter to my blog and that is not really the point.  I would encourage you to read and re-read these chapters and look at our world today.

I have a fear that we are in the end times, I am not a doomsday prophet or a conspiracy theory nut job.  I am just a reader and watcher.  I look at this world and how far apart we have traveled from God and wonder how soon will it be before he has finally had enough.  These rules are basic and simple, but for some reason these rules are broken nearly everyday, sometimes by those men and women who claim to be the most righteous.  How long do we have?  No one knows for sure but something will break and I fear it will happen sooner, rather then later, unless we put our faith and trust into God again.

I do not mean to finish this message on a down note, so I won't.  I will add a cute picture that can be interpreted as us being held by our Heavenly Father when we are scared and afraid.



(Reading for 1/29/13 - Exodus: 24-28  - will be posted 1/30/2013)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 13 through 18

(This reading was done on 1/27/2013; published on 1/28/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and welcome back to my little corner of the Internet.  Here you will find my personal journal that I post on what I have read and studied within my scriptures.  Please feel free to comment at will, I do have it set up that I have to approve them, but I will only not approve hateful comments.

As always, I pray to begin my readings.  I ask for God to help me understand what it is that I am reading and to help find gems that I can use within my own life.

Just as a side note, even though I may not comment on a certain scripture does NOT mean that it did not hold something special to me.  The scriptures that I post in here have a special meaning to me.  They speak to me in my every day life, not just my spiritual life.  For some reason I was compelled to say that because I know some people may be wondering why I do not put in this scripture or that scripture.  It is not because it doesn't mean anything to me, it just doesn't mean what others do.

So with all that rigamarole out of the way, let's get started...shall we?

Exodus 14: 14
14 The Lord‍ shall fight‍ for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

This scripture takes place as the Israelites are fleeing from Egypt.  The Lord promised that they shall see salvation from slavery.  These words echoed to me as I read them.  Something powerful is held within that simple statement.  I love this because it says that even as I stand at ease that God will fight for me.  I do not necessarily have to raise my own fists, especially if I follow the Lord and walk in his footsteps.  This message itself means something to me.  I have never been a fighter myself, but I feel so much more powerful knowing that I have someone that much more powerful on my side.

Exodus 14: 21-22
21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused‍ the sea‍ to go back‍ by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land,‍ and the waters‍ were divided.
22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground:‍ and the waters were‍ a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

One of the most powerful miracles in the bible.  Moses, by the will of God, stretched out his hands and parted the sea that held the ultimate salvation of the Israelites.  This was such a major turning point with the bible and never would have been possible without the righteous leaders that the Israelites had in Moses and Aaron.  This imagery I have seen in movies, of course, but it always makes me wonder what it must have been like for those walking between those walls of water.  How scared they must have been but how exhilirating in the knowledge that God had saved them.  These kind of passages really paint a wonderous picture for me when I read them.

Exodus 15: 2
2 The Lord is‍ my strength‍ and song, and he is become my salvation: he is‍ my God, and I will prepare‍ him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt‍ him.

I cannot stop saying this now, even when my life seems to be at the lowest it can possibly be in I still sing the praises of God: in my heart, in my mind, and in my studies.  I do not know why I am in the position I am in, or why my life has ended up the way it has, but I know I am following a path that my Father in Heaven has laid out for me.  Where will it end up, where will it go, how long do I have to "suffer"?  I do not know, and I will not know, but I know that I am still singing the praises of God everyday I am able to get up out of bed.

Exodus 15: 26
26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken‍ to the voice of the Lord‍ thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep‍ all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases‍ upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am‍ the Lord‍ that healeth‍ thee.

This message goes along with the previous one a little bit.  I believe that this scripture tells me to follow the path and commandments of God and that while I may have problems I always know that God will never deal with me the way he has dealt with those that are not righteous, and do nt follow his path.  Those who will have those diseases upon them.  I will work diligently in the Lord, I see this blog as somewhat doing the Lord's work.  Spreading his scripture, even if it may not mean the same to everyone, I am still spreading his word.

Chapter 16
Nothing in here really sparked something to me but this was still a very powerful message.  The people of Israel murmur against Moses for bread.  Moses goes to the Lord and asks what is to be done.  God explains that he will provide food with the dew of the next day.  With the dew of the new day comes wafers of bread they called Manna.  These wafers fed the masses and dried up in the sun.  They ate this Manna until they came into Canaan.

Chapter 17
Again, nothing here really spoke to me but a continuation, so to speak, of chapter 16.  The people of Israel murmured for water.  They compained to Moses who turned to God.  God said to go with the Elders of Israel and smite a rock, when that rock is destroyed water will flow from it.  They survived on this water until they made it to Canaan.  A nation known as Amalek came against the children of Israel as well.  When Moses raised his hands the upper hand was given to the Israelites, when Moses lowered his hands the upper hand fell to Amalek.  To help beat Amalek Moses' arms were held up by Aaron and Hur until the sun settled and Joshua beat Amalek.

Chapter 18
Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brings Moses' wife and children to him and helps him to establish a nation with Moses teaching others the ordinances and laws.  Moses chose different leaders for different amounts of people and set forth the nation of Israel itself.

(Reading for 1/28/13 - Exodus: 19-23  - will be posted 1/29/2013)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 10 through 13

(This reading was done on 1/26/2013; oublished on 1/27/2013)  
 
Hello again my fellow Internites it is that time again scripture study time that is.
 
After church I feel energized and ready to share what gems I gleaned from my reading.
  
I have been forgetting a part of this blog though and I apologize for those who want to know what I do.  I have been neglecting to let you know that before I even open the book my prayers for understanding and comprehension of what I will be reading.
  
So onto the reading.
 
Exodus 10: 21-23
21 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.  
 
Just one word for these passages...wow.  I cannot even imagine a darkness that can be felt.  This imagery is chilling and very eerie.  I think back to my childhood when we would go camping with my family or scouts.  While that darkness can be frightening it still is not anywhere near this darkness.  I would be afraid for my life if I were egyptian.  
 
Exodus 11: 5
5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.  
 
Well they say you learn something new everyday, right?  Why should studying the scriptures be any different.  While I knew about the majority of this scripture I did not know it affected the animals as well.  This would certainly be devastating to anyone who raises animals.  These are the things that people need to understand when they think of God.  He was not truly vengeful byt protective of his people.  That makes me feel very special.  That God concerns himself with his followers is important to me.  
 
Exodus 12: 12-13
12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.  
 
This is also very important that I did not realize until I read it.  Passover is definitely going to be something I focus on these following year.  This holiday needs tk be observed simply because it is a necessity.  This shows your allegiance to God, to folow him completely in all of his commandments.  
 
(Reading for 1/27/2013 - Exodus 14-18 - will be posted on 1/28/2013)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 6 through 9

Hello my fellow Internites it feels good to finally be back in a mode where I can focus on what I am reading.

There were a few things here to look at and to gather among the many blessings that the Lord gives.  However, the majority of these chapters work well together completely, in the sense that everything in these chapters is amazing to me.  I will go over my little gem picks that I gathered and then go over all of these chapters as a whole.

Exodus 6: 6
"Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:"

Again, this is one of those passages that sends chills down my spine.  God is promising something to Moses here, and God will always follow through on his promises.  He tells Moses to let the Israelites know that he will pull them out of Egypt and lose their chains of slavery.  My favorite part of this whole message though is when he saus he will redeem them with a stretched out arm.  To me this vision flashed in my head of receiving redemtion through a hug from God and I have to say, shivers down my spine.  How great would that be?  To feel God's loving embrace and knowing you are redeemed is so much more then I could ever imagine.

Exodus 7: 1
"And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet."

Moses was still very much afraid that no one would listen to him and he voiced this concern time and time again until God made this decree.  He said that he was going to make a god out of Moses and that Aaron would be his prophet, or mouth piece.  Where Moses did the miracles that were bestowed upon him, Aaron would be the mouth for Moses and would say exactly what the Lord wanted him to.  This is an awe-inspiring gift bestowed to anyone and should be looked at with great pride.  This gift would be a gift that only the truly righteous would be able to have.  This is one of the reasons that Mormons know their religion is right with God.  We have prophets among us, those worthy enough to be chosen of God to become a mouth piece on the earth.

Exodus 7: 11
"Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments."

This is the first of many mentions of the magicians of Egypt doing or attempting to do what Moses had done.  Here they made their rods into snakes, however, Moses' snake devours them completely and their rods are lost.  So why did I mention this?  Well a couple of reasons.  The bible itself warns of charletons and magicians who try to perform these tasks.  They are false prophets and need to be dealt with in the manner God sees fit.  These magicians may come as anyone though, so you truly need to be careful at who it is you are listening to.  Pray on any matter you feel you need to, because while one person whispers in your ear God will speak to your heart, you will know the right thing to do, you just have to know what to listen with.

Those are the three that I really liked and felt I had to comment on.  The rest of these 4 chapters were basically Moses and Aaron telling Pharaoh to let the people leave to follow God and do as he had commanded, Pharaoh refused and the miracle would happen.  First Moses through the Rod down and it became a snake.  This did not move Pharaoh so they moved onto making the streams and lakes blood instead of water.  This did not move Pharaoh.  They stepped it up a notch and sent the three plagues: frogs, lice, and flies among the people of Egypt though the Israelites were kept safe.  Pharaoh would ask that the curse be lifted and each time it was his heart would hearden.  They stepped it up again to include devastating hail and fire destroying people and cattle of the Pharaoh's bt leaving those he guarded untouched.  Finally boils and blains are set upon the people and not even the magician's could warn this one back.  Once again Pharaoh begs to be let lose of the curses and Moses obliges but eventually, the Pharoah's heart changes and it becomes hardened again.

These were fantastic reads I really wanted to highlight it all but I knew it would be difficult to write all that out.  God's majesty, patience, and anger is all spelled out here in these chapters.  It was tremendous to read and feel the power and majesty of God while reading it.

(Reading for 1/26/2013 - Exodus: 10-13 - will be posted on 1/27/2013)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Starting back up

OK so I am no where near 100%, however I do feel a lot better then I did before.  Whatever this was it decided to hold on for far too long.  I still have a sore throat and a cough but I am able to focus.

So, my Internites, tomorrow I will be resuming my studies.  I hope you all can join me again and I look forward to sharing with all of you.

Michael Graves

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Still sick...

My fellow Internites.  I am still very fuzzy and missing out on my journaling and reading.  I am sorry about all of this and I am going to take the next few days off to rest up and feel better.

I will do a post here and then copy to my facebook to let everyone know when I am starting again.

Thank you for understanding,

Michael Graves

Monday, January 14, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 1 through 5

(This reading was done on 1/13/2013; published on 1/14/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and welcome to a new day and a new book; the Book of Exodus.  I am really excited to read this book because of the slight knowledge I have from previous readings.  Knowing that I am now studying the scripture and more is being opened up to me it makes me very excited to be reading it.

So again I started the reading with a prayer and asked for God's guidance and to help me understand what I was going to be reading.  I also thanked him for everything that I gathered from the Book of Genesis and that he may guide my reading as he has.

Exodus 1: 12
"But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.  And they were grieved because of the children of Israel."

Already the children of Israel were beginning to outnumber the Egyptians and the new Pharaoh decided that he did not like this turn of events.  The new Pharaoh put the taskmasters to the Israelites.  However, this did not stop them from continuing to prosper.

I love this message.  This message is very simply that even when it feels that the screws have been put to you or that it seems that problems and pain seem to plague you that if you follow God and continue faithfully that nothing will really bring you down.  This is such an awesome message to understand in every day life.

Exodus 2: 25
"And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them."

This gives me a warm fuzzy.  The fact that God had respect for his people, the people of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.  The great thing about this respect is that it is given in exchange for respect that they had of God.  Right now, I think that respect for God is seriously waning in the world and there needs to be a refocus of this so that we can get the respect and blessings of God.

Exodus 3: 12
"And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain."

This is a message that God gives to Moses while Moses is wavering on the task that God has given him.  This kind of message should be a clear understanding of when God says to do something then you need to do it.  Questioning God can only get you so far and will not get you nearly far enough. 

Exodus 4

I did not really garner too much out of this chapter because a lot of it was Moses still questioning God and finally accepting his role and going to meet his brother Aaron and having him be his mouthpiece to the people of Israel.  While it was a great chapter it held no gem for me to pass onto everyone.

Exodus 5

Again no gem here in this chapter but it was a great chapter in general.  Moses goes to Pharaoh and asks him to let his people go.  Of course Pharaoh denies him and forces the Israelites to work harder and gather their own supplies rather than supplying them anything.  The taskmasters go to Pharaoh and state that they are not getting their work done and the Israelite leaders are brought in and admonished.

(Reading for 1/14/2013 - Exodus: 6-9 - will be posted on 1/15/2013)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Genesis: Chapters 46 through 50

(This reading was done on 1/12/2013; published on 1/13/2013)

Hello Internites, this is the end of Genesis and I think I have gathered a lot for my own little life from an epic telling of this family and the beginning of everything we know.  This has been very eye opening for me and save one day when I was too fuzzy to post I have posted everyday.  So far I am doing very well and seeing my own life change a bit because of it.

So for the end of Genesis let's see what I found for myself.  I started off with my prayer, asking for understanding and guidance.  To find something that I could garner as a gem of understanding within my own life.

Genesis 46: 3-4
3 "And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make thee a great nation."
4 "I will go down with thee into Egypt: and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

I really liked this message because of a lot of us carry fear no matter where we go.  Job interviews, up to the podium at church, talking in front of a group, no matter where it is; we need to remember that God will walk with us and we need to not have any fear.  I have started to embrace this a little more before reading this but this message really spoke to me and helped me to concrete those thoughts.

I know that we all fear being out of our comfort zone but we need to remember that God does travel with us and we need not fear whatever it is that we fear.

Genesis 47: 12
"And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families."

I loved this message because of the state of the country we are living in.  By now Jacob is infirmed and old and Joseph's brothers have been taken out of their land and put into an all new land.  Joseph does what true family does and takes care of everyone in his home because he can.

Too often we turn a deaf ear to those in our family in need, or we put an elderly parent into a home to be forgotten.  That kind of behavior was not thought of in the biblical time.  They helped each other and cared for their families.  This is something that is severely lacking in this country now more than ever.

Genesis 48
Jacob calls Joseph into him and discusses the vision he had of God.  God had promised him that his seed would multiply and that the land of Canaan would go to him in an everlasting covenant.  At that point he adopts and blesses both Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons, as his own.  While he blesses them he puts Ephraim, the younger child, above Manasseh in the blessing.  When Jospeh tries to intervene Jacob understands what he is doing and continues the blessing.

Genesis 49
Jacob asks for all of his sons to come forward and blesses all of them telling them each what their path will be; whether it be good or bad.  These children of Jacob are the twelve tribes of Israel and from them all people shall be joined.  Once he offers the blessing for the twelve he instructs his children on his burial to be with his wife in Canaan and he passes away.

Genesis 50: 20-21
20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
21 "Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones.  And he comforted them, and spake kindly to them."

This is a great message in the Bible and points to a fact that we do not understand fully.  Those trials and tribulations that we all go through may be to put us in a better position to fully understand or be in the right place at the right time to receive our blessings.

My brother had graduated with a degree in accounting and had been trying to find an accounting job for a number of years.  He ended up working for a few steel recycling plants because he was able to get hired on there.  One day, he was called into the office and let go.  My brother was angry at first and, to be honest, I was as well.  Looking back on it though, especially after this reading, I know that it was for the best.  Within a month he was working in the local county office doing a job he loves and utilizing his degree.  His troubles and woes all paid off in the end because I believe God placed him where he needed to be at the perfect time.

(Reading for 1/13/13 - Exodus: 1-5 - will be posted 1/14/2013)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Genesis: Chapters 42 through 45

(This reading was done on 1/11/2013; published on 1/12/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites.  It has been a very long day for me today but I am here to fulfill my promise to do my reading and post a journal.

This is going to be the slimmest one I have written so far.  Most of the reading was Joseph reuniting with his family so I really did not bring anything out of it that really meant something for me.  I did find something so what I am going to do is just do a little blurb about the chapters themselves then post the one verse I found that I really liked.

To clarify some things, when I pray I ask for understanding at what I am going to read and that I find some way that the words can be interpreted in my life, that it holds some meaning for me.  Something needs to 'touch' me for me to offer correspondence on something.  I wanted to clarify that process and what I look for because while the information in these chapters are great, nothing really stood out enough for me or touched me, save one, within these four chapters.

Genesis 42

This chapter involves Jacob asking his sons to go down and purchase some food because they are feeling the effects of the famine and Jacob understands that food is available to be purchased.  He sends all his children except Benjamin to Egypt to purchase food provisions.  When they come to Joseph they bow before him and are recognized by Joseph, but they do not recognize him as their lost brother.  He imprisons them and says they are spies.  They promise to bring back Benjamin if they are released.  Joseph gives them their food and secretly gives them back all their money and sends them away.

Chapter 43

They go back to their father and are terrified because they do not know why they have the food and all their money back and they fear reprisal so they talk Jacob into letting them go back with Benjamin to straighten everything out.  Jacob gives them double the money and tells them to give the money to the governor of Egypt (Joseph) and apologize for the money problems.  They travel back with Benjamin and Joseph insists they eat lunch with him.  They all eat lunch as Joseph asks about his father and how he is doing.  He is reassured that his father is fine. 

Chapter 44

They go to leave and Joseph instructs one of his servants to put his cup in Benjamin's bag.  After they leave Joseph instructs another servant to give chase and ask why they stole from him.  When they get to Joseph's brothers they assure them that they did not steal and as they go through the bags they go from the eldest to the youngest who is Benjamin and find the cup within Benjamin's bag.  They go back to Joseph to clear up everything and Judah asks that he take Benjamin's place because they had already lost one brother which caused their father to grieve, to lose another would cause him to die.  Joseph sees that his brothers have changed.

Chapter 45: 7

"And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance."

After Joseph tells his brothers who he actually is he states this line.  He assures his brothers that it wasn't them that caused him to be where he is, it was God.  Without him being sold into slavery, ending up in the prison, interpreting the dreams of the baker and steward, as well as interpreting the dream of the Pharaoh and starting the food stores Egypt would probably have suffered greatly and probably been wiped away.

I love this message because it makes me understand that everything I am doing and everything that has been done to me has lead me to this place here and this time now.  Not I or anyone else has domain over my life, I know that God is leading me where I need to be, the only thing I need to do is to allow him to lead me where I need to go and not oppose where I am being guided.  Go with God is not just a bumper sticker but something we all need to do.

(Reading for 1/11/13 - Genesis: 46-50 - will be posted 1/12/2013)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Genesis: Chapters 37 through 41

(This reading was done on 1/9/2013; published on 1/11/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites.  This was the posting I was trying to do last night but could not get through it well enough for it to make sense.  I know it took all day but I needed to focus and it is still difficult for me while I battle this head cold.  Hope all this makes sense and you find it beneficial.

Genesis 37: 3-4
3 "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors."
4 "And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him."

OK, I am going to admit some information here that I had carried with me for a long time until very recently.  For a long time I was very envious of my brother.  It seemed that nothing I did was good in my dad's eyes and no matter what my brother could do no wrong.  As far as my father was concerned I was the black sheep of the family and I do not know why.

This ate at me for a long time until a few years ago when my brother stood up for me against my father.  I did not think my brother would ever do that and to this day I still do not know why he did.

The reason I bring this up is that even though Joseph has many trial and tribulations over the next few years and he helps to save Egypt, as I read this chapter I still felt bad about the feelings I held towards my brother as well as my father.  I am glad I do not have that animosity any more and that I am free of those shackles that bind.  My only suggestion, for those who feel this way, is to pray about it and know that the guilt and envy you feel will only offer to harden your heart to your family in the long run.

Genesis 38

Not much in this chapter of note for me.  It was the story of Judah and him leaving his home and taking a wife and having three children; Er, Onan, and Shelah.  Er and Onan displeased the Lord for different reasons and were killed because they were not faithful to the laws of God.  Judah ends up baring children through his daughter-in-law and has twins.

Genesis 39: 3
"And the master saw that the Lord was with him,  and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand."

This gives me hope for my own life and since I have started attending church and doing my daily studies that I could find favor in the Lord and this will mean that my life will change for the better.

I am jobless and living with my mother and every day I fill out an application or two either online or in person and for the past few months I have been devastated that nothing is happening.  Ever since I started attending church, praying, studying, and focusing my life more on the Lord I have felt better than I ever have spiritually.  I know that, while I have a long way to go, I am finding favor in the Lord simply because I can feel it and that feeling is unmistakable.

I know the Lord is with me and I know my life will change and I will prosper because what I do now is not for me but for him.

Genesis 40: 8
" And they said unto him, we have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.  And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you."

Joseph was of the Lord and the only one within that jail who could interpret the dreams that the two servants of the Pharaoh had.  This gift on interpretations is another gift that God gives the faithful.  When we dream it just may be our mind playing, or there may be some message within it that is sent from God.  We need to understand that God communicates with us constantly and in the vulnerable state of sleep we can receive many messages from God.  I always wonder what in my life I have missed because I was not close to the Lord and could not interpret my own dreams.

I ask you that if you find yourself having a dream that you remember that you need to go to someone who can help interpret the dream itself.  Be it a bishop, and elder, a high priest, a teacher, or anyone in an authority of your church and look to them for guidance.  These gifts are given to those who God feels are righteous; this ability to interpret what we see at night is just a glimpse into a message that God himself may have offered.

Genesis 41: 16
"And Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."

This ties in with Genesis 40:8 and I really like that line.  Pharaoh called Joseph before him to have Joseph interpret a dream and he says this to Pharaoh.  Once again proving that Joseph himself is not the one that Pharaoh needs help from Joseph is simply using the gift of interpretation that was given to him by God.

Look for these God given gifts within you and follow them, use them always so that you may grow with God in any manner that he chooses to have you grow.

Genesis 41: 35-36
35 "And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities."
36 "And that food shall be for store of the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine."

This is something that the LDS church believes greatly in and so a reason I included it here.  The church asks it's members to buy and save food as a store for lean years when whatever happens should happen; loss of a job, illness that takes you away from work, or any kind of problem that should arise.

We have here not necessarily a commandment of the Lord but a dream that was given to Pharaoh and interpreted by Joseph.  While this may not be something that God commanded it is definitely something that he suggested.

I speak from experience here and ask that those that are reading this do not go down the same path I have been put upon.  Take some of your money and buy foods that will last in the back of the pantry or the back of your cupboards.  Therefore when something does happen you will have a way to make it through those thin times.

(Reading for 1/11/13 - Genesis: 42-45 - will be posted 1/12/2013)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I am sorry...

Hello my fellow Internites,

I want to apologize to those of you that read my blog.  Last night I had a scratchy pain in the back of my throat and I knew that was going to be a problem.  Since then my health has gone screaming downhill and I am laying in bed drinking water and taking some halls for my throat.

I got a cold and when I tried to focus on writing my head was swimming and I could not get out the words I wanted to.

I will post tomorrow for both days that I missed to make up for it.

Again my apologies to everyone who does read this and I will see you all tomorrow.

Michael Graves

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Genesis: Chapters 32 through 36

(This reading was done on 1/8/2013; published on 1/9/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and welcome back.  I loved the reading today.  There were a few messages in here that were uplifting and put a smile on my face.  So let's not waste any more time with my rambling and dive right in, shall we?

I started today, as all others, with a prayer for understanding and the necessity to ply out messages that would be useful in my life.

Genesis 32: 9-11
9 "And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to the kindred, and I will deal well with thee:"
10 "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands."
11 "Deliver me , I pray thee, from thy hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children."

This prayer is so fervent and passionate that you can actually feel the fear Jacob had of his brother.  Esau was already stripped of his birthright and Jacob was told to go back to his families land.  When he did he got word that Esau and 400 men were coming.  He took preemptive actions to split his goods up and gave each word that should one be attacked the other needs to escape.  He sent out people with a number of his cattle to offer as gifts.  The most important thing he did however, was to offer this prayer.

He feared, not as much for him, but his own family and children and everyone around him.  This prayer gives me a shiver.  I can imagine Jacob on his knees, either gazing up to the sky and clenching his hands together so hard that his knuckles become white or on his face, begging for God to listen and hear him.    This imagery is deep within me and I know we can all agree there have been times that we have needed this deep of a prayer.  When our hearts ache deeply and the pain is too unbearable, we need to supplicate ourselves before God.  We need to offer this kind of prayer, only through this kind of faith and belief can we possibly call upon God.

Genesis 32: 28
"And he said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."

And now we see how it is all starting to come together.  How the number of Abraham's seed shall unable to be counted as the stars in heaven or the dirt upon the earth.  Jacob is now known as Israel and all of the children born of Israel will come the twelve tribes which are the basis for our common genealogy we have now.  This is such an amazing offering to be given to Jacob.  That we now see strength and faithfulness that Jacob has shown to have such amazing blessings be poured out to him.

Genesis 33

While I did not highlight anything that really stood out this chapter did make me smile and really understand the love that comes from family.

Israel had just offered a prayer for protection against his brother and this is where we finally see Esau after such a long period of time.  The last time we saw Esau he was forced out of his house because the blessing he was supposed to have was offered to Jacob and he was angry.  When this estranged brother who, at some point must have had so much anger towards his brother, finally sees his brother again it is not the ending we had expected.  He ran to Jacob and embraced him, and kissed him, and fell to the ground with him.  So much was the elation at seeing his brother that all the problems that may have been were washed away immediately.  Plain and simply this is the love of family.

My brother and I are very snarky and sarcastic toward each other.  So much so to see us you may think that we actually do not like each other, or can't be in the same room.  I know my brother loves me and I, in turn, love my brother and that will not end no matter what may happen in our own lives or how far apart we may be.  We will always talk to each other and sometimes it will be snarky, but that just means I know he doesn't have to be so serious with me.

Genesis 34

This chapter led nothing for me to highlight and actually hurt me a little bit.

In this chapter one of Israel's daughters was taken and defiled by Shechem and then he realizes he loved her and asked his father to speak to Israel about it.  Of course Israel's children did not like the fact that their sister was defiled so they told the visiting group asking for Israel's approval that the only way their father would approve was for them and every man to be circumcised.

Hamor and Shechem went back and all the men in their city agreed.  While they were recuperating the sons of Israel attacked and destroyed the city.

Genesis 35: 3
"And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went."

This passage
is just fantastic as well.  This shows that continued faithfulness of Israel.  The reason I say continued is that when I read this I thought about a few things.

How often, when we pray, do we say thank you for the blessings we have received?  Sometimes I do, but most of the time, to be honest, I don't.  Why not?  We need to remember that when we pray we not only need to ask for guidance and assistance, but we also need to pray for thanks to prayers that have already been answered.  Every night when I read I start a prayer for understanding and that I will garner something that I can use in my everyday life.  Every single day that prayer is answered, and I know it to be true because I've gotten farther than this in the bible before but never really "got" anything out of it.  I am able to take something from each of my readings because of the prayers.  I've never said thanks though.  I need to start doing that and thanking God for the messages that I receive on a daily basis.

Chapter 36

This is simply the line of geneaology from Esau and his lineage.

(Reading for 1/9/13 - Genesis: 37-41 - will be posted 1/10/2013)