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Quiet time with God - diaries printed

 October 2008 

In some ways the month of October has been a difficult month for our family. It was a bit of a shock to settle back into the daily routine of life after being in the Philippines for 3 weeks. There was a mountain of mail to open, bills to pay and work to catch up on.

While we were in the Philippines, we engaged a printing company to produce a Quiet Time diary with a year's supply of Quiet Time readings as well as instructions on how families can walk with God. Towards the end of October, I was finally able to get to writing the instructions for this diary.

We have now completed the draft for this diary and a copy is in the hands of the Filipino printers. We are praying that these diaries will be a great blessing to many families.

As a family, we have been doing Quiet Times for about 15 years. Over the years, Kathy and I have been surprised at how much we can get from some of the not so well know books of the Bible. Earlier this year, we went through the book of Ezekiel and were challenged by how easily the Israelites got involved in idolatry. We could see that such things as TV, computers and mobile phones were assuming far too high a place in our lives.

Over the past few weeks, our Quiet Times have been predominantly from the book of Numbers. One of the main things that we have noticed is the lack of gratitude that the Israelites seemed to exhibit towards God.

The Israelites had seen God's amazing miracles in delivering them from the slavery of Egypt. They had miraculously escaped from Pharaoh and his army by passing through the Red Sea. They had seen miracle after miracle. God fed them with the manna, the bread from heaven, but they still were not satisfied.

Numbers 11 verses 4 to 6 says this:

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost-also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!" Instead of being grateful to God for his amazing provision of manna, they grumbled against Moses, which was really grumbling against God, as Moses had only followed God's leading in bringing them out of Egypt. In Numbers 14:1-3, we read of further grumbling. It says this: That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"

Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of the 12 spies who thought that the Israelites could take possession of the land, but the people listened to the other 10 spies and started grumbling. When we start grumbling, it is always a lack of gratitude to God, because He has allowed us to get into whatever situation we are in.

Again in Numbers 20 we see further discontent. Verses 2 to 5 says this:

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarrelled with Moses and said, "If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD! Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!"

We have come to see how important it is to be grateful to God even when we are going through difficult experiences. This last month we have faced some difficult experiences, but it has been wonderful to praise God each day as a family for his goodness to us.

On 25th October we celebrated Nana's 92nd birthday. A few days before, we even wondered if she would reach 92 as she kept having TIAs or mini strokes. She couldn't even speak for a few days, but has now regained her speech. She is at peace despite being blind and bedridden. We are grateful to God for the privilege of caring for her and for allowing her to remain with us on this earth for so long. When she eventually dies, we will know that it will be the Lord's perfect timing to take her to her true home.

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