February 14th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:

Exodus 37:1-38:31 / Matthew 28:1-20 / Psalm 34:11-22 / Proverbs 9:9-10

Standout Verses: Exodus 37&38

These two chapters describe the building of the furniture of the tabernacle. Everything is being made ready for God's people to experience Him, worship Him and minister to Him. The tabernacle was at the CENTER of life's activities. These chapters describe in detail the INTENTIONAL design, creation and purpose of a beautiful scene - a scene set for worship.

God has designed us so that we can live lives of worship and have our days centered around His presence.  It begins at the beginning of each day as we open our hearts through opening the Word and digging into His truth.  As we stop, and take the time to listen and pray, He speaks to us and gives instruction, promptings and nudges throughout the day so that we can enjoy Him and worship Him from sunrise to sundown - a lifestyle of worship!



February 13th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:


Exodus 35:10-36:38 / Matthew 27:32-66 / Psalm 34:1-10 / Proverbs 9:7-8


Standout verse:

Exodus 35: 31, 35

“and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze…(v. 35) He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple and scarlet thread...”

Exodus 31: 6

“…and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans that they may make all that I have commanded you.”

We’ve just read the descriptions of the articles of the tabernacle, the tabernacle itself, the ark, the utensils and the garments for the priests.  Creating all these things would have been quite a lofty mission for the people to take on.  However, God wouldn’t have called them to do these things if He didn’t think they could do it.  It is clear that, as He called them, He also fully equipped them, by His Spirit, to do the work with excellence.

When God calls us to do something, He WILL equip us for the task.  Where He guides, He provides!  Even if it seems daunting or overwhelming, we will be able to do it and do it with excellence by His Spirit.  He will never ask us to do something and then leave us to figure it out on our own.  He promises to guide us, strengthen us and equip us all the way - that’s the TRUTH…pretty encouraging!  



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February 12th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 34:1-35:9 / Matthew 27:15-31 / Psalm 33:12-22 / Proverbs 9:1-6

Standout Verse: Exodus 34:12-16

“Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest they be a snare to you.  But you shall destroy their alters, break their sacred pillars and cut down their wooden images.  (For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord whose name is Jealous is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make a sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of his daughters for you sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.”

The pull of our culture is so strong.  It’s easy to find ourselves living in a way where our “lines” are continually moving an adjusting to fit our circumstances.  We find ourselves squeezing God’s truth into our lives to justify our thoughts and feelings, rather than living according to His steadfast, unchanging truth.  Often times we end up with our fingers wrapped around the things of this world as we make covenants with it.

God isn’t into mixture (“one foot in the world, one foot out of the world” living).  His truth isn’t a buffet where we can pick and choose what we want and leave the rest behind.  He desires our whole heart, because He is jealous for us (in the best way ever!)  He is jealous because He loves us so deeply and doesn’t want our hearts to be divided toward Him.  And, He is jealous FOR us - He knows that living in a way that tries to glean from the world AND at the same time live for Him will eventually destroy our souls and rob us of hope and peace. His heart is pained when that happens.

We need to know God’s truth and use it as the plumb line, the standard by which we live.  As we do this, we will grow in peace, hope, and wisdom.  We will feed on His faithfulness and experience His goodness.  The ways of God are steadfast; the ways of the world unstable.  The faithfulness of God is unfailing; the offerings of the world continually fail us.  Let us be motivated by His love which draws our hearts and sets our feet on the beautiful path He has made for us to walk on.


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February 11th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Standout Verse: Exodus 32:2, 4, 7-8

“And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters and bring them to me.”

(v. 4) “And he received the gold from their hand and he fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a molded calf.  Then they said, “This is your god O Israel that brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

(v. 7-8) “And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down!  For your people whom you brought down out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.  They have turned aside QUICKLY out of the way which I have commanded them.  They have made themselves a molded calf and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it.”


Sometimes we find ourselves in seasons of waiting.  We may become impatient or feel abandoned by God.  We’re not sure which way to turn or which way to go.  Our hope begins to dwindle and we can feel our hearts growing weary with heaviness. We’ve all been there at one time or another. 

So…what do we do?  At this point there are really only two choices.

Choice One leads to a path where we say, “Forget this.  I am too uncomfortable and too discouraged.  This whole “thing” (fill in the blank) is taking way too long to happen and I’m done.”

That’s when we begin to look around and see how we can “fix” our lives.  How we can speed up the uncomfortable process, how we can stop the feelings that are beginning to cripple us.  We may even have an inkling of the promises God has show us in past seasons and we may set about to make those things happen in our own strength.  The trouble is, when we decide that God’s timing is too much trouble to wait for, we can so easily end up striving.  Rather than experiencing His best for us, we by-pass Him jumping into the rollercoaster cycle that happens when we “take charge”.  Before we know it, we’ve built things that were never meant to be (business deals, wrong relationships, careers, etc…) – our very own, personal Golden Calf.

Choice Two is this: We must decide to take a unshakeable stand on the truth of God, planting our feet firmly in what His word says about Him.  We must choose to stay and wait despite what our feelings may be.

Here is some awesome TRUTH to stand on:

1. God is GOOD.  He loves His children (US!) and has GOOD plans and purposes for our lives.  Plans that will give us a FUTURE and a HOPE! (Jeremiah 29:11).

2. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.  Even in times when we feel like we can’t hear His voice, we must stand on the knowledge that He IS with us! (Hebrew 13:5)

3. His thoughts are higher than ours!  There will be times our little human minds can’t grasp the things He is doing behind the scenes.  But we must choose trust in His loving hand. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

4. Those who WAIT on the Lord (rest in Him and trust in Him) will renew their strength!! SO awesome!  As we wait on Him, His plans, His timing, we will grow in strength – we will soar on wings like eagles; run and not grow weary; walk and not faint! (Isaiah 40:31)

5. All things (even the super tough stuff) work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

As we stand strong on God’s truth, knowing and believing HE IS GOOD, our hope will rise, our strength will grow and we will be able wait on Him through the challenges knowing He is teaching us and growing us up through the season He has us in!



February 10th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:



Exodus 30:11-31:18 / Matthew 26:47-68 / Psalm 32:1-11 / Proverbs 8:27-32


Standout Verse: Exodus 31: 1-6 (The Israelites are preparing to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness)

“ Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “See I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge and in all manner of workmanship to design artistic works – to work in gold and silver and bronze…in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood and to work in all manner of workmanship.  And I indeed have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.  I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you.”

Sometimes God calls us to work on or accomplish something that is WAY beyond our knowledge, skill or ability.  We look at the task ahead and feel totally unequipped and totally inadequate. The truth is, on our own, there is no way we could succeed. 

But here’s the deal:  God never calls us to do something and then walks away and leaves us to struggle.  He is right there beside us EVERY STEP of the way ready and willing to fill us with every bit of wisdom, knowledge and understanding we will need to do what He’s called us to!  Not only does He promise never to leave us or forsake us, He will fill us up and “gift our hands” for the task ahead IF we lean on Him recognizing it is only by HIS strength and HIS strategies that we are able to accomplish the things He’s calling us to!!

This applies to art, business, science, etc.  We as Christians have the God of the Universe on our side ready to fill us with His thoughts, His ideas, His creativity.  How unbelievably cool is that?  Let’s be people that are expectant, fired-up and ready for the Lord to do amazing work in us and through us!! 




February 9th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 29:1-30:10 / Matthew 26:14-46 / Psalm 31:19-24 / Proverbs 8:14-26

Standout verse:

Exodus 29:20

“Then you shall kill the ram and take some of it’s blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around the alter.”

From the footnotes in the NKJ Spirit-Filled Life Bible:

In the ordination ceremony of the priest, the blood of a ram was applied to the priest’s ear to signify that he would hear only the word of the Lord, to his thumb to signify he would rightly perform the duties of a priest, and to the toe to signify that her would walk in the path of righteousness.

Hope that helps a bit – it sure helped us!

Standout verse:

Matthew 26:41

“Watch and pray lest you enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.”

The words WATCH and PRAY are action words.  The Lord was calling His disciples to take action over the desires of their flesh (their sinful nature) implying that, by the Spirit, they would be able to.  We so often feel controlled by our own selfish desires – we can feel like slaves to them. It doesn’t need to be this way.  We are fully able to resist temptation and not fall into it because of who we are in Christ.  BUTthis takes focus and action on our part.  We can’t just sit around and hope that we won’t fall into sin.  If we live like that, we’ll lose out to our flesh every time.  We must be pro-active.  

How do we do that?  Step one is to pursue a deeper and consistent relationship with the Lord, growing in knowledge of His truth, His presence and His power in our lives.  As we do this, we will be much more equipped to recognize lies of the enemy and the pull of temptation and we will have the tools to resist it when it comes knocking at our door. 



February 8th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 28:1-43 / Matthew 25:31-26:13 / Psalm 31:9-18 / Proverbs 8:12-13


Standout verse:

Proverbs 8:10-11“Receive my instruction (wisdom’s), and not silver and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies and all the things one may desire cannot compare with her.”

The world’s value system gets thrown at us daily. It’s a “fast food” mentality (have it all and have it now) that we’ve become so accustomed to. We’ve become so busy with activities that the world promises will better us, increase our social standing and bring value and purpose to our lives. We tend to fill up every waking moment with these kinds of pursuits: exercise, sports practices, our jobs, activities for our kids, social clubs, school activities, church activities, etc… While none of these things in themselves are bad (most can be very profitable when in balance), they can become problematic when they become our focus - packing out our days to the very top and robbing us of our time.

If we are living our lives this way, we’ll hear ourselves saying things like, “I just don’t have time for one more thing”, or “you’ve got to be kidding, I am sooo busy”, or “I’m just so tired I don’t have time for anything else”. Our relationship with the Lord can so easily become reduced to a quick “drop in” here or there. We throw up a few scattered prayers in between practices, classes, church activities and favorite TV. Shows.

Passionately pursuing God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding requires a shift in our thinking – shifting away from what we have been taught by the world and shifting toward the value system clearly laid out in His Word WHICH LEADS TO PEACE AND GROWTH AND LIVES THAT ARE THRIVING!




February 7th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:


Exodus 26:1-27:21 / Matthew 25:1-30 / Psalm 31:1-8 / Proverbs 8:1-11

Standout Verse: Matthew 25: The Parable of the talents

(v. 21) (To the man who had invested and multiplied his talents) “ His lord said to him, “Well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will make you rule over many things.  Enter into the joy of your lord.”

(v. 24) “Then he who had received one talent came and said, “Lord I knew you to be a harsh man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground.  Look, there you have what is yours.”

(v. 27) (The master’s response)  “So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers and at my coming I would have received back my own wealth with interest.  Therefore, take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents.”

When God knit us together, He put in each of us gifts and talents.  He made us with a specific plan and purpose in mind.  Our God is so abundantly creative that He made us each unique, individual…there’s no one exactly like us!  So cool!

Our God isn’t vague or uninterested or just hoping that we’ll turn out “decent”.  When we live “in the dumps” and as if we are unknown or unloved or unimportant, I think God gets ticked off!  Not ticked off AT us, ticked off FOR us!  His deep desire is for us to become the people He made us to be! The truth is, “God don’t make no junk!” :0)

So here’s the deal…it’s up to us to seek Him, to know His truth and to ask Him, our Maker, what He had in mind for our lives when He was making us.  Let’s not squander or neglect or bury the gifts and talents He put in us!  Let’s be risk –takers - sometimes the things the Lord calls us to do might look radical or “out of the box” or risky in the eyes of some.  Let’s get brave and GO FOR IT with the Lord.  Let’s lay aside our fears and doubts and insecurities.  The truth is EACH OF US has an incredible adventure that God has made us to be on with Him at the helm of our ship!  Don’t miss out on what He has for you!  Don’t be ripped off or cheated out of living life on a fantastic adventure with the Lord.



February 6th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 23:14-25:40 / Matthew 24:29-51 / Psalm 30:1-12 / Proverbs 7:24-27

Standout chapter:  Exodus 25

In Exodus 25, God directs Moses to build the Ark of the Testimony (v. 10-22), the Table for the Showbread (v. 23-30), and The Golden Lampstand.  He goes into great detail with Moses as to the dimensions, materials and features of each of these symbols.  While it may be a bit easy for us to get lost in the details of each of these things, it is those very details that God wants us to understand.

The Ark of the Testimony served as a symbol of God’s presence in Israel.  It was here that God would meet and speak to Moses.  God wanted His presence to be known, seen and felt by His people.

The Table for the Showbread was a symbol that God was the Provider of their food and daily “bread” – the necessities, the very food that would sustain them in the wilderness.

The Golden Lampstands symbolized God as the light that was to guide the steps of the children of Israel during their exodus from Egypt and their travels on the way to the Promised Land.

This chapter gives us insight into the character of our God.  He is specific and detailed in the things He creates.  He goes to extensive lengths when specifically communicating His plans for the various things He is building – there is nothing “general’ about the Lord or what He has for us.  He wants us to feel, see and be reminded daily of His desire to speak to us, provide for our needs and light the way He has for us to go in our individual lives.


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February 5th deliberatePeople POST by Phil and Heather Joel + today’s dP reading schedule:

Exodus 21:28-23:13 / Matthew 24:1-28 / Psalm 29:1-11 / Proverbs 7:6-23

Standout Verse:

Proverbs 7: 7-9 & 23
“I perceived among the youths a young man devoid of understanding passing along the street near her corner.  And he took the path to her house in the twilight of the evening – in the black and dark night”.

(v. 23) “He did not know it would cost him his life.”

One of Satan’s number one goals is to separate us from God.  One of the number one ways he wants to go about it is through sexual sin.  If we tolerate it or accept it as “normal” or something we have no power to control, it will begin to subtly take our life.  Sounds extreme?  Just look around at the world we’re living in. We are living smack dab in the middle of an extremely over-sexualized culture where exposure leads to acceptance, acceptance can lead to participation and participation can lead to addiction.

If we are “devoid of understanding” (i.e. ignorant to it’s effects and how the enemy wants to use it to come first between us and the Lord and then between us and our spouse and then our children and friendships) he can worm his way into the secrets, shadows and dark of night and whisper to us that our secret sins don’t really matter.

But the reality is, we’re NOT at the mercy of a sexually driven culture and it is TOTALLY possible by God’s awesome power to be free from a lifestyle dictated and shaped by sexual sin.  BUT we’ve got to get SMART.  We’ve got to KNOW God’s TRUTH about this subject (BTW it’s ALL THROUGH Proverbs!), then we’ve got to make the choice to STAND FIRM and be UNSHAKEABLE“removing our way FAR from it and not going near it “(Proverbs 5: 8).

Best news of the day… God is WAY BIGGER than the enemy’s strategies.  Let’s see this sin for what it is and CHOOSE TO LIVE CLEAN, CLEAR AND FREE!  What the enemy seeks to destroy (our relationships), GOD SEEKS TO HEAL, SET FREE AND MAKE BEAUTIFUL, THRIVING AND GREEN!!!

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