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Gift:  Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.

Reading:  Abram told Sarai: “Your maid is in your power. Do to her whatever you please.”  Sarai then abused her so much that Hagar ran away from her. 2 The LORD’S messenger found her by a spring in
the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur, and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”  She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.”  But the LORD’S messenger told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her abusive treatment.  (Genesis 16:6-9)

Observation:  So the title of my journal post for today has to do with my dream from last night.  The group of young adults that came together for our Bible study today were able to work through this scripture and at the same time helped me to work through the dream that I had last night.  The dream was so shocking that I woke up with the sincere impression that I was under spiritual attack by evil forces.  Whether this was in my head or coming from outside forces, I do not know.  I do know that it was shocking enough to move me to wake up at 3:30am and pray the Rosary.  As far as the Bible study is concerned, we worked through the difficult parts of this reading and as I reflected back on it, I realized all the verses we chose were right in line with each other.  (With the exception of David’s choice, that I have neglected to discuss here because I think he chose it for the same reason it startled me as I heard it read at our Communion Service this morning.)

Personification:  Self-Control  Nelson did an amazing job of explaining the verse that was troubling me about this first reading.  He said it shows that Abram was aligning himself with how God allows us to exercise our free will, even when he knows that we are going to sin.  Abram told Sarai to do with her maid as she would choose, knowing that she would probably mistreat her.  Of course, I also noted that in his over 80 years of life, he would be filled with much wisdom about how to stay out of an argument with his wife, and would probably have relented in arguing for Hagar’s defense, because he knew it would not end well for him.

Prayer:  (Nelson shared a great prayer with us and I won’t try to re-create it here, so I will just post a prayer that I need to say more anyway!)  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!

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