“God does not treat us like puppets or slaves, so let’s not do that to each other.”~TB
Since when did following Christ mean that we are meant to be doormats? As followers of Christ, we are meant to strive for a higher standard, but that also means asserting boundaries and holding each other accountable when people get into ‘Pharaoh’ mode. It’s one thing to turn the other cheek when you are wronged. It’s an entirely different story when you allow other people to enslave your time, mind and resources because you think you’re being Christ-like. If you think bowing down to others and allowing poor treatment is an act of humility, I strongly encourage you to read the Bible more carefully.
When you allow others to continually take advantage of you, you are going down a slippery slope. There is a stark difference between forgiving offenses and tolerating abusive behavior. In our lives, we will endure hardship, setbacks, and other uncomfortable scenarios. But, that is not the same as tolerating bad behavior, whether it comes from your boss, your spouse, your landlord or anyone else. If we truly want to be Christ-like, we have to hold one another to a higher standard. That means shedding light on evil deeds, slave mentalities, and the like. The next time you’re dealing with a ‘Pharaoh’, remember that God loves you and does not require you to put up with inappropriate treatment. Forgive, yes. In addition, remember Christ’s standards.
Are you accepting bad behavior?
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1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them.
2Then the king of Assyria sent his chief of staff from Lachish with a huge army to confront King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The Assyrians took up a position beside the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.
3These are the officials who went out to meet with them: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian.
4Then the Assyrian king’s chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?
5Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me?
6On Egypt? If you lean on Egypt, it will be like a reed that splinters beneath your weight and pierces your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is completely unreliable!
7“But perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the LORD our God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem?
8“I’ll tell you what! Strike a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I will give you 2,000 horses if you can find that many men to ride on them!
9With your tiny army, how can you think of challenging even the weakest contingent of my master’s troops, even with the help of Egypt’s chariots and charioteers?
10What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the LORD ’s direction? The LORD himself told us, ‘Attack this land and destroy it!’”
11Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Assyrian chief of staff, “Please speak to us in Aramaic, for we understand it well. Don’t speak in Hebrew, for the people on the wall will hear.”
12But Sennacherib’s chief of staff replied, “Do you think my master sent this message only to you and your master? He wants all the people to hear it, for when we put this city under siege, they will suffer along with you. They will be so hungry and thirsty that they will eat their own dung and drink their own urine.”
13Then the chief of staff stood and shouted in Hebrew to the people on the wall, “Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria!
14This is what the king says: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you.
15Don’t let him fool you into trusting in the LORD by saying, ‘The LORD will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’
16“Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.
17Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards.
18“Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The LORD will rescue us!’ Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?
19What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power?
20What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the LORD can rescue Jerusalem from me?”
21But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, “Do not answer him.”
22Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian, went back to Hezekiah. They tore their clothes in despair, and they went in to see the king and told him what the Assyrian chief of staff had said.
“Check your motives and behaviors because sometimes your illness is caused by your actions.”~TB
Isn’t weird how many of the things we do in our lives are counterintuitive to the goals we wish to achieve? Say you’re trying to lose weight, but keep buying croissants and donuts. Or, you’re trying to start a business but don’t want to qualify prospects. Though we are engaging in this behavior, many times we are quick to blame our circumstance while forgetting about the deeds we did to get there. Our wounds can be self-inflicted and certain afflictions are a result of what we have or haven’t done. When we don’t take responsibility for our hand in our situations, it can seem like life is unfair or that the cards are stacked against you. No, I’m not saying that every bad thing in your life is your fault. I am saying, that the choices we make today impact our ability and mobility tomorrow. More to the point, maybe learned behaviors or life experiences have caused you to take an “ill” viewpoint. To get out of that mentality, a shift in discipline and accountability is imperative. When there is a lack of discipline and accountability, tilling the soil becomes a nuisance rather than the objective.
Discipline isn’t fun but it is a necessary daily practice that we must do. It first starts with disciplining our minds and hearts to follow God. Putting God first every day is challenging for everyone, even those who’ve been doing for a long time. That’s because we are always battling our flesh which is why discipline and endurance are vital. Discipline teaches you to show up, even when you don’t want to. Endurance gives you the extra push to keep going when your tank is on empty. And God fills in the blanks and covers the rest when we fall short. We begin to see the errors of our ways by having honest conversations with God and ourselves. To get there takes humility and an understanding that we’re all flawed. The world isn’t always against you. Sometimes it’s actually you that’s against you. Calling yourself to the carpet and cultivating self-discipline are the best things you can do, not only in your relationship with Christ, but in your relationship and dealing within the world. When you shift your perspective, you will see that your illness is subjective and that if you allow Him, God can prescribe the antidote.
Are you sick of being sick?
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1When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.
2The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
3Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.
4Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.
5Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying,
6‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’
7But this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place;
8for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”
10Later, the LORD sent this message to King Ahaz:
11“Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. ”
12But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the LORD like that.”
13Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?
14All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
15By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey.
16For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.
17“Then the LORD will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”
18In that day the LORD will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees.
19They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places.
20In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people.
21In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left.
22Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey.
23In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver, will become patches of briers and thorns.
24The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife.
25No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.
“Find older and wiser people who can teach you a thing or two about life.”~TB
It’s wise to spend time with those who have a well developed relationship with God. While you still have to cultivate your own, a mentor can help you with perspective when you can’t get out of your own way. Great lessons and ‘ah hah’ moments can be discovered when you seek counsel from those who’ve come before you. Those who have spent some time on this Earth have seen and experienced moments that the youth have not, so when making any decision of importance, have a word with a mentor.
Perhaps the best reason for having a mentor is to get advice when your pride is writing checks it can’t cash. We all struggle with an ego from time to time and having a soundboard who is emotionally removed from your situation will give you a more nuanced understanding of what you’re going through. More to the point, you can learn from their lessons if you are willing to let go of what is causing you to stumble. So while you’re having talks with God, be sure to chat with those who’ve walked with Him before you.
Who do you consult with to keep you accountable?
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1This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2In the last days, the mountain of the LORD ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
5Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD !
6For the LORD has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.
7Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.
8Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
9So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them.
10Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
11Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
13He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
15He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
16He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
17Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18Idols will completely disappear.
19When the LORD rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
20On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
22Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?
“Doing the work of faith one day a year is not good enough, because God will hold you accountable for the 365 days in a year to judge what you have done.” ~Jon Barnes
God is not about to throw out his math skills of accountability and assessment of your character, nature, and measure of faith in your personal work and walk with God during your lifetime.Your repentance and connection to God with the Blood of Christ will teach you how to remain holy and separated unto God.However, it only takes a second for you to choose and cut that tie and bond with God, based on your choice and wicked behavior.
You must keep your lamp full with the Spirit of God in your heart and life so that your light keeps shining now and forever.This unlimited amount of love that God has supernaturally given you will sustain you in all times if you are a true believer.You will run your race with all that you have to prove your loyalty to God.He will sustain, teach, and test you each day and God’s training is thorough.
God’s accounting on your life is none of my business. God’s accounting in my life is none of your business.His judgment will condemn or correspond to your faith walk, facts, and records to account for your life.One Day, you will be seen as you are and God will decide if you are worthy.Strive to be worthy at all times and humble your causes into the Hands of God and His Righteousness.
Will The Blood of Christ save you, if you are a habitual thief, liar, cheater, and an evil person, pretending to be a true Christian or do you really think God is as stupid as you are?
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Elihu Responds to Job’s Friends
32 Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.
2 Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him.3 He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God[a]appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments.4 Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he.5 But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily.6 Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,
“I am young and you are old, so I held back from telling you what I think. 7 I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’ 8 But there is a spirit[b] within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent. 9 Sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice. 10 So listen to me, and let me tell you what I think.
11 “I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, listening to you grope for words. 12 I have listened, but not one of you has refuted Job or answered his arguments. 13 And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us. Only God can convince him.’ 14 If Job had been arguing with me, I would not answer with your kind of logic! 15 You sit there baffled, with nothing more to say. 16 Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent? Must I also remain silent? 17 No, I will say my piece. I will speak my mind. 18 For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. 19 I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! 20 I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. 21 I won’t play favorites or try to flatter anyone. 22 For if I tried flattery, my Creator would soon destroy me.
“Imagine what we could achieve if we were honest with ourselves”
Having a relationship with God logistically isn’t difficult. Think about it. Reading the Bible, praying, treating others with kindness– these aren’t difficult things. Yet, there’s never enough time to pray or read, which are vital essentials to that relationship. Even better, we tell ourselves we have valid reasons as to why we aren’t doing these things. Funnily enough, many of us are well-read on what’s going on in social media, but we haven’t the faintest clue of what’s in the book of Luke.
What it is
We’re prone to overcomplicating/ over-reasoning why we don’t achieve what it is we need to do. Whether it’s cleaning up your room or spending time reading the Bible, everyone is guilty of throwing out a reason as to why the work was left undone. Then we feel bad, as though the guilt is enough to absolve us from our lukewarm relationship with Christ. Honesty is a tough pill to swallow. In order to get to know God, completing our missions and objectives are crucial. As I work on being black and white on how I spend my time, I find myself unburdened by anxiety when I honestly account for my day-to-day activities. I’ve learned that bottom line, I’ve either done the work or I didn’t because I didn’t want to. Nothing more and nothing less.
Are you being intentional in your time with God or are you tired?
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Deuteronomy 14 NIV
Clean and Unclean Food
1You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,
2for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
3Do not eat any detestable thing.
4These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,
5the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.
6You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.
7However, of those that chew the cud or that have a divided hoof you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the hyrax. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you.
8The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.
9Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that has fins and scales.
10But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat; for you it is unclean.
11You may eat any clean bird.
12But these you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
13the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon,
14any kind of raven,
15the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,
16the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
17the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant,
18the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
19All flying insects are unclean to you; do not eat them.
20But any winged creature that is clean you may eat.
21Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to the foreigner residing in any of your towns, and they may eat it, or you may sell it to any other foreigner. But you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
22Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
23Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.
24But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the LORD will choose to put his Name is so far away),
25then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose.
26Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice.
27And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own.
28At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns,
29so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
“We tend to use fancy words and phrases to describe our insubordinate, deviant, wicked, behaviors, habits, and ideas to sell and use so that we can con others into thinking that breaking the rules is okay.” ~ Jon Barnes
In general, when your life is not going well, you need to get rid of something that is evil in your lifestyle and you must get rid of that behavior too. Your lack of cooperation with God and His standards is obvious, as you continue to rebel and break God’s laws. You are not blessed, but cursed by your own hands and actions. Honest mistakes can happen, but habitual lies, stealing, cheating, and recalcitrance will keep you walking in the dark with the devil in a trance, thinking you are going to heaven, but going to hell.
God places the right people, teachers, Christians, and mentors in our lives but many refuse to do the right things and obey with honor and discipline.We follow our friends, drinking buddies, drug buddies, perverted buddies to the barrooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and anywhere to find a good time, at the expense of your relationship with God and honoring His lifestyle. The best way to do Good is to follow the good path God has set for you to repentance, simplicity, honesty, quality service, humility, and forgiveness. People who are difficult to manage and habitually walk is the way of darkness will be judged by God.
Many people will be held accountable to a higher degree because they knew better and chose to ignore God’s principles and conditions. Stubbornly being resistant to God’s Authority and love with defiance flowing in your veins, they will net an easy access and direct path to hell. Enjoy the path of your faith and actions and be clear which direction you are headed in. Only you can take each step for yourself away from God or towards Him. Did you comprehend that?
Do you have somewhere to hide so God cannot find you in your waywardness or will you yield to God’s Spirit, boundaries, and faithfulness?
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Boundaries of the Land
34 Then the Lord said to Moses,2 “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries.3 The southern portion of your country will extend from the wilderness of Zin, along the edge of Edom. The southern boundary will begin on the east at the Dead Sea.[a]4 It will then run south past Scorpion Pass[b] in the direction of Zin. Its southernmost point will be Kadesh-barnea, from which it will go to Hazar-addar, and on to Azmon.5 From Azmon the boundary will turn toward the Brook of Egypt and end at the Mediterranean Sea.[c]
6 “Your western boundary will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
7 “Your northern boundary will begin at the Mediterranean Sea and run east to Mount Hor,8 then to Lebo-hamath, and on through Zedad9 and Ziphron to Hazar-enan. This will be your northern boundary.
10 “The eastern boundary will start at Hazar-enan and run south to Shepham,11 then down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there the boundary will run down along the eastern edge of the Sea of Galilee,[d]12 and then along the Jordan River to the Dead Sea. These are the boundaries of your land.”
13 Then Moses told the Israelites, “This territory is the homeland you are to divide among yourselves by sacred lot. The Lord has commanded that the land be divided among the nine and a half remaining tribes.14 The families of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received their grants of land15 on the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho toward the sunrise.”
Leaders to Divide the Land
16 And the Lord said to Moses,17 “Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun are the men designated to divide the grants of land among the people.18 Enlist one leader from each tribe to help them with the task.19 These are the tribes and the names of the leaders:
Caleb son of Jephunneh
Shemuel son of Ammihud
Elidad son of Kislon
Bukki son of Jogli
23 Manasseh son of Joseph
Hanniel son of Ephod
24 Ephraim son of Joseph
Kemuel son of Shiphtan
Elizaphan son of Parnach
Paltiel son of Azzan
Ahihud son of Shelomi
Pedahel son of Ammihud
29 These are the men the Lord has appointed to divide the grants of land in Canaan among the Israelites.”
“Your Greed, Lust, and Pride does not allow you to appreciate, experience, and see what your Father God Provides for you right before your very Eyes.” ~ Jon Barnes
You have developed a lifetime worth of bad habits, full of fat repetitious behavior, based on your own thoughts, ideas, traditions, and works that are evil, selfish, or wrong, because God’s ways of love are missing in your mind! Your wicked heart makes every excuse to block the mind, body, and soul to use God’s Good work and ways of righteousness.
You should thank God for the devil’s process, so that you may learn from God and clean up your mess and allow your heart to process the truth. Thank God for a mind that listens to develop a loving heart that transitions into a repenting, mature, masterpiece of God’s Working Spit Art, which will allow you access into the Gate of Heaven.
Avoiding and running from your clean up job with Love is not progress, because the richness of Lust, Pride and Greed has an empty thunk sound of need, in the trunk of your soul, ringing for eternity in want. All the power, money, fame, talent, and fake feelings of bliss, is just a technological misappropriation of true love, with a hollow front. Trumped by your own empty shell games, your greed has been sold and now returns to claim your evil soul’s remains in the thunk, trumped sound of Hell and perpetual pain.
How can you see the truth in God’s Love, since you are using the devil’s eyes of Lust, Greed, and Pride?
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Jacob Arrives at Paddan-Aram
29 Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east.2 He saw a well in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.
3 It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be placed back over the mouth of the well.4 Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5 “Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he asked.
“Yes, we do,” they replied.
6 “Is he doing well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, he’s well,” they answered. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock now.”
7 Jacob said, “Look, it’s still broad daylight—too early to round up the animals. Why don’t you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?”
8 “We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats.”
9 Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd.10 And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock.11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud.12 He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.
13 As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story,14 Laban exclaimed, “You really are my own flesh and blood!”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month,15 Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel.17 There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes,[a] but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
19 “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.”20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
21 Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.”
22 So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast.23 But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her.24 (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)
25 But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
26 “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied.27 “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.”
28 So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too.29 (Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.)30 So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.
Jacob’s Many Children
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive.32 So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[b] for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”
33 She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon,[c] for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
34 Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi,[d] for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
35 Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah,[e] for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.
“Funny, we are all alike, yet still different enough to think differently. Our wrong is never right, as we all look and act the same.” Jon Barnes
My actions and judgements are misguided and wrong when I do not communicate effectively with God, family and people. It is my responsibility to engage and master the tools of life with all that I have. Our laziness prevent us from digging deeper past the amount of work that it takes to simply make a true statement, phone call, or write a love letter explaining our position.
We encourage mistakes by not allowing ourselves time to check, re-read, re-focus, and recalculate our ability and effectiveness to love each other. The proof is in your own writing, works, words, charity, dreams, and reality, based on your love for God and His good work of faith in your life; or the lack of love and faith. I have learned to blame myself for my own misinterpretations of the obvious, truth of simplicity. We are all dumb! Wise up.
I can’t miscalculate the truth of how frail humanity is and I refuse to understate God’s infinite Grace, Glory, Power, and Mercy. I will not slip in my thinking by omitting God’s 10 commandments from my lifestyle of love to share with everyone. Your daily blunders and oversights will not change the outcomes of God’s Infinite Wisdom, Understanding, and Facts of things to come. Recycle your junk, mistakes, evil, sin, and trash by giving it back to God through repentance, so that He can recycle your blunders and credit your soul with a heavenly slot and plot of land.
Did you miscalculate how to land your soul’s rocket launch to Heaven, through the pearly gates or did you buy the wrong rocket fuel for take off?
Enjoy Today’s Reading
Taming the Tongue
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
“I can’t wait to take lessons from The Cat, Michael the Archangel, who is the leader of all the angels of the army of God in Heaven; as I will be listening to how cool he plays the trumpet sound, in the new age to come.”
It is cool how God chose the Trumpet to represent his Voice and Call to arms in the epic final battle of the age to come, when we all can witness the final chapter of understanding, truth, and justice to God’s Story. Which army will you play and fight with? This fight should be quick and rather painless, as the mouth of hell opens up for the last time consuming all of it’s participants and flesh patriots of pleasure, lust, greed, sin, and the likes.
Sign Me Up
Sign me up for some lessons so I can learn all about God’s Trumpet Business and how I can be a part of His army of Swinging Orchestral, Celestial Cats, Rockin’ in the United Band of Lights and Feathers. Flying into Heaven’s Pearly Gates will be a sight to behold, with my new axe in hand, being permanently hard wired into the mind, soul, body, and spirit of God, who is all things, and in all things musical forever.
Experiencing the Heavenly Vibe of God must be the kind of wonder that words, works, feelings, pictures, music, thoughts, or any other chemical, sensory or neurological process human process can not grasp. Don’t settle for a lowly fake substitute teacher of God’s Ways. Study from God directly from His Book to get His Vibe and practice among friends who participate, read, pray, and do the good work of Faith. Get your Trumpet and start practicing Now!
Will God give you a Trumpet (or a position) to Play in His Army of ONE or will there be heat, wailing, and gnashing of teeth for you?
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,[b] and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing firewith his powerful angels.8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Each second that you get a chance to breath, communicate, make music, create, help, Love, and do good work for God is a Thankful Moment in time, which is to your credit of for Worship, honor, and Truth in your Faith Walk.” ~ Jon Barnes
What you do for God is not always seen or readily understood by others. However, God Knows that you are thankful. We don’t go around with a sign that says, “hey, look at me doing good work”. Your work speaks to God for itself. It is the good work that activates your faith and pleases God, when you walk in faith.
We are thankful because we share the Good News of God in our lifestyle, which talks to the people all around us. Your words mean nothing when you cannot back them up with your faith in action. Faith in action is sharing and caring with thanksgiving in action.
I stay Happy because I am alive and can make someone else happy with the quality work that I do. Pretend that God is always standing over you, and your perspective will change your work ethic. God’s love activates the “Stay Happy” feeling in your heart when you go through the storms at work, while relaxing, on the job, at church, or on vacation. My Grandmother always had a beautiful loving smile.
Do you look unhappy and unhealthy because you are not thankful to God for your life, faith, family and work?
Enjoy Today’s Reading.
4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord.8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[c]among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, matureand fully assured.13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.