“Don’t let the smalls things build up in your relationships with others.”~TB
I was tasked to transport my parent’s bird to California. My sister dropped him off and told me that his cage was clean. As I was trying to get the cage into my car this morning, the bottom dropped open and a ton of bird poop fell into my car and on the garage floor. I was livid (and sleep deprived). At 4 in the morning, the last thing I wanted to be doing was cleaning bird poop ahead of an 8 hour drive. In my rage, I recalled decades worth of previous infractions, as a means to fuel my frustration. I had every intention of letting her know how she screwed up. Isn’t it amazing that when we get mad, we immediately look for ways to fan the flame? But then I realized, this is the same sister who let me cry into her sweater when someone stole my gel pens in the 5th grade. She’s also the mother of 3 of my favorite human beings. During the drive, I called her to laugh about the incident as I knew my tiredness had gotten the better of me. It wasn’t that serious. No argument or perceived slight is. The trouble lies in when you allow slights or transgressions build up like plaque in your mouth.
Relationships are like teeth. When you care for them with routine maintenance, they last for a long time. However, just like teeth, if you don’t care for them and you let them rot, eventually they have to be pulled or filled. Relationships of all kinds are complex, which means that eventually we all have to go to God for help with a cavity. God is like the Holy Dentist, there to drill out the relational cavities and fill in the holes with mercy, wisdom, and grace. Without God, repairing relationships is like drilling cavities without novocaine, too painful and impossible to repair otherwise. Of course, cavities within your relationships can be avoided if you brush off the offenses and use the floss of forgiveness. So practice Biblical hygiene when doing life with one another.
Are you brushing away the offenses or are you constantly in God’s dental chair?
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1“Listen in silence before me, you lands beyond the sea. Bring your strongest arguments. Come now and speak. The court is ready for your case.
2“Who has stirred up this king from the east, rightly calling him to God’s service? Who gives this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their kings underfoot? With his sword, he reduces armies to dust. With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind.
3He chases them away and goes on safely, though he is walking over unfamiliar ground.
4Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.”
5The lands beyond the sea watch in fear. Remote lands tremble and mobilize for war.
6The idol makers encourage one another, saying to each other, “Be strong!”
7The carver encourages the goldsmith, and the molder helps at the anvil. “Good,” they say. “It’s coming along fine.” Carefully they join the parts together, then fasten the thing in place so it won’t fall over.
8“But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend,
9I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.
10Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
11“See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing.
12You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing.
13For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
14Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’
15You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains.
16You will toss them into the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. Then you will rejoice in the LORD . You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.
18I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.
19I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.
20I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means— that it is the LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.
21“Present the case for your idols,” says the LORD . “Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel.
22“Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen.
23Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us.
24But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves.
25“But I have stirred up a leader who will approach from the north. From the east he will call on my name. I will give him victory over kings and princes. He will trample them as a potter treads on clay.
26“Who told you from the beginning that this would happen? Who predicted this, making you admit that he was right? No one said a word!
27I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look! Help is on the way!’ I will send Jerusalem a messenger with good news.
28Not one of your idols told you this. Not one gave any answer when I asked.
29See, they are all foolish, worthless things. All your idols are as empty as the wind.
“So you’re spiritually mature, great! Now, step aside and let others pass theirs instead of trying to do the work for them.”~TB
The longer you spend with God, the more you understand how complex yet simple His love and teachings are. Like a game of chess, it takes a lifetime to study God’s ways. Even still, the wisest of us all will never truly and fully understand the miraculousness that is God. Depending on where you are on the spectrum, God will use you for His purpose, but friends, do your job and nothing more, as we all learn at a different pace.
Everyone goes through trials and tests at their own pace. Some learn faster than others. And some need to retake certain tests before they ace the exam. No person’s journey is superior to another’s, no matter how quickly they learn. If you are a quick learner, be a help and not a hindrance.
Helping others is part of the journey that is being a Christ-follower. This means encouraging the downtrodden, aiding those enduring hard times, and giving mercy to one another. It’s great to help, but when helping turns into servitude, you’re doing too much.
Yes, it’s natural to want to step in so that loved ones do not endure pain. However, everyone needs to go through their own tests so that they can learn the lessons and grow closer to God in the process. When you overstep in “helping” you’re actually hinder the person’s growth and maturity. Assist when necessary and let others develop accordingly.
Is your help a hindrance?
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1Don’t envy evil people or desire their company.
2For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.
3A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.
4Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.
5The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
6So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers.
7Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say.
8A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
9The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker.
10If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
11Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death.
12Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
13My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
14In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
15Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live.
16The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
17Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.
18For the LORD will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them.
19Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked.
20For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21My child, fear the LORD and the king. Don’t associate with rebels,
22for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the LORD and the king?
23Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.
24A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations.
25But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them.
26An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship.
27Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.
28Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them.
29And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!”
30I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense.
31I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down.
32Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson:
33A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
34then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
“I implore you to become self-employed with your own ideas, concepts, and business to change and improve your lifestyle of love, charity, and hope.” ~Jon Barnes
Your motives should explore new and higher possibilities in truth, justice, and love with God when you ask, learn, and follow his rules of wisdom and knowledge.Self-employment teaches you to focus, fact find and produce the best goods and services with your name on it.Who you are will match the quality of what you say, do, make, and sell.
Many of us give up too soon, following the easy way out, only to find out that you are now the slave because of your disobedience to God, following the lust of your flesh, the greed of your eyes, and ease of sin.Expire those old ways of evil. I say that it is easier to do what God would have you to do the right way the first time.Stop being nice to the devil.He’s not your friend.
Expel the idea that you have to sit around waiting for someone to take care of you.Get busy making a difference and standing up for what is right.Stop following the crowd with your thinking, follow God with His solutions and ideas.Your success will vibrate at a higher frequency with brighter colors in love.
Does the love of God vibrate and radiate from your heart with laughter, enjoyment, and thanksgiving or are you the thief in the night, killing and destroying everything that is around you for a dollar?
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2 Chronicles 15
Asa’s Religious Reforms
15 Then the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded,2 and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle. “Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without the Law to instruct them.4 But whenever they were in trouble and turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him out, they found him.
5 “During those dark times, it was not safe to travel. Problems troubled the people of every land.6 Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling them with every kind of problem.7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
8 When Asa heard this message from Azariah the prophet,[a] he took courage and removed all the detestable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin and in the towns he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood in front of the entry room of the Lord’s Temple.
9 Then Asa called together all the people of Judah and Benjamin, along with the people of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them. For many from Israel had moved to Judah during Asa’s reign when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.10 The people gathered at Jerusalem in late spring,[b] during the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign.
11 On that day they sacrificed to the Lord 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats from the plunder they had taken in the battle.12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul.13 They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, would be put to death—whether young or old, man or woman.14 They shouted out their oath of loyalty to the Lord with trumpets blaring and rams’ horns sounding.15 All in Judah were happy about this covenant, for they had entered into it with all their heart. They earnestly sought after God, and they found him. And the Lordgave them rest from their enemies on every side.
16 King Asa even deposed his grandmother[c] Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down her obscene pole, broke it up, and burned it in the Kidron Valley.17 Although the pagan shrines were not removed from Israel, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life.18 He brought into the Temple of God the silver and gold and the various items that he and his father had dedicated.
19 So there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
“There is a great divide between the poor and the rich, in which greed will never supply a proper solution of enlightenment.”~Jon Barnes
Becoming rich is a good thing, but typically ends up in tragedy because you can lose your first love in God.It is required that the rich take great care of the poor, working class, and helpless.We are not doing such a great job at this!Choose the best options for all parties involved and let the love of God reign in your decision process.
Big business has enslaved the working class, minimized small towns, and small business because they have monopolized the system, corrupted the ways of good economic policies, and paid their friends to look the other way.God sees it all and will repay the rich who practice these crooked policies, since we all will die, soon to account for our lifestyles.
There is this huge wedge between resources, common sense spending, an absolute waste of manpower, and time when we look at all aspects of functions in our cultures.We build things like Pharaoh in the story of The Ten Commandment and we control the housing market like Mr. Potter in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life.These clear examples of evil thinking should aid in finding truthful, honest, solutions for humanity.
Did you keep, steal, or hide your brother’s wallet, wages, or saving because of your schemes, price gouging, with inferior services, products, and solutions?
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2 Chronicles 14
Early Years of Asa’s Reign
14 [a]When Abijah died, he was buried in the City of David. Then his son Asa became the next king. There was peace in the land for ten years.2 [b]Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God.3 He removed the foreign altars and the pagan shrines. He smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles.4 He commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his law and his commands.5 Asa also removed the pagan shrines, as well as the incense altars from every one of Judah’s towns. So Asa’s kingdom enjoyed a period of peace.6 During those peaceful years, he was able to build up the fortified towns throughout Judah. No one tried to make war against him at this time, for the Lord was giving him rest from his enemies.
7 Asa told the people of Judah, “Let us build towns and fortify them with walls, towers, gates, and bars. The land is still ours because we sought the Lord our God, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they went ahead with these projects and brought them to completion.
8 King Asa had an army of 300,000 warriors from the tribe of Judah, armed with large shields and spears. He also had an army of 280,000 warriors from the tribe of Benjamin, armed with small shields and bows. Both armies were composed of well-trained fighting men.
9 Once an Ethiopian[c] named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of 1,000,000 men[d] and 300 chariots. They advanced to the town of Mareshah,10 so Asa deployed his armies for battle in the valley north of Mareshah.[e]11 Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”
12 So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians[f] in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled.13 Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar, and so many Ethiopians fell that they were unable to rally. They were destroyed by the Lord and his army, and the army of Judah carried off a vast amount of plunder.
14 While they were at Gerar, they attacked all the towns in that area, and terror from the Lordcame upon the people there. As a result, a vast amount of plunder was taken from these towns, too.15 They also attacked the camps of herdsmen and captured many sheep, goats, and camels before finally returning to Jerusalem.