Tortoise and the Hare

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Rely on the wisdom of Christ to run your race”~TB

The Hustle

My dad and I started playing chess this year. I had casually been playing on my iPad and thought I was doing quite well. One day, I challenged my father— thinking that my mental prowess would make me a superior player. He accepts, saying that he’s played a bit but isn’t that good. My ego— which is notorious for writing checks it can’t cash— saw a lamb ripe for slaughter. Needless to say, every time we’ve played, I leave with my tail tucked between my legs. My ego still has not recovered from the brutal beatings I’ve received. I’ve never come close to being a formidable opponent, which is a rarity for me.  And on a side note, my dad comes off as this unassuming dude, which masks his shark-like thinking. You never see it coming until it’s too late. Even though I know this, I still get taken for a ride.

Burnout

My brain processes information rather quickly. It allows me to think, decipher, theorize, and just think about multiple scenarios/conclusions within seconds. Usually this works in my favor, but in chess, not so much. In chess, patience and discipline reign supreme— especially when you’re learning the game. My father has those character traits in spades. He’s the tortoise to my hare— I may process faster, but I burnout quicker. Whereas, he may take longer, but he has the tenacity to finish the race. It reminds me of how we build our relationship with Jesus and how it equates to the race that is life. Walking with Christ requires long endurance, not short sprints. And if you have not developed the discipline it takes to run that race, prepare to have your tail between your legs quite a bit. Fortunately, Christ is always patient, so we have a lifetime to work on our endurance and discipline.

Long Run

While life seems to go by in a blink of an eye, it’s really quite long. Our relationship, or lack thereof determines how we run that race. If you’re like me, trying to process and jump through lessons quickly, you can easily miss the lessons that He is trying to teach you. But, if you can slow down, assess your board and make moves according to His will, you’re able to learn lessons that many of us fail to even see! I say all of this to say, that your walk with Christ is a life-long, progressive relationship. There is always something new to learn and a new move to play. It’s the exact reason why the Bible is called the Living Word. Depending on where you are on the board of your life, the Bible can and will apply new revelations and meaning. So buckle up and put your long distance shoes on as it takes a lifetime to run the race God has set before you.

Today’s Question

Are you looking for a lifetime run or a lifetime full of excuses?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 27

1 In that day the LORD will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea.
2 “In that day, sing about the fruitful vineyard.
3 I, the LORD, will watch over it, watering it carefully. Day and night I will watch so no one can harm it.
4 My anger will be gone. If I find briers and thorns growing, I will attack them; I will burn them up—
5 unless they turn to me for help. Let them make peace with me; yes, let them make peace with me.”
6 The time is coming when Jacob’s descendants will take root. Israel will bud and blossom and fill the whole earth with fruit!
7 Has the LORD struck Israel as he struck her enemies? Has he punished her as he punished them?
8 No, but he exiled Israel to call her to account. She was exiled from her land as though blown away in a storm from the east.
9 The LORD did this to purge Israel’s wickedness, to take away all her sin. As a result, all the pagan altars will be crushed to dust. No Asherah pole or pagan shrine will be left standing.
10 The fortified towns will be silent and empty, the houses abandoned, the streets overgrown with weeds. Calves will graze there, chewing on twigs and branches.
11 The people are like the dead branches of a tree, broken off and used for kindling beneath the cooking pots. Israel is a foolish and stupid nation, for its people have turned away from God. Therefore, the one who made them will show them no pity or mercy.
12 Yet the time will come when the LORD will gather them together like handpicked grain. One by one he will gather them—from the Euphrates River in the east to the Brook of Egypt in the west.
13 In that day the great trumpet will sound. Many who were dying in exile in Assyria and Egypt will return to Jerusalem to worship the LORD on his holy mountain.

Truth

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If being nice means you have to subjugate the truth, then you’re not being nice; you’re lying.”~TB

False Equivalence 

Being  “nice” is such a weird concept to me. It’s not “nice” to disagree even if you’re position is correct. It’s not “nice” to offend even if what you say is true. We use it as a means to not be honest. But friends, the truth is the truth, whether we want to hear it or not. And people with ulterior motives will shove “nice” down your throat to get you from seeing the truth and to accept their lies. “Nice” is circumstantial, but the Truth never changes. I’ll give you an example

Truth Saves

5 or so years ago, when I first began freelancing, I was shucking and jiving, not doing what I needed to in order to run a successful business. I was hiding under the guise of fear and anxiety to avoid the truth: I wasn’t doing the work to make it happen. Fortunately, my mom— who’s great at seeing through my BS— sent me a compelling email calling me out on my nonsense. At first, my feelings were hurt, but then, I called a former boss and in 3 days, I had a job. Imagine that.

Honor in Telling the Truth

My mom could’ve been  “nice” and just let me wallow in my stupidity. After all, that would’ve been the safest route. However, she told me a much needed truth: I needed to get off my rear and make some money to take care of myself. People who truly love you will tell you the truth, no matter the consequence. God is the same way. His Truth never changes and depending on the level of stupidity we’re into, sometimes His Truth doesn’t feel all that nice. But considering His Truth is the only Truth, I for one would rather sacrifice my pride to live in the  Truth today rather than feel “nice” and suffer the consequences tomorrow. Truth is, the choice is ours to make.

Today’s Question

Are you interested in the Truth?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 25

1 O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.
2You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins. Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble. Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear and will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory; ruthless nations will fear you.
4 But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall,
5 or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations. As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat, so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.
6 In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
7There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
8He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken!
9 In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God! We trusted in him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”
10 For the LORD ’s hand of blessing will rest on Jerusalem. But Moab will be crushed. It will be like straw trampled down and left to rot.
11 God will push down Moab’s people as a swimmer pushes down water with his hands. He will end their pride and all their evil works.
12 The high walls of Moab will be demolished. They will be brought down to the ground, down into the dust.

 

Intent

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In matters of communication, intent matters as does grace and mercy.”~TB

When Help Goes Wrong

A few weeks ago, I was making a pot roast for my parents. Man, do I make a mean pot roast. My trick is to allow the roast to slow cook for at least 8 hours. I find that the meat just falls apart yet it retains its juices. One morning, I prepped the dish, and decided to use the day to take care of some tasks. When I got home, I went to check on the pot roast only to find that the meat had already been cut into pieces and it had been slow cooking for only 6 hours! I was livid. Turns out my dad thought he was doing me a solid by chopping up the meat. In his mind, he was helping. In my mind, he butchered (pun intended) my perfected process.

Stop Drop & Roll

My first instinct was to read him the riot act, driving home the point of my process and how the dish was simply ruined (dramatic, I know, but if you love to cook you get it) the meal. But when I saw his face after I informed him of the mistake (and perhaps I had my mean face on) I stopped for a minute and chilled out. I realized that his intention was to help me, not to ruin the dish. This moment did not call for a fire and brimstone approach. Instead of focusing on the mistake, I decided to focus on the intent. How cool is it to have someone want to help out? I simply let it go and then we sat down to play some epic dominoes. God delivered the domino victories to me that day. Justice was served.

 

Intent Matters

It seems like today, we hustle and bustle through life, quickly judging and assessing yet sometimes failing to look at the bigger picture. Relationships are complex in nature and if we fail to recognize the true intent of the people in our lives, we can get things wrong. Sure, an action may have caused an unintended outcome, but that’s what mercy is for. After all God forgives our actions— both good intent and bad. The point is to evaluate a situation on a case by case scenario. In the example above, I had to look at all sides of the equation, not just how I felt in the moment. Had I chosen anger, my dad could have gotten defensive and then we would have had an argument on our hands. Instead, we had the opportunity to laugh at it, play some dominoes and life went on as usual. So the next time someone in your life accidentally offends you, don’t forget to look at their intent with mercy and grace. Remember the mercy and grace that Christ extends to us every second of every day.

Today’s Question

Do you consider intent or are you intent on being continually offended?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 24

1 Look! The LORD is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. He devastates the surface of the earth and scatters the people.
2 Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors—none will be spared.
3 The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The LORD has spoken!
4 The earth mourns and dries up, and the land wastes away and withers. Even the greatest people on earth waste away.
5 The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws, and broken his everlasting covenant.
6Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin. They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive.
7 The grapevines waste away, and there is no new wine. All the merrymakers sigh and mourn.
8 The cheerful sound of tambourines is stilled; the happy cries of celebration are heard no more. The melodious chords of the harp are silent.
9 Gone are the joys of wine and song; alcoholic drink turns bitter in the mouth.
10 The city writhes in chaos; every home is locked to keep out intruders.
11 Mobs gather in the streets, crying out for wine. Joy has turned to gloom. Gladness has been banished from the land.
12 The city is left in ruins, its gates battered down.
13 Throughout the earth the story is the same— only a remnant is left, like the stray olives left on the tree or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest.
14 But all who are left shout and sing for joy. Those in the west praise the LORD ’s majesty.
15 In eastern lands, give glory to the LORD . In the lands beyond the sea, praise the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
16 We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth, songs that give glory to the Righteous One! But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere.
17Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, you people of the earth.
18 Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare. Destruction falls like rain from the heavens; the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth has broken up. It has utterly collapsed; it is violently shaken.
20The earth staggers like a drunk. It trembles like a tent in a storm. It falls and will not rise again, for the guilt of its rebellion is very heavy.
21 In that day the LORD will punish the gods in the heavens and the proud rulers of the nations on earth.
22 They will be rounded up and put in prison. They will be shut up in prison and will finally be punished.
23 Then the glory of the moon will wane, and the brightness of the sun will fade, for the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will rule on Mount Zion. He will rule in great glory in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people.

Trash

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Sin is like digging in the trash for treats— nothing good comes from it.”~TB

Garbage Deeds

A few days ago, I forgot to take out the trash. It wasn’t old or anything, but the it contained some chicken bones and meat products, which are too much of a temptation for my dog. I figured it would be ok since there’s a lock on it, but when I arrived back home, trash was sprawled all over my kitchen floor and my dog was in the corner with her tail tucked in and a face that read ‘guilty’ all over it. Annoyed, I asked her, “Why do you go digging in the trash when I’ve bought you treats? All you have to do is behave and you get all of the treats you want”. Then, I had an epiphany. God probably says the same thing to us when we sin. We all go digging in the trash looking for forbidden treats even though God provides us good things all of the time.

Mercy at its Finest

I can’t stay mad at Abbey for long. She’s a good dog, and she’s had to put up with me for almost 7 years. Getting back to the trash, I sigh and chuckle, cleaning up the mess  as I thought about how many times God has had (And will continue) to clean up mine. It’s funny though, we all mess up, digging through the trash and then hide from God as if He doesn’t already know what we’ve been up to. Fortunately for us, He lovingly cleans up our junk, erasing it from the score board, and guess what, the “treat” is till on the table. Just like our canine friends, we’ll always find trash attractive as its in our nature, but with discipline and looking out for the divine ‘treats’ maybe we can stay out of the garbage more frequently. As for my dog, well, I’ll just stick to taking out the trash.

 

Today’s Question

Are you ready to stop digging in the trash?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 23

1 This message came to me concerning Tyre: Wail, you trading ships of Tarshish, for the harbor and houses of Tyre are gone! The rumors you heard in Cyprus are all true.
2Mourn in silence, you people of the coast and you merchants of Sidon. Your traders crossed the sea,
3 sailing over deep waters. They brought you grain from Egypt and harvests from along the Nile. You were the marketplace of the world.
4 But now you are put to shame, city of Sidon, for Tyre, the fortress of the sea, says, “Now I am childless; I have no sons or daughters.”
5 When Egypt hears the news about Tyre, there will be great sorrow.
6 Send word now to Tarshish! Wail, you people who live in distant lands!
7 Is this silent ruin all that is left of your once joyous city? What a long history was yours! Think of all the colonists you sent to distant places.
8Who has brought this disaster on Tyre, that great creator of kingdoms? Her traders were all princes, her merchants were nobles.
9The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has done it to destroy your pride and bring low all earth’s nobility.
10 Come, people of Tarshish, sweep over the land like the flooding Nile, for Tyre is defenseless.
11 The LORD held out his hand over the sea and shook the kingdoms of the earth. He has spoken out against Phoenicia, ordering that her fortresses be destroyed.
12He says, “Never again will you rejoice, O daughter of Sidon, for you have been crushed. Even if you flee to Cyprus, you will find no rest.”
13 Look at the land of Babylonia — the people of that land are gone! The Assyrians have handed Babylon over to the wild animals of the desert. They have built siege ramps against its walls, torn down its palaces, and turned it to a heap of rubble.
14Wail, you ships of Tarshish, for your harbor is destroyed!
15 For seventy years, the length of a king’s life, Tyre will be forgotten. But then the city will come back to life as in the song about the prostitute:
16 Take a harp and walk the streets, you forgotten harlot. Make sweet melody and sing your songs so you will be remembered again.
17 Yes, after seventy years the LORD will revive Tyre. But she will be no different than she was before. She will again be a prostitute to all kingdoms around the world.
18 But in the end her profits will be given to the LORD . Her wealth will not be hoarded but will provide good food and fine clothing for the LORD ’s priests.

 

Directional

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The musical direction of the Hand of God’s Holy Spirit can be seen, heard, and felt alive in your daily walk and studies with Him, as He guides you into eternity to Heaven forever.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Spiritual

As a King’s Kid, you must get directions, training, instructions, and discipline in the ways of God within the palace of the pages from the Holy Bible.  Your spiritual education is directly from God as your eyes see what no person can see, but by the Spirit of Truth from the Power of God.  I cannot give you spirituality, common sense, or understanding.  Ask God.

Devotional

Devotion is a key ingredient in staying connected directly to God every second of the day, so that you are aware of His Presence, Passion, and Purpose for your life.  Your job and wonderful ministry unfold right in front of you with each step you take with God.  Many will voluntarily renounce their royal, holy position with God, based on the actions and the direction they take with their dishonest behavior.

Motivational

Each miracle that you experience in The Lord will give you courage, motivation, and insight to the next step in your life.  The Will of God seems easy in comparison to your own free will of ignorance, dreams, and mayhem.  The direction you hold dearest in your heart is the path you will follow to heaven or hell.
Today’s Question
Did you resign from the position God has given you by not doing the work of developing, studying, and maintaining the talent to serve others for working in the Kingdom of God? 
Enjoy The Reading

Psalm 17

A prayer of David.

Lord, hear my plea for justice.
    Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
    for it comes from honest lips.
Declare me innocent,
    for you see those who do right.
You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
    You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
    I am determined not to sin in what I say.
I have followed your commands,
    which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
My steps have stayed on your path;
    I have not wavered from following you.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
    By your mighty power you rescue
    those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.[a]
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
    from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
    Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
    watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
    like young lions hiding in ambush.
13 Arise, O Lord!
    Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
    Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
    destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
    May their children have plenty,
    leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
15 Because I am righteous, I will see you.
    When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
 
Love,
Jonathan

Kindly

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
Kindly state your case and be good at it, as if God is standing right next to you, so that you may enjoy the response you’ll get.” ~ Jon Barnes

Stately

Stating a viewpoint is not always easy, but you will learn something in the process of engagement.  Open discussions about love, God, belief, ethics, values, and other good topics can be fun when you are not always trying to be right!  Be engaged in learning something new and let God teach you throughout your entire life.

Patiently

Look for opportunities to try something new and do the good work God needs from you.  Ask and receive the blessing, knock and open the door, step and walk into your faith of loving, caring, and giving.  listening more than you speak will help you to gain the patience that you need to help others with your ears.

Keep

Keep the path and course straight with God and people so that they can support, encourage, and follow the direction you are headed in. Learning new skills and mastering challenges will prepare you for adventures just ahead.  You skill set will be challenged in deeds and with good words.
Today’s Question
Are you prepared for the challenge of being KIND all of the time?

1 Chronicles 1 

From Adam to Noah’s Sons

The descendants of Adam were Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah.
The sons of Noah were[a] Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Descendants of Japheth

The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath,[b] and Togarmah.
The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.

Descendants of Ham

The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim,[c] Put, and Canaan.
The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth.
11 Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 12 Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.[d]
13 Canaan’s oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites,[e] 14 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 15 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,16 Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites.

Descendants of Shem

17 The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
The descendants of Aram were[f] Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.[g]
18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah.
Shelah was the father of Eber.
19 Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg (which means “division”), for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups. His brother’s name was Joktan.
20 Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal,[h] Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were descendants of Joktan.
24 So this is the family line descended from Shem: Arphaxad, Shelah,[i] 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 and Abram, later known as Abraham.

Descendants of Abraham

28 The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These are their genealogical records:
The sons of Ishmael were Nebaioth (the oldest), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael.
32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
The sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan.
33 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Abraham through his concubine Keturah.

Descendants of Isaac

34 Abraham was the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel.[j]

Descendants of Esau

35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
36 The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho,[k] Gatam, Kenaz, and Amalek, who was born to Timna.[l]
37 The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

Original Peoples of Edom

38 The descendants of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.
39 The descendants of Lotan were Hori and Hemam.[m] Lotan’s sister was named Timna.
40 The descendants of Shobal were Alvan,[n] Manahath, Ebal, Shepho,[o] and Onam.
The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.
41 The son of Anah was Dishon.
The descendants of Dishon were Hemdan,[p] Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.
42 The descendants of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.[q]
The descendants of Dishan[r] were Uz and Aran.

Rulers of Edom

43 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites[s]:
Bela son of Beor, who ruled from his city of Dinhabah.
44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king in his place.
45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king in his place.
46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who destroyed the Midianite army in the land of Moab.
47 When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king in his place.
48 When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth-on-the-River became king in his place.
49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king in his place.
50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Pau.[t]His wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab. 51 Then Hadad died.
The clan leaders of Edom were Timna, Alvah,[u] Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram. These are the clan leaders of Edom.
Love,
Jonathan