Homegrown

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Understand that most of our challenges are homegrown, so go to God for Him to recalibrate your harvest.”

TB

Homemade

The flesh is fickle, as such, if we follow it with every whim, chaos will ensue. That’s not to say that setbacks aren’t real. That said, who we’re in relationship with, how we spend our time, what deeds we partake in, they are the sum total of our harvest. So, if your harvest is rotten, it’s time to go to the Almighty Gardener.

Heaven-made

When we check-in with God, get to know Him and learn to live by Christ’s teachings, we will see our harvest change. It’s not that He’s all of a sudden making things easier. No, it’s because we develop the discipline to leave behind corruptive behaviors while learning to love the goodness of God. So friends, let’s turn away from our flesh and turn to Him.

Today’s Question

How’s your harvest?

Enjoy the reading

Micah 7

1 How miserable I am! I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat. Not a cluster of grapes or a single early fig can be found to satisfy my hunger. 2 The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers. 3 Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice. 4 Even the best of them is like a brier; the most honest is as dangerous as a hedge of thorns. But your judgment day is coming swiftly now. Your time of punishment is here, a time of confusion. 5 Don’t trust anyone— not your best friend or even your wife! 6 For the son despises his father. The daughter defies her mother. The daughter-in-law defies her mother-in-law. Your enemies are right in your own household! 7 As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. 9 I will be patient as the LORD punishes me, for I have sinned against him. But after that, he will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. The LORD will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemies will see that the LORD is on my side. They will be ashamed that they taunted me, saying, “So where is the LORD — that God of yours?” With my own eyes I will see their downfall; they will be trampled like mud in the streets. 11 In that day, Israel, your cities will be rebuilt, and your borders will be extended. 12 People from many lands will come and honor you— from Assyria all the way to the towns of Egypt, from Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River, and from distant seas and mountains. 13 But the land will become empty and desolate because of the wickedness of those who live there. 14 O LORD, protect your people with your shepherd’s staff; lead your flock, your special possession. Though they live alone in a thicket on the heights of Mount Carmel, let them graze in the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead as they did long ago. 15 “Yes,” says the LORD, “I will do mighty miracles for you, like those I did when I rescued you from slavery in Egypt.” 16 All the nations of the world will stand amazed at what the LORD will do for you. They will be embarrassed at their feeble power. They will cover their mouths in silent awe, deaf to everything around them. 17 Like snakes crawling from their holes, they will come out to meet the LORD our God. They will fear him greatly, trembling in terror at his presence. 18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. 19 Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! 20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago. 

Elbow Grease

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Pick up your cross, put in some elbow grease, and keep following God.”

TB

Grace

God always does the heavy lifting in that He sent Jesus to fulfill our invitation to receive salvation. His Grace alone makes that possible. However, we must submit ourselves and accept that extended invitation. And, that is something only we can individually do.

Grit

Overriding your flesh and following Christ is an active decision that we must continually commit to. God gave us all free will, which is why we must exercise the discipline to act on. But once you put in the elbow grease, God will honor your efforts.

Today’s Question

How are you putting in the elbow grease to improve your relationship with Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Micah 1

1 The LORD gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem. 2 Attention! Let all the people of the world listen! Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign LORD is making accusations against you; the Lord speaks from his holy Temple. 3 Look! The LORD is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth. 4 The mountains melt beneath his feet and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire, like water pouring down a hill. 5 And why is this happening? Because of the rebellion of Israel — yes, the sins of the whole nation. Who is to blame for Israel’s rebellion? Samaria, its capital city! Where is the center of idolatry in Judah? In Jerusalem, its capital! 6 “So I, the LORD, will make the city of Samaria a heap of ruins. Her streets will be plowed up for planting vineyards. I will roll the stones of her walls into the valley below, exposing her foundations. 7 All her carved images will be smashed. All her sacred treasures will be burned. These things were bought with the money earned by her prostitution, and they will now be carried away to pay prostitutes elsewhere.” 8 Therefore, I will mourn and lament. I will walk around barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl. 9 For my people’s wound is too deep to heal. It has reached into Judah, even to the gates of Jerusalem. 10 Don’t tell our enemies in Gath ; don’t weep at all. You people in Beth-leaphrah, roll in the dust to show your despair. 11 You people in Shaphir, go as captives into exile—naked and ashamed. The people of Zaanan dare not come outside their walls. The people of Beth-ezel mourn, for their house has no support. 12 The people of Maroth anxiously wait for relief, but only bitterness awaits them as the LORD ’s judgment reaches even to the gates of Jerusalem. 13 Harness your chariot horses and flee, you people of Lachish. You were the first city in Judah to follow Israel in her rebellion, and you led Jerusalem into sin. 14 Send farewell gifts to Moresheth-gath ; there is no hope of saving it. The town of Aczib has deceived the kings of Israel. 15 O people of Mareshah, I will bring a conqueror to capture your town. And the leaders of Israel will go to Adullam. 16 Oh, people of Judah, shave your heads in sorrow, for the children you love will be snatched away. Make yourselves as bald as a vulture, for your little ones will be exiled to distant lands.

Benefits

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Choosing God over yourself is like choosing fresh food over fast food; it may not be ‘fun’, but the long-term benefits are incomparable.”

TB

Short-term

When we are at the wheel, we will always choose our flesh over the Truth. Like unruly children, we are not capable of thinking past our short-term gratification. If your focus is only on the now and what feels easy, friends, this life will come at you fast and hard. We may get what we want now, but it does have eternal consequences.

Long-term

The long-term play requires of to rise above our flesh, pick up our cross daily, and follow someone who is greater than we are. By choosing Christ, we benefit from the wisdom and discipline of the Truth that only God can provide. Because God sees things from all angles, by following His steps, we begin to see the beauty of His teachings.

Today’s Question

Are you stuck on the benefits of now or focused on the gift of eternity?

Enjoy the reading

1 Then I saw a vision of the Lord standing beside the altar. He said, “Strike the tops of the Temple columns, so that the foundation will shake. Bring down the roof on the heads of the people below. I will kill with the sword those who survive. No one will escape! 2 “Even if they dig down to the place of the dead, I will reach down and pull them up. Even if they climb up into the heavens, I will bring them down. 3 Even if they hide at the very top of Mount Carmel, I will search them out and capture them. Even if they hide at the bottom of the ocean, I will send the sea serpent after them to bite them. 4 Even if their enemies drive them into exile, I will command the sword to kill them there. I am determined to bring disaster upon them and not to help them.” 5 The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, touches the land and it melts, and all its people mourn. The ground rises like the Nile River at floodtime, and then it sinks again. 6 The LORD ’s home reaches up to the heavens, while its foundation is on the earth. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! 7 “Are you Israelites more important to me than the Ethiopians? ” asks the LORD . “I brought Israel out of Egypt, but I also brought the Philistines from Crete and led the Arameans out of Kir. 8 “I, the Sovereign LORD, am watching this sinful nation of Israel. I will destroy it from the face of the earth. But I will never completely destroy the family of Israel, ” says the LORD . 9 “For I will give the command and will shake Israel along with the other nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, yet not one true kernel will be lost. 10 But all the sinners will die by the sword— all those who say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to us.’ 11 “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. 12 And Israel will possess what is left of Edom and all the nations I have called to be mine. ” The LORD has spoken, and he will do these things. 13 “The time will come,” says the LORD, “when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! 14 I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. 15 I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.

Taking Cues

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you take cues from the world on how to live your life, it shows.”

TB

Foolishness

Because we are designed to be lead (our choice on who or what), it’s natural to want to look at your neighbors and see what they are doing. The trouble lies in blindly following practices and customs that you know to be wrong. When you take cues from the world, it is much easier to find people that eagerly want to steer you in the wrong direction as they are driven by fleshly desires. Remember that the world brings death, but Christ brings life.

Divine Authority

Take up your cross and learn to take your cues from Christ. By developing the discipline and patience to see through the corruption of the world, your eyes become accustomed to looking at Him instead of the world. Spirit lead, Christ will impart the wisdom, peace, and joy needed to live a victorious life. Of course, this requires you to look and follow Him. So friends, stop looking around and following the destruction and reconstruct your heart to focus and live by Christ

Today’s Question

Who are you taking cues from?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 12

1 The people of Israel feed on the wind; they chase after the east wind all day long. They pile up lies and violence; they are making an alliance with Assyria while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt. 2 Now the LORD is bringing charges against Judah. He is about to punish Jacob for all his deceitful ways, and pay him back for all he has done. 3 Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. 4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him — 5 the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, the LORD is his name! 6 So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. 7 But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. 8 Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” 9 “But I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters. 10 I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.” 11 But the people of Gilead are worthless because of their idol worship. And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls; their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone along the edges of a plowed field. 12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram, and there he earned a wife by tending sheep. 13 Then by a prophet the LORD brought Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt; and by that prophet they were protected. 14 But the people of Israel have bitterly provoked the LORD, so their Lord will now sentence them to death in payment for their sins.

Groundhog Day

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If you keep repeating your trials over and over, it’s time to study with God to pass your tests.”

TB

Repeat

Every single one of us has trials, struggles, and tests that we must study for. If not, we are doomed to repeat the same dumb behaviors time and time again. God does not want us to waste our time here by being stuck in our footholds. If you’re tired of the monotony, it’s time to open your hearts and minds to the word of Christ.

Next Day

We get to the next day by leaving our misdeeds and sins behind. Friends, we cannot change on our own, which is why we must read, walk, and talk with Christ to improve our understanding. When we set aside our pride and ask God for help, we learn how to make better decisions. So lean on God and not your own understanding.

Today’s Question

Are you stuck on repeat and need time to study with God?

Enjoy the reading

Daniel 11

1 I have been standing beside Michael to support and strengthen him since the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede.) 2 “Now then, I will reveal the truth to you. Three more Persian kings will reign, to be succeeded by a fourth, far richer than the others. He will use his wealth to stir up everyone to fight against the kingdom of Greece. 3 “Then a mighty king will rise to power who will rule with great authority and accomplish everything he sets out to do. 4 But at the height of his power, his kingdom will be broken apart and divided into four parts. It will not be ruled by the king’s descendants, nor will the kingdom hold the authority it once had. For his empire will be uprooted and given to others. 5 “The king of the south will increase in power, but one of his own officials will become more powerful than he and will rule his kingdom with great strength. 6 “Some years later an alliance will be formed between the king of the north and the king of the south. The daughter of the king of the south will be given in marriage to the king of the north to secure the alliance, but she will lose her influence over him, and so will her father. She will be abandoned along with her supporters. 7 But when one of her relatives becomes king of the south, he will raise an army and enter the fortress of the king of the north and defeat him. 8 When he returns to Egypt, he will carry back their idols with him, along with priceless articles of gold and silver. For some years afterward he will leave the king of the north alone. 9 “Later the king of the north will invade the realm of the king of the south but will soon return to his own land. 10 However, the sons of the king of the north will assemble a mighty army that will advance like a flood and carry the battle as far as the enemy’s fortress. 11 “Then, in a rage, the king of the south will rally against the vast forces assembled by the king of the north and will defeat them. 12 After the enemy army is swept away, the king of the south will be filled with pride and will execute many thousands of his enemies. But his success will be short lived. 13 “A few years later the king of the north will return with a fully equipped army far greater than before. 14 At that time there will be a general uprising against the king of the south. Violent men among your own people will join them in fulfillment of this vision, but they will not succeed. 15 Then the king of the north will come and lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The best troops of the south will not be able to stand in the face of the onslaught. 16 “The king of the north will march onward unopposed; none will be able to stop him. He will pause in the glorious land of Israel, intent on destroying it. 17 He will make plans to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will form an alliance with the king of the south. He will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom from within, but his plan will fail. 18 “After this, he will turn his attention to the coastland and conquer many cities. But a commander from another land will put an end to his insolence and cause him to retreat in shame. 19 He will take refuge in his own fortresses but will stumble and fall and be seen no more. 20 “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle. 21 “The next to come to power will be a despicable man who is not in line for royal succession. He will slip in when least expected and take over the kingdom by flattery and intrigue. 22 Before him great armies will be swept away, including a covenant prince. 23 With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers. 24 Without warning he will enter the richest areas of the land. Then he will distribute among his followers the plunder and wealth of the rich—something his predecessors had never done. He will plot the overthrow of strongholds, but this will last for only a short while. 25 “Then he will stir up his courage and raise a great army against the king of the south. The king of the south will go to battle with a mighty army, but to no avail, for there will be plots against him. 26 His own household will cause his downfall. His army will be swept away, and many will be killed. 27 Seeking nothing but each other’s harm, these kings will plot against each other at the conference table, attempting to deceive each other. But it will make no difference, for the end will come at the appointed time. 28 “The king of the north will then return home with great riches. On the way he will set himself against the people of the holy covenant, doing much damage before continuing his journey. 29 “Then at the appointed time he will once again invade the south, but this time the result will be different. 30 For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant. 31 “His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and set up the sacrilegious object that causes desecration. 32 He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him. 33 “Wise leaders will give instruction to many, but these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. 34 During these persecutions, little help will arrive, and many who join them will not be sincere. 35 And some of the wise will fall victim to persecution. In this way, they will be refined and cleansed and made pure until the time of the end, for the appointed time is still to come. 36 “The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place. 37 He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all. 38 Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts. 39 Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. 40 “Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape. 42 He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants. 44 “But then news from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in great anger to destroy and obliterate many. 45 He will stop between the glorious holy mountain and the sea and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him.

Makes Sense

Photo of cunning smirking puzzled interested dark skinned youngster, touching her chin in thought of what to post to her profile on social media wearing jeans denim isolated over vivid color blue background

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God makes sense.”

TB

Complications

We make our lives more complicated when we fail to adhere to God’s wisdom. His teachings are known and readily available, and yet, due to our flesh-driven ways, we obfuscate the truth to carry out misdeeds. This pulls us further from the truth and farther off of the path. Friends, clean your acts up and gain some clarity.

Clear

If you are looking for Truth as clear as day, it’s to turn from the wickedness and turn to God. With determination and discipline, you can make sense of your life when you understand who God is and how you fit into His plan. When you put down your foolish ways, you’ll be surprised how things begin to make sense.

Today’s Question

Do your actions make sense or are you avoiding the revelations of Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Daniel 7

1 Earlier, during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon, Daniel had a dream and saw visions as he lay in his bed. He wrote down the dream, and this is what he saw. 2 In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. 3 Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others. 4 The first beast was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was left standing with its two hind feet on the ground, like a human being. And it was given a human mind. 5 Then I saw a second beast, and it looked like a bear. It was rearing up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And I heard a voice saying to it, “Get up! Devour the flesh of many people!” 6 Then the third of these strange beasts appeared, and it looked like a leopard. It had four bird’s wings on its back, and it had four heads. Great authority was given to this beast. 7 Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast—terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns. 8 As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the first horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This little horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly. 9 I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, 10 and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened. 11 I continued to watch because I could hear the little horn’s boastful speech. I kept watching until the fourth beast was killed and its body was destroyed by fire. 12 The other three beasts had their authority taken from them, but they were allowed to live a while longer. 13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. 15 I, Daniel, was troubled by all I had seen, and my visions terrified me. 16 So I approached one of those standing beside the throne and asked him what it all meant. He explained it to me like this: 17 “These four huge beasts represent four kingdoms that will arise from the earth. 18 But in the end, the holy people of the Most High will be given the kingdom, and they will rule forever and ever.” 19 Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, the one so different from the others and so terrifying. It had devoured and crushed its victims with iron teeth and bronze claws, trampling their remains beneath its feet. 20 I also asked about the ten horns on the fourth beast’s head and the little horn that came up afterward and destroyed three of the other horns. This horn had seemed greater than the others, and it had human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against God’s holy people and was defeating them, 22 until the Ancient One—the Most High—came and judged in favor of his holy people. Then the time arrived for the holy people to take over the kingdom. 23 Then he said to me, “This fourth beast is the fourth world power that will rule the earth. It will be different from all the others. It will devour the whole world, trampling and crushing everything in its path. 24 Its ten horns are ten kings who will rule that empire. Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. 25 He will defy the Most High and oppress the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time. 26 “But then the court will pass judgment, and all his power will be taken away and completely destroyed. 27 Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him.” 28 That was the end of the vision. I, Daniel, was terrified by my thoughts and my face was pale with fear, but I kept these things to myself.

Cake

snack-1785883_1280.png

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“You can have your cake and eat it too, just don’t be foolish enough to disregard the terms and conditions.”~TB

Self

It’s human nature to be selfish and we live in a world that supports that kind of mentality. Everyone wants to gorge themselves on the cake, but no one wants to take responsibility for the calories. More specifically, everyone wants to be their best version of a heathen, but no one wants to acknowledge their connection to God. So they ignore Him and those who warn them of their waywardness. If you think trivializing God changes your fate, welp, you can’t say you weren’t warned.

Indulgent

Discipline breeds results and nothing worth achieving comes easy. Seeking the Lord requires you to spit out the ‘cake’ that the world serves you. Sure, it’ll be tough in the beginning, but the relationship that discipline brings tastes sweeter than any confectionary delight. Indulge in God and He will take delight in you. Ignore God and don’t expect Him to vouch for you. You can’t have it both ways; you either know God or you won’t. But don’t lie to yourself come judgment day about the discipline you never enacted because you’d rather eat cake.

Today’s Question

Are you developing discipline or are you on the road to being disciplined?

Jeremiah 31

1 “In that day,” says the LORD, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people. 
2 This is what the LORD says: “Those who survive the coming destruction will find blessings even in the barren land, for I will give rest to the people of Israel.” 
3 Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. 
4 I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel. You will again be happy and dance merrily with your tambourines. 
5 Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria and eat from your own gardens there. 
6 The day will come when watchmen will shout from the hill country of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Jerusalem to worship the LORD our God.’” 
7 Now this is what the LORD says: “Sing with joy for Israel. Shout for the greatest of nations! Shout out with praise and joy: ‘Save your people, O LORD, the remnant of Israel!’ 
8 For I will bring them from the north and from the distant corners of the earth. I will not forget the blind and lame, the expectant mothers and women in labor. A great company will return! 
9 Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble. For I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my oldest child. 
10 “Listen to this message from the LORD, you nations of the world; proclaim it in distant coastlands: The LORD, who scattered his people, will gather them and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock. 
11 For the LORD has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them. 
12 They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the LORD ’s good gifts— the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone. 
13 The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing. 
14 The priests will enjoy abundance, and my people will feast on my good gifts. I, the LORD, have spoken!” 
15 This is what the LORD says: “A cry is heard in Ramah— deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted— for her children are gone.” 
16 But now this is what the LORD says: “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,” says the LORD . “Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. 
17 There is hope for your future,” says the LORD . “Your children will come again to their own land. 
18 I have heard Israel saying, ‘You disciplined me severely, like a calf that needs training for the yoke. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God. 
19 I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’ 
20 “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the LORD . “I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him. 
21 Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here. 
22 How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the LORD will cause something new to happen— Israel will embrace her God. ” 
23 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people of Judah and its towns will again say, ‘The LORD bless you, O righteous home, O holy mountain!’ 
24 Townspeople and farmers and shepherds alike will live together in peace and happiness. 
25 For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” 
26 At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet. 
27 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will greatly increase the human population and the number of animals here in Israel and Judah. 
28 In the past I deliberately uprooted and tore down this nation. I overthrew it, destroyed it, and brought disaster upon it. But in the future I will just as deliberately plant it and build it up. I, the LORD, have spoken! 
29 “The people will no longer quote this proverb: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’ 
30 All people will die for their own sins—those who eat the sour grapes will be the ones whose mouths will pucker. 
31 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 
32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD . 
33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the LORD . “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 
34 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD .’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD . “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” 
35 It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says: 
36 “I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!” 
37 This is what the LORD says: “Just as the heavens cannot be measured and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored, so I will not consider casting them away for the evil they have done. I, the LORD, have spoken! 
38 “The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when all Jerusalem will be rebuilt for me, from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. 
39 A measuring line will be stretched out over the hill of Gareb and across to Goah. 
40 And the entire area—including the graveyard and ash dump in the valley, and all the fields out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the Horse Gate—will be holy to the LORD . The city will never again be captured or destroyed.”

Confident

courier-1214227_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be confident about how people perceive and know who you are, what you are doing, and how you serve God because they can tell if you are a fraud when they test you.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Successful

Become successful at loving God and you will be spiritually and naturally rich and not an evil fraud.  Money does not measure your richness with God because it is like dirt to Him.  The streets of Heaven are paved with treasures unseen.  Your family and the people around you will admire your faith, work ethic, and talent that God has blessed you with.  People will become jealous and they will try to treat you badly for doing a good job.  Count it all as Joy.

Proud

There is no need to brag about your accomplishments with serving God because it is obvious.  The simplicity of obedience means the most to God and it is the foundation of your faith in Jesus.  Pray that you stay connected and humble in the Love of God, with your faith, actions, words, work, and service to others.  Quality Love builds confidence that you can naturally be proud of and feel good about, just like a Dad who takes good care of his kids and family. The truth always rises to the top of who you are in Christ.

Jolly

I get this jolly feeling of joy when I see my children obey God’s commandments, talk about bible stories, and improve their lives.  It is more joyful to see this happen with my grandchildren as well.  Continue to share and reflect on these things to enjoy the lifestyle God has blessed you with.  Teach the next generation by example, daily practice, and discussions with gladness and success.  This way of life should be natural, unforced, and encouraged for generational transfer of wisdom, love, and understanding with good common sense, family values, ethics, morals, and discipline.
Today’s Question
Are you happy about working for God and going to Heaven or would you rather go to hell by worshiping something else?
Enjoy The Reading

John 15 

Jesus, the True Vine

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

Growing Pains

people-3120717_1920

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“They are called growing pains for a reason.”~TB

Massive

Salvation is the beginning to a potentially wild adventure. God has massive plans for you and all of His children. The challenge lies in if we’re willing to answer the call. Contrary to popular belief, God did not create us just to overcome problem after problem. We are not meant to be just barely clinging to the hope of Christ. In order to undertake whatever call that has been placed on your life, you must undergo the changes and growing pains that come along with it.

Boiling Pot

As a kid, I would accompany my family back to Maryland to visit relatives. Being a crab state, I remember watching my great grandmother prepare the crabs, AKA sticking these none the wiser crabs into their heated doom. Once the water got hot, you could hear the crabs scrambling to get out of the pot. When we are going through changes and growing periods, it can feel like you’re a crab in a boiling pot of water, desperately trying to get out before you meet your doom. But, unlike the crab, what lies in store for us is not our doom, but our freedom from whatever binds us in life.

Changing Your Tune

Growing pains are typically a mental shift rather than a physical one. To understand and accept the plan God has in place for you, you first must accept that He wants a victorious life for you. Victory comes in many forms, not just the “million dollars and fancy houses”. Victory can be over your health, sobriety, relationships, and so on. Instead of trying to ‘get out of the boiling pot’, lean on God and lean into the discipline of making changes. As my dad says often, “You eat the elephant one bite at a time”. So the next time you feel the boiling temptation of going off course, consult God, accept His plan, and take calculated steps to get there. His Ways are ultimately and infinitely far better than ours.

Isaiah 63

1 Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation! It is I, the LORD, who has the power to save!” 
2 Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? 
3 “I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes. 
4 For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors. 
5 I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me. 
6 I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground, spilling their blood upon the earth.” 
7 I will tell of the LORD ’s unfailing love. I will praise the LORD for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love. 
8 He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior. 
9 In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. 
10 But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them. 
11 Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people? 
12 Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever? 
13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling. 
14 As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led your people, LORD, and gained a magnificent reputation.” 
15 LORD, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? 
16 Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, LORD, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past. 
17 LORD, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. 
18 How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. 
19 Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

Equation

42579783-3CEE-45F0-AC55-621875BB8390

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God will provide the solutions for your life, but it is your job to put them into action.”~TB

Questions Answered

If you ignore the chaotic abyss that is the world, a life following Christ becomes more tangible. The older I get, the more I realize that the answers to life’s questions that I seek can be found in the Bible and by talking to God. Man, I could have avoided many dumb decisions earlier on had I heeded His word. In quiet study and communication lies the many wonderful and simple solutions that only Christ can give. Imagine the kind of life we could live if only we used the correct answers instead of our own!

In Practice

It’s one thing to know what to do; it’s an entirely different story to do it. I find that when I walk the path He’s set before me, things miraculously make sense. On the flip side, when I’m copying others or looking for external validation, my world becomes complex, messy, and off task. Getting the solutions is the simple part, putting them into action, well that’s a lifelong endeavor. To fulfill the call that God has for our lives, we must quiet the outside noise and follow the instructions and solutions that He gives.

Today’s Question

Are you using God’s solutions for life’s equations?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 48

1 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and born into the family of Judah. Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and call on the God of Israel. You don’t keep your promises,
2 even though you call yourself the holy city and talk about depending on the God of Israel, whose name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
3 Long ago I told you what was going to happen. Then suddenly I took action, and all my predictions came true.
4 For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze.
5That is why I told you what would happen; I told you beforehand what I was going to do. Then you could never say, ‘My idols did it. My wooden image and metal god commanded it to happen!’
6 You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled, but you refuse to admit it. Now I will tell you new things, secrets you have not yet heard.
7 They are brand new, not things from the past. So you cannot say, ‘We knew that all the time!’
8 “Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new, things you never heard of before. For I know so well what traitors you are. You have been rebels from birth.
9 Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out.
10 I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
11I will rescue you for my sake— yes, for my own sake! I will not let my reputation be tarnished, and I will not share my glory with idols!
12“Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last.
13 It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.”
14 Have any of your idols ever told you this? Come, all of you, and listen: The LORD has chosen Cyrus as his ally. He will use him to put an end to the empire of Babylon and to destroy the Babylonian armies.
15 “I have said it: I am calling Cyrus! I will send him on this errand and will help him succeed.
16 Come closer, and listen to this. From the beginning I have told you plainly what would happen.” And now the Sovereign LORD and his Spirit have sent me with this message.
17 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.
18 Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore— too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.”
20 Yet even now, be free from your captivity! Leave Babylon and the Babylonians. Sing out this message! Shout it to the ends of the earth! The LORD has redeemed his servants, the people of Israel.
21 They were not thirsty when he led them through the desert. He divided the rock, and water gushed out for them to drink.
22“But there is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD .