Zoom Out

Worker walking in the factory

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When facing challenging situations, zoom out to see how God is working in your life.”

TB

Microscope

It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’re facing mounting problems that don’t seem to let up. In stressful situations, we tend to focus on all that is going on, forgetting about all that is going right. When you’re facing trials, call on God and zoom out. Activate your faith and let Him show you the bigger picture.

Fullscreen

Take a fullscreen view to see things as they truly are. Yes, problems are challenging and can bring on feelings of uncertainty, but remember who is in control. There are so many ways that God helps us every day. Zoom out to see where He’s brought you from and remember He’s taking you to a far better place.

Today’s Question

How are you looking at your current situation, and are you letting God guide you through it?

Enjoy the reading

Judges 11

1 Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. 2 Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.” 3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him. 4 At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel. 5 When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. 6 The elders said, “Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!” 7 But Jephthah said to them, “Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?” 8 “Because we need you,” the elders replied. “If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead.” 9 Jephthah said to the elders, “Let me get this straight. If I come with you and if the LORD gives me victory over the Ammonites, will you really make me ruler over all the people?” 10 “The LORD is our witness,” the elders replied. “We promise to do whatever you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him their ruler and commander of the army. At Mizpah, in the presence of the LORD, Jephthah repeated what he had said to the elders. 12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of Ammon, asking, “Why have you come out to fight against my land?” 13 The king of Ammon answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they stole my land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River and all the way to the Jordan. Now then, give back the land peaceably.” 14 Jephthah sent this message back to the Ammonite king: 15 “This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not steal any land from Moab or Ammon. 16 When the people of Israel arrived at Kadesh on their journey from Egypt after crossing the Red Sea, 17 they sent messengers to the king of Edom asking for permission to pass through his land. But their request was denied. Then they asked the king of Moab for similar permission, but he wouldn’t let them pass through either. So the people of Israel stayed in Kadesh. 18 “Finally, they went around Edom and Moab through the wilderness. They traveled along Moab’s eastern border and camped on the other side of the Arnon River. But they never once crossed the Arnon River into Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 “Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled from Heshbon, asking for permission to cross through his land to get to their destination. 20 But King Sihon didn’t trust Israel to pass through his land. Instead, he mobilized his army at Jahaz and attacked them. 21 But the LORD, the God of Israel, gave his people victory over King Sihon. So Israel took control of all the land of the Amorites, who lived in that region, 22 from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River, and from the eastern wilderness to the Jordan. 23 “So you see, it was the LORD, the God of Israel, who took away the land from the Amorites and gave it to Israel. Why, then, should we give it back to you? 24 You keep whatever your god Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the LORD our God gives us. 25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he try to make a case against Israel for disputed land? Did he go to war against them? 26 “Israel has been living here for 300 years, inhabiting Heshbon and its surrounding settlements, all the way to Aroer and its settlements, and in all the towns along the Arnon River. Why have you made no effort to recover it before now? 27 Therefore, I have not sinned against you. Rather, you have wronged me by attacking me. Let the LORD, who is judge, decide today which of us is right—Israel or Ammon.” 28 But the king of Ammon paid no attention to Jephthah’s message. 29 At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD . He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, 31 I will give to the LORD whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” 32 So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory. 33 He crushed the Ammonites, devastating about twenty towns from Aroer to an area near Minnith and as far away as Abel-keramim. In this way Israel defeated the Ammonites. 34 When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. “Oh, my daughter!” he cried out. “You have completely destroyed me! You’ve brought disaster on me! For I have made a vow to the LORD, and I cannot take it back.” 36 And she said, “Father, if you have made a vow to the LORD, you must do to me what you have vowed, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But first let me do this one thing: Let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin.” 38 “You may go,” Jephthah said. And he sent her away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children. 39 When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel 40 for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter.

Chasing Tails

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To proclaim love for the Lord but to desire worldly pursuits is like a dog chasing its tail.”

TB

Duplicitous

When we know God, we also know what is wrong and what is right. But an untamed heart, mind, and flesh will always crave the things of this world. When pride and ego are your only friends, words of wisdom sound foolish, and foolish words seem wise. In this flesh-driven thinking, you’ll find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over, like a distracted animal.

Intentional

So, how is it that we still chase after the things that are not of God? That’s because the flesh will always lead us into temptation, but if we strengthen our resolve to follow Christ first, we can minimize our sinful nature. This occurs when we limit worldly influence, cling to the Word of Christ, and spend time with those who eagerly seek Him as well.

Today’s Question

Are you done running around in circles chasing your tail?

Enjoy the reading

Nahum 3

1 What sorrow awaits Nineveh, the city of murder and lies! She is crammed with wealth and is never without victims. 2 Hear the crack of whips, the rumble of wheels! Horses’ hooves pound, and chariots clatter wildly. 3 See the flashing swords and glittering spears as the charioteers charge past! There are countless casualties, heaps of bodies— so many bodies that people stumble over them. 4 All this because Nineveh, the beautiful and faithless city, mistress of deadly charms, enticed the nations with her beauty. She taught them all her magic, enchanting people everywhere. 5 “I am your enemy!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “And now I will lift your skirts and show all the earth your nakedness and shame. 6 I will cover you with filth and show the world how vile you really are. 7 All who see you will shrink back and say, ‘Nineveh lies in ruins. Where are the mourners?’ Does anyone regret your destruction?” 8 Are you any better than the city of Thebes, situated on the Nile River, surrounded by water? She was protected by the river on all sides, walled in by water. 9 Ethiopia and the land of Egypt gave unlimited assistance. The nations of Put and Libya were among her allies. 10 Yet Thebes fell, and her people were led away as captives. Her babies were dashed to death against the stones of the streets. Soldiers threw dice to get Egyptian officers as servants. All their leaders were bound in chains. 11 And you, Nineveh, will also stagger like a drunkard. You will hide for fear of the attacking enemy. 12 All your fortresses will fall. They will be devoured like the ripe figs that fall into the mouths of those who shake the trees. 13 Your troops will be as weak and helpless as women. The gates of your land will be opened wide to the enemy and set on fire and burned. 14 Get ready for the siege! Store up water! Strengthen the defenses! Go into the pits to trample clay, and pack it into molds, making bricks to repair the walls. 15 But the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down. The enemy will consume you like locusts, devouring everything they see. There will be no escape, even if you multiply like swarming locusts. 16 Your merchants have multiplied until they outnumber the stars. But like a swarm of locusts, they strip the land and fly away. 17 Your guards and officials are also like swarming locusts that crowd together in the hedges on a cold day. But like locusts that fly away when the sun comes up, all of them will fly away and disappear. 18 Your shepherds are asleep, O Assyrian king; your princes lie dead in the dust. Your people are scattered across the mountains with no one to gather them together. 19 There is no healing for your wound; your injury is fatal. All who hear of your destruction will clap their hands for joy. Where can anyone be found who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?

Go Home

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you’re feeling stuck or unsure, go home.”

TB

Place of Rest

It’s easy to get so busy and distracted. But left unchecked, that busyness can clog your ears and eyes, obscuring your connection to Christ. Friends, God never goes away, even when we do, so fortunately if you’re looking for Him, go home.

Ask Questions

It’s interesting that we will ask everyone and their mother about questions that pertain to our lives, yet we fail to ask God. Remember that He is always with you, so ask Him what your steps should be and quiet the noise so that you can hear His response.

Today’s Question

What’s stopping you from going home?

Enjoy the reading

Daniel 6

1 Darius the Mede decided to divide the kingdom into 120 provinces, and he appointed a high officer to rule over each province. 2 The king also chose Daniel and two others as administrators to supervise the high officers and protect the king’s interests. 3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. 4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. 5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.” 6 So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! 7 We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. 8 And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” 9 So King Darius signed the law. 10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 11 Then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help. 12 So they went straight to the king and reminded him about his law. “Did you not sign a law that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions?” “Yes,” the king replied, “that decision stands; it is an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.” 14 Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament. 15 In the evening the men went together to the king and said, “Your Majesty, you know that according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, no law that the king signs can be changed.” 16 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. 19 Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” 23 The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. 24 Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den. 25 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! 26 “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. 27 He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Hamster Wheel

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Spring to action and focus on God’s plan for you, because focusing on the devil’s distractions is much like being a hamster on a wheel.”

TB

Steadfast

We only have so much time to learn, comprehend, and carry out our plans and assignments. While God is faithful and merciful on deadlines, focus and prioritization are key to completing the objective. By staying wrapped in the word, we eat the good fruit and steer clear of the bad. However, there will be and are times where we find ourselves trapped in the distraction of the opposition.

Fruitless

Though we know what we must do, it’s important to understand how the devil keeps us from fulfilling our destinies. One such tactic is getting us off our path. When we believe or entertain the lies of the enemy, we begin to focus on matters that literally have nothing to do with our goals. Like hamsters on the wheel, we end up mindlessly chasing things, people, trends, money, and the like who have nothing to do with our purpose. If you’re tired of running aimlessly, turn your sights to God to get off of the wheel.

Fruitful

So how do we get off the wheel? We start by forgiving offenses, encouraging our brothers and sisters, reading the Word, and picking up our cross, and walking with Christ. Friends, it’s very easy to get caught up in the busyness of our own plans. Like the hamster on the wheel, we can aimlessly chase for nothing, while wasting time failing to learn the whole Truth. Look to God for a fruitful direction, walk in patience, humility, and forgiveness so that you can continue in progress. By identifying the trap of the hamster wheel, you can avoid the distraction and walk your walk with Christ.

Today’s Question

Are you a hamster or a child of God?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 36

1 “Son of man, prophesy to Israel’s mountains. Give them this message: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD ! 2 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Your enemies have taunted you, saying, ‘Aha! Now the ancient heights belong to us!’ 3 Therefore, son of man, give the mountains of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD : Your enemies have attacked you from all directions, making you the property of many nations and the object of much mocking and slander. 4 Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD . He speaks to the hills and mountains, ravines and valleys, and to ruined wastes and long-deserted cities that have been destroyed and mocked by the surrounding nations. 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My jealous anger burns against these nations, especially Edom, because they have shown utter contempt for me by gleefully taking my land for themselves as plunder. 6 “Therefore, prophesy to the hills and mountains, the ravines and valleys of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am furious that you have suffered shame before the surrounding nations. 7 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I have taken a solemn oath that those nations will soon have their own shame to endure. 8 “But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people—for they will be coming home again soon! 9 See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be plowed and your crops planted. 10 I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people. 11 I will increase not only the people, but also your animals. O mountains of Israel, I will bring people to live on you once again. I will make you even more prosperous than you were before. Then you will know that I am the LORD . 12 I will cause my people to walk on you once again, and you will be their territory. You will never again rob them of their children. 13 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The other nations taunt you, saying, ‘Israel is a land that devours its own people and robs them of their children!’ 14 But you will never again devour your people or rob them of their children, says the Sovereign LORD . 15 I will not let you hear those other nations insult you, and you will no longer be mocked by them. You will not be a land that causes its nation to fall, says the Sovereign LORD .” 16 Then this further message came to me from the LORD : 17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by the evil way they lived. To me their conduct was as unclean as a woman’s menstrual cloth. 18 They polluted the land with murder and the worship of idols, so I poured out my fury on them. 19 I scattered them to many lands to punish them for the evil way they had lived. 20 But when they were scattered among the nations, they brought shame on my holy name. For the nations said, ‘These are the people of the LORD, but he couldn’t keep them safe in his own land!’ 21 Then I was concerned for my holy name, on which my people brought shame among the nations. 22 “Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign LORD : I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. 23 I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign LORD, then the nations will know that I am the LORD . 24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. 28 “And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops of grain, and I will send no more famines on the land. 30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines. 31 Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did. 32 But remember, says the Sovereign LORD, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done! 33 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. 35 And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ 36 Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do what I say. 37 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock. 38 They will be as numerous as the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem’s streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the LORD .”

Wasted Work

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Examine how you spend your work hours because some work isn’t work at all.”~TB

You Can

You can stay busy and still be off task, not completing your assignment. This world is ripe for distraction, disruption, and the like, so an undisciplined worker doesn’t need much help in wasting their time. The guise of being busy is a great smokescreen to make you appear to be more productive that you actually are, but the results of your harvest will always tell the truth.

You Can’t

You can’t engage in wasted work and expect a positive outcome come harvest time. Sure, in your mind you worked hard, but all of the “work” did not produce any fruit! If you’re harvest is sparse, ask God on how to change your work ethic so that the next harvest will reap better results. Wasted work is a trap in the mind that keeps you from completing your assignments. Don’t fall for the trap. Work honestly and humbling to avoid wasted work.

Today’s Question

Are you working hard or hardly working?

Enjoy the reading.

Ecclesiastes 7

1 A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
2 Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies— so the living should take this to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.
4 A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.
5Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.
6 A fool’s laughter is quickly gone, like thorns crackling in a fire. This also is meaningless.
7 Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.
8 Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
9 Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
10 Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
11 Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life.
12 Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
13 Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?
14 Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
15 I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.
16 So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself?
17On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time?
18 Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes.
19 One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!
20 Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
21 Don’t eavesdrop on others—you may hear your servant curse you.
22 For you know how often you yourself have cursed others.
23 I have always tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, “I am determined to be wise.” But it didn’t work.
24 Wisdom is always distant and difficult to find.
25 I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.
26 I discovered that a seductive woman is a trap more bitter than death. Her passion is a snare, and her soft hands are chains. Those who are pleasing to God will escape her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
27 “This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle.
28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman!
29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”

 

Follow Through

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Wherever God sends you, whatever job He gives you, be sure to follow through.”~TB

Unorthodox

In the eyes of man, God’s ways and plans for your future may appear to be foolish to your peers. If He’s given you a purpose or a plan, follow through. Because we are unable to understand the infinite perspective of God, we can talk ourselves out of amazing opportunities. Of course, with these opportunities comes the potential for great setbacks.

Obstacles

The devil will always try and find a way to disrupt the joy and peace in your life. This is especially true when you are operating in an assignment from the Lord. My point in saying this is that obstacles will always happen. It’s why we must arm ourselves with the Word so that when opposition comes, we know to avert our gaze and focus on the task at hand. Friends, life is easy for no one, persevere anyway.

Finish Well

So, no matter how obscure or miraculous your work for God is, follow through and finish well. Avoid the pitfalls and traps laid out by the evil one. The truth is, his distractions cannot harm you, there merely exist to get you to fumble your task. Learn to ignore the noise. When you walk and talk with God regularly, you build up the discernment to finish the job. Develop your relationship with Christ to follow through with the call He’s placed on your life.

 

Today’s Question

Are you following through or full of excuses?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 140

1 O LORD, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent, 
2 those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.
3 Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude 
4 O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me. 
5 The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude 
6 I said to the LORD, “You are my God!” Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy! 
7 O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle. 
8LORD, do not let evil people have their way. Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud. Interlude 
9 Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me. 
10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape. 
11 Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent. 
12 But I know the LORD will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor. 
13 Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence.

Boogeyman

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“There’s a reason why fear is a main tactic of the devil. It’s effective, unless you double down on the truth.”~TB

Lies

The devil will implement all types of lies and situations to get you fearful of your destiny. Like a pretend boogeyman, he’ll get you to avert your gaze from the Lord and onto your fears. Friends, this is merely a distraction ploy. Fear is such a visceral and powerful emotion, but it holds no bearing on the truth. Yes, the feeling of fear is very real, but the reality of its effects are only as real as you allow them to be. The devil is banking on you to cower in a corner because if you turn on the light with the truth, you’d see there is nothing actually there. The truth is your friend and guiding light. Lean into it!

Truth

The truth is that while bad things happen, we can overcome them. The only person that wins when you lose heart is the opposition. Friends, I implore you to look closely at your fears. They are not serving you, they are hindering you. God has and will continue to be a guiding force, but only if you let Him. This is where the Bible really comes in handy. When you read on a consistent basis, you will see that people have faced and endured hardships since the dawn of time. Granted, the battlefield has transferred from the land and into our thoughts. Be vigilant in what you feed your mind. Let the word of God guide you in times of fear so you can avoid the fake taunts of an inconsequential boogeyman.

Today’s Question

Have you read the Bible to light your way or are you still believing the lies of a boogeyman?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 126

1 When the LORD brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! 
2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” 
3 Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy! 
4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert. 
5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Focus

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you’re focused on the right things, it’s amazing to see how God works.”~TB

Purpose

God has given you a unique purpose that only you can fulfill. He will gently call you, and if you listen and answer, He will reveal His plans for you. Living a purposed-fill life in Christ can be challenging yet exciting. Walking with God requires you to put down the unclean things that once held your attention. At first, it will seem like a hard sacrifice. In time, however, you will come to realize that the things He is trying to give to you are more precious than anything you will find on this earth. Stay focused and on task.

Distractions

If you’re not careful, the world will distract you, turning your focus from your personal Biblical development to a secular superficial lifestyle. While God wants balance and peace for you, if you are asleep at the wheel and not staying in the Word, the opposition will sneak in to try and get you off of your path. Be vigilant as getting off track is subtle and almost seemingly harmless. But after a time, you will see the chaos that distractions cause. Stay focused to run and finish your personal race.

Today’s Question

Are you focused on your purpose or are you purposefully distracted?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 121

1 I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? 
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! 
3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. 
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. 
5 The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. 
7 The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. 
8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Disasters

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“God allows disasters to occur to some people because of their disobedience, dishonesty, and self-centered lifestyle.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Self-Centered

From the mountaintop, you can see a better view of God’s organizational skills and it matches the depth of content that is written in His Bible for us to copy.  As an artist, who can also draw pictures, I musically can put a face to these concepts, ideas, commandments, and stories of faith, so that I can relate and clearly see the direction I must travel.  

In Play

In trying to honestly obey God’s directives and principles, I am learning to center my energy into God’s Spiritual goals and not my self-centered fake goals.  This distraction of flesh and mind will pull you away from connecting with God, family, and people from a spiritually good place.  Conflict and vain topics mask and hide real issues and problems to face, discuss, and solve.  Too often, children stop listening to their parents because the proper interaction is not in play.

Game Face

Accountability is personal and we must share the weight of holding each other to a higher standard and calling upon our lives.  The big house, car, job, money, fame, and fortune is a cycle of self-centered torture, lies, and distractions, when the Love of God and people are not the focus of our motives.  The devil uses these golden candlesticks of wickedness to attract our attention, hold us hostage, and rob us of having a successful relationship with God and humanity.  The more you love God, the more honest your life becomes, the fewer disasters you will encounter. You don’t need a game face to see the image of God upon your heart and life.
Today’s Question
Do you need a disaster in your life so that God can get your attention or let the chips fall where they may?
Enjoy The Reading
 

1 Chronicles 7 

Descendants of Issachar

The four sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.
The sons of Tola were Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel. Each of them was the leader of an ancestral clan. At the time of King David, the total number of mighty warriors listed in the records of these clans was 22,600.
The son of Uzzi was Izrahiah. The sons of Izrahiah were Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Isshiah. These five became the leaders of clans. All of them had many wives and many sons, so the total number of men available for military service among their descendants was 36,000.
The total number of mighty warriors from all the clans of the tribe of Issachar was 87,000. All of them were listed in their genealogical records.

Descendants of Benjamin

Three of Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Beker, and Jediael.
The five sons of Bela were Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri. Each of them was the leader of an ancestral clan. The total number of mighty warriors from these clans was 22,034, as listed in their genealogical records.
The sons of Beker were Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. Each of them was the leader of an ancestral clan. The total number of mighty warriors and leaders from these clans was 20,200, as listed in their genealogical records.
10 The son of Jediael was Bilhan. The sons of Bilhan were Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Kenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. 11 Each of them was the leader of an ancestral clan. From these clans the total number of mighty warriors ready for war was 17,200.
12 The sons of Ir were Shuppim and Huppim. Hushim was the son of Aher.

Descendants of Naphtali

13 The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel,[a] Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.[b] They were all descendants of Jacob’s concubine Bilhah.

Descendants of Manasseh

14 The descendants of Manasseh through his Aramean concubine included Asriel. She also bore Makir, the father of Gilead. 15 Makir found wives for[c] Huppim and Shuppim. Makir had a sister named Maacah. One of his descendants was Zelophehad, who had only daughters.
16 Makir’s wife, Maacah, gave birth to a son whom she named Peresh. His brother’s name was Sheresh. The sons of Peresh were Ulam and Rakem. 17 The son of Ulam was Bedan. All these were considered Gileadites, descendants of Makir son of Manasseh.
18 Makir’s sister Hammoleketh gave birth to Ishhod, Abiezer, and Mahlah.
19 The sons of Shemida were Ahian, Shechem, Likhi, and Aniam.

Descendants of Ephraim

20 The descendants of Ephraim were Shuthelah, Bered, Tahath, Eleadah, Tahath,21 Zabad, Shuthelah, Ezer, and Elead. These two were killed trying to steal livestock from the local farmers near Gath. 22 Their father, Ephraim, mourned for them a long time, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23 Afterward Ephraim slept with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Ephraim named him Beriah[d] because of the tragedy his family had suffered. 24 He had a daughter named Sheerah. She built the towns of Lower and Upper Beth-horon and Uzzen-sheerah.
25 The descendants of Ephraim included Rephah, Resheph, Telah, Tahan,26 Ladan, Ammihud, Elishama, 27 Nun, and Joshua.
28 The descendants of Ephraim lived in the territory that included Bethel and its surrounding towns to the south, Naaran to the east, Gezer and its villages to the west, and Shechem and its surrounding villages to the north as far as Ayyah and its towns. 29 Along the border of Manasseh were the towns of Beth-shan,[e]Taanach, Megiddo, Dor, and their surrounding villages. The descendants of Joseph son of Israel[f] lived in these towns.

Descendants of Asher

30 The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. They had a sister named Serah.
31 The sons of Beriah were Heber and Malkiel (the father of Birzaith).
32 The sons of Heber were Japhlet, Shomer, and Hotham. They had a sister named Shua.
33 The sons of Japhlet were Pasach, Bimhal, and Ashvath.
34 The sons of Shomer were Ahi,[g] Rohgah, Hubbah, and Aram.
35 The sons of his brother Helem[h] were Zophah, Imna, Shelesh, and Amal.
36 The sons of Zophah were Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, 37 Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran,[i] and Beera.
38 The sons of Jether were Jephunneh, Pispah, and Ara.
39 The sons of Ulla were Arah, Hanniel, and Rizia.
40 Each of these descendants of Asher was the head of an ancestral clan. They were all select men—mighty warriors and outstanding leaders. The total number of men available for military service was 26,000, as listed in their genealogical records.
Love,
Jonathan

Confusion

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Distractions are weapons used to divide and conquer the good intentions of loving people, hoping that you would overlook simplicity of truth and God’s story of Love.” ~ Jon Barnes

Distractions

When I see that extreme emotions being used to agitate and blindside people in their daily logical thinking process, I then place my full attention onto the fundamentals and commandments of God’s Love.  Then I’m able to make clear choices and decisions of the heart, after purging all the evil, which may lay dormant at the subatomic level.

Concentrate

We are all unable to concentrate in an annoyed state of mind so try to step back, pray, think, and focus on the truth, before you speak, write, or act.  This is the best weapon against confusion and distraction. Bless God!

Bless God

Bless God that you are not confused or distracted by the lies.  Be thankful that God has given you a steady mind, heart, eyes, ears, and body to control and work with.  Let’s continue to help all people to see and love the truth in a positive, respectful way.  Be prepared to help with good works.
Today’s  Question
Are you ready to help with the truth in love?
Enjoy today’s question

Galatians 1

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers and sisters[a] with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God

11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b]and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James,the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
 
Love,
Jonathan