Compelling

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Just because a lie sounds compelling, does not negate the fact that it’s a lie.”

TB

Compiled

Humans are unnecessarily complicated in the fact that when left to our own devices, we’ll allow ourselves to get tricked into accepting sinful behaviors due to our unmitigated pride. So what does that look like? First, we want to engage in something that we know is inherently against God’s will for us. Second, we will find like-minded individuals to support our sinful agenda. Third, we’ll intellectualize and form “logical arguments” for our need for this sin. Then, we’ll inject our compiled lies, backed back manmade thinking and logic, in the hopes that we trick double-minded people into our deception. As the support for it grows (as it always will) people who fail to build their relationship with God then bow down to societal pressure because of the ‘facts, theories, and burgeoning support’ from those with sin-filled agendas. Friends, do not live as an empty vessel, unable to discern what is of God and what is from man. There is a distinct difference for those who can see and hear.

Combatted

The only way we rise above becoming embroiled in sin is when we combat it with the Truth that is Christ. While we will always fall (very) short of a sinless life, we can avoid living enslaved to sin. This starts by understanding and accepting the need for salvation. Then we must get to know Christ through the Holy Spirit and the Bible because that is the Truth. When we study, reflect, and live out the Truth, we lower our propensity to seek out alternative (sinful) realities. By doing so, we learn the deceptive tactics of the evil one and how he will use and manipulate people into doing his bidding. So how can we root out the lies from the Truth? Reflect, study, and understand the patterns of our flesh-driven nature. Then weigh those ideals against the Holy Spirit and the Bible. It is easier to fall in line and accept the approval of the world. It is far more disciplined to align with Christ, yet the reward is eternal. So friends, don’t be compelled by worldly lies.

Today’s Question

If a lie is repeated and practiced 1000000 times, does it make it true?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 5

1 Listen, you people of Israel! Listen to this funeral song I am singing: 2 “The virgin Israel has fallen, never to rise again! She lies abandoned on the ground, with no one to help her up.” 3 The Sovereign LORD says: “When a city sends a thousand men to battle, only a hundred will return. When a town sends a hundred, only ten will come back alive.” 4 Now this is what the LORD says to the family of Israel: “Come back to me and live! 5 Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel; don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba. For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile, and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.” 6 Come back to the LORD and live! Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel won’t be able to quench the flames. 7 You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed. You treat the righteous like dirt. 8 It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! 9 With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong, crushing all their defenses. 10 How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! 11 You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. 12 For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time. 14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. 15 Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “There will be crying in all the public squares and mourning in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon professional mourners to wail. 17 There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will destroy them all,” says the LORD . 18 What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the LORD were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light. 19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake. 20 Yes, the day of the LORD will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope. 21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. 22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. 25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? 26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus, ” says the LORD, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.

Fruit

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Judge your own fruit to know if you are following God’s will or your own.”

TB

Rotten

When we enact our own will or produce things out of our own doing, it shows. Sure, we may make progress, but there is always a cost. If you’re run down, robbing Peter to pay Paul, or operating outside of the lines, chances are, you’re flying solo.

Good

God’s will offers us peace, wisdom, love, and grace. It may not be as flashy as our own crooked desires, but it is everlasting, strategic, and it produces good fruit. By following God, we learn how to be continually renewed in the spirit and now by our flesh.

Today’s Question

What fruit are you producing?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 1

1 This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah. He received this message in visions two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, was king of Israel. 2 This is what he saw and heard: “The LORD ’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem! The lush pastures of the shepherds will dry up; the grass on Mount Carmel will wither and die.” 3 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They beat down my people in Gilead as grain is threshed with iron sledges. 4 So I will send down fire on King Hazael’s palace, and the fortresses of King Ben-hadad will be destroyed. 5 I will break down the gates of Damascus and slaughter the people in the valley of Aven. I will destroy the ruler in Beth-eden, and the people of Aram will go as captives to Kir,” says the LORD . 6 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Gaza have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sent whole villages into exile, selling them as slaves to Edom. 7 So I will send down fire on the walls of Gaza, and all its fortresses will be destroyed. 8 I will slaughter the people of Ashdod and destroy the king of Ashkelon. Then I will turn to attack Ekron, and the few Philistines still left will be killed,” says the Sovereign LORD . 9 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Tyre have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They broke their treaty of brotherhood with Israel, selling whole villages as slaves to Edom. 10 So I will send down fire on the walls of Tyre, and all its fortresses will be destroyed.” 11 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Edom have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They chased down their relatives, the Israelites, with swords, showing them no mercy. In their rage, they slashed them continually and were unrelenting in their anger. 12 So I will send down fire on Teman, and the fortresses of Bozrah will be destroyed.” 13 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Ammon have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! When they attacked Gilead to extend their borders, they ripped open pregnant women with their swords. 14 So I will send down fire on the walls of Rabbah, and all its fortresses will be destroyed. The battle will come upon them with shouts, like a whirlwind in a mighty storm. 15 And their king and his princes will go into exile together,” says the LORD .

Puff

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t let the pursuit of knowledge puff you up and stifle your ability to know God’s love.”

TB

Rigid

It’s one thing to learn to understand. It’s entirely another story when your knowledge base becomes a source of pride. Be careful not to idolize your own might. Like the Sadducees and Pharisees when we start to believe solely in our deeds, we begin to lose understanding of the One who overshadows all of our efforts.

Pales

Anything we learn on this earth pales in comparison to what God knows and has done. What good is it to learn every manmade concept in the world if you do not know the love of Christ? Friends, if we don’t know the importance of Christ and accept His freely given gift of salvation, we don’t know much at all.

Today’s Question

Are you too puffed up on yourself to acknowledge Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Hosea 13

1 When the tribe of Ephraim spoke, the people shook with fear, for that tribe was important in Israel. But the people of Ephraim sinned by worshiping Baal and thus sealed their destruction. 2 Now they continue to sin by making silver idols, images shaped skillfully with human hands. “Sacrifice to these,” they cry, “and kiss the calf idols!” 3 Therefore, they will disappear like the morning mist, like dew in the morning sun, like chaff blown by the wind, like smoke from a chimney. 4 “I have been the LORD your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. 5 I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. 6 But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me. 7 So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road. 8 Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away, I will tear out your heart. I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal. 9 “You are about to be destroyed, O Israel— yes, by me, your only helper. 10 Now where is your king? Let him save you! Where are all the leaders of the land, the king and the officials you demanded of me? 11 In my anger I gave you kings, and in my fury I took them away. 12 “Ephraim’s guilt has been collected, and his sin has been stored up for punishment. 13 Pain has come to the people like the pain of childbirth, but they are like a child who resists being born. The moment of birth has arrived, but they stay in the womb! 14 “Should I ransom them from the grave ? Should I redeem them from death? O death, bring on your terrors! O grave, bring on your plagues! For I will not take pity on them. 15 Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers, but the east wind—a blast from the LORD — will arise in the desert. All their flowing springs will run dry, and all their wells will disappear. Every precious thing they own will be plundered and carried away. 16 The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords.”

Sharp

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Keep wise people around you because their hard-earned wisdom will serve you well.”

TB

Sharpened Iron

I chat with my dad often. Most of the time, it’s because he’s got a lot of cool information that I’ve been able to use both in my life and my business. While I may take some time to wrap my Texas-sized ego around his wise words, more often than not, after a moment or two (and quite possibly a nap) I concede that his answers are far better than my own. Every now and again, I manage to squeak out a wise word from my own experiences, but usually I’m the student, benefitting from 55 years of living. Listening to wise biblically based counsel is very important, as it helps you gain discernment that will see you through this life.

Sharp Eyes

When you have daily conversations with God and godly people, your spiritual eyesight is sharp, able to cut through the superficial nonsense of this world. Because you set your sights on above, God Himself act as your guide to navigate the waters of a sin-fallen world. Even better, if He has given you a wise elder within your family, peer group, or what have you, you have the added benefit from learning through their experiences, mistakes, triumphs, and the like. As this world gets more flesh-driven, there are fake things that pretend to be good. If you’re not looking too closely, you will fall prey to the imitations set out to devour you. It’s easy to say that evil is deceptive and that we lack insight into the motives of others and the opposition. But, with sharp eyes, a Christ-centered mind, and wise counsel, you can persevere and sidestep the tomfoolery.

Today’s Question

Are you staying sharp by knowing God and His people, or are the fake treasures of evil blinding your sight?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 42

1 Then all the guerrilla leaders, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet. They said, “Please pray to the LORD your God for us. As you can see, we are only a tiny remnant compared to what we were before. 3 Pray that the LORD your God will show us what to do and where to go.” 4 “All right,” Jeremiah replied. “I will pray to the LORD your God, as you have asked, and I will tell you everything he says. I will hide nothing from you.” 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! 6 Whether we like it or not, we will obey the LORD our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us.” 7 Ten days later the LORD gave his reply to Jeremiah. 8 So he called for Johanan son of Kareah and the other guerrilla leaders, and for all the people, from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, “You sent me to the LORD, the God of Israel, with your request, and this is his reply: 10 ‘Stay here in this land. If you do, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you. For I am sorry about all the punishment I have had to bring upon you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon anymore,’ says the LORD . ‘For I am with you and will save you and rescue you from his power. 12 I will be merciful to you by making him kind, so he will let you stay here in your land.’ 13 “But if you refuse to obey the LORD your God, and if you say, ‘We will not stay here; 14 instead, we will go to Egypt where we will be free from war, the call to arms, and hunger,’ 15 then hear the LORD ’s message to the remnant of Judah. This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and live there, 16 the very war and famine you fear will catch up to you, and you will die there. 17 That is the fate awaiting every one of you who insists on going to live in Egypt. Yes, you will die from war, famine, and disease. None of you will escape the disaster I will bring upon you there.’ 18 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Just as my anger and fury have been poured out on the people of Jerusalem, so they will be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. You will be an object of damnation, horror, cursing, and mockery. And you will never see your homeland again.’ 19 “Listen, you remnant of Judah. The LORD has told you: ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Don’t forget this warning I have given you today. 20 For you were not being honest when you sent me to pray to the LORD your God for you. You said, ‘Just tell us what the LORD our God says, and we will do it!’ 21 And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the LORD your God any better now than you have in the past. 22 So you can be sure that you will die from war, famine, and disease in Egypt, where you insist on going.”

He not Me

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order to honestly pursue Christ, change your focus to ‘He’ from ‘me'”

TB

Born Again

When we are born again, we gain the Holy Spirit, our connection with Christ. And through Him we have the ability to learn and live with Christ. Should you choose to accept that responsibility, it is up to you, the individual, to build your relationship with our Father in Heaven. In the process, expect to experience trials, tribulations, and loss. It is not to punish you, but to ultimately allow you to see that is Christ’s identity that we are after and not our own.

Not Again

It’s human nature to be self-centered. As such, one of the biggest struggles is to leave our past existence behind to pursue a Christ-filled life. One of the reasons people fail to finish that race is because they become trapped with the desire to pursue their own agenda rather than Christ’s. We want to be exalted based on our ‘unique’ attributes rather than exalting our Maker. The ironic part is that none of us are truly as individualistic or as interesting as we think we are. Spend time listening to people describe themselves and you will realize our life experiences aren’t that different haha!

Then Again

Once you reconcile your place in Christ’s plan for your life, you can then again pick up the Cross and run your race. After time, you’ll realize that it becomes easier to get out of your own way because God gives you your daily revelations. By talking with Him and walking with Him, your vision aligns with His, allowing you to spot real from fake, good from evil. Then, you realize– joyfully, I might add– that pursuing Christ is a lifelong endeavor that requires focus and righteous decisions. To make this happen, we first have to kill our egos, fight the daily battle of flesh to pursue what is right, and follow Christ with all of our heart and mind.

Today’s Question

Who is in the driver’s seat; you or God?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 36

1 During the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king in Judah, the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 2 “Get a scroll, and write down all my messages against Israel, Judah, and the other nations. Begin with the first message back in the days of Josiah, and write down every message, right up to the present time. 3 Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.” 4 So Jeremiah sent for Baruch son of Neriah, and as Jeremiah dictated all the prophecies that the LORD had given him, Baruch wrote them on a scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, “I am a prisoner here and unable to go to the Temple. 6 So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the LORD that I have had you write on this scroll. Read them so the people who are there from all over Judah will hear them. 7 Perhaps even yet they will turn from their evil ways and ask the LORD ’s forgiveness before it is too late. For the LORD has threatened them with his terrible anger.” 8 Baruch did as Jeremiah told him and read these messages from the LORD to the people at the Temple. 9 He did this on a day of sacred fasting held in late autumn, during the fifth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah. People from all over Judah had come to Jerusalem to attend the services at the Temple on that day. 10 Baruch read Jeremiah’s words on the scroll to all the people. He stood in front of the Temple room of Gemariah, son of Shaphan the secretary. This room was just off the upper courtyard of the Temple, near the New Gate entrance. 11 When Micaiah son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan heard the messages from the LORD, 12 he went down to the secretary’s room in the palace where the administrative officials were meeting. Elishama the secretary was there, along with Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials. 13 When Micaiah told them about the messages Baruch was reading to the people, 14 the officials sent Jehudi son of Nethaniah, grandson of Shelemiah and great-grandson of Cushi, to ask Baruch to come and read the messages to them, too. So Baruch took the scroll and went to them. 15 “Sit down and read the scroll to us,” the officials said, and Baruch did as they requested. 16 When they heard all the messages, they looked at one another in alarm. “We must tell the king what we have heard,” they said to Baruch. 17 “But first, tell us how you got these messages. Did they come directly from Jeremiah?” 18 So Baruch explained, “Jeremiah dictated them, and I wrote them down in ink, word for word, on this scroll.” 19 “You and Jeremiah should both hide,” the officials told Baruch. “Don’t tell anyone where you are!” 20 Then the officials left the scroll for safekeeping in the room of Elishama the secretary and went to tell the king what had happened. 21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. 22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. 23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. 24 Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. 25 Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen. 26 Then the king commanded his son Jerahmeel, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah. But the LORD had hidden them. 27 After the king had burned the scroll on which Baruch had written Jeremiah’s words, the LORD gave Jeremiah another message. He said, 28 “Get another scroll, and write everything again just as you did on the scroll King Jehoiakim burned. 29 Then say to the king, ‘This is what the LORD says: You burned the scroll because it said the king of Babylon would destroy this land and empty it of people and animals. 30 Now this is what the LORD says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no heirs to sit on the throne of David. His dead body will be thrown out to lie unburied—exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31 I will punish him and his family and his attendants for their sins. I will pour out on them and on all the people of Jerusalem and Judah all the disasters I promised, for they would not listen to my warnings.’” 32 So Jeremiah took another scroll and dictated again to his secretary, Baruch. He wrote everything that had been on the scroll King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. Only this time he added much more!

Tortoise and the Hare

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

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

The Hustle

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

Burnout

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

Long Run

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

Today’s Question

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

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 27

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

Vantage Point

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your ability to see things from Christ’s ultimately depends on your vantage point.”~TB

Senses

We are all given senses and common sense to understand how to navigate the ways of this world. We are also given the choice to be in relationship with our Father in Heaven so that he can give us the Biblical compass to lead lives that bring honor to Him. Using Christ’s compass sharpens our senses, giving us the ability to see things from a Christ-like perspective. Alternatively, using your own vantage point will give you a finite and inaccurate understanding of a flawed world. But friends, just because we are broken does not mean that God’s perspective is. Understand this distinction.

Man’s Viewpoint

Man’s viewpoint is flawed and judgmental as we are unable to fully understand or practice mercy, grace and forgiveness in our own right. To the undisciplined and untrained, behaviors like submission and forgiveness seem foolish. That is because the ego and flesh tells us that our understanding of right and wrong is correct! From a legalistic standpoint, everything is black and white. In this mindset, it’s ok to judge and condemn your neighbors, family, and friends when they screw up or offend. It’s ok to rob and enslave the naive because they ‘should’ know better and technically you did not break the law. But don’t be fooled, the wicked may seem successful, but according to who’s vantage point?

Holy Perspective

Friend’s God’s ways are infinite and never fully understood by man. We lack the ability! Fortunately, what is true and what we can rely on is that this life is not as unpredictable as we like to believe. Look at all of the stories in the Bible. If you read them enough, you will see the behaviors and patterns from old have the same themes of your own. Just adopt God’s vantage point, and you will see that His people do the same good, dumb, shameful, repentant deeds since Adam and Eve. These are the same stories, just different people and different times. So in whatever you do, take His vantage point so that you can see the world and its people as God sees you.

 

Today’s Question

How does the view look from where’ you’re sitting?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 9

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
8 The Lord has spoken out against Jacob; his judgment has fallen upon Israel.
9 And the people of Israel and Samaria, who spoke with such pride and arrogance, will soon know it.
10 They said, “We will replace the broken bricks of our ruins with finished stone, and replant the felled sycamore-fig trees with cedars.”
11 But the LORD will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel and stir up all their foes.
12 The Syrians from the east and the Philistines from the west will bare their fangs and devour Israel. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent. They will not seek the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
14 Therefore, in a single day the LORD will destroy both the head and the tail, the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
15The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail.
16 For the leaders of the people have misled them. They have led them down the path of destruction.
17 That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans. For they are all wicked hypocrites, and they all speak foolishness. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
18This wickedness is like a brushfire. It burns not only briers and thorns but also sets the forests ablaze. Its burning sends up clouds of smoke.
19 The land will be blackened by the fury of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The people will be fuel for the fire, and no one will spare even his own brother.
20 They will attack their neighbor on the right but will still be hungry. They will devour their neighbor on the left but will not be satisfied. In the end they will even eat their own children.
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, Ephraim will feed on Manasseh, and both will devour Judah. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.

Mentor

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Find older and wiser people who can teach you a thing or two about life.”~TB

Communication

It’s wise to spend time with those who have a well developed relationship with God. While you still have to cultivate your own, a mentor can help you with perspective when you can’t get out of your own way. Great lessons and ‘ah hah’ moments can be discovered when you seek counsel from those who’ve come before you. Those who have spent some time on this Earth have seen and experienced moments that the youth have not, so when making any decision of importance, have a word with a mentor.

Pride Check

Perhaps the best reason for having a mentor is to get advice when your pride is writing checks it can’t cash. We all struggle with an ego from time to time and having  a soundboard who is emotionally removed from your situation will give you a more nuanced understanding of what you’re going through. More to the point, you can learn from their lessons if you are willing to let go of what is causing you to stumble. So while you’re having talks with God, be sure to chat with those who’ve walked with Him before you.

Today’s Question

Who do you consult with to keep you accountable?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 2

1 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the LORD ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD !
6 For the LORD has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.
7 Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.
8 Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
9 So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them.
10 Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
11Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12 For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
13He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14 He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
15 He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
16 He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
17 Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18 Idols will completely disappear.
19 When the LORD rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
20 On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21 while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?

 

 

Mastermind

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Master your mind so that you know exactly whom you serve.”~TB

Yourself

When you serve yourself, your ability to love is limited to the knowledge you possess, which isn’t much. Because humans are flawed, our way of thinking will always be imperfect, especially compared to the mind of Christ. Self serving behavior will always bring your problems because your intentions aren’t rooted in Christ’s standards. Your mind will trick you into believing you are mightier than you are and that the things of this world are worth desiring. If left unchecked, soon you will be serving too many false-gods, leaving you confused, and off task.  Put your pride away and switch masters.

God

When you serve God, things like humility, compassion, love, and forgiveness are easier to give, because you’re focusing on the mind of Christ and not your own. Being flawed does not mean you are self-loathing or putting yourself down. No, it means you understand who has made you and why we must connect to Him to make up the difference. Your mind becomes disciplined and focused on the things of above, rejecting the things of the world. And through His love and only His love can we begin to receive the peace, joy, and understanding that comes from being His.

Today’s Question

Where does your mind go when it wanders?

Song of Solomon 5

1 I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride! I gather myrrh with my spices and eat honeycomb with my honey. I drink wine with my milk. Young Women of Jerusalem Oh, lover and beloved, eat and drink! Yes, drink deeply of your love!
2 I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: “Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3 But I responded, “I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?”
4 My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me.
5 I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt.
6 I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply.
7 The night watchmen found me as they made their rounds. They beat and bruised me and stripped off my veil, those watchmen on the walls.
8 Make this promise, O women of Jerusalem— If you find my lover, tell him I am weak with love.
9 Why is your lover better than all others, O woman of rare beauty? What makes your lover so special that we must promise this?
10 My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
11 His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.
12 His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk.
13 His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh.
14 His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon.
16His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.

 

 

No Offense

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you hold on to offenses and refuse to forgive others, you are establishing yourself as your own god because you cast your judgment on others.”~TB

A Moment

Who are you to judge someone in their worst moment(s)? When you take offense or fail to forgive someone, in your eyes you are immortalizing that person in their misdeed. How blatantly arrogant! Have you not offended? Are you perfect? Of course not, so if the One who Is can freely forgive, what’s your excuse? Friends, take care to resolve your feelings and overinflated egos because when you play god by participating in unforgiveness, you risk poisoning the well, creating a nasty cycle of broken people. People can change, or have you forgotten what our Father in Heaven has done in your life?

A Lifetime

Does a handful of moments override a lifetime? No! How else do you think salvation works? Thank God that He does not make snap decisions or assumptions against us as we do to one another. No one would survive! Fortunately, when we humbly repent, He forgives and forgets, allowing us to grow closer to Him. Forgiveness allows both parties to move past the hurt and become who God intended them to be. Forgiveness is not only for your sake but for all involved! When we humble ourselves and take care to quash offenses, that’s when God can truly do works in us. Don’t play God, He’s infinitely more qualified.

Today’s Question

Are you playing god through your unforgiveness or do you know better?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 144

1 Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. 
2 He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me. 
3 O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? 
4 For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow. 
5 Open the heavens, LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. 
6 Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them! 
7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. 
8 Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. 
10 For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword. 
11 Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 
12 May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. 
13May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, 
14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares. 
15Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD .