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.

Tug of War

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t try to fight your battles on your own unless you want to be in a constant tug of war with your flesh, the world, and the devil.”~TB

Battlefield

It’s important to know your opposition, weaknesses, and stumbling blocks because in the battle for your mind, body, and soul, all bets are off. Your flesh won’t fight fair, neither will the world or the evil one. This isn’t to say that you should fear these things. No, but to understand what you’re dealing with gives you the reality that you need God to intervene so that you can win the war.

MVP

When you’re sick of struggling to deal with the thorn in your side, ask God to join your team. With Him on your side, your game of tug of war is no match for the opposing team. Christ is like having the best player as a teammate, as you are able to rely on His Power to make up what you lack. To experience this, you must know that the battle cannot be won on your own accord. Get on Team Jesus so that He can thwart the enemy.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to stop playing tug of war on your own?

Enjoy the reading

Song of Solomon 8

1 Oh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me.
2 I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.
3 Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me.
4 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.
5 Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover? Young Woman I aroused you under the apple tree, where your mother gave you birth, where in great pain she delivered you.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
8 We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her?
9 If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.
10 I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.
11 Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers. Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver for harvesting its fruit.
12 But my vineyard is mine to give, and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver. But I will give two hundred pieces to those who care for its vines.
13 O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!
14 Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.

Respect God

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Respecting God is a measure of quality you place on your personal relationship, walk, faith, work, and love for your Father God!” ~ Jon Barnes

Refuse

You have known the commandments of God for some time now and you still play games and disrespect the call for your life, the work you must do, along with the honesty and integrity that you lack. You simply refuse to quit your sin and you make up stories as to how God will continue to forgive you, in your habitual lies. The devil is a master of this game, the father of lies, and you are his child when you disrespect and ignore God’s warnings.

Refusal

Refusal can be very subtle, easy, and off focus so that your vision is blurred, speech is slurred, hearing is dull, taste buds are weak, and your feelings are numb, which is how disobedience grows like a weed in your heart. Your confused mind fall into a deep black hole of denial, delayed, and destructive behaviors, which slowly hardens your heart. God’s respectable lifestyle is nowhere to be found in your life, work, or existence, just fake movements of bla, bla, bla.

Refute

When your lifestyle denies and contradicts the Word of God, you are at war with yourself, God and other good people, since you have changed your mind to live and fight on the other side of justice with the devil.  Your evil, wicked ways, and disobedience are
like witchcraft, casting spells onto people with your lust, lies, greed, deception, and sinfulness. You reject God with a mask and costume as if you can hide from God.
Today’s Question
When you respect God with all of your heart, are you happy and content to love, hear, obey, and share the movements of God with people in your life or are you still in party mode?
Enjoy The Reading

Deuteronomy 5

Ten Commandments for the Covenant Community

Moses called all the people of Israel together and said, “Listen carefully, Israel. Hear the decrees and regulations I am giving you today, so you may learn them and obey them!
“The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Mount Sinai.[a] The Lord did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. At the mountain the Lordspoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. I stood as an intermediary between you and the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire and did not want to approach the mountain. He spoke to me, and I passed his words on to you. This is what he said:
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
“You must not have any other god but me.
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those[b] who love me and obey my commands.
11 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.13 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your oxen and donkeys and other livestock, and any foreigners living among you. All your male and female servants must rest as you do. 15 Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out with his strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath day.
16 “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
17 “You must not murder.
18 “You must not commit adultery.
19 “You must not steal.
20 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
21 “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
22 “The Lord spoke these words to all of you assembled there at the foot of the mountain. He spoke with a loud voice from the heart of the fire, surrounded by clouds and deep darkness. This was all he said at that time, and he wrote his words on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
23 “But when you heard the voice from the heart of the darkness, while the mountain was blazing with fire, all your tribal leaders and elders came to me. 24 They said, ‘Look, the Lordour God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! 25 But now, why should we risk death again? If the Lord our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. 26 Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive? 27 Go yourself and listen to what the Lord our God says. Then come and tell us everything he tells you, and we will listen and obey.’
28 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. 30 Go and tell them, “Return to your tents.” 31 But you stand here with me so I can give you all my commands, decrees, and regulations. You must teach them to the people so they can obey them in the land I am giving them as their possession.’”
32 So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail. 33 Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy.

Love,

Jonathan

My Way

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“In order to improve, you need to play and hangout with people who are more honest and better than you, so that you can learn from them as they learn from you, while working out God’s Plan for your life.” ~ Jon Barnes

Blame

We spend years of our lives watching God work through lives blessing people, particularly our parents, grandparents, and teachers, yet we still don’t listen to the people who are smarter than we are. In our arrogance, we make the same mistakes in relationships by running away from the test of improvement, hiding behind a beer, drug, computer, cell phone, TV, food, or some excuse to make ourselves feel better. We lie and smile with comfort. In a true relationship, you must practice each day doing and telling the truth, because your spouse will call you out on your negative and positive behaviors and there is nowhere to hide errors.

Game

In this game, the honest person wins each round, which makes the other person strive to do a better job. It’s fun. Everybody wins as each person passes the test of honesty at each level of everything going on in their lives. No stone is left unturned in the sight of God in our personal lives. You are accountable for yourself and each other. God rewards each player, often in the game so that the other person can see, feel, and know that true progress is real, honest, and consistent with Biblical Principles and Standards that drives our world and eternity. Each person is happy to lose because the other person has improved. Each person is happy to win because happiness, love, and faith in God are on both ends.

Same

When you love God, you will love your spouse, family, friends, and enemies with the same love God has given you with wisdom, respect, time, and distance. We help each other out by allowing each other to pass tests and copying their success, just like Jesus copied His Father, God. When you disrespect God’s working model of Father, son, parent, child, husband, wife, friend relationship, by making up your own rules to live and faking love your way, then you will keep failing the same tests. It is the same test for all of us all of the time. Stories, names, lives, locations, situations, and circumstances will vary, but God and His Bible change NOT! Your way is Not God’s Way! This is why many people will not study, read, and embrace God’s Truth.
Today’s Question
Are you growing better fruit only to let it rot on your table since you refuse to finish playing the game of God’s Rules?
Enjoy Your Reading.

Numbers 27

The Daughters of Zelophehad

27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph. These women stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the tribal leaders, and the entire community at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[a] “Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons.Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.”
So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord replied to Moses, “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father.
“And give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If a man dies and has no son, then give his inheritance to his daughters. And if he has no daughter either, transfer his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 But if his father has no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan. This is a legal requirement for the people of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Joshua Chosen to Lead Israel

12 One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river,[b] and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. 13 After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, 14 for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh[c] in the wilderness of Zin.)
15 Then Moses said to the Lord, 16 “O Lord, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. 17 Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. 19 Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. 20 Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him. 21 When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.”
22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. 23 Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
Love, 
Jonathan

Ingredients

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“You honor God by listening to His suggestions and following the recipe of faith, hope, and love with good choices and decisions, so that you don’t waist your ingredients in disobedience, which will keep you out of Heaven.” ~ Jon Barnes

Cook Book

Use God’s cook book to make meals that will burn the devil out of your family, home, work, and life.  You are what you say, do, and eat, so listen carefully to wise information that is biblically sound and quite tasty from God’s menu. Get into the habit of doing the work right the first time and stop making excuses your main ingredient in your Cook Book! Step up your game and use the best ingredients.

Healthy Choices

Eat less, burn the fat, and work off your food by cleaning up your mess!  It is unhealthy to live like a pig, eat like a hog, and sleep like a lazy dog. Hell’s kitchen is full of fast, processed, fake foods that have been altered, modified, or sprayed with poison. Detox your life with God’s Cook Book, Fresh Ingredients, and Clear Thinking to clean up your dirty lifestyle and unhealthy choices.

Chef

You are the chef of yourself and if your food stinks or looks rotten, I’m not eating at your house, as it is quite clear that you did not take God’s Cooking Class.  Many people leave their ingredients out on the counter to rot away because they don’t listen, read, study, or use God’s Cook Book of Eternal Life. Improve your cooking skills by following the directions with fresh ingredients each day.
Today’s Question

Are you using God’s Measurements, Tools, Commandments, and Ingredients in your kitchen and lifestyle or do you need a new kitchen make over?

Enjoy Today’s Reading

Genesis 28

28 So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, and said, “You must not marry any of these Canaanite women. Instead, go at once to Paddan-aram, to the house of your grandfather Bethuel, and marry one of your uncle Laban’s daughters. May God Almighty[a] bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! May God pass on to you and your descendants[b] the blessings he promised to Abraham. May you own this land where you are now living as a foreigner, for God gave this land to Abraham.”
So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to stay with his uncle Laban, his mother’s brother, the son of Bethuel the Aramean.
Esau knew that his father, Isaac, had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram to find a wife, and that he had warned Jacob, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” He also knew that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan-aram. It was now very clear to Esau that his father did not like the local Canaanite women. So Esau visited his uncle Ishmael’s family and married one of Ishmael’s daughters, in addition to the wives he already had. His new wife’s name was Mahalath. She was the sister of Nebaioth and the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son.

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
18 The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19 He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although it was previously called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. 22 And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”
Love,
Jonathan

The Good Game

 

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Why follow someone else’s game plan when God will teach and give you the Good Game, Good Rules, Best Benefits, and Eternal Elevation into Heaven.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Play The Game

Many are called but few are chosen to play the game for God.  His team is amazing and God doesn’t need a big army.  God selects the most humble, honest, and hard working people to do the best job for His services to execute The Play Book.  God will even have mercy on an honest loser, who repents and looks to God with a clean heart, dying to do better.  God always makes the right choice and knows the outcome of each play, before the Game is Played.

God’s Good Rules

The 10 Commandments are a great reference guide to focus, memorize, and live by, so that you minimize any foul plays, off sides, flagrant fouls, penalties, or ejections from the Great Game.  Each Biblical story comes equipped with wonderful, relevant, lessons and meanings, each time you re-read them. God allows and activates the Golden Rules in His Word to His Children you love and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.  If you are a devil, nothing is activated, while God still shines on the just and the unjust.
 

Know Your Playbook

 
Don’t get this confused and know your Playbook.  If you are a habitual sinner and your heart is evil, you will be ejected from the Heavenly Games and placed into the fiery Pit forever. God is no fool and the Bible will warn you, if you read it.  Don’t take my word for it.  Read Your Playbook and know and practice your Game moves and positions so that you may be considered worthy.  Fake Christians will be punished more severely because the bought and know the playbook, but they ignore the writings and their actions are not by the book.  Real Christians buy The Book and live by The Book, which is The Bible.  Then you can have more fun playing other Good Games given and granted by God!
 
Today’s Question
 
You Got Game?
 
Enjoy Today’s Reading.