Graduation

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When Love orders your steps in the day and you follow God’s Plans, you have graduated to the next level.” ~ Jon Barnes

Credit

You can’t take credit for how God orchestrates your life, but it feels good to see the hand of God flowing like a river, from the biggest gorge into your life.  It’s great to see people fishing, hiking, relaxing, and loving the vibe and positive energy from your good work.  I can’t relate to any negative energy, because it does not come from me and I will not accept negative vibes. Own the credit for the good work of faith and reject evil things.

Earned

Your obedience earns you the right to freely spread the Love around. People from all around the world will respond to your smile, kind gestures, and polite behavior. The self-control and mature nature of your actions are examples of your graduate status. It is a big deal to improve and graduate at every level, learning something new each day about, how to love. Since you believe in Love, you will love and be loved.

Lovable

God teaches us how to become more lovable, kind, and honest with our relationships, family, jobs, and experiences.  We begin to pay closer attention to our spouses, assignments, and efforts to bring people closer together to work as a team and not in isolation. This requires a balance of less technology and more people interaction. Love doesn’t come from things, it comes from God and it is spread around by people like you. Become more lovable.
Today’s Question
Have you graduated from selfish, evil thoughts of your own, so that you may walk in God’s path of being lovable?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 22 

David’s Song of Praise

22 David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my savior,
    the one who saves me from violence.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.
“The waves of death overwhelmed me;
    floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me;
    death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
    yes, I cried to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
    my cry reached his ears.
“Then the earth quaked and trembled.
    The foundations of the heavens shook;
    they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
    fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
    Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
10 He opened the heavens and came down;
    dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
11 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[b] he flew,
    soaring[c] on the wings of the wind.
12 He shrouded himself in darkness,
    veiling his approach with dense rain clouds.
13 A great brightness shone around him,
    and burning coals[d] blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot arrows and scattered his enemies;
    his lightning flashed, and they were confused.
16 Then at the command of the Lord,
    at the blast of his breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
    and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
17 “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
19 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.
20 He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.
21 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
    he restored me because of my innocence.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
23 I have followed all his regulations;
    I have never abandoned his decrees.
24 I am blameless before God;
    I have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
    He has seen my innocence.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
27 To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
28 You rescue the humble,
    but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.
29 Lord, you are my lamp.
    The Lord lights up my darkness.
30 In your strength I can crush an army;
    with my God I can scale any wall.
31 “God’s way is perfect.
    All the Lord’s promises prove true.
    He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
32 For who is God except the Lord?
    Who but our God is a solid rock?
33 God is my strong fortress,
    and he makes my way perfect.
34 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
36 You have given me your shield of victory;
    your help[e] has made me great.
37 You have made a wide path for my feet
    to keep them from slipping.
38 “I chased my enemies and destroyed them;
    I did not stop until they were conquered.
39 I consumed them;
    I struck them down so they did not get up;
    they fell beneath my feet.
40 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
    you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
41 You placed my foot on their necks.
    I have destroyed all who hated me.
42 They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue.
    They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
43 I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth;
    I trampled them[f] in the gutter like dirt.
44 “You gave me victory over my accusers.
    You preserved me as the ruler over nations;
    people I don’t even know now serve me.
45 Foreign nations cringe before me;
    as soon as they hear of me, they submit.
46 They all lose their courage
    and come trembling[g] from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
    May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!
48 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
    he brings down the nations under me
49     and delivers me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
    you save me from violent opponents.
50 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.
51 You give great victories to your king;
    you show unfailing love to your anointed,
    to David and all his descendants forever.”

Love,

Jonathan

Universal

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The look of love and God’s creation is universally His fingerprint, stamp, and fruit of His Spirit onto all things.” ~ Jon Barnes

The Print

The printed book of the Bible is a marvelous wonder for people to discover their Father of Love.  Just read it and see for yourself.  The stories are wonderfully written and timeless to all people of all ages.  The knowledge and wisdom you receive from enjoying the stories will reflect upon your life and children. Share them and improve your life and outlook.

Outlook

Before you can look out, one must look into the Word and simply read each chapter to reflex upon the vast amount of content and information for you to store and use.  Your outlook improves when your cup of Spiritual Water is full as you drink daily from God’s unlimited supply.  His Water is not contaminated and there is plenty to go around to share with others.

Others

Don’t look to others for solutions to your problems.  Look to God and your outlook will print nicely for future generations to discover. Everyone else will also enjoy your newfound wisdom and talent, as you develop the Love of God in your outlook business plan. Print out your schedule and follow God’s plan so you can look like a good fingerprint of God’s Character, with your daily work and conversations.
Today’s Question
Are you prepared to give answers to the tough universal questions people may ask you about God?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 21 

David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 There was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.”
So the king summoned the Gibeonites. They were not part of Israel but were all that was left of the nation of the Amorites. The people of Israel had sworn not to kill them, but Saul, in his zeal for Israel and Judah, had tried to wipe them out.David asked them, “What can I do for you? How can I make amends so that you will bless the Lord’s people again?”
“Well, money can’t settle this matter between us and the family of Saul,” the Gibeonites replied. “Neither can we demand the life of anyone in Israel.”
“What can I do then?” David asked. “Just tell me and I will do it for you.”
Then they replied, “It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in the territory of Israel. So let seven of Saul’s sons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord.[a]
“All right,” the king said, “I will do it.” The king spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth,[b] who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the Lord. But he gave them Saul’s two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth, whose mother was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. He also gave them the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[c] the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. The men of Gibeon executed them on the mountain before the Lord. So all seven of them died together at the beginning of the barley harvest.
10 Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the mother of two of the men, spread burlap on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night. 11 When David learned what Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went to the people of Jabesh-gilead and retrieved the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. (When the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, the people of Jabesh-gilead stole their bodies from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them.) 13 So David obtained the bones of Saul and Jonathan, as well as the bones of the men the Gibeonites had executed.
14 Then the king ordered that they bury the bones in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin. After that, God ended the famine in the land.

Battles against Philistine Giants

15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants[d]; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds,[e] and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”
18 After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants.
19 During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair[f] from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath.[g] The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!
20 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man[h]with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 21 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.[i]
22 These four Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.
Love,
Jonathan

Faith Likes

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The actions of your faith like the work and lifestyle you live and the fruit of your choices and labor are self-evident, pleasing to God and helpful to others.” ~ Jon Barnes

Hired

You will always have a job when your quality, integrity, and honorable workflows from you. People will notice complement your thoughtfulness, helpfulness, honesty, and competence; whether you believe it or not. It takes work to make sure your talent, character, and lifestyle match what you preach.  Eyes are always upon you and your reputation will follow you as well.

Worker Bees

Real people get the work done because they are honest, caring, and full of love. They don’t need a lot of instructions since they see the need. Their willingness to help is not a quality to be taken advantage of. However, God sees and rewards their quality of labor and character.  Your character is not based on the things you have and how much money you make. By default, your motives from the heart automatically manifest your character and work ethic.

Works

Continue to do the good works each day and enjoy the wonderful blessings that God will shine on you.  Notice and be thankful for the near misses in car accidents, harmful plots, corruption, greed, and lust of the eyes that can befall us. Stay true to the cause of justice, love, honesty, and faithfulness.  God will reward your loving work. Enjoy the Good Work, mercy, and grace in your life.
Today’s Question
Does your good work follow you, as you walk, work, and live by faith?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 20 

The Revolt of Sheba

20 There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:
“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Come on, you men of Israel,
    back to your homes!”
So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king and escorted him from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to look after the palace and placed them in seclusion. Their needs were provided for, but he no longer slept with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died.
Then the king told Amasa, “Mobilize the army of Judah within three days, and report back at that time.” So Amasa went out to notify Judah, but it took him longer than the time he had been given.
Then David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri is going to hurt us more than Absalom did. Quick, take my troops and chase after him before he gets into a fortified town where we can’t reach him.”
So Abishai and Joab,[a] together with the king’s bodyguard[b] and all the mighty warriors, set out from Jerusalem to go after Sheba. As they arrived at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab was wearing his military tunic with a dagger strapped to his belt. As he stepped forward to greet Amasa, he slipped the dagger from its sheath.[c]
“How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him. 10 Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died. Joab and his brother Abishai left him lying there and continued after Sheba.
11 One of Joab’s young men shouted to Amasa’s troops, “If you are for Joab and David, come and follow Joab.” 12 But Amasa lay in his blood in the middle of the road, and Joab’s man saw that everyone was stopping to stare at him. So he pulled him off the road into a field and threw a cloak over him. 13 With Amasa’s body out of the way, everyone went on with Joab to capture Sheba son of Bicri.
14 Meanwhile, Sheba traveled through all the tribes of Israel and eventually came to the town of Abel-beth-maacah. All the members of his own clan, the Bicrites,[d]assembled for battle and followed him into the town. 15 When Joab’s forces arrived, they attacked Abel-beth-maacah. They built a siege ramp against the town’s fortifications and began battering down the wall. 16 But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.” 17 As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?”
“I am,” he replied.
So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.”
“I’m listening,” he said.
18 Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’ 19 I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel.[e] Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord?”
20 And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town!21 That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.”
“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.”22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.
23 Now Joab was the commander of the army of Israel. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. 24 Adoniram[f] was in charge of forced labor. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 25 Sheva was the court secretary. Zadok and Abiathar were the priests. 26 And Ira, a descendant of Jair, was David’s personal priest.
Love,
Jonathan

Chosen

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Out of all the people God has created from the beginning of time, you are among the few that are chosen, because you have answered the Call of Love from God with truth and obedience.” ~ Jon Barnes

He Knows

God knows all of His Children and has given a Universe of physical, scientific, linguistic, and spiritual support to easily spread His Love to all of His Creation. It is so obvious that God is in control that sinners are completely blinded by their evil and acceptance of sin in their lives by choice. Believers must not become blind to God’s truth about following His Commandments. God already knows that you are potentially a fool unto yourself, by choice and still He loves you enough to give you a lifetime of chances to figure out that, God is your Father, The Creator. Follow Him.

Your Plans

It is best that your plans should line up and follow the schematics of God’s Plans and steps for you to take so that your life makes sense to you, friends, and your family.  By following God’s ways and thoughts, you will be able to lead and guide your family business and the fruit of it should be good fruit. Learning how to run your own home and business will help you to balance and help out other people as needed. The practice and skill set mastered at home can be used abroad to help others. If your home is a mess, so are you!

Did You

Most people do not know anything about the perfect plans and stories of God.  Ignoring truth and embracing lies are among the foundations of evil and wicked behavior. This deviant behavior defies all of God’s laws in an effort to overthrow God’s Plans, to no avail. Do not follow wicked people. Enjoy the plans God has for you by looking for specific ways that He communicates to you. When you follow God’s Plans, He will communicate and show you many amazing adventures and miracles.
Today’s Question
Did you take the perfect plan that God has placed in your life or did you reject the quality care and love God has for you?
Enjoy the Reading
 

2 Samuel 19  

Joab Rebukes the King

19 [a]Word soon reached Joab that the king was weeping and mourning for Absalom. As all the people heard of the king’s deep grief for his son, the joy of that day’s victory was turned into deep sadness. They crept back into the town that day as though they were ashamed and had deserted in battle. The king covered his face with his hands and kept on crying, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Then Joab went to the king’s room and said to him, “We saved your life today and the lives of your sons, your daughters, and your wives and concubines. Yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed of ourselves. You seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that your commanders and troops mean nothing to you. It seems that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died, you would be pleased. Now go out there and congratulate your troops, for I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a single one of them will remain here tonight. Then you will be worse off than ever before.”
So the king went out and took his seat at the town gate, and as the news spread throughout the town that he was there, everyone went to him.
Meanwhile, the Israelites who had supported Absalom fled to their homes. And throughout all the tribes of Israel there was much discussion and argument going on. The people were saying, “The king rescued us from our enemies and saved us from the Philistines, but Absalom chased him out of the country. 10 Now Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, is dead. Why not ask David to come back and be our king again?”
11 Then King David sent Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, to say to the elders of Judah, “Why are you the last ones to welcome back the king into his palace? For I have heard that all Israel is ready. 12 You are my relatives, my own tribe, my own flesh and blood! So why are you the last ones to welcome back the king?” 13 And David told them to tell Amasa, “Since you are my own flesh and blood, like Joab, may God strike me and even kill me if I do not appoint you as commander of my army in his place.”
14 Then Amasa[b] convinced all the men of Judah, and they responded unanimously. They sent word to the king, “Return to us, and bring back all who are with you.”

David’s Return to Jerusalem

15 So the king started back to Jerusalem. And when he arrived at the Jordan River, the people of Judah came to Gilgal to meet him and escort him across the river.16 Shimei son of Gera, the man from Bahurim in Benjamin, hurried across with the men of Judah to welcome King David. 17 A thousand other men from the tribe of Benjamin were with him, including Ziba, the chief servant of the house of Saul, and Ziba’s fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed down to the Jordan to meet the king. 18 They crossed the shallows of the Jordan to bring the king’s household across the river, helping him in every way they could.

David’s Mercy to Shimei

As the king was about to cross the river, Shimei fell down before him. 19 “My lord the king, please forgive me,” he pleaded. “Forget the terrible thing your servant did when you left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. 20 I know how much I sinned. That is why I have come here today, the very first person in all Israel[c] to greet my lord the king.”
21 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shimei should die, for he cursed the Lord’s anointed king!”
22 “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah!” David exclaimed. “Why have you become my adversary[d] today? This is not a day for execution, for today I am once again the king of Israel!” 23 Then, turning to Shimei, David vowed, “Your life will be spared.”

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

24 Now Mephibosheth,[e] Saul’s grandson, came down from Jerusalem to meet the king. He had not cared for his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes since the day the king left Jerusalem. 25 “Why didn’t you come with me, Mephibosheth?” the king asked him.
26 Mephibosheth replied, “My lord the king, my servant Ziba deceived me. I told him, ‘Saddle my donkey[f] so I can go with the king.’ For as you know I am crippled. 27 Ziba has slandered me by saying that I refused to come. But I know that my lord the king is like an angel of God, so do what you think is best. 28 All my relatives and I could expect only death from you, my lord, but instead you have honored me by allowing me to eat at your own table! What more can I ask?”
29 “You’ve said enough,” David replied. “I’ve decided that you and Ziba will divide your land equally between you.”
30 “Give him all of it,” Mephibosheth said. “I am content just to have you safely back again, my lord the king!”

David’s Kindness to Barzillai

31 Barzillai of Gilead had come down from Rogelim to escort the king across the Jordan. 32 He was very old—eighty years of age—and very wealthy. He was the one who had provided food for the king during his stay in Mahanaim. 33 “Come across with me and live in Jerusalem,” the king said to Barzillai. “I will take care of you there.”
34 “No,” he replied, “I am far too old to go with the king to Jerusalem. 35 I am eighty years old today, and I can no longer enjoy anything. Food and wine are no longer tasty, and I cannot hear the singers as they sing. I would only be a burden to my lord the king. 36 Just to go across the Jordan River with the king is all the honor I need! 37 Then let me return again to die in my own town, where my father and mother are buried. But here is your servant, my son Kimham. Let him go with my lord the king and receive whatever you want to give him.”
38 “Good,” the king agreed. “Kimham will go with me, and I will help him in any way you would like. And I will do for you anything you want.” 39 So all the people crossed the Jordan with the king. After David had blessed Barzillai and kissed him, Barzillai returned to his own home.
40 The king then crossed over to Gilgal, taking Kimham with him. All the troops of Judah and half the troops of Israel escorted the king on his way.

An Argument over the King

41 But all the men of Israel complained to the king, “The men of Judah stole the king and didn’t give us the honor of helping take you, your household, and all your men across the Jordan.”
42 The men of Judah replied, “The king is one of our own kinsmen. Why should this make you angry? We haven’t eaten any of the king’s food or received any special favors!”
43 “But there are ten tribes in Israel,” the others replied. “So we have ten times as much right to the king as you do. What right do you have to treat us with such contempt? Weren’t we the first to speak of bringing him back to be our king again?” The argument continued back and forth, and the men of Judah spoke even more harshly than the men of Israel.
Love,
Jonathan

Reactions

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Often times, people will say things to see if they can get a reaction from you, because they are hiding behind a wall of something that they don’t fully understand or care about.” ~ Jon Barnes

Hiding

Lies are hidden behind, between, and in front of half truthful statements, from wicked people. You must always do your own homework and balance what people say, what you read, and the number of things you can accomplish and comprehend in a day.  Each step of integrity requires patient movements and exercises in faith to work out and expose negative issues, false statements, and evil intentions.  Allow God to show you what you or someone else is hiding so that He can counsel you in all things.

Response

A truthful response will always give the best results and God will organize your steps, protection, and plans of action. Avoid accidents by stating and carefully exercising your faith and good works in doing the truth. People are watching you to see if you are faithful to God. If you are not, they will talk about you like a dog. Solutions become clear, on point, and most efficient with your time management, health, life, and spiritual issues, because of your faith in God. Then people will positively respond to your meetings, work, and physical presence.

Presence

The presence of God gives you the power, understanding, and will to do the right things in life and you are never alone. There is always good work to be done. When you have a true relationship with God, you can ask questions and get real answers to daily issues and success is at every hand, whether you know it or not. You may not like the answers, assignments, or plans that you get, but the stories from the completed missions are always awesome with God. Trust Him.  By the way, at least the pressures in life become manageable, meaningful, and properly dispersed, which allows your joy, happiness, and love to flow with positive reactions, fulfillment, and contentment!
Today’s Question
Are you reacting to people’s negative issues in a positive way, while finishing your job for God?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 18 

Absalom’s Defeat and Death

18 David now mustered the men who were with him and appointed generals and captains[a]to lead them. He sent the troops out in three groups, placing one group under Joab, one under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and one under Ittai, the man from Gath. The king told his troops, “I am going out with you.”
But his men objected strongly. “You must not go,” they urged. “If we have to turn and run—and even if half of us die—it will make no difference to Absalom’s troops; they will be looking only for you. You are worth 10,000 of us,[b] and it is better that you stay here in the town and send help if we need it.”
“If you think that’s the best plan, I’ll do it,” the king answered. So he stood alongside the gate of the town as all the troops marched out in groups of hundreds and of thousands.
And the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.” And all the troops heard the king give this order to his commanders.
So the battle began in the forest of Ephraim, and the Israelite troops were beaten back by David’s men. There was a great slaughter that day, and 20,000 men laid down their lives.The battle raged all across the countryside, and more men died because of the forest than were killed by the sword.
During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David’s men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair[c] got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. 10 One of David’s men saw what had happened and told Joab, “I saw Absalom dangling from a great tree.”
11 “What?” Joab demanded. “You saw him there and didn’t kill him? I would have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver[d] and a hero’s belt!”
12 “I would not kill the king’s son for even a thousand pieces of silver,[e]” the man replied to Joab. “We all heard the king say to you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake, please spare young Absalom.’ 13 And if I had betrayed the king by killing his son—and the king would certainly find out who did it—you yourself would be the first to abandon me.”
14 “Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. 15 Ten of Joab’s young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him.
16 Then Joab blew the ram’s horn, and his men returned from chasing the army of Israel.17 They threw Absalom’s body into a deep pit in the forest and piled a great heap of stones over it. And all Israel fled to their homes.
18 During his lifetime, Absalom had built a monument to himself in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to carry on my name.” He named the monument after himself, and it is known as Absalom’s Monument to this day.

David Mourns Absalom’s Death

19 Then Zadok’s son Ahimaaz said, “Let me run to the king with the good news that the Lordhas rescued him from his enemies.”
20 “No,” Joab told him, “it wouldn’t be good news to the king that his son is dead. You can be my messenger another time, but not today.”
21 Then Joab said to a man from Ethiopia,[f] “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The man bowed and ran off.
22 But Ahimaaz continued to plead with Joab, “Whatever happens, please let me go, too.”
“Why should you go, my son?” Joab replied. “There will be no reward for your news.”
23 “Yes, but let me go anyway,” he begged.
Joab finally said, “All right, go ahead.” So Ahimaaz took the less demanding route by way of the plain and ran to Mahanaim ahead of the Ethiopian.
24 While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates of the town, the watchman climbed to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked, he saw a lone man running toward them. 25 He shouted the news down to David, and the king replied, “If he is alone, he has news.”
As the messenger came closer, 26 the watchman saw another man running toward them. He shouted down, “Here comes another one!”
The king replied, “He also will have news.”
27 “The first man runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok,” the watchman said.
“He is a good man and comes with good news,” the king replied.
28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, “Everything is all right!” He bowed before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise to the Lord your God, who has handed over the rebels who dared to stand against my lord the king.”
29 “What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?”
Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab told me to come, there was a lot of commotion. But I didn’t know what was happening.”
30 “Wait here,” the king told him. So Ahimaaz stepped aside.
31 Then the man from Ethiopia arrived and said, “I have good news for my lord the king. Today the Lord has rescued you from all those who rebelled against you.”
32 “What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?”
And the Ethiopian replied, “May all of your enemies, my lord the king, both now and in the future, share the fate of that young man!”
33 [g]The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.”
Love,
Jonatahn

Opinionated

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Challenge yourself to complete each mission that is set for you to accomplish with God and do not follow the opinions of others who are not in a position to understand your true goals and honest motives.” ~ Jon Barnes

Meetings

Once your target is set, you must meet in the location of the target physically.  Too often, our schedules prevent other amazing meetings from ever occurring. The loss of human contact, interaction, and physical connection with people will prevent better solutions from occurring because we are not following and listening to God’s directions. Your presence is required to maximize and understand true love, as you follow the wisdom of God.

Settings

The stage is set each time you arrive at an event, meeting, performance, or rehearsal.  You are always being interviewed, based on what you say, do, look, act, think, and smell. These impressions that come from our God-given senses help us to detect problems, errors, possibilities, and good solutions. We know when we are doing wrong. A computer, voice mail, e-mail, text, book, or document can only give an outline of the real meaning of interaction, love, knowledge, experience, and understanding. Always do good with God’s opinions.

Facts

Physically challenge yourself by going to the meeting place, talking face to face with God to understand His purpose for your actions and not the opinions of others. Your face to the bible is face to Face with God! Once you have done your reading and homework for the day, observe God’s presence in all the things you do, see, hear, last, and smell.  There is always a meeting opportunity to help, serve, learn, grow, empower, listen, and act. Physical facts and successful experiences from life’s meetings and relationships are targets and missions of faith in action. Your best work is always required, not your opinion.
Today’s Question
Are you asking the right questions face to face with God or are you hiding from completing your work?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 17 

17 Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek.[a] Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

Hushai Counters Ahithophel’s Advice

But then Absalom said, “Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let’s see what he thinks about this.”When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had said. Then he asked, “What is your opinion? Should we follow Ahithophel’s advice? If not, what do you suggest?”
“Well,” Hushai replied to Absalom, “this time Ahithophel has made a mistake. You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won’t be spending the night among the troops. He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom’s men are being slaughtered. 10 Then even the bravest soldiers, though they have the heart of a lion, will be paralyzed with fear. For all Israel knows what a mighty warrior your father is and how courageous his men are.
11 “I recommend that you mobilize the entire army of Israel, bringing them from as far away as Dan in the north and Beersheba in the south. That way you will have an army as numerous as the sand on the seashore. And I advise that you personally lead the troops. 12 When we find David, we’ll fall on him like dew that falls on the ground. Then neither he nor any of his men will be left alive. 13 And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.”
14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster on Absalom!

Hushai Warns David to Escape

15 Hushai told Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, what Ahithophel had said to Absalom and the elders of Israel and what he himself had advised instead. 16 “Quick!” he told them. “Find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River[b] tonight. He must go across at once into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise he will die and his entire army with him.”
17 Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been staying at En-rogel so as not to be seen entering and leaving the city. Arrangements had been made for a servant girl to bring them the message they were to take to King David. 18 But a boy spotted them at En-rogel, and he told Absalom about it. So they quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. 19 The man’s wife put a cloth over the top of the well and scattered grain on it to dry in the sun; so no one suspected they were there.
20 When Absalom’s men arrived, they asked her, “Have you seen Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”
The woman replied, “They were here, but they crossed over the brook.” Absalom’s men looked for them without success and returned to Jerusalem.
21 Then the two men crawled out of the well and hurried on to King David. “Quick!” they told him, “cross the Jordan tonight!” And they told him how Ahithophel had advised that he be captured and killed. 22 So David and all the people with him went across the Jordan River during the night, and they were all on the other bank before dawn.
23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb.
24 David soon arrived at Mahanaim. By now, Absalom had mobilized the entire army of Israel and was leading his troops across the Jordan River. 25 Absalom had appointed Amasa as commander of his army, replacing Joab, who had been commander under David. (Amasa was Joab’s cousin. His father was Jether,[c] an Ishmaelite.[d] His mother, Abigail daughter of Nahash, was the sister of Joab’s mother, Zeruiah.) 26 Absalom and the Israelite army set up camp in the land of Gilead.
27 When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was warmly greeted by Shobi son of Nahash, who came from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and by Makir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and by Barzillai of Gilead from Rogelim. 28 They brought sleeping mats, cooking pots, serving bowls, wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans, lentils, 29 honey, butter, sheep, goats, and cheese for David and those who were with him. For they said, “You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness.”
Love,
Jonathan

Distracted

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“We think that we know things and become lazy in our well doing, casting aside our first love, spouse, family, and ethics, since money, greed, lust, pride, and manipulation rules your motives.” ~ Jon Barnes

Time

You don’t have time to read, see, feel, touch, taste, smell, or experience God’s movement in your life because He means nothing to you. God is not a dead idol, animal, sound, smell, light switch, or myth made up by the imaginations of people.  God is! You are not, God! Be faithful with your time and rigorously responsible in your efforts so that your actions sing God’s lifestyle of integrity and not a lifestyle of personal sinful distractions.

Empty

Only God can fill your empty cup with prayer, reading, fasting, meditation, and love each day.  Do not leave your bedroom at home without a full cup each morning of your life, to get through the day. You will be tested! Be prepared to bring your “A” game and Attention to God and purge your “D” game of Distraction or “F” game of Flakiness. Don’t lie to yourself.

Worship

Fake worship is like open fellowship for show and display, while secretly doing underhanded activities in your closet. This is the opposite of what God stands for. True worshipers pray in secret and God blesses them openly.  Activate you secret reading, meditation, focus, love, obedience, faith, and works, in your secret closet and allow God to GPS your activities and movements to shine for The Kingdom. Your money, ideas, stuff, laziness, ignorance, loud mouth, or silence will not shine in the Kingdom. Meekness, long-suffering, Kindness, love, and humility is required to spread God’s joy around. The pure in heart will not be distracted.
Today’s Question
Is God deaf that he cannot hear your most quiet thoughts to know what is in your heart?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Samuel 16 

David and Ziba

16 When David had gone a little beyond the summit of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth,[a] was waiting there for him. He had two donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a wineskin full of wine.
“What are these for?” the king asked Ziba.
Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s people to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat. The wine is for those who become exhausted in the wilderness.”
“And where is Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson?” the king asked him.
“He stayed in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied. “He said, ‘Today I will get back the kingdom of my grandfather Saul.’”
“In that case,” the king told Ziba, “I give you everything Mephibosheth owns.”
“I bow before you,” Ziba replied. “May I always be pleasing to you, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!”
“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”
10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”
11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul[b] have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged[c] and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David.
14 The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.[d]

Ahithophel Advises Absalom

15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all the army of Israel arrived at Jerusalem, accompanied by Ahithophel. 16 When David’s friend Hushai the Arkite arrived, he went immediately to see Absalom. “Long live the king!” he exclaimed. “Long live the king!”
17 “Is this the way you treat your friend David?” Absalom asked him. “Why aren’t you with him?”
18 “I’m here because I belong to the man who is chosen by the Lord and by all the men of Israel,” Hushai replied. 19 “And anyway, why shouldn’t I serve you? Just as I was your father’s adviser, now I will be your adviser!”
20 Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and asked him, “What should I do next?”
21 Ahithophel told him, “Go and sleep with your father’s concubines, for he has left them here to look after the palace. Then all Israel will know that you have insulted your father beyond hope of reconciliation, and they will throw their support to you.” 22 So they set up a tent on the palace roof where everyone could see it, and Absalom went in and had sex with his father’s concubines.
23 Absalom followed Ahithophel’s advice, just as David had done. For every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God.
Love,
Jonathan