And Then

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“No matter where you go or what you’ll go through, you will always be there.”~TB

Fixed

Everyone at some point in their life has had a deep-seated “if only” mindset and the world supports that type of thinking. “If only I had more money or if only I had that car/job/spouse/house, and then everything would be perfect and I wouldn’t have anything to worry about,” etc. We often erroneously believe that once a situation changes, then poof we magically change right along with it. This idea of and then is very misleading because it does not take Spoiler alert: no matter what circumstance you are in, the only thing that is always a constant is you. 

Pliable 

So even if you received all of your heart’s desires, things may change externally, but internally, the same things remain. Therefore, we must ask God to changes our hearts and minds; and we must change our behaviors to realize God’s peace and contentment. True peace and contentment are counterintuitive to the world’s standards. The world teaches us that we are to consume, consume, consume. However, those who know God understand it’s He who sets all things in motion. For us to get out of our and then mindsets, we have to understand the present presence of God’s peace. When we focus on Christ, we count all circumstances as joy and then our priorities are aligned with His.

Today’s Question

Are you letting “and then” stall your growth in Christ?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 17

1 “The sin of Judah is inscribed with an iron chisel— engraved with a diamond point on their stony hearts and on the corners of their altars. 
2 Even their children go to worship at their pagan altars and Asherah poles, beneath every green tree and on every high hill. 
3 So I will hand over my holy mountain— along with all your wealth and treasures and your pagan shrines— as plunder to your enemies, for sin runs rampant in your land. 
4 The wonderful possession I have reserved for you will slip from your hands. I will tell your enemies to take you as captives to a foreign land. For my anger blazes like a fire that will burn forever.” 
5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD . 
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. 
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. 
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 
10 But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” 
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid, so are those who get their wealth by unjust means. At midlife they will lose their riches; in the end, they will become poor old fools. 
12 But we worship at your throne— eternal, high, and glorious! 
13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who turn away from you will be disgraced. They will be buried in the dust of the earth, for they have abandoned the LORD, the fountain of living water. 
14 O LORD, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! 
15 People scoff at me and say, “What is this ‘message from the LORD ’ you talk about? Why don’t your predictions come true?” 
16 LORD, I have not abandoned my job as a shepherd for your people. I have not urged you to send disaster. You have heard everything I’ve said. 
17 LORD, don’t terrorize me! You alone are my hope in the day of disaster. 
18 Bring shame and dismay on all who persecute me, but don’t let me experience shame and dismay. Bring a day of terror on them. Yes, bring double destruction upon them! 
19 This is what the LORD said to me: “Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first in the gate where the king goes in and out, and then in each of the other gates. 
20 Say to all the people, ‘Listen to this message from the LORD, you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem. 
21 This is what the LORD says: Listen to my warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. 
22 Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, 
23 but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline. 
24 “‘But if you obey me, says the LORD, and do not carry on your trade at the gates or work on the Sabbath day, and if you keep it holy, 
25 then kings and their officials will go in and out of these gates forever. There will always be a descendant of David sitting on the throne here in Jerusalem. Kings and their officials will always ride in and out among the people of Judah in chariots and on horses, and this city will remain forever. 
26 And from all around Jerusalem, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from the western foothills and the hill country and the Negev, the people will come with their burnt offerings and sacrifices. They will bring their grain offerings, frankincense, and thanksgiving offerings to the LORD ’s Temple. 
27 “‘But if you do not listen to me and refuse to keep the Sabbath holy, and if on the Sabbath day you bring loads of merchandise through the gates of Jerusalem just as on other days, then I will set fire to these gates. The fire will spread to the palaces, and no one will be able to put out the roaring flames.’”

 

State of Mind

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“To experience God’s eternal state of peace, first, change your state of mind.”~TB

Destination Nowhere

The busyness of life can have us feeling all over the place and going nowhere at the same time. When you’re stressed out or overwhelmed it’s easy to start looking at peace as a destination. I’ve even caught myself recently thinking “If I can make it to ‘abc’ then I can be at peace”. Friends, that is foolish thinking because as anyone who’s lived on this earth knows: if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Peace does not come from changed circumstances. It comes from leaning on the strength of Christ and giving Him your burdens so that you may experience His peace.

Mindset

When you resolve to change your mindset instead of your circumstances, that’s when God can transform you internally. We have to do out part in relying on Him, so that He can make the changes within. In a world that teaches us that we are in control, it can be quite difficult to relinquish the reins of your life. But, the funny part is, that when you do, you begin to realize that you were never in control in the first place! It’s a joyful thing to know that God works in all things all of the time. So, instead of looking for a peaceful destination, allow God to make peace in your heart and mind so that you may know how to continually experience it each and every day.

Today’s Question

Is the peace you’re seeking eternal or temporary?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 62

1 Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. 
2 The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory. And you will be given a new name by the LORD ’s own mouth. 
3 The LORD will hold you in his hand for all to see— a splendid crown in the hand of God. 
4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his bride. 
5 Your children will commit themselves to you, O Jerusalem, just as a young man commits himself to his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. 
6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the LORD . 
7 Give the LORD no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. 
8 The LORD has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: “I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. 
9 You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the LORD . Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.” 
10 Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. 
11 The LORD has sent this message to every land: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’” 
12 They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the LORD .” And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place” and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”

 

 

Least

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Less is more in the hands of the least, discarded, and thrown away societies around the world, but God has a balanced compensation plan for eternity with those who love Him.” ~ Jon Barnes

Poverty 

People in poverty who know and walk with God are the most content people in the world because they know that their pain and suffering for doing good is only for a brief moment.  Materialism, capitalism, persecution, or hunger will not stop them from loving God. God’s Affirmative Action plan for the poor will shock the rich and sinners on judgment day, as it did with the rich man in hell, wanting to tell his brothers to act right. Notice that he didn’t get a second chance.

Discovery

The poor will use imagination, grit, and discovery to fuel progress to freedom and liberty in God because the love of money is not the center of their attention and greed.  Working for food and survival is the opposite of working for excess and self-indulgence.  Discovering the difference between the two is a good start.

Pains

God gives relief to the hunger pains of the poor supernaturally by feeding them spiritual food, contentment, and the fear of the Lord.  This love and fear is a reverence that balances the scales of eternal fate and is a reference point for those that are in contempt with greed, evil, and selfish mindset, who will discard human life like trash.  The pains of the righteous are temporal but the pains of the unjust are forever.
Today’s Question
Why are you always looking for second chances when you can do the right things NOW?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Gifts for Building the Temple

29 Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has clearly chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not for mere mortals—it is for the Lord God himself! Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. Now there is enough gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood, as well as great quantities of onyx, other precious stones, costly jewels, and all kinds of fine stone and marble.
“And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for his holy Temple. I am donating more than 112 tons of gold[a] from Ophir and 262 tons of refined silver[b] to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?”
Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army,[c] and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave about 188 tons of gold,[d] 10,000 gold coins,[e] 375 tons of silver,[f]675 tons of bronze,[g] and 3,750 tons of iron.[h] They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.

David’s Prayer of Praise

10 Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly:
“O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel,[i] may you be praised forever and ever! 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
16 “O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! 17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. 19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”
20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Give praise to the Lord your God!” And the entire assembly praised the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they bowed low and knelt before the Lord and the king.

Solomon Named as King

21 The next day they brought 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 male lambs as burnt offerings to the Lord. They also brought liquid offerings and many other sacrifices on behalf of all Israel. 22 They feasted and drank in the Lord’s presence with great joy that day.
And again they crowned David’s son Solomon as their new king. They anointed him before the Lord as their leader, and they anointed Zadok as priest. 23 So Solomon took the throne of the Lord in place of his father, David, and he succeeded in everything, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the officials, the warriors, and the sons of King David pledged their loyalty to King Solomon. 25 And the Lord exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel, and he gave Solomon greater royal splendor than any king in Israel before him.

Summary of David’s Reign

26 So David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27 He reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. 28 He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor. Then his son Solomon ruled in his place.
29 All the events of King David’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in The Record of Samuel the Seer, The Record of Nathan the Prophet, and The Record of Gad the Seer.30 These accounts include the mighty deeds of his reign and everything that happened to him and to Israel and to all the surrounding kingdoms.
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

Thankful Moments

 

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Each second that you get a chance to breath, communicate, make music, create, help, Love, and do good work for God is a Thankful Moment in time, which is to your credit of for Worship, honor, and Truth in your Faith Walk.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Alone

What you do for God is not always seen or readily understood by others.  However, God Knows that you are thankful.  We don’t go around with a sign that says, “hey, look at me doing good work”.  Your work speaks to God for itself.  It is the good work that activates your faith and pleases God, when you walk in faith.

Share Thanksgiving

We are thankful because we share the Good News of God in our lifestyle, which talks to the people all around us. Your words mean nothing when you cannot back them up with your faith in action.  Faith in action is sharing and caring with thanksgiving in action.

Stay Happy

I stay Happy because I am alive and can make someone else happy with the quality work that I do.  Pretend that God is always standing over you, and your perspective will change your work ethic. God’s love activates the “Stay Happy” feeling in your heart when you go through the storms at work, while relaxing, on the job, at church, or on vacation.  My Grandmother always had a beautiful loving smile.
Today’s Question
Do you look unhappy and unhealthy because you are not thankful to God for your life, faith, family and work?
Enjoy Today’s Reading.

Colossians 4

Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Final Greetings

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[b] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[c]among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Love,
Jonathan