Stick it Out

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God is not the Father of 30-second miracles; therefore we must stick it out.”

TB

Cut & Run

Imagine running one mile and then expecting a 6-pack. Not gonna happen. The same reasoning applies when we expect insta-miracles from Christ. The reason why many fail to see the Hand of God in their lives is that they cut and run, avoiding the work that needs to occur before the real miracles come to pass. We first have to change our hearts and minds before God blesses our lives. This starts by remaining committed.

Long Game

With consistency and love that only God can teach you, He has the ability to reunite the lost and found through us. We must have the faith and endurance to keep showing up. Irritated at your brother, mother, spouse, sister, or father? Love them anyway. Steady love and compassion (as Christ infinitely bestows on us) allow us to re-count and appreciate those in our lives. But in order to realize this, you have to stick it out.

Today’s Question

Are you in it for the long haul?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 2

1 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Moab have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They desecrated the bones of Edom’s king, burning them to ashes. 2 So I will send down fire on the land of Moab, and all the fortresses in Kerioth will be destroyed. The people will fall in the noise of battle, as the warriors shout and the ram’s horn sounds. 3 And I will destroy their king and slaughter all their princes,” says the LORD . 4 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They have rejected the instruction of the LORD, refusing to obey his decrees. They have been led astray by the same lies that deceived their ancestors. 5 So I will send down fire on Judah, and all the fortresses of Jerusalem will be destroyed.” 6 This is what the LORD says: “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sell honorable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals. 7 They trample helpless people in the dust and shove the oppressed out of the way. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. 8 At their religious festivals, they lounge in clothing their debtors put up as security. In the house of their gods, they drink wine bought with unjust fines. 9 “But as my people watched, I destroyed the Amorites, though they were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks. I destroyed the fruit on their branches and dug out their roots. 10 It was I who rescued you from Egypt and led you through the desert for forty years, so you could possess the land of the Amorites. 11 I chose some of your sons to be prophets and others to be Nazirites. Can you deny this, my people of Israel?” asks the LORD . 12 “But you caused the Nazirites to sin by making them drink wine, and you commanded the prophets, ‘Shut up!’ 13 “So I will make you groan like a wagon loaded down with sheaves of grain. 14 Your fastest runners will not get away. The strongest among you will become weak. Even mighty warriors will be unable to save themselves. 15 The archers will not stand their ground. The swiftest runners won’t be fast enough to escape. Even those riding horses won’t be able to save themselves. 16 On that day the most courageous of your fighting men will drop their weapons and run for their lives,” says the LORD .

Fruit

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

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

TB

Rotten

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

Good

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

Today’s Question

What fruit are you producing?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 1

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

Tummy Ache

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Take care to get your healthy dose of Christ and His teachings to avoid the tummy aches of a flesh-driven diet”

TB

Sweets

Human beings left up to our own devices seldom make wise choices. We demand independence and autonomy, only to chose actions that cause temporary pleasure. Like a 5-year old that only wants ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, untamed flesh can drive people to only participate in pleasurable activities in spite of the destruction they may cause. Of course, when the proverbial tummy ache occurs, all of a sudden we want God to be in charge, relieving us of the consequences our flesh-driven behavior racked up.

Spiritual Diet

As we call out to repent for our poor choices, like the benevolent parent he is, God helps us clean our mess and gets us back on track. Just like young children, we don’t fully understand the consequence of our actions, let alone grasp the implications Christ’s teachings. While it may seem like the “fun stuff” is off-limits, God’s instructions actually prevent us from getting sick off of the sinful nature we all crave from time to time. A good parent helps prevent disaster by implementing safeguards. If you want to avoid the tummy ache of destruction, talk to God about your spiritual diet. It’s full of the Holy nutrients we all need.

Today’s Question

Who’s in charge of your spiritual diet?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 38

1 This is another message that came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog, the prince who rules over the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. 3 Give him this message from the Sovereign LORD : Gog, I am your enemy! 4 I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army—your horses and charioteers in full armor and a great horde armed with shields and swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you, too, with all their weapons. 6 Gomer and all its armies will also join you, along with the armies of Beth-togarmah from the distant north, and many others. 7 “Get ready; be prepared! Keep all the armies around you mobilized, and take command of them. 8 A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel. 9 You and all your allies—a vast and awesome army—will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud. 10 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme. 11 You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence! 12 I will go to those formerly desolate cities that are now filled with people who have returned from exile in many nations. I will capture vast amounts of plunder, for the people are rich with livestock and other possessions now. They think the whole world revolves around them!’ 13 But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Do you really think the armies you have gathered can rob them of silver and gold? Do you think you can drive away their livestock and seize their goods and carry off plunder?’ 14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign LORD : When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself. 15 You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, 16 and you will attack my people Israel, covering their land like a cloud. At that time in the distant future, I will bring you against my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by what happens to you, Gog. Then all the nations will know that I am the LORD . 17 “This is what the Sovereign LORD asks: Are you the one I was talking about long ago, when I announced through Israel’s prophets that in the future I would bring you against my people? 18 But this is what the Sovereign LORD says: When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! 19 In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day. 20 All living things—the fish in the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people on earth—will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth. 21 I will summon the sword against you on all the hills of Israel, says the Sovereign LORD . Your men will turn their swords against each other. 22 I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur! 23 In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the LORD .

The Guilt/Gratitude Connection

 

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When guilt rears its ugly head, gratitude is the best strategy to defeat it.”~TB

The Shame Game

I have an annoying tendency to downplay my talents and strengths while drilling down on my areas of improvement. More interesting, I know a lot of people who do that too, which makes me wonder why? I could be “killing it” in different areas of my life, but if I’m not paying attention, my inner video of “greatest shame hits” plays, attempting to eclipse the victories that have occurred. When we lean into those shameful periods and feelings, we fall trap into negative cyclical thinking that ultimately steers us back to the very behaviors we’d like to avoid. An untethered mind is a dangerous place. We all have different inner voices, ideas, and thoughts that can uplift or deter us, which is why it’s so important to know who and what you’re listening to.

Attitude of Gratitude

So instead of focusing on your past transgressions (we all have them) look at the gifts and grace that God provides you with gratitude. We’ve all been spared the wrath that we each justly deserve and there are so many minor miracles that we all tend to forget about, but they occur each and every day. If you find yourself in a new position, be grateful and reflect on the situations you’ve experienced that prepare you for this new road. The opposition deceives you when you believe that being down and out is the only way of life. Gratitude defeats the nefarious schemes of shame and the opposition. It allows us to see ourselves as God sees us. God’s Will is mighty and wondrous, but it is up to us to individually and consistently put down our cup of shame and pick up the peace of gratitude.

Today’s Question

Are you listening to the lies of shame or embracing God’s mercy with gratitude?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 35

1 This is the message the LORD gave Jeremiah when Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: 
2 “Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live, and invite them to the LORD ’s Temple. Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.” 
3 So I went to see Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah and grandson of Habazziniah and all his brothers and sons—representing all the Recabite families. 
4 I took them to the Temple, and we went into the room assigned to the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. This room was located next to the one used by the Temple officials, directly above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the Temple gatekeeper. 
5 I set cups and jugs of wine before them and invited them to have a drink, 
6 but they refused. “No,” they said, “we don’t drink wine, because our ancestor Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. 
7 And do not build houses or plant crops or vineyards, but always live in tents. If you follow these commands, you will live long, good lives in the land.’ 
8 So we have obeyed him in all these things. We have never had a drink of wine to this day, nor have our wives, our sons, or our daughters. 
9 We haven’t built houses or owned vineyards or farms or planted crops. 
10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed all the commands of Jehonadab, our ancestor. 
11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked this country, we were afraid of the Babylonian and Syrian armies. So we decided to move to Jerusalem. That is why we are here.” 
12 Then the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 
13 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me. 
14 The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me. 
15 Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, “Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you would not listen to me or obey me. 
16 The descendants of Jehonadab son of Recab have obeyed their ancestor completely, but you have refused to listen to me.’ 
17 “Therefore, this is what the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.’” 
18 Then Jeremiah turned to the Recabites and said, “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed your ancestor Jehonadab in every respect, following all his instructions.’ 
19 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Recab will always have descendants who serve me.’”

The Well

shutterstock_702921334

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God is a never-ending well of which we can draw from. His stability and consistency will always bring us peace, joy, and contentment, quenching our thirst.”~TB

Exchange

I recently met up with an old friend of mine. We exchanged hilarious stories about our family holiday events over coffee. One of the things I enjoy about our conversations is the candor about family dynamics. While the people in our lives don’t inherently intend to emotionally drain us, sometimes they lack the foundational stability to refrain from those negative habits. More to the point, if you don’t know where to go to for emotional/spiritual stability, those exchanges can leave you feeling depleted, weary, and drained.

Dried Up

Friends, if you only rely on the emotional support of other human beings, you’re in for a long and bumpy ride. Many of us are participating in selfish, emotional vampire behaviors, taking from others and giving nothing in return. I feel for younger generations who are being brainwashed by the latest trends and societal behaviors. Most of what people are being taught is self-centered, indulgent and careless. This isn’t to be mean, it’s just an observation of a broken world doubling down on soul-sucking lifestyles. If you’re feeling depleted, listless, and in a rut, it’s time to learn where to draw your water from. Hanging out with God on a daily basis is beneficial for the renewal of your spirit.

Replenish

Consulting God on the day to day is like getting your daily water from the best well out there. It provides the water you need to go about your day with the spiritual rejuvenation that can only come from Christ. There’s plenty for everyone and the benefits are unlimited. When you lay your burdens down before God, you relieve yourself from the toxic junk of the world. By doing so, you know not to dump on other people, repeating the toxic cycle. If you’re weary, call out to Him so that He can restore you. Drink from the Holy Well so that you do not thirst for makeshift beverages of the world. We cannot change the people that we interact with only the daily. However when we get our Daily Water from God’s Well, those interactions hold less of an impact.

Today’s Question

Are you drinking from His Well or is the soda of the world more appealing?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 61

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD ’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 
3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. 
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. 
5 Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. 
6 You will be called priests of the LORD, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. 
7 Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 
8 “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. 
9 Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. 
11 The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

Feeling

hands-2667461_1920Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“I’m learning to rely on what God has to say about life and not what my feelings or thoughts would suggest since I’m not perfect.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Candy

We all need a little motivational candy to mentally feed our heart and will to do the right things in life and God gives us plenty of examples of what that motivational candy is.  The more you eat, digest, learn and use this biblical motivational candy, you will live with the biggest smile on your face, with amazing love in your heart. Even when people say hurtful things about you, smile and think warm loving thoughts.

Eye

You will become spiritual eye candy for others to follow God and this will help to improve and promote good feelings in others.  Negative feelings and thoughts are a distraction and usually prevents you from focusing on the truth in justice, love, and wisdom.  People who focus on God’s truth will find the candy they need for inspiration and motivation, which will drive true feelings of joy, peace, love, and happiness, in all circumstances.

Times

There will be times when you need to draw upon your personal stash of eye candy from God to lift your own spirits from daily challenges and situations.  Keep smiling, because negative stuff is only for a moment.  The more you relax and laughs at the devil, the quicker he will flee.  Your smile in God should be permanent, genuine, and atomic.
Today’s Question
Does your laughter with God blow up all the negative stuff that surrounds you?
Enjoy The reading
 

2 Chronicles 27 

Jotham Rules in Judah

27 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways.
Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel. He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas. Jotham went to war against the Ammonites and conquered them. Over the next three years he received from them an annual tribute of 7,500 pounds[a] of silver, 50,000 bushels of wheat, and 50,000 bushels of barley.[b]
King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.
The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and other activities, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. When Jotham died, he was buried in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.
Love,
Jonathan

Disconnection

building-690177_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“We have a society of people who think that they are connected, but they are not.” ~ Jon Barnes

Options

There are so many options to choose from that causes us to move into separate directions and work in isolation than to come together and share.  The devil’s job is to divide us to keep good people from working together.  Wasting food and not giving it to the poor is an evil act.  Making bad harmful products and selling them to people is another evil plot of waste and destruction. We must all use and develop better options.

Build

Build better relationships that will last with love and not lust.  Build better products that will last a lifetime with quality, not for quantity and greed.  Conserve energy by building things right the first time to pass on to the next generation.  Teach people the ways of God so that we can climb out of this mess and evil stress.  We can do it if we connect.

If

What if God’s thoughts were like ours?  Would the sun break down each year?  How much would it cost us to send a mechanic to fix it?  Would we all freeze to death in the meantime? And Yet, the cost of the Sun’s energy is FREE from GOD who provides all things to us, for us, and we are collectively not thankful for our free blessing of the Universe.  We don’t even acknowledge that God has done all of the work.
Today’s Question
Why are we this disconnected from God and how much more stupid can we get?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Chronicles 1 

Solomon Asks for Wisdom

Solomon son of David took firm control of his kingdom, for the Lord his God was with him and made him very powerful.
Solomon called together all the leaders of Israel—the generals and captains of the army,[a]the judges, and all the political and clan leaders. Then he led the entire assembly to the place of worship in Gibeon, for God’s Tabernacle[b] was located there. (This was the Tabernacle that Moses, the Lord’s servant, had made in the wilderness.)
David had already moved the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the tent he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri and grandson of Hur was there[c] at Gibeon in front of the Tabernacle of the Lord. So Solomon and the people gathered in front of it to consult the Lord.[d] There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it.
That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Solomon replied to God, “You showed great and faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! 10 Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly,[e] for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— 12 I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”
13 Then Solomon returned to Jerusalem from the Tabernacle at the place of worship in Gibeon, and he reigned over Israel.
14 Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses.[f] He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem.15 The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.[g]16 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt[h] and from Cilicia[i]; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. 17 At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver,[j] and horses for 150 pieces of silver.[k] They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

Love,

Jonathan