At Some Point

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“At some point, you have to let go of the opinions of man and be who God made you to be.”

TB

Cha-Ching

There is a price to pay for walking the path of Christ. As people on this earth, we must choose our path– God or Evil. While that may seem hyperbolic, when you look at it for what it truly is, it makes your choices quite simple. Note that simple does not mean easy. Good cannot walk with evil and as such, the walk with God will filter out a lot of people, distractions, and the like. Fortunately, God will find ways to keep you busy. But, make no mistake, there is a secular loss. You will look weird. People will look down on you, all the while trying to exploit your honest efforts. Your best intentions will fall on deaf ears as their hearts and minds are hardened. Sometimes, it can be hard, challenging, and hurtful. But friends, the price you pay in the natural is eclipsed by the magnitude of calling Jesus your savior.

All In

Be all in with God and He will show you amazing things! When you operate according to the One who made you, you find it much easier to be yourself– no assembly necessary. There will be hardship, trials, and tribulations, but make no mistake, you were built to endure. Take Jeremiah for example. That dude had quite the task! He had to go to some of the most wicked folks in his time to tell them some very unpopular things! And, for his trouble, he was beaten, jailed, mocked, and other unpleasant things. But, as we are reading, what he said came to pass, and God took care of him! So I say all of this to say, we could all take a page out of Jeremiah’s book. Let’s be who God created us to be, discomfort and all.

Today’s Question

Are you being who God made you to be or is the favor of a wayward nation more important to you?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 40

1 The LORD gave a message to Jeremiah after Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the other captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being sent to exile in Babylon. 2 The captain of the guard called for Jeremiah and said, “The LORD your God has brought this disaster on this land, 3 just as he said he would. For these people have sinned against the LORD and disobeyed him. That is why it happened. 4 But I am going to take off your chains and let you go. If you want to come with me to Babylon, you are welcome. I will see that you are well cared for. But if you don’t want to come, you may stay here. The whole land is before you—go wherever you like. 5 If you decide to stay, then return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. He has been appointed governor of Judah by the king of Babylon. Stay there with the people he rules. But it’s up to you; go wherever you like.” Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, gave Jeremiah some food and money and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah returned to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and he lived in Judah with the few who were still left in the land. 7 The leaders of the Judean guerrilla bands in the countryside heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor over the poor people who were left behind in Judah—the men, women, and children who hadn’t been exiled to Babylon. 8 So they went to see Gedaliah at Mizpah. These included: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, Jezaniah son of the Maacathite, and all their men. 9 Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonians meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid to serve them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised. 10 “As for me, I will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to meet with us. Settle in the towns you have taken, and live off the land. Harvest the grapes and summer fruits and olives, and store them away.” 11 When the Judeans in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and the other nearby countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a few people in Judah and that Gedaliah was the governor, 12 they began to return to Judah from the places to which they had fled. They stopped at Mizpah to meet with Gedaliah and then went into the Judean countryside to gather a great harvest of grapes and other crops. 13 Soon after this, Johanan son of Kareah and the other guerrilla leaders came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 14 They said to him, “Did you know that Baalis, king of Ammon, has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to assassinate you?” But Gedaliah refused to believe them. 15 Later Johanan had a private conference with Gedaliah and volunteered to kill Ishmael secretly. “Why should we let him come and murder you?” Johanan asked. “What will happen then to the Judeans who have returned? Why should the few of us who are still left be scattered and lost?” 16 But Gedaliah said to Johanan, “I forbid you to do any such thing, for you are lying about Ishmael.”

So What

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t let past trials and tribulations hinder your present with God.”~TB

And?

This world is imperfect, and as such you will get dinged up in your walk with Christ. Part of it is because of the opposition, the world, and your flesh. The other part is that our suffering in this world is a minuscule fraction of the suffering that Jesus endured for us. So, if you’ve been wronged, so what? Every human has transgressed another, so why continue the cycle of wrongdoing? When you sit and fester in your hurts, you stay in victim mode, unable to break free of your self pity, recycling the bad behavior you experienced.

Keep it moving

Forgiving and moving on does not mean you don’t acknowledge your circumstance. It means that you are doing the work to love your brothers and sisters as God loves you. Forgiveness also does not mean for you continually accept wrongdoing. If the environment is evil, then keep it moving. The Bible shares many stories of injustice, but it also shows the importance of accountability. Long suffering and enduring unjust behavior are two distinct things. Learn the difference and act accordingly.

Today’s Question

Are you stuck in a victim mentality?

Enjoy the reading

 

Proverbs 10

1 The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.
2 Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
3 The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.
4 Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.
5 A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.
6 The godly are showered with blessings; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
7 We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.
8 The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
9 People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.
10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace.
11 The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
12 Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
13 Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.
14 Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction.
16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.
18Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.
19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
20 The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.
21 The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
22 The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
23 Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.
24 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted.
25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
26 Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
27 Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.
29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.
30 The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land.
31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.
32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words

 

 

A Job Well Done

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God does not honor shoddy workmanship, so do it well and do it right the first time”~TB

Half Baked

Do not expect to pass your tests with half-baked efforts. God isn’t fooled and He knows that you’re capable of quality workmanship. When you seek half-truths to justify your laziness, you fall prey to fellow shoddy workers looking to steal from honest people, claiming their work is up to snuff. Friends, don’t be lazy. If you have God-given talents, work to the best of your ability. When you don’t, you become stuck in a cycle of dishonesty and turbulence, as you cling desperately to the lies you tell yourself to comfort your existence. God will not bless mediocrity. Get to work.

Repeat Offenders

Examine your life regularly. In doing so, you begin to see the patterns of your life. The honest worker can trace the fruits of their labors and will rest peacefully each night knowing they did a job well done. The lazy worker has to toss and turn in unrest, searching for excuse after excuse to justify their pitiful offerings. If your life is someone else’s fault, it’s time to examine your heart, efforts, and relationship with Christ. When you have an honest relationship with the Lord, He will gently reveal the inequities in your life. Do the work and reap the wonderful relationship with our Father in Heaven.

Today’s Question

Are you doing a job well done or are the lies you spin well done?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 98

1 Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! 
2 The LORD has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! 
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 
4 Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! 
5 Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, 
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King! 
7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in. 
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy 
9before the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.

Bored

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Your life is boring when you have accomplished nothing with what God has given you because you buried your talents in the dirt and wasted the time of development and mentoring.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Boarded

Walking with God is exciting with new adventures to face at every hand.  There is no time to be boring while walking by faith, not by sight!  The success of each mission is granted by each step you take in the right direction, as new doors open and close for your protection, growth, and maturity. There is no need for you to live in a spiritual house that is boarded up. 

Game

Master the board game of boring by bringing your fresh ideas to God for approval. His guidance and confidence in your abilities to do good things will overwhelm you.  Just pick one of the great ideas God has given you and finish the job.  Practice makes perfect so play the game every day and listen to what God has to say.  Your playground will become more interesting, fresh, and new each morning.

Smile

Let God put a big, permanent smile on your face, as you love everyone around you, particularly your enemies, and enjoy the transformation of lives right before your very eyes.  That smile you have will make everyone else smile and work to do a better job.
Remain diligent and focused in your best effort and you’ll be remembered for the quality of work you produced.
Today’s Question
Is your life boring because God is not present in your lifestyle?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 56 

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. To be sung to the tune “Dove on Distant Oaks.”

O God, have mercy on me,
    for people are hounding me.
    My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
    and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
    I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?
They are always twisting what I say;
    they spend their days plotting to harm me.
They come together to spy on me—
    watching my every step, eager to kill me.
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
    in your anger, O God, bring them down.
You keep track of all my sorrows.[b]
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.
My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
    This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
    yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?
12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
    and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
13 For you have rescued me from death;
    you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
    in your life-giving light.

Love,

Jonathan

Trapped

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“We become trapped into our own laziness of lying, cheating, stealing, and wasting time because we hate doing what is right in the sight of God.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Tips

Many of us want to tiptoe through our problems and fears by saying we hate reading, working with people, doing something new, following directions, cleaning, exercising, eating right, and the list goes on and on and on.  Verbalizing our excuses only helps us to mask and hide our solutions to execute better habits and behaviors.  We refuse to change into what God wants for us.  Stop following the crowd!

Taps

Tap into your help by listening to God and humbling yourself.  When God blesses us, we tend to get prideful, nonresponsive, and lazy, as if we have arrived to enter into the “Gates of Heaven”.  Then, our pride turns into spiritual gangrene that sets in to stop us from walking into our destiny.  Being unprepared, lazy, and not finishing our jobs are clear signs of disorganization, neglect, dirtiness, and overweight attitudes of prideful time mismanagement, which leads to an obese lifestyle of overindulging.   

Tops

Stay on top of your game by staying honest to your mission, working through your little problems, and mastering the lifestyle God wants you to live.  The closer you get to God’s standards, the more disciplined you become, full of love, patience, and kindness, with clear clean words, work, and faith.  
Today’s Question
Did you go to the gym with God this morning or are you trapped under your pride and laziness?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 36 

For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord.

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.[a]
    They have no fear of God at all.
In their blind conceit,
    they cannot see how wicked they really are.
Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.
    They refuse to act wisely or do good.
They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots.
    Their actions are never good.
    They make no attempt to turn from evil.
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
    How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
    in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
    letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
    the light by which we see.
10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
    give justice to those with honest hearts.
11 Don’t let the proud trample me
    or the wicked push me around.
12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen!
    They are thrown down, never to rise again.

Love,

Jonathan

Protection

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“God protects those who are doing His work and He provides opportunities, solutions, and miracles to honest individuals with integrity, character, and love.” ~  Jon Barnes

When

When you pray, ask for direction.  When you speak, pray for peace.  When you moan, ask for protection and love.

You

So don’t be afraid, He will hear every whisper. God knows all of the things you will need.  So trust and believe that He will take care of all of your issues to provide all that you see.

Hear

Hear with your heart, listen with your hand, and work with your mind to see the vision before doing the task.  Then allow God to push your steps forward into success with order and perfection.
Today’s Question
Did you know that God’s protection and plan for your life have been arranged from the beginning of time and your life, job, and work of faith is necessary for you to complete?
Enjoy The Reading

Job 36 

36 Elihu continued speaking:
“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
    For I have not finished defending God!
I will present profound arguments
    for the righteousness of my Creator.
I am telling you nothing but the truth,
    for I am a man of great knowledge.
“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
    He is mighty in both power and understanding.
He does not let the wicked live
    but gives justice to the afflicted.
He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
    but he sets them on thrones with kings
    and exalts them forever.
If they are bound in chains
    and caught up in a web of trouble,
he shows them the reason.
    He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
    and commands that they turn from evil.
11 “If they listen and obey God,
    they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
    All their years will be pleasant.
12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
    they will cross over the river of death,
    dying from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
    Even when he punishes them,
    they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
    after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
    For he gets their attention through adversity.
16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
    to a place free from distress.
    He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
    Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.[a]
    Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth[b]
    or all your mighty efforts
    keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
    for that is when people will be destroyed.[c]
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
    for God sent this suffering
    to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
    Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
    or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
    singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
    though only from a distance.
26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
    His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
    and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
    and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
    and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
    and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes[d] the people,
    giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
    and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
    the storm announces his indignant anger.[e]

Love,

Jonathan

The Court

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“It is pure Joy to read, think, listen, muse and become a part of the audience in God’s Court House, by studying the wonderful biblical stories and accounts of History that paints pictures of how God Thinks, right before your eyes; even as most are blind to His Artistry, Majesty, Message, and Wit!”  ~  Jon Barnes

House

In my house, there is honesty, integrity, loyalty, faith, good work, and logic with God’s word, ways, lessons, and studies.  Following the path and stories of old will guide you into the future with God into Heaven, as a true worshiper of Spirit and Truth in God’s love.  His Holy Courthouse will portray justice and review real evidence that exposes and opposed the devil and his evil ways.  You will also be exposed when you are doing wrong.

Oppose

Do not oppose the exposure of your wicked behavior before God. Repent and reapply your faith in action with love, fear, respect, and improvement.  Your silly arguments are worthless in the court of law with God, who already knows all things.  Use the Spirit of God, your connection to Him, and His Holy Word to encourage your faith, fate, and future in Christ. Oppose your pride.

Defend

You have to know knowledge or personal defense that would bring justice to the Court of The Almighty because you cannot defend your sin, thoughts, ideas, or behavior.  We are all guilty and the connection to the Blood of Christ, with our true repented state and status, allows us access, acceptance, and actual hope in Heaven.  Our faith, work, and faithfulness is an honest process that will test and strengthen our spiritual connection and defense in the Day of Judgement.
Today’s Question
What foolish mess will you bring to the Court of Christ in your defense, since your whole life has been full of wicked deception, evil, and contempt?

Enjoy The Reading

Job 20 

Zophar’s Second Response to Job

20 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
“I must reply
    because I am greatly disturbed.
I’ve had to endure your insults,
    but now my spirit prompts me to reply.
“Don’t you realize that from the beginning of time,
    ever since people were first placed on the earth,
the triumph of the wicked has been short lived
    and the joy of the godless has been only temporary?
Though the pride of the godless reaches to the heavens
    and their heads touch the clouds,
yet they will vanish forever,
    thrown away like their own dung.
Those who knew them will ask,
    ‘Where are they?’
They will fade like a dream and not be found.
    They will vanish like a vision in the night.
Those who once saw them will see them no more.
    Their families will never see them again.
10 Their children will beg from the poor,
    for they must give back their stolen riches.
11 Though they are young,
    their bones will lie in the dust.
12 “They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness,
    letting it melt under their tongue.
13 They savored it,
    holding it long in their mouths.
14 But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour,
    a poisonous venom in their stomach.
15 They will vomit the wealth they swallowed.
    God won’t let them keep it down.
16 They will suck the poison of cobras.
    The viper will kill them.
17 They will never again enjoy streams of olive oil
    or rivers of milk and honey.
18 They will give back everything they worked for.
    Their wealth will bring them no joy.
19 For they oppressed the poor and left them destitute.
    They foreclosed on their homes.
20 They were always greedy and never satisfied.
    Nothing remains of all the things they dreamed about.
21 Nothing is left after they finish gorging themselves.
    Therefore, their prosperity will not endure.
22 “In the midst of plenty, they will run into trouble
    and be overcome by misery.
23 May God give them a bellyful of trouble.
    May God rain down his anger upon them.
24 When they try to escape an iron weapon,
    a bronze-tipped arrow will pierce them.
25 The arrow is pulled from their back,
    and the arrowhead glistens with blood.[a]
The terrors of death are upon them.
26     Their treasures will be thrown into deepest darkness.
A wildfire will devour their goods,
    consuming all they have left.
27 The heavens will reveal their guilt,
    and the earth will testify against them.
28 A flood will sweep away their house.
    God’s anger will descend on them in torrents.
29 This is the reward that God gives the wicked.
    It is the inheritance decreed by God.”
Love,
Jonathan

Work Shop

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When you give a lecture about the love and passion of your profession, the proof is obvious with your actions, completed work, and content.” ~  Jon Barnes

Works

Displaying your life’s work, answering questions, and inspiring others to do their work is an honest profession and takes great skill to convey.  Not only is the message and body of works important, but also the integrity and quality of work performed.

Shoplift

You can’t steal someone’s work and expect God to give you credit.  Buying someone’s work and putting your name on it is not the same.  You still must deliver the ingredients of success for yourself with your own life. Stay connected to your job to develop your own vision that God has for you to complete.

Owner

A true owner can perform all of the functions of the job in their own shop.  They train their students, workers, helpers, and managers so that the success of the operation is a picture of themselves.  When you begin to take shortcuts the quality of your work begins to diminish and fall apart.
Today’s Question
Did you allow your workshop to become a cheap, chop shop to make fast money? 
 
Enjoy The Reading
 

Nehemiah 7 

After the wall was finished and I had set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. I said to them, “Do not leave the gates open during the hottest part of the day.[a] And even while the gatekeepers are on duty, have them shut and bar the doors. Appoint the residents of Jerusalem to act as guards, everyone on a regular watch. Some will serve at sentry posts and some in front of their own homes.”

Nehemiah Registers the People

At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt. So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. This is what was written there:
Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived.Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah,[b] Reelaiah,[c]Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar,[d] Bigvai, Rehum,[e] and Baanah.
This is the number of the men of Israel who returned from exile:
The family of Parosh 2,172
The family of Shephatiah 372
10 The family of Arah 652
11 The family of Pahath-moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) 2,818
12 The family of Elam 1,254
13 The family of Zattu 845
14 The family of Zaccai 760
15 The family of Bani[f] 648
16 The family of Bebai 628
17 The family of Azgad 2,322
18 The family of Adonikam 667
19 The family of Bigvai 2,067
20 The family of Adin 655
21 The family of Ater (descendants of Hezekiah) 98
22 The family of Hashum 328
23 The family of Bezai 324
24 The family of Jorah[g] 112
25 The family of Gibbar[h] 95
26 The people of Bethlehem and Netophah 188
27 The people of Anathoth 128
28 The people of Beth-azmaveth 42
29 The people of Kiriath-jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth 743
30 The people of Ramah and Geba 621
31 The people of Micmash 122
32 The people of Bethel and Ai 123
33 The people of West Nebo[i] 52
34 The citizens of West Elam[j] 1,254
35 The citizens of Harim 320
36 The citizens of Jericho 345
37 The citizens of Lod, Hadid, and Ono 721
38 The citizens of Senaah 3,930
39 These are the priests who returned from exile:
The family of Jedaiah (through the line of Jeshua) 973
40 The family of Immer 1,052
41 The family of Pashhur 1,247
42 The family of Harim 1,017
43 These are the Levites who returned from exile:
The families of Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah[k]) 74
44 The singers of the family of Asaph 148
45 The gatekeepers of the families of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai 138
46 The descendants of the following Temple servants returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
47 Keros, Siaha,[l] Padon,
48 Lebanah, Hagabah, Shalmai,
49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,[m]
53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
54 Bazluth,[n] Mehida, Harsha,
55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
56 Neziah, and Hatipha.
57 The descendants of these servants of King Solomon returned from exile:
Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,[o]
58 Jaalah,[p] Darkon, Giddel,
59 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-hazzebaim, and Ami.[q]
60 In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.
61 Another group returned at this time from the towns of Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Kerub, Addan,[r] and Immer. However, they could not prove that they or their families were descendants of Israel. 62 This group included the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda—a total of 642 people.
63 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.) 64 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests. 65 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.
66 So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah, 67 in addition to 7,337 servants and 245 singers, both men and women. 68 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules,[s] 69 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
70 Some of the family leaders gave gifts for the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 gold coins,[t] 50 gold basins, and 530 robes for the priests. 71 The other leaders gave to the treasury a total of 20,000 gold coins[u] and some 2,750 pounds[v] of silver for the work. 72 The rest of the people gave 20,000 gold coins, about 2,500 pounds[w] of silver, and 67 robes for the priests.
73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.

Ezra Reads the Law

In October,[x] when the Israelites had settled in their towns,
Love,
Jonathan

Stardom

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Being famous and stardom is a figment of your imagination, pride, and arrogance because, you are already a star at what you do, be it good or bad.” ~ Jon Barnes

Famous

You are well known and the things you have done over the years are well documented by God, family, and people.  He knows how famous you are at doing good or evil, along with other people.  Prepare yourself for the judgment of your actions and you should plan to improve your standing since you are being judged.  Your name is on what you do and you are quite famous in heaven for doing so.

Optional

There is an option of repentance that you can pray and exercise by turning your life around, doing better, improving, and changing your old evil, wicked ways.  Begin today by asking God to make you a good star for the Kingdom with simple good acts of kindness, humility, lifestyle, and honest work.

Personal

The real stars and famous people are the good workers who do not get any credit at all for being the slaves for the rich, yet blessing God with love, thanksgiving, honor, and faithfulness.  This work is typically done in the secret closets, where God will challenge and test your heart to see if you are playing games to pull a fast one. With God, motives of honest integrity will never fail in love.  You can’t fool God.
Today’s Question
Are you still trying to fool God with your stupid tricks, thoughts, ideas, and dumb concepts?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Chronicles 30 

Preparations for Passover

30 King Hezekiah now sent word to all Israel and Judah, and he wrote letters of invitation to the people of Ephraim and Manasseh. He asked everyone to come to the Temple of the Lordat Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the Lord, the God of Israel. The king, his officials, and all the community of Jerusalem decided to celebrate Passover a month later than usual.[a] They were unable to celebrate it at the prescribed time because not enough priests could be purified by then, and the people had not yet assembled at Jerusalem.
This plan for keeping the Passover seemed right to the king and all the people. So they sent a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north, inviting everyone to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the Lord, the God of Israel. The people had not been celebrating it in great numbers as required in the Law.
At the king’s command, runners were sent throughout Israel and Judah. They carried letters that said:
“O people of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,[b] so that he will return to the few of us who have survived the conquest of the Assyrian kings. Do not be like your ancestors and relatives who abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and became an object of derision, as you yourselves can see. Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the Lord. Come to his Temple, which he has set apart as holy forever. Worship the Lord your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.
“For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.”

Celebration of Passover

10 The runners went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the runners and made fun of them. 11 However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.
12 At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the Lord.13 So a huge crowd assembled at Jerusalem in midspring[c] to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 14 They set to work and removed the pagan altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15 On the fourteenth day of the second month, one month later than usual,[d] the people slaughtered the Passover lamb. This shamed the priests and Levites, so they purified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the Temple of the Lord. 16 Then they took their places at the Temple as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The Levites brought the sacrificial blood to the priests, who then sprinkled it on the altar.
17 Since many of the people had not purified themselves, the Levites had to slaughter their Passover lamb for them, to set them apart for the Lord. 18 Most of those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. For Hezekiah said, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” 20 And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.
21 So the people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Each day the Levites and priests sang to the Lord, accompanied by loud instruments.[e] 22 Hezekiah encouraged all the Levites regarding the skill they displayed as they served the Lord. The celebration continued for seven days. Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people gave thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
23 The entire assembly then decided to continue the festival another seven days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week. 24 King Hezekiah gave the people 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats for offerings, and the officials donated 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep and goats. Meanwhile, many more priests purified themselves.
25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all those who lived in Judah.26 There was great joy in the city, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son. 27 Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people, and God heard their prayer from his holy dwelling in heaven.
Love,
Jonathan

Growing

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The love of God keeps growing in your heart each day because you see and understand how to sow good seeds on good ground every day.” ~ Jon Barnes

Revolution 

Non-violent revolutions occur when good people teach their families how to be good people and it spreads into the culture.  Holding your family accountable for good behavior, morals, and values is a good idea.  The battle comes when we do not do a good job with our personal lives and our families.  This personal revolution will train better leaders for tomorrow because they will appreciate and use the fundamentals of character and honesty from you.

Independent

Rejecting evil is an independent choice of bringing your A-game, producing great work, and sharing the love.  Actively balancing these good choices will add years to your life, reduce stress, eat less, exercise more, and enjoy the freedom of thinking clearly, loving God, and mankind.  It can’t be good to have your mind trapped in the bubble of evil, thinking that everything is okay.  Get rid of that cancerous bubble before it is too late.

Bubble

Burst the bubble of wickedness that is holding you back and enjoy the fresh smile it will put on your face.  Giving smiles and kind words of love will teach others to do the same.  Love having conversations of meaning, value, substance, and good solutions to share and compare with everyone you meet.  We can all learn something from each other when there are no bubbles, egos, or evil thoughts around to condemn us.  Keep up the growing love in your life with God and your family at all cost.
Today’s Question
What are you growing, a big bubble or a big heart?

 

2 Chronicles 5 

So Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Temple of God.

The Ark Brought to the Temple

Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of Israel. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion. So all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn.[a]
When all the elders of Israel arrived, the Levites picked up the Ark. The priests and Levites brought up the Ark along with the special tent[b] and all the sacred items that had been in it.There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!
Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place,[c] which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day.10 Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai,[d] where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left Egypt.
11 Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day. 12 And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words:
“He is good!
    His faithful love endures forever!”
At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 14 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.

Love,

Jonathan