Tee Hee Hee

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In case of emergencies (or in everyday life), tap into the Holy Humor of God.”~TB

The Divine Chuckle

God has to have the greatest sense of humor of all time. Just look at us, we are a funny bunch. I’m sure He looks down at us, and has a good chuckle from time to time. And if you learn how, you too can get in on the joke. The older I get, the more I’m convinced that when we endure trying times, in those moments we are able to experience the the kindness and humor of God. If you take a step back and look, you can begin to see God in His kindness and mercy, rather than the Old Testament look we tend to view Him as. Take the holidays and family, for example. Many of us in the Western part of the world are wrapping up the holiday season, which means time spent with your family– for better or worse.

 

Lighten Up

Family can bring the greatest sense of joy. They can also provide the greatest amount of strife as those closest to us know (consciously or otherwise) how to get under our skin. Family functions will always have a sort of dysfunction because we’re all flesh-bag beings who are severely imperfect, and no amount of strategically choreographed photos can change that. Be that as it may, the art of seeing the humor in discord serves two purposes. 1.) You learn not to pick up the sword and you can disarm a brewing battle. 2.) It’s a fun way to take the sting out of the situation. Like the gauge of a pressure cooker, Holy laughter alleviates the boiling pot of tension in family gatherings, safely dismantling a lethal weapon, repurposing it into a fun endeavor.

For Better or Worse

This life is full of hills and valleys, highs and lows. If you can’t find the humor or absurdity in situations, friends it’s going to be a long and arduous venture. So the next time Uncle Frank (no offense to the Franks of the world) makes an insensitive comment or your cousin asks to borrow a couple bucks from you, have a laugh with God, and let the moments float on by as punch lines of your Holy Comedy Routine. The more you learn to chuckle and roll with the punches, the less opportunities are available for the opposition to sow seeds of discord. Remember, when in doubt, have a chuckle with God and laugh it out.

Today’s Question

Are you able to see God’s Humor or are you the butt of the joke?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 58

1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! 
2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. 
3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. 
4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. 
5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD ? 
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 
7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. 
9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 
10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 
11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes. 
13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD ’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. 
14 Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Comfort Zone

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Thank God for tough times because it’s in those moments where we learn most about compassion.”~TB

Natural

Displaying empathy isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I have a great deal of it (I cried during the Back Draft fire simulation at Universal Studios because the thought of people in there was heartbreaking for me) internally, but it usually comes out as practical or logical advice to the issue rather than a listening ear. Fortunately for me, I had great examples of empathetic and loving people to model growing up. And even more fortunately, I’ve gone through some dark times where God’s compassion and mercy got me to the other side. These days, I’m so grateful for every harsh moment in my life, because in those tough times, my level of compassion for others— particularly those I don’t inherently relate to— has increased. I’ll give you an example.

Act of

Sometime last year, I was at a Starbucks getting some work done. A lady around my age was sitting with a toddler and a car seat. She was very much focused on the phone and kept scolding the child for not sitting still. I remember at the time, I was irritated by her callousness. Clearly frustrated she walked outside with the child and car seat in tow and sat at one of the tables. Soon after, this woman began to cry as her child was happily playing and none the wiser. In that moment, I felt the need to hand her some napkins, which is odd for me because I’m not one to get involved in emotional distress. As I handed her the napkins, I saw a surprised but grateful look on her face and I could hear a voice saying to give her a hug. On a side note, I’m not a hugger, especially when it comes to strangers.

Kindness

I ask the woman if I could give her a hug and she says yes. At this point, she’s bawling, explaining she missed an important job interview because her daycare fell through. Though I’ve never been in her shoes, I could relate to her feelings of frustration and helplessness. Even more out of character for me, I asked if I could pray for her and she said yes. After, I went back inside, perplexed at my behavior, but grateful to have been some kind of comfort to a person in need. As she left, she waved at me with a smile, and I just remember feeling a weird connection and sense of gratitude from the exchange.

Community

I’m not sharing this to get a pat on the back or claim some kind of super Christian status. No, I’m just a very human, human being, who more often than not puts her foot in her mouth. I say all of this to say that when you experience the compassion and comfort that God provides, especially in trying times, you can’t help but share that with your neighbor, even when it calls you to get out of your comfort zone. I started that encounter judging this woman on a quick moment in time that I did not understand. How arrogant! But God used the situation to provide kindness to one of His own. My point is, we will all have moments in life to share the gifts of mercy, grace, and compassion that Christ gives to us every single moment of every day. It’s not only helpful for the person in need, it’s as equally vital to you too. These moments allow us to truly understand what the Body of Christ is and how we all are instrumental to one another.

Today’s Question

Are you sharing the compassion and kindness that God gives you?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 33

1 What sorrow awaits you Assyrians, who have destroyed others but have never been destroyed yourselves. You betray others, but you have never been betrayed. When you are done destroying, you will be destroyed. When you are done betraying, you will be betrayed.
2 But LORD, be merciful to us, for we have waited for you. Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble.
3 The enemy runs at the sound of your voice. When you stand up, the nations flee!
4 Just as caterpillars and locusts strip the fields and vines, so the fallen army of Assyria will be stripped!
5 Though the LORD is very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and righteousness.
6 In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD will be your treasure.
7 But now your brave warriors weep in public. Your ambassadors of peace cry in bitter disappointment.
8 Your roads are deserted; no one travels them anymore. The Assyrians have broken their peace treaty and care nothing for the promises they made before witnesses. They have no respect for anyone.
9 The land of Israel wilts in mourning. Lebanon withers with shame. The plain of Sharon is now a wilderness. Bashan and Carmel have been plundered.
10But the LORD says: “Now I will stand up. Now I will show my power and might.
11 You Assyrians produce nothing but dry grass and stubble. Your own breath will turn to fire and consume you.
12 Your people will be burned up completely, like thornbushes cut down and tossed in a fire.
13 Listen to what I have done, you nations far away! And you that are near, acknowledge my might!”
14 The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear. Terror seizes the godless. “Who can live with this devouring fire?” they cry. “Who can survive this all-consuming fire?”
15 Those who are honest and fair, who refuse to profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong—
16 these are the ones who will dwell on high. The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress. Food will be supplied to them, and they will have water in abundance.
17 Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor, and you will see a land that stretches into the distance.
18 You will think back to this time of terror, asking, “Where are the Assyrian officers who counted our towers? Where are the bookkeepers who recorded the plunder taken from our fallen city?”
19 You will no longer see these fierce, violent people with their strange, unknown language.
20 Instead, you will see Zion as a place of holy festivals. You will see Jerusalem, a city quiet and secure. It will be like a tent whose ropes are taut and whose stakes are firmly fixed.
21 The LORD will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon.
22 For the LORD is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king. He will care for us and save us.
23 The enemies’ sails hang loose on broken masts with useless tackle. Their treasure will be divided by the people of God. Even the lame will take their share!
24 The people of Israel will no longer say, “We are sick and helpless,” for the LORD will forgive their sins

Gatekeepers

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Every person has the opportunity to receive Christ, so stop acting like a gatekeeper with your religious fanfare and man-made judgments on who is or isn’t worthy.”~TB

Truth Is

The truth is, none of us are worthy of the gift of salvation. Our deeds, our lives, our thoughts– none of it comes close to righteousness. This is precisely the reason why we need God. He doesn’t need us. Sure, He’ll use us to help one another, but trust me when I say, we are inconsequential when it comes to the mightiness and methods of God. When you walk in this truth, mercy, grace, and kindness are easily given as you know that these are gifts that God Himself gives to us freely and infinitely. Practice the love that God gives us to one another.

Stop

Just because you’ve accepted Christ does not mean you now have the authority to judge who can or cannot be a child of God. Or do you not know the stories of the Sadducees and Pharisees? God’s kids– just like your kids– come in different sizes and shapes. Our personalities were never meant to be “duplicated”. So stop perpetuating this “Stock Christian Mentality”. There is no certain physical look of a Christian, which is why we must look at deeds and rely on the Holy Spirit for discernment. Even still, that is for God to decide. Mind your own relationship with Christ and allow others to develop theirs.

Out of Bounds

If you look at people with an air of superiority or judgment in their walk, you’re out of bounds and are heaping judgment on yourself. Were you not a babe in Christ? Did you not have to crawl before you learned to walk? Did God not feed you milk before meat? If God is merciful to you and your foolishness, why can’t you do the same for others? Grace is an action that must be practiced because we all are dumb flesh bags destined to fall. It is only because of God’s Grace and His personal sacrifice that we are able to be reborn. Don’t get too high and mighty in your walk, unless you truly want to know what judgment is.

Today’s Question

Are you a light pointing to God or are you a gatekeeper with an impending judgment?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 99

1 The LORD is king! Let the nations tremble! He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake! 
2 The LORD sits in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above all the nations. 
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name. Your name is holy! 
4 Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established fairness. You have acted with justice and righteousness throughout Israel. 
5 Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy! 
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel also called on his name. They cried to the LORD for help, and he answered them. 
7 He spoke to Israel from the pillar of cloud, and they followed the laws and decrees he gave them. 
8 O LORD our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but you punished them when they went wrong. 
9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem, for the LORD our God is holy!

Hurts

silhouette-67202_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
Keep being kind Peeps, even when it hurts, because one act of kindness can make you hold back the tears of joy, after touching someone’s life so much at the right time.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Many

Many people are in need of truth, hope, charity, and love because greedy people are squeezing the life out of our society.  People scrambling to find and work two part-time jobs are finding it difficult to make ends meet.  Everyone can’t be millionaires. So why set up the poor to fail, by being overworked and underpaid with no health care and benefits?

Systemic

The challenges poor people face are too many to mention and I don’t have the answers.  But God gives us instructions on how to reach out to everyone, to do fair business, trade, and services.  However, there are those who will use every opportunity to make a buck and not share the wealth in a realistic fashion.  let’s try giving people a hand up.

Problems

Teaching people how to work through their problems and giving them fair jobs and wages is how we are Biblically commanded to oversee companies.  However, part-time jobs that strategically short change workers into a cycle of poverty are plaguing many working adults. It is not fair and no one seems to care!
Today’s Question
Do you pay people what they are worth or do you pick their pockets, expecting God to look the other way?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 52 

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
    Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction.
    Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
    you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
    and lies more than truth. Interlude
You love to destroy others with your words,
    you liar!
But God will strike you down once and for all.
    He will pull you from your home
    and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude
The righteous will see it and be amazed.
    They will laugh and say,
“Look what happens to mighty warriors
    who do not trust in God.
They trust their wealth instead
    and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”
But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
    I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
    for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
    in the presence of your faithful people.

Love,

Jonathan

Making

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“I learned to make myself read until I learned to enjoy it, which is one of the many miracles God has given me as a tool to fight the devil with.”  ~  Jon Barnes

The Making

Making yourself responsible for your own actions is a tough job.  Many people become masters at lying to themselves and others about everything.  Making excuses and ignoring symptoms of spiritual laziness, sickness, and disobedience is the path of destruction, evil, and contempt.  You know better.

Making of A

Being honest about your wicked heart is the first step in true repentance and stability with daily prayer, reading, and walking with God.  Amazing lessons are learned in being humble, faithful, and diligent with God’s love.  Taking advantage of God’s love is not true faith or true love, like people who fornicate or commit adultery.  The making of a disciple requires real honesty. 

Disciple

True disciples do not hide the truth of love in Christ.  Simple acts of kindness, faith, love, charity, humility, long-suffering, and the likes are fruits of the Spirit that follows every Christian all day and all of the time.  It’s not a button you just turn on for show or convenience.  
Today’s Question
Does your life look like who you are in God or are you a fraud?
 
Enjoy The Reading

Job 3 

Job Speaks

After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said:
“May the day of my birth perish,
    and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’
That day—may it turn to darkness;
    may God above not care about it;
    may no light shine on it.
May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more;
    may a cloud settle over it;
    may blackness overwhelm it.
That night—may thick darkness seize it;
    may it not be included among the days of the year
    nor be entered in any of the months.
May that night be barren;
    may no shout of joy be heard in it.
May those who curse days[a] curse that day,
    those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
May its morning stars become dark;
    may it wait for daylight in vain
    and not see the first rays of dawn,
10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me
    to hide trouble from my eyes.
11 “Why did I not perish at birth,
    and die as I came from the womb?
12 Why were there knees to receive me
    and breasts that I might be nursed?
13 For now I would be lying down in peace;
    I would be asleep and at rest
14 with kings and rulers of the earth,
    who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
15 with princes who had gold,
    who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child,
    like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17 There the wicked cease from turmoil,
    and there the weary are at rest.
18 Captives also enjoy their ease;
    they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.
19 The small and the great are there,
    and the slaves are freed from their owners.
20 “Why is light given to those in misery,
    and life to the bitter of soul,
21 to those who long for death that does not come,
    who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with gladness
    and rejoice when they reach the grave?
23 Why is life given to a man
    whose way is hidden,
    whom God has hedged in?
24 For sighing has become my daily food;
    my groans pour out like water.
25 What I feared has come upon me;
    what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I have no peace, no quietness;
    I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
 
Love,
Jonathan

Haste

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Being quick to judge with anger can shut down necessary communication, lessons to learn, solutions to problems, and answers to prayers, because of your impatience.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Listen

Listen to what God has given you and follow what He has said.  Share your faith to help others see the practical loving side of your work and the Hand of God on your life.  Explain and show how your blessings from God has shaped your life and others around you.

Direct

This direct line of communication will help you to give soft answers to become more effective and efficient in your daily life and personal missionary work.  You don’t need a title, money, or office to become a personal missionary for God.

Acts

Your actions will label your missionary work and your true gift will label the Love of God in your life to bless others, as well.  Continue to encourage others and let God judge and do the rest.  Use the tools God has ordained you to have that points to the Bible and follow practices of direct communication in love, patience, and kindness.
Enjoy The Reading
Are you a patient missionary worker for God?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Chronicles 31

Hezekiah’s Religious Reforms

31 When the festival ended, the Israelites who attended went to all the towns of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh, and they smashed all the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and removed the pagan shrines and altars. After this, the Israelites returned to their own towns and homes.
Hezekiah then organized the priests and Levites into divisions to offer the burnt offerings and peace offerings, and to worship and give thanks and praise to the Lord at the gates of the Temple. The king also made a personal contribution of animals for the daily morning and evening burnt offerings, the weekly Sabbath festivals, the monthly new moon festivals, and the annual festivals as prescribed in the Law of the Lord. In addition, he required the people in Jerusalem to bring a portion of their goods to the priests and Levites, so they could devote themselves fully to the Law of the Lord.
When the people of Israel heard these requirements, they responded generously by bringing the first share of their grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a large quantity—a tithe of all they produced.The people who had moved to Judah from Israel, and the people of Judah themselves, brought in the tithes of their cattle, sheep, and goats and a tithe of the things that had been dedicated to the Lord their God, and they piled them up in great heaps. They began piling them up in late spring, and the heaps continued to grow until early autumn.[a] When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw these huge piles, they thanked the Lord and his people Israel!
“Where did all this come from?” Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites.
10 And Azariah the high priest, from the family of Zadok, replied, “Since the people began bringing their gifts to the Lord’s Temple, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare. The Lord has blessed his people, and all this is left over.”
11 Hezekiah ordered that storerooms be prepared in the Temple of the Lord. When this was done, 12 the people faithfully brought all the gifts, tithes, and other items dedicated for use in the Temple. Conaniah the Levite was put in charge, assisted by his brother Shimei. 13 The supervisors under them were Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath, and Benaiah. These appointments were made by King Hezekiah and Azariah, the chief official in the Temple of God.
14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, who was the gatekeeper at the East Gate, was put in charge of distributing the voluntary offerings given to God, the gifts, and the things that had been dedicated to the Lord. 15 His faithful assistants were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah. They distributed the gifts among the families of priests in their towns by their divisions, dividing the gifts fairly among old and young alike. 16 They distributed the gifts to all males three years old or older, regardless of their place in the genealogical records. The distribution went to all who would come to the Lord’s Temple to perform their daily duties according to their divisions. 17 They distributed gifts to the priests who were listed by their families in the genealogical records, and to the Levites twenty years old or older who were listed according to their jobs and their divisions. 18 Food allotments were also given to the families of all those listed in the genealogical records, including their little babies, wives, sons, and daughters. For they had all been faithful in purifying themselves.
19 As for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who were living in the open villages around the towns, men were appointed by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to all the Levites listed in the genealogical records.
20 In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. 21 In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.
Love,
Jonathan

Dust

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote,
“When God gives you small details of dust to care for, polish, and shine like diamonds, you will begin to see, know, and understand His Thoughts, based on the love, kindness, and honest work of faith you personally apply to His Will.” ~  Jon Barnes

Creation

We were created out of the dust of what God had already accomplished.  He wanted humankind to be both smart enough and dumb enough to make their own choices in life.  This non-robotic feature of thinking is only a human characteristic and fitting for people to have.  With this consciousness comes the responsibility to think, love, control, respect, and have enough common sense to obey God.

Soul

Since the body is made up of dirt, the soul is the crown jewel of creation, since it still belongs to God and it will return to God for judgment.  The devil cannot destroy your soul, only God has that control and choice, based upon who you are and love.  If you love God and keep his commandments by following Him, your soul will be happy forever.  If not, that is your choice and price to pay.

Ashes

God is the only master of destroying the world.  We cannot!  We think we can, but God says otherwise. Look at how easy the flood consumed the world in the days of Noah.  It was a non-negotiable, single event in history that has left its mark upon time itself.  Nuke bombs are like candles in the hand of God, so why fear.  Know that God’s protection is within His Will of what shall happen to mankind, so keep polishing and shining your work in faith and love.
Today’s Question
Do you feel relieved that God is in Control all of the dust in the Universe or are you scared of the devil because you work for evil one?
Enjoy The Reading
 
22 Then David said, “This will be the location for the Temple of the Lord God and the place of the altar for Israel’s burnt offerings!”

Preparations for the Temple

So David gave orders to call together the foreigners living in Israel, and he assigned them the task of preparing finished stone for building the Temple of God. David provided large amounts of iron for the nails that would be needed for the doors in the gates and for the clamps, and he gave more bronze than could be weighed. He also provided innumerable cedar logs, for the men of Tyre and Sidon had brought vast amounts of cedar to David.
David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced. And since the Temple to be built for the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world, I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death.
Then David sent for his son Solomon and instructed him to build a Temple for the Lord, the God of Israel. “My son, I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood in my sight, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon,[a] and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will secure the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
11 “Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God. 12 And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel.13 For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lordgave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!
14 “I have worked hard to provide materials for building the Temple of the Lord—nearly 4,000 tons of gold, 40,000 tons of silver,[b] and so much iron and bronze that it cannot be weighed. I have also gathered timber and stone for the walls, though you may need to add more. 15 You have a large number of skilled stonemasons and carpenters and craftsmen of every kind.16 You have expert goldsmiths and silversmiths and workers of bronze and iron. Now begin the work, and may the Lord be with you!”
17 Then David ordered all the leaders of Israel to assist Solomon in this project. 18 “The Lordyour God is with you,” he declared. “He has given you peace with the surrounding nations. He has handed them over to me, and they are now subject to the Lord and his people.19 Now seek the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. Build the sanctuary of the LordGod so that you can bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant and the holy vessels of God into the Temple built to honor the Lord’s name.”
Love,
Jonathan

Kindly

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
Kindly state your case and be good at it, as if God is standing right next to you, so that you may enjoy the response you’ll get.” ~ Jon Barnes

Stately

Stating a viewpoint is not always easy, but you will learn something in the process of engagement.  Open discussions about love, God, belief, ethics, values, and other good topics can be fun when you are not always trying to be right!  Be engaged in learning something new and let God teach you throughout your entire life.

Patiently

Look for opportunities to try something new and do the good work God needs from you.  Ask and receive the blessing, knock and open the door, step and walk into your faith of loving, caring, and giving.  listening more than you speak will help you to gain the patience that you need to help others with your ears.

Keep

Keep the path and course straight with God and people so that they can support, encourage, and follow the direction you are headed in. Learning new skills and mastering challenges will prepare you for adventures just ahead.  You skill set will be challenged in deeds and with good words.
Today’s Question
Are you prepared for the challenge of being KIND all of the time?

1 Chronicles 1 

From Adam to Noah’s Sons

The descendants of Adam were Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah.
The sons of Noah were[a] Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Descendants of Japheth

The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath,[b] and Togarmah.
The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.

Descendants of Ham

The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim,[c] Put, and Canaan.
The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth.
11 Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 12 Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.[d]
13 Canaan’s oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites,[e] 14 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 15 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites,16 Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites.

Descendants of Shem

17 The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
The descendants of Aram were[f] Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.[g]
18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah.
Shelah was the father of Eber.
19 Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg (which means “division”), for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups. His brother’s name was Joktan.
20 Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal,[h] Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were descendants of Joktan.
24 So this is the family line descended from Shem: Arphaxad, Shelah,[i] 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 and Abram, later known as Abraham.

Descendants of Abraham

28 The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These are their genealogical records:
The sons of Ishmael were Nebaioth (the oldest), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael.
32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
The sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan.
33 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah.
All these were descendants of Abraham through his concubine Keturah.

Descendants of Isaac

34 Abraham was the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel.[j]

Descendants of Esau

35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
36 The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho,[k] Gatam, Kenaz, and Amalek, who was born to Timna.[l]
37 The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

Original Peoples of Edom

38 The descendants of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.
39 The descendants of Lotan were Hori and Hemam.[m] Lotan’s sister was named Timna.
40 The descendants of Shobal were Alvan,[n] Manahath, Ebal, Shepho,[o] and Onam.
The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.
41 The son of Anah was Dishon.
The descendants of Dishon were Hemdan,[p] Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.
42 The descendants of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.[q]
The descendants of Dishan[r] were Uz and Aran.

Rulers of Edom

43 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites[s]:
Bela son of Beor, who ruled from his city of Dinhabah.
44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king in his place.
45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king in his place.
46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who destroyed the Midianite army in the land of Moab.
47 When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king in his place.
48 When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth-on-the-River became king in his place.
49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king in his place.
50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Pau.[t]His wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab. 51 Then Hadad died.
The clan leaders of Edom were Timna, Alvah,[u] Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram. These are the clan leaders of Edom.
Love,
Jonathan

Abandonment

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When you abandon God and His principles in your life, you leave a big hole in your heart and life, without true love for eternity.” ~ Jon Barnes

Regulations

If Solomon in all of his wisdom still disobeyed God, how smart do you think you are in comparison?  This is why we need the Holy Spirit to fight evil and wickedness that may come your way. You cannot fight on your own.  Harsh labor and heavy taxation on the backs of regular people will never go well for any culture.  Good people will rule with loving kindness and not with an abandonment of God’s commandments.

Instructed

It is better to abandon the ideas of man and follow the ways of God so that you don’t fall into evil traps of temptation. Regulate your thinking and activities to focus on God’s lifestyle for your family. Each day will be more productive and full of joy.  Sorrow will not stay at your dwelling place. You will laugh at the silliness of the devil since you know God is in control and loves His Children.  Justice will be served, because of your honor and honest heart for God.

Promotional

Many people will think that your work for God is of no real value because they don’t value God, His Universe or resources. Don’t abandon your work for God. Many people will dismiss your tokens of love, kindness, and helps as a weakness. Don’t let this bother you.  Continue in the faith of love and God will simply bless you accordingly.  Your promotional efforts are not being wasted at all.  The next set of doors will appear and open up for you, because of your faithfulness and promotional love quest. Exhibit who you are in Christ or you will act and live like an abandoned child of the devil.
Today’s Question
Did you abandon your first love for God, because of greed, lust, power, fame, idols, addiction, substance abuse, or your self-made false gods?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Kings 7 

Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver,[a] and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.[b]
The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!”
But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”

Outcasts Visit the Enemy Camp

Now there were four men with leprosy[c] sitting at the entrance of the city gates. “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” they asked each other. “We will starve if we stay here, but with the famine in the city, we will starve if we go back there. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway.”
So at twilight they set out for the camp of the Arameans. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there! For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. “The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians[d] to attack us!” they cried to one another. So they panicked and ran into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, as they fled for their lives.
When the men with leprosy arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it.Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”
10 So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened. “We went out to the Aramean camp,” they said, “and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there wasn’t a single person around!” 11 Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.

Israel Plunders the Camp

12 The king got out of bed in the middle of the night and told his officers, “I know what has happened. The Arameans know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields. They are expecting us to leave the city, and then they will take us alive and capture the city.”
13 One of his officers replied, “We had better send out scouts to check into this. Let them take five of the remaining horses. If something happens to them, it will be no worse than if they stay here and die with the rest of us.”
14 So two chariots with horses were prepared, and the king sent scouts to see what had happened to the Aramean army. 15 They went all the way to the Jordan River, following a trail of clothing and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their mad rush to escape. The scouts returned and told the king about it. 16 Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that six quarts of choice flour were sold that day for one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain were sold for one piece of silver, just as the Lord had promised. 17 The king appointed his officer to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled to death as the people rushed out.
So everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted when the king came to his house. 18 The man of God had said to the king, “By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost one piece of silver.”
19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!
Love,
Jonathan

The Playground

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“There are many ways to play on the playground, but one rule still applies; You must play with God’s Rules and commandments.” ~ Jon Barnes

Flexibility

God’s rules of love are laced with commandments, grace, mercy, kindness, meekness, long-suffering, humility, goodness, patience, and the likes so that a wide variety of good things can occur by faith. However, this is not a legalistic loop hole for foolishness and disobedience.  Respectfully, God’s Plans will happen whether you like it or not and we all must remain flexible to allow God to Move and Work in and through us. Become flexible enough to get out of your own way so that others may grow and play on the playground too.

Selfishness

Don’t hog up the swing set on the playground.  Have fun, but get out of the way so that other children can play and learn from God too. You can still swing again, but this time, be kind and push, while someone else takes a turn. Sharing is the work of your faith in your daily walk with The Lord.  Don’t gossip to hurt others, but share God’s stories of Love in your life about yourself.  Talking about yourself and how God moves in your life is called ministering. However, you have nothing to share when your power is used to shut the playground down. Don’t become a bully.

Filibuster

The act of shutting down the government or God’s playground is very similar because evil people don’t want to work, pay, help, compromise, or operate in honesty or integrity. Evil thinkers will do what they want to get their way and push their agendas onto the next person. Furthermore, their agenda will flow in the opposite direction of God’s plan. Jesus will use the waisted energy of the foolish to push all the good people on the playground into working smarter and harder for the Kingdom.  This is why the good and the evil will grow together and God will separate them during the great judgment. 
Today’s Question
Which group do you belong to on the playground, based on your relationship with God?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 12 

The Northern Tribes Revolt

12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, where all Israel had gathered to make him king.When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard of this, he returned from Egypt,[a] for he had fled to Egypt to escape from King Solomon. The leaders of Israel summoned him, and Jeroboam and the whole assembly of Israel went to speak with Rehoboam. “Your father was a hard master,” they said. “Lighten the harsh labor demands and heavy taxes that your father imposed on us. Then we will be your loyal subjects.”
Rehoboam replied, “Give me three days to think this over. Then come back for my answer.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon. “What is your advice?” he asked. “How should I answer these people?”
The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.“What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?”
10 The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. 13 But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!”
15 So the king paid no attention to the people. This turn of events was the will of the Lord, for it fulfilled the Lord’s message to Jeroboam son of Nebat through the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh.
16 When all Israel realized that the king had refused to listen to them, they responded,
“Down with the dynasty of David!
    We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Back to your homes, O Israel!
    Look out for your own house, O David!”
So the people of Israel returned home. 17 But Rehoboam continued to rule over the Israelites who lived in the towns of Judah.
18 King Rehoboam sent Adoniram,[b] who was in charge of forced labor, to restore order, but the people of Israel stoned him to death. When this news reached King Rehoboam, he quickly jumped into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 And to this day the northern tribes of Israel have refused to be ruled by a descendant of David.
20 When the people of Israel learned of Jeroboam’s return from Egypt, they called an assembly and made him king over all Israel. So only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the family of David.

Shemaiah’s Prophecy

21 When Rehoboam arrived at Jerusalem, he mobilized the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—180,000 select troops—to fight against the men of Israel and to restore the kingdom to himself.
22 But God said to Shemaiah, the man of God, 23 “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the people of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” So they obeyed the message of the Lord and went home, as the Lord had commanded.

Jeroboam Makes Gold Calves

25 Jeroboam then built up the city of Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and it became his capital. Later he went and built up the town of Peniel.[c]
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 27 When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.”
28 So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people,[d] “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”
29 He placed these calf idols in Bethel and in Dan—at either end of his kingdom.30 But this became a great sin, for the people worshiped the idols, traveling as far north as Dan to worship the one there.
31 Jeroboam also erected buildings at the pagan shrines and ordained priests from the common people—those who were not from the priestly tribe of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam instituted a religious festival in Bethel, held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month,[e] in imitation of the annual Festival of Shelters in Judah. There at Bethel he himself offered sacrifices to the calves he had made, and he appointed priests for the pagan shrines he had made. 33 So on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a day that he himself had designated, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar at Bethel. He instituted a religious festival for Israel, and he went up to the altar to burn incense.
Love,
Jonathan