“Let your brothers and sisters endure their trials as they are a necessary byproduct of growing in Christ.”~TB
I love my family with great fierceness– for better or worse. It’s a joy to see them do well and it’s heartbreaking when they suffer– especially to false accusations. I’ve been known to jump on land mines for the people I love. Though my intentions are well-meaning, every single one of us has to go through the fire at some point and blocking someone else’s spiritual assignment –good-intentioned or otherwise– benefits no one.
Growth Through Struggle
Having experience with unfair persecution, I can say that those uncomfortable times did way more good than harm. Through the muck and the mess, I learned that I had to rely on God because He was with me in the fiery storms. When I look back at those radical moments, I realize that though the experiences were unpleasant, never was I harmed. So, if God walks with me, I’d be a fool to not trust that He’s walking with all of you as well. More to the point, when those we love endure suffering for what is right, we should be pleased that they too get the opportunity to grow in Christ.
It’s All Joy
These days I am more mindful about the Hand of Christ and I am present and careful to watch Him at work. I pray for His Will to be done rather than jump the gun with my hair-brained schemes. Instead of interfering, I encourage and listen. Friends that is all we can do, because the heavy lifting is God’s plan. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather that my brothers and sisters have God’s help than mine, because well, it’s should be obvious, ha! So the next time you see those in your life go through hard times, remember how your struggles brought you closer to God and that they too are given the opportunity and honor to know God in that same way.
Are you letting your interfering ways block the spiritual growth of others?
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1Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the LORD, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying.
2So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the LORD ’s Temple.
3The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the LORD has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’
4For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword.
5And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon.
6As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’”
7O LORD, you misled me, and I allowed myself to be misled. You are stronger than I am, and you overpowered me. Now I am mocked every day; everyone laughs at me.
8When I speak, the words burst out. “Violence and destruction!” I shout. So these messages from the LORD have made me a household joke.
9But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!
10I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.” They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.” Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.”
11But the LORD stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten.
12O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, you test those who are righteous, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you.
13Sing to the LORD ! Praise the LORD ! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors.
14Yet I curse the day I was born! May no one celebrate the day of my birth.
15I curse the messenger who told my father, “Good news—you have a son!”
16Let him be destroyed like the cities of old that the LORD overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts,
17because he did not kill me at birth. Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb, that her body had been my grave!
18Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.
“Hanging out with God is like getting honest and objective feedback from someone who ultimately has your best interest in mind. Listen well.”~TB
It Starts With
I’m a big believer in demystifying the practice of building a relationship with God. For some reason, people make it out to be some big ritualistic practice that only ‘certain’ people can do, when in reality, everyone can talk to God. More to the point, the more you talk and listen, you too can get His feedback on your life and what it means to truly be His. It starts with you asking to hear from Him. Literally, that’s it. If you have the honest and earnest desire to hear from God, then ask.
It’s Not Like
After observing people, I find that one of the biggest disconnects with building that relationship comes from not understanding who God is. We, humans, have a distorted belief that we are our own leaders, makers, etc. So if you’re trying to come to God to dictate to Him how your life should be, man, you’re going to continuously bump your head on a wall. Trust, I’m saying this from experience. My point in saying all this is, to know God is to understand that He is our Creator. This means He ultimately knows you better than you know yourself.
When you do the work and build that connection with Christ, His feedback will radically change how you see the world. The fads, the trends, the need for approval from broken people disappear– if you allow it. Because the world jams up our Holy Frequency of which God communicates by, we must unlearn our worldly practices to synthesize the feedback from God. So to sum it up, come to Him with an honest heart. Be humble and learn to submit to His sovereignty. Listen and learn from what you hear. When you’re able to see the world for what it actually is, God’s feedback is easier to understand and implement.
Who are you listening to, God or the world?
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1The LORD gave me another message. He said,
2“Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the LORD says: “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness.
3In those days Israel was holy to the LORD, the first of his children. All who harmed his people were declared guilty, and disaster fell on them. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
4Listen to the word of the LORD, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel!
5This is what the LORD says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves.
6They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’
7“And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you.
8The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD ?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols.
9Therefore, I will bring my case against you,” says the LORD . “I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come.
10“Go west and look in the land of Cyprus ; go east and search through the land of Kedar. Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this?
11Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!
12The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the LORD .
13“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
14“Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder?
15Strong lions have roared against him, and the land has been destroyed. The towns are now in ruins, and no one lives in them anymore.
16Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes, have destroyed Israel’s glory and power.
17And you have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the LORD your God, even though he was leading you on the way!
18“What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River?
19Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the LORD your God and not to fear him. I, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!
20“Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you said, ‘I will not serve you.’ On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols.
21But I was the one who planted you, choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best. How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine?
22No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!
23“You say, ‘That’s not true! I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!’ But how can you say that? Go and look in any valley in the land! Face the awful sins you have done. You are like a restless female camel desperately searching for a mate.
24You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain her lust? Those who desire her don’t need to search, for she goes running to them!
25When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’
26“Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets— all are alike in this.
27To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’
28But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can! For you have as many gods as there are towns in Judah.
29Why do you accuse me of doing wrong? You are the ones who have rebelled,” says the LORD .
30“I have punished your children, but they did not respond to my discipline. You yourselves have killed your prophets as a lion kills its prey.
31“O my people, listen to the words of the LORD ! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’
32Does a young woman forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding dress? Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me.
33“How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!
34Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor, though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses!
35And yet you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong. Surely God isn’t angry with me!’ But now I will punish you severely because you claim you have not sinned.
36First here, then there— you flit from one ally to another asking for help. But your new friends in Egypt will let you down, just as Assyria did before.
37In despair, you will be led into exile with your hands on your heads, for the LORD has rejected the nations you trust. They will not help you at all.
“Take care to develop honest relationships because a transactional lifestyle is meaningless.”~TB
In today’s surface-driven world, fake relationships and fake ideals run rampant. We seek what people can give to us or how we can use their status to achieve our agendas. Looking at people in a transactional manner is a dangerous precedent because the foundation is not real. Consider your motives when developing relationships with people. What are you after? Honest relationships require honest motives. If developing an authentic relationship with people and– more to the point– Christ is what you desire, you first must examine your heart.
Isn’t interesting that people can want what God can give them but not actually want God? The ironic part is that to know God is to have received something far greater than any wealth on this earth. But, to get to this fundamental truth, we have to forge an authentic and meaningful relationship with God. Christ is not here to grant us wishes, like some magic genie. No, we must talk, listen, learn, and practice the teachings of Christ so that we know the difference between what is real and what is fake. Throw off the superficial lifestyle to put on the authentic Truth that is God. By doing so, you change your heart and how you move in this world.
Are you interested in knowing God or are you just looking to get things from Him?
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1The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.
2The word of the LORD came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah,
3and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
9Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.
10See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
11The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
13The word of the LORD came to me again: “What do you see?” “I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
14The LORD said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.
15I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the LORD. “Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah.
16I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made.
17“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.
18Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.
19They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
“Cheerfully partner with your loved one to help spread the Gospel in your families and around the people you know, based on the honest things you do and not the daily lies you may say or hear.” ~ Jon Barnes
You can’t handle the honest truth from God and your loved ones when you do not spend quality time with them. Your balance is impartial to the things you want to do that are keeping you from cleaning your own home. How can you keep God’s house clean, when your own house stays filthy, disorganized, and in constant need? Give God a complete balanced package and stop chasing the money and avoiding your responsibilities to your home and family. Stop letting other people and things take up all of your time from your family and God. Cheerfully draw this line!
Use your skillful creativity to balance your talent, obligations, and lifestyle for God, without being an absent wife, husband, child, or family member in your own home or church. Too much time in any one area is just not good and the other parts of service in love will fail, due to your absence in quality involvement and discussions. Skillfully make the call, e-mail, text, or appointment to meet, greet, and stay connected to the physical love that is required and needed in finding, developing, and maintaining real, honest relationships with God, family, and people.
It is funny to me that I should write out, read, edit, and publish all the things I should do for myself to share with others and honor God. I have to write, re-write, read, and re-read things constantly. The juggling act of self-reflection carries on and into daily conversations with my spouse, family, friends, and other people I meet as well. Spend a minimum of 10-15 minutes every day on everything that you need to accomplish from the list of priorities in your life and rotate your exercises in love, faith, charity, and cleanliness at home first. Cheerfully rotate your schedule like working out at the gym to get everything done by God’s standard and enjoy the new miracle of management in love with Christ orchestrating your steps and movements.
Will you rise to the occasion to worship our risen Savior who died on the cross for our sins and provided the only bridge from death to eternal life unto Him?
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20 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb.4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in.6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there,7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.10 Then they went home.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
16 “Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Purpose of the Book
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
“Stop letting other people take the fall for your dumb choices and decisions, but rather enthusiastically accept your frailty and ask God to really help you to listen and learn from Him.” ~ Jon Barnes
When you become trustworthy enough to embrace God’s truth, hide it in your heart, and live by biblical morals, values, and principles. God will build a circle of protection around you and reward you with eternal benefits in heaven. If you do the opposite, you will reap the eternal benefits of hell forever. This is not a threat, but a trustworthy promise from God with consequences or rewards.
It is standard to receive a reward for doing something right and obeying the rules. We reap what we sow. As a result, it is the love of God that you have in your heart that activates the reward of doing the work God has commanded us to do. We do not get the chance to make up God’s Commandments nor can we change or select which ones to obey!
It appears that we all are enthusiastic about doing God’s work and going to heaven or we are all enthusiastically following the devil to prepare our future home in hell. In the court of God’s Kingdom, you will be judged accordingly and accurately, based on your lifestyle account.
Are you motivated or are your motives out of touch with God’s reality?
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Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
4 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did).3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way.5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet.20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone,29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true.38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days,41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe.42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
43 At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. 44 He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown.45 Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.
48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well.52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!”53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus.54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.
“You will never be able to control the environment or its condition, so weatherproof yourself in God.”
I was having a chat with someone the other day and they put a damper on my goals. I should rephrase that, I allowed their words to impact my resolve. I sulked about it for a minute before whining to God about the situation. As I was walking, I was met with this idea: does the vision change if someone else can’t see it? That stopped me dead in my tracks, and I realized that I cannot take offense to someone who cannot see what I see. None of us can.
Our lives will be filled with ups and downs, peaks and valleys and whatever analogy you can think of. People— well-intentioned or not— will always ‘piss in your Wheaties’ but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them. God works within us in His own way. My walk will look different than yours and everyone else’s. As such, when He puts visions, dreams, goals, and the like into our hearts and minds, it is something that only He and you can see.
So the next time you endure opposition of any kind, remember who gave you sight. He didn’t put things on your heart without a reason. God never promised an easy life, He promised peace. Part of obtaining and maintaining that peace is knowing where it comes from and going back to the source when the weather takes a turn for the worst. If you want the Holy Raincoat, talk to Him and read His Word regularly. When you align with the Source, the storms and bad weather are inconsequential as within He is weatherproof and He lives within you.
Are you ready to get out of the storm?
Enjoy today’s reading
1“Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance— all who seek the LORD ! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined.
2Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor, and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation. Abraham was only one man when I called him. But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.”
3The LORD will comfort Israel again and have pity on her ruins. Her desert will blossom like Eden, her barren wilderness like the garden of the LORD . Joy and gladness will be found there. Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air.
4“Listen to me, my people. Hear me, Israel, for my law will be proclaimed, and my justice will become a light to the nations.
5My mercy and justice are coming soon. My salvation is on the way. My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm.
6Look up to the skies above, and gaze down on the earth below. For the skies will disappear like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a piece of clothing. The people of the earth will die like flies, but my salvation lasts forever. My righteous rule will never end!
7“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.
8For the moth will devour them as it devours clothing. The worm will eat at them as it eats wool. But my righteousness will last forever. My salvation will continue from generation to generation.”
9Wake up, wake up, O LORD ! Clothe yourself with strength! Flex your mighty right arm! Rouse yourself as in the days of old when you slew Egypt, the dragon of the Nile.
10Are you not the same today, the one who dried up the sea, making a path of escape through the depths so that your people could cross over?
11Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
12“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?
13Yet you have forgotten the LORD, your Creator, the one who stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. Will you remain in constant dread of human oppressors? Will you continue to fear the anger of your enemies? Where is their fury and anger now? It is gone!
14Soon all you captives will be released! Imprisonment, starvation, and death will not be your fate!
15For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea, causing its waves to roar. My name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
16And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, ‘You are my people!’”
17Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem! You have drunk the cup of the LORD ’s fury. You have drunk the cup of terror, tipping out its last drops.
18Not one of your children is left alive to take your hand and guide you.
19These two calamities have fallen on you: desolation and destruction, famine and war. And who is left to sympathize with you? Who is left to comfort you?
20For your children have fainted and lie in the streets, helpless as antelopes caught in a net. The LORD has poured out his fury; God has rebuked them.
21But now listen to this, you afflicted ones who sit in a drunken stupor, though not from drinking wine.
22This is what the Sovereign LORD, your God and Defender, says: “See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands. You will drink no more of my fury.
23Instead, I will hand that cup to your tormentors, those who said, ‘We will trample you into the dust and walk on your backs.’”
“The Truth is in plain sight, to those who seek it”~TB
Right in Front
Contrary to popular belief, God is not hiding from you. No, He is patiently waiting, eager to speak with you, but you refuse to listen! He isn’t some sneaky figure, traipsing in the shadows, but rather a gentle Father, allowing you to seek him. God will never force a relationship with you, and He will not deny you the opportunity to know Him either. If you truly want to know the Lord, open your hearts, minds, and eyes and He will reveal Himself to you. On the flip side, keep your hearts, minds, and eyes shut, and you will never see what is so plainly in front of you!
The reason why God seems so mysterious to you is that you are focusing on the wrong things. Ask yourself, where does your mind wander? What holds your attention? What do you consider to be the most important thing in your life? If God is not at the forefront of your attention or line of sight, do not be surprised that you do not know Him. You simply don’t care to! Gather your thoughts, your focus, and your attention. Divert them to where they belong– on God. When He is the main thing in your life, watch the Truth unfold, like a red carpet sprawling out for an event. Then you will see that He was right in front of you all along!
Is your line of sight on Him or are you focused on your own selfish desires?
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1Let all that I am praise the LORD ; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2Let all that I am praise the LORD ; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
4He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
10He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
13The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
15Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here.
17But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children
18of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!
19The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything.
20Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.
21Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will!
22Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD .
“If you want to hear God’s Truth, simply silence the noise around you and tune in”~TB
There are so many distractions that we fall prey to on any given day. What you choose to focus on sets the tone of your mindset. Find some time in the day to bask in the peace and quiet of the Lord. When you steal away from the world’s nonsense, you are able to hear His voice which will reveal your purpose and next steps. Take care to listen for Him.
Less is more
People tend to talk themselves out of their inheritance perpetuating confidence as if they control the Hand of God. Friends, you’d do well to wait patiently for instruction rather than try and force His hand. As an experienced and reformed meddler, I can guarantee you that God’s timing supersedes human logic. Enjoy the silence and rest in His grace while you move in this world.
Silence brings Truth
The less you say and the more you listen, you will see that people show you who they are. Pay attention and be diligent about who you spend your time with. Those that intend to rob you of your peace and joy blatantly display their nefarious intentions. When you are quiet and focused their deceptive ways practices are glaringly apparent. The same goes for those who consider themselves wise. Be silent so that you can discern the real from the fake.
Are you learning to enjoy the silence or are you hell bent on loudly displaying your ignorance?
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1How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
2I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD . With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Interlude
5What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
8O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude
9O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield! Show favor to the one you have anointed.
10A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
12O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.
Who will hear the voices of the innocent whose pain and suffering go unanswered? Most will walk by, pretending like it’s not their problem. They drown out the sounds of the downtrodden, preferring comfort instead of justice. Friends, justice is coming.
Who will see the injustices and corrupt practices of leaders? Many will blindly collect their bi-weekly checks while remaining silent because they are not affected yet. Be aware that keeping your head in the sand doesn’t protect you. We will all be witness to the changing tide.
Who will be the person that God intended and turn their backs on the immoral vices of the world? The majority will listen to the siren-like songs of the devil, woefully ignorant that they are crashing into destruction. Friends, you have a choice. Listen wisely as we all are held accountable.
Question of the day
Will you rise to the occasion or will you wait until it’s too late to understand the truth?
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1O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.2Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free. 3Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors. 5O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood. 6Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! 7My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. 8That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long. 9And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing. 10For my enemies are whispering against me. They are plotting together to kill me. 11They say, “God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now.” 12O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. 13Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers. Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me. 14But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. 15I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. 16I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign LORD . I will tell everyone that you alone are just. 17O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. 18Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. 19Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? 20You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. 21You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. 22Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. 24I will tell about your righteous deeds all day long, for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.
“God gives us senses to use and detect good and evil things in our lives so that we can make the proper adjustments to correct our own problems, when our sensors sense what He is trying to teach us.”~Jon Barnes
Sin has no friends and its popularity is but an illusion of fake happiness, joy, fun, and splendor in the grass.In the beginning, middle, and end of it, you lose!There is no hope for people who sin and turn their backs on God because when you die in your sins without God’s blessing of repentance, you lived your best life walking and talking with the devil and not God.You are without excuse!
Since many of us do not use our common sensors properly, one can easily identify people with little common sense.After years and decades of people traveling down this evil path, your body tends to replace good behaviors with destructive behaviors.This negative effect takes a toll on your mental, physical, and spiritual health because you taught yourself how to override God’s laws, rules, and commandments of love, justice, honor, and ethics. Stop the foolishness.
When you give evil the opportunity to master your mind, body, life, soul, and spirit, your fruit looks, smells, tastes, and feels corrupt, compromised, and condemned. Your hopelessness is a result of the many wasted days and nights of self-abuse, not listening to God, following the devil, and making your life a history of wrong choices.However, if you humble yourself and pray that God delivers you from your own sensors and bad choices, perhaps God will give you one last chance.
Did God give you a mindset to change from your evil wicked ways and are you still disobedient?
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For the choir director: A meditation; a psalm[a] of David.
1 Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
2 God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. 3 But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt.[b] No one does good, not a single one!
4 Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to God. 5 Terror will grip them, terror like they have never known before. God will scatter the bones of your enemies. You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
6 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When God restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.