Pleasant

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“The truth is pleasant when you hear and do the honest work of faith, because everyone can see it, hear it, and enjoy the clean, fresh look of progress and the steps God gives you to cross the finish line.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Capable

We are all capable of doing great things with the talent and skillsets that we have. Be the first to see a problem, providing a personal solution, before someone asks you for help. Don’t be a stumbling block for someone else by being mean. Give solutions and allow people to fix their own problems and copy good behavior.

Level

You don’t need to copyright or patent everything in your life, as if you are trying to gain all of the gold in the world.  Your level of greed will consume you and prevent you from achieving the real path of justice and truth in God. Don’t burn the bridge so that no one else can cross it after you. Be happy at each level you find yourself stepping into with God to bridge the gap.

Silly

It is silly to think that your steps are random, but they are ordered by God since you are His child. Keep walking the right path. Take every opportunity to learn from your mistakes by correcting them to move to the next level of love.  Clean up your own workspace and stop waiting for others to do the job for you.
Today’s Question
Did you notice how people will become inspired to clean up as you clean up all around you and if they don’t, are you praying for them?

 

John 17 

The Prayer of Jesus

17 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

Truthful

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you know you can do a better job, then you must, if you are being honest with yourself and God!” ~ Jon Barnes

Good

It is good to move in the right direction to fix your problems and expose the things that are not pleasing to God and yourself.  Being truthful to God will net you better results from past mistakes.  You will feel much better about yourself and what you do with your time.

Better

You can see and feel the success of improvement when following God’s plans and path for your life.  This is the best plan for your life, which will yield the best results. As a result, the more efficient and effective you become the quicker the race to the finish line becomes.  Days will seem like months and years will feel like decades.  Get the most out of your life in truth and honesty with God.

Best

When you are doing all that you can do to balance your life with God’s lifestyle, each day becomes more like God’s way of telling time, one day is like a thousand years.  This mindset helps you to travel in time with biblical stories that you have memorized to search scriptures, to solve personal problems, and to encourage others.  By making fewer mistakes, time almost stands still, because you are comprehending spiritually more than your mind understands by faith.  This is your best work for God with open clear communication and prayer.
Today’s Question
Are you constantly telling God the truth, with a straight answer, or are you a master at beating around the bush of fake news, lies, and dishonest prayers?
Enjoy The Reading

John 2 

The Wedding at Cana

2 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.

Jesus Clears the Temple

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Jesus and Nicodemus

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
“When you know you can do a better job, then you must, if you are being honest with yourself and God!” ~ Jon Barnes
Good
It is good to move in the right direction to fix your problems and expose the things that are not pleasing to God and yourself.  Being truthful to God will net you better results from past mistakes.  You will feel much better about yourself and what you do with your time.
Better
You can see and feel the success of improvement when following God’s plans and path for your life.  This is the best plan for your life, which will yield the best results. As a result, the more efficient and effective you become the quicker the race to the finish line becomes.  Days will seem like months and years will feel like decades.  Get the most out of your life in truth and honesty with God.
Best
When you are doing all that you can do to balance your life with God’s lifestyle, each day becomes more like God’s way of telling time, one day is like a thousand years.  This mindset helps you to travel in time with biblical stories that you have memorized to search scriptures, to solve personal problems, and to encourage others.  By making fewer mistakes, time almost stands still, because you are comprehending spiritually more than your mind understands by faith.  This is your best work for God with open clear communication and prayer.
Today’s Question
Are you constantly telling God the truth, with a straight answer, or are you a master at beating around the bush of fake news, lies, and dishonest prayers?
Enjoy The Reading

John 2 

The Wedding at Cana

2 The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5 But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, 8 he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.
9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples.

Jesus Clears the Temple

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Jesus and Nicodemus

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.

 

Decide

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Make a decision and stick with it, because a double-mind cannot properly follow the Lord.”~TB

Reconcile Your Path

Saying you’ve accepted Christ is one thing. Walking the path is another. If you decide to accept the gift of salvation, be bold and follow through on that decision. People fall into traps because they say one thing but do the opposite. This happens because you are looking around at everything else when really you should focus your attention on God. Your relationship with God influences every aspect of your life, develop it first and the rest will follow.

Quicksand

Being disengaged in your relationship with God is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand to no avail. When you are double-minded– practicing opposing behaviors– your mind becomes trapped, unable to free itself from a loop of negative/evil thinking. Friends, nothing good comes from a corrupt mind, as your actions and behaviors will soon mirror your destructive thoughts. Making evil choices is like a poisoned well, where your misdeeds leak onto all who encounter you. To be free of this trap, ask God for help.

Follow the Leader

Like Red Riding Hood, everyone strays from the path, getting into tricky situations. Fortunately, God is the wisest of them all, and no amount of quicksand is too difficult for Him to free you. Experiencing this freedom requires you to follow God, the leader. Though this path is narrow, it is clear, and simple to follow. Understand that simple and easy are not the same thing, as you must decide in everything you do to follow Christ. Be sober in your judgment and decisions and you will find peace in God’s path.

Today’s Question

Are you upholding your decision to follow the path or is quicksand a better option?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 4

1 My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, 
2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. 
3 For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child. 
4 My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. 
5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. 
6 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. 
7 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. 
8 If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you. 
9 She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.” 
10 My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. 
11 I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. 
12 When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. 
13 Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life. 
14 Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. 
16 For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble. 
17 They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence! 
18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. 
19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over. 
20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 
21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 
22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. 
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 
24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. 
25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 
27 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Cut Your Losses

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Cut your losses on sin, but don’t count people out just yet.”~TB

Extend

As a prideful nation, people will always be your downfall. Humans have the capacity to hurt, to steal, to kill– whatever the sin– you name it, we’re capable of it. Even still, whatever the offense, it’s best to forgive it and move on. Just to be clear, this is not to say that you must tolerate poor behavior, no, we must hold each other accountable. That said, forgiving one another as God forgives us allows us to grow and develop into people of Christ. Besides, what do you have to lose by letting go of offenses? More to the point, when you are so consumed with what has happened to you, you lose sight of your potential and what you could be doing to better yourself.

Retract

As sin-fallen people, we will never be free of sin. That doesn’t mean that we should not make every effort to improve each and every day. The first step in walking closer with God is to till your own soil. When you cut out the monitoring of the shortcomings of your brothers and sisters, you are then able to reflect on yourself and your personal relationship with Christ. In the midst of that silence, He will impart His wisdom on how you can improve and move forward in your destiny. Friends, where He is taking you requires very little baggage, so why not cut your losses and move on?

Today’s Question

Are you cutting the chord to old bondages or the chord to Christ

Enjoy the Reading

Psalm 129

1 From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this: 
2 From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me. 
3 My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows. 
4 But the LORD is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly. 
5 May all who hate Jerusalem be turned back in shameful defeat. 
6 May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop, turning yellow when only half grown, 
7 ignored by the harvester, despised by the binder. 
8 And may those who pass by refuse to give them this blessing: “The LORD bless you; we bless you in the LORD ’s name.”

Pay Attention

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be present and pay attention while on your walk, as some lessons you’ll want to avoid”~TB

On the Path

On the path requires focus, patience, and presence because, in an upside down world, the devil will not hesitate to throw a decoy in your path. If you are humble enough to heed the teachings in the Bible, some test will be easier than others. Friends, walking and talking with God, not only brings peace, but also discernment. Set your eyes on Him to avoid being derailed.

Off the Path

The devil wants you to be like Red Riding Hood, wandering all willy-nilly while a wolf seeks to destroy you. The threat is real, but not to be feared, unless you didn’t adhere to the teachings. Off the path brings chaos and turmoil, but fortunately for you, God is a loving savior who will place you back on track when things get dicey.

The Added Measure of Discernment

No one’s walk is perfect, and we all will face a “big bad wolf” from time to time due to our negligence. Understand that faith and follow through are critical in being one with God. These aren’t just nice “safety nets” without a purpose. Evil is real and the devil is more than happy to trip you up, especially if you are soldiering on for Christ. Do well to root your attention in the Word, so that you are vigilant, diligent, and discerning when challenges arise.

Today’s Question

Are you on the path or are you headed for a wolf’s den?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 123

1 I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. 
2 We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal. 
3Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.
4 We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.

Ditch

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Ditch the fake reality of the world and cling to the Truth of Christ”~TB

Alternate Reality

When God puts you on a path, be vigilant in your thoughts and actions because the opposition will lie in wait to push you into a ditch and into a world of sinful desires. In an upside down world, evil will use people, thoughts, and anything he can to get you to give up your position in Christ. Keep yourself disciplined in the Word so that you may see the fake reality for what it is.

Throw Off

When you continually read and study the Truth, you are able to throw off the sinful traits and behaviors of the life you once lead. Though there are tests from time to time, remember that you are redeemed in Christ, and He looks at you through His eyes. When you lean on this Truth, that you are saved and made whole in Christ, the past evil deeds are less tempting because you know your inheritance is stored within your salvation.

Today’s Question

Are you safely driving on God’s highway or are you veering towards the evil ditch?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 115

1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. 
2 Why let the nations say, “Where is their God?” 
3 Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes. 
4Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
5 They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. 
6They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell. 
7 They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound. 
8 And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them. 
9 O Israel, trust the LORD ! He is your helper and your shield. 
10 O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the LORD ! He is your helper and your shield. 
11 All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD ! He is your helper and your shield. 
12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us. He will bless the people of Israel and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron. 
13 He will bless those who fear the LORD, both great and lowly.
14 May the LORD richly bless both you and your children. 
15 May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 
16 The heavens belong to the LORD, but he has given the earth to all humanity. 
17 The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone into the silence of the grave. 
18 But we can praise the LORD both now and forever! Praise the LORD !

Comfortably Dumb

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

Don’t be comforted by the sweet empty words of the world for there is one truth and many falsehoods. Make no mistake, there is nothing more detestable than a false Christian.~TB

Sweet Nothings

Christians have become lazy and complacent, pretending as if being preached at for an hour a week is what following Jesus is all about. We dumb ourselves down when we fail to cultivate a personal relationship with God. You cannot successfully navigate a fallen world when you are too lazy to pick up the Bible.  Like a calf being fattened for slaughter, we minimize our sin, creating false personas to appease our peers with our “pure christian lifestyle”. Do not be fooled, God is not an accessory, nor is He a trinket we can use to tout superiority over nonbelievers.

Inconvenient Truth

God created man; man did not create God. We must fit into His plan and not the other way around. Walking the path of Jesus is filled with rejection and criticism from the world. True Christianity calls for us to take up the cross daily and examine our own hearts and minds. Stop waiting for someone to tell you who God is and go straight to the Source. There is only one way to enter His kingdom and that is through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. No “universe”, “energy source”, or “good vibes” can help you. Don’t be the fool at the pearly gates with one of those excuses. There is no excuse for ignorance.

 

Today’s Question

When are you going to give up your way to follow His way?
Enjoy the reading

Psalm 60

1 You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses. You have been angry with us; now restore us to your favor. 2 You have shaken our land and split it open. Seal the cracks, for the land trembles. 3 You have been very hard on us, making us drink wine that sent us reeling.4 But you have raised a banner for those who fear you— a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude 5 Now rescue your beloved people. Answer and save us by your power. 6 God has promised this by his holiness: “I will divide up Shechem with joy. I will measure out the valley of Succoth. 7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh, too. Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors, and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings. 8 But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant, and I will wipe my feet on Edom and shout in triumph over Philistia.” 9 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will bring me victory over Edom? 10 Have you rejected us, O God? Will you no longer march with our armies? 11 Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. 12 With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.

Closely

children-441895_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Closely listen and follow what God tells you to do and your path will stay set in the Kingdom of God forever.” ~ Jon Barnes

Understands

God understands us far better than we can imagine and life has been designed for us to learn why God is God!  For those who choose not to understand, love, and follow God’s provisions, counsel, and wisdom, Woe unto you. Fear God and understand your childlike position in Him.

Obeyed

Notice the outcomes of the people who obeyed God in the Bible.  Closely re-read and study their fate and connect your fate with those stories to receive a similar outcome.  Or, choose to do the opposite and prepare for the worst detours in your life.

Platform

Choose the platform of eternity that is right for you.  Many people will like it hot, but I have chosen the comforts of God in Heaven to focus my affections upon.  All other platforms cannot compare or measure up to the living water of God’s Spirit that quenches the heat of hell, death, and destruction of satan with the Blood of Jesus.
Today’s Question
Are you closely monitoring your party’s platform to ensure your allegiance, alliance, and attention in God’s Love is well placed?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Nehemiah 12 

A History of the Priests and Levites

12 Here is the list of the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the high priest:
Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,
Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,
Shecaniah, Harim,[a] Meremoth,
Iddo, Ginnethon,[b] Abijah,
Miniamin, Moadiah,[c] Bilgah,
Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah,
Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, and Jedaiah.
These were the leaders of the priests and their associates in the days of Jeshua.
The Levites who returned with them were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his associates was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. Their associates, Bakbukiah and Unni, stood opposite them during the service.
10 Jeshua the high priest was the father of Joiakim.
Joiakim was the father of Eliashib.
Eliashib was the father of Joiada.
11 Joiada was the father of Johanan.[d]
Johanan was the father of Jaddua.
12 Now when Joiakim was high priest, the family leaders of the priests were as follows:
Meraiah was leader of the family of Seraiah.
Hananiah was leader of the family of Jeremiah.
13 Meshullam was leader of the family of Ezra.
Jehohanan was leader of the family of Amariah.
14 Jonathan was leader of the family of Malluch.[e]
Joseph was leader of the family of Shecaniah.[f]
15 Adna was leader of the family of Harim.
Helkai was leader of the family of Meremoth.[g]
16 Zechariah was leader of the family of Iddo.
Meshullam was leader of the family of Ginnethon.
17 Zicri was leader of the family of Abijah.
There was also a[h] leader of the family of Miniamin.
Piltai was leader of the family of Moadiah.
18 Shammua was leader of the family of Bilgah.
Jehonathan was leader of the family of Shemaiah.
19 Mattenai was leader of the family of Joiarib.
Uzzi was leader of the family of Jedaiah.
20 Kallai was leader of the family of Sallu.[i]
Eber was leader of the family of Amok.
21 Hashabiah was leader of the family of Hilkiah.
Nethanel was leader of the family of Jedaiah.
22 A record of the Levite families was kept during the years when Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua served as high priest. Another record of the priests was kept during the reign of Darius the Persian.[j] 23 A record of the heads of the Levite families was kept in The Book of History down to the days of Johanan, the grandson[k] of Eliashib.
24 These were the family leaders of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, Jeshua, Binnui,[l] Kadmiel, and other associates, who stood opposite them during the ceremonies of praise and thanksgiving, one section responding to the other, as commanded by David, the man of God. 25 This included Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, and Obadiah.
Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were the gatekeepers in charge of the storerooms at the gates. 26 These all served in the days of Joiakim son of Jeshua, son of Jehozadak,[m] and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest and scribe.

Dedication of Jerusalem’s Wall

27 For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 The singers were brought together from the region around Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites. 29 They also came from Beth-gilgal and the rural areas near Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built their own settlements around Jerusalem. 30 The priests and Levites first purified themselves; then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall.
31 I led the leaders of Judah to the top of the wall and organized two large choirs to give thanks. One of the choirs proceeded southward[n] along the top of the wall to the Dung Gate. 32 Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them,33 along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah. 35 Then came some priests who played trumpets, including Zechariah son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, a descendant of Asaph. 36 And Zechariah’s colleagues were Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani. They used the musical instruments prescribed by David, the man of God. Ezra the scribe led this procession. 37 At the Fountain Gate they went straight up the steps on the ascent of the city wall toward the City of David. They passed the house of David and then proceeded to the Water Gate on the east.
38 The second choir giving thanks went northward[o] around the other way to meet them. I followed them, together with the other half of the people, along the top of the wall past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, 39 then past the Ephraim Gate to the Old City Gate,[p] past the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel, and on to the Tower of the Hundred. Then we continued on to the Sheep Gate and stopped at the Guard Gate.
40 The two choirs that were giving thanks then proceeded to the Temple of God, where they took their places. So did I, together with the group of leaders who were with me. 41 We went together with the trumpet-playing priests—Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah— 42 and the singers—Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam, and Ezer. They played and sang loudly under the direction of Jezrahiah the choir director.
43 Many sacrifices were offered on that joyous day, for God had given the people cause for great joy. The women and children also participated in the celebration, and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Provisions for Temple Worship

44 On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work. 45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as commanded by David and his son Solomon, and so did the singers and the gatekeepers. 46 The custom of having choir directors to lead the choirs in hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph. 47 So now, in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel brought a daily supply of food for the singers, the gatekeepers, and the Levites. The Levites, in turn, gave a portion of what they received to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
Love,
Jonathan

Old

vintage-1872682_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Look at all old relationships and improve upon what you have learned from those experiences and stop making the same mistakes and assumptions so that you can move forward in love.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Right 

You are not always right so you must leave room for error, mistakes, and unforeseen situations in advance.  This will allow you time, energy, prayer, space, and grace to maneuver around the manure that will be in your path.  Spiritual Insight is seeing the poop before you step and smell it on your feet.  Wisdom is repenting and washing your feet immediately after stepping into it.

Wrong

When you notice the patterns of how things can go wrong, you will begin to develop plans and concepts that will prevent potential problems in the future for you and your family.  Your enemies will enjoy your success as well.  Simply avoiding bad choices, behaviors, ideas, and people will give you time, opportunity, and space to fix new problems that may arise.

Odds

Stack the deck and put the odds in your favor by listening, reading, and obeying the commandments of God, so that He can work miracles out on your behalf in ways you cannot see or comprehend.  Your humility shall be an old friend, simplicity will kill your pride, honesty in repentance will preserve your destiny in Christ.
Today’s Question
Do you notice how honest people are blessed and favored by God because of their obedience?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Ezra 2

Exiles Who Returned with Zerubbabel

Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived. Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
This is the number of the men of Israel who returned from exile:
The family of Parosh 2,172
The family of Shephatiah 372
The family of Arah 775
The family of Pahath-moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) 2,812
The family of Elam 1,254
The family of Zattu 945
The family of Zaccai 760
10 The family of Bani 642
11 The family of Bebai 623
12 The family of Azgad 1,222
13 The family of Adonikam 666
14 The family of Bigvai 2,056
15 The family of Adin 454
16 The family of Ater (descendants of Hezekiah) 98
17 The family of Bezai 323
18 The family of Jorah 112
19 The family of Hashum 223
20 The family of Gibbar 95
21 The people of Bethlehem 123
22 The people of Netophah 56
23 The people of Anathoth 128
24 The people of Beth-azmaveth[a] 42
25 The people of Kiriath-jearim,[b] Kephirah, and Beeroth 743
26 The people of Ramah and Geba 621
27 The people of Micmash 122
28 The people of Bethel and Ai 223
29 The citizens of Nebo 52
30 The citizens of Magbish 156
31 The citizens of West Elam[c] 1,254
32 The citizens of Harim 320
33 The citizens of Lod, Hadid, and Ono 725
34 The citizens of Jericho 345
35 The citizens of Senaah 3,630
36 These are the priests who returned from exile:
The family of Jedaiah (through the line of Jeshua) 973
37 The family of Immer 1,052
38 The family of Pashhur 1,247
39 The family of Harim 1,017
40 These are the Levites who returned from exile:
The families of Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) 74
41 The singers of the family of Asaph 128
42 The gatekeepers of the families of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai 139
43 The descendants of the following Temple servants returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
44 Keros, Siaha, Padon,
45 Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,
46 Hagab, Shalmai,[d] Hanan,
47 Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,
48 Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,
49 Uzza, Paseah, Besai,
50 Asnah, Meunim, Nephusim,
51 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
52 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
53 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
54 Neziah, and Hatipha.
55 The descendants of these servants of King Solomon returned from exile:
Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
56 Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,
57 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-hazzebaim, and Ami.
58 In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.
59 Another group returned at this time from the towns of Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Kerub, Addan, and Immer. However, they could not prove that they or their families were descendants of Israel. 60 This group included the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda—a total of 652 people.
61 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.) 62 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests. 63 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.
64 So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah, 65 in addition to 7,337 servants and 200 singers, both men and women. 66 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules, 67 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
68 When they arrived at the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders made voluntary offerings toward the rebuilding of God’s Temple on its original site, 69 and each leader gave as much as he could. The total of their gifts came to 61,000 gold coins,[e] 6,250 pounds[f] of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.
70 So the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled in villages near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.
Love,
Jonathan

Hiking

girl-918706_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Hiking with God is like walking a guided path designed for you to see, experience, learn, and develop new skills to share with others about your spiritual, mental, physical, and love growth.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Location

Ironically, the location and journey start from within your heart of daily repentance, prayer, and communication with God so that you don’t get distracted and lost on the trail of life. Then share this love. These instructions, trail maps, and rules of the hiking game give us proper preparation, on the job training, and teaching skills for the future generations to love others as well.

Trail

I enjoy talking and writing about the trail because these stories are real, full of adventures that describe how it feels to walk with God on a daily basis.  Even though our experiences are unique, God’s trail is the same path, His Thumb, but with your individual fingerprint on it, which was created by Him.

Destination

God’s destination for your path is clear that all should go to heaven on this trail, but many will stray off the hiking trail to blindly fall off into the cliff, full of smoke, false directions, and a hot pit called hell.  Those who love trust and follow God will stay on the hiking trail, learn, grow, pay attention, and walk through the Pearly Gates, because of their obedience and love connection with their Heavenly Father.
Today’s Question
Do you see God on all of your hiking destinations or are you lost in the blinding smoke of lies from your trip?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Chronicles 20 

War with Surrounding Nations

20 After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites[a] declared war on Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom[b] is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea.[c] They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)
Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,[d]plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’
10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. 11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.
20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:
“Give thanks to the Lord;
    his faithful love endures forever!”
22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.
25 King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing,[e] and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,[f] which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.
27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. 28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.
29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Summary of Jehoshaphat’s Reign

31 So Jehoshaphat ruled over the land of Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi.
32 Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the ways of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. 33 During his reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people never fully committed themselves to follow the God of their ancestors.
34 The rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Record of Jehu Son of Hanani, which is included in The Book of the Kings of Israel.
35 Some time later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked.[g] 36 Together they built a fleet of trading ships[h] at the port of Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, “Because you have allied yourself with King Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy your work.” So the ships met with disaster and never put out to sea.
Love,
Jonathan