Mastermind

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Master your mind so that you know exactly whom you serve.”~TB

Yourself

When you serve yourself, your ability to love is limited to the knowledge you possess, which isn’t much. Because humans are flawed, our way of thinking will always be imperfect, especially compared to the mind of Christ. Self serving behavior will always bring your problems because your intentions aren’t rooted in Christ’s standards. Your mind will trick you into believing you are mightier than you are and that the things of this world are worth desiring. If left unchecked, soon you will be serving too many false-gods, leaving you confused, and off task.  Put your pride away and switch masters.

God

When you serve God, things like humility, compassion, love, and forgiveness are easier to give, because you’re focusing on the mind of Christ and not your own. Being flawed does not mean you are self-loathing or putting yourself down. No, it means you understand who has made you and why we must connect to Him to make up the difference. Your mind becomes disciplined and focused on the things of above, rejecting the things of the world. And through His love and only His love can we begin to receive the peace, joy, and understanding that comes from being His.

Today’s Question

Where does your mind go when it wanders?

Song of Solomon 5

1 I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride! I gather myrrh with my spices and eat honeycomb with my honey. I drink wine with my milk. Young Women of Jerusalem Oh, lover and beloved, eat and drink! Yes, drink deeply of your love!
2 I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: “Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3 But I responded, “I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?”
4 My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me.
5 I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt.
6 I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply.
7 The night watchmen found me as they made their rounds. They beat and bruised me and stripped off my veil, those watchmen on the walls.
8 Make this promise, O women of Jerusalem— If you find my lover, tell him I am weak with love.
9 Why is your lover better than all others, O woman of rare beauty? What makes your lover so special that we must promise this?
10 My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!
11 His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.
12 His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk.
13 His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh.
14 His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli.
15 His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon.
16His mouth is sweetness itself; he is desirable in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.

 

 

Solution

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Accept the solutions that God provides, rather than relying solely on your own.”~TB

What Should Be

As the body of Christ, we are all interconnected. This means that God desires for us to do our part, helping one another. When you read the Bible regularly, you understand its principles and how each of us has a role in assisting our brothers and sisters. In a perfect world, we would all step up and assist willingly. But, since the world is not perfect, we tend to thwart and disrupt God’s plan, leaving our brothers and sisters hanging. Fortunately for us, God has an infinite supply of backup plans and will send resources to those in need. Friends, accept those solutions, no matter if they don’t fit with your own ideas.

What Is

When manmade solutions fail, as they often do, rely on the solutions of our Father in Heaven. Like Jonah and the Gourd, God most likely sends provisions and resources that to the human eye seem unlikely and absurd. Further, sometimes those solutions require you to be humble, swallow your pride, and accept the help offered by others. Friends, don’t be prideful and refuse help because you don’t want to appear weak. Truth is, we are all weak, so stop pretending! Instead, be glad that God loves you enough to send help in your time of need. Don’t forget, there are lessons to be learned in moments such as these. More to the point, this is an opportunity for the giver to receive a blessing as they are blessing you. So take joy in receiving heavenly solutions rather than staring at the manmade problem.

Today’s Question

Are you holding onto your problems instead of accepting God’s solutions?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 146

1 Praise the LORD ! Let all that I am praise the LORD . 
2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath. 
3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. 
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. 
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. 
6 He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. 
7 He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners. 
8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly. 
9The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked. 
10 The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD !

 

No Offense

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you hold on to offenses and refuse to forgive others, you are establishing yourself as your own god because you cast your judgment on others.”~TB

A Moment

Who are you to judge someone in their worst moment(s)? When you take offense or fail to forgive someone, in your eyes you are immortalizing that person in their misdeed. How blatantly arrogant! Have you not offended? Are you perfect? Of course not, so if the One who Is can freely forgive, what’s your excuse? Friends, take care to resolve your feelings and overinflated egos because when you play god by participating in unforgiveness, you risk poisoning the well, creating a nasty cycle of broken people. People can change, or have you forgotten what our Father in Heaven has done in your life?

A Lifetime

Does a handful of moments override a lifetime? No! How else do you think salvation works? Thank God that He does not make snap decisions or assumptions against us as we do to one another. No one would survive! Fortunately, when we humbly repent, He forgives and forgets, allowing us to grow closer to Him. Forgiveness allows both parties to move past the hurt and become who God intended them to be. Forgiveness is not only for your sake but for all involved! When we humble ourselves and take care to quash offenses, that’s when God can truly do works in us. Don’t play God, He’s infinitely more qualified.

Today’s Question

Are you playing god through your unforgiveness or do you know better?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 144

1 Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. 
2 He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me. 
3 O LORD, what are human beings that you should notice them, mere mortals that you should think about them? 
4 For they are like a breath of air; their days are like a passing shadow. 
5 Open the heavens, LORD, and come down. Touch the mountains so they billow smoke. 
6 Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Shoot your arrows and confuse them! 
7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. 
8 Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God! I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp. 
10 For you grant victory to kings! You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword. 
11 Save me! Rescue me from the power of my enemies. Their mouths are full of lies; they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. 
12 May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. 
13May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, 
14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares. 
15Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD .

Reflect

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Keep tabs on your ego and pride because an overabundance of both can cause you to lose your blessings.”~TB

Pride

When you’ve walked with God long enough to see the many spectacular things He’s done in you and around you, if you’re not careful, you can begin to think too highly of yourself. Pride blinds us from connecting to our brothers and sisters in Christ. An unchecked ego foolishly hones in on the sins of others, without recognizing or dealing with our own. When you’re really out of sorts, you can become your own deity, thinking you know all. Friends, check your pride and make sure you’re not on team arrogance.

Humility

It takes honest humility and repentance to get off or your high horse. Fortunately for us, when we find ourselves on the wrong team, God will gently laugh and will lovingly take us back. In those moments, reflect on His mercy and His immediate acceptance of you. God doesn’t scoff, He doesn’t even say ‘I told you so’. Like a parent missing a child who has been gone for a long time, He welcomes you with open arms. Friends, mirror His ways! Don’t think too highly of yourselves and give your peers the mercy and grace that God gives us each and every day. When you keep your feelings in check and love like God loves us, everyone wins.

Today’s Question

Are you practicing His ways or is your pride driving your behavior?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 138

1 I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. 
2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. 
3 As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. 
4 Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words. 
5 Yes, they will sing about the LORD ’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great. 
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. 
7 Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. 
8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

Operating System

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Keep a watchful eye on the people, places, and things that influence your life. A careless thoughtlife will surely lead to a poor understanding of the Truth.”~TB

Software

God programmed us to be free thinkers. This means that the blank software you were born with is free to download whatever information you choose. You don’t have to follow God or even acknowledge His existence! On the same token, He does not have to acknowledge you come judgment day. Make of that as you will. Some will come to know Christ early on. Some will do so later on. And others, well, they chose what they chose. Thank God that we have a choice! So, why is it important that you understand this distinction? Well, friends, not all information is wise or accurate. More to the point, not every activity or deed will bring you peace or contentment.

Virus

As society advances, so does the ability to easily practice sin, debauchery, and all types of blasphemous activities. Problem is, much of what is not good for you is marketed as delightful and necessary things. This is why analyzing and understanding what you’re listening to and to whom you’re influenced by is of the utmost importance. Evil people seek to give you poisonous information and will claim such acts as good! And if you’re not paying attention, you will download it, like a virus that will corrupt your system. Friends, be discerning! Let the Holy Spirit guide your thought process. If someone is telling you to make concessions on the Truth, run! If someone is trying to change you or make you believe that you are anything less than what God created you to be, ignore them. In a world that is upside down, and evil is packaged as freedom, choice, and pursuit of happiness, if you are not paying attention, life is more challenging.

Anti-virus

Even though we have a choice and God will not inflict His authority on you, He is there! If you are tired of the gnarly viruses of the world, if you are frustrated by the hypocrisy of mankind, turn to the Truth. Forming a genuine relationship with God is beneficial in so many ways. Like the ultimate anti-virus, God will download the Truth, peace, and joy onto your operating system. This new software, The Holy Spirit is not only a useful tool but a true friend that will help guide you in this wicked world. If you take the time to cultivate this relationship, it will serve you well. Make no mistake, to walk with God means to abdicate the sin-fallen world. It means to take up the cross, abandon a flesh-filled life, and to live according to His will. As with anything worth doing, dedication, discipline, and time are necessary to run this race. Friends, you have a choice, make sure you choose wisely.

Today’s Question

Are you downloading the Truth or is your operating system full of viruses?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 128

1 How joyful are those who fear the LORD — all who follow his ways! 
2You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 
4 That is the LORD ’s blessing for those who fear him. 
5 May the LORD continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live. 
6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!

You

 

kindle-1867751_1920.jpgHi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“You are a product of what you believe, think, say, and do for God!” ~ Jon Barnes

You “R”

You “R” also a product of what you don’t believe, think, say, and do for God as well.  Since the measure of a person is based on the level of work and faith that is put into their actions, stay awake in your work.  Pay close attention to the quality, honesty, and motivational components of your daily plan with God because, the dividends you get will blossom all year round, into the future of eternity, if you don’t quit.

You Do

There is a clear picture that you paint for yourself when you do you.  Being who you are in God paints a beautiful portrait of love that is real and superior to your natural looks and affections.  Your true looks and value are accurately measured from this viewpoint. Keep God’s viewpoint as your standard and avoid becoming arrogant and full of pride.

You Don’t

You don’t have time to keep making the same mistakes of vanity, envy, lust, and wicked ideas packaged in new ways.  I have fun focusing on the now, which is how God teaches me new things each day.  You can correct your own mistakes a lot easier when you acknowledge the truth with God and not by yourself.  Enjoy yourself in God and you will never be alone, without purpose, a plan, and a place.
Today’s Question
Do you enjoy your purpose or are you still clueless in Christ?
 
Enjoy The Reading

Esther 7 

Haman Impaled

So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]
King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. The king got up in a rage,left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[b] stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!” 10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
Love,
Jonathan

The Box

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Many times I am locked up in my own box and ways of thinking, which prevents God or anyone else from communicating to me because I think that my way is right!” ~ Jon Barnes

Pride

God has answers to your problems, but we tend to draw a line in the sand for no one to cross because of traditions, procedures, systems, habits, and lifestyle do not match up with God’s Ways and Lifestyle.  I have become so set in my own ways of doing things that, it takes a miracle from God to get me to see another point of view. Fortunately, I am learning to listen and willing to change.

Arrogance

Being locked up in your own thoughts and mind prevents God from teaching us anything new from the Bible, since we think we know it all, after reading the bible once. The old songs and hymns lose their true meaning because our hearts become cold and good thoughts cannot penetrate our Box of Arrogance and Pride. Learning something new, fresh, and honest requires a childlike Spirit from God to keep opening the Box of Love. Try to refill it up with the Holy Spirit of Love, so that it overflows with common sense to give, take, compromise, and share with others.

Falling

When you understand that you are not always right, you stop fighting everyone around you with the power from your throne you have built within your position of authority. The love of money and power can change a person. It has happened to me before. So you must discern what to do, say, and believe in all situations with instant pray to God on the spot. Then, your playground becomes everyone’s playground because God is the Proctor on call 24/7 to pick you up when you fall along with your family, friends, and enemies. Miracles and favor will flow into your life and all around you because of your obedience.
Today’s Question
Did you hand over the controls to your personal X-Box to God or are you still lying on the ground from your fall on the playground of life?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 11 

Solomon’s Many Wives

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.
In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been.Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech,[a] the detestable god of the Ammonites. In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done.
On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem,[b] he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.
The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. 11 So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. 12 But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. 13 And even so, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.”

Solomon’s Adversaries

14 Then the Lord raised up Hadad the Edomite, a member of Edom’s royal family, to be Solomon’s adversary. 15 Years before, David had defeated Edom. Joab, his army commander, had stayed to bury some of the Israelite soldiers who had died in battle. While there, they killed every male in Edom. 16 Joab and the army of Israel had stayed there for six months, killing them.
17 But Hadad and a few of his father’s royal officials escaped and headed for Egypt. (Hadad was just a boy at the time.) 18 They set out from Midian and went to Paran, where others joined them. Then they traveled to Egypt and went to Pharaoh, who gave them a home, food, and some land. 19 Pharaoh grew very fond of Hadad, and he gave him his wife’s sister in marriage—the sister of Queen Tahpenes. 20 She bore him a son named Genubath. Tahpenes raised him[c] in Pharaoh’s palace among Pharaoh’s own sons.
21 When the news reached Hadad in Egypt that David and his commander Joab were both dead, he said to Pharaoh, “Let me return to my own country.”
22 “Why?” Pharaoh asked him. “What do you lack here that makes you want to go home?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “But even so, please let me return home.”
23 God also raised up Rezon son of Eliada as Solomon’s adversary. Rezon had fled from his master, King Hadadezer of Zobah, 24 and had become the leader of a gang of rebels. After David conquered Hadadezer, Rezon and his men fled to Damascus, where he became king. 25 Rezon was Israel’s bitter adversary for the rest of Solomon’s reign, and he made trouble, just as Hadad did. Rezon hated Israel intensely and continued to reign in Aram.

Jeroboam Rebels against Solomon

26 Another rebel leader was Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of Solomon’s own officials. He came from the town of Zeredah in Ephraim, and his mother was Zeruah, a widow.
27 This is the story behind his rebellion. Solomon was rebuilding the supporting terraces[d] and repairing the walls of the city of his father, David. 28 Jeroboam was a very capable young man, and when Solomon saw how industrious he was, he put him in charge of the labor force from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph.
29 One day as Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah from Shiloh met him along the way. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone in a field, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten of these pieces, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and I will give ten of the tribes to you! 32 But I will leave him one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 33 For Solomon has[e] abandoned me and worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and Molech, the god of the Ammonites. He has not followed my ways and done what is pleasing in my sight. He has not obeyed my decrees and regulations as David his father did.
34 “‘But I will not take the entire kingdom from Solomon at this time. For the sake of my servant David, the one whom I chose and who obeyed my commands and decrees, I will keep Solomon as leader for the rest of his life. 35 But I will take the kingdom away from his son and give ten of the tribes to you. 36 His son will have one tribe so that the descendants of David my servant will continue to reign, shining like a lamp in Jerusalem, the city I have chosen to be the place for my name. 37 And I will place you on the throne of Israel, and you will rule over all that your heart desires. 38 If you listen to what I tell you and follow my ways and do whatever I consider to be right, and if you obey my decrees and commands, as my servant David did, then I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you. 39 Because of Solomon’s sin I will punish the descendants of David—though not forever.’”
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but he fled to King Shishak of Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died.

Summary of Solomon’s Reign

41 The rest of the events in Solomon’s reign, including all his deeds and his wisdom, are recorded in The Book of the Acts of Solomon. 42 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 43 When he died, he was buried in the City of David, named for his father. Then his son Rehoboam became the next king.
Love,
Jonathan

Distracted

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“We think that we know things and become lazy in our well doing, casting aside our first love, spouse, family, and ethics, since money, greed, lust, pride, and manipulation rules your motives.” ~ Jon Barnes

Time

You don’t have time to read, see, feel, touch, taste, smell, or experience God’s movement in your life because He means nothing to you. God is not a dead idol, animal, sound, smell, light switch, or myth made up by the imaginations of people.  God is! You are not, God! Be faithful with your time and rigorously responsible in your efforts so that your actions sing God’s lifestyle of integrity and not a lifestyle of personal sinful distractions.

Empty

Only God can fill your empty cup with prayer, reading, fasting, meditation, and love each day.  Do not leave your bedroom at home without a full cup each morning of your life, to get through the day. You will be tested! Be prepared to bring your “A” game and Attention to God and purge your “D” game of Distraction or “F” game of Flakiness. Don’t lie to yourself.

Worship

Fake worship is like open fellowship for show and display, while secretly doing underhanded activities in your closet. This is the opposite of what God stands for. True worshipers pray in secret and God blesses them openly.  Activate you secret reading, meditation, focus, love, obedience, faith, and works, in your secret closet and allow God to GPS your activities and movements to shine for The Kingdom. Your money, ideas, stuff, laziness, ignorance, loud mouth, or silence will not shine in the Kingdom. Meekness, long-suffering, Kindness, love, and humility is required to spread God’s joy around. The pure in heart will not be distracted.
Today’s Question
Is God deaf that he cannot hear your most quiet thoughts to know what is in your heart?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Samuel 16 

David and Ziba

16 When David had gone a little beyond the summit of the Mount of Olives, Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth,[a] was waiting there for him. He had two donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a wineskin full of wine.
“What are these for?” the king asked Ziba.
Ziba replied, “The donkeys are for the king’s people to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat. The wine is for those who become exhausted in the wilderness.”
“And where is Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson?” the king asked him.
“He stayed in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied. “He said, ‘Today I will get back the kingdom of my grandfather Saul.’”
“In that case,” the king told Ziba, “I give you everything Mephibosheth owns.”
“I bow before you,” Ziba replied. “May I always be pleasing to you, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!”
“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”
10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”
11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul[b] have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged[c] and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David.
14 The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.[d]

Ahithophel Advises Absalom

15 Meanwhile, Absalom and all the army of Israel arrived at Jerusalem, accompanied by Ahithophel. 16 When David’s friend Hushai the Arkite arrived, he went immediately to see Absalom. “Long live the king!” he exclaimed. “Long live the king!”
17 “Is this the way you treat your friend David?” Absalom asked him. “Why aren’t you with him?”
18 “I’m here because I belong to the man who is chosen by the Lord and by all the men of Israel,” Hushai replied. 19 “And anyway, why shouldn’t I serve you? Just as I was your father’s adviser, now I will be your adviser!”
20 Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and asked him, “What should I do next?”
21 Ahithophel told him, “Go and sleep with your father’s concubines, for he has left them here to look after the palace. Then all Israel will know that you have insulted your father beyond hope of reconciliation, and they will throw their support to you.” 22 So they set up a tent on the palace roof where everyone could see it, and Absalom went in and had sex with his father’s concubines.
23 Absalom followed Ahithophel’s advice, just as David had done. For every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God.
Love,
Jonathan

Conundrum

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Your lack of love, faith, and transparency to God and people are the number one reasons why people sin and do wicked things that are full of pride and foolishness.” ~ Jon Barnes

Know

People think that they know it all and God knows nothing. Our arrogance is beyond measure, behaving as if we designed the universe and everything in it. We tend to think that God can’t see our evil hearts, minds, and lifestyles.  Just because it seems God has done little to stop us in our tracks of injustice, we think we have gotten away with the constant deception. But when you look at your children and state of affairs, you can see the blessings of God or the curses of God in your life, based on your actions.

Follow

Those who obey and follow God will break the chains of ignorance, pride, lust, greed, and all other wicked behavior that consumes evil people. Your sin can be subtle and you may not be aware of your arrogance of success. However, your collection of things are, like trash from a hoarder and when you die, it is given and sold to the poor, deeply discounted, and ultimately, it will burn.

Value

When you die, your stuff has no value and the living will do as they please with your lifelong possessions. Only God will value and repay you for your lifelong efforts either in heaven or hell.  Choose your parking lot space for death, underground or above ground. Share, teach, and obey God’s lifestyle so that you can see the fruits of your labor as true children of God, heaven bound. 
Today’s Question
Were Adam and Eve transparent to God?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 9 

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.
“Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied.
The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.”
Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”
“Where is he?” the king asked.
“In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”
So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. His name was Mephibosheth[a]; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”
Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?”
Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba and said, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and servants are to farm the land for him to produce food for your master’s household.[b] But Mephibosheth, your master’s grandson, will eat here at my table.” (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11 Ziba replied, “Yes, my lord the king; I am your servant, and I will do all that you have commanded.” And from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table,[c] like one of the king’s own sons.
12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. From then on, all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. 13 And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table.

Love,

Jonathan

In Justice

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“You have to learn how to look in the mirror and focus all of your attention in fixing your own problems and not the problems of others. Then God will help others, because your personal improvements will be inspiring.” ~ Jon Barnes

Hypocrisy

It is a real challenge to keep my own room, bathroom, and car clean so I don’t have time to talk about how dirty another person’s house is. My time is well spent doing my daily work of maintenance and I hope my actions speak louder than my words.  The work you put into your business is well documented and the people who see your works understand your commitment to your faith and personal upkeep.

Focused

It takes time to redirect your attention and energy into the direction God has for your life. Complete each step and stack the blocks neatly so that you can see your progress and steps. Your future is built on your last success and it keeps you connected to the justice of God’s plan.  If you are having a string of failures, you will continue to be tested until you pass the assignment.

Selfishness

Your pride and selfishness will always keep you in trouble because you will be incapable of seeing the growth in others. Stop the blame game in your mind and face your responsibility. It takes faith, time, and work to see the fruits of your labor, so don’t chop the tree down in your frustration and impatience.  Long-suffering is a way of life for the true Christian and justice will belong to God.
Today’s Question
Are you tired of doing Good or are you just lazy?

2 Samuel 5 

David Becomes King of All Israel

Then all the tribes of Israel went to David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past,[a] when Saul was our king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be Israel’s leader.’”
So there at Hebron, King David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel.
David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in all. He had reigned over Judah from Hebron for seven years and six months, and from Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.

David Captures Jerusalem

David then led his men to Jerusalem to fight against the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land who were living there. The Jebusites taunted David, saying, “You’ll never get in here! Even the blind and lame could keep you out!” For the Jebusites thought they were safe. But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David.
On the day of the attack, David said to his troops, “I hate those ‘lame’ and ‘blind’ Jebusites.[b] Whoever attacks them should strike by going into the city through the water tunnel.[c]” That is the origin of the saying, “The blind and the lame may not enter the house.”[d]
So David made the fortress his home, and he called it the City of David. He extended the city, starting at the supporting terraces[e] and working inward. 10 And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies was with him.
11 Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar timber and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built David a palace. 12 And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
13 After moving from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more concubines and wives, and they had more sons and daughters. 14 These are the names of David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

David Conquers the Philistines

17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he went into the stronghold. 18 The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. 19 So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”
The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.”
20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).21 The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his men confiscated them.
22 But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. 23 And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar[f] trees. 24 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” 25 So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon[g] to Gezer.
Love,
Jonathan