Vantage Point

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your ability to see things from Christ’s ultimately depends on your vantage point.”~TB

Senses

We are all given senses and common sense to understand how to navigate the ways of this world. We are also given the choice to be in relationship with our Father in Heaven so that he can give us the Biblical compass to lead lives that bring honor to Him. Using Christ’s compass sharpens our senses, giving us the ability to see things from a Christ-like perspective. Alternatively, using your own vantage point will give you a finite and inaccurate understanding of a flawed world. But friends, just because we are broken does not mean that God’s perspective is. Understand this distinction.

Man’s Viewpoint

Man’s viewpoint is flawed and judgmental as we are unable to fully understand or practice mercy, grace and forgiveness in our own right. To the undisciplined and untrained, behaviors like submission and forgiveness seem foolish. That is because the ego and flesh tells us that our understanding of right and wrong is correct! From a legalistic standpoint, everything is black and white. In this mindset, it’s ok to judge and condemn your neighbors, family, and friends when they screw up or offend. It’s ok to rob and enslave the naive because they ‘should’ know better and technically you did not break the law. But don’t be fooled, the wicked may seem successful, but according to who’s vantage point?

Holy Perspective

Friend’s God’s ways are infinite and never fully understood by man. We lack the ability! Fortunately, what is true and what we can rely on is that this life is not as unpredictable as we like to believe. Look at all of the stories in the Bible. If you read them enough, you will see the behaviors and patterns from old have the same themes of your own. Just adopt God’s vantage point, and you will see that His people do the same good, dumb, shameful, repentant deeds since Adam and Eve. These are the same stories, just different people and different times. So in whatever you do, take His vantage point so that you can see the world and its people as God sees you.

 

Today’s Question

How does the view look from where’ you’re sitting?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 9

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
8 The Lord has spoken out against Jacob; his judgment has fallen upon Israel.
9 And the people of Israel and Samaria, who spoke with such pride and arrogance, will soon know it.
10 They said, “We will replace the broken bricks of our ruins with finished stone, and replant the felled sycamore-fig trees with cedars.”
11 But the LORD will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel and stir up all their foes.
12 The Syrians from the east and the Philistines from the west will bare their fangs and devour Israel. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent. They will not seek the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
14 Therefore, in a single day the LORD will destroy both the head and the tail, the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
15The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail.
16 For the leaders of the people have misled them. They have led them down the path of destruction.
17 That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans. For they are all wicked hypocrites, and they all speak foolishness. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
18This wickedness is like a brushfire. It burns not only briers and thorns but also sets the forests ablaze. Its burning sends up clouds of smoke.
19 The land will be blackened by the fury of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The people will be fuel for the fire, and no one will spare even his own brother.
20 They will attack their neighbor on the right but will still be hungry. They will devour their neighbor on the left but will not be satisfied. In the end they will even eat their own children.
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, Ephraim will feed on Manasseh, and both will devour Judah. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.

Mentor

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Find older and wiser people who can teach you a thing or two about life.”~TB

Communication

It’s wise to spend time with those who have a well developed relationship with God. While you still have to cultivate your own, a mentor can help you with perspective when you can’t get out of your own way. Great lessons and ‘ah hah’ moments can be discovered when you seek counsel from those who’ve come before you. Those who have spent some time on this Earth have seen and experienced moments that the youth have not, so when making any decision of importance, have a word with a mentor.

Pride Check

Perhaps the best reason for having a mentor is to get advice when your pride is writing checks it can’t cash. We all struggle with an ego from time to time and having  a soundboard who is emotionally removed from your situation will give you a more nuanced understanding of what you’re going through. More to the point, you can learn from their lessons if you are willing to let go of what is causing you to stumble. So while you’re having talks with God, be sure to chat with those who’ve walked with Him before you.

Today’s Question

Who do you consult with to keep you accountable?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 2

1 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the LORD ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD !
6 For the LORD has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.
7 Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.
8 Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
9 So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them.
10 Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
11Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12 For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
13He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14 He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
15 He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
16 He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
17 Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18 Idols will completely disappear.
19 When the LORD rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
20 On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21 while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?

 

 

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