Convoluted

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Imagine the progress one could make if they were simply honest with themselves.”~TB

Complicated

It is astounding how a flesh-ruled mind can distort life. We trick our minds into spending money we don’t have, behaving in carnal ways, eating things that are unhealthy, the list goes on and on. We made the situation, yet beg God to free us from the havoc we have wreaked. Of course humans justify stupidity with their feelings or their circumstance, as if those things absolve them from making sound decisions. We’re all guilty of this. What’s even funnier is that the justification is always way more complicated then the truth: we did what we did because we wanted to. We didn’t read the Bible not because we didn’t have the time: we didn’t want to. We didn’t go to the gym because we’re tired: we didn’t want to. We’d rather cling to a web of convoluted lies than take responsibility. Of course when the time to account for our progress— lack thereof— everyone is ready with a well-argued explanation devoid of the truth— we didn’t put in the effort.

Keep is Simple

Honesty is hard because it forces you to look in the mirror. One has to untangle the webs woven to spin the lies that bind their lives. Being responsible for your actions requires you to acknowledge that you alone control your behavior. Today, we look for all kinds of reasons to absolve us from our poor choices. Instead of saying “I didn’t want to do the work”, we have a diagnosis or excuse for why we didn’t. Friends, the problem with mental gymnastics is that after a while, you begin to believe your own nonsense, which hinders you from growth or progress. Now you’re trapped in the lies you created! The truth can be painful, but it is so necessary for development, especially in your relationship with Christ. So if you’re done trying to explain why you didn’t, speak plainly so that you can change your mindset and behaviors. When you hold yourself accountable for your shortcomings, you can then build a foundation of honest effort to make progress. If God is who you seek, spend time with Him. If it’s not your actual agenda, stop faking it. Your peers may not know the difference, but surely He does.

Today’s Question

What web of lies are trapping you from progress?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 15

1 This message came to me concerning Moab: In one night the town of Ar will be leveled, and the city of Kir will be destroyed.
2 Your people will go to their temple in Dibon to mourn. They will go to their sacred shrines to weep. They will wail for the fate of Nebo and Medeba, shaving their heads in sorrow and cutting off their beards.
3 They will wear burlap as they wander the streets. From every home and public square will come the sound of wailing.
4 The people of Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out; their voices will be heard as far away as Jahaz! The bravest warriors of Moab will cry out in utter terror. They will be helpless with fear.
5 My heart weeps for Moab. Its people flee to Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah. Weeping, they climb the road to Luhith. Their cries of distress can be heard all along the road to Horonaim.
6 Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up! The grassy banks are scorched. The tender plants are gone; nothing green remains.
7 The people grab their possessions and carry them across the Ravine of Willows.
8 A cry of distress echoes through the land of Moab from one end to the other— from Eglaim to Beer-elim.
9The stream near Dibon runs red with blood, but I am still not finished with Dibon! Lions will hunt down the survivors— both those who try to escape and those who remain behind.

Ill

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Check your motives and behaviors because sometimes your illness is caused by your actions.”~TB

Self-Inflicted

Isn’t weird how many of the things we do in our lives are counterintuitive to the goals we wish to achieve? Say you’re trying to lose weight, but keep buying croissants and donuts. Or, you’re trying to start a business but don’t want to qualify prospects. Though we are engaging in this behavior, many times we are quick to blame our circumstance while forgetting about the deeds we did to get there. Our wounds can be self-inflicted and certain afflictions are a result of what we have or haven’t done. When we don’t take responsibility for our hand in our situations, it can seem like life is unfair or that the cards are stacked against you. No, I’m not saying that every bad thing in your life is your fault. I am saying, that the choices we make today impact our ability and mobility tomorrow. More to the point, maybe learned behaviors or life experiences have caused you to take an “ill” viewpoint. To get out of that mentality, a shift in discipline and accountability is imperative. When there is a lack of discipline and accountability, tilling the soil becomes a nuisance rather than the objective.

Discipline

Discipline isn’t fun but it is a necessary daily practice that we must do. It first starts with disciplining our minds and hearts to follow God. Putting God first every day is challenging for everyone, even those who’ve been doing for a long time. That’s because we are always battling our flesh which is why discipline and endurance are vital. Discipline teaches you to show up, even when you don’t want to. Endurance gives you the extra push to keep going when your tank is on empty. And God fills in the blanks and covers the rest when we fall short. We begin to see the errors of our ways by having honest conversations with God and ourselves. To get there takes humility and an understanding that we’re all flawed. The world isn’t always against you. Sometimes it’s actually you that’s against you. Calling yourself to the carpet and cultivating self-discipline are the best things you can do, not only in your relationship with Christ, but in your relationship and dealing within the world. When you shift your perspective, you will see that your illness is subjective and that if you allow Him, God can prescribe the antidote.

Today’s Question

Are you sick of being sick?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 7

1 When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.
2The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.
4 Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.
5Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying,
6 ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’
7But this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place;
8 for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9 Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”
10 Later, the LORD sent this message to King Ahaz:
11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. ”
12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the LORD like that.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?
14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
15 By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey.
16 For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.
17 “Then the LORD will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”
18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees.
19 They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places.
20 In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people.
21 In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left.
22Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey.
23 In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver, will become patches of briers and thorns.
24 The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife.
25 No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.

Credit

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t give the devil more credit than he deserves.”~TB

3 Things

To understand what you’re up against, you must know your battlefield. There are three things that will constantly test you. Know what you’re up against so that you can pass your tests. Give credit where it is due, but don’t let these things rule over you.

The Devil

There is no reason to fear the devil. The enemy can only do so much to you. When you give credit to the evil one for all of the struggles in your life, you are abdicating your responsibility in the decisions that you make. You have to make the choice to act on his influence, he can’t force you to sin.

The Flesh

As sin-fallen creatures, your flesh will always desire ungodly things. Power, sex, money, these are temptations that you must control your flesh around, otherwise, you will be ruled by them. You control your flesh, not the devil. So when you screw up, credit yourself, not him. Read the Word to tame your flesh. Lean on the Holy Spirit to form a disciplined thought life. You can to actively choose to deny your flesh, don’t sleep on your authority.

The World

The world is a vile place that will chop and screw you up if you let it. Society mocks what is good, branding it as ‘lame’ or ‘uncool’. Do not fall for the illustrious ways of the world. It will seduce you into debt, jealousy, shame, violence, and destruction. The world is quite influential if you give it credit. But even still, you make the choice to buy shiny things you cannot afford. You make the decision to adhere to sinful practices in order to gain influence. You choose to deny God because you bow down to the pressure of your peers.

Today’s Question

Are you taking credit for your choices or is it always someone else’s fault?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 3

1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. 
2 If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. 
3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. 
4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. 
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 
7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 
8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. 
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. 
11 My child, don’t reject the LORD ’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. 
12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. 
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. 
14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. 
15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 
16She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
17 She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. 
19 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. 
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, 
22 for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. 
23 They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. 
24 You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. 
25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, 
26 for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. 
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. 
28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” 
29 Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you. 
30 Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm. 
31 Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways. 
32 Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD, but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33 The LORD curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright. 
34 The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble. 
35 The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!

Trust

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Trusting in God means taking responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and feelings. Most people would rather lie to themselves than do the work”~TB

Truth of the Matter

The truth of the matter is that through Christ you are set free. This means that you are unchained from the failings and snares of your previous existence. The sad thing is that many of you want to keep your handcuffs because it absolves you of being responsible for your deeds or lack thereof. You’d rather blame your minds and your feelings instead of admitting that you simply did not do the work. This is a hard pill to swallow for most, but if you make the resolve to take responsibility for your actions, freedom ensues. If you truly want to heal, you must start by owning your part of the equation. God will not run your race for you. He already did the hard part, now it’s time to do yours.

Embrace Discipline and Work 

Any type of success– be it reading the Bible or talking with God– takes hard work and discipline. That’s it. There’s no seance, no magic potion; just plain work ethic, and discipline. Why is it that so few people put in the effort? More to the point, why are you so quick to complain about God when you do not put in the effort to personally know Him? Humans are foolish in that you want all the benefits of Christ, but dread putting in the work to cultivate an honest relationship with Him. Stop embracing the ‘something for nothing’ mentality. Do you not realize the joys of walking closely with the Lord? Of course, you don’t, you didn’t do the work! Friends, there’s nothing more joyous and wonderful than being in the presence of God. Embrace the work and discipline to enjoy the best relationship you could ever know.

Today’s Question

Are you trusting His process, or are you trusting your fake excuses?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 101

1 I will sing of your love and justice, LORD . I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life— when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. 
3 I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. 
4 I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. 
6 I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me. 
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence. 
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the LORD from their grip.

Disrespect

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“You disrespect your Father in heaven when you focus solely on the negative aspects of your life. It is an affront to all of the things He’s delivered you from.”~TB

Disregard

Disregarding all God has done for you is like taking an entire day to prepare a meal for your loved ones only for them to enjoy it, but then 5 minutes later, they are complaining about hunger! Friends, are we foolish enough not to give thanks for all that we do not endure? Have you forgotten when He spared you from the dumb decisions that should have caused you harm? Gather your thoughts and make a point to not pollute your mind with weak excuses for your mindset.

Alternative Memory

When you sit and stew on the bad that you’ve encountered, you begin to alter your memories, taking the stance of victimhood and bitterness. Those alternative memories conveniently leave out your misdeeds and the poor choices that you made to receive such suffering! You then spin the narrative, singing your songs of sorrow as you usurp the belongings of the oppressed. Those resources are not for you as you are capable of earning your wages. Get out of your self-imposed fake wilderness, unless you desire to be destroyed by the impending storm.

Today’s Quote

Are you distorting the truth and living in confusion?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 77

1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! 
2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. 
3 I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude 
4 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! 
5 I think of the good old days, long since ended, 
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. 
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? 
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? 
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude 
10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” 
11 But then I recall all you have done, O LORD ; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 
12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. 
13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 
14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. 
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude 
16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. 
17 The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. 
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. 
19Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! 
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.

Missing

solo-2051508_1920.jpgHi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Your life is missing in action, because there is no place for God in your heart since you have hoarded everything else inside it, leaving Him no room or space.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Half

You cannot serve wicked ideals partially.  Your whole heart will be consumed with what you feed it as it will take over you.  Evil is a subtle full-time job, wrapped in a nice bow with a fake smile of happiness, money, and power, yet fully sold in deceit. When you are blind with this foolish behavior, everyone can see it but you.  This is the full truth, but an evil mind will only get half of it.  Good people live by the whole truth.

Explained

Once the truth is explained, many still will not listen because no one can tell them what to do.  They pretend to listen and agree but their actions are far from God’s reality of justice. People who are half committed to doing a good job will suffer great loss.  God is not missing in action and He will hold us accountable.

Away

Hell will be full of people who explained away the full truth of God’s simple message.  Honesty is a complete concept that works in concert with Love, truth, honor and God’s Will for your life.  If you choose something else to substitute this fact, you will face hell’s consequences and damnation.  God’s recipe must stay intact, with your bottle full of Holy Oil, from the Spirit of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.   
Today’s Question
Are you missing in action on God’s battlefield, because you are only in love with lust, stuff, people, money, positions, power, and corrupt thoughts and actions?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 19 

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.[a]
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
    It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
The sun rises at one end of the heavens
    and follows its course to the other end.
    Nothing can hide from its heat.
The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
    reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
    bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
    giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
    lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
    each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
    even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
    even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
    a great reward for those who obey them.
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
    Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
    and innocent of great sin.
14 May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Love,

Jonathan

Tours

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Evil will take you on a journey and tour that looks so good on the outside, but in the end, the fire of eternity burns everything, including you forever.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Sight-Seeing

Set up your tours with Christ so that you can sightsee, enjoy, and love what you are doing for God.  Do the work with all of your heart and you will see the world from God’s perspective, helping others, and shining the light of God on the journey.

Guide

The Bible guides us through all of the places in the world telling us about the history and relevant information that you must read, share, and do during your personal life’s tour.  These guided post, landmarks, readings, and stories will apply to every aspect of your life so that you can see what not to do and what to do.

End

The responsibility of learning, growing, sharing, and loving God’s life tour is your job and should not be taken lightly.  Respect the tour, seeing all that you can with God guiding you and enjoy the beauty that is intended for you to see and experience.  Your reward for being obedient will be eternally out of this world.
Today’s Question
Are you enjoying your tour or are you being tortured by wickedness in high places?
Enjoy The Reading
 

2 Chronicles 21 

Jehoram Rules in Judah

21 When Jehoshaphat died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Jehoram became the next king.
Jehoram’s brothers—the other sons of Jehoshaphat—were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.[a]Their father had given each of them valuable gifts of silver, gold, and costly items, and also some of Judah’s fortified towns. However, he designated Jehoram as the next king because he was the oldest. But when Jehoram had become solidly established as king, he killed all his brothers and some of the other leaders of Judah.
Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. But Jehoram followed the example of the kings of Israel and was as wicked as King Ahab, for he had married one of Ahab’s daughters. So Jehoram did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. But the Lord did not want to destroy David’s dynasty, for he had made a covenant with David and promised that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.
During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites revolted against Judah and crowned their own king.So Jehoram went out with his full army and all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he went out at night and attacked them[b] under cover of darkness. 10 Even so, Edom has been independent from Judah to this day. The town of Libnah also revolted about that same time. All this happened because Jehoram had abandoned the Lord, the God of his ancestors. 11 He had built pagan shrines in the hill country of Judah and had led the people of Jerusalem and Judah to give themselves to pagan gods and to go astray.
12 Then Elijah the prophet wrote Jehoram this letter:
“This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: You have not followed the good example of your father, Jehoshaphat, or your grandfather King Asa of Judah.13 Instead, you have been as evil as the kings of Israel. You have led the people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship idols, just as King Ahab did in Israel. And you have even killed your own brothers, men who were better than you. 14 So now the Lord is about to strike you, your people, your children, your wives, and all that is yours with a heavy blow.15 You yourself will suffer with a severe intestinal disease that will get worse each day until your bowels come out.”
16 Then the Lord stirred up the Philistines and the Arabs, who lived near the Ethiopians,[c] to attack Jehoram. 17 They marched against Judah, broke down its defenses, and carried away everything of value in the royal palace, including the king’s sons and his wives. Only his youngest son, Ahaziah,[d] was spared.
18 After all this, the Lord struck Jehoram with an incurable intestinal disease. 19 The disease grew worse and worse, and at the end of two years it caused his bowels to come out, and he died in agony. His people did not build a great funeral fire to honor him as they had done for his ancestors.
20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. No one was sorry when he died. They buried him in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.
Love,
Jonathan

Dust

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

Creation

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

Soul

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

Ashes

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

Preparations for the Temple

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

Individuality

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Good old-fashioned, individual work and responsibility creates the net for success with God’s blessings of reaping what you sow.” ~ Jon Barnes

See

Your honest flow is not a show, but an opportunity to see the hand of God working in your life, with your personal touch and efforts, based on His principles and not your own logic.  Take notice of how God responds to your loving kindness and obvious obedience to basic scripture principles. Now, test these principles with your individual actions to learn how God operates with you personally. You will see the hand of God for yourself.

Personalities

Since our personalities and work ethics vary like fingerprints, our measure of faith, focus, and rewards will vary as well. Each person will get what they deserve and God will determine why. Pray that your personality grows towards obeying God and ignoring your own free will. The individual choice is only yours to make and it will match the DNA of your personality.

Alive

Your life comes alive when you see the results of obeying God’s good steps, by avoiding the bad steps in life.  Respect and honor will follow the good steps that you take.  Repent and avoid old mistakes. Habitual sinners are liars who refuse to grow up, change, or improve, because, they stay busy pointing at the mistakes of others, with no focus on God and themselves.
Today’s Question
Do you lack the focus of listening, reading, and learning about God and His applications?
Enjoy The Reading

2 Samuel 8 

David’s Military Victories

After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath, their largest town.[a] David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. The Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.
David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers,[b] and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.
When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah[c] and Berothai.
When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of Hadadezer,10 he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of silver, gold, and bronze.
11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, as he did with the silver and gold from the other nations he had defeated— 12 from Edom,[d] Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek—and from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
13 So David became even more famous when he returned from destroying 18,000 Edomites[e]in the Valley of Salt. 14 He placed army garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
15 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.[f]And David’s sons served as priestly leaders.[g]
Love,
Jonathan

Clutter

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
Excuses come from wicked places, creating clutter, and confusion, taking us off focus to complete our missions for God” ~ Jon Barnes

Excuses

When your heart, mind, and body are full of fat, excess, and clutter, how can you see or think straight through the mess you have collected over the years in your lifestyle? Don’t let other people be the excuse for your problem. Acknowledge that you have the problem in prayer to God, follow His instructions, and your recovery time will be minimal.

Fatty

We all have stuff and fatty tissue which is needed, but carrying too much stuff and fat is unhealthy. Minimize the junk food, the TV, cell phone, computer, and work stuff so that you make the time for God, yourself, spouse, family, and friends. Turn these things off so that you can plug into your life and balance the amount of time you spend on any one thing. Discipline and balance your activities and rotate your efforts so you don’t burn out on any one thing.

Exposure

Expose yourself to walking with your kids, dog, or friends to the park, up the street, or to the gym so that you can minimize your health risk, because you lack the discipline to maintain your physical body and nutrition. Your responsibility cannot be hidden behind your complaints, jobs, prayers, wants, and desires. Your actions must be exposed to the truth in God and the work you do must add up to the results you are getting. Minimal work gets little results. Organized efforts from God will give you the success and desires you need to give others or your exposure to your own ego and selfish attitude will eat you alive, leaving you fat and still hungry. My goal is not to hurt your feelings but to channel your actions to control your emotional habits.
Today’s Question
Are we following our emotional bellies or the will of God?
Enjoy The Reading
 
 

Judges 16 

Samson and Delilah

16 One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”
But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.
Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lurehim into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels[a] of silver.”
So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”
Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”
11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”
12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.
13 Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”
He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric14 and[b] tightened it with the pin.
Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.
15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”
18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him.
20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”
He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.
21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

The Death of Samson

23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagontheir god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”
24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,
“Our god has delivered our enemy
    into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
    and multiplied our slain.”
25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.
When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord,“Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.
31 Then his brothers and his father’s whole family went down to get him. They brought him back and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. He had led[d] Israel twenty years.
Love,
Jonathan