Offering

pyrite-626549_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“You’re either giving a Cain or an Abel offering; there is no in-between.”~TB

Honest Reflection

I have assisted my dad with this blog for almost 4 years. At first, I started as the editor/poster, adding the role of ‘writer’ along the way. In the beginning, it was my job to suss out the errors and formatting– general editor stuff. Occasionally, my father or mother would politely ask me to check my work. Back then, I thought what I was doing was the stuff of legends. was assisting my father (and God), sacrificing my precious time for their pursuits. So naturally, as a foolish young person, I didn’t really take their feedback seriously and kept on my way. It was until a couple of weeks ago when I was formatting the blog posts for my dad’s upcoming books, that I had discovered not only was there a ton of errors the work was amazingly shoddy given my abilities.

Change with Humility

As I read the older blogs, the sting of conviction hit my gut as my mind recalled all of the editing conversations I had had with my dad years ago. See, he wasn’t forceful or persistent with the comments and yet, I would shove the notes aside as if my work was precise and perfect. Oh, youth! I was foolish to believe that I was helping my father and God when in reality it was they who were helping (and still are) me. As I laughed and repented for my foolishness, I was immediately reminded of the story of Cain and Abel.  In the story of Cain and Abel, Abel did his best with his offering, and Cain perceived that his offering was great when it was not. But unlike the arrogance that blinds humans, God sees all and knows all.

Perception is not Reality

The jealousy that Cain felt towards Abel had nothing to do with his brother, but really it was Cain’s unwillingness to take responsibility for the crap that he himself presented to God. At that moment I realized, my work– or rather offering to God– was that of a Cain offering. In my arrogance, I believed that what I was doing was phenomenal, but really it was shoddy and unacceptable. Friends, we either give our best offering to God– an Abel offering. Or, we give our ‘meh’ offering to God– a Cain offering. Deep within our hearts, we know when we give which, so do not fool yourself into thinking God cannot spot the difference. Instead of devouring our brothers and sisters because of our lazy, corrupt thinking, spend your days working honestly as if God is standing next to you so that your daily offerings are deemed acceptable to the Lord.

Today’s Question

Are you giving an honest offering or are you honestly fooling yourself?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 34

1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all the armies from the kingdoms he ruled, and he fought against Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. At that time this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 
2 “Go to King Zedekiah of Judah, and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. 
3 You will not escape his grasp but will be captured and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face. Then you will be exiled to Babylon. 
4 “‘But listen to this promise from the LORD, O Zedekiah, king of Judah. This is what the LORD says: You will not be killed in war 
5 but will die peacefully. People will burn incense in your memory, just as they did for your ancestors, the kings who preceded you. They will mourn for you, crying, “Alas, our master is dead!” This I have decreed, says the LORD .’” 
6 So Jeremiah the prophet delivered the message to King Zedekiah of Judah. 
7 At this time the Babylonian army was besieging Jerusalem, Lachish, and Azekah—the only fortified cities of Judah not yet captured. 
8 This message came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah made a covenant with the people, proclaiming freedom for the slaves. 
9 He had ordered all the people to free their Hebrew slaves—both men and women. No one was to keep a fellow Judean in bondage. 
10 The officials and all the people had obeyed the king’s command, 
11 but later they changed their minds. They took back the men and women they had freed, forcing them to be slaves again. 
12 So the LORD gave them this message through Jeremiah: 
13 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your ancestors long ago when I rescued them from their slavery in Egypt. 
14 I told them that every Hebrew slave must be freed after serving six years. But your ancestors paid no attention to me. 
15 Recently you repented and did what was right, following my command. You freed your slaves and made a solemn covenant with me in the Temple that bears my name. 
16 But now you have shrugged off your oath and defiled my name by taking back the men and women you had freed, forcing them to be slaves once again. 
17 “Therefore, this is what the LORD says: Since you have not obeyed me by setting your countrymen free, I will set you free to be destroyed by war, disease, and famine. You will be an object of horror to all the nations of the earth. 
18 Because you have broken the terms of our covenant, I will cut you apart just as you cut apart the calf when you walked between its halves to solemnize your vows. 
19 Yes, I will cut you apart, whether you are officials of Judah or Jerusalem, court officials, priests, or common people—for you have broken your oath. 
20 I will give you to your enemies, and they will kill you. Your bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals. 
21 “I will hand over King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials to the army of the king of Babylon. And although they have left Jerusalem for a while, 
22 I will call the Babylonian armies back again. They will fight against this city and will capture it and burn it down. I will see to it that all the towns of Judah are destroyed, with no one living there.”

 

Accepting

read-2203678_1920.jpg
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
 
“Accepting responsibility for your own choices is a step in the right direction so that God can help you improve your right standing and understanding as a good person, parent, or follower of Christ.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Trustworthy

God gives us the responsibility to become trustworthy in learning and training our own families about God. Your home is the church that you take to church and practice church each and every day with everybody.  The church is the practice of walking with God every day with your family and you must accept your responsibility to do the work of faith in all things!

Responsibility

Those who are not responsible for carrying out the commandments that God explicitly writes about will suffer loss, rejection, and judgment. There is a personal cost to your obedience or disobedience. Heaven and Hell were made for specific people, with specific lifestyles that are opposite and mutually exclusive from each other.   You cannot blend the two together to make up your own hybrid.  Imagine standing at the Pearly Gates trying to negotiate with God?

Punctual

Since life is so short, we should all be punctual in our time management to complete all the objectives given to us by God.  Since the tricks of the devil are real, you can waste a lot of time chasing your own tail, thinking that you are doing the work of God and you are not.  Don’t be deceived and accept your true calling of being a real man or woman after God’s own image.  You cannot create your own image or yourself.
Today’s Question
Are you trustworthy enough to accept the responsibility of telling the whole truth about God’s word, lifestyle, and consequences for disobedient children, as a parent who raises their family in wisdom?

Enjoy The Reading

John 8 

A Woman Caught in Adultery

8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Jesus, the Light of the World

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. 16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me. 17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact. 18 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”
19 “Where is your father?” they asked.
Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” 20 Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come.

The Unbelieving People Warned

21 Later Jesus said to them again, “I am going away. You will search for me but will die in your sin. You cannot come where I am going.”
22 The people asked, “Is he planning to commit suicide? What does he mean, ‘You cannot come where I am going’?”
23 Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. 24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they demanded.
Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” 27 But they still didn’t understand that he was talking about his Father.
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases him.” 30 Then many who heard him say these things believed in him.

Jesus and Abraham

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”
39 “Our father is Abraham!” they declared.
“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example. 40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. 41 No, you are imitating your real father.”
They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”
42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”
49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge. 51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”
52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”
57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.

Convoluted

D3ED6611-0865-42DF-BDD1-369C68F705DF

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

C15912DC-EDB5-44E1-BCA9-CAC4B39D8201

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

pointing-1991215_1920.jpg

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

silhouette-1082129_1920 (1)

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

cyclone-2102397_1920 (1).jpg

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

lake-3631818_1920
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

hands-731241_1920
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