“In order to hear God, we first have to evict all of the noise that is in our minds.”~TB
At Some Point
Are you aware of what you think about on a daily basis? Better yet, how do you talk to yourself internally? How you think and what you say to yourself ultimately confirms who and what you believe in. The negative junk that clogs our minds comes from two places: the opposition and some poor souls who poured their negativity onto you. The good news, it’s all lies. Even better news, you have the power to control and filter what you think and what you say to yourself. At some point, you have to take captive your thoughts and let the past hurts fade away.
Listening and following God daily is the ultimate way to evict the junky thoughts that fill your mind. This is because His Truth supersedes whatever anyone else says about you. Remember, He made you.So who better to believe, the One who created you or the one who was cast out of heaven? When you make it your mission to talk to God each and every day, notice the internal communication you receive. His words are kind, loving and true. In order to hear them loud and clear, evict the crap, the negative feedback loops and the like so that you may know your true self in Him
Are you ready to serve your negative thoughts their eviction papers?
Enjoy the reading
1Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.
2Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3For this is what the LORD says: “When I sold you into exile, I received no payment. Now I can redeem you without having to pay for you.”
4This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria.
5What is this?” asks the LORD . “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long.
6But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.”
7How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!
8The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the LORD returning to Jerusalem.
9Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the LORD has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10The LORD has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.
11Get out! Get out and leave your captivity, where everything you touch is unclean. Get out of there and purify yourselves, you who carry home the sacred objects of the LORD .
12You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.
13See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted.
14But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.
15And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.
“Don’t let the smalls things build up in your relationships with others.”~TB
I was tasked to transport my parent’s bird to California. My sister dropped him off and told me that his cage was clean. As I was trying to get the cage into my car this morning, the bottom dropped open and a ton of bird poop fell into my car and on the garage floor. I was livid (and sleep deprived). At 4 in the morning, the last thing I wanted to be doing was cleaning bird poop ahead of an 8 hour drive. In my rage, I recalled decades worth of previous infractions, as a means to fuel my frustration. I had every intention of letting her know how she screwed up. Isn’t it amazing that when we get mad, we immediately look for ways to fan the flame? But then I realized, this is the same sister who let me cry into her sweater when someone stole my gel pens in the 5th grade. She’s also the mother of 3 of my favorite human beings. During the drive, I called her to laugh about the incident as I knew my tiredness had gotten the better of me. It wasn’t that serious. No argument or perceived slight is. The trouble lies in when you allow slights or transgressions build up like plaque in your mouth.
Relationships are like teeth. When you care for them with routine maintenance, they last for a long time. However, just like teeth, if you don’t care for them and you let them rot, eventually they have to be pulled or filled. Relationships of all kinds are complex, which means that eventually we all have to go to God for help with a cavity. God is like the Holy Dentist, there to drill out the relational cavities and fill in the holes with mercy, wisdom, and grace. Without God, repairing relationships is like drilling cavities without novocaine, too painful and impossible to repair otherwise. Of course, cavities within your relationships can be avoided if you brush off the offenses and use the floss of forgiveness. So practice Biblical hygiene when doing life with one another.
Are you brushing away the offenses or are you constantly in God’s dental chair?
Enjoy the reading
1“Listen in silence before me, you lands beyond the sea. Bring your strongest arguments. Come now and speak. The court is ready for your case.
2“Who has stirred up this king from the east, rightly calling him to God’s service? Who gives this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their kings underfoot? With his sword, he reduces armies to dust. With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind.
3He chases them away and goes on safely, though he is walking over unfamiliar ground.
4Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.”
5The lands beyond the sea watch in fear. Remote lands tremble and mobilize for war.
6The idol makers encourage one another, saying to each other, “Be strong!”
7The carver encourages the goldsmith, and the molder helps at the anvil. “Good,” they say. “It’s coming along fine.” Carefully they join the parts together, then fasten the thing in place so it won’t fall over.
8“But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend,
9I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.
10Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
11“See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing.
12You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing.
13For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
14Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’
15You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains.
16You will toss them into the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. Then you will rejoice in the LORD . You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.
18I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.
19I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.
20I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means— that it is the LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.
21“Present the case for your idols,” says the LORD . “Let them show what they can do,” says the King of Israel.
22“Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen.
23Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us.
24But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves.
25“But I have stirred up a leader who will approach from the north. From the east he will call on my name. I will give him victory over kings and princes. He will trample them as a potter treads on clay.
26“Who told you from the beginning that this would happen? Who predicted this, making you admit that he was right? No one said a word!
27I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look! Help is on the way!’ I will send Jerusalem a messenger with good news.
28Not one of your idols told you this. Not one gave any answer when I asked.
29See, they are all foolish, worthless things. All your idols are as empty as the wind.
“Walking with God is like having a spiritual diagnostics machine telling you where you need maintenance before major issues occur within yourself.”~TB
I talk to God a lot. He doesn’t seem to mind the billion questions that I have on a recurring basis. My family will tell you, I can talk and theorize a lot, so having a listening ear that doesn’t get exasperated with me is nice. I love talking to God more importantly because of the answers I receive. There are many things that God tells both you and I because He ultimately knows what’s best for us. The Holy Spirit reminds me of a diagnostic tool that is able to assess and alert us for routine care. This involves reading our Bible so that we know the Truth and the devil cannot entrap us in a lie. Another way is being good neighbors, so that we do not cause each other to stumble. Most importantly, developing the self-discipline by adhering to the Holy Spirit, which may include eating right, exercising, and not ingesting mental garbage. Your mind, body, and soul are all connected, so what you do to one will affect the others. When you don’t do the routine care, the major issues come up and are pricier and take more time to repair.
Check Engine Light
If you don’t have oil in your car, your engine will blow. That’s not because your car is being mean, it simply means that oil is necessary for the engine to operate functionally. Our relationship to God is quite similar. God doesn’t enforce rules or set boundaries because He’s trying to enslave or control us. No, just like a busted engine, a damaged human spirit causes all kinds of problems. Take it from someone who observes people like a doctorate dissertation. When we’re willfully broken, we’ll be the first to claim all is well, but if you look a little deeper, our spirits are quite damaged. Fortunately for us, the Holy Mechanic that is God does not price gouge us when we blow our spiritual engines. All we have to do is to turn back from our foolishness and restart out routine maintenance. So the next time your check engine light is on, have a talk with the Holy Mechanic, I hear He gives great deals on repairs.
Do you practice routine care or are you routinely spiritually broken?
Enjoy the reading
1About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the LORD says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’”
2When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD,
3“Remember, O LORD, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.
4Then this message came to Isaiah from the LORD :
5“Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life,
6and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.
7“‘And this is the sign from the LORD to prove that he will do as he promised:
8I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps.
9When King Hezekiah was well again, he wrote this poem:
10I said, “In the prime of my life, must I now enter the place of the dead? Am I to be robbed of the rest of my years?”
11I said, “Never again will I see the LORD GOD while still in the land of the living. Never again will I see my friends or be with those who live in this world.
12My life has been blown away like a shepherd’s tent in a storm. It has been cut short, as when a weaver cuts cloth from a loom. Suddenly, my life was over.
13I waited patiently all night, but I was torn apart as though by lions. Suddenly, my life was over.
14Delirious, I chattered like a swallow or a crane, and then I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew tired of looking to heaven for help. I am in trouble, Lord. Help me!”
15But what could I say? For he himself sent this sickness. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt.
16Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!
17Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.
18For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness.
19Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.
20Think of it—the LORD is ready to heal me! I will sing his praises with instruments every day of my life in the Temple of the LORD .
21Isaiah had said to Hezekiah’s servants, “Make an ointment from figs and spread it over the boil, and Hezekiah will recover.”
22And Hezekiah had asked, “What sign will prove that I will go to the Temple of the LORD ?”
“If your life is constantly embroiled in chaos, it’s time to evaluate your part or the equation”~TB
In life, stormy weather does occur and bad days are par for the course. However, God did not call us to lead lives of constant chaos, nor is the devil permitted to hang over our heads like a perpetual thunder cloud. If you find yourself at odd with people, the world, and life in generally, it’s time to have an honest discussion with God about the reality of the life you lead.
Whether we like to admit it or not, chaos can be fun. It provides a good story to tell, sympathy, and something to do if you’re life seems boring. The problem is, continued chaos reeks havoc on the way humans operate. Every human being seeks routine, in one way or another. As we’re all creatures of comfort to some degree, when we fall off the rails of Biblical normalcy, unresolved issues can lead us to a life of chaos and disarray. If left unchecked, the cycle of chaos may become your routine as you learn to build a life around that dysfunction.
If you find yourself enjoying the FUN in dysfunction, it’s high time you consult with the Lord about your life. Ask him to reveal the blind spots in your line of sight so you can see the chaos for what it truly is. Only when you see the brokenness that is swallowing you whole then can you change the patterns that had gotten hold of you. But first, that starts by surrendering to God so that you can begin to heal.
Are you ready to ditch the Fun in dysfunction?
Enjoy the reading
1The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water,
2all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders,
3army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.
4I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers.
5People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable.
6In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7But he will reply, “No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”
8For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the LORD and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face.
9The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don’t even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves.
10Tell the godly that all will be well for them. They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned!
11But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve.
12Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.
13The LORD takes his place in court and presents his case against his people.
14The LORD comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his people: “You have ruined Israel, my vineyard. Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor.
15How dare you crush my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?” demands the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
16The LORD says, “Beautiful Zion is haughty: craning her elegant neck, flirting with her eyes, walking with dainty steps, tinkling her ankle bracelets.
17So the Lord will send scabs on her head; the LORD will make beautiful Zion bald.”
18On that day of judgment the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful: ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces,
19earrings, bracelets, and veils;
20scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes, perfumes, and charms;
22party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses;
23mirrors, fine linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls.
24Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty.
25The men of the city will be killed with the sword, and her warriors will die in battle.
26The gates of Zion will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.
“In order to get your attention, God will allow uncomfortable situations to occur to shake you from your zombie-like state.”~TB
The next time you’re in public, like in a store, take a look and observe your surroundings. It’s not hard to see that we operate like zombies, mindlessly plugged into things, not fully present. Society is so numb with gadgets and the constant need for entertainment, it’s no wonder why people are struggling to feel something real. Everything is manufactured and designed for instant gratification! There are so many distractions, devices, and the like that keep us from truly knowing God. Friends, you have to get out of your mindless routines and seek the Lord with all of your attention and heart. If you desire an authentic relationship with God, don’t be surprised if certain things, behaviors or people are uprooted from your life in the process. It is called pruning for a reason.
Seasons of setbacks, discomfort, and loss aren’t always bad things or from the opposition. Comfort numbs us from thinking we need to change. Complacency is more dangerous than external forces, which is why God will shake things up for those who seek Him. In those moments, self-reflection is crucial for you to grow in Christ, because with the wrong set of eyes, you can mistake correction for persecution. It’s easy to become frustrated in your walk and wonder ‘why me’. However, if you can look past how you feel and look at your life with an honest heart, you will find that God is showing you something. Some of you are numb, getting by, forgoing your calling. Others are exploiting others’ work and not tilling their own soil. Wherever you are, if you’ve knocked on God’s door and He’s shaken you from your zombie life, rejoice! Look and listen carefully to learn what He is showing you.
Song of Solomon 4
1You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
2Your teeth are as white as sheep, recently shorn and freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.
3Your lips are like scarlet ribbon; your mouth is inviting. Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.
4Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes.
5Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies.
6Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, I will hurry to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.
7You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.
8Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Come down from Mount Amana, from the peaks of Senir and Hermon, where the lions have their dens and leopards live among the hills.
9You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.
10Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices.
11Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon.
12You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.
13Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices— henna with nard,
14nard and saffron, fragrant calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh, and aloes, and every other lovely spice.
15You are a garden fountain, a well of fresh water streaming down from Lebanon’s mountains.
16Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.
“Slow, accurate, consistent,daily habits and practices sessions of honoring God with all that you are will help transform your life into a better place suited for you and your family in Heaven.”~Jon Barnes
You can use good books, apps, scriptures, and other factual information to enhance the quality of your life and the people around you.Your honest motives, commitment, and hard work will dictate the success of your faith and love with God and people.Teach and share what success God has given you and keep following His Commandments.
The key to learning a new language is to consistently work on it each day.Pick how much time you would like to spend on a goal and keep working.Too often we all tend to give up before the big results begin to show.Small wins are very crucial in learning all things.Having realistic goals are invaluable.
Each second, minute, hour, day, and year our habits grow stronger and we become experts in what we learn and teach ourselves.If you are an expert at being lazy, then your reward will clearly exemplify such behavior.This habit or behavior is what you teach yourself.Take care in doing things the right way, slowly from the beginning and enjoy your success through the finish line.
Are you getting your habits from God or the devil?
Enjoy The Reading
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right. 2 Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. 3 You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. 4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone. 5 I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.
6 I hate those who worship worthless idols. I trust in the Lord. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. 8 You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.
9 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. 10 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within. 11 I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors— even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they run the other way. 12 I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot. 13 I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror. My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” 15 My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly. 16 Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me. 17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord, for I call out to you for help. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them lie silent in the grave.[a] 18 Silence their lying lips— those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.
19 How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. 20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.
21 Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. 22 In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.
23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones! For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. 24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!
“Following evil leadership is not an excuse to behave so wickedly against God and His commandments since you have a personal choice and commitment to make.” ~ Jon Barnes
Fighting against the good things that God has established is never the direction to follow.Do not follow leaders and people in these directions and paths. Travel in the direction that makes sense to God and it will all make sense to you after you obey the instruction.Stop fighting against God’s Good Instructions and intentions.
It becomes difficult to break the bad habits of doing the wrong things because your body and mind crave the things you feed it.Learn to feed your body and mind what God wants you to eat.The more junk you give it the more junk you want and your life stores up this mess of fat, which becomes hard to get rid of.Follow God to the Holy Gym and start working out with your personal trainer.He has time for everyone if you go to the Real Gym of spiritual exercises and follow the program.
Applying new techniques and repetitious sets of God’s personal exercises will get your spiritual and physical body in shape for the good work you are committed too as well.Being fit is half the battle and being obedient is the other half. Just a few moves each day will change your lifestyle, perspective, friends, enemies, and future, as the light of God will shine from your life.God will make you the leader of your own lifestyle when you love Him and His Ways.
Is it really that difficult to follow God and His good rules of simplicity?
2 Kings 24
24 During Jehoiakim’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land of Judah. Jehoiakim surrendered and paid him tribute for three years but then rebelled.2 Then the Lord sent bands of Babylonian,[a] Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders against Judah to destroy it, just as the Lord had promised through his prophets.3 These disasters happened to Judah because of the Lord’s command. He had decided to banish Judah from his presence because of the many sins of Manasseh,4 who had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood. The Lord would not forgive this.
5 The rest of the events in Jehoiakim’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.6 When Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin became the next king.
7 The king of Egypt did not venture out of his country after that, for the king of Babylon captured the entire area formerly claimed by Egypt—from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River.
Jehoiachin Rules in Judah
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem.9 Jehoiachin did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father had done.
10 During Jehoiachin’s reign, the officers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up against Jerusalem and besieged it.11 Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city during the siege.12 Then King Jehoiachin, along with the queen mother, his advisers, his commanders, and his officials, surrendered to the Babylonians.
In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, he took Jehoiachin prisoner.13 As the Lord had said beforehand, Nebuchadnezzar carried away all the treasures from the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. He stripped away[b] all the gold objects that King Solomon of Israel had placed in the Temple.14 King Nebuchadnezzar took all of Jerusalem captive, including all the commanders and the best of the soldiers, craftsmen, and artisans—10,000 in all. Only the poorest people were left in the land.
15 Nebuchadnezzar led King Jehoiachin away as a captive to Babylon, along with the queen mother, his wives and officials, and all Jerusalem’s elite.16 He also exiled 7,000 of the best troops and 1,000 craftsmen and artisans, all of whom were strong and fit for war.17 Then the king of Babylon installed Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s[c] uncle, as the next king, and he changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah Rules in Judah
18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah.19 But Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Jehoiakim had done.20 These things happened because of the Lord’s anger against the people of Jerusalem and Judah, until he finally banished them from his presence and sent them into exile.
“Simply put, the truth needs no apologies for loving God, your family, friends and your enemies so that God takes care of the things you cannot.” ~ Jon Barnes
It is important to know your motives, direction, and destination with your goals, plans, and objectives in life and with God. During your studies, you will begin to make better plans and prepare for the next level that is right for you and your family. If you leave your responsibilities up in the air, then evil will take care of it for you.
Carefully map out your routine, direction, and instruction that God gives you to move forward with your good work. Realize that the plans of others may derail your plan should you choose to follow the distraction of others. Stick to the plan that follows God and you will do fine.
Network, leverage, and value the quality talent that is in your family to nurture and support progress, education, and innovation. Help each other achieve goals, develop solutions, and build stronger bonds within a community. You and your family are a link that someone needs in their life as an example to follow. Show them that you are following God!
Is your connection to God strong enough for you to connect God with your family or is your connection faulty, deactivated,and non-existent?
Enjoy The Reading
11 Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute.2 Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.”3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a gang of scoundrels gathered around him and followed him.
4 Sometime later, when the Ammonites were fighting against Israel,5 the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.6 “Come,” they said, “be our commander so we can fight the Ammonites.”
7 Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble?”
8 The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be head over all of us who live in Gilead.”
9 Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?”
10 The elders of Gilead replied, “The Lord is our witness; we will certainly do as you say.”11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeated all his words before the Lord in Mizpah.
12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: “What do you have against me that you have attacked my country?”
13 The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably.”
14 Jephthah sent back messengers to the Ammonite king,15 saying:
“This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites.16 But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea[a] and on to Kadesh.17 Then Israel sent messengersto the king of Edom, saying, ‘Give us permission to go through your country,’but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab, and he refused. So Israel stayed at Kadesh.
18 “Next they traveled through the wilderness, skirted the lands of Edom and Moab, passed along the eastern side of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon. They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.
19 “Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon, and said to him, ‘Let us pass through your country to our own place.’20 Sihon, however, did not trust Israel[b] to pass through his territory. He mustered all his troops and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.
21 “Then the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and his whole army into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country,22 capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.
23 “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over?24 Will you not take what your god Chemosh gives you? Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us, we will possess.25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them?26 For three hundred years Israel occupied Heshbon, Aroer, the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn’t you retake them during that time?27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.”
28 The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.
29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands,31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”
32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands.33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.
34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child.Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”
36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites.37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”
38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
From this comes the Israelite tradition40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.
“I love the energy people have when starting a new goal, project, or next step, but I have to keep reminding myself to finish the step that I’m on, before moving to the next step!” ~ Jon Barnes
As I develop my routine and good work assignments for the day, I allow myself to make a few steps in the forward direction of the project. My work movement circulates in 5 different ways per hour. The rotation occurs to keep my mind fresh and focused on each step to perfect the concepts, plans, and goals, as I move forward in a task.
Sometimes I need to slow things way down, talking more time to analyze, teach, feel, absorb, and process the moment from a molecular standpoint. This helps me to see the big picture that I’m stepping into and it provides the visual and instinctual map, grid, and strategy for me to write out, teach, and follow. As I search, read, ask, and pray, the answers come and solutions appear, by faith.
This process helps me to move forward in my good work habits, daily routines, creativity, new music, writings, and ideas of the day. After I pray, read, write about God’s Love, my day is set to accomplish anything that is good for me to do for God; which is the best that I can do for myself. As a result, I step forward into my destiny with authority, victory, Thanksgiving, and kindness, for sharing the love, the way, the truth with helping others.
Are you enjoying the steps and process of learning from God?
Enjoy The Reading
Levites Appointed for Service
3 This is the family line of Aaron and Moses as it was recorded when the Lordspoke to Moses on Mount Sinai:2 The names of Aaron’s sons were Nadab (the oldest), Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.3 These sons of Aaron were anointed and ordained to minister as priests.4 But Nadab and Abihu died in the Lord’s presence in the wilderness of Sinai when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. Since they had no sons, this left only Eleazar and Ithamar to serve as priests with their father, Aaron.
5 Then the Lord said to Moses,6 “Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants.7 They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle.[a]8 They will also maintain all the furnishings of the sacred tent,[b] serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all the Israelites.9 Assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They have been given from among all the people of Israel to serve as their assistants.10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to carry out the duties of the priesthood. But any unauthorized person who goes too near the sanctuary must be put to death.”
11 And the Lord said to Moses,12 “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me,13 for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord.”
Registration of the Levites
14 The Lord spoke again to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. He said,15 “Record the names of the members of the tribe of Levi by their families and clans. List every male who is one month old or older.”16 So Moses listed them, just as the Lord had commanded.
17 Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
18 The clans descended from Gershon were named after two of his descendants, Libni and Shimei.
19 The clans descended from Kohath were named after four of his descendants, Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
20 The clans descended from Merari were named after two of his descendants, Mahli and Mushi.
These were the Levite clans, listed according to their family groups.
21 The descendants of Gershon were composed of the clans descended from Libni and Shimei.22 There were 7,500 males one month old or older among these Gershonite clans.23 They were assigned the area to the west of the Tabernacle for their camp.24 The leader of the Gershonite clans was Eliasaph son of Lael.25 These two clans were responsible to care for the Tabernacle, including the sacred tent with its layers of coverings, the curtain at its entrance,26 the curtains of the courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle and altar, the curtain at the courtyard entrance, the ropes, and all the equipment related to their use.
27 The descendants of Kohath were composed of the clans descended from Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.28 There were 8,600[c] males one month old or older among these Kohathite clans. They were responsible for the care of the sanctuary,29 and they were assigned the area south of the Tabernacle for their camp.30 The leader of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel.31 These four clans were responsible for the care of the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the various articles used in the sanctuary, the inner curtain, and all the equipment related to their use.32 Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, was the chief administrator over all the Levites, with special responsibility for the oversight of the sanctuary.
33 The descendants of Merari were composed of the clans descended from Mahli and Mushi.34 There were 6,200 males one month old or older among these Merarite clans.35 They were assigned the area north of the Tabernacle for their camp. The leader of the Merarite clans was Zuriel son of Abihail.36 These two clans were responsible for the care of the frames supporting the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the pillars, the bases, and all the equipment related to their use.37 They were also responsible for the posts of the courtyard and all their bases, pegs, and ropes.
38 The area in front of the Tabernacle, in the east toward the sunrise,[d] was reserved for the tents of Moses and of Aaron and his sons, who had the final responsibility for the sanctuary on behalf of the people of Israel. Anyone other than a priest or Levite who went too near the sanctuary was to be put to death.
39 When Moses and Aaron counted the Levite clans at the Lord’s command, the total number was 22,000 males one month old or older.
Redeeming the Firstborn Sons
40 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now count all the firstborn sons in Israel who are one month old or older, and make a list of their names.41 The Levites must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn sons of Israel; I am the Lord. And the Levites’ livestock must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the whole nation of Israel.”
42 So Moses counted the firstborn sons of the people of Israel, just as the Lordhad commanded.43 The number of firstborn sons who were one month old or older was 22,273.
44 Then the Lord said to Moses,45 “Take the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. And take the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me; I am the Lord.46 There are 273 more firstborn sons of Israel than there are Levites. To redeem these extra firstborn sons,47 collect five pieces of silver[e] for each of them (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs).48 Give the silver to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for the extra firstborn sons.”
49 So Moses collected the silver for redeeming the firstborn sons of Israel who exceeded the number of Levites.50 He collected 1,365 pieces of silver[f] on behalf of these firstborn sons of Israel (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel).51 And Moses gave the silver for the redemption to Aaron and his sons, just as the Lord had commanded.
“Focus your faith of moving into action with the good ideas you must work and little daily steps you must take, in order to see your future progress accumulate with big success.” ~ Jon Barnes
Fat accumulation around your spiritual belly is proportionate to the amount of time we sit on our wonderful ideas of movement and opportunities to do good work in a different way, which jump starts our activities, attitudes, and abilities to maneuver and help people and ourselves in different directions. It is difficult to swing our routines in life to match what our bodies need at work, home, and in our relationships, just as it is equally difficult, to be honest in our spiritual growth in Love. Reduce the fat and increase the acts of kindness by exercising new movements and mixing up your routines and approaches to solving problems with move Love.
Learn how other people do things and compare your style with others. Determine what is useful in how someone else orchestrates their life, family, and work environment while looking for new solutions to your own situation. Listen to others and pay attention to their stories to learn more about yourself. By listening and helping others, I tend to find new ideas, jobs, collaborations, and solutions to many problems. Allow your mind to visit all of the dendrite friends in your mind, making new memories of mixed movement, connecting other dots, and finding success in other places.
The fee for relocation is Faith, which provides growth, promotion, and new challenges to overcome. The new work that is required will mix up your movements and help you to refocus your ability to achieve. You become less distracted and more aware of your every movement to step into the right room, to the right people with love, action, and creativity. At first, it is a challenge to move out of your comfort zone of familiarity and show your “A” game to strangers. But, faith moves mountains, when you move with God in all directions physically, spiritually, internally, and externally.
Are you moving with God or are you a hard headed, donkey?
Enjoy The Reading
Prohibitions against Eating Blood
17 Then the Lord said to Moses,2 “Give the following instructions to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel. This is what the Lord has commanded.
3 “If any native Israelite sacrifices a bull[a] or a lamb or a goat anywhere inside or outside the camp4 instead of bringing it to the entrance of the Tabernacle[b] to present it as an offering to the Lord, that person will be as guilty as a murderer.[c]Such a person has shed blood and will be cut off from the community.5 The purpose of this rule is to stop the Israelites from sacrificing animals in the open fields. It will ensure that they bring their sacrifices to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle, so he can present them to the Lord as peace offerings.6 Then the priest will be able to splatter the blood against the Lord’s altar at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and he will burn the fat as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.7 The people must no longer be unfaithful to the Lord by offering sacrifices to the goat idols.[d] This is a permanent law for them, to be observed from generation to generation.
8 “Give them this command as well. If any native Israelite or foreigner living among you offers a burnt offering or a sacrifice9 but does not bring it to the entrance of the Tabernacle to offer it to the Lord, that person will be cut off from the community.
10 “And if any native Israelite or foreigner living among you eats or drinks blood in any form, I will turn against that person and cut him off from the community of your people,11 for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord.[e] It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.12 That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood—neither you nor the foreigners living among you.’
13 “And if any native Israelite or foreigner living among you goes hunting and kills an animal or bird that is approved for eating, he must drain its blood and cover it with earth.14 The life of every creature is in its blood. That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood, for the life of any creature is in its blood.’ So whoever consumes blood will be cut off from the community.
15 “And if any native-born Israelites or foreigners eat the meat of an animal that died naturally or was torn up by wild animals, they must wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water. They will remain ceremonially unclean until evening, but then they will be clean.16 But if they do not wash their clothes and bathe themselves, they will be punished for their sin.”