Growing Pains

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“They are called growing pains for a reason.”~TB

Massive

Salvation is the beginning to a potentially wild adventure. God has massive plans for you and all of His children. The challenge lies in if we’re willing to answer the call. Contrary to popular belief, God did not create us just to overcome problem after problem. We are not meant to be just barely clinging to the hope of Christ. In order to undertake whatever call that has been placed on your life, you must undergo the changes and growing pains that come along with it.

Boiling Pot

As a kid, I would accompany my family back to Maryland to visit relatives. Being a crab state, I remember watching my great grandmother prepare the crabs, AKA sticking these none the wiser crabs into their heated doom. Once the water got hot, you could hear the crabs scrambling to get out of the pot. When we are going through changes and growing periods, it can feel like you’re a crab in a boiling pot of water, desperately trying to get out before you meet your doom. But, unlike the crab, what lies in store for us is not our doom, but our freedom from whatever binds us in life.

Changing Your Tune

Growing pains are typically a mental shift rather than a physical one. To understand and accept the plan God has in place for you, you first must accept that He wants a victorious life for you. Victory comes in many forms, not just the “million dollars and fancy houses”. Victory can be over your health, sobriety, relationships, and so on. Instead of trying to ‘get out of the boiling pot’, lean on God and lean into the discipline of making changes. As my dad says often, “You eat the elephant one bite at a time”. So the next time you feel the boiling temptation of going off course, consult God, accept His plan, and take calculated steps to get there. His Ways are ultimately and infinitely far better than ours.

Isaiah 63

1 Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation! It is I, the LORD, who has the power to save!” 
2 Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? 
3 “I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes. 
4 For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors. 
5 I was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm, and my wrath sustained me. 
6 I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground, spilling their blood upon the earth.” 
7 I will tell of the LORD ’s unfailing love. I will praise the LORD for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love. 
8 He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior. 
9 In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. 
10 But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them. 
11 Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people? 
12 Where is the one whose power was displayed when Moses lifted up his hand— the one who divided the sea before them, making himself famous forever? 
13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling. 
14 As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led your people, LORD, and gained a magnificent reputation.” 
15 LORD, look down from heaven; look from your holy, glorious home, and see us. Where is the passion and the might you used to show on our behalf? Where are your mercy and compassion now? 
16 Surely you are still our Father! Even if Abraham and Jacob would disown us, LORD, you would still be our Father. You are our Redeemer from ages past. 
17 LORD, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession. 
18 How briefly your holy people possessed your holy place, and now our enemies have destroyed it. 
19 Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

The Well

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God is a never-ending well of which we can draw from. His stability and consistency will always bring us peace, joy, and contentment, quenching our thirst.”~TB

Exchange

I recently met up with an old friend of mine. We exchanged hilarious stories about our family holiday events over coffee. One of the things I enjoy about our conversations is the candor about family dynamics. While the people in our lives don’t inherently intend to emotionally drain us, sometimes they lack the foundational stability to refrain from those negative habits. More to the point, if you don’t know where to go to for emotional/spiritual stability, those exchanges can leave you feeling depleted, weary, and drained.

Dried Up

Friends, if you only rely on the emotional support of other human beings, you’re in for a long and bumpy ride. Many of us are participating in selfish, emotional vampire behaviors, taking from others and giving nothing in return. I feel for younger generations who are being brainwashed by the latest trends and societal behaviors. Most of what people are being taught is self-centered, indulgent and careless. This isn’t to be mean, it’s just an observation of a broken world doubling down on soul-sucking lifestyles. If you’re feeling depleted, listless, and in a rut, it’s time to learn where to draw your water from. Hanging out with God on a daily basis is beneficial for the renewal of your spirit.

Replenish

Consulting God on the day to day is like getting your daily water from the best well out there. It provides the water you need to go about your day with the spiritual rejuvenation that can only come from Christ. There’s plenty for everyone and the benefits are unlimited. When you lay your burdens down before God, you relieve yourself from the toxic junk of the world. By doing so, you know not to dump on other people, repeating the toxic cycle. If you’re weary, call out to Him so that He can restore you. Drink from the Holy Well so that you do not thirst for makeshift beverages of the world. We cannot change the people that we interact with only the daily. However when we get our Daily Water from God’s Well, those interactions hold less of an impact.

Today’s Question

Are you drinking from His Well or is the soda of the world more appealing?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 61

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. 
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD ’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 
3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. 
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. 
5 Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. 
6 You will be called priests of the LORD, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. 
7 Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. 
8 “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. 
9 Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. 
11 The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

Cover Up

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“It’s better to stab someone in the front than the back, because at least you’re being honest.”~TB

Make Believe

Adam and Eve covering up their bodies after eating the forbidden fruit says a lot about the world today. The issue wasn’t their nakedness. The issue was that they believed they were capable of hiding anything from God. Ironically we do the same thing time and time again. We’re all trying to ‘hide’ our flaws, appear to be smarter, richer, prettier, etc. just to appeal to one another. As I grow older, I find myself walking away from the guise of being ‘better than I am’ and accepting the way God made me, flaws and all. I’ve also found honesty allows me to come before God with all that I am so that I may receive the best answers to my questions, rather than covering them up with manure.

Wolf and Sheep

God has more respect for the person being an adamant heathen than the fake spiritual man. If you are publicly screaming “Praise God”, but are privately devouring your neighbor, well, God knows. He knows the light and the dark, after all it is all His creation. So if we stand to have any sort of relationship with Him, we must stop being wolves and return to His flock as sheep. If being a sheep offends you, then I encourage you to reflect on the choices, perceptions, and decisions you make as they are all influenced by something or someone. Personally, I’d rather be a sheep for God than a mindless slave to man.

Today’s Question

Are you being honest or is it a cover up?

Isaiah 44

1 “But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.
2 The LORD who made you and helps you says: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, O dear Israel, my chosen one.
3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.
4 They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.
5 Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the LORD .’ Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’ Some will write the LORD ’s name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own.”
6 This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.
7 Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future.
8 Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
9 How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame.
10 Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit?
11 All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans— who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame.
12 The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool, pounding and shaping it with all his might. His work makes him hungry and weak. It makes him thirsty and faint.
13Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine.
14 He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain.
15 Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it!
16 He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
17Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!”
18 Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19 The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20 The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
21 “Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the LORD, made you, and I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel.
24 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the LORD, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth?
25 I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools.
26 But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’ and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’
27 When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’ they will be dry.
28 When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”

Help > Hinder

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“So you’re spiritually mature, great! Now, step aside and let others pass theirs instead of trying to do the work for them.”~TB

God’s Concepts

The longer you spend with God, the more you understand how complex yet simple His love and teachings are. Like a game of chess, it takes a lifetime to study God’s ways. Even still, the wisest of us all will never truly and fully understand the miraculousness that is God. Depending on where you are on the spectrum, God will use you for His purpose, but friends, do your job and nothing more, as we all learn at a different pace.

 

Learning Curve

Everyone goes through trials and tests at their own pace. Some learn faster than others. And some need to retake certain tests before they ace the exam. No person’s journey is superior to another’s, no matter how quickly they learn. If you are a quick learner, be a help and not a hindrance.

Help

Helping others is part of the journey that is being a Christ-follower. This means encouraging the downtrodden, aiding those enduring hard times, and giving mercy to one another. It’s great to help, but when helping turns into servitude, you’re doing too much.

Hinder

Yes, it’s natural to want to step in so that loved ones do not endure pain. However, everyone needs to go through their own tests so that they can learn the lessons and grow closer to God in the process. When you overstep in “helping” you’re actually hinder the person’s growth and maturity. Assist when necessary and let others develop accordingly.

Today’s Question

Is your help a hindrance?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 24

1 Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. 
2 For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble. 
3 A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. 
4 Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. 
5 The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. 
6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. 
7 Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say. 
8 A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. 
9 The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker. 
10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. 
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. 
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve. 
13 My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste. 
14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
15 Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly, and don’t raid the house where the godly live. 
16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. 
17 Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. 
18 For the LORD will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them. 
19 Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked. 
20 For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. 
21My child, fear the LORD and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, 
22 for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the LORD and the king? 
23 Here are some further sayings of the wise: It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment. 
24 A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations. 
25 But it will go well for those who convict the guilty; rich blessings will be showered on them. 
26 An honest answer is like a kiss of friendship. 
27 Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. 
28 Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause; don’t lie about them. 
29 And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me! I’ll get even with them!” 
30 I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. 
31 I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. 
32 Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: 
33 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 
34 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

 

Inspired

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“There will always be times where you will lack the inspiration or desire to pursue Christ. Do the work anyway.”~TB

Plateau

Everyone experiences a feeling of stagnation or plateau when developing their relationship with God. More often than not it’s due to us disconnecting from Him because we’re off trying to accomplish our own agendas. Friends, remember His will and plan for your life. I can guarantee you that when you allow God to lead, His plan will always bring a better outcome than any plan you could imagine. When you start to feel bored or uninspired, that’s when you need to speak to Him the most.

Have a talk with God

Prayer is like a casual conversation with the wisest being in existence. You don’t have to be ceremonial or ritualistic about it. Come to Him as you are and He will delight in your humility. There are times where I just say, “God, what gives?” and will air out my grievances honestly and openly. When I’m done ranting, I then listen and am inspired by the response! Friends, you can only get answers from God when you communicate with Him regularly. Don’t get too bold in your own thinking, trust that God’s answers are better than yours and you’ll find an infinite well of inspiration in your Heavenly Father.

Today’s Question

Are you talking to God or are you only listening to yourself?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 142

1 I cry out to the LORD ; I plead for the LORD ’s mercy. 
2 I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. 
3 When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. 
4 I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. 
5 Then I pray to you, O LORD . I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. 
6 Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. 
7 Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”

First Aid

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“When troubles come your way, break out your spiritual first aid kit.”~TB

Ailments

You know that your body is capable of getting ill. The same thing occurs within a lackadaisical spirit. When you’re sick, you take medicine to feel better. When you’re spiritually ill, you must rely on the Word and your relationship in Christ. There will be periods of spiritual unrest in which the opposition will find any weakness to cause your spiritual ailments. There is a remedy, which must be applied and practiced each and every day.

Spiritual Vitamins

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Reading the Bible each day keeps the devil at bay. Being a follower of Christ is not a passive endeavor and you must take your spiritual vitamins– applying the teachings of God– daily to receive the maximum impact of Christ. Friends, this relationship has so many nutrients and healing properties if you take the time to apply them daily.

Today’s Question

Are you taking your Holy holistic supplements of Christ or are you ok with the synthetic remedies of the world?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 118

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 
2 Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” 
3 Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
4 Let all who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” 
5In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. 
6 The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? 
7 Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. 
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. 
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. 
10 Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD . 
11 Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD . 
12They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD . 
13 My enemies did their best to kill me, but the LORD rescued me. 
14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. 
15 Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! 
16 The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! 
17 I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done. 
18 The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not let me die. 
19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the LORD . 
20 These gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there. 
21 I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! 
22The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 
23This is the LORD ’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. 
24 This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. 
25 Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success. 
26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD . We bless you from the house of the LORD . 
27 The LORD is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. 
28 You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! 
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Holy Conditioning

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Hi  Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In order for God to use you, you must be tried, tested, and made approved through Holy conditioning.”~TB

Spiritually Out of Shape

God cannot use the spiritually weak. When you don’t pursue a relationship with Christ and when you don’t do your Biblical reading, you are spiritually unhealthy. As babes in Christ, you may aspire to share the Good News, however, without doing the work, you are unable to exert the endurance, steadfastness, and long-suffering required to work for God. Your spiritual arteries are clogged by the fat of your sins and unrefined impure thinking. God cannot use someone who is spiritually fat. You are not capable of running a race because you will fall prey to the fleshly desires of this world. There is still hope for anyone willing to endure the Biblical training required.

 

Biblical Training

If you seek an honest relationship with the Lord and you desire to do well for the Kingdom, you must gird up your loins, and do the Biblical training that is necessary for you to successfully run and complete your race. Make no mistake, this is no easy feat as you will be tried and tested and ultimately broken. But through this pruning, God will pour a new Holy foundation for you to begin to understand how to move and operate in His will. Friends, celebrate in your trials and tests because it means that God is looking to pass the baton to you. Train well and watch His wisdom, strengthen you.

Ready to Run

You will know when God is ready to elevate your assignment because temptation, stress, and anguish no longer bother you. Those things are still there, but you understand that they are the evil banana peels that the devil has laid before you. Avoid them. You willingly put down your sinful ways and you excitedly and wholeheartedly seek the Lord with all of your heart. Friends, when this happens, it is a wonderful feeling to live and breathe the joy and peace that God provides as you begin to run the race that he is set before you. Make no mistake, picking up the cross every day is an intentional and willful endeavor. You cannot be lackadaisical or passive about your assignment. But fortunately, through God’s strength and conditioning through the Word, the trials, and the tests, He has prepared you for your destiny.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to go through spiritual conditioning, or are you okay with being spiritually fat?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 93

1 The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. 
2 Your throne, O LORD, has stood from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past. 
3 The floods have risen up, O LORD . The floods have roared like thunder; the floods have lifted their pounding waves. 
4 But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore— the LORD above is mightier than these! 
5 Your royal laws cannot be changed. Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever.

New Years

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Lord, I pray that I honor you in all that I do and become a blessing to my family, friends, students, and enemies all around the world in this new year.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Times

My daughter and I were cleaning out the garage with here children and we found my first recording on cassette tape, with a cassette tape player from 1995.  After reading the liner notes, looking at pictures, listening with headsets, it finally occurred to me that I successfully recorded my grandmother, mother, friends, and myself to share with my grandkids.  What a blessing to share!

Capsules 

The flight of time can be seen and measured in the hands of your children and grandchildren because your life is a documentation and summation of all the things you do care about, love, and share.  Make sure that what you do is worth keeping and sharing.  You don’t want to be embarrassed when your kids, grandkids, and next generations google, read, listen, and reflect upon your life.

Reflections

I am grateful to be able to see my family grow, read, listen, learn, and become inspired by the hard work and helpful suggestions from the ideas God has given me over the years.  Technologies will come and go but the Word of God and its contents will forever remain the same, to get you through The Pearly Gates.  Good people will always be noted for doing the Good work God has for them to do each new year and your reward will be great in Heaven.
Today’s Question
Did you notice how the quality of your work affects others and does God respect your efforts all year long?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Psalm 40 

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
    who have no confidence in the proud
    or in those who worship idols.
Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
    Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
    You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
    I would never come to the end of them.
You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
    Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]
    you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
Then I said, “Look, I have come.
    As is written about me in the Scriptures:
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.”
I have told all your people about your justice.
    I have not been afraid to speak out,
    as you, O Lord, well know.
10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
    I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
    of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
    Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles surround me—
    too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
    I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
    I have lost all courage.
13 Please, Lord, rescue me!
    Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
14 May those who try to destroy me
    be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
    be turned back in disgrace.
15 Let them be horrified by their shame,
    for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
16 But may all who search for you
    be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
    repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
17 As for me, since I am poor and needy,
    let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
    O my God, do not delay.

Love,

Jonathan

Dishonesty

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Stepping out of habitual, cultural, ignorance takes an act of God, because we are too stupid and dishonest to figure these things out for ourselves, so listen to God and your loved ones.”  ~  Jon Barnes

When

When faced with the naked truth of a matter, many people will run into the opposite direction because it takes discipline to change, alter, or delete negative thinking, work, words, thoughts, and habits of old.  You are your worst enemy and the excuses that you have are not true or good.  Your body gets comfortable and becomes a willing partner in doing wrong.  The worst offenders are the fake Christians who hide behind a few scriptures to deceive, flip good fundamentals and do as they please.

Comfort

When things seem right because everyone is doing it, without questioning the moral, spiritual, physical, and logical consequences of your actions, the future of your family is at stake.  Since many people don’t even care about their families, faith, and God, based on their actions, our societies are becoming more uncomfortable, because of dishonest practices.  Check your motives and honest intentions.

Hurts

Everything you do should be a conflict of interest with being dishonest, wasteful, greedy, and immoral.  We hurt people by looking the other way, ignoring our responsibilities to God, ourselves, family, and people.  Your lack of support, faith, and work in God’s lifestyle expose the dishonest behavior that you cannot shake on your own.  Stop hurting yourself and others, by asking for help from God.  Using people is a deception that God doesn’t like.  Be a blessing, not a curse.
Today’s Question
Are you using the tools that God has provided to step out of your habitual stupidity and habitually dishonest behavior of sin and evil?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Job 24 

Job Asks Why the Wicked Are Not Punished

24 “Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment?
    Why must the godly wait for him in vain?
Evil people steal land by moving the boundary markers.
    They steal livestock and put them in their own pastures.
They take the orphan’s donkey
    and demand the widow’s ox as security for a loan.
The poor are pushed off the path;
    the needy must hide together for safety.
Like wild donkeys in the wilderness,
    the poor must spend all their time looking for food,
    searching even in the desert for food for their children.
They harvest a field they do not own,
    and they glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
All night they lie naked in the cold,
    without clothing or covering.
They are soaked by mountain showers,
    and they huddle against the rocks for want of a home.
“The wicked snatch a widow’s child from her breast,
    taking the baby as security for a loan.
10 The poor must go about naked, without any clothing.
    They harvest food for others while they themselves are starving.
11 They press out olive oil without being allowed to taste it,
    and they tread in the winepress as they suffer from thirst.
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
    and the wounded cry for help,
    yet God ignores their moaning.
13 “Wicked people rebel against the light.
    They refuse to acknowledge its ways
    or stay in its paths.
14 The murderer rises in the early dawn
    to kill the poor and needy;
    at night he is a thief.
15 The adulterer waits for the twilight,
    saying, ‘No one will see me then.’
    He hides his face so no one will know him.
16 Thieves break into houses at night
    and sleep in the daytime.
    They are not acquainted with the light.
17 The black night is their morning.
    They ally themselves with the terrors of the darkness.
18 “But they disappear like foam down a river.
    Everything they own is cursed,
    and they are afraid to enter their own vineyards.
19 The grave[a] consumes sinners
    just as drought and heat consume snow.
20 Their own mothers will forget them.
    Maggots will find them sweet to eat.
No one will remember them.
    Wicked people are broken like a tree in the storm.
21 They cheat the woman who has no son to help her.
    They refuse to help the needy widow.
22 “God, in his power, drags away the rich.
    They may rise high, but they have no assurance of life.
23 They may be allowed to live in security,
    but God is always watching them.
24 And though they are great now,
    in a moment they will be gone like all others,
    cut off like heads of grain.
25 Can anyone claim otherwise?
    Who can prove me wrong?”
 
Love,
 
Jonathan

P. O. Box

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Hi Peeps,

 

Today’s Quote

“Get your own Priority P. O. Box with God so that you can get your mail, messages, and packages in a timely fashion, in the best professional way, without delay.”  ~  Jon Barnes

Deliver

God delivers expediently, efficiently, and successfully all of the time, you we are often to lazy, cheap, and slow to go to the Spiritual Post Office to pick up messages, packages, shipments, and other correspondence to do a great job.  We expect God to do everything, as if He is our Master/Slave! Unopened mail and packages will be stamped, Returned to Sender.

Priority

Prioritize your actions of faith by completing each simple step and accomplishing the delivery of your goals in Christ.  Stop making excuses and just do it.  You pay for the extra postage from your personal savings. God’s Postal Service is the only one that sends messages to Heaven to get your eternal PassPort, Connection, and Instructions from God. This is your top priority.

Mail

Stop holding and hoarding junk mail and trash in your house and P.O. Box so that you can get and respond to the message, information, and packages God is sending you.  Clarify your steps with organization, purpose, planning, and understanding. Many will not pick up the mail, innovations, and packages because of unbelief, hypocrisy, and wicked behavior.
Today’s Question
Did you run out of Spiritual Stamps or Postal Services that connects you to God and His message of Truth, Repentance, Justice, and Obedience or are you using the carrier from hell to deliver your fate, packages, and soul?
Enjoy The Reading
 

Job 18 

Bildad’s Second Response to Job

18 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
“How long before you stop talking?
    Speak sense if you want us to answer!
Do you think we are mere animals?
    Do you think we are stupid?
You may tear out your hair in anger,
    but will that destroy the earth?
    Will it make the rocks tremble?
“Surely the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
    The sparks of their fire will not glow.
The light in their tent will grow dark.
    The lamp hanging above them will be quenched.
The confident stride of the wicked will be shortened.
    Their own schemes will be their downfall.
The wicked walk into a net.
    They fall into a pit.
A trap grabs them by the heel.
    A snare holds them tight.
10 A noose lies hidden on the ground.
    A rope is stretched across their path.
11 “Terrors surround the wicked
    and trouble them at every step.
12 Hunger depletes their strength,
    and calamity waits for them to stumble.
13 Disease eats their skin;
    death devours their limbs.
14 They are torn from the security of their homes
    and are brought down to the king of terrors.
15 The homes of the wicked will burn down;
    burning sulfur rains on their houses.
16 Their roots will dry up,
    and their branches will wither.
17 All memory of their existence will fade from the earth;
    no one will remember their names.
18 They will be thrust from light into darkness,
    driven from the world.
19 They will have neither children nor grandchildren,
    nor any survivor in the place where they lived.
20 People in the west are appalled at their fate;
    people in the east are horrified.
21 They will say, ‘This was the home of a wicked person,
    the place of one who rejected God.’”
 
Love,
 
Jonathan