Pull

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Pay attention to what pulls you, and ask God to help align the steps you take.”

TB

Sucker Punch

The devil plays dirty and he will do everything in his power to rile you up. If you find yourself toiling and stewing on the things you cannot change, hit the Good Book to arm yourself with the Truth.

Open Hand

Don’t get goaded into a fight with the opposition, instead resist and ignore him. His pestering schemes are frustrating but they are innocuous. God has already won, so be still.

Today’s Question

Are you relying on God to not get pulled into the opposition’s nonsense?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 35

1 Then Moses called together the whole community of Israel and told them, “These are the instructions the LORD has commanded you to follow. 2 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD . Anyone who works on that day must be put to death. 3 You must not even light a fire in any of your homes on the Sabbath.” 4 Then Moses said to the whole community of Israel, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 Take a sacred offering for the LORD . Let those with generous hearts present the following gifts to the LORD : gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; 7 tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; 9 onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. 10 “Come, all of you who are gifted craftsmen. Construct everything that the LORD has commanded: 11 the Tabernacle and its sacred tent, its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts, and bases; 12 the Ark and its carrying poles; the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement; the inner curtain to shield the Ark; 13 the table, its carrying poles, and all its utensils; the Bread of the Presence; 14 for light, the lampstand, its accessories, the lamp cups, and the olive oil for lighting; 15 the incense altar and its carrying poles; the anointing oil and fragrant incense; the curtain for the entrance of the Tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering; the bronze grating of the altar and its carrying poles and utensils; the washbasin with its stand; 17 the curtains for the walls of the courtyard; the posts and their bases; the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; 18 the tent pegs of the Tabernacle and courtyard and their ropes; 19 the beautifully stitched garments for the priests to wear while ministering in the Holy Place—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests.” 20 So the whole community of Israel left Moses and returned to their tents. 21 All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the LORD . They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle, for the performance of its rituals, and for the sacred garments. 22 Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the LORD their offerings of gold—brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the LORD . 23 All those who owned the following items willingly brought them: blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; and tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather. 24 And all who had silver and bronze objects gave them as a sacred offering to the LORD . And those who had acacia wood brought it for use in the project. 25 All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen cloth. 26 All the women who were willing used their skills to spin the goat hair into yarn. 27 The leaders brought onyx stones and the special gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. 28 They also brought spices and olive oil for the light, the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense. 29 So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the LORD had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the LORD . 30 Then Moses told the people of Israel, “The LORD has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 The LORD has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 32 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 33 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. 34 And the LORD has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. 35 The LORD has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.

Be Still

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be still and know that God is infinitely more powerful than anything the opposition may throw at you.”

TB

Deflated Sails

As you draw nearer to Christ, the opposition will test you harder and more frequently. This is because when you make the decision to shine your God-given light, you’re impeding on the evil one’s agenda. So what does that look like? He will throw wrenches in the relationships that you have with your family, friends, and coworkers. And, if you’re one to try and fix things, you’ll be tempted to add your two cents into the mix to solve the issues. Friends, even though these moments may make you feel like someone has knocked the wind from your sails, know that we serve a higher power.

Stand Down

If you’re noticing that things are occurring beyond your control, it is an opportunity to be still and let God be God. Rather than inserting yourself into a work issue, fall back. When your loved ones come to you with a complicated situation, consult God. While we may learn things as we grow in Christ, we will never be the True arbitrators of wisdom. So when the opposition throws his deceptive schemes into your line of sight, God is the one who will ultimately solve the equation. So why be still? Being still and waiting on the Lord shows submission and understanding that God’s wisdom will supersede our own. So be still and know that God is on the throne.

Today’s Question

Who’s still acting like their plans are more strategic than God’s. How’s that working out for you?

Enjoy the reading

Zephaniah 3

1 What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime! 2 No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the LORD or draw near to its God. 3 Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. 4 Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions. 5 But the LORD is still there in the city, and he does no wrong. Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail. But the wicked know no shame. 6 “I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their streets are now deserted; their cities lie in silent ruin. There are no survivors— none at all. 7 I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings. Then I won’t need to strike again, destroying their homes.’ But no, they get up early to continue their evil deeds. 8 Therefore, be patient,” says the LORD . “Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations. For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them. All the earth will be devoured by the fire of my jealousy. 9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the LORD together. 10 My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. 11 On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. 12 Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the LORD . 13 The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.” 14 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15 For the LORD will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the LORD himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. 16 On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! 17 For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 18 “I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. 19 And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. 20 On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

The Guilt/Gratitude Connection

 

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When guilt rears its ugly head, gratitude is the best strategy to defeat it.”~TB

The Shame Game

I have an annoying tendency to downplay my talents and strengths while drilling down on my areas of improvement. More interesting, I know a lot of people who do that too, which makes me wonder why? I could be “killing it” in different areas of my life, but if I’m not paying attention, my inner video of “greatest shame hits” plays, attempting to eclipse the victories that have occurred. When we lean into those shameful periods and feelings, we fall trap into negative cyclical thinking that ultimately steers us back to the very behaviors we’d like to avoid. An untethered mind is a dangerous place. We all have different inner voices, ideas, and thoughts that can uplift or deter us, which is why it’s so important to know who and what you’re listening to.

Attitude of Gratitude

So instead of focusing on your past transgressions (we all have them) look at the gifts and grace that God provides you with gratitude. We’ve all been spared the wrath that we each justly deserve and there are so many minor miracles that we all tend to forget about, but they occur each and every day. If you find yourself in a new position, be grateful and reflect on the situations you’ve experienced that prepare you for this new road. The opposition deceives you when you believe that being down and out is the only way of life. Gratitude defeats the nefarious schemes of shame and the opposition. It allows us to see ourselves as God sees us. God’s Will is mighty and wondrous, but it is up to us to individually and consistently put down our cup of shame and pick up the peace of gratitude.

Today’s Question

Are you listening to the lies of shame or embracing God’s mercy with gratitude?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 35

1 This is the message the LORD gave Jeremiah when Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah: 
2 “Go to the settlement where the families of the Recabites live, and invite them to the LORD ’s Temple. Take them into one of the inner rooms, and offer them some wine.” 
3 So I went to see Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah and grandson of Habazziniah and all his brothers and sons—representing all the Recabite families. 
4 I took them to the Temple, and we went into the room assigned to the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, a man of God. This room was located next to the one used by the Temple officials, directly above the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum, the Temple gatekeeper. 
5 I set cups and jugs of wine before them and invited them to have a drink, 
6 but they refused. “No,” they said, “we don’t drink wine, because our ancestor Jehonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘You and your descendants must never drink wine. 
7 And do not build houses or plant crops or vineyards, but always live in tents. If you follow these commands, you will live long, good lives in the land.’ 
8 So we have obeyed him in all these things. We have never had a drink of wine to this day, nor have our wives, our sons, or our daughters. 
9 We haven’t built houses or owned vineyards or farms or planted crops. 
10 We have lived in tents and have fully obeyed all the commands of Jehonadab, our ancestor. 
11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked this country, we were afraid of the Babylonian and Syrian armies. So we decided to move to Jerusalem. That is why we are here.” 
12 Then the LORD gave this message to Jeremiah: 
13 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Go and say to the people in Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Come and learn a lesson about how to obey me. 
14 The Recabites do not drink wine to this day because their ancestor Jehonadab told them not to. But I have spoken to you again and again, and you refuse to obey me. 
15 Time after time I sent you prophets, who told you, “Turn from your wicked ways, and start doing things right. Stop worshiping other gods so that you might live in peace here in the land I have given to you and your ancestors.” But you would not listen to me or obey me. 
16 The descendants of Jehonadab son of Recab have obeyed their ancestor completely, but you have refused to listen to me.’ 
17 “Therefore, this is what the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you refuse to listen or answer when I call, I will send upon Judah and Jerusalem all the disasters I have threatened.’” 
18 Then Jeremiah turned to the Recabites and said, “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘You have obeyed your ancestor Jehonadab in every respect, following all his instructions.’ 
19 Therefore, this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Jehonadab son of Recab will always have descendants who serve me.’”

Have and Have-Nots

sunday-1358907_1920

Hi Peeps,

 

Today’s Quote

“We all have gifts that we can fully tap into and hone, the trouble lies when we focus on the gifts of others, rather our own.”

Haves

The haves are those who keep their eyes on the prize, unyielding in the work that God has set before them. Rain or shine, they understand what is at stake when it comes to getting the job done. Publicly we see the reaping of their hard work, which looks effortless to those who are unwise.

Have-nots

The have-nots are those who have their eyes on everything but the prize, blaming setbacks and troubles as the reason why they have not completed their work for God. Instead, they gnash their teeth in envy and resentment, convinced that the haves are plotting against them, rather than looking in the mirror. Publicly, we seem them making every excuse as to why they’re struggling.

Trading Teams

If you find yourself on “team Have-nots” fortunately for us, God gives us a renewed spirit each and every day. It is up to us to tap into that source, to persevere and press on in our paths. Trade up to “team Haves” today.

 

Today’s Question

Are you utilizing God’s daily grace to stay on the haves team?

Enjoy the Reading

 

Worshiping Other Gods

1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 
2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 
3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 
4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 
5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. 
6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 
7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 
8do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 
9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 
10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again. 
12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 
13 that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 
14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 
15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 
16You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt, 
17 and none of the condemned things are to be found in your hands. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors—
18 because you obey the LORD your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.

The Good Struggle

 

tug-of-war-673571_1280
Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“I’m excited that We all struggle to maintain a balance with work, schedules, family, health, money, food, cleaning, fixing, playing, sleeping, eating, sharing, and the like, as the Spirit fights with our fleshy ways!  Breathe, God still provided air for us, Today; No Doubt about it and all of His Unlimited Blessings!”
~ Jon Barnes

One Step at a Time

We take one step at a time to focus on finishing one thing at a time with quality, speed, and accuracy.  Your steps become ordered because of your obedience to truth and not because of your talent.  Once you have mastered a type of routine in your daily schedule, you can manage more things throughout the day. However, let the main thing be the main thing to complete, while the secondary targets are bonus points and rewards for good quality service. Thank God for your time and steps.

Good Quality Service

Good Quality Service takes honest time, money, investment, product, and execution of deliverables.  While many seem to cut corners, old fashioned and new ideas must have a proper balance.  God’s Word of quality never changes, yet we can use technology, creativity, and innovation to spread the true meaning of Biblical Service, work, and lifestyle.  Each day is quality unto God. Thank God for your quality service.

The Good Rest

Resting, working, praying, thinking, doing, sleeping, obeying, and loving are all acts of faith towards walking with God and helping others.  But first, you must drink from the cup yourself to sustain your balance of love, life, liberty, happiness, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, and humility each day as you wake up, pray, and work for the day.  The Good Rest allows you to see the Good Picture and do the Good Work. I pray that you Enjoy your Good Rest each day.  You earned it!  Stop Struggling and do your job. Thank God for your Good Rest!
Today’s Question
Are distractions making you struggle, not being thankful for God’s blessings?
Enjoy today’s Reading.

Luke 2New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Love Y’ all Madly,
Jonathan