Tug of War

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t try to fight your battles on your own unless you want to be in a constant tug of war with your flesh, the world, and the devil.”~TB

Battlefield

It’s important to know your opposition, weaknesses, and stumbling blocks because in the battle for your mind, body, and soul, all bets are off. Your flesh won’t fight fair, neither will the world or the evil one. This isn’t to say that you should fear these things. No, but to understand what you’re dealing with gives you the reality that you need God to intervene so that you can win the war.

MVP

When you’re sick of struggling to deal with the thorn in your side, ask God to join your team. With Him on your side, your game of tug of war is no match for the opposing team. Christ is like having the best player as a teammate, as you are able to rely on His Power to make up what you lack. To experience this, you must know that the battle cannot be won on your own accord. Get on Team Jesus so that He can thwart the enemy.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to stop playing tug of war on your own?

Enjoy the reading

Song of Solomon 8

1 Oh, I wish you were my brother, who nursed at my mother’s breasts. Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me.
2 I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.
3 Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me.
4 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.
5 Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover? Young Woman I aroused you under the apple tree, where your mother gave you birth, where in great pain she delivered you.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
8 We have a little sister too young to have breasts. What will we do for our sister if someone asks to marry her?
9 If she is a virgin, like a wall, we will protect her with a silver tower. But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door, we will block her door with a cedar bar.
10 I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees.
11 Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon, which he leases out to tenant farmers. Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver for harvesting its fruit.
12 But my vineyard is mine to give, and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver. But I will give two hundred pieces to those who care for its vines.
13 O my darling, lingering in the gardens, your companions are fortunate to hear your voice. Let me hear it, too!
14 Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.

Assist

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When you’re operating in your Holy position, it’s easier for you to assist a teammate in need.”~TB

One Team

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are on one team, which means it’s in our best interest to help one another succeed. Operating in this mindset, you’re able to lay down the offenses of your teammates to help with the assist so that they can shoot and score. When they score a point, so do you! So friends, don’t ball hog, just because you may be a better scorer. Instead, look to the Bible to understand the playbook so you can hook your teammates up with a stellar pass. God sees who is helping their teammates. He also sees who are holding each other back. Make sure you’re being a good teammate!

One Goal

Even the best teammates need a break. When a star player is tired and weak, they are more susceptible to injury. If you see a teammate in need, call a timeout, sub in, and make the play on their behalf! Friends, we all grow tired and weary, which is why we need one another to achieve victory. No one Christian is capable of scoring all of the shots, which is why our Coach in Heaven gives drills, practices, and games to all of His players. When you understand that everyone is able to make the winning shot, sharing, caring, and assisting becomes the most important part of the game.

Today’s Question

Are you assisting your teammates or are you ball hogging?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 136

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 
2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. 
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. 
4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever. 
5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. 
6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever. 
7Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights— His faithful love endures forever. 
8 the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever. 
9 and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever. 
10Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever. 
11 He brought Israel out of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever. 
12 He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. His faithful love endures forever. 
13 Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. 
14 He led Israel safely through, His faithful love endures forever. 
15 but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. 
16 Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever. 
17 Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. His faithful love endures forever. 
18 He killed powerful kings— His faithful love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites, His faithful love endures forever. 
20 and Og king of Bashan. His faithful love endures forever. 
21 God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance— His faithful love endures forever. 
22 a special possession to his servant Israel. His faithful love endures forever.
23 He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.
24 He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. 
25He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. 
26Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.

Know Your Opponent

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“It is important to study and learn the tricks of the enemy so you know exactly who you’re dealing with and how to avoid the traps.”~TB

Defense

If you look at any successful professional athlete, one thing is abundantly clear, they study their opponent. They learn how the opposing team plays, their best moves, and most importantly, their weaknesses. Friends, to create a solid defense against the devil, you must understand who you’re dealing with. This isn’t to scare you, but for you to gain confidence in your game of life.  Faith grows by trust and action. To get the best defense, study the Word. Evil’s greatest weakness is the Truth, God is on the throne and a fallen angel is powerless to overturn an already won championship. When your defense is Biblically based, you’re able to sidestep the nonsense to shoot the J.

Offense

When your defense is based on the Truth, your offense looks bright because you’re shining in the light of salvation. Trust that God’s playbook contains the right offensive plays for you to score in your game of life. If you let Him, He’ll even teach you how to play with others. Armed with the Truth, you can assist your teammates, helping them score their Holy jump shot because you know this is a team effort and that everyone has the talent to give. Playing as a unit, the opposition cannot steal your ball because your plays are Biblically based. The devil cannot even compete and his team is easily swept by God’s Holy unit. How wonderful it is to be on the undefeated team!

Today’s Question

Are you playing on the right team or is it time for a trade?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 109

1 O God, whom I praise, don’t stand silent and aloof 
2 while the wicked slander me and tell lies about me. 
3 They surround me with hateful words and fight against me for no reason. 
4 I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations even as I am praying for them! 
5 They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love. 
6 They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him. Send an accuser to bring him to trial. 
7 When his case comes up for judgment, let him be pronounced guilty. Count his prayers as sins. 
8Let his years be few; let someone else take his position. 
9 May his children become fatherless, and his wife a widow. 
10 May his children wander as beggars and be driven from their ruined homes. 
11 May creditors seize his entire estate, and strangers take all he has earned. 
12Let no one be kind to him; let no one pity his fatherless children. 
13 May all his offspring die. May his family name be blotted out in the next generation. 
14 May the LORD never forget the sins of his fathers; may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record. 
15 May the LORD always remember these sins, and may his name disappear from human memory.
16 For he refused all kindness to others; he persecuted the poor and needy, and he hounded the brokenhearted to death. 
17 He loved to curse others; now you curse him. He never blessed others; now don’t you bless him. 
18 Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing, or the water he drinks, or the rich food he eats. 
19 Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing; may they be tied around him like a belt.” 
20 May those curses become the LORD ’s punishment for my accusers who speak evil of me. 
21 But deal well with me, O Sovereign LORD, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good. 
22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain. 
23 I am fading like a shadow at dusk; I am brushed off like a locust. 
24 My knees are weak from fasting, and I am skin and bones. 
25 I am a joke to people everywhere; when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn. 
26 Help me, O LORD my God! Save me because of your unfailing love. 
27 Let them see that this is your doing, that you yourself have done it, LORD . 
28Then let them curse me if they like, but you will bless me! When they attack me, they will be disgraced! But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing! 
29May my accusers be clothed with disgrace; may their humiliation cover them like a cloak. 
30 But I will give repeated thanks to the LORD, praising him to everyone. 
31 For he stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them.

 

Call

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“People start to call you because you are the expert they need to fix their situation and bring hope and real solutions to problems.” ~ Jon Barnes

Stories

Your personal stories and experiences will match the solutions to another person’s problems because you were willing to share the love and expertise with your time and energy.  These natural conversations and encounters at your local, workshops, conventions, churches, colleges, clinics, classes, gigs, lessons, schools, festivals, gym, spa treatments, jam sessions, and seminars are public places used to mentor, advise, motivate, and inspire people to manage and govern our communities more effectively, fairly, honestly, passionately, and completely.

Package

Become the complete package to illustrate the vision, focus, dedication, skill set, and integrity it will take to wrap up and effect positive change in your area. Write your own book. Don’t allow negative people to run and rule over you. Package yourself as the leader to help improve your community and nurture your family to follow God’s footsteps of love. God will help you in your calling! The quality of how your family operates will dictate the success of your calling.

Delivery

Executing your goals, dreams, and ideas will require a lifetime of self-help, studies, prayer, patience, practice, scheduling, adjusting, compromising, teamwork, and faith to continue the journey to completion. Being who you are with love is not a simple or easy task. You must improve and grow with grace, mercy, kindness, and love in order to facilitate and implement the task of leadership, innovation, and team building. You cannot do the job all by yourself. Your family is the most important asset and calling to master, inspire, and set up first. 
Today’s Question
Are you performing and perfecting your ministry of help in the calling on your life, with God’s direction and help or did you call yourself?
Enjoy The Reading

1 Kings 18 

The Contest on Mount Carmel

18 Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!” So Elijah went to appear before Ahab.
Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria. So Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devoted follower of the Lord. Once when Jezebel had tried to kill all the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had hidden 100 of them in two caves. He put fifty prophets in each cave and supplied them with food and water.) Ahab said to Obadiah, “We must check every spring and valley in the land to see if we can find enough grass to save at least some of my horses and mules.” So they divided the land between them. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
As Obadiah was walking along, he suddenly saw Elijah coming toward him. Obadiah recognized him at once and bowed low to the ground before him. “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?” he asked.
“Yes, it is,” Elijah replied. “Now go and tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”
“Oh, sir,” Obadiah protested, “what harm have I done to you that you are sending me to my death at the hands of Ahab? 10 For I swear by the Lord your God that the king has searched every nation and kingdom on earth from end to end to find you. And each time he was told, ‘Elijah isn’t here,’ King Ahab forced the king of that nation to swear to the truth of his claim. 11 And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ 12 But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you away to who knows where. When Ahab comes and cannot find you, he will kill me. Yet I have been a true servant of the Lord all my life. 13 Has no one told you, my lord, about the time when Jezebel was trying to kill the Lord’s prophets? I hid 100 of them in two caves and supplied them with food and water.14 And now you say, ‘Go and tell your master, “Elijah is here.”’ Sir, if I do that, Ahab will certainly kill me.”
15 But Elijah said, “I swear by the Lord Almighty, in whose presence I stand, that I will present myself to Ahab this very day.”
16 So Obadiah went to tell Ahab that Elijah had come, and Ahab went out to meet Elijah. 17 When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?”
18 “I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. 19 Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel.[a]
20 So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel.21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.
22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets. 23 Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. 24 Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed.
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”
26 So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.
27 About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself.[b] Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”
28 So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out. 29 They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.
30 Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one to represent each of the tribes of Israel,[c] 32 and he used the stones to rebuild the altar in the name of the Lord. Then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold about three gallons.[d] 33 He piled wood on the altar, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood.[e]
Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”
34 After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said, 35 and the water ran around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,[f] prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. 37 Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”
38 Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”
40 Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.

Elijah Prays for Rain

41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!”
42 So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.
43 Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.”
The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.”
Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. 44 Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”
Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”
45 And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 46 Then the Lord gave special strength to Elijah. He tucked his cloak into his belt[g] and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot all the way to the entrance of Jezreel.
Love,
Jonathan

Skipped

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Don’t let the joys and blessings of God skip your generation because you are a knuckleheaded, unteachable, wicked person.” ~ Jon Barnes

Mad

Don’t be mad at God for exposing the truth. Get mad at yourself for not listening to the truth. Your daily actions speak for your work and words. Each day I must practice my music, writing, giving, playing, praying, listening, helping, loving, and the likes. When I don’t make the time to do these wonderful things, I get mad at myself for being hard headed and stiff-necked. I know better and so do you.

Find

Find the courage to look at yourself in the mirror and ask God to help you make the honest, tough, adjustments, corrections, and improvements in your own life.  Stop using the excuses of old. You cannot stop God or His Truth!  So change yourself! You will find that nothing can stop God. Play on the winning team and enjoy the fight of your life.  Choose to fight on the winning team or the losing team. Find God’s winning team and run with His PlayBook of wisdom.

Teachers

Good teachers find ways and resources to pour into students and effect change. By faith, they chisel the rock of ignorance and model instructions of hope and love that sculpt and shape creative learning and intellect. The art of studying God’s solutions manual is like smoothing out a statue of marble or iron-like substance to create a picture of justice and beauty that lasts for generations to copy and follow in God’s footsteps. The problem is that each generation must learn, clean, own, and take care of the solutions manual that God has so generously provided for us to use.
Today’s Questions
Why are you not doing the work of Love for God with your own hands, instead of being a fool? 
Enjoy The reading

1 Kings 16 

16 This message from the Lord was delivered to King Baasha by the prophet Jehu son of Hanani: “I lifted you out of the dust to make you ruler of my people Israel, but you have followed the evil example of Jeroboam. You have provoked my anger by causing my people Israel to sin. So now I will destroy you and your family, just as I destroyed the descendants of Jeroboam son of Nebat. The members of Baasha’s family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.”
The rest of the events in Baasha’s reign and the extent of his power are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. When Baasha died, he was buried in Tirzah. Then his son Elah became the next king.
The message from the Lord against Baasha and his family came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani. It was delivered because Baasha had done what was evil in the Lord’s sight (just as the family of Jeroboam had done), and also because Baasha had destroyed the family of Jeroboam. The Lord’s anger was provoked by Baasha’s sins.

Elah Rules in Israel

Elah son of Baasha began to rule over Israel in the twenty-sixth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in the city of Tirzah for two years.
Then Zimri, who commanded half of the royal chariots, made plans to kill him. One day in Tirzah, Elah was getting drunk at the home of Arza, the supervisor of the palace. 10 Zimri walked in and struck him down and killed him. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. Then Zimri became the next king.
11 Zimri immediately killed the entire royal family of Baasha, leaving him not even a single male child. He even destroyed distant relatives and friends. 12 So Zimri destroyed the dynasty of Baasha as the Lord had promised through the prophet Jehu. 13 This happened because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed, and because of the sins they led Israel to commit. They provoked the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, with their worthless idols.
14 The rest of the events in Elah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.

Zimri Rules in Israel

15 Zimri began to rule over Israel in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa’s reign in Judah, but his reign in Tirzah lasted only seven days. The army of Israel was then attacking the Philistine town of Gibbethon. 16 When they heard that Zimri had committed treason and had assassinated the king, that very day they chose Omri, commander of the army, as the new king of Israel. 17 So Omri led the entire army of Israel up from Gibbethon to attack Tirzah, Israel’s capital. 18 When Zimri saw that the city had been taken, he went into the citadel of the palace and burned it down over himself and died in the flames. 19 For he, too, had done what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam in all the sins he had committed and led Israel to commit.
20 The rest of the events in Zimri’s reign and his conspiracy are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.

Omri Rules in Israel

21 But now the people of Israel were split into two factions. Half the people tried to make Tibni son of Ginath their king, while the other half supported Omri. 22 But Omri’s supporters defeated the supporters of Tibni. So Tibni was killed, and Omri became the next king.
23 Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-first year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned twelve years in all, six of them in Tirzah. 24 Then Omri bought the hill now known as Samaria from its owner, Shemer, for 150 pounds of silver.[a] He built a city on it and called the city Samaria in honor of Shemer.
25 But Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him. 26 He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat in all the sins he had committed and led Israel to commit. The people provoked the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, with their worthless idols.
27 The rest of the events in Omri’s reign, the extent of his power, and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 28 When Omri died, he was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became the next king.

Ahab Rules in Israel

29 Ahab son of Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 But Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him.31 And as though it were not enough to follow the sinful example of Jeroboam, he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to bow down in worship of Baal. 32 First Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria. 33 Then he set up an Asherah pole. He did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.
34 It was during his reign that Hiel, a man from Bethel, rebuilt Jericho. When he laid its foundations, it cost him the life of his oldest son, Abiram. And when he completed it and set up its gates, it cost him the life of his youngest son, Segub.[b]This all happened according to the message from the Lord concerning Jericho spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
Love,
Jonathan

Team Effort

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“Do your part and your team, family, and job will thrive and become inspired since God loves a cheerful giver!” ~ Jon Barnes

Cheap

Profit is not the bottom line, the faith of your life’s good work is the bottom line in God! Since you cannot buy God’s attention and acceptance, like you bribe people, friends, and family, you should change this cheapskate thinking. I refuse to be a part of a team of evil, self-centered cheapskates who bark out orders without thought, love, or integrity. As you make money, steady your motives of kindness, mercifulness, and loveliness towards your people.

New Teams

New teams and players are required to move forward when God’s playbook is not being implemented. I laugh when people try to reinvent God and His Plans. God is simply God. Don’t rewrite what is stated in His Book! He is in perfect control of all things with the parameters He has set for us. Understand who is on God’s team, work, and support the cause. The love of money is not your cause.

The Cause

You will not fully understand the cause unless you do the homework, study, and practice the lifestyle God has for you. I cannot do your homework, think, or make you love God, instead of your money, fame, status, title, and pride.  My goal is merely to point you to the source of how God works in your life. The game of life is like a brief afternoon. Enjoy the time you spend with your Heavenly Father on earth and smile that you are able to do so because you know Him.
Today’s Question
Do you know God and are you playing on the wrong team with the fake father of lies and wicked ideas?
Enjoy the Reading

2 Samuel 23 

David’s Last Words

23 These are the last words of David:
“David, the son of Jesse, speaks—
    David, the man who was raised up so high,
David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
    David, the sweet psalmist of Israel.[a]
“The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me;
    his words are upon my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke.
    The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The one who rules righteously,
    who rules in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning at sunrise,
    like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
    on new grass after rain.’
“Is it not my family God has chosen?
    Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me.
His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail.
    He will ensure my safety and success.
But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away,
    for they tear the hand that touches them.
One must use iron tools to chop them down;
    they will be totally consumed by fire.”

David’s Mightiest Warriors

These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite,[b] who was leader of the Three[c]—the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.[d]
Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!
11 Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12 but Shammah[e] held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.
13 Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there.14 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
15 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17 “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men[f] who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.

David’s Thirty Mighty Men

18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.[g] He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 19 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty[h] and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.
20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior[i] from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions[j] of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it.22 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors.23 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.
24 Other members of the Thirty included:
Asahel, Joab’s brother;
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;
25 Shammah from Harod;
Elika from Harod;
26 Helez from Pelon[k];
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;
27 Abiezer from Anathoth;
Sibbecai[l] from Hushah;
28 Zalmon from Ahoah;
Maharai from Netophah;
29 Heled[m] son of Baanah from Netophah;
Ithai[n] son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin);
30 Benaiah from Pirathon;
Hurai[o] from Nahale-gaash[p];
31 Abi-albon from Arabah;
Azmaveth from Bahurim;
32 Eliahba from Shaalbon;
the sons of Jashen;
Jonathan 33 son of Shagee[q] from Harar;
Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar;
34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah;
Eliam son of Ahithophel from Giloh;
35 Hezro from Carmel;
Paarai from Arba;
36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah;
Bani from Gad;
37 Zelek from Ammon;
Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah;
38 Ira from Jattir;
Gareb from Jattir;
39 Uriah the Hittite.
There were thirty-seven in all.
Love,
Jonathan

Behaviors

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  Hi Peeps
Today’s Quote
“As you age, you should have developed good habits and behaviors that will carry you for the rest of your life in God’s Will. It is the job of the next generation to pick out those habits and improve upon them.”  ~ Jon Barnes

Personal

Practicing who you are is personal. Your character is developed on your own, with your own thoughts that are focused on God’s Love or the devil’s workshop. Your job is to know what you are thinking to stay focused on who you love, God or wickedness.  Your actions spin in control or out of control, based on your steps towards or away from God.

Selection

You choose and select from the menu of life because God has given us this option to be who we are and to run our personal race. Each person is an Olympic athlete unto God and your training schedule, diet, thoughts, routines, and good works are logged on His Holy iPad.  There is a delete button at the gate of Heaven for many people who choose behaviors that are not consistent with the fruit of the Spirit. 

Members

Members of God’s Olympic Team are all Gold Medalists who improved their personal walk over time, did the work, kept the faith, helped others, followed God’s Olympic Manual and rules of the games.  Our lives passed the Olympic test of Commandment, Procedures, and Consistent Love for honest repentance and improvements towards God in our brief moments in time. The time you’ve spent doing what you do, defined your behaviors towards God and your Olympic Holy Metal and passport into Heaven.
Today’s Question
Do you behave like an Olympic Champion for God or did you give up and quit your training?
Enjoy Your Reading

Judges 19 

A Levite and His Concubine

19 In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.
On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.
Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.
11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”
12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.
16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”
18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night.19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”
20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.
22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”
25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”
Love,
Jonathan

Have and Have-Nots

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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.