Circus

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“When the world feels like a bad circus, lean on God to get out of the maze.”

TB

Maze

The devil will have you believing that your life is like being trapped in a mirror maze– so confusing and difficult to get out of. But friends, it’s a trap to make you feel helpless when in reality, it’s an optical illusion.

Mirror

When you’re experiencing a circus-like disruption in your life, don’t forget God is always in the equation. In fact, He is the equation. Many of us forget to seek God first in a crisis. So, in the next circus, lean on Christ and mirror His ways.

Today’s Question

Did you forget that the opposition’s circus is already out of business when you trust God more than your circumstance?

Enjoy the reading

Genesis 30

1 When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” 2 Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” 3 Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.” 4 So Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. 6 Rachel named him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.” 7 Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I’m winning!” 9 Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. 11 Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How fortunate I am!” 12 Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.” 14 One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes growing in a field and brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole my husband? Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?” Rachel answered, “I will let Jacob sleep with you tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.” 16 So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must come and sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrakes that my son found.” So that night he slept with Leah. 17 And God answered Leah’s prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 She named him Issachar, for she said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband as a wife.” 19 Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20 She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” 21 Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. 22 Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed my disgrace,” she said. 24 And she named him Joseph, for she said, “May the LORD add yet another son to my family.” 25 Soon after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Please release me so I can go home to my own country. 26 Let me take my wives and children, for I have earned them by serving you, and let me be on my way. You certainly know how hard I have worked for you.” 27 “Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for the LORD has blessed me because of you. 28 Tell me how much I owe you. Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.” 29 Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you, and how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. 30 You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The LORD has blessed you through everything I’ve done. But now, what about me? When can I start providing for my own family?” 31 “What wages do you want?” Laban asked again. Jacob replied, “Don’t give me anything. Just do this one thing, and I’ll continue to tend and watch over your flocks. 32 Let me inspect your flocks today and remove all the sheep and goats that are speckled or spotted, along with all the black sheep. Give these to me as my wages. 33 In the future, when you check on the animals you have given me as my wages, you’ll see that I have been honest. If you find in my flock any goats without speckles or spots, or any sheep that are not black, you will know that I have stolen them from you.” 34 “All right,” Laban replied. “It will be as you say.” 35 But that very day Laban went out and removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted or had white patches, and all the black sheep. He placed them in the care of his own sons, 36 who took them a three-days’ journey from where Jacob was. Meanwhile, Jacob stayed and cared for the rest of Laban’s flock. 37 Then Jacob took some fresh branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled off strips of bark, making white streaks on them. 38 Then he placed these peeled branches in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, for that was where they mated. 39 And when they mated in front of the white-streaked branches, they gave birth to young that were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated those lambs from Laban’s flock. And at mating time he turned the flock to face Laban’s animals that were streaked or black. This is how he built his own flock instead of increasing Laban’s. 41 Whenever the stronger females were ready to mate, Jacob would place the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of them. Then they would mate in front of the branches. 42 But he didn’t do this with the weaker ones, so the weaker lambs belonged to Laban, and the stronger ones were Jacob’s. 43 As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.

Compelling

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Just because a lie sounds compelling, does not negate the fact that it’s a lie.”

TB

Compiled

Humans are unnecessarily complicated in the fact that when left to our own devices, we’ll allow ourselves to get tricked into accepting sinful behaviors due to our unmitigated pride. So what does that look like? First, we want to engage in something that we know is inherently against God’s will for us. Second, we will find like-minded individuals to support our sinful agenda. Third, we’ll intellectualize and form “logical arguments” for our need for this sin. Then, we’ll inject our compiled lies, backed back manmade thinking and logic, in the hopes that we trick double-minded people into our deception. As the support for it grows (as it always will) people who fail to build their relationship with God then bow down to societal pressure because of the ‘facts, theories, and burgeoning support’ from those with sin-filled agendas. Friends, do not live as an empty vessel, unable to discern what is of God and what is from man. There is a distinct difference for those who can see and hear.

Combatted

The only way we rise above becoming embroiled in sin is when we combat it with the Truth that is Christ. While we will always fall (very) short of a sinless life, we can avoid living enslaved to sin. This starts by understanding and accepting the need for salvation. Then we must get to know Christ through the Holy Spirit and the Bible because that is the Truth. When we study, reflect, and live out the Truth, we lower our propensity to seek out alternative (sinful) realities. By doing so, we learn the deceptive tactics of the evil one and how he will use and manipulate people into doing his bidding. So how can we root out the lies from the Truth? Reflect, study, and understand the patterns of our flesh-driven nature. Then weigh those ideals against the Holy Spirit and the Bible. It is easier to fall in line and accept the approval of the world. It is far more disciplined to align with Christ, yet the reward is eternal. So friends, don’t be compelled by worldly lies.

Today’s Question

If a lie is repeated and practiced 1000000 times, does it make it true?

Enjoy the reading

Amos 5

1 Listen, you people of Israel! Listen to this funeral song I am singing: 2 “The virgin Israel has fallen, never to rise again! She lies abandoned on the ground, with no one to help her up.” 3 The Sovereign LORD says: “When a city sends a thousand men to battle, only a hundred will return. When a town sends a hundred, only ten will come back alive.” 4 Now this is what the LORD says to the family of Israel: “Come back to me and live! 5 Don’t worship at the pagan altars at Bethel; don’t go to the shrines at Gilgal or Beersheba. For the people of Gilgal will be dragged off into exile, and the people of Bethel will be reduced to nothing.” 6 Come back to the LORD and live! Otherwise, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel won’t be able to quench the flames. 7 You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed. You treat the righteous like dirt. 8 It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! 9 With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong, crushing all their defenses. 10 How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! 11 You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. 12 For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. 13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time. 14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. 15 Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. 16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “There will be crying in all the public squares and mourning in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon professional mourners to wail. 17 There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will destroy them all,” says the LORD . 18 What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the LORD were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light. 19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake. 20 Yes, the day of the LORD will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope. 21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. 22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. 23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living. 25 “Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, Israel? 26 No, you served your pagan gods—Sakkuth your king god and Kaiwan your star god—the images you made for yourselves. 27 So I will send you into exile, to a land east of Damascus, ” says the LORD, whose name is the God of Heaven’s Armies.

Policies

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be glad that God doesn’t invoke the same corrupt policies as we do to one another.”~TB

Entrapment

Greed and thievery are cloaked in rules and regulations, trapping the innocent and the uninformed. Our society steals earnings from the vulnerable and act like it’s the cost of doing business. How corrupt! Those in charge are indifferent, hiding behind ‘policy’, knowing full well they are engaging in immoral and evil practices and those enslaved mindlessly endure such abuse. What a world. Friends, we must turn away from stealing from our neighbors and tolerating such abuses, unless slavery is what you truly crave. These policies— legalistic and immoral— are the very same things spoken in the Bible.

Deductible Limit

Image if you came before God to confess and repent your sins and he tells you that you’ve maxed out your Grace deductible and it’s off to hell you go. Fortunately for us, His Grace is infinite and there is no fine print or shady fines to trip us up. When you come before Him, you don’t have to worry about the red tape or policies of this world. He loves you as you are. There is no way to overdraft God’s love for you. Instead of following the ways of the world, adopt God’s method of love. This way you can love others as God loves you. It is there where we can begin to change the corrupt ways of this world.

Today’s Question

If God is so merciful and lenient, why aren’t we?

Ecclesiastes 9

1 This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.
2 The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.
3 It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.
4There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
5 The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
6Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
7 So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!
8 Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.
10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
13 Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works.
14 There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it.
15 A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.
16 So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
17Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.
18 Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good

 

Freedumb

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If God has set you free, don’t be dumb by continuing on with your broken lifestyle.”~TB

Restoration

Through salvation, you are set free from the bondage that comes from the evils of the world, the devil, and your flesh. God does this so you can live in freedom, so don’t be dumb! But, what does that mean? When you walk with Christ, you begin to see the many dumb practices society pushes onto you. With this new clarity, you have a choice to abandon your old ways and adopt better behaviors. When you stay the course, you begin to crave discipline, hard work, kindness, and humility– all of the wonderful Christ-like traits that the Holy Spirit instills in you when you accept God’s highest gift. Friends, if you’ve received Christ, chose freedom, not freedumb.

Destruction

If you don’t cultivate your relationship with God, the trappings of this world will consume because you were not careful. Friends, be discerning with what you consider to be freedom. Expensive things trap you in a cycle of debt. Toxic people trap you in a cycle of anguish and trouble. Drugs and bad substances trap you in a cycle of confusion and numbness. Envying your neighbor traps you in a cycle of anger and jealousy within your heart. These things do not set you free, they enslave you. Should you choose this modern slavery, connecting with God’s teaching becomes much more difficult. Avoid the traps and turn to Him. Walking with God helps you see the battlefield as it truly is. He shows you the landmines so that you may not become a casualty.

Today’s Question

Do you understand the difference between freedom and freedumb?

Enjoy the reading

Proverbs 13

1 A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction. 
2 Wise words will win you a good meal, but treacherous people have an appetite for violence. 
3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. 
4 Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. 
5 The godly hate lies; the wicked cause shame and disgrace. 
6 Godliness guards the path of the blameless, but the evil are misled by sin. 
7 Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor. 
8 The rich can pay a ransom for their lives, but the poor won’t even get threatened. 
9 The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out. 
10 Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. 
11 Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. 
12Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. 
13 People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed. 
14The instruction of the wise is like a life-giving fountain; those who accept it avoid the snares of death. 
15 A person with good sense is respected; a treacherous person is headed for destruction. 
16 Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness. 
17 An unreliable messenger stumbles into trouble, but a reliable messenger brings healing. 
18 If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. 
19 It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them. 
20Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. 
21 Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous. 
22 Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly. 
23 A poor person’s farm may produce much food, but injustice sweeps it all away. 
24Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. 
25 The godly eat to their hearts’ content, but the belly of the wicked goes hungry.

Fixate

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t fixate on your problems, because you may miss God’s solutions and blessing to the resolve it.”~TB

Smoke and Mirrors

The devil will use your setbacks to transfix you on the problems you face. When you are only focused on the problems, you are not paying attention to the Biblically simple solutions that will propel you to the next chapter in your life. Don’t miss your blessing by obsessing over the challenges. Objects are smaller than they appear.

Step Aside

God made you as you are, which means you have the tools to overcome any obstacle. One of the biggest misconceptions about walking with Christ is that all of your fleshly afflictions vanish and life becomes perfect. No, as you mature in Christ, you recognize that your flesh is fickle, so you simply step aside from the traps to avoid them. Not every thought and feeling is valid or useful so let go of the ones that cause you to stumble.

Let Go

When you finally understand that you must depend on God in every second of every day, you let go of your man-made solutions which probably got you into your troubles in the first place. Let go of your legalistic pride, and accept the wisdom of God, which will gently nudge you to practice patience, forgiveness, and humility. Sure, you may not “win” every human argument, but winning with God is better than any victory the world could ever give you.

Today’s Question

Are you fixating on your right ways or are you leaning on God’s solutions?

Enjoy the reading

Psalm 114

1 When the Israelites escaped from Egypt— when the family of Jacob left that foreign land— 
2 the land of Judah became God’s sanctuary, and Israel became his kingdom. 
3 The Red Sea saw them coming and hurried out of their way! The water of the Jordan River turned away. 
4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs! 
5 What’s wrong, Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way? What happened, Jordan River, that you turned away? 
6 Why, mountains, did you skip like rams? Why, hills, like lambs? 
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob. 
8 He turned the rock into a pool of water; yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.