Absence of

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Trials are not a sign that God is absent, but rather a sign that the opposition has lost.”

TB

Setbacks

Anyone who did anything worth documenting in the Bible faced some (often many) trials and tribulations along the way. Some were jailed, beaten, and even killed. So if people of God back then had to deal with tomfoolery why do we get surprised and beleaguered when it happens to us?

Activate

Friends, your trials are indicative of what has been said and confirmed in the Bible. In order for us to see this, we must activate our faith. Even more to the point, we must do our research and due diligence. When we know the Truth, we can identify what’s going on around us. God is in the midst of everything.

Today’s Question

Are you letting your obstacles force you to pack and give up?

Enjoy the reading

Numbers 19

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Here is another legal requirement commanded by the LORD : Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer, a perfect animal that has no defects and has never been yoked to a plow. 3 Give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. 4 Eleazar will take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle. 5 As Eleazar watches, the heifer must be burned—its hide, meat, blood, and dung. 6 Eleazar the priest must then take a stick of cedar, a hyssop branch, and some scarlet yarn and throw them into the fire where the heifer is burning. 7 “Then the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. Afterward he may return to the camp, though he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. 8 The man who burns the animal must also wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and he, too, will remain unclean until evening. 9 Then someone who is ceremonially clean will gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them in a purified place outside the camp. They will be kept there for the community of Israel to use in the water for the purification ceremony. This ceremony is performed for the removal of sin. 10 The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. This is a permanent law for the people of Israel and any foreigners who live among them. 11 “All those who touch a dead human body will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. 12 They must purify themselves on the third and seventh days with the water of purification; then they will be purified. But if they do not do this on the third and seventh days, they will continue to be unclean even after the seventh day. 13 All those who touch a dead body and do not purify themselves in the proper way defile the LORD ’s Tabernacle, and they will be cut off from the community of Israel. Since the water of purification was not sprinkled on them, their defilement continues. 14 “This is the ritual law that applies when someone dies inside a tent: All those who enter that tent and those who were inside when the death occurred will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. 15 Any open container in the tent that was not covered with a lid is also defiled. 16 And if someone in an open field touches the corpse of someone who was killed with a sword or who died a natural death, or if someone touches a human bone or a grave, that person will be defiled for seven days. 17 “To remove the defilement, put some of the ashes from the burnt purification offering in a jar, and pour fresh water over them. 18 Then someone who is ceremonially clean must take a hyssop branch and dip it into the water. That person must sprinkle the water on the tent, on all the furnishings in the tent, and on the people who were in the tent; also on the person who touched a human bone, or touched someone who was killed or who died naturally, or touched a grave. 19 On the third and seventh days the person who is ceremonially clean must sprinkle the water on those who are defiled. Then on the seventh day the people being cleansed must wash their clothes and bathe themselves, and that evening they will be cleansed of their defilement. 20 “But those who become defiled and do not purify themselves will be cut off from the community, for they have defiled the sanctuary of the LORD . Since the water of purification has not been sprinkled on them, they remain defiled. 21 This is a permanent law for the people. Those who sprinkle the water of purification must afterward wash their clothes, and anyone who then touches the water used for purification will remain defiled until evening. 22 Anything and anyone that a defiled person touches will be ceremonially unclean until evening.”

Rattle

Hi Peeps,

“While the opposition can rattle our cages, we must choose to be impacted by it.”

TB

Shaken

The devil will try to throw a wrench in your life. His priority is to shake you up so much that you reject Christ. It sounds obvious and simple, but he’s crafty. While his schemes can prove to be jarring, God is mightier than his tricks.

Smooth

We get through these turbulent times by relying on Christ and trusting in His promise. That can be challenging when you’re going through trials. Always remember, the battle is already won and God prevails through all things.

Today’s Question

How are you relying on God during challenging times?

Enjoy the reading

Numbers 10

1 Now the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Make two trumpets of hammered silver for calling the community to assemble and for signaling the breaking of camp. 3 When both trumpets are blown, everyone must gather before you at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 4 But if only one trumpet is blown, then only the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—must present themselves to you. 5 “When you sound the signal to move on, the tribes camped on the east side of the Tabernacle must break camp and move forward. 6 When you sound the signal a second time, the tribes camped on the south will follow. You must sound short blasts as the signal for moving on. 7 But when you call the people to an assembly, blow the trumpets with a different signal. 8 Only the priests, Aaron’s descendants, are allowed to blow the trumpets. This is a permanent law for you, to be observed from generation to generation. 9 “When you arrive in your own land and go to war against your enemies who attack you, sound the alarm with the trumpets. Then the LORD your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies. 10 Blow the trumpets in times of gladness, too, sounding them at your annual festivals and at the beginning of each month. And blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and peace offerings. The trumpets will remind your God of his covenant with you. I am the LORD your God.” 11 In the second year after Israel’s departure from Egypt—on the twentieth day of the second month —the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle of the Covenant. 12 So the Israelites set out from the wilderness of Sinai and traveled on from place to place until the cloud stopped in the wilderness of Paran. 13 When the people set out for the first time, following the instructions the LORD had given through Moses, 14 Judah’s troops led the way. They marched behind their banner, and their leader was Nahshon son of Amminadab. 15 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Issachar, led by Nethanel son of Zuar, 16 and the troops of the tribe of Zebulun, led by Eliab son of Helon. 17 Then the Tabernacle was taken down, and the Gershonite and Merarite divisions of the Levites were next in the line of march, carrying the Tabernacle with them. 18 Reuben’s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elizur son of Shedeur. 19 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Simeon, led by Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, 20 and the troops of the tribe of Gad, led by Eliasaph son of Deuel. 21 Next came the Kohathite division of the Levites, carrying the sacred objects from the Tabernacle. Before they arrived at the next camp, the Tabernacle would already be set up at its new location. 22 Ephraim’s troops went next, marching behind their banner. Their leader was Elishama son of Ammihud. 23 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Manasseh, led by Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, 24 and the troops of the tribe of Benjamin, led by Abidan son of Gideoni. 25 Dan’s troops went last, marching behind their banner and serving as the rear guard for all the tribal camps. Their leader was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 They were joined by the troops of the tribe of Asher, led by Pagiel son of Ocran, 27 and the troops of the tribe of Naphtali, led by Ahira son of Enan. 28 This was the order in which the Israelites marched, division by division. 29 One day Moses said to his brother-in-law, Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, “We are on our way to the place the LORD promised us, for he said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised wonderful blessings for Israel!” 30 But Hobab replied, “No, I will not go. I must return to my own land and family.” 31 “Please don’t leave us,” Moses pleaded. “You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide. 32 If you do, we’ll share with you all the blessings the LORD gives us.” 33 They marched for three days after leaving the mountain of the LORD, with the Ark of the LORD ’s Covenant moving ahead of them to show them where to stop and rest. 34 As they moved on each day, the cloud of the LORD hovered over them. 35 And whenever the Ark set out, Moses would shout, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!” 36 And when the Ark was set down, he would say, “Return, O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel!”

Peace in the Valley

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“There is peace in time of hardships, we must steady our resolve to find it.”

TB

Perfection

Here on earth, there is no perfect situation or utopia to be had. That said, once you understand that every moment in your life will never be perfect, you can then turn towards the perfect peace that a relationship with God provides in your valley times.

Valley

Just because there are hardships does not mean that peace is not available to you. Remember that in this life, peace is not a state of mind. Peace comes from knowing who God is, what He’s promised to His children, and who He sent to bring us salvation. When your in the valley, find rest in His peace.

Today’s Question

Are you finding peace in the valley, or are you still searching for a utopia that doesn’t exist?

Enjoy the reading

Exodus 27

1 “Using acacia wood, construct a square altar 7 feet wide, 7 feet long, and 4 feet high. 2 Make horns for each of its four corners so that the horns and altar are all one piece. Overlay the altar with bronze. 3 Make ash buckets, shovels, basins, meat forks, and firepans, all of bronze. 4 Make a bronze grating for it, and attach four bronze rings at its four corners. 5 Install the grating halfway down the side of the altar, under the ledge. 6 For carrying the altar, make poles from acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. 7 Insert the poles through the rings on the two sides of the altar. 8 The altar must be hollow, made from planks. Build it just as you were shown on the mountain. 9 “Then make the courtyard for the Tabernacle, enclosed with curtains made of finely woven linen. On the south side, make the curtains 150 feet long. 10 They will be held up by twenty posts set securely in twenty bronze bases. Hang the curtains with silver hooks and rings. 11 Make the curtains the same on the north side—150 feet of curtains held up by twenty posts set securely in bronze bases. Hang the curtains with silver hooks and rings. 12 The curtains on the west end of the courtyard will be 75 feet long, supported by ten posts set into ten bases. 13 The east end of the courtyard, the front, will also be 75 feet long. 14 The courtyard entrance will be on the east end, flanked by two curtains. The curtain on the right side will be 22 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases. 15 The curtain on the left side will also be 22 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases. 16 “For the entrance to the courtyard, make a curtain that is 30 feet long. Make it from finely woven linen, and decorate it with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Support it with four posts, each securely set in its own base. 17 All the posts around the courtyard must have silver rings and hooks and bronze bases. 18 So the entire courtyard will be 150 feet long and 75 feet wide, with curtain walls 7 feet high, made from finely woven linen. The bases for the posts will be made of bronze. 19 “All the articles used in the rituals of the Tabernacle, including all the tent pegs used to support the Tabernacle and the courtyard curtains, must be made of bronze. 20 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. 21 The lampstand will stand in the Tabernacle, in front of the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron and his sons must keep the lamps burning in the LORD ’s presence all night. This is a permanent law for the people of Israel, and it must be observed from generation to generation.

Coping Mechanisms

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your situation may not progress–not because of God– but because you haven’t changed your reaction to your trials.”~TB

Patterned Behavior

In order for us to change and grow closer to God in our walks, we must understand our behavior and the patterns we take when we deal with trials and tribulations. We all develop ways of coping through tough times. But when we look at how we respond to them, it’s more telling than the sinful behavior we participate in. The sin is a symptom of the fact that we chose to follow our flesh for comfort rather than relying on the comfort of God.

Examine

Because we are predictable, if we examine our actions, we can begin to develop new behaviors. Once you understand the underlying behavior of your actions, it’s time to repent and ask God for directions to properly pass your test. Rather than diving into anger, addiction, or any other flesh-driven alternative, you can learn to be still and choose to follow the teachings of Christ instead of the path of destruction.

Today’s Question

Are you a slave to destructive behavior because you haven’t asked God for help?

Enjoy the reading

Malachi 1

1 This is the message that the LORD gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi. 2 “I have always loved you,” says the LORD . But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?” And the LORD replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, 3 but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.” 4 Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.” But the LORD of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the LORD Is Forever Angry.’ 5 When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the LORD ’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!’” 6 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! “But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’ 7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. “Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices? ’ “You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the LORD,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the LORD . 14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!

Caught Up

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t get caught up in affairs that only God can fix as toiling in confusion is the opposition’s prominent weapon.”

TB

On Guard

The devil will try to get you to fixate on matters that God can tend to. Why? Because when you’re on guard and distracted, you’re less likely to be doing what God called you to do in the first place. While you’re stewing on inconsequential things, the plans God laid out for you sit in vain. Friends, don’t get caught up in the devil’s tricks.

Let Go

Instead of getting caught up in the things you cannot control, let them go and let God handle it. When we learn how to bask in the stillness of peace, we learn to quiet our fears, anger, rage, and the like to practice perseverance to run our race. This requires a deep relationship of trust in Christ. Imagine if Joseph stayed caught up in his situation rather than moving forward. Surely he would not have ended up victorious and he did. So friends, stay close to God, cling to His clear path for your life to run your race.

Today’s Question

Are you caught up or are you letting go?

Enjoy the reading

Ezekiel 27

1 Then this message came to me from the LORD : 2 “Son of man, sing a funeral song for Tyre, 3 that mighty gateway to the sea, the trading center of the world. Give Tyre this message from the Sovereign LORD : “You boasted, O Tyre, ‘My beauty is perfect!’ 4 You extended your boundaries into the sea. Your builders made your beauty perfect. 5 You were like a great ship built of the finest cypress from Senir. They took a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you. 6 They carved your oars from the oaks of Bashan. Your deck of pine from the coasts of Cyprus was inlaid with ivory. 7 Your sails were made of Egypt’s finest linen, and they flew as a banner above you. You stood beneath blue and purple awnings made bright with dyes from the coasts of Elishah. 8 Your oarsmen came from Sidon and Arvad; your helmsmen were skilled men from Tyre itself. 9 Wise old craftsmen from Gebal did the caulking. Ships from every land came with goods to barter for your trade. 10 “Men from distant Persia, Lydia, and Libya served in your great army. They hung their shields and helmets on your walls, giving you great honor. 11 Men from Arvad and Helech stood on your walls. Your towers were manned by men from Gammad. Their shields hung on your walls, completing your beauty. 12 “Tarshish sent merchants to buy your wares in exchange for silver, iron, tin, and lead. 13 Merchants from Greece, Tubal, and Meshech brought slaves and articles of bronze to trade with you. 14 “From Beth-togarmah came riding horses, chariot horses, and mules, all in exchange for your goods. 15 Merchants came to you from Dedan. Numerous coastlands were your captive markets; they brought payment in ivory tusks and ebony wood. 16 “Syria sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods. They traded turquoise, purple dyes, embroidery, fine linen, and jewelry of coral and rubies. 17 Judah and Israel traded for your wares, offering wheat from Minnith, figs, honey, olive oil, and balm. 18 “Damascus sent merchants to buy your rich variety of goods, bringing wine from Helbon and white wool from Zahar. 19 Greeks from Uzal came to trade for your merchandise. Wrought iron, cassia, and fragrant calamus were bartered for your wares. 20 “Dedan sent merchants to trade their expensive saddle blankets with you. 21 The Arabians and the princes of Kedar sent merchants to trade lambs and rams and male goats in exchange for your goods. 22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah came with all kinds of spices, jewels, and gold in exchange for your wares. 23 “Haran, Canneh, Eden, Sheba, Asshur, and Kilmad came with their merchandise, too. 24 They brought choice fabrics to trade—blue cloth, embroidery, and multicolored carpets rolled up and bound with cords. 25 The ships of Tarshish were your ocean caravans. Your island warehouse was filled to the brim! 26 “But look! Your oarsmen have taken you into stormy seas! A mighty eastern gale has wrecked you in the heart of the sea! 27 Everything is lost— your riches and wares, your sailors and pilots, your ship builders, merchants, and warriors. On the day of your ruin, everyone on board sinks into the depths of the sea. 28 Your cities by the sea tremble as your pilots cry out in terror. 29 All the oarsmen abandon their ships; the sailors and pilots stand on the shore. 30 They cry aloud over you and weep bitterly. They throw dust on their heads and roll in ashes. 31 They shave their heads in grief for you and dress themselves in burlap. They weep for you with bitter anguish and deep mourning. 32 As they wail and mourn over you, they sing this sad funeral song: ‘Was there ever such a city as Tyre, now silent at the bottom of the sea? 33 The merchandise you traded satisfied the desires of many nations. Kings at the ends of the earth were enriched by your trade. 34 Now you are a wrecked ship, broken at the bottom of the sea. All your merchandise and crew have gone down with you. 35 All who live along the coastlands are appalled at your terrible fate. Their kings are filled with horror and look on with twisted faces. 36 The merchants among the nations shake their heads at the sight of you, for you have come to a horrible end and will exist no more.’”

Uncalled Interference

wrong-way-295471_1280.png

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quotes

“Let your brothers and sisters endure their trials as they are a necessary byproduct of growing in Christ.”~TB

Well-Intentioned

I love my family with great fierceness– for better or worse. It’s a joy to see them do well and it’s heartbreaking when they suffer– especially to false accusations. I’ve been known to jump on land mines for the people I love. Though my intentions are well-meaning, every single one of us has to go through the fire at some point and blocking someone else’s spiritual assignment –good-intentioned or otherwise– benefits no one.

Growth Through Struggle

Having experience with unfair persecution, I can say that those uncomfortable times did way more good than harm. Through the muck and the mess, I learned that I had to rely on God because He was with me in the fiery storms. When I look back at those radical moments, I realize that though the experiences were unpleasant, never was I harmed. So, if God walks with me, I’d be a fool to not trust that He’s walking with all of you as well. More to the point, when those we love endure suffering for what is right, we should be pleased that they too get the opportunity to grow in Christ.

It’s All Joy

These days I am more mindful about the Hand of Christ and I am present and careful to watch Him at work. I pray for His Will to be done rather than jump the gun with my hair-brained schemes. Instead of interfering, I encourage and listen. Friends that is all we can do, because the heavy lifting is God’s plan. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather that my brothers and sisters have God’s help than mine, because well, it’s should be obvious, ha! So the next time you see those in your life go through hard times, remember how your struggles brought you closer to God and that they too are given the opportunity and honor to know God in that same way.

Today’s Question

Are you letting your interfering ways block the spiritual growth of others?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 20

1 Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the LORD, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying. 
2 So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the LORD ’s Temple. 
3 The next day, when Pashhur finally released him, Jeremiah said, “Pashhur, the LORD has changed your name. From now on you are to be called ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.’ 
4 For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will send terror upon you and all your friends, and you will watch as they are slaughtered by the swords of the enemy. I will hand the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will take them captive to Babylon or run them through with the sword. 
5 And I will let your enemies plunder Jerusalem. All the famed treasures of the city—the precious jewels and gold and silver of your kings—will be carried off to Babylon. 
6 As for you, Pashhur, you and all your household will go as captives to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you prophesied that everything would be all right.’” 
7 O LORD, you misled me, and I allowed myself to be misled. You are stronger than I am, and you overpowered me. Now I am mocked every day; everyone laughs at me. 
8 When I speak, the words burst out. “Violence and destruction!” I shout. So these messages from the LORD have made me a household joke. 
9 But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! 
10 I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me “The Man Who Lives in Terror.” They threaten, “If you say anything, we will report it.” Even my old friends are watching me, waiting for a fatal slip. “He will trap himself,” they say, “and then we will get our revenge on him.” 
11 But the LORD stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten. 
12 O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, you test those who are righteous, and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets. Let me see your vengeance against them, for I have committed my cause to you. 
13 Sing to the LORD ! Praise the LORD ! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors. 
14 Yet I curse the day I was born! May no one celebrate the day of my birth. 
15 I curse the messenger who told my father, “Good news—you have a son!” 
16 Let him be destroyed like the cities of old that the LORD overthrew without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts, 
17 because he did not kill me at birth. Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb, that her body had been my grave! 
18 Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

 

Avoid

burning-log-2088631_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Do not avoid uncomfortable situations or moments. Instead, walk boldly in the truth that God is with you in all things.”~TB

Unpleasant

The world teaches us to avoid unpleasant experiences. Human logic dictates that if the moment induces discomfort, it must be a bad thing, therefore we remove the “yucky stuff” from our lives. What an amazingly ironic and counterproductive paradigm! The problem with that ideology is that it eliminates the most vital and necessary aspect of our spiritual growth. Through the unpleasant times, we get to grow closer and know God in a more personal and one-on-one manner. In fact, it’s those uncomfortable and painful moments where we grow the most. That is if we take them as they are and not as we perceive them to be.

Kiln

When I was a kid in elementary school, we’d have the opportunity to participate in an art class. Some of the projects included working with clay, making different sorts of things. I loved it. Being able to mold and shape things– essentially making something out of nothing– is something I love. My favorite part was seeing my work after it was fired in the kiln. For those that don’t know, a kiln is a heating chamber that transforms materials in high temperatures. When the clay is heated properly, it is then ready to be turned into a vessel. If you’ve ever worked clay, you’ve seen firsthand how a slippery and malleable substance is transformed into a sturdy and utilitarian product. God is the Kiln to our clay.

Good Burn

In order to be the vessel that God has called you to be, you must learn to reexamine your mind about the kiln process. Trials and tribulations are the firey elements that shore up your vessel. Without them, you remain mushy and unsustainable. When you avoid the molding and kiln of God, your ability to rise to the calling on your life is impossible. Don’t avoid the process,  but trust that all things in your life are used to strengthen your relationship with God. Let the Bible mold you and your time with God be the fire that hardens the clay. In doing so, we see as God intended us to see. When that happens, we walk in the way that God called us to.

Today’s Question

Are you going through the kiln or do you want to remain mushy and broken?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 8

1 “In that day,” says the LORD, “the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem. 
2 They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars—the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure. 
3 And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken! 
4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: “‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back? 
5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path? Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around. 
6 I listen to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle! 
7 Even the stork that flies across the sky knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know the LORD ’s laws. 
8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? 
9 These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the LORD . Are they so wise after all? 
10 I will give their wives to others and their farms to strangers. From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that. They are all frauds. 
11 They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. 
12 Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them, says the LORD . 
13 I will surely consume them. There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes. Their fruit trees will all die. Whatever I gave them will soon be gone. I, the LORD, have spoken!’ 
14 “Then the people will say, ‘Why should we wait here to die? Come, let’s go to the fortified towns and die there. For the LORD our God has decreed our destruction and has given us a cup of poison to drink because we sinned against the LORD . 
15 We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’ 
16 “The snorting of the enemies’ warhorses can be heard all the way from the land of Dan in the north! The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble. They are coming to devour the land and everything in it— cities and people alike. 
17 I will send these enemy troops among you like poisonous snakes you cannot charm. They will bite you, and you will die. I, the LORD, have spoken!” 
18 My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken. 
19 Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land. “Has the LORD abandoned Jerusalem? ” the people ask. “Is her King no longer there?” “Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols and their worthless foreign gods?” says the LORD . 
20 “The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,” the people cry, “yet we are not saved!” 
21 I hurt with the hurt of my people. I mourn and am overcome with grief. 
22 Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?

Marathon

race-4830997_1920.jpg

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Building a firm foundation in Christ is a marathon, not a sprint.”~TB

Short-term

A marathon cannot be run after a few test practices. Similarly, a relationship with Christ cannot be achieved after one run glance at the Word. We cannot put short-term efforts into knowing our Father in Heaven. No, it takes a lifetime of seeking, listening, failing, repenting, trying, and the like to uncover a semblance of understanding who Christ is. Friends, this is a lifelong endeavor of which we must forego the short-term comfort of ignorance to embrace the long-term impacts of salvation. Do your training accordingly.

Long-term

When you put in the work each day to learn the Truth of Christ, you build an endurance to run the race He has set before you. The shortcuts are less appealing and the long-term goal of receiving the gift that only He can give becomes the priority. We cannot know the winning effects of knowing God without doing our daily training with Him. More to the point, we have to encourage and give hope to our teammates so that they may be inspired and not deterred from training for their race. Though each day brings its own challenge, consider the long-term advantages of running with Christ than against.

Today’s Question

Are you putting in the work, or are you waiting until the last minute to cram a lifetime of training?

Enjoy the reading

Jeremiah 3

1 “If a man divorces a woman and she goes and marries someone else, he will not take her back again, for that would surely corrupt the land. But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, so why are you trying to come back to me?” says the LORD . 
2 “Look at the shrines on every hilltop. Is there any place you have not been defiled by your adultery with other gods? You sit like a prostitute beside the road waiting for a customer. You sit alone like a nomad in the desert. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and your wickedness. 
3 That’s why even the spring rains have failed. For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless. 
4 Yet you say to me, ‘Father, you have been my guide since my youth. 
5 Surely you won’t be angry forever! Surely you can forget about it!’ So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can.” 
6 During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. 
7 I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. 
8 She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution. 
9 Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted. 
10 But despite all this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the LORD, have spoken!” 
11 Then the LORD said to me, “Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah! 
12 Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the LORD says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. 
13 Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the LORD, have spoken! 
14 “Return home, you wayward children,” says the LORD, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel — one from this town and two from that family— from wherever you are scattered. 
15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding. 
16 “And when your land is once more filled with people,” says the LORD, “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the LORD ’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. 
17 In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the LORD .’ All nations will come there to honor the LORD . They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires. 
18 In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance forever. 
19 “I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land— the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from me. 
20 But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel! You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband. I, the LORD, have spoken.” 
21 Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains, the weeping and pleading of Israel’s people. For they have chosen crooked paths and have forgotten the LORD their God. 
22 “My wayward children,” says the LORD, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the LORD our God. 
23 Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the LORD our God will Israel ever find salvation. 
24 From childhood we have watched as everything our ancestors worked for— their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters— was squandered on a delusion. 
25 Let us now lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor, for we and our ancestors have sinned against the LORD our God. From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed him.”

  

Divine Delay

84CCE448-34C8-4EDD-8051-D4A2EE648A04

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“There are times where plans are delayed because we forgot something and God is giving us a chance to make it up.”~TB

Forgetting Something?

My dog, Abbey, absolutely loves going on walks. Whenever I open the drawer where her leash is kept, she runs straight for the door, anticipating an outing. There are times where I get to the parking lot stairs and realize that I’ve forgotten my phone or wallet, and we have to walk back to my door. If we have to turn around before going out, Abbey will anchor herself to the floor refusing to move, because she thinks we’re no longer going for the walk. After a few tugs, I’ll get her to come along, I’ll retrieve whatever I’ve forgotten and then we’re off to go on the walk. Then as if it’s a surprise, she becomes excited again that we’re going for the walk after all! Every single time this happens ( it happens a lot, I’m really forgetful.) the same behavior occurs and the other day, it made me realize there are times where I will do that with God too. How many times have you refused to change course because you thought your plans were being dashed? If we don’t reflect on our behaviors and circumstances, we can miss the tools and skills we need to progress to the next stage. If you’ve stalled, seek God to find our why. There is most certainly a purpose.

Delay is not Denial

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Christian colloquialisms— often because the people using them are trying to circumvent honest or good behavior (a different story for a different day). But, I will say that God will delay a change in course if we haven’t done the work to make it to the next step. For example, you can’t just run a marathon if you haven’t even trained to complete a 5k. God gives each of us a dream, purpose, or goal. And with those wonderful plans comes the responsibility of tilling your soil to fulfill that purpose. Many times we fail to actualize God’s plans for us because we either allow people to discourage such “crazy ideas” or we didn’t condition ourselves to prepare for the road less traveled. I’m thankful that He gives us a lifetime to answer our specific call. So the next time things aren’t going according to plan, look for the lessons or tools you may have forgotten along the way. Don’t worry, you haven’t been left behind, just delayed. God hasn’t forgotten the vision He planted in you, He’s just giving you time to catch up.

Today’s Question

Are you learning during your delay or are you missing the point?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 21

1 This message came to me concerning Babylon—the desert by the sea : Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert, like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.
2 I see a terrifying vision: I see the betrayer betraying, the destroyer destroying. Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes, attack and lay siege. I will make an end to all the groaning Babylon caused.
3 My stomach aches and burns with pain. Sharp pangs of anguish are upon me, like those of a woman in labor. I grow faint when I hear what God is planning; I am too afraid to look.
4 My mind reels and my heart races. I longed for evening to come, but now I am terrified of the dark.
5 Look! They are preparing a great feast. They are spreading rugs for people to sit on. Everyone is eating and drinking. But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle. You are being attacked!
6Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, “Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees.
7 He should look for chariots drawn by pairs of horses, and for riders on donkeys and camels. Let the watchman be fully alert.”
8 Then the watchman called out, “Day after day I have stood on the watchtower, my lord. Night after night I have remained at my post.
9 Now at last—look! Here comes a man in a chariot with a pair of horses!” Then the watchman said, “Babylon is fallen, fallen! All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!”
10 O my people, threshed and winnowed, I have told you everything the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has said, everything the God of Israel has told me.
11This message came to me concerning Edom : Someone from Edom keeps calling to me, “Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?”
12 The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but night will soon return. If you wish to ask again, then come back and ask.”
13 This message came to me concerning Arabia: O caravans from Dedan, hide in the deserts of Arabia.
14O people of Tema, bring water to these thirsty people, food to these weary refugees.
15They have fled from the sword, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow and the terrors of battle.
16 The Lord said to me, “Within a year, counting each day, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end.
17 Only a few of its courageous archers will survive. I, the LORD, the God of Israel, have spoken!”

Trick Questions

648E974D-40FB-4BEA-88BD-B2FF84D9352F

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t shortchange the importance of doing your Biblical homework as trick questions are difficult to answer if you haven’t practiced beforehand.”~TB

Practice

When I was in school, I seldom— if ever— did or turned in my homework or studied. I was clever enough to pass my tests and still receive somewhat decent grades in spite of my blatant disregard for homework. When I went to college, however, not turning in homework or studying was much harder to fake as the tests were more cumbersome and I couldn’t skate by as easily. I had to fail to realize how important studying and doing the homework correlated with a passing grade. As I continue my walk with God, I realize that studying and homework are even more important, as the opposition uses trick questions and fake answers to get us to stray.

Party Trick

The devil’s objective isn’t just about getting us to sin. It’s more to do with derailing God’s purpose for our lives. He’ll use cheap tricks and smoke and mirrors— creating seemingly lifelike problems to get you from deepening your relationship with Christ. This is where all that studying and homework come into play. When you make daily time for the Lord and when you read His teachings, the devil’s schemes are more easily discernible. But, if you don’t do the reading or know God on a deeper level, satan’s party tricks will sweep you up into a mental storm that can be difficult to overcome. If you find yourself in a pop quiz that you didn’t study for, go back to the Source Material that is the Bible.

Open Book

What the devil doesn’t want you to realize is that all of these tests, trials, and tribulations are open book. Which means that at any given time, you can consult God and the Bible for the answers. Until our last breath on this Earth, we can retake tests as needed, with God lovingly showing us the way when we humble ourselves to put in the work. No test or walk is perfect. There are many times where I still fail to study, only to realize that I must do the work so that I too will not stumble. Thank God (literally) that He still loves a slacker like me and allows me to learn. So friends, learn to discipline yourselves to do your homework, study the word, and grow with God so that you spot the fake answers and pass your tests.

 

Today’s Question

Are you ready to improve your study and homework methods?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 12

1 In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O LORD ! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me.
2 See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.”
3 With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!
4 In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the LORD ! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is!
5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world.
6 Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”