Optics

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“How you experience life depends on your personal set of optics.”~TB

Vision

Some of us have perfect vision— able to see things without sight. For those of us that don’t, we need glasses to correct our impairment. With the aid of glasses, I am able to see things far away that I otherwise cannot. Boy would the world be in trouble if I drove without the help of glasses or contacts. In the same manner in which we see, our personal relationship with Christ allows us to improve our vision as Christians. In faith, we all have to wear our Christ-prescribed glasses, because without them we either can’t see up close, far out, or not at all. When we walk without God’s help the optics are skewed as we fail to see what really is and what really isn’t.

Constrict

When you narrow in on the problems and failures of your life, your sight is myopic and useless. Like walking into a wall repeatedly, your vision is so constricted that the minutiae and little things of life become the big and impossible thorns in your side. If all you see in life is the negative or what you lack, it’s time to ask God to help you dilate your sight so that you can see the bigger picture.

Dilate

A widened perspective is important to help see the grand scheme of things. However, without the details of Christ, we are unable to see the nuances of God’s handbook, the Bible, which helps teach us how to spend our time. Too wide of a lens can make us paralyzed or obtuse in our thinking because we lack the focus to process what we see properly. If you’re in this camp, God’s got the right prescription for you too.

Balance

Life is messy, imperfect, and full of tests that we pass, fail, and repeat. Human understanding of life is futile because our black and white vision pales in comparison to God’s vision. In order to get a glimpse at God’s view, we must allow Him to prescribe the correct sight. Your 20/20 vision isn’t going to cut it on it’s own. Fortunately for us, God’s insurance plan is free and only requires us to accept the gift of salvation. If you’re tired of not seeing the full picture or need help seeing the important details ask our Holy Optometrist to give you the right vision.

Today’s Question

Are you content with remaining blind?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 14

1 But the LORD will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel.
2 The nations of the world will help the people of Israel to return, and those who come to live in the LORD ’s land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will themselves be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies.
3 In that wonderful day when the LORD gives his people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains,
4you will taunt the king of Babylon. You will say, “The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended.
5 For the LORD has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule.
6 You struck the people with endless blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip with unrelenting tyranny.
7But finally the earth is at rest and quiet. Now it can sing again!
8 Even the trees of the forest— the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon— sing out this joyous song: ‘Since you have been cut down, no one will come now to cut us down!’
9 “In the place of the dead there is excitement over your arrival. The spirits of world leaders and mighty kings long dead stand up to see you.
10 With one voice they all cry out, ‘Now you are as weak as we are!
11 Your might and power were buried with you. The sound of the harp in your palace has ceased. Now maggots are your sheet, and worms your blanket.’
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.
14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’
15 Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.
16 Everyone there will stare at you and ask, ‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble?
17 Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’
18 “The kings of the nations lie in stately glory, each in his own tomb,
19 but you will be thrown out of your grave like a worthless branch. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will be dumped into a mass grave with those killed in battle. You will descend to the pit.
20You will not be given a proper burial, for you have destroyed your nation and slaughtered your people. The descendants of such an evil person will never again receive honor.
21 Kill this man’s children! Let them die because of their father’s sins! They must not rise and conquer the earth, filling the world with their cities.”
22 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “I, myself, have risen against Babylon! I will destroy its children and its children’s children,” says the LORD .
23 “I will make Babylon a desolate place of owls, filled with swamps and marshes. I will sweep the land with the broom of destruction. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
24The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath: “It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided.
25 I will break the Assyrians when they are in Israel; I will trample them on my mountains. My people will no longer be their slaves nor bow down under their heavy loads.
26 I have a plan for the whole earth, a hand of judgment upon all the nations.
27 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has spoken— who can change his plans? When his hand is raised, who can stop him?”
28 This message came to me the year King Ahaz died:
29 Do not rejoice, you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken— that the king who attacked you is dead. For from that snake a more poisonous snake will be born, a fiery serpent to destroy you!
30 I will feed the poor in my pasture; the needy will lie down in peace. But as for you, I will wipe you out with famine and destroy the few who remain.
31Wail at the gates! Weep in the cities! Melt with fear, you Philistines! A powerful army comes like smoke from the north. Each soldier rushes forward eager to fight.
32 What should we tell the Philistine messengers? Tell them, “The LORD has built Jerusalem ; its walls will give refuge to his oppressed people.”

 

 

Trick Questions

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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.”

 

Vantage Point

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Your ability to see things from Christ’s ultimately depends on your vantage point.”~TB

Senses

We are all given senses and common sense to understand how to navigate the ways of this world. We are also given the choice to be in relationship with our Father in Heaven so that he can give us the Biblical compass to lead lives that bring honor to Him. Using Christ’s compass sharpens our senses, giving us the ability to see things from a Christ-like perspective. Alternatively, using your own vantage point will give you a finite and inaccurate understanding of a flawed world. But friends, just because we are broken does not mean that God’s perspective is. Understand this distinction.

Man’s Viewpoint

Man’s viewpoint is flawed and judgmental as we are unable to fully understand or practice mercy, grace and forgiveness in our own right. To the undisciplined and untrained, behaviors like submission and forgiveness seem foolish. That is because the ego and flesh tells us that our understanding of right and wrong is correct! From a legalistic standpoint, everything is black and white. In this mindset, it’s ok to judge and condemn your neighbors, family, and friends when they screw up or offend. It’s ok to rob and enslave the naive because they ‘should’ know better and technically you did not break the law. But don’t be fooled, the wicked may seem successful, but according to who’s vantage point?

Holy Perspective

Friend’s God’s ways are infinite and never fully understood by man. We lack the ability! Fortunately, what is true and what we can rely on is that this life is not as unpredictable as we like to believe. Look at all of the stories in the Bible. If you read them enough, you will see the behaviors and patterns from old have the same themes of your own. Just adopt God’s vantage point, and you will see that His people do the same good, dumb, shameful, repentant deeds since Adam and Eve. These are the same stories, just different people and different times. So in whatever you do, take His vantage point so that you can see the world and its people as God sees you.

 

Today’s Question

How does the view look from where’ you’re sitting?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 9

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
8 The Lord has spoken out against Jacob; his judgment has fallen upon Israel.
9 And the people of Israel and Samaria, who spoke with such pride and arrogance, will soon know it.
10 They said, “We will replace the broken bricks of our ruins with finished stone, and replant the felled sycamore-fig trees with cedars.”
11 But the LORD will bring Rezin’s enemies against Israel and stir up all their foes.
12 The Syrians from the east and the Philistines from the west will bare their fangs and devour Israel. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
13 For after all this punishment, the people will still not repent. They will not seek the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
14 Therefore, in a single day the LORD will destroy both the head and the tail, the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
15The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail.
16 For the leaders of the people have misled them. They have led them down the path of destruction.
17 That is why the Lord takes no pleasure in the young men and shows no mercy even to the widows and orphans. For they are all wicked hypocrites, and they all speak foolishness. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.
18This wickedness is like a brushfire. It burns not only briers and thorns but also sets the forests ablaze. Its burning sends up clouds of smoke.
19 The land will be blackened by the fury of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. The people will be fuel for the fire, and no one will spare even his own brother.
20 They will attack their neighbor on the right but will still be hungry. They will devour their neighbor on the left but will not be satisfied. In the end they will even eat their own children.
21 Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, Ephraim will feed on Manasseh, and both will devour Judah. But even then the LORD ’s anger will not be satisfied. His fist is still poised to strike.

Contingent

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God’s love is not contingent on your behavior.”~TB

Not Earned

Salvation is not merit-based. Thank God— literally— as none of us would measure up. Still, even though we know this, many believe that God is waiting to love the ‘new and improved’ version of us. Like, if we could only sin less, be nicer to our neighbors, do more for the community, etc. then God would love us. No, God loves us in our stupor, our good moments, and the not so great ones. Part of growing with God is understanding how immeasurable His love is. That way we stop trying to attain it and recognize that His love is already ours.

 

Unconditional

Being unconditionally loved is a near impossible concept for many, which is why we mistake God’s unconditional love for the warped perception that we may have. Sure, parents get pretty close to it, but even still, God’s love is greater. If you’re able to glean how He loves us and sees us, only then can you begin to move in His ways and teachings. Like Jesus on Earth, He sat with everyone and judged no one. Granted we all fall short of this mark, but experiencing His grace when we do fall, is a wonderful thing. So the next time you’re trying to be a Super Christian— sinless and perfect— remember that God’s love is eternal and unconditional. The best way we can mirror this is to try and pass on that same love and grace to one another.

Today’s Question

Why are you overcompensating for something that is already yours?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 8

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Make a large signboard and clearly write this name on it: Maher-shalal-hash-baz. ”
2 I asked Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah, both known as honest men, to witness my doing this.
3 Then I slept with my wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. And the LORD said, “Call him Maher-shalal-hash-baz.
4 For before this child is old enough to say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama,’ the king of Assyria will carry away both the abundance of Damascus and the riches of Samaria.”
5 Then the LORD spoke to me again and said,
6 “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloah, but they have rejected it. They are rejoicing over what will happen to King Rezin and King Pekah.
7Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria and all his glory. This flood will overflow all its channels
8 and sweep into Judah until it is chin deep. It will spread its wings, submerging your land from one end to the other, O Immanuel.
9 “Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed!
10 Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us! ”
11 The LORD has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,
12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.
13 Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.
14 He will keep you safe. But to Israel and Judah he will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.
15 Many will stumble and fall, never to rise again. They will be snared and captured.”
16 Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me.
17 I will wait for the LORD, who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in him.
18 I and the children the LORD has given me serve as signs and warnings to Israel from the LORD of Heaven’s Armies who dwells in his Temple on Mount Zion.
19 Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
20 Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.
21 They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven
22 and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.

Ill

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Check your motives and behaviors because sometimes your illness is caused by your actions.”~TB

Self-Inflicted

Isn’t weird how many of the things we do in our lives are counterintuitive to the goals we wish to achieve? Say you’re trying to lose weight, but keep buying croissants and donuts. Or, you’re trying to start a business but don’t want to qualify prospects. Though we are engaging in this behavior, many times we are quick to blame our circumstance while forgetting about the deeds we did to get there. Our wounds can be self-inflicted and certain afflictions are a result of what we have or haven’t done. When we don’t take responsibility for our hand in our situations, it can seem like life is unfair or that the cards are stacked against you. No, I’m not saying that every bad thing in your life is your fault. I am saying, that the choices we make today impact our ability and mobility tomorrow. More to the point, maybe learned behaviors or life experiences have caused you to take an “ill” viewpoint. To get out of that mentality, a shift in discipline and accountability is imperative. When there is a lack of discipline and accountability, tilling the soil becomes a nuisance rather than the objective.

Discipline

Discipline isn’t fun but it is a necessary daily practice that we must do. It first starts with disciplining our minds and hearts to follow God. Putting God first every day is challenging for everyone, even those who’ve been doing for a long time. That’s because we are always battling our flesh which is why discipline and endurance are vital. Discipline teaches you to show up, even when you don’t want to. Endurance gives you the extra push to keep going when your tank is on empty. And God fills in the blanks and covers the rest when we fall short. We begin to see the errors of our ways by having honest conversations with God and ourselves. To get there takes humility and an understanding that we’re all flawed. The world isn’t always against you. Sometimes it’s actually you that’s against you. Calling yourself to the carpet and cultivating self-discipline are the best things you can do, not only in your relationship with Christ, but in your relationship and dealing within the world. When you shift your perspective, you will see that your illness is subjective and that if you allow Him, God can prescribe the antidote.

Today’s Question

Are you sick of being sick?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 7

1 When Ahaz, son of Jotham and grandson of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, set out to attack Jerusalem. However, they were unable to carry out their plan.
2The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
3 Then the LORD said to Isaiah, “Take your son Shear-jashub and go out to meet King Ahaz. You will find him at the end of the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.
4 Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah.
5Yes, the kings of Syria and Israel are plotting against him, saying,
6 ‘We will attack Judah and capture it for ourselves. Then we will install the son of Tabeel as Judah’s king.’
7But this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “This invasion will never happen; it will never take place;
8 for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus, and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin. As for Israel, within sixty-five years it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
9 Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria, and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah. Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.”
10 Later, the LORD sent this message to King Ahaz:
11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead. ”
12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the LORD like that.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?
14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
15 By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey.
16 For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.
17 “Then the LORD will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything since Israel broke away from Judah. He will bring the king of Assyria upon you!”
18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the army of southern Egypt and for the army of Assyria. They will swarm around you like flies and bees.
19 They will come in vast hordes and settle in the fertile areas and also in the desolate valleys, caves, and thorny places.
20 In that day the Lord will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River —the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off everything: your land, your crops, and your people.
21 In that day a farmer will be fortunate to have a cow and two sheep or goats left.
22Nevertheless, there will be enough milk for everyone because so few people will be left in the land. They will eat their fill of yogurt and honey.
23 In that day the lush vineyards, now worth 1,000 pieces of silver, will become patches of briers and thorns.
24 The entire land will become a vast expanse of briers and thorns, a hunting ground overrun by wildlife.
25 No one will go to the fertile hillsides where the gardens once grew, for briers and thorns will cover them. Cattle, sheep, and goats will graze there.

Orchestra

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“In God’s orchestra, learn to improve and play your part.”~TB

One Unit

I love orchestral music. The way the moving parts and pieces all come together to make sounds that no instrument can make on their own is fascinating to me. Individually, instruments— just like people— can be wonderful. However, when put together in one unit, great things can be accomplished. But to achieve that, we have to follow our director, God. When God is at the front and center of our lives, He will conduct the most impressive pieces, using ordinary instruments. His sheet music is infinitely more beautiful than our own. In order to fulfill our sheet music in Christ, we must learn to study, accept, and play the part that God has given us.

Every Part

In an orchestra, you have many instruments, and each section within those instruments has their roles. You have your 1st chair, 2nd chair, and so on. The 1st chairs play the leads and often most complex parts of the music. They are the 1st chair because of their ability to understand and play the difficult parts. The 2nd chair shares some of the load, and 3rd chair and on assists with harmony and the details. In God’s orchestra, you have people who play major parts, but the minor parts— just like in a musical orchestra— add the subtle nuances that make the music sound great.

Work Together

We all can’t be 1st chair in God’s orchestra, but that doesn’t mean that your part is any less valid or necessary. Maybe that one note that you play is the final long tone that ends the piece. Maybe that harmony really lifts up a section where the melody isn’t all that impressive on its own. My point is, every part and every person in God’s orchestra is vital, which is why we must show up and play to the best of our ability. Sure, looking at your sheet music on its own, your part may not seem all that great or necessary, but when you work together and play your part in God’s orchestra, only then can you see how truly vital you are.

Today’s Question

Are you ready to give up your solo and play in God’s orchestra?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 4

1 In that day so few men will be left that seven women will fight for each man, saying, “Let us all marry you! We will provide our own food and clothing. Only let us take your name so we won’t be mocked as old maids.”
2 But in that day, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel.
3 All who remain in Zion will be a holy people— those who survive the destruction of Jerusalem and are recorded among the living.
4 The Lord will wash the filth from beautiful Zion and cleanse Jerusalem of its bloodstains with the hot breath of fiery judgment.
5 Then the LORD will provide shade for Mount Zion and all who assemble there. He will provide a canopy of cloud during the day and smoke and flaming fire at night, covering the glorious land.
6 It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.

 

 

DysFUNction

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“If your life is constantly embroiled in chaos, it’s time to evaluate your part or the equation”~TB

Storm

In life, stormy weather does occur and bad days are par for the course. However, God did not call us to lead lives of constant chaos, nor is the devil permitted to hang over our heads like a perpetual thunder cloud. If you find yourself at odd with people, the world, and life in generally, it’s time to have an honest discussion with God about the reality of the life you lead.

Fun

Whether we like to admit it or not, chaos can be fun. It provides a good story to tell, sympathy, and something to do if you’re life seems boring. The problem is, continued chaos reeks havoc on the way humans operate. Every human being seeks routine, in one way or another. As we’re all creatures of comfort to some degree, when we fall off the rails of Biblical normalcy, unresolved issues can lead us to a life of chaos and disarray. If left unchecked, the cycle of chaos may become your routine as you learn to build a life around that dysfunction.

The Difference

If you find yourself enjoying the FUN in dysfunction, it’s high time you consult with the Lord about your life. Ask him to reveal the blind spots in your line of sight so you can see the chaos for what it truly is. Only when you see the brokenness that is swallowing you whole then can you change the patterns that had gotten hold of you. But first, that starts by surrendering to God so that you can begin to heal.

 

Today’s Question

Are you ready to ditch the Fun in dysfunction?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 3

1 The Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, will take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything they depend on: every bit of bread and every drop of water,
2 all their heroes and soldiers, judges and prophets, fortune-tellers and elders,
3 army officers and high officials, advisers, skilled sorcerers, and astrologers.
4 I will make boys their leaders, and toddlers their rulers.
5 People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. Young people will insult their elders, and vulgar people will sneer at the honorable.
6 In those days a man will say to his brother, “Since you have a coat, you be our leader! Take charge of this heap of ruins!”
7 But he will reply, “No! I can’t help. I don’t have any extra food or clothes. Don’t put me in charge!”
8 For Jerusalem will stumble, and Judah will fall, because they speak out against the LORD and refuse to obey him. They provoke him to his face.
9 The very look on their faces gives them away. They display their sin like the people of Sodom and don’t even try to hide it. They are doomed! They have brought destruction upon themselves.
10 Tell the godly that all will be well for them. They will enjoy the rich reward they have earned!
11 But the wicked are doomed, for they will get exactly what they deserve.
12 Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them. O my people, your leaders mislead you; they send you down the wrong road.
13 The LORD takes his place in court and presents his case against his people.
14 The LORD comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his people: “You have ruined Israel, my vineyard. Your houses are filled with things stolen from the poor.
15 How dare you crush my people, grinding the faces of the poor into the dust?” demands the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
16 The LORD says, “Beautiful Zion is haughty: craning her elegant neck, flirting with her eyes, walking with dainty steps, tinkling her ankle bracelets.
17 So the Lord will send scabs on her head; the LORD will make beautiful Zion bald.”
18 On that day of judgment the Lord will strip away everything that makes her beautiful: ornaments, headbands, crescent necklaces,
19 earrings, bracelets, and veils;
20scarves, ankle bracelets, sashes, perfumes, and charms;
21 rings, jewels,
22 party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses;
23mirrors, fine linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls.
24 Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, she will stink. She will wear a rope for a sash, and her elegant hair will fall out. She will wear rough burlap instead of rich robes. Shame will replace her beauty.
25 The men of the city will be killed with the sword, and her warriors will die in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.

Mentor

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Find older and wiser people who can teach you a thing or two about life.”~TB

Communication

It’s wise to spend time with those who have a well developed relationship with God. While you still have to cultivate your own, a mentor can help you with perspective when you can’t get out of your own way. Great lessons and ‘ah hah’ moments can be discovered when you seek counsel from those who’ve come before you. Those who have spent some time on this Earth have seen and experienced moments that the youth have not, so when making any decision of importance, have a word with a mentor.

Pride Check

Perhaps the best reason for having a mentor is to get advice when your pride is writing checks it can’t cash. We all struggle with an ego from time to time and having  a soundboard who is emotionally removed from your situation will give you a more nuanced understanding of what you’re going through. More to the point, you can learn from their lessons if you are willing to let go of what is causing you to stumble. So while you’re having talks with God, be sure to chat with those who’ve walked with Him before you.

Today’s Question

Who do you consult with to keep you accountable?

Enjoy the reading

Isaiah 2

1 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the LORD ’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD ’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD !
6 For the LORD has rejected his people, the descendants of Jacob, because they have filled their land with practices from the East and with sorcerers, as the Philistines do. They have made alliances with pagans.
7 Israel is full of silver and gold; there is no end to its treasures. Their land is full of warhorses; there is no end to its chariots.
8 Their land is full of idols; the people worship things they have made with their own hands.
9 So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low— do not forgive them.
10 Crawl into caves in the rocks. Hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
11Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
12 For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.
13He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the mighty oaks of Bashan.
14 He will level all the high mountains and all the lofty hills.
15 He will break down every high tower and every fortified wall.
16 He will destroy all the great trading ships and every magnificent vessel.
17 Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the LORD will be exalted on that day of judgment.
18 Idols will completely disappear.
19 When the LORD rises to shake the earth, his enemies will crawl into holes in the ground. They will hide in caves in the rocks from the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty.
20 On that day of judgment they will abandon the gold and silver idols they made for themselves to worship. They will leave their gods to the rodents and bats,
21 while they crawl away into caverns and hide among the jagged rocks in the cliffs. They will try to escape the terror of the LORD and the glory of his majesty as he rises to shake the earth.
22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?

 

 

Darkest Hour

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Do you not fear your darkest hour because to fully realize God’s grace, you must know what he is sparing you from.”~TB

Unlearn

If I could give any advice to people— young and old— I would tell them to reject the teachings and ideas of the world. If you believe them, your perception and understanding of God’s will always be distorted. People tell each other the dumbest things, that have nothing to do with God, His grace, or even what His will is in your life. The world will sooner tell you it’s ok to become a unicorn rather than acknowledge God’s existence. The world and its ways are upside down. This is especially true when it comes to hard times and bad events

Necessary

Dark Times produce the purest fruit, because whatever leaves wasn’t necessary and whatever remains is what will see you through. Your darkest hour will reveal how much you truly need the Lord and that all things work according to His plan. Humility and submission will open your eyes to what exactly is going on around you. In hard times, look to see the lessons. Remember that those tough moments didn’t break you. No, you survived! When you are spared from these crazy moments, you then realize that God’s Will is the only way. Surviving harsh times makes you grateful for salvation and everything in between. So the next time you’re being tested or going through a struggle, let God guide you through the moment.

Today’s Question

Are you learning from your darkest hour or is bitterness setting in?

Enjoy the reading

Song of Solomon 7

1 How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O queenly maiden. Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a skilled craftsman.
2Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies.
3 Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower. Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus.
5 Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel, and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty. The king is held captive by its tresses.
6 Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!
7 You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.
8 I said, “I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like grape clusters, and the fragrance of your breath like apples.
9 May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine— Young Woman Yes, wine that goes down smoothly for my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth.
10 I am my lover’s, and he claims me as his own.
11Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers.
12Let us get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the grapevines have budded, if the blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.
13 There the mandrakes give off their fragrance, and the finest fruits are at our door, new delights as well as old, which I have saved for you, my lover.

Of Life & Death

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Be conscious of the things you say as words have the power to build people up or tear them down.”

Influence

Everyone in this world, no matter how big or small has the ability to influence people with their words. Words like daggers can wound even the most thickest skin. Like a poisonous dart, harsh words pierce the soul, and it’s effects may still be seen for a long period of time. Friends, God doesn’t tear us down, so why tear each other?

Choose Life

Words of encouragement can inspire a person to achieve the impossible. The power of a kind word can be felt for years to come, lifting up the weary or acknowledging the oppressed. The words of life are like fuel to a fire, giving hope to those who need it. In all that you do, for yourself and others, speak life into it.

Today’s Question

Are your words speaking life or sending people to the emotionally infirmary?

Enjoy the reading

Song of Solomon 2

1 I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley.
2 Like a lily among thistles is my darling among young women.
3 Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.
4 He escorts me to the banquet hall; it’s obvious how much he loves me.
5 Strengthen me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, for I am weak with love.
6 His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.
7 Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.
8 Ah, I hear my lover coming! He is leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills.
9 My lover is like a swift gazelle or a young stag. Look, there he is behind the wall, looking through the window, peering into the room.
10 My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!
11Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13 The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”
14 My dove is hiding behind the rocks, behind an outcrop on the cliff. Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely.
15 Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!
16 My lover is mine, and I am his. He browses among the lilies.
17 Before the dawn breezes blow and the night shadows flee, return to me, my love, like a gazelle or a young stag on the rugged mountains.