Great Expectations

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Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God promised a peaceful life, not a perfect life, so it’s important to understand the difference.”~TB

Misguided

When you follow the world too closely, it can lull you into a false sense of how life is “supposed” to go. Society tells you to follow certain practices, go to school, get a job, buy a house, join the HOA, build a family, etc. These rules seem fine because it gives you a sense of “what to do”. However, these superficial guidelines can make the blind feel a false sense of control or security that lies outside of God.  Ironically, what this world teaches you is not rooted in Biblical principle, because the only guaranteed thing in life is God and nothing else.  Blindly following this “checklist life” will bring you disillusionment and discontent because this path is the exact opposite of what Christ teaches.

The Impossible Quest for Perfection

Yes, it is important to be part of the community. Yes, one must have a job and educate themselves. None of these goals are inherently wrong. That said, life in this world is a journey and not a successive one at that. The world teaches you that life happens in an upward slope. The Bible teaches you that hills, valleys, and plateaus are normal. If you take the world’s guidelines to heart, prepare for a depressing reality because perfection is impossible! At least, for humanity. Just look at Job, Jonah, Joseph, David, and all of the stories in the Bible. Friends, even God’s favorite people in the Word faced trial after trial, setback after setback, before they experienced any kind of success. And, even after they achieved great things, they still faced opposition. So friends, do not strive for perfection, or the picturesque falsehoods of the world. Strive for peace, which can be found in the teachings of the Lord.

Perfect Peace

Your life does not have to be perfect to experience God’s perfect peace. No, this type of peace comes from a deep and lengthy time with God Himself. Friends, we cannot learn all that Christ has to teach us unless we take the necessary time to spend sitting at His feet. Through God, you learn that life is messy. Through Him, you learn that He controls all. And, if you rely on His wisdom, you will see that He is in the midst of all facets of your life. Know that He is always an umbrella when life and opposition bring inclement weather. Spending time in His presence strengthens your understanding that the world is a broken and misguided place and that you need to possess the lens of Christ in order to see through the falsehoods. So the next time you’re feeling down because life isn’t perfect, ask God to teach you how to sit in perfect peace.

Today’s Question

What is stopping you from living in perfect peace?

Enjoy today’s reading

Proverbs 29

1 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.
2 When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
3 The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.
4 A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.
5 To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.
6Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.
7 The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.
8 Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger.
9 If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.
10 The bloodthirsty hate blameless people, but the upright seek to help them.
11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
12 If a ruler pays attention to liars, all his advisers will be wicked.
13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common— the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.
15 To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
16When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes, but the godly will live to see their downfall.
17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.
18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
19 Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.
20 There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
21 A servant pampered from childhood will become a rebel.
22 An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
23 Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.
24 If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself. You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.
25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.
26 Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the LORD .
27 The righteous despise the unjust; the wicked despise the godly

 

Still

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Hi Peeps,

 

Today’s Quote

 

“Move into the direction where God wants you to be still, into the storm, as He makes your enemies your footstool, in your obedience, good work, faith and Love.” ~ Jon Barnes

Ocean

Moving from your house, career, school, church, family, friends, and the likes can feel like a storm in the middle of a perfect hurricane of big waves, splashing cold water, ferocious winds, sea sickness; Pressing still with hard work, planning, praying, playing, praising, and thanking God for His protection and provision. Enjoy the ocean ride of life in the Ark!

Land

Each of us, while on dry land must build our own Ark of the covenant with love inside our hearts to burn with love for God and you should build your own Ark, like Noah, that is also fire proof to house your soul. The fact is, God gives us time to learn, use, and apply these wonderful biblical stories to reflect upon your own life, to make better choices and discussions, only to watch the hand of God deliver you out of the ways of the wicked.

Sea

Riding in the sea allows you to feel and see the constant, changing, Spiritual movement of God controlling all things in ways we will never understand. But to Him, life is like the Universe as a cup of water in God’s Hands. God never changes, only we do! Being patient and still allows you to see the movement of God from the land to the sea, too. God threw out one cup of  wicked water, just to refill it up with Noah and the Ark to start all over again! Imagine the pain God felt, having to reboot an entire world of creation, lost to evil, wicked ways of lust, pride, greed, and unbelief.

Today’s Question

At the end of each movement, challenge, and triumph, in your life, did you notice how God handled all of the strife?
Enjoy The Reading

Genesis 9

God Confirms His Covenant

Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.
“And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings[a] in his own image. Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.”
Then God told Noah and his sons, “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, 10 and with all the animals that were on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals—every living creature on earth. 11 Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” 17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”

Noah’s Sons

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) 19 From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.
20 After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard.21 One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.
24 When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. 25 Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:
“May Canaan be cursed!
    May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”
26 Then Noah said,
“May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
    and may Canaan be his servant!
27 May God expand the territory of Japheth!
May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem,[b]
    and may Canaan be his servant.”
28 Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood. 29 He lived 950 years, and then he died.
Love,
Jonathan

Real Talk

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Hi Peeps,
Today’s Quote
“If you don’t love yourself, all of your senses will be exposed to the toxic pictures, fumes, sounds, elements, air, water, foods, ideas, and ideologies that reject the truth of God and His natural cycle of creation, reaping, and sowing.  Evil suggests that you sow all your life and reap nothing in return.” ~  Jon Barnes

Opposite

We say one thing but most of us do the opposite of the truth.  Our intentions start out okay, but the reality of life must line up with God’s Real Talk.  I will make mistakes and I’m learning to quickly fix them and share my solutions with action, not just empty words.  Real talk is real action with the real truth, with is the opposite of greed, lust, pride, envy, and evil.

Great Joy

The feeling of Great Joy comes in the morning when your good work has reached one person to help along the way and avoid pitfalls from the devil.  I enjoy giving black eyes to the evil one who takes advantage of the innocent, the poor, and the honest people in the world.  Great Joy comes from giving, living, learning, growing, and sharing God’s love, which touches all Good People from God all of the time. Tap into your Great Joy from God.

Live Love

Live out the truth in your life as if God is chilling with you on your porch on a cool day, drinking some lemonade. Spend some of that time with your family and friends as well, so that they can see God hanging out on your porch with you.  In the morning on a sunny day, your porch should not look like clouds of a thunderstorm brewing up golf-sized hail onto your property.  Live to give good gifts from God and you will never hunger or thirst.
Today’s Question
Is your porch light on 24/7, lighting up the world with God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace?
Enjoy Today’s Reading

1 John 2

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Reasons for Writing

12 I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.
14 I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

On Not Loving the World

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Warnings Against Denying the Son

18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[e] 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.
26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

God’s Children and Sin

28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
Love,
Jonathan