NLT Bible Reading Journey

NLT Bible Journey April 23, 2015

The Israelites partially obeyed God and will suffer the consequences for not completely obeying God. The pagans living with them and surrounding them will be a constant source of temptation and will become thorns in their flesh. God will not help them drive them out.

How often do we partially obey God? Then, after disobeying we suffer through conflict, suffer, struggle or have tremendous guilt? When God tells you to do something, you can’t be half-in.

Let’s say that God is telling you to stop smoking. You stop but once a week a smoking buddy friend of yours wants to come over to visit. They pull out the cigarettes and say, “Come on have just one with me.” Then, what could happen as a result of your disobedience- Sickness for sure.

Let’s say God is telling you to get rid of someone who is toxic in your life. You do for the most part but occasionally you let them come over and even spend the night. Soon their violent temper flares up, the cursing starts, the kids are effected. Your occasional visit has caused you much grief. The cycle of abuse starts all over again. The effects from your disobedience effects the entire household.

If God tells you to quit a habit, to stop doing anything, if you know in your heart what he is telling you to do or not to do; don’t half do it and don’t make excuses for your half-hearted attempts to obey God, just stop.

You can see what happens if you don’t obey God fully. The road is a lot harder, longer and at times torturous.

We create a lot of our own misery by not obeying God and listening to that inner voice.

Our way is not the right way. It might not be entirely easy to go God’s way, but we must trust that it’s for your greater good. So while the road to obeying can seem bumpy, hold on tight to God. He will get you through the rough patches, onto smooth sailing roads. But you must be faithful, prayerful and most importantly fully obedient to him.

You’ll see that God showed grace to the man that helped show the Israelites the way in. This is very similar to the grace he showed Rahab after she helped the spies at Jericho.

God gave the Amorites 700 years to repent, to change and to avoid judgment and punishment. So when you see a slaughtering of people, remember God gave them a long time to change their ways before using other warriors to wipe them out.

This bible is a book of instruction. God speaks to our hearts through our strong thoughts, visions, dreams and this bible. Faith and God should be woven into the fabric of every part of our daily lives. Living with God is not an option, he should be the very air we breathe. The more you include him, the more natural it will to include in him in everything. He is your constant companion and friend. But he waits for you to drawl him in.

Thoughts on Luke 21:29-22:13

Those with the spirit in their hearts, not eyebrow raising skeptics, but praying, followers of Jesus Christ can see the signs. Something is stirring in our spirits. We don’t know what it means, but something significant is going to occur, something that will change the entire world. The leaves are out on this fig tree. Do you see it too?

God’s words will never disappear. So hold onto them. God is your safety net when things heat up. The bible tells us to pray for strength to escape the coming horrors and stand before Jesus. So pray. Pray that God accepts you as his child and helps you to refine and serve him. Pray that if he comes back today, that you will be part of us kingdom.

Jesus’s time on earth was limited. Our time on earth is limited. He did not miss one day to teach at the temple. You should not miss one day to teach or share God with others. Today might be the last day or the only chance to reach that person. It could be your last day, or their last day. If God is telling you to share your church or ask someone if you could pray for them, or ask a stranger who is upset if they are okay…DO IT. Get outside that comfort zone. We don’t have time.

Can Satan enter someone? He most certainly can. We see every day horrific events where what seems to be normal people snap and wipe out people in an office building, a movie theatre or a school.

We must be very careful to stay close to God and to not leave any doors open in our life for the enemy to oppress or worse -enter. Take a close examination of your life. Is there anything in your life, or around you that is an open door? If there is CLOSE it. God is your only protection from darkness, but once again are you half obeying? Or are you all in? You don’t want even a crack in that door.

God plans ahead for us, just as in the case of the man with the water pitcher who would lead them to the upper room. God is leading you to exactly you need to be… Don’t be one of those kids that needs a leash. Go where God tells you to go. Don’t fight him. Trust him. He will have a feast waiting for you for obeying.

Thoughts Psalms 90:1-91:16

Life is not perfect for sure. We will are not perfect. But God knows all of our sins, even secret sins. Thank goodness for Jesus who loves us enough that he died for those public and private sins.

We get caught up in the day to day activities, quickly losing sight to what’s really important. We worry or get worked up over non-important things. God has a way of waking us up, shaking our tree so that we open our eyes to how fleeting life is…Don’t sweat the small stuff.

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Just recently a friend of mine had a cancer scare, it is in moments of nervous anticipation of the results, that God speaks to us about what’s truly important.

In those moments of uncertainty, we realize the only thing certain in this life is God and if you believe in God, then your eternal salvation and life is certain. This life on earth is fragile. But with Jesus your eternal life is ROCK solid. The Lord is our refuge and protection. He sends his angels to protect us wherever we go.

Can you imagine the angels around you as you do God’s work? Or the angels because of your obedience that surrounds your children or spouse? Angels are for real. God is for real. Believe.

I’ve noticed as I have gotten closer to God that when I pray he answers and rather quickly. I am excited each time he does. I see power in those prayers. Not my power, but God’s power. I believe because I am doing his work, praying, repenting and sharing Him with others, that when I pray he answers.

I do realize that “his will” will be done. But I can honestly say that God continues to amaze me with how quickly he answers some of my obscure but heartfelt requests.

So if you want your prayers to be answered….draw closer and closer. Listen and obey and repent. But do things God’s way and he will help you out when you call on him.

Thoughts Proverbs 13:24-25

A child that is not disciplined is no child of mine.

Accept God’s discipline with honor, a real father Disciplines. He is teaching you and refining you. The discipline for disobedience might hurt for a bit but it won’t last forever. You’ll get through it.

Take it like a man or woman!

Spiritual hunger leaves a hole in the heart, stomach and soul. The only way to feed that emptiness in your gut is God. Keep searching, but you’ll eventually figure out that only God can fill that dark hole.

 

 

NLT April 20, 2015 and April 21, 2015

The message Joshua leaves us: “Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

That’s pretty much our goal. If we follow Jesus by reading the bible, praying and serving we will be on the right path. When we goof, which we will, we say we are sorry and do better. Seems simple enough, right? When you pull God in close, it’s a lot easier, especially since we are at battle with the sin within and the world outside.

Gather Facts Before You Condemn

So Rueben, Gad and half tribe of Manasseh built an altar. The Israelites immediately freaked out and planned to destroy them. They found out that it was built  as a reminder to the others in the tribe that they too claim the Lord as their God.  They were getting nervous about being so far from the rest of the group.

How often we draw conclusions or pass judgment or get all fired up before we know the heart of the matter?  When we find out someone’s true intentions behind the action; that often diffuses the emotion in the matter. The actions someone takes might be slightly off or not thought through, but if you see that their intentions were pure, then give them a break.

Take a deep breath before  going bonks when you hear of something going on. Be a calm investigator, gather all the facts and look at the intentions of the person, before you start firing off your mouth, gossiping or planning  out in your mind how you are going to punish or tell them how the cow at the cabbage.

God warns them not to “associate with the other people still remaining in the land. Do not even mention the names of their gods much less swear by them or serve them or worship them. “

Then he goes onto say if you cling to the customs of these pagan people or intermarry with them, then the Lord your God will no longer drive them out of the land. Instead, those people will become a snare and a trap for you, a whip for your backs and you will vanish from this good land the Lord your God has given you.

Well, we know that they did intermarry. We know that they did pick up the detestable practices. We know that today most of the promise land has been captured by those that bow down to other false Gods. We also know that these people today surround Israel, threaten Israel. Israel is always on high alert, they are surrounded and co-exist with those very people God warned them about.

God wants to bring good things to all of us. But we also see that disobedience brings disaster. You cannot worship or serve other Gods. That’s a big no, no.

I can’t help but think about all the temples in the United States where people bow down to false Gods. Has the United States not become a melting pot or marriage of idolatry and false God worship? We are a nation of idolatry in the form of materialism, wealth, sports and beauty. Have we not banished God from public prayer, from Government and Schools? Does it not seem that we are mirroring the very thing Israel was warned against. We as Christians must boldly pray for our country and for its protection. God blesses those that obey. Our departure from God’s way, is frankly disturbing, because clear as bell in scripture, we know that disobedience equals a lifting of God’s protection. Perhaps, 911 was a warning for us to repent and turn back to God. With our government disarray and declining respect in the world combined with our nations decline morality and Godly values, I worry for our country. But what I am reminded of is that we all have our individual final destination, no matter what comes, do you know where you are going? Do you know for sure that you belong to God? If you do, you have nothing to worry about no matter the calamity that comes to the nation or world. God will protect his own from eternal punishment.

Thoughts about Luke 20: 1-26

God sent prophet after prophet, they begged the people to turn from their wicked ways. The prophets told Israelites to repent, turn back to God. But the people ignored each prophet, and paid the consequences for not heeding the warning. God then sent his own son to speak truth into the Jewish nation. Did they listen? Some. But most denied him as their Messiah. Jesus is the stone that they rejected. Don’t let Jesus be the stumbling block that keeps you from reconciling with God. He is the way, the truth and the light.

Jesus did not let these corrupt hearted Sanhedrin stop him from going to the temple and worshipping. He did not let their constant trickery and entrapment keep him from teaching. Jesus was cleaver with every answer as he could see right through them, see their deceit, their doubts and their hearts. Be sure that your heart is pure in all your transactions. Although, others might not truly see you, God can see you. He knows your heart – the good, the bad or the ugly.

Thoughts: Luke 20: 27- 47

Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection. So Jesus was teaching that resurrection does occur. He was saying that God is a God of the living. When your earthly body passes, and you’re reconciled with God, you are alive eternally with him. When you are in heaven, you will be like an angel. You will never die again. God is the god of the living. Through your salvation through Jesus Christ, you are alive forever. You will not be married to anyone other than God in heaven. Each of us is on our individual journey to God. So if your husband or wife is trailing behind or lost, keep praying but know that you are individually children of Gods with your own choice.

Religious types that parade in their robe of self-righteousness only to be judgmental, catty, or shrewd, beware. You will be held accountable for every person who turned away from God because of your action. You will be held accountable for every guilt trip you put on a struggling family to tithe.  God is aware of your intentions and your heart. Be sure that you make sure the inside reflects what you are trying to portray to the world on the outside. It’s not what you appear to be. It’s what you are.

Psalm 89: 1-13 & P89-14-37

God made a promise to David. He promised to establish his descendants as king forever. Jesus is in the line of King David. Like David, Jesus sprung up from common people. David was a simple shepherd. Jesus was a carpenter’s son. Both called out to God and claimed him as Father. Jesus is the Rock of our Salvation. God says he will preserve an heir from David; that will have a throne on the endless days of heaven. That King is Jesus. He says he will not take back a single word or oath he said to King David. So we know that even though many years has passed since Jesus, God is  patient with a master plan. Jesus will reign, the question is when will he appear?

We do not know. But what we know is that it will be a day like any other day, business as usual. So we must be ready at all times.

Proverbs 13: 15-16 and Proverbs 13-17-19

Think before you act. (or speak)

Be careful to take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Some messages lose credibility.

Don’t ignore criticism, accept correction with grace. We can all learn and grow.

Work hard to attain goals- do not resort to evil or slightly corrupt practices to attain anything.

 

NLT April 19, 2015

Let’s take this idea of boundaries to another level. There are physical and mental boundaries. When we for stance set up expectation or boundaries with people, and we stick to them, people have a clear understanding what is allowed and what will not be tolerated.

When boundaries are in place, people also understand what they are responsible for taking care of, growing and protecting.

When lines are blurry in business or personal situations, or when one day the lines are one way and on another day another way; it’s really impossible to have a good working relationship. People, especially children, need consistency and structure.

Whatever you will tolerate, becomes that boundary for the day. But on some days you have your wall up and  some days you do not. This inconsistency creates conflicts because your boundaries, what you will allow are certainly different each day.

Yes, people usually fight boundaries at first, initially because it feels like restraint. But after adjusting, they embrace and function at a higher level because they responsibilities are clearly marked.

All people like clear, concise boundaries, once adapted, these boundaries become the safe haven, a reliable and structured environment for people to grow and develop.

Without boundaries or clear consistent boundaries, defined responsibilities, conflicts happen often and progress is stiffened.

Those who try to cross the dotted line after the boundaries are in place, are playing with fire. We must respect both physical boundaries and spiritual boundaries.

Thoughts Luke 19:28-48

Nothing is by chance. God plans ahead of you, placing key people and things in your path, like the colt tied near the village. ( notice the detail- the colt had never been rode). God is a God of order, structure and details. He has his hands in all the small details of your life too. Very comforting!

This passage says: How I wish all you people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes, referring to the Jews who denied him.

Prophesy of wrath: Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.

This language and description is very similar to Old Testament wars we see and wrath due to disobedience. When Jesus said this, he said it with sadness. God’s heart hurts when we are disobedient. Nobody wants to lose not one child to rebellious ways. God loves every single one of us, and his heart breaks when we go our own way.

Although the description or history of this event not in the bible; it most certainly occurred with the destruction of the temple and slaughtering of Jews.

So we see that yes God is a loving God. He gives us a clear path to blessings and salvation. But we also see that those who disobey, rebel against God are usually warned first.  But when no change occurs ultimately pay for it one way or the other.

Some punishment comes in the way of refinement, correction, discipline or worst case death. Some death actually saves people before they make terrible mistakes that cause them to backslide into a place of torment. Earthly death can be a place where people land comfortably in God’s arms before it is too late. So when you see innocent children die, know that this life is not it. This is a mere hallway to something greater. Those children who are not at the age of accountability,  are actually saved eternally through their earthly death.

But we see those Jews who did not accept Jesus as the opportunity of salvation suffered for it. Many generations after have suffered and still suffer today.

Wrath Occurred but not written in Bible: ( If it was written it would mirror some of the destructions and judgment we see in Old Testament)

As soon as the walls were breached in 70 A.D., Roman 30,000 troops under the command of Titus marched into Jerusalem and began a systematic slaughter of the Jews and the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem—exactly as Jesus foretold 40 years earlier. ( notice the 40

The Romans brutally slaughtered an estimated 600,000 people in Jerusalem including many of the Passover visitors who had been trapped there for the 143 days during the Roman siege.

The magnificent Temple that Herod had built was completely destroyed as the fires raged. the Gold fittings and gilding melted and ran into the cracks between and in the stones.

During the pillaging of the Temple these stones were broken up to get at the gold. Therefore, fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy that no stone would be left on another—the destruction was total, just as Jesus foretold.

Thoughts Psalm 88:1-18

When we suffer, we share in the suffering of Jesus. He went through much pain, mockery and brutality for us. In that shared suffering, we are to call out to him, cry out to him. Peace will come in the next life, the eternal life with Christ. We are too have faith and to praise and thank during the storms of our life. Depend on Jesus and keep your eye on the eternal prize. This too, shall pass. This imperfect life will pass…but God has something super special waiting for you when you pass from this realm to His.

Thoughts of Proverbs

Stay prayerful and hopeful while you wait and endure the steps for dreams to be fulfilled.

Be a good listener, take advice from those rooted in faith and who God has brought you to teach you.

 

NLT April 18, 2015

God is always concerned with anyone’s rights that are being suppressed. He is a caring God of fairness. We see that he cares for the daughters of Makir, from the tribe of Manasseh when he gives them the allotment of land typically only given to sons. He actually ended up giving this tribe more than the original to make sure that both males and the female descendants would get fair treatment.

When people complained to Joshua, he encouraged them that God will go with them and they could take additional land for their many people. Finally, they set up the Tabernacle. No more traveling around with that heavy thing. Soon King David will have a vision for a temple, yet his son Solomon will bring that vision to fruition. Some of us plant seeds for others to harvest.

The tribe of Benjamin, remember Benjamin was Jacobs last son, the baby to his favorite wife Rachael, inherited Jerusalem, considered the most Holy City. I wonder why God did not give Jerusalem to Judah? I wonder this only because of Jesus being from that tribe. You’ll notice from the map, Judah’s allotment is just below it, but does not include Jerusalem. Judah has Bethlehem, Jesus’s birth place.

You can see that God’s people had specific areas, with key dividing lines. There is no question on who got what. But all these slaves left behind and people left alive, become seeds of temptation that point to false Gods, divination and defilement. My Grandmother used to say if you lay with dogs, you get fleas. By living side by side with Pagans, something yuck jumped on the Israelites.

Thoughts of Luke 19-1-27

Can you imagine a super wealthy man like Bill Gates for instance climbing a tree to get a glimpse of someone he admired? Zacchaeus, did not care what the world thought about him, he only cared about getting his eyes on Jesus. He put aside any and all insecurities about how he looked to the people who knew him; Jesus was far more important to him then appearances.

Jesus did not care what the Pharisees were saying either about the fact he was hanging out with sinners. Jesus came to “see and save those who are lost.”

Like Zacchaeus, we are to treat people more than fairly, make right and then some those we have wronged and use our wealth to impact the community, to care for the poor, the widows, weak and so forth.

The moral of the story with the money is that God blesses you with money, time and talent. He expects you to use those assets to multiply the kingdom, bring others to Him and to serve. He also wants you to invest that money wisely, so that the money will grow so that once again you can use it to serve Him. More will given to those God can trust to use it for his greater good and glory. But the greedy, those who do nothing, the little they have will be taken away. Those who do not invest in time, talent and money into the Kingdom of God, who do not accept Jesus as their king, will be suffer the consequences. It’s hard for me to write what will really happen. All of us know what the story says, it says execute and this means thrown into the fiery lake…but that is really hard to write and think about. But I know from reading it over and over again, it’s true.

Thoughts Psalm 87: 1-7

God loves Jerusalem more than any other city in Israel. It’s a blending of citizens and just as it is a melting pot, Jesus welcomes all ethnic backgrounds and nations to his kingdom through accepting the free gift of salvation through Faith in Him.

It says the source of my life springs from Jerusalem. Jesus is life through salvation. We know this city will play a key role. They will play the flutes and sing as Jesus reigns over all nations.

Proverbs 13:11

Where was this verse every time someone pitched me a pyramid scheme, ahhhhhh!

I’ve been asked to sale so many get rich quick things or products….I needed this one in the back pocket. “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.”

Anything that comes too easy, comes with some difficulty or vanishes quickly. Even if you win the lottery, I’ve heard the strangers that knock at your door, the family pressure and so forth is overwhelming. Hard work pays off.

 

 

NLT April 17, 2015

Why were the Jebusites not driven out if God promised to drive them out? After Joshua died, they were wayward and disobedient. God was not with them during that time. They were later driven out under King David’s reign. In 2 Sam 5:6, we learn that David was finally able to dislodge the Jebusites from Jerusalem. It’s not always our timing or even in our life time, but God always keeps his promises.

To read full article: http://evidenceforchristianity.org/god-promised-to-drive-out-the-jebusites-in-joshua-310-but-joshua-1563-says-that-they-were-not-driven-out-how-can-both-verses-be-true/

You’ll notice Caleb got his own city Hebron for his unwavering obedience. We too will be blessed when we are patient, faithful and obedient.

But what’s up with Caleb’s Hebron now?

Hebron is the largest city in the West Bank, and the second largest in the Palestinian territories after Gaza, and home to around 175,000 to 250,000 Palestinians, and between 500 and 850 Jewish settlers. The city is divided into two sectors: H1, controlled by the Palestinian Authority and H2, 20 percent controlled by Israel.

The city is most notable for containing the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs Abraham within the Cave of the Patriarchs. It is the second-holiest city in Judaism after Jerusalem. The city is venerated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims for its association with Abraham

The control of the Cave of the Machpelah site (like the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock complex in Jerusalem) has remained in the hands of the Islamic religious authorities.

Jews and Muslims have separate entrances to the site and pray in separate areas. On major Jewish holidays the entire site is open only to Jewish worshippers, and on major Muslim holidays it is open only to Muslim worshippers.

Do you think this is what God intended for Hebron or Caleb’s descendants? No. Does God make good on all of his promises? Yes. But it’s his timing not ours.

Based on Scriptural reading: How do you think God would feel about all the worshiping of other God’s in Caleb’s city?

You’ll also notice that Gaza is set aside for the tribe of Judah. What is going on in Gaza? The Palestinians have ownership but are landlocked. You’ve seen all the fighting that has taken place between Israel and Hamas, originating from this little strip of Mediterranean coastland.

Gaza is: Arab (Palestinian): 83%-Israeli Jewish and other: 17%- Religions-Muslim 80–85% (predominantly Sunni; also nondenominational), Christian 1.0–2.5%, Jewish 12–14%

Do you think this was God’s intention for the land given to the tribe of Judah? How do you feel God will feel about Judah’s land being used for idol worship? Joshua 15:1-12),

Thoughts on Luke 18: 18-43

Obeying the laws and being a good moral person is not enough. God is looking for Abraham type faith.

(A Complete dependence and integration of Him in your life)

A rich man often relies on his own abilities and wealth. He has no need for God. He thinks he supplies his own needs.

A poor man out of natural necessity relies on God, Faith and prayer are necessary to get daily needs met. So being poor or struggling could be a blessing because God uses it as a way to draw you in close. Wow.

In order to see the Kingdom of God, you must rely on God, not man, not money, not anything.

Often in this life, to follow Jesus there are sacrifices that will be made. Not everyone will believe or support your beliefs. We life in a dark world, twisted in the fact that what’s wrong is right and what’s right is wrong.

So you will not always be accepted, praised or loved. God may even ask you to make money sacrifices for Him. Following Jesus is not the easier road as it regards to your involvement in this world. But Following Jesus in this life, making sacrifices and taking stones in this life, stores up heavenly treasures for you in the eternal life with Him.

The reason it’s much harder for a rich man to get into heaven is because there are so many things he must battle within himself when he is wealthy: power, importance, self-reliance, greed, materialism, selfishness, pride, arrogance and sexual advancement. Money can definitely give you a false sense of importance. You might be treated like a King in this life, but will this be in lieu of being with the King in the next life? NOT worth it.

God does want to bless you with monetary security but if much is given, much is expected. Be careful and cautious not to let the money go to your head and be sure to put Godly causes on the list of top of priorities. You will be blessed then some. When he sees you can be trusted with much, he will give you more. He may be giving you time, building your business and wealth, to give you time to do the right thing. Or he may allow you to build your business, allow you to get to the top, big head and all, only to humble you by knocking you off that very tall pedal stool. When you fall, your fall will be a lot harder. The hope is to humble you. For you to rely on God and see this life as fleeting. It’s the eternal we should be focusing on not storing up treasures on earth. I met a man who was a millionaire twice. He told me he had to lose it all, so that he could be humbled by God. Money had its grips in him. He is so thankful that God took all the money away because know he has a Godly perspective on life and money.

Success is a great thing. God wants to bless you but be grateful, thankful in all the small things and be sure when you have been blessed with money, you use some of God’s money for God’s causes.

Just as the blind beggar called out to God, you should too. Don’t let anything keep you from asking God for your needs. The louder you are, the more apt God is to answer the prayer. God knows our needs before we ask. But he is waiting to hear the request, just as he is waiting to hear the request from this blind man. He desires for us to depend on him for help. So it’s important to call out to him for help and answers. The squeaky wheel gets the grease…so keep talking to him until the situation is handled.

Be sure when you come out of it, you praise God and give him glory. Share the good news and how God is working and did work in your life with others.

Thoughts of Psalm: 86-1-17

What a beautiful prayer to say often…a nice go to prayer.

I am devoted to you Lord. I serve you and trust you God. You are merciful and loving to me. I pray out to you often and you answer. You give me happiness. I cry out to you when I’m trouble and you answer. You alone are God over my life- there is no other.

Teach me God to be like you, purify my heart. I praise you God and give you all the glory. Jesus you have rescued me from death and I am forever grateful. When I stumble God, have mercy on me. Correct your humble servant and give me strength. Send me signs showing me that I am pleasing to you. Thank you God for all your comfort and love.

Thoughts of Proverbs 13-9-10

Doesn’t it seem that when we listen to God and obey, even when it feels slightly out of our comfort zone, suddenly we realize our head has stopped spinning? When we submit to God and obey in the little things, it’s like we suddenly we have inner joy.

Has someone turned the light on in our life? Yes..you because it’s your choice to pursue and please God. He has always had that light ready for you…but it’s your choice if you want to live in the dark.

With God, we take deeper breaths, we are more settled in our minds and our hearts. There is a true comfort that comes when you rely on God. He is your everything. He provides you with everything.

Try to keep pride out of your life both personal and business. Don’t ever think you are too good to do something. Jesus washed his disciple’s feet. We should all work on humbling ourselves before all men.

 

 

 

 

Israelmap2

 

NLT April 16, 2015

When God promises something, he means to keep His promise. An Oath by God is always kept. The pink highlighted area was given to the Israelites. Yet you see that God’s people only have a tiny portion today of what was promised to them. Now all the land around them, is surrounded by enemies, much of which was the promise land. “The land was distributed in strict accordance with the Lord’s command to Moses.”

Is God waiting for his precious strip of land for tribe of Judah, Jesus tribe, and Benjamin to be attacked before HE reveals his muscle power?

God himself overcame 31 Kings and empires, much greater in strength and number than the Israelites. Did he do all this only for others to conquer the land? No. But he may be allowing this so that in his time, he will use the power of the heavens, amazing super natural events and confusion on the battle grounds to defeat those that jeopardize his master plan.

Will this event bring Jews to the real Messiah? Will bring many lost sheep, misled sheep home? Yes. There will still be those hardened and influenced by the enemy that will doubt or shrug off the events. But one day, God will reveal himself and defeat the enemy. One day there will be no shrugging the events off, every knee will bow but not every soul will be saved. After all, all the earth and everything in it, is Gods. God has only allowed the devil for a bit to have influence.

We learn from Caleb that we must trust God throughout a process. Some processes and promises take 45 years like in Caleb’s case. But Caleb never stopped trusting God’s strength, power or promises.  Caleb has patience. It was never about his abilities or age even, it was about God being God. You must truly believe that nothing is too big for God. You must submit to God’s timing. Be patient and wait on his perfect timing in your life. Caleb got his own special allotment of land. God will bless you for obedience, trust and patience. On those days you doubt, pray.

God said that the land of Canaan, will be the tribe of Judah’s forever. So in God’s timing, he will honor his promise. Jesus is the head of all, but he is also from the tribe of Judah. There was a bigger reason why the Caleb was the leader of tribe of Judah, why he trusted God and why the land of Canaan was given to his tribe forever. That land is sacred, set aside as, Holy for our Messiah, the Holy One from the tribe of Judah. Why those that surround and are enemies of Israel don’t realize that they have no fighting chance is beyond me. They are only provoking God.

Thoughts on Luke 18: 1-17:

Do your children nag you? Are they relentless in requests? Yes. And often times they wear you down and you give them what they want so they will leave you alone. God wants us to have this kind of tenacity when it comes to prayers. Keep praying. Pray faithfully from the heart, God will grant you justice- he will answer you in his way.

Sin is sin. All sin makes us less than in God’s eyes. Do not compare your sin to any other sin. Do not compare your way of life against someone else’s way of life. But compare yourself to the Holiness of God. How far do you fall short when you compare yourself with God himself? How deserving are you of the grace he gives you? It is those who know they are not worthy, who humble themselves flaws and all before God that are exalted by God’s grace. Don’t be high and mighty or self-righteous. Don’t throw stones at others. Look in the mirror and make a change.

Embrace God with childlike faith and enthusiasm. How quickly do children forgive each other? So quick that you blink and the tears stop and they are laughing together again. Receive the kingdom of God like a child….

Thoughts of Psalm 85:1-13

God covered our sins and held back fury when he offered up his Son. It’s now our choice- Faith or Alternative?

God did restore us or gave us potential restoration through accepting Jesus Christ.

God is prolonging wrath to future generations. He’s patient too…He is given us the choice to come to him, submit to him or to stay an enemy of God.

Through Christ he shows his Great LOVE for us.

He will give Peace to his faithful people as long as they don’t return to foolish ways. Stay on Course People!

Thoughts of Proverbs 13:7-8

Don’t pretend to be something your not- but no matter what you are- be kind to all and aim for a servant’s heart.

God’s humble people are protected by God himself. Money can buy protection in this life but who will protect you from God? Money will be powerless over God’s judgment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLT April 15, 2015

Joshua obeyed God completely, and he was rewarded with rest from war. With God’s blessing and help, he conquered 31 kings. When we obey God completely, we too are blessed and can rest. Life is easier when we listen and obey the Lord. When we are half- in, or half obey, life is not so smooth.

You might think why would God harden their hearts? Well, we can’t know for sure but if any remained alive from this group, the pagan rituals and evil practices would remain. They would build up anger and evil and come after the Israelites. God had his reasons for wanting to completely wipe out this group of evil people.

So you might be thinking, wow – what’s the deal with all the darkness in Old Testament? What’s the deal with all the wrath? Why is it I take a deep breath, a sigh of relief when I get to New Testament?

I’ve been praying on this on how to explain this to you. I turned to Romans and God spoke to me clearly through this scripture on how you are all feeling.

Romans 4:

Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

Romans 5:

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Why does Old Testament feel different than New Testament?

  1. As Long as the Law Exists, we will all continue to break the law. ( No matter what)
  2. Sin makes us enemies with God. Evil cannot coexist with good. There must be a reconciliation. Sin equals death. Blood is life. So a life for a life. A sacrificial system was in place for Israelites to continually cleanse them, reconcile them with God.
  3. The Pagans- had no laws. The pagans had no reconciliation with God. They had no God at all only a false Idol. So if we as sinners are enemies with God without Jesus, then we would be subject to Condemnation and wrath with God. This explains why God wiped out using wrath and war, the enemies of God, those not reconciled. Yet still we see in some instances, he has mercy on them and spares some from wrath. ( Rahab for instance)
  4. When we get to New Testament our relationship with God is saved through Abraham type faith, through believing and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior we are restored by death of his Son while we were still enemies. As believers with Faith, we are saved through the life, resurrection of Jesus. Accepting His resurrection, we resurrect.

So in New Testament, judgment is delayed. We are all given a choice, to become friends with God through Jesus or to remain enemies and come subject to a delayed but eminent wrath and judgment. So that is why New Testament does not have the wrath. Jesus is the Light we feel in New Testament and the Hope. Hope in Him is the Light you feel in New. Keep in mind you should not completely disregard the law, but rather obey it out of Love for God.

Thoughts Luke 17: 11-37

We should always glorify God and give God credit for things in our life. We should never take his goodness, gifts or miracles for granted. God loves a grateful, appreciative and thankful heart in good times and bad.

When Jesus comes back, the entire world will know. The sky will light up from one end to another. If someone comes on the scene, claiming to be Him, or performing supernatural amazing unexplainable things, do not believe the lie. Remember, the enemy comes to deceit.

This will happen when everything is business as usual, so you should be spiritually ready at all times. You must let go of who you were. You must let go of pleasing this world. You must try hard to kill the ugly part of yourself and strive to have the virtues that God embodies. “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let go of your life, you will save it.” Here we go again, that’s the definition of “born again.”

When you see signs, you know we are near. Do you see signs? I see the Gog and Magog war on the horizon with alliances and business transactions between key countries like Russia and Iran.

When I re-read the Gog and Magog war last night in Ezekiel, there are versus in that prophecy that resemble what Jesus says here about , “ fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven to destroy them all.”

That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left.

Some do not believe in the rapture. But scripture tells us that we will avoid the great tribulation as believers, so I’m hoping that before the heat turns up any more in this fallen world, that we are raptured. One thing I read last night says that the US is not mentioned in Gog and Magog war and why? Could it be that as the biggest Christian nation, many of could be raptured before? Who knows…but for me the rapture gives me some peace.

There is much debate on rapture or no rapture because scripture describes what will happen but there I much debate over interpretation and discrepancy on exact order of events.

Thoughts on Psalm 84: 1-12

Even if it’s your last day on earth, you are on your death bed, if you accept Jesus Christ as your savior, that’s awesome! “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.”

God is our light and will be our light. He protects us. As followers, he will not hold one good thing from those who do what is right.

Thoughts Proverbs 13:5-6

I hate lies and I’m not surprise that the Lord hates lies. Even small white lies are pointless.

Don’t lie it’s shameful. Tell the truth and take the punishment if there is any.

 

 

 

NLT April 14, 2015

When in doubt and when making any agreement or decision, before you agree to anything take it to the Lord. Joshua, naïve, influenced by deception, made a move, a vow without consulting the Lord.

I can’t help but think about our current treaty with Iran.  How powerful it would be for the congress to have a prayer session before signing any agreement with Iran. Oh how I wish our president would pray over this treaty.

God will reveal things to you after you pray to give you confirmation or guidance. He will speak to you through people, actions of others, scripture, dreams and strong thought. When you go at it alone, when you make a decision without God’s input, you could be making a wrong move. If you want God’s blessing, ask for it. Follow your God gut.

I think about when Steve and I bought the house in Liberty hill. The house was left abandoned by builders that  went under, it was at frame stage.

I prayed over and over for God to make it crystal clear if he wanted us to take on this project. I told God we are just stupid enough to do this so if it’s not meant to be seal it shut, cemented the door.

Soon we had our paperwork in order, loans and so forth. When we touched base with the realtor, who had been in constant contact with us, she said, “ we have a contract and the money is already in escrow.”

We were surprised and really felt like she had cheated us by not telling us that a deal was in.

Steve had met the realtor out at our property, had many conversations with her. Frankly, we felt annoyed because she knew we were working on the loan arrangement. But we accepted it as confirmation God did not want us to have the house.

Being in real estate, it’s pretty much a done deal when the money is in escrow especially when you are dealing with investors, people with money who are looking to flip a house like this.

So Steve and I were disappointed, but we both said, “We prayed to God over this, so it’s not meant to be. We must trust him.”

Days later, the realtor called us back. She said that the owner of the framed house for some reason threw out the contract; it was back on the market. The reason we didn’t already put a contract on the house, despite having loan in order is because the owner was an  older gentleman whose son’s had just died.

We didn’t want to tie up the house if we didn’t know for sure we could do the loan. Often in real estate, people just get soft letters from the bank, write up a contract and tie up the property, only to fall out due to not being able to get fiancés.

So we resubmitted the offer, and 6 people submitted that very day. They accepted our offer.

So it was crystal clear from money being drawn out of escrow and given back, then us getting the house, God was in it. When I found out after closing that the woman who bought the house dated my mom’s cousins son all throughout high school. To my surprise, the buyer was from Brownfield, my Grandparents home town in West Texas. She knew some of my Grandmother’s best friends. Plus, her middle name was Shea…I knew God had blessed us throughout the process. And he gave solid confirmation at the end.

What I also found out was if during this process  had  we not had some hiccups then the house would have sold too quick. Then, we would have had to pay a lot more taxes on the property because it would have been considered a flip- done for just income producing. So all those bumps in the roads during build, actually paid off in the end. God is so good. We must just pray before any decisions and  continue to pray for guidance in all things daily.

I believe that because I included God in this project, his hand was in it the entire time. He protected us, even when there seem to be some weird stuff going on between banks during our project. Nothing is more powerful or influential than God.

God will test you though. Before we had a contract on this house, someone who was in a “cash” business wanted to pay cash for the house. He openly said he could not go through normal means, due to the nature of his business. It’s very difficult anymore due to laundering to except cash on a house or anything. Anything over a certain amount the feds need written record, of large deposits. I’m so glad that we were not enticed to do business with slim shady out of desperation. I remember telling Steve, “ I don’t want to do anything that would dirty this deal before God’s eyes.”

We trusted and God revealed the unique family connection. This connection served as confirmation for both me and the girl who bought the house. She told me she had doubts on the move the entire time, but that this confirmed to her that God was involved. That God brought her there.

Why do people lie?

Well one reason people lie based on this story is out of fear for their livelihood. When people feel threatened or feel fearful about their livelihood in anyway;  they will do anything and everything, including lie to make sure their needs are met.

You’ll notice that the Israelites made an oath and despite the oath being based on lies, they still kept the oath and spared their lives. But by sticking  to this Oath, they got a stronger army when combined with the Gibeon. God does not take oaths lightly. So avoid making promises or oaths, unless you intend to keep your end of the bargain.

Nothing is too big for God. I believe one day again, God will use his power from the sky to knock down the enemy, like he did with the hail stones. You may be discouraged to see that no one will put boots on the ground in Syria. Perhaps, God is allowing the enemy to gain strength only one day  to reveal his power and strength. Everything happens because God allows it. But know this, one day God will reveal himself again and every knee will bow.

God can make the sun and moon stand still. He is powerful and there is no other God than him.

When you’re reading all the battles, you’ll notice that in one battle a “tiny remnant” remained.

That tiny remnant will contaminate land with detestable practices and idolatry. If God says get rid of something, get rid of it completely from your life…or else you will feel the ramifications of not listening.

Thoughts of Luke 16: 19-17: 10

So where did Godly people go before Jesus ? Carried by angels to Abraham.

Where did  the corrupt self-righteous go? Place of Dead- place of torment and fire.

We get warnings on how to live and salvation through the scriptures, yet people even religious authorities go their own way.

If people will not believe the scriptures, if they will not believe prophets like Moses, why on earth would they believe a man, like Jesus Christ, a humble suffering servant after he’s been raised from the dead?

Some people are so hard, their hearts are in wrong place, they will never truly understand. Let those hear, hear.  It’s about having a heart for God and others, not self. God has called each of you to join this bible journey. You were all led here for a reason, you were all chosen.

Be a good influencer on others. Those that temp others or try to pull them away from God through argument or action, beware. God does not come down lightly on those that influence someone to backslide.

Our faith grows when we become humble servants.   We deserve nothing but God gave us his free gift anyway. Our service  to God is a thank you, for his free gift of grace. We should not be looking to get anything out of our service to God, but simply love and serve God because it’s our calling and service. ( so don’t look to be seen by men or the world or to score brownie points in heaven…do it because you love God and others)

Thoughts on Psalm 83-1-18

Sometimes God brings on suffering, hardship or punishment to bring someone to their knees back to him. “Utterly disgrace until they submit to your name, O Lord.”

God does everything out of love, his ultimate goal is for you to reconcile with him and change, so that he does not lose one child to the place of torment.

Often through our struggles our near death experiences, we change and submit to the Lord God Most High. God wants us to make Him supreme over our lives.

Thoughts on Proverbs 13:4

VERY simple and so true. Laziness is one thing that I really can’t tolerate in others. In fact, I am very impatient with those that don’t do what it takes to provide for their families. God has to work on me in this area of frustration.

“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.”

God gives us talents, skills and able bodies, we are to do whatever it takes to survive, even if that means several jobs to make ends-meat. If someone is truly disabled, elderly or sick, we should use our resources to help them.

 

NLT April 13, 2015

Sin is a poison that spreads – one person’s sin can hurt many, many people. One person’s choice to sin could hurt, even kill thousands of  people like a bomb for instance. The hurt from one person’s decision to live outside God could break hearts, kill souls and effect friends, family and strangers alike. DWI wrecks for instance.

Everything that is hidden must come out into the light. When we go along with or stay silent when someone is doing something unethical, dishonest or illegal, we are co-conspirators by not saying anything. If found out that we went along with it, we too could be in big trouble. If they find out that we knew but just didn’t want to get involved, we could be punished.

I met a man who said that one night he was chilling in his lounger. There was a knock at the door. It was a man he knew but had not seen in years.  He thought how weird for this guy to come at this hour, especially since he had not  seen him in years.

The man entered the home, but did not seem right. Something was off. He begin to spout off that he killed his mother in law violently with a hammer. The man who owned the house, just thought he was out of his mind, in denial that this really could be real. But something with off with this old friends eyes.

Then the man asked if he could take a shower. Then, came out disoriented and naked into the living room asking for a towel. The owner of the house quickly told him, “I need you to leave. It’s time for you to go.”

On the way out, the man with glazed over weird eyes, grabbed a hand carved cross off the rack and left.

The next morning, the owner of the house went into town early. He had bad dealings with cops and did not want to go to the cops. He needed to go into town for some other reason. When he went to open the door, he noticed it was not the door that he wanted to go in, but he was actually shaking at 5:30am the police station door.

To his surprise, in a trance like state, the Holy spirit was leading him to the police station to do the right thing. He was freaked out when he noticed that he had pulled on the wrong door. Soon cops her were on duty came out and asked if he could help them with anything.

He soon told them everything the man had said to him the night before. The man after taking the cross from his house, went over to the local attorney’s office and had confessed to killing his mother in law.

If the owner of the house, the man I met, remained silence, in one way or an another he would have had the blood of that innocent woman on his hands too, even though he did not have anything to do with it. If he had allowed past dealings with law, keep him from confessing what he knew, he would have in some ways been pulled into this killing. He would have felt the ramifications in some form of fashion for not doing the right thing. Luckily, there was a driving force behind him, leading him to the locked police station door and without delay…

Sin is like fire, it spreads rapidly ,innocently burning, destroying, hurting, killing not only the innocent but also the guilty. Sin destroys  property like land, cars, houses and so forth. Because sin has entered the world, all of us are effected by sin whether it’s our sin or someone else’s.

When there is disobedience in a house hold like in this case, it effected all the family, including the children. If someone in a home for instance is an abusive foul mouth drunk, you bet your bottom dollar that the kids are effected in one way or another. Sadly, many kids pick up on these habits, imitating what they’ve learned. Sadly, kids are attracted to the role models they saw at home, so they continue the cycle of the abuse and hand that pattern down to their children. But with Christ’s help we can be free from the generational curse, bondage of sin.

Sin must be avoided at all costs. We must not allow greed or selfishness or sinful living contaminate our immediate family or the community. We’ve all seen how one person’s flick of a cigarette can destroy 1,000 and 1,000’s of acres, home and lives. Sin is no different.

Even sin that is hidden like these stolen goods, can lift the protection of a community or group of people.

Our relationship with Jesus  gives us victory over sin. We are forgiven when we embrace him as our savior. We still are sinners, and we will still goof up.  Even as Christians we will still feel ramifications for our past or current slip ups, but with Jesus’s help we can change and be forgiven. Through the Holy Spirit we are empowered to live like him and for him.  We are not condemned to a fire for our mistake like Achan and his family. That’s why Jesus died on the cross for us.

There might be something huge you are about to tackle. God will give you a precise plan of action or plan of attack. He will help you organize and execute the plan that will work. He might even break the plan down into parts, strategies or stages so that you will come out victorious. God is all knowing and he carefully instructed Joshua on how to defeat Ai.

When you see entire villages and cities destroyed, you must remember God is a loving God but he cannot allow seeds of evil to co-exit with Godly. God can see into the future, he knows things before they ever happen. He could see that the people of Ai were disgustingly evil and must be destroyed for the “greater good.”

Think about the current enemy in the middle east that are training up armies of children, who are brain washing elementary school children to be the ravages who kidnap and kill. Children are impressionable and will often become products of their environment. God is an all knowing God. You’ll notice some villages, women and children are allowed to live but in some they are not. This is because God can see into the future on how one evil seed can influence the entire group- pulling God’s people to other detestable practices and Gods. This breaks God’s heart that people have become so hardened, so evil and so corrupt. It breaks God’s heart for one soul to be lost. But for the greater good, hard decisions have to be made. Those that experience weeping and gnashing of teeth, had a choice.

It’s harder to bring back someone when they are in the depths of evil like that, very hard. There is broader consequences for sin in the world. We see the destruction of children and families, buildings and entire cities in the middle-east. Does God allow this? Does God prompt this for judgment or cleansing? We don’t know. But what we do know that God is good. God is loving. God does everything out of good and against evil. God and evil cannot co-exist. God will be the final judge and jury on all. But Christians who put their faith in Christ, will be safe.

Now after the stoning of Ai and family, Joshua did a review of scriptures to the entire community. How quickly we forget or disregard God’s laws and start living for self. How quickly we let temptation, over take us. Money and materialism is definitely something you need to be careful of not allowing yourself to be enticed by….

Let me give you an example. Recently, a man approached my husband about making a haunted house on our land. We have an old house. In two days, we could make buckets of money. I told him that we could not be enticed by something that encourages or even shows murder, blood, evil. To my husband it’s just entertainment, but as we discussed he understood how the enemy is trying to entice us with buckets of money.

My question is: “What would Jesus think of this business venture?” Would he approve of it?” You and I know the answer is NO.

Now some would say, but what if the money was all given to charity. The money is still dirty and made by love of evil or darkness. Justification of sin or anything that draws in evil or darkness is not okay. So be very careful not to get involved with anything that feels slightly off in the gut. Do not justify.

Thoughts of Luke 16: 1-18

Do not use your intellect or shrewdness for evil or schemes. You that cleverness to benefit others.

Luke 16:10-12 (NLT)

10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?

So let’s say you have a boyfriend that is less than reliable in the little things. Let’s say that he says he will pay a cable bill and he doesn’t. Let’s say that he will start contributing weekly a certain amount for groceries, yet always has an excuse. If he is dishonest or doesn’t follow through on the little things, how would you be able to trust him on the bigger things in life?

Let’s say that he is untrustworthy about finances, how much money he has, he doesn’t pay his bills on time or pay back people that he owes, is God going to trust him with more, when he is so haphazard with just day to day bills and obligations? Is God going to trust him to do God’s work here on earth like ministry work or charity work?

If someone can’t be trusted and is not good on their world on the little things, how on earth can they be trusted to follow up on the bigger things. God would not trust them with more earthly money, success or even trust him to do authentic work for Him.

Be aware of the signs. If you see over and over again that something is not measuring up, even if it’s something little- it is a symptom of a greater problem within. Do not disregard these red flags, especially when you are involved in a relationship. It’s the little things that point to a bigger problem.

So you might be thinking that Jesus came to destroy the law. That is not true, not even the smallest point of God’s law is to be overturned.

See there is a point to God’s law. And God has a point a good point in everything he does. Our job is to try to love God and love others. Keep love as the foundation of all our dealings- and repent & correct when you goof. This is something we have to strive for daily.

Thoughts Psalm: 82: 1-8

If you see a family struggling, who is being oppressed, help deliver them from the thing that is oppressing them. As children of God, it’s our responsibility to bring others into the Light of the Lord, the hope He brings.

Thoughts of Proverbs 13: 2-3

Our project is our mouth. Our words can lift up or destroy. This is a daily project to watch our mouth that there are no foul language, corrupt language or damaging words that come out of our mouth. Encourage others, lift others. You can be truthful though and speak God’s truth and wisdom into them in a peaceful way. But sometimes and often, it’s best to walk away and pray.

Steer clear of people with short tempers and violent tendencies- nothing good can come from it.

 

 

NLT April 12, 2015

The circumcision was God’s marking. It’s quite interesting that they did not continue this custom because remember God was going to kill Moses over him not getting circumcised after Egypt. This set this group apart as God’s children. I also believe that God also was looking out for them as far as cleanliness.

You’ll notice that the manna did not fall from the sky anymore, once they entered the promise land. I’m assuming there was enough milk, honey, grapes, olives, pomegranates and so forth.

How interesting is it that The Commander of the Lord’s army said he was neither friend nor foe, probably because his allegiance is to God and God only. If the Israelites were disobedient to God, then of course he would not be a friend to them. So it depends on the Israelite’s actions.

Joshua fell face down and claimed himself as a servant. This is interesting to me because in Revelations John fell down at an angels feet and was corrected for doing so:

Revelations 22: 8 …7“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” 8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”…

So this experience is similar to when Moses first met God on the Mountain,

Moses Experience in : Exodus 3: 5- “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

So we know that angels do not allow man to bow down and worship them. We are to worship God only. This leads me to believe that this an incarnate form of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, similar to the burning bush incident.

Once again we see the significance of 6 and 7. Like God made earth and everything in it in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested. The 7th is the Sabbath, the day of rest or the day dedicated to God. Very interesting numbers in the bible. So they were obedient and did as they were told. How hard would it be to be quiet for 6 days while walking in a circle around Jericho? I would have to put tape on my mouth not to talk all day but of course I’m a talker.

One liar and thief in the group, who was disobedient to God, caused the protection of God to be lowered. But if Joshua would have gone to God before invading, God would have told him that Achan had stolen the Silver, gold, bronze and iron. But Joshua got comfortable and took God’s protection for granted, not knowing that one of his own got greedy.

The lesson in this is to never make a move without asking for God’s guidance and blessing. I often say, “God make the decision of this to be painfully clear. If we aren’t supposed to do it, slam the door shut, seal it up because we are just stupid enough to do it.”

God told Joshua that they must purify themselves, remove the things from among them.

So let’s say someone pulls up to you at a traffic light and says I have some electronics for 80% off retail. They can give you no explanation as to where they came from. Instinct tells you that they are probably hot items. It’s best not to take anything you feel is dirty, even if you are to use it for good. It’s kind of like blood money.

One thing that is not scriptural but keeps coming up in my head as I read this is God sees Silver, Gold, bronze and iron as hot commodities. In a world economy that is failing fast, with the US dollar losing value every day, is God telling us where to put our stocks, bonds and money. Not sure but it’s interesting that these typically hold value when other things fail. I know with the steel business it is a pretty solid industry.

When God makes a promise or an Oath he keeps it. Rahab and her family was not only spared but Jesus himself is in her blood line. (Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab) You’ll see this genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew.

So not only was this prostitute saved for her duty but in a way she was highly honored by being part of the blood line of our Messiah. Once again we see God as a God of second chances, who not only keeps his promises, but blesses those who have turned from sin and are obedient to him. Rahab was broken but her heart was good. She kept her promise. She changed her ways and God blessed her greatly.

It’s surprising to see a prostitute in Jesus blood line only because humans are so judgmental. But Jesus is a man who was brought to heal the sick, the broken. He was brought to show us grace and mercy and give us second chances. All God has ever wanted is us to repent and turn back to him. So if your past is shady, but not quite as shady as Rahab, you have got to know that God loves you. None of us are perfect. He loves a humble heart. He loves someone who acknowledges short comings and sin. Love God, and He will bless you greatly. He washes all that dirty right off.

Notice in scripture that nobody could rebuild Jericho. There was a curse associated with someone who tried. We will later see this curse played out. If God says don’t do something, don’t do it. I’m just saying…

Thoughts of Luke 15:1-32

I’ve heard of the prodigal son story a million times. But something significant stuck out to me this time. The wayward son did not just come back as he was and ask to be taken care of…Something much different is here.

He said, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being your son. Please take me on as a servant.”

  • Acknowledged sin and wrong doing against God ( repentance)
  • Acknowledged sin and dishonor-disrespect to parent ( repentance)
  • Humbled himself before God and man ( humble yourself- admit shortcomings)
  • Gave Himself as Servant ( humble self, serve God through love, service, dedication to God)

So God is compassionate, loving and he will embrace those that have sinned against him but only when they repent of sins, humble themselves, change and then dedicate their lives to serving God through love and service.

So this is not the kind of relationship where the prodigal son continues to steal from parents, eat their food, take drugs while living under the roof, takes the car without asking, doesn’t work and runs all over the family. The above statement by the prodigal son in the story mirrors the process of being Born Again.

But for every lost child of God that truly repents and humbles himself before God, there is a huge celebration in Heaven. That son was dead to sin but now he’s found, back in his loving Father’s arms, his heavenly father. For every person that has wandered off from the Lord and comes back, it is a day of celebration.

Thoughts of Psalm 81:1-16

Tests our faith with struggles and challenges

Gives us stern warnings but do we listen?

Trust in God, he will take the load from your shoulders

Do not live according to you own idea or stubborn desires, live according to God’s will or else.

Believe in God. Serve God and you will be blessed and then some!

Thoughts of Proverbs 13: 1

Ahh..read Slade this one this morning.

“ A wise child accepts his parent’s discipline.”

We are God’s children. We may still be feeling the heat from past decisions that we know were outside God’s law. We must like King David be willing to acknowledge what we did was wrong and be willing like King David to accept the punishment or refinement. God only disciplines to refine us so that we will learn from our mistakes and be purified. We can also use our past mistakes to warn others.

 

NLT April 11, 2015

How soon we forget the great things God has done in our life. We don’t keep a list of the daily miracles and as time passes we forget God’s power in our lives.

Throughout scripture, we see a God putting in place festivals, rituals and reminders. He wants the great miracles, his power over our lives to never be forgotten. But oh how we forget, after the festivals pass or when the reminder is out of sight. Soon without even realizing it we allowing other tasks, problems or family duties take precedence over time with God. Our actions actually, represent the order of importance in things.

Like with Slade with his dyslexia, now he can do homework all by himself. He’s reading on grade level. I do not want to forget rocking him like a baby, praying with him, him praying before the state test. I do not want to take for granted what God has done in Slade’s life. I make it a habit to go back, especially on the big things that God has done for us, and thank him.

But as we get comfortable in life, with new jobs, successful companies, good health; how quickly we forget what God has done for us. We need daily reminders to keep us relying on God’s power and influence over our lives. We must never forget or become complacent.

So after the waters of the Jordan were separated, God told Joshua to stack 12 rocks from the bottom of the river bed to make a monument. They did this so they would not forget God’s powers that day in the river. Enemies and Israelites would see this stone monument and be reminded of God. With his power and his power alone, they were brought into the promise land.

We wear crosses to remind us that God is with us. But how quickly do we blow our horn in traffic and whisper ugly under our breath when someone cuts us off. The cross hanging under our chin, hidden from our eyes, does not remind us of God’s grace. But others who see us look at us, see that cross on our chest and see if our actions reflects what we are saying to the world with the cross that hangs around our neck. Your wedding ring for instance reminds you of your vows and tells the world you’re married. This you can see and serves as a reminder. But like anything, the symbol or reminder means nothing if the heart is unclean.

I encourage you to make a list of the miracles God has done in your life. Keep that list in your bible and routinely thank God.

Your bible can be your reminder. Take your bible with you everywhere. If you are behind in reading, and you are waiting for kids at sports practice or gymnastics for instance, catch up on your reading there. Sit quietly in the car or on the picnic table and read. If you don’t want people to see you, pray on that. It does not matter what the world thinks.

It’s best to start each day with God. To get up and put him before everything else. Life is fast, furious, especially with young children. How quickly do we let a season or the hustle of being a working parent, overshadow the importance of God time.. Whatever you need to do to keep God front and center, do it. Maybe as a family you could stack stones and place them in your garden as a reminder to not lose importance of God.

God wants us to put the 10 commandments everywhere at our door steps, on our wrists, in our houses…he knows we are an absent minded, wayward people who needs to be prompted to remember.

Thoughts of Luke 14: 7-35

Be humble and you will be exalted in heaven. If you want to be the best, sit in the best seat, if you long to feel important or be seen by men, your heart needs some work. It may be that God will give you a humbling life experience to teach you. There is an easier way , than being humbled by God. But sometimes it takes a humbling experience to take the entitlement and arrogance out.

I’ve been around people at parties who when you are talking to them, they are looking around the room to see who else of more importance they can go sit with or talk to. Perhaps, they are looking to see who they should mingle with, who has more power and influence over their career path. This is quite rude and frankly very annoying. I make it a point to make everyone feel important and special. My Dad taught me the importance of eye contact. I think that good eye contact and being a good listener can make people feel very important and special. Practice thoughtful eye contact.

We should aim to make everyone feel important regardless of title or prestige.

Don’t look away as the homeless man walks by your car, as if to appear as if you don’t see him. Instead, roll down your window at the traffic light. Look at him deep into his eyes and give money, water or a care pack. Give him words of encouragement and speak God’s love into his heart. Truly see him. He is God’s child. Let’s say you see someone in a restaurant who is waiting just as you are for a table, only they are behind you in line. Maybe their party has a special needs, an elderly or handicapped, consider graciously let them go ahead of you. Or perhaps someone is behind you in line at HEB who seems tired or sad, let them go ahead of you.

Treat all people kindly and lovingly. It may be your surprising love that could be the turning point in their hearts- the very thing that allows them to see authentic Godly love. You, an unexpected giver of time, money and love, might open their eyes to the true love of Christ. You must represent God in all dealings, especially if you claim to be a follower.

God sends out invitations to everyone regardless of race or ethnicity. We all received the invitation to the biggest banquet celebration in the kingdom of heaven. Yet it is our choice, do we want to attend? Attending may mean some sacrifices in this life.

So many have excuses why they don’t pursue a relationship with God, why they don’t go to church. Some merely say they have a private relationship with God. What does that mean?

Are they uncomfortable with church worship?

Do they not want to conform or be told how to live- feel guilty for living for self?

People have all kinds of excuses particularly for not attending church. I’ve heard it’s about hypocrisy, past dealings with church people and the worst, Sunday is the only day I have to do chores. Please, then find a bible study during the week, a Saturday night service or a week day service. Nothing stopped Jesus from going to the temple, even mockery, trickery and threats.

To follow Christ, you will have to take up your own cross and follow Him at all costs. There will be sacrifices but did he not sacrifice everything for you? We only have today to follow God. You have an invitation to know God. Stop making excuses for not spending time on the most valuable and crucial relationship, the one that impacts not only this life but your eternal life.

Thoughts: Psalm 80: 1-19

“Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven…”

Is it not our job to turn back to God? Is he not always there but we back off?

The very fact that they are asking for God’s help to turn them back to him, is evident that they are pursing God. It seems from this Psalm, they doubted, sinned, did things to not get God’s full blessing. So the pain and suffering has them calling on him again.

If we abandon God, we asking him to abandon us. When we keep our face on God, he shines down on us.

Thoughts: Proverbs 12:27-28

Don’t be lazy. Work hard and be resourceful in all things- with money, left overs, with recycling, with time… Creativity. This may mean having a garage sale, making something creative from some trash you found on the road, selling some of your old clothes at a consignment shop…making shepherd’s pie out of the left over potatoes and taco meat. Don’t waste any of the gifts God has given you. Do what it takes to make a living- think outside the box.

 

 

 

 

 

NLT April 10, 2015

I’m sure Moses in some ways was relieved to die. At 120, years old  he was still healthy and eyes good, but being with God sounds a lot better. I would rather relax  and not have to be the guide to a wayward people. So not seeing promise land but seeing THE promise land really isn’t punishment at all if you ask me.

God’s power and protection of the Israelites had spread like wild fire to the Pagan nations, they were paralyzed with fear. Rahab really enlightened the Israelite spies about the word on the streets in Jericho.

When you have a mutual agreement with someone, both parties have to own up to their side of the bargain. If one of them defaults, the agreement is nullified. The spies made it very clear that if Rahab turned them in or was lying, then her family would not be protected.

Rahab lied to save the spies. We know that lies are wrong. But what was the heart behind the lie. Remember God is a God of matters of the heart. The lie, even though, wrong was to protect and love the two Spies. I believe God is very forgiving on lies that are made out of love, protection. Take for instance, you have a friend that you are hiding from an abusive husband. He comes banging on your door. Would you just hand her over to be beaten, maybe killed? Or would you lie to save her life? Is lying right? No. But God is always aware of your intentions and if love is the basis then he is far more forgiving.

Nothing is by chance. It was not by coincidence that Rahab’s home was built on the town wall. God has a way of going ahead of us, to put us exactly where we need to be. In this case, Rahab’s house was in a perfect place for a quick escape.

God too can look ahead and see where you are going to be. He will also protect you and care for you as he did the Israelites. Do not have fear of the future, even if you feel surrounded by obstacles or unknowns.

Thoughts on Luke 13: 22-14: 6

  • Work hard to enter the narrow door.
  • Start today before the door is locked and it’s too late.

You will be surprised on who was allowed into the Kingdom and who was not allowed in the Kingdom. Some who seem like the least in today’s society will be the most important. Some that seem rich and powerful now, will be the least important. Only God knows someone’s true heart, intentions, motivation. We should also treat everyone kindly and never look at ourselves above anyone.

I heard a story that rattled me to the core. A girl who claims to be a believer, was talking about how she went into a certain college in Texas. A convenience clerk overheard her Texas College, and as football fans do he made a comment about home town, college and team. He did this not in serious stabbing, but in a friendly competitive dig.

She turned to him and the venom came out, she said, “At least I don’t work at a gas station.”

To think of how this man must have felt by her cutting, high and mighty- words. She belittled him in front of other customers.

I was stunned as she told this story, in an almost bragging way. I could hardly swallow her actions and the fact that she was retelling such a terrible story, one that exposed the dirtiness of her heart was baffling to me.

Have we all had moments of ugly like this? Have we said detestable low balling things? Yes. That is why we must work very hard to treat all people kindly, even if we interpret their actions or words as unkind. We must not take the bait and bring out our ugly.

We also should be very kind to the poor or people who are struggling, never to see ourselves as better than anyone else, not even a prisoner, or a drug addict. By the Grace of God go I.

Matthew 15: 18: But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

Everyone has a purpose in this life, everyone. Some figure it out. Some of us are pushed right into that purpose. Some of us hear the voice but do not obey it. Some of us are paralyzed by fear, excuse making and overanalyzing. Find your purpose, God’s purpose, in your life and do it!

No religious rule or rule period should hold back God’s love or loving others like God. Do not get caught up in religious rules that limit your ability to serve others. Just as in the case of Jesus healing on the Sabbath. The priests were too caught up in the check list of rules, they overlooked the real mission to love others and love God…Why would Jesus not be able to do God’s work on God’s day? So many have silly rituals and rules that become empty arguments at church or among believers. It’s not about that, it’s about the heart, about God.

God’s love should be the focus…not the tradition.

Thoughts of Psalm 79: 1-13

Not long ago, I went to a prayer and fasting event at my church for the captured and persecuted Christians. We sat in a circle, read scripture and if anyone was led, they could call out prayers. We did this for an entire hour.

“Listen to the moaning of the prisoners, demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.”

When I read the above, I could not help but think of the men, women and innocent children who were kidnapped.

We must all continue to pray for those who die for Christ. We may not understand God’s plan. We may not understand why he continues to allow this. But we see that the deaths will be avenged in Revelations 20: 4.

“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

For everyone who suffers as Christ has suffered, for everyone that lays down their life as Jesus has lain down his life, they are glorified. Angels sing in joy and gratitude for these fallen believers. For each that has died for Christ,  hearts for Christ stir.

The body of Christ grows, get stronger. He is using this evil to bring hearts back to him. He is using this terrible to get those with the toe in the water of salvation, back in 100%. He is using this evil to bring home lost sheep. He is using this to build a stronger more unified team. As believers, we cry out to God in grief. But God has told me< ” In your realm yes this is terrible, but in my realm they are glorified. ”

Like Jesus death and resurrection had a divine plan; these martyred deaths also have a powerful impact on the body of believers.

Keep praying for them. They need your prayers.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 26

Godly give godly advice, relying on direction from the bible, not the “norms” of this world. Do not deviate from God’s instruction. Do not add anything to scripture.

 

NLT April 9, 2015

You’ll see that often before someone passes in the bible they pour blessings out on children, family members or even tribes. Each tribe receives a different blessing, like each of us has different blessings. Each of our blessings is uniquely given to us to be used for God’s greater good and purpose. We should never be envious of each other because of someone else’s gift seems more appealing. We should always encourage each other to use gifts, time, talent, blessings for advancement of God’s work.

One thing that struck me was the sentence, “They were more loyal to you ( God) than to their own parents.”

When you obey the word, when you aim to please God instead of people, this is not always pleasing to parents, spouses, family and friends. Let’s say you gave someone unconditional forgiveness, you laid all the past hurts, pains at the foot of the cross, and you moved forward completely free from the unforgiving heart.

This kind of pure forgiveness could be misunderstood as weakness or as some would call “burying your head in the sand.” You could be excused of forgetting all the bad that the person has done. Forgetting is not easy, nor is forgiving. But just as Jesus wipes our slate clean, when we forgive, truly forgive we wipe the debt that others have done to us clean.

You have left the wolf pack of hatred, blame, resentment, anger, pain, disgust, disappointment. Your parents may not understand this. Your friends may not understand this.

In fact, the heat might be turned up to a high torch when you let go of the past and move forward pleasing God. The bible says forgive as you are forgiven.

If you get the backlash for obeying God, from family for instance, you must remember that you are to obey the word and be loyal to the Lord first and foremost. He will bring you through the storm or the backlash. Stay true to Him. When you obey the Lord, there is no doubt. Seeing change in the person after you forgive them is necessary. Because just like God expects us to repent . He also expects us to change. But if that person comes to you again and ask for forgiveness; be merciful as God is merciful.

So the Levites were loyal to God above everyone and everything, including their own parents. This does not mean that you are to be disrespectful or dishonorable to your parents. God is very clear that you are to Honor your mother and Father.  But your allegiance first and foremost is to the Lord and His word.

Even if a spouse is a non-believer and is less than supportive of your walk towards God. You are to be respectful of the spouse but your loyalty is to God first. Do not let anyone other than God have power over you. You have only one King.

Then we see “Blessed is the one who enlarges God’s territory. “

As part of the Body of Christ, it is our job to minister to others, to bring others to Christ, to not hide our beliefs but to use our past, our stories and our knowledge of the Lord, to cast a net and bring in other fish.

This may be uncomfortable but look for opportunities to share your faith. If you are shy or private, your heart may pound in your chest. But as you practice, you will  get more comfortable and confident.  Sharing God will get easier and easier.

It’s just like practicing praying out loud. The more you pray out loud, the better you will get, the more comfortable you will be and the more surprised  you will be at the words the Holy Spirit puts in your heart.

I’ve ministered and hugged strangers at the mechanics shops, at Walmart, at the doctor’s offices….everywhere.

God brings strangers to me all the time. He trusts that when he brings them to me, I will be moved to speak, to share Him, to encourage and to confirm. Seek ministry work in your daily life and pursue environments where you can serve those in need. It’s more than donating money, although that is good. God likes it when we are personal, get into the trenches and use your divine counsel as the hand of God that will pull people out.

Thoughts of Luke 12-1-21

While reading the bible, I kept wondering about those that never knew Jesus,  those that lived before Jesus or those who live in the jungles. Before I opened my eyes the Lord said, “It has always been about repentance.”

Here we see in scripture “And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God….I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish too.”

Definition of Repentance is the activity of reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs. It generally involves a commitment to personal change and resolving to live a more responsible and humane life

You can claim to be something but if your actions do not reflect what you claim to be- we have a problem. God is concerned with matters of the heart. Repentance is coming before the Lord and saying you are sorry for any sin, any bad action or thought done. But it’s not just about acknowledging the mistake, it’s about making a commitment to change and live according to the word of God, as stated Turn to God. These moral laws are written on our hearts by God, innately we know what’s right and wrong. We also know when we are making concessions because of society’s modern day norms. Just because society has norms on premarital sex, relationships, abortion and so forth, does not mean it’s in line with God’s word. Stay true to what you know deep down is right in his eyes.

If your child for instance says he’s sorry, your heart melts. But with this “I’m sorry,” there is an expectation that the child will not do that bad action again. If he does it over and over again, you might ask yourself, “Is he truly sorry, sincere? Or is he just saying that to be pardoned now from a more severe punishment?”

God is looking for authentic hearts that are sincerely refining, repenting and making an effort to know God and live for God through obedience and service.

So if you meet a non-Christian or someone who claims God but not Jesus,  you might ask, “How often do you repent? “

Or is repentance part of your daily walk with God?

Does that repentance result in an active pursuit of change?

Remember, over and over in scripture he talks about being born again and about the inside of the cup being clean. Repentance and turning to God coincide to both of those.

Asking about role of repentance in worship,  could spark an interesting conversation.

Jesus has the power to free you from the bondage of sin. Go to Jesus anytime in prayer for anything. He has power to cast out the evil from your life, but  you must submit to him. Maybe something has had its grips on you for over 18 years too, like the girl in scripture. God has no limitations, he can unchain you from anything- no matter how long you’ve been in held captive. Just call on him, repent and turn to Him in all things.

Just as sin spreads like yeast, so does Good and God’s power. Be someone who spreads good deeds in a community. Kind of like pay it forward, where you pay for someone’s meal and so forth. Let your light within spark a light within someone else.

Thoughts of Psalm 78: 65-72

God may seem asleep in a slumber because so much bad is going on in the world. You may think that he may never awake from a slumber. You may think how could he let these things go on. You might be even doubting his existence when you see the violence against Christians for instance or the violence against innocent children. God is not asleep. He is not in a slumber. He sees everything. He may allow the enemy for a time gather strength, so that he and only he will get the glory for delivering a nation and a world.  Just as in the case of the Israelites being freed from Egypt, he hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that God and only God would get credit for release of bondage.

Perhaps, the world is sleeping. Perhaps the world is the one in a drunken stupor of denial that God will appear and every knee will bow. It’s time to get ready, be ready and WAKE UP!

Thoughts of Proverbs 12:25

If a friend is worried, encourage them and pray with them. Don’t feed into fears or anxiety.

Be the encourager, the light, the hope… When people are worried, it’s an opportunity to share God’s power and love.

 

NLT April 8, 2015

“There is no other God before me.” How clear can God be? God is the one who kills and gives life. He is the master of all. Our obedience is to God only, not to the one who is allowed dominion over the earth for now. The one the laughs in pleasure when you bow down to a lifeless statue with no power.

The evil one promotes a selfie mentality, where people serve self, bow down to self and frankly the devil loves it. He cackles in utter joy with our devotion to self and superficiality of this spiritually dying world. He even loves our half-hearted claim of God with no true heart in the matter. It’s a win for him, one more lost soul for his team.

Christians are being slaughtered worldwide, but God will avenge the blood of his servants. God will cleanse the land and we will rejoice with Him. God will take care of the ones who reject him. But God is a merciful, loving God who plainly tells us what he wants and how to receive blessings. He is crystal clear with his left behind instruction. He wants all of us to be reconciled to him.

Are we supposed to fear God? Yes. Does a child fear his Dad? A healthy amount of fear drives children to do the right thing. They know that certain things like safety, not running in street for instance, is not just a rule; it’s an order with severe punishment. The reason there was such severe punishment is because running in the street could cause a loss of life.

The ramification of disobedience and rejection of God is also very extreme. Why? Because our Father loves us and wants to detour and warn us not to make a mistake that will end in severe punishment and loss of salvation.

You do not want your Father to be the one who has such influence over the world today. The evil one is a father of perpetual torture and evil. Choose Obedience to the one True God and you will feast in Heaven with the God of Love.

God’s instructions are not empty words- they are your life! This is heavy but in this dark world, we need a stern wake up call. We need to be reminded that our choices, the way we are living are serious and not to be taken lightly.

Thoughts Luke 12: 35-59

Jesus could arrive at any time. Are you ready? What will he find you doing? Will he welcome you to sit at his table and feast? He will reward his servants! Are you Jesus’s humble servant?

If you are partying, living it up, serving self why he’s gone, not believing that he will show up…. you are taking a chance that you will be cast out. It’s like a fire drill. When the fire comes you don’t believe it.  You may not even leave the building. Just because it’s not quite the appointed time, doesn’t mean could not happen at any time, day or night. Love God and others like it will happen, today!

Someone who is a believer who knows what God wants, yet doesn’t live that way, will be punished. But if someone really doesn’t know better, will be punished lightly.

Jesus did not come to bring peace, families will be divided. Some will believe in Jesus and some do not. Families will be split. Some will enter kingdom and some will not. Do not be surprised when there is conflict or division in your family over believing in Jesus.

How is it that we can predict the weather, yet we are in denial of the signs of the kingdom? Are we in denial that we may be living out modern day prophecy?

Thoughts of Psalm 78: 56-64

We make a choice to abandon God. That choice opens doors for loss of protection and being disciplined.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 24

Work hard! Don’t be lazy. God expects us to be hard workers in our personal life and our walk for him!

 

NLT April 7, 2015

You are going into unchartered waters, a new place you have never gone before, a scary place with known enemies. But have no fear, no matter what it is you’re about to enter into, God has already gone ahead of you, planned and has taken care of everything. You can let go of the fear. You do not need to panic; God’s got this. All he asks of you is for you to put your faith in him and to be obedient to his direction.

  • Be strong and courageous.
  • Do not be afraid or discouraged.
  • Do not panic.

“He will neither fail you nor abandon you!”

Make sure your intentions are good, God knows your intentions before you ever do anything.

Do not become so comfortable in your success that you become numb to God’s gifts and power over your life. So many abandon God when things are running smooth, when money is stacking up and everyone’s health is perfect. Do not make light out of the Rock of your salvation. Your salvation is not something you take for granted or take as a given. Do not neglect the one who gave your life.

Do not get so comfortable in this life that you begin to put all your energy and focus on things that are not God, like useless of:  partying, recreation, sports, money, accrual of things, prestige, appearances and work.

When you are living comfortably, forgetting to be grateful and generous, when you are putting all your energy on the earthly instead of eternal,  watch out. When you are least expecting it, God will weaken you and bring you back to him. Do not take God or his blessings for granted. God is very real. He’s with you wherever you go.

Thoughts of Luke 12: 8-34

When you acknowledge Jesus in public, Jesus acknowledges you before the Lord and angels. If you deny him, if you do not know him, he will not know or acknowledge you. This is why it’s not enough to be an occasional practicing Christian, we must be in constant connection to the Lord our God through scripture reading, reflection and prayer.

Being best friends with someone means spending time with that person, trusting that person and being kind in action and thought to that person. God is no different. Be a true friend to God, through action and thought.

When we were little, we are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Then parents might day dream with children about what their life looks like. (Two kids, great job, huge house in mountains, snow mobiles, sports cars). We’ve done this with our kids too. “But Life is not measured by how much you own. “ Greed should have no place in our life. Everything we have is God’s anyway, so we should freely give it out for God’s work and suffering people.

What we should be prompting our kids about is about being generous and talking about how success can be used to help the poor, widows and orphans. When God blesses us, it’s so that we can bless others. We must not store up earthly wealth but aim for a rich relationship with God.

Worrying accomplishes nothing but prayers can move mountains. Redirect your worry to faithful prayers. God takes care of the animals and he clothes the beautiful flowers of the garden, God knows your needs before you even ask. Seek pleasing God before anything else, seek God daily in prayer and reading and he will give you everything you need.

God wants to bless you. He longs to reward you for your obedience to him. So don’t worry little sheep.

What is it that you treasure?

What is it that you desire more than anything?

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will always be.”

So make sure your desire is a deeper relationship and reliance on God. Because God is your security, your hope. He is the only one that knows what’s best for you. God should be your special treasure. Treasure Him and he will bless you with desires of your heart.

Thoughts of Psalm 78:32-55

God will eventually reach those that refuse to trust God. They may not submit to him, but they may wish they did. In some form or fashion, he will work at getting those who have fallen away to repent and take God seriously.

So many are flippant, saying they believe in God yet not following or living pleasing to God. They are giving him “lip service.” We must make sure that our hearts are loyal to God. Not loyal to people. Not loyal to a job or to the world. We must only be influenced by the Lord that guides us within. We cannot please people or please ourselves and please God. Our actions, thoughts must be driven by love of God and acceptance by God only.

Our Father’s hearts grieve when we abandon him. He longs to have us back. Desertion by God and the consequences for living for false Gods, is not pretty. In fact, scripture paints a frightening picture. It is very motivating to me to choose to be blessed. Seems like a no brainer for us…so why do we struggle so?

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 21-23

“The Lord detests lying lips, be he delights in those who tell the truth. “

White lies are lies. Be truthful in all things but kind. It’s best not to say anything if you feel like you should lie out of kindness. Or think of something that is true.

 

NLT April 6, 2015

God’s book is a book of instruction if you obey, you benefit. If you disobey, you pay. Very simple. God is a good God, one of second chances. If you wander off, and you come back to him, he will bless you again.

Biblical prophecy: Deuteronomy 30: 3-5 “He will have mercy on you and your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. “

The Jews have been scattered all over the world. Hatred to Jews has increased all over world, especially in Europe lately. Israel has publically in February announced that all persecuted Jews can come back home to the land of their ancestors.

Israel: Government approves $46 million immigration plan for European Jews

I24 News: February 15th 2015

“The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan worth NIS 180 million (roughly $46 million) to go towards the absorption of Jewish immigrants from France, Belgium and Ukraine.”

God’s word is written on your heart, it’s close at hand, obey it.

If your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away, you’ve been warned. The choice is yours.

Thoughts Luke 11: 37-12:7

On the outside you look like a good church goer. Or on the outside the preacher looks Holy in the gown. But how about the inside? How about the heart? It’s not the outside but the heart that counts! Actions speak louder than words. Are you more worried about how you look to people? Pleasing world? If you are pleasing the world or yourself, you have work to go on that heart. The goal is a heart that follows word not the world. Words very similar but worlds apart.

It’s not about religion, following rules, being judged for doing this or doing that, it’s not about appearing holy or just claiming you believe in a higher power, it’s about a relationship with God. You obey because you love God. You repent because you love God. You serve God because you love God. But if the inside of you is still caught up in how things look, how the world sees you, in prestige, appearances, feeling important in the world…then you must pray for God to help you clean out your insides.

None of us want to be like those hypocritical Pharisees- we want to be authentic followers of Jesus. Religious hypocrisy has caused so many to backslide, to lose God. We are responsible for sharing truth, and being Godly influences. We are responsible for teaching word and values to our children. We are also responsible for our own actions, living for God both inside and out. Many times people watch to see if what you claim is what you live. You never know how your life is being watched by your actions. So does one reinforce the other? Or is there contradictions?

The Jews are held responsible for Jesus murder and generations of Jews after Jesus have paid for his murder and the prophets murders. We have seen how they have struggled for the Messiah’s murder.

Everything that is in secret, eventually will come into light. Everything that was said in secret behind closed doors, God knows. So come fully into the Light of the lord, repent and live differently. None of us can hide anything from God.

You are so valuable to God. He loves you. He knows every hair on your head. When you feel alone, lost, confused, call out to him. He cares.

Thoughts Psalm 78: 1-31

Teach your Kids about God. Read the word of God to your kids. Read the Ten Commandments. Pray with your kids. It’s our job to make sure the next generation is not a godless generation.

Incorporate daily scripture into daily meal times or bed times. Read from bible books. Make family discussions about morals, scriptures….Let it come as natural as brushing your teeth.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 19-20

All Lies will be exposed. Plan for peace in your life. How do you plan for peace? You live for God. You stay in contact with him and obey. ( Read, Pray, Serve, Repent, Be thankful)

 

 

NLT April 5, 2015

Follow God, don’t just hear the words but obey, and you will be blessed. Our nation is a nation who has turned its back on God. The only option for America is to repent and start living for God again. We have taken God out of everything. We have allowed pagan temples to pop up everywhere, because we are an “accepting” nation.

What is bad is good and what is good is bad. We have killed more babies in this country than the pagans ever sacrificed and then some. The media, Hollywood, regular shows are television blare profanity, some popular shows say the Lords name in vain no less than 20 times per episode. What is allowed into our homes, what we allow into our homes is morally defiling. To think that in many broken homes across America, these shows which are riddled with sin are babysitting our children. These video games of death are babysitting our children, taking their moral minds captive.

When a nation disobeys God, the full protection is lifted. Warnings come over and over in financial forms, in tragedies but if the culture, if the government if the country does not repent and live for God again, then you can see by scripture what will happen. I can’t help but think about all the droughts and how that was a sign of our disobedience. God is a God who wants to bless us but he also is a Father who will discipline, refine and punish disobedience.

Mental illness is rampant in this country. Antidepressants mixed with alcohol is lethal, causing people to go mad- killing others and themselves.

“You will go mad because of all the tragedy around you.”

Spiritual corruption, leaving the door open for the enemy is an invitation for your mind to be captive. Panic attacks, anxiety disorders, depression are all symptoms of a bigger spiritual depletion and a result from lack of trust of God and defiance in some form or fashion.

You cannot leave the door open by living outside God’s will in any form or fashion, otherwise you are inviting the indescribable. God wants to bless you. He loves you so he warns you what will happen to you if you live in any part of your life outside his word.

You know how to stop the curse. So make the decision to follow God.

Thoughts on Luke 11: 14-36

Anything divided against itself will not stand. That means a family that is divided will not stand, a country, a government, company and the list goes on.

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. “

  • Idle Christians or those that believe in a God but aren’t all in- are in Opposition.
  • If you aren’t working for God in service, spreading word- you’re against.

That’s profound. God does not want you to be warm about him. He does not want just the holiday church visit. He wants you to work on that relationship daily and to continually work to bring more lost sheep home. This should be something you do daily, come as natural to you as breathing. If you are not all in, are you in? Read the scripture again.

Let the Light of the Lord out there to the world. Don’t hide the light within you. If there are any dark spots in your life still, you have got to remove them, so your whole life is radiant. You can tell a lot about someone’s spiritual walk by their eyes. The eyes truly are the window to the soul.

Is there an area of your life that is still dark? Who will you obey?

Thoughts: Psalm 77: 1-20

God will always give you a way out. He will part trouble waters giving you a way out. He is the way out. He is safety, security. Trust in Him and he will take care of you. You are his precious child.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 18

Think before you speak. Let all your words be healing and helpful. If you are saying things just to cut some down, to belittle them, then you definitely have a long ways to go in your walk. Make a conscious effort to build people up, heal people or don’t say anything at all. Just pray.

 

NLT April 4, 2015

Giving and Serving God is a great way to thank him for the blessings he has given you. Be sure to take care of the poor, widows, sick, those in prison and priests. Don’t store up because God will provide. Trust God, he will take care of you, but he expects you to love others by taking care of them.

Throughout the bible you see Dad’s pour blessings out over their children. You can proclaim blessings and pray blessings over your home and your children. Before you do this be sure to thank God for what he has already done for you.

The Israelites were going into a land with people who did the most disgusting sexual things. If you wonder what these acts were, take a look at the list of actions that are cursed. These things were rampant. Like any good parent, who wants to pour blessings out over his children, he warns what will happen if….God knew what they were up against before they went in, and he was giving them a warning. The sexual practices under statues, the sacrifices of own children were beyond defile. The acts from these pagan groups would make your skin crawl and your stomach curl.

Thoughts of Luke 10: 38-11:13

Stop Being Martha!

We can all be guilty of being “Martha” so busy cooking, cleaning, daily chores, taking kids to here and there and everywhere, that we don’t really stop and enjoy those around us. We don’t slow down and really talk to our kids, play with our kids…let the chores go.

We can still sit at the foot of Jesus. But most of us claim to be too busy with the “parental” duties or “work” duties. Jesus, time with God is the last on our list. No wonder we get far behind on our bible reading, we are having to rewire that hardwired of fast and furious life where God was the last on the list- many days not on list at all. “It’s been crazy, around here.” Comments like this are even more reason to make Jesus first. We should start our day with God. He should be someone we continually talk to throughout day.

God comes first. When we read our bibles and when we pray, we are slowing down like Mary and listening…sponging up God’s messages, words, guidance. When we make that relationship #1 in our life, everything else seems easier. There will be less conflict, more inner peace when life is life.

When we slow down and see our children and see our family as people, when we put down our cell phones, lap tops, mobile devices, when we engage with people…those relationships also grow. Invest in God and Invest in People- SEE them. Stop the fuss, fuss and the run around. You’ll blink and this life on earth will be over.

Keep Praying, Keep Asking

Nag God in prayer and petition. He loves it. “Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for.” Seek God and you will find him. “You sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

The answer to your prayers may not be in your timing. The answer to your prayer may not look like you thought but keep praying. While you are praying ask God to pull you in close, to give you wisdom and discernment. Pray for a closer relationship with him. Something magical happens when you ask to have a better relationship with God!

Thoughts Psalm 76 1-12

“Human defiance only enhances your glory (Gods), for you use it as your weapon.”

You may see missiles in the hands of an evil nation. You may see disgusting things taken place in the world. But know this, God is using our sinful, evil ways to show his power and majesty. Just as he showed his power in Egypt with the plagues. God is setting the stage for his mighty hand, strength to be used in a big way. So if you see evil getting the upper hand, remember God’s hand is even mightier. He will reveal himself through the defiance’s of Nations.

Thoughts Proverbs 12: 15-17

If you think you’re always right, you’re wrong. God gave us 2 ears and one mouth for a reason- LISTEN to others even if you disagree. Practice godly restraint when others are insulting you. When they are loud, ugly and wrong, it’s your time to sharpen your calm skills. Those that are quick tempered must pray about inner calmness. Nothing comes from being quick tempered and a know it all. So stop it!

 

 

NLT April 3, 2015

God protects his own, those who are dedicated to Him. He can take what looks to be a curse and make it into a blessing.

Once again, God is trying to keep hygiene and health up to par, like any good parent he’s teaching about simple measures to keep them healthy. How many times do we tell our kids, wash your hands? Same thing- only in a more detailed manner.

He cares for all people. If a slave ran away, would rather starve then be with his master, there was a good reason. God does not want us to abuse anyone, not slaves or foreigners. He wants us to “treat others we wish to be treated.” Put yourself in someone shoes before you throw out a judgment.

Dirty money should never be used in church. Just like Jesus “blood money” was not used in the temple.  The Sanhedrin were such hypocrites to pay Judas and then say they can’t take the 30 coins back! Then, they used the dirty money for the potter’s field, a cemetery for foreigners. Questionable money should be used outside the church, in the community to care for those struggling but not in God’s house.

If you make a promise, keep it and do it quickly. Promises or vows should not be taken lightly.

In the old days, if women were divorced or widowed, they often lived alone in poverty. God was preventing them from being on the streets with the whole marry your brother thing. If not, shame on you for not taking care of her. If we were to apply it today, if your brother dies, if someone who was once in your family is struggling, do not turn your back on them just because of a divorce or death. If you see struggle, help. Do something. Reach out.

Interesting about God saying not to marry same person again, especially if you married someone else.  I’ve heard of people remarrying years later. I’m sure that the relationship would be hurt tremendously by any relationship during the “time off.” Marriage is not easy, but with God in the center of the marriage, we can get through the rough patches and stay fully committed. I would bet the odds of staying together in a 2nd marriage to the same person would be quite difficult, unless both of them are fully committed born again in Jesus. With  God – it’s an uphill battle.

I would be interested to see if the military still gives soldiers 1 year with their new spouse. I doubt it. But it makes sense.

You can see that murders and kidnappers and people of such should be eliminated from society. But notice that God is about fairness and justice. He demands multiple witnesses, demands a fair trial and punishes anyone with a false testimony. He’s about safe guards to protect the innocent. Evil is like yeast, it spreads like wild fire. We must get rid of it.

If you owe someone money, don’t delay paying them especially if they are day workers, like someone who does your yard or house. They need your money to eat. ( Same Day Pay).

40 lashes was the maximum one could receive under Jewish law. Usually they would stop at 1 less than 40 to be sure not to go over the allotted law amount. Jesus endured 39 lashes, which ripped his skin open. The suffering he took both mental and physical is never to be forgotten. That suffering equals love for us, forgiveness for us.

Never attack someone or start a fight with someone when they are exhausted or weary. You know they say don’t kick a dog when he’s down. That’s so true.  I remember being attacked by someone at a very low point in my life. I was exhausted and very fragile at that time. Trust me this did not go unnoticed by God. God took care of it.

Be careful, very careful not to push buttons, pick fights when someone is dog tired, sad or having a hard time of it. You will regret it. God is very protective of his suffering children.

Thoughts: Luke 10: 13-37

  • Anyone who accepts your message of Christ=accepts Christ himself.
  • Anyone who rejects your message of Christ is really rejecting Christ
  • If someone rejects Jesus, he is rejecting God- who sent Jesus.

Don’t be joyful when prayers are answered or demons leave because they obeyed you. Rejoice because you have the Power of the Holy Spirit which means that your name is written in Heaven!

Don’t fear. With Jesus you have Authority over Enemy:

  • You have authority over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will injure those whose name is registered in Heaven.

Those who put faith in themselves, in their intelligence, the truth is hidden from them. It is those with childlike faith God chooses to reveal himself too.

Some will see but they really don’t see. Some will hear but they really don’t hear.

Our job is to be compassionate to everyone who is suffering. To love everyone no matter who they are. We are to get active, get involved, not just curiously ask questions and flippantly say we will pray.

The parable Jesus told about the Samaritan, reminds me of when Steve pulled the young motorcycle rider from out from beneath the flatbed trailer that moves tractors. The young man was not breathing. Everyone around Steve was so fearful of a lawsuit that they yelled at him not to touch boy trapped in the brake lines curled up in fetal position under a low trailer.

But the Holy Spirit led Steve. He muted the fearful voices out- those not actively trying to save a life. When he uncurled the boy from beneath the 12 inch off the ground trailer; he began to breathe again. If Steve had not got involved, if he had listened to the nonsense,  the do nothing people, the boy would be dead or brain damaged forever. Steve had him breathing less than 2 minutes after he hit the trailer going 80 miles an hour. Time is the essence in life. We do not have time to hold back anything from God. Life is fleeting. Be bold for Christ today, not tomorrow!

Faith is about action. Don’t be like some of those people on the show What would You do?…. who do nothing. I can’t believe or I can rather believe how people stare, do nothing and move on. Or just stare….What kind of person are you?

Thoughts Psalm 75: 1-10

God will increase the power of the Godly. God decides who rises and falls, but it’s always to bring sheep closer to him, for greater good. He has a plan. He may be using the ugly in this world as a spiritual awakening before he shows himself in all his glory.

Evil will not win. We already know the end of this story. He has a plan.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 12-14

Over and over again, God rewards those who work hard, especially those who work hard for Him. Don’t be lazy or look for a quick fix like thieves. Aim to be godly in all your daily dealings.

 

NLT April 2, 2015

When someone is found dead the entire community is impacted, this is still true today. Every person walks through town on high alert, suspicious of any slow moving car or people approaching them. It’s like you begin to see everyone as a suspect. This is no different than when a dead body was found in the field in the old days.

We see extreme punishment when it comes to sexual promiscuity, lost things, disobedient sons and things such as  addiction. The seriousness of these offenses is punctuated with the potential harsh punishment. You can imagine when such extreme punishments were written and well known, taught in the home, how people would be more apt to not do such things. It would only be the extremely wicked, to do acts against God. The key is that these moral requirements must be taught in our homes. That means as parents we must talk to our boys and our girls for instance about what God requires.

But today we see that sex before marriage, even in high school, while living at home with parents, as the norm. Parents quickly put their kids on birth control as a safety net. If we talked to our kids openly and honestly about God’s requirements on sex before marriage for instance. If we were bold  and told them that under no circumstance will I allow you to kill my grand baby ,maybe they would avoid sex. Many of us look back on our sexual lives and have much regret. If only someone had been so bold, spoke truth, showed me in scripture, maybe the regrets would be less.

Immersing your children with God’s standards and love for them is the key with open communications. We must even if uncomfortable discuss all moral topics. Our hope is that our kids would save themselves for their husbands or wives as scripture standards require.

Yes this seems old school, and we of course would not punish like laws mentioned in the old t. But God’s principles and standards for purity, obedience, respect of authority have not changed. These punishments were meant to detour a wayward people who would soon to be greatly influenced by their immoral sexual corrupt neighbors. Unfortunately, even with such extreme punishments the influence of the sinful disgusting sacrificing own children practices would soon corrupt God’s people.

The part where they discuss that both in an adulterous affair should be killed, didn’t sit right with me.  But I received clarification. See below.

But if you look at the message behind the words- what he is saying is that an adulterous affair effects the spirit of both people, it kills a part of both them in their very soul. For instance if a man cheated on his wife, the wife could lose the ability to trust people. She could have trouble truly allowing herself to love fully again. There truly is a death that occurs in both husband and wife when one in the marriage cheats. That is why it’s so important to remain and fight to be faithful to avoid anything in you to keep you from loving God or others fully.

Don’t let the harshness steer you wrong. God is merciful and He is a God of second chances, in both Old and New Testaments. See below Jesus has mercy on this adulterous woman.

A Woman Caught in Adultery

8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Thoughts on Luke 9: 51: 10: 12

Jesus does not have a place to lay his head because he will soon be everywhere through the Holy Spirit. On earth, if someone were to follow him, they must be willing to give up the comforts of this world to follow Him. Today this may mean, selling everything and sharing  the gospel. Or this may mean that you take hits, blows and rejection because you choose to follow and boldly speak His name. Sacrifices and losses come with following Jesus. But you will get back what you lost and then some, when you are basking in the Light of Jesus.

There will be some that welcome Jesus (you) and there will be some that reject your message of Jesus. Dust off your sandals and keep moving. People have a choice to receive the kingdom of God, Jesus or not. Do not take it personally. It’s part of doing God’s work. You will look around the corner and another soul will be saved, and your heart will smile again.

Thoughts Psalm 74: 1-23

So many are suffering for Christ around the world. So many are hungry, mistreated, and thirsty.

Pray for those who are sick or suffering. God will bring salvation to the earth one day and avenge the enemy- evil!

Thoughts Proverbs 12:11

A hard worker has plenty of food but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.

God loves a hard worker who does not make excuses. Don’t just day dream or borrow money from people, or say you’ll pay back….Roll up your sleeves and use God’s talents for your family both earthly and heavenly family. There is no excuse for not being a hard worker unless you are disabled, elderly or sick. In that case, it’s our job to work hard to take care of them! Get moving. Stop moving your mouth, day dreaming at your desk and make it happen!

 

 

NLT April 1, 2015

When I read today, I felt convicted on so many levels. I have been to psychics, psychic fairs, read tarot cards, memorized and shared astrology with others, done and participated in palm reading and numerology. The marks against me in this area of sin are so great. I am so thankful that the door was not open for me to hear voices or to be attacked spiritually or eliminated because of my involvement in such things. Thank you God for being patient with me and molding me into your humble servant.

I remember one day I fell over on top of the wheel while driving, my husband had to take over the wheel and pull us to the side of the road to safety. I was worried that something was going on with my health. My family member suggested that we go to the psychic just off the main highway to see if she could tell us if anything major was wrong me.

When we went into her long, narrow mobile home looking building, she led us into a smaller darker room. I looked in her eyes, she had a cast of white over the color of her muddy green brown eyes, something behind her eyes haunted me. An immediate sense of being uncomfortable came over me, wanting to immediately leave. She had demanded payment before she started. So since my relative paid already, I felt that I had to stay and listen.

Since I was a little girl if something wasn’t right, if evil was present; I had a heavier breathing. Typically, a chill that would go down the base of my neck, down my spine which would make the hairs on my neck stand up.

When you are born again, you kill your former self completely. Since I’ve read the truth, I shudder at the thought about how I could have been casted away by God for my lack of faith in him, for seeking anything mystical for answers and for trying to influence or even entertain others with fun game of palm reading or a tarot card reading.

My actions or influence could have caused someone to put faith in the new age, instead of God the Father. I deserve to die, to be thrown into the fiery lake, based on scripture for all of my activity with sorcery and involvement with new age.

I thank God for his grace, for Jesus’s love and his patience with me. He knew that I would be a tool he would use to bring others into his loving arms. He knew I would confess all my sins, I would kill that old self and I would boldly share Him one day. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for dying for my sins and loving me.

“Be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nation’s living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do net let your people practice fortune telling, or use sorcery or interpret omens or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells or function as mediums or psychics or call forth the spirits of the dead.”

When I read the last part about calling forth the spirits of the dead, I can’t help but think about the time I went to someone who calls herself a Channeler. It wasn’t long after my Grandfather’s suicide.

When we walked into the psychic fair, we were not aware of the date or it had slipped our mind since it was the weekend. When the Channeler said you Grandfather said it was his birthday. Suddenly, we realized it was my Pa’s birthday. We were amazed and that time enchanted by her truth.

I know from scriptures that the underworld has information that they use with disobedient people to lead them astray. Like a snake charmer, enchanting a snake to dance, the evil one can use accurate information about those you love who have died to entice and bring comfort from the wrong source.

Your comfort, your assurance should only come from a relationship and dependence on God. My family has suffered great anguish because we opened the door through new age. Do not make the same mistake. God’s standards and explanations to all are in this book. Finally, I understand why we suffered…what opened the doors of darkness.

You will not hear this on the pulpit. This is an area that most Pastors avoid, even if it is plain as day in scripture.  Regular church goers who get their fill of  God from a few scriptures and a motivational speech are freaked out to think that evil exists…they are in denial. Some are in denial on purpose. But God is in control of all. The evil spirits cower at his presence and voice.

So are you fascinated with yoga, meditation, spirit guides, anything New Age?

If so remember: “Lord your God forbids you to do such things.”

The prophet that is raised up from among Israelites is Jesus. God put his very words in Jesus’s mouth. If we do not listen to the messages, God will deal with that person. Listening and putting those messages into action is key. Let those seeds be the ones that plant with roots and produce more seedlings for the kingdom.

There might be something in your life that seems much greater than you that you must tackle. But nothing is too big for God, nothing. Even if the odds are against you, when you have God of heaven and earth on your side, the odds are FOR YOU!

Always in all situations try to come to a place of peace and agreement first before taking anything to court for example or to a higher authority like a supervisor. Peace is always the goal first before force is used.

Use common sense in all situations, even if your mad, like when God says be sure not to cut down the trees that give  fruit. For example, you might be mad an ex-husband and supposed you know that he was not sick when he took off work last week but went fishing…if you call the employer out of spite and rat him out, you may be damaged. You just cut down an apple tree that is supplying you child support.  Not smart. When you are fighting or in conflict or mad, be smart about what you say or what you do. Because that quick tempered comment or an  action not thought out,  could be actually hurting you in the long run.

Thoughts of Luke 9: 28-50

We see our cloud again. You will never look at clouds the same. When you see an overcast or cloudy day, instead of being bummed out that the sun is missing, you will see God in the dark clouds. Your perspective on cloudy days of life will be different: you will look up, you will seek him; you will thank him during the storms.

The key players in the spreading of gospel, are giving a gift to hear God say, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” In stages, the truth about Jesus was given to the disciples. In God’s timing, all was revealed. Through this event on the mountain faith was sealed, cemented. Now, nothing will hold them back after Jesus is resurrected. Peter, John and James were chosen to hear God confirm what their spirit had already told them. Love it!

When you have a heart for Jesus, you know that you are here on earth to serve others not yourself. You know that your job is not to get glory in accomplishments but to highlight and always give credit to God. When you are right with God, living for him, you don’t care about titles or prestige, you want a simple life serving God by caring for the poor, the widows and those in need, while never feeling better than anyone else. “Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” “

Thoughts of Psalm 73: 1-28

Love to see the word “fat cats” in scripture. Funny really. God is a fair and just God. He sees everything. You may see someone living outside God’s will that seems to have it all. These “fat cats,”  seem to be living a full rich life of sin. But know this, God will judge all and even though people seem to be untouchable, they are not. If you feel walked on, mistreated by these who seem to be enjoying a life of ease or if you feel like you are being super obedient but you’re not bathing in it, Know this… All of your good deeds and your heart for God are noted and will be rewarded in heaven.

Be rich in your relationship with God and with others; you will be richly blessed in this life or next. God will take care of any and all who live outside his will. God will take care of all those who hurt others.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12:10

Are you an animal lover? God is. Yes the sacrifices for animal lovers or vegans seems cruel to some, but God cares for animals. He has no patience with those that are cruel to animals just for the sake of being wicked. All is seen and all is judged!

 

 

NLT March 31, 2015

Friday we will celebrate Passover. How interesting is that scripture calls bread without yeast, the “bread of suffering.” Then, in New Testament Jesus says:

Luke 22: 19

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Jesus’s body was the bread of suffering. I love how Old Testament and New Testament have this thread that runs through it. You can see the meaning behind things, the string that holds and ties everything together.

We are to celebrate with our sons, daughters, servants, employees, orphans and widows. Originally this one done to remember how God saved the Israelites. But now we as Christians can celebrate because God saved us through his son Jesus. We can break bread as Jesus did in that last Passover meal in remembrance of Him.

Once again we see God reference idol worship, worship of stars like astrology. Any idol worship is strictly forbidden. You can see taking this out of one of the ten commandments is the work of the devil to mislead.

He is a fair God. He demands more than one witness, he wants punishment to be played out fully. ( no out in ½ the time like we do today). You’ll notice that God wants leadership to be from your own country, not born from a foreign land. This is mostly because he wants a leader that worship the one true God. ( not a cult, pagan religion).

I love how the scriptures speak so clear to King Solomon warning him. “ The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord.”

This is foreshadowing because that was exactly what happen to King Solomon. He did not take heed in the warning.

How must we protect ourselves daily in this fallen most influential world?

“Read it (the bible) daily as long as he (you) live.”

“This regular reading will prevent him ( you) from becoming proud and acting as if he ( you) are above his fellow citizens ( or above God). It will prevent him (you) from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he (you) and his (your) descendants will reign (with Christ) for many generations in Israel. “

Thoughts on Luke 9: 7-27

Herod feared John the Baptist and did not want to behead him. He let the crowd influence him and be louder than the voice in his head. When Jesus came with such force with miracles and healings, the whispers in the community became bold voices proclaiming Jesus. ( despite his efforts to shhh them until the appointed time).

Herod was largely influenced by pagan beliefs and some believed that Jesus was John the Baptist or Elijah risen from dead. This of course was absurd.

Jesus found out that his cousin and dear friend John the Baptist had died a gruesome death. He was so sad and attempted to go off alone to cry and pray. But Jesus put aside his grief. He put aside his self ( sadness) and served God. Despite his loss, he ministered to others and fed others both spiritually and physically. He did not retreat. He did not curl up in a bed in sadness.

One morning after Dad had died, after weeks of walking around the house crying in my Dad’s house shoes, after weeks replaying regret….the Lord spoke to me…he said, “How can you serve me in your sorrow?”

I immediately knew it was Jesus. I said, “I hear you Father. You’re right, I can’t.”

That day I put up my house shoes. I turned off the deep mourning and I redirected my sadness to service. I did a baby shower for a single mom at the women’s shelter.

Do not let mourning or sadness rob you of the time you have on earth to serve. Yes, you are allowed to be sad, to cry, but redirecting your sadness to help God is a beautiful way to redirect the love within.

Finally, Peter claimed Jesus to be the Messiah. The time had come for the disciples to recognize, for their eyes to be open to the identity of Jesus. They still could not fathom that he would die and rise again on the 3rd day. Deny, deny, deny. They heard it but it was not absorbing. They were in disbelief because what they imagined was an earthly kingdom with Jesus as majesty with them in the castle or something. This is not what they dreamt of or imagined. God had another plan.

What does it take to be a TRUE follower of Christ?

“ If any of you want to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me. If you try to hang onto your life ( old ways-life-thoughts-fears), you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me or my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.”

  1. Turn from selfish ways: Serve God and Others- not self.
  2. Defend cross, public display with no shame- boldness
  3. Aim to Please God or Fear God: Do not worry about what the world thinks or fear the world.
  4. If you die for Jesus, you will save your own eternal life.
  5. Leave old habits like cursing, lying, cheating, sexual sin, addiction behind. If you try to hold onto old ways…you could lose your eternal life. The old self must fully die. You must be completely born again. This means killing that old self daily. Yes it’s hard and a constant thing- but do it to show gratitude to God and because you love Him.

 

Thoughts of Psalm 72:1-20

Jesus cared for the poor, the oppressed, the needy- He rescued and still rescues.

Our job on earth is to imitate Jesus in all things including service.

All nations will be blessed through Jesus. They will bring him praise. His name will be praised forever.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12: 8-9

Be sensible and have common sense. Don’t be so prideful that you are too good to take a job that will bring you food or income. It’s better to have a servant’s heart, to put pride aside, to take a job that is lesser so that you can eat and live. Ordinary people are extraordinary. People who think they are important are warped.

 

NLT March 30, 2015

There may be psychics and even false prophets that seem to know things that they shouldn’t. Do not put your faith in them. Your faith should be in God not anything mystical. There are people that swear by psychics, palm readers, tarot cards and so forth. This could very well be a test from the emergency broadcast network…I mean…a Test of your loyalty to the one true God. Put your faith in God and God alone. Do not seek to contact lost loved ones through mediums, even if what they say seems very true. The source of their information is not God.

God has no mercy on those that try to influence you or pull you away from God, even if it’s your very own family. Do not let anyone or anything, not even your own husband or wife; lead you away from your divine creator.

“The Lord your God will be merciful only if you listen to his voice and keep all his commands that I am giving you today, doing what pleases him.”

That means don’t listen to any voice that leads you astray…

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLT March 30, 2015

There may be psychics and even false prophets that seem to know things that they shouldn’t. Do not put your faith in them. Your faith should be in God not anything mystical. There are people that swear by psychics, palm readers, tarot cards and so forth. This could very well be a test from the emergency broadcast network…I mean…a Test of your loyalty to the one true God. Put your faith in God and God alone. Do not seek to contact lost loved ones through mediums, even if what they say seems very true. The source of their information is not God.

God has no mercy on those that try to influence you or pull you away from God, even if it’s your very own family. Do not let anyone or anything, not even your own husband or wife; lead you away from your divine creator.

“The Lord your God will be merciful only if you listen to his voice and keep all his commands that I am giving you today, doing what pleases him.”

That means don’t listen to any voice that leads you astray…

  • Not your husband or wife
  • Not your parents
  • Not your friends
  • Not your employer
  • Not the other voice in your head

Kill that voice, distance  yourself from those pulling you away from God. Stay in the word. Pray, Listen and Obey God only. If possible, stay away from those that are trying to influence you negatively.

God has a lot of dietary guidelines, all of which have logical scientific reasons behind them. If you ever do the research on fish with scales and fins, you will find that their filtration systems are better, thus the toxic chemicals are less likely in these fish.

He’s a loving God that puts guidelines in place for our own best interest. But he does not want us to get caught up in rules and regulation, rather he wants us to live according to his will out of love- not because we feel guilt to obey.

Tithing is a great way to put your trust in God and to serve him. He wants us to take care of the poor, widows, the sad and so forth. You can also tithe your time and talent, just be sure you do it not from guilt but out of love for God and others. Cheerful giving is the key. It’s always about matters of the heart. Do not be tight fisted with the poor, “instead be generous and lend them whatever they need. “

There is much about a Sabbath year in this passage. We are in a sabbatical year now. Which is the year the land was let go. The poor came to eat for free. Servants, animals and pretty much everyone rested and trusted. Servants are released in the sabbatical year, but not empty handed. Rest is good. We can find inner peace when we trust in God. Physical rest and emotional rest is so important. God is always making sure to take care of everyone, making sure they have what they need to start their new life.

The bottom line is that we are to take care of each other, to never take any blessing for granted. We are to remember that everything we has is borrowed; it belongs to God. When we know everything is his, we are more apt to give to those who need it.

Thankfully, God sent his only begotten son as the final sacrifice, the final lamb. He gave us a gift of life, through Jesus we are all forgiven. We must just accept the loving gift and live for Him.

He never needed anything from us other than our love and devotion, through loving obedience, worship and service.

Thoughts of Luke 8:40-9:6

Can you imagine the sick woman’s thoughts? Like a rock star walking through a crowd of groupies, Jesus walked through. People pressed against ever side of him, making it near impossible for him to move through the crowd.

In a sea of Jesus followers one sick woman pushed her way through thinking, “ If only, I could touch Jesus cloak, I would be finally healed. If I can just reach him, just brush his cloak.”

I can only imagine that at the moment she barely brushed the hem of his cloak an energy went through her body like a lightning bolt, making every hair on her body stand up.

Jesus too instantly felt power leave him. He knew at that moment someone had faith so strong that without him being consciously aware, someone was healed just by faith.

Wow, shouldn’t we all have this faith?

Jesus has the ability to bring back your lost relative, friend too. If you have a friend who is spiritually dead, do not give up. Have faith that God can soften hearts. The Holy Spirit can move hearts and awaken those dead to God. Keep praying and watch as he works his Holy Spirit power.

We too are Jesus’s disciples. When we are born again, God pours his spirit into us. With faith we too through the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can drive out spirits, heal and spread the good news. We each have gifts, and we are expected to use those gifts for God. Each one of us is different but each one of us can be used on some level for God’s greater good and glory.

If you are struggling, God will provide, trust God. If you try to talk to someone about God and they reject it, dust your sandals off and move to the next house. Some people will never open their ears and some it will take time. Timing is everything, God’s timing that is…When they reject, they are not rejecting you, but the Lord. Do not take it personally move on. There are many with hearts to hear.

Thoughts Psalm 71: 1-24

Do you feel alone, abandoned at times? Do you feel insignificant? You are never alone. You are wonderfully made and very special. God has been with you since you were in your Mom.

“Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.”

“My life is an example to many, because you have been strength and protection.”

Wow, this is an awesome statement above, something to aspire to be. I want my life, my new life with Christ, fully committed to Him to be an example of a life devoted to Christ. The beauty is that I can use my old self to relate and bring other lost souls to Jesus. It’s great to use your old life and your new improved life in combination to share God to others.

“I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord. I will tell everyone that you alone are just. “

When you are fully committed to Jesus, you hold nothing back. Paul in the bible does not claim to be a great writer or speaker, yet look what he did for God. Moses had a stutter but look what he did for God. Do not let any insecurity or fear hold you back from fully sharing the gospel. Your faith in God, in Jesus is not something to hide…wear it with pride, share it boldly. This will take time because you will have to leave the things of this world behind and be completely focused on the eternal. That means you will not care what the world things. If people judge you, you are okay with that. There are people all over the world who risk their lives daily just to have a bible, just to be a Christian. So be bold.

God has the power to fully restore you so you can fully used. Pray about your fears so you hold nothing back from God.

Thoughts: Proverbs 12:5-7

If you’re asking for advice, go to the Godly. Steer clear of those who will always tell you what you want to hear. It’s better to seek advice from Godly Christians than those who walk the line between this world and God’s.

 

 

 

 

There is much about tithing and taking care of ministers, church workers, those that have dedicated their life work to Gods work.

 

 

NLT Bible Journey: March 29, 2015

Our children did not experience God’s miracles or Jesus’s healings, nor did we. So it’s important to read the word of God.  It is our job as parents and grandparents to teach the ten commandments, the stories, the virtues to our children.

Blessings will pour out like rain when we are lovingly obedient. As much as we want the blessings, we must also accept the fact that God can withhold blessings and allow periods of hardship for refinement.  ” Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!”

It’s a selfie world. So many serve self and serve the world. They mock God. They generalize the bible, a book they have never read. They make decisions on Jesus based on experiences with people ( sinners) not because they have personally pursued knowledge through word of God or prayer. The bible is read less and less. Yet judged more and more. HMMM

People, even Christians, rely on a 30 minute sermon once a week with a maybe 2 to 5 scriptures to equip them for the week. The word of God and Prayer is the daily cup of coffee you need…to energize and start  your day off right! (This kind of mojo actually removes the life jitters). Trying removing it for a bit and see how anxious you feel. I’ve seen it and felt it myself.

You will notice this in scripture : ” Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods..”

This really struck me because there are many accepted “Christian” branches out there that incorporate statues, who pray to once earthly people, deceased “saints” ( believers are saints according to scripture). I’ve seen people who do rituals to even sell houses with statues, putting a statue Joseph ( Mary’s husband- Jesus’s earthly Dad)  upside down buried in the front yard. This is type of thing is forbidden by scripture and very similar to the pagan rituals in the bible.

Remember Rachel who sat on those stone gods when her Dad came after them?

When we get into Paul’s writings you will see where this started near Rome.  Paul so desperately tried to correct the new churches, he wrote letter after letter and visited as much as he could correct this  blending of the pagan practices with Christ beliefs. Many of the new churches appeased the converts because they belly ached about missing the pagan rituals involving statues etc… so we see that this has been blended into Christianity today. But this is still not biblical and not right according to scripture.

We are too add nothing or subtract nothing from the word. There are branches of Christianity today that has literally taken out the commandment on forbidden idol worship. How bold. Frankly, I’m scared for them. You can see how much God despises idol worships. Telling everyone to tear them down and destroy them.

Justification for praying to angels, apostles, people or even putting beads at of a disciple is not biblical in old testament or new testament. The disciples always corrected people who bowed to their feet or tried to give them glory. When John in revelations bowed to an Angel, the angel corrected him and said only worship God…I am merely his messenger- worker.

Reading scripture for yourself will make you keenly aware that some of the most celebrated Christian factions are biblical wrong. When you come into the light, you will know how to comfortably please God and worship God. ( you will not fall into this modification of the original that  Paul, Peter and James planted from Jesus’s words and action. )

The bible says not to even inquire about their gods or their worshipping practices? The enemy could use this to tempt and confuse a new Christian. Later when rooted…you could use information to witness. But it’s best newbies to stay away and keep your nose in the word of God.

I am a bible based Christian if anyone asks. That is what I am…not any particular “sector.”

I belong to the first church of Jerusalem in my mind, body and spirit…the one James, Jesus’s 1/2 brother started with Peter.

Thoughts Luke 8:22-39

You may feel like you are drowning in this world. The storms of your life may feel like potential death. But Jesus is in control of everything. Put your faith in the one that  can control even the wind and the waters. Yes, like these disciples you will have weak moments…but stop and remember the power of God.

I know that there are things in your past you might be ashamed of..maybe you’ve felt like a cra cra with demons inside of you, chained up and naked…But look at how bold this man was for God after God saved him. He did not hide in shame of who he was…he hit the streets claiming he was healed by God ….Don’t let the past stop you from sharing your story or sharing God’s work in your broken life.

Crazy to me that so many see the miracles, yet drive Jesus out. We see that today…People are still driving this loving savior out of their life. This is just part of this …we all have the choice.

Thoughts Psalm 70: 1-15

Pray to God to save you, to come to your aid. Do not rely on man, husband, wife, employer, money…or anything other than God to rescue you. When you are rescued…be sure to glorify the real SAVIOR.

 

 NLT Bible Journey March 28, 2015

 

Braxton and I were shopping in HEB when from the direction of the deli, walked the tallest Barbie of a woman I have ever seen. Her hair long blond, light eyes, legs longer than any man I’ve ever seen. Everyone’s eyes turned towards her then quickly looked away as not to stare.

As I pushed my cart into the check out line, I notice this giant yet slender woman was in front of me. Braxton begin to talk to me about her, staring amazed at her towering height, almost dehumanizing her. ” Look Mommy, She’s taller and skinnier than you, she even wears flip flops. ”

“Of course she wears flip flops honey, we all do.” I tried to hush Braxton not wanting the beautiful towering blond who was all of 6 foot 7 to hear us. She was so tall that her shoulders hunched over a bit. I’m sure being a woman of that height could not be easy physically or emotionally.

Then, she exited, and it was my turn at the register.

Then, the young Cashier, a young man with dark hair, said to me, ” Did you see how tall she was? I was so intimidated!”

I said, “I’m sure that is difficult for her to be that tall. She’s taller than most men.”

The checker who was all of 5 foot 6 said, “She’s taller than me, and I’m even standing on a box.”

I was not catching onto his joke. I said, ” You are?”

He said, “No, I’m just kidding but wow was she tall.”

I’ve been praying for wisdom and discernment for God to enlighten me. I was reading the bible again, and it occurred to me that that God was giving me a physical example of how the Israelites felt when they entered the promise land where , ” the people are strong and tall- descendants of the famous Anakite giants!”

Remember, when we read about King Og and his bed being 16 feet long? How tall could these people be? Over 11 feet tall which is 3 feet taller than this woman! And this woman who was under 7 foot,  could not move through the stores without all eyes on her!

The cashier was much like the Israelites, he was a small man who  said he was, ” intimidated” by a woman’s towering strength.

Now I can imagine how scary it would have been for the 12 who went into to check out the promise land. There they were peaking over walls that reach the sky only to see an army of giants,  11 foot tall with huge muscles, strength.  their

Anyone in their right mind would have ran in fear. You would have to have God with you not to fear those giants! Only Caleb and Joshua remembered that God was God; he made a promise and he intended to keep it. Only these two in the face of a giant challenge,  held onto Faith!  How quickly do we all turn in fear at the first sign of something greater than ourselves? How quickly do we run and get off course when we are scared? Remember, God is bigger than anything in your life. You can face anyone or anything when you did it with Him.

We must put our complete trust in God and obey Him. Doubt has no place in our life with the Commander in Chief , the Lord in charge, who is greater, taller, more powerful than any human force, disease or challenge on earth.

The priests , the Levites did not inherit land but God himself is their possession. They dedicate and sacrifice everything for God and God repays them with Himself.  When we dedicate everything to God our mind, body, spirit and service, Jesus repays us with himself! We inherit God too! God loves those that pursue and live by His word. He also hears the prayers from the Godly for the ungodly.

What does God require of us?

” …to live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good. ”

Everything you have belongs to the Lord your God. He is a fair God always caring for children, widows, poor and foreigners. Don’t forget to use your blessings, God’s belongings, to care for others.

Thoughts on Luke 8: 4-21

Choices:

1. Hear message and Devil comes and takes it away- preventing from hearing and being saved.

2. Receive it with joy, but in the face of temptation or the materialism or  pleasing world- fall away- ( no roots)

3. Receive with joy, plant, root and “scatter more seeds…believers who will then scatter even more seeds”

  • Pay attention to what you are reading.
  • Apply it.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment and courage.

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where it’s light can be seen by all who enter the house. For all that is secret will eventually brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”

Share your salvation, Share Jesus with others= Be bold because Jesus himself commissions us to do so.

If you have a hidden secret, addiction and you are pursuing God too- everything must come out to be washed. Everything must come to the surface be skimmed off. Know that you are fully forgiven, you are washed New in His blood. Your hidden secrets, past life will be used to share God’s love and forgiveness.  Don’t hold back or hide your love for God. Don’t mute yourself or hold back an intimate testimony, because your rawness may be the very thing that brings someone to Christ. Your action could save an eternal life. What if your hesitation is played back like a movie, where you see how your brakes was a lost opportunity.

This is a process, boldness for God. Your boldness will not  happen over night. But challenge yourself to walk through the uncomfortable- the brakes that are tied to fears or judgment in this world.  But when you put your life in Jesus’s hands like Caleb and Joshua did, when you know your days are numbered only by him…then every decision you make is not based on any fear but based on love for God and love for others. Anything beyond that, is not of God.

Thoughts of Psalm 69:19-36

This is how we feel, but this is not what we are told to do. We are to pray for our enemies. We are to pray that our enemies hearts are changed, and that they will humble themselves before God. Pray for the poor, the imprisoned.

You may feel like this Psalm but that’s when you turn up the volume on your prayers for the ones that are attacking you. Yes we can pray for protection but don’t forget to pray for those who purse you with evil.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12:2-3

Disobedience and selfish decisions brings on instability in life.

Obedience and Trust brings stability, calmness and trust-faith.

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Journey: March 27, 2015

Very clearly in scripture,  it states if you listen and faithfully obey, you will be blessed in many ways. This is not to say that illness and tragedy never comes on a follower. Sometimes God uses our hardship, illness to show his power, healing power or to show the light within us to others. Life is not perfect, but we should all aim to receive God’s ear, blessing and full protection. Hardship refines us and at times brings us back on bended knee, becoming once again dependent on God instead of money or people.

When you are going through anxious or unsettling times, REMEMBER. Remember what God has already done for you. Remember all your blessings so far. Thank him for what he has already given and done for you. Don’t forget like the Israelites how God delivered you or provided for you.

Often when I’m praying I will go back to God and thank him for things like helping Slade with his dyslexia, bringing us to grade level reading and a 90 on reading on state testing. I thank him for Steve’s job. I thank him for helping us with the house in liberty hill. I thank him for giving me courage to forgive my Dad before it was too late. I try not to forget and try to remind God of how appreciative I am of all that he has done for me. I also say thanks for the things he will do for me. Thank you Lord for loving me the way you do.

Our hardships humble us, build character or test us to see how obedient we will be under stress. What will our outlook be when we seem to be wondering in the desert? Will we continue to praise, thank and be obedient? Or will we cry in fear, doubt and disobey?

We live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. But to do this we must know the word. Lucky for us, we are carving out important time to get to know God.

A child with no discipline is no child at all. We should welcome discipline or tough times that come from wrong moves. Because through discipline comes refinement and improvement. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, the lesson and discipline will repeat in different forms and fashions until we submit to God’s way.

When you have arrived in your life, when you are comfortable with plenty of cash in the bank, no worries of bounced checks or paying for diapers, don’t forget who blessed you. Don’t ever get some comfortable with travel, new cars, cash in the bank that you take those things for granted.

How quickly we forget where we were and what God’s given us. Don’t become driven by next thing money can buy. Don’t become proud and forget all that we have is God’s. He blessed you with talent, a healthy body, a brain and skills. If you did not have those things, you would not be where you are today. So don’t even for one second think that you did anything. You did nothing. Always praise, thank and give glory to Him. Correct people who try to give you credit.

“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy. “

A relationship with God is a mutual commitment. He has been committed to us for a long time. So nurturing, fatherly but have we always been fully committed to Him? When you have a relationship, it must be mutual as regards to honor, respect, obedience, love and service. If only one is in it fully, then there is no relationship.

Thoughts on Luke 7: 36-8:3

When someone who has had troublesome past, comes into the Light of Jesus, accepts him and pursues that relationship, there is an overwhelming sense of gratitude in love for Jesus. Because you realize how much he loves you despite yourself, despite what you did. The scripture about “her sins- and they are many have been forgiven.” When you have much debt and Jesus wipes that clean, your love and appreciation will be even that much more intense.

We should not compare ourselves with others in how sinful we feel. But rather we should compare ourselves with God. When we do that, our love for Jesus for what he did for us grows in our heart.

I like how Jesus took living testimonies with him on his journey to minister. I also love how they showed their gratitude to him by contributing financially to the ministry. We should use our stories of how God saved us and share with others. We should also remember when God does big miracles in our life or brings us through something, to gift the kingdom in time, talent or money- to show gratitude.

Thoughts on Psalm 69:1-18

Is being a Christian easy? NO. It goes against the main stream. For years in my youth, I would use the word God because for the most part in all situations it’s more widely accepted than the word Jesus. But now, as I have deepened my faith, now because I do not care what the world thinks of me, I claim Jesus. I am not afraid to say the J word around any and all people.

JESUS, JESUS…yes in Jesus name. I will take the insults and mockery with honor.

I found out that online on Facebook a group of people were making fun of me, and my Christian posts. They had their own sidebar message thread where they threw stones at my Christian posts.

What I must remember is that every time I am made fun of because of Jesus, it’s a mark of glory in heaven. They are not rejecting me. They are not making fun of me. They are making fun of Jesus. In His earthly life he was rejected and he is still being rejected and mocked today.

I choose to take the stones, to choose Jesus over the world. God is my redeemer. I do fear for those that mock God, I must admit. I fear for those who make fun of Christ, many are people I know and love. I fear each time I hear people are so flippant about small groups, church, God, Jesus.  The scriptures are clear in where that takes you. My spine curls when I hear the Lords name in vain. When I see curse words written, specifically the Lords name in Vain on FB, I cringe in sadness at how far they are from God.

Thoughts of Proverbs 12:1

Be open to correction, discipline- it is stupid not to listen and take advice and to accept discipline for your mistakes.

 

NLT March 26, 2015

They’ve taken our commandments from court houses and out of schools. In September 2012, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded that the school district remove the Ten Commandments from the middle school. They also sent a formal complaint to New Kensington-Arnold School District, which had a Ten Commandments display placed at the property of a high school. This is being done all across the country.

Out of sight is out of mind. The bible tells us “You must teach them to the people so they can obey them in the land I am giving them as their possession. “

We “must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail.”

We must ”commit ourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on your doorposts of your house and on your gates. “

Wow. No wonder the family unit, the education system, the government and the country are falling apart at the moral seams. We have hidden them. We have destroyed them. Out of sight is out of mind.

These laws are not to be something we feel forced to do or guilt into doing, but they are laws that we obey out of love for our heavenly father. If we love God don’t we want reminders on standards of pleasing Him.

  1. You must not have any other God but me.
  2. Do not make an idol of any kind, or image in heaven, earth or sea. Do not bow down to them, worship them.
  3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
  4. Observe the Sabbath by keeping it holy. Six days of work. One day of rest dedicated to God.
  5. Honor your Father and mother- live long and have full life because of it.
  6. You must not murder
  7. You must not commit adultery
  8. You must not steal
  9. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor
  10. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, house, land, servants, animals or anything belongs to them.

Thoughts Luke 7: 11-35

Oh how our Father’s heart aches for the widow. How he longs to take care of us. By raising this son from dead, the Mother  has someone who would help provide and take care of her. We too are raised from the dead when we accept Jesus. We are born again as this son was born again. We are born into a 2nd life, one of grace, love and obedience. We are raised from dead, our old self,  so that we too can serve-serve God and serve others.

As John sat in jail, he got weary and he needed a gentle nudge or encouragement, some assurance. We all need that from time to time. Jesus did many miracles back then. Remarkably seeing isn’t always believing. Even when some witnessed the miracles they still doubted, felt threatened and plotted against Jesus.

But many were changed forever because of Jesus. Some of the followers of Jesus were Romans and gentiles.

Many who were healed screamed from the roof tops, even when he told them to hush…keep it quiet. There will always be both- doubters and believers. There will always be times when you need a little encouragement from a brother or sister in Christ during tough times, like John did when he was in jail.

Jesus not only proved through actions but also through words his admiration for John.  This message I’m sure was comforting for John. He did what he was born to do. His time was nearly up, and he would step into the heavenly realm.  John as scriptures said, paved the way for Jesus. He prepared people’s hearts to receive Jesus.

Did someone help prepare your heart for Jesus? Are you preparing someone’s heart for Jesus?

But God blesses those who do not turn away because of Jesus. So be bold and embrace Jesus and Share him.

But you will need to get in line when he comes because I’m running full throttle for my hug!

Jesus was saying that there will always be people who pick out the flaws in others. This is wrong or that is wrong. Judge and be judged. We as Christians need to encourage each other, gently guide but not judge. Just pray for that person. We do not know the true intentions or heart of others or what they are going through for that matter, so don’t judge as the Pharisees did. Just gently remind them to keep eyes of Jesus, to live for God and to aim to only please Him.

Thoughts of Psalm 68: 19-35

God shows his awesome power every day in the form of connections, miracles, chance meetings, in the sunrises and sunsets. But one day, the trumpets will blare and Jesus will present himself to the earth. Can you imagine what it would be like to be at your dinner table or tucking your children in bed and you hear the trumpets? Then,   an amazing brilliant light enters all the windows of your house.

What would you do? Could this happen in our life time? The bible says to always be on watch, on guard and ready. By reading the bible and applying what we read…we are getting ready. I can only imagine…. How lucky would we be to be that generation where we finally see his beautiful face.

God will one day show his power and strength in an enormously powerful way. We will sing praises to God of the highest. The God that rescues us from death will reveal himself and all of his Glory! What a day that will be to see tender eyes and to get a hug from Him. Will I be speechless, tearful, unable to speak or control myself because He loves me? All of the above probably. But once I gain composure and get off the ground , remove my face from the dirt….I will get that hug!

Thoughts of Proverbs 11:29-31

Those who bring trouble to their families will inherit wind- wow. I know a lot of people who have brought a lot of heart ache to families. Pray for them. Just pray. God can change Saul to Paul. He can change you know who.

Good deeds should be done out of love not merit or points and those seeds become a tree of life in your heart…your fruit.

 

 

NLT March 25, 2015

We often put qualifiers on our actions like “white lies” for instance. The bible is very clear to not add or subtract anything from God’s words. That means even if you think your parents are flat out wrong for instance, you should still “honor your Mother and Father,” respect them. There is no caveat to that commandment or others.

I once went to a moon worshipping service at Zilker Park. My college roommate was taking an advanced class on I think Japanese Psychology. I went and they played these little hand drums, ate moon pies in the Japanese garden. I thought at the time it was cool. The music was enchanting.

But the bible warns us not to worship any statue and “don’t be seduced into worshipping, “ the sun, moon or stars. I can tell you that in my years on earth I have made many mistakes as regards to astrology and going to events like this. I’m so glad that I am in in the know as to the standards of God. I now know what he likes and does not like. What he approves and does not approve. I am working hard to love him by obeying and staying clear of anything that might open the door to evil or close the door to blessings and protection. Plus, I want my prayers heard and answered. 🙂

Scripture is very clear. “The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other.”

These Gods made of wood, stone are powerless, they do not see, hear, eat or smell.

Deuteronomy 4: 29…“And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.”

I love this because this bible journey is about finding God. We have one getting baptized this weekend! Someone is ready to commit to living for Him!

Thoughts on Luke 6: 39-7-10

You are equipping yourself by reading the bible. Soon the student will become like the teacher…sharing God with others.

Often times we pick on flaws in others. We see the glass half empty instead of half full. We see what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Instead of focusing on what someone is not doing right; we focus what are they doing right?

Our goal is to compliment, build up and encourage them. High light what is done right, not wrong. Dogs respond better to treats during training than spanking or scolding. So try this approach at home with people. ( not dog treats but compliments, encouragement)

What we should all be doing is taking a look in the mirror and making the change. You can control you. God has fully equipped you to be calm, nice, slower to anger and patient. Tap into his power, thank him for those virtues he has already blessed you with and put them into action. Don’t worry about others when you have so far to go on improving yourself. Just pray with a grateful heart. Claim the positive changes in you and others.

When you fight, blurt out curse words, stomp your feet, get snappy, honk at people; this is a true indicator of the current state of  your spiritual heart. It’s important as you read the bible to not just read it but to listen and live by it. Without the foundation, the root of Jesus, then the potential for spiritual or physical collapse is great.

I love the Roman Commander story. He was humble and realized that he was not worthy of Jesus even visiting his home to save the slave. He also had faith so strong that he believed that just by thought, Jesus could save his dear friend.

We may not be able to see Jesus but our faith can be like this Roman commander. Believe in the power of God. He is there, call on him. With just a thought, powerful things can happen.

Seems this soldier had more faith than Moses did when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. Wow.

Thoughts of Psalm: 68: 1-18

God is the Father to the Fatherless and Defender to the widows.

If you feel abandoned by a parent, it might be hard to accept love from a Heavenly Father. You don’t have any tangible example of what that unconditional kind of love feels like. But Jesus loves you, has never left you. Your true parent, the one that gave you life is not either of your parents. It is God. He is the parent of all parents, the one you need to please. He has never left you. He knew you before you were ever born. So if you feel abandoned or disappointed in your earthly parents, remember you always have the parent of all parents who LOVES you!

Isaiah 49: 15 New Living Translation “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!

God provides you with everything you need. Thank him and be filled with joy!

Thoughts of Proverbs 11:28

Money must not be your safety net or your security. Money comes and goes. But God is everlasting.

 

 

NLT March 24, 2015

Esau’s group: Edomite’s (relatives to Israelites) The Hairy Brother.

Lot’s group: (sisters who got Dad drunk: and you know what): Moabites

Looks so far they have been obedient and removed all the sinful pagan people. (Not leaving any behind). Looks like they were smart and took a lot of towns with fortified walls for protection. Thought it was interesting about the bed made of iron for the giant King Og- 13 feet long and 6 feet wide. I would love to see that thing. Can’t imagine how tall the Rephaites were but since the King was the last one, looks like none from that group are walking around.

God was sweet and let women and children stay behind in the towns to protect them from the fighting scene. God reassures us when we look at what he has done for us so far. “Don’t be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you!”

When you feel the need to fight, remember to stay peaceful and prayerful. Let God fight your battles. Sometimes action is needed but only with God’s direction.

Moses is now begging God to go to the promise land. God’s told Moses to stop begging. He did allow him to look at the land but not to enter due to his disobedience. He then expected him to show a good face, to encourage and strengthen Joshua. Not allowing God to show his power by providing the water by just speaking to it, was a big thing for God. Moses in a way with that stick was taking some credit or kudos away from God. God could just by Moses words bring forth the water. Be sure to obey God down to the t. And be sure to not glorify yourself in anything….work on giving God credit for all that you are and all that you have…

Thoughts Luke 6: 12-38

Some decisions, like picking disciples require constant prayers or prayers all night. God is the God of comfort. He cares for the poor, the sick and the sad. One day with him, there will be no more pain or suffering.

Feeling Rejected or Mocked?

If you are cursed or mocked because of Jesus, take it and smile. A reward awaits you in heaven!

When you feel rejected, remember they aren’t rejecting you. They are rejecting Jesus. Jesus was rejected while in his earthly body and continues to get rejected today.

Do you like applause or attention?

If you are a people pleaser or world pleaser, instead of a God pleaser, those are empty feelings that will fade leaving a huge hole in your heart. The only thing that can fill that emptiness and sense of false approval is the love of God.

Bless Enemies/Pray for Them! And Love Your Enemies

This is a hard one and at the beginning it will fill like a hypocritical prayer. But pray for heart of the one who curses you, hates you. God had the power to change Saul to Paul. He can change anyone. It may be that he changes your perspective, which helps impact how you see that person who got on your last nerve. It’s easy to be nice to those who are nice to you. But we should challenge ourselves to be nice to those who are mean or hateful to us, like Cinderella did in this recent movie. Wow, she really showed us a great example of loving enemies. Our kindness to the unkind will give us rewards in heaven! Is that like a cherry pie and ice cream reward? Guess I’m hungry! I’ll take the rewards anytime and smiley face stickers too!

Freely Give without Wanting Back= When you give to others, you receive so much more back in love. Sometimes when you give, you get paid back and then some in real money back.

If someone asks to borrow…give them some and then some more.

Do not judge, Do not condemn, FORGIVE and Forgive some more.

Thoughts of Psalm: 1-7

Praise God. Thank God. Fear God. God is the SAVING power and grace!

Thoughts of Proverbs 11:27- GREAT ONE!

Try, Try to see the Good in others and not highlight the things that are bad. When you are looking at a situation and feeling low or like a Debbie Downer, write down all the things going right. Perception and how we see life, people and situation can change your life!

 

 

NLT March 23, 2015

God fixed the concerns of the tribes losing land due to marriage. But we still have this potential risk when we marry today, if we do not take precautions. I think it would be wise if you have a lot to lose to think about protecting it before your marry. Life is not perfect and people are not perfect. Divorce does happen. But you would really hate for future generations to lose inheritance or birth right land due to not protecting your assets legally. I think God wants us to always use common sense and make sure that our interests are protected.

From reading you can see that God is fair, impartial and believes in delegating and solving problems.

Don’t let others who complain, rebel or deliver bad news, demoralized you. Also if you get a bad report, don’t let that bad report demoralize you. The Lord says,  “ Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!”

God is bigger than any problem you face. Even if doctors come back and say the disease is fierce. Do not be demoralized but have faith in God as Caleb did.

We can take these lessons in the Caleb & Joshua story and apply them to so many areas of our lives. Remember God has cared for you all along the way, through your tough times through the “wilderness” of your life. He is a father who cares for his child,YOU. Do not do as the Israelites did and fail to trust him. Be grateful, don’t complain, worry or bicker. Have the innocent faith of a child.

God will warn you too before you make a big mistake. After years of bickering, he had enough. He wasn’t going in and protecting those complainers. They were on their own. We’ve all felt that way a time or two. Where we’ve had enough with someone. They wore us out with false promises and repeat bad behavior. They made us tired with their complaining non changing ways. But like any Father…he said, if you go in, you’ll go at it alone. Once again, they didn’t listen to warning. Many of them paid the price for disobedience. They took his protection for granted.

Thoughts on Luke 5: 29-6:11

These kind of holier than thou, righteous, judgmental type religious people have done more to damage the church that we could imagine. Many of you have experienced these high and mighty religious people who drive people away from God. Jesus disliked the Pharisees and teachers of religious law because their hearts were so dirty, and they were losing sight of their true Godly calling.

They were more worried about rules than matters of the heart. Jesus’s love is for everyone. God’s love is for everyone. We are no better than anyone else. Jesus expects us to go those who are having a hard time, those who are suffering, go to those who are sick spiritually and to offer the eternal medicine of His salvation and love.

If you think you are a “good person” and not like a murder or adultery or not like one of them…., if you think you are better than those who sit in jail- you are entirely wrong. Those who know they are dirty, those who know they fall short, those who are keenly aware of how far they miss the mark are also keenly aware of how much they need Jesus. People who know they need Jesus are HUMBLE . They are not self-righteous or judgmental of others because they realize we are all sinners who need grace!

Once again Jesus is concerned with caring for others, loving others and serving others. We are to do good for God always, even on the Sabbath.

How can you do more good for God? How can you serve God? It’s about Faith in Action!

Thoughts of Psalm 66: 1-20

I was told that religion should be private not public. This is coming from a non-believer who does not understand that Religion is not what we are aiming for- it’s RELATIONSHIP.

What does the scripture say to do?

Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! Tell the world how glorious he is. Thank God for all his good deeds! Let the entire world bless God and sing praises! So should we keep it private? NO!

There are ways though that you can gently spread the word, plant seeds as not to turn off. Every opportunity is different on the approach.

A great approach is to say to someone, “May I pray for you? “ Rarely, will anyone tell you no. If they will allow you to, pray right then with them hearing. There is something that happens in your spirit when someone prays for you out loud. I used to call a prayer hotline, I never failed to cry when others prayed for me. If they won’t let you, then pray later alone. But be bold and just start praying or ask them to go someone with you private.

How do you get God to Listen to Your Prayers?

  • Obey & Serve
  • Praise & Thank
  • Confess
  • Requests

“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.”

Thoughts on Proverbs 11:24-26

How can you refresh others around you? Everything we have is Gods. Give freely and blessings will come your way. If we are stingy, we could very easily lose everything, in this life or next. If you need extra cash, consider selling a few things around the house. We all have more than we need.

 

NLT March 22, 2015

God ordered them to demolish all the pagan shrines, statues and images. I can’t help but think about this every time I see a frog under a register or a happy man with fruit in front of him. When the earthquake hit near the old cowboy stadium, I couldn’t help but think that the football stadiums for some are places of worship. The stadiums seem like  pagan temples to some. (only because some put football above God, their kids, their marriage, their work…)

The Israelites failed to eliminate all the pagan people who could let their evil ways corrupt. These are the influencers that later were the “splinters” and “thorns” of sin that brought down the Israelites. The Persians are still harassing Israel today. The disregard to follow exact instruction has led to a perpetual state of threat against Israel. They are surrounded by people that hate them and these people will stop at nothing to get their supposed territory back.

God gave those who accidently killed someone a place of refuge, a safe haven, and he gave them a just and fair trial so to speak. The Levites cities were refuges for those who made a mistake. But regardless if they were innocent, they still paid for the sin by being alienated from friends and family. Sin causes isolation in some regard, from God or from people, accidental or not.

Murder pollutes our land. I can’t help but think about the judicial system today and how many murders we set free that may “pollute our land,” by going back out and taking an innocent life again. I do believe in a just fair trial with more than one witness in combination with science to convict. But I can’t help but think how our prison system would look different if we follow Old Testament rules on murder.

While reading, flashes of Barabbas the murderer being let go instead of God sharing Jesus flew through my mind. This could only happen so that Jesus could fulfill scriptures. The world can be so cruel and corrupt. It seems unconceivable that Jesus, a man of God, from God could be put death instead of a radical murder.

Just keep in mind that God can use anything meant for bad for his greater good and purpose. So when you see corrupt, unfair things, God will use it for His good in some way. With Barabbas, this was the way it was supposed to go down so we could be saved.

Thoughts on Luke 5: 12-28

Submit yourself to God’s goodness. Believe in his power over your life. Seize and claim that goodness. Do any of us deserve it no, that is why God’s gift and love is so precious. He loves us because he is love.

These men were willing to do whatever it took, removing whatever obstacle or barrier to get the man on the rug to Jesus. What barrier do you need to remove that keeps you from feeling the fullness of Him?

Is your obstacle a habit or perhaps you need to forgive someone?

Search yourself. There will always be obstacles to remove to get to Jesus, closer to Him.

But once you are there, he will wash you clean, forgive you and heal the broken part of your soul, just as he did the leper man and the paralyzed man.

Then, be bold claim Jesus, praise him and follow him.

Thoughts of Psalm 65: 1-13

Do you want your prayers answered?

1st: We must “fulfill our vows” – obey the word of God out of love not fear.

2nd: Don’t be overwhelmed by what you’ve done, how you’ve sinned: God forgives them all.

Everyone on earth has hope in Him.

Thoughts on Proverbs 11:23

We will all be judged one day. But the Godly can smile because you are part of God’s family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLT March 21, 2015

We can learn a few things from the Reuben and Gad request. Gather all the information more before you automatically judge someone’s motives. Ask questions and listen, before you draw a conclusion. Also, we are to learn from not only our mistakes but other mistakes as well. Plus, when we make decisions we should make them not only based on our own selfish needs but also on the needs of others. We are to obey God wholeheartedly, not halfheartedly. Yes we are all making progress in our walk. But if you are knowingly disobeying what you know God has put on your heart; that is rebellion against God’s direction.

The Lord directed them to keep a written record of their progress. I think this would be a great idea for us to keep a written record of our progress. What challenges are we facing? What are we thinking about? Are we seeing changes in our living, reactions? What dreams are we having? Journaling our transformation during this bible journey could make for an interesting read later.

Thoughts of Luke 4: 31-5:11

Jesus taught every Sabbath in the synagogue. So not only is it to be a day of rest but also a day of drawing closer to God and letting others draw closer to God.

Many of us have mentioned feeling attacked and mentioned the enemy. You’ll notice that the evil spirits feared Jesus and Jesus had the power to destroy them. Jesus also had the power to stop the spirit from further hurting the man. Where was this evil man? You got it, church. So do not be surprised when the enemy shows up in some form or fashion at church. But you know through the Holy Spirit in you that you have the Power in Jesus name to rebuke anything not of God. When you have Jesus as your very best friend, there are no worries!

Simon is Peter. Peter’s mother in law was healed and began to show appreciation for Jesus’s gift by cooking for him. How do you show appreciation for the blessings in your life?

Jesus got overwhelmed and tired from all his ministry work. He went to an isolated place to escape and pray. Do you feel sometimes you need to escape the day to day? Don’t feel guilty about this. You need to recharge too. Going off by yourself, having a get-a-way weekend, taking a long walk alone are all great things. We need that time alone with God. This life can really press on us. Look life pressed so much on Jesus that he had to back up a bit and teach from a distance from the boat in the water. Water can also be very healing. Escaping to a place where you look and hear water is very soothing for the soul. The sound of a river rolling over rocks, the tranquility of a lake, the sound of the ocean waves or even the sound of rain falling down; these are all sounds that calm the rough waters of life. If you need to calm down, find water and spend quiet time with God.

When Jesus brought in all those fish, so much that the boat could sink, Peter was overwhelmed.

He said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me- I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”

As you read the bible and see the truth, when you begin to read God’s standards, all the sins of yesterday come to the surface. You may start thinking about all that you’ve done and start to feel dirty and so unworthy. We may not be worth of the gift of life through Jesus, but Jesus love for us is so great that he accepts us anyway, flaws in all. We are to fully embrace the gift of grace knowing that the past is the past and when we move forward with Jesus, imitating Jesus, we are forever changed. He doesn’t think about who we were. He thinks about how we can use that past in combination with his message to go “Fish for people.”

Don’t be afraid. Don’t let who you used to be, what you used to do or your sinful nature, keep you from accepting and living for Jesus. It’s also so important that you realize that the enemy is at the churches, the synagogues. He came to destroy God’s church. He uses sinners in the church to do that. And for many, a church experience has kept them from any form of spirituality, religion, relationship or prayer. Jesus is disgusted with those that contaminate the house of prayer as much as you are disgusted. But like Jesus we must still go, teach, listen and serve.

Thoughts Psalm 64: 1-10

If someone is bugging, threatening, causing grief in your life- complain to God.

God will stop them. Often it is the persons own tongue which will ruin them. Be sure think before you speak.

Thoughts Proverbs 11:22

A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.

Wow. This is so true. A beautiful woman with a potty mouth, ugly! A beautiful woman who shows too much skin, ugly! A beautiful woman, who is loose, ugly. A beautiful woman who gets drunk, disgusting. Pretty is as pretty does is what my Grandma used to be. Modesty and being more reserved is the better way to go. Show discretion in all things= CLASSY.

 

 

 

NLT March 20, 2015

Promises, Oaths, Vows are to be taken very seriously. It’s best to make your yes, yes and your no, no. In most cases, avoid promises, oaths, vows or saying “I swear.”

You’ll notice that children are trumped by their parents if they promised something. You’ll notice that if a woman messes up and makes a promise she can’t meet, her husband if he quickly responds can nullify that. The bottom line from this passage is to take vows very seriously and avoid them if at all possible.

Idolatry of any kind is hated by God. We should not put anything before God: not sports, kids, money, career, friends …anything. Influencers, those that cause others to sin, beware.

I know it seems extreme that they killed the women, boys that were brought back to the camp. But these are the influencers, the ones that helped pull God’s people into the corrupt practices of worshipping Baal. You’ve heard that one bad apple ruins the batch. That is why the evil influencers must be destroyed. As we peak further into scripture, you’ll see that the evil practices from the Pagan were picked up from the sexual relations of the Israelite men with pagan women.

As it applies to our lives, if someone is a gossip, a heavy drinker, a cursing fool, promiscuous, a negative nelly; it’s best to distant yourself. Because bad habits can influence us without us even being aware. Before it jumps on you, back off and pray from a distance.

The Israelites will soon be indifferent to sin. Has America become indifferent? Listen to the lyrics in songs. Flip through the channels and you will see everything from parental disrespect, violence, sexual sin, corrupt language—every sin imaginable is wrapped up in the Academy Awards, Late Night shows, Grammy’s. Sin is all over our magazine racks. Sin is out in the open for everyone to see.

But beliefs, morals, spiritual beliefs are told to be hidden. In fact, yesterday I had a close friend tell me that religion should be private not public. Well I don’t believe in religion. I believe in relationship.

Yes, you are to have an intimate relationship with Christ. But we are also out of love for our neighbor and love for God told to share God’s love, his free gift with others. This is not supposed to be hidden.

So why is it that we boldly display crude jokes, write or post curse words on social media, make fun of people? These disgusting jabs at people are displayed for the world to see. We post cartoons and things to stir people up. Why are these things allowed in the open? And the Word God and especially the word Jesus is taboo??

I’ll tell you why because people have become indifferent to sin. They say they have tolerance out of love. But truly it’s because they care more what the world thinks, what people think, then what God thinks. Who has been allowed reign over this world now? You got it- the devil.

The master of the Universe, God hates sin. Why? Because sin without God’s forgiveness, causes you to be far from God.

If we are in love with someone are we to not speak of them? How can I keep Jesus private? He’s the love of my life! Is an unbelieving friend asking you not to speak of the love of your life?

Jesus is finely woven into my very soul. Hiding him for me, is not an option. I eat, breath and sleep Jesus. I live for Him. He is in everything. What hurts is when you see friends struggling and sad and lost. You know why the inner joy is not there, but their ears are deaf. They cannot hear. Just keep praying that God opens their ears and eyes. Nothing is too big for God.

Thoughts Luke 4: 1-30

After Baptism by Spirit, Jesus was tempted by the Devil. The enemy used weak areas to tempt him. He was hungry, he tempted with food. He tempted him by offering him power and authority- feeding his ego. Jesus already had the power- that temptation was silly. He tempted him by asking him to test God.

We get our true food from the word of God.

We get our power and strength from God. We are to worship only God.

We should steer clear of temptation or anything the enemy can use in our lives to get us off course.

The enemy knows what buttons to push to cause you to stumble. Pray to God to help you be strong and to apply his Godly virtues. If you are in the word, you will have God’s word fresh on your mind. So you will be 10,000 times stronger than a Christian that is not reading daily.

“When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

You see in this scripture that the devil reigns over the kingdoms, has authority over them for now. You see that the devil looks for opportunities to pull you away from God. So be on guard in prayer, read the word daily and apply when the heat is turned up.

This is not to scare you but to prepare you. Remember that Jesus casted out demons and had power and authority over them. He may allow the enemy to test you, but when you come through it, you will only be more equipped to serve his kingdom. All those times that God got you through, become powerful stories for impacting lost sheep.

Jesus’s impact was not great in his home town. Those who knew him as a carpenter’s son, doubted. They had little faith. You will always have more influence over strangers, people outside your family, then those that know you.

My own family when I started my ministry work, called me a “religious fruit cake nut.” Thanks, I’ll happily take that patch to put on my uniform. Although, I will tell you again it’s not religion that I’m nutty about…I’m a relationship NUT!

The people were furious because Jesus said that many times foreigners had more faith then Israelites, Jews. This is foreshadowing that many of the Jews would deny Christ and then the gospel would be spread to the gentiles.

Thoughts Psalm 63: 1-11

Meditate on God’s love day and night. Be still and listen. Do you thirst for God? When you pull away do you feel weary? Tired? Cling onto God through good times and bad times.

Thoughts: Proverbs 11: 20-21

Raise Godly children. Make all decisions as if God is watching. If it feels slightly crooked, dishonest- don’t do it.

 

NLT March 19, 2015

We see the festivals and celebrations. How can we apply to our everyday life today? We can of course participate in these today in a modify way, depending on our jobs and life. We could take this time each year to gather with believers, to take some vacation and to serve God through repentance, obedience, service, volunteering or gifting.

I like the Day of Atonement where you fast and don’t work. It’s a great day to set aside much like we do for Easter to remember that Jesus is the final sacrifice. We could make this day  one of gratitude, repentance, thankfulness and just really pulling in close to God.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad not to have to do all the sacrifices and offerings anymore, at least not in that blood form. Thank you so much Lord, for sending your Son. We just Love Him, accept Him and live for Him. It’s that easy! Okay, at times we have to wrestle with the sinful self within—but it gets easier the closer we are with God. He’s forgiving too. So when you slip up, he accepts your apology. But expects you to learn from your mistakes. Like any good parent would expect.

30 is a good age of maturity to start ministry, a family or a solid career. There is something that changes in us when we leave our 20s. Most of our childish, youthful mistakes are done by then. Most of us are ready to get more serious in life at this point.

You’ll notice that Jesus is tribe of Judah. He is not from evil Cain’s group but Seth’s group. He is not from disobedient son of Noah, Ham, but he is from Shem, oldest son. He also has Enoch, who was “taken” by God in his line. He is in King David’s line- fulfilling scriptures.

Jeremiah 23: 5- “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.

Thoughts: Psalm 62: 1-12

If you are scared say this: God is my refuge, my rock, where no enemy can reach me.

If your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life- God should always come first. Use your wealth to further the kingdom, to love others. If you use it for selfish gain, to look rich, or look cool or for power—you’re letting the wealth go to your head. That’s why it’s harder for a rich man to go to Heaven. Money reigns the life instead of the Lord.

Thoughts on Proverbs 11:18-19

This life isn’t it. Put your focus on the eternal not the here and now.

 

NLT March 18, 2015

Judah is Jesus tribe. The one that leads. The one with the most soldiers. The one that gets most land.

All of the complainers that were registered that were 20 or older died in the wilderness. They were not allowed to enter promise land except Caleb and Joshua.

You’ll notice how fair God was to women. He let the two girls who Daddy died, claim inheritance. Then, God put forth rules of fairness for other situations of inheritance. He did not exclude women, strictly because they were not men. Remember this was a much different time. So this was huge.

Moses failed to demonstrate God’s power by speaking into the rock. He disobeyed by hitting the rock twice. So Moses was soon to die. I loved how Moses cared so much for his people that he asked God to pick a leader before he passed. He was not grieving over not going to promise land or about the punishment. He was still thinking of others. Joshua, a man of faith, who had been schooled up on priestly duties was the perfect choice.

Our offering today is a different kind of sacrifice. Our offering is our obedience. But that offering is not a painful offering but one done out of love for God. Blessed are those who hear the word and obey it. The word of God is the bread by which we live. Jesus is the living word. Make sense?

Thoughts: Luke 3: 1-22

Baptism is not enough. “Proved by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other we are safe. “

This is the biggest misconception in Christianity. Many Christians believe if you are baptized as a baby or if you are baptized period that you are saved. This is not the case. If the Holy Spirit is not in the driver’s seat of your life, then you should repent and start living fully in all things for God.

If you have not repented and lived for God…then you should really ask yourself, “Am I really safe?”

  • If you go to church only because kids need it, but it’s just a check mark in the box- Check yourself
  • For those that continue living for self or the world….instead of God- Check yourself
  • If you are not praying, repenting and reading word of God so you know God’s standard- start.

The proof is in the pudding. How are you living? How is your heart? Do you have fruit? Are you sharing gospel?

Things to avoid: jealous, complaining, anger, stinginess, materialistic, rebellious behavior, selfishness, putting anything before God, judging, guilt, doubt, worry, anxiety….

“Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” When you are baptized with the Holy Spirit, the change is pronounced and evident to all.

Jesus baptism is the first where Father, Son and Holy Spirit are present.J

Thoughts Psalm 61: 1-8

Great quick prayer for when you are scared.

  • You are my rock of safety.
  • You are my refuge.
  • I’m safe beneath the shelter of your wings.

Thoughts Proverbs 11: 16-17

  • Grace and kindness are godly virtues
  • You’ll pay for being cruel and ruthless.

 

NLT March 17, 2015

Thoughts: Numbers 26: 1-51

Once again we see the importance of 20 or older, those men that allowed to go off to war. (Age of accountability, more responsibility for: offerings, taxes, war)

We’ve got to get our children spiritually mature by this age. There seems to be a trend with how the Lord views this age and higher. More is expected once you reach the age of 20.

In a sea of numbers in this reading, what sticks out again for me is the tribe of Judah. Judah is the biggest as far as registered troops. You will see later that the most land is given to this tribe. Coincidence that Jesus is from this tribe? Think not!Is it a coincidence that the tribe of Judah, leads the pack? Think not!

You are playing with fire if you conspire against the godly and rebel against God. You know what happens to people who play with fire, they get burned or worse. Ouch!

Luke 2: 36-52

First we see the shepherds confirmed Jesus was a special child. Now we see two very old prophets: Anna and Simeon confirming that Jesus was a very special child of God. We can learn a lot from older people. Don’t miss opportunities to gravitate to older, wiser women and men. We can learn from their life experiences and stories. If you have an opportunity to connect with a women’s group or men’s group, be open to sitting next to and listening to the Grandfather and Grandmotherly types. It’s nice to have the wisdom from our older generation.

At 12 years old, you really see children become more independent. Jesus was preparing for his ministry, taking every opportunity to soak up scripture to learn from the priests. Jesus at this age was already speaking at a different level. He told his parents, he was right where he needed to be at his Father’s house, God’s house. You’ll notice that he did not disrespect his parents by fighting to stay at the temple. He was obedient and returned with them.

This is the last time Joseph is mentioned in the bible. We do not know what happened to him. But we do know by the time that Jesus was crucified, that he was deceased because Jesus gave John the responsibility of his mother. This is also interesting because Jesus had many brothers. This tells you how much he loved and adored and trusted John. For whatever reason, Joseph needed to be out of the picture when Jesus ministry started. God has a reason for everything.

Psalm 60:1-12: Thoughts

Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings- Jesus is the final King that eternally holds the scepter.

Human help is useless with God’s backing and power behind it. With God’s help we can do mighty things. Without God, FORGET ABOUT IT!

Thoughts Proverbs 11:15

Avoid co-signing for anyone….If they have a history of bad financial decisions you’re setting yourself up for a heap of trouble, including damaged relationships.

 

NLT March 16, 2015

We should never turn towards divination for answers, connections to deceased loved ones or anything. That means no psychics, tarot cards, nothing other than God. When God is ready to speak, he can speak through the most unlikely sources. Prepare your hearts to receive God’s messages. He often speaks to us in different forms, fashions and people.

Every country today that curses Israel should be keenly aware of this:

“Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

You may not like “truth tellers, “when they tell you things you don’t want to hear. You may even bark when something hits too close to home; you know a wounded dog howls. But everything that lies in darkness, must come into to Light, to be cleansed and purified properly.

Anything hidden, must come out so that you can walk forward with God. Nothing is hidden from God anyway, He knows everything, including every thought. You cannot lie to God.

It’s through that stinging truth, that we have an opportunity to self-reflect and improve. So many are too careful not to speak from concern. A true friend comes from a place of love, giving honest feedback without fear of losing the friendship.

You’ve seen tragedies, where everyone dies but one. You read in scripture, “Alas, who can survive unless God has willed it?”

God has a plan for each of us, down to the last day we take our earthly breath. This is merely a stepping stone to a new realm. As Christians, we must strengthen our walk daily with God and work diligently to find God’s purpose in our lives.

Some anger is justified, especially when it comes to those who live or speak out against God in thought or action. Take for instance, you see a child being abused and your gut begins to burn with anger. This kind of gut burning anger is directed at evil. This is completely justified. God wants us to stand up for the innocent, weak and to stand up for the kingdom. We can be strong yet have self-control and discipline. Regardless of how outraged you are, use God’s character to fight for righteousness. As a last resort, we should use the “sword,” to defend. But sometimes in war for instance, we must fight the enemy to protect the innocent and God’s Kingdom. Being zealous for God and what he stands for is honorable. Just remember our goal is to be: kind, loving, slow to anger. Keep in mind the virtues of God as you move to action for Him.

Thoughts Luke 2: 1-35

Shepherds are a running theme in the bible. They were guarding their flock.

Jesus is our shepherd, and he too guards his flock.

If you and I were to see angels, we would think that angels are good that we would not be afraid. But time and time again in the bible, when they present themselves with all their radiance, people are scared. They always reassure the person they are visiting them by telling them not to be afraid.

Some of us had our name picked out by God even before we were born. I recently found out that my birth name means, “Majestic or Admirable Daughter of a Carpenter. “ I really love this meaning because I feel like that I am Jesus’s daughter on a mission in life to bring people into our family.

John the Baptist was also named by God. Maybe your name was picked by God too, before you were conceived. Never know.

With all the reference to the true meaning of circumcision, isn’t it interesting that today it’s a very common practice to circumcise a baby boy. You might, like me did it because it’s a cultural norm.  But the meaning of it really has deeper roots, marking your son as Gods.

God also reassured Mary by sending the Shepherds. She probably had many thoughts about the baby within and the importance of what she was doing for God.  Sometimes it can be very lonely when you have a secret you can’t share. How comforting for her, that strangers with messages from Angels appeared. This was probably very comforting to both Mary and Joseph.

The Spirit of God still leads people today. When you have one of these “God incidents,” it really punctuates that God is very real and with you.

Many will be saved through Jesus and many will deny Him. Jesus offers salvation for all people, but the choice is still ours.

Thoughts: Psalm 59:1-17

Some of our friends and family are so far from God. Many of us feel sad because through their thoughts and actions, we see that God is so low on their totem pole. Many times out of love, I have prayed that “God bring them to their knees. Whatever it takes Lord so they come back to you. “

This life is not it. We love our friends and family, but the reality is that some will be lost. But keep praying. Just as God has the power to pour the Holy Spirit into anyone. God can open hearts and ears. God listens to the prayers of His devoted followers. Like when Moses asked for Mercy on his sister Miriam. Miriam saved Moses life and now he begged God for hers. God has a choice, and your prayer might be the one he answers, helping save your lost family member or friend. So keep praying.

I had been praying for a friend who is a non-believer for a long time. He admittedly told me that while he appreciates what my religion means to me, it falls of deaf ears. I kept praying and when I saw him write on Facebook the Lords name in vain, disgust entered my heart. I stopped praying for him. Then, I went to church. We had a new singer on stage and when I looked up at him, it waved over me how much he favored my friend. God said, “You may have given up on him, but I haven’t. Start praying again. “

I put him back on my prayer list. Have patience with people. God had patience with you.

Thoughts Proverbs 11:14

Dictator ships are unwise. There is safety in numbers and accountability.

 

 

 

NLT March 16, 2015

We should never turn towards divination for answers, connections to deceased loved ones or anything. That means no psychics, tarot cards, nothing other than God. When God is ready to speak, he can speak through the most unlikely sources. Prepare your hearts to receive God’s messages. He often speaks to us in different forms, fashions and people.

Every country today that curses Israel should be keenly aware of this:

“Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

You may not like “truth tellers, “when they tell you things you don’t want to hear. You may even bark when something hits too close to home; you know a wounded dog howls. But everything that lies in darkness, must come into to Light, to be cleansed and purified properly.

Anything hidden, must come out so that you can walk forward with God. Nothing is hidden from God anyway, He knows everything, including every thought. You cannot lie to God.

It’s through that stinging truth, that we have an opportunity to self-reflect and improve. So many are too careful not to speak from concern. A true friend comes from a place of love, giving honest feedback without fear of losing the friendship.

You’ve seen tragedies, where everyone dies but one. You read in scripture, “Alas, who can survive unless God has willed it?”

God has a plan for each of us, down to the last day we take our earthly breath. This is merely a stepping stone to a new realm. As Christians, we must strengthen our walk daily with God and work diligently to find God’s purpose in our lives.

Some anger is justified, especially when it comes to those who live or speak out against God in thought or action. Take for instance, you see a child being abused and your gut begins to burn with anger. This kind of gut burning anger is directed at evil. This is completely justified. God wants us to stand up for the innocent, weak and to stand up for the kingdom. We can be strong yet have self-control and discipline. Regardless of how outraged you are, use God’s character to fight for righteousness. As a last resort, we should use the “sword,” to defend. But sometimes in war for instance, we must fight the enemy to protect the innocent and God’s Kingdom. Being zealous for God and what he stands for is honorable. Just remember our goal is to be: kind, loving, slow to anger. Keep in mind the virtues of God as you move to action for Him.

Thoughts Luke 2: 1-35

Shepherds are a running theme in the bible. They were guarding their flock.

Jesus is our shepherd, and he too guards his flock.

If you and I were to see angels, we would think that angels are good that we would not be afraid. But time and time again in the bible, when they present themselves with all their radiance, people are scared. They always reassure the person they are visiting them by telling them not to be afraid.

Some of us had our name picked out by God even before we were born. I recently found out that my birth name means, “Majestic or Admirable Daughter of a Carpenter. “ I really love this meaning because I feel like that I am Jesus’s daughter on a mission in life to bring people into our family.

John the Baptist was also named by God. Maybe your name was picked by God too, before you were conceived. Never know.

With all the reference to the true meaning of circumcision, isn’t it interesting that today it’s a very common practice to circumcise a baby boy. You might, like me just through because it’s a cultural norm, I will do it. But the meaning of it really has deeper roots, marking your son as Gods.

God also reassured Mary by sending the Shepherds. She probably had many thoughts about the baby within and the importance of what she was doing for God. How comforting for her, that strangers with messages from Angels appeared. This was probably very comforting to both Mary and Joseph.

The Spirit of God still leads people today. When you have one of these “God incidents,” it really punctuates that God is very real and with you.

Many will be saved through Jesus and many will deny Him. Jesus offers salvation for all people, but the choice is still yours.

Thoughts: Psalm 59:1-17

Some of our friends and family are so far from God. Many of us feel sad because through their thoughts and actions, we see that God is so low on their totem pole. Many times out of love, I have prayed that “God bring them to their knees. Whatever it takes Lord so they come back to you. “

This life is not it. We love our friends and family, but the reality is that some will be lost. But keep praying. Just as God has the power to pour the Holy Spirit into anyone. God can open hearts and ears. God listens to the prayers of His devoted followers. Like when Moses asked for Mercy on his sister Miriam. Miriam saved Moses life and now he begged God for hers. God has a choice, and your prayer might be the one he answers, helping save your lost family member or friend. So keep praying.

I had been praying for a friend who is a non-believer for a long time. He admittedly told me that while he appreciates what my religion means to me, it falls of deaf ears. I kept praying and when I saw him write on Facebook the Lords name in vain, disgust entered my heart. I stopped praying for him. Then, I went to church. We had a new singer on stage and when I looked up at him, it waved over me how much he favored my friend. God said, “You may have given up on him, but I haven’t. Start praying again. “

I put him back on my prayer list.

Thoughts Proverbs 11:14

Dictator ships are unwise. There is safety in numbers and accountability.

 

NLT March 15, 2015

Pray before you make any move in your life. Ask God to make it painfully clear what direction you need to go. When you are on the wrong path God will block your path. He will put road block after road block in front of you. Be careful though, because people can also through sin put up road blocks when you are trying to walk to higher ground. The spirit within you will help you tell the two apart. When things don’t go our way, we have a bad habit of blaming others, like in the case of the poor donkey. If we get road blocks, we need to ask ourselves,“What is God trying to tell me?” Then, pray and listen. Through strong thought, sometimes dreams or visions, sometimes through people, he will confirm the right plan. Or he will put barriers up over and over again.

So we see King Balak trying to wear Balaam down. Often people try to do this, they think that if they change the environment or the timing of a conversations, they will wear you down so that you will see their way, instead of God’s way.

We are naturally very weak without God’s help and kids especially can wear us down. God does not want us to change or mind or be influenced by these earthly influencers, he wants us through Him to make decisions based on His word and guidance only.

When you have big personal talks coming or even big business talks coming, pray to God for the words you speak to not be your words, but His words. Ask for His blessing and for His words in you to be received well.

Avoid making anyone your King, other than the Lord. “For the Lord their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their King.”

When God reigns over your life, not fear, not people, not money…but God, he will:  lead you, protect you and bless you. The enemy will not stand a chance.

Thoughts Luke 1: 57-80

So our beloved John is born. His Daddy Zechariah has finally spoken. He confirms, the Lords name for his son and suddenly he can speak after a pregnancy of zipped lips!

How powerful of a message and impact that must have been. Can you imagine? He’s been a silenced Priest for months and suddenly his mouth opens!  Then, out of his mouth is a prophecy about his son preparing the way for a Savior who offers salvation through forgiveness of sins. He proclaims that a messiah is coming. This came true too! Jesus is the light to all those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death and to guide us to the path of peace!

Thoughts of Psalm 58 1-11

God is just. He will one day judge each one of us. You may not find justice in this world, but the judge of all, God, will avenge, protecting His own and their mistreatment.

Thoughts of Proverbs 11: 12-13

Don’t belittle anyone. Who are you?

Don’t gossip. Keep secrets. Be trustworthy.

 

NLT March 14, 2015

Sometimes the journey in life seems long and rough at times. We get worn out, frustrated, impatient with situations and with people. During those times, it’s so easy to get discouraged and lose hope. Seeing the blessings today, is really the key to making it through the wilderness of life.

I remember in college looking at a syllabus for the first time, page after page of boring chapters to read. As I flipped through four pages, thinking about all the hours I would have to read this incomprehensible historical rhetoric, I remember feeling, “how on earth will I ever get through this?” I felt overwhelmed looking at how much I had to do. It wasn’t until I covered up everything except the day I was on that I took a deep breath. Then, after I read for the day, I would take a pen and mark through it, feeling accomplished and taking one day at a time towards my goal.

It’s so easy to get in a rut, to feel like you are getting nowhere, to feel abandoned by God when you focus on frustrations rather than blessings.

Ungratefulness is self-destructing, you become trapped in a state of negativity which paralyzes you. Very little can be accomplished when you are in a funk. God always gives us a way to reconcile with him, through his forgiving son Jesus. When we are caught up in the venom of negativity, we are too call out to God and keep our eyes on Jesus, He is the only anti-venom to sin.

God always rescues His people. With the snake bronze image, it took a look of faith for someone who was bitten to believe that God would heal them if they looked. God has always wanted us to believe and trust in his Power.

Thoughts of Luke 1: 26-56

Mary did not question or doubt the angel like Abraham, Sarah, Zechariah. She immediately had faith. That is probably why she received favor from God, he knew her heart.

There might be a dream that you’ve given up, thinking it’s too late, it’s never going to happen. But time and time again, in the bible we see miracles happen, divine intervention. We must remember no matter what it is…“ For nothing is impossible with God. “

You too will be “blessed because you believed in the Lord. “

Thoughts: Psalm 57:1-11

Life is not perfect. But know that God loves you and will rescue you.

Pray that God will fulfill His purpose in you.

Thoughts: Proverbs 11: 9-11

The godless use words to tear down believers. But the truth, God’s knowledge in us, will shield us, and help us to put everything in perspective. It’s His love for us that discredit the abusive words of the enemy. Pray for those that tear you down with words.

 

 

NLT March 13, 2015

I’m sure you’ve heard of the red heifer and how it pertains to prophecy. Here is more information on the red heifer. http://www.gotquestions.org/red-heifer.html

In general, inclusion into kingdom equals purification. Defilement equals exclusion. Jesus is the final purification for us. We are to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, be born again leaving behind our old self and being born into a new body one on a holy quest to serve the Savior instead of self.

Sin makes us spiritually unclean. Because we were born into sin, it’s impossible without God’s help to purify.

Often times we bring problems on ourselves, yet we blame others for complications from our choices. Sometimes we don’t bring the problem on ourselves, but every problem on earth derives from plague of sin on earth.

Take a close look at your problem, did disobedience contribute? Is there something you can change in thought or action, to rectify or start to mend?

When we self-reflect and redirect, often times we grow in spiritual maturity and out of the maturity comes a peace.

Each time you tackle another problem, you have an opportunity to test yourself. Are you calm under pressure? Are you prayerful? Are you yelling and cursing your head off?

As each situation and annoyance comes up, you will find it easier and easier to deal. Soon your calm approach to life will be on automatic pilot.

You will begin to amaze yourself with your lack of response to highly stressful situations. You begin to trust fully, knowing innately, “it ain’t nothing but a thing!”

As you walk closer to God, you will soon amaze yourself with the changes in your personality. Your old response to stress will soon fade.

You will begin to respond to the Holy Spirit and see as the Spirit does. This will make you keenly aware when you see or hear things that are outside the will of God. Like an ex-smoker, who smells cigarettes and gets disgusted. As you refine, as you walk closer to God by reading the word, praying and putting the word into action; you will feel have a heightened state of awareness to anything outside God’s blessing.

When things are posted on Facebook for instance, where profanity or crudeness, materialism, idolatry, insult, inappropriate jokes and so forth; the spirit within you will not respond well to it. This is not self-righteousness but rather an awareness of what is not of God.

You will not be angry at it, but sad by it. When you are baptized by the Spirit, you will be very aware of you own uncleanliness behavior and feel immediate need to confess and to ask for forgiveness.  This process will leave you smiling, because God loves you, not feeling less than or guilty. You will be saddened when you see people so far from God’s grace, feeling led to pray for them.

As you change, the WILL of God will be inside you, taking a dominate position over you own sinful will. You will be fully equipped to stop the spiritually damaging acts of defiance. You will also produce much fruit. Your daily interactions with all people and God, will reinforce your new state of existence, your marriage not to this world but to God.

When you hear God’s instructions and you modify them even slightly, the punishment could be great! Take for instance God tells you to stop a damaging habit. Let’s say you limit that habit, but you do not stop it completely. You have your toe in the water of sin. You are taking his instructions lightly, disregarding his love to guide you.

Moses did ½ of what God said. He did not do exactly what he said.

He told Moses to speak to the Rock, not hit the Rock twice. This action which was close but not exact. This slight following of instruction caused him a great punishment, after all those years leading and teaching the people, Moses would never get to enter the promise land.

We cannot half obey God and expect to receive full blessings. If he is telling you to quit smoking for instance and you smoke 1 per day; you might be moving in the right direction but you’re not obeying. You do not know what level of tolerance God will have with you on what he’s asking you to do. When you have a strong thought, dream on a subject, take it very seriously and pray to God to help you.

Rebelling against God’s instruction, is not a good idea. To receive full blessings, obedience is the best course of action. It’s your choice though…tough road or promise land full of fruit, milk and honey.

Thoughts on Luke 1: 1-25

I love the book of Luke. He was a gentile doctor. He writes very specific in detail, more than the other gospel writers. Just because you struggle in some area of your life, it does not necessarily pertain to disobedience. In fact, Zechariah and Elizabeth, have carried much shame by not being able to conceive. But God did bless them with a child, but it was God’s timing not theirs. They had even given up entirely on the idea. When they did receive John, he was a very special child. When he was born, he was already born of the Holy Spirit. Wow. That is so cool to read. He was never to take a drink of alcohol not even one in his entire life. I believe God already knew that John would be slightly different in appearance than everyone and that if he had drank, even a drop his credibility would have been weakened.

Angels do appear. Angels do walk among us. Treat all people with grace. You never know when you are entertaining an angel.

Hebrews 13: 2 Love for Brothers 1Let love of the brethren continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.…

Thoughts on Psalms 56 1-13

God knows when you are sad. Each one of us has a book where everything is recorded. “You have a recoded each one in your book.”When you walk in the presence of the Lord in your daily life, you will not be afraid, you will put your trust in the Lord- not man or money or thing.

Thoughts Proverbs 11:8

God rescues and takes care of those who love Him.

 

NLT March 12, 2015

The Old Testament can seem harsh, really give us the feeling that God is a mean God. That is on the surface. When you look deeper, you see a patient Father, who loves us, who is so patient and who is so merciful. But like any Father, he has guidelines, rules and has a breaking point. A good Father is one that has red lines, when you cross them there is a consequence.

When you think of a plague or stoning, you’re thinking okay but that is an extreme punishment? But let’s look a little deeper.

Complaining, bitterness, jealousy, disappointment is a circular cycle that leads to alienation from God. When we focus on the problems or what we don’t have, we are being so unappreciative of God’s work and blessings in our life. Blaming others for our funk is also not a good excuse, you can see where that got the Israelites.

Even when we are unappreciative at home with our spouses, this causes friction in the marriage. When we begin to highlight what they are not doing for us, instead of what they are doing for us, we damage that relationship.

In much the same, when we do this with God, we are damaging that relationship. When we, by our actions, abandon that relationship with our negative outlook; we are killing the most important part of ourselves. We are killing the inner Joy that comes from God.

When we kill that inner joy, that depression radiates from our body, killing joy, hope and pressing down  everyone around us. Negativity and self-centeredness is very contagious. You can see how one complainer became 1,000 of people complaining in the Israelite community. Which turned into a sea of death- spiritual death.

When you are near someone who is in a constant state of yuck, pray not only for that person but also for your joyful shield of protection. Don’t let anyone take your Joy. Praise God during the storm.

Depression and negativity are both plagues. They destroy every aspect of our lives much like the plague in the bible caused people to die. It is only through prayer, like Moses prayers, that we can reconnect, turn back to God. We should pray for ourselves and others.

We all get depressed, get unsatisfied with our life. The only way to get out of the cistern of depression and dissatisfaction is to reach your hand towards Jesus and count your blessings. It is only His hand that can change your perspective, help you see the blessings. Anti-depressant drugs are only a Band-Aid to the real spiritual problem. You must get to the root of the problem and get rooted in Christ to solve the problem. Or you will get in a cycle of panic attacks, manic moods, anxiety disorders and self-destructing behaviors.

Old Testament talks about tithing a tenth. If in your heart, you can do that with joy, then do it. But New Testament says to give with a joyful heart. There are so many ways to give. You can give with time, service, love and money. When I’ve volunteered at a women’s shelter, they staff has told me money is not a problem getting but rarely do people carve out time for these struggling women. What they really need is a friend and a shoulder to lean on, a friend in Jesus.

Thoughts on Mark 16: 1-20

Jesus baptism is different than Johns. When you are baptized with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and you believe, you have Jesus inside of you. The process of dying to self begins and you feel a heavenly push to spread the gospel.

It becomes easier and easier to make decision based on pleasing God and not self or others once the Holy Spirit has entered you.  But claiming Jesus is a commitment not just a water bath. When you are baptized you are saying, ” I am killing my old sinful self, I will do everything in my power to live and love God. ”

As modern day disciples, we need to also share God’s love. I love that when Jesus rose from the dead, he recognized Peter’s guilt, agony and he purposely said, “ go tell his disciples, including Peter. “ Maybe Peter was agonizing alone. Maybe he hated himself. God loved Peter very much. He forgave Peter for denying him.  Peter became one of the most powerful forces spreading the gospel and planting a sea of believers.

You are not and never will be perfect, Jesus loves you. But just like any relationship, we should try to mend that relationship. If someone has done something against you, reach out to them first, reconcile.

Owning up to mistakes, is a sure fire way to deepen that trust and relationship, whether it’s a relationship with people or God. One , “I’m sorry” and then going ahead and living the way you want to is taking for granted what Jesus did for your sins. This is considered backsliding- it is not going to cut it. Every time you goof, just admit it. Then walk forward smiling knowing he loves you, forgives you but so appreciates your humble heart. But he expects that you will work very hard not to keep making the same mistake. You can’t keep hitting someone, saying your sorry, then hitting them again and think it’s okay. Commit to your walk. Stay clear of temptation!

Thoughts Psalm 55: 1-23

Life is not perfect. The enemy is here in various forms. But give your burdens, worries to God, he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Check yourself- “How is your quest to godliness going?”

Thoughts Proverbs: 11:7

Rely on God’s strength. Have Hope in God.

 

NLT March 11, 2015

There is a big difference between being in contempt, disregarding laws to serve Self versus doing good, serving God on the Sabbath, by healing someone, feeding someone or volunteering.

Once again, it’s a heart issue. Are you being faithful and loving to God through your actions or are you trying to get things done so you won’t be behind, serving self?

Are you actions reflecting the love in your heart you have for God and others? Or are the actions reflecting your worship of self: “mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest one of all? “

There are many mentions of times when Jesus went to the temple and healed. There are times when he fed the hungry disciples from grains in the field. On each occasion he was serving the kingdom and not serving self on the Sabbath. Was He not keeping it Holy with Service to God? Is it not lawful to do good on the Sabbath?

Luke 13: 14 Jesus Heals a Woman on the Sabbath13And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. 14But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?…

The stoning seems very extreme for disobedience of taking out firewood. But if God let this go, what message would it send to the rest of the community? To disregard God?

Those who are fire starters, who ignite problems or look to get things stirred up; you better watch out. What comes around goes around.

Once again we see God out of love for Moses, having mercy to some degree but still making a statement on how He views those who are in contempt, who are power hungry, envious and jealous.

He makes it very clear who he supports, protects and who is evil. Evil must be destroyed. His faithful servants are protected.

He also makes it clear that we should have nothing to do with anyone who has these qualities, not even share things with them. Stand back and steer clear of them. You don’t want to be sucked into a hole because of your affiliation. The farther away the temptation or sinful behavior, the more apt you are to avoid being influenced by those who living for self.

Thoughts of Mark 15: 1-47

Like a quiet Lamb, he said nothing. He did not defend himself. He had submitted to God’s will, knowing that He must die so scriptures would be fulfilled. What internal strength to fight his natural instinct, his fleshly desire to live and not go through suffering.

Once again, jealousy plays a part. The Priests were threatened by Jesus popularity. They were so threatened that they gathered false witnesses and staged a group of people to yell for his crucifixion. In today’s time this would be like releasing Charles Manson instead of Billy Graham.

Then later when he was on the cross, they continued the verbal lashing from the crowd. Was it not enough that Jesus was flogged, bleeding, suffocating?

Saying things like, “Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross.”

This is ironic because he did not come to save himself, he came to save all of us.

They continued to abuse him even after he was on the cross.

What happened when he finally died?

The “curtain in the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two.”

This curtain was so that the people would not approach God. Jesus is now our way to approach God. There is nothing that separates us from God because the final sacrifice was mess.

Then, the first conversion happened, an unlikely source, a Roman Soldier, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

Thoughts: Psalm 54: 1-7

God is our helper and protector in everything. When you feel attacked, feel comfort knowing He has your back. Keep praying.

Thoughts: Proverbs 11: 5-6

Let the Godliness within you lead you and rescue you from being loaded down with sin.

If you chase ambition instead of chasing God and godliness, you are chasing the wrong dream…outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

NLT bible journey March 10, 2015

They cried all night in distrust and fear. Only two trusted, Joshua and Caleb. When we are fearful, it’s a rebellion against God; it’s distrust.

Can you believe that the people got so mad at God’s trusting people, that they wanted to stone them? Getting angry at people or angry at God is not going to solve problems. It’s only going to put fuel on the fire.

God had been with them, performed miracles, and they treated him with such contempt! I know we do this. We focus on the problem at hand, forgetting all the times he was there for us, pulled us out of the pit. How quickly we forget when we are scared or in a crisis.

When someone is in contempt; they are disregarding God’s power, saying he is worthless and deserving of scorn. Huge amounts of people in chorus were offensive in their cries- mistrusting. These people weren’t crying out to God. There were more like an angry mob.

“How long will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague.”

Every sin has punishment. But we have forgiveness in Jesus with repentance. God is “slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of parents upon their children; the entire family is affected. “ This is so true….we tend to pass down bad habits, sinful actions from generation to generation. The repercussions of those sins, are also passed down to the next generation. But we have the power through Christ’s power, God’s love to stop this. We have the choice to live right, To stop the madness, to stop complaining, whining and trust God. He has a plan. As my Grandma used to say be patient, ” hold your horses.”

God’s timing and path is not always a smooth road without difficulties but it’s the right road. He refines us during the journey called life.

Like any good parent, God has his breaking point. These violations cannot go unpunished. What kind of parent would he be if he just loved and never corrected or punished? A child that is not disciplined is not truly loved.

When you complain about God or blame God, you are in contempt.

Thank God for what he has done so far . If you are worried,  over analyzing a situation, that is not surprising. After all, we are only human. But pray for Him to help you with your fears, anxiety and help you trust. Ask him to help you stop the circular patterns of worry and start focusing on Him. When we take our eyes off the fear and onto Him, we release that situation to Him. Then, God can take over. If you continue to hold onto to fear or worry, it will consume you, affecting your health and your mental state.

Ask him to forgive you for your fears. Notice again in scripture that those that were registered that are 20 or older will die in the wilderness.

They will wander the wilderness 1 year for each day they went into the promise land. So for 40 years they will just wander aimlessly. Sin is like that. One mistake can take years to rectify like in the instance of: adultery, an abuse, going Awol, involuntary manslaughter with a vehicle and the list goes on. Some of these sins we feel the repercussions for 40 years. The easier route is God’s way.

( you’ll notice the age of accountability again is 20 years- do you see a theme?)

When you refuse to listen to God , you are testing God. “ ..but again and again they have tested  by refusing to listen to my voice. “

Has God been speaking to you on a certain part of your life, you hear him but your still choosing NOT to listen and obey. He will put up with this for only so long. Your loyalty is to God and only God. Trust him and listen to him. We do not want to discover what it’s like not to have God on our side, to be unprotected by his power.

If you continue to not listen….“ The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.”

It’s an easy fix…Listen and love Him!

God doesn’t abandon us. We choose to leave him. Through that decision, that distance from him, we are not protected by his Grace and Power. Pull him during the storms. You will see here that God has equality. In old testament he offered  reconciliation with him for Israelites and foreigners alike.  In New Testament, we are all God’s children and through Jesus we all have access to God , no matter the nationality.

Thoughts of Mark 14:53-72

False testimony and lies…despite what people say God sees all and knows the truth. He will take what was made for bad for His greater good and purpose. The entire world died with sin with one man through a tree, Adam.The entire world was saved through one man, Jesus dying on a tree.

The time had come. This gentle servant professed boldly that he was the Son of God. So many through their denial of Christ, their continuous lack of trust, their contempt, their superficial religious “appearances” are still spitting, denying, disregarding, slapping and rejecting this sweet Jesus. When you feel rejected by a group or a friend or even a spouse, Jesus understands rejection at an entirely different level. He is still being rejected even after ascension.

Many times we serve self instead of Savior. We save ourselves to save face. We are more worried about how we look to others than how we look to God. When push comes to shove are you willing to proclaim Jesus by words and action? Are you willing to take insults, be shunned because you refuse to engage in the things of this world? Like Peter we have weak moments when we care more what people think,  then what God thinks. Jesus will forgive you. Seek forgiveness in Him. Pray for him to help you serve him instead of self. This battle against self is an ongoing war, only the Holy Spirit within you will be able to help you win the war!

Thoughts: Psalm 53: 1-6

Some of the most intelligent people are the biggest fools. They arrogantly argue their cases and are not open to listening. “Only a fool says in their hearts, “There is no God.”

Many of us have friends that believe in nothing. They are empty vessels. Often times these people are searching for things to fill them up. It might be adventure trips, new relationships, money, promotions, a new house, more education,  fame…recognition. With  each quest…they will come down off the high with a feeling of emptiness.

There is an ache in their heart and stomach that cannot be filled no matter what they chase. There is only one thing that can fill that hole inside of you, God, and His love for you. That personal relationship with Jesus, that inner joy can only come from Him. You can search the world over for happiness from happenings but until you reconcile with your creator, you will have an emptiness.

Pray for the Lost. Pray for God to send messengers to them. Pray that God reveals himself to the lost sheep. God loves all of us despite ourselves. He longs for not one soul to be lost. Ask God to soften their hearts and open the ears.

It’s hard to think about, but many will be lost by their own choice. Members of our own families will be lost. It breaks God’s heart even more than it breaks yours. But it’s not over until it’s over, so keep praying.

It was never God’s intention or want for one of us to be lost to the enemy. So keep praying. If you are faithful, your prayers will reach heaven. Perhaps, like Moses prayers, God will be influenced in orchestrating some life altering thought or event; that will bring the person to the throne.

Thoughts: Proverbs 11: 4

  • Right Living: Obedience: Imitating Jesus
  • Repentance: Humble yourself continually before God
  • Service: Loving others through actions, thoughts and words.

Strong Faith in God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit: accepting forgiveness in Him.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Journey March 9, 2015

Numbers 11: 24-13:33 Thoughts:

Ungratefulness & Gorging:

The more that have the Spirit within them, the more people on the streets professing God’s love. Clearly from this reading gluttony and ungratefulness, and wanting for more, are not on God’s list of favorable qualities. Over eating and ungratefulness can still kill us today. There are so many illnesses associated with obesity. We should appreciate every bite God gives us, thanking and highlighting current blessings. Gorging ourselves is a sin, which leads to death. In America, we eat entirely too much. We really have an overindulgences of just about everything from food to television!

Criticism & Jealousy:

Sibling rivalry is very common in families. Sibling jealousy destroys relationships. Criticism tears people down. We should be careful not to criticize people who serve God. God does not want anything to hold back his prophets and teachers from fulfilling his work. Your criticism may plant seeds of doubt. God is very protective of his Chosen ones, like any good parent. He will not stand for you to criticize.

Although his siblings Miriam and Aaron were picking on Moses for marrying the Cushite, the real “reason” for their pocking was good old jealousy. Often people pick in one area, but that is not the real root of the problem. If someone is picking on you, criticizing you in one area, ask yourself is this the real issue or is something else behind the outburst?

Wow, so Miriam had leprosy. It’s true that jealous and criticism and even complaining can cause illness and death. These things eat on our spirits just like the jealousy ate on her flesh. This kind of sin, hurts us more than others. We should encourage family members and pastors alike, pray for them and stay humble.

Miriam got a time out. Good reminder to us that we might keep our distance from a trouble makers for a bit. With our kids  put time out and grounding are approved methods of punishment. Often distance gives the person time to reflect, pray and think about what they did wrong.

================================================

It’s time to go check out the promise land. 12 went into to check.

10 came back scared, untrusting of God!

2 came back bold, trusting God and ready to conquer GIANTS!

Who was the first one to speak up telling the people to HUSH?  Who told people to Trust God!

Caleb! Did you notice what tribe he was from? The same tribe that led the people from place to place. You got it! It is the tribe of Judah! It’s  Not by chance that Jesus’s tribe, Judah spoke up boldly for God!!!

Thoughts of Mark 14: 22-52

Did you know that there is a good chance we going to get wine in the Kingdom of God? “I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God. “ (just a little funny thing I noticed) Jesus denied any pain killer when he was going through what he was on the cross. He said he was not going to drink. He stood by his word; he did not drink even when offered as he went to cross! And a painkiller would have been more than justified. When you say something, stick to your word.

God understands what it means to be deeply troubled. He needed the support and prayers of friends. He did not need friends that were  physically or spiritually sleeping. He needed friends that were alert, prayerful and supportive.  Sometimes your friends just can’t handle it. They are too weak themselves.

He prayed many times through his anguish. We too should continuously pray when we are under distress.

God asked for this to be taken from Him. But he submitted to the Father’s will. God has good reasons when he does not answer prayers. I can’t help but think what would have happened to all of us if God had answered the prayer of this sinless obedient son? He deserved to have the prayer answered. So we must accept when prayers are unanswered. Father Knows Best. That does not mean it’s not going to hurt.

“For the spirit is willing but the body is weak. “

When we are dieting or stopping an addiction or bad habit, it’s good to get the support and prayers of friends. Accountability from other Christians helps us fight the flesh. It makes us stronger in our battle against the flesh.

Jesus was a peaceful man. He did not support the sword, even when his own life was in jeopardy. He was not a violent man but he was a peaceful servant,  one that went to church and taught.

No matter what people do to you, keep the peace of God in your heart. Remember, God will fight your battles. Your best weapon might be not reacting at all. But rather praying for restraint and praying over the situation.

The disciples fled, denied and ran and hid. As scriptures said, his flock scattered. Was this part of the plan? Perhaps. If all of the disciples had showed up, perhaps they would have crucified them too soon.

Then, upon the resurrection those that had been taught by Jesus would not have been able to hit the streets with the gospel. Those few years with Jesus was intense training and teaching for what was to come. So maybe their denial and hiding was part of the plan. It certainly saved them from being executed too soon. It also confirmed that they could not have emotionally or physically stolen the body. Debunking what some still say today.

It also reminds us that doubting and running from God happens from time to time. But like Peter we must confess our love for Jesus, forgive ourselves as Jesus forgives us and show him our gratitude by Serving and Sharing the gospel.

If you are paralyzed by guilt or your past, how can you boldly use the past for his purpose? You can’t. So realize God wipes that clean. He has forgiven you. So forgive you. Walk forward with that arsenal of stories and how God loved you, transformed you…Don’t worry about being judged when you share your story… Use your story for God’s work.

Thoughts of Psalm 52: 1-9

If people destroy you with words- God will take care of it.

If people lie to you- God will take care of it.

If injustice is happening- God will take care of it.

If you put your faith in money rather than God- Watch out!

Trust that God has your back, no matter who is doing you wrong!

Thoughts of Proverbs 11:1-3

God is a God of fairness and humility. He loves that in you.

If you are prideful, dishonest and unfair- you are against the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Journey March 8, 2015

Numbers 11:24-14:33

Did you know that when you complain to people, when you belly ache, when you whine, you are actually telling God you are not thankful, you don’t trust Him and you are rejecting him?

If fact, did you know when you complain to people, that it angers God?

Did you know that you can be punished for being a complainer?

It’s true in the work place, the people that complain and whine usually don’t get promoted. Companies make a habit of filtering out the bad apples.  Whiners really are annoying. Complainers will suck the life right out of you!

Did you know that complaining aggravates other people?

If your kid starts making requests by whining, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.

“Stop that whining, I’m not going to do anything for you until you stop whining. Now, I mean it. Stop Whining!”

You may even raise your voice because that sing- song whining is getting on your last nerve.

Thinking about how annoyed you get when people complain, pick and whine! Can you begin to see  how God felt with the Israelites?

I mean he saved over a million people from being beat and mistreated from slavery. He is leading them daily by cloud and fire by night. He is protecting them. He is guiding them. He is feeding them, and they have the audacity to complain about not having MEAT?

Do we do this? Do we focus on what we don’t have? What’s not right, instead of what is right in our lives? Yeah, we do!

We need to stop that! I’m not saying it’s not okay to want more or a better life…but we must see God’s blessings today!

Then, there are those that we take our complaints to. We talk like a broken record, over and over again saying the same things, yet we don’t do anything to make the change.  We just talk in circles, feeling overloaded, just looking for a human sound board. But we are deaf to understanding, hardened to hear their Godly advice, stubborn in our perceptions, only focusing on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right. We complain to them, yet we don’t really take it daily to the cross. Or we might occasionally angrily, frustrated pray. But are we deep in prayer over our complaints, worry, anxiety? Probably not- I bet most of us spend more time worrying or complaining than we do praying!

If we continue to wear out our friends complaining, what will they do?

To protect themselves emotionally, they have to back off- create space because you are making their head spin. Hopefully, if they are Christians they hand you and your situation over to Christ through prayer.

Now don’t get me wrong, we all need friends. But if you are failing to see blessings, if you are caught in an endless cycle of complaining about people or situations, stop it.  You need to be refocusing that energy, that regurgitation of your problems to God.   You might run off your friends.  It’s pretty bad when Moses would rather die than put up with a bunch of  complaining, whining people screaming for meat! I’m sure we’ve all had those times in our life that someone wears us out, and we just don’t pick up the phone. Even God himself had to retreat from his ministry.

So complain to God not People. Cry out for Him. Thank him during the storm for what he has already provided you.

The difference between Moses complaining and the people complaining is that Moses complained to God, asked him for help.

I thought it was funny when God said, “You will eat it for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it.” I have a little bit of this in my spirit. Okay, I’ll give you what you want, but you’re going to wish you never asked for it. I’ll show you not to complain. I’ve unfortunately thought about this before when my husband made a comment, ” I never asked you to do my laundry.” I have seriously considered…I’ll show you. I of course did not stop doing things for him, but I sure would have appreciated a thank you or appreciation for the things I do for him without my asking. God is much the same….APPRECIATE him for what he has already done for you!

Remember when the disciples questioned Jesus about getting the bread to feed 5,000 and 7,000? Moses himself had doubts. He was thinking from an earthly, rational mind. He was not thinking from a Godly perspective.

When we have doubts, remember GOD IS GOD! HE IS POWERFUL! Has His arm in your life lost its power? NO!

Thoughts on Mark 14:1-21

We’ve already covered Mary’s gift to Jesus through the alabaster oil.

She loved him so much that she would give up money, everything. She poured her love out over him. Her heart was for Jesus. She put him before everything else, we should do that too. This was also foreshadowing of his soon to be burial. It also reminds us not to judge someone’s intentions or heart.

Have you been betrayed? Jesus has and by a close friend. He understands the deep pain of being betrayed more than anyone. So if you’ve lost trust in people, if your heart is broken over someone you thought was a friend, betraying you, call out to God. He understands.

God will lead you and guide you, connect you with people and places you need to go. Nothing is by chance, but rather by God. You don’t know it but in your life Jesus has led you many times to people who are carrying the water pitcher. People are brought into your life,  to teach you something or to move you closer to God. He leads us to jobs and places we need to be so that we can move to the next phase in our life. He is a connector. Each connection is for a purpose. Just as he told the disciples to look for man with pitcher…who will take him to the room for Passover, he connects us today in a very same way.  I have a 1,000 stories of “connections, ” not by chance but by God.

Thoughts Psalm 51: 1-19

  • Recognize your rebellion against God
  • Ask for His Help to purify you
  • Ask for Him to Remove Guilt
  • Ask Him to Clean Your Heart, Making you New
  • Restore you, Giving You Salvation
  • Pray for His help in your obedience
  • Boldly Share and Praise Him for What he Has done for You- and will do for others

Our Goal: Break Spirit of Disobedience and Rebellion through Repentance and changing. Cleanse me Oh Lord, Help me let go of guilt….so that I can have inner Joy that only you offer! Help me to forgive myself and forgive others so that nothing is a stumbling block between us.

Thoughts Proverbs 10: 31-32

If you are deceiving others or if others are deceiving you, even in half-truths it will be revealed and brought into light. When God lives inside of you, you are more careful with your words. You speak from love, not fear. You encourage not tear down!

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Journey: March 7, 2015

“Light shines forward in front of the lamp stand” – Let your light for Jesus shine forward to others.

The Levites dedicated themselves for the Lord’s service, “The Levites will belong to me.”

“The Levites are reserved for me.” 4 years ago, God called out a name of doctor to me for a friend whose baby was struggling with seizures. He said, “Dr. Levitt.”

I said in my thoughts back, “Levitt like Levi?”

He said, “Yes, Shea.” Then spelled, “L- E- V- I- T- T”

At that point I got up and went to my computer. I found that Dr. Levitt was the key note speaker at the last Pediatric Neurology convention in Chicago. He was a distinguished doctor in the field of Pediatric Neurology and Pharmaceutical.

I had never heard of the last name Levitt in my life. The only thing even close was a pair of Levi’s. Even then, I had no idea to the biblical connection to the jeans- DUH. It wasn’t until I read the entire bible, did I realize or rather confirm that God himself, gave me a name of doctor that belonged to Him. A last name, derived from Aaron’s people, the priests who cared for God’s house, the Levites.

No wonder, I felt like God was being sarcastic with me when spelling it, as if I should know already.

When I first read this part in the bible, I smiled and looked up. It was you God. It was you. You gave me the name and you are rewarding me through my obedience of reading the word with clear and concise confirmation!

Moses not only spoke to God but God spoke to Him. God spoke to me when He said Dr. Levitt.

But I wasn’t thinking at the time, I was asleep but starting to wake up. My mind was quiet, quiet enough to hear. Now that I know He speaks to me during that time, I do not jump out of bed. But rather I spend a few minutes with God listening at the strong thoughts come in.

We spend time in prayer. But how much time do you spend, just sitting quietly meditating on God’s love for you and your love for Him? How much time to you spend trying to listen? This like anything else takes practice, because if you are bogged down with bills, worries, work- those thoughts of anxiousness and “to  dos” block your mind from hearing God speak to you.

It’s in those mindless activities like: wiping down the counter, riding a tractor, mowing, taking a shower or just lying down quietly with your eyes closed for God’s voice to get through. It will come through as a very strong thought, you’ll learn to know His voice from your own. Because you will be keenly aware the distinction between what your normal thoughts are, your normal fears and God’s sanctity. Like the time I heard, “How can you serve me in your sorrow? “

That was clearly not my tone, nor would I talk to myself in my own depression in such a way.

I encourage you in addition to “talking” to God that you practice “listening.”

This part of the passage stuck out to me where it said, “They must not break any of its bones,” which refers to the Lamb. As we know Jesus is the Lamb of God. He was the sacrifice made. His bones were not broken. Weaved throughout scripture, there are things that continuously point towards Jesus. These things were written many, many years before Jesus’s birth.

Prophecy: Psalm 34:19-21 : 19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. 20He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken. 21Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

Fulfillment: John 19: 33: 33but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

Thoughts: Mark 13:14-37:

The word desecration mean to violate sanctity. We know this object is standing where it should not be. We see now that standing on the Temple Mount is the Dome of the Rock.  Is that not some form of abomination already?

There has been much debate on what all the prophecies in Daniel and Jeremiah mean exactly.

We read here that for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened the days. That means when all this goes down, there were be believers on the earth.

For grins and giggles, I googled what causes a day to be shortened. Earthquakes are known to shorten days, not where we could notice – at least none yet are to that magnitude. According to NASA, there was an earthquake in Japan that shifted the axis of the earth, which shortened the length of each day.

When Jesus died on the cross there was an earthquake, it would not surprise me at all on the day of the “desecration” that God will irrupt, with an earthquake that shortens our days  in a noticeable way.

The shortest day of the year is Dec 20,21,22 or 23. These days would be in winter. The shortest day of the year is called Winter Solstice. Could this be what scripture is referring to?

We can spend lots of time trying to put the puzzle together, but what we need to be doing right now is keep watch, stop SPIRITUALLY sleeping and prepare our hearts to receive Jesus as the Savior. We must work on dying to self and being reborn in his likeness.

When we see these things happen, we know that his return is near.

But our exit from this earth could be today. You could have a heart attack or car crash today. We do not know when we will pass from this earth. So forget when will he come back. Just start focusing on Jesus.

There is immediate urgency to know Him and to solidify that relationship with Jesus. There has always been that urgency. I will personally tell you that I do feel a stronger push internally now more than ever before, and I share that urgency with other Christians across the world. If you google urgency to spread gospel right now on the internet, site after Christian site has the same words, “sense of urgency to spread the gospel.”

We must “be on guard and stay alert!” We are staying alert when we pray, read the bible and share the Good news with others. We are doing that when we are making a conscience decision to stop living for self and living for Him, like Him.

We can’t claim him and still live the old way. That means your half in. You are luke warm. Luke warm milk gets spit out!

You need to be HOT for Jesus and no I’m not talking about your appearance. ( HA HA)

If you are doing the church thing, the Jesus thing for “appearances” —you better reexamine your intentions, your heart. You don’t want to be one of those hypocritical Pharisees. If you’re doing it for the kids sake, that too is the wrong reason.

How is your own personal preparation going?

Thoughts: Psalm 50:1-23

PROFOUND: “But I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. For all the animals of the forest are mine and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.”

…” All the world is mine and EVERYTHING in it!”

God owns everything here! Everything is His- not ours! These things are but on loan to us.

So we should more freely share and not take one thing for granted. We cannot claim ownership of one thing, including our children! When you realize that the money you have is not your money, but God’s money; you will more freely give your money to the poor to the needy and so forth. When you realize your children are not your own. You will stop controlling them, worrying about them and hand them over to God in prayer.

Also, those animals given up for sacrifice were not the Israelites, they were Gods. He never needed the sacrifice anyway. The sacrifice was for them.

The sacrifice was a physical reminder of a disconnection from God. It was a physical reminder that he has blessed them with much. He knows every bird in the mountains. He knows every hair on your head. He knows every thought in your mind.

What God needs from you is:

  1. Thankfulness
  2. Keep the Vows- Obedience ( Out of Love for Him not Fear, Pressure)

We must not continue a superficial relationship pretending be His follower, yet living and thinking outside His realm. Do not secretly follow your own set of rules and treat His commandments as “old school.”

If you stand by and say nothing when you know a friend is in an adulterous affair or someone is cheating someone else…then you are approving the behavior. By hanging with people who are living according to their own rules, you will be effected by that corruption. God expects us to kindly point to his word when we see those that are falling from grace by their actions. Out of love for them, not judgment we can encourage them to live Godly.

You may be watching the world or watching evil things, thinking how is God allowing this to take place? Why would He allow this? I thought about that when I read, “While you did all this, I remained silent and you thought I didn’t care. But now I will rebuke you, listing all my charges against you! “

God sees everything. He may allow something to go on. He may appear to be silent but NOTHING will go unnoticed. He will rebuke sinful, evil things in this life or the next.

Do not question God’s silence in a matter. Do not question his intentions. We should all honor God and never question his authority or his silence. He is God and we should honor Him, Respect Him and that means trusting His timing and handling of things.

We may not understand when the innocent are slaughtered but to question God is to dishonor the God of the Universe. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to dishonor my creator but have Faith that His way is the best way.

Repent and give thanks honors God. If you stay on God’s path, He will reveal Himself and Salvation will be yours. If you don’t…doesn’t look good. You read the scripture. I hate to write it.

Thoughts of Proverbs 10: 29-30

The wicked may look to be in control or have power on earth right now. But that is but a mere breath. This life is not it. It is those that walk with God, who live with integrity, honoring His word that will live comfortably basking in the Light of the Lord for eternity.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Journey 3/6/2015

The Nazirite vow is taken by individuals who have voluntarily dedicated themselves to God.

The Hebrew word nazir, simply means “to be separated or consecrated.”

  1. Usually voluntary- YOUR OWN CHOICE( men or women)
  2. Vow has certain restrictions and requirements
    • Abstain from wine/alcohol or fermented drink
    • No grapes, seeds from grapes or skins- like raisins.
    • Do not cut hair during vow ( at end you cut all hair and give as a sacrifice)
    • Do not go near a dead body- even if family.
  3. Vow has a specific time frame Numbers 6:8, 13a

Samuel and Samson in the Old Testament dedicated by parents, (1 Samuel 2:8-28; Judges 13:1-5), and John the Baptist the New Testament received the Nazirite vow from birth (Luke 1:13-17).

Reasons of doing this could be in thanksgiving after recovering from illness or deliverance from something. There are many reasons someone might want to do this. We see people do similar things at Lent or with Fasting.

But How does it apply to New Testament?

In Romans 12:1-2 Paul states, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

For Christians, the ancient Nazirite vow symbolizes the need to be separate from this world, a holy people consecrated to God (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:15).

When we become Christians, when we are baptized with water we are making a commitment to the Lord, to pursue Him fully. When we start to worry more about what God thinks than what others think, we begin the transforming process of being born again, renewing of our minds. Our allegiance is not to the things of this world or the peer pressures of this world, but our allegiance is to God.

This is not easy. Because even adults can persuade you, peer pressure to do things you know God does not want you to do. For instance play foul mouth judgmental board games, watch movies that blare out the Lords name in vain, take a drink when you are trying to abstain, innocently dabble in “fun” games of witchcraft in the form of palm reading or tarot cards.  The list goes on…when you are fully committed, if you even so much as dip your toe in what you know the  word of God says is wrong- you’re choosing this world over HIS word.

When you commit to living according to the Spirit, many sacrifices are made. In fact, people will label you righteous, high & mighty, bible beater, prude, Holier than Thou, Not fun, uptight and the list goes on…When you decide that it’s eternally cool to live according to God’s word than to live according to the worlds “cool factor; then, “ you’re on the right track!

When you begin this process and it is a process, a life time process, don’t be surprised when you start to change that the people around you will squint their eyebrows at you, talk behind your back and think “What happened to ________? This religious junk has gone to their head!”

I’ve heard it all. Slowly but surely I’m becoming more shielded. But I realize that the stones, criticisms come with the package.  The are badges of Honor- Jesus stripes if you will. But my allegiance is to the Lord not to this world or the people in this world.  If you are a people pleaser, this will be hard to overcome. I am willing to make the sacrifices for fitting in, so that I can get IN! BE ENCOURAGED and Pray for help!

These changes do not happen overnight. It’s a process. Just take it one day at a time. Once incident or situation at a time. Ask yourself if what you are saying is positive? Is it in line with what God would want? Don’t justify your actions. Weigh your actions against the word and what deep down the spirit is telling you.

One day, you will look up and think…Wow I’m different…How did that happen? Oh yeah, obedience coming from my Love for God!

Thoughts: Mark 12:41-44

God wants us to give and to serve out of our deep love for Him. He does not want us to do it because we think we should or because we want to be seen by men. Our actions whether it’s giving or serving, should not be fear based or merit based but strictly out of Love for God and Love for people.

Once again, we go back to people who are serving at church, even priests that have let their egos lead them instead of their heart for God. The stroking, the honor, the prestige has gone to their heads. It’s more about appearances and power than about heart. The scriptures tell you that they will be severely punished for misusing their position. Everything you do should be motivated by your heart for Jesus not by fear, not my rules and not by appearances! Be sure you are motivated for the right reasons. If you feel slightly off in the heart, pray to God about it.

Yes wars, earthquakes and famines have happened for centuries. But as Franklin Graham just recently said people all over the world, Christians all over the world, feel something pressing in their spirits. There is an urgency to share Jesus with others. We are to be bold in our faith. We should all be praying for boldness for the kingdom. If God gives you an opportunity, to share Him, do it. Do not hold back, the Spirit within you will give you the words. Don’t get nervous or too careful with words, let the God speak through you. If you are holding back because of insecurity, you are not given God all of yourself. He gave you all of Him. Doesn’t he deserve you to boldly share Him? After all, Jesus is for everyone. God loves everyone. He does not want one sheep to be lost.

With what is going on in the world right now, what should we be doing? What should we know?

  1. Don’t panic: These things must take place- the end won’t come immediately. The wars, earthquakes, famines= 1st of birth-pains with MORE to come.
  2. Christians will be on trial because of Jesus. This is an opportunity for the world, all nations to hear the good news of Jesus. All nations, not all people, but all nations must hear the gospel before He comes back.
  3. Families will be divided- some will believe, some will not. When this heats up families will rebel against each other.
  4. Stay faithful until the end: Pray, Share the Good News, Stand Firm in your faith. “But anyone who endures to the end will be saved!”

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE END GAME: JESUS. Look around you, are some so far off from knowing Him? Are you are scared for them? Show them what a Christian means through your actions, not preaching necessarily but your actions speak louder than words. Let your Light within SHINE, SHINE, SHINE.

Thoughts Psalm 49:1-20

You can’t buy your way into heaven. You can buy friends on earth. But you cannot BUY Jesus. If your power comes from money and not God, you’re in trouble. If you see your success as your own, you’re in trouble. All success, all blessings are from God. You cannot take it when you go. If you are chasing the American dream, you are chasing the wrong dream. You need to be Following Jesus and His dream for your life. You can have money but realize that if you are given much, you have much responsibility for the kingdom.

Thoughts: Proverbs 10: 27-28

A Healthy fear of Parents is a good thing- it motivates you as a teenager to make the right decisions. A healthy fear of God, wanting to please Him is also a good motivation to stay on a Godly path.

Even better is when you have the Spirit inside of you, the motivation is not Fear based but Love based. When you love your parents for instance,  you want to respect and honor them. So out of love for them, not because you are made to do it, you make better “loving” decisions. ( there should not be resentment with obedience)

 

NLT March 5, 2015

The prime age of pastors is between 30 to 50. Jesus started his ministry at 30 too!

Luke 3: 23

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…

We all have a purpose on earth, Godly purpose. Each of the tribes had responsibilities and purposes.

God has blessed each one of us with talents and skills that we can use for His greater good and glory.

How are you using your skills for God? How could you do more for God?

When we do wrong by someone we should confess that wrong doing to that person.  Then do whatever necessary to fully restore that relationship. The bible says we should not only do that but give an additional 20%.

That makes sense because if we mess up with someone, we need to be extra nice to them, making up for being a toot. That may mean doing extra chores or being extra respectful, thoughtful and so forth. This really shows people that we truly feel bad for what we have done, and we are trying to make up for it.

Wow this jealousy offering ritual was pretty intense. I think the moral of what I get out of this, is that in order to have a healthy relationship there must be deep trust for the other person. There should be no questions in your mind as to the whereabouts or intentions of the spouse.

Distrust and jealousy can ruin a relationship. Adultery not only has the potential to physically harm someone such as bring home diseases, but it also can spiritually harm, because you could stop trusting in all areas of your life. If you are dealing with a jealous person, whose suspicions are unwarranted, it can be just as damaging to the relationship and exhausting!

Once Adultery has been done to you, you could start to look at all relationships as a potential betrayal. Then, you might build walls up and stop opening yourself up to loving. But one thing that is very clear is that if adultery did occur, the innocent in the relationship, is a victim and should not carry any guilt or shame at all.

Thoughts: March 12: 18-37

We are each on individual missions with God. When we get to heaven, we are married to the Lord, not each other. It’s different in Heaven, as we are like angels. God is a god of the living, not the dead. Which means after this life, there is another life, an eternal with God for the believers. The Pharisees believed in a resurrection where as the Sadducees didn’t. That was the main difference between the two.

What struck me as interesting, is the man who asked about which law was the most important, was catching on because he said that the heart was more important than the “law” of burnt offering. Jesus then said something that I found profound, “ You are NOT FAR from the Kingdom of God.” Scripture is very clear that it’s not super easy to get into heaven. The road is narrow. Many will knock and say they claimed Jesus but will not get into Heaven.

This man  was close…but what God is really wanting is a rebirth, a dying of self. It’s one thing to claim Jesus; it’s a totally different thing to work at imitating Jesus.  We are to Love God with all your heart, through study, prayer application and imitation. It’s a process. We will never be perfect. Be kind to yourself, but keep on trying for that goal to be Jesus on earth.

Jesus could not be called Son of David because David himself called him , “ The Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at my right hand. “ Meaning Jesus and God were united, side by side. Jesus was above David, not son to David. David called him Lord!

Jesus was claiming he was the Son of God, in unison with God. This is a big deal.

Thoughts on Psalm 48:1-14

Once again we see Jesus will reveal himself and be the defender to Israel and the defender of the Holy City. When you see the kings of the earth advancing against the Holy City…beware. They will be gripped with terror because God Himself will be Israel’s great Defender! We will all rejoice when Jesus comes!

Thoughts of Proverbs 10:26

Lazy people are very annoying to employers, teachers, family…Don’t be lazy!

 

NLT March 4, 2015

With order, leaders, systematic approaches, especially when dealing with large amounts of people, it’s impossible to govern in a manageable way.

Let’s say you have a huge project at work. It makes sense to look at the key components of the project and then assign team leaders to these projects. Then, under those team leaders you have soldiers or worker bees to help you accomplish that task.

Then the each group will come together collectively, combining efforts to accomplish a great goal or project. If we try to do something or achieve something with a huge group, with no leadership or organization or plan, then it will take you way longer to achieve. People will get frustrated, demotivated, mad and most likely you will not be able to get where you need to go.

Life itself whether at home or at work must have organization and systematic approaches and delegation. If you try to do something all by yourself or you to try to control the entire house, you will fail. We as parents and spouses must not only lead but inspire, motivate and create routine. We should also plan too. If we put the shoes and clothes out the night before, then there won’t be complete frustration when you only find one shoe! (and you have 5 minutes to get out the door) What happens then? Ahh… you bark, scream and get completely frustrated and you run LATE!

What really struck me in this breakdown of the tribes was guess who is leading the Israelites? The tribe of JUDAH. Who is from the tribe of Judah? You guessed it, JESUS!

What does this group of leading do? They guide, protect and warn! Jesus if we allow Him can also lead our life. Jesus if we let him will guide us, protect us and warn us!

The position of this tribe as being the 1st is not by mistake!

There is a running theme in the bible about first born, especially first born sons.

First born sons in most cases, inherit double inheritance. They also take on the role as Father in the household. The first born is special not only because of the Order of birth but also because they have more rights and authority than the others. ( sometimes in bible we see this role reversed many times because of personality flaws or sins in the first born)

Jesus is the first born who has all rights and authority over the world! God has given Him the power. He is in a position of superiority and privilege.

From the very beginning God spared the Jews first born son. So you will see that Jews, even still today give the church, the Levites a donation to receive a blessing for their first born son. A lot of times when babies are Christened, people will donate to the church to, to help the preachers and ministry.

Israel as a nation was God’s first born. God had a special relationship with them.

Saints, who are those believers that are growing in His Likeness are the “church of the 1st born who are enrolled in Heaven. “ We as one body are the first born of the Lord.

As Jesus’s flock, we will benefit, having the right to live eternally with the Prince of Peace.

Thoughts of Mark 11: 27-12:17

God sent many prophets to warn the people. The people were hardened, closed their ears and continued to live as Pagans and in terrible disobedience. Many of the prophets cried for their people, some died by the hands of their people, ignoring the warnings to turn back to God. God himself sent his son Jesus to the vineyard (earth). Did they respect Him? Or reject Him? They KILLED HIM! This land is leased by us, everything we have belongs to Christ. Yet we claim everything as ours and discredit the rightful owner. How many deny him? Mock him? Too many.

Jesus is the cornerstone of everything. He should be the cornerstone of our lives coming before everything else.

Jesus is very careful and aware of those trying to trap him or confuse him. You too much guard your hearts from what you hear. Some may appear to be Godly or church going but unless you are equipped with the word you might be listening to someone who is twisting the truth. Be on guard because the enemy knows the scripture and will try to twist it or confuse you. But if you’ve read it and studied it and you have the spirit within you, you will be on high alert when something doesn’t sound right…look it up. Take everything coming from a human source, with a grain of salt.

Thoughts Psalm 47 1-9

Keep your eye on the prize in this fallen world full of evil. “He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet.” God will reveal himself one day with trumpets. The rulers of the world will gather to honor Him. We will all rejoice when He the King of Kings – the king of All Reveals himself in all His glory.

 

 

 

NLT  Bible Journey March 3, 2015

We see again that 20 years old is the age you can go to war. That seems to be the age of accountability or responsibility with God. This age is the age where they would give an offering and pay taxes too.

It’s interesting to me that I have 12 (not including myself) that are reading the bible with me right now. God is making 12 disciples, 12 spiritual leaders, equipping you all with God’s truth and word.

Some of you will use your skills and knowledge in street ministry, some will use it at the bed side of the sick, some will use it in a medical office and some will use it at work. Whatever the case, I find it profound that there are 12 of you spread out in different cities getting equipped to share the gospel. I’m hoping that there are some more out there that are silently reading with us. 🙂

All leaders need Spiritual advisors and legal counsel. The Levites were set aside by God for so many important tasks. The tasks were specific, Holy and very important. He only entrusted the Levites tribe and only them to guard and take care of His Holy Temple.

Thoughts on: Mark 11: 1- 25

Just as the prophet Zechariah predicted Jesus rode in on a donkey.

Bible prophecy: Zechariah 9:9 Prophecy written: Between 520 and 518 BC Prophecy fulfilled: About 31 AD

Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

A tree with no fruit, a claimed believer with no fruit, will wither and die. You’ll know a true follower in Christ not just by words or appearance but by their fruit. And the fruit produces seeds for the kingdom and those seeds produce more fruit. Are you producing fruit? Is there proof in the pudding when it comes to your walk?

The money exchangers were cheating the foreigners, giving them unfair exchange for their coins. They were driving up prices for their gain overcharging for  animals to sacrifice. They were taking advantage of the miles and miles people had traveled on foot to come sacrifice to God, to worship. They were essentially robbing them to make a buck. They were defiling God’s house of prayer.

We still have this today, with churches who take advantage of the poor putting guilt on them for minimum tithing. We must be careful not to bring corruption into God’s Holy place, keeping in morally and scripturally accurate. If a church you’re are going to is putting requirements or putting guilt on you as far as tithing, it’s not right. God likes a cheerful giver.

Any organization or group that takes advantage of the poor, the elderly, the weak or the meek, is shameful and should be stopped! You must be the voice for those who are being taken advantage of by speaking out and stopping the abuse. Don’t mind your own business. It’s our jobs as Christians to seek justice for those who can’t defend themselves. Sometimes, like God we will get outraged at those take advantage  the vulnerable. God needs your voice and your action! Be bold!

Do you want your prayers to be heard and answered? Scripture tells us before we pray, to forgive anyone we hold a grudge against. An angry or unforgiving heart is not a heart for God. Forgive as we are forgiven.

Your unforgiving spirit may be that very thing keeping your from a strong relationship with God. I sense from this scripture that we get favor from God when we forgive those that have hurt us. In fact, if we have forgiving to do, it seems from this that our prayers are not as powerful.

If you have a forgiving heart and you truly believe in your heart, if you have faith, you can move mountains. So work on that relationship with God, trusting Him.

Thoughts about Psalm 46: 1-11

You may be watching the news and thinking what’s going on in the world? We gasp as we see the Beheadings of Christians. Crying our eyes out as we see they’ve done this to innocent children. We see the Prime Minister of Israel calling home all persecuted Jews and passing budgets to take care of the mass immigration into Israel. We see Iran firing missiles off at what looks like a replica US aircraft carrier. Iran is negotiating now to build nuclear missiles. From what it looks like the world seems to be turning their backs on Israel, even the Us. What is going on?

What’s scary is Iran fund terrorist’s organizations, and they have for years threatened to blow Israel off the map.  Should we be dealing with people like this at all?  What about all the  countless computer hacks with major corporations lately? Whose behind that? Oil prices are dropping like crazy!  How about the Russian /Ukraine problem? The North Koreans continue to fire missiles off in the ocean. The world is a dark, dark place. Are we seeing biblical prophecy being played out before our very eyes? Is your Spirit stirring like mine? Feeling compelled to not only deepen your own walk and understanding but also share Jesus with others?

There is a lot going on. When I read Psalm 46, I can’t help but think about our current situation and threats against Israel. We see in this passage that God will protect Jerusalem, His sacred city. He will shake all the nations and make them crumble. He will protect His great city. The Lord of Heaven’s armies is Jesus! He will cause wars to end all over the world! Every knee will bow to Jesus.  When? Is it sooner than we think? Could we be in a generation of some major shift in the world? So when we worry about the fate of the world, we must put our faith in God. We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the outcome.  He is our fortress, our strength and He will protect not only His Holy City but also His chosen flock.

Thoughts Proverbs 10-23

Pleasure, self- gratification and self-satisfying sin may seem like fun at the moment,  but it’s NOT. It’s important to take a step back and think things through. It is a lot more sensible and keeps you out of trouble. It’s always a good idea to think from biblical standing and God’s perspective. Ask yourself,  will this or could this hurt me or someone else? Think before you speak. Think before you do. Take the higher road, which may not always be the easiest path…but pays off in the long run.

 

 

NLT Bible Journey March 2, 2015 
Once again, God is protecting His people, even if they fall into poverty he does not want anyone to be held captive because debt. With Jesus we are free from debt; Jesus is our year of Jubilee. He is our freedom, free from being captive because of our sin. He is our restoration to God.

Now we see very clearly that God does not tolerate any sculptures, or carved images, that includes Saints or Virgin Mary. He does not want any idols at all. In modern times, idols can be in the form of materialism, self- love, sports, or a religion who has a gold stature, figurine or Saint Statue.  When you read further into scripture you will see how appalled the disciples would have been with the idea of someone praying to them or having a statue. We are not to idolize or pray to anyone accept Jesus or straight to God.  The disciples themselves in scripture corrected people who seemed to worship them. Jesus himself corrected a woman who was blessing the one that bore Him. He corrected her and said no bless the one that hears the word and obey. Don’t idolize anyone or anything, your honor is only for God. Don’t pray to angels, saints and avoid anything that has to do with statues. God’s churches must show reverence. Some may say that the idols are not for worship, but symbols or honor. But that is a very slippery slope. The best is to avoid any statues or carved images in a sanctuary. God says don’t do it- so Don’t.

Obeying God brings blessings. With God’s power you can accomplish much with even a very small army. When you follow his advice, He walks with you and blesses you  big time.

However, when you reject God’s decrees and commands, you will feel the ramifications of disobedience through disease, enemies, death, loss…Your disobedience will cause you problems and then some. It has a domino effect when you are leading a disobedient life, it’s one bad event after another.  If you are high and mighty, God will knock you off your pedal stool too. You better give God glory for all of your success and use your blessings to bless others.

Basically, if you fail to learn and listen, then the lesson or discipline will appear over and over again until you learn. The lesson and discipline can be very painful.

God has laws and guidelines.  He has a way of getting us to obey them one way or another. When the Israelites failed to honor the Sabbaths and the debt clearing, they finally made them all up when they were held captive by the Babylonians . It says, “The Land will finally rest and enjoy the Sabbaths it missed. “ Yep, the land finally rested as the law stated, they could have done it the easy way or enforced by God’s. ( a more painful choice)

God rested the land when the Babylonians attacked. When they destroyed the temple and the Israelites were exiled by the Babylon the land rested for 70 years.

The 70 year exile ended in 538 BC so the entire period of error covered 460 years. The period of 460 years can contain 10 Jubilee years (wiping away of debt years, giving back land). If we assume these Jubilee years were not kept by the entire nation because of the nation’s division, then God could rightly apply the punishment rule multiplying by seven the 10 neglected Jubilees, resulting in a punishment period of 70 years (10 x 7) served out in exile to Babylon. When this happened, the land was abandoned, rested for the time God had originally allotted.

Many times God uses discipline, heart ache as a way to humble us, to bring us back to Him. He would rather us  be obedient the first time. But like any loving Father, if you disobey , you are not going to like it.

Thoughts about Mark 10: 32-52

It’s the humble in heart, the one that longs to serve others, that will be #1 in Heaven. Jesus came to serve us, to serve as a ransom for many, to save us! We are to lead by serving. If you think you are that and a bag of chips, guess what you are NOT. Work on having a servants heart.

Jesus knew what the blind man wanted, but he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you? “ Some have asked, “Why should we pray?”

Because God wants to hear from us; he wants us to make requests to Him. He already knows what we need before we ask Him.  But the Lord longs for that connection, for our requests, for us to lean on Him, depend on Him and need Him.

When you make a request through a prayer, have Faith. You can move mountains with the faith of a mustard seed!

Some may tell you to give up praying. Some may question why you are going to church? Why are you reading the bible? What are you a bible beater?  The enemy will come in various forms and tell you to stop calling out to Jesus.  Just ignore those that discourage you or hush you… pray louder, longer and more frequently.  If people are trying to cause you to stumble in your walk, pull God in even closer!

Thoughts on Psalm 45: 1-17

Your royal husband, Jesus, delights in your inner beauty and the way you make Him Lord of your life. When we robe ourselves with the love of Jesus, you should go out and defend His truth and perform inspiring good deeds.

Thoughts Proverbs 10:22

You are rich, blessed beyond measure when you love Jesus. To have an eternal life with Him, brings no sorrow, no pain….

Thanks Jess for being my Barnabas! Thanks for Encouraging Me to get caught up with writing!

NLT March 1, 2015

How are you keeping your lamp burning for the Lord? Are you claiming Jesus or God and living it? Actions speak louder than words as we know!

We are foreigners here on earth, working for God. Everything we have, is His!

Are you working hard for God? Are you thanking Him enough?

What was interesting to me is when it says, “In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors. “ I couldn’t help but think that we are leading up to a year of Jubilee, which happens once every 50 years.

Then, I thought of what is going on today with Netanyahu calling all the Jews back to the land of their ancestors. This really spoke to my spirit. Is something special going on?

Each one of us as we read the scripture will hear different things. The closer we are to God the more clarity you’ll have. You will see beyond or hear beyond the words on the page- the literally meaning. God will talk to you.

We have to differentiate between God’s voice and our voice. The closer we are in our walk with Jesus, the more clarity you will receive.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/16/leaders-criticise-netanyahu-calls-jewish-mass-migration-israel

God wants us to take care of our families. He wants us to treat others kindly and just.

He wants us to take care of the poor and those hurting. Anyone who is need, we should not turn our backs. To turn our backs on them, to judge them, is to turn our backs on God. When you help others, family or otherwise, you are really doing it for Christ.

We should also take care of our Pastors, housing them, feeding them and caring for them. They are serving God. By taking care of them, we are allowing God to use them fully without the worry of earthy needs.

“Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly.”

I thought about the video that was done on the streets of Paris where people were spitting on Jews. When they spit on Jews, they are spitting on Jesus. We must treat all people out of love, even if they are different or we don’t believe what they believe.

If it wasn’t for a Jew, for the Jews, the gospel would not have been brought to the gentiles. We are saved because of them, because of Him. Pray for the persecuted Jews. Stand up for them! Do not allow anyone to talk down about Jews. We have the same God.

 http://www.syracuse.com/us-news/index.ssf/2015/02/jewish_man_walks_around_paris_anti-semitic_abuse_video.html

Thoughts Mark 10:13-31

Our Goal is have Child-Like Faith In Christ—Embrace God with excitement, don’t question everything, take the free gift joy! And Forgive & Forget like a child- do it fast! Don’t hold grudges. How quickly do kids forgive someone who pushed them down? Quick…seems like you blinked and they’ve made up and are playing again with smiles.

It’s very hard when you are wealthy to depend on God or find complete security in Him. I’ve heard story after story of people who were millionaires and God wiped everything out so they would be stripped of the security of money. False Power and influence comes from money. God is power. God is security. Be very careful not to let materialism or money to become an Idol.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the game to keep up with the Jones? So many get caught up in feeling above others, just because they have money? See money for what it is…a tool you can use to move the kingdom forward. If you were given much, then much is expected of you. How are you using your blessings for God?

Don’t get caught up in the game of More, More, More….When your focus is solely on making more money, your focus is off God.

When we are willing to walk away from everything for Jesus, it’s a sign that are priorities are right, we are focused on the eternal not the earthly. When the situations in your life feel restraining or limiting as far as income goes, ask yourself do I in this current position have the opportunity to Serve God more? Does he want my free time or my unused talents to be used for His kingdom. We work for God. We do not work for ourselves or things or to be seen by men. Our Employer is God. Your review is coming up…how is it going? Makes you think huh?

You can’t take it when you go. You can’t take power, prestige, money, influence. Godly influence you can take with you…those that you’ve helped bring into the kingdom.

If you have given up anything or lost something to follow Jesus you will receive what you’ve lost back 100 times over. “Many who are the greatest now will be the least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

God first. Everything else after!

Psalm 44:9-26 Thoughts:

When I read this: “You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among nations.” Then I read, “You let our neighbors mock us. We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us. You have made us the butt of their jokes; they shake their heads at us in scorn. We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame written across our faces. All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. “

I think about the Jews again in Paris and around the world who have been continuously persecuted. They have been piled up like trash during the Holocaust. How dare them do this, do they not fear God in all his power and majesty?

Then, I read the last part: “Ransom us because of your unfailing love!”

Jesus was the ransom for many! He died for all of us. Whoever believes in Him should never perish but have eternal life.

As I read the words, crying out from the page. I think to myself…How long God will you watch the persecutions of Jews and Christians… How long will you put up with this immoral, evil world? Will it be long before the horn blows and the Messiah comes in all His glory to bring his Sheep home?

How long will you let them behead your children? I know that you see this and are outraged Father! I know it’s in your timing oh Lord. But our hearts break as we wait patiently. God is not asleep. He is awake. But it’s His timing not ours!

So as we see injustice what do we do? Pray. Work on deepening that relationship with Christ. All we have really is our heart beat second, by second- that could stop at any point. There has always been urgency to not just claim Jesus to imitate Him!

Yes the spirit is telling me to be BOLD…to share Jesus with others, to share HIS love, HIS grace. As we wait on Jesus to reveal Himself …we should prepare our own hearts so that we can fully serve Him while we are on earth.

1 Peter 2:11: “ Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. 11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

My friend Peter has great advice for us! I just love Peter!

Proverbs 10: 20-21 Thoughts:

Listen to the guidance and be encouraged by those with Christ.

NLT Bible Reading February 28, 2015

The commandments and morals of God were placed on your heart.

Somehow even as a child, you know the difference between good and bad.

It’s not enough to know them deep within our hearts but we are to faithfully keep them. The rules however don’t give us a tangible example of how to live however the life of Jesus gives us a perfect example.

Rules, guidelines may even seem like a weight around your neck. Maybe you feel judged by them or overloaded. Perhaps you see the commandments as being set up for failure.

You were set up for failure. You can’t accomplish anything by yourself, you need God. You need Jesus to wipe your debt clean, to teach you how to live. Jesus came to earth not to demolish the laws but to fulfill them, to show us the way, to teach.

Jesus gave us a living breathing example and clarification on how to live. He stressed the importance of not letting rules reign our lives but let the Love of God reign our lives.

When we live for God, we innately follow these rules, without the burden or pressure of keeping them. Jesus frees us of guilt, with the acceptance of His free Gift.

When you pursue God, live for God and work to be like Christ, something happens! We feel his Love…and forgiveness. Naturally, without feeling weighted down, we live to please him and not by demands but by our love for Him.

Living for Him by obedience becomes less of a chore and more of an Honor…Because we love Him so much, we want to do right. Jesus is a tangible example to live by. He loved children, he loved the poor, he loved God…He came to serve. He is still serving you, loving you…he’s still holding your hand. He’s there right with you, do you feel Him? Do you hear Him?

“Do not put shame on my Holy Name,” really stuck out to me. Like in my Family, my Grandmother and Mother said when I was a teenager, “Don’t you dare embarrass this family with this or that.”

At the time, I probably rolled my eyes. But the words stayed with me, I carried the words to high school parties and on even on dates with me. Momma’s words flew through my mind, correcting me, warning me.

I did not want to disappoint the two women I loved so much. God is our Dad, rather our “Abba.” He loves us very much but like any good Father, he has expectations for us. Will we always please him? Of course not. But we should slow down with each thought and action and think, “What would God want me to say or do?” If you are unsure, then go ask Him and prayer. Then, wait patiently for confirmation of the “next step.”

If you don’t feel in complete peace over a next move, if something in your gut feels wrong…listen!

——————————–

Some Festivals and 2015: Related to Leviticus 22:17-23:44

Passover: April 4th– Blood Moon.

Begins sunset of Friday, April 3, 2015 Ends nightfall of Saturday, April 11, 2015

If celebrated traditionally: No work permitted on April 4 – 5 and April 10 – 11. Work is permitted only on April 6 – 9 with certain restrictions.

Passover (Pesach) celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.

But we today can break bread and drink wine (grape juice) , in remembrance of Jesus and what he did for us. Why not celebrate the Holy Day like Jesus did but for Jesus in remembrance of Him?

Luke 22: 19: He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me

Yom Kippur Sep 23, 2015 Day of Atonement

The meaning of Yom Kippur is: atonement and repentance; traditionally observed day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer. As Christians we can spend the day in church, invite people over to praise and pray… To reflect on what Jesus means.

This day according to the bible is a day, “you deny yourselves.” In a literal meaning, deny yourself from food, reminding you that God is all you need. When you are stripped of everything but God, you refocus on how much he loves you and has provided for you. He is the provider of all.

Matthew 4: 4: Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Without God you are spiritually starving. The word and your relationship with God is the bread of all breads; that feed the spirit. Jesus is our atonement, He makes you “right with God.”

But as Christians take this day to humble yourself before God, repenting and thanking Him for his gift of forgiveness of sin. On the Day of Atonement, make it a special day of pulling Jesus in real close and read the word.

Jubilee this year! The year of Jubilee will begin on the Day of Atonement in 2015. (September 23, 2015 – Yom Kippur). The Year of Jubilee occurs every 50th year; the year after seven Sabbatical years (49 years) according to Leviticus 25:8-11.

 

Dates of the 70 Jubilees
  Year – BC   Year – BC   Year – AD   Year – AD   Year – AD
1 1367 15 681 29 6 43 692 57 1378
2 1318 16 632 30 55 44 741 58 1427
3 1269 17 583 31 104 45 790 59 1476
4 1220 18 534 32 153 46 839 60 1525
5 1171 19 485 33 202 47 888 61 1574
6 1122 20 436 34 251 48 937 62 1623
7 1073 21 387 35 300 49 986 63 1672
8 1024 22 338 36 349 50 1035 64 1721
9 975 23 289 37 398 51 1084 65 1770
10 926 24 240 38 447 52 1133 66 1819
11 877 25 191 39 496 53 1182 67 1868
12 828 26 142 40 545 54 1231 68 1917
13 779 27 93 41 594 55 1280 69 1966
14 730 28 44 42 643 56 1329 YEAR 70 : 2015!!

 

On the Day of Atonement, all of the property that had been taken by others for unpaid debts would have to be returned to the original families (clans).

What a celebration that must have been.  Everyone that had been indebted was then released from that debt and able to start over again by having their land returned to them. Celebrate Jesus; because, He releases our debt from sin.

The Feast of Tabernacles –Sukkot 2015: Sunday Evening, September 27 thru Monday Evening, October 5.

The feast begins five days after the Day of Atonement. It was a time of joyous celebration as the Israelites celebrated God’s continued provision for them in the current harvest and remembered His provision and protection during the 40 years in the wilderness. Jesus protects us from the ramification of sin- the beasts in the wilderness.

Note: Monday September 28th: Blood Moon- Total Lunar Eclipse.

The festival of shelters is still done today. They make little tents to remind them that God is their shelter. He saved them from land of Egypt, and God is our salvation! We need of nothing if we have God with us!

From 2014-2015, even into part of 2016, we have significant things going on. We are in a sabbatical year. We are entering into the year of Jubilee. We have 4 blood moons all on Jewish ( wrote Jesus instead of Jewish at first- a slip I like! ) holidays. Does this all have deeper meaning? For me, there is a pressing on my heart to spread his word to others. There is a pressing on my heart to get closer to closer to Jesus…not in religion in the demands of it but in relationship with Jesus Christ, my very best Friend. When I knock on the door, I want Him to hug me and let me in!

Thoughts Mark 9:30-10:12

It’s normal to be nervous about asking others to clarify when you have a question mark about what you are reading in the bible… There are no silly questions. Jesus wants us to be enlightened. He does not want us to be in the dark. So unlike his disciples who didn’t understand and failed to ask questions, ASK HIM!

God wants us to pray to Him for clarification. Be still and listen, He will answer. He loves that you yearn to understand. Pray for Him to speak to teach you, to develop your level of understanding.

We are to be servants to Christ. In being servants, we should not put ourselves on a pedal stool, but put God there. And when God is there, when He is the King of our lives, we live as he did: we live to serve Him. We long to care for those hurting, we long to share God with others boldly- and we do so at all costs, we pray….we seek God in all things!

If something or someone in your life is causing you to stumble in your walk or if it’s keeping you from fully living for Him – get rid of that thing. You might have a temporary loss but better to please God then to benefit from the temporary pleasure or security of this world. Serving self ends badly. When you welcome Jesus into your heart, you are also welcoming God. We are to be like children in our faith, pure of heart. Don’t over think all of this…God appreciates childlike Faith. Embrace Him with the excitement of a child…unrestrained pursuit.

Just because you read a rule about a certain thing, does not mean God condones that behavior. In the word, there are concessions because he has taken into effect our sinful natures, and he knows that we will get out of line. Just because he talks about slavery does not mean He condones it. Even though Moses allowed divorce that is not God’s first choice. But remember God loves you. He wants the very best for you. But the Lord is being very clear on God’s original intention was to keep the family together. But from reading God’s word we also see that God wants all people to be treated fairly, for women and children to be loved and cared for properly, he wants the entire family to be grounded in Him, rooted in faith….If you are in a situation that seems helpless or hopeless, call out to Him for help and guidance. Divorce in the times of Jesus was often done for frivolous reasons, like just trading in for a younger model. Marriage is a Holy Union and should not be taken lightly. Anyone considering marriage, should seek premarital counseling and think of this union as a permanent one. If there is any doubt, it’s best to be married only to God.

Thoughts: Psalm 44:1-8

Your victory in this world is not by the size of your army, the abilities of your government, your talents or abilities- you accomplish nothing without the POWER of God behind you. Remember David and Goliath? On human terms Goliath should have won but David was handpicked by God to be God’s. It was God’s power in David that made him Victorious. Give credit where credit is due- to GOD! If you’re having a killer month in sales, it’s not you …it is God. I’ve seen time and time again, those that seek to glorify themselves, the arrogant to fall. Do not take any success or blessing for granted or take credit for it….We should make it a habit to POINT TO HIM….

Thoughts: Proverbs 10:19

Have you noticed all the proverbs we’ve been reading is about shutting our mouth, stop blabbing? Have you noticed that all our proverbs have been about gaining wisdom from God…and through that wisdom comes the ability to restrain our sharp tongues…Less in more…silence is golden…you can make more of an impact with less words and a look. You lose the impact when you BABBLE.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 27, 2015

It’s not enough to read the decrees but we should live by them. God is warning them that they will soon go to a place full of people who do detestable, shameful things. You must set yourself apart from those that follow their own rules.

This is no different than a parent who warns a child before they leave for college. Out of love and protection, parents might warn their young adults about getting pregnant, about STDs, drunken stupidity and safety.

We all know that when we are in a certain environment we tend to absorb habits of those around us, bad or good. We may even pick up on slang phrases, gestures and habits. Birds of a feather, usually flock together. But also we have a tendency to be influenced by the things we read, watch, hear… It maybe that you are around someone who is all the time throwing out F bombs and suddenly you are throwing them out by default. Sin is like yeast…It’s contagious. We have to be extra cautious what we expose ourselves too.

Anyone who influences the people by being a teacher, a preacher, a priest or even a Christian counselor, knows that they represent the kingdom. Their daily dealings and family unit represents. We all know that no family is perfect. We know that priests are not perfect; they are people. But when you are put in a position of authority, your sinful living if put on a stage could cause someone to backslide, lose faith. God expects more from his divine counselors. (Those leading the sheep)

Then we read about those with defects not being allowed to bring food for God. You might be thinking how cruel. But we know God is a loving God. So from a Heavenly perspective, God knows that those that suffer with a disability do not need to be burdened by bringing food to God’s alter. God knows how hard life is for someone with a disability. He loves them so much though, that he allows them to eat from the food that is offered to God. So God does not expect food but yet he cares for them by offering Holy food to them.

Again later you see that if a priest’s daughter is divorced, widowed and does not have kids to take care of her, she may come eat from sacred offerings. God is telling us we should take care of our widows, single moms and our divorced moms. As children, we have a responsibility to care for our parents. He’s also telling us if we see someone not being cared for, we need to help.

You also see that God expects “slaves” to be treated highly and fairly, even better than some of our own family members. He is not condoning slavery, but he is saying if there is a slave they should be treated better than the people you pay to help you, better than your flesh and blood family and better than your guests. He was a very fair and loving God…

Thoughts on Mark 9: 1-29

The time was near. Jesus fully revealed himself, God confirmed it to Peter, John and James. But there eyes were still not opened to the idea that Jesus would die and “rise from the dead.”

Elijah did come again. John the Baptist paved the way for Jesus. He was the Elijah they spoke of in OT. This is not reincarnation. This is a metaphor. John preached repentance, washing of sin. Now we baptize not just of water. But we Baptize with the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. We see the three elements at Jesus’s baptism.

Are you having a hard time believing? The father instantly cried out, “ I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief?”

All of us battle times of doubt of some sort. I remember feeling confused at one part of the bible, really at war within. I was learning, pursing faith, praying…and I believe the enemy did not want me to be equipped. My doubt scared me. I called three friends to pray for me. Then, I went outside and on hands and knees I prayed out to the God with tears, ugly tears rolling down my cheeks, nose running and all. “Help me Lord with these questions, these seeds of doubt. I love you. Help me. “

My deaf dog, who could not bark, who was sixteen years old, somehow heard me. He came around the corner of my house. With my eyes closed and head raised up looking towards God, on my knees, my old border collie started licking my face.  I believe God sent him to me to console me. If you yelled his name in the street he would not come. He was super deaf!

The more I read, the more obedient I was, when I got to Jesus in the bible…I had tremendous clarity. Then I remember feeling God when I took several women from the Baptist home to see the movie Son of God. A new believer next to me. She sat on the edge of her seat, saying with each scene….”Yes. Yes.” I saw her eyes being opened. I saw her innocence…It moved something within me.

In fact at one point of the beginning of the movie, after being seated I heard God speak to me, “Go look out front of the movie theatre. There is one more from the Baptist Home. “

I went outside, and there waiting for me was a stranger from the women’s shelter I had never met. The Spirit called me to go get her. When we walked out of the theatre, the woman that God told me to go get was walking out of the theatre and she raised her hands and said, “ Praise God. Praise Jesus.” Boldly as she exited the building she kept saying that over and over. When I got into the car, I cried…Thanking God for opening my eyes more, for answering questions and letting the responses of the single struggling mothers …inspire me.  My obedience despite my questions, ended that night feeling the fullness of love that God embodies.

Evil Entity:

Demon possession is not something that just happened in biblical days. As scary as it sounds, it still exists. I have heard stories from close friends of people who were caught up in alternative sexual activities, pornography, that experienced demon possession first hand. He had cheated on his wife multiple times and moved away. When she asked her husband where he had moved to, his face morphed and he said, “I will never tell you where my lair is.” Then later the man told his wife one night he began to pray for himself. He said when he prayed for himself, he hit the floor and vomited all night long flailing on the floor. He was scared.

I have heard story after story, from  modern day people who have experienced possession. Many people, even strangers have shared with me their encounter with the underworld. I’ve experienced it first hand and because of my deeper understanding, I believe the Holy Spirit sends people to share their darker spiritual experiences.

People do not speak of these things in public much; they are taboo topics much like suicide or dying of cirrhosis of the liver from alcoholism. Mostly I believe people are scared to talk about the enemy. When you speak of demons, evil, possession, oppressions- it can be very scary. It’s almost as if you think it’s going to jump on you just by talking about it. Or you are scared that people will think you are crazy. But Jesus gave his disciples the ability to cast out in His name. You are protected when you are born again, stay in scripture, stay in prayer, stay on the right path…stay deeply connected to Him.

There are some things that you must have tremendous faith, tremendous prayer and must even fast to drive out. You’ll notice here by Jesus’s own words that it is possible for a spirits to re-enter someone. So after someone has been delivered, they must stay very close to Jesus. They must be surrounded by strongly rooted Christians. Getting into drugs, spiritual weakness, a backslide of any kind is an invitation  for another spiritual possession.

Thoughts of Psalm 43: 1-5

Your safety is not in money or man. You safety is not in a military, a government or anything other than God. “God, my only safe Haven.”

When you feel out of control, you are. But God is in control, have faith knowing that.

When you feel sad or scared, call out to Him, thank Him, praise Him…Ask Him to shed light on a situation, give you truth and guide you.

Proverbs 10:18

God knows every thought and feeling you have….you do not have to hide your disgust or hatred for someone. Confess it to God and ask God to help you through it. But don’t gossip or slander those that you hate. Instead, talk to God. Gossip to God only…Slandering someone, talking bad about someone is a foolish.

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 26, 2015

Leviticus 19:1-20: 21

You must be Holy because the Lord Your God is Holy.

As I read the laws, I am instantly self-convicted I think to myself, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned. “ Then I get to the next law and think, “Oh good I haven’t done that one.”

These rules reveal to us what is unholy, what God sees as sin. These laws give us good guidelines for better living.

For me, these rules validate my need for Jesus. I’m so imperfect, so flawed. I’m so thankful to God for loving me, for dying for my sins.

Because I’m so thankful I’m going to try hard to live according to His principles; live according to the laws he wrote on my heart.

When I mess up, and I will; I will say I’m sorry and ask for forgiveness. I will have peace knowing that Jesus forgives me, He died for my sins. But He loves a humble and appreciative heart.

I will walk forward knowing I’m forgiven, that I’m cleansed because of His Sacrifice. I will not walk forward with guilt, because His blood is sufficient for me.

To thank God for what He has done for me, I will work hard to live according the laws written on my heart. I will share the gospel with others. I will remember that we came to serve not to be served. I will serve the poor, sick, elderly and anyone in need. I will love God with all my heart and soul in action and thought. I will treat others the way I wish to be treated. I will work hard to fight the flesh, to die to self.

Thoughts about Mark 8: 11-38

We must be on guard against those that sin, even if it’s under the guise of religion. Sin is contagious just like yeast in bread; it spreads, infests.  If your not careful the sin of others will jump on you.

When the blind man was healed, he began to see in stages. We too may begin to see , to understand God’s words in stages. Things are revealed at the proper time. Even the disciples themselves, were not open until the appointed time.

When the time was right Peters eyes were opened and he claimed Jesus to be the Messiah. This time when Jesus told them he must suffer many things, Peter’s ears were open. He finally heard, digested what Jesus was saying about dying. Peter, out of love, rebuked the idea. Sometimes we might think we are loving someone when we protect them, but we may indeed be blocking God’s plan.

Once again we hear “turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me. If you try to hang onto your life, you will lose it. “This goes back to what I was talking about earlier that you must live for God, not yourself. If you live life for yourself, have the world, what difference does it make if you lose your eternal life? You must be born again, to live with God. Do not be ashamed to say Jesus, to claim Him as your Savior. Often people feel safe to say they believe in God but avoid using the name of Jesus.

Thoughts Psalm 42: 1-11

Despite how fallen the world is, we have Hope in Jesus. Thank Him. Praise Him. Pray for this world.

Thoughts Proverbs 10:17

Accept discipline when you mess up…learn from your mistakes…

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 25, 2015

Just because they occurred does not mean that God approved. In fact, when you see the friction between Leah and Rachel, you will see how marrying sisters causes problems in a marriage and among family members.

When Abraham married his half-sister, he had trouble in Egypt with the Pharaoh.

Reuben slept with his Dad’s concubine wife Bilhah. As a result, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel.

Just because a story is in the bible does not mean that the actions were blessed or condoned by the Holy Father. Just like some of our own stories, even though they happened, does not mean they are okay with God.

What we can do is learn from mistakes, whether it be ours or someone else’s mistake. When we act outside God’s will, when we make a decision based on our wants, instead of God’s wants, we do not get the full protection or blessing from God.

There will always be lessons and difficulties that come from living outside the spiritual guidelines of law. Death occurs…death of part of yourself, a death of trust, a death of family unit, a death of a relationship. Sin, especially sexual sin kills a part of yourself, it’s the only sin committed inside the body.

So as you are reading these eyebrow lifting stories, ask yourself…” What can I learn from the stories?” What does God want from  us when we mess up? Are you seeing how much we really need God? Are you seeing how much we needed his Grace, free Gift? Hope so.

Remember, a lot of our own stories if written out in bible format, would have people raising eyebrows. Some of our stories are scanty, crazy, sexual and corrupt. If we all wrote a book together, it would be a page turner for real. So remember, just because you read about a flawed person in the bible does not mean God condones the behavior.

If we experience pain or commit sin in our life and don’t learn anything from it, don’t grow; it’s just plain old pain or plain old ugly sin. We need to have purposeful pain. One way to put purpose on your pain or purpose on your past sins  is by  sharing God’s love and forgiveness through your testimonial story.

Our body houses the Holy Spirit  when we are born again. Our bodies have the potential to house the Holy Spirit. So we must take good care of our bodies and avoid sexual sin. God created man and woman, who are joined together as husband and wife to enjoy the pleasure of that intimacy. But we must fight the lustful side of our flesh and God spells out many things he deems detestable. Do not sin against your own body, for it houses the Holy Spirit, God.

The Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:18: 18Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

If this sin was done to you, God sees that you were an innocent. Pray to God to relieve you of any guilt or emotion tied to a sexual act done to you or that you did. He is a merciful God.

Know that each child has an angel. Nothing goes unnoticed by God.

Matthew 18: 10: “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.

The bible is very clear that incest and inappropriate relationships, especially among close family members is forbidden. The family unit is very important to God. The land of Canaan was sexually corrupt on so many detestable levels. God was warning them, that this was not acceptable in his eyes before they ever entered the promise land. God has a wonderful way of warning us before we make a mistake.

Thoughts Mark 7:24-8:10

Part of God’s plan was to first speak truth to his people, the Jews. So many of the Jews discredited him, and His “own” killed him. But it was in God’s plan to first minister to his own, the Jews.

When they had exhausted all efforts, were rejected, the Gentiles were blessed through this nation, by the gospel of Jesus. So many, like these metaphoric children threw out the nourishment that Jesus offered. But Gentiles, ears, hearts were open ready to receive, eat up all that the Jews failed to digest. This woman’s wisdom, caused Jesus before the appointed time, to show her compassion, and He heal her daughter. It’s also foreshadowing that many Gentiles would be hungry ready to gobble up and accept the Messiah.

Jesus’s comment at first seems very harsh. But we must remember the history with all the pagans, the Samaritans and all those that disobeyed God. This woman despite her cultural difference; had true faith, her eyes were open to the power of Jesus.

She was bold despite the social barriers and because of this she received healing for her daughter. Sometimes desperate times, bring us to God. We may even find ourselves surprisingly on bended knee to a God we’ve never known. God has a way of taking our trials, to bring us closer to Him.

Spend time alone with Jesus, and he will open your spiritual ears, like he did the deaf man. Perhaps, you are unsure as you read. Maybe you are having trouble reading past the words on the page, seeing the deeper meaning of the scripture for how it applies to your life. Spending time alone with Jesus through the New Testament and prayer will lead you to a place where Jesus will be able to perform a miracle in your life, opening your ears to the power of his message and love.

Jesus time and time again told people to keep quiet about their miracles because he had much to do before the appointed time. Despite the miracles that were done, they once again were disobedient, blabbing. There is much in the bible about keeping our mouths shut, taming the tongue, not gossiping, being slow to anger. You should be getting it loud and clear that your voice, can be a weapon used by the enemy to destroy relationships and blessings. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” We’ve all heard that one before.

Here we are again. The people are gathering in a remote place eating up Holy Nourishment from Jesus. They are so focused on being fed by his words, his teachings that they forget to eat. Jesus had compassion on them. Yet once again the disciples, have been hardened to digesting the fullness of Jesus’s power, simply going through the emotions, almost being de-sensitized by the reoccurring miracles.

He had fed them for 3 days with God’s teachings. Could he not feed them physical nourishment too? It had not been long since Jesus had miraculous fed 5,000 with 5 loafs, with 12 baskets left over.

Jesus in this feeding: spends even more time with the people- 3 days. He also sits them on the ground, instead of grass this time. It is our faith in Jesus that grounds us. We must also humble ourselves before God, like they did by sitting on the ground. After all, we are all sinfully dirty.

Like Jesus, we must have compassion and love for people, not turn them away. More important than physical food, we as disciples must take the spiritual nourishment of the Messiah to the people. In the first feeding, God left 12 physical reminders, one for each disciple to punctuate the miracle that had just happen. Remember after the first feeding, that wasn’t enough; they needed the boat incident to further open their eyes to Jesus Son of God.

With this 2nd feeding, there were 7 baskets left. 7 is a Holy number, given by God. It’s our job not only to have faith but to lovingly give both spiritual and physical nourishment to those hungry, the needy. We have to work at not forgetting the power of God to provide everything we need. It takes constant effort to prevent ourselves from doubt, unbelief, hardening or hopelessness. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that this can be accomplished with dedication to serving Him fully.

Thoughts on Psalm 41: 1-13

Be Kind to the poor and the Lord will be kind to you! Take care of the sick and God will take care of you. The Lord will be your friend when everyone else has abandoned you.

Thoughts on Proverbs 10: 15-16

Wealth or lack of wealth can cause people to sin. It’s our investment in the eternal that has everlasting gain.

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 24, 2015

We know that God has our best interest at heart. He is concerned for our physical and our spiritual. But I want to go a little deeper with some analogies.

Unbelief, spiritual corruption, evil, nastiness, filth, oozes from a person soul infecting those around him. What comes out of his body is vile with the ability to contaminate others. Sin spreads like a disease, it literally jumps on people. Some join in, some join in for a time and wash themselves off, some steer clear all together. When you have been in the presence of darkness or if you feel dark within, the only thing you can do is bathe in the purifying water of Christ, asking him to wipe your mind clean making you anew.

Only God himself can help wash the disease caused from sin from your soul, only the purifying fresh water of Christ can clean you so that that the Holy Spirit can dwell in you, transforming more than the flesh, transforming the soul so that the Spirit of God will drive your life.

With all of us it’s not enough just to be baptized in water, but we must also be purified. That means we must kill the disease within, die to self, and take on a new more Godly persona. It will be an ongoing battle, whether the “discharge continues or stops, the man because of sin is unclean. Yet there is Hope in Christ, in the constant pursuit of being Christ like.

For He is the way, when we aim to be like Him, we build a relationship with Him, and we are hence being made clean before God. As we purify we must “confess our wickedness, rebellion and sins.” (Confess past sins that surface, today’s sins– intentional or unintentional and future sins). Ownership of your mistakes of your sinful nature, is key to building a true authentic relationship with God.

The word “scapegoat” is seen in the bible. We actually see here that the sins are put on a goat and the goat is released to the wilderness to a “desolate” place. This really stuck out to me because they let the goat live. With the weight of sin on his back he was released to the wild, where alone he has little chance of survival.

I can’t help but think that unpurified sinners will be sent to a desolate place, like this goat. Like this goat if we continue live for self, not God and if we continue to make excuses or justification for sin; we might escape death for a little bit. But ultimately those who are a slave to sin will being sent to the wilderness, which houses predators, dangerous beasts with “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” A goat alone in the wilderness does not stand a chance. One way or another must deal with our sin that separates us from God. We have a choice to purify ourselves through Christ or Not. The choice is ours.

Thoughts of Mark 7:1-23

We’ve all seen people in prominent positions let the power go to their heads. Some misuse their authority and use it to rule over people. Like a police officer who uses his badge to intimidate or bully. Much like this, the Pharisees and Sadducees let their prestige go to their heads. Their hearts were corrupt. The guidelines in the bible were from a place of love. They were using these guidelines to judge to intimidate.

Some have been known to twist the truth or only take parts of scriptures that apply to them. God is less concerned with following human rules and more about your heart. Do you have a heart for Jesus? Do you have a kind heart for people?

Rules meant to restrict are about religion.

God’s laws and guidelines are meant to protect, love you and reveal sin to you. Then, you will be equipped with ways to stay healthier both physically and spiritually. God is more concerned with matters of the heart, more concerned about you having a relationship with him…then about don’t do this …or don’t do that. Yes, the 10 commandments have not changed. They still apply. But God wants you obey those commandments out of love for Him not because a religious institutions rules or restrictions. Anything that causes you to disconnect from God is not from God, but from the enemy. The enemy uses what was meant for God for bad. Just keep focused on that personal relationship, pursuit to purify for your Friend, Jesus.

Thoughts about Psalm 40:11-17

You can count on God for everything, all needs. You will find Joy in Him.

Thoughts about Proverbs 10: 13-14

Don’t babble, it invites disaster. Less is more. Don’t argue. Don’t gossip. Don’t over think or over talk it. Let the wisdom of God teach you to tame your tongue, to be slow to anger…to quietly reflect when others babble!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading: February 23, 2015

God continues to protect the health of his people. He also warns them that when they enter the land of Canaan, that some of the houses will be contaminated with mildew.

He warns them ahead of time and gives them instructions for dealing with mold. God often equips us ahead of time with warnings, education and experiences. He prepares us so that we are better prepared for what is yet to come.

When you are serving, whether it’s in ministry, volunteering or serving your family, we all need to go to “quiet place and rest awhile.” You must give yourself permission to rest. Do not feel guilt when you need alone time. God himself needed to retreat to a quiet place.

But if someone comes to you when you know you need rest, have compassion. God will reward you for your service and kindness.

These disciples despite seeing miracle after miracle and hearing teaching after teaching, still were not fully embracing Jesus as Son of God. Sometimes true faith, takes time. God chips away at hardened hearts one piece at a time. Just keep pursuing God, and keep praying. Pray for Him to open your eyes, your ears and your heart. Pray for Him to help you understand. Something happens when you pray for God to pull you in closer. Something amazing. You will always have seeds of doubt, just keep praying and reading scripture.

The crowds had more faith than the disciples which is crazy to think. People knew in their hearts if they just touched the fringe of his robe, they would be healed.

Our goal is to have faith that is like that.

Thoughts Psalm 40: 1-10

When you start walking with God and for God, changes happen.

People start seeing a softening of the spirit. They start seeing the changes, seeing the new song you are singing. They will be amazed at what God has done in your personality. Then by watching you, they will put their trust in the Lord.

Story I heard once: A Christian man went to work selling big equipment. A co-worker came to introduce himself to the new employee. He said, “Welcome to the company, you and I are going to get along as long as you don’t start preaching that Christian bible junk. “

The young co-worker was striking in good looks, recently married and had new cars, new house and seemed to get all the deals. For the stories sake, we will call him Sam. He was definitely living a life of materialism.

The Older Christian man had four kids, was at the brink of losing his home. For this story we will call him Bill. He was struggling with even feeding his family because of some financial problems he had prior to getting this job. He took in what the young co-worker said. Bill sat in the cubicle next to Sam, Bill had regular conversation about struggles, and staying faithful with his wife. They were in a bad place, so having these conversations were frequent. He stayed true to himself, but did not ever preach to the co-worker. Yet the co-worker could hear how the older gentleman led his life, by default.

When a promotion came up, the younger guy got it. He had less experience. This was a bit disappointing.

Years later, the older gentleman had reached a deep depression, still stuck in a whole and questioning his life’s meaning. He was passing through, the small West Texas trucking dealership where the co-worker had moved to. It had been many years. He went in and asked to see his old friend. The employee asked him, his name.

When the older gentleman told the employee his name. He said, “Wow…You are the one. You are the one that led, Sam to Jesus. He left here to pursue a career at Focus on the Family. “

Stunned, Bill got in His car and looked to the heavens. He thanked God for God let him see into a window of his life. He had made an impact for the kingdom without even knowing it. By just living as he lived, by loving God as he did, he was being watched by a co-worker. He was witnessing without speaking just living for Christ.

Suddenly Bill felt better. He knew that God had a plan for Him, to trust and not get discouraged. Our path may be so that the light within can shine to others.

Thoughts for Proverbs 10: 11-12

If you quarrel, love will make up for all offenses. Admit wrong and show the other person love. Be very careful about how you are living and be on guard about what comes out of your mouth.

 

NLT Bible Reading: February 22, 2015

Like any good parent, God wants us to be spiritually healthy and physically healthy. The priests played many roles including judge, jury and doctor! When you are living out in the elements, in the dry dessert with limited access to water to clean properly, of course there will be boils and zits. But sometimes with rashes and bumps, it can be a sign of something more serious. God of course did not want a serious illness like leprosy to wipe out the entire community. He gave the Priests instructions for checking the rash, rechecking the rash and for cleansing the individual. I believe when they shaved all the hair, they could clean more deeply. Plus, by doing this everyone could see that the infection was gone. There was nothing hidden behind a dark, thick beard.

During the time black-death hit Europe, the sanitary guidelines and customs for handling dead bodies, greatly lowered the % of Jews that were effected by plague. You’ll note also that rats carried the disease. God had a reason why ground rodents were not to be eaten. http://www.jewishhistory.org/the-black-death/

I can tell you first hand that mold can make you terribly sick. I am very allergic to all kinds of molds. Remember when the craze about homes with black mold, after hurricanes was all over the news. How interesting is it that God warns about the dangers of mold to our health. He not only warns about homes with mold but even clothes and leather. He gives us guidelines for checking growth too. He wants us to be healthy. He wants to protect us. When we are healthier we can serve Him fully.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/10/fungus-hiding-in-your-house-and-making-you-ill.aspx

We may not understand all the details, rules, guidelines, but what we must know is that HE always has our best interest at heart. He loves us and would not make a rule just to make a rule. You know this if you are a parent, all the rules you have are to keep the house sanitary, keep the children safe or healthy…there is always a good purpose for our rules. Your kids may not understand why before afternoon snack they have to wash their hands and face, but you know that the school bus was riddled with germs…They must wash hands or the entire house could get sick.

My kids for instance know that before we push any basket at the grocery store, I wipe the cart completely down on the edges, hand rail and where I sit my purse. I’ve personally seen kids riding in carts with oozing pink eye infections. I’ve witnessed terribly coughing at the grocery store. So as a safety precaution, we have that rule.

When we get back in the car from shopping, we all squirt our hands with hand sanitizer.

Thoughts on Mark 6: 1-29:

When you are witnessing to others, you will always have more impact on those that don’t know you that well. Even Jesus could not perform miracles, or many in his own community because of their lack of faith because of their history with him. Jesus was not honored or taken seriously in his home town, after all he was just a carpenter’s son. It will probably not be you that plants the seed of truth in your spouse, sibling or family. More than likely your impact will be greater with strangers, the ones God brings to you. What you can do is pray that God send someone to plant seeds, to inspire and to change the heart of the one you are worried about.

If Jesus himself, had problems ministering to his own, so will you. Just lead by example, often your actions, your light inspires, makes an impact without the need of preaching or teaching.

You also should be warned that when you start to change, when you start to forgive; your own family, friends and spouses will give you the most problems. The stones will be thrown, the daggers thrown…. They will misunderstand that you answer to God, not them. If you leave the wolf pack, the other wolves are not always pleased. Keep praying.

Be prepared and guarded knowing that you aim to please God, not people. If you aim to please the Lord, you are doing right. It hurts when your own misunderstand you, but God is with you. It’s part of the package.

Matthew 10: 34-36 The Sword of the Gospel 34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

As sad as it is, we are all responsible for our personal relationships with God and with others. Just keep praying for those you want the Holy Spirit to reach. I have seen first-hand the impact for praying for a lost friend. Prayer works!

When you are ministering to others, especially if you go to strange places, it’s good to go in pairs. But if you are not welcome, if they refuse to listen, shake it off and move onto next minister opportunity. But continue to pray. “Abandoned those people to their fate.” All you can do is pray and lead by example.

Herod’s B-day:

So many lessons involved with Herod’s birthday. Do not try to impress people. Do not make frivolous thoughtless promises. As my Grandmother used to say, “Think before you speak. “ Do not let peer pressure or liquid courage influence you to do something you will forever regret. Stick to your gut instincts. Herod’s deep down knew that John the Baptist was a holy man, who spoke the truth. We may not like to hear the truth. Sometimes the truth stings, but you are blessed if you have a “truth- teller” in your life.

Perhaps, God has sent the message as a warning or a prompt for moral correction. A wounded dog howls. Herodias was really howling, ticked off by John the Baptist’s correction of the improper relationship.

 

Thoughts on Psalm 39:1-13

When you are being attacked, HOLD your tongue! Even though you are on fire mad within, take a deep breath, keep quiet, because our lives are but a breath. Your life is fleeting; life is short. Do not waste a moment in getting angry. Let God fight your battles. This does not mean be a push over or to be seen as weakness. What this means is that you are practicing the art of restraint and relying on God to defend you. It actually takes more self-control to show stay quiet when you are being unjustifiably under attack.

We should slow down, stop rushing around because it really has no end. We are just passing through this life, trying to get back HOME. Our hope is not in man but in ONE man, Jesus. What would Jesus do? That one question, will help you in putting down your sword.

 

NLT Bible Reading: February 21, 2015

So you read all these rules about clean and unclean food, and you are probably thinking…more rules, rules, rules. But actually everything God does He does for us, to help us, protect us and love us. These animals hurt our health, have the potential to make us sick. The dietary guidelines in Old Testament, in New Testament became a barrier to spreading the gospel. So it was stressed it is not what goes into the body that makes a person unclean but what goes out of it. God is always about the heart more than the flesh. This does not completely nullify the instructions on healthier eating. In fact, we can learn from the guidelines. Take for example in the readings just before this one, where it says never to eat the fat of an animal but to use it for other things… (Like soap). We all aware that animal fat is not good for the cardio vascular system.

Take some time to read: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hebrew_Roots/Unclean_foods/Diseases

This will give you tremendous insight into once again God is using guidelines to not only make a distinction between His people and the pagans but more importantly for protection from sickness, disease and death. Like any parental rule, guideline, restriction, even if misunderstood, are always out of love and protection of us.

One thing that really struck me is that if a seed were  wet and contaminated, then the seed becomes defiled. I then visualized modern day seeds being stored with chemicals or being soaked with urine from rats and then being planted. You can’t help but think that this plant from a contaminated seed would cause unhealthy vegetables, grain etc. Really makes you think.

A great book to read is: The Makers Diet by Jordan S. Rubin. He cured himself from an intestinal disease eating as the bible instructs us to eat.

It’s very important after giving birth that a woman rests and keeps herself clean to avoid infection. Some bleed up to 8 weeks after birth. I believe this part in the bible not protects others from being in contact with another person’s blood, but more importantly gives the woman permission by God to fully rest, not worrying about sacrifices or visiting the temple. God is always looking out for us.

Perhaps, when a woman gives birth to a girl baby there is more estrogen in the system and the impact on the body is even more pronounced. I do not believe this is anything more than God giving the woman more time of rest after her delivery and relieving her of her temple obligations.

Mark 5: 21-43 Thoughts:

We must have faith that Jesus still has the power to Heal. This woman was ceremonial unclean according to the laws. To touch Jesus, would make Him unclean according to law. She nevertheless believed in His healing power, enough that she believed if she just touched Him, she would be healed.

We too should have this kind of boldness, to approach God. We may feel so guilty or dirty, sinful that we feel unworthy to approach God in prayer. But Jesus’s blood is sufficient for all sin, regardless of your sin, pray. Realize that no matter what you did, God loves you and longs to hear from you. When you feel unworthy of His love because of your past, you are essentially saying that what He did is not enough to cover your sin. This of course is not true. Do not let insecurities or past choices, become a barrier to you developing a relationship with God. Forgive yourself as God has forgiven you…and walk forward knowing that it’s been wiped clean. Except the free gift fully. (Remember, God loved David- and David was an adulterous murderer. Remember, Jesus loved Mary and she had 7 demons casted out of her. Mark 16: 9)

Thoughts on Psalm 38: 1-22

When you mess up, confess, feel sorry. Protect my ears from being effected by threats. Choosing to say nothing in response to threats is often the best course of action. Let the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, answer for you.

I loved reading this because this week I had an experience with a client where he was nasty, lashing out at me. I kept completely silent, allowing the silence to dominate the phone call. It was an uncomfortable silence but I felt led to say nothing. Some may see this as weakness, but I actually saw this as growth. The old Shea was a defender. The old Shea was a nervous talker. This new Shea is more submissive, calm under distress and has the power of self-restraint through the Holy Spirit controlling the encounter.

Interesting enough, after I refrained from saying much the call ended with the man turning me over to another employee to sign up for another insertion order, a new contract with our company.

Now what I still need work on not allowing someone’s unkind words or tone, stay with me.

What I realized through that experience was that the enemy brought up a feeling I felt as a child when my Dad sternly, arrogantly and nastily corrected me. The uncomfortableness I felt with the feeling of disapproval re-surfaced. I felt bad that day…that feeling of disapproval lingered. Luckily, I was able to reflect why it bothered me as much.

Keep in mind that my Dad and I both forgave each other and started a renewed relationship of mutual respect, understanding and love of God. The past was laid in the past and we walked forward with a renewed relationship with Christ at the center of it.

But through this man’s familiar behavior, some old feelings resurfaced. Luckily, I’m grounded to know that God fully protects me and has refined me. I am keenly aware that I am being and have been refined by God. The firecracker defender, who says too much, who over-reacts, who puts fuel on the fire is gone. (Sometimes she comes back during more hormonal moments- I’m working on that. J

I believe that by saying I was sorry, by being overly silent while he vented and by being humble, sent more of a message to this man than if the “old Shea” had showed up. It is my hope that He reflected on how he handled his disappointment in the accounts activity. We can communicate disappointment without being nasty to someone.

Just know that God protects His own. He certainly did this, because I prayed for the man not to be there when I delivered goodies the day after the conflict. And when I went inside he was not there.

Thoughts: Proverbs 10: 8-9

Back to wisdom…If you blab too much…it’s foolish. We must listen and learn. We must apply what we learn. Then we must ask the Holy Spirit to refine us. Keep your integrity with everything. Synonyms for integrity: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness.

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 20, 2015

So we remember Aaron’s disobedience and lies to God, did not end in death with making the golden calf. But His sons may have watched the entire ordeal and even took God’s authority and holiness for granted by what they watched with their Dad. I can’t help but think that Aaron suffered even more with the death of his two sons, that through these deaths, Aaron reflected in his own disobedience. There are ramifications for not honoring God, obeying God, and fearing God.

The fire was a described a “strange fire.The Hebrew word translated “strange” means “unauthorized, foreign, or profane.” Whatever the case, these two Priests were role models, front and center to the community. God could not allow the disobedience to set a precedence.

God is a God of second chances. But God also knows a person’s heart, intention and he expect us to be obedient. Some bad choices in life could end in death, taking drugs, getting behind the wheel drunk or even avoiding a safety measure at work.

In life, the lesson will appear and appear until you get it right. There is always cause and effect in the world of sin. When we make choices outside God’s word, then there will be in some form or fashion pain or discomfort from it.

If Aaron displayed grief, he would be in a physical way, communicating disapproval of God’s authority to the nation. But not grieving, he was confirming that God was right to kill the two sons. He was communicating to the entire nation in a physical ways that God should be honored, not taken lightly. We should never take for granted the mercy and forgiveness of the Father.

Interesting enough, after this event alcohol was prohibited from being consumed before going into the Tabernacle. This gives some clue that the sons, carelessness or disregard to God, may have been influenced by the effects of alcohol. Regardless, of what inspired the “profane” insulting fire, God surely before the entire community demonstrated the importance of obedience and honor.

Whether we are approaching God in prayer, at church or just living our daily life, we should remember the power of God. We should never forget that He is very real and has complete power over our very lives. We should never take God lightly or His word lightly.

The word gives us insight into God’s requirements for us. We should never make excuses for our behavior that is outside His word. We should humbly repent. God does not just strike someone down for no good reason. God knows the heart.

Anything that clouds judgment, should be avoided. Alcohol for example can make you do and say the most hideous things: wake up in parking lot in your car, leave with people you don’t know, take unnecessary risks, and partake in meaningless arguments and the list goes on.

Alcohol has destroyed so many families and relationships; it’s not even funny. I’ve seen the effects of this liquid first-hand. You’ll notice later when John the Baptist came on the scene that God also instructed John to never drink a drop. This is good because John naturally was a little bit of a renegade in looks with a camel skin outfit living out in the desert. People already probably thought John was off and if he had drank one drop of alcohol the Sanhedrin’s would have had ammunition to disregard him paving the way for Jesus through water baptism.

When you are ministering or mentoring others, you are held more accountable for your actions that influence others. Let your light shine before men…not your darkness. Your life needs to represent the kingdom.

In my Dads case, alcohol contributed to depression, loss of relationships and ended in a terrible death of cirrhosis of liver due to consumption at 64. On his last days, he weighed all of 90 pounds. Every bone in his back showed. His cheek bones pronounced. A once striking, handsome, masculine man, laid in the hospital bed, like a concentration camp victim. His frame frail and small, with a protruding stomach with the look of malnourishment. He cracked jokes, “If you see a muscle in the hallway, will you pick it up and bring it back, it’s mine. “

On his death bed, frail, with red bulging eyes, leaning on a frail arm he said to me, “I am laying here because of every bad choice or decision I’ve ever made. “

At that moment, I truly felt like I wanted to wipe his debt clean. It was as if he was repenting.

Despite my struggles over the years with my Dad, my heart felt for him in that moment. None of us are perfect. All of us fall short.

The accountability for his actions, his humbling spirit in that moment waved over me with such deepness. There was something in that moment where I could see how God loves the pureness of admitting our mistakes.

If at that moment, I could switch places with Him, I would. Just as Jesus, died for us. To take away all that physical pain and the guilt I heard in his voice. If I could have taken it from him, I would. If I could have died for him, I would.

He at that moment told me he did not pray for himself; he was counting on us to do that. He was willing and ready to pay the price for his actions. This death was the ramifications, the end result of years of bad decisions. He took , as David in the bible did, the punishment.

For me to say that I would switch places with him sounds very strange if you know my Dad and my relationship. We had no relationship for 11 years and several bouts of disconnect, arguments. Our relationship had not until the last 5 years been anything.

It wasn’t until after his death did I realize, through the eulogy that we were a lot alike. In fact a dear friend said we could take your Dad’s eulogy and in many cases write your name. It’s as if they are speaking about you.

To think, I come to past the end of that relationship and realize that we had so much in common: painting, drama, deep discussions and most importantly our love of God. If alcohol had not been in the picture at all, if God had been the center at all times: How different would my story be? Only God knows. But addiction of any kind is not of God and destroys our connection to the Lord, which effects all relationships. This story is just one of many I have in my pocket to serve God.

Mark 4:26-5:20: Thoughts

Storms of Life: There are times in your life where you may feel completely out of control, even drowning in the storms of life. Call out to Jesus, even the waves obey Him. There is nothing that scares Him. There is nothing too big for God. We should be sleeping like a baby during the storm, knowing that God’s got it covered. When human emotion and anxiety take over, call out to Him and ask others to pray for you. There is a calming effect just in knowing that Jesus is right there with you.

Demons, Evil Spirits: Yes they still exist. Yes they still possess. Yes they oppress and depress. They have territories where they roam. They look for weakness, disobedience to God…they seek to destroy and latch onto those that are living outside of God’s safety.

There are many things that we do to open the door for an attack. The scriptures are very clear on how to get God’s full protection. The scriptures are also very clear that those that go their own way, are slaves of sin…which leads to slaves to the fallen one.

Going your own way, opens yourself up for an attack from the enemy. It’s not easy to cast out that kind of heaviness. In the case of Legion, there were thousands of powerful demons living inside of this man. But nothing is too powerful for Jesus. With his voice, he cast out all of them, and they went into the pigs. Today, we can still cast out in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It’s crazy to think that the people were running Jesus off after this happened. They were more worried about the loss of livestock and income. It’s amazing that even those that saw His power in the physical still ran Him off. There will always be people that have closed ears and hearts. All we can do is pray for them and move on…like Jesus did. Not everyone will be saved. Hard to think about but let those hear, hear.

What was awesome is that the man who was once possessed began proclaiming boldly what Jesus had done for him. He did not feel shame. He did not keep his story to himself out of fear. He boldly professed how Jesus had drove out the demons.

Our past mistakes or way of living might be shameful. But the fact is that Jesus died for our sins and there should be no guilt or shame any longer. His blood is sufficient. That means that regardless of the past, once delivered we should share how God’s worked in our lives. We should share our stories boldly without shame. God came to help the sick. “ He saved a wretch like me.”

I could easily see how a man that lived naked in burial caves could easily let the shame from that experience hold him back from sharing. I love that God used what was bad for good! If you are cured, if you are delivered…Share it boldly. People will respond to your openness.

Thoughts of Psalm 37:30-40

First we learn the scriptures, we change our hearts… then we minister to others and teach them. We take ownership for God’s laws. If we stay on course, God will protect us from any enemy seen or unseen. God will rescue us.

Yesterday for instance, in the parking lot, before walking into an angry client’s office; I prayed.

I prayed, “Please God don’t let him be there. “

I was just going to drop of some client gifts.  The day before the client was nasty to me,  completely dis-respectful in his delivery. I had not been spoke to that way since I was sixteen. I  dreaded going into what I called the “lions den.” Of course we must remember faithful Daniel was delivered from the lions. Regardless, I did not know what I was walking into.

When I got into the office, bingo…HE WAS NOT THERE. I did not have to face the man who so coldly and arrogantly tried to belittle me the day before. God had answered my prayers and protected me from another lashing.

Thoughts Proverbs 10: 6-7

As we pursue the path to have godly character, we will receive blessings, confirmations that God is pleased with us. We are already seeing this in our bible group with answered prayers!

When someone passes away, usually the person who lived for God will have much to be said about them…..what kind of person they were…who they helped… When we aim to please God in our actions and thoughts, God will use us to impact lives…God in us makes a lasting impact…

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 19, 2015

A peace offering is not what we think of as a peace offering in modern day times. The peace offering was given for thanksgiving, upon the payment of a vow, or as a free expression of the worshiper’s goodwill (7:11–18).

  • Freewill offerings were given in response to God’s unexpected or unsought generosity.

When I was really struggling financially, I went one day to get the mail. My Aunt sent a check for $500.00. She said that it was placed on her heart to send me the money. I remember crying when I opened the letter, looking up to God saying thank you. Thank you for always taking care of me, for seeing my struggles.

At my wedding, I received a gift of my entire china set from someone I do not know. I tried to contact the person on the card. I never got an answer. I remember at the time feeling very alone, knowing that my broken relationship with my Dad would mean that I walked alone down the aisle. I believe God knew my thoughts and sent the unexpected gift as a blessing. It crossed my mind that maybe my estranged Dad sent it through someone else. But he did not. I believe The Father sent it.

When Slade was born I was very sick, and he was jaundice. His doctor bills should have been very expensive. I was on Cobra at the time. I never received a bill.

During a time when I was struggling financially, barely bobbing above water and the taxes on our land had not been paid. When we finally called the tax office to pay, the taxes over $5,000 had been paid. We owed nothing. God had paid this for us.

All of these examples times are times  I would have in Old Testament times gone to God and celebrated a peace offering with friends…celebrating God’s unexpected gift.

  • A vow offering was brought to celebrate an answer to prayer after a person vowed to praise the Lord if He answered the worshiper’s prayer.

Just recently prayers were answered where employment was found with a friends spouse. With my son and his struggle with dyslexia, my prayers were answered when he scored an A in reading on the Staars test and got on grade level. Just recently a friend whose husband has never gone to church, emailed and said the prayers worked…He went to church!

All of these are examples where we would give a peace offering…worshipping God for answering prayers…celebrating together!

  • The peace offering for thanksgiving is probably better translated as a “confession” or “praise” offering that was given when someone was in dire need of deliverance.

I have several friends of family that need a peace offering for deliverance from addiction. The Christians that are being martyred need deliverance from those that persecute them.

Today, we don’t need to sacrifice anything to celebrate with God. We can do this in modern times in other forms. We can have friends over to celebrate and openly praise, thank or gather in prayer over a situation. We can pray quietly with God when these things occur.

I know when Slade received that answered prayer with his test scores and dyslexia, I sent money to a Boy’s Ranch to say thanks to God for his help with Slade. Slade was aware that we did this. We wrote the check together and I said,“This is to thank God for helping you with your reading. We are sending money to the Boy’s Ranch to help another boy. “

There is so many ways you can really say Thank you to God and celebrate during these times.

These ceremonies soon lost their meaning to this wayward group. They begin to do them without  thinking about the true meaning. We must really take a look at all our traditions and religious activity. What is the meaning behind these things? What was the intended meaning? The activity should draw you near God. If its lost the meaning either: forget the “ritual” or put the meaning back into it.

Jesus left us a heartfelt way to remember what He did for us. It’s also a reminder that He is still with us through the Holy Spirit.

Luke 22: 19…18for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

When we break bread and drink the wine, taking communion at church, this should not be something we do lightly. But when we do this, we do it with our eyes fixed on Jesus, on what He has done for each of us.

For me, I am always moved to tears when I do this. I concentrate on Jesus’s face and even visualize Him on the Cross. I think about His love for me and how undeserving I am. To think of how much He loves me, enough to give His Life is emotional.

How could I not be moved? If someone donated a kidney so you could live, and you were in their presence, how would you feel?  How could you  stand face to face,  without being overwhelmed with emotion? That person gave you LIFE!

If a family member were to die  and an organ was donated to you so that you could live. How could you look at those family members and not feel overwhelmed with the sacrifice that was made and the gift that was given? You would be moved to tears.

SO the next time, you do communion. The next time you break bread and drink wine in His name, in “remembrance of “Jesus….be sure you fully think about His Sacrifice. Don’t lose one ounce of meaning when you do this.

Interesting fact: Lots of emphasis on the right hand, right ear…Interesting enough, Jesus sits at the Right hand of God. So there must be some deeper meaning on ordaining these Ministers with the Right part of the body, symbolizing how they metaphorically sit to the Right of God as they work for God.

Thoughts of Mark 3: 31-4: 25

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. At first when I read that Jesus blew off his Mom and Siblings, I thought to myself…” Is that rude?”

But as I have matured in my faith, I understand that the deeper meaning for me is that God is first in our lives, before any child, any spouse, any job and family member. We must put God before anything in our lives and serve Him first. Jesus, like us, had limited time on earth to serve God. We do not know how long we have either. Only God knows. So we must live each day fully Loving God first and Loving each other–and in that order. (Through thought and action)

Our goal is to not only Hear the Word but let the word ground us, to be the very foundation of our lives. (deep roots) When the storm comes, we are so rooted that we do not waiver in our faith. When others bash our beliefs or throw doubts, we are strong,  praying for protection. Pray to Jesus  to protect your heart and mind from the enemy.

When the superficiality of the world with materialism, self-love surrounds us, we are fully equipped by the word to stay true to ourselves and realize that things of this world are temporary, keeping our eyes on the eternal.

When we are deeply rooted and live out that faith, our “light will shine” to others. Then seeds will be scattered, producing other believers who then will spread more seed. Then the Kingdom of God will grow! Our walk becomes a light of inspiration, opening doors for the Holy Spirit to work.

“The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given and you will receive more.”

This is so true. Each time we read the bible, we will get more and more insight.

Thoughts: Psalm 37:12-29

The Lord takes care of the Godly. I want to be taken care of…how about you?

The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. I want Him to guide me! How about you?

Turn from evil and do good…and we are on the right path to being protected and cared for by God. Life is not perfect and things will happen. But with true faith, we will be just fine. Remember our ultimate destination is not here!

God loves those who are generous. If we borrow we should always pay back loans.

Thoughts on Proverbs 10:5

We should seek and gains knowledge while we are young. We will get credit for our quest to know God. If we are idle, too busy to seek truth our life will reflect that, we will bear the shame.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 18, 2015

The continual fire represented God’s constant presence with the sacrificial system. Jesus is God’s continual presence through His son, the final sacrifice. When we accept Jesus gift, and we are baptized in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we begin the process of being “born again.”

The Holy Spirit resides in us. It’s a constant, never ceasing force that moves you to live according to truth, to live for God. Our fire with God must stay burning at all times. His fire is always burning for us. How we do that is by studying scripture, bible studies, service, repentance and refining our old selves.

Within the guidelines of the sacrificial system are all kinds of instructions that will keep the Israelites from disease and sickness. For instance, a clay pot would be have pores. I can see how the blood or raw meat could soak into the pores of the clay pot contaminating, causing a breeding ground for bacteria.

I could also see that if meat was cooked and left in the heat of the dessert, that by the 3rd day you are asking for sickness if you ate the meat. To handle anything that is dead, or eat road kill for example, you are asking for sickness. There were many rules about hand washing too. This kept them being sick too. So although the instructions are detailed and at times overwhelming, the guidelines are to benefit the people, in more ways than one. Health and nutrition advice are threaded throughout this. ( Like not eating the fat of an animal- use for other things like soap.) It’s still not good to eat animal fat!

Mark 3:7-30 Thoughts

Jesus can control the demons. He can drive them out. He can also make them be quiet, even if what they were saying was true. Jesus’s sacrifice was going to happen at a certain time. So he did not want these demons blabbering “You are the Son of God!” It’s God’s timing no matter what!

Jesus needed help spreading the gospel. He still needs our help today to spread the word. Consider memorizing.

He had 12 disciples. ( note: not all of them wrote the gospels)Peter, James, John Zebedee, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon Zealot and Judas Iscarot.

The crowds were crazy. They were so busy they didn’t have time to eat. Jesus’s own family said, “ He’s out of his mind.” This is KEY. Because Jesus brother, James did not come to cross. But James after Jesus rises from the dead, becomes the leader of the 1st Church of Jerusalem. This is a huge. I can tell you that unless something DIVINE in nature happened, my siblings would continue to say I was Cra Cra. The fact that Jesus’s brother, James stepped up to the plate after the cross and after resurrection in itself, tells you that the Resurrection had to happen. I can’t wait for you to read James because it’s really remarkable how his own brother refers to the Lord.

That in itself is proof.

Anything divide against itself will not thrive. If a family is torn in two, if a country, government…anything divided by itself will not stand a chance of standing. Finding common thread, common understanding, finding peace is so important with our government but more importantly our families.

Jesus is stronger than any enemy seen or unseen. He controls all. So that is why we must strive to be His VERY best friend. If we had special glasses to see what roams on this fallen earth, we would be terrified. But through Jesus Christ, we are fully protected. We must do everything in our power to keep the protection of His White light around us. The best way is to pray, repent, live according to His Teaching.

Note: the only unforgiven sin: Blasphemes against the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 37:1-11: Thoughts

Big one for all of us:

  • Wait patiently for Him to Act.
  • Stop losing temper, getting angry- no more temper tantrums or outbursts

Stay innocent in his eyes.

Proverbs 10:3-4: Thoughts

Serve Him fully and he will make sure you are taken care of too.

God encourages hard work and believes in rest. But we should never fall into laziness.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 17, 2015

When I first read the bible, as I read the commandments and the stories, I began to remember times in my life where I disrespected my parents, lied, envied others, did way wrong things in college. These past sins, seem to float to the top. As they were revealed to me, I humbled myself before God. I acknowledged to Him what was revealed, and I asked for forgiveness.

Scripture: “When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin.”

Confessing sin as it is revealed is a purification process. God loves a humble heart. I am keenly aware as the past mistakes come to the surface of how much I need Jesus. There are things that I’ve done, that I completely forgot until I started reading the bible. Once I confess the sin, acknowledge my fault to God, I do not feel guilty anymore. The love and sacrifice of Jesus is more than enough to cover my sin.  But I feel better knowing that I’ve gone to my Father and asked for forgiveness for that past sin. I also do this when I sin or slip up in annoyance or anger, I immediately ask for forgiveness. If I have a bad thought about someone or something, I ask for forgiveness for that thought. I also ask God to wash that kind of thing from my mind. I ask Him to help me to be better in thoughts and action.  He so loves it when we acknowledge and seek forgiveness.

This process can also be used in our personal lives. Perhaps, one day you bark at your kids or your spouse and later during the day you feel bad about how you snapped. Acknowledge that bad behavior to the person and humbly apologize. This will have remarkable impacts on your relationships and with kids, they will take this skill into their futures. To be able to say you are sorry and admit mistakes is an awesome quality. Don’t justify the actions either while apologizing. Don’t point to any bad behaviors on their part that provoked your sinful response. It loses the impact. Let God do the pointing.

Sometimes with our mistakes we have to pay the price. Like in the case of the 20% added when sacred property was damaged. This “paying the price” can come in various forms. We should humbly accept the responsibility and ramifications for our bad choices. Like King David, he killed a man to take his wife. The first born child from that marriage was taken. King David was not perfect but he had a beautiful way of taking ownership of his mistakes, accepting the consequences of his sin, correcting his behavior and living for God.

Thoughts of Mark 2: 13-36

The Pharisees said, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

Who are we to think that we are any better than anyone?  We are not hear to judge but to love. After all everyone is a sinner.  Really take a look at your heart and work towards softening it. Work on not judging people, not discriminating, not looking down on anyone. We are all God’s people. There is only one that will Judge.

Once again the Sabbath is mentioned as to be a day for the people to benefit them.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”

Do not get caught up in rules and regulations, in religious ceremonies. Focus on your relationship with God and your relationship with people. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. And be good to yourself too…Forgive yourself as you are forgiven. Accept God’s gift of forgiveness. That means forgiving others and forgiving yourself. God uses our slip ups in life to minister to others. It is through our trials and tribulations often that we grow, that we drawl near to Him. God is deeply saddened by hardened hearts. So when we confess sin, ask for forgiveness and seek to know and please God…He smiles. When we use our stories our flaws and we put God’s purpose on them, he loves that too. God can use what the enemy intended for bad and make it good!

So acknowledge the past and embrace the idea that God loves you, forgives you and is preparing your heart to serve Him fully.

 

Thoughts: Psalm 36: 1-12:

 

I once heard someone say, “I’m not that bad. I’m a good person. I’m not like a murder. “ BLIND CONCEIT

This is wicked conceit to think that you are a good person. It’s wicked to rank sin and to judge yourself based on what you rank as a worse sin. We are not to judge.

God is good. We are not.

A humble heart, a Godly heart, a heart being purified: acknowledges sin and longs to be more Christ like.

As we walk closer to you Lord, pour your love out over us! We are already seeing answered prayers through our obedience!

Thoughts Proverbs 10: 1-2

Wisdom comes from God. A Godly upbringing is key to not raising a child who makes foolish choices. Right living is the easier path.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading February 16, 2015

Want to learn more about types of offerings? http://www.jewfaq.org/qorbanot.htm

Keep in mind the link above is Judaism so some of the content doesn’t reflect Jesus paying the price for sin.

But the link will give you an idea on all the offerings and give you some background.

Jesus, is a male, with no defects, no sin, flawless and innocent. He is the final sacrifice, accepted to purify us. Jesus  reconciles us with God. All we have to do is accept the free gift and spend time with Jesus, pleasing Him.

With Jesus we have peace with God. With Jesus there is complete forgiveness, no guilt.

With Jesus we are completely cleansed. He paid the final price for all. Did we deserve it? No but God loves us that much. ” Oh how he loves us, Oh how he loves us..”  It’s hard to think about his sacrifice and the pain He went through without getting emotional.  Every time I take communion I think about thankful I am for Him, but overwhelmed that I’m  not worthy, so undeserving. I love Him for Loving me. That unconditional love is quite overwhelming. To think someone loves us enough that they would die for us. Wow.

Mark 1:2-2:12: Thoughts:

We must realize that we can’t be all things to all people without recharging. Jesus was fully man and fully God, but he knew His limits. He often retreated to an isolated place to get away from it all and to spend time with God the Father in prayer.

I can’t imagine the energy it took just to move through the crowd much less curing people, casting out demons, teaching and constantly moving to new areas on foot.

We too exert a lot of energy with work, kids, chores, spouses, church, volunteering and hobbies. Parents of young children expend an immense amount of energy serving others. We too should give ourselves time alone. Isolation is a good thing, it gives us time to think, pray and regroup. Retreating is not selfish, it’s necessary so that we when we are serving we are fully engaged and energized. Hey, if the only time alone is a car ride to work or a bubble bath, take it and fully enjoy the silence with God.

I love the humble nature of the man with Leprosy and how he submitted to the Lord’s will.

“If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” You hear faith in his voice but you also hear him submitting to the will of God. When we trust God, we accept answered and unanswered prayers . That doesn’t mean that we aren’t disappointed with unanswered prayers, but we accept His will for our life, knowing we are fully 100 percent loved.

The men did what it took to help the paralyzed man. We too should do what is needed, getting help from friends to help fulfill needs we see in the community. Anything we do for the lesser, we actually are doing for Jesus. Anything we don’t do, we didn’t do for Jesus. Let your compassion move you to action. When you can’t do it alone, get friends to help you help others.

Thoughts: Psalm 35: 17-28

Let God fight your battles for you. Simply hand your troubles over to him. Don’t waste your breath on anyone. Instead pray to God. And when he delivers you from your enemies…Praise and give glory to God. He is the God of Justice and looks favorably on those who come the aid of his servants.

Thoughts: Proverbs 9:13-18

Connection to God and to His word fosters good judgment which gives us strength to run from temptation. Be sure to warn your children, teens and young adults about those that lure. Our job is to teach our kids to have “street smarts” backed by Godly virtues.

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 15, 2015

They are out of slavery, hit a few bumps in the road, angered God, angered Moses, God decided he was done traveling with them, gave them mercy and now is back in a huge way! God is a cloud by day and fire by night.

They can physically see He is there, and they are “not wandering” in the dessert because they have a Divine Tour Guide. They can see Him. They can Hear Him.

They should feel completely protected and provided for with God’s presence. They should never doubt or belly ache or have lack faith. Unfortunately, we are back to the “seeing is not always believing.”

Never the less, despite their stumbles in Faith and obedience, God has shown mercy and love. He has also taken the time to help them build a temple where He can live with them.

Since reading the bible and realizing the cloud at baptism I did was God. I have never looked at clouds the same. God is all around us, we are surrounded by His workings.

It is when you are alone, quiet that you can see and hear Him. Sometimes we see God through a sunset. Sometimes we hear God through the sounds of birds. Sometimes we feel God when we are on a beach with eyes closed, feeling the fresh wind on our faces and hearing the soothing sound of the waves. God is all around us, all the time. But it’s the electronic superficial noise of the world, media, people, worry, electronics that create a static in our connection with the Lord.

The noise of this world, the daily noise in our heads, to do lists that hammer out in our minds, our insecurities, our worries that blocks are ability to see and hear God. When we worry or put too much focus on any one thing or person, we create that disconnection. In essence, we give those things power over us.

But Jesus said He will never leave us. He said He will always be with us. We must be still and listen. Carve out that sacred quiet time, where you simply sit with God. Listen to Him.

I’ve done this exercise where I pray and sit mediating on Jesus’s face. I stay focused on my love for Him and His love for me. Oddly enough, when I do this strong thoughts come through for particular friends and the world. I have at times written them in journal. It’s quite amazing down to the date how profound the truth is that comes through on spending time with God.

2010febvoice2With me for years, I can hear God in the quietness of the morning, in that time where your eyes are still closed but your mind is beginning to wake up with awareness. My mind is very still and quiet during that time. I compare it to the stillness of a Lake in the morning, like glass.

During this stillness, God has corrected me on interpretation of scripture, called out Doctor’s names and spoke to me about my grief. He has spoken to me about certain people, where I pray for them while still technically asleep. Sometimes I’m unaware of who I prayed for but know that a name was given to me. This is a skill I am still developing. As we spend more time with God, we are more able to differentiate between God’s voice and our own voice. They take dual citizenship in our brains.

I remember a date being called out to me August 8th. I kept hearing it over and over and over in my head. I was nervous about traveling, really letting fear of world get to me. God called out the date August 8th several times. I kept thinking I don’t want to travel on that date, and I thought I was flying on that date.

I later looked at the calendar and realized that I would not be traveling on August 8th, a sigh of relief. While doing a mindless activity quietly in the kitchen, not thinking at all. I heard, “Go turn on the TV.” ( These are strong thoughts that you cannot ignore not an audible voice)

I said back in my mind, “Is this you? Or is this me?”

Keep in mind that I had been wrapped up in anxiety about traveling and was unsure if my weakness was causing my mind to think. I clearly heard, “This is Me.”

I went into the living room. It was August 8th. Breaking News was flashing across the television. We had just started bombing ISIS for the first time in Iraq. This was a surprise to all of us. There had been no mention that this was on the horizon in any of the media. On National prayer day, I spent a long time in quietness with God. I had written in my journal, “It will go from bad to worse in August.”

(John 10:27), “My sheep hear My voice,”

So although we don’t have that awesome cloud guiding us, the Holy Spirit is with us always. As we get closer to God, we can connect at an even higher level. We can work on telling the difference between a God thought and our own thoughts.

Thoughts Mark 1: 1-28

Background on: Mark, writer of gospel of Mark is actually John Mark, cousin to Barnabas, a younger disciple that traveled with Barnabas and Paul. His immaturity most likely caused fall out in first mission trip. Mark left the mission, and this infuriated Paul. Paul refused to travel with John Mark anymore. His lack of commitment and flakiness was not something Paul with his strong character could tolerate. So Barnabas, being the encourager, took his young cousin under his wing, and they did their own missionary work.

This actually was good for the kingdom because they split up covering more ground. John Mark ended up spending a lot of time with Peter. The gospel stories he wrote about were recounted from Peter directly. For more information on John Mark who wrote book of (MARK):

http://biblehub.com/library/maclaren/expositions_of_holy_scripture_the_acts/john_mark.htm

Like John the Baptist, we may pave the way for someone else to receive Christ. You may just spark interest, plant a seed or be the one that comes along to waters the seed.

Over and over again in scripture it talks about repenting sins and turning to God for forgiveness. When speaking to someone who does not know Jesus but feels there is a God. A good thing to ask is” Since you believe in God, Do you repent? Ask God to forgive you for your sins?”

Time and time again in the bible old and new, repentance is a reoccurring theme. When we repent of our sins, our mistakes- past and present, something happens to our heart. It’s very cleansing and freeing to humble ourselves before God. You may be the John the Baptist to someone, helping them to prepare their hearts to receive the gospel.

The first time in the bible where we see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is in the baptism of Jesus. First, we must commit to a life with Jesus. We must repent and make a decision to live fully for Him in actions and thought. Then, we are baptized in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we do this, something remarkable happens. The Holy Spirit is poured into you, becoming the driving force of your life.

I think it’s very interesting that immediately after Jesus was baptized, He was under attack in the dessert by Satan. We too must realize that there is a building of teams going on and that the enemy will not be happy when we commit our lives to Jesus.

The attacks will come in various forms. Others around us my attack us because they don’t understand our forgiveness or our changes in moral behavior. Attacks will come. It is the nature of the business. Often the attacks will come to those closest to us who don’t fully grasp what it means to be “born again.”

What’s crazy is that you, yourself will be surprised by the changes in you. You will see your old ways, your old thoughts, and you can’t even identify with that person anymore. Being born again, is truly a rebirth.

We must take these stones and misunderstanding of our “new selves” as badges of honor. Simply pray for those that are attacking you.

Sometimes the attacks come in the form of temptation. Maybe your weakness is alcohol, pornography or flattery outside the marriage? Be on guard and ask the Lord to make you strong. If Jesus was tempted for Forty days, then you should be prepared to be under attack in some form or fashion. (Our sweet Paul had a thorn in his flesh for years and was constantly being physically and spiritually attacked)

Sabbath- We see hear that Jesus is out of the house on the Sabbath. But what is He doing? Serving God by Teaching and doing Miracles like casting out demons! So God blesses those that serve Him on the Holy Day. You’ll see that the New Testament approach to the Sabbath is slightly different.

Even the evil spirit recognized Jesus as the “Holy One of God.”

We must recognize that there is a darker world around us, one that is run by demons. They seek to destroy our minds, our hearts and our closeness at God. When we are aware that this unseen darker world exists we are more equipped to protect ourselves with a connection and obedience to God. It’s very real and the scriptures confirm that.

Notes for Psalm 35: 1-16

If you feel attacked, pushed around, taken advantage of or persecuted, take all those worries to God. You can talk to him in detail about the entire situation like you are talking to a friend. But after you are done talking and asking for help…Take a deep breath and know that you just gave the situation to God. He is fully capable of handling this for you.

Don’t let worry capture your mind. Keep your mind focused off this world and on the eternal. Because your mind is one of the key areas where the devil will attack you. (Doubts, anger, resentment, obsession of thoughts, worry, anxiety). Your thoughts will transform you; one way or the other. (Positive or Negative). Guard your mind. We see this area under attack at an extreme level right now.

Thoughts Proverbs 9: 11-12

What you are doing seeking to know the Word of God will give you Wisdom! Keep it up!

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 14, 2015

Can you imagine if Bezalel had to go at this project all alone? That would be too much for one man. But Moses was the Project leader, and there were teams of people were involved in the donations and preparations. How many times have we tried to take on too much by ourselves? Or failed to recruit ahead before the point of desperation? We should always be thinking ahead on the best, easiest way to achieve for God.

Leadership qualities include being able to spot talent, recruit, delegate and inspire others to achieve the end goal. When we take on too much, we get burned out and run down. I can’t tell you how many times my “Wonder Woman” qualities have put me to bed. God has a way of slowing us down. We were not meant to do everything all by ourselves. When we work together, we can achieve that much more.

This concept can also implemented at home with our kids, assigning daily chores, getting them involved with helping the clean-up from the constant shuffle of things: book bags, books, toys, candy wrappers, dog toys…dirty clothes. Sure it’s easier to grab everything and take it to their rooms, but shouldn’t they do it. Sure it’s easier to take the dirty laundry to the laundry room, but why can’t they help? It’s one less thing off you. This inclusion of family chores, helps foster the development of responsibility.

Note: Taxes were due for anyone 20 or older. Once again God expects more from those 20 or older. We should also expect a lot more from our young adults and work towards preparing them for that accountable age. Spoon feeding them is not the answer.

Notes: Matthew 28: 1-20:

Earthquakes seem to happen with significant Jesus occurrences. Will earthquakes happen when Jesus comes again? Or to indicate we are close?

Matthew 24: “Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”

Zechariah 14:4 “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4). (When Jesus returns to the Mount of Olives, there will be a massive earthquake, and the mountain will split in two.) The Mount of Olives is just east of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

khirbetmidrasrolingstonetomb1The Lie: The bribe caused the big lie. The soldiers claimed that they were sleeping and the disciples stole his body. They must have been scared to death because to lose a body could easily have caused instant death to the soldiers who failed their duty. Only fear and shock would have caused these Roman soldiers to admit this.

First of all, let’s look at this from a practical stand point. The disciples were in hiding during the crucifixion. They were scared for their own lives so much that they failed to support Jesus while he hung on the cross. Now, they were in deep mourning not only for the loss of a dear friend but also because of deep guilt surrounding their abandonment and denial.

Anyone who has lost a dear friend or loved one knows that immediately after the loss is intense, masterminding some huge plot to kidnap a body would have been psychologically challenging to plan much less carry out.

They would have had to overcome fears and deep grief. Not to mention staking out the tomb, monitoring or killing the soldiers. The entire idea that they would have planned or even succeeded with this is ridiculous in nature. How feasible is it that they could in their state of mind quickly put together a very elaborate plan to still His body.

Then, where would they take the body where nobody on earth would ever find it?

Then, how would they be able to roll back a stone that could weigh between 1-2 tons (2000-4000 pounds) without waking the soldiers? With that kind of weight, there would be some serious grunting going on to move the thing. They would also have to get all of the 11 disciples involved for this ordeal. Trying to get collaboration with grief and political uproar on the streets, would have been near if not impossible.

And then if they had stolen the body there is no way on earth they would be in the streets proclaiming Jesus is the Messiah like they did. They would be on the run like any criminal would, hiding a body and running from capture and death. Did they do this? No. They boldly proclaimed His resurrection and spread the Gospel in everyone’s native tongue. (The Holy Spirit allowed them to speak in tongues that anyone could hear and understand the message in their own language.) Wow!

Isn’t it amazing that seeing is not always believing?

“When they saw him, they worshipped him- but some of them doubted. “ Even today there are miracles that are clearly divine in nature with no scientific explanation. But still people doubt that God exists. Blessed are those that don’t see and still believe- now that is Faith. There will always be that doubting Thomas who needs to see to believe. Then, there are those that actually see and still don’t believe. I imagine on the day Jesus returns to earth, many will wipe their eyes, shake their heads, pinch themselves and still not believe—thinking they are in some drug induced hallucination. There will always be those that have closed hearts and ears.

Jesus gives us instructions on what to do as believers: Go spread the word, baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then, teach the new believers (New Disciples) the scriptures and obedience. We will not go at this alone. Jesus is with us until the end.

Right now, as you read the bible for the first time all the way through, you are being equipped to do God’s work. We pray that the Holy Spirit gives you understanding so that you can do as Jesus commanded. You are one of his treasured Disciples, here to do His work.

Thoughts of Psalm 34: 11-22

Key is that having peace in your life is not without effort. “Search for peace, and WORK TO MAINTAIN IT.”

It’s a lot easier to live a sinful life to fall into the trap of pleasing the world instead of pleasing God. Being obedient is something that takes practice and concentrated effort. It’s just like dieting. It’s a lot easier to go out to eat, drink beer, throw a donut in the mouth and forget the treadmill. It takes concentrated effort to live a healthier lifestyle, yet we do it because we want to live a longer, heathier life.

Living for God is the same. We long for a spiritually healthier existence, striving for a deeper connection to God. That takes spending time with Him. That takes concentrated effort to fight our sinful natures.

If for example you’ve always cursed, it will take a concentrated effort, “re-training” and “re-framing” to stop cursing. You will slip up as you are making the change. But eventually the slips will be less and less. Now, if I stub my toe and slip up, I’m quick to repent in my mind to tell the Lord I’m sorry. This seems awful prude or righteous, but my goal in life is to purify so that God will be pleased and used me full. We know that complete purification is not possible, but efforts towards that are pleasing to the Lord.

What’s awesome is that the more we please God in thought and action, the more He hears our prayers and answers them.

Note: “For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken.” There is but one righteous one- Jesus—and as prophecy says not one of his bones were broken.

John 19: 36: These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (John knows because he was there! The only disciple there.)

If we take refuge in Jesus, none of us will be condemned.

Thoughts on Proverbs: 9: 9-10

Knowledge of God gives us wisdom. The more we invest in learning about God, the wiser we will become. We must have a healthy fear of God wanting to please Him in all that we do.

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 13, 2015
God has blessed each of us with different skills, abilities and talents. We should work on developing those talents for God. Some of us have the skills to teach, some with crafts, some with fundraising or coordinating. God can use any of your talents for His purpose.

You might think, “I have no talent or ability or I’m so busy with my kids and family – where is the time?” That is just not true.

Not long ago, I visited a nursing home. In the craft room, a few older women, sat around a table quilting.

With shaky age hands, I watched them quilt. I asked, “What are you making?”

“We are making baby blankets for the Children’s hospital.”

Here they are at the end of their life, most often alone in their rooms, often not feeling well, and they were still serving God with their talent of sewing.

I left that room inspired, feeling like I am youthful, healthy and able to do more for God.

I looked up as I left the nursing home, “I can do more for you, Lord. Thank you God for these women who are still serving you, still using their sewing talents to show your love to others. ”

Your time might be limited, but how long does it take to send a card to someone struggling?

How long does it take to drop food off to homeless or sick or mourning person?

There is always something you can do that is “outside” yourself  to serve God. As you walk closer to God, there will be a compelling push within you to serve, not to earn merit or points in God’s eyes but because you long to be Jesus to others.

Note: The Holy Spirit was seen in Bezalel. (So we have now we’ve seen God the Father and the Holy Spirit in scripture. We will see all 3 together at Jesus’s baptism!)

Matthew 27:32-66 Notes:

Sometimes we might feel forced to do something only to later find out how truly instrumental or important the “forced project” was for us in our lives. Maybe the forced project was actually a good learning experience. Simon, the Cyrene, was forced to carry the cross for Jesus. But what an honor for him to carry the load for the one who carried the load of the world? How many believers now would jump at the chance to do something of this magnitude for Jesus? Perspective is everything and if we approach the things we do for others as things we actually do for the Lord, we will do it with enthusiasm. Those forced chores and to dos- don’t have to feel forced…a servants heart will change your perspective and attitude.  ( this is very hard to keep when your tired- so rest- reward yourself with a true Sabbath)

Imagine: The sweet kind hearted charity worker lay still in the hospital room. The sound of labored breathing and struggle for life filled the air. You can smell death. His kind eyes, watering followed the people as they entered the room. He lovingly took insult after insult from those that entered his room.

Instead of last rights, a priest enters the room and yelled out at him, “You saved others through your charity work, SAVE yourself old man!”

Then, in the shared hospital room, the other patient who was struggling for life too, through his oxygen threw insults  over to the man as he gasped his last breaths. Who on earth would be so cruel to lash out to a Godly kind person, while dying? I tell you in this way, so that you can grasp the cruelty Jesus endured.

To imagine our Jesus, on the cross suffering an intense amount of pain, bleeding, thirsty, gasping for air…and from his sides he gets abuse and from below insults are thrown. There is no pain at all that we can go through in this life, that the Lord our God does not understand. Through his walk on earth as a man, his level of empathy and sympathy is infinite. He understands suffering at all levels.

So here we have a dead body in a tomb. The tomb is sealed and guarded. So there is no chance of any “schemes.” Also do you really think a hiding group of disciples is going to risk their own lives to kidnap a body? They wouldn’t even show up to the cross. In the analogy above, it would be like having a bunch of best friends that never visit you in the hospital when you are dying. This group was so fearful of their own mortality, that they hid in fear—It would take something huge to get them out.  The brutality of the day and the recent tragedy paralyzed them.  We know that something amazing did happen, something that compelled them out of hiding. Something so remarkable that they hit the street with boldness professing Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Jesus was back from the dead.  He was real not a ghost…He was alive in His glorified body, even eating with them.

Thoughts: Psalm 34:1-10

Do not boast in your own abilities- give God credit. Look onto God for help in all situations. He is our Savior, our protection, our refuge… A healthy fear of God is good. We may from time to time go hungry, but those that trust in the Lord will lack nothing. When we trust God, we have a lot less worry and anxiety so our faces are more radiant  with joy.

God is the facial illuminator you don’t buy on the shelves at Target!

Thoughts: Proverbs: 9:7-8

Don’t bother correcting the hardened hearts of the world. Just pray for God to un-harden their hearts . Ask God to prepare them to receive His message. You’ll only open yourself up to an unhealthy debate, lashing insults and the feeling of disappointment in people.  You may even cause more harm than good. They may build a bigger wall, making any future seed to be planted impossible. It’s not worth engaging with those that mock or are against God. But it is worth praying for them.

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 12, 2015

Lay With Dogs Get Fleas: There seems to be more danger in mixing religions in marriage than anything. If you have a non-believer or a believer together, God seems very concerned. From my own experience from friends whose parents are different religious backgrounds, the kids usually end up neutral, or with no faith at all.

The pagan practices were highly sexual and immoral, to the point they sacrificed and ate their own children. I’m still stumped as to why Rachel stole those silly gods of her Father, after all they have absolutely no power.

My Grandmother used to say if you lay with dogs, you’ll get fleas, meaning that if I hung out with a bunch of kids that did drugs, cursed, lied to their parents, I would fall into their habits. It’s so true.

Even as adults we must choose our friends wisely. If you hang out with friends who always bash their husband, who have major marital problems, who commit adultery, who drink too much, who gossip, who are wrapped up in materialism; it will be easy for you to fall into that trap too.

Anyone or anything that goes against the morale code of God and has the potential to cause you to backslide in an areas of morality, run. If you are super grounded in your faith, shielded and strong, you should definitely minister if opportunity arises. But if you join them instead of them joining you, watch out.

God warns that you’ll naturally be influenced by the company you keep. If the old phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do” is right. My advice is just don’t go to ROME!

God required that no one may appear before Him without an offering, lucky for us, Jesus is the final offering for all that believe in Him. It’s just like our loving God to know that we are too silly, stubborn and sinful, we needed His help.  All God requires is that we love Him and believe in Him. ( faith and action)

DAY OF REST: Once again the Sabbath is stressed: A DAY OF REST and NO WORK.

I love that God was so patient with Moses and understood his anger for the calf ordeal. God was willing to write the commandments all over again. He’s so loving. It would have been easier to just wipe the entire group off the planet for the cow thing, including Aaron! But our God is merciful, loving and a God of second chances!

MOSES_~1Radiance of God: Wow, when you love God, when you have inner joy; it makes your face and eyes glow. God’s love in us is the best facial one can receive. No need to visit the med spa when you are full of God’s radiance.  Moses spent time with God, and “The people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face. “ If spending time with God will make my face glow, I’m all in!

And when someone does not have the light of the Lord in their heart, their eyes seem dark. There is a cast of heaviness about them. I’m sure you’ve had feelings before that something just isn’t right. It could mean that they are missing the light of the Lord inside of them.

 

 

Matthew 6: 23: “But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

Cheerful Giving: Notice they took up donations for the temple, but it’s only for those with “generous hearts.” Once again, God loves a cheerful giver. So if you don’t feel led or right, don’t do it.

Matthew 27: 15-31: Thoughts:

How many times do we ignore warnings that God sends? Or ignore gut instincts or signs? Pilate was more worried about a disgruntled crowd then paying attention to his wife’s compelling dream.  We must all learn to heed God’s warning through our instincts. When we are unsure, press the brakes and pray. Every time, I’ve ignored the “gut” or God instinct, I’ve regretted it. Pilate symbolically passed the blame, but he himself also has blood on his hands for his part of it.

When I read that the Jews said, “We will take responsibility for his death- we and our children.” I have flashes of the Holocaust in my mind and the years of persecution. I think of all the Jews that died during the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. To think, that the killed the Messiah. I know it had to be for scriptures to be fulfilled but I can’t imagine killing any innocent person, much less God himself.

Can you imagine freeing someone like Charles Manson in the place of an innocent, loving Godly man? The Sanhedrin must have been so threatened that they paid off or threatened the crowd for them to condemn our dear sweet Jesus to death. This however is not a senseless death but a death that covers much sin, a death that is wrapped in Love. He did more than take a bullet for us, the magnitude of his undeserved suffering is unbearable to think about. His love for us is beyond measure. All we need to do is love Him back!

If you ever think you’ve been abused by someone and you think that nobody understands what pain you’ve endured, Jesus understands. He suffered both physical and emotional abuse beyond comprehension. He was an innocent, loving man who was mocked, spit on, beat and worse. Pray to Jesus, when you feel abused or mistreated.  He understand about being betrayed. He understands complete abandonment. He understands complete brutality.

Psalm 33: 12-22 Thoughts:

Strong thoughts is that we can’t put our faith in a system, a person, a job, a leader, a military, government, attorney, doctor or anyone or anything….The only true one that can save you is God. Our hope is in God alone. How quickly we will be disappointed when we put too much emphasis or hope in people.

Proverbs 9: 1-6

Good judgment is learned. “Learn to use good judgment.” It’s not instinctive. Our instinctive qualities are wrapped in our sinful nature and desires. So it is with effort that we are more Christ Like. It’s by specifically setting time aside to spend time with Him in prayer and in the word, that we gain wisdom. We can also learn from Godly people, mentors and our elders. It’s our job to help our children, teens and young adults learn sound judgment.

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 11, 2015

When people typically think of idolatry, they think of someone bowing down to a statue. There are many religious practices that incorporate this type of idolatry, but in today’s world there are many things that take on the form of idolatry.

4-self-on-throne-heartThere is a modern form of idolatry which is at the core: self.

Instead, we worship at the altar of the god of self. What’s crazy is that we are at the age of the selfie. Not long ago, I went shopping I saw a selfie pole, where you could take a better picture of yourself. Crazy!

The thing about a selfie is that no matter how you take them, it’s never the best vantage point.

 

Facebook on many occasions has become a platform or alter for the god of self. Facebook is also used for good.  But more times than not we self promotion, “look at me”- blatant self worship.

I find it interesting that Timothy describes the end of times as a time where people will become “lovers of self.” Self-idolatry can come in various forms: in materialism-accrual of things, self-gratification or indulgence, ego-achievement, and science-naturalism.

2 Timothy 3:2 1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good…

Are we not in an age of all of the above? Makes you think.  How can we Love God with all our heart and soul and serve others if we are too busy making our selves look good to the world.

1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Anything you put before God can be considered idolatry even your kids, work or spouse. When you put your focus and energy on anything more than God, you are setting yourself up for some form of destruction or set back.

Aaron, like all humans, had weakness, and he gave into peer pressure. He even was so bold as to lie about his involvement with the actually collection of gold and the molding of the calf. Frankly, I’m surprised that God didn’t strike him down right there on the spot.

Like the complaining Israelites, we too may get impatient as we wait on God. Out of loss of faith or impatience we too could make hasty decisions.   Some even turn to numbing agents anti-depressants or alcohol, to self-medicate through difficult times.

It is during those “waiting on God times” that we are the most vulnerable to making bad decisions or choices. Clearly Aaron, did not have the backbone or leadership qualities of Moses. Perhaps, God had mercy on Aaron because he was greatly outnumbered and not equipped in skill or willpower to deal with these wayward people. Frankly, his excuses and lies were angering me just as I was reading it. God really had compassion on him, more than I would. I’m so thankful to God for His continuous patience with me.

You’ll notice that some died by sword and some by a plague as punishment for the sin of idolatry. Often times in life, our choices bring on trouble or hard times. Instead of blaming God or getting impatient with God, we should spending time self-reflecting on our own actions and areas of improvement. The refinement or pruning process is not always pleasant, and it time can be brutal. But just as I prune back my roses each season, cutting them nearly to the ground; they spring back fuller and more vibrant with each pruning session. Thank God during the painful process of pruning, it’s for your greater good.

When we sin, we build a wall between God and ourselves. We lose the full protection and blessing that obedient Lovers of God receive. I thought it was interesting that their disobedience meant God wasn’t traveling with them.

I do not want to one step or make one move in personal or business without God. I will do whatever it takes so that He walks with me all the days of my life….I will spend the rest of my life seeking and living for God. I can do nothing without Him.

You see how merciful and loving God is that despite the outrage He felt over the Golden Calf, God still sent an angel to guide them. God still went with Moses and assure him that everything would be fine. As parents we might get angry at our kids choices, but we still love them so very much. God is the parent of all parents He must set ground rules, discipline and love. If you think of all your different emotions around parenting, you will begin to understand God.

When he says that names were wiped out, it sounds like he is referring to the Book of Life.

What is revealed in God’s character is that mercy can be given to the unholy when God’s sheep cry out to God on the behalf of the lost. God can withdraw or hold back judgment or discipline. God can also choose to show compassion or mercy. Key word is choose. His faithful servant’s requests, are weighed differently. I’m so excited to be surrounded by Godly people who will pray on my behalf. There is power in that!

Psalm 69: 28: Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous.

Matthew 26:69-27:14: Thoughts

Peter denied Christ on three occasions. His lie became bigger and bigger each time. He was filled with remorse after realizing that He had done just as Jesus had predicted. We should be careful with even white lies, which can have the snowball effect, backing you into a bad corner.

If the best of the best like Peter, fall in their devotion and faith, we must realize that we too will stumble from time to time.  Nobody is perfect in their walk. But we must make every effort to humble ourselves before God when we slip up, to correct behavior and to pursue a deeper relationship with God. You may have questions, or doubts about specifics. Take all your concerns to God. He has a way of bringing clarity when you ask for divine interpretation. You must also realize that God is God. We may not ever know the answers to our deepest questions. We must just stay faithful, prayerful and keep pursing Him- truth.

Even Judas had remorse, so much that he took his own life. How many times in life did you do something terrible and feel anguish and regret? When we try to make decisions on the line of Jesus is watching or what would Jesus do? We are less likely to make those guilt wrenching decisions.

You’ve heard the phrase “blood money.” Well, Judas money was indeed blood money. How cleaver and utterly disgusting for the priests to use the money for a cemetery for foreigners. Have nothing to do with any dirty money, even if you are going to use it for good.

The bible is a book of prophecy, much of which is so precise it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. A lot of the prophecy is so detailed and exact,  prophesized hundreds of years before the actual event. Take into the case, the prediction of “thirty pieces of silver” and the purchase of a “potter’s field,” it is quite amazing how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament prophecy over and over again—down to the cent. What’s even more amazing to me is that so many deny that truth. Truly, I believe that the lack of reading the scripture has contributed to the loss of faith. So many pass judgment or make judgment based on “hear say” or  on society’s professed ” bible generalizations.”

Silence is Golden: There is such a thing is talking others to death. Less is more.  We send a message through our silence, often a more powerful message than if we talked and talked and talked. Learn from God himself, sometimes silence is golden. We all have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listening is far more important than speaking.

Psalm 33: 1-11: Thoughts

If you have plans that are directed by you…then get ready to be frustrated. Do not make any plans at all until you take it to the throne and get God’s blessing. “The Lord frustrates the plans of nations.” When you are in the driver seat of your life, get ready to wreck. There is but one driver, God. There is but one Master Planner. This doesn’t mean don’t self-improve or have a visions, it simply means to pray for God to open the doors that need to be open and slam shut the doors He does not want open. Pray for Him to make your path crystal clear.

Proverbs 8: 33-36: Thoughts

Listen to God’s instructions. Reading the bible helps you know Him. Whoever finds God, finds life. Whoever finds self but not God, injures themselves.

——————

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 10, 2015

cheerful giver aThe community both rich and poor were to donate the same amount to use for the care of the Temple. We should give to our churches and to the oppressed to help. But we should always give with a cheerful heart. The specific amount of our donations is not exact in the New Testament:

Give to Church & Oppressed with Cheerful Heart:You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

Possible Age of Accountability:

Often discussed in the religious discussions is the age of accountability in regards to faith for instance. We do not know God’s exact age of accountability but on more than one occasion God has mentioned the age of 20 as the age of accountability in certain instances. In this case, he says: “All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the Lord. “ Note another instance where God made people accountable at 20 below.

Numbers 14:28-30New Living Translation (NLT)28 Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. 29 You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. 30 You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Although, God is not exact in words stating the age of accountability as twenty, we can draw from the scripture that more is expected at the age of 20. I believe that God also did not mean that the twenty year old would borrow silver from a parent either to pay their sacred purity. The offering to God would not have the same meaning if the sacrifice, gift was not theirs to give. At twenty years old, more should be expected: accountability, on the path of financial security, less reliance on parents and one should have a solid foundation in Christ. I thank God that he forgives me of my youthful mistakes and brought me to a place of deeper spiritual maturity.

As parents and grandparents, we should help lay Godly foundations in our children and require a superior level of responsibility by the time they are twenty.

Are you laying solid foundations in God’s word and virtues in your children? Are you setting proper expectations and assigning responsibilities to your young adults?

(Failure to Launch and being Un-rooted in Faith at 20 is not a smart option.)

Skills & Talents: You and I may look at the blueprint for the Temple, Ark and all the contents as burdensome to make. The intricacy details seem overwhelming to make, sculpt and create. However, God blessed two with Godly talents and abilities, “expertise” in all areas of crafts. There is no doubt in my mind that God also blessed these Master Craftsman with the energy and excitement to embrace the Godly project with enthusiasm.

How are you using your skills and talents for God?

Day of Complete Rest: The Sabbath in today’s times can be a day of church, errands, chores. You run around trying to get everyone ready to get ready to church. Then after you might stop by grocery store, only to come home to do 1,000 loads of laundry and cook a Sunday meal. This is not the definition according to the scriptures of a true Sabbath. A Sabbath is a day of “complete rest.” A Sabbath is a day to stop working and be “refreshed.”

Sundays, “what most Christians claim to be their Sabbath,” are anything but a day of rest. Often at our house, we don’t get home until late afternoon and I’m exhausted from all the run around.

Gathering together to celebrate, honor, praise, worship and give thanks is so important. I’m in no way saying that we should not go to church. What I’m rather saying is that church day is not a true Sabbath. What we need is a day a week to honor by definition God’s mandated day of Rest. This weekend on Saturday we kept our PJ’s on and I took a 3 hour nap. I did cook which is not within the guidelines. But we definitely got a full day of rest. I did not do much chores at all. I have not slept like that and truly rested in a long time. God is such a loving God and he knows that all of us, including the working animals need a day to recharge.

Note: 1st tablets with God’s laws were written by “Finger of God.”

Thoughts for Matthew 26: 47-68

“Sealed with a Kiss”- Judas betrayed Jesus and punctuated by identifying Him with a kiss. Not sure about you but when I read this I feel outraged at Judas actions. Outrage, disgust and Judas just slithers in his actions down to that kiss. Our firecracker Peter pulled out his sword and cut off the Priests slave’s ear, to protect Jesus. You don’t see this in our books but Jesus put His hands on the ear, and the ear was healed.

We may feel like we need to protect our friends from enemy? But violence and anger are never the answer. God was fully capable of protecting Jesus if He wanted. And God is fully capable of fighting our battles and our friend’s battles for us too. When you feel like pulling a metaphoric sword out and cutting someone’s ear off, just pray to God. Pray for justice to be served. Often times God uses these difficult times for His greater good and purpose. We don’t want to block God from working in someone’s life.

The appointed time has finally come. God has confirmed that he is “the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Here we have an innocent loving Holy man who is being hit, mocked, spit on. He does not fight back but like a Silent Lamb being taken to be slaughtered, he takes it. Again a lesson in fighting back is not always the answer. Silence is golden and often you say more, when you say nothing.

Psalm 32:1-11 Thoughts

We are all disobedient sinners with multiple offenses. One morning I was perplexed about those that have not heard the word, what does God want from them? It waved over me in my thoughts, “All I’ve ever wanted was true Repentance.”

True repentance comes from a love of God. With true repentance should come self-correction, where the person makes every effort not to repeat the same mistake.

When I first read the bible, over and over the sins of the past came to the surface. Like someone who skims the foam off the top of boiling water, I repented and asked for forgiveness as each offense past or present was revealed to me. I often pray for God to refine me, redefine me in His image. When we are arrogant, thinking we are not that bad, we really don’t know God. We are all dirty with sin. All sin disconnects us with God. There is no grading of sin either in the bible, it’s all bad.

Even though Jesus died for our sins, God still likes to see us confess and ask for forgiveness. “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.” And of course he forgives us! And because he Forgives us, we should forgive as we too are forgiven.

When your kids mess up and ask for forgiveness with sincere hearts, our hearts melt, we hug them and tell them don’t do that again. Our Heavenly Father is much the same. There is something about confessing and asking for forgiveness that is  so purifying bringing us closer to Him.

Proverbs 8:27-32: Thoughts

Jesus himself was not originally born the day the Virgin Mary gave birth. Jesus was with God at the very creation of all. I love when he says, “How I rejoiced with the human family!”

Despite our sinful, flawed nature, we are God’s family and he loves us. I love that he loves me despite myself. I want to show Him how much I love him by living fully for Him and sharing His love with others.

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 9, 2015

You’ll notice that putting your  hands on a person’s head or animal is significant in blessing, giving thanks or in an anointing.

I recently traveled with a close friend to a Christian motivational event. We shared a king bed, since we got the last hotel room available at the convention hotel.

All night I had dreams, flashes of her being cleansed. She woke up early in the morning and told me that she had the weirdest dreams all night. Without thinking, still in a trance like sleep state with my eyes still closed from sleeping, I found myself placing my hand on her head. I was unaware that I was doing this.   I said with my hand on the top of her head, “ I dreamt all night about you. You are being washed.”

There is something powerful that happens when we lay our hands on someone’s head as we pray for them or anoint them. The significance of me placing my hands on the top of her head unconsciously I believe was divine in nature, a deeper meaning.

Based on scripture, hunters should consider laying their hands on the animal’s head after they take the life, giving thanks to God and acknowledging the animal’s life. My husband recently went hunting, and I sent him a beautiful hunter’s prayer.

When we look at the elaborate purification process of the Priests and the intricately detailed priestly robes and head covering, you might be thinking what’s with all the jewels and embroidery? You may even feel overwhelmed by the detail, rules and procedures put on the Levites. Perhaps, even thinking good thing I didn’t have that burdensome detail oriented job. What’s with all the lavish details, rules and costumes? One even said to me, isn’t God more worried about the inside than the outside.

I prayed for God to help me explain all this to you. This is what came to me.

If you and I were in the Court of Law sitting waiting for the Judge. If he walked in with board shorts, flip flops or in biblical days a stinky cloak and dirty sandals, only to go sit on a step stool or folding chair, what would you think? If they said you were to call him Honorable Judge Levi and take him seriously, could you do that? The entire court room would feel differently. The people would approach the Judge differently. Their tone, body language, thoughts and entire interaction would not be refined.

Now, if I Judge entered the room with a presence, fully robed in black and went to sit higher than the rest of the room on an elevated, deeply carved mahogany center piece, you would approach the bench, approach the judge in thought, in action in a more defined serious fashion. In a court room there is protocol, procedures and a certain decorum and for good purpose.

Also there was much put into purifying the priests to prepare their hearts for service. There was also physical reminders on their uniforms that they represent the people and that they were approaching God.

When someone who is called to serve the masses falls from grace, like in the case of a crooked Judge, Preacher or Priest, they will be more accountable to God because they were put into a position of authority and influence. Their actions can greatly influence ones faith in God, in life and in justice.

So God put much thought into creating an atmosphere where the Levites were seen as God’s anointed. But remember, these Levites, are still sinners. God was surrounding them with as many reminders and procedures of his majesty. In more ways than one, they were engulfed into an environment that screamed the importance of their jobs.

God wanted them to be sure to be seen as special by all 12 tribes, which was over a million people. When people saw the robes, head gear they were reminded that God picked them and gave them authority in laws, mediation, teaching scriptures, disputes, and discipline and temple duties.

If God had the Levites work in sandals, a dirty tunic and had them making sacrifices in a dirty “academy style tent”  would not have made an impression on this group of complaining- doubters.

Now in New Testament, you will see that Jesus himself was simple in appearance. He related with the common people. He was approachable and relatable. But His mission was much different than that of the “rules and regulation” with no heart Sanhedrin.

Thoughts about Matthew 26: 14-46

Betrayal: Have you ever been deeply betrayed by a best friend or close friend? Jesus understands this kind of betrayal. When you are disappointed in people, God understands, he was betrayed to the point of death. Ask the Lord to help you forgive and work through your disappointment. I have at times prayed for my quote enemies which was really people that have deeply hurt me. At the time I started praying for them, I felt like it was a hypocritical prayer. But slowly God worked on helping me release my anger which was a mask for my pain and hurt.

Unanswered Prayers/Submitting to God’s Will:

Take this cupJesus was fully man and fully God. He was scared to the point of death even asking God to take this “cup” from him. At the same time he submitted to God’s will not His. Thank God that he did not answer Jesus prayer because if he had then we would all be eternally separated from God. Because through Jesus death we are wiped clean, able to approach God through Him.

We may not always understand the master plan. Our prayers may not have been answered. The miracle we were looking for may not happen. What we do know is that God is a loving God and that everything he does is motivated by His Purity and His Love for Us. Notice God did not just pray once…he went off and prayed, prayed, prayed. We must also stay alert during storms of life, even when the life happenings are happening to others. We must not sleep but lift our struggling friends up in prayer, and we must be by their sides so they do not feel alone.

Doubts: Flaws, Fears:

Peter loved Jesus more than anything. He had witnessed miracle after miracle, traveled with Jesus and loved him dearly. Peter “the Rock” claimed Jesus to be the son of God. Peter was willing to walk out by Faith to Jesus on the water. But Our Firecracker Peter was not perfect either. If Peter, denied God, had a weak moment of fear, we too must give ourselves a break when we don’t have all the answers or question things in the scripture. We simply must pray to God with sincere hearts to help us understand. When Jesus raised from the dead, he said tell Peter and the others. He purposely mentioned Peter by name. God knew that Peter was torn up over denying he knew Jesus. I’m sure Peter was agonizing over that denial. Jesus wanted to make sure Peter knew He still loved Him very much, and it’s okay. We will all have weak moments of doubt or fear…Just pray to God for help. He loves you. Not only did Peter scatter but all of Jesus devoted disciples scattered in fear, all but John. None of the devoted disciples but John showed up when Jesus was crucified.

Their hiding and wimpy behavior really makes a case for Jesus’s resurrection. Why would they hit the streets with no fear proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah when they wouldn’t show up at the death? The only explanation is that something Godly, powerful had to have occurred for them to overcome the fear of their own mortality! Something did happen, Jesus rose on the 3rd day. Now if you saw a dead friend, alive again…and ate with him, spoke with him for over a month- you too would be compelled to hit the streets with the gospel with no fear of the Sanhedrin or the Romans!

Psalm 31: 19-24: Thoughts

The Lord protects those who Love Him. Our Faith, Hope and things are not because of our doings. We should not be so arrogant to think we are the reasons for our success. God is the one who gives us talent, who can give or take away. He will harshly in this life or the next punish those who arrogantly take credit and don’t need Him.

Proverbs 8: 14-26: Thoughts

In my thoughts, this speaks of Jesus existing before the earth was ever existed. That He was formed from the beginning, part of the Trinity. Those who love me inherit wealth and treasures….certainly sounds like Jesus incarnate. Those who search will surely find me…This excites me because all of us are on a search for truth….and in that truth you will find HIM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 8, 2015

In a huge crowd of people, the Lord wanted His appointed Priests to be distinctively set apart.

The tribe of Levites were set aside for God to serve Him and the duties of the temple. They also served in mediation of problems, similar to judge and jury. They also helped teach the word of God.

representing_god_joyce_meyer-427073Aaron and Moses are from the tribe of Levites. The Sons of Levi were the only Israelite tribe that received cities but were not allowed to be landowners “because the Lord the God of Israel Himself is their inheritance” (Deuteronomy 18:2).[1][2] The Tribe of Levi served particular religious duties for the Israelites and had political responsibilities as well.

When the Priests put on these gorgeous Holy Garments, it was a reminder to the priests how  special and sacred their priestly duties were and not to take  approaching God  lightly. They also had physical reminders that they represent the people.

As Christians, sometimes we wear crosses in jewelry or  on clothes. This is not only a reminder that God loves us,  but also a reminder that we should make all effort to represent the kingdom fully. Wearing a cross  sends a message to the world.

When we wear crosses we need to be sure that we are on our best behavior. When we claim to be saved or to be believers, people on the fence or non-believers are watching you in good times and bad times. You may not know but people watch you to see if what you say, reflects what you do. Just as the hypocrites of Jesus time damaged the people, hypocritical Christians can greatly effect a persons acceptance or pursuit of faith.

Preachers, who represent, on a bigger scale need to be even more careful in their walk because their actions or lack of, could plant seeds of doubt in the minds of people who are half-in or exploring their faith. We are accountable for our actions and how those actions affect others. So whether you have an actual physical symbol of faith or if your faith is just known, we must work towards making our Light shine to others and make every effort not to let that sinful nature take stage.

This is not to say we won’t mess up. We will. We are not perfect. As my Grandma used to say, “There was only one perfect one, and they crucified Him.” But we should all be working on our own metaphoric badge on our forehead “Holy to the Lord.”

Thoughts on Matthew 25: 31-26: 13

The beautiful alabaster jar had to be broken to release the expensive anointing oil. The jars themselves were usually expensive and intricately decorated. Historically, jars like this were given to a daughter by her Jewish parents for her dowry.

On her wedding night the perfume was to be poured out upon her husband’s feet at the time of the marriage consummation. If this jar was Mary’s dowry, it was a statement of complete love and devotion submission and obedience. If this was done after Lazarus’s death and resurrection, her love for Jesus would have been heightened because of Him raising her brother from grave. Regardless, the Holy Spirit pressed on Mary’s heart to do such a sacrifice despite what people were saying or thinking in the room.

This gesture is prophetic in nature, preparing Jesus body for burial.

Even if we feel uncomfortable or some of our actions seem unjustifiable, we must obey the pressing voice of the Holy Spirit when it is placed on our hearts.

There is no love without sacrifice. What are you sacrificing for God?

Thoughts of Psalm 31: 9-18

We should not worry about the one that can kill the body, but rather fear the one who can kill the soul. We should not worry about what others think about us or say about us, we should care what God thinks. If we aim to please God…everything else will fall into place.

Thoughts of Proverbs 8: 12-13

Wisdom comes from God. When you are wise; you make better decisions. Throw pride and arrogance out the window. Course jokes, cursing and off color humor should be avoided. When we watch or act like that,   the devil walks in to give you a HIGH FIVE.  AHHH….No thank you! This is very hard to avoid because we are surrounded by it these days, even on regular television and radio. Frankly the world just has too much NOISE. My daughter the other day requested a song without any words on the radio, I was keenly aware that the car seemed more peaceful, and she was right on wanting to block the “chatter.” (or smack as I like to call it)

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 7, 2015

God has a perfect plan for all of us. We see the perfection in the details of his Masterful work from the exotic flower to the birth of a child.  At first glance the blueprint plan of the Temple and Ark seems tedious. But each detail has significance and importance, even if in our human mind we cannot grasp or understand His ways.

Just like the Ark was designed out of Acacia wood. The qualities of this wood are similar to that of teak: hardiness, durability and naturally repels insects. With the mobility of God’s people, living outside in Tents, this detail was key to the longevity of the Ark.

God took that kind of precision when he created you. You are wonderfully made by God. Don’t ever doubt that. Love yourself as God loves you.

Two things in this reading really stand out for me: the Lamp’s continuously burning light and the gorgeous curtains of blue, purple and scarlet that separate us from the Most Holy.

Continuous Light: The Temple Priests had to continuously check the olive oil to ensure that the Light Never burned out. God’s Light in our world stays burning, lighting up our life, by our connection to Him through scripture, prayer and service. Like the priests, we must monitor our own Godly fuel to ensure that we are not pulled into darkness, where we will stumble.

When we keep that fire burning for God through connection, we are not only rewarded but that connection  allows  the Light within us can shine to others. Often people want what we have,  inner joy and peace in all circumstances. There is a contagious energy that comes from the fuel of God. That kind of joy, twinkle in the eye, can only come from the Love of God, the Light continuously burning within.

Curtain: God’s perfection, His Awe is not something we can approach with our dirtiness from sin. The curtain kept us from God.

When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain separating us from God fell. If we still needed to make sacrifices the curtain would not have fallen. If we were not allowed to approach God, the curtain would not have fell. Why would God allow something to be completely destroyed that he took so much time and effort into planning and implementing? Because the final sacrifice was made!  Jesus is our High Priest. We can approach God through Him and his final sacrifice. He is our best friend, and he speaks on our behalf to God. He died for our sins once and for all. All God ever wanted from us was: Our Love through Obedience, Repentance and Faith. But because of our sinful ways engrained in us, that kept Him from us. That was resolved with Jesus.

Matthew 27: 50Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

54The Roman officerm and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

Thoughts about Matthew 25: 1-30

Keeping Watch for God is more than just sitting in your house reading the bible and looking out the window. God expect more from us. If we intend to be invited in, we must make God not an acquaintance but a best friend. When I think of an acquaintance I think of someone you kind of know. You may occasionally run into them, make small talk or you may pass by with a half smile and a slight limp wave. God wants you more than an occasional visit. God wants you more than a holiday church visit. Are you His Best Friend or just an acquaintance?

But with Best Friends:Jesus My Best Friend

  • You invite into your home.
  • You talk to them often
  • You appreciate them
  • You help them in any way you can.
  • You ask for a best friends help
  • You call them.
  • You spend time with them daily
  • You love them dearly
  • You introduce your very best friend to others.
  • You think of best friends often.
  • They are there with you in spirit, in your mind, in your heart.

Best friends are always there for you. When you are that kind of friend to Jesus, when you know Him that well….Then the door will be open to you!

If you are an acquaintance of God, then you run the risk of being the one knocking at the door

“Lord, Lord, Open the door for us!”

Then he says, “I believe me, I don’t know you.” Be on Fire for God and He will be On Fire for you!

Thoughts on 3 Servant Parable:

God gives to those he trusts, who are responsible with money, time and talent.

I see this parable in many ways. From a business perspective, we are to use money to make more money. This is not for our personal gain but for the benefits of the kingdom in things like serving the poor, widows, sick and children. God blesses us so that we will bless others.

I see the parable also in the way that God has gifted each of us with abilities and talents. So many times we see brilliantly wise criminals, some of them scary smart. They misuse their abilities and talent serving the wrong king. We are to use all our abilities and talents not only for our own personal gain, but to benefit and serve God.

How are you using your money and talents for God?

Psalm 31: 1-8 Thoughts.

If you want God’s ear and protection- be His best friend seeking to be Christ-like in action, virtue and heart. The closer you are in your walk the more favor and the more likely your prayers will be heard.

Proverbs 8: 1-11

Wisdom is more valuable than anything. True Wisdom comes from God. Pray like Solomon did for wisdom and discernment and for God to help you understand His word.

 

 

NLT Bible Reading One Year: February 6, 2015

Following are 2015 dates for the Biblically commanded Feasts.*  These are not only Jewish Holy Days.  In Leviticus 23:2 God tells us, “These are My appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.”  They are the Lord’s specially appointed times available to all God’s followers.

On the Hebrew/Biblical calendar a day begins and ends at dusk (See Genesis 1).
Accordingly, each of these Feasts begins and ends at sundown.

  • Passover: April 3-4
  • Feast of Unleavened Breads: April 4-11
  • Feast of First Fruits: April 4-5
  • Counting the Omer: April 5-May 23
  • Feast of Weeks (Pentecost): May 23-24
  • Feast of Trumpets:  September 14-15
  • Day of Atonement: September 23-24
  • Feast of Tabernacles/Shelters/Harvest: Sept. 29 – Oct. 5
  • The Eighth Day: October 5-6

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When your scared or nervous about a new venture in life, isn’t it comforting to know that sometimes God sends an angel with your or even before you to protect you. Remember that God can see everything. He has zero tolerance for any activity that pertains to other Gods. In fact, yesterday our reading said, ” You must not call on the name of any gods. Do not even speak their names. ”  God does not want us hanging around any bad influencers at all because it’s so easy to pick up their habits.

Recently, I was with a friend who typically doesn’t through out foul language but she is very spiritual. But her mouth was like a truck driver. She covered her mouth and apologized, saying that she had been staying with a friend that cursed a lot and guess she picked up the habit. If we have trouble with a habit like over eating or let’s say alcohol abuse, if we hang out with people who frequently drink, hang out at bars or enjoy a daily glass of wine, we could easily fall of the wagon. It’s much easier to join them then to have the will power.  God knew that the evil practices of these pagan God lovers would rub off by default onto His people. That is why he aimed to completely destroy them. Because as you’ve heard before one bad apple can spoil the entire bunch.

As long as we fully serve God, we can enjoy an abundance of blessings. When we live outside His will for our lives, his outline in this book, life is just harder.

I  love the fact that God said he would drive out all the tribes in the land but it would not be overnight. He had a divine purpose for taking his time to handle a matter. ” I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you.”

We may not always understand the slowness of a process but God is a loving God. Sometimes he has to work on peoples hearts, refine things, move things around or even protect you with the timing. We can’t even begin to understand God’s timing or ways, but what we do know is that He Loves, Loves, Loves you.

God even warns us not to do business with unbelievers or people who have evil ways. Be on alert for any un-easiness in business deals, look for red flags in character or business practices. As I’ve heard before, don’t make a deal with the devil.

The Israelites agreed to God’s instructions, there intentions were good. But how was their follow through? Did it stick?

Not really…a few were obedient but most did not listen. When you make a commitment to God, keep it. He keeps his covenants and we must take all of our actions seriously. If we make decisions from a Godly perspective in mind, we will probably make the right choice. Sometimes it feels a little outside our comfort zone because a lot times the easier way out is an ungodly way.

It’s important that teach our children and teach ourselves. In our generation, more and more people judge the bible without even reading it. Few people, read everyday. Like anything in our lives, we must keep our skills sharpened to stay on our game. When our nose and hearts are in this book, we are reminded of much.

Notice the ” forty days and forty night”- it’s a theme in the bible.

Instances in the Bible where God made major changes
and transformations after the period of 40.
For me, I made huge life changes right before I turned 40. I was baptized just before I was 40. I finished reading the bible, and in that year I was born again.  I know many of you reading this also made major life transformations near the age of 40. 

  • It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when God wanted to cleanse the world and start over.
    Noah waited another 40 days after it rained before he opened a window in the Ark.
    Embalming required 40 days
    Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days (TWICE)
  • Moses’ face shone after the 40 days on the mountain.
    It took the spies 40 days to search out the promised land and bring back fruit
  • Goliath came for forty days before being killed by David
  • Elijah strengthened by one angelic meal went forty days to Mount Horeb where the Lord passed by and he heard the voice of God
  • Jonah warned the City of Nineveh they had 40 days until God would overthrow the city.
  • Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness
  • Jesus was seen in the earth 40 days after His crucifixion

Consider giving God love offerings or thanksgiving offerings:  in the form of being a servant to others or a personal donation to someone in need. After Slade made such huge improvements in his reading with dyslexia, I received a Boys Ranch brochure in the mail. Slade and I wrote a check to the boys camp as a thanks offering for what he had done in Slade’s life and sent it to the camp. I felt compelled to do that in Thanks to God for the miracles in Slade’s reading. We were at “war with words.”  God pulled us through that with flying colors. ( 100/90 on Staars test on both math/reading…proof of miracles at hand). Slade had prayed for exactly what he wanted before starting the test. There is power in prayer. I remember in college praying for a test score so I could enter the PR department. The time before I had missed passing the test by 1 point. The second time I took the test I bowed my head before taking it and prayed for a number. Would you believe that I made the exact passing grade I needed to enter.

Rembrance of MeThemes of Light, Bread: Lampstands: God is our Light, He lights Our Path, When He is in our daily life; He Lights up our Face, He lights up our life and that Light within us shines to others.  Have you ever noticed when someone’s face seems to glow, their eyes twinkle? Or when someone’s face or eyes lack light? Could mean they are living out of the Light of God. ( or they have allergies like me.. HA HA)

Bread was of great importance in the temple and part of the festivals. Interesting enough, Jesus also stresses the importance of breaking bread in remembrance of Him. I’m so thankful that through the final sacrifice, we may approach God. What a friend we have in Jesus, he enables us to understand God, He introduces us to God…He makes personalizes God.  He is alone is our High Priest. There is no need anymore to go through any human person or stand behind a curtain to approach God about anything.  Jesus washes us clean and through his sacrifice,this gift of life- we have unlimited access through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit to speak directly to God.

End Times: God has always warned and guided  His people in various ways: dreams, visions, prophets, stars, signs in the sky or natural events…so many different ways. Interesting enough we are about to approach the 3rd blood moon in a group of 4 that all fell on Jewish holidays.

Four blood moons on Jewish feast days are getting ready to appear for the fourth time in the last 500 years. According to NASA, they will occur on:

  • April 15, 2014—Passover
  • October 8, 2014—Feast of Tabernacles
  • April 4, 2015—Passover
  • September 28, 2015—Feast of Tabernacles

What does the mean? Only God knows. But God does mention the “red moon” or darkened sun several times as a sign of the nearing of end of times. Regardless, the Lord says that just as in the days of Noah, business will be as usual. The day Jesus returns will be like any other day. What will you be doing when he comes? How have you been living? We must look at each day as our last on earth or as the day Jesus will come gather his ” chosen ones.”  Today is the only day we have, so we must be ” faithful, sensible servants.”  Not sure about you but I don’t want to go anywhere where their is weeping and gnashing of teeth. I don’t like that word gnashing at all. Some believe that when we die we just die- cease to exist. That would be much better in my opinion that to eternally crying and being tormenting by sharp teeth. No thanks…I choose to pursue my relationship with the Lord.

Thoughts on Psalm 30: 1-12

We must stay secure with God in good times and Bad. Sometimes we actually are more secure, connected with God when things are going bad. We should never get so comfortable that are need for God is little. When we do that, God has a way of bringing us back to Him by discomfort in areas of our life.

Proverbs 7:24-27:

Sin in general and temptation , disobedience leads to a disconnect with God. Be on guard to make a conscience decision not to stray away.

 

 

 

NLT Reading One Year: February 5, 2015

When the group exiled there were 600,000 men.  If we estimate that each family had on average 5; then, the # of exiled people that Moses had to deal with was 2.5 to 3 million. You might be thinking this seems like a ridiculous amount, an unbelievable amount of people.

Let’s take into account today’s similar Exile. There are approximately 2.1 million Syrian refugees living on the border. Since 2011, 50,000 babies have been born to these refuges. Can you see how this number can grow rapidly? Can you see how displaced people, living in tents, depressed, misplaced and worried, could easily get out of control? You could even imagine out of desperation some would depart and join the evil group of people because of despair.

So we first see that good old Jethro gave Moses some good advice to manage this mass of people. But God also knew that this group need some lawful ground rules that would create fairness and help the Levi’s in each pod of people to manage fairly with disputes.

God is so fair. There are so many scenarios, accidents, theft, borrowing and so forth. You’ll notice that God makes each of responsible not only for our actions but also for preventing injury. He thought of everything including compensation. Although not every scenario is listed, the principles of God in each of these can be applied to other disputes.

God does not show favoritism either. He wants all to be treat with respect including slaves and misplaced refugees. He is a Fair and Just God. His love is for everyone. God’s power for this group of people, was used to Glorify Him, Spot light Him so all God’s lost sheep would turn to Him, Jew and Gentile.

Stuck out: Peer Pressure: You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. (Or slant your story in favor of one person) Great for all of us especially with teenage peer pressure or even work pressure. Your slant should always be in line with Truth, God’s truth.

Helping those that hate you: Let’s say you or the other person has a little uneasiness or bad blood between you, if you see them in need- HELP. Rise above yourself and help those in need. Your love for someone who does not necessary love you, could cause a change of Heart in them. Remember as a Christian, you are metaphorically wearing a cross at all times. Your actions represent the kingdom. Don’t let the sinful side of yourself represent.

Sabbatical Year: On the 7th year, let the land rest. Let the poor eat of the land. Let everyone animals and workers rest to be refreshed. We are currently in a Sabbatical year. It started September 2014- Sept 2015. With disobedience of the laws of Sabbatical year, keep eye out for big things to happen during this year that greatly affect the worldwide financial system and economics. We are already seeing some serious shift and people forced to rest in the oil and gas industry. Expect a big financial wiping of funds electronically. We are already seeing electronic foul play daily in large companies, even the banking industry.

Matthew 24: 1-28 Thoughts

With GodJesus on more than one occasion prophesized on the destruction of the Temple. Jesus’s was crucified around 30 A.D, the predictions of “Not one stone will be left on top of another” was referring to the destruction of the Temple in 70 A. D by the Romans. The assault culminated in the burning and destruction of the Temple that served as the center of Judaism. Jesus predicted this destruction, warned rather 40 years before the event took place.

The Romans slaughtered thousands. Of those sparred from death: thousands more were enslaved and sent to work as slaves in the mines of Egypt.  Other Israelites were dispersed to arenas throughout the Empire to be butchered for the public entertainment. The Temple’s sacred relics were taken to Rome, displayed in celebration of the victory.

Hated Because of Jesus: Do not be surprised when you are made fun of for your Faith in Christ or your Expression of Love for him. Each stone that is thrown is a Heavenly badge of Honor, take it as confirmation that you are pleasing God. Based on history almost all of the disciples died a martyr’s death. Peter for example was crucified upside down. The only one that I know for sure that did not die a Martyr’s death was John. I find that so interesting because John was the only one of the original disciples that was brave enough to face fears and support Jesus as he was crucified. The others hid in fear. John also supported Jesus’s Mother, becoming her surrogate son in Christ’s eyes.

End Times: We all know the outcome of the fallen world for believers. We are told “don’t panic.” All these things must happen so that we can live that Happy Life again with God. It does bring peace to me to read “It will be shortened (time) for the sake of God’s chosen ones.” The world is very dark right now with beheadings of innocent children and burning people alive. It’s really easy to get sucked into figuring out biblical prophecy or feeling sad about all the people in the world dying in the name of Christ. But we are to focus on two things….God’s promise, love and outcome and also spreading that promise to others. None of us know when our last day on earth will be. All we have is the current heartbeat, that’s it. That is why our walk with God has such urgency. It’s a today matter. Because our individual “end of times” could be today, even a second from now. So don’t worry about what will be or how horrific it might get. Keep your eyes on Jesus, his love for you and work daily on strengthening that relationship. It wasn’t long ago that I got completely caught up in the news and how it pertains to innocent slaughtering of Christians. It consumed me. God spoke to me and said, “In your realm, yes this is sad. In my realm, they gave the ultimate gift for me, their lives. We are rejoicing, honoring them and welcoming them Home. “Life is truly about perspective, and I see my life as a stepping stone to meet Christ.

Psalm 29:1-11 Thoughts: When you feel powerless, remember that God’s power is more powerful than any lightning bolt that has lit up the sky. Rely on the Power of God over your life. When you are powerless, He is POWERFUL.

Proverbs 7:6-23 Thoughts: Momma’s teach your boys when they are at the right age not to be naïve. Warn your children about those that seduce and have bad intentions. Over and over God warns us that adultery and outside the marriage sex will be devastating in more ways than one. ( This choice leads to nowhere good….disease, loss of marriage, people are killed over it, family destruction, loss of trust and the list goes on…innocent unloved babies, abortions, loss of friendships and relationships)

 

 

NLT Reading One Year: February 4, 2015

Okay peeps, after reading the ten commandments, I once again remembered how really dirty, dirty  I am with sin. I told my husband, ” We needed a lot of blood, I mean a lot of blood!”

My husband was like, ” What are you talking about?”

I said, ” Thank goodness for Jesus, I needed a HUGE sacrifice for all my sins.”

He said, ” Sounds like we were set up for failure from the beginning?”

“Not so”, I said.

” What would you be doing today if Adam and Eve had not have made the choice to disobey God?”

In his work clothes, dreading to go to work in this dripping drizzly weather he just stared at me.

I looked at him and said, ” First, you would be buck naked walking in a beautiful garden with God, without the burden of work….eating free fruit and petting exotic animals like pets. ”

We did this. We made the decision to sin which separated us from God. But one day believers, and faithful worshippers will walk again with Him in our pain free glorified bodies. We will not work!  We will have a free buffet of goodness all the time without paying for the Luann platter! We will live comfortable and walk again with God.

The-Ten-Commandments-jesus-7762774-400-319Ten Commandments:

1. You must not have any other God but me.

2. You must not make an idol for yourself of any kind of image . Don’t bow down or worship or have affection for any other gods ( That includes anything from sports, to work, to a person ( even saint or priest or angel)…anything you put before God.) Our families are affected in third and fourth generation for those that rejected God. I said a prayer for my own families mishap in this area immediately.

3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. That means anything using just “God” or adding a curse word after…or saying ” Jesus” We should eliminate all misuse on any level of the Lord. Even OMG…should be gone from emails, texts or shirts.

4. Honor the Sabbath- day of rest on the…6 days work and 7th day do nothing. ( everybody in your house honors God by resting!)

5. Honor your Father and Mother- then you will live a long full life.

6. You must not murder.

7. You must not commit adultery

8. You must not steal

9. You must not testify against your neighbor

10. You must not covet anything that is not yours.  (Covet means yearn to possess or have (something) that is not yours)

Not sure about you, but this list reveals a lot of sinning going on in me. Just repent when it is revealed, even if it’s yester years sin. And know that God’s sacrifice is sufficient.

Now, you might be thinking, ” okay is it cool to have multiple wives, sleep with them all or give your slave to your kid or even have a slave period…this all seems wrong, is God okay with this?  This all sounds crazy. The answer is God is not okay with this.  But he has set forth rules because these sinners have made choices outside his Will. He knew they would continue to sin and do this, so he made rules.  You do not see in Genesis: ” Adam, Eve, Jen, Sally and Frank.” God never intended for us to have but one partner, one male, one female. He did not take two of Adam’s ribs out and make two women for Adam.

But God wanted people to be treated fairly, he loves us. Just because he is setting ground rules that seem like he is condoning behavior, he is not. He is merely protecting, reinforcing ” do unto others you wish done to you. ”

If we followed these rules on crime, the world and the prisons would have a lot less financial or space burdens. Example: Kidnappers put death, deliberate murders put to death.

You’ll notice  God is fair with accidents and accidental death, even thinks to include loss of wages. Many of our laws were based off of God’s original laws and rules set forth. Then, our country specifically started making decisions outside those laws and then crime escalated. If we put every deliberate murderer to death and every kidnapper to death, wonder how just that little change would impact the prison system?

Honestly what scares me or self convicts me in this reading is ” Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. ” I know that in my teens and even young adult or even in my mind, I have time and time again dishonored my parents. Believe me I have asked my Mother forgiveness not long ago for all my rudeness or attitude and the times I disrespected her. I also have asked God to forgive me for dishonoring my Dad and so forth.  I have years of sin in the area of my Dad. I’m so thankful that I have Jesus free gift of forgiveness because I’m filthy with sin in God’s eyes.

Thoughts of Matthew 23: 13-39

Religious Hypocrites who have influence and power over people, BE Aware!

Don’t swear period and don’t ever swear by God. Just don’t do it. Avoid even saying, “I promise” Just let your yes be yes and your no be now.

Don’t just claim to be a Christian or claim half heartedly to believe in God…Live it, feel it from the inside, out.

“Inside you are filthy full of greed and self-indulgence! ” …” First, wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will be clean too. ” It means nothing if you look to be a certain way if your heart is not truly God’s. I’m so excited that we are reading the bible and listening to God speak to us. Because through this process we are cleaning the inside of our cups…

Psalm 28: 1-9

God will protect us and fight our battles for us…Pray to Him, He is your Rock! Fighting only wears you out.

Thoughts: Proverbs 7: 1-5

Lots of sexual sin in those days…we must guard our eyes and ears from the dirty…stay away from things that corrupt the mind and body….Help me Lord to not just remember your words but to steer clear of temptation. Give me Wisdom Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Reading One Year: February 3, 2015

So we are to one of my favorite parts in the bible where Moses wins the battle against warriors of the Amalek. When his hands are up in the air, reaching toward God…They are winning. When he gets weak and stops reaching for God, they lose. When he get’s weak, others help him HOLD his hands high. I love this story on so many levels.

One, every time I see someone boldly raising their hands in church during service, I think of the Power behind raising hands to God. Second, when we are battling life we need to reach in prayer to God. When we don’t pray, when we stop reaching for God during the battle, things don’t run as smoothly.

When we are weak, when life really has worn us out, we need to depend on others to lift us up in prayer. It hasn’t been long ago that I was sick, my friends and families prayed for me. I realized in those weaker moments how important it is to have strong Christian friends that have God’s ear and will pray for you!

God’s work in Your Life Will Have a Lasting Impact on Others: I love, love how God’s miracles in Moses life, influenced Jethro’s walk with God. Just hearing all the wonderful stories of God’s power impacted Moses Father in Law enough that he turned to God. God uses our walk and Godly incidents to impact others and even save them.  Moses witnessed to his father in law, and he opened his heart and eyes to the one true God- throwing out all the other Gods.

Advice from Older Wiser People: Often when people are outside the storm, they can see more clearly and give good sound advice. Moses was smart to listen to Jethro.  He could see that Moses was wearing himself out being all things to all people. Jethro suggested delegating to capable, honest men who feared God. Jethro’s love and wisdom helped to relieve Moses. I can’t imagine the burden of being a problem solver to thousands of complaining, disputing people. We need to seek counsel from older wiser ” been there, done that” people. But we must also be ready to put the advice into action. It’s not enough to listen, we must take action if we want things to get better. Many people are control freaks and don’t trust anyone to do anything. It’s a real art and talent to learn how to delegate and find capable people to help. But delegating and getting help is the key to not being overworked.

Cant-hear-God-speakGod knew that Israelites were easily discouraged and were putting tremendous pressure on Moses. How wonderful is it that he  allowed the people to HEAR  HIM speak to Moses? Can you imagine having one doubt or concern if you could actually hear God? If a strong voice from heaven was resonating from a dense cloud?

As we get closer in our walk and  get a better understanding of the Lord, we  will hear God. It won’t be a powerful voice on the Mountain or coming from a dense cloud. But God will speak to you with strong, pressing thoughts. He will speak to you through dreams and visions. He will often send his messengers, people sent to you with his guidance. God will give you signs and confirmations. You must be open to hearing and seeing. You must be quiet enough, still enough to receive. You must carve out that quiet time where the noise of the world is HUSHED so you can hear your Father.

Thoughts on Matthew 22: 34-23:12

1. Love The Lord with Heart, Soul and Mind: How? Get to know him, know what he wants, then do that. When you goof, humbly repent and correct. 2. Love Your Neighbor as yourself. ( Pretty simple…how would you want to be treated?)

Jesus is referring to scripture and implying to everyone that he is fully God too.

Practice what you preach:   Great thing is you can still learn a lot from those that teach but don’t do. It’s our goal to not only hear the word but obey it.  So many go to church or do non-profit stuff just to be seen, for status reasons or to look a certain way to others. We must make sure our intentions are to please Jesus not to impress people.

Jesus is our only teacher. That is why reading the scriptures is so important. The Priests, Pastors and Spiritual Celebrities put their pants on the same way we do, one foot at a time. They are no better than we are in that they are sinners too. God is our only Father, we only answer to Him. We should not glorify or idolize anyone other than God.

If you think you’re too big for your britches, better watch out. God has a way of humbling those that think they are all that and a bag of chips. The greatest in God’s eyes are the humble, with a servants heart.

 

NLT Reading One Year: February 2, 2015

After the Egyptians were swallowed up by the sea by the powerful hand of God, Miriam, Moses sister, a prophet, celebrated with a music and dance! Great reminder that we too should celebrate when God works his miracles in our lives. God wants us to celebrate!

Soon after the celebrating, the Israelites started their complaining after 3 days without water. God had freed them but at the first sign of trouble they got ugly. You would think they would still be celebrating and trusting. Are we like this? We celebrate and glorify God; then, at the first sign of trouble we point blame and complain? Hope not!

Here they were later, with pots filled with meat and lots bread and they were worried about starving to death!  How is it they had their bellies full, and they were living in fear of starvation? Do we do this? Do we put energy and worry about things that may not ever come to fruition? Probably more than we need too.

When we complain about our lives or lack of this or that, we are really complaining against God, not people. We should be thanking Him for what he has blessed us with now. Even though the Hebrews had ungrateful, fearful, pessimistic hearts, God still provided for them with manna and meat.

He provided manna not just one time but for 40 years until they came into the promise land. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of their belly aching. God is with them, freed them, provided for them along the way, and they are still a bunch of negative nelly finger pointing ungrateful, untrusting  people.  No wonder, later we  see Moses pretty much asking God for death. He would rather die than listen to them.  The burden of dealing with the group was wearing him OUT! Complainers really are drainers…they drain our energy. We should make every effort to not be in that club. We should aim to be: positive, grateful, thankful people.

God wanted them to trust that He would provide for them, so he told them to only take enough for that day, except on Friday because they needed to cook double so they could relax on the Sabbath. He warned them that maggots would come if they tried to Hoard. Some listened but many lived in fear.

We should really eat and live this way. We should buy only what we need for a given week. We should only put on our plate what we intend to eat. Americans in general are very wasteful. When we throw out food or waste food, it’s “cash in the trash.” Pretty much when we waste we are telling God we are not grateful.

sabbath 1” The Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you. ” We should not even cook on the Sabbath, this day is dedicated to the Lord. Isn’t God a loving God? It’s his day but really he made the day a day that benefits us.  It’s a day of complete rest, which benefits us!  Some people went out on the Sabbath and the Lord said ” How long will these people refuse to obey my commands?”

When was the last time that you had a Saturday where you did absolutely nothing, not even prepare food?

We live in a world of too much work, too many chores, too much hustle and bustle. It’s not surprising that people drop from exhaustion, get sick, have panic attacks, go manic. Too many these days are running on empty, get depressed and start popping sleeping pills or anti-depressants.

God loves us so much that he requires to have a day of “do nothing.” It’s time that we put the Sabbath on the calendar. I bet many of us rarely have family PJ day! In fact, many of us have not truly rested like that in years. We all need to recharge, rest in HIM.  “On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place.” So people, we should stay home, do nothing once a week, according to God’s LAW! I’m just saying, this sounds Awesome. So why are we disobeying this one?

This story is a great reminder to all of us to stop complaining and see God’s work in our life. God has a lot more patience than me. I pray for that kind of tolerance and patience with people.

Matthew 22: 1-33 Thoughts:

Everyone is invited to the Kingdom. But few are chosen. Why? Because so many ignore the word, disobey, insult the Lord and refuse to change for God.

Those Sanhedrin were notorious for trying to trick Jesus. He outsmarted them with his Wisdom over and over. Everything is God’s timing. He answered the right way, to not move the appointed time before the appointed time.

The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection of the dead. I love that Jesus confirms not only that when we die we will be like angels, but we will also one day be fully resurrected, when we walk again in the new Jerusalem. Can’t wait about having a “glorified body, ” one that is pain free and much better than the current earthly body with back aches and so forth.

In Heaven, we are all married to God. We will be seen as God’s children and not tied to someone in marriage anymore.

Psalm 27: 1-6 Thoughts:

Let’s all ask God to pull us in closer…Ask God to help us have a better relationship with him…to feel Him, Hear Him…to Understand. That kind of prayers is powerful.

He is our Sanctuary, Our Rock and Our Protection from Darkness.

Proverbs 6: 20-26

Advice for Parents: Be sure to provide sound advice to your kids, be sure to discipline your children when needed…Take every opportunity to teach them moral ways.

Kids: Listen to your parents wise advice.  When they discipline you, accept it and learn from it. Avoid immorality and bad decisions…listen to your parents advice in your head when you are thinking about doing the wrong thing.

Stay away from smooth talking immoral people- especially the  opposite sex. People will try to entice and  seduce you.  Do not do anything that even leads down that road to adultery. You must be on high alert for these slick charmers. Run in the opposite direction!  Be careful because if you go down that dirty street, you will end up spiritually poor, physically poor, with a disease or  dead.

 

NLT Reading One Year: February 1, 2015

God had a reason for leading the Israelites down a more rugged path, to protect them. In this life, it may seem like you are being led down a jolting rocky dirt road, aimlessly going nowhere. God has a plan not to harm you but help you.

God is always guiding us and protecting us. You’ll notice wherever he was needed the most, in the front ahead of the Israelites guiding them or then switching to the back to protect them from Egyptians, He can see all things and knows exactly what to do to protect you or guide you. He even sends angels in very difficult situations to assist.

The Lord can use bad events to show HIS glory. ” I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. ”

We may doubt like the Israelites in the midst of the battle. It’s completely normal to be afraid, to get anger, to lose trust in people. But we should remember to stay calm and not be afraid because God will rescue, has a plan and loves you so much.

CCM-God-will-fight-your-battlesI love that we don’t have to fight, God will fight our battles for us. ” the Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. ” So when you feel like getting fired up and exhausting all that effort, take a deep breath, stay calm and pray for God to handle the battle.

Now, God does not just want us to be paralyzed in fear or do nothing when the heat is turned up. He expects us to MOVE! Do Something under his direction. ” Then the Lord said to Moses, ” Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”

This is a huge lesson. So many times we talk, talk, cry, cry and we are paralyzed in a “do nothing” but complain state. God wants us to pray, to listen to his direction and to take action! What are you going to do to make the situation better?

Throughout the bible, you’ll see that little forces with God’s power conquered big forces. God threw the Egyptian “forces into total confusion.”  This is seen in one on one fights like  David and Goliath. Then in  battles like when God defeats Jehoshaphat’s enemies by confusing them.  Sometimes God even makes them downsize forces so that they will not take credit for the win, but give God glory. Because when God gets glory, people come back to Him. We may be up against overwhelming odds and outnumbered but with God on our side we can be victorious.

I recently read a book on some great Christian reformers who were literally at war with Roman Church to keep their bibles and to keep Truth in the hands of the people. They were scary outnumbered and God confused and scared the enemy during battle. So the reformers were protected by God’s power.  When we are afraid, we must just full trust God’s power over our lives.

You know you’ve seen people hold their hand up at church. You might even watched them for awhile, thinking , ” I could never do that or that would feel weird or why do they do that?” When I read the bible for the first time, I noticed many cases with Moses where raised his hands to God, and he was able to do amazing things.

You’ll read later where there was a battle and when Moses lowered his  hands he began to lose the battle. If Moses can tap into the power and protection of God by raising his hands or right hand, then so can we. Do not be afraid if you are alone praying, going for a walk outside  or if you are moved at church to raise those hands. When you start to feel a little goofy, remember Moses! ” Moses raised his hand over the sea and the water rushed back into its usual place. ”

After you are delivered, be sure to give credit where credit is due…to GOD. Praise Him, Thank Him…go Serve somewhere for Him. And don’t forget what he has done for us and for you personally! Thanksgiving should be a strong part of your daily prayers, not just requests.

Thoughts on Matthew 21: 23-46

Jesus was cleaver not to take the bait of those priests trying to trick him with questions so that they could stone him.

They talked the talk, but didn’t walk the walk. We must realized that some draped in Robes, under the guise of any religion are “evil farmers.” The deeper our understanding of scripture, the deeper our walk with God, we will be warned. The red flags will go up, and we will be protected by the Truth that lives in our hearts.

We are all sinners just like the tax collectors and prostitutes, equally dirty from sin.  A relationship with God is more than a show or a superficial statement. Lots of people say they believe in God yet live for self, outside his Laws. Having a relationship is so much more than just stating a belief. It’s a connection, a deep love and emotional need for God.

When there is a relationship,  we yearn to please our Father, to  live according to His word. When we mess up like any child does, we want to rush to our Father and say we are sorry with sincerity. Because we long to please God and not to be seen in a bad light,  we should make every effort not make the same mistakes. Those priests were hypocrites preaching and teaching, yet not truly living and loving God fully. The world is full of this. We must not let that keep us from organized fellowship but let it inspire us to keep working on our own walk.

Psalm 118:22 is a prophecy again about Jesus being the stone that was rejected.

The scripture warns about  stumbling over Jesus, rejecting him as Son of Man. To know Jesus, is to know God. God has sent his only Son so we could relate to God, know God…How could we relate to God, He’s God? God himself is so great that even the holiest of prophets hit the ground face down, covering their eyes.  God realized that through Jesus, His Son, we could relate, better understand and connect. Throughout the bible, they belly ached for an earthly king, so God being the merciful loving God he is…sent one.

Psalm 26: 1-12 Thoughts:

We are not innocent, not one of us. But Jesus has cancelled our debt. We should be thankful for that. We should pray for refinement, to become more Christ-like because under cross-examination we would all fail. We should long to live according to truth and not hang out with people who will pull us away from God. Thank God daily for his unfailing love. Help us God to live with integrity everyday and help us all to stand on solid ground. Help us Lord to not be embarrassed to speak to strangers, family members or friends about YOU.  HELP US BE BOLD. Give me confidence OH Lord, to  publically give you credit for all that I am without any hesitation or worry what people will think! It’s about what GOD thinks and HE LOVES IT!

Thoughts : Proverbs 6: 16-19

6th things God hates:

1. Evil/Haughty eyes

2. Lying tongues

3. Hands that kill innocent

4. Evil Hearts

5.  People to race to do bad, join the evil pursuits

6. False Witness- Lying again to hurt someone

7. A person who causes rift in the family! SO BE THE PEACEMAKER….

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLT Reading One Year: January 31st

Exodus 12: 14-13:16

I know that the bible says God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I know that New Testament tells us not judge anyone on festivals. Colossians 2:16 : “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.”

Yet Old Testament says ” This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. ”  Keep in mind the law was for Israelites. But for me, I think silently, my Great Grandmother was a Jew, should I consider myself an Israelite? The meal is also approved for circumcised. ( those who consider themselves Gods children)

I believe we are not supposed to judge others on these religious ceremonies, but my spirit is telling me to celebrate Passover Meal but in a new way, celebrating the Lamb of God, Jesus, the last lamb. Jesus, the first born son of God, was given as the final sacrifice.  God’s free gift, is available to all those who want to accept it, so that we can have eternal life with God.  For me, I think celebrating a Passover Meal in Honor of Jesus the final lamb, seems right.

Original Christians celebrated Passover but with emphasis on the Jesus, the final lamb.   Easter was birthed from Paganism. As I get a deeper understanding of scripture, my heart wants to do exactly as God has commanded, even if the bunnies, eggs and candy are fun for the kids.

ttp://rcg.org/books/ttooe.html  ( Good read on the understanding of Passover, Easter, Lent)

The Passover meal will be a ” mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.” It also is a reminder that God loved us so much that he sent the final Lamb, Jesus. So all believers are anointed, rather spiritually marked as God’s by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus do this in remembrance of meLuke 22: 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” So that should be part of our Passover Meal Celebration.

Curve Ball thought: The devil uses what God has made for Good for Bad. Of course he wants to mark his own using same principles God. Crazy yet not surprising!  He twists everything.   Check out this in  Revelation 13:17

16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

Thoughts on Matthew 20: 29-21:22

God has mercy on us. He loves us, heals us. When we see how he has worked in our lives, we should FOLLOW HIM as the healed blind did in these passages. They called out to Jesus, they did not stop calling out to Jesus and Jesus answered them. So call out to Jesus, believe and have faith, and He will answer your prayers.

What does it mean to Follow? We should learn from Jesus and live according to His truth, God’s word.  Then, we should share the good news with others and get others to follow Him.

Remember how we discussed that Jacob’s blessings to Judah was foreshadowing when he spoke of the “colt of his donkey to a choice vine”? Well,  Zechariah 9:9 was also prophesy of the same thing , ” Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey–riding on a donkey’s colt.”

This statement by the prophet Zechariah was 500 years before Jesus actually rode the Donkey. His statement was foreshadowing of Jesus riding in on a Donkey and people screamed as he passed by, ” Praise God for the Son of David. Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in the highest heaven!”

I know that we all get discouraged with corruption of what people call “organized religion.” Even Jesus was angered by the abuse of the temples, the misuse of what was supposed to be a house of prayer. He overturned tables because they were stealing money largely from poor and vulnerable people. The devil works under the guise of many religious platforms. Of course he does, he’s like that.

Joining together, worshipping together is very important. But because we brought sin into the world, because the Devil seeks to destroy the church, all places of worship will be under attack. That is why we must know the word, be able to spot what’s not right. We are to speak loudly against injustice and be God’s voice.

We cannot allow ourselves to stop fellowship, to stop praying, to stop serving God in the community because we are disgusted by what the enemy is allowing in the church and religious non-profits.  Jesus may have been angry, spoke out loudly in protest to what is going on  but he continued to do God’s work in the Temple and everywhere.

God needs a voice in every church, someone willing to speak truth and fight the unseen enemy! Do not let the sin of this world, stop you from going to the Temple or joining together in His name. Corruption in God’s churches have been going on since before Jesus. Paul wrote many letters about this very thing, twisting of truth, the emersion of new age and God’s doctrine. The enemy has been attacking Christ’s church since it’s birth. But like Paul, we must be God’s voice or at least have our eyes and ears open for “not right” moments.  You’ll see all kinds of attacks in the First Church’s founded by Peter, James and Paul. It is our job to be on high alert, to be able to distinct fact from fiction and to be God’s voice. The sad thing is that the enemy has won the hearts of many who have lost faith, who have stopped all Godly activities because of disgust for what has gone on in churches.

Relationship with God is key for those lost people. Start with a personal relationship with God with prayer and private reading…baby steps. When you are more rooted, there is a deeper understanding of the unseen battle between two forces. You will not allow anything or anyone separate you from Yahweh, God. So cool that we know His name now.

If we have faith, no doubt, the Lord says we can move mountains. Our goal is to have that kind of powerful faith.

Thoughts on Psalm 25: 16-22

We all get let down and depressed in this fallen sinful world. We can call out to him, anchor in him during the pits of this sometimes painful earthly life. Focusing on His promises, love and mercy is comforting.

Thoughts on Proverbs 6: 12-15

The world is full of Wicked people because people have lost God. But God will protect you with his love for you, do not get discouraged. Pray for the lost and wicked.  God can change anyone. ( Saul to Paul)

 

NLT Reading One Year: January 30, 2015

Servants heart

Locusts everywhere, devouring the last remaining crops and trees. Then, at God’s command not one locust can be found on the ground. Does Pharaoh think he can make concessions with God on letting the people go praise and worship? God is God. His commands are His commands.

First, Pharaoh says I let just the men go. Then, he says then women and children but no animals. Really?

His continual refusal to obey leads to not only  his son’s death but many  first born sons  deaths.

I can’t help but think how many of us are stubborn like that and ignore strong thoughts, strong warnings? Not just ignore them once but like Pharaoh multiple times, Then, something really horrific happens. If only we had listened to the warnings, changed, obeyed, turned to God.

Can you imagine being in the same area and at your house it’s so dark for 3 days you can’t see in front of you? Yet, you look across the city and see Light on the blessed, protected people? That would be crazy and definitely a wake up call for me. Instead of listening, Pharaoh temporarily confessed wrong doing, asked Moses to pray for him, only to harden again.

People do that all time. They screw up, say they are sorry, only to fall into that hardened mean heart again. We see that  in a lot of emotional and physically abusive relationships. God is not looking for temporary repentance but looking for pure hearts who are really making an effort to change.

You’ll notice the first month of a calendar year to God is the month Passover starts.

Jewish month New moon of Bible references
1. Abib* / Nisan March-April Ex 13:4, 23:15, Neh 2:1
2. Zif* / Iyyar April-May 1 Ki 6:1, 37
3. Sivan May-June Est 8:9
4. Tammuz June-July
5. Ab / Av July-August
6. Elul August-September Neh 6:15
7. Ethanim* / Tishri September-October 1 Ki 8:2
8. Bul* / Marheshvan / Heshvan October-November 1 Ki 6:38
9. Chisleu / Chislev / Kislev November-December Neh 1:1
10. Tebeth / Tevet December-January Est 2:16
11. Shebat / Shevat January-February Zec 1:7
12. Adar February-March Est 3:7
13. 2nd Adar (7 of 19 years) March 14,15

I find it fascinating that blood, allowed all the Hebrew sons to live, and it is the blood of  God’s first born son, Jesus, that was given to spare us.  Those who accept his gift, choose to live an eternal life with God.

Passover is a great celebration to remember God’s love, his faithfulness and deliverance. I told my husband last night I wanted to celebrate Passover this year.  (On April 4, 2015 this year we will have a red Passover moon eclipse. Part of a tetra of blood moons all on Jewish holidays)

Thoughts on Matthew 20: 1-28

Those who think they are better than others, more worthy or deserving of anything will see that ” those who are last now will be first then, those who are first will be last. ”  We should watch our hearts so that we don’t think we are entitled to things or think we are better than others. Everything we have is a gift from God. Being humble and generous are Godly virtues. We should not compare ourselves to others and be happy when others are blessed.

Jesus once again warned the disciples, preparing their hearts for Gods plan. They still weren’t really accepting the message and in a way in denial. You’ll notice that even within the group there was some power playing going on. Even John and James Mother was asking for Jesus to give her sons a special seat in the new kingdom. Many of the disciples were about to drink the “bitter” drink by dying a martyr. Most died a martyr’s death except John. So they would die for Christ, for His Truth.

Even in this special group, they all wanted to have importance, superiority over the other, a special seat or privilege. Jesus took this as a teaching opportunity, ” Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must your servant.

Jesus went onto say that the son of man came to SERVE not be Served! So all of us should be inspired to care for and serve others with gracious heart.

Thoughts: Psalm 25: 1-15: What Can I say , I love every word. It’s almost a perfect outline for the perfect prayer. We could take every component of this and apply it to our life.

Trust In Him, Do not deceive, Direct My Life, Teach me, Forgive me, Rescue Me.  Most of all thank you for loving me, having mercy on me, protecting me, thank you for being my friend!

Thoughts: Proverbs 6: 6-11

Work hard without supervision, be responsible and store up for tougher times, laziness brings on poverty and hard times.

 

 

idolatry-put-god-firstNLT: January 29, 2015

Wow, if you are disobedient to God’s commands and if you try to control people, if you are not allowing them to worship God, be aware! God has a way of showing you who is boss and who has the power!

Here  are the plagues in today’s reading:

Frogs ( magicians could replicate), Dust to Gnats ( magicians failed replication: ” finger of God”: No gnats in Goshen), Live Stock died (Goshen’s animals still alive), Boils on everyone even magicians, Hail storm ( no hail on Goshen).

 

Before each plague, Pharaoh was warned, even told by Moses not to  lie and make false promises.  Pharaoh  seemed to change at one point when he confessed.  NOT! He was still the old stubborn lying creature! The crazy thing is that he asked Moses to pray for him; he believed in the power of Moses prayers. Yet, his heart was still hardened, and he forbid them to go sacrifice and worship God. Weird and so contradictory.

I love seeing that God was still merciful to those cruel Egyptians. After all,  he warned them each time,  and even spared their wheat and other crops. He could have easily wiped out the current and planted crops.

As they said in the scriptures God could have very easily just wiped them off the face of the earth. They must have had some thick skulls not to stop at the first non-replicated ” finger of God” plague.   Seeing is not always believing, Pharaoh saw distinction between his people and God’s people. Yet he still failed to be obedient and believe.

Pharaoh was arrogant, thinking he could do whatever he pleased. Pharaoh was actually a prisoner to the choices he made. God knew ahead of time that Pharaoh was so hardened, full of ego. So God used his arrogance, his stubbornness,  to show His Strength, Power and Control.

Thoughts: Matthew 19:13-30

The disciples seemed to be getting a little too big for their britches as my Grandma used to say, like a group of groupies around a celebrity. Please, are you really going to keep innocent children from Jesus?

God quickly corrected them and used this as a teaching opportunity. Heaven belongs to the innocent and pure of heart. Anyone who is LIKE these children, heaven belongs to them. We should really try to live life more like a child. We should try to see pleasure in all things. We should go outside and play more. We should forgive our friends and family more quickly. Their hearts are not tainted by this fallen world. The closer we get to being like Jesus and to pleasing him, we will be more apt to having childlike faith.

Deeds don’t get you into heaven. But those that follow Jesus long to serve others.  Keep the commandments and follow Jesus and put HIM above everything else in this earthly life.  It’s impossible for a person to obey the ten commandments all the days of their life.  We either slip up intentionally sometime during our life or unintentionally with our thoughts. I’m not sure a teenager on the planet could pull off ” honor your father and mother.”  What we do know is that we should commit to obeying the commandments, and know that the commandments reveal sin to us.  The great thing is that because all of us will fail to comply, with faith, the blood of Jesus cancels our debt.  Thank you Lord Jesus, for your gift. Thank you for loving me despite myself.

God comes first before everything else. God comes before your spouse. God comes before your kids. God comes before sports, work, food… God comes before money. He comes before everything else. Everything belongs to God, including our families and our wealth. It’s not ours, nothing is ours. We hold onto it often like it is ours. But ultimately everything we’ve have is forever and always Gods. In a blink of an eye, those things can be taken.

Often times when people are rich, they become a slave to wealth. They may focus on  getting more, they are never satisfied…they just want more.  Rich people have a false since of  feeling powerful, putting themselves above others, a sense of entitlement.    Often their identity becomes tied to materialism and the glamour of having it all. They have the security of money but forget the security of God.

The rich and powerful in this earthly life may seem to be on top, but in the next those that sacrificed  because of Jesus  will received 100 x more because they gave up to follow Jesus.

“But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and who seem least important now will be the greatest then. ”

Thoughts of Psalm 24: 1-10

The earth and everything in it belongs to God. ( Nothing is yours so freely give to the poor)

The pure of heart, who do not have any earthly idols, who do not lie…will receive the Lords blessing. If you have stumbled, just talk to God about your mistake, ask for forgiveness and self-correct. He loves you, and he is merciful.

( idols can be lover of self, lover of materialism, Lover of sports, making your spouse above God or kids above God….anything you put before your relationship with God

Thoughts of Proverbs 6: 1-5

Be very careful not to co-sign on any loans with people. Often when you co-sign, you are having to do that because the other person has bad debt, bad credit or bad financial habits. Be careful before you get into business with someone and be careful before you marry someone because the two of you become one in many ways.

Your financial credit is tied together. If they begin to drown, they could easily take you under or cause you a bunch of trouble. If you’re tied to that person ,  beg your way out before you get in a heap of trouble. If you are about to do business with someone check out their credit, if it’s bad…heed the warning and RUN!

Don’t you just love how God protect us financially too. This book really has advice for everything.

 

 

 

 

 

NLT: January 28, 2015

forgiveness-prisoner

With the backlash from the Hebrews, Moses called out to God. God told Moses to watch what he will do to the Pharaoh. He was going to show His people and the Egyptians the power of the one true God, Yahweh.

God could have easily unhardened Pharaoh’s heart. In fact, the first few times I read that God purposely hardened Pharaoh’s heart, I was perplexed as to why do that? After all, He is God, fully capable of just freezing or instantly killing all Egyptians.  He could have very easily  freed his people with little to no effort from any human.  God said, ” I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. ”

God was showing himself to His people, He was bringing his peoples hearts back to Him by showing his Greatness, Love and Power. He did not want the Pharaoh to get glorified by freeing them by his means.  He wanted to use this opportunity to bring His people back to Him.  I’m sure a few Egyptians converted too after this showdown! I know if I were in the Egyptian Courts and witness frogs, gnats, blood, big boils, dying animals…I would be tossing out all the Egyptians Gods and being bowing to the God of Moses!

Moses and the Hebrews were getting disappointed and discouraged, rightly so. We all get that way when life is not going our way. Moses started self doubting, being insecure even mentioning his disability again.  God is so patient with us when we self doubt, argue with him in our minds and complain. I can’t imagine having that many complaining, doubting children…. You know Mama over here can barely handle two children that do that from time to time. That negativity can make you go cra- cra.

I’m so thankful God Loves us so much. God is also so awesome because he often warns us before we go into a certain situation, preparing us for what will happen. An example of this is that he warned Moses that Pharaoh would not receive his message. Moses didn’t say, ” Well how come I need to go then? Seem silly! Waste of Time!” Despite his insecurities and doubt, Moses and Aaron courageously did what God told them to do.

Miracles that happened in this reading: 1. Staff turns into Serpent but magicians replicated- Be aware that the enemy can replicate even what seems to be good or from God. He is the master of tricking you so you pull away from God. 2. Nile and all water sources, even bowls turn to blood, foul smell: Magicians could replicate this too…See how the enemy is trying to put doubt in everyone’s mind so we won’t believe fully in God’s power over everything. The source of their magic was not the same source as Moses…so have your eyes wide open when you see psychics or even pastors that do wonders. Stay close to God and listen to your gut. Reading the bible will make you on high alert when something is not scriptural and you will be more equipped to spot a false prophet or someone who twists the scripture.

This part of Moses story reveals to us that God sees injustice and oppression. He will take action against Un- Holiness. The judgment or punishment may be in this life or next. But God’s purity, holiness can not allow for anything outside that perfection.

Thoughts: Matthew 18-21-19:12

Forgiveness: Forgive as you have been forgiven by God. You are supposed to forgive an infinite amount of time. Humble yourself, put your anger aside and forgive. If you don’t forgive, you will must stand before God and ??? So just forgive. Make 2015 a year of forgiveness and when safe reconciliation.

 Marriage: When two people marry, they are no longer two but one. Moses made a concession, allowing divorce because of hardened hearts of people. But clearly Jesus is telling us that divorce was not , ” what God originally intended. ” In this scripture, Jesus said with adultery, divorce is approved in God’s eyes. But when you divorce outside of that  and you go onto to marry someone else, in God’s eyes you are sinning, committing adultery. At that time people were divorcing left and right and often…Jesus was stressing that divorce is a last resort, a concession to the original plan.

Thoughts: Psalms 23: 1-6 : Most of us have this one memorized and can easily pull it out of our mind when needed. God is all we need, he brings me peace, he guides me, he protects me, he comforts me, he blesses me…my destiny is to be with God.

Thoughts: Proverbs 5: 22-23 We are slaves to sin, held captive by them, they keep us from feeling the fullness of God’s love. Our lack of self control can and will either physically kills us or spiritually kill us or both. We see this often with addiction: food, drugs, sex….These sins are the ropes around our necks. With God’s love and help, we can be set Free!

                                                                       NLT: January 27, 2015
57    Childlike FaithBoy does God have patience with us! Moses Questioned God’s decision to pick Him to go to Pharaoh. He basically argued with God. God reassured him by giving him skills to do everything from turning a staff into a snake to water into blood. But Still Moses was trying to convince God he was the wrong guy for the job! Who argues with God? Really we all do in some form or fashion. Shame on us!

Still Moses argued his case saying he was tongue tied. God was like,  “who has the power to make a person speak, hear, see or not see?”

COME on Moses…you are talking and arguing with God, He chose you and you are trying to argue with the most powerful of powerful…God. The Lord was at first reassuring and even gave him physical reassurance; then he got angry with Moses.

Then, in the Lords anger he once again reassured him  by allowing Moses brother Aaron to go with him, to be Moses mouth piece. ( obviously this was not necessary because God could have easily made Moses speak with out a stutter) But since Moses belly ached and was scared, God let his big brother go with him.

Seriously, most of us in a job setting would have fired Moses and hired someone else. But God is a loving, patient, merciful God. But yes he can still get angry with us when we are not making good choices or not thinking logical.

So God has a plan. But the world is still dark. Sometimes during God’s plan the heat gets turned up while he is working. In fact, the heat can be some of His plan. Often refinement comes after a shakedown.

The heat certainly got turned up when the Jews had to get their own straw and  meet their brick quota. And now on top of Moses negative nelly attitude, he had to get an ear full from grumbling Jews whose situation just went from bad to worse.  They were probably telling Moses at this point to get out, leave them alone; he was only making matter worse. But Moses listened to God not the grumbling of his people at the first bump in the road.

But God was ramping up for something really spectacular…everyone just calm down, be patient, God’s Got this! Note to self:  Be patient, God is putting His plans to bless you, to help you  in place. Keep praying through the heat.

New Believers often experience this kind of “turning up of the heat” when they convert. Why? Because when you change allegiance from the realm of darkness to the realm of light, you think the enemy is going to let you leave his team without a fight: Wrong! That is when you must get rooted in the word, put your faith into action and pray, pray, pray. Surrounding yourself with stronger Christians also helps you tap into God’s power and strength as the two play tug-o-war with you.

Thoughts: Matthew 18: 120

Become Like Children: Quick to Forgive, Make friends easily, Smiles, Laughs, Delights in the little things, Enthusiastic about new experiences, Trusts easily, Believes in things not seen but felt.  Doesn’t over think things….child like faith is pure, innocent and trusting.

Remember that all our children have angels that walk with them. The angels are close to God. All is reported to them.

Lost Sheep: God’s intention is to not lose one of His sheep. When one lost sheep is brought home, He is overwhelmed with excitement. But anyone who causes a person to fall into sin or fall from faith…will have serious consequences. There is great sorrow ahead for the person who tempts or causes someone to backslide or even doubt.

Conflict: How to Handle: Go to person privately- share offense, If doesn’t listen take 2 and go to person, if doesn’t work take your case to the church. If that still doesn’t work…walk away and pray for them. ( whatever it means in your heart on how you would treat a pagan or corrupt tax collector —I personally would have nothing to do with them. I believe the scripture is telling us that…you’ve tried and the heart is hard…walk away and pray)

Powerful Prayer , God’s with you: ” When two or three gather together as my followers I am there among them.” I’m stoked because God is with us every time we pray together or come on the call together. If that isn’t a reason to do our conference calls, I don’t know what is…YEAH…

Psalm 22: 19-31: Thoughts

Keep your eyes on not the goals of this earthly life but in the outcome of your eternal life. Live for God, Sharing His promises with others so that many, not just you…will bask in His Glory, living , walking, eating with God. As we once walked with God, we will walk with Him again. There will be no laboring for our food.  We will all be retired with God!

I can’t wait!  There will be no need for the Sun or the Moon because God himself will light up the new kingdom. When you focus on that vision for your life coupled with helping God bring all his lost sheep home, the pain of this world seem so insignificant compared to the bigger goal.

We are here but a mere breath…like pedals blowing in the wind we will vanish from this fallen world…we will leave this realm and go to the next…So knowing life is fleeting, knowing that the Kingdom of God is the ultimate goal, you will approach friends, strangers and your way of life much differently. I’m so looking forward to a pain free life with God! No chiropractic or chemo treatments needed there …Now that is what I’m talking about!

Proverbs 5: 15-21: Thoughts

Keep your eyes, ears, thoughts on your own man or your own woman. If you are having marriage problems, be on high alert because the enemy will send someone to flatter you, listen to you and entice you. Do not be tempted by anyone outside your marriage. What seems to be an innocent friendship or conversation,  or even Facebook chat, can soon turn into a bunch of wrong. Remember God sees everything. Teens and College age kids need to guard their purity too and be aware of the immoral that can captivate. The mistakes of our youth are not so easily forgotten and can actually damage future relationships.  Share your love and attention to your wife only…don’t flirt with he devil.

 

 

I am With You!

I am With You!

“NLT: January 26, 2015

God uses imperfect people like Moses. and He can use imperfect people like us too!

Moses was outraged by the injustice of his people and killed the abusive Egyptian. Flawed but still used in a big way!

When God, handpicked Moses to free His people, what did Moses do? He doubted himself? Tried to convince God that he was not capable of the task at hand. Really? With God by our side, couldn’t we do anything? After all He’s God, Yahweh!

 

  • Do you let self doubt or insecurities hold you back from God using you fully?

God’s timing is not always our timing,  but that does not mean He isn’t with us , that he doesn’t care. Everything He does is for greater good. We must pray for patience as he holds our hand through the rough patches.

 

Matthew 17: 10-27 Thoughts.

Even the most faithful followers of Christ have moments of doubt, like the disciples when they were trying to get the spirit out of the epileptic boy.  But God assures us even with faith of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. So stay faithful, and when you doubt, pray.  We may not always understand God’s plan or his timing.  Obedience often comes  first; then, later he will enlighten us with understanding. Doesn’t it seem like sometimes after the rain stops, the storm is over, we can actually see how God moved a bunch of parts to get us through? When we’re out of it we can see clearly the why? Sometimes we don’t…but we should pray for enlightenment.

Psalm 22: 1-18: Thoughts

All of us at one time or another have felt abandoned by God. We get so burdened with our personal situation that we feel like our prayers are not reaching heaven. But we must remember that we were  thrust into God’s arms at birth and He has been our God from even before we were conceived.

When you feel hopeless, be honest to God. He already knows your requests, thoughts, doubts, insecurities and anxiousness even  before you pray,  but he longs for you to seek Him and depend on Him.  Praying and reaching for God, calms your spirit and keeps you anchored through the storms of life.

Proverbs 5: 7-14: Thoughts

Do not even go close to temptation, avoid your weak areas at all cost. You risk losing your honor, wealth, health and more. Do not ignore the warnings. Do not ignore advice from sound friends, family or counselors. If you ignore God’s warnings, go to temptation island, you are asking for public disgrace and ruin.

  • Is there a weak area of your life, a temptation that you need to stay away from? Has God warned you only you are still making excuses and going your own way?

“NLT: January 25, 2015

Moses baby

The Egyptian’s led the way with embalming. You’ll notice that both Jacob and Joseph were embalmed. After Jacob passed , Joseph’s brothers kind of freaked out thinking that Joseph would finally seek revenge. You’ll notice that Jacob’s relationship and trust in God, enables him to have a healthier perspective on life.

” You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

Then, he kindly reassured them, calmed their fears.

  • When you are scared, do others around you kindly reassure you and calm your fears?
  • When others are acting out in fear, do you kindly reassure them and calm their fears?
  • Do you see the things in this life as things that happened to you?
  • Do you see that God has a plan to use all the past for His greater Good?

Fear can really lead to ugly things, like the new Pharaoh’s fear of the growing people in the land of Goshen. That fear, brought out the devil in them…But no matter how they oppressed the Hebrews, even plotted to kill the newborns, God still worked through people and multiplied his protected people.

A healthy fear of God, pushes us to do the right thing. When we do the right thing, because we fear God, he protects us, even blesses us. We see that in the  case of the midwives who did not kill the babies; they were blessed with children of their own.

Notice that Moses, came from the Levi’s, the people specifically pulled aside to care for the Temple and be the Spiritual Leaders. That was God’s plan for sure.

When we trust God in impossible situations, like Moses mother did, amazing things happen. God can open doors nobody else could.  There are endless possibilities when we trust and believe; letting Him LEAD. Living in fear only paralyzes us. When we trust God and take action…God works His wonderful loving magic!

Matthew: 16 13-17: 9

We can be a stumbling block to others growth; we can also be a stumbling block to God working in others.

Sometimes we mean well, but we may be blocking God. Take for instance if you are continually coming to aid of a struggling sibling.  Sometimes God needs someone to be on their knees , stripped of everything. Sometimes it takes  losing everything, to realize we have everything we need in God.

We can in essence Block God from working in someone’s life when we try to be their Savior. There is but one Savior, Jesus. Peter meant well. He loved Jesus deeply. But God’s plan was for Jesus to die on the cross and rise from the dead on the 3rd day. That’s why Jesus said to Peter, Get behind me Satan. Peter’s love for Jesus could be a stumbling block for the entire worlds salvation. WOW.

We must all turn from our selfish ways and follow Christ’s ways, including serving others with love. When we put the needs of God before our own selfish needs, desires or material gain, awesome things happen.

We hear what we want to hear. Many times people speak clearly to us, but we refuse to listen or hear it. The disciples had a different vision for Jesus’s time on earth. They refused to absorb that Jesus would die and rise again. They could not get passed their own vision. After Jesus died, the disciples didn’t sit around waiting for him to show up.   They were crying and hiding. They were in serious denial and frankly their ears were closed! We must pray for our eyes and ears to be open for God’s will for our lives. Often strong thoughts come through, pressing thoughts, pray that you are open to when God is speaking to you.

Baptism Cloud“But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said..” I just love clouds. Since reading the bible I have never looked at clouds the same way. Throughout the bible God spoke through clouds, presented himself through clouds, even left this earth on a cloud. So if you look up and see an beautiful cloud, an interesting cloud…remember God is in the clouds…a reminder He is with you. The day I baptized a young girl, there was an amazing cloud in the sky over the pool. The cloud was so amazing that we all took pictures of it. After reading the bible, I realized God was there at the baptism smiling on us.

Psalm 21: 1-13: Thoughts

Trust God. Love God, and He will keep you from stumbling. Celebrate all that he has done for you and be sure to see the daily miracles you see around you.

Proverbs 5: 1-6: Thoughts

Wisdom, true wisdom, comes from God. When you listen to God’s wise advice, you will be able to speak wisdom into the hearts of others.

Be careful of immoral people, especially the opposite sex that can lure you with their smooth operator sweet talk…they aim to seduce …protect yourself from the seduction, especially if you are tired, stressed or having a dark spot in your marriage…They will lure you in with honey but lead you down the wrong path…poisoning your spiritual life.

 

NLT: January 24, 2015large-map-of-division-promised-land-to-israel

The Bible lists 12 sons of the patriarch Israel who each became the father of a tribe of the ancient nation of Israel. This was revealed at Jacob’s death bed too all of his sons and 2 grandsons he considered sons. Interesting that like Jacob’s blessing, Joseph’s younger son got the better blessing than the oldest.

  • Reuben.
  • Simeon.
  • Levi (this priestly tribe did not receive a territory, and sometimes is not listed when the tribe of Joseph is listed as two separate tribes).
  • Judah.
  • Zebulun.
  • Issachar.
  • Dan.
  • Gad.
  • Asher.
  • Naphtali.
  • Joseph (often listed as two tribes named for his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh).
  • Benjamin.

Little did Jacob know that when he spoke of Judah he prophesized about Jesus who would one day rule all, ride on a colt and claim say that he is the “grapevine.”  Every knee will one day bow.  All Nations will one day honor Him. Jesus is from the tribe of Judah. As we read and you look back, you will begin to see all the prophesy in the bible that has already come true…so clear. Some had no idea what they were saying and how specifically correct in detail the prophesy.

[ Jesus, the True Vine ] “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.

:Genesis 49:8-12New Living Translation (NLT)

“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
    You will grasp your enemies by the neck.
    All your relatives will bow before you.
Judah, my son, is a young lion
    that has finished eating its prey.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down;
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants,[a]
until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,[b]
    the one whom all nations will honor.
11 He ties his foal to a grapevine,
    the colt of his donkey to a choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine,
    his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
    and his teeth are whiter than milk.

Highlights from today’s reading: Psalms 20-1-9 and Proverbs 4: 20-27

With Obedience and Faithfulness, HE will grant your hearts desire and make your plans succeed. We will be victorious, but we will not take credit. We will praise God for all our successes because without HIM we have NOTHING and are nothing.

Pay attention to God’s words, Don’t lose sight of them, guard your heart, mind, ears from this corrupt world, avoid cursing and mean talk…Keep your eyes on today, and God’s vision for your life.  Keep your eyes off yesterday, off past mistakes, hurts, off pain of yesterday…walk forward with Him…If we listen to Him and don’t get side tracked;  He will make our  paths straight.

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