Category Archives: Testimony

How far back can you go to better understand your family tree?


Would you consider the 3 day challenge in order to be ready to accomplish the plans of God who put you right here and right now for such a day and such a time as this? What if it meant giving up something for those 3 days? What if it meant you had to give them up starting tomorrow? Would it have to be significant for you to even consider it? Would it have to be person for you to do it?

Day 5: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 5

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 5 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • How well do you know your family? How well do you know or understand the dysfunction of your family? How well do you know how God was able to work in and through your family?
  • What if there was a story of God’s promises?
  • What if there was a story of God’s provision?
  • What if there was a story of God’s salvation?
  • What if there was a story of someone who would deprive someone of their rights?
  • What if there was a story of betrayal and deception?
  • What if there was a pattern? What if there were a fix number of generations between major events?
  • What if there is a story of someone being wicked in God’s sight and required him be put to death?
  • What if there is a story of duty and disobedience to God’s command?
  • What if there is a story of deception and lying?
  • What if there is a story of dress up or disguise and justice?
  • What if there was a story of how something done in secret was brought into the light and revealed?
  • What if there is a story of even as a child about to be born, the child reached out in order to become the first born even though he came out second?
  • What if there is a story of visions and encounters with God?
  • What if there is a story of promises from God?
  • What if there is a story of God’s preparation for His people?
  • What if there was a story about what man had planned for evil that got turned around and used for good by God?
  • What if there was a story of reunion between father and son, who had believed to be dead but was alive?
  • Will you consecrate your things to God?
  • Will you take from what God has given you to give back to Him as an offering? The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Will you give out of reverence to the Lord?

Questions to consider:

  • What do you learn about God, about yourself, or about the world?
  • Is there one verse or thought that stands out to you today?

As day 5 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Happy New Year! Let's welcome in 2020 and consider what we can learn through God's Word!


Day 1: 2020 Hindsight
The 49-Week ChallengeDay 1


Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 1 link above or want to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Are you keeping track of all the things that God has promised you and fulfilled?
  • Are you keeping track so that you are able to use it to testify of what God has done in and through your life?
  • Are you keeping track so that others may be able to learn through your testimony rather than having to go through the trials and troubles themselves?
  • Have you ever been startled by an encounter with God or heavenly beings?
  • Have you ever been gripped with fear by an encounter with God or heavenly beings?
  • Ever laughed at how angles always say “do not be afraid” when then they show up to people who from having such an encounter are gripped with fear? Be it the angels who approached the shepherds in the field. Be it the angel who approached Zechariah in the template. Be it the angel who was sitting at the tomb when Mary showed up to check on Jesus’s body.
  • Ever received a promise from God that seemed too big or too good to be true? Ever tried to resist or reject it? Ever had to go through a trial or ultimatum before you would just accept it and then allow God’s glory to be revealed in and through you?
  • Have you ever been appointed a role by a leader or manager?
  • Are you willing to accept God’s calling on your life and do what He is asking you to do?
  • Are you willing to accept the position God has for you within the team? the organization? the community? the church?
  • Are you willing to do you part of God’s ministry everywhere God sends or puts you?
  • What is your appointed order of ministering in the church?
  • What will you do to try and ensure that your legacy and future generations from your family to continue doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord and not be swayed away from God’s ways.
  • Are you willing to make a covenant with God? to make a deal with God?
  • Will you consecrate yourself and your family? Will you purify your house? your workplace? your community?
  • Will you look for ways to bring people together for the glory of God?
  • How have you accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior in order to not need to sacrifice the offerings for the various sins?
  • How have you chosen to worship God as a living sacrifice to God? Will you bring thank offerings and tithes to God for His purposes?
  • How will you serve God and His people?
  • What will be your part in the building of God’s temple, the church?
  • Do you remember the seasons and your role in them? What is your role and your purpose in this upcoming season?

Questions to consider:

  • What do you learn about God, about yourself, or about the world?
  • Is there one verse or thought that stands out to you today? Talk to God about it.

Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com


What to do when things feel off?


The Story of Job. – Day 35

When will things feel right? When will the aching stop? When will the fog lift? When will the environment be settled? Who knows? Who can be asked? Who will be willing to answer? Are there exercises to add to the process? Are there patterns or routines that can be adjusted? When will the surprises end? When will the inclusion be real? What is it going to take to re-establish that feeling? What will it take to overcome the humiliation? What will it take for physical healing? When will the reality of the situation be revealed and explained?

My hope and trust are in God! I know that He works all things for good for those who love Him! I know that even in the midst of the trials, I can consider it pure joy because I understand the benefits of the process! I know that even in the midst of troubles, I can have hope because I know that Jesus has overcome the world! And I know that through the process of being tried and tested that God will be glorified and His purpose and plans will be revealed and that it will be good! I know that I will have a testimony when the testing is done and that God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory!


Today’s reading from God’s Word comes from Job 30:

‘“But now those younger than I mock and laugh at me, Whose fathers I refused to put with the sheepdogs of my flock. Indeed, how could the strength of their hands profit me? Vigor had perished from them. They are gaunt with want and famine; They gnaw the dry and barren ground by night in [the gloom of] waste and desolation. They pluck [and eat] saltwort (mallows) among the bushes, And their food is the root of the broom shrub. They are driven from the community; They shout after them as after a thief. They must dwell on the slopes of wadis And in holes in the ground and in rocks. Among the bushes they cry out [like wild animals]; Beneath the prickly scrub they gather and huddle together. They are the sons of [worthless and nameless] fools, They have been driven out of the land. “And now I have become [the subject of] their taunting; Yes, I am a byword and a laughingstock to them. They hate me, they stand aloof from me, And do not refrain from spitting in my face. For God has loosed His bowstring [attacking me] and [He has] afflicted and humbled me; They have cast off the bridle [of restraint] before me. On my right the [rabble] brood rises; They push my feet away, and they build up their ways of destruction against me [like an advancing army]. They break up and clutter my path [upsetting my plans], They profit from my destruction; No one restrains them. As through a wide breach they come, Amid the crash [of falling walls] they roll on [over me]. Terrors are turned upon me; They chase away my honor and reputation like the wind, And my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. “And now my soul is poured out within me; The days of affliction have seized me. My bones are pierced [with aching] in the night season, And the pains that gnaw me take no rest. By the great force [of my disease] my garment (skin) is disfigured and blemished; It binds about me [choking me] like the collar of my coat. God has cast me into the mire [a swampland of crisis], And I have become [worthless] like dust and ashes. I cry to You for help, [Lord,] but You do not answer me; I stand up, but You [only] gaze [indifferently] at me. You have become harsh and cruel to me; With the might of Your hand You [keep me alive only to] persecute me. You lift me up on the wind and cause me to ride [upon it]; And You toss me about in the tempest and dissolve me in the storm. For I know that You will bring me to death And to the house of meeting [appointed] for all the living. “However, does not one falling in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand? Or in his disaster [will he not] therefore cry out for help? Did I not weep for one whose life was hard and filled with trouble? Was not my heart grieved for the needy? When I expected good, then came evil [to me]; And when I waited for light, then came darkness. I am seething within and my heart is troubled and cannot rest; Days of affliction come to meet me. I go about mourning without comfort [my skin blackened by disease, not by the heat of the sun]; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help. I am a brother to [howling] jackals, And a companion to ostriches [which scream dismally]. My skin falls from me in blackened flakes, And my bones are burned with fever. Therefore my lyre (harp) is used for [the sound of] mourning, And my flute for the [sound of the] voices of those who weep.’

— Job 30:1-31

Today’s study includes information from:


Study Notes:

Today’s summary from the study notes: Job Chapter 30 Explained (visit the links above to dig in deeper verse by verse):

Verses 1-15: Turning from wistful reflection of an exalted past, Job laments his present status. He is so low that he is mocked by the children from the lowest rung of society and disrespected by outcasts.

Verses 1-31: Job moved from the recollection of good days in the past (chapter 29), to lament his present losses.

Verses 2-8: Job described these mockers as dissipated vagabonds who, because of their uselessness and wickedness, were not welcome in society, so were driven out of the land. These base men had made Job the object of their sordid entertainment (verses 9-15).

Verses 16-31: As Job proceeded to blame God, he claimed to be the victim of a divine mugging. His health was gone, and he had been “cast” aside (Psalm 22:14).

Job’s life ebbed away, suffering gripped him, his bones ached, gnawing pain never relented, his skin was changed (verse 30), and he was reduced to mud, dust, and ashes.

Verses 24-26: This seems to be saying that God must have some sympathy, if Job has (verse 25), so as not to destroy altogether what is already ruined. Job thought that and reached out for help in his misery and received only evil (verse 26).

Job Chapter 30 Explained

So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

The Story of Job. – Day 3


How will you respond to the test? How will you respond to the trials? How will you respond to the suffering? How will you respond to the loss? How will you respond to the uncertainty? How will you respond to the accusations? How will you respond to the attacks? Will you be patient and persevere? Will you consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Will you take hold of the hope in Jesus when you face troubles? As we consider this questions, lets see what happens in the story of Job.


Today’s reading will conclude Job 1 with Satan receiving permission to test Job:

‘Now there was a day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, and the Sabeans attacked and swooped down on them and took away the animals. They also killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “The fire of God (lightning) has fallen from the heavens and has burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and have taken them away and have killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly, a great wind came from across the desert, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. He said, “Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb, And naked I will return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord .” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.’

JOB 1:13-22

We learn how in this test God gave Satan permission to attack all that Job has. God didn’t order or direct Satan to test Job but rather permits it. Satan can only work within the confines of God’s control. Unlike God who has unlimited power, Satan’s power and authority is limited. We need to take hold of the fact that Satan has no power over Job that God hasn’t allowed him to have. As Christians, we need to remember this and take hold of this truth that we are under the same protection from God. Satan won’t be able to attack us as believers unless God allows it. We know God’s plans are for good and not for evil, to give us a hope and a future, and so we know that what Satan plans for evil, God is able to turn around and use for good. We see how Job’s trial/test was to be able to demonstrate his loyalty to God in contradiction to what Satan was saying. The trials are to make us strong in the Lord as believers! Like we read in James on the subject of considering it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, it is with purpose and for purpose.

We now see the destruction that took place in Job’s life and delivered by many messengers. We see how the trials and attacks came through other people like the Sabeans and the Chaldeans as well as through natural disasters like fire/lightning and wind and Satan’s power was behind it all. Looking into the Sabeans, we can find out that they were a nomadic Bedouin tribe known for treachery and cruelty, plundering others in order to survive. Looking into the Chaldeans, we can find that they too were nomadic marauders who at one time conquered Babylon. We see from the reading that on that one day and through all of the attacks and destruction through human and natural forces, only 4 of the hundreds of Job’s servants survived in order to come and give a report. Could you imagine standing in Job’s position and as each bearer of bad news came to let him know and finished the next person showed up with more bad news? Imagine the tragedy of that day and the impact on Job. Remember all that Job had when the chapter started? We learn thru this first attack how Job lost his livestock, his servants, and his children.

As we consider the first incident we see how the livestock with out in the fields working when the Sabeans showed up taking all the livestock and killing all the servants but the one who escaped to give Job the bad news.

As we consider the second incident we learn about how a severe lightning storm struck and killed the sheep and the servants, except for the one who escaped to report the bad news to Job.

As we consider the third incident we learn about how the Chaldeans took the camels and killed all the servants except for the one who escaped and was able to deliver the bad news to Job.

As we consider the fourth incident at the older son’s home and birthday party based on yesterday’s verses, and so it went from a time of celebration and joy to one of somberness, sadness, and loss. We learn about a wind storm, like a cyclone, that came thru and caused the house to collapse and kill everyone inside except for the one messenger who survived to deliver the message to Job. The loss of all his stuff is one thing but even more traumatic would be the loss of all his children. He lost all seven sons and all three daughters.

Satan wasn’t slow to act or doing it piecemeal, instead he took all the authority he had received and enacted it on the same day. He wanted to make an impact and prove his point that it was only because of God’s hedge of protection and God’s blessings that Job served God. He figured his plan would definitely cause Job to turn on God.

BUT, Satan was wrong as we continue to read the closing verses from Job 1:20-22.

‘Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. He said, “Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb, And naked I will return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord .” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.’

Job 1:20-22

We see that God doesn’t turn against God but instead turns to God at this time of loss and pain and suffering. We see rather than cursing God and blaming Him, we see Job surrender himself to God as he mourned the loss. We see the reality and the realization of what happened and in and through it all Job blessed God. We learn how Job didn’t blame God and didn’t do anything that would have got him out of line or off track from God’s ways and sinning.

We see how deeply impacted Job was in how he tore his robe and shaved his head. We see where Job finds his strength through it all in how he then starts to worship God. Job proved God right and Satan wrong in that Job worshiped God in the midst of the loss rather than cursing and blaming Him like Satan had accused.

We learn how Job realized how the earth is the Lords and everything in it. We learn how Job realized that every good and perfect gift comes from God.

Tragedy tends to bring out the reality in us. If that had been you would good have come out of you – from the overflow of your heart the mouth speaks. If that had been you how would you have responded to the evil that had occurred to you? Would you allow vengeance to belong to the Lord? Would you repay evil with good and make it like ashes being poured on the other persons head? Death is a very powerful experience and can bring out what the inside is holding onto. I remember when my grandfather past away in my youth/young adult life and how I went out in my suit in a need to get away from the funeral and headed to a bar/club with the idea that if someone said “what’s up with the suit, did someone die?” I was prepared to say “yes, my grandfather” and then deck him. Fortunately for me, God didn’t allow that encounter to happen and He protected me from myself, even though I wasn’t walking with Him at that point in my life.


Bibliography/Footnote/Reference link: Book of JobJob 1


So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Will you continue to do what is right even when it is hard?


Do you know there is a difference between right and wrong? Do you realize that in this world you will have troubles? Do you realize that in this world you will go through trials? We can’t control what will happen to us, but we can control how we will respond. So will you take heart when you have troubles? So will you consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds? Do you think you could do it if someone was chasing you and trying to kill you? Do you think you could do it if someone was trying to put you down and degrade/devalue you? Do you think you could do it for a long time? Will you testify to the faith previous troubles and trials have built up in you? Will you testify to the perseverance it has developed in you to trust God and press on? Will you testify to the importance of love and forgiveness to the process? Will you respond in love? Will you continue to do what is right through it all? Will you continue to do what is right even when it gets hard? Will you continue to do what is right when it is hard? Will you put your hope and trust in God?


‘So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men. Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold. One day the prophet Gad told David, “Leave the stronghold and return to the land of Judah.” So David went to the forest of Hereth. The news of his arrival in Judah soon reached Saul. At the time, the king was sitting beneath the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, holding his spear and surrounded by his officers. “Listen here, you men of Benjamin!” Saul shouted to his officers when he heard the news. “Has that son of Jesse promised every one of you fields and vineyards? Has he promised to make you all generals and captains in his army? Is that why you have conspired against me? For not one of you told me when my own son made a solemn pact with the son of Jesse. You’re not even sorry for me. Think of it! My own son—encouraging him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day!” Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing there with Saul’s men, spoke up. “When I was at Nob,” he said, “I saw the son of Jesse talking to the priest, Ahimelech son of Ahitub. Ahimelech consulted the Lord for him. Then he gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” King Saul immediately sent for Ahimelech and all his family, who served as priests at Nob. When they arrived, Saul shouted at him, “Listen to me, you son of Ahitub!” “What is it, my king?” Ahimelech asked. “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me?” Saul demanded. “Why did you give him food and a sword? Why have you consulted God for him? Why have you encouraged him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day?” “But sir,” Ahimelech replied, “is anyone among all your servants as faithful as David, your son-in-law? Why, he is the captain of your bodyguard and a highly honored member of your household! This was certainly not the first time I had consulted God for him! May the king not accuse me and my family in this matter, for I knew nothing at all of any plot against you.” “You will surely die, Ahimelech, along with your entire family!” the king shouted. And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the Lord , for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the Lord’s priests. Then the king said to Doeg, “You do it.” So Doeg the Edomite turned on them and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments. Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed the priests’ families—men and women, children and babies—and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Only Abiathar, one of the sons of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David. When he told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord , David exclaimed, “I knew it! When I saw Doeg the Edomite there that day, I knew he was sure to tell Saul. Now I have caused the death of all your father’s family. Stay here with me, and don’t be afraid. I will protect you with my own life, for the same person wants to kill us both.”’

— 1 Samuel 22

‘One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the Lord , “Should I go and attack them?” “Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him. But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!” So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.” So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him. Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” So Saul mobilized his entire army to march to Keilah and besiege David and his men. But David learned of Saul’s plan and told Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod and ask the Lord what he should do. Then David prayed, “O Lord , God of Israel, I have heard that Saul is planning to come and destroy Keilah because I am here. Will the leaders of Keilah betray me to him? And will Saul actually come as I have heard? O Lord , God of Israel, please tell me.” And the Lord said, “He will come.” Again David asked, “Will the leaders of Keilah betray me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord replied, “Yes, they will betray you.” So David and his men—about 600 of them now—left Keilah and began roaming the countryside. Word soon reached Saul that David had escaped, so he didn’t go to Keilah after all. David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him. One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziph to search for him and kill him. Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the Lord . Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh. But now the men of Ziph went to Saul in Gibeah and betrayed David to him. “We know where David is hiding,” they said. “He is in the strongholds of Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, which is in the southern part of Jeshimon. Come down whenever you’re ready, O king, and we will catch him and hand him over to you!” “The Lord bless you,” Saul said. “At last someone is concerned about me! Go and check again to be sure of where he is staying and who has seen him there, for I know that he is very crafty. Discover his hiding places, and come back when you are sure. Then I’ll go with you. And if he is in the area at all, I’ll track him down, even if I have to search every hiding place in Judah!” So the men of Ziph returned home ahead of Saul. Meanwhile, David and his men had moved into the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah Valley south of Jeshimon. When David heard that Saul and his men were searching for him, he went even farther into the wilderness to the great rock, and he remained there in the wilderness of Maon. But Saul kept after him in the wilderness. Saul and David were now on opposite sides of a mountain. Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men, an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again. So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape. David then went to live in the strongholds of En-gedi.’

— 1 Samuel 23

‘This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah. This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began his reign. Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened. “Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’ “But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord . “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. And now the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me, I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever. I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out. This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. “Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the Lord . “I will make the country of the Babylonians a wasteland forever. I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations. Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.” This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it. When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.” So I took the cup of anger from the Lord and made all the nations drink from it—every nation to which the Lord sent me. I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing. I gave the cup to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials, and all his people, along with all the foreigners living in that land. I also gave it to all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod. Then I gave the cup to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea. I gave it to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places. I gave it to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert, and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media. And I gave it to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other—all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of Babylon himself drank from the cup of the Lord ’s anger. Then the Lord said to me, “Now tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit; fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.’ And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You have no choice but to drink from it. I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that bears my name. Now should I let you go unpunished? No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!’ “Now prophesy all these things, and say to them, “‘The Lord will roar against his own land from his holy dwelling in heaven. He will shout like those who tread grapes; he will shout against everyone on earth. His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth, for the Lord will bring his case against all the nations. He will judge all the people of the earth, slaughtering the wicked with the sword. I, the Lord , have spoken!’” This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation! A great whirlwind of fury is rising from the most distant corners of the earth!” In that day those the Lord has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered on the ground like manure. Weep and moan, you evil shepherds! Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock! The time of your slaughter has arrived; you will fall and shatter like a fragile vase. You will find no place to hide; there will be no way to escape. Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds. The leaders of the flock are wailing in despair, for the Lord is ruining their pastures. Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland by the Lord ’s fierce anger. He has left his den like a strong lion seeking its prey, and their land will be made desolate by the sword of the enemy and the Lord’s fierce anger.’

— Jeremiah 25

‘Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”’

— Luke 15:1-10

‘This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God. Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham. But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed. The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on. In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.’

— Hebrews 7:1-10

‘Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey— whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.’

– Psalms 57

Have you completed your commitment? Are you able to go home?


Have you committed to something? Have you completed the commitment? Are you able to return home after your journey? Are you able to return home to celebrate all that God has been able to do in and through you? Are you able to return home and testify about all that you have seen and done? Are you ready to go back and make a difference in your own place? Are you ready to go back and create a culture and an impact on the lives of the people you have left behind? What are you going to do now that you have met your commitment?


Today’s reading from God’s Word:


Will you be just and fair? Will you do what is right and good? Will you speak out when something is going wrong? Will you speak with love and truth? Will you speak life and truth out of love? Will you speak in a way to praise God? Will you be a living sacrifice for God’s glory? Will you live and love in alignment with God’s will? Will you be just and fair? Will you keep your promises? Will you live a blameless life and do what is right?

Do you remember how you got to this point?


Did you leave markers to help you remember what happened and when? Did you share the moments so that others know about your journey? Did you capture the key ones somewhere so that you can reflect on them? For me many have been captured in my blog posts over the years. Some were earlier like when I got married and when I had children. Some are from morning readings like the promise of a sun and the get out of the boat that triggered a big career shift. Others were callings like being on the board of a homeowners association of more than 10,000 people and God calling me to step up to be president, and another was becoming director of a camp for teenage foster kids as well as a deacon on the church board. It has been an incredible journey and I can reflect on things like when God told me to forgive the people at work and I resisted till the moment I was faced with another stressor at which point I took God at His Word and forgave and found a new freedom.

How about you? How do you keep track or remember your journey? The Bible is an incredible book that shares the journey of the Israelites as well as the New Testament journeys of Jesus and the disciples.


Today’s reading gets us started on the journey with Numbers 33.

‘This is the route the Israelites followed as they marched out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. At the Lord ’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress. These are the stages of their march, identified by the different places where they stopped along the way. They set out from the city of Rameses in early spring—on the fifteenth day of the first month —on the morning after the first Passover celebration. The people of Israel left defiantly, in full view of all the Egyptians. Meanwhile, the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn sons, whom the Lord had killed the night before. The Lord had defeated the gods of Egypt that night with great acts of judgment! After leaving Rameses, the Israelites set up camp at Succoth. Then they left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. They left Etham and turned back toward Pi-hahiroth, opposite Baal-zephon, and camped near Migdol. They left Pi-hahiroth and crossed the Red Sea into the wilderness beyond. Then they traveled for three days into the Etham wilderness and camped at Marah. They left Marah and camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. They left Elim and camped beside the Red Sea. They left the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin. They left the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah. They left Dophkah and camped at Alush. They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. They left Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai. They left the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. They left Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. They left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah. They left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. They left Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah. They left Libnah and camped at Rissah. They left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah. They left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. They left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah. They left Haradah and camped at Makheloth. They left Makheloth and camped at Tahath. They left Tahath and camped at Terah. They left Terah and camped at Mithcah. They left Mithcah and camped at Hashmonah. They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan. They left Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. They left Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah. They left Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. They left Ezion-geber and camped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, at the border of Edom. While they were at the foot of Mount Hor, Aaron the priest was directed by the Lord to go up the mountain, and there he died. This happened in midsummer, on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after Israel’s departure from Egypt. Aaron was 123 years old when he died there on Mount Hor. At that time the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev in the land of Canaan, heard that the people of Israel were approaching his land. Meanwhile, the Israelites left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah. Then they left Zalmonah and camped at Punon. They left Punon and camped at Oboth. They left Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim on the border of Moab. They left Iye-abarim and camped at Dibon-gad. They left Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim. They left Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains east of the river, near Mount Nebo. They left the mountains east of the river and camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Along the Jordan River they camped from Beth-jeshimoth as far as the meadows of Acacia on the plains of Moab. While they were camped near the Jordan River on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: When you cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, you must drive out all the people living there. You must destroy all their carved and molten images and demolish all their pagan shrines. Take possession of the land and settle in it, because I have given it to you to occupy. You must distribute the land among the clans by sacred lot and in proportion to their size. A larger portion of land will be allotted to each of the larger clans, and a smaller portion will be allotted to each of the smaller clans. The decision of the sacred lot is final. In this way, the portions of land will be divided among your ancestral tribes. But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live. And I will do to you what I had planned to do to them.”’

Numbers 33

Today’s reading then shares part of the journey through Hosea 12

‘Now the Lord is bringing charges against Judah. He is about to punish Jacob for all his deceitful ways, and pay him back for all he has done. Even in the womb, Jacob struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him — the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the Lord is his name! So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” “But I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters. I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.” But the people of Gilead are worthless because of their idol worship. And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls; their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone along the edges of a plowed field. Jacob fled to the land of Aram, and there he earned a wife by tending sheep. Then by a prophet the Lord brought Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt; and by that prophet they were protected. But the people of Israel have bitterly provoked the Lord , so their Lord will now sentence them to death in payment for their sins.’

Hosea 12:2-14

and Hosea 13.

‘When the tribe of Ephraim spoke, the people shook with fear, for that tribe was important in Israel. But the people of Ephraim sinned by worshiping Baal and thus sealed their destruction. Now they continue to sin by making silver idols, images shaped skillfully with human hands. “Sacrifice to these,” they cry, “and kiss the calf idols!” Therefore, they will disappear like the morning mist, like dew in the morning sun, like chaff blown by the wind, like smoke from a chimney. “I have been the Lord your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me. So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road. Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away, I will tear out your heart. I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal. “You are about to be destroyed, O Israel— yes, by me, your only helper. Now where is your king? Let him save you! Where are all the leaders of the land, the king and the officials you demanded of me? In my anger I gave you kings, and in my fury I took them away. “Ephraim’s guilt has been collected, and his sin has been stored up for punishment. Pain has come to the people like the pain of childbirth, but they are like a child who resists being born. The moment of birth has arrived, but they stay in the womb! “Should I ransom them from the grave ? Should I redeem them from death? O death, bring on your terrors! O grave, bring on your plagues! For I will not take pity on them. Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers, but the east wind—a blast from the Lord — will arise in the desert. All their flowing springs will run dry, and all their wells will disappear. Every precious thing they own will be plundered and carried away. The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords.”’

Hosea 13

Today’s reading then brings us into the journeys of the New Testament starting with Matthew 11

‘Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God. “What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”’

Matthew 11:20-30

and then into Romans 8.

‘What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’

Romans 8:31-39

So how will you remember your journey? Will you keep it to yourself or will you share it with others? Will you help them learn through your experience rather than having to walk through them all on their own? Some will receive it and learn from you. Some will ignore it and choose to learn it the hard way in their own lives.


Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 119.

‘You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, O Lord , that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight. Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments. Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws. May I be blameless in keeping your decrees; then I will never be ashamed. I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees. How long must I wait? When will you punish those who persecute me? These arrogant people who hate your instructions have dug deep pits to trap me. All your commands are trustworthy. Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause. They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments. In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your laws. Your eternal word, O Lord , stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. I am yours; rescue me! For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments. Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.’

Psalms 119:73-96

Are you ready? Do you believe? Will you go? Will you testify? The Bible’s Impact on Visual Arts (Jan 22nd)


Are you ready? Have you received Jesus and been given power? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you trust Him? Even in the midst of challenges, trials, or troubles will you keep your hope and trust in Him? Will you allow your faith to be strengthened through them and hold even tighter to Jesus? Will you share the Good News of God? Will you testify to all that God has done in and through you? Will you testify of all that you have seen God do around you? There is victory when we take hold of the sacrifice of Jesus, the blood of the lamb, and we share the testimonies of our life — some put it as by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony is how we overcome! So don’t lose hope! Don’t fight against others who also believe but may not be part of your group or your team but rather let’s take hold of the truth and keep our focus on God! It’s not about who is greatest or who is the best or who is first among us but rather it is all about glorifying God through our words, our actions, and our lives! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s make time to spend it with Him and let’s live out our lives in a way that will give God the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s testify to Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the world, and our Lord! Let’s share of the good things He has done, He is doing, and He will do!

Today’s reading speaks of great things in Luke 9.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles

1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag,nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus

7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed,because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. 9 Herod said,“John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them,“You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 And they answered, “John the Baptist.But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Foretells His Death

21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying,“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

The Transfiguration

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him,Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

37 On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son,for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.40 And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus,knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him,because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.”But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

–from Luke 9

Do you realize the impact on the arts through today’s reading? Do you realize the impact on the world through today’s reading? Have you ever seen or heard of the Transfiguration  by Raphael?

Jan 22 - Luke 9 - Transfiguration by Raphael - showing Jesus with the prophets Moses and Elijah and the apostles


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for the incredible things that You have allowed for me to read, see, hear, and experience. You are so amazing and to even have called and asked me to start this blog back in 2005 so that I could capture what was going on over that time is amazing to me too. You aren’t out there somewhere but rather You are with us and You speak into our lives and lead us and guide us through Your Word and Your Spirit. My life has been touched and I know that being sensitive and obedient to the still quiet voice is important because then no matter what situation comes my way I can pause and receive wisdom, discernment, and direction. We need to know Your voice Lord and be ready to respond to Your instruction. Help me Lord as I prepare for this day, a day of new beginnings so that in and through it all Lord You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Help me Lord to share Your love and the hope of Jesus that is in me with those around me so they too may receive the joy of the Lord which is my strength – that even in my times in the valley I would and they will know that I am tying myself to You as my rock, my fortress, and my strength. I give this day up into Your hands in hopes that it will give You the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s praise Him!


We should be able to do it daily! Today is Friday for me and how many times will someone say “Thank God it’s Friday”? Who is up for saying “Thank God it’s today” everyday! This is the day that the Lord has made so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

So today let’s submit our today to Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the prince of peace! Let’s praise Him in all we do! Let’s give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory! Let’s make our lives living sacrifices that are poured out to Him and for Him that through every thought, word, and deed we give and get Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!

Will you stand up? Will you take a stand? Will you get out of your comfort zone in order to glorify God? Will you get up and make a difference in the lives of those around you so that God will be lifted up and praised? This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Will you open the door to invite others into a moment of worshipping God?

Why not opened up the door today! Help others to come into God’s presence and praise Him!

Isn’t He worth more than a sporting event? So why not make sure we can have the same energy, the same exuberance, the same excitement when we come to praise Him? Only God deserves to get worshipped and praised! Everyone else is human and we need to put first things first and align to God’s purpose and plan for our lives! So will He be your focus for today? Will you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Will you lean not on your own understanding but rather put your trust in God? Will today be the day of breakthru? Will today be the day of new beginnings? Will today be the day of transformation?

Need somewhere to start getting some of that Hallelujah feeling? Check out Psalms 146–150!

Don’t know Jesus yet? Why not invite Him into your heart today? Why not ask Him to forgive you and to lead you for the rest of your life? Want to discuss it more? Feel free to reach out to me as I would be happy to talk with you and help you plug into a Christian body by helping you look for a church in your area.

For those of us who receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, for those of us who have invited Him into our heart, one day we will get to be a part of the Hallelujah party! Let’s put on the full armor of God that we can stand firm until that day! Let’s lift Him up so that He receives the glory! Let’s lift Him up for all He is doing, has done, and is about to do! Let’s participate in God’s victory by sharing our testimonies for we know that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimonies!

Let’s be God’s people! Let’s not allow darkness to get footholds but rather let’s be salt and light into this dark world! Let’s be the people who will praise and worship God!


Hallelujah — Day 361: Bible In One Year 2018

  • The Hallelujah psalms … Psalms 148:1-6
  • The Hallelujah party … Revelation 18:17-19:10
  • The Hallelujah people … Nehemiah 7:4-8:18

Facing evil and looking for a way to handle it?


Not sure where to turn? Not sure where to go? Not sure how to respond? Looking for hope? Looking for ideas? Looking for a way that will break the cycle?

Let’s be overcomers! Let’s be more than overcomers! Amid adversity, we can find hope and a future!

Let’s not allow evil to win by responding their way, let’s fight evil using love and truth! Let’s overcome evil through love and doing good!

Don’t be deceived that it will be easy! We can hold to the truth that in this world we will have troubles but we can also take hold of the truth that thanks to Jesus who overcame the world we can walk in hope and strength! We hold to the truth that because we know in whom we believe that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because of the work it will do in us! We can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when we let perseverance finish its work we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The place to turn is the Bible! It is a handbook to help us through life! It can help ground us when we are at our mountain top times! It can lift us up when we are feeling down and out in the valley times! It can point us in the right direction when we are sure what to do! It can encourage us when we need motivation! With Jesus we can be more than conquerors because He strengthens us!

Let’s consider some words of wisdom from the Bible…

33″I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –from John 16:33

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –from Romans 8:31-39
13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. –from Proverbs 25:21

4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. –from 1 John 4:4

4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. –from 1 John 5:4-5

28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” –from John 10:28-30

The book of Revelation has many verses we can check too that can be meditated upon:

  • Revelation 2:7-11
  • Revelation 2:17
  • Revelation 2:26
  • Revelation 3:5-12
  • Revelation 3:21
  • Revelation 12:11

So let’s conquer evil by doing good! Let’s conquer evil by serving others! Let’s conquer evil by loving others! Let’s take hold of who Jesus is and share that truth, love and power with the world around us! Let’s take hold of the truth found in God’s Word (the Bible) and use it, share it, pass it along!

Let’s stick with Jesus and be overcomers! If God is for us who can be against us!

Let’s give God the glory! Let’s testify to what God has done in and through our lives! Our stories can speak life to someone who is questioning! Our stories can provide hope in the midst of turmoil! Our stories can point people to Jesus who can break strongholds of the devil and set them free! Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word on the topic of Getting out of the boat… Imagine telling a story about how God intervened through His Word and a crisis to help break a bitterness and anger foothold through forgiveness…Imagine telling a story to someone who watched you walk through some really tough times and the day before you were to start a new journey how your reading that day was from Job 42:12 and the promise that gave you for the future…Imagine the story you can tell to allow others to be freed by the love and truth of Jesus lived in and through your life…

11And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
that they were afraid to die.
–from Revelation 12:11

Need to hear a story? Ask me a question!

Have a story? Why not share it? Someone around you might need it to create the spark needed for them to get on track to what God has for them!


Three Ways to Overcome Evil

Day 354: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. God’s love overcomes everything … Psalms 145:8-13
  2. Jesus overcomes the devil … Revelation 12Revelation 13:1
  3. The people of God overcome opposition … Ezra 6Ezra 7:1-10

Do you realize where it came from?


Are you so proud that you think it was all in your own strength? Are you so stubborn that you won’t be swayed? Do you realize that it was said before to make sure you couldn’t take full credit? Do you realize that it was said before to make sure you couldn’t give credit to someone else? Have you heard it? Have you listened? Have you considered?

God created everything! He spoke it into motion! God is eternal – He knows the beginning and the end! The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! When you read God’s Word, don’t you hear the fact that things aren’t that different? Human nature isn’t that different. God is Love! God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!


Today’s reading begins in Isaiah 48…

Who Foretold These Things?

1Hear this, house of Jacob, who are called by the Name of Israel, who came from the wellspring of Judah, who swear by the Name of Adonai and confess the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness. 2For they call themselves by the holy city, and lean on the God of Israel, Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name. 3“I foretold the former things long ago. They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to be heard. Suddenly I acted, so they came about. 4For I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is iron sinew, and your forehead bronze. 5So I foretold it to you long ago. before it came about I made you hear, lest you should say, ‘My idol did them, my carved image, yes, my molded image commanded them.’ 6You have heard. See all of it. So will you not admit it? I proclaim to you new things from now on—hidden things that you have not known. 7They are created now, not long ago. Before today you had not heard them. So you will not say, ‘Sure, I knew them.’ 8You have not heard; you never knew; even from long ago your ear has not been open. For I knew that you are treacherous, and from birth were called a rebel. 9For My Name’s sake I defer My anger, for My praise I will restrain it for you— otherwise I would cut you off. 10Behold, I have refined you, though not as silver. I tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11For My own sake, for My own sake, I act. For how should I be profaned? I will not give My glory to another. 12Listen to Me, Jacob, Israel whom I called: I am He; I am the first; I am also the last. 13Surely My hand founded the earth, My right hand spread out the heavens. When I call to them, they stand together. 14Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them foretold these things? Adonai loves him. He will do His will against Babylon— His arm against the Chaldeans. 15I, I have spoken, yes I called him. I will bring him, so his ways will succeed. 16Draw near to Me, hear this: Since the beginning, I have not spoken in secret. From the time it existed, I was there. So now Adonai Elohim has sent Me, and His Ruach.” 17Thus says Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am Adonai your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. 18If only you had listened to My commandments! then your peace would be like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19Your seed would have been like sand, and your offspring like its grains. Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before Me.” 20“Get out of Babylon, flee from Chaldea! With a shout of joy, proclaim this, send it out to the end of the earth, say: ‘Adonai has redeemed His servant Jacob! 21They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He caused the water to flow out of the rock for them. He split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.’” 22“There is no shalom,” says Adonai, “for the wicked.”

–from Isaiah 48

Jesus came to save! Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, He came that through Him the world could be saved! Have you heard of Jesus? Have you asked Him into your heart? Has your life been transformed thanks to Jesus? Have your eyes been opened to all God has called you to be? Have your ears been opened to hear the still quiet voice of the Spirit who will lead you, guide you, instruct you, and direct you? Is today your day to ask Jesus into your life? Is today the day you make Jesus more than just a good teacher and a good example, but actually make Him Lord of your life? Is today the day you ask Jesus into your heart and allow Him to become the savior of your life?

Second Servant Song: Light of the Nations

1Listen, to Me, islands! Pay attention, peoples far away. Adonai called Me from the womb, from My mother’s belly He named Me. 2He made My mouth like a sharp sword. in the shadow of His hand He hid Me. He made Me a polished arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. 3He said to Me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” 4But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and futility. Yet surely the justice due to me is with Adonai, and my reward with my God.” 5So now says Adonai, who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, to gather Israel back to Him. For I am honored in the eyes of Adonai and My God has become my strength. 6So He says, “It is too trifling a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved ones of Israel. So I will give You as a light for the nations, that You should be My salvation to the end of the earth.” 7Thus says Adonai, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to the One despised, to the One the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: “Kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of Adonai who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.”

Compassion on Zion’s Children

8Thus says Adonai: “In a time of favor I will answer you. in a day of salvation I will help you. I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the land, to make them possess its desolate inheritances, 9saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’ to those in darkness, ‘Be shown!’ Along the roads they will graze— their pasture will be on all the barren heights. 10They will not hunger or thirst, nor scorching wind or sun strike them, for their compassionate One will lead them, and will guide them by springs of water. 11I will make all My mountains a road, and My highways will be raised up. 12“Behold, these shall come from afar. behold, these from the north and from the west, and from the land of Sinim. 13Shout for joy, heavens! Rejoice, earth! Break forth into ringing shouts, O mountains! For Adonai has comforted His people and has compassion on His afflicted.” 14But Zion said: “Adonai has forsaken me, Adonai has forgotten me.” 15“Can a woman forget her nursing baby or lack compassion for a child of her womb? Even if these forget, I will not forget you. 16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. Your walls are continually before Me. 17Your children will come quickly. Your destroyers and devastators will go away from you. 18Lift up your eyes around and see: all of them will gather and come to you.” “As I live” —it is Adonai’s declaration— “you will wear them all as jewelry and bind them on like a bride.” 19For your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land will now be surely too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away. 20The children of your bereavement will yet say in your ears, “The place is too cramped for me! Make room for me to settle in.” 21Then you will say in your heart, “Who has borne these for me? Wasn’t I bereaved of my children— barren, an exile and wandering? So who has raised these? Behold, I was left alone— these, where were they?” 22Thus says Adonai Elohim: “Look, I will lift My hand to the nations, and raise My banner to the peoples! They will bring your sons on their chest, and carry your daughters on their shoulders. 23Kings will be your guardians, their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their face to the ground, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am Adonai— those hoping in Me will not be ashamed.” 24Can plunder be taken from the mighty, or captives of the righteous freed? 25For thus says Adonai: “Yes, captives of the mighty will be taken and the prey of the tyrant will be freed. For I will oppose your adversary. I will save your children. 26I will feed your oppressors their flesh. They will be drunk with their blood as with sweet wine. Then all flesh will know that I, Adonai, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

–from Isaiah 49

Do you realize that even those who oppose you can open doors for you to testify of the greatness of God? Do you realize that even those who persecute you can ask questions they didn’t expect the answer to be Jesus? Do you realize that God goes before you preparing all the good works He has for you to do? Do you realize that God loves you? Right here! Right now! And He loves you too much to stop at that! He sees your potential! He sees beyond the here and the now into the what can be and what could be and what will be! Are you willing to become everything God has planned and purposed for you to be? Are you willing to give up the selfish things in order to step up and become who God created you to be? Are you willing to become a vessel that God can use to perform miracles through? If God can get it through you, He will get it to you! Pray today for wisdom! Pray today for courage! Pray today for an obedient spirit and heart to hear and then do! Let’s foster unity!

Standing Before the Sanhedrin

1As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the kohanim and the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees came up to them. 2They were indignant because Peter and John were teaching the people and announcing in Yeshua the resurrection of the dead. 3So they grabbed them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 5On the next day, the rulers and elders and Torah scholars were gathered together in Jerusalem. 6Annas the kohen gadol was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all those who were of high-priestly descent. 7When they had placed Peter and John in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or in what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are on trial today for a mitzvah done for a sick man, as to how this fellow was healed, 10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati—whom you had crucified, whom God raised from the dead—this one stands before you whole. 11This Yeshua is ‘the stone—rejected by you, the builders—that has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved!” 13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and figured out they were laymen without training, they were amazed. They began to realize that these men had been with Yeshua. 14But seeing the healed man standing with them, they had nothing to say in response. 15When they had ordered Peter and John to go out of the council chamber, they began to confer with one another, 16saying, “What shall we do with these men? For indeed, it’s obvious to everyone living in Jerusalem that a remarkable miracle has happened through them, and we cannot deny it. 17But so it won’t spread any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak anymore to anyone in this name.” 18So they called them in and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Yeshua. 19But Peter and John replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. 20For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21After threatening them again, they let them go—finding no way they could punish them on account of the people, because they all were glorifying God for what had happened. 22For the man in whom this miracle of healing had happened was more than forty years old.

Prayer for Courage

23As soon as they were released, Peter and John went to their own people and reported all that the ruling kohanim and elders had said to them. 24When they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “O Sovereign Master, ‘You made heaven and earth and the sea, and everything in them.’ 25You said by the Ruach ha-Kodesh, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, ‘Why did the nations rage and the peoples plot foolish things? 26The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers were gathered together against Adonai and against His Anointed One.’ 27“For truly both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together in this city against Your holy Servant Yeshua, whom You anointed. 28They did whatever Your hand and Your purpose predetermined to happen. 29And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant Your servants to speak Your word with utmost courage— 30while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.” 31When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Ruach-Filled Community Life

32Now the whole group of those who believed was one in heart and mind. No one would say anything he owned was his own, but they had everything in common. 33With great power the emissaries were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and abundant favor was upon them all. 34No one among them was needy, for all who were owners of lands or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds 35and set them at the feet of the emissaries. And the proceeds were distributed according to the need each one had. 36Now Joseph, also called Barnabas by the emissaries (which is translated Son of Encouragement), was a Levite and native of Cyprus. 37He sold a field that he owned and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the emissaries.

–from Acts 4

Let’s pursue love today! Let’s desire the gifts from God! Let’s desire prophecy! Ever looked up prophecy?

miracle of knowledge, a declaration or description or representation of something future, beyond the power of human sagacity to foresee, discern, or conjecture

Today’s reading concludes on this subject…

Orderly Governing of the Gifts

1Pursue love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to people but to God—for no one understands, but in the Ruach he speaks mysteries. 3But one who prophesies speaks to people for building up, urging on, and uplifting. 4One who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but one who prophesies builds up the community. 5Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues—unless he interprets, so that the community may be built up. 6But now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you—unless I speak to you by way of revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7It is the same for lifeless things that make a sound—like a flute or a harp. If they make no distinction in the tones, how will what is played be recognized? 8For if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9So also with you with your tongue—unless you utter speech that is intelligible, how will what is spoken be understood? For you will be talking to the wind! 10It may be that there are many kinds of languages in the world—and none without meaning. 11If then I do not understand the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12Likewise with you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, keep trying to excel for the building up of the community. 13Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15What is it then? I will pray in my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, and I will also sing praises with my mind. 16Otherwise if you give thanks and praise in the spirit, how will one filling the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he has no idea what you’re saying? 17For you certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up. 18I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19However, in Messiah’s community I would rather speak five words with my mind, so I may also instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20Brothers and sisters, stop being children in your thinking—rather, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21In the Prophets it is written, “By those with strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people. And not even then will they listen to me,” says Adonai. 22Therefore tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers—but prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. 23So if Messiah’s whole community comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and uninstructed or unbelieving people come in, won’t they say that you are crazy? 24But if all are prophesying and some unbelieving or ungifted person comes in, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all. 25The secrets of his heart become known, and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring, “God really is among you!” 26What is it then, brothers and sisters? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27If someone speaks in a tongue, let it be by two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. 28But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the community but speak to himself and to God. 29Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others evaluate. 30But if something is revealed to another sitting nearby, let the first one become silent. 31For you can all prophesy one by one, so all may learn and be encouraged. 32The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 33for God is not a God of confusion, but shalom. As in all the communities of the kedoshim, 34let women keep silent in the communities, for it is not permitted for them to speak out. Rather let them be in order, as the Torah also says. 35If they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home—for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak out in the community. 36Did the word of God originate with you? Or did it reach you alone? 37If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that what I write to you is the Lord’s command. 38But if someone does not recognize it, he is not recognized. 39Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40But let everything be done decently and in order.

–from 1 Corinthians 14

 

Has it been a while?


Is it late? Is there a reason why? Is there a reason why we shouldn’t start now? Is there a reason why we wouldn’t invite others to be a part of it? Why not go back? Why not come back? Will you get ready? Will you be prepared? Will you not just be going thru the motions, but actually come prepared? Come ready for what is ahead? Come ready for what God can do in and thru this moment?

Today’s reading begins in 2 Chronicles with this example…

Hezekiah and all Israel Celebrate Pesach

1Hezekiah then sent word to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of Adonai at Jerusalem to keep the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. 2The king and his officials and the entire congregation in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate Passover in the second month. 3For they were not able to celebrate it at the regular time, since not enough kohanim had consecrated themselves, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem. 4The matter seemed right in the eyes of the king and of the entire community. 5So they decided to issue a decree and to proclaim it throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for Adonai, the God of Israel. For it had not been celebrated as prescribed for a long time. 6At the king’s command, the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials saying: “You men of Israel, turn back to Adonai, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers who acted unfaithfully against Adonai, the God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror as you see. 8Do not stiffen your neck as your fathers did, but reconcile to Adonai, and come to His Temple, which He has consecrated forever, and worship Adonai your God that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9For if you return to Adonai, your brothers and children will receive compassion before their captors, and will return to this land. For Adonai your God is compassionate and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” 10As the couriers traveled from town to town through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun, they were scorned and mocked. 11Nevertheless some men from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of Adonai. 13Now a very large assembly gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Matzot in the second month. 14They arose and removed the altars and all the incense altars that were in Jerusalem, and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15Then they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The kohanim and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of Adonai. 16They stood at their post as prescribed in the Torah of Moses, the man of God. The kohanim sprinkled the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the congregation that had not concecrated themselves, therefore the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for everyone that was not ceremonially clean in order to concecrate them to Adonai. 18Although a great multitude of the people—many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, they still ate the Passover lamb contrary to what is written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying: “May Adonai who is good, atone for 19every one who prepares his heart to seek Adonai, the God of his fathers, even though he is not pure according to rules of the sanctuary.” 20Adonai heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21So the children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Matzot for seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the kohanim were praising Adonai every day with loud instruments for Adonai. 22Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who demonstrated good understanding of the service of Adonai. For seven days they ate their assigned portions while sacrificing peace offerings and praising Adonai, the God of their fathers. 23Then the whole congregation decided to celebrate seven more days—so for another seven days they celebrated with gladness. 24Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep to the congregation, and the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep to the congregation, and great numbers of kohanim consecrated themselves. 25The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced with the kohanim and the Levites, and all who had assembled from Israel, both the strangers coming from the land of Israel and the residents of Judah. 26There was great joy in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon son of David king of Israel. 27Then the Levitical kohanim arose and blessed the people, and Adonai heard their voice, for their prayer reached heaven, His holy dwelling place.

–from 2 Chronicles 30

Do you see what is wrong? Do you see what is going wrong? Do you see what’s in the way? Do you see what what needs to go? Do you see what needs to stay? Do you see what needs to get added back in? Do you know what your part is? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to give? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is to get to be a part? Do you realize how big of a blessing it is be involved? Will you embrace the power of doing what is right, what is good, and what is true?

Restoring the Kohanim and Levites

1When all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the towns of Judah and smashed the pillars, smashed the Asherah poles and demolished the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as throughout Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all Bnei-Yisrael returned to their towns, each to their own property. 2Then Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the kohanim and the Levites together with their divisions, each of the kohanim and Levites according to his service: for burnt offerings, peace offerings, to minister, to praise, or to sing praises in the gates of the courts of Adonai. 3The king also contributed a portion of his own assets for the burnt offerings: the morning and the evening burnt offerings and the burnt offerings for Shabbatot, the New Moons and the moadim, as it is written in the Torah of Adonai. 4Moreover, he commanded the people, the residents of Jerusalem, to give the portion allotted to the kohanim and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the Torah of Adonai. 5As soon as the word spread, Bnei-Yisrael gave generously the firstfruits of their grain, wine, oil, honey and all the produce of the field, as well as tithe of all the abundance. 6The children of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah, also brought in the tithe of bulls and sheep, and the tithe of the sacred things consecrated to Adonai their God. They piled them in heaps. 7In the third month the heaps began to accumulate and finished in the seventh month. 8When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed Adonai and His people Israel. 9Hezekiah asked the kohanim and the Levites about the heaps. 10Azariah the chief kohen from the house of Zadok, replied to him saying, “Ever since the gifts began to be brought into the House of Adonai, we have had enough to eat and more than enough, for Adonai has blessed His people with plenty left over.” 11Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare storerooms in the House of Adonai, and they prepared them. 12They faithfully brought in the offerings and the tithes and the consecrated gifts. Conaniah the Levite was the leader in charge over them and Shimei his brother was next in rank. 13Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were supervisors under Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the leader in charge of the House of God. 14Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, distributing the offering of Adonai and the consecrated gifts. 15Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah faithfully assisted him in the towns of the kohanim, making allocations to their brothers by divisions—to great and little alike, 16only considering genealogical records, to the males three years old and upward—to all who entered into the House of Adonai, to perform the daily duties according to their responsibilities and their divisions— 17to the kohanim who were genealogically registered by their ancestral houses, as well as to the Levites 20 years old and upward, according to their duties and their divisions. 18The genealogical registry included all their little ones, their wives and sons and daughters of the entire assembly. Thus in their faithfulness they consecrated themselves as holy. 19As for the sons of Aaron, the kohanim, who lived in the fields of the common lands of their towns—in every town—men were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the kohanim and to all who were genealogically registered among the Levites. 20Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah. He did what was good, right and true before Adonai his God. 21Every work he undertook in the service of the House of God and in the Torah and the mitzvot to seek his God, he did wholeheartedly and succeeded.

–from 2 Chronicles 31

Let’s live lives that glorify God! Let’s live lives that testify to who Jesus is! Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling! Let’s love them as Jesus loves them! Let’s see them as Jesus sees them! Let’s help them as Jesus would desire for us to help them! Let’s stand in the gap! Let’s intercede for others! Let’s intercede for the believers who are being persecuted that God will lift them up and strengthen them and encourage them! Let’s intercede for the non believers that they will be touched and transformed and come the realization of Jesus!

The Son Glorifies the Father

1Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You. 2Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent. 4I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do. 5Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.”

Yeshua Prays for His Disciples

6“I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You. 8The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9I ask on their behalf. Not on behalf of the world do I ask, but on behalf of those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11I am no longer in the world; but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. 13“But now I am coming to You. I say these words while I am still in the world, so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. 15I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17“Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth. 18Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.”

Interceding for All Believers

20“I pray not on behalf of these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their message, 21that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me. 22The glory that You have given to Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one— 23I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You loved Me. 24“Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory—the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25Righteous Father, the world did not know You, but I knew You; and these knew that You sent Me. 26I made your Name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

–from John 17

Let’s not be working in and through things with power struggles! Let’s not be working in and thru things with an iron fist! Let’s be servant leaders! Let’s lead other by serving them! Let’s be pouring into their lives! Servant leadership is the only type that will make a real difference!

Servant Leadership Wins Over All

1Am I not free? Am I not an emissary? Have I not seen Yeshua our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2If to others I am not an emissary, at least I am to you—for you are the seal of my office of emissary in the Lord. 3My defense to those who examine me is this. 4Don’t we have the right to food and drink? 5Don’t we have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other emissaries and the Lord’s brothers and Kefa? 6Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to not work? 7What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink its milk? 8I don’t say these things merely as a man, do I? Doesn’t Torah also say these things? 9For it is written in the Torah of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is threshing.” Is it the oxen that concern God, 10or is He speaking entirely for our sake? Yes, it was written for our sake, because the one plowing ought to plow in hope and the one threshing in hope of a share in the crop. 11If we sowed spiritual things into you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12If others have a share in this claim over you, shouldn’t we even more? Nevertheless we did not use this right, but we put up with all things so that we cause no hindrance to the Good News of Messiah. 13Don’t you know that those who perform the holy services eat from the Temple, and those who wait on the altar receive a share at the altar? 14So also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the Good News to get their living from the Good News. 15But I have used none of these things, and I am not writing these things so it will happen this way in my case—for I would rather die than let anyone deprive me of my reason to boast. 16For if I proclaim the Good News, I have no reason to boast—for pressure is put on me and woe to me if I don’t proclaim the Good News! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have been entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? That when I preach, I may present the Good News free of charge, not making use of my right in the Good News. 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win over more of them. 20To the Jewish people I identified as a Jew, so that I might win over the Jewish people. To those under Torah I became like one under Torah (though not myself being under Torah), so that I might win over those under Torah; 21to those outside Torah, like one outside Torah (though not being outside God’s Torah but in Messiah’s Torah), so that I might win over those outside Torah. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win over the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all means possible I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the Good News, so that I might be a fellow partaker of it. 24Don’t you know that in a stadium the runners all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win! 25Every competitor exercises self-control in all respects. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. 26So I run in this way—not aimlessly. So I box in this way—not beating the air. 27Rather, I punish my body and bring it into submission, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

–from 1 Corinthians 9