When it started…


God’s Word and Commandment…

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

–from Ephesians 6

12“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

–from Exodus 20


Back in 2000, I was at a crossroads in my career where I was needing to make a change and it was far reaching. At that point in my life my wife and I had just had our first child, who was the only grandchild on both sides of the family. I felt the need to put the outcome into the hands of our parents and gave them options to them:

  1. Leave the company I had been working at for almost 6 years
  2. Leave the country and move to the other edge of that country putting us about 5 hour flight and 3 hour time zone difference apart

The answer was unanimous. There was such unity in direction, even though neither set of parents knew the other parents answer. They were identical and the journey to a new land began. It wasn’t till many years later that it clicked to me that part of the reason for the blessings in this new land were because I had acted in alignment to God’s commandment so many years earlier.

We had researched and planned what we were going to do, but God had a plan to get us connected to Him in a way that was so much greater and more incredible than we could have asked or imagined.

The Job:

As I pursued new opportunities, I ended up applying for 3 new jobs and was flown out for interviews with those 3 teams. While in the process of interviewing for the 3 job, I ended up getting lost in the hallways and ran into someone I had worked with in the past and they asked why I was in town. I told him, I was in town interviewing and he said I should go talk to his boss who was also hiring and so before the end of the day, I did and ended up making one more trip out for interviews on that team. Interestingly enough during the interview process, I had applied for 1 developer (dev) job, 1 program manager (PM) job, and one job that was a combination of both roles. During the visit for the developer role, I had asked a friend who happened to be a test lead on that team if I wanted to ensure work-life balance would they recommend a dev or a pm job and they said pm. The pm in the room said to not say that as I had applied for a dev job on their team. The job I flew back down to interview happened to also be a pm role and by the end of that day I had let them know I had 2 offers already and so I would need to know by the next Wednesday since I had committed to the other teams that I would provide them my answer by the end of the week. I had the offer by the next Monday and accepted that roll, and having to let the other 2 teams know that I was going to have to pass on their offers.

I had a plan, but God had other ideas…

The home:

My wife and I did a lot of research because we wanted to make sure that we would be able to afford a place where its schools, safety, and commute would be ok. We had it all figured out and flew out for our house hunting trip. The company had assigned us a real estate agent and the connection was crazy. On a personal level, her parents lived 15 minutes away from where we were living, but we didn’t know them. She wanted to show us one other area first and showed us a house that was older than we wanted, but had been updated and was in an incredible neighborhood that ended up being so much better than anything we could find in the neighborhood/city we had planned to move to. We put in an offer and within a small amount of money we negotiated and got that house.

We had a plan, but God had other ideas…

The first connection and how it started:

We moved in at the end of Nov/beginning of Dec. Every day we ended up driving by a church on our way to and fro. As Christmas got closer, we received in the mail an invitation to come to the church for their church production. So we went to check it out. We loved the worship time. We loved the people. We felt right at home and from that day on, we attended the church…but that is just when it started

The Transformation begins…


God’s Word for our lives…

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –from 2 Corinthians 5:17

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
–from Romans 12:2

As 2001 began, the New Year started off on an incredible journey. God had connected with me on a level I never knew or realized before. God made it clear to me that it wasn’t about routine, it wasn’t about religious practices, but rather it was about having a real relationship with Jesus. It was the time when I received Jesus into my heart and it became real. I didn’t just go through a class to get a certificate, but it went further than that. I didn’t just go through a ceremony, it went even further than that. I started a real relationship with Jesus. My view changed. My reality changed. I changed.

I was baptized

15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. 16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” –from Matthew 3

My wife and I both went through the baptism class and decided to be baptized on the same day. Wow, what an incredible experience to demonstrate what had taken place inside in a personal and powerful experience before the congregation. I publically declared Jesus as my Lord and Savior by walking in obedience to His Word and plan. If Jesus felt it was important to be baptized, then I should follow after Him and also be baptized. We even hear Jesus commands the disciples in what to do and where to go, giving them the great commission. As a child I was christened but this time it was my choice and my declaration of what I believe to the world.

18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” –from Matthew 28

I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit

4Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” –from Acts 1

7And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. 8“I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” –from Mark 1

10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” –from Matthew 3

4Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7There were in all about twelve men. –from Acts 19

14Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. –from Acts 8

It was a week of spiritual emphasis when we had guest speakers coming each evening and preaching the Word of God. One night they called people who hadn’t receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and wanted to. As I was being prayed over, I began to speak in a language I didn’t understand and a power, a feeling, a sense came over me that went beyond anything I had ever experienced before. God confirmed upon me His Spirit. God transformed me again. The transformation continued as He kept calling me to draw closer and closer to Him.

I became a member of the church

God was calling me to be a part of the His body. So my wife and I signed up for the membership class so that we would be able to be accountable to God’s calling on our lives. He was calling up to a new level, a new responsibility, a new role in His kingdom. Our transformation called us from where we were towards where He wants us to be.

9Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. –from 1 Peter 4

34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
–from John 13

9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. –from 1 Thessalonians 5

11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. –from John 15

13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. –from Ephesians 1

16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. –from James 5

It was amazing to learn about the beliefs of the church. It was amazing to hear from God.

16 FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD

  1. WE BELIEVE…The Scriptures are Inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind.
  2. WE BELIEVE…There is only one true God, revealed in three persons…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity).
  3. WE BELIEVE…In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God’s son Jesus was both human and divine.
  4. WE BELIEVE…though originally good, man willingly fell to sin ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world.
  5. WE BELIEVE…Every person can have restored fellowship with God through salvation (accepting Christ’s offer of forgiveness for sin). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  6. WE BELIEVE…and practice two ordinances (1) water baptism by immersion after repenting of one’s sins and receiving Christ’s gift of salvation, and (2) Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation.
  7. WE BELIEVE…the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service, just as it did in New Testament times. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  8. WE BELIEVE… The initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues, as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles.
  9. WE BELIEVE…Sanctification initially occurs at Salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christlike.
  10. WE BELIEVE…The Church has a mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe ‘the Church’ is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
  11. WE BELIEVE…A divinely called and scripturally ordained leadership ministry serves the Church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, and to build up or edify the body of believers the Church.
  12. WE BELIEVE…Divine healing of the sick is a privilege for Christians today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  13. WE BELIEVE…in the blessed hope. When Jesus raptures his Church prior to His return to earth (the second coming). At this future moment in time all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the A/G]
  14. WE BELIEVE…in The millennial reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. At that time many in the nation of Israel will recognize and accept Him as the Messiah, the Savior who died for them and all mankind.
  15. WE BELIEVE…A final judgment will take place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire.
  16. WE BELIEVE…and look forward to the perfect New Heavens and a New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’

I was freed from the chains that were holding be down and the lies that were holding me back as I went through Cleansing Stream

Friends shared the incredible power of Cleansing Stream ministries and so we signed up to go through the classes and retreat. Before the retreat we were told we should go forward every time they call people forward because we may not even realize that it is applicable or may be something generational that is involved. The retreat was incredible and broke the chain that had created rage and explosive responsive that had been triggered in the past when people hit me in the face/head. Before this time, I never knew why or how this was triggered, but during the retreat there was a call to go forwarded to forgive woman in my life. I went forward, not considering that there was anything, but the lady I went to started to pray as my grandmother asking me to forgive her for what she had done. She knew nothing of my past, but a vision of when I was a child and had run to get to my mom’s work before my grandmother and sister came to mind. I was struck in the face because she was scared and worried, but I never really realized the impact it has had on my future. Touching my face till the retreat always triggered anger and bitterness. I forgave her and at that moment it was gone. Hitting or touching my face has no negative side effect and I am now free from those chains. There were many other events, but this one is one that I felt the most from the retreat and ministry and has transformed my response and reaction to touch. God is good!

“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” –from 2 Timothy 2:2

13Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” –from John 4

37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” 39But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. –from John 7

 

1Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. –from Revelation 22

Stepping up and stepping out…God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called


That fall, there was a men’s retreat scheduled out by the ocean. I signed up and got a group of guys together and we drove out in our family minivan. A great time to talk and learn more about each other before getting to the hotel. That first night was incredible as we worshipped, heard the Word preached, and then had time of prayer and being prayed over.

It  an incredible weekend and an incredible time to spend with God and other men building and growing relationships.

During this time, I received a message that I was supposed to get involved in my community. So I pressed deeper to understand what that was supposed to be. God spoke to me about joining the board of the homeowners association. Not sure what that meant, I looked into it and had a meeting with some of the board meetings. Speaking with them they explained the board and also tried to see if I might be more interested in a committee because I would get a quarter of my dues back, but that isn’t what God had called me to do, so I passed and registered for the next election for board members.

The community came together for the annual homeowners association and my name was on the list. After the election, I learned that I had been elected to be on the board. We had the annual board retreat where the election for the various positions within the board took place and I being new and also based on the nominations and votes became the secretary. I learned a lot about the community that first year and got to be a part of many big items and topics that came up in the community from traffic to safety, roof materials to colors, nearby community integration like annexation and new road construction and other political items. As the next year came, God started to prompt me to step up to be president. I didn’t feel qualified or ready for such a calling and resisted and pushed back. During the board elections I ended up getting nominated and elected as vice president. It was very interesting the things I learned through this new role from process and procedures to additional responsibilities. As the year went on, God continued to press in my mind that I needed to step up and step out to be who He was calling me to be. I continued to resist feeling I wasn’t ready. Next thing you know there is a riff in the board and a group were getting together to try and oust the existing president. During the process God continued to say step up, step out of your comfort zone, step in to what I have for you, but I continued to resist. As they removed the former president and a new election took place, I was reinstated as vice president while another board member stepped into the president role. Since the president wasn’t there, I was leading the meeting and abstained from the vote as there was no tie to break. It was only a few months before the next annual election and board nominations. God continued to prompt and I continued to press back. One day while at the gym after working out, I hopped into the hot tub to wind down and I heard “you will be president or you will be nothing, you choose!” The voice was loud and startled me as I looked around to see nobody in the room. Nothing didn’t seem like a good option and so I agreed. I chose to be obedient to the calling God was putting into my life rather than needing to be qualified to take on the role He was asking me to step into. As we got closer to the nominations of new board members, one of the members’ mothers was diagnosed with cancer. She offered to stay until after the nomination and board election before stepping down which would mean we would need to add an extra person to the board. I told her that if God wanted me to be president, He would make it happen and that it was important that she focus on family and her mother. So she did which meant we needed to add one additional person to the board instead of the usual 2. So we had the annual association meeting and added 3 new members to the board. Driving up to the board retreat I remember praying God, not my will, but Your will be done! So it came time to have the nomination and the vote. Two of us were nominated to be president (and guess what, I was one of them) at which point everyone got to vote. They took the ballots and did a count and I won. Wow! I wondered what God had planned and in store for me. I wondered what was going to happen that He needed me to be in this role. After the retreat I was talking to the staff and to my surprise, I learned from them that had the other person won, they would have quit on the spot. Wow! I had no clue. I was totally unaware of their view and the status of the staff of the association. They now reported to me and I had the staff responsible for taking care of the community of approximately 10,000 people and 23 divisions of single family homes, 9 subdivisions of townhomes and condos, and 2 apartment communities.  So many amenities for the families of the communities from 2 swimming pools, basketball courts, walking trails,… During my time I had to help lead the board through staffing changes, board member challenges, hiring new director, security changes, insurance policy changes, budget adjustments, and so much more. I still remember the conversation with God when all of a sudden I needed to hire a new director for the association. I told Him that since He wanted me to be the president, He was going to need to help me with wisdom in picking the new director. The interesting part of this was the He put the name Rich into my head which made no sense. So we put together the job description and got it posted. We got 2 candidates and setup interview loops with 2 other board members and myself. Want to know something interesting, one of the candidates name was Richard. So we went through the interview process and it came down to me needing to make the decision. Based on the interviews 1 of the board members chose 1 candidate (not Richard), one said he felt either could do it, and I felt from the interview process as well as from a feeling in my gut that Rich was the man. So I went with Rich. And what a great hire he was. God provided! God had needed me in such position for such a day and such at time as this. There were so many changes and so many decisions that were needed and He provided wisdom beyond myself for each one so that the community would be setup for success and would be covered and moving forward meeting the needs of the community and providing the services the board was supposed to do.

Want to hear two interesting side notes around the hiring decisions?

  1. After Rich had accepted the role and started leading the office and facilities staff, I received a letter from a member of the community thanking me for having hired Rich and went into details how he was doing such an incredible job, validating what God had prepared in advance for me to do. [Goodness of obedience]
  2. I later found out the other candidate we interviewed was actually related to one of the board members, the one who was in the interview loop and also the one who was choosing the other person (not Rich). When I realize how God had protected me by providing a name, I was so grateful. When I realized how we could have had a legal situation on our hands had things gone differently, I was so grateful. [Goodness of obedient, Protection of God]

That was an incredible 3 years where I continued to watch do incredible things in and through my life, at work, at home and in my community as a volunteer on the board.

He stretched me to step up! He stretched me to step out! And because of my obedience He took care of the community He had called me to step up and step out to serve.

God is so good! Over this time He spoke into my life on many things but that is a story for another day!

Remember to obey the still quiet voice! You don’t want to have to hear the loud booming one.

Praise be to God!

What will you do when you are cornered?


Nowhere to go! Nowhere to run! What seems to be an immovable object on one side! They are closing in! What will you do? Where will you turn? Where will you find hope? Where will you find answers? Do you run at them? What do you do? How will you know the right thing to do? Will you sit there and just accept whatever happens? Will you do something?

We need to turn to God! We need to cry out to Him for wisdom and instruction! We need to put our hope and our trust in Him! His plans are for good! He can use what the enemy has planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! So don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Turn to God to understand His plan and how you can glorify Him in and through the situation you are finding yourself in!

Today’s reading starts off with just such a situation, let’s see what happens for I am sure it will show God’s ability to rescue and save…

Sea of Reeds Showdown

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, so that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You are to camp by the sea, opposite Baal-zephon. 3Pharaoh will say concerning Bnei-Yisrael, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land—the wilderness has shut them in!’ 4I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so he will follow after them. Then I will be glorified over Pharaoh along with all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai.” So they did so. 5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we let Israel go from serving us?” 6So he prepared his chariots and took his people with him. 7He took 600 of the finest chariots, along with all other chariots of Egypt, and captains over them. 8Adonai hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so he pursued Bnei-Yisrael, for Bnei-Yisrael went out with a high hand. 9But the Egyptians pursued them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, as well as his charioteers and his army, and overtook them as they were encamped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth opposite Baal-zephon. 10When Pharaoh drew near, Bnei-Yisrael lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them! So they were terrified, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai. 11They said to Moses, “Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt? 12Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!” 13But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever! 14Adonai will fight for you, while you hold your peace.” 15Then Adonai said to Moses, “Why are you crying to Me? Tell Bnei-Yisrael to go forward. 16Lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. Then Bnei-Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. 17Then I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them, so that I will be glorified over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen. 18Then the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I have been glorified over Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” 19Then the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them. Also the pillar of cloud moved from in front and stood behind them, 20and so came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel—there was the cloud and the darkness over here, yet it gave light by night over there—neither one came near the other all night long. 21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. Adonai drove the sea back with a strong east wind throughout the night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided. 22Then Bnei-Yisrael went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, while the waters were like walls to them on their right and on their left. 23But the Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen. 24Now it came about during the morning watch that Adonai looked at the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and caused the army of the Egyptians to panic. 25He took off their chariot wheels and caused them to drive heavily, so that the Egyptians said, “Get away from the presence of Israel! For Adonai fights for them against the Egyptians!” 26Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters come back upon the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” 27So Moses stretched his hand out over the waters, and the sea returned to its strength at the break of dawn. The Egyptians were fleeing from it, but Adonai overthrew them in the midst of the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen and the entire army of Pharaoh that went after them into the sea. Not one of them remained. 29But Bnei-Yisrael had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were like walls to them on their right hand and on their left. 30So Adonai saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31When Israel saw the great work that Adonai did over the Egyptians, the people feared Adonai, and they believed in Adonai and in His servant Moses.
–from Exodus 14

Imagine that sight!

God moves the immovable object - God parts the red sea.png

Imagine if people saw evidence found at the bottom of the Red Sea – what would they think? What would they do?

It's amazing how modern technology and research verify and validate the Word of God - Red Sea Combo Wheels and Bones.jpg

God’s Word never returns void! God’s Word is truth! God’s Word is a love letter from our Heavenly Father!

So next time you are between a rock and hard place what are you going to do? Where will you turn? Who will you all upon? Will you go to the one who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine? Will you call out to the one who can help? Will trust Him? Will you believe Him? Will you honor Him? Will you obey Him? Will you worship Him – in spirit and in truth? Will you serve Him all the days of your life?

Today’s reading continues in Exodus…How long will that high last for you? Will remember? Will you press on? Will you trust Him? Will you walk in the truth that He is for you and not against you? Will you grab a hold of Him and not let go? Or will you forget? Will you wine and complain?…

Song of Moses and Miriam

1Then Moses and Bnei-Yisrael sang this song to Adonai: I will sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea. 2Adonai is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will glorify Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. 3Adonai is a warrior—Adonai is His Name! 4Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has hurled into the sea, and his chosen captains have sunk into the Sea of Reeds. 5The deeps cover them. They sank to the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, Adonai, is glorious in power. Your right hand, Adonai, dashes the enemy to pieces. 7In the greatness of Your excellency You overthrow those who resist You. You send forth Your wrath— it consumes them as stubble. 8With the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up. The floods stood upright as a heap. The deeps became firm ground in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My lust shall gorge on them! I will draw my sword— my hand will destroy them.” 10You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11Who is like You, Adonai, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in praises, doing wonders? 12You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13You in Your lovingkindness led the people You have redeemed. You guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. 14When the peoples hear, they will tremble—anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia. 15Then the chiefs of Edom are terrified. Trembling grips Moab’s mighty men. All of Canaan’s inhabitants will melt away. 16Terror and dread will fall on them. By the greatness of Your arm they become still as a stone, till Your people cross over, Adonai, till the people whom You purchased cross over. 17You bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, Adonai, that You have made for Yourself to dwell in— the Sanctuary, Adonai, which Your hands have prepared. 18Adonai will reign forever and ever! 19For Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, but Adonai brought the waters of the sea back over them. Yet Bnei-Yisrael walked in the midst of the sea on dry ground. 20Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing, 21as Miriam sang to them: Sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!

Bitter Waters Made Sweet

22Then Moses led Israel onward from the Sea of Reeds. They went out into the wilderness of Shur. But they travelled three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink from the waters because they were bitter. On account of this it was called Marah. 24So the people complained to Moses saying, “What are we going to drink?” 25So he cried out to Adonai, and Adonai showed him a tree. When he threw it into the waters, they were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them. 26He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of Adonai your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His mitzvot, and keep all His decrees, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am Adonai who heals you.” 27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. So they camped there by the waters.
–from Exodus 15

How long will you celebrate? How long will you remember? How long will you walk in the power? How long will you walk in the truth? How long will you walk with the hope? How long will you persevere? How long will you endure? How long….?

Do you realize our actions, our beliefs, our faith doesn’t change how great God is? Do you realize God is love! God is truth! So let’s put our hope and trust in Him and never forget what He has done for us! We can’t be good enough to meet the bar! Our only hope and choice is to accept and receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior – He has paid it all!

No One Is Acceptable

1Then what is the advantage of being Jewish? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2Much in every way. First of all, they were entrusted with the sayings of God. 3So what if some did not trust? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? 4May it never be! Let God be true even if every man is a liar, as it is written, “that You may be righteous in Your words and prevail when You are judged.” 5But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? God is not unrighteous to inflict wrath, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7But if by my lie the truth of God abounds to His glory, why am I still judged as a sinner? 8And why not say, “Let us do evil, so that good may come” — just as we are being slandered and as some claim that we say. Their condemnation is deserved! 9What then? Are we better than they? No, not at all. For we have already made the case that all—both Jewish and Greek people—are under sin. 10As it is written, “There is no one righteous—no, not one. 11There is no one who understands, no one who seeks after God. 12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless. There is no one who does good—no, not even one! 13Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they keep deceiving. The poison of vipers is under their lips. 14Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15Their feet are swift to shed blood. 16Ruin and misery are in their paths, 17and the way of shalom they have not known. 18There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those within theTorah, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become accountable to God. 20For no human, on the basis of Torah observance, will be set right in His sight—for through the Torah comes awareness of sin.

How God Accepts Us

21But now God’s righteousness apart from the Torah has been revealed, to which the Torah and the Prophets bear witness—22namely, the righteousness of God through putting trust in MessiahYeshua, to all who keep on trusting. For there is no distinction, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24They are set right as a gift of His grace, through the redemption that is in

Messiah Yeshua.

25God set forth Yeshua as an atonement, through faith in His blood, to show His righteousness in passing over sins already committed. 26Through God’s forbearance, He demonstrates His righteousness at the present time—that He Himself is just and also the justifier of the one who puts his trust in Yeshua. 27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith. 28For we consider a person to be set right apart from Torah observance. 29Is God the God of the Jewish people only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30Since God is One, He will set right the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.
–from Romans 3

So, will you trust Him? What’s it going to take for you to let go of your desire to control? What’s it going to take for you to give it up into God’s hands? What is it going to take for you to receive the grace given freely by God through Jesus? Will you have to hit rock bottom? Will you be able to choose before it is too late?

If you haven’t yet, what is stopping you from making today your day? If not now, then when? If now right here, then where? If not you, then who? Do you really want to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Why not partner with God? Do you really want to try and do it on your own? Why not partner with God? Jesus is knocking at the door to your heart! Will you open it and let Him move in? Live to Glorify God! Live to get the approval of God! It’s all about Him! Keep Jesus in the center for a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken! Walk in humility, serving others!

Seven Woes

1Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying, “The Torah scholars and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. 3So whatever they tell you, do and observe. But don’t do what they do; for what they say, they do not do. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5All their works they do to be noticed by men. They make their tefillin wide and their tzitziyot long. 6They love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called rabbi by men. 8“But you are not to be called rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man on earth your father; for One is your Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah. 11But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13“But woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not enter yourselves, nor do you let those enter who are trying to go in. 15“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel over land and sea to make one convert. And when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourself. 16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Temple, he is obligated.’ 17O fools and blind ones! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that made the gold holy? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19O blind ones! Which is greater, the offering or the altar that makes the offering holy? 20Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the Temple, swears both by the Temple and by Him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. 23“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You tithe mint and dill and cumin, yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others. 24O blind guides, straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel! 25“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. 26O blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well. 27“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, you appear righteous to men on the outside, but are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29“Woe to you, Torah scholars and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the tzaddikim. 30And you say, ‘If we’d been alive in the days of our forefathers, we wouldn’t have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers! 33O snakes, you brood of vipers! How will you escape the condemnation of Gehenna? 34“Because of this, behold, I’m sending you prophets and wise men and Torah scholars. Some of them you will kill and execute at the stake, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. 35And so, upon you shall come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36Amen, I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.”

Holy Temple to Be Destroyed

37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate! 39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘ Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
–from Matthew 23

Don’t wait too long! Don’t miss out on getting to spend eternity with God!

 

Do you remember? Will you remind others? Hope for the future!


It’s been said that those who forget or don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. Do you remember? Have you learned from the past? Have you forgotten and doing it over again? Do you need to go through the pain and the suffering yourself or can you learn from the experiences of others? Do you need to experience things on your own to get it? Are you willing to learn from the experiences of others? Are you willing to use history as a teacher and then live out today in a way that won’t repeat the past? How do you live? How will you learn? What will it mean for your present and future? How good is your memory? How long can you remember what you said, what you promised, what you are to do? How long can you remember what others have said and done? How long can you remember the miracles God has done in and through your life? Do you remember what He has done? for you? in you? through you?

Today’s reading triggered all these questions in my mind. What happened…What was said…What was promised…What was forgotten…

Cutting the Covenant at Sinai

1Then to Moses He said, “Come up to Adonai, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2Moses alone is to approach Adonai, but the others may not draw near, nor are the people to go up with him.” 3So Moses came and told the people all the words of Adonai as well as all the ordinances. All the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which Adonai has spoken, we will do.” 4So Moses wrote down all the words of Adonai, then rose up early in the morning, and built an altar below the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He then sent out young men of Bnei-Yisrael, who sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings of oxen to Adonai. 6Then Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins and the other half he poured out against the altar. 7He took the Scroll of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. Again they said, “All that Adonai has spoken, we will do and obey.” 8Then Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which Adonai has cut with you, in agreement with all these words.” 9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. 10They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens. 11Yet He did not raise His hand against the nobles of Bnei-Yisrael. So they beheld God, and ate and drank. 12Then Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the Torah and the mitzvot, which I have written so that you may instruct them.” 13So Moses rose up along with his attendant Joshua, and Moses went up onto the mountain of God. 14To the elders he said, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. See, Aaron and Hur are with you—whoever has a dispute should go to them.” 15When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it. 16The glory of Adonai settled upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. Then on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17The appearance of the glory of Adonai was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of Bnei-Yisrael. 18So Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up onto the mountain. Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.
–from Exodus 24

Could you last a week? Could you last a month? Could you last 40 days? How long are you able to remember? Does it matter how big of a miracle it was? Do it matter how incredible it was? Does it matter how much of an impact it had on your life? How long would you be able to remember?

Tabernacle: Ark, Table, Menorah

1Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 2“Tell Bnei-Yisrael to take up an offering for Me. From anyone whose heart compels him you are to take My offering. 3These are the contributions which you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4blue, purple and scarlet cloth; fine linen and goat hair; 5ram skins dyed red, sealskins, acacia wood; 6oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastplate. 8“Have them make a Sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them. 9You are to make it all precisely according to everything that I show you—the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all the furnishings within—just so you must make it. 10“Now they are to make an Ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits in length, one and a half cubits wide, and a cubit and a half high. 11You are to overlay it with pure gold, inside and out, and make a crown of gold around it. 12You are to cast four rings of gold for it, and place them in its four feet. Two rings will be on one side, and two rings on the other side. 13Also make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14You are to put the poles into the rings on the sides of the Ark, in order to carry the Ark. 15The poles are to remain in the rings of the Ark, and not be taken from it. 16You are to put the Testimony, which I will give you, into the Ark. 17“Then you are to make an atonement cover of pure gold, two and a half cubits long, one cubit and a half wide. 18Also make two cheruvim of gold, from hammered work, at the two ends of the atonement cover. 19Make one cheruv at one end and one cheruv at the other end. Of one piece with the atonement cover you are to make the cheruvim at its two ends. 20The cheruvim are to spread out their wings above, shielding the atonement cover with their wings, each facing its companion. The faces of the cheruvim are to be turned toward the atonement cover. 21You are to put the atonement cover on top of the Ark, and inside the Ark you will put the Testimony that I will give you. 22“I will meet with you there. I will speak with you from above the atonement cover—from between the two cheruvim that are on the Ark of the Testimony—about all that I will command you, for Bnei-Yisrael. 23“You will make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long, one cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high. 24You are to overlay it with pure gold, and make a crown of gold around it. 25Make a border a single handwidth wide around it and a golden crown for the border all around. 26Also make four gold rings for it, and put the rings in the four corners that are on its four feet. 27The rings are to be close to the borders, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28You are to make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. 29You are also to make the dishes, pans, jars and bowls to pour drink offerings, from pure gold. 30Always set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me. 31“You are to make a menorah of pure gold, by hammered work. Its base, stem, cups, bulbs and flowers are to be one piece. 32There are to be six branches coming out of the sides, three branches of the menorah out of one side, and three branches out of the other. 33There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms in one branch, each with a bulb and flower, then three cups made like almond blossoms in the next branch, each with a bulb and flower, and so forth for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 34Within the menorah will be four cups made like almond blossoms, with bulbs and flowers. 35There is to be a bulb under two branches of the first piece, a bulb under two branches of the second piece, and a bulb under two branches of the third piece, for the six branches coming out of the menorah. 36Their bulbs and their branches are to be one piece—all of it a single hammered work of pure gold. 37“You are also to make the seven lamps for it, and set the lamps up to shed light over the space before it. 38“The tongs and the censers are to be of pure gold. 39It is to be made from a talent of pure gold, with all these pieces. 40See that you make them according to their pattern being shown to you on the mountain.
–from Exodus 25

So let’s remember! Let’s be people who walk in love! Let’s not allow hate or bitterness to take root in our hearts! Let’s not allow worry or doubt take root and cause fear! Let’s put our hope and trust in God and remember everything He has done for us, in us, and through us!

Haters Won’t Prevail

1A Song of Ascents. “How many times they have been hostile to me, even from my youth” —let Israel now say—2“How greatly they have been hostile to me, even from my youth. Yet they have not prevailed against me. 3Plowmen plowed on my back—they made their furrows long!” 4Adonai is righteous—He has cut the ropes of the wicked. 5May all who hate Zion be driven back in disgrace. 6Let them be like grass on the roofs, which withers before it springs up—7with it a reaper cannot fill his hand, nor can a binder of sheaves fill his lap. 8So the passersby may never say: “The blessing of Adonai be upon you—we bless you in the Name of Adonai.”
–from Ps 129

Will you be an ambassador for love? Will you be an ambassador for peace? Will you?

Will you submit to God and study His ways? Will you pursue Him and His directions? Will you follow Him and His instructions? Will you imitate Him so that you will glorify and exalt Him by the way you live your life?

Misdirected Zeal

1Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2For I testify about them that they have zeal for God—but not based on knowledge. 3For being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. 4For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” 6But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down), 7or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).” 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” —that is, the word of faith that we are proclaiming: 9For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all—richly generous to all who call on Him. 13For “Everyone who calls upon the name of Adonai shall be saved.” 14How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming? 15And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news of good things!” 16But not all heeded the Good News. For Isaiah says, “Adonai, who has believed our report?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah. 18But I say, have they never heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” 19But I say, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, with a nation empty of understanding I will vex you.” 20And Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I became visible to those who did not ask for Me.” 21But about Israel He says, “All day long I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
–from Romans 10

So will you let your light shine? Will you allow others to see Jesus in and through you? Will you point them to the one that can make a difference in their lives? Do you point them to the one who gave it all for our sake? Do you share His love with those He sends into your life? Do you share His hope with those around you? Will you glorify Him by the way you live out today? What if He took the punishment for all that you had done? (He did – even to the point of death on a cross) What if you betrayed Him? (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god) Will you receive the mercy and grace He provides? He won’t force Himself on you, so will you freely receive His gift of salvation? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? He overcame the world, so that we can have hope! (In this world you will have troubles, but take hope for Jesus has overcome the world!)

Judah’s Remorse

1When daybreak came, the ruling kohanim and elders of the people conspired against Yeshua to put Him to death. 2And they tied Him up, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate, the governor. 3Then Judah, His betrayer, saw that Yeshua had been condemned. Feeling remorse, he brought the thirty silver pieces back to the ruling kohanim and elders, 4saying, “I’ve sinned, betraying innocent blood!” But they said, “What’s that to us? You see to it yourself!” 5After tossing the silver into the Temple sanctuary, he left. Then he went off and hanged himself. 6But the ruling kohanim took the silver pieces and said, “It is not permitted to put these in the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So after they conferred, they bought with them the potter’s field, as a cemetery for strangers. 8For this reason that field has been called the “Field of Blood” to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price of Him on whom a price had been set by Bnei-Yisrael; 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as Adonai arranged for me.”

“Kill the King!”

11Now Yeshua stood before the governor. The governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” “You say so,” Yeshua said. 12And while He was accused by the ruling kohanim and elders, He did not answer. 13Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how many things they testify against you?” 14Yeshua did not answer, not even one word, so the governor was greatly amazed. 15Now during the feast, the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner, anyone they wanted. 16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Yeshua Bar-Abba. 17So when they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release for you? Yeshua who is Bar-Abba, or Yeshua who is called Messiah?” 18For he knew that they had handed Him over out of envy. 19While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous Man, for today I’ve suffered many things in a dream because of Him.” 20Now the ruling kohanim and elders persuaded the crowds that they should ask for Bar-Abba and destroy Yeshua. 21But the governor responded, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Bar-Abba!” 22Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Yeshua, who is called Messiah?” “Execute Him!” all of them say. 23But Pilate said, “Why? What evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Let Him be executed!” 24When Pilate saw he was accomplishing nothing, but instead a riot was starting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this blood,” he said. “You see to it yourselves!” 25All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released to them Bar-Abba. And after he had Yeshua scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Nailed to a Stake

27Then the governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort around Him. 28They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe around Him. 29And after braiding a crown of thorns, they placed it on His head and put a staff in His right hand. And falling on their knees before Him, they mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Him, and they took the staff and beat Him over and over on the head. 31When they finished mocking Him, they stripped the robe off Him and put His own clothes back on Him. And they led Him away to crucify Him. 32As they came out, they found a man from Cyrene, Simon by name. They forced him into service, to carry Yeshua’s cross-beam. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (that is to say, Place of a Skull), 34they offered Him wine mixed with gall to drink; but after tasting, He was unwilling to drink it. 35And when they had crucified Him, they divided His clothing among themselves by casting lots. 36And they sat down and kept guard over Him there. 37Over His head they put the charge against Him, which read: “THIS IS YESHUA, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 38Then two outlaws were executed with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39Those passing by were jeering at Him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If you are Ben-Elohim, come down from the stake!” 41Likewise the ruling kohanim, along with the Torah scholars and elders, were also mocking Him. 42“He saved others,” they were saying, “but He can’t save Himself? He’s the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the stake, and we’ll believe in Him! 43He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am Ben-Elohim.’” 44Even the outlaws who were executed with Him were ridiculing Him in the same way.

Yeshua Lays Down His Life

45Now from the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46About the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” 47When some of those standing there heard it, they began saying, “This Man is calling for Elijah.” 48Right away one of them ran and took a sponge. He filled it with sour wine and put it on a stick, and was offering it to Yeshua to drink. 49But the rest were saying, “Leave Him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.” 50And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. 51And behold, the curtain of the Temple was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart. 52And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim who were sleeping were raised to life. 53And coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those with him keeping guard over Yeshua, when they saw the earthquake and what was happening, they became terribly frightened and said, “This really was the Son of God!”

The Tomb Is Sealed

55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Yeshua from the Galilee, serving Him. 56Among them were Miriam from Magdala, Miriam the mother of Jacob and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also become a disciple of Yeshua. 58This man went to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. Then Pilate ordered it to be given up. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60And he laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. Then he rolled a large stone up to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Now Miriam from Magdala was there, and the other Miriam, sitting opposite the tomb.

Guarding the Tomb

62Now on the next day, which is after the preparation, the ruling kohanim and Pharisees were gathered before Pilate. 63“Sir,” they said, “we remember how that deceiver said while He was still alive, ‘After three days I’m to be raised.’ 64Therefore, order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, so His disciples do not come and steal Him away. They will tell the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first!” 65“You have a guard,” Pilate said to them. “Go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone along with the soldiers of the guard.
–from Matthew 27

 

We’ve all been created on purpose for a purpose!


You weren’t an accident! You are an accident! You’ve been created on purpose for a purpose! So let’s live up to that calling! Let’s pursue that purpose! Let’s complete the work set in front of us to do!

Do you know where to turn? when you have questions? when you have concerns?

God’s plan is good! God’s plan is great! So let’s live out our lives as living testimonies of His greatness! Let’s allow our goal and purpose to become more like Jesus! Let’s allow grace and forgiveness to flow from our lives! Let’s allow people to be transformed through our encounters because we point them to the one true God! Let’s allow our words and our actions to be the gospel in action! Let’s allow God to be seen through our relationships! So that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name!

Let’s celebrate, because God’s not dead!


Today’s reading starts with the calling of the Levites and then into praising God and closes with the incredible resurrection of Jesus!  He is risen! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us! So let’s choose to live!


The Levite Families and Duties

1These are the generations of Aaron and Moses current at the time Adonai spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai. 2These are the names of Aaron’s sons: Nadab the first-born, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 3These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed kohanim whom he consecrated to be priests. 4But Nadab and Abihu died before Adonai for offering unauthorized fire before Adonai in the Sinai wilderness—they had no children. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as kohanim under Aaron their father. 5Then Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 6“Gather the tribe of Levi near, and appoint them to attend to Aaron the kohen. 7They are to keep watch over duties for him and the entire community before the Tent of Meeting while performing the service of the Tabernacle. 8They are to tend to all the implements of the Tent of Meeting and the service of Bnei-Yisrael while performing the service of the Tabernacle. 9You are to give the Levites to Aaron and his sons. Out of Bnei-Yisrael they are dedicated entirely to him. 10You are to appoint Aaron and his sons to maintain the priesthood; any commoner who approaches must be executed.” 11Then Adonai said to Moses saying, 12“See, I have taken the Levites from among Bnei-Yisrael in place of the firstborn who open the womb among Bnei-Yisrael. The Levites will be Mine, 13because all the firstborn are Mine. In the day when I was striking down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated to Myself every firstborn in Israel—whether man or animal—as Mine. I am Adonai.” 14Adonai spoke in the Sinai wilderness to Moses saying, 15“Count the sons of Levi. According to their ancestral house, by their families, every male a month old and upward you are to number them.” 16So Moses numbered them in accordance with the word of Adonai, just as he was commanded. 17These were the sons of Levi, by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18These then were the names of the sons of Gershon by their families—Libni and Shimei. 19The sons of Kohath by their families were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 20The sons of Merari, by their families, are Mahli and Mushi. These then were the families of the Levites by their ancestral households. 21To Gershon belonged the family of the Libnites and the family of the Shimeites. These were the families of the Gershonites. 22The number of every male one month old and upward who were counted was 7,500. 23The Gershonites were to camp behind the Tabernacle on the west. 24The prince of the ancestral house of the Gershonites was Eliasaph son of Lael. 25The duties of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting were the Tabernacle, the tent, its coverings, the curtain of the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, 26the curtains of the courtyard, the screen of the entrance of the courtyard around the Tabernacle and altar, its ropes and all related to its use. 27To Kohath belonged the family of the Amramites, the family of the Izharites, the Hebronites and the Uzzielites. These were the Kohathite families. 28The number of every male one month old and upward was 8,600. Their duties were caring for the Sanctuary. 29The Kohathite families were to camp along the side of the Tabernacle on the south. 30The prince of the ancestral household of the Kohathites was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. 31They were responsible for the Ark, the table, the menorah, the altars, and the implements of the Sanctuary used in service with them, the curtain and all involved with its use. 32The chief prince of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron the kohen appointed over those whose responsibility was the care of the Sanctuary. 33To Merari belonged the families of the Mahlites and the Mushites. These were the families of Merari. 34Their number by count of every male one month old and upward was 6,200. 35The prince of the household of the father of the Merarites was Zuriel son of Abihail. They were to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle. 36The sons of Merari were appointed over the care of the frames of the Tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, and all equipment for its use, 37the posts of the surrounding courtyard, their bases, pegs and ropes. 38Those camping in front of the Tent of Meeting, on the east, toward the sunrise, were Moses, Aaron, and his sons. They were to care for the Sanctuary on behalf of Bnei-Yisrael. But anyone unauthorized who approached had to be executed. 39All the Levites counted by Moses and Aaron at the word of Adonai, by their families, inclusive of every male one month old and upward, were 22,000.

Redemption of the Firstborn

40Adonai said to Moses, “Count every firstborn male of Bnei-Yisrael from one month old and upward and make a list of their names. 41Set the Levites apart for me in place of all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, and, all the livestock of the Levites in place of the firstborn of the livestock of Bnei-Yisrael. I am Adonai.” 42So Moses counted all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael as Adonai commanded him. 43The sum total of the firstborn males of Bnei-Yisrael, one month old and upward, listed by name, was 22,273. 44Again Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 45“Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites will be Mine. I am Adonai. 46To redeem the 273 firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael exceeding the number of the Levites, 47you are to collect five shekels for each, based on the shekel of the Sanctuary, which is 20 gerahs. 48Give the money for the redemption of the extra ones of the firstborn of them to Aaron and his sons.” 49Hence Moses collected the redemption money for those exceeding the number redeemed by the Levites. 50From the firstborn of Bnei-Yisrael he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the Sanctuary shekel. 51Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, just as Adonai commanded him, in accordance with the mouth of Adonai.
–from Numbers 3

God’s got a plan! So let’s live it out! And give Him all the praise!

Let All Peoples Praise You

1For the music director, with stringed instruments, a psalm, a song. 2May God be gracious to us and bless us. May He cause His face to shine upon us— Selah 3so that Your way may be known on earth, and Your salvation among all nations. 4Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. 5Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples fairly, and guide the nations on the earth. Selah 6Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. 7The earth has yielded its harvest— God, our God will bless us. 8God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.
–Psalms 67

Wondering why? Wondering how? Wondering where? Wondering who? Wondering what? Wondering when?

The Lamb of God is Resurrected

1Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it is still dark, Miriam from Magdala comes to the tomb. She sees that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. 2So she comes running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Yeshua loved. She tells them, “They’ve taken the Master out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put Him!” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out, going to the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and arrived at the tomb first. 5Leaning in, he sees the linen strips lying there. But he didn’t go in. 6Then Simon Peter comes following him, and he entered the tomb. He looks upon the linen strips lying there, 7and the face cloth that had been on His head. It was not lying with the linen strips, but was rolled up in a place by itself. 8So then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. 9For they did not yet understand from Scripture that Yeshua must rise from the dead. 10So the disciples went back to their own homes.

Yeshua Appears to Miriam

11But Miriam stood outside the tomb weeping. As she was weeping, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12She sees two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where Yeshua’s body had been lying. 13“Woman, why are you crying?” they say to her. She says to them, “Because they took away my Master, and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14After she said these things, she turned around. And she sees Yeshua standing there. Yet she didn’t know that it was Yeshua. 15Yeshua says to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Thinking He’s the gardener, she says to Him, “Sir, if You’ve carried Him away, tell me where You’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16Yeshua says to her, “Miriam!” Turning around, she says to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Yeshua says to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am going up to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” 18Miriam from Magdala comes, announcing to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord,” and what He had said to her.

Yeshua Appears to the Disciples

19It was evening on that day, the first of the week. When the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Judean leaders, Yeshua came and stood in their midst! And He said to them, “Shalom aleichem!” 20After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Yeshua said to them again, “Shalom aleichem! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And after He said this, He breathed on them. And He said to them, “Receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh! 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; but if you hold back, they are held back.” 24One of the Twelve, Thomas called the Twin, was not with them when Yeshua came. 25The other disciples were saying to him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he replied to them, “Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand in His side, I will never believe!” 26Eight days later the disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Yeshua comes, despite the locked doors. He stood in their midst and said, “Shalom aleichem!” 27Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe!” 28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Yeshua said to Him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed? Blessed are the ones who have not seen and yet have believed!”

The Reason for Signs and Wonders

30Yeshua performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these things have been written so that you may believe that Yeshua is Mashiach Ben-Elohim, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

–from John 20

 

 

 

Are you fearful? Do you dread? Are you afraid?


What do you believe in? Doyou believe in someone that can overcome anything that might try to make you fearful? Do you believe in someone that can overcome anything that might try to make you dread? Do you believe in someone that can overcome anything that might try to make you afraid?

Put your trust and hope in God! Allow your faith to overcome and overwhelm any fears or worries or doubts. With God for you, who can be against you? With God as your light and salvation, whom should you be fearful of or dread? With God as your refuge and stronghold, whom should you be afraid? When worries come your way, cast them upon the Lord because He cares for you. When you face troubles take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. When you face trials of many kinds consider it pure joy, remembering that it is testing of your faith producing perseverance which when it completes its work will leave you complete and lacking nothing.

So let’s walk by faith and not by sight so that we have not reason to fear. Do you know Jesus? Have you started to have a relationship with Jesus? Want to get it started today? Why not jump down to the bottom of today’s post and pray the prayer with me? We will wait here before we take a moment of be reminded and refreshed by worship.


Today’s verse of the day is:

“THE Lord is my Light and my Salvation–whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?”
‭‭— Psalm‬ ‭27:1‬ ‭AMPC‬‬

We need to put our trust and confidence in God in order to overcome fear. By putting our confidence in God fear can be eliminated. E know that this world will throw things our way that will rattle us, we know David had moments in his life and in the midst of these moments he didn’t just run and hide and fear, he cried out to the God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more that we could ever ask or imagine. His faith was larger than his fear. He knew that God can. He knew that nothing was impossible with God. David had testimonies of how good God is and how God had shown up so many times and so he knew in those moments to turn to God for wisdom and discernment and direction and instruction and hope and rest and strength in his weakness. So we need to take hold of God’s Word and God’s promises. We need to allow ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit and allow the faith in us to overflow and overcome the worry, the doubt, and the fear. Yes, the devil comes like a roaring lion but we know that Jesus has already won the victory and overcome the devil. So fear doesn’t have to have he last word. Let’s grab hold of the confidence and security that David was in and at because He knew who the Lord is. He knew God, not just about God, not just some god, but He has a relationship with God that allows him to know he has nothing to fear. Instead of wanting or trying to skip the scary parts, let’s choose to allow God to strengthen us, build up our faith, so that in the midst of it all, He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Let’s allow it to become a testimony that we can consider and remember and even share with others who are struggling with or in life. Let’s allow it to make our faith stronger. Let’s allow it to help us realize how solid our foundation of Jesus really is. Let’s allow it to help us stay on track by aligning ourselves with our cornerstone of life who is Jesus.

So let’s remember we are not alone! So call out to God.

Me your fears and offer them up to God! Let them go and give them into His hands. Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. Ask God to help you through your fears. Ask Him to give you confidence that He is with you, never leaving and never abandoning you. Ask it all in Jesus’s name. Hear God’s direction and do what He says.


With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? Leave the fear behind! 2020 has 2 months left, learn from the past 10 months and press forward in faith trusting God in and through each day! What have you learned from the pat 10 months? How can you apply it going forward? They say hindsight is 2020 so let’s consider what we’ve been through and focus on what is ahead so that what is behind us isn’t where we focus or what is clearest.

The 49 week challenge
Day 303

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 303 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

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:

My Notes:

  • ‘But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”’ — 2 Peter 2:1-22
  • ‘Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools! Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison. Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like an archer who wounds at random is one who hires a fool or any passer-by. As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them. A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.’ — Proverbs 26:1-28
  • ‘Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho. Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites. The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. Balak said: “A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said. “Spend the night here,” Balaam said to them, “and I will report back to you with the answer the Lord gives me.” So the Moabite officials stayed with him. God came to Balaam and asked, “Who are these men with you?” Balaam said to God, “Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message: ‘A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.’ ” But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.” The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s officials, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” So the Moabite officials returned to Balak and said, “Balaam refused to come with us.” Then Balak sent other officials, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. They came to Balaam and said: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me.” But Balaam answered them, “Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.” That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.” Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road. Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord , it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again. Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord , it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.” Balaam said to the angel of the Lord , “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.” The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials. When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?” “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.” Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him. The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.’ — Numbers 22:1-41
  • ‘After the plague the Lord said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families—all those twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army of Israel.” So on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them and said, “Take a census of the men twenty years old or more, as the Lord commanded Moses.” These were the Israelites who came out of Egypt: The descendants of Reuben, the firstborn son of Israel, were: through Hanok, the Hanokite clan; through Pallu, the Palluite clan; through Hezron, the Hezronite clan; through Karmi, the Karmite clan. These were the clans of Reuben; those numbered were 43,730. The son of Pallu was Eliab, and the sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan and Abiram. The same Dathan and Abiram were the community officials who rebelled against Moses and Aaron and were among Korah’s followers when they rebelled against the Lord . The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign. The line of Korah, however, did not die out. The descendants of Simeon by their clans were: through Nemuel, the Nemuelite clan; through Jamin, the Jaminite clan; through Jakin, the Jakinite clan; through Zerah, the Zerahite clan; through Shaul, the Shaulite clan. These were the clans of Simeon; those numbered were 22,200. The descendants of Gad by their clans were: through Zephon, the Zephonite clan; through Haggi, the Haggite clan; through Shuni, the Shunite clan; through Ozni, the Oznite clan; through Eri, the Erite clan; through Arodi, the Arodite clan; through Areli, the Arelite clan. These were the clans of Gad; those numbered were 40,500. Er and Onan were sons of Judah, but they died in Canaan. The descendants of Judah by their clans were: through Shelah, the Shelanite clan; through Perez, the Perezite clan; through Zerah, the Zerahite clan. The descendants of Perez were: through Hezron, the Hezronite clan; through Hamul, the Hamulite clan. These were the clans of Judah; those numbered were 76,500. The descendants of Issachar by their clans were: through Tola, the Tolaite clan; through Puah, the Puite clan; through Jashub, the Jashubite clan; through Shimron, the Shimronite clan. These were the clans of Issachar; those numbered were 64,300. The descendants of Zebulun by their clans were: through Sered, the Seredite clan; through Elon, the Elonite clan; through Jahleel, the Jahleelite clan. These were the clans of Zebulun; those numbered were 60,500. The descendants of Joseph by their clans through Manasseh and Ephraim were: The descendants of Manasseh: through Makir, the Makirite clan (Makir was the father of Gilead); through Gilead, the Gileadite clan. These were the descendants of Gilead: through Iezer, the Iezerite clan; through Helek, the Helekite clan; through Asriel, the Asrielite clan; through Shechem, the Shechemite clan; through Shemida, the Shemidaite clan; through Hepher, the Hepherite clan. (Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons; he had only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah.) These were the clans of Manasseh; those numbered were 52,700. These were the descendants of Ephraim by their clans: through Shuthelah, the Shuthelahite clan; through Beker, the Bekerite clan; through Tahan, the Tahanite clan. These were the descendants of Shuthelah: through Eran, the Eranite clan. These were the clans of Ephraim; those numbered were 32,500. These were the descendants of Joseph by their clans. The descendants of Benjamin by their clans were: through Bela, the Belaite clan; through Ashbel, the Ashbelite clan; through Ahiram, the Ahiramite clan; through Shupham, the Shuphamite clan; through Hupham, the Huphamite clan. The descendants of Bela through Ard and Naaman were: through Ard, the Ardite clan; through Naaman, the Naamite clan. These were the clans of Benjamin; those numbered were 45,600. These were the descendants of Dan by their clans: through Shuham, the Shuhamite clan. These were the clans of Dan: All of them were Shuhamite clans; and those numbered were 64,400. The descendants of Asher by their clans were: through Imnah, the Imnite clan; through Ishvi, the Ishvite clan; through Beriah, the Beriite clan; and through the descendants of Beriah: through Heber, the Heberite clan; through Malkiel, the Malkielite clan. (Asher had a daughter named Serah.) These were the clans of Asher; those numbered were 53,400. The descendants of Naphtali by their clans were: through Jahzeel, the Jahzeelite clan; through Guni, the Gunite clan; through Jezer, the Jezerite clan; through Shillem, the Shillemite clan. These were the clans of Naphtali; those numbered were 45,400. The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730. The Lord said to Moses, “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed. Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe. Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.” These were the Levites who were counted by their clans: through Gershon, the Gershonite clan; through Kohath, the Kohathite clan; through Merari, the Merarite clan. These also were Levite clans: the Libnite clan, the Hebronite clan, the Mahlite clan, the Mushite clan, the Korahite clan. (Kohath was the forefather of Amram; the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam. Aaron was the father of Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died when they made an offering before the Lord with unauthorized fire.) All the male Levites a month old or more numbered 23,000. They were not counted along with the other Israelites because they received no inheritance among them. These are the ones counted by Moses and Eleazar the priest when they counted the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.’ — Numbers 26:1-65

As day 303 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 today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year 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?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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 that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Are you ready to share what you are thankful for? Thankful for in 2020?


Consider all the family time that happened. Consider all the time with our spouse. Consider all the time with our kids. Consider how technology has allowed for connections and communication to continue. Consider how technology has allowed church and words of encouragement to be shared more regularly. Consider how technology has enabled so many more people to get online. Consider all that you have to be thankful for in 2020. Thankful for the service workers who kept things going and safe.Thankful that God is in control no matter what people try to do or get away with. Thankful for a living relationship with God through my Lord and Savior Jesus. Thankful for the benefits of my relationship with God.


Today’s reading comes to us from Psalms 9 and says:

‘ I WILL praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (recount and tell aloud) all Your marvelous works and wonderful deeds! I will rejoice in You and be in high spirits; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!’

— Psalm 9:1-2

So let us celebrate God! Let’s celebrate the victory that has been won! Let’s take hold of the reality that the victory is because of the blood sacrificed by Jesus on the cross (the blood of the lamb) and the sharing of our words, the testimony of our lives to the world around us! Let’s recount all God has and is doing in our lives! Let’s share it out loud what marvelous things He has done. Let’s rejoice and celebrate Him! Let’s give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name!


The 49 week challenge Day 330

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 330 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

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:


Notes:

  • ‘Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” A second angel followed and said, “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.’
    — Revelation 14:1-20
  • ‘“In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine to drink. “Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland. “See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken. Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, Lord ! “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow— so great is their wickedness!” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. “In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord ’s house and will water the valley of acacias. But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood. Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged? No, I will not.” The Lord dwells in Zion!’
    — Joel 3:1-21
  • ‘In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame. Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. In that day the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?’ ”’
    — Isaiah 20:1-6
  • ‘A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror. A dire vision has been shown to me: The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot. Elam, attack! Media, lay siege! I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused. At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see. My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me. They set the tables, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink! Get up, you officers, oil the shields! This is what the Lord says to me: “Go, post a lookout and have him report what he sees. When he sees chariots with teams of horses, riders on donkeys or riders on camels, let him be alert, fully alert.” And the lookout shouted, “Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post. Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!’ ” My people who are crushed on the threshing floor, I tell you what I have heard from the Lord Almighty, from the God of Israel. A prophecy against Dumah : Someone calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but also the night. If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.” A prophecy against Arabia: You caravans of Dedanites, who camp in the thickets of Arabia, bring water for the thirsty; you who live in Tema, bring food for the fugitives. They flee from the sword, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow and from the heat of battle. This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.” The Lord , the God of Israel, has spoken.’
    — Isaiah 21:1-17
  • ‘Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.” Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.” I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord , the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. He said, “Surely they are my people, children who will be true to me”; and so he became their Savior. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people— where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them, who sent his glorious arm of power to be at Moses’ right hand, who divided the waters before them, to gain for himself everlasting renown, who led them through the depths? Like a horse in open country, they did not stumble; like cattle that go down to the plain, they were given rest by the Spirit of the Lord . This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name. Look down from heaven and see, from your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us. But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, Lord , are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Why, Lord , do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance. For a little while your people possessed your holy place, but now our enemies have trampled down your sanctuary. We are yours from of old; but you have not ruled over them, they have not been called by your name.’
    — Isaiah 63:1-19

As day 330 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 today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year 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?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


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 that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com


Favor or Favour – however you spell it, it means a lot.


FAVOR or FAVOUR: The word has the following definition

The reason for that comes from a conversation I had fairly recently with someone when we were sharing how crazy 2020 has been and I opened up to share how I had felt like I was walking on egg shells because of everything that took place. To receive a response that said they wished they had someone who had their back like I did, I was surprised, shocked, and curious about the statement. My first thought that came to mind was thank you God for your favor on me and over my life. In the midst of the trials and the troubles God was with me and beyond my knowledge He was working on my behalf, interceding with me beyond what is due or usual. I later had a follow up conversation with someone else and their response was that it could have been worse. Wow, that was a surprise and caused me to ponder even more. I thank God that the heart of the kind is in His hands. I thank God that He has opened doors that have allowed me to go before very senior leaders over the years and blessed me with the opportunity to talk with them, some to greater depth than others and yet at least to get to meet and talk to them. As I look back and consider my time at Microsoft and that I got to meet Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Satya Nadella, it was God’s hand at work. As I look back and consider my time at GoDaddy and that I got to meet Bob Parsons, Blake Irving, Scott Wagner, and Aman Bhutani. The situations and the circumstances varied. The depth of connection varied. Some were more in passing while others I was able to build relationships with. In each case though God had given me favor. An example was before a Christmas party telling my wife how I had never met Bob and she logically commented on how short a period I had been at the company and to my surprise God heard the desire of my heart and while I was speaking with my friend Mike who walks up to talk with Mike but Bob and I got to meet him. God’s so incredible! We have not because we ask not or we ask with the wrong heart. So we need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then He will give us the desires of our hearts. It is important to be walking with God so that You can be walking knowing that He has your back! You will know that He will never leave you and never abandon you. You will know that He will take what the enemy means for evil and turn it around and use it for good. You will be able to trust Him in the good and the bad times rather than trying to lean on your own understanding so that You can acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!

Twenty years ago this Christmas season we received an invitation in the mail to attend a Christmas production at a local church. We were still relatively new to the area and so we decide to go. It was the beginning of our journey of faith, our beginning of the reality of having a living relationship with God, our beginning of our journey of Jesus being our Lord and Savior, our beginning of our journey into all that God had prepared in advance for us and has since called us to be and do. It was the beginning and God had a plan to accelerate things with our late start with activities with things like that first Christmas, spiritual emphasis week, prayer and fasting week, men’s and women’s retreats, Easter and Christmas productions, Cleansing Stream, Wednesday night Bible studies and so much more. It was the beginning of an incredible relationship with our Heavenly Father. It was the beginning of an intimate relationship with Jesus. It was the beginning of our ability to be lead and guided, to find comfort and peace in the midst of the storms thanks to the comforter, the Holy Spirit.

God had a plan that was so much bigger than anything we could have asked or imagined. God saw how we honored our parents in even making the big decision to pick up and move far away after having given both sets the options of leaving Microsoft or leaving the country. God had a plan that required putting us in a place where the excuse of “we’re too busy” would be thrown out the window. We didn’t know anybody. We didn’t have much to do yet. We had no excuses 20 years ago when we made the big move. As I reflect on the decision to ask the two sets of parents, I remember the morning when God revealed to me how that was a step and a key to moving forward as it aligns to His will where we read Ephesians 6 where it says:

‘ Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–[Exod. 20:12.] That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.’

Ephesians 6:2-3

‘ Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.’

— Exodus 20:12

Does that mean you won’t have trials? Nope. Does that mean you won’t have troubles? Nope. Does it mean you will have God with you in and through each of those storms of life? Yes!

‘ Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.’

— James 1:2-4

‘ I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]’

— John 16:33

So are you needing someone to have your back? Why not turn to God and invite Jesus into your heart? God will go before you, preparing in advance the good works He has for you to accomplish and making a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way. God will have your back, never leaving you nor abandoning you. If it interests you, feel free to jump to the prayer at the end of the post and pray it with me. If not yet, hope you will continue reading today’s message of hope and love.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor].’

— Luke 2:14

✨MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU✨

The Weary World Rejoices: Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

Truth, even the mere notion thereof, is constantly under attack in today’s world. Yet Christ claims to be ‘the truth , the way, and the life’, an exclusive statement that asserts that Christ alone is the way for humanity to be reconciled to God. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to be people of truth—both in word and deed—bearing witness to our glorious Saviour. 

— Bearing Witness To The Truth Of Christ In A Pluralistic, Globalized World

So today’s focus as we read from God’s Word (Day 2):

  • Read:
  • Truth and the Workplace
  • Our work is significant and belongs under the Lordship of Christ
  • Reject the idea of a secular divide and instead let’s allow our work to be our ministry, our ministry field, where we are the missionaries sent into the workplace to make God known
  • Don’t downplay but instead accept and affirm your ministry in the workplace as God’s calling on your life
  • Work with your pastors and churches to help equip the saints for works of service in every part of our lives

My Notes:

  • ‘ Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,’ — Colossians 3:23
  • ‘ So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Col. 3:9, 10; James 3:8, 9.] And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’ — Genesis 1:27-28
  • Work is a part of God’s purpose and is evident in creation
  • Our work is within the sphere of ministry as we serve others
  • Do fall for the lies and deception that there is a divide
  • We are do live out our lives as living sacrifices – and work as unto the Lord!
  • We are to work with all of our hearts in whatever we do as unto the Lord for it is our worship to Him!
  • So be equipped, get equipped, develop yourself so that as you go out into the world that You can be salt and light and be Jesus with skin on to the world around you, sharking hope, light, and love with everyone.
  • Let’s be outreaching, embracing, and discipling
  • Paul ministered in the workplace as a tentmaker and so can we.

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?

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?


How well do you deal with absolutes?


Absolute love? Absolute hope? Absolute trust? Absolute belief? Absolute faith? Absolute obedience? Absolute disobedience? Absolute good? Absolute evil? Absolute truth? Are you able to live in a world of absolutes or do you prefer to live in the grey areas? So where do you stand when it comes to God? Are you living inside or outside of God’s will? Are you leaning on God’s Word or the ways of the world? Are you deciding to live in absolute obedience to God’s will and God’s Word or are you trying to partially obey? You realize that partial obedience is disobedience right?

How well do you deal with absolutes at home? How well do you deal with absolutes at work? How well do you deal with absolutes in the community? How well do you deal with absolutes in the church? How well do you deal with absolutes in the government? How well do you deal with absolutes in the judicial or laws of the land? How well do you deal with absolutes when it comes to what is and isn’t a sin?

So how would you respond to being tested in any of those areas? Would you be ready and willing to testify of how it went? Would you be ready and willing to share your testimony of how it all played out?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 16th


Life’s Biggest Test


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. ‘

II Corinthians 2:8-9

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you deal with and respond to when bad things are taking place?
  • How do you respond when you are directed to deal with the problem?
  • Are you obedient?
  • How do you respond when the problem is fixed and there is a change of heart?
  • Are you obedient?
  • Are you able to forgive?
  • Are you able to restore?
  • Are you able to accept?
  • Disciplining is to help get the person back on track, and so if it works how will you respond?
  • Are you able to be obedient and discipline when necessary?
  • Are you able to be obedient and accept when necessary?
  • How about if you are the one being disciplined? Are you ready to repent? Are you ready to ask for forgiveness?
  • When you have the test of needing to discipline someone for their sins will you pass the test?
  • When you have the test of needing to forgive, restore, and accept someone who has repented and turned from their wicked ways will you pass the test?
  • Are you able to be firm enough to require that someone who has gone off track change?
  • Are you able to forgive them if they admit to their wrongdoing and change?
  • As church, as a family, how will you deal with sin when it shows up?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How did your family handle significant sins like additions, abuse, and rebellion (if they were present in your family)?
  • Describe the purpose and process of dealing with others’ sins.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If you are not living in the will of God, you are uncomfortable in the Word of God.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? How do you handle the test of obedience? How do you handle the test of dealing with people who have gone off track? How do you respond when you have gone off track? Where do you turn? How do you know what to do? Are you ready to turn to God and invite Jesus into the situation? Are you ready to do what is asked of you? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


Can I get a witness?


Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to make an event out of it? Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to go somewhere special? Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to have a script? Do you realize witnessing doesn’t mean you have to schedule it? Do you realize that you are able to witness by living your life? People are watching you everyday and how you decide to live your life speaks louder than anything you could ever say – some may say that actions speak louder than words. With people watching you everyday, what are your words saying about what you believe and how is it witnessing to them? With people watching you everyday, what are your responses and actions saying about what you believe and how is it witnessing to them?

Are you ready to decide to live your life like Jesus in order to testify to the world about God? Are you ready to decide to live your life filled to overflowing with love in order to testify to the world about God? Are you ready to decide to live your life generously and with a giving heart in order to testify to the world about God? Are you ready to decide to live your life sacrificing your selfish desires in order to testify to the world about God?

How can you decide to live out your life so that it produces evidence of who Jesus is in your life? How can you choose to live out your life so that it produces evidence of Jesus working in and through you? How can you live out your life producing the fruit of the Spirit (love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) in order to have evidence of who Jesus is and how He worked in and through your life to transform you from who you were into who you are becoming? How can you live out your life that others may know that God loves them? How can you live out your life that others may know that Jesus saves all who come to Him in repentance of sin and live out their lives with faith in Him?

Let’s consider what the Bible says about witnessing:

‘But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” ‘

Acts 1:8

‘The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory. ‘

Romans 8:16-17

‘Later, Jesus appeared to the eleven [disciples] themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He called them to account for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen [from death]. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed [in Me] and has been baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who has not believed will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” ‘

Mark 16:14-18

‘Now who is there to hurt you if you become enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. D o not be afraid of their intimidating threats , nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition]. But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. And see to it that your conscience is entirely clear, so that every time you are slandered or falsely accused, those who attack or disparage your good behavior in Christ will be shamed [by their own words]. For it is better that you suffer [unjustly] for doing what is right, if that should be God’s will, than [to suffer justly] for doing wrong. ‘

1 Peter 3:13-17

‘Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]. ‘

Colossians 4:5-6

‘ “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery]. “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven. ‘

Matthew 5:13-16

‘Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”’

Matthew 28:16-20

Do you realize the responsibility that comes with being a witness?

‘“You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie, withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person). ‘

Exodus 20:16

‘“You are My witnesses,” declares the L ord , “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. ‘

Isaiah 43:10

So are you ready to live out your today in a way that even if you never say something to someone they will receive the witness of who God is? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that your actions speak louder than words? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that your words will just amplify in a positive way the love of God? the grace of God? the power of God? Will you choose to live out your today in a way that will bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name?


Let’s pause and consider this with a song…

Testify To Love | Avalon

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 19th


Give Yourself Away


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.’

Ephesians 5:1-2

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Every day we give ourselves away to the world around us!
  • What are you giving away? What smell are you giving away?
  • Is it the sweet-smelling aroma that we read about in today’s verse?
  • Paul sets the standard very high!
  • Are you ready to give yourself in the same way Jesus gave Himself to you and me?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with kindness?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with boldness?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with amazing love?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away with great risks?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away even if it means you could be misunderstood?
  • Are you ready to give yourself away even if it means you might get rejected?
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider the sweet-smelling aroma that will produce for and to others.
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider how much the room would get filled with an amazing fragrance.
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider the how it will draw others towards you and towards God.
  • By giving yourself away with kindness, boldness, and amazing love, consider the impact you can have on and in the lives of others in pointing them towards eternity with God.
  • Are you ready to imitate God in order to make this a reality?
  • Are you ready to imitate living life like Jesus did in order to make a difference in the lives of all those God brings across your path?
  • Are you ready to live your life by overflowing the incredible love of God into the people God brings into your life today and every day?
  • Are you ready to live that transformed life you have through Jesus’s love before the world He has placed you on and in?
  • Are you filled up enough by spending time and allowing Jesus to fill up your love tank to be able to overflow and not run out of love when you have to engage and encounter others?
  • Take some time to get filled up before you go out so that you can allow the fountain of love that never runs dry to be pouring into you so that you can overflow into the lives of the people around you today.
Fountain that is pouring and overflowing
Fountain that is pouring and overflowing

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What, do you think, do you smell like to others?
  • What do you need to do to fill your tank with God’s love for you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The secret to a life of fulfillment is learning to give yourself away.”

— Jean Hendricks

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? How are you going to live out your today? How are you going to testify to this world around you? What will they take away from having seen you? What will they take away from having been with you? What will they take away from having heard you? Are you filled up enough to be giving off a sweet smelling aroma? Are you filled up enough to be overflowing with love? Do you need your own encounter in order to get filled up? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


We are called to BE A WITNESS! It is who we are not an event or moment! It is living your life where it is the witness of what God has done in and through your life thanks to Jesus!

What is your story through His Story?


It is an interesting thought to consider your story in history as His Story. It is interesting to consider your story BC and AD where I use BC to mean Before Christ and AD for After Decision to follow Jesus. It’s interesting to map your story in view of His Story. Will you consider mapping out your story through His Story?

In my heart and mind, AD happened in 2000 when the reality that I needed a living relationship with Jesus was realized. I realized it wasn’t about rituals or routines or even going through the motions of going to church, going through the flow of hymns, or the routine of standing at the right time, sitting at the right time, or even kneeling at the right time. I realized that a lot of what I had done or gone through was preparing me for this day but that it was all about having an intimate relationship with Jesus. Yes, there were times I prayed. Yes, there were incredible times when God answered my prayers like when I found my wife. Yes, I kept trying to connect by even getting married in the church so that our marriage would be under God’s blessings. But in reality, it took till the end of Dec 2000 for the aha moment, the moment when I realized I was blind to the reality and the truth and now could see, the moment when I realized I needed to both invite Jesus into my heart and start an actual relationship with Him, inviting Him into every part of my life. 2001 was the year of the jetpack as I like to call it when God helped get my wife and me up to speed. We were baptized. We received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We took Cleansing Stream. We became members of our church. We began serving in leadership positions like her leading MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) and me in Men’s leadership as well as both of us serving in Worship & Arts which we eventually realized we could both serve together and be able to see each other more too. I had started digging into God’s Word back in 2001, going to bible studies, morning reading and devotionals, reading various translations of God’s Word from King James, New King James, NIV, NLT, Amplified, Message, ASV, NASB, CEV, GNT, and others, along with different formats too like when I read the Chronological bible which was quite enlightening to connect the dots of the stories in the bible across books. In 2005 God called me to take the idea of writing a blog in a totally different direction from a private place to share pictures and updates with the family to share my morning readings and writings and understandings and prayers with the public. God had an interesting plan because even as I considered what to name it, He had me reading the book of Revelation and hence the name From 2005 to Eternity. And oh how God has blessed me, built my faith, helped me through trials, troubles, and pains. He led me through great triumphs and victories. He has taught me that every day is Happy Today because this is the day that the Lord has made and so I will rejoice and be glad in it! So much of life, thanks to God’s prompting has been captured through His Story as I read and focus on His Word as I live out my life. How about you? How is your story in His Story?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 31st


What’s Your Story?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”’

John 9:25

Could you imagine being the guy whose life was transformed that much? Could you imagine being interrogated because you were healed? Let’s check out the full context of today’s verse so that we can grasp where he was (BC) and where he is (AD) through today’s story.

‘While He was passing by, He noticed a man [who had been] blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed and illustrated in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world [giving guidance through My word and works].” When He had said this, He spat on the ground and made mud with His saliva, and He spread the mud [like an ointment] on the man’s eyes. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. So the neighbors, and those who used to know him as a beggar, said, “Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Still others said, “No, but he looks like him.” But he kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The Man called Jesus made mud and smeared it on my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received my sight!” They asked him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” Then they brought the man who was formerly blind to the Pharisees. Now it was on a Sabbath day that Jesus made the mud and opened the man’s eyes. So the Pharisees asked him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He smeared mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.” Then some of the Pharisees said, “This Man [Jesus] is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner (a non-observant Jew) do such signs and miracles?” So there was a difference of opinion among them. Accordingly they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “[It must be that] He is a prophet!” However, the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the man’s parents. They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but as to how he now sees, we do not know; or who has opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him [and stop asking us]; he is of age, he will speak for himself and give his own account of it.” His parents said this because they were afraid of [the leaders of] the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged Jesus to be the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue (excommunicated). Because of this his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So a second time they called the man who had been [born] blind, and said to him, “Give God glory and praise [for your sight]! We know this Man [Jesus] is a sinner [separated from God].” Then he answered, “I do not know whether He is a sinner [separated from God]; but one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” So they said to him, “What did He [actually] do to you? How did He open your eyes?” He answered, “I already told you and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again and again? Do you want to become His disciples, too?” And [at that remark] they stormed at him and jeered, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! We know [for certain] that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this Man, we do not know where He is from.” The man replied, “Well, this is astonishing! You do not know where He comes from, and yet He opened my eyes! We know [according to your tradition] that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone fears God and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this Man were not from God, He would not be able to do anything [like this because God would not hear His prayer].” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins [from head to foot], and you [presume to] teach us?” Then they threw him out [of the synagogue]. Jesus heard that they had put him out [of the synagogue], and finding him, He asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “Who is He, Sir? Tell me so that I may believe in Him.” Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and [in fact] He is the one who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe [in You and Your word]!” And he worshiped Him [with reverence and awe]. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment [to separate those who believe in Me from those who reject Me—to declare judgment on those who choose to be separated from God], so that the sightless would see, and those who see would become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind [to spiritual things], you would have no sin [and would not be blamed for your unbelief]; but since you claim to have [spiritual] sight, [you have no excuse so] your sin and guilt remain.

John 9:1-41

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Have you already started your journey and received Jesus into your heart?
    • Do you remember the transformation that triggered in your life?
    • Do you remember that transformation triggered by forgiveness?
    • Do you remember that transformation triggered by trust in Jesus?
    • Do you remember that transformation triggered by the reality that your final destination had an address change to be with God in Heaven?
    • Do you remember the transformation and weight lifted from your shoulders with the washing away of guilt and shame through God’s unconditional love?
    • Do you remember the transformation triggered by the acceptance of Almighty God?
  • Have you heard about such thing happening to people but it hasn’t for you yet?
  • Would you be ready and willing to receive and accept such a transformation and allow your story to be a part of His Story?
  • Are you a seeker and one who is a Christian who is trying to figure it all out and so are doing a lot of studying?
  • Has it taken all that research for you to grasp it?
  • I wonder how much of the mystery of the transformation will take till we get to heaven to truly understand.
  • In today’s verse we see how Jesus restored the physical sight of a man who was born blind.
  • Ever experienced a miracle and then had others try to find reason to discount the magnitude of it? We see how the religious leaders tried to do this to him.
  • We even see how they tried to find ways to convict or condemn Jesus for having done it.
  • When they accused Jesus of being a sinner it was interesting to get to hear the man’s response in today’s verse:
    • Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.
  • His experience was enough for him.
  • Let’s dig deep into God’s Word in order to know and find His promises and truths.
  • Let’s dig deep into God’s Word in order to understand this incredible transformation we have experienced.
  • Let’s not be swayed because of what people say but like the man who had been blind don’t allow people to rob you of the miracle that is salvation by grace through faith.
  • Let’s share and grab hold of the transformations that take place from the inside out.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe the unmistakable transformation you’ve experienced because you trusted Christ.
  • In God’s grace to save you still a wonder to you? Why or why not?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If you let yourself be absorbed completely, if you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you will live more richly those moments.”

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Daniel 4 – ever been disturbed by a message or dream you had? ever looked for someone to help make sense of it? check out what happens in Daniel 4.
  • Daniel 5 – ever seen something you couldn’t unsee? ever been concerned by the writing on the wall? check out what happens in Daniel 5.
  • Daniel 6 – ever found favor with leadership and been the target of a plan? check out what happens in Daniel 6

So where are you today? Are you living your story as a part of His Story? Are you finding yourself in situations where you become anxious by the dreams or the messages? Are you finding yourself in situations where you become anxious by what you see as writing on the wall? Are you finding yourself with favor and yet feeling threatened and anxious? Then why not start your today by making your story a part of His Story? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


Tested vs Testing…


If you are like me then I know you have been tested in this thing called life. Some may have been small tests (like quizzes almost) and others much larger (like exams) and yet after it we realize what we have learned, where we need to focus, and where to keep on the pressure. At the end of the test, we have a testimony of God’s love, goodness, and grace that we are able to share with others. The test of forgiveness was a tough one for me and it lasted a while because I kept resisting it until I got to the tipping or breaking point. Once I realized that I had to forgive and did, I had learned so much and God was able to use me to speak love, hope, life, and forgiveness into the lives of so many others who had been carrying around the burdens of bitterness, resentment, anger, frustration, and were riding the downward spiral of their own. Through that test I grew, I learned, and I am prepared when the next situations happen to forgive rather than to build up a wall and start down the spiral to rock bottom. Not only was I able to share it multiple times while I was at the company where it happened, but I was also able to share it when I joined a new company as part of an introduction/get-to-know-you type of activity called Story Slam. Here are some reference links as well as the video they took of me sharing my testimony with a bunch of coworkers. A bunch of them came to me afterward and shared how my story touched them and they had even passed it along.

My Story Slam – Forgiveness Testimonial

How would you respond if you were offered to test someone else would you do it? What if it were God who offered you to test Him? Would you be as willing to test God as you would one of your friends, family members, or co-workers? Would it depend on the risk vs reward associated with the offer?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 11th


When It’s Okay To Test God


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.’

Malachi 3:10

Let’s get some context around what brought God to put this challenge out there to test Him. Let’s check out the verses around today’s verse and use the Amplified version to get more details.

‘“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will prepare and clear the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap [which removes impurities and uncleanness]. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [the priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord [grain] offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in ancient years. “Then I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against perjurers, and against those who oppress the laborer in his wages and widows and the fatherless, and against those who turn away the alien [from his right], and those who do not fear Me [with awe-filled reverence],” says the Lord of hosts. “For I am the Lord, I do not change [but remain faithful to My covenant with you]; that is why you, O sons of Jacob, have not come to an end. “Yet from the days of your fathers you have turned away from My statutes and ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. Then I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plague) for your sake and he will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the field drop its grapes [before harvest],” says the Lord of hosts. “All nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight,” says the Lord of hosts. “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the Lord. “But you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God. What profit is it if we keep His ordinances, and walk around like mourners before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the arrogant happy and blessed. Evildoers are exalted and prosper; and when they test God, they escape [unpunished].’ ”

Then those who feared the Lord [with awe-filled reverence] spoke to one another, and the Lord paid attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who fear the Lord [with an attitude of reverence and respect] and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on that day when I publicly recognize them and openly declare them to be My own possession [that is, My very special treasure]. And I will have compassion on them and spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve Him.’

Malachi 3:1-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you living your faith?
  • Is your faith in God something you do something with or about on Sundays?
  • Is your faith in God something you write down and then come back or never come back to it?
  • Are you living your faith, active faith, where it makes a difference in your life and the lives of those around you?
  • Is your faith making a difference in your relationships?
  • Is your faith making a difference in your purpose?
  • Is your faith making a difference in your finances?
  • Are you all in when it comes to giving God what He is due?
  • Are you willing to read His Word?
  • Are you willing to sing and worship Him?
  • Are you willing to be a hilarious or generous giver?
  • What’s your perspective when it comes to money?
  • Is it yours or are you a steward of it?
  • Is it something you hold onto closed fisted or open handed?
  • Is it something that is a tool to accomplish God’s purposes and plans?
  • How do you use your money and what does that say about what you believe about God?
  • What does your use of money say about how you view God’s purposes and provision?
  • What does your view of money say about your relationship with God?
  • Ever heard how it isn’t good to test God?
  • Ever known there is one place where God actually drops the hammer, throws out the challenge and asks you to test Him?
  • Did you get surprised by today’s verse where God asks you to test Him with money?
  • Did you get surprised by today’s verse where God asks you to test Him with generosity?
  • Did you realize that generosity is a hallmark of true faith?
  • Did you realize that God promises that He will reward generosity?
  • Have you ever thought that testing God was showing a lack of faith?
  • If God says to do it then shouldn’t you trust Him and do it?
  • God asks us to test Him in the practice of being generous! Will you test Him?
  • I know I have learned that I can’t outgive God.
  • I know I have learned that it isn’t always an in kind contribution where if I am generous with my money, my time, or my efforts that it comes back the same way, but I do know it is His way and it is so much better and so much more than I can’t contain it.
  • So are you ready to be blessed?
  • Are you ready to test God where He is asking you to test Him and watch what blessings come your way?
  • Do you believe God enough to test Him?
  • Do you trust God enough to test Him?
  • Are you ready to see His faithfulness to fulfill His promise?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What does your level of generosity say about your trust in God’s faithfulness?
  • What would it look like for you to test God by being generous?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“If we pack our measures down and run them over, that’s the way they will come back. This applies to all areas of life: material, spiritual, and emotional. The evidence is overwhelming–those who give more, get more.”

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you stuck in the pit of bitterness, anger, frustration, depression, sadness, and heading down the downward spiral towards rock bottom? Are you ready to get off that ride and make a change? Are you ready to learn from the tests others have taken and not only forgive others but allow God to forgive you? Are you ready for the test? Are you ready to ace the test? Could today be the turning point? Could you stop looking down and start looking up to God? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


Feeling down? Feeling stuck? Wondering if there is any way out?


During COVID I read two great books about being in a pit by Mark Batterson. Through those readings, I took hold of the reality that I don’t need to pray for safety but I do need to pray for protection in doing what God calls me to do. I learned to pray for wisdom and discernment in order to know God’s instruction and direction. So with God’s direction and instruction, I would just need to be obedient and pray for God’s protection as I step up and step out boldly to get done the good works God had prepared in advance for me to accomplish. The two books were In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day and Chase The Lion.

2020 was a year when I felt really down but had the theme of Hindsight is 2020 through it all and kept wondering when God would reveal to me what was going on and why I had to be in such a place, such a position, and if it would ever get out. I was feeling down. I was feeling stuck. I kept wondering what my way out would be and how God would bring it about because for most of the year He kept telling me to wait and stay. Through 2020 God blessed me by having to stay home more and foster a stronger and better relationship with my wife and kids. Through 2020 there were many great family moments that took place and having my family praying for me in and through it all while we all leaned upon God to help us make it. It took until December before it happened. It took until December before the why was revealed. It took until December before I was unstuck. It took until December before I found a way out. The interesting thing for me was how quick it took place when God said “now”. I learned about the opportunity on Thursday. I sought wisdom about the opportunity on Friday and gave my answer that I would go. I was working on my new job the following Tuesday, ramping up and gaining a new team. In the midst of the feeling down, I kept looking up to God! In the midst of feeling stuck, I kept holding onto God! In the midst of seeking a way out, I trusted God! Count your blessings! Testify to God’s goodness!

So don’t give up! Don’t try to go it alone! (I walked through it with my family sharing the journey with them and feeling loved through it all) Don’t try to go it alone! (Spend time seeking God, talking with God, and listening to God) Don’t be robbed by the devil who walks around like a roaring lion seeking who he can kill. Don’t be fooled by the devil whose plan is to steal, kill, and destroy, instead trust in God whose plan is to give you life and life more abundantly.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 15th


In The Pit


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. ‘

II Samuel 23:20-21

Do you realize the context of where this information came from? Let’s get some additional context and expand on it using the Amplified version:

‘These are the names of the mighty men (warriors) whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, also called Adino the Eznite (spear) because of the eight hundred men killed [by him] at one time. Next to him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three mighty men with David when they taunted and defied the Philistines assembled there for battle, and the men of Israel had gone. Eleazar stood up and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; the people returned after him only to take the spoil [of the slain]. Next to Eleazar was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines were gathered into an army where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people [of Israel] fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the center of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines; and the Lord brought about a great victory. Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David at harvest time in the cave of Adullam, while an army of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem by the gate, and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink it, but poured it out [in worship] to the Lord. And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should drink this. [Is it not the same as] the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” So he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did. Now Abishai the brother of Joab the son of Zeruiah was chief of the thirty. He wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them, and gained a reputation beside the three. He was the most honored of the thirty, so he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the [greatness of the] three. Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many notable acts, killed two [famous] warriors of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. And he killed an Egyptian, an impressive and handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a club, snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed the man with his own spear. These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and gained a reputation beside the three mighty men. He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the [greatness of the] three. David appointed him over his guard. Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; then Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammah of Harod, Elika of Harod, Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoa, Abiezer of Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai of Netophah, Heleb the son of Baanah of Netophah, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjamites, Benaiah of Pirathon, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, Eliahba of Shaalbon, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai the son of Maacah, Eliam the son of Ahithophel of Giloh, Hezro (Hezrai) of Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai of Beeroth, armor bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite—thirty-seven in all.’

2 Samuel 23:8-39

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you respond to problems?
  • Are you ready to turn them into platforms?
  • Are you ready to turn them into a legacy?
  • What are the battles you are faced with?
  • What are the challenges you are faced with?
  • What are the threats you are faced with?
  • Are you ready?
  • Are you preparing for the battles, the challenges, and the threats?
  • Are you preparing so you will be ready when they show up?
  • What are people running from? Could that be an opportunity for you to run towards?
  • Could the fact that others are running away mean you could get to the opportunity first because you are prepared and going upstream?
  • Do you trust God enough to go and do what He calls you to do?
  • Do you trust God enough to go and do what God has prepared in advance for you to do?
  • Do you trust God enough that when others fear something you are courageous and bold knowing if God calls you to it that He will lead, guide, and protect you through it?
  • We see how in Benaiah’s case his boldness and courageousness got him promoted to head of the bodyguards for David and commander-in-chief of Israel’s armies under Solomon.
  • We see how thousands of years later we marvel at the courage, the risk taking, and the faith of this brave, courageous, fearless, heroic, daring, gallant, confident, spirited, and determined warrior!
  • What comes to mind when you did something big for God out of faith?
  • What comes to mind when you think of the legacy you will leave behind?
  • Does anyone know about the faith it took?
  • Does anyone know about the faith experiences you went through?
  • Do you remember when your faith was greater than your fears?
  • Do you remember trusting God more than you would allow the fear of being unqualified to do it?
  • Do you remember when your accomplishments exceeded your expectations?
  • Do you remember times when you had to face and defeat warriors in your life?
  • Do you remember times when you had to face and chase lions in your life?
  • Do you remember times when you had to face and face giants in your life?
  • Oh the memories!
  • Oh the legacy!
  • As we step into our today, let’s seize the opportunities that come our way!
  • Let’s keep in mind our greatest blessings may start out as our biggest obstacles!
  • Let’s be ready! Let’s be prepared! Let’s be bold and courageous! Let’s get it done for the glory of God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some of the events from your past that looked devastating at the time, but turned out to be great blessings?
  • Is there a lion that God is calling you to chase?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at? Are you in a pit? Are you facing a lion? Are you wondering what to do? Are you wondering how to proceed? Are you ready to trust God? Are you ready to do what God is calling you to do? Are you ready to leave a legacy? Are you ready to create a legacy? Are you ready to build the faith of others by sharing your story? Could today be your day? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


The benefits of being tested and trials…


One of the things that came to mind when I thought about the benefits of being tested was the fact that you will have a testimony. Testing also brings with it the benefits of understanding what we know, the gaps, and improved performance. Testing helps with our ability to retain and retrieve information too. Testing helps us to focus. Testing of our faith has a positive effect on our hearts and souls. In the end, you will be able to testify about the goodness of God!

In the Bible we get some pointers too like in James 1 where it speaks to the refining of our faith:

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ‘

James 1:2-4

and in 1 Peter 1 where it speaks to the purifying of our faith :

‘In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. ‘

1 Peter 1:6-9

and in Philippians 1 where it speaks to the establishment of our faith:

‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ‘

Philippians 1:3-6

and in Acts 20 where it speaks to preparing us to be able to share our faith:

‘From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. ‘

Acts 20:17-21

Testing has many purposes that are for our good. And when we allow the trials and testing to finish and for us to persevere, as James tells us God will work to purify us making us complete and lacking nothing.


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 28TH


PURE AS GOLD


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.’

Job 23:9-10

Let’s get additional context by expanding the verses and details using the Amplified version.

‘Then Job answered and said, “Even today my complaint is contentious; His hand is heavy despite my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, That I might [even] come to His seat! I would present my cause before Him And fill my mouth with arguments. I would learn the words which He would answer, And understand what He would say to me. Would He contend against me with His great power? No, surely He would give attention to me. There the righteous and upright could reason with Him; So I would be acquitted forever by my Judge. “Behold, I go forward (to the east), but He is not there; I go backward (to the west), but I cannot perceive Him; To the left (north) He turns, but I cannot behold Him; He turns to the right hand (south), but I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take [and He pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I will come forth as [refined] gold [pure and luminous]. My feet have carefully followed His steps; I have kept His ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have kept the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. But He is unique and unchangeable, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is planned (appointed) for me, And He is mindful of many such things. Therefore I would be terrified at His presence; When I consider [all of this], I tremble in dread of Him. For God has made my heart faint, And the Almighty has terrified me, But I am not silenced by the darkness [of these woes that fell on me], Nor by the thick darkness which covers my face.’

Job 23:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever wished you knew the backstory to why are you being tested?
  • Ever wished you knew the backstory to why such a trial is necessary?
  • Ever found that in the midst of the trials and tests you wished they were over and yet when you get through it you wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through it but you wouldn’t be willing to give up the experience? For me it was the test that showed me the need and importance of forgiveness. It provided me the ability and opportunity to speak into so many lives while I was still at Microsoft and later I was given the opportunity to share the story as part of a Story Slam at GoDaddy.
  • Would I want to go through that pain ever again? NOPE
  • Would I want to give up the lessons learned, the purification it caused, the refining of my spirit? NOPE
  • We learn in Job 1 the backstory to what is about to happen to Job.
  • We learn how God and the devil know but Job was left out of the loop.
  • Job can’t figure out why he is going through such pain and suffering, such tragic loss and friends that were no help when they blamed him for what was going on like it was his fault or something.
  • Job wants to talk to God directly to ask Him some questions.
  • Unfortunately for a large portion of the story Job finds that he can’t get an answer there either.
  • In the midst of it all Job feels lost and abandoned by God.
  • Some of the pain and suffering we go through in life is because of our decisions and actions, consequences of sin and bad choices.
  • Others come as tests that strengthen us, not to try and make us fail.
  • Others come as tests that have the purpose of strengthening our faith by trusting God in and through it all.
  • Remember the story of the vines and the vine dresser? Remember how it spoke of pruning? These tests are more like pruning. Theses test will help us be more fruitful!
    • ‘ “ I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples. I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love [and do not doubt My love for you]. If you keep My commandments and obey My teaching, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing. ‘
      John 15:1-11
  • Job speaks to it more from a metalurgical perspective and the purifying process that includes intense fire to burn off the impurities and leaves only the pure metals like gold and silver.
  • So when you face a tough situation you need to determine the source.
  • When you face a tough situation you need to determine if it was a selfish or foolish decision. We then can look to make adjustments or changes to get back on track.
  • When you face a tough situation you need to be able to take hold of the situation and lean into God to help you through the testing, the pruning, and the refining process.
  • When you face tough situation you need to remember the testing, pruning, and refining aren’t to harm you but are to help make you stronger.
  • Recognizing the source will help us share the response.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some ways God tests, prunes, and refines believers?
  • How has He done this in your life? How did you respond?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Trial is God’s alchemy by which the dross is left in the crucible, the baser metals are transmuted, and the character is enriched with Gold.”

William Morley Punshon

So where are you at today? Are you being tested? Are you facing trials? Are you needing the reassurance of God to help you pass the test? Are you needing the strength of God to help you persevere? Are you needing to know you aren’t alone? Are you looking for answers? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and the situation? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

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?


THRIVE: It requires a change to go from survival mode to thrive mode…


Ever wondered how many changes? Ever wondered what kind of changes? Ever wondered about the location of the changes? Ever wondered what it would require to give up? Ever wondered what it would require to pick up? Ever wondered if there was some timing associated with it?

My trust is in God and so I am leaning in harder towards Him because I know that in spite of the circumstances, the trials, the troubles, and the struggles, He is able to turn what was meant for evil and turn it around for good. He is able to do what He has planned and purposed because with God all things are possible. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine! And so I lean in on Him rather than my own understanding so that I can acknowledge Him in all of my ways and allow Him to make my path straight!

In the midst of the circumstances, the trials, the troubles, and the struggles I know that God is at work and so I must not give up but walk in hope. I must persevere in faith believing. I must take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. I must consider it a pure joy for with my faith being strengthened and leaning in on perseverance, God is working it all out so that in the end I will be complete and lacking nothing.

When changes started in January with losing two leaders. When the changes continued with my oldest going off to boot camp and my younger deciding to give up what she had been excited about for this entire senior year of high school for her beliefs, her goals, her values in order to walk her life in those even if it meant she had to give up a dream of playing D1 sports. When changes happen around me and yet never to me or with me being able to grab ahold of it and say this change is the one that will allow me to move from survival to thrive. In the midst of all of that, I will not fear because I know that God’s timing is perfect! In the midst of all of that, I will not fear because I know that God’s plans are for good and not for evil! In the midst of all of that, I will not fear because I know God is working things out so 2022 will be a year that takes me from surviving to thriving.

I remember the big change that took place on a day like today that broke the power of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness and so I put my hope and trust in God!

I remember the big change that took place on a day like today that opened the door to knowing how and why to forgive those who hurt me and so I put my hope and trust in God!

As I prepare for this day, I grab a hold of the definition of THRIVE:

THRIVE: 
- to vigorously grow
- to flourish
- to take new ground in your life regardless of the circumstances
THRIVE:
– to vigorously grow
– to flourish
– to take new ground in your life regardless of the circumstances

Yes, I am in the midst of circumstances. Yes, the devil is trying to get me to take my eyes off of God but God is the one thing that is constant and solid in the midst of my circumstances. So I keep my eyes on Him! I know He is working things out right here and right now for His glory and for my good! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! The joy of the Lord is my strength in and through this time! I am not looking for comfortable but to be able to thrive! I am looking to pursue and accomplish God’s plan and purpose for my life! I am looking to be able to be the dad my wife, my kids, and my world needs me to be! And so I turn to God and submit my life and this day into His hands in trust of His love!



Verse of the Day:

‘You, 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. ‘

1 John 4:4

Today’s post from Be The Dads is 6 Biblical Traits Of A Godly Dad – Day 1


Where are you today? What is it that you are needing? What is it that you are seeking? Where are you looking? What are you finding? Why not start your today by seeking God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength? When you seek Him with all that you are, Deuteronomy 4:29 tells us that we will find Him. Are you ready to find God? Are you ready to find answers? Are you ready to stop trying to go it alone?

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

THRIVE: Ever felt like time was flying by and been amazed at what has taken place?


Oh, the testimonies that can be shared. Oh, the testimonies that will be shared. Oh, the hand of God in action. Oh the hand of God over my family. Be it the story of my oldest daughter. Be it the story of my younger daughter. Be it the story of my youngest son. God has a plan and a purpose for each of them and each of us! Imagine writing a Press Release (PR) for what it is you are hoping is about to happen and then getting to see it happen! It’s an interesting practice Amazon does as part of their product development lifecycle called PR FAQs. What would you write today as your week is finishing and you consider what is to come over the next week or two in your life? It will be so amazing when my younger daughter is able to share hers. As I reflect on the past two weeks and how fast it has gone, how much I have gotten to learn, all the people I have gotten to meet, and the incredible opportunity that is in front of me, wow. So as this day begins and I look to finish the week strong, preparing for the week to come and wanting to put to paper a PR document for my first 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days I turn to God for inspiration, wisdom, and discernment to lead and guide me forward. God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! Let’s choose to finish the week strong! Let’s choose to trust God in order to be able to thrive for His glory!



Verse of the Day:

‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. ‘

Isaiah 53:5

Today’s post from Be The Dads is
What The Father Says – Day 3


So are you looking for peace? Are you looking for rest? Are you looking for answers? Are you looking for direction? Are you looking for instruction? Turn to God! Invite Jesus into your very situation! Allow the Holy Spirit to be your comforter and your guide!

If you pray today’s prayer with me feel free to let me know so I can pray with you and for you too. (If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment then you can always try email or text.

Let’s Pray!

Prayer Of Salvation
"Oh Father God, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus died on the cross for my sake and has risen from the dead. Lord, I receive Your Word and I repent of my sins. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen."