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Why I’m here

First blog, not for the sensitive.

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I’m looking forward to imparting some wisdom or shedding some light on my view of things. You may not agree, but hey. It’s my blog, you start your own! I can be sarcastic, brutally honest and sometimes I’ve been called brash. But it is mostly by millennials who have no sense of humor and have been given participation trophies all of their sheltered lives.

I’m trying to journal my way through the Bible. Not in any particular order, but once I choose a book it’s going to be chapter by chapter. I’ll be loosely using the S. O. A. P. Format; Scripture Observation Application Prayer. I hope in some way you are provoked to dig deeper into the scriptures. 

Enjoy

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Shattered

We broke mom’s lamp and we covered it up, and the tension it created in us was real, we had to keep that act of recklessness hidden and we also had to conceal the deception, and that is no easy task for 3 young boys.

“The wicked run when no one is chasing them, but an honest person is as brave as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1GNB

 I am the youngest of three boys, we were basically latchkey kids. Both our parents worked so we were home alone for way too long to always do what is right. 

 

On one occasion (of the many where we played tackle football or whiffle ball in the house) we managed to shatter a Capodimonte Porcelain Victorian lamp. I thought it was hideous and way too difficult to dust every week, but my mom loved that gaudy thing. 

The playing quickly stopped as did the finger pointing, and arguing. After all three of us recovered from what I’m sure were small heart attacks. Chico, David and I sprang into action. We have got to fix this thing before our parents get home or there would have definitely been hell to pay. (Pardon my expression but I’m not even remotely exaggerating) there would be a leather strap with three boys’ names on it if they saw what we did. 

We found a tube of Krazy Glue (thank goodness for Krazy Glue, and God Bless the dude that invented it!) and we scoured the carpet, windowsill and baseboards for even the tiniest shards of mothers’ precious porcelain lamp.

 You may be wondering “What the heck does that have to do with the Scripture verse?”

Well you see, for the next 8 years, Mom didn’t move that lamp, or the table that it sat on, she didn’t dust the furniture in the room where that lamp and table were located in, and if she needed to sit in that room, we made sure we turned on the lamp and turned it off when she left the room. We were prisoners to that doggone lamp. We had an uneasy feeling that we were going to get caught; we were always looking over our shoulders. I think I developed high blood pressure because of that lamp.

We broke mom’s lamp and we covered it up, and the tension it created in us was real, we had to keep that act of recklessness hidden and we also had to conceal the deception, and that is no easy task for 3 young boys. 

What in your past has got you trapped?

What lie have you had to retell over and over?

What act of carelessness has made you a prisoner?

We were just kids being kids; would honesty really be the best policy? I always stressed to my two children to always tell me the truth, because if I ever caught them in a lie, the consequences would always be worse. Looking back I wonder, would the whoopin’ have been terrible to receive? YES! But it would have been over, and the anxiety that resulted from the cover-up would have not ever been an issue.

Mom finally found out 8 yrs later, by that time Chico and David were married with children of their own and I had graduated High School. We had a good chuckle over the story and how we were able to keep the knowledge of the shattered lamp a secret. I don’t even know what happened to those gaudy things, but 40 yrs later I still remember the stress I’ve endured because of them.

 

That thing that you are stressed-out over………….Just be honest! -John

Enough!

Appetites unchecked are a dangerous thing.

“Never eat more honey than you need; too much may make you vomit.” Proverbs 25:16 GNB

About 23 years ago I was working late cleaning some offices and I was famished. Always one to burn the candle at both ends, I went to work that night after being busy all day. I worked that entire night and It was early in the morning and with nothing packed for me to eat, I did what most of you would have done. I went through the refrigerator looking to see what was edible and still sealed. I usually don’t eat my own leftovers let alone someone else’s. All that I found was a can of Welch’s Frozen Grape Concentrate. Hey I scored! I love Welch’s Grape Juice, so how much more would I enjoy it in a concentrated form?

I found a spoon and commenced eating it like Ice Cream. It was good going down, the coolness of each spoonful went down my parched throat smoothly like a waxed sled down a snowy slope. And then it hit me. I don’t know if it was too much sugar, syrup or what, but I got so sick and this is gross, but it didn’t come up/out the way it went in/down.

No waxed sled, it was more like walking to the beach across hot asphalt and sand barefooted.

Needless to say I don’t much care for grape juice anymore.

The writer here is saying the same thing. Know your limits and have some self-control. Easier said than done especially when you are famished. I guess that’s the real issue.

Did I let myself get to to a place where I made an impulsive and irrational decision?

Did my lack of preparation and foresight steer me towards a sour stomach?

Did my attempt to satisfy a hunger and desire cause me to make a poor choice?

Yes, Yes and Yes.

And it cost me. Not only an upset stomach, but I lost any future desire to partake of something I once enjoyed.

I have a hard time taking Communion without thinking about that day.

But Frozen Welch’s Concentrate isn’t the only thing I have overdone. I’ve let unchecked appetites sour some relationships, hobbies, and even ministry.

This isn’t easy to confess, but I always try to be honest, and I’m definitely not the hero in this story. I’ve played too much ball with the guys, spent too many hours practicing music, allowed work and ministry to take me away from my family, made unwise choices that almost ruined my marriage.

Appetites unchecked are a dangerous thing.

Thank God for His mercy and Grace. Amen! Hope this helps someone. – John

Taunted

How many times in our attempts to manage our troubles do we eventually get to the point where our troubles overtake us?

2 Samuel 5:3-7, 10 (Amp) So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them [there] before the Lord, and they anointed [him] king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began his forty-year reign. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, You shall not enter here, for the blind and the lame will prevent (stop) you; they thought, David cannot come in here. Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the City of David… David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.

If David had never dealt with Goliath, or the taunts of one man, how could he have ever dealt with the taunts of an entire city?

1) How have I dealt with opposition in my life? (Taunts)

Proverbs 21:22 (Amp) A wise man scales the city walls of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

A wise man sees the obstacle in front of him, a wise man considers the strategy of the enemy, and he plans the engagement carefully.

The enemy trusts in his walls, the same walls that supposedly are keeping you out, are holding him in. He’s trapped in what he thinks is his salvation all the while hiding behind deaf, dumb, lame and blind gods.

If you are always trying to accomplish things on your own, and using your own means, power and provision, then the enemy sees you as an easy kill. In fact he sees you as such an easy opponent that the blind and the lame, could keep you from getting that which has been promised to you.

Judges 1:21(NKJ) But the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; so the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

At one time Jerusalem had been a conquest of the tribe of Benjamin, but they allowed the Jebusites to dwell among them. And eventually the Jebusites took over the city.

How many times in our attempts to manage our troubles do we eventually get to the point where our troubles overtake us? Little problems and sins that we fail to completely surrender, now taunt us every time we perceive to confront them.

Strongs: 2982 Yebuwc (yeb-oos’); from 947; trodden, i.e. Threshing-place;

947 buwc (boos); a primitive root; to trample (literally or figuratively): KJV– loath, tread (down, under [foot]), be polluted.

Trample: to tread heavily, or to tread heavily on something or somebody so as to cause damage or injury.

Trample: to behave in an insulting contemptuous way or to treat somebody in a hurtful insulting way

Pollute: Corrupt or Defile: to make somebody morally or spiritually impure.

Pollute: Desecrate: to violate the sacred nature of a holy place. (Encarta Dictionary)

Those very people whom the tribe of Benjamin allowed to live and dwell among them ended up taking over, they became a reproach. The possession of peace became a threshing place.

The promise of God became polluted, desecrated, this strategic location, this central city, this city on a hill, became a place where its inhabitants worshipped blind and lame gods, (idols) and they didn’t even dispute that. They didn’t hide that fact they trusted in their walls.

2) If you were David, what would you be prepared to do?

• Turn back and come another time?

• Be so twisted by the taunts that you lose your cool and make a mistake?

• Question God?

Or Would You…

• Prepare to take your city!

• Prepare to get what’s promised!

• Prepare to fight with valor.

The Jebusites have taken the city and have fortified themselves in it, and if you weren’t a threat they wouldn’t be looking for you to come.

They glory in their walled fortress. But the Bible says:

Proverbs 18:10 (NKJ) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

The very name of our Lord should be a fortress to me.

Romans 10:13 (NKJ) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

They glory in their advantage, but the Bible says:

Hebrews 13:6 (Amp) So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to Me?

Psalm 27:1 (Amp) 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 118:6 (Amp) The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

They glory in their pride and strength. But the Bible says:

Psalm 56:9 (ESV) Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.

Romans 8:31 (ESV) then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

• I’m not taking that city alone

• I’m not facing this difficulty alone

• I’m not dealing with this obstacle alone

3) Who is my fortress, pride and strength?

Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man. For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. Upon You have I leaned (stability) and relied from birth; You are He Who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of You. I am as a wonder and surprise to many, but You are my strong refuge. My mouth shall be filled with Your praise and with Your honor all the day. (Psalm 71:4-8 AMP)

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. (Psalm 121:1, 2 MSG)

4) Have I considered who I surround myself with?

Because even the blind and the lame could keep me out. If you let them!!!

If I surround myself with people of no vision, and no walk!

Ah ha! There’s the catch!

Who are your companions?

• Those who have no vision.

• Those who can’t walk.

• Keep me from my destiny.

2 Samuel 5:7 (TLB) But David and his troops defeated them and captured the stronghold of Zion, now called the City of David.

Father God, help us to righteously deal with opposition and taunts, enable us to stand up and do something, because we know that it is not in our strength and sufficiency that we move on, and finally help us to be discerning when choosing our companions, because your Word says a companion of fools suffers harm.

And ps. Lord may your Word work mightily in the lives of every reader in Jesus’ Precious name. Amen.

Soiled

It never fails! It seems like every time I cut my lawn I'm wearing a white tank top or T-shirt, and in the middle of my lawnmowing activities I reach down grab the hem of my shirt and wipe the sweat off my face with my shirt resulting in a dirty, sweaty, grass stained T-shirt.

After I am done I will grab the whites throw them in the washer on the highest heat setting we have, I put extra detergent and plenty of bleach and the shirts come out relatively white.

Compared to a dirty shirt, clean shirts are white, but compared to a brand-new shirt the clean shirts are not quite White at all.

Our lives are a lot like the T-shirt… Circumstances, trials, troubles, tribulations , and suffering has reached out grabbing the hem of our shirts and left a messy stain.

“We are all infected and impure with sin. (Life is messy) When we display our righteous deeds (when we try to wash off the mess), they are nothing but filthy rags…” Isaiah 64:6 a NLT
(emphasis is mine)

King David wrote these words after one of the most troublesome time in his life “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Psalms 51:10 NLT

He discovered as king, even with all his power, a cover up was the best he could hope for. He needed a new created clean heart. He needed his heart RE-NEWED (new again). You see there is no amount of scrubbing, cleaning, bleach or detergent that could take a soiled shirt and make it brand-new!

So we try to live pure lives, and we try to be holy, or if you are not religious you are trying to be good or you try to be moral, and since the very best of our human examples are clean or relatively clean, when we raise our shirts compared to them, we think that we are all right.

Because when I compare my shirt (life) to those of pimps, prostitutes, politicians, actors, athletes and rockstars my shirt (life) seems pretty clean, BUT unfortunately that is not the standard of white that I am going to be held up against eternally.

Jesus Christ lived the standard, and if I continue to try to act like my right doing is the standard I'm going to be in for a rude awakening.

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias' Podcast today and he said this, "The closer you get to the holiness of God the more you feel the weight of how unholy you and I are."

There is a young man at work that wears white T-shirts all the time. They have got to be at least 10 years old, they are worn for the wear and they are off-white at the very best. If I stood next to him my shirts would glow in comparison. BUT he isn't the standard! I will NOT eternally be measured against him. Christ is the standard and against him I'm dingy and tattered, and it's terrifying.

All my scrubbing is of no value!

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NLT

It's a good thing I don't have to stand against Him, he can take my tired, tattered, worn-out mess of a life and STAND in my place.

Make me new Lord, make me NEW.

-John

Order

Unconscious habits, and repetitive tasks require little thought and planning.

There are certain things that I like doing which require little forethought and planning. Perhaps because I have done them so long or have become accustomed to them that there is a flow, an almost instinctive nature as I complete each task.

I'm sure there are also tasks and projects you can totally accomplish without putting too much thought into them.

I was watching my wife do the dishes after breakfast this morning. I was still sitting at the bar drinking my coffee. She was washing them and looking out the window, with her tongue out of her mouth. She looked like Michael Jordan when he was about to drive down the lane and fly past his opponents as he glided above the rim.
Unconscious habits, and repetitive tasks require little thought and planning.

Here the writer is saying, you need a plan, and there is an order when doing things… Plant the field, THEN work on the barn!

We put on our socks BEFORE we put on our shoes. We disrobe BEFORE we climb into the bathtub. We study BEFORE we take the test, We look for the best deal BEFORE we make a large purchase, and most importantly we check the lawn for, fallen limbs, dog toys and "poop" BEFORE we proceed to cut the grass. (Don't ask!) Some might say, "Why NOT build the barn first, what's wrong with that?" Well the answer would be in the time you are taking (notice I didn't say wasting) to build your barn. The wheat seeds could begin its cycle from Germination, Seedling, Tillering, Stem elongation, Booting, Heading, Flowering, Milk, Dough, and finally Ripening.

👆🏼 All that takes time ⏰. So, what is it that is on your mind to do? Have you put much thought into it? Hopefully this is just a reminder to have a plan, think it out and then be ready for great results.
Here is to a bountiful Harvest! -SoulKANDY

It’s not my job!

Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

1 Samuel 23: 1 (ESV) Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

It seems like every post lately has been about David running from Saul, and in some way that has been the prevailing theme of the last few chapters in 1st Samuel. I may have stated this before but it is worth saying again, “If it’s getting tedious for me having to write about it, I’m sure David and his men were even more frustrated having to live through it”.

This portion of scripture (verses 1-4) just stood out, why would the welfare of this town be so important to David? What was so special about Keilah that it would cause men that are running for their lives to risk going into battle with their enemy’s enemy?

Isn’t that the heart of a leader? Perhaps this is the reason David was called in from the fields by Samuel and anointed in the first place. While King Saul is pre-occupied with hunting down David, and David is concerned with the welfare of the inhabitants of Keilah. Shouldn’t that be where Saul’s focus should be?

Ask yourself 

  • Do I do the same thing? 
  • Do I get so sidetracked with personal stuff, anxieties, and concerns, that I am letting my everyday obligations suffer?
  • Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

I work for the Department of Transportation and every year we have performance reviews, and at these reviews  my job duties are broken down into percentages. 85% of the time I’m doing inspections 10% of the time I’m supposed to be doing office work and 5% of the time just says “other”  duties at the descretion of the Resident Maintenance Engineer

That means this… I can never say, “It’s not my job!”

Lord help us not to be easily sidetracked, Lord enable us to be your hands and feet even through the most trying situations, and finally Lord give us a heart, compassion and concern for your people despite our current trouble, trials & tribulations. Strengthen our hands for battle, when everything and everyone around us is saying, “It’s ok to relax.”

And help us to step up and fill in the gap when others drop the ball. 

That’s a whole lot of distress!

If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 

1 Samuel 22: 2 NKJV“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”

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Perhaps this is where they get the saying, misery loves company. Here is David running for his life running from a powerful crazed man who is bent on destroying him. It’s bad enough when you have trolls & haters, enemies with nothing else to do but make your life miserable. It’s even worse when you have powerful adversaries, and that’s what David had… a King with unlimited resources out to get him.
When I was 10 years old we left Chicago, Illinois and moved to San Bernardino, California near Seccombe Lake. There were plenty of kids around to play with, and one of our favorite games was Hide-and-go-Seek which we played in our neighborhood at night. 
Now that I think about it, it was just a bunch of knuckleheads trespassing on other people’s properties. To us there was nowhere sacred and nowhere off-limits when we played Hide-and-go-Seek. 
We would hide under houses, on roofs, in abandoned cars, in backyards, in trees and under parked cars. I once found this pink fluffy material stacked in a neighbors side porch that I dove into headfirst. The minutes hiding in the fluff seemed like hours, and when I heard, “All-lee All-lee in come free!” I knew the game was over, I didn’t get caught but I itched for a few days. I guess no one in my neighborhood thought that anyone was crazy enough to hide in that fluffy pink stuff. Before then I didn’t know what fiberglass insulation was. What kind of monster creates something that looks like cotton candy but itches like poison ivy??? 
I said that, to say this, when you find a place to hide there’s no way in the world you let other kids hide with you! Its a well known fact, it’s impossible to keep two kids quiet. You are bound to get caught. 
So I wonder what David was thinking, fleeing from King Saul was hard enough with a couple of loyal guys, but how in the world was he going to pull it off with 400 discontented, debt ridden and distressed men?
If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 
I didn’t think so. 

It’s a mystery the way that God works. We know that eventually this rag-tag bunch will produce men who; jump into pits with lions in the snow, stand alone in a field of beans and fight when others ran, one who would slay 800 men with a spear, three who broke into enemy territory just to fetch their leader a cup of water, others killed giants, ferocious animals and preformed other amazing acts of bravery. 

We don’t always get to choose who follows us, but we do choose who we will be as a leader. Seeing these men could have broke David, it could’ve caused him to quit to surrender and eventually to forfeit his life. But David chose to lead these men. 
There are men and women today looking for a leader. If and when they find you, what kind of leader will they find?
Will you be able to minister to their brokenness? Will you be able to look beyond their distress and dysfunction and direct them towards their destiny? Will you be the catalyst that reaches into their chaos and creates champions who preform greater feats than even your own?
That’s what David did. What will you do?
-John Rosado