Good Isn’t Good Enough by Anaelle Auguste

Anaelle Auguste Good Isn't Good Enough

I loved you. I knew you weren’t good for me. You weren’t what I prayed for, so I prayed and fasted the feelings away, but they were tenacious. So tenacious that I caved, thinking God must have been behind this.

I considered that maybe God wanted to use me to change you. I could save you, but saving you meant losing me.

I almost lost my soul following my heart.

You were a good person, but you weren’t good for me, let alone being God’s best.

I had to build the courage to choose me.

Hugging A Cactus

This relationship was like hugging a cactus. The closer I got, the more I got hurt. The only solution was to let you go, it was a vicious cycle though because there was a time that I let go, but I missed it too much. So I went back to what was familiar.

This was similar to the cycle people in abusive relationships find themselves in. They are reluctant to let go because they are afraid of the unknown, the unfamiliar. Even when they finally get the courage to do so, sometimes they go back to what’s familiar. Why? Because familiarity is comforting.

I am not looking for comfort anymore. I’m looking for growth, and your presence hindered my growth. I’m not looking for familiarity anymore. I’m looking for purpose.

Now, I realize purpose has always been within me, but I was too fixated on saving you to look deep within me. When I left you, I found me, I got to know me, and I love me. Now, Better is calling, Purpose is calling. With you out of the picture, I see more clearly, my horizon is widened, and my vision is translucent.

Could I have done better? Absolutely! Do I regret the experience? Absolutely not!

You were the contrast I needed to recognize the one God had for me all along. You helped me realize what I DON’T want. Now, I can refine and redefine my standards. Now, I can decide to be single by choice and content until God’s best comes along.

Contently Yours,

Anaelle

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F.O.M.O by Anaelle Auguste

Anaelle Auguste

Don’t Let F.O.M.O Put You In A Relationship

Have you ever been asked the golden question, “When are you getting married?”

Do your parents ever throw a temper tantrum about not willing to die without seeing their grandchildren?

Have you ever been told you’re “incomplete” or “insignificant” because you’re single?

Have others ever suggested that you put off your aspirations until Mr. or Mrs. Right comes along?

Have you ever been to a wedding and everyone greets you with the same line, “When is your own wedding?”

Do you get annoyed? Frustrated, maybe? How do you answer?

Well, one thing I can tell you is DON’T GIVE INTO THE PRESSURE!

Some people master the art of looking-forward-to-next in other people’s lives: When are you graduating? When are you getting married? Are you pregnant yet? When are you going back to work? Why haven’t you bought a house yet?

Don’t think once you get married the questions will stop coming; they’ll pull out new ones out of their collections. This awareness gives you a better perspective, and when you don’t give into their pressure, it’ll spare you some trouble.

I recently made a post and asked “Are you single, saved, and content?” A few people said no, one of the reasons was because of the cute happy couples they were seeing.

Basically, They Felt They Were Missing Out.

One of the girls who commented connected with me. A meme she read, “Once you’re single you see a lot of happy couples, once you’re married you see a lot of happy singles.” Most of these couples may be wishing they were single. You just don’t know (more on perspective later). Many people are in unhealthy relationships because they are afraid of the alternative. They are terrified of being single and being asked “Why?”

“If the only drive to be in a relationship is to escape yourself, then you are running from your own shadow.”- Single, Saved, and Content

You may say you are not running from yourself, but if you desire a relationship out of fear of being single, then you are definitely trying to escape yourself. Now, ask yourself, why does the idea of being single scare you?

F.O.M.O

Don’t let F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out) push you into a relationship you know isn’t right for you. If you don’t see yourself with the person in the future or if the relationship requires you to over-compromise. A good relationship requires compromising, yes, but if you have to lower your standards and live on a lower level to be in a relationship, then that relationship isn’t right for you.

Naturally, fear is a survival mechanism. It is used to keep out of dangerous situations. So, if your drive to be in a relationship is based on fear, then your singleness threatens you. If your singleness threatens you, then you can’t be content in this season of your life.

Now, what does the Bible tell us about fear? 1 John 4:18 tells us that perfect love cast out fear. Get the love of God to fill you until you see you the way The Great I Am sees you, and know who He says you are, then you won’t be afraid to be alone. Even if you are trusting God for marriage, you will understand how crucial your singleness is. Then and only then can you fulfill the purpose God has for you in this season of your life.

May God’s love take you from fear to fulfillment!

Read at https://www.anaelleauguste.com/f-o-m-o

Contently Yours,

Anaelle

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Chronicles of Belteshazzar Chapter 1 by David Lantz

chronicles of belteshazzar chapter 1

In Chapter One of The Chronicles of Belteshazzar, Isaac has his Bible taken from him by another student at school. This leads to a conversation about school prayer with Auntie Dr. Sarah.

I hope you’ll join me in the journey of telling the story as I read Chapter 1 titled “Auntie Dr. Sarah”!

If you’re on the run, listen to this video on a podcast below. And be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel.

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The Chronicles Of Belteshazzar (Trailer)

Belteshazzar trailer

Author David Lantz is writing a book titled The Chronicles of Belteshazzar.

About once every other week, he will be recording a podcast reading a chapter from the book. He will provide commentary, and asking a “Question for Reflection.”

Interested in going on this journey with me to help mold “Daniels and Esthers” out of your adolescent children or grandchildren?

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Michael Furlonger Tips For Today: Love

women hugging and smiling

Michael Furlonger’s Tip For Today is Love. People think “Love” is just this passive thing. Now-a-days, to “love” is just to accept people. I don’t want to get into a big debate, but I want to encourage people, especially Christians, to turn their passive “love” into an active one.

James 2:14-17 reads,

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

In the same way that James is saying add “deeds” to your faith. I’m saying add actions to your “love“.

As Christians, we love to cut through scripture and say, “I just want to love people.” Which is fine. I think we need this desire to love people. And we can talk about teaching and other neglected roles in the church another time.

But, if you’re going to “love” people, how are you doing it? Are you reaching out a helping hand? Calling a lonely neighbour? Connecting with that person at church? Going out for coffee with that friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time?

Or, as I mentioned before, is your idea of “love” more of a “I’m going to ignore you and let you be” kind of love?

“I’m Just Checking In”

I received a text message from an old church group leader once. It said, “I’m just checking in.” Seriously? Not “How are you?”. No “We should go out for coffee.” Not even a “Did you catch the game last night?”

Nope. “I’m just checking in.” You know… It’s as if he works at a hospital. Just doing the rounds. Making sure you’re not dead yet.

How passive is that? Forgive me, but I replied, “Noted.”

Here Are Michael Furlonger’s Tips On How To Love:

  1. Reach Out: It’s great when you’re at a drive thru and you want to pay for the person behind you. You can’t overly make a connection there. But stop treating your church family like the person at the drive thru. If you can help them financially, great. But, at the very least, connect.
    • Repeat after me: How are you? How’s the wife? How’s the kids? Did you catch the game? Have you read any good books lately? Is there anything I can pray for?
  2. Go Out: Make time and go out. Leonard Ravenhill says, “There’s 24 hours in the day. Ideally you sleep 8, you work 8, what do you do with the other 8?” Of course, he is encouraging spending that time in prayer, but I don’t know anyone who locks himself in a room to pray for 8 hours. But on topic of showing people love, you have 8 hours. Ask these people you “love” out. It doesn’t mean a romantic dinner, just a walk around the block. Or a coffee, although COVID restrictions might make that difficult.
    • One time, two of the men in my small church group went out for a run. At first, I was upset that I didn’t get invited. But then I remembered, “I don’t run.” I laughed it off thinking of the scripture that says, “Only the wicked run when no one is chasing them.” But, truth, I was saddened that I’ve been locked up for months due to COVID lockdown and I didn’t get invited to spend time with friends.
  3. Connect: Let’s be real for a minute. The world is online. People are on social media, they’re working from home, we don’t go to the movies anymore, we watch Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime (Try Amazon Prime Free For 30 Days through the links at ChristianWritersBookstore).
    • My point is that we are in a completely different world today. Let’s try to connect. Due to Facebook’s silly algorithm, I randomly lose touch with friends, so I can’t just scroll through and click “Like”, I have to make an active decision to connect with people. So, try tagging a person in a post, maybe an old picture, just to let them know you’re thinking about them. Comment on their posts, as opposed to the passive “Like”.
    • If, like me, they have an online business or even a blog, share it. Let them know that even though we are separated, you still add value to my life.

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The 3 Things We Forget About Jesus Christ

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The 3 Things We Forget About Jesus Christ- Who He Is, What He Said, and What He Did

Any Christians offended yet? Sometimes I like to “offend” Christians, because when someone is offended, they’ll engage in a “fight”. And if I can engage you, hopefully you will listen. Jesus was known to offend people, but we’ll get into that shortly.

1. Jesus- Who Is He?

Of course, Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Most Christians will agree with that.

But, also, Jesus was a Jew. Not only was he a Jew by the nationality of the word, or the religious sense, he was a Jew through and through. The gospel of Luke tells of his genealogy from Joseph, his earthly father, all the way back to Adam, the first man created by God (read Luke 3: 38).

So we as Christians need not forget this important fact: Mary was favoured by God (read Luke 1:30), a servant to God (Luke 1:38) and her husband to be, Joseph, was a man faithful to the Law of God (Matt. 1:19).

We can consider the specific ‘role’ of parenting the Son of God, but I just want us to point out that God chose two people with such a task who were obedient and faithful.

This brings me to point 1 of Jesus Christ and who he is: He did not distance himself from the Old Testament. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen,
will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 
Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

2. Jesus And The Pharisees (What He Said)

The Pharisees were important to the story of Jesus Christ and his ministry. They were highly religious, they loved the Law and they could not tolerate people who broke the Law. They even made laws to prevent people from breaking the Law.

Isn’t that interesting?

In a lot of sense, Jesus would have fit right in because of his exceptional moral character. Sadly, Jesus was (and is) the Son of God, and thus Jesus cared more about the people than a position of high status. In Matthew 23 many flaws in the Pharisees. Let’s begin with verses 2-6:

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

“Everything they do is done for people to see…they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues…”

I encourage you to read Matthew 23 for yourself, but I’ll share a few key verses with you here:

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

3. Jesus And What He Did

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Sadly, a lot of people simply believe Jesus came to earth to die. But he didn’t.

  • He was born in Bethlehem (fulfilling prophecy from Micah 5:2)
  • Fleeing to Egypt (fulfilling prophecy from Hosea 11:1)
  • Growing up in Nazareth (fulfilling prophecy)
  • Going to Jerusalem on a donkey (fulfilling prophecy from Zechariah 9:9)
  • Dying on a cross (fulfilling prophecy fulfilling Psalm 22:14 “my bones are out of joint” which illustrates that the death was not by weaponry. Psalm 22 also records the people around Jesus in verse 16 as “dogs” and “a pack of villains”, their actions in verse 18 “they cast lots for my garments” and their words in verse 8, “He trusts in the LORD let the LORD rescue him.”
  • Resurrecting (fulfilling prophecy from Psalm 16:10)
  • And ascending to Heaven and seated at the right hand of God recorded in Hebrews 1:3 (fulfilling prophecy from Psalm 16:11)

Now that you see that Jesus was born and lived, let’s go back to the verse above where Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me…”

So what did he do in the time on the earth? He taught. How many times did people call him “Rabbi” or “Teacher”.

The Sermon On The Mount

And the most famous of sermons? “The Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5-7. And what did Jesus teach? Law. Not the Law the Pharisees taught. Not a Law that is designed to condemn man kind in their sins. He taught the Law in it’s purest form.

Matthew 7:28-29 says, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Now, let’s look at the teaching of Jesus Christ.

Jesus would say, “You have heard it said (dot dot dot), but I tell you.” He would take the Old Testament Law and put it on a higher plateau. “You’ve heard it said murder is a sin, but I tell you that if you call someone a “Fool” you’re endanger of the fires of hell.”

“Oh, you’ve heard not to commit adultery? Well I tell you that if you look at a woman lustfully, you’re an adulterer at heart.”

Check out what he says in Matthew 5:20-

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I encourage you to read for yourselves. But check out this last line concluding the Sermon On The Mount:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 
because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Why Am I Sharing This?

I am sharing this with you because God loves you. By no means am I saying that we are saved by the Law, but through it we get a glimpse of the Holy, Eternal God who has set eternity before us.

In 1 John 1:5-6, it says,

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him
and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 

Let us put away our sins. “Put To Death,” Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:5, “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

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Belief- S1E5: Mark 5- by John Stapleton

Belief- S1E5 by John Stapleton’s Weekly Bible Lab. Be sure to subscribe to John Stapleton’s channel by clicking on the icon on the YouTube video below. Also, if you’re on the go or in the car, click on the podcast play button to listen to the audio just below the YouTube video.

Belief

BIG IDEA: We fight fear with faith. Based on Mark 5. 

1. The Story

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. (5:21-29)

2. Comparison of Jairus and the Woman 

3. Responses to Jesus: Fear and Faith.

Jesus switches the two, raising the status of the woman by making her the one to emulate. The woman was afraid, but she professed her faith. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just believe.’” (5:36).

Jesus goes and raises the girl and the witnesses still don’t believe. “They were completely astonished.” (5:42). The root of unbelief is fear. Fear is a lack of faith and this is a theme that serves as an undercurrent of this gospel. 

  • The disciples were afraid when Jesus calmed the sea (4:40). 
  • The townspeople were afraid when they saw the demoniac healed (5:15).
  • Peter was afraid at the transfiguration (9:6).
  • The disciples were afraid of thinking about Jesus dying (9:32).
  • The disciples were afraid of going up to Jerusalem (10:32).
  • The women were afraid at the tomb (16:8)

CONCLUSION: “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” (5:36)

March 1, Q&A

1). Is it possible to witness the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation slowly coming to fruition in the modern world?

Prophecy tends to have a “near and far” application. The near application is how the text applied to the original hearers. The far application is how that text ripples out to future generations.

John 17 is a good example of this; Jesus starts praying for his followers and then for future believers (verse 20). Matthew 24 is another example. The near fulfillment was 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Jewish temple. It was the end of the world to a Jew as it would be difficult to imagine life relating to God without a temple. The far application is the return of Christ at the final chapter of human history.

I say that to say this: Daniel and Revelation (to some point) has already been fulfilled. However, since the Bible speaks to the deepest needs of humanity, the struggles and such that is the human experience will repeat from generation to generation. So maybe we aren’t dealing with the beast empires of Daniel or Rome in Paul’s day, but we know what it is like to be a marginalized group under a godless government – like Paul and Daniel.

2). Which character of the Bible has the most personal relationship with God?

It is hard to pick just one person because the Bible is intentional about reminding us of many men and women who were close to God. However, if I had to pick one person, it would be Abraham. He is called “God’s friend” in James 2:23).

I love how the Bible reminds all of us that we can be friends of God too if we place our trust in God, taking him at his word.

3). Is the Book of Daniel a book of folk tales?

The short answer is no. Daniel is essentially 2 genres in one book. The first 6 chapters are historical and the last 6 are apocalyptic. The book of Daniel tracks the life of a teenage Israeli captive that got taken to Babylon and he is a ripe old age by the end of chapter 6.

Daniel is a great example of how to live faithfully to God while serving a pagan government. He outlives the reign of 3 Babylonian kings and has unwavering faith in God.

Apocalypse serves the purpose of peeling back the curtain to see the spiritual realities and how they affect physically present situations; this includes foresight into the future. This is the intent behind all the weirdness in the book of Daniel.

4). What is the meaning of ‘one day’s burden is not enough for one day’ that’s been mentioned in the Bible?

That’s not in the Bible. However, Jesus did say that “each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:44, NIV).

In the passage, Jesus was preaching on why we shouldn’t live our lives worrying about things we cannot control. Why carry the burden of worry when we cannot control the outcome? Why worry if it doesn’t make us any healthier or live longer?

By now we should be on the same page, right? If I’m not able to change this situation and I’m in the middle of it, I’m going to trust God as I keep going. Worry is not an option because it is too expensive, yielding negative results on our body and soul.

5). Why does the Bible say that nobody is beyond the grace of God but in another part it says that God will harden people’s hearts?

From the start, I admit that I don’t have a concrete answer, but I’ll give the best answer I presently have.

First, we need to know the heart of God. He is not playing games with people’s lives, playing a divine game of Duck, Duck, Damn. God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4, NIV).

Second, the Bible doesn’t directly say that nobody is beyond the grace of God, but that’s the conclusion we draw after reading about the character of God. There are two main passages of Scripture that I would like to draw from; the story of Pharaoh in Exodus 5–12 and Romans 9–11.

What’s curious about Pharaoh is that he hardens his heart and then it later says that God hardened his heart. I believe this is the same thing. Since God gives us the ability to choose or reject him, we have the ability to harden our hearts against God; we can be stubborn. The other side of the coin is that God’s hands aren’t tied; nothing happens without God allowing it to happen.

That’s the mystery of free will and God’s treatment of our rebellion.

6). What are your favorite things to read in the Bible?

I love the gospels! I don’t have a favorite because they are all so wonderfully unique.

I also love the book of Romans as it the place to go for deep theology. The Proverbs are useful for practical living. I guess I have a lot of favorites; it depends on what I need at a given time.

The more I read it, the harder it is to have a favorite part.

7). Do you think Leviticus 20:15 is considered ‘too harsh’ or would you consider it to be fair?

It’s not my call to judge how ‘harsh’ this law is. All I know is God calls it perversion and as the Creator of the universe, he gets the right to make whatever laws he wants over his creation.

Matthew Henry says this about the verse: “What praises we owe to God that he has taught the evil of sin, and the sure way of deliverance from it! May we have grace to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things; may we have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but reprove them.”

Instead of critiquing God’s law, we need to let it critique us. The standard is God’s holiness. He commanded us in the previous chapter to “be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2 NIV). Even in the chapter above that, we see that God wants his people to be different (which means holy) from their neighbors that did deplorable things like burning children as sacrifices to demon gods.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 18:1–5 NIV).

In closing, we need to thank God for his high standard of living, because when people follow God’s laws, society flourishes.

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Michael J. Lewis Interview

Michael J. Lewis

In an Interview with author Michael J. Lewis, Michael shares on his book. Michael’s book is titled True Worth: Identity In Christ. His book shares on how we are not called to identify ourselves as the world tells us, but on how Christ calls us.

Along with Michael J. Lewis’ book, his wife’s book is The Star In You. While she was unable to sit down to talk today, we look forward to getting a chance in the future.

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Elect Michael Furlonger For President

Michael Furlonger For President

Elect Michael Furlonger For President

You heard that correct people. I, Michael Furlonger, am running for the presidency of….

Ok. All seriousness now. We all know that I photoshopped (a big word for copy & paste) my face over top of Donald Trump’s face. We know this by the hair and hand gestures.

I Could Be King

(I actually have a whole video topic on sin and redemption found in Jesus Christ under this title, but I’ll save it for later.)

“When (Israel elders) said, ‘Give us a king to lead us,’ this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.'” (1 Samuel 8:6-7)

A little bit of a back story of what’s going on in the verses above:

God has rescued the Israel people out of the land of slavery in Egypt. Bringing the false gods of Egypt and the other nations to shame. God leads the people into a new land and He overthrows these people who live in the land and calls it the Land of Israel.

Israel, at this time, has no king or formal government. You read about this in the book of Judges: After Israel takes land, they serve pagan gods and end up enslaved to these people. They cry out to Yahweh, the God who rescued them and brought them to the land, and God sends a “judge”. Again and again this is happening. You can almost set your watches to it.

So they go through all of these judges who ruled over them for a time. Once the judge died, they’d serve the gods of the Canaanites, then “Spit hits the fan”, they call to God, God lifts up another judge to overtake the Canaanites, and then rules for a time. Again and again.

“In Those Days Israel Had No King” (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25)

“Everyone Did As They Saw Fit” (Judges 17:6; 21:25)

There’s a lot of reading that you, especially as Christians, should be reading in this text. Conservative, Republican, Liberal, Democrat- I don’t care.

The only reason I picked Donald Trump was because his hair and hand gesture is recognized. Joe Biden’s head doesn’t have as much of a recognizable characteristics.

Anyway… Let’s continue.

At this time of the Judges, they didn’t have a formal ruler, a king. Everyone did as they saw fit. In Judges 17, you’re reading about Micah and his idols. In Judges 19, you’re reading about a woman who was raped to death and this led to a war which is the conclusion of Judges 21.

Next to Judges in the Bible is Ruth, which happened during the time of Judges, and then 1 Samuel. This brings us full circle back to the beginning of this blog: The people are calling out, “Give us a king” and God saying, “I’m the one they’ve rejected.”

And The Lord Said…

“Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” (1 Samuel 8:9)

Samuel gives the people a long list of things that will happen to them under another’s leadership. Read 1 Samuel 8:11-17 for further details regarding the taxation, enslavement and taking of good from the people.

“When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:18-20)

The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.” (1 Samuel 8:22)

I encourage you all to read your Bibles. We are going through a very similar state as the Israelites even though it’s 2021. We are doing “as we see fit” then calling out for new leadership. And that will be great until the novelty wears off and we go to the election polls in four years. Just like in the book of Judges, we keep getting “rescued” but then we turn away from that to serve our own ways.

So God answers the Israelites call for leadership and gives them King Saul. Saul is good for a while until he turns away (just like the people in Judges), then God lifts up David. Then, because of David’s sin, and the actions of his son, Solomon, Israel is split.

And we see this again. Whether 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, we are splitting at the seams. I start the count in 2008 because of social media and everyone having a thought on everything.

And don’t think this is an attack from either side of the political aisle.

“The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart”

“The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (1 Samuel 13:14)

Regardless of who our “king” (democratically appointed leader) is, God is looking for a man or woman after his own heart.

Please, don’t be deceived in thinking, “Because I go to church, I am after God’s heart.” The devil doesn’t waste time at strip clubs and bars, he’s coming for the church.

Don’t seek after the popularity of the church. The popularity of men (and women). Seek after the popularity of God. With His popularity in view, let’s stop filling our social media with hate. Let’s love our neighbour’s, let’s read the Bible to hear what God calls on us to do even when it hurts.

Let us call on the Holy Spirit, truly, and weep over our sins.

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Out of the Wilderness by Steve Stroble

Out of the Wilderness
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Out of the Wilderness

Sam Smaltz just wants to be left alone.

But being sandwiched between the Greatest Generation and Gen X and the Millenials offers him no such comfort.

As a Baby Boomer, he does not get to be a respected hero by fighting German and Japanese warriors during WW II or North Koreans invading South Korea, but instead leaves behind a stepson who is sucked into the nebulous world of present day international terrorism, where everyone is suspect and no one can be trusted.’

Life is not easy as it requires his stepson Jack Smaltz to be just one more nameless, faceless hero whose story gets lost in the shuffle even as it makes his generation shine.

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