Triumphal Entry


Have you ever come into the middle of a conversation, and it sounds really interesting, and you try to get what everyone is talking about, from the context?

I mean, first you are quiet and you just nod your head, “mmhhm, mmhhm,” and you hope no one has noticed you have just inserted yourself. Inside you are scrambling to piece it all together. But, at some point you realize there is just too much you don’t know, you have too few puzzle pieces for you to understand what’s going on.

I think that is how we hear the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We try to get why this event is so momentous it shows up in all four gospels as the commencement of Passion Week. But, there is just too much important background information that is missing for us to really grasp the importance—and symbology—of what was happening in this scene.

First, we will look at the passage, then I am going to tell you four stories, so you will have all you need to understand what is going on. Then we will go back to the passage and piece it all together.

(There was something going on with my microphone, so throughout this talk you will hear glitches. Hopefully, the talk itself will overcome that minor annoyance)

Triumphal Entry, Mark 11:1-11
Grace and Peace, Joanne

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Are You Worthy by Ron Clark

Through most of life, we have all worried about what other people think of us. And as we grow up we begin to pay more attention to what we think of ourselves.  Are we tough, are we strong, or are we losers?  So often that opinion is shaped by what is happening in our lives, be it a good or bad event.

Are We Losers?

We may reach a point where we just think that we don’t deserve anything good to happen to us the rest of our lives because we can all look back at our lives and feel shame for our actions and worthlessness in our own eyes.  The sum total of our lives may be “LOSER,” but God has a different view point.  

God does hate the sin, but He loves the sinner.  King David wrote in Psalm 8:4, “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings…”  That means that we are spiritual beings similar to the heavenly beings.

God loves you so much that He sacrificed Jesus for you and He wants you to experience a time of revelation. There’s an old saying: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  God wants you to meet your teacher, the Holy Spirit.  In John 14:26 it is written, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” 

The Holy Spirit teaches:

S-Salvation by Grace

P-Peace

I-Inspiration by Divine Appointment

R-Righteousness by Jesus Sacrifice

I-Indwells The Saved

T-Testifies to the Divinity of Jesus Christ

If you are feeling low, just remember it’s God’s love for you that counts.  “This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 John 4:10)

The Cross and the blood of Jesus spells, “Winner.”

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The Bible The Devil Reads

The Bible The Devil Reads

Did you know that the Devil “reads” the Bible? OK. Maybe he doesn’t “read” the Bible, but he does know it. And he knows it better than you or I. And he’s not afraid of using it to make you sin and do things that are against the Will of God.

Allow me to share of when the devil tempted Jesus.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,     
and they will lift you up in their hands,     
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matt. 4:1-7)

Do you see where even the devil said, “For it is written”? He goes on to quote Psalm 91:11-12.

It’s interesting how Jesus responds, isn’t it? Jesus responds with the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 6:16).

Straight Out Of Context

Have you ever lived in sin? Commit the same sin over and over again. Remember, as Apostle Paul says, “by grace you have been saved, through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).

Or when a church member confront you of a sin? You have Matthew 7:1 ready in your back pocket. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

For some reason, we actually have King James waiting, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” So people use this as an excuse to ignore people who call out their sins.

Context

Reading Ephesians 2 in context, Apostle Paul is calling on us to live a life away from sin: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… (Eohesians 2:1-2a). And our faith should be followed with good works: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works… (Ephesians 2:10a).

If we are to read Ephesians 2:1-10 in context, it would say, “We are saved by God’s grace, not good works. Because of God’s grace, we are called to put away our sins and live the life God calls us to live. The outpouring of knowing God is, indeed, good works.”

Same thing with Matthew 7:1. Fortunately, Jesus straightforwardly explains in verse 3-5.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

This is simple to read in context. “Don’t judge. First, deal with the issue in your life and then help your brothers and sisters deal with the identical issues that they are dealing with.”

The Devil Is In The Details

What other verses are twisted? Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”? What about Philippians 4:13: I can do all this through him (Jesus Christ) who gives me strength.

It is dangerous to read these verse out of context.

Jeremiah 29 is a letter to Jewish captives who will spend 70 years in captivity before the Lord will liberate them. Yet, we use it to draw people into the church. But when a woman miscarries, or you lose the job, or your loved one dies, what then?

One verse prior to the coffee mug imprinted verse of Philippians 4:13 is 4:12. It reads, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

If you don’t get the job, if you don’t pass the test, if you don’t get the girl, should we exclude the verse altogether? No! God is still sovereign. Be content in much and in little, “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Your strength is not in your circumstance, it’s in Christ.

The Baby And The Bath Water

Back in the day, before modern luxuries of running water, a family would all bathe in the same water. Not all at once, mind you. First the father would bathe, when he got out, then the mother, then the oldest to the youngest child. So when it was time to throw out the water, it was so filthy that you could hardly see through it. And the sayin came, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”

Now, I just jumped through a few verses that are often read out of context. Should we “Throw out the baby (the verses) with the bathwater (the things that don’t apply to us)”? Of course not. The Bible is a historical account of the God of Israel moving and doing things. And as Hebrews 4:12 says that “the Word of God is alive and active…”

I mention in my book, “God: The Master of Sin and Satan The Beautiful”, Satan doesn’t mind if you believe in God. He doesn’t mind if you read the Bible just as long as you don’t repent of sin and live for God.

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Michael Furlonger Vs. Francis Chan (Emotional Spirituality)

In the video below, Michael shares his concern for people who are left with doubts due to emotional spirituality.

Michael Furlonger shares his thoughts after watching a video by Francis Chan on the topic of genuinely loving Jesus Christ. His great concern is this new emotional spirituality or sentimentalism that has flooded many churches. So Michael took time to discuss what Francis Chan lacked in his teaching.

Make it clear that Michael also didn’t go on a personal attack of Francis Chan. Michael’s main concern was for those who are left with fear and doubt of their faith.

Verses:

  • John 1:1-5, 14
  • Romans 1:20
  • 2 Peter 1:3-11
Selections from the Conversations and Unpublished Writings of Rev. Edward Payson, D.D., Late of Portland

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Bartimaeus


In order to really get what this passage is about, you’ll need to look in a mirror for a few minutes. First, before you look in the mirror (maybe have it behind you), hold your hands above and below your head until you can just see them with your peripheral vision.

Now.

Turn to look at the hand above, so you can really see it.

Can you see your other hand anymore?

Move your other hand up just enough so you can just see it with your peripheral vision.

Okay, now, as you keep your hands in that position, turn around and look in the mirror.

Notice the position of your hands.

Your hands represent a perspectiveyou can see some things, but you can’t see all things.

By turning to your higher hand, you lost sight of your lower hand, and had to move it. You have to literally give up seeing some things so you are able to see other things.

Hang on to that. This is exactly what Mark has been trying to get to with this chapter, and with the lesson of Bartimaeus. You’ll see this same lesson echoed throughout the Christian Bible.



[Blind Bartimaeus | Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/ flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/%5D

Bartimaeus
Mark 10:46-52

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Work Out With Mike (Upper Body Exercises)

Work Out With Mike

Work Out With Mike shares the importance of working out, especially in the time of isolation.

The Equipment

The links provided above is to make it easy if you wish to purchase identical equipment.

Michael Furlonger

In his testimony, Michael shares how a car accident as a child caused damage to his hip and left side. While he doesn’t claim to be a physio expert, he shares the importance of modifying his workout. In the video above, he shares 3 simple upper body exercises that he does daily. He also focuses on balancing out the muscle build on his right and left side.

  • Dumbbells- Dumbbells can be used for all sorts of workouts, but Michael’s main focus is using them to workout the biceps. In the video, he illustrates arm curls and concentration curls.
    What is helpful with using dumbbells, as opposed to barbells , is that independence. The left arm and right arm can workout independently and maintain the same amount of resistance (10lbs on the right and left).
  • Thera-bands- What Michael shares about the rubber band are exercises for both the pectoral and triceps. Be cautious to add the resistance on your shoulders and not your neck when doing the shown exercise.
    In the same way as the dumbbells are independent, so are the bands. Michael is careful to make sure that he is centering the bands and is extending to the same on each side.

In a future Work Out With Mike video, Michael will be sharing exercises he does to workout the legs,

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Preparation for Hard Times

The Armor of God

I delivered this lesson to inmates in the San Angelo County Jail in 2012.

THE ENEMY (Eph. 6:10-18):  Have you ever felt an urge so strong that you can’t resist?  That’s the power of this dark world.  That’s the spiritual forces of evil.  If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or money you understand that urge and we don’t have the power on your own to resist.

Scripture speaks of spiritual forces of this dark world and that is none other than Satan himself.  Please trust me on this, his temptations can seem beautiful at the time, but they are deadly to the body and spirit.  If we are not strong enough to resist, what protection do we have? 

Paul says to put on the armor of God.

The belt of truth is not a weapon.  It’s good character; truthfulness, honesty (Phil 4:8) a noble state of mind.  Purity of thought and desire is the goal.

The breastplate of righteousness protects the heart, which we picture as the location of our desires and emotions.  We can work hard at thinking pure thoughts and emotions, but the enemy’s darts (temptations) are aimed right at our hearts (our emotions).   The breastplate begins with Christ our Savior, worship of God, studying scripture, and prayers.  These are the breastplate.

Please note, Paul speaks of standing firm.  This is a picture of a single soldier, standing in his place in the face of the charging enemy, perhaps feeling alone and deserted by his fellow soldiers.  A day may come when you feel alone, but remember, “greater is He who lives within you than he who lives in the world.”  The Holy Spirit lives within you if you are saved.

Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace tells us to live in peace to the best of our ability.

Shield of faith is exactly what it says.  It is the strength of our faith and it protects us from the temptations of Satan uses to bring us down and destroy us.  Paul says that faith is believing in what you can not see, but you can see the results of faith.

The helmet of salvation provides protection to the everlasting portion of our being.  That portion is our immortal soul which can only be protected by accepting Christ as our savior.  Christ is our crowning glory and sign of victory.

The sword of the spirit is the weapon empowered by Almighty God, which will fight this fearsome battle for us.  Paul is reminding us that the battle is spiritual and must be fought in God’s strength, not our own.

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests is a very firm directive to stay in touch with God through prayer.  If you are blessed then you should be thanking God in prayer and if you are in need take your requests to God in prayer.  Your situation doesn’t matter, you must stay in touch with God through prayer.

Be Mindful

With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  Never let your guard down, never take a holiday from your prayer life.  This is a battle that is constant and never lets up.  Satan never takes a holiday so we can’t afford to take it easy.  Do you realize that as a follower of Christ Jesus, that each of us is a saint?  That means we are instructed to pray for each other without stopping.

These instructions are too important to be ignored.  The Armor of God is our protection from anything that Satan can use to attack us.  Each of us is only human with hopes and desires and it is through them that Satan corrupts our lives.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we may obtain righteousness and salvation.

When facing the real world you may worry about going the distance without falling, but by the grace of God, you no longer have to fight because the Sword of the Spirit will fight for you every day.

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Working Out With Mike And Farr

Working Out With Mike And Farr

1. Introduction (0:002:12)
2. How are you handling the isolation? (2:133:45)
3. How much time do you spend daily exercising? (3:4611:39)
-High Intensity/ Low Intensity – A 10 minutes workout is better than a 60 minute workout you don’t do
4. I’ve heard you mention that muscle building is better for weight-loss. Do you exclude all running/ cycling from your routine? (11:4015:07)
5. My wife and I do the KETO diet. What are your thoughts on diets? (15:0822:42)
5. What are your thoughts on free-weights vs. bands? (22:4330:10)
6. My Final Words (30:1131:09)
7. Farr’s Final Words (31:10)

The Equipment

The links provided above is to make it easy if you wish to purchase identical equipment.

Farr Ramsahoye

Michael Furlonger interviews his brother in the faith, Farr Ramsahoye. Farr Ramsahoye, the owner of Visionary Fitness, took time to discuss working out and diet tips.

Check out the pros and cons of the Ketogenic diet.

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Calming The Storm Book Reviews

Do you constantly sense an impending danger? Does your heartbeat go haywire from time to time? Do you find yourself sweating uncontrollably, even during winter? These are tell-tale signs you might be having an anxiety disorder, which could lead to constant panic attacks. If you’ve experienced the above symptoms or anything of sorts, then Brian Ludwig wrote Panic Attacks Calming the Storm to help you.

Brian had his first experience of a panic attack in May 1992. This development opened a new chapter in his life and work. Brian, who was a workaholic before the attack, had to start taking time off work. After the confirmation that he had become a victim of panic attacks, he decided to seek all the help he could. Meanwhile, as of 1992, there was no definitive treatment for his ailment. He had to go through a learning process of both finding a cure and discovering a part of him that he never knew existed. In this book, Brian shared the things he learned to help other people suffering from panic attacks.

The first thing I want to say about this book is that it isn’t a medical journal. If you are expecting a book that is written from years of medical research into panic attacks, you’ll be a tad disappointed. This book is a compendium of the author’s experiences and journey (as he calls it) of freeing himself from the debilitation of panic attacks. That notwithstanding, the book is a well-written resource that will help anyone going through the same or similar predicaments the author went through.

Here’s a disclaimer from the book for anyone who wants to read this book:

First and foremost, you must understand that I am not a licensed physician. Anything that you find in this book that opposes what licensed physicians have told you, their direction and instructions should always supersede anything that I encourage you to do.

What endeared me most to this book was the author’s writing style. He opted for a relaxed and conversational tone in his narrative. There was never a point where he used any technical term. I thoroughly had a lot of fun reading this book. The author’s wit, sense of humour, and storytelling skills were in full play. The chapter titles were so captivating that I couldn’t wait to see what the next title would look like. I felt a kindred spirit all through the reading because of my experience with copywriting. He had a way with words that would make the reader stay glued to the book until the last page.

Additionally, he was descriptive and thorough in explaining the steps outlined in this book. This wasn’t surprising as he had a wealth of experience to bring to the table. The author’s writing style would help the ideal reader (people experiencing anxiety disorders) to enjoy this book — the last thing they’d need is a panic attack while reading the book.

It’s worth mentioning that the second part of the author’s journey was a spiritual one — with a focus on the importance of giving your life to Jesus Christ as a way of dealing with panic attacks. A good portion of this book was used to share his experience as a Christian believer.  The author was careful to make this book beneficial to all categories of readers.   However, anyone who needs help dealing with panic attacks would find this book helpful.

It was well-written and professionally edited. Therefore, I rate it four out of four stars.
                                                                                              THE REVIEWER

EDITORIAL REVIEWS:

Brian, you have written a wonderful book—it has an important message that is well communicated, with clear steps on how to use your ideas. You’ve done a particularly good job of providing direct support from Scripture for your techniques and ideas—there are a huge number of passages that speak directly to the subject at hand, lending great weight to what you are saying. I also think that when a passage from Scripture does not directly address the ideas presented, you’ve done an excellent job of connecting the dots for the reader.- Jefferson, Primary Editor FirstEditing

This was a really interesting read and I am grateful for being chosen for this project. I have to say that I actually learned a lot from reading this book, and I have been thinking about some of your tips recently! You wrote in a straightforward and informal manner, which will help the reader connect with you. I felt that you used real-life examples and spoke in a way that was not overly academic in nature. This made the information easier to understand and apply to the reader’s daily life, step by step. – Max, Assistant Editor FirstEditing

CUSTOMER BOOK REVIEWS:

This book is very practical and easy to read! I learned step by step methods for overcoming panic and anxiety issues! The author describes his personal journey in down to earth, relatable fashion with great humor and candor. I found it very encouraging to hear directly from someone who has wrestled with and overcome severe symptoms, as opposed to hearing from a PhD who only studied those who have but has no first-hand knowledge. – EH

“I have suffered with mild to severe anxiety most of my life. After reading this book, I have learned new ways to quiet my mind and guide my thoughts into new patterns of thinking. We so quickly give up on trusting God, this book explains how to use His power to obtain freedom.”. – JK, a retired teacher, mother and worrier

Fantastic book-easy to read and I felt like the writer completely understood how panic attacks and anxiety feel and how to overcome them. I’ve suffered from anxiety before I knew that was it and it can be debilitating. I started implementing the strategies while reading the book and already feel somewhat better. Highly recommend. – DP 

I personally haven’t dealt with anxiety or panic attacks, but this book is very helpful to help me understand people who are dealing with these things. The second part of this book, the spiritual experience of the author is truly challenging and inspiring! If you want to know the heart of God for your life, recognize the attacks of the enemy and move into a victorious life, then this book will help you!  – AR

“I have no doubt that this book will change lives and light a path for people who are seeking our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brian’s experiences and testimonies in this book will serve as a ministry to the lost.” – KR

I personally know this author, Brian Ludwig, and am very grateful to have benefited greatly from his spiritual insight. After wrestling with extreme panic and anxiety attacks for 10 years he discovered the keys to complete freedom which he shares so honestly in his book, Panic Attacks, Calming the Storm. His heart is to help anyone who deals with panic and anxiety (and depression too). The 2nd half of his book contains amazing stories of how he has been used to powerfully impact people’s lives. Those stories alone are worth the read!! I love that all the proceeds go to help missions and ministries!  – FB

I was given the book because I struggle with poor self-image, anxiety, and depression. The way the information was presented was the first time I could really grasp why our thoughts are so important. The second half of the book really tied it all together. It was very easy to read and follow. – JD

This book is a must read for anyone seeking help with panic attacks or any anxiety related issues. Truly it is a testimony to God’s immense love and displays how one man’s journey through affliction is overcome. I have seen already how it’s helped myself and others around me. – KR

Have read this book. Insight from it means more to me than you can know. Am still healing and working on my religious outlook. Am re-reading book and am making some progress. Have an amazing story to tell you that happened yesterday while fighting off a panic attack. Have been through some tough days but yesterday had a major change in my mindset.  Realistic help for the panic/anxiety attack victim from one who has been there and survived. Has set me on my healing path to peace. A must have for family supporters, too! From: Real life fight

This book is amazing for anyone who is struggling with anxiety. It has so many important lessons in it. God truly works through us all the time especially when we are going through hard times. I highly recommend this book. – SR

What an eye-opening revelation of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this powerful one of a kind true story. The author reveals openly his personal journey from anxiety to overcoming. I highly recommend this book of healing to anyone who may struggle in their own life or perhaps you know someone who struggles. This book encourages the reader that there is hope. Great read. – AN

By reading this book it allowed me to put words to what I was experiencing physically. At first I thought it was a panic attack but learned from the book it was an anxiety attack, the stressor was fear of being alone. The book taught me to gain control of my thought patterns, my mindset. GREAT BOOK!! – EH

The book is so helpful for anyone who has anxiety. It has so many important lessons in it. This book reveals how one can get closer to God and build a relationship with him. I highly recommend this book. – SR

Author was very transparent with his experiences with anxiety and/or panic attics. The second part of book was very enlightening and educational in regards to the spiritual world that is around us. It stretched my faith and encouraged me in many ways!!!  VERY COMPELLING – H

Insight from reading this book means more to me than you can know. Realistic help for the panic/anxiety attack victim from one who has been there and survived. Has set me on my healing path to peace. A must have for family supporters, too! – MM

By far one of the best books I‘ve read, and I’ve read a lot!

Highly recommend “Calming the Storm” that has been worked on over the past couple years by Brian Ludwig and completed just recently. Very timely for our current season.

The first part goes into Brian’s personal journey of overcoming panic attacks and anxiety and comes alongside you as the reader to coach you through those issues, to achieve not just some relief but total freedom.

The second part is about living an “on Earth as it is in Heaven” lifestyle by living naturally supernatural in miracles by the power of Holy Spirit as a child of God from what Jesus paid a price for you to have.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this training, I highly recommend grabbing a copy in this season as I have been under a lot of teaching around the world, but this book gave a fresh fire to me!

All profits of the book go to missions! RD

The Brian has received many private messages and comments such as seen below

I have never been moved by a book quite like this one….

This book was an answer to prayer…

Starting to effectively use the techniques found to squelch my anxiety….

You make your techniques easy to grasp…

It was the first book that  helped my family understand what I was going through…

Check Out Calming The Storm Here

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