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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 16)

The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away.

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They said to one another, “It is because we have brought no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? How could you fail to perceive that I was not speaking about bread? Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

“For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


Matthew 16:1-28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%2016:1-28&version=NRSV

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Terry Ann: Woman. Seed. Fertile Ground. Inspiration.

In the summer of 2018, I began working on a portrait and prose book project about womanhood. That summer I returned to my hometowns Gary and Milwaukee and asked friends, family and old connections to pose and share some words about their womanhood experiences.

When I began sketching out the project my mom was not top of mind. As the project morphed into various incarnations, the hope was to pull others in along the way. But the more women I talked to and the closer I got to women who had been close to her, the more Mom began to dominate my thoughts.

I can’t ask my mother what her womanhood meant to her. She died just as I was coming of age. Oddly enough, I hadn’t considered my own womanhood in the context of the project until I visited my mom’s gravesite in Milwaukee. It was there that I realized I hadn’t really known her as a multi-dimensional person. My perspective was only as a daughter looking up. As a result I began questioning and exploring the layers of my own personhood. Perhaps my Mom became my proxy. I chose to focus my questions on how she was before becoming a mother.

During the visit, I asked relatives: What do you remember about my mom?

I wasn’t prepared for the responses. Such a simple question seeking to learn about personality and character, unleashed stories of actual and imagined trauma and violation. Things she would have shared with me during her lifetime if they were true. It’s interesting how I was able to reject the lies for what they were after holding their words up to the relationship I had with my mom. She was an honest and straight-forward woman. She didn’t wallow in past trauma, hide from it or keep it from me. Her story was her story and she told me what she wanted me know. More importantly, she answered my questions truthfully.

The more I analyzed my urge to ask others about who Terry Ann was before she became my mother, the more I realized I have only to look within. Everything I thought I didn’t know about my mother is actually in me because she remains a part of me. She’s the seed and fertile ground I sprung from and her life is forever my inspiration.

My sister had the only words worth sharing. She said, “I remember everything, but I can’t put words to my memories.”

Truly profound.

Perhaps that was my true dilemma as well. I know what I know, but somehow I can’t speak it all.

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Living without permission

I’ve been feeling like a rebel in recent years. Marching to the beat of my own orchestra. Listening to the voice whispering to me through the wind. Choosing to grant myself permission to live on my own terms. Deciding to embrace the fear of doing such even as I continue to forge ahead. For a spell now, I’ve been bombarded with examples on why living without permission is so important for our overall well-being.

Guy

I have a male friend who has had an extremely hard time in New York City since he moved to the city fifteen years ago. We have periods of connection when we check on each other before falling off again. Shortly after I returned to New York City to relist and market my apartment myself, we spent a day together in my empty Harlem apartment. We caught up on years of missed conversations and hardships. By the end of the evening I became frustrated with him. The common theme throughout his constant hardship was his undying belief that others would look out for him and his interests therefore there was no need for him to take precautions for himself. He repeatedly put himself in situations that were not only unfavorable towards him, they were often dangerous and left him at the mercy of people who had no stake or concern for his well-being. Alternatively, when he was blessed with good work environments (perks, benefits, kind managers, etc.) he abused their generosity. My strong admonition was that he needs to make better decisions for himself.

It astonished me how much power he gave others over his life, livelihood and well-being. It sounded as if he didn’t make a move unless someone with no responsibility to him was ok with what he wanted to do.

He became a real estate agent a year before I did. He stayed with that agency for a whole year without doing anything, not even an open house, because they wouldn’t help him or answer his questions or give him his pocket card (proof of profession and associated agency in NYC). When we first spoke about this, I was in Arizona and had been a licensed agent for four months. In my first month, I hosted no less than ten open houses for other agents, most of whom I still haven’t met. I was genuinely perplexed by Guy. When I asked him why he didn’t simply change agencies if help was so important for him, he responded, “I didn’t think I could.”

Real estate agents are independent contractors. The only agents who may have difficulty switching firms are those who have property listings. Listings belong to the agency, not the agent. Sometimes agencies will allow you to pay a fee for your listings to take your clients with you. If you have done absolutely no business for an agency, you could literally walk out the door in the middle of a conversation and nobody will be calling to check on you. So for Guy to not even have this minimum amount of initiative to look after his professional interests as well as his ability to provide for himself sort of blew me away.

Colleague

Last week, I met up with a former corporate colleague for dinner. We last saw each other the day I thought I had finally moved from New York City for good in February 2018. We had a good catch up. I shared some of my recent hardships concerning the delayed sale of my NYC apartment and how being in limbo through a long transition between two lives in two states has really shaken me loose from people and things I had long resisted letting go of. I shared that one of the ways I plan to commemorate the end of my life in NYC and the beginning of my life in Southern Arizona was by cutting off my hair and starting from scratch. I viewed it as a way for me to free myself to let go and grow.

Colleague immediately said, “No! Don’t do that! As a friend, I’m telling you that won’t be a good look. Don’t do it.”

I bit my lip, but the words on the tip of my tongue were, I’m not asking for your permission. I wasn’t even asking for your opinion. Instead my head tilted to the side and with a bemused look on my face I told her, “This isn’t a beauty decision. It has nothing to do with how I will look.”

“Still – don’t do it.

“I’m doing it.”

“Don’t do it.”

And around we went for a few rounds until she convinced herself that I didn’t mean cutting everything down to a buzz cut. A short cut was fine, but a buzz or bald look wouldn’t do. I hadn’t really thought about how short I would cut so I let the conversation fall off there, but it amazed me that a casual work acquaintance felt comfortable telling me what I could and couldn’t do with my own hair.

Grandma

Over the holiday weekend, I received a call from one of my aunts. She shared a story about my Grandma who has been suffering greatly from various health issues for the last decade. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with early onset dementia. Around that time she lost the home she had been living in for over thirty years which led to her being bounced from relative to relative. She is now in the fifth household in as many years. Grandma is a very strong-willed woman with a violent streak and a horrendous (though funny-to-me) potty mouth. When I visited her a couple of summers ago, she was completely subdued and scared to speak openly in front of her then “caretakers”, her youngest daughter and son-in-law. They had been abusive towards her which was the reason for my visit. My intention was to take Grandma home with me but she didn’t want to leave her hometown or her great-grandbabies. However, I let her know the choice was hers and it shouldn’t be made in fear. She chose to stay. A few months later she chose to move in with her oldest living daughter, the one who called me. They didn’t last long under the same roof and grandma was soon packed up and moved next door to my cousin’s house where she’s been for the last year. It was this cousin who received a call from senior day care informing her, “Your grandmother got into a fight today. You have to come pick her up.”

Sometime before the fight, Grandma had reported to her daughter and granddaughter that another woman (who is also suffering from dementia) in senior day care had been slapping her and pulling her hair. Both my aunt and cousin were horrified to hear this and both adamantly told her the next time that woman put her hands on her she could hit her back. Who knew Grandma would ever need permission before hitting someone back!? But she did. The day my cousin got the call, my grandma’s bully had pulled her hair hard and slapped her across the face. According to the day care workers, the next thing they saw was grandma slapping the woman back and choking her out. I’m told it took two workers to separate them.

Grandma is dependent on a walker. She’s had several strokes, she wobbles when she stands and half of her body has to be maneuvered by hand. I had picked her up from day care on my last visit and know what the set-up is. They seat everyone at a long table in the middle of the room. My questions to my aunt were, how was Grandma choking this woman out? Were they both on the ground or was Grandma balancing her weight against the woman’s throat? She can’t move without her walker. How long did it take for her to turn around, get up and get to the woman? Sadly, my aunt didn’t have my desired details.

All that said, Grandma has obviously been experiencing a great deal of abuse. My comfort here is that she tells people about it and so far we’ve helped her to help herself a bit. On the other hand, I’m extremely saddened that she has loss her voice to a great degree and her sense of autonomy overall. The woman I grew up knowing and whose roar mine mimics would have never waited for permission to defend herself.

Me

Though I’m able to identify instances of permission expectations now, I’ve lived most of my adult life seeking permission like so many others. Permission in the form of acceptance, understanding, appreciation, acknowledgement, support and validation. We live in a global society where people think they have the right to minimize others and keep them in boxes for no other reason than their own experience of privilege. Privilege via hierarchy, status, appearance, position, proximity, birth order, relationship, etc. I can’t count how often I succumbed to the preferences of others to my own detriment, but I know I began fighting that conditioning before my tenth birthday. Thirty-four years later I’m still fighting to understand what it truly means for me to live as I believe, as I want, as I plan, as I hope and as I am able to provide for myself. As many lessons as it takes, I will continue to seek only my own permission to live my best life as my best self.

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All Is Meaningless (ACAD: Ecclesiastes 10)

Dead flies make the perfumer’s ointment give off a foul odor; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Even when fools walk on the road, they lack sense, and show to everyone that they are fools. If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post, for calmness will undo great offenses.

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as great an error as if it proceeded from the ruler: folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. I have seen slaves on horseback, and princes walking on foot like slaves.

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones will be hurt by them; and whoever splits logs will be endangered by them. If the iron is blunt, and one does not whet the edge, then more strength must be exerted; but wisdom helps one to succeed. If the snake bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage in a charmer.

Words spoken by the wise bring them favor, but the lips of fools consume them. The words of their mouths begin in foolishness, and their talk ends in wicked madness; yet fools talk on and on. No one knows what is to happen, and who can tell anyone what the future holds? The toil of fools wears them out, for they do not even know the way to town.

Alas for you, O land, when your king is a servant, and your princes feast in the morning! Happy are you, O land, when your king is a nobleman, and your princes feast at the proper time— for strength, and not for drunkenness! Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks. Feasts are made for laughter; wine gladdens life, and money meets every need. Do not curse the king, even in your thoughts, or curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.

Ecclesiastes 10:1-20 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Ecclesiastes%2010:1-20&version=NRSV

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All Is Meaningless (ACAD: Ecclesiastes 8)

Who is like the wise man?

And who knows the interpretation of a thing? Wisdom makes one’s face shine, and the hardness of one’s countenance is changed.

Keep the king’s command because of your sacred oath. Do not be terrified; go from his presence, do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he does whatever he pleases. For the word of the king is powerful, and who can say to him, “What are you doing?” Whoever obeys a command will meet no harm, and the wise mind will know the time and way. For every matter has its time and way, although the troubles of mortals lie heavy upon them. Indeed, they do not know what is to be, for who can tell them how it will be? No one has power over the wind to restrain the wind, or power over the day of death; there is no discharge from the battle, nor does wickedness deliver those who practice it. All this I observed, applying my mind to all that is done under the sun, while one person exercises authority over another to the other’s hurt.

Then I saw the wicked buried; they used to go in and out of the holy place, and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the human heart is fully set to do evil. Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.

There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked, and there are wicked people who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. So I commend enjoyment, for there is nothing better for people under the sun than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves, for this will go with them in their toil through the days of life that God gives them under the sun.

When I applied my mind to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how one’s eyes see sleep neither day nor night, then I saw all the work of God, that no one can find out what is happening under the sun. However much they may toil in seeking, they will not find it out; even though those who are wise claim to know, they cannot find it out.

Ecclesiastes 8:1-17 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Ecclesiastes%208:1-17&version=NRSV

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All Is Meaningless (ACAD: Ecclesiastes 1)

The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun?

A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises.

The wind blows to the south, and goes around to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they continue to flow.

All things are wearisome; more than one can express; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, or the ear filled with hearing.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has already been, in the ages before us.

The people of long ago are not remembered, nor will there be any remembrance of people yet to come by those who come after them.

I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem, applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with. I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.

What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said to myself, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a chasing after wind.

For in much wisdom is much vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase sorrow.

Source: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Ecclesiastes%201:1-18&version=NRSV

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Film: A Dream for Christmas (1973)

On Christmas day I watched a lovely movie about new opportunities, hope and perseverance. A Dream for Christmas was made in 1973 but is set in 1950. It should be on a classic Christmas movie rotation every year, but it’s not. I had never seen it nor heard of it before and I think that’s a shame since it’s a really good story about a family working together through change and challenges. It’s a slice of life and a looking glass into an every day poor African-American experience pre-Civil Rights Movement. Very intriguing. Very warm. Very well done.

a-dream-for-christmas-black-holiday-moviesA Dream for Christmas is a story about Reverend Will Douglas and his family moving from rural Arkansas in 1950 to Los Angeles to pastor a church. Unbeknownst to the Reverend Douglas, his new church is scheduled to be demolished with the rest of the block by a developer intent on building a shopping mall. Familiar story, isn’t it? Yes, this is also a very modern story of overcoming money and opposition with hope and faith while working towards a goal.

Treat yourself, your family and your friends – watch and share.

A Dream for Christmas
(1973, starring Hari Rhodes, Beah Richards, Lynn Hamilton)

The picture on this link is clearer: https://youtu.be/0wLZ1ZPlOrY

New York Times Review: http://www.nytimes.com/movies/movie/14754/A-Dream-for-Christmas/overview

 

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ACAD – Praise: Genesis 49

Jacob Blesses His Sons

Then Jacob called his sons to him. He said, “Come here to me, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future.

“Come together and listen, sons of Jacob.
    Listen to Israel, your father.”

“Reuben, my first son, you are my strength.
    Your birth showed I could be a father.
You have the highest position among my sons,
    and you are the most powerful.
But you are uncontrolled like water,
    so you will no longer lead your brothers.
This is because you got into your father’s bed
    and shamed me by having sexual relations with my slave girl.

“Simeon and Levi are brothers
    who used their swords to do violence.
I will not join their secret talks,
    and I will not meet with them to plan evil.
They killed men because they were angry,
    and they crippled oxen just for fun.
May their anger be cursed, because it is too violent.
    May their violence be cursed, because it is too cruel.
I will divide them up among the tribes of Jacob
    and scatter them through all the tribes of Israel.

“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
    You will grab your enemies by the neck,
    and your brothers will bow down to you.
Judah is like a young lion.
    You have returned from killing, my son.
Like a lion, he stretches out and lies down to rest,
    and no one is brave enough to wake him.
Kings will come from Judah’s family;
    someone from Judah will always be on the throne.
Judah will rule until Shiloh comes,
    and the nations will obey him.
He ties his donkey to a grapevine,
    his young donkey to the best branch.
He can afford to use wine to wash his clothes
    and the best wine to wash his robes.
His eyes are dark like the color of wine,
    and his teeth are as white as the color of milk.

“Zebulun will live near the sea.
    His shore will be a safe place for ships,
    and his land will reach as far as Sidon.

“Issachar is like a strong donkey
    who lies down while carrying his load.
When he sees his resting place is good
    and how pleasant his land is,
he will put his back to the load
    and become a slave.

“Dan will rule his own people
    like the other tribes in Israel.
Dan will be like a snake by the side of the road,
    a dangerous snake lying near the path.
That snake bites a horse’s leg,
    and the rider is thrown off backward.

Lord, I wait for your salvation.

“Robbers will attack Gad,
    but he will defeat them and drive them away.

“Asher’s land will grow much good food;
    he will grow food fit for a king.

“Naphtali is like a female deer that runs free,
    that has beautiful fawns.

“Joseph is like a grapevine that produces much fruit,
    a healthy vine watered by a spring,
    whose branches grow over the wall.
Archers attack him violently
    and shoot at him angrily,
but he aims his bow well.
    His arms are made strong.
He gets his power from the Mighty God of Jacob
    and his strength from the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
Your father’s God helps you.
    God Almighty blesses you.
He blesses you with rain from above,
    with water from springs below,
with many babies born to your wives,
    and many young ones born to your animals.
The blessings of your father are greater
    than the blessings of the oldest mountains,
    greater than the good things of the long-lasting hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the forehead of the one who was separated from his brothers.

“Benjamin is like a hungry wolf.
    In the morning he eats what he has caught,
    and in the evening he divides what he has taken.”

These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He gave each son the blessing that was right for him. Then Israel gave them a command and said, “I am about to die. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. That cave is in the field of Machpelah east of Mamre in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought the field and cave from Ephron the Hittite for a burying place. Abraham and Sarah his wife are buried there. Isaac and Rebekah his wife are buried there, and I buried my wife Leah there. The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittite people.” After Jacob finished talking to his sons, he lay down. He put his feet back on the bed, took his last breath, and died.


New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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SERMON: Don’t Draw Back by Carter Conlon

Galatians 6:12-18

Some people are trying to force you to be circumcised so the Jews will accept them. They are afraid they will be attacked if they follow only the cross of Christ.[a] Those who are circumcised do not obey the law themselves, but they want you to be circumcised so they can brag about what they forced you to do. I hope I will never brag about things like that. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging. Through the cross of Jesus my world was crucified, and I died to the world. It is not important if a man is circumcised or uncircumcised. The important thing is being the new people God has made. Peace and mercy to those who follow this rule — and to all of God’s people.

So do not give me any more trouble. I have scars on my body that show[b] I belong to Christ Jesus.

My brothers and sisters, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Hebrews 11: 6  Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him.

Hebrews 10:38-39 Those who are right with me will live by faith. But if they turn back with fear, I will not be pleased with them.” Habakkuk 2:3–4

But we are not those who turn back and are lost. We are people who have faith and are saved.

Genesis 15:5-6  Then God led Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky. There are so many stars you cannot count them. Your descendants also will be too many to count.”

Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abram’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.

2 Timothy 4 3-4  …because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear. They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories.
Galatians 1:9-10 I said this before, and now I say it again: You have already accepted the Good News. If anyone is preaching something different to you, let that person be judged guilty!

Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 5:25-26 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other.

2 Corinthians 5:17  If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!

Additional verse references:

Philippians 4:13

2 Corinthians 11:23-28

Isaiah 38 

Notes & Quotes

“Get up! God sent you here to do a job, get up and get it done.” ~ Brother Troops

Don’t succumb to the unbelief of the moment. Don’t draw back. God called you for this moment.

People will offer you an alternate way – full of religion, but not full of faith. They offer things that require a lot of human effort. Don’t trust it.

You have life in the Spirit, you do not need exterior signs of God’s presence in your life.

If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. To please God you must first believe that God is.

Don’t believe speech that has no power or no life – man-centered, man-focused. Theses speakers draw to themselves, not to Jesus.

The biggest assault on the Church of Christ is always from within.

I am not going to draw back. I am going to move forward by faith.

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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Psalm 92

How Great Are Your Works

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

How great are your works, O Lord!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
   but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.

But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over me[a] fresh oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 92:10 Compare Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.