No Heman?

While reading 1 of this 3 day plan 👉The Suffering Of Affliction • Devotional👈
I made a few notes that really helped me.

The main focus takes a look at biblical characters who have suffered through afflictions.

Today was

Paul And Heman (from the Bible)

Paul, whose affliction was described as a “thorn in the flesh”, and Heman, an Old Testament character in the Psalms who painfully describes his affliction.

As with Peter and David previously, we will see both

  • a reason for the suffering and
  • a response to the suffering.

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he shares that he has been given a thorn in the flesh from Satan. Many scholars have speculated because Paul does not describe what this is. It could have been bad eyesight, epilepsy, a limp, or a wide array of diseases, but it appears to have been both physical and never-ending.

I know what this is like. Never before in my life have I had such difficulties and challenges.

Perhaps Satan’s reason for afflicting us, the O.T. character Job, or in our focus today, Paul was to make him angry with God for not removing this malady.

God allowed this ‘thorn’ to strengthen Paul’s dependence upon Christ.

Paul says that he is glad to boast in his weakness so that Christ’s power will work through him.

You see the strong are tempted to lean on their own strength but the weak have only one place to go – to the strength of Christ.

Heman, on the other hand, shares his situation in a Psalm entitled “The Suffering of Affliction.”

In this Psalm, there is not one word of thanksgiving or hope. In fact, the description in Hebrew is

a place of darkness where all hope, dreams, and faith is buried.

Yet, though Heman feels as if God has turned His back on him, Heman does not turn his back on God, in fact, he cries out to God for an answer.

What we learn from Heman is that God develops in us the incredible character of patience by being with us through suffering.

God’s goal is not our comfort, it is our character.

And our character is formed in the furnace of affliction

– no suffering, no character.

Recognize that in this place of suffering there is a lot of praying, and tossing, and turning, and questions, and tears.

But as David said in one of his Psalms,

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.

So, we patiently wait for joy. Wait for it.

I’m writing this at the end of July, in the year 2020. The whole world has been struggling and fighting a virus for more than 5 months. It’s literally been 100 years since we’ve gone through anything this big & bad. Nobody is a stranger to the danger we face. We are all eagerly awaiting for and end to quarantines, masks, extra sanitation precautions, for all that to pass. My niece Alyee posted,

This too will pass. It may pass like a bad kidney stone, but it will pass.

Wait, hold on, remember God’s faithfulness to all those in the past. May you find and stand on and in His strength alone.

For me, here is the key,

“Don’t ever associate our pain and suffering with God’s absence.”

He never abandons us. He is and always will be with us in, during, and after all our current present pain.

God speed, Beetle

Scripture back up:

Go to 👉2 Corinthians 12:1‭-‬21 NASB👈

And how about Heman? Check out his Psalms, his prayer:

Psalms 88:1‭-‬18 NASB

O Lord , the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You. Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry! For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol.

I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And they are cut off from Your hand.

You have put me in the lowest pit, In dark places, in the depths.

Your wrath has rested upon me, And You have afflicted me with all Your waves.

Selah.

You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them;

I am shut up and cannot go out.

My eye has wasted away because of affliction; I have called upon You every day, O Lord ; I have spread out my hands to You. Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah.

Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon?

Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But I, O Lord , have cried out to You for help, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. O Lord , why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on; I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome. Your burning anger has passed over me; Your terrors have destroyed me. They have surrounded me like water all day long; They have encompassed me altogether. You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness.
Psalms 88:1‭-‬18 NASB

This was taken primarily from day 2 of the 3 day @YouVersion plan ‘The Suffering Of Affliction’. Check all 3 days out here:
👉http://bible.com/r/3MU👈

Sheila Walsh classic rock song, “Don’t Turn Your Back On Jesus”:

The Last Adam – Any Old Music

– Any Old Music

Give an ear to this classic rock band,

The Last Adam.

I was just a teen growing up in The Salvation Army of Clearwater, FL back in 1980 when this band from The Salvation Army of Ft. Lauderdale, FL were in their prime.

I admired them not only because they were great musicians but because of the style of music they played and because the message they blasted was Christ.

So, here is a playlist. It’s my hope the music and message touches you like it did me. It still packs a punch.

“A Lesson From Pink Floyd?”

Dear Church, Get your own shHtuff together. Pull your head outta your armpits, and outta other people’s problems and business. Take the huge telephone pole outta your own eye, then talk to me about your God, His Son, and this Holy Spirit possession you claim is full of love, peace, care, endurance, and more.

With care and some helpful criticism, The whole wide world

Watch “”A Lesson From Pink Floyd?” That’s Not My God w/ Pastor Bob” on YouTube

In His Hands Lyrics

I shall not fear though darkened clouds may gather round me;
The God I serve is one who cares and understands;
Although the storms I face would threaten to confound me,
Of this I am assured: I’m in His hands.

I’m in His hands, I’m in His hands;
Whate’er the future holds, I’m in His hands;
The days I cannot see have all been planned for me;
His way is best, you see; I’m in His hands.

What though I cannot know the way that lies before me,
I still can trust and freely follow His commands;
My faith is firm since He it is who watches o’er me;
Of this I’m confident: I’m in His hands.

In days gone by my Lord has always proved sufficient,

When I have yielded to the law of love’s demands;
Why should I doubt that He would evermore be present
To make His will my own? I’m in His hands!

A Scripture selection related to these reassuring words is Isaiah 41:10-13:

“SO DO NOT FEAR, FOR I AM WITH YOU;
DO NOT BE DISMAYED, FOR I AM YOUR GOD.
I WILL STRENGTHEN YOU AND HELP YOU;
I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND.”

So do not fear, for I am with youCLICK TO TWEET

This song is the most well-known of Stanley Ditmer’s many compositions. It was written in 1956, and is based on his personal experience of God’s presence during times of trouble and concern. It has been translated into over 20 languages!

For source material credit to: https://www.saoshawa.ca/im-in-his-hands/

Maze, Amazing Maze

The Lord is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him.
Nahum 1:7 GNTD
https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/nam.1.7/28517

The Maze

I woke up one day and heard a voice saying,

“If you desire a better place get past

the maze.”

For years I wandered in this huge maze between here and heaven. There is only one way to get to the very end I was told,

“You have to figure out the maze or die in it, lost forever.”


One day, finally, I looked up and heard a voice and saw a hand reaching down.

The voice called,

“I am the way, the truth and the life, no one gets to the end, where my Father is, but through me. (John 14:6).”

I went to grab His hand but as I extended mine HE PULLED ME UP (Jude:22-23 Ps. 18:16-17).

Once on top of the walls of the maze I looked back down and realized what I was just saved from.

I heard Him say,

“Follow Me, my name is Jesus.”

I followed His steps as He walked across the top edges of this huge labyrinth below our feet.

I could see Heaven from where we were but then I stopped and asked,

“Wait, we can do this?”

Jesus smiled and answered,

“With me all things are possible (Mt. 19:26).”

“But Lord, I thought we had to go through that maze and find our own way. I thought that it was up to us to find out if the arrows painted on the ground and the sign posts on the walls were correct. I thought we had to follow the others who said they knew the way and maybe even run into a few dead ends walls. I was under the impression that…”

“Hush”, He interrupted,

“Do you want to do it your way or mine?” (Is. 55:8-11)

With a smile I answered,

“You know my heart, Lord.”

He smiled back and chuckled in reply,

“I also know your head.”

Then He went on to explain further,

“You were told you have to get past the maze. I’ve already been through it and conquered it, now you can follow me, above all else. Just follow me closely, every step. I will lead. You, just follow.”

To this day I continue to follow Christ as He leads me, not down inside the maze, not through the maze, but across the top edges, above the maze where He walks. He is above it all.

He is leading me past this world of confusion to the other side.

Now, occasionally, He has me hold His strong and mighty hand to reach down for one who is struggling down in the Maze. When they are pulled up they see that it was actually Christ who pulled them up.

Now we share the same journey.

image-21267770367.jpg


Let Him lift you up today, pull you out, and set your feet on higher ground.

Follow Him. He knows the way. He is The way.


Thank you for letting me share with you what God’s Spirit has laid on my heart. I hope it helps clarify God’s love, care, grace, & mercy for you as it did for me.

Love, with 1st Corinthians 13 type love, Beetle

For more go to: 👉The Original Maze👈

(https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/above-all-else-the-maze-below/)

There you will see illustrations and videos tied in with my original published story, The Maze.

Tnx, go with God.

Music video of The Neal Morse Band, “The Great Adventure”:

Looney Tunes Lesson #72,320 (Give Me A Break)

Give this short cartoon a watch and see what lesson you can learn from it because, this is another “Looney Tunes Lesson” –

“Porky’s hotel animal problems”

For me today this reminded me of times in my life when I just wanted to start over, ya know, some how go back to when things were just…easier.

Sure, there is always gonna be something, some place, or someone that just raises the levels of toxicity in our lives but, if you’re anything like me you keep trying to find resolutions, peace, a better way that will some how fix or at least help solve issues that cause me to wanna drop an anvil or grand piano on my head.

What if this is as good as it gets. What if you come to the realization that as long as you’re in this world you’re going to have struggles, disruptions and…what is that word? Oh yes, inconveniences.

Has the song or even the phrase, “Don’t Worry Be Happy?”, been over played?

Perhaps, but regardless, opposition will drive us to desire and have the need for a break, the need to be rescued. Believe it or not, personal and social opposition, especially behind closed doors opens up the door or doors of opportunity.

Ya hear it knocking?

You’ve heard it said, “Opportunity only knocks once?” Well I call bullshit on that because we are given opportunity all the time, not just once.

Opportunities are presented to us moment by every living breathing moment of our lives; it is just that we may not realize it or recognize it because too often we take things, others, and even God for granted.

We may even miss opportunities because they didn’t come to us or present themselves like we thought they should. Things don’t always look like we think they should.

God’s made some amazing, pure, beautiful things out of ugly, nasty, even horrifying situations.

In life we see accidents, illnesses, hardships as dark shadows that couldn’t possibly be God’s work or blessing; but, wait a minute…That knock at your door isn’t opportunity. The knock is opposition, something that woke you up in the middle of the night, the pain or sickness of a loved one crying, anxiety, stress, fear of what’s going to come next.

Like a doorbell ringing in our ears we get angry because we think we know what is best for us. We become frustrated for the simple fact that what we were waiting for next it is nothing like what we asked for. What we expected, assumed and believed we earned and/or what we deserve, when it does finally come it just doesn’t meet our high expectations. We drown in a sea of being let down.

Ok. Stop. Take a deep, DEEP breath.

Now, don’t forget to exhale.

We can’t handle things on our own but, God can.

May you continually seek and find God’s peace that far passes our understanding.

That’s all folk?

Just one more thing. In 1 Peter 5:8‭-‬11 MSG we are reminded of what was written to people who not only went thru difficult times they were often put to death simply for believing in Christ. So, if their faith helped them carry on our faith in Christ will certainly carry us on too.

Check it out,

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.

He gets the last word; yes, he does. 1 Peter 5:8‭-‬11 MSG

Enough said, Beetle

Song by Keith Green, “So, Ya Wanna Go Back To Egypt”:

Cheat Then Repeat?

One of the devo.s I was reading today really stirred my thinking. It helped

recalibrate

my simple, yet oh so complex and freaky, human brain.

The reading included a quote I mulled over then re-wrote, makin’ it personal.

“Thoughts we keep on repeat can easily our progress cheat.”

The devoted reading is called Reset Your Mind: Overhauling Toxic Thoughts • Devotional

Here is a small bite of what I picked up from it today:

Many experts believe we think somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day. That averages out to 2,500 to 3,300 per hour.

Freaky huh?

It would be great if our thoughts were all good. But many of mine are negative, deceptive and down right toxic at times.

The good news is that we have a guide to help us test our thoughts.

I consistently find reliable guidance and direction from God’s inspired words.

B.I.B.L.E. =

Basic

Instructions

Before

Leaving

Earth

right?

So, the reading today proposed that we can use Philippians 4:8-9 as a test to help us make a good conscience decision on what we set our minds on and what we,

Swipe left, swipe right, swipe up, swipe down, save or toss.

In my mind I have found that often there are better things to focus on and many things I need to just trash, some thoughts I plead for God to permanently delete, otherwise those shifty thoughts still roll around, caught some where in the grooves, trapped in the mind maze hemispheres of my own brain.

The Philippines 4:8-9 verses tells us to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise. For our consideration the devo goes into a break down of each of those words.

It also suggests that we look at 3 or more translations of the verse. One version I like is from, “The Message”

I personally note a few things in those verses above:

  • Practice what we heard, saw, realized.
  • Do that and GOD will work.
  • In a good, healthy, “relationship”, we do our part, God does His, and the result?
  • We will have, hold, and hear “excellent harmony”.
  • The best in us comes out.

Ya see,

God is looking out for us & desires the best for us.

He wants to bring out the best in us and get the best of you and me.

I gotta daily fill up on Him, His state of mind. More and more I am grasping how He sees things so that I can naturally react to life’s situation, with out giving it a second thought. He helps me respond to my circumstances in the same way He responds.

Recall the W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Do)?

Once we consider that we need to,

D.W.J.D. (Do What Jesus Did).

To this day it still blows my mind that we can ask God for His perspective and allow Him to make it our own.

I mean, think about it, it all starts when we sincerely ask Him to be our Lord. Once we receive the gifts He freely gives then we conceive it, let Him continue to develop it & grow so we are able to work into our life style His way of thinkin’.

It’s never a one and done deal. My unpleasing rebellion against God didn’t happen over night. Although He saved and changed me in an instant it will take my lifetime to press on into the perfect version of me that He is completely pleased with. A soul that is washed with His blood and welcomed into His Kingdom.

I am for No more stinkin’ thinkin’!

In The Easy English Bible translation the word “FILL” stands out. I gotta FILL my mind with those attribute, shove out everything else, be sold out, no room, no seats available for thoughts that are in opposition, the very opposite of those good things.

I am constantly reminders that the definition of insanity is –

Doing same thing over and over and expecting things to turn out different. Negative bad thought in a loop will always result in negativity in our lives and actions.

This is all well put in a song by the Classic Christian Rock band Petra, “Computer Brains

It really is an internal challenge, an ongoing battle, for to us to turn off the common negative looping trains of thought that just keep going around and around in our brain.

If you’ve read this far I am sure that you also want to press play, and repeat on thoughts God wants to reside in your mind too.

While hanging on we are able to help, not just ourselves but, others by letting God fix what is broken in our minds, body and spirit.

He is more than able

Go with God, Beetle

~Extra~

An article to take us further on this journey:

https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/fix-my-thoughts-lord/