O2 For Our Soul

I looked at

Oxygen To My Soul • Devotional

and as I read it I breathed it in.

The focus is not just all about how we should obey Him but GOD’s word actually tells us how we can go about obeying Him, again, not just that we should but how to do it.

Psalm 119 is a passionate love song in praise of Scripture. It is also a work of literary beauty. The first eight lines all begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the next eight lines begin with the second letter, and so on throughout the psalm. The 22 stanzas take us through the entire Hebrew alphabet, eight lines at a time. Furthermore, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. This is one striking psalm.

Psalm 119 begins with a call to obey God’s Word. God will bless us, the Bible says, not if we

  • have God’s Word,
  • read God’s Word, or
  • study God’s Word.

No, God will bless us if we obey God’s Word, if we walk according to it.

“Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!”

Obedience is a major theme of Psalm 119.

Just a few of the examples: “You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.” “Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” “I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me! “

If you want the blessing, favor, and protection of God in your life, there’s no other way than to obey God’s Word.

Obey Scripture whether you like the command or not.

Obey whether you agree with the command or not.

Obey immediately and completely.

Obey no matter what.

Obey because God is God and you are not.

Understanding can wait, but obedience cannot.

To read a passage and not obey is to defy God. This includes commands on lying, gossip, charity, divorce, sexual purity, giving thanks, loving your wife, and respecting your husband.

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” – Flannery O’Connor

I’ve always been amazed how the rules and commands God gives us are really for our own good, so that we will live in peace, with blessings, in love, and to live on forever beyond this world.

Scripture:

God has blessed people who always do what is right. They obey the Lord ‘s Law .
Psalms 119:1 EASY

You, Lord , have told us to obey your teaching carefully. I want to be able to obey your laws all the time.
Psalms 119:4‭-‬5 EASY

Yes, I will obey your laws . Please do not turn away from me!
Psalms 119:8 EASY

I just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion plan ‘Oxygen To My Soul’. Check it out here:
http://bible.com/r/387

But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.
Ecclesiastes 12:12‭-‬13 MSG

May you Breathe easy and with each breath trust, rely, find comfort in your love relationship with God.

Surprise

Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses.

So he called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.’

“The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager. I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . .

then when I’m turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.’

“Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “He replied, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ “The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now—write fifty.’

“To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’ “He answered, ‘A hundred sacks of wheat.’ “He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’

Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why?

Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right

using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”

Jesus went on to make these comments: If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things; If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store?

No worker can serve two bosses: He’ll either hate the first and love the second Or adore the first and despise the second.

You can’t serve both God and the Bank.
Luke 16:1‭-‬13 MSG
https://bible.com/bible/97/luk.16.1-13.MSG

Enough said.

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 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. 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”:

Zoo BoyZ Teaser Segment

Teaser excerpt for story

Zoo BoyZ

Soaking wet, the 4 boys crawled up onto the shore of Zoo Island.

John was preoccupied with trying to salvage their supplies from the raft. He heard the other boys but was oblivious to whatever was rustling around in the bushes. The other 3 stood there with their mouths wide open and eyes as big as flying saucers.

Ron shuttered softly,

“I think there is some…”

David spun his head around quickly toward Ron. No words were needed. Ron shut up.
The bushes and a few small trees were forced down. Whatever it was, it was large enough to clear its own path.

It was then that 3 boys got just a glimpse as the moon light was glistening off the top part of the creature creeping toward then.

Jeremy was gradually freaking out, his body filled with adrenaline. His fight or flight instinct had no fight left in it. He yelled,

“RUN!!!!!”,

as he bolted down the beach with Ron close behind.

In, ‘the gospel according to Dave’, running away was a sign of stupidity, moral softness, and over all weakness. With his head fully elevated, chin still up, eyes fixed on the threat, one arm slowly reaching down and grabbing one of the ore from their raft, he shouted as loud as he could toward the mysterious creature,

“COME ON!!! BRING IT!!! BRING…IT…OOOON!”

He stood armed and strong while the monster responded with a quick attack, barreling toward him with all its fearsome might.

John finally looked up from his task only to see the large head of a Komodo Dragon coming in his direction. When offered with the split second choice of fight or flight Johnny’s whole system instinctively decided to flee up the shore line, not realizing he was heading in the opposite direction in which Ron and Jeremy fled.

David was left there, the only one ready to combat this threatening monstrosity, regardless of which direction his team mates flew; but the land dragon decided to run after Johnny. Unlike the case with David and Goliath this foe forfeited by turning away from what David was about to throw down. It fell into a full on chase after Johnny. Once it turned David noticed that only the head was a Komodo Dragon its body was that of…something else.

Zoo BoyZ

Coming soon

Stay tuned for link to the full online published story.

Illustrations by Olivia Bailey. Editing by Kyri Arriaga

For the story leading up to and featuring the same main characters go to:

The Park (https://wp.me/p6Exj2-2u0)

For audio of that and other stories being read go to: click👉My STORY TIME AUDIO BOOKS👈 or cut & paste into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnjQOVtw61eiFv27rv2rhA3-8U8EyDXya

Link to index of other stories: https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/stories-poems-and-art/