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Does your money defile you?

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The threshing floor and the wine press will no longer feed them, And the new wine will fail them [because they failed to honor the God who provides]. Hosea 9:2 (Amplified Bible)

Hello friends. How are you on 02/22/22? Did you do anything fun at 2:22 p.m.? I remember 11-11-11 at 11:11 a.m. I was at a conference with my boss, Diane Reid, and she loved numbers! She had me step out of the large conference hall and take her picture as a memory. Today, as a reflect upon that moment, I am grateful for the photograph. You see, at the time I thought it was silly, but I now cherish the snapshot because she was taken to glory September 2014.

Reading verse one of Hosea chapter 9 reminds me of many conversations with Diane. She was a true believer of rejoicing because of the internal joy that she experienced from living in God’s will. Her life reflected the fact that if a person pursues happiness by satisfying their God given purpose they will reap the joy of the LORD. It wasn’t money or fame that drove her. It was taking life moment by moment and making good choices in those steps. In her cancer battle, Jesus came to her and ask her to simply live. She said it seemed like every time after that when she tried to type love in her text messages-live would appear. One of the last deep conversations I had with her, she advised me to live each moment honoring the LORD in ALL things-easy and hard, good times or in bad. If only she knew where her advice has landed me seven years later.

As I continued to read Hosea chapter 9, verse two just would not leave my thoughts. “Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them.” Well, I camped out on this verse for quite awhile this past week.

So, be forewarned, the remainder of this posting is a snapshot of my mental trail as I tried to unfold the message God had for me to grasp.

Threshing floor? What is this? It is a flat area where the harvesters would beat the wheat to separate the straw from the chaff.

Why is this event so important? This only happens 1X annually. There was great value in this timeframe because they depended on the wheat for food substance over the next 365 days. Therefore, the men would stay overnight at the threshing floor to ensure thieves did not take their grain.

What was the desired outcome from the threshing floor? Harvesters always desired a rich harvest. This was their hope each year.

Who provided the crop? God made their provisions. Now, He would discipline through a famine and God was going to supernaturally intervene to cause the crops to fail.

Where does the credit need to go? The LORD is always working and all blessings big or small come from Him. It is often hard to understand because we mainly see the natural order of sowing and harvesting, but God is who decides if it is a success or failure.

So, what could be our threshing floor today? What is the main substance needed to supply our existence? MONEY

What is the main things we do to obtain it? WORK

And when the harvest is ripe–We receive our crop-PAYCHECK

Then we go to our threshing floor and separate out the provisions. As we pound out the bills and budget the income-what normally comes to mind? Will there be enough? Just like the harvesters, our future days depends upon it: shelter, water, food, clothing, etc.

How do we protect it and value it? Maybe this is a personal choice. Do we spend it all or save for a rainy day? Do we stick with the budget? Do we thank God for it each and every time we receive it? Is our first thought to tithe? Oh yeah-IT IS ALL GOD’S provision.

Do we do anything to try to produce a rich harvest? WOW-all that comes to mind is worldly ways-fighting for a promotion, taking short cuts, scheming, etc. Wait-yes I can intentionally give it back to God and ask for every penny to be used for His glory. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over the new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10.

Then Diane’s words came to me again through God’s Word: “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.'” Haggai 1:5 (NIV) And my study Bible extended her advise-“Caring only for your comfort and pleasure while ignoring your relationship with God will lead to ruin.”

My discovered concern: When have I ever prayed over a payday or paycheck? When have I ever given it totally over to the LORD and asked for His hand of direction for every penny? When have I stopped and thanked Him for His glorious provisions on those once a month occasion? Do I solely depend on my “major crop” as security and neglect worshiping God when the harvest is ripe?

Will you let your money defile you? What will it take to get your attention? Will God send a drought to destroy your livelihood as a means to call you back to himself?


Payday just happened for me.

I have to stop writing now.

I have some business with God I need to take care of.

A Visual of going BEYOND the typography

BEYOND the typography
to letting Scripture saturate your life

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

Ponder this if you will…

In a moment’s notice, we can access the Bible on our phone, bookmark passages, and even magnify text if need be. We are blessed with the engagement opportunities afforded to us left and right. It is as painless as downloading an app. Free at that! WOW! Every mode luring each believer to go beyond the typography.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

What more could we desire? A prized prize and adored adornment can be displayed beyond a coffee table. We can showcase it on every device we own and pull up any passage regardless of our location. We can even screenshot verses of interest in the middle of a sermon and share it immediately on social media.

What a welcoming welcome. An opportunity to see past the layout we choose. A chance to experience the life-changing power the words hold. An open invitation to go beyond the charming print. An ability to interact with Scripture through exceeding levels of availability far outweighing anything previously offered. Oh, how attractive, tantalizing, and downright alluring.

Scripture Notebooking can do that for YOU!

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 

James 4:8a (NIV)

EXILED-Does this still occur?

Photo by Keenan Constance on

Hello friends! How are you today? I hope you are wrapped in a warm blanket and enjoying a beautiful fire. Our current 10 degrees, snow, and 25 mph winds are a brutal combination.

I thought I would start by sharing this week’s unique icebreaker during our weekly online class. Several had the opportunity to introduce themselves like this, “Hi, my name is Genna (first name) Corolla (model of your car) and I am being exiled to the land of parmesan cheese (last thing you ate).” It was fun hearing each person add their introduction line as we began our evening.

But why focus on exile? Good question-over and over we see this word, especially in our minor prophet studies. Hosea is no different. As we approached chapter 4, we found charges God had against the Northern Kingdom because of their rebellious lifestyle. The LORD found them guilty of no loyalty, trust, or acknowledgment of Him. Therefore, exile was upon them in the days ahead.

Webster defines exile as “the state or period of forced or voluntary absence from one’s country or home”. In our minor prophet series, we have seen God using exile to capture the attention of those who refused to follow His instructions.

Often than not, exile continues for generations to come. Why? Maybe because of the power of long-lasting consequences. When exile happened, the people would find themselves in a foreign land and sometimes without a temple. It isn’t until then that the people would reflect on their wicked ways. Once they repented the LORD would forgive them but, the exile would normally continue for a period of time.

So, how can this Old Testament prophesy and state of exile apply today?

Could we possibly experience exile?

I cannot answer this for everyone but, let me share my thoughts when reflecting on these two questions:

Does the LORD ever have charges against me and my behavior? Do I ever found myself partaking in sinful actions and turning my back on living under Biblical authority? (Unfortunately, I could write a book!)

Are there times when certain Scriptures, sermons, bible studies, devotions, etc. prick my heart and warn me of the consequences if I continue my disobedience?

As I ponder these questions, I think about reproof. When reproof comes, the Lord wants me to repent and turn from my lawless ways. He knew I would struggle with fleshy desires so He equipped me with two helpmates: the Holy Spirit and His Word. The Lord desires a harmonious relationship with me but, He also allows me to make my own decisions. (My freewill is a thorn at times)

However, when I ignore the LORD’s instructions and continue to sin it is truly spiritual adultery. (Ouch-those words sting!) Therefore, exile will probably come. My sin has separated me from the LORD and He will seem far away because of my own doing. My failed faith might even leave me feeling deserted or isolated from the closeness I once felt with God. This is my “foreign land” time to reflect on my behavior and an opportunity to repent and turn back to the LORD.

My exile-separated from the one who loves me the most-the lover of my soul. This leaves me with another question: How can I avoid exile and stay on track to be successful in my faith?

What are your thoughts?

How would you answer these questions:

 How can Old Testament prophesy and exile apply today?

Could you possibly experience exile?

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