Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

August 20 - Morning

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August 1 - Morning

"I said, 'I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.'

So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:

'Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.' "

- Psalms 39:1-5

Think Before You Spew Out Your Questions


The superscript of David’s Psalm 39 contains the name Jeduthun:
            “For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.”

Jeduthun is mentioned in First Chronicles 16:42 as being one of two Levites “responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song.” Jeduthun was a Levites who ministered in song during the days of Zadok the high priest when the tabernacle was set up at the high place in Gibeon around 1000 BC. Even though the Ark of the Covenant had been brought into Jerusalem and set inside the tent of David, the Levite Jeduthun led the music in the tabernacle courts in order to give thanks to the Lord during the daily sacrifices 7 miles to the north of Jerusalem at the High Place of Gibeon. (See First Chronicles 16)

The psalm begins with David realizing that he has to watch what he says since he is being challenged emotionally and intellectually concerning the true meaning of life and wicked people. David realizes if he simply allows his thoughts to burst out in words he will be sinning with his mouth. So, instead David vows to “put a muzzle” on his mouth in order to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. (Psalm 39:1)

Yet, the anguish of his thoughts and the questions he had concerning life and wicked men burned in his soul. He sought a logical balance in life between purpose, sinful behavior and the justice of God. (Psalm 39:2-3)

Ultimately David has to speak and he begins by not spewing out his rash conclusion, but instead begins his quest by first establishing a perspective. David begins by asking to see or understand the length and limits of a human life. Now, from this lofty vantage point David can begin to analyze with a proper perspective all the issues that are bothering him. (Psalm 39:3-8)
Kbd (Hb) – to be heavy (Eng) – Kbd is a Semitic root that means “to be heavy.” The adjective kabed means “heavy” and kabod means “weight, honor, majesty.” Kabed, “heavy in weight,” is used in 1 Samuel 4:18 to refer to the overweight high priest Eli. In Exodus 17:12 kabed is used in reference to Moses’ tired arms. Kbd was used negatively to refer to the weight of a burden on a person. Positively kbd can refer to the | weight of honor a person deserves or to the majesty of God.  
I will focus on thinking about the effect my words will have on others, on situations and on myself before I speak. I will put a muzzle on and | give myself a chance to analyze my thoughts before they become spoken words.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Physical strength

Church

Outreach
Local mayors and city officials
Germany



Warren's fallen ashlar stone seen by Charles Warren in 1873 (photographed here in 2012) in the city gutter (or, sewer) under the road that ran along the Western Wall of Herod's temple mount. This is below Robinson's Arch and was probably the result of a construction accident around 10 BC during Herod's construction of Robinson's Arch. The ashlar fell during construction, but was never retrieved. (I wonder if there was a follow-up inspection and fines assigned by OSHA?) See Warren's 1873 image here.
Three phases of salvations work in our lives.




Someone to Quote

"Christianity is a battle, not a dream."
- Wendell Phillips

Something to Ponder

"On average, an ordained Protestant pastor serving a small congregation received a median salary and housing package of $31,234, according to a study by sociologist Jackson Carroll."
(source)

Here’s a Fact

An ancient Egyptian document from 1300 BC, “Destruction of Mankind”, describes a group of people who were not Egyptian fleeing from the Land of Goshen (eastern Nile Delta area), but pursued by the armies of Pharaoh. Within this document is the Egyptian root. YWY, which is the name of the Hebrew God YHWH, or, I AM THAT I AM. (Hieroglyphic text) (Translated text)

Proverb

"Whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."
- Proverbs 1:33

Coach’s Corner

Personal growth increases your personal potential. The failure to learn and the refusal to change is the rejection of increasing your opportunity for success.

"Prepare chains! For the land is full of bloodshed, and the city is full of violence.

I will bring the most wicked of nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the mighty, and their sanctuaries will be desecrated.

When terror comes, they will seek peace in vain.

Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor.

They will go searching for a vision from the prophet, priestly instruction in the law will cease, the counsel of the elders will come to an end.

The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with despair, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble.

I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them.

‘Then they will know that I am the Lord.’
- Ezekiel 6-7

Disciplined by the Lord in Order to Know the Lord


In chapter 6 and 7 the Lord gives several warnings and uses the phrase, “Then you will know that I am the Lord,” seven times.

The warnings include:

  • Bringing the sword against the mountains of Israel, destroying high places, altars and incense altars and scattering the slain people of Israel in front of idols in the towns that have been laid waste. (“you will know that I am the Lord.”6:7)
  • But, also, the Lord says that he will spare some of Israel’s people in order to scatter them among the nations. There in the foreign lands they will remember the Lord. (“they will know that I am the Lord.” - 6:10).

This continues through chapter 6 and 7. At the end of chapter 7 (Ezekiel 7:23-27) the final warning is given when the Lord says through Ezekiel:

  • Prepare chains
  • The culture is violent
  • A more wicked culture will be brought to destroy and take possession of Israel

When these things begin to happen the Israelites will look for answers and try to resolve their problems that are terrorizing them, but “there will be none” (7:25). There will be no answers and no way to resolve their deadly problems.

When the people cannot unravel the conflict with their own ability and political negotiations, they will seek spiritual guidance from prophets, priests and elders.
  • Visions from prophets
  • Teaching from the priest
  • Counsel from the elders

But, once again, the Lord will not answer. The result will be:
  • Mourning by the king
  • Clothes of despair for the prince
  • Trembling hands of the people

The Lord promises to:
  • Deal with them according to their conduct
  • Judge them by their own standards

Now, for the seventh time, the Lord says the results of all this will be:

“Then they will know that I am the Lord.” - Ezekiel 7:27

In the midst of this unimaginable suffering and destruction, the Lord plans to use all of these things to ultimately bring this people to a place that they personally know the Lord.

When these stages of discipline happen, “Then they will know that I am the Lord.” When they know the Lord it will be time to remove the discipline and restore the people of Israel.


Chepets (Hb) - pleasure (Eng) - The Hebrew word chepets means “pleasure,” “delight,” and “request.” Chepets is used in a variety of ways as can be seen in these verses:
1 Samuel 15:22 – “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to listen than the fat of rams."
Ecclesiastes 12:10 – “The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth."
Proverbs 31:13 – “She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."
2 Samuel 23:5 – (grant a request) “For does not my house stand so with God?
    For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
    ordered in all things and secure.
For will he not cause to prosper
    all my help and my desire?"
I will seek to know the Lord, and not merely know religion or mere catchphrases about the Lord.


Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text

Ezra 6 (520 BC)


Personal

Children

Church

Love and selflessness
Malawi
University students


The Old Testament city wall of Samaria.
A chart detailing Jesus' Genealogy
2 Kings 4 New International Version (NIV)
The Widow’s Olive Oil
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
The Shunammite’s Son Restored to Life
One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”
11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.” So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”
She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”
14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.
Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”
“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”
17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.
18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!”
His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.”
20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.
22 She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.”
23 “Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.”
“That’s all right,” she said.
24 She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on; don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the Shunammite!
26 Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”
“Everything is all right,” she said.
27 When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”
28 “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”
29 Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”
30 But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.
31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”
32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” 37 She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.
Death in the Pot
38 Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these prophets.”
39 One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine and picked as many of its gourds as his garment could hold. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. 40 The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
41 Elisha said, “Get some flour.” He put it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
Feeding of a Hundred
42 A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
43 “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’”
44 Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ezra 6 New International Version (NIV)
The Decree of Darius
King Darius then issued an order, and they searched in the archives stored in the treasury at Babylon. A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it:
Memorandum:
In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem:
Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be sixty cubits high and sixty cubits wide,
with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.
Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you other officials of that province, stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.
Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God:
Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop.
Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and olive oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail, 10 so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.
11 Furthermore, I decree that if anyone defies this edict, a beam is to be pulled from their house and they are to be impaled on it. And for this crime their house is to be made a pile of rubble. 12 May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.
I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.
Completion and Dedication of the Temple
13 Then, because of the decree King Darius had sent, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and their associates carried it out with diligence. 14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. 15 The temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
16 Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they installed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their groups for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.
The Passover
19 On the fourteenth day of the first month, the exiles celebrated the Passover. 20 The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were all ceremonially clean. The Levites slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the exiles, for their relatives the priests and for themselves. 21 So the Israelites who had returned from the exile ate it, together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord, the God of Israel. 22 For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Habakkuk 1-2New International Version (NIV)
The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, Lord, must I call for help,     but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!”     but you do not save?

Why do you make me look at injustice?     Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me;     there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Therefore the law is paralyzed,     and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous,     so that justice is perverted.
The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—     and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days     that you would not believe,     even if you were told.

I am raising up the Babylonians,     that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth     to seize dwellings not their own.

They are a feared and dreaded people;     they are a law to themselves     and promote their own honor.

Their horses are swifter than leopards,     fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong;     their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;

    they all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind     and gather prisoners like sand.
10 
They mock kings     and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities;     by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 
Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—     guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 
Lord, are you not from everlasting?     My God, my Holy One, you will never die. You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;     you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;     you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?     Why are you silent while the wicked     swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 
You have made people like the fish in the sea,     like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 
The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,     he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet;     and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 
Therefore he sacrifices to his net     and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury     and enjoys the choicest food.
17 
Is he to keep on emptying his net,     destroying nations without mercy?

I will stand at my watch     and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me,     and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The Lord’s Answer
Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation     and make it plain on tablets     so that a herald may run with it.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;     it speaks of the end     and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it;     it will certainly come     and will not delay.

“See, the enemy is puffed up;     his desires are not upright—     but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—

indeed, wine betrays him;     he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave     and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations     and takes captive all the peoples.
“Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying,
“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods     and makes himself wealthy by extortion!     How long must this go on?’

Will not your creditors suddenly arise?     Will they not wake up and make you tremble?     Then you will become their prey.

Because you have plundered many nations,     the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood;     you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain,     setting his nest on high     to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 
You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,     shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 
The stones of the wall will cry out,     and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
12 
“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed     and establishes a town by injustice!
13 
Has not the Lord Almighty determined     that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,     that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
14 
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord     as the waters cover the sea.
15 
“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors,     pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,     so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!
16 
You will be filled with shame instead of glory.     Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you,     and disgrace will cover your glory.
17 
The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,     and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood;     you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
18 
“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman?     Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation;     he makes idols that cannot speak.
19 
Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’     Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance?     It is covered with gold and silver;     there is no breath in it.”
20 
The Lord is in his holy temple;     let all the earth be silent before him.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“It is shortsighted idolatry for a church to follow the cowardly spirit of this age and neglect teaching the Word of God.” - Galyn Wiemers


“Around 2000 BC God asks Job,

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt?” - Job 38:31

Today astronomers tell us that the Pleiades star cluster is gravitationally bound, while the Orion star cluster is loose and disintegrating because the gravity of the cluster is not enough to bind the group together. So, it is true God has bound Pleiades with chains (or gravity) and has loosen Orion’s belt by giving it a weak gravitational attraction of the dust and gas, which is similar to the gravitation force of fog. The Orion Nebula has very low density which gives it the gravity force near zero.


Paul’s letters Galatians,
1-2 Thessalonians, Corinthians, Romans, discuss and explain the resurrection of Jesus. These letters were written in the years 49-57 AD. If Jesus was crucified and resurrected in 30 AD then Paul was writing within 19-27 years of this event having taken place. There is little reasonable dispute concerning the authenticity of these letters. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul even gives a list of people (including a crowd of 500) who were still alive in 55 AD twenty-five years after the crucifixion that had seen Jesus alive after his resurrection.


"Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare."
- Proverbs 20:13




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