“all i need today is a little bit of coffee & a whole lot of Jesus”

When i found this via pinterest, i knew that this is gonna’ be my favorite every morning mantra!

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I’m a coffee drinker and i like every cup of it!😊

Three days ago, my mommy “care for others” tug made me write to an expectant mother about drinking coffee while pregnant. Because i remember when i was pregnant with our oldest son, it was a very challenging time as i was on a mission field in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, there was such a lack of good healthcare at the time. But the Lord was gracious to me & my baby, we met Dr. Jil, who was then one of the missionary doctors from England to the HOPE hospital. She was so kind. She guided me all through out my pregnancy months. She advised me on “healthy drinking & eating” for my baby. She was very helpful.

I’m so grateful that i was blessed with two amazing doctors for my first pregnancy and for our youngest son. When i had the second baby, we were stationed back in Manila, Philippines. Blessed enough to have an OB Gyne/Pediatrician from the best hospital in the Philippines at St. Lukes hospital. She taught me that coffee is “not” good for me and my baby at the time. I did some research after i heard from them because it was very hard for me to give up one cup a day. There are so many different write ups about whether to drink coffee or not during pregnancy. There was no conclusive finding but all arrows lead to the fact of what coffee is made of, below is just one of the thousands of medical research about coffee & pregnancy.

What is Caffeine?
Though many of us don’t realize it, caffeine is actually a drug, much like nicotine and alcohol. It is also addictive, which is why so many people crave their coffee and cola! Caffeine, also known as guareine and mateine, is a naturally-occurring substance found in a number of plants, beans, and seeds. It acts as a stimulant on our central nervous system, and is absorbed into our bloodstream just 15 minutes after intake. When absorbed in large quantities, caffeine can cause a number of adverse physical reactions.
Where is Caffeine Found?
Though most of us associate caffeine with tea and coffee, it is also found in a number of other foods and beverages, including:
colas
hot chocolate
chocolate
various nuts
If you notice yourself feeling jittery after you had coffee or tea, there’s a good reason for it. Caffeine can cause a number of physical side effects, including:
increased heart rate
increased blood pressure
increased sweat production
Caffeine also acts as a diuretic. This means that it causes you to lose fluid from your body, which can leave you dehydrated and fatigued. If your body absorbs too much caffeine, it is possible to go into “caffeine overdose,” which causes symptoms of nausea and lightheadedness, as well as respiratory problems.

Effects of Caffeine on Your Baby
Caffeine is thought to pose certain risks during pregnancy. Though researchers debate how much caffeine is acceptable during pregnancy, there is evidence to suggest than any amount will cause some physical effects on your little one. This is because caffeine passes through your placenta and is absorbed by your baby. Adults are able to break down caffeine fairly quickly, thanks to chemicals inside of our body. However, your developing baby can’t do this as efficiently. This means that caffeine will be stored inside of his blood for longer periods of time, and could reach dangerously high levels.

Caffeine also affects other aspects of your baby’s health. It is known to increase your baby’s heart rate and may affect how much he moves in utero. Because caffeine is a diuretic, it can also affect the nutrition your baby receives from you. Caffeine intake may cause you to absorb less iron and calcium from foods, a possible detriment to your baby’s overall fetal development.

Coffee and Miscarriage
Recent studies have focused on the effects of coffee intake during pregnancy. A large-scale Danish study polled more than 80,000 pregnant women regarding their coffee intake. This study found that women who drank large amounts of coffee during pregnancy were more likely to experience a miscarriage. Women who drank more than 2 cups of coffee a day had a slightly increased risk of miscarriage, while those that drank 8 or more cups experienced a 59% increase. This is why it is so important to watch your caffeine intake during pregnancy. (epigee.org)

What i did was asked some of the mature christian mothers around me at the time, they were very helpful to me, it all boiled down to my personal decision whether to choose what “i want for myself” or what would be for the best interest of my baby. I told myself & my baby that eventhough i really like to have my daily cup of coffee, even chocolates (my second most favorite), colas and cakes, i have decided to choose “healthy” for him, i tried my best to make that conscious effort because, “I love my baby.”

The short conversation i had with the expectant mom, has led me to a deeper spiritual reminder of my own life as a christian. The scripture in (Luke 9:23) comes to heart…

Then to all he said, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself & take up his cross every day & follow me.”

if we examine the meaning of that phrase, we can understand that Jesus is connecting following him – or becoming a follower or student – with the concept of denying oneself.

These words “deny themselves” are being translated from the Greek phrase ἀρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν. And yes, ἀρνησάσθω can mean “deny” either “someone” or “oneself” according to the lexicon. However, specific to this context, the lexicon explains that the word can mean “to disregard his own interests.”

In this context, because Jesus is talking to people about becoming qualified to be one of his followers, we can know that Jesus is talking about giving up ones self-interest.

Yes, this was Jesus’ prime qualification for becoming pleasing to him and to God: Giving up ones self-centered motives and living in such a way that is pleasing to Jesus and God in heaven.

In its purest form this is called love. But in the more mechanical view, one is giving up his own interests in order to please the other person. As to whether one truly feels love, that may be debatable.

But this notion of giving up ones self-interest – this is what Jesus is talking about. Jesus is saying that in order to follow him, one must be willing to give up their self-centered interests. While in the beginning, this may be mechanical, the intention is that it can develop into love – just as the sacrifice the mother makes for the baby could become love.

In other words, Jesus is requesting the person wanting to follow must begin making the effort: To give up their self-centered goals, intentions and aspirations as they begin to follow Jesus’ teachings.

This is one of the biggest lesson that motherhood has taught me. As a christian mother, i learned to apply the words of Jesus in every & any area of my life, it is never a walk in the park at all times but the joy of growing, becoming “selfless” for my children, staying humble, trusting others who are ahead of me in this journey, and praying hard, these are just some of the wonderful lessons i have been learning from my children.

Looking back, i never regret any decisions that i made for the good of others, in this case, for my children. Until now, this lesson resonates with me everyday as i follow my Lord Jesus. In every area of my christian life, he called me to, defining it’s methapor…

“Whoever wants to follow me must give up their self-centered aspirations and attachments on a daily basis, and follow me.”

Today, i’am only able to follow because i can (now) have, “a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of JESUS!” 😀

deliver

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Picture taken@Eclipse Sky Bar,22nd floor in Phnom Penh city.

Deliver (synonymous to save; redeem)

2 Corinthians 1:9-10 – “…we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us;”

Psalms

God hear me, answer me
Psalm 86 (17vs)
“Hear, Yahweh, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul, for I am godly. You, my God, save your servant who trusts in you…”
Psalm 102 (28vs)
“Hear my prayer, Yahweh! Let my cry come to you. Don’t hide your face from me in the day of my distress…”
Psalm 141 (10vs)
“Yahweh, I have called on you. Come to me quickly! Listen to my voice when I call to you…”
Psalm 143 (12vs)
“Hear my prayer, Yahweh. Listen to my petitions. In your faithfulness and righteousness, relieve me. Don’t enter into judgment with your servant, for in your sight no man living is righteous…”
God deliver me
Psalm 40 (17vs)
“I waited patiently for Yahweh. He turned to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand…”
Psalm 70 (5vs)
“Hurry, God, to deliver me. Come quickly to help me, Yahweh. Let them be disappointed and confounded who seek my soul…”
Psalm 140 (13vs)
“Deliver me, Yahweh, from the evil man. Preserve me from the violent man; those who devise mischief in their hearts. They continually gather themselves together for war…”

NOTE: One difference between King Saul and David is that when David inquired of God and heard nothing, he continued seeking and trusting Yahweh, God.

Prayer wall:
Dearest Jesus, thank you for You are our righteous Judge, the “deliverer” of your people, both now and forevemore! As I meditate through the psalm of deliverance of David, I learn about his faith in your salvation especially in the times of sin and trouble. And I also saw how powerful and gracious you are to save your people. I want to imitate David’s relationship with you, that he never gave up seeking for you and even when You seem silent, he did not gave up hope. His faith was one of endurance. And you delivered him! I love you. In your precious name I pray, amen.

lust fulfilled despises the Lord

2Sa 11:27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

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Sunsets are the most beautiful in Cambodia! #Phnom Penh city

In this chapter, I learned that David fell into the sin of lust that led him into a very disastrous chapter of his life! It all began when by making decisions based upon lust and greed for getting things his way, but David was despising the word of the Lord! With far reaching disastrous results, his human failings werent what the Lord loved about him. Here, we also see the consequences of sin, it’s pain, and repercussions in one and more lives.

Read through (2 Samuel 10-12)

Chronological insert:
2 Samuel 12:13 (sin; illness; Psalm 51; 38)

2 Samuel 12: 15-17 (Psalm 41)

These Psalms were penned by David, during his most difficult time due to sin in his life; the prayers of his heart; he cried out to God for mercy and help; he cried out in prayer and even when he was weak because of sin, he recalled who God is in his life. He humbled himself; he needed the Lord.

Prayer wall:

Dearest Jesus, what a tragic time this was for David, when he fell into the sin of lust! And a time where he was broken and returned to You. I remember the time I fell into sin and how you mercifully helped me and restored me. I do not deserved anything, help me never forget your mercy and forgiveness lest I become conceited and short sighted. Thank you for David’s example of repentance. As I persevere to live a life free of sin, and as I try to help others, please bless me with your love and grace that I may pass on the same heart to them. In you there is hope. In you alone there is salvation. May I humble my heart before you, all the days of my earthly life. In Jesus name, amen. I love you.

Heartsong:
Our dearest sister in the Lord and friend Saran from Siem Reap came and dined with us tonight! What a wonderful time!

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brotherly love

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A welcome dinner with some of our Church staff & lay leaders. Eat, pray, love.

Brotherly Love
(Bemidbar)

Then they (i.e. David and Jonathan) kissed each other and wept together-but David wept the most (1 Samuel 20:41).

One of the most misunderstood relationships in the Bible is that of David and Jonathan. The depth of their love and affection is something that many of us may have never experienced.

Over the past several years I have been more and more aware of the differences between various cultures. These differences are found in how we relate to life and to one another. Love and expressions of love greatly differ from culture to culture. The act of kissing, for example, referred to in this week’s portion, means very different things to different cultures.

Depending on your upbringing, kissing may be something solely associated with romantic relationships. This is what may have been modeled for you from childhood. When you were small, you and your parents kissed each other. But as you reached your teen years, your parents, especially your father, and especially if you were a male, may have felt that this expression of affection was no longer appropriate.

Yet in many parts of the world, kissing isn’t understood this way. In some cultures fathers and sons always greet each other with a kiss, and male acquaintances will also embrace and kiss each other in friendship. In these cultures physical closeness is associated with friendship and brotherly love. Physical distance is understood as relational distance.

Obviously not all cultures relate this way. In many cultures, physical closeness is reserved for very few relationships. When these cultures encounter the more affectionate cultures, there is opportunity for a lot of confusion.

Some of us may experience this kind of confusion when we encounter the story of David and Jonathan.

David’s lament over Jonathan’s death, which takes place some time after our portion, makes some people wonder what the nature of their relationship really was. David said,

I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women (2 Samuel 1:26).

The depth of David’s love for Jonathan doesn’t imply that they were anything more than good friends. What their relationship demonstrates for us is the capacity of the human heart for intense intimate friendship.

God himself modeled this kind of relationship in the person of the Messiah. Yeshua gave himself completely for us. While on earth he didn’t keep his distance from people. Rather he touched them and was touched by them. He loved us with his whole being to the point of death. His love for us is actually like that of David and Jonathan for one another.

I wonder if the way some of us were brought up is preventing us from experiencing the closeness of God in our lives. If we have never experienced this kind of brotherly love, then we may have a hard time understanding and receiving God’s love for us.

Realizing this is the beginning of change. God wants to be your Jonathan or your David. He loves you with all his heart. As we allow him to love us in this way, we will find our hearts open to the loving relationships he desires for us.

Also read in the book of Psalms:
Asking God for His mercy and response
Psalm 6 (10vs)
“Yahweh, don’t rebuke me in your anger, neither discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint…”
Psalm 13 (6vs)
“How long, Yahweh? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?…”
Psalm 22 (12vs)
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? *…”
Psalm 28 (9vs)
“To you, Yahweh, I call. My rock, don’t be deaf to me; lest, if you are silent to me, I would become like those who go down into the pit…”
Psalm 35 (28vs)
“Contend, Yahweh, with those who contend with me. Fight against those who fight against me…”
Psalm 69 (36vs)
“Save me, God, for the waters have come up to my neck! I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold…”

Prayer wall:
Dearest Jesus, I have today because I have You. Thank you for you are the Jonathan and the David who first showed to us your unconditional love for while we were still sinners Christ died for us…! Thank you for blessing me with my husband and children, in them and through them I learn love and I receive it. Thank you for the Churches, here in Cambodia, they are “brotherly love”, I pray that I may grow and change to know how to love and give brotherly love (sisterly love) to the disciples. I’am grateful. And as I also read through the “prayers” of David in Psalms, may You hear our prayers for our children to become christians, for our love ones to be saved, for the ministry that You are entrusting to us to be encouraged & led spiritually, grant us strenght and wisdom thank you I pray in your name, amen.

how David handled difficult people

ImageToday’s Bible readings from 1Samuel 26 and Psalms 4;5;17;55;61;64. (These Psalms were the prayers of David for God to help him in facing difficult people or enemies) I’am returning back to my 2014 Bible chronological readings. I had some set back due to the big move of our family to a new city and a “new but old” Church! But praise God, he gave me this big space of grace.

Read: 1Samuel 26:1-3

Here we read that Saul and the Ziphites were the “difficult” people in David’s life. Saul was very angry and jealous toward David. He was running after David to kill him! Do you have difficult people or situation in your life lately? Do you have any “Saul” in life? I have a few in my life, I can think of, and I believe that we all have this or them in our lives, they may not come now but soon at some point in life we will have to deal with “difficult” or difficulties!

Now, let’s be ready to read a long topic on the key word in this chapter study, “enemy”; these are very helpful to me as I search on this topic.

Reference Bible | Bible Dictionary | Today’s Bible Commentary

What the scriptures say about
ENEMY, ENEMIES
Foe, adversay
Also see Evil Doers, Satan
References:
Easton’s Bible Dictionary | Smith’s Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference
ENEMY, ENEMIES in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

Cross Reference Bible links
Why did Israel go into exile? And what happened when God brought them back?
2 Chronicles 6:34-39 | Nehemiah 9:27-28 | Ezekiel 39:23 and 39:27
ENEMY, ENEMIES [Holman Bible Dictionary]

An adversary, foe, or hater. An enemy is one who dislikes or hates another and seeks to harm the person. It can refer to an individual opponent or to a hostile force, either a nation or an army.
Several Hebrew words are rendered “enemy” in the Old Testament.

Tsar
means an “adversary, foe, oppressor, or enemy.” It comes from the verb tsarar, which means “to show hostility toward.”
An ‘ohev
is “one who is hostile, an enemy or foe.”
The term sane’ means,
“one who hates.”
Zur
is a “stranger, foreigner, or alien.”
One Greek term, echthros,
is used for each of the Hebrew words in the New Testament. Its basic definition is simply “enemy.”
In the Old Testament enemy generally referred to the national enemies of Israel. These included most of their neighboring nations at one time or the other. The enemies of Israel often were considered the enemies of God, for Israel was God’s nation (Exodus 23:22). This view is also espoused by many of the prophets. Though the word “enemy” is not used there, the first chapter of Amos is a classic example of this.
Enemy is also used to speak of one’s personal foes. This is especially true in the Psalms. David asked for help against his enemies on a number of occasions (Psalms 25:2,Psalms 25:19). Other poets in the Psalter often sought this same protection (Psalms 119:84,Psalms 119:86).

In the New Testament enemy most often refers to one’s personal enemies, for the nation of Israel was no longer a force on the political scene. But it also was used of strangers and foreigners in general.

The natural inclination of all people is to hate their enemies. Some have even misconstrued God’s law to teach hatred. Jesus taught rather to love one’s enemies and to seek their good (Matthew 5:43-47). This is also the teaching of the Old Testament (Proverbs 24:17; Proverbs 25:21).

In the Bible, a person who disobeys divine commands is declared to be God’s enemy. Paul referred to sinners as the enemies of God (Romans 5:10). Job felt that God had become his enemy, too (Job 13:24). Because of this severed relationship, God has made provision for our forgiveness in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Satan is also called “the enemy” (1 Timothy 5:14-15). He has revealed himself as such throughout history by seeking to hurt men and women, leading them away from God.

The greatest and final enemy is death itself (1 Corinthians 15:24). It is feared by all because of its finality and unknown nature. But the Bible teaches that Jesus has “abolished” death once for all (2 Timothy 1:10). Death need not be feared by those who have trusted Christ for the salvation He freely gives.

Bradley S. Butler

ENEMY, ENEMIES [ISBE]

en’-e-mi (‘oyebh, tsar, tsar; echthros):
“Enemy,” “enemies,” are frequent words in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word most often so translated is ‘oyebh, meaning perhaps literally, “one who hates”; very frequent in the Psalms, eg. 3:7; 6:10; 7:5; 8:2; 9:3,1; 13:2, where the cry is often for deliverance from enemies. Another word for “enemy,” found chiefly in the poetical books, is tsar, or tsar, “distresser,” “straitener” (Numbers 10:9; Job 16:9; Psalms 27:2,12, the Revised Version (British and American) “adversary,” etc.); also tsarar (Esther 3:10; Psalms 8:2; 10:5 the King James Version, etc.). Other words are `ar, “one awake” (1 Samuel 28:16 the King James Version; Daniel 4:19 the King James Version); sane’, perhaps, “to be sharp or bite” (Exodus 1:10; Proverbs 25:21; 27:6); sharar, “to watch” (Psalms 5:8; 27:11), and qum, “to stand up,” or “withstand” (Exodus 32:25).

In the New Testament echthros, “enemy,” “opponent,” is the only word translated “enemy” (Matthew 5:43,14; Mark 12:36; Luke 1:71,74, etc.; Romans 5:10; 11:28, etc.), once with anthropos (“a man”), joined to echthros (Matthew 13:28).

In the Revised Version (British and American) “adversary” is frequently substituted for “enemy” (Numbers 24:8; Deuteronomy 32:41; Psalms 6:7; 7:6; 44:10, etc.); for “O thou enemy,” etc. (Psalms 9:6) we have “The enemy are come to an end”; instead of “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19) we have “For he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of Yahweh driveth” (with the text of the King James Version in margins); for “The fire of thine enemies shall devour them” (Isaiah 26:11), “Fire shall devour thine adversaries” (text of the King James Version in the margin).

The frequent reference to enemies in the Old Testament is what we should expect to see in these early times on the part of a people settling in a land that had been occupied by other tribes, worshipping other gods. The spirit of their law was that expressed by our Lord in His Sermon on the Mount, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.” This He changed: “but I say unto you, Love your enemies.” An approach toward this spirit had been made in the later prophets by their inclusion of the whole world under one God, who had a gracious purpose toward all, but the near statement of it we only find in Proverbs 25:21 (quoted by Paul, Romans 12:20). See also Exodus 23:4, and compare 2 Kings 6:22; 2 Chronicles 28:15.

W. L. Walker

Back to 1Samuel 26; Read: verses (13-16) *David reproves Abner.

REPROOF; REPROVE. (Vines topical)
A. Noun.  (+ , 1650), “a reproof” (akin to B), is found in the best texts in 2 Tim. 3:16 (some mss. have   , which denotes “a proof, proving, test,” as in Heb. 11:1, “proving,” RV marg., “test”).¶ Cf. @ , “rebuke,” 2 Pet. 2:16 (lit., “had rebuke”).¶ B. Verb.   (# !, 1651), “to convict, rebuke, reprove,” is translated “to reprove” in Luke 3:19; John 3:20, RV marg., “convicted”; the real meaning here is “exposed” (KJV marg., “discovered”); Eph. 5:11, 13, where “to expose” is again the significance; in John 16:8, KJV, “will reprove” (RV, “will convict”); in 1 Cor. 14:24, RV, “reproved” (KJV, “convinced”); in the following the RV has “to reprove,” for KJV, “to rebuke,” 1 Tim. 5:20; Titus 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Rev. 3:19; for synonymous words see CONVICT and REBUKE.

Here, I learn about David, his conviction to “reprove” Abner, because Abner was not doing his job in protecting King Saul. Instead of protecting Saul, he was asleep! David spoke to Abner as a “soldier” himself who knew the responsibility of being one. David had righteous indignation over one man’s lack of taking the responsibility and he knew what to do, how to handle it, is to “reprove or convict” the sin and the person.

Read: verses (17-20) *David exhorts Saul.

EXHORT, EXHORTATION A. Verbs. 1.  (3870), primarily, “to call to a person” (, “to the side,” , “to call”), denotes (a) “to call on, entreat”; see BESEECH; (b) to admonish, exhort,
to urge one to pursue some course of conduct (always prospective, looking to the future, in contrast to the meaning to comfort, which is retrospective, having to do with trial experienced), translated “exhort” in the RV of Phil. 4:2; 1 Thess. 4:10; Heb. 13:19, 22, for KJV, “beseech”; in 1 Tim. 5:1, for KJV, “intreat”; in 1 Thess. 5:11, for KJV, “comfort”; “exhorted” in 2 Cor. 8:6 and 12:18, for KJV, “desired”; in 1 Tim. 1:3, for KJV, “besought. See BESEECH. 2.  (3867), primarily, “to speak of near” (, “near,” and , “to tell of, speak of,” then, “to recommend”), hence, “to advise, exhort, warn,” is used in Acts 27:9, “admonished,” and v. 22, “I exhort.” See ADMONISH.¶ 3.  (4389), lit., “to turn forward, propel” (, “before,” , “to turn”); hence, “to impel morally, to urge forward, encourage,” is used in Acts 18:27, RV, “encouraged him” (Apollos), with reference to his going into Achaia; KJV, “exhorting the disciples”; while the encouragement was given to Apollos, a letter was written to the disciples in Achaia to receive him.¶ B. Noun.   (3874), akin to A, No. 1, primarily “a calling to one’s side,” and so “to one’s aid,” hence denotes (a) an appeal, “entreaty,” 2 Cor. 8:4; (b) encouragement, “exhortation,” e.g., Rom. 12:8; in Acts 4:36, RV, “exhortation,” for KJV, “consolation”; (c) “consolation and comfort,” e.g., Rom. 15:4. See COMFORT. Cf.  , “an advocate, comforter.”

Here, David was acting like the Holy Spirit in our christian life, he pointed out to Saul his sin, how he was merciful that he spared Saul’s life, giving him the chance to live; similarly in our lives, the Holy Spirit “exhort” us in order to help us see our sins and hopefully repent! Again, David showed how he handled a Saul, by exhorting him. David was righteous in dealing with difficult people in his life. He remained steady and full of godly conviction. He did not people pleased! What about us, how do we treat, respond or handle an Abner or a Saul in our lives? How about when the Holy Spirit convicts, rebukes, exhort us, do we respond with humility?

Look how David has affected Saul. Read: verses (21-25); *Saul acknowledges his sin.

This is the power of a timely “reproof” and or an “exhortation”! And this is the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in our lives!

Prayer wall:
Dearest Jesus, today my spiritual well is growing full because your holy word is a spring fountain! Thank you for letting me pick from the field of Boaz, the field of my Lord Jesus. I love you. In your name, amen.

the cycle of sin (intro)

The Book of Judges

“There was no king in Israel in those days and every man did whatever he thought was right.” (Judges 21:25 TLB)

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Picture taken this afternoon around the Calmette hospital where our oldest son was born (1997) and where we used to live. #Sunset

This book was written over a period of 300 to 400 years of time. Not clear though. As in the very last verse of the book was written; the Israelites were in the promised land; Joshua died and the people began to drift away from the Lord! This is so common for when people have more blessings, possessions, victories, people who are brought to the “promised land”, how quickly they drift away, then bondage comes, then they would cry out to God for help, then God in his mercy would raise up a Judge or a deliverer! This is still so true in today’s society and it is true in my life. I mean, the “cycle of sin” in the Judges is a big part of the topic! There were 7 major Deliverers and 7 minors; (1:1); lands were taken by the Israelites but there were still some pockets of enemies that must be conquered. (V.2) when they asked God who will go up first to fight, God’s reply was “Judah”; why Judah? First, because it is where the Lion of Judah would come, who is Jesus Christ! Secondly, the word Judah in Hebrew literally means “worship”! Therefore, Jesus will lead the way. And praise must lead the way.

Prayer wall:

Dearest Jesus, the book before me, tells me the truth about my sinful nature, that i have a cycle of sin in my flesh, especially whenever I’am NOT walking in my relationship with You and your words. Whenever I’m not repenting of my pride, impurities, selfishness etcetera. I’m doomed in the cycle of sin again! But praise be to the Lord Jesus, by Your grace, I can get out of that cycle and remain living in the spirit. As I learned in this book that there were many years that the Israelites lived walking with you, loving and worshipping you, for example they did this for 80 years! Then I must take heed of the huge lessons from this book, from the sins of your people and from your loving heart toward them! I’m also reminded of how compassionate and merciful You are for always listening to their cry and you come to their rescue! You are our “Judge”; our deliverer; the holy and righteous One, amen.

Judah

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Hebrew 3063
יהודה

Pronunciation
Yahuwdah

From 3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory:–Judah.

Jdg 1:2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.

Today’s reading from the Book of Judges. (Chapter 1).

Chapter 1
Ver. 1. [Now after the death of Joshua.] The enemies haply might hope to hold their own, now that the lion was dead; as the loss of a valiant general is sometimes the ruin of a whole state; witness the Thebans, known by their calamities only, after the death of their renowned Epaminondas. But Israel, whilst they kept close to their covenant, might truly triumph and say, as in #Isa 33:22, “The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.”

The children of Israel asked the Lord.] They had miscarried at Ai by not consulting first with God: so did afterwards David when he carted the ark, and Josiah when he went against Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt. The heathens usually consulted their oracles before they waged war: and they called a sacrifice Hostia, because when they went against their enemies they offered it.

Judah shall go up.] A valiant, prudent, and hitherto a prosperous tribe, ever preferred according to #Ge 49:8, and with reference to Messiah the Prince, that Lion of this tribe.

(Commentary from Trapp Vol 1)

(TLB) “For the Lord is our Judge, our Lawgiver and our King, he will care for us and save us.”

Prayer wall:

Dearest Jesus, You are my Judah. The one who leads my life, my family and the Church of Christ. You lead by your fierce conviction and intense love. You lead in worship. You have been the Israelites’ helper and You are ours today. I can never triumph over the “canaanites”; “enemies” in my life without your intervention. I rely on you. You are the one to come to reign forevermore. We, the saints, await for your coming. I put my hope in You, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Prince of Peace, our King, Emmanuel, the Savior of us all. I pray in Your holy name, amen.

faith

SPECIAL TOPIC: FAITH (PISTIS [NOUN], PISTEUÆ, [VERB], PISTOS [ADJECTIVE])
A. This is such an important term in the Bible (cf. Heb. 11:1,6). It is the subject of Jesus’ early preaching (cf. Mark 1:15). There are at least two new covenant requirements: repentance and faith (cf. 1:15; Acts 3:16,19; 20:21).

Its etymology
1. The term “faith” in the OT meant loyalty, fidelity, or trustworthiness and was a description of
God’s nature, not ours.
2. It came from a Hebrew term (emun, emunah, BDB 53), which meant “to be sure or stable.” Saving faith is mental assent (set of truths), moral living (a lifestyle), and primarily a relational (welcoming of a person) and volitional commitment (a decision) to that person.
ItsOTusage
It must be emphasized that Abraham’s faith was not in a future Messiah, but in God’s promise that he would have a child and descendants (cf. Gen. 12:2; 15:2-5; 17:4-8; 18:14). Abraham responded to this promise by trusting in God. He still had doubts and problems about this promise, which took thirteen years to be fulfilled. His imperfect faith, however, was accepted by God. God is willing to work with flawed human beings who respond to Him and His promises in faith, even if it is the size of a mustard seed (cf. Matt. 17:20).
Its NT usage
The term “believed” is from the Greek term (pisteuÇ), which can also be translated “believe,” “faith,” or “trust.” For example, the NOUN does not occur in the Gospel of John, but the VERB is used often. In John 2:23-25 there is uncertainty as to the genuineness of the crowd’s commitment to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. Other examples of this superficial use of the term “believe” are in John 8:31-59 and Acts 8:13, 18-24. True biblical faith is more than an initial response. It must be followed by a process of discipleship (cf. Matt. 13:20-22,31-32).

2. It came from a Hebrew term (emun, emunah, BDB 53), which meant “to be sure or stable.” Saving faith is mental assent (set of truths), moral living (a lifestyle), and primarily a relational (welcoming of a person) and volitional commitment (a decision) to that person.
ItsOTusage
It must be emphasized that Abraham’s faith was not in a future Messiah, but in God’s promise that he would have a child and descendants (cf. Gen. 12:2; 15:2-5; 17:4-8; 18:14). Abraham responded to this promise by trusting in God. He still had doubts and problems about this promise, which took thirteen years to be fulfilled. His imperfect faith, however, was accepted by God. God is willing to work with flawed human beings who respond to Him and His promises in faith, even if it is the size of a mustard seed (cf. Matt. 17:20).
Its NT usage
The term “believed” is from the Greek term (pisteuÇ), which can also be translated “believe,” “faith,” or “trust.” For example, the NOUN does not occur in the Gospel of John, but the VERB is used often. In John 2:23-25 there is uncertainty as to the genuineness of the crowd’s commitment to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. Other examples of this superficial use of the term “believe” are in John 8:31-59 and Acts 8:13, 18-24. True biblical faith is more than an initial response. It must be followed by a process of discipleship (cf. Matt. 13:20-22,31-32).
Its use with PREPOSITIONS
1. Eis means “into.” This unique construction emphasizes believers putting their trust/faith in Jesus:
a. into His name (John 1:12; 2:23; 3:18; I John 5:13)
b. into Him (John 2:11; 3:15,18; 4:39; 6:40; 7:5,31,39,48; 8:30; 9:36; 10:42; 11:45,48; 17:37,42; Matt. 18:6; Acts 10:43; Phil. 1:29; I Pet. 1:8)
c. into Me (John 6:35; 7:38; 11:25,26; 12:44,46; 14:1,12; 16:9; 17:20)
d. into the Son (John 3:36; 9:35; I John 5:10)
e. into Jesus (John 12:11; Acts 19:4; Gal. 2:16)
f. into Light (John 12:36)
g. into God (John 14:1)
2. En means “in” as in John 3:15; Mark 1:15; Acts 5:14
3. Epi means “in” or “upon,” as in Matt. 27:42; Acts 9:42; 11:17; 16:31; 22:19; Rom. 4:5,24; 9:33;
10:11; I Tim. 1:16; I Pet. 2:6
4. The DATIVE CASE with no PREPOSITION as in Gal. 3:6; Acts 18:8; 27:25; I John 3:23; 5:10
5. Hoti, which means “believe that,” gives content as to what to believe
a. Jesus is the Holy One of God (John 6:69)
b. Jesus is the I Am (John 8:24)
c. Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Him (John 10:38)
d. Jesus is the Messiah (John 11:27; 20:31)
e. Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:27; 20:31)
f. Jesus was sent by the Father (John 11:42; 17:8,21)
g. Jesus is one with the Father (John 14:10-11)

Prayer wall:

Dearest Jesus, thank you for today, it is a day of faith. A day with the church. When we listen to the word of God we learn and gain faith. May we grow like Paul to be filled with your Spirit, bold and courageous in proclaiming our faith in the Messiah, that many many more souls may be saved. Lord, please use our lives here in the new but old city for us. Please save our children. I pray for all our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and Russia as the conflict there is escalating, protect and save them have mercy oh Lord. I pray for the Siem reap Church family, please put your hedges around them that they may all stay strong and faithful. Thank you for your wonderful promise in Matthew 28, that You will be with us always till the end of the age. In Jesus name I commit our lives to you, amen.

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Picture taken this morning when Blady, my husband preached from the book of Acts 17-18 to the PPCC Singles ministry. Topic lesson: Seeing our Lord and seeing our city.

i choose GOD

choose in Hebrew:
“bachar”

A primitive root; properly to try, that is, (by implication) select:–acceptable, appoint, choose (choice), excellent, join, be rather, require.

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today’s breathtaking sunrise@home in Touk Thla, Cambodia.

Joshua 24:14-16

Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Jos 24:16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

24:14-15 This is a series of IMPERATIVES from Joshua to the tribes.
1. “fear,” BDB 431, KB 432, Qal IMPERATIVE, cf. Lev. 19:32; 25:36,43; Deut. 5:29; 6:2,13,24;
10:12,20; 13:4; 14:23; 17:19; Josh. 4:24
2. “serve,” BDB 712, KB 773, Qal IMPERATIVE; notice how often this VERB is used in Joshua 24 (cf.
vv. 2,14[twice],15[four],16,18,19,20,21,22,24,31)!
a. in sincerity (BDB 1071)
b. in truth (BDB 54)
3. “put away” (lit. “turn aside”), BDB 693, KB 747, Hiphil IMPERATIVE, cf. Gen. 35:2; I Sam. 7:4
4. “choose,” BDB 103, KB 119, Qal IMPERATIVE, cf. v. 22. Covenant faith involves a decision of human choice, as well as a divine choice! Covenant faith is more than family faith or national faith.
It must be personal faith (cf. John 1:12; 3:16; Rom. 10:9-13).
}
NASB “in sincerity and truth”
NKJV “in sincerity and in truth” NRSV “in sincerity and in faithfulness” TEV “sincerely and faithfully”
NJB “truly and sincerely”
The JPSOA translation has “with undivided loyalty.” These terms focus on an inner attitude and outer lifestyle (cf. Deut. 6:4-5). The term “truth” (BDB 54) is the OT root for faith, believe, trust, which is paralleled to the NT term (pistis, pistos, pisteuÇ).

(Commentary by Dr. Utley)

Prayer wall:
Dearest Jesus, today is a full day. Thank you for blessing us to experience the sunrise prayer time with some of the Singles disciples. It is especially note taking to study the very last chapter of the book of Joshua. He was a very inspiring man of God, that even up to his last days or old age he kept his love and faith in You by “choosing” You and not the other gods. And this conviction was what he passed on to Your people. Just as he chose You, the fact is You have chosen him first. Thank you for our greater than Joshua, Jesus Christ our Lord & Saviour. He chose his relationship with You. He chose to live and die for You. He chose to walk for You. He chose to save and heal mankind by His death on the cross. He chose heaven. He chose the church. He chose me. Because of your love, everyday I decide that (like Joshua) as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord, “i choose GOD.” I’am so grateful. I love you. In Your precious name I pray, amen.

Heartsongs:

Early sunrise prayertime with some of the Singles disciples of Phnom Penh Church of Christ at the Olympic Stadium.

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