Tag Archives: adventure

THORNFUL ROSE: INTRIGUE

My wife (Laura) and I had a great conversation about the “thorn” in the Apostle Paul’s side, “a messenger of Satan” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Laura found through Dr. Constable’s Notes p. 167 different interpretations about the thorn:

“Three basic suggested interpretations of the thorn are as follows: (1) If flesh is a reference to the body, then it is a physical ailment like an earache, headache, eye trouble, epilepsy, or recurrent fever. (2) If flesh is a reference to the fallen nature, then the thorn could be a temptation. (3) If the expression is figurative, it could refer to persecution or opposition. Most commentators interpret it as a physical ailment.”1

“Many early church Fathers and Reformers understood the thorn to be a spiritual temptation—perhaps a tendency toward pride, or the opposition of Paul’s enemies. Some modern Roman Catholic interpreters take it as a fleshly temptation that assailed Paul’s moral purity. Many modern Protestant interpreters see it as a bodily suffering, namely, some physical illness or infirmity such as bad eyesight, a speech impediment, malaria,2 or epilepsy (cf. Gal. 4:13-15).3 Since the scriptural data does not provide a definite answer, it seems best to suspend judgment on any conclusion. Various commentators have made good cases for every one of the explanations
described above. Probably Paul avoided being explicit so his readers would not focus on his particular form of affliction exclusively.”

In light of Dr. Constable’s Notes given above, there seems to be 3 different approaches to the Apostle Paul’s thorn:

  1. Spiritual Temptation
  2. Fleshly Temptation
  3. Physical Illness or Infirmity

However, what was profound to my wife was how “God used evil for good”, which struck me odd at first because my brain does not make sense of good using evil for good; that to me sounds like evil is nothing more than a tool rather than a force necessitating justice, and thereby making good and evil indistinguishable.

I’m intrigued. So, let’s explore!…

INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

It’s been a productive morning. I plan on heading to the house here in a few minutes from my office on the road, but before I do I am thinking about where I left the story off about “Salvational Engineering”. I left it off wanting to write about our “machines” (bodies) as the outermost circle of our Person of three circles. Right now my body is gradually declining into the desire for sleep after having worked overnight, and so this machine is preparing to shut down for a few hours.

Did you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

There are a few things I want to distract myself with once I get to the house, one of them being to watch an episode from a series or a movie as down time. However, I know that will not be wise because there are other responsibilities I need to take care of aside from reaching my goal for this site, and career path with my wife. So what I’m going to do is go to the house and prepare for sleep. 

Romans 6:12-14
12 Therefore sin is not to reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your body’s parts as instruments of righteousness for God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace.

Right now I’m under the grace of God to exercise my body’s parts as instruments of righteousness. To do that I need to leave. This machine of mine is ready to rest, and I know in the past when I was beyond tired I acted delirious. When in a state of delirium I was more vulnerable to unrighteousness and susceptible to sin. Wisdom teaches me to be aware of the state of my body, to manage each moment at a time to present my mortal body as alive from the dead. So that’s what I’m going to do.

MACHINE

Good morning reader… it might not be morning by the time I finish this writing but that’s alright. I pray all is well. I’m feeling much better today, a little sore throat and some coughing, but my strength is coming back! That’s good news! I’m thankful to rest even though it’s not in my nature to rest like this, I don’t like being isolated. I’m a dagum peacock and I need to fly!

Alright, I’m thinking we continue on the “breakthrough” journey.

In the previous post you’ll get an idea of the functions for our body, soul, and spirit, that make up our entire Person (Being) – and I want to go deeper starting with what I’ll probably refer to a lot as mine and your “machine”, the body.

This is where I hope to bring back full circle my experience as an engineer (salvational engineering) to provide the reader with a unique perspective when applying diagnostics to a person’s spiritual well-being and eternal salvation. I also believe this framework will be an excellent resource; having the knowledge of the truth is very important, but what good is an engineer with knowledge of the truth yet without the skill of love to apply that knowledge to a machine broken by lies? The engineer is useless without the skill of love and tools to apply his or her knowledge of the truth!

So next… let’s talk about our machines!

BREAKTHROUGH

“Blog Log 1 – Location: Dallas, TX. … “ That’s what I feel my experience is on this first day of quarantine, a log to hold my morale accountable. 

It only took a year but COVID caught me. The experience is surreal having only heard of the experiences surrounding this virus and its variants to now experiencing it for myself. I felt asymptomatic for the most part, but this virus is deceptive in nature; when you think you’re okay and move about like normal it’s all of a sudden the unexpected weight hits you like a train as dramatic as that sounds, but when you’re in bed sweating profusely and too weak to make sense of what’s happening…it’s not dramatic at all, it’s “chilling” to say the least.

While this virus has the capacity to kill my body it does not have the capacity to destroy my soul unless granted to compromise my morale to the degree of renouncing my faith in Christ which makes for a great opportunity to continue on my endeavor to present my breakthrough.

BREAKTHROUGH

1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The spirit and soul and body make up the entire Person, and each has a distinct function. 

My body is at the “Outer Courtyard” (outer court) of my entire Person; it’s here where the law in my body holds me prisoner to death, and my body is dead because of sin. As long as I’m putting to death the deeds of my body I’ll live—otherwise I’m living according to my flesh, and I must die. 


My soul is at the “Holy Place” (inner court) of my entire Person; it’s here where it’s psychological, and my soul has three major components: emotion, logic, and will, or heart, mind, and wisdom. I have a responsibility to the condition of my soul through faith—otherwise my soul is condemned through sin.


My spirit is at the innermost part of my entire Person, the “Holy of Holies” (hidden court) if you will; it’s here where the governance of God dwells, and my spirit is how I contact God if the Spirit of Christ is in me—otherwise my spirit is in contact with that which is evil. 

I Thessalonians 3:12-13
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

I will know what kind of spirit I have by what kind of fruit I bear. I will also know what kind of spirit someone else has by the fruit they bear.

…TO SECURITY TO ENGINEERING TO ENTREPRENEUR TO…

READ FIRST


So there I was, without a job and free to do whatever again… I thought about seeing if my old position in the Public Services department (City of Richardson) as a Water Production (SCADA) operator was available, or to go back to engineering, but my heart has always been geared toward mission work! I just hadn’t known how it was going to come about. 

Laura and I prayed and waited a month before I would go back to Security Guard work; bear in mind that I’d been working random shifts on the GaurdTexas team through a friend/ Operations Manager (Boss Man) who kept me in the loop for Security work throughout Dallas. God’s providence is very real! 

So that’s what I did, I decided to go back to being a humble security guard with a plan to work the night shift. The days are too distracting for what I needed to sort out and not only that, I needed time to learn premiere pro. I’ve always enjoyed shooting video to create content, and to my surprise Laura wanted to join me on an adventure to video editing work through a friend you’ll know or discover if you stick around on this site, aka Dallas. The man is so good at what he does, especially when it comes to loving his family and others! Dallas blessed us with work, entrusting us to his guidance and direction as we got our feet wet in that field through him.

Now there’s a question that’s been beckoning…

“So why not go to bible college and or seminary?” MAN—that’s the question! Isn’t it! The answer is not a simple one for me and really, I think it might be controversial which is not my intention for it to be, but I have my concerns about that approach to “ordination” because of some trauma from my past, I don’t trust it.

Fast forward to January of 2022 when a breakthrough happened when fellowshiping with a friend over…

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

COUNT THE COST

There was a time… a time when I transitioned from a site supervising security officer to an engineer of a 14-story class double “AA” office tower that required knowledge around high end M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) equipment to manage through SCADA systems alongside my chief engineer. These machines were the power of the Tower, everything was programmed to turn on and off at specific times: lights on, air moving, water flowing, and doors secure.

The environment was damn near perfect for any and all the fortune 500 companies. A fortress of success and cutting edge technology… What could go wrong? As long as the condition was perfect my job was humbly making keys, eliminating odors from p-traps, painting, changing ceiling tiles, etc. And it was during that time as an engineer I became inspired by an idea. I decided to start a ministry called “Salvational Engineering” where I would pick up trash around our little place in the hood. 

The idea was to prune the ministry by hitting every neighboring’ hood encompassed around mine—and you wouldn’t believe some of the things I found as trash, or actually… you just might!

So while that was in the making, a friend of mine invited me to help him on a move. I thought it was just me helping a friend; I tried to refuse payment, but he insisted on paying me for the hard work. And it was HARD work! Moving is no joke!

Then the friend called me again for a move, then again, again, and again. As this became something of a normal thing I saw the potential my friend had to do something about this moving thing and planted the idea of him starting a moving company; to which if he did, I’d be his right hand. Next thing I know we’re free falling, quitting our careers to pursue this entrepreneurial thing; it was grind time, everything changed! Salvational Engineering quickly faded into the background and eventually was set aside for an unexpected future resurrection.

At this junction the risk became surreal when my friend and I didn’t get that expected direct deposit into our accounts. We had to get side jobs to stay afloat: stained fences, landscaped – from planting flowers to cutting down trees – and then beating up rich people… ask Fred! (I’m joking). The business grew and grew, beyond our expectations, it was amazing to see how God took care of us at every turn, overcoming every obstacle. My wife was able to quit her job for us to focus on making them babies, but then… guess what happened! I’d later get terminated due to a story for another time…

Nathan preparing to recruit and my “conscience” (wife) interrupting 😂.

I know, the suspense will kill but long story short; we’d worked out our problem with another christian brother because after all we’re members of the same body in Christ. I was invited to come back as part of the Swan Moving Services team but had decided that continuing on that journey wasn’t worth the potential destruction of our friendship.

The principle that was crucial for me to understand before anything and everything else was that as believers I belonged to Christ before the business, relationship, and especially my own soul! I am going to teach you what that means and how to meet that principle as the story continues. Remember the machines that keep the power in the Tower; we function like machines, and the power in our “Tower’s” is the Spirit of God if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us (Romans 8).

James 3:1

“Do not become teachers in large numbers, my brothers, since you know that we who are teachers will incur a stricter judgment.”

I have a responsibility, especially in the trouble of today, to be humble before the Holy Spirit as He helps me navigate from the sin of past experiences to the discipline of our heavenly Father. I have believed and am believing with enduring faith in trials and temptations of this present evil age, humbled to suffer in the name of Jesus Christ as a son of God. Discipline hurts but produces the trait of humility and fruit of righteousness which is of heavenly value through Jesus Christ exalted as head over all.

So there I was, free to do whatever again…


READ NEXT

MY GREAT AUNT FAITH

Good morning, I’m at my third office off the road and have abstained from coffee although I had a hostess cupcake for breakfast… don’t judge me *said with a subtle laugh.

I received some heavy but celebratory news yesterday, my great aunt passed. It’s heavy because this great aunt is one I’ve had time with when visiting my grandma, and my grandma is an anchor to my life’s story. That’s why it’s heavy, but “how is it celebratory?” I’m excited to tell you about this part!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as indeed the rest of mankind do, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, so also God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, comfort one another with these words.

If my great aunt has fallen asleep believing that Jesus died and rose from the dead—and I believe she has—so also God will bring my [great aunt] with Him [her] who has fallen asleep through Jesus! THAT… is exciting news!

Trying not to get emotional as I write this with a good crowd of people in front of me I can see the sun rising where the first day here is a vapor of smoke in the wind compared to the day my great aunt Faith is already having (considering the time difference between waking up from a dream here on earth to that of a life now in heaven). Therefore, comfort one another with these words.

However, my writing and your reading indicates we’re still here, “…we who are alive,” Paul said, “who remain…”. Ouch! Yep… still here. That’s what happens when you pinch yourself, don’t do that.

THE DEVELOPING STORY OF HIS INNOVATION AND HER ADMINISTRATION

Okay, so 12oz’ of coffee this morning and it tastes… so… good!

In the time past I was encouraged as having the qualities of a type of life coach but didn’t take it seriously enough to make it a career choice until last year when Dallas—who you know from this site unless you don’t, please do get to know him because he’s someone you won’t ever want to forget—encouraged me to look into it. So I did, and the seed was planted, but my focus was on developing my skill in premiere pro until landing work in the realm of video as an editor alongside my wife. But here’s the thing, I get “innovative and creative” with rules where Laura abides by the rules with a kind of precision that, well… frustrates me—in a good way (quick recovery)—because of the balance it enforces on me between us, without it I would fly away into the valley of the shadow of death. I “break” (bend) rules and cross lines where Laura keeps and walks them with absolute integrity! I love her! She’s a recommended video editor where I’m still working on abiding by the rules following her guidance. She’s an excellent leader, administrator! I’m truly blessed!

Ah man… there’s the alarm for my next destination!

LESS ANXIETY!

Oh man am I ready for some coffee! I decreased my caffeine intake drastically a week ago and stayed strong at only 10oz for the past few days, the plan being to cut it off by the end of this week. The principle is self-control because caffeine has had a stronghold on me—that must’ve passed me out due it’s power because I think I was around 6 cups a day or so. The goal is not to have coffee at it’s beckon call by making the conscious choice, completely aware of the consequences when I do choose to have coffee, or chocolate even. And so far the result has been much less anxiety!

It’s amazing how sensitive our bodies are to everything, it’s frustrating and awesome at the same time.

THREE OFFICES?

I have three “offices” now, and I imagine that number will increase as this journey continues. Not like actual offices. I’m thankful for the many places on the road that have wifi so I can work on the go. I’ve had a breakthrough with something I’ve been praying about for a long time. I’m calling it a “breakthrough” for now because I don’t want to reveal everything although I’m too excited not to say anything about it. Having fellowship with a brother visiting over the holidays has been the key to this breakthrough. The result of our meetings ignited my passion to exercise the breakthrough with my innermost circle of people—and that circle includes you on this site. 

However, this is me touching base. I plan to write a lot more this year with posts like this that are just me including you in on what’s going on and other things.

This year has started off with a bang in my life and am excited to share the experiences with you!

Guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones | P2-V8

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

Proverbs 2; I die daily devotional.

 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.


PATHS

Sometimes … our paths don’t seem so clear. As I meditate on this verse, a continuation from yesterday’s verse, altogether reads:

He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.

I think about Job from my writing yesterday, and how Job’s path in relation to mine, is clear—for me. But is it clear to my family and friends?

… *sigh* …

I feel like the most painful form of abuse is spiritual abuse; that’s not to take away from anyone who would disagree for reasons beyond me, but on our subject of Job; I believe his case will prove most enlightening to spiritual abuse in our lives today.

If we can imagine our lives from the viewpoint or perspective of Job while dealing with his family and friends, will see the similarities to intent and motives of our own believing families and friends that mean well on God’s behalf, but completely misrepresent God. And it is dangerous, as we’ll see in the book:

Job 42:7 — It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job.

See I fear that I’ve been guilty of misrepresenting God by seeing with a lens of human eyes rather than the lens of a godly heart; I see and hear what’s happening in the United States politics and think of “sins” that might have caused our present conditions; being a democrat or republican can procure an argument between friends, but the question is…

…what is the right path?

JUSTICE

Without fail, Job looked through his wife’s advice to curse God, his friends advice to accept defeat, and pleaded for the source—the only One Who could put an end to, or explain, his constant agony:

Job 2:10 — But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job 6:1 — Then Job answered, … 8 “Oh that my request might come to pass, And that God would grant my longing! 9 “Would that God were willing to crush me, That He would loose His hand and cut me off! 10 “But it is still my consolation, And I rejoice in unsparing pain, That I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 11 “What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure? 12 “Is my strength the strength of stones, Or is my flesh bronze? 13 “Is it that my help is not within me, And that deliverance is driven from me?

Jesus guards our paths of justice just as He did Job’s, and not only Job’s, but his wife’s and friends; Job didn’t cave into sin because the testimony about Job’s faith (blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil) proved true even when put to the test by our enemy.

Will your faith prove the same for you?

So what if we choose not to put our faith in our government, but the sustenance of God’s Word? Could it be then that the path of a democrat, or a republican, prove null and void, because those paths don’t actually matter?

When I look at the book of Job and think about Jesus, I see a path guarded and preserved for my soul.

Do you see that for you?

Job 42:10 — The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. 12 The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.

There is so much more I want to dig into with this devotional, but unfortunately, my deadline is fast approaching…

The last little bit of insight I found from Job for my character development was that Job was instructed to pray for his friends, even though they proved worse than no help, he prayed and afterwards was restored. Notice it was when Job prayed for his friends that he was restored, not before.

Are you praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ on both sides of our democracy? Or consider this… we’re all liberal and conservative at the same time, so there is no side but liberty in Jesus Christ.

  • Do you trust that your path is guarded, and that your way is preserved?

RECOURCE

[BP]

Proverbs 2 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come  knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways; 16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words; 17 That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God; 18 For her house sinks down to death And her tracks lead to the dead; 19 None who go to her return again, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of good men And keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P2-V7) Commentary
3. He has particularly provided that good men, who are sincerely disposed to do his will, shall have that knowledge and that understanding which are necessary for them, Jn. 7:17. Let them seek wisdom, and they shall find it; let them ask, and it shall be given them, v. 7, 8. Observe here,

  • (1.) Who those are that are thus favoured. They are the righteous, on whom the image of God is renewed, which consists in righteousness, and those who walk uprightly, who are honest in their dealings both with God and man and make conscience of doing their duty as far as they know it. They are his saints, devoted to his honour, and set apart for his service.
  • (2.) What it is that is provided for them.
    • [1.] Instruction. The means of wisdom are given to all, but wisdom itself, sound wisdom, is laid up for the righteous, laid up in Christ their head, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and who is made of God to us wisdom. The same that is the Spirit of revelation in the word is a Spirit of wisdom in the souls of those that are sanctified, that wisdom of the prudent which is to understand his way; and it is sound wisdom, its foundations firm, its principles solid, and its products of lasting advantage.
    • [2.] Satisfaction. Some read it, He lays up substance for the righteous,  not only substantial knowledge, but substantial happiness and comfort, Prov. 8:21. Riches are things that are not, and those that have them only fancy themselves happy; but what is laid up in the promises and in heaven for the righteous will make them truly, thoroughly, and eternally happy.
    • [3.] Protection. Even those who walk uprightly may be brought into danger for the trial of their faith, but God is, and will be, a buckler to them, so that nothing that happens to them shall do them any real hurt, or possess them with any terrific apprehensions; they are safe, and they shall think themselves so. Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield. It is their way, the paths of judgment in which they walk, that the Lord knows, and owns, and takes care of.
    • [4.] Grace to persevere to the end. If we depend upon God, and seek to him for wisdom, he will uphold us in our integrity, will enable us to keep the paths of judgment, however we may be tempted to turn aside out of them; for he preserves the way of his saints, that it be not perverted, and so preserves them in it safe and blameless to his heavenly kingdom. The assurances God has given us of his grace, if duly improved, will excite and quicken our endeavours in doing our duty. Work out your salvation, for God works in you.

They ambush their own lives | P1-V18

The Enticement of Sinners

Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional.

18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives.


We’ve seen this verse before, hadn’t we? No. And actually. The script is flipped now.

It was back at verse 11 we read—if they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause—that the child of Wisdom is warned not to consent to the enticement of sinners.

THEIR OWN BLOOD

Their goal of gain in this life is at the cost of innocence. Their choice is made, they’ve chosen to love their own soul above their God who gave it to them, and ultimately, entices the innocent by that behavior, influencing a lie—a pleasure—about the way of their demise—justifying and blaming the world around them—rather than repenting of their selfish endeavors for the sake of God. But they won’t, they don’t repent; the sinner will seek to devour the innocent without a thought of losing their own soul for the sake of preserving the innocent—for the sake of Christ. The sinner says, “You need sex with multiple partners. You need pornography. You need to make more money. You need a vacation, cut loose, and just enjoy life.” But their gain is the ambush of their own lives, and once the innocent is converted… will he or she repent?

  • Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
  • Do you have faith that Jesus is resurrected?
  • Have you accepted responsibility for your sin?
  • Are you actively repenting of your sin?
  • Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
  • Do you have faith that Jesus is resurrected?
  • Have you accepted responsibility for your sin?
  • Are you actively repenting of your sin?
  • Have you sought to make your belief known?
  • Find a body of believers.
  • Tell them the meaning of salvation.
  • Seek to be baptized.
  • Study the Word of God.
  • Become equipped in your hope.
  • Practice your defense with believers.
  • Preach the Word of God to this world.
  • Be faithful to Christ.
  • Be faithful to your church body.
  • Understand how death is defeated.
  • Love God; Love neighbor.
  • Pray, Jesus come. Amen.

RESOURCE

Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.  8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23  “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P1-V18) Commentary
Herein,

  • (1.) They are like the silly bird, that sees the net spread to take her, and yet it is in vain; she is decoyed into it by the bait, and will not take the warning which her own eyes gave her, v. 17. But we think ourselves of more value than many sparrows, and therefore should have more wit, and act with more caution. God has made us wiser than the fowls of heaven (Job 35:11), and shall we then be as stupid as they?
  • (2.) They are worse than the birds, and have not the sense which we sometimes perceive them to have; for the fowler knows it is in vain to lay his snare in the sight of the bird, and therefore he has arts to conceal it. But the sinner sees ruin at the end of his way; the murderer, the thief, see the jail and the gallows before them, nay, they may see hell before them; their watchmen tell them they shall surely die, but it is to no purpose; they rush into sin, and rush on in it, like the horse into the battle. For really the stone they roll will turn upon themselves, v. 18, 19. They lay wait, and lurk privily, for the blood and lives of others, but it will prove, contrary to their intention, to be for their own blood, their own lives; they will come, at length, to a shameful end; and, if they escape the sword of the magistrate, yet there is a divine Nemesis that pursues them. Vengeance suffers them not to live. Their greediness of gain hurries them upon those practices which will not suffer them to live out half their days, but will cut off the number of their months in the midst. They have little reason to be proud of their property in that which takes away the life of the owners and then passes to other masters; and what is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? For then he can enjoy the world no longer; much less if he lose his soul, and that be drowned in destruction and perdition, as multitudes are by the love of money.

Find all kinds of precious wealth | P1-V13

The Enticement of Sinners

Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional.

13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil;


If you have not watched “THE LORD OF THE RINGS” and “THE HOBBIT” trilogies, it will be quite the adventure if you do. Let me give a little insight as to the relevance.

There is a character by the name of Smeagol, who finds a precious gold ring, and by it becomes possessed by this dark evil power. The evil ring “blesses” Smeagol with extraordinarily long life, but it consumes him. Smeagol was a normal person (or Hobbit), but the ring, over time, literally transformed him, his body, into an unidentifiable harmless creature. The person that was once Smeagol became… “Gollum”. Gollum crept his way into the deep darkness of the Misty Mountains, keeping hidden this ring of evil power he called, “my Precious”, until… well… you’ll have to watch the trilogies.

MY PRECIOUS

What happened to Smeagol, or rather, Gollum, at the end of the story is what happens to those who are described by our verse—We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil. Those who’ve placed their hope in precious pleasures to experience in this life forfeit their own soul, becoming possessed by an idea that deludes them into their fate of what it means to be evil. They become the outcome of the Ring-bearer, which ultimately, ends in death, despair, and alone to burn—forever.

  • What in this life describes for you, “my Precious?”
  • Are you enticing people away from the gospel?
  • Does your character reflect Jesus Christ?
  • Are you possessed by sin?
  • Will you let go of the “ring”?

RECOURSE

Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.  8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23  “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P1-V13) Commentary
Here Solomon gives another general rule to young people, in order to their finding out, and keeping in, the paths of wisdom, and that is to take heed of the snare of bad company. David’s psalms begin with this caution, and so do Solomon’s proverbs; for nothing is more destructive, both to a lively devotion and to a regular conversation (v. 10): “My son, whom I love, and have a tender concern for, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.’ This is good advice for parents to give their children when they send them abroad into the world; it is the same that St. Peter gave to his new converts, (Acts 2:40), Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Observe,

  • 1. How industrious wicked people are to seduce others into the paths of the destroyer: they will entice. Sinners love company in sin; the angels that fell were tempters almost as soon as they were sinners. They do not threaten or argue, but entice with flattery and fair speech; with a bait they draw the unwary young man to the hook. But they mistake if they think that by bringing others to partake with them in their guilt, and to be bound, as it were, in the bond with them, they shall have the less to pay themselves; for they will have so much the more to answer for.
  • 2. How cautious young people should be that they be not seduced by them: “Consent thou not; and then, though they entice thee, they cannot force thee. Do not say as they say, nor do as they do or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them.’ To enforce this caution,
    • I. He represents the fallacious reasonings which sinners use in their enticements, and the arts of wheedling which they have for the beguiling of unstable souls. He specifies highwaymen, who do what they can to draw others into their gang, v. 11-14. See here what they would have the young man to do: “Come with us (v. 11); let us have thy company.’ At first they pretend to ask no more; but the courtship rises higher (v. 14): “Cast in thy lot among us; come in partner with us, join thy force to ours, and let us resolve to live and die together: thou shalt fare as we fare; and let us all have one purse, that what we get together we may spend merrily together,’ for that is it they aim at. Two unreasonable insatiable lusts they propose to themselves the gratification of, and therewith entice their pray into the snare:-
      • 1. Their cruelty. They thirst after blood, and hate those that are innocent and never gave them any provocation, because by their honesty and industry they shame and condemn them: “Let us therefore lay wait for their blood, and lurk privily for them; they are conscious to themselves of no crime and consequently apprehensive of no danger, but travel unarmed; therefore we shall make the more easy prey of them. And, O how sweet it will be to swallow them up alive!’ v. 12. These bloody men would do this as greedily as the hungry lion devours the lamb. If it be objected, “The remains of the murdered will betray the murderers;’ they answer, “No danger of that; we will swallow them whole as those that are buried.’ Who could imagine that human nature should degenerate so far that it should ever be a pleasure to one man to destroy another!
      • 2. Their covetousness. They hope to get a good booty by it (v. 13): “We shall find all precious substance by following this trade. What though we venture our necks by it? we shall fill our houses with spoil.’ See here,
        • (1.) The idea they have of worldly wealth. They call it precious substance; whereas it is neither substance nor precious; it is a shadow; it is vanity, especially that which is got by robbery, Ps. 62:10. It is as that which is not, which will give a man no solid satisfaction. It is cheap, it is common, yet, in their account, it is precious, and therefore they will hazard their lives, and perhaps their souls, in pursuit of it. It is the ruining mistake of thousands that they over-value the wealth of this world and look on it as precious substance.
        • (2.) The abundance of it which they promise themselves: We shall fill our houses with it. Those who trade with sin promise themselves mighty bargains, and that it will turn to a vast account (All this will I give thee, says the tempter); but they only dream that they eat; the housefuls dwindle into scarcely a handful, like the grass on the house-tops.

Nathan’s Public Journal | I

Monday, 12/7/2020

Here I sit, cameras in view, the time for me to be off duty is fast approaching. It’s nearly 06:00 (military time) coming off of a 12hr deep night shift during the weekend. My occupation is as a level 2 Private Security Officer and my work schedule is not ideal, but it’s currently the closest to my preference considering the options; this schedule fits my focus at this duration of my life. That focus is … well, we’ll get to that, but right now I’m still getting over this cringe.

I didn’t realize just how, hmmm … damaged I was, until re-reading some of my material of old. I can see where my mind would get stuck in the trauma of my past; a lot of my first posts I’d published nearly 3 years ago are written in a language of which feels, irreconcilable. I think, needless to say, I’m thankful for the grace—to be ever learning through undeveloped skills—of inexperience; the mistakes are endless, and that’s frustrating (I learn hands-on). However, there is a story in my mess waiting to be written, just not yet. Alright—time to head home.

So… now I hope, is as good-a-time as any to welcome you to my journal. If you’ve followed along with me (I know those of you who have) until now, you know this about me. I’ve been thinking about this journal idea for too long now (like yesterday—that’s a joke); writing happens to be very therapeutic for me, so uh… thank you, Therapist, I guess. This idea is much-much more than a therapy session you get to sit in on to hear all about my life’s drama. It will be an empirical psychology, only it’s written to be watched through the lens of intuition and imagination that writing/reading ignites!

Psychology—according to wordnik—at its core; the study of the human soul. And there is where I’m going to learn how my salvation is alive! I don’t know about you, but I want to understand my soul. And more than that, I want to understand the relationship between salvation of the human soul and God. I want to learn about what my belief structure means; I found someone in the field of psychology, a mentor. I’m exercising (like working out in the gym or fitness center) the weight of the gospel in my conscience. So I thought, “Well, what if my ‘T4P’ people want to keep a watchful eye on this progress and quite possibly, discover something of their own by this as well?” A big part of this idea goes out to Dallas Fluegel (check em out on YouTube) because I really like how he has structured—is structuring—himself by his videos, and want to apply that to my life.

Tuesday, 12/8/2020

What if you could understand your personality?

Function the way that you do?

Feel the way that you feel?

Does that not sound absolutely terrifying, it’s so awesome! Anyway, there are reasons I behave the way I do as soon as I wake-up into this world of causality that provides insight into who Nathan is and why he is, the way he is. I want to tap into that meaning of myself, so… here it goes. *Let’s make this a page turner.

Under Pressure | #7

In the movie “Passengers” a mechanic (Chris Pratt) and journalist (Jennifer Lawrence) are aboard a starship (and one of the best animated in my opinion) set out on routine course through space at 50% lightspeed to another planet-like Earth called Homestead II.

While in transit the starships’ shield takes on some serious pressure upon encountering what appeared to be a comet cloud.


The spacer you see above is an indicator of time intervals between segments of writing.

If you haven’t watched the movie between now (2020) and 2016, then I’m about to give you a unique perspective as you watch it for the first time. And if you have seen it, well… as you read what is typed jogs the memory and entices you to watch it again, you’ll also get a unique perspective as this post will come to mind.

5000 passengers are in their hibernation pods experiencing 120 years worth of animated dream-like state while traveling across space in an artificial intelligent and dare I say emotionally intelligent spacecraft. But upon a comet puncturing through the shield causing significant damage, of which the impossible happens, a “failsafe” hibernation pod’s ‘time chip’ fries…and wakes Jim (a mechanic) 90 years too early.


Imagine the concept. How is it any different than living aboard earth, the spacecraft you’re on right now? Onlyyyy… you share a dream with about 8 billion other passengers. And in this dream you wake up before 8 billion other people, realizing that… you’re alone. Everyone is as good as dead and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is there?

After a year Jim is alone on this starship the pressure is weighing and desperation is calling. An idea emerges. Jim begins to investigate a hope and possibility of making the rest of his life meaningful, but at the risk of taking the meaning out of someone else’s life. So Jim kills everyone. Okay you got me, that was a joke. Just making sure you’re paying attention.


If you like what you’re reading, consider following our blog and I’ll see you in the next “Under Pressure” post where I’ll continue this life riveting concept.