Sunday, February 18, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King David (Part 2)

David is now reigning as king over the tribe of Judah, but the rest of Israel is being ruled by Ishbosheth, Saul's living son. Ishbosheth isn't doing well. His army captain has turned to helping David, and has been killed by Joab after getting 20 elders of Israel to back David as the king.
II Samuel 4:1-2, 5-7- And when Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. And Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin: And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.
Ishbosheth's other 2 captains now had turned against him and they killed him while he was lying in bed. They took his head with them and ran to show David what they had done.
Why is it that these people think that David is going to be pleased with them? He's already shown that he thinks it is wrong to murder royalty even if they are trying to kill you! But, here once again he has murderers standing before him boasting about their kill.
II Samuel 4:8-11- And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed. And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, [As] the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
David knew that God wanted him to be king over all of Israel. But, David was willing to be patient and wait for God to bring it to pass. He wasn't looking for rebels to start a war to get him that position.
David also knew that God said that murderers should die.
II Samuel 4:12- And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.
Now, all of Israel was ready to accept David as their king.
I Chronicles 11:1-3- Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel. Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.
So David became the ruler of all Israel at 37 years of age.
II Samuel 5:4-5- David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.
David was now a king with a kingdom! But, every king needs a place to rule from, and David had chosen such a place. The only problem was that heathen were living there.
I Chronicles 11:4-5, 7-9- And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David. And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David. And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city. So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.
II Samuel 5:10-12- And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
God gave David everything that He promised because David was willing to wait for God to give it. Now, he was a king with a castle and a kingdom. And kings of other lands were recognizing him, and befriending him. But, David's enemies were acknowledging him as a threat.
II Samuel 5:17-18- But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
Even though David had become a famous man, he never forgot that it was God who had gotten him there. He knew he needed God no matter how great or small he was. And he was willing to trust and obey God no matter what God said.
II Samuel 5:19-21- And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.
David defeated the Philistines with God's help and he took their idols that they had left and burnt them so that no one in Israel would be tempted to worship the Philistines false gods.
But, the Philistines were very stubborn. They didn't like David and they didn't want him to be ruling Israel. IN fact, they didn't even want him alive!
II Samuel 5:22-25- And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.
The next time the Philistines showed up, God had changed the battle plan. It was a good thing that David was use to asking God what He wanted, or he wouldn't have known how to fight this battle. God didn't want a head on attack. This time, David was to use the element of surprise!
David obeyed God's battle plan and God made sure that David won the battle.
Whenever we ask God what He wants in our lives and obey what He says no matter how silly it sounds or how hard it seems, God will help us to accomplish what He asked of us. We can always be victorious if we will just seek God's will for our lives and obey it!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King David (Part 1)

Saul and 4 of his sons died in the battle with the Philistines. David had been sent home from this battle only to find that Amalekites had invaded his home, Ziklag. David went after the Amalekites and was able to recover all of his things. He went back home to Ziklag, but he didn't know how everything had gone with the battle.
II Samuel 1:1-2- Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; It came even to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes rent, and earth upon his head: and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance.
This man came to give David an update on the battle.
II Samuel 1:4- And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
David wanted to know how this man knew that Saul and Jonathan were dead. And this man did something very unwise.
This man told a lie. He said that Saul had been wounded in battle and had asked him to kill him, but remember, Saul and his armorbearer killed themselves. This man must have found Saul's body before the Philistines got to it because he had Saul's crown and bracelet, which was what he showed David to prove that he was telling the truth.
How do you think David took this report?
II Samuel 1:11-12- Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.
David was so upset. He never wanted Saul dead, and he certainly didn't want his best friend to die that way! Remember, anytime someone wanted to kill Saul David wouldn't let them. He said that you shouldn't kill the Lord's anointed.
II Samuel 1:13-15- And David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'S anointed? And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.
David knew that the Lord required murderers to be put to death. And this man said he was a murderer. His lie cost him his life. But, why would he lie? He lied because he thought David would reward him.
II Samuel 4:10- When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
David didn't give him the reward he expected. And David was very upset that Saul and Jonathan had died in battle!
II Samuel 1:17- And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son:
Now what was David to do? He would ask God what to do, because he learned long ago not to do anything unless God wanted him to.
II Samuel 2:1- And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.
David had been on the run from Saul for years! He had amassed an army, and gained wealth and  a family. How old do you think David was?
II Samuel 5:4- David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
II Samuel 2:4a- And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
The men of Judah readily accepted David as their king. At 30 years old they annointed him the king over Judah. But, Israel was still trying to follow Saul.
II Samuel 2:8-10- But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David.
It seemed that David would be struggling with Saul's family for a while longer. If Jonathan had just gone with David like he knew he should have, David would be reigning with Jonathan at his side and the fighting would have ended. But Jonathan didn't want to obey God, and so he died with his father on the battle field and left his country to battle for the throne. Oh, how much it costs us when we do things our way instead of God's way!
II Samuel 2:11- And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
For seven and one half years the people of Israel argued and battled about who would be the king- Saul's son or David. Abner was the captain of Ishbosheth's army (Saul's son) and Joab was the captain of David's army.
II Samuel 2:17-  And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.
Many people died in this battle, including Joab's brother. And Joab blamed Abner for his death.
II Samuel 2:25-26- And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together after Abner, and became one troop, and stood on the top of an hill. Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?
Both Abner and Joab knew that if they kept fighting there wouldn't be anyone left to need a king. Around 380 soldiers had died in that one fight.They decided to call the battle off before it got too bloody. But the war raged on.
II Samuel 3:1- Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
God wanted David to rule over all Israel. He had anointed David back when he was a young teenager by the hand of Samuel. God knew what He wanted and He was going to work things out His way.
God allowed things to happen in Ishbosheth's army that turned his captain, Abner against him. Abner contacted David and told him he was willing to help David become the king.
II Samuel 3:12-  And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee.
David knew that this could be a trap, so he made a request.
II Samuel 3:13- And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face.
David loved his two new wives, but he still loved Michal. Michal was the wife who saved his life and stood by him against her own father, the king Saul.
II Samuel 3:15-16- And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.
Abner took Michal from the second husband that Saul made her marry and brought her back to David. Her new husband, Phaltiel, didn't want to lose her, but he couldn't stop what was happening.
Once David had Michal, Abner went about talking to all the leaders of the town and cities in Israel. He reminded them of how wonderful a captain David was in Saul's army when he was first king. He told them that David had been chosen by God to take over after Saul's death. He got 20 of the elders of Israel to come to a feast that David prepared.
II Samuel 3:20-21- So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace.
David had sent Abner away in peace. Joab wasn't around for this feast. And he wasn't too happy to hear that his brother's killer had been allowed to live.
Joab didn't care that Abner was going to help David gain the kingdom. All Joab could see was his desire for revenge.
II Samuel 3:26-27, 30- And when Joab was come out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, which brought him again from the well of Sirah: but David knew it not. And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.  So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle.
Oh, Joab! This move for revenge could have destroyed any chance of David getting the kingdom without a longer and more bloody war! David would have to act very wisely.

II Samuel 3:31-32, 35-37- And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept.  And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down. And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: as whatsoever the king did pleased all the people. For all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not of the king to slay Abner the son of Ner.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Healthy Minute- Psychobiotics: Microbes, Mood and the Gut-Brain Connection

This is much longer than a minute, but it is well worth the time! Our bodies are not as simple as "this is my brain" and "this is my stomach". When God made us, he created a body that has so many parts that interact and depend on each other, and there are also other participants that effect how we act, who we are, and how we feel. Don't dismiss one part of your body because you think the problem lies in another; fix the whole body and all it's symbiotic partners and you will feel healthier and happier.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Believer's Heritage- Suicide

Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2016 CDC WISQARS)
Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2016 CDC WISQARS)

More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED’

Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,470 attempts by young people grades 9-12.  If these percentages are additionally applied to grades 7 & 8, the numbers would be higher.

Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs

You may find some reasons to just end your life, but, I want you to know that there is HOPE!  Let us explore some reasons NOT to commit suicide:

1 Kings 19:4, “But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”

Can a person get so low in their thinking that they would not only despair of life, but would actually desire death?  In I Kings 18, this great Prophet of God defeated the prophets of Baal in a tremendous act of faith and prayer.  Lester Roloff said that the prophets of Baal were a “Non-Prophet Organization”!  After Elijah saw these prophets defeated, Jezebel heard of it from Ahab, she sent a very straight message.  1 Kings 19:2, “Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.”

Basically, Jezebel is telling Elijah she is going to kill him, or she’ll die!  Dear reader, please consider how that great faith, great prayer, and a great worker of God can become disturbed and disillusioned in their mind.  Notice how he began to think in himself, 1 Kings 19:3,4,  “And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”

The despondence began when he saw what Jezebel said.  He handled it by running away.  He ran away from everyone, including his servant.  When depression sets in, a person wants to seclude themselves.  Not want to be around anyone.  This only makes things worse, leading to suicide ideation.

“That would never happen to me”, some may say.  Others would say, “Suicide is for the weak.”  Elijah was a weak man?  Elijah was not close to God?  Here is a man so close to God that he prays fire down from heaven, turning people to God! 1 Kings 18:39, “And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.”  How close was Elijah to God?  How close was God to Elijah?  1 Kings 18:46, “And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah;…”

Don’t ever think that you are immune to thoughts, desire and even completion of suicide.  There is a spiritual battle that is ever before us.  We live in constant conflict with the powers of darkness.  The eternal Kingdom of Darkness versus the eternal Kingdom of Light.  This is why we need to don the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:11) One piece of this armour is the helmet of salvation.  This helmet is to protect the mind.  Suicide ideation begins in the mind.  Thoughts that are accusing, alarming, and aching.  In our scripture example of Elijah, he had thoughts of low self-worth, coupled with feeling overwhelmed.  A great victory wrought through him, yet now feeling like the victim at the words of a wicked woman.

Please consider what suicide is not.  Suicide is not a noble act of valor.  In the completion of suicide, the person’s survivors do not rally and exalt this act as some kind of nobility.  Quite the contrary, it leaves a feeling of numbness, and shame, and sorrow.

Suicide is not an act of courage.  Family and friends who are left in the bitter aftermath of completed suicide are never encouraged that their father, or mother, sibling or friend was acting in a courageous manner.  The emotional feelings are surmounted with much confusion and conflict in their own minds.  Thoughts they will have of “how could I have stopped this?”  and “what could I have done different to help?”  The survivors will be discouraged within their own selves, not looking at the deceased as a Hero.

Suicide can be looked at as an act of disbelief.  Not believing that God is all wise, all powerful, and all caring.  This is not an insult, or degradation, for as we have studied in the life of Elijah, a man who has the Lord’s touch, power, and unction, is susceptible to thoughts of suicide.

I know personally people who have completed suicide.  One in particular did so when he was about 21 years of age.  He had gotten involved with a female at work to some extent, and could not overcome feelings of degradation.  He had been a preacher who preached with power and unction.  He had been a faithful son to his parents, as well as his church.  He was always active in the community with witnessing and soul winning.  Whatever degree his communication and relationship with this female achieved, he knew it was sinful and wrong, but could not ever believe that God would forgive him and use him in the ministry again.  His thoughts of suicide did not stop at just thoughts.  His friend found him after finding the note he left behind.  But, dear reader, he left much more behind.  He left a broken hearted family behind.  To the date of the writing of this Thesis, when I have preached in churches where his Mother and Father were in the congregation, I witness their tears and sorrowful faces.  In my spirit, I weep with them, for I share their painful memories of how their son used to preach with such compassion and power.

Suicide does not believe that God cares.  Suicide does not believe that God is able to forgive.  Suicide does not believe that others care or will forgive, or even forgiving self.
1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  Know, dear reader, that God does care.  Not only can He do something about your needs or problems, He cares.  Knowing that someone cares for you goes a long way.  By faith, we trust Christ Jesus as our personal Saviour.  By faith, we trust God to care and forgive us.

If you have never trusted Christ as your personal Saviour, my plea is that you will believe on His death, burial and resurrection.  If you were the only person on Earth, He would have went through the cruel scourging, mockings, and crucifixion for you.
2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.   Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cinnamon Rolls recipe

4 cups flour
1 pkg yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
13/ cup butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs

Mix  flour and yeast together. 
Heat up the mil, sugar, butter, and salt until the butter is melted. The warm should be just hot enough to make you pull your hand back when touching it, but not hot enough to burn you.
Add to the flour mixture with the eggs (if the milk is too hot it will cook the eggs, if it's not hot enough the yeast won't rise).
Mix well and let rise for one hour.

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 TBS cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

Mix the butter, cinnamon, and sugar together.
Roll your dough out to around 1/4 inch thickness.
Spread your cinnamon butter onto the dough and roll it up like a jelly roll.
Cut into 1" sections.
Place sections on a greased pan and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 400* for 15 minutes.

7 TBS softened butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla.
Spread over the cinnamon rolls while they are still hot.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

I Remember (poem)

I remember the corned beef of my childhood,
And the bread that we cut with a knife,
When the children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work, not the wife.

The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread so was crusty and hot,
The children were seldom unhappy,
And the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from a freezer or shop.

The kids were a lot more contented.
They didn't need money for kicks,
Just a game with their friends in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.

I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore.
Anorexia and diets weren't heard of,
And, we hadn't much choice what we wore.

Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or, our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And, I think life was better enjoyed.

-Author Unknown