The Power of Family Values–Genesis 24 Final

It is great, when a plan works.  As God prepared  the heart of Abraham and Isaac in Canaan–he was doing the same in Haran for Abraham’s family.  When given the story, not only was the family willing to step out in faith–but, Rebekah was also willing to trust God and leave the safety of home to go meet this Isaac.  What’s more, after traveling back through the desert, they arrive back at Abraham’s home only to find Isaac in prayer.  It was clear that God was a centerpiece in the lives of the family that Abraham’s Dad, Terah, raised.  That framework, was the very driving force that pushed his son to seek his daughter-in-law from a family with the same heritage and faith.
 
One can never underestimate the power of one’s lineage and family values.  It is the power of those values and traditions, that saved humanity during the time of Noah. Those values made Abraham a nomad for 25+ years, while he waited on God to provide an heir.  It is the same values that keep his chosen today praying for like-minded families to raise spouses for their kids. 
 
We pray for the spouses for our kids daily.  from their youth, we have instilled the critical nature of marrying Godly spouses that will be aligned in faith–to journey together.  It is no small thing–as seen in the life of Abraham, to properly raise and prepare your kids to marry Godly spouses.  That is how faith travels through the lineage from Seth to Noah; from Shem to Abraham and finally from Abraham to Jesus. Since prayer is the greater work, families must pray for unity and faith to continue as a family trait and tradition.  The world will hate it, and it becomes more difficult as each generation passes–but, with God, ALL things are possible.
 
God Bless You
When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”

55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[e] may go.”

56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

“I will go,” she said.

59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

“Our sister, may you increase
    to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
    the cities of their enemies.”

61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate,[f] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”

“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.

66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

In the World–BUT, Not of the World–Genesis 24 Part 1

It is very important to preserve our culture.  Abraham had lived his adult life as he was raised–trusting God and following God closely. He was raised in a home and culture where God was still honored and followed.  While that culture was neither popular or widely practiced, God knew that diluting it by mixing it liberally in the world culture would not end well.  God’s desire was to build a kingdom of priests–a nation that served God and brought his message of restoration to the world. 
 
God also knew that by mixing cultures, the world would dramatically impact Abraham’s family–far more than Abraham’s family would ever affect world.  That is why Abraham sought for and obtained the promise from his servant to find his son, Isaac a wife from the people in his land and of his family.  Abraham had already witnessed time and again the affect of the world–his nephew now was building his lineage through children he had with his own daughters–simply because God wiped out the evil that was Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot liberally mixed his family. 
 
The world’s way always diverges from God’s way.  That is why we are called to be “in the world”–but not “of the world”. That is why we–as families, like Abraham, have to raise those families in the culture–but define ourselves from the culture.  What we do to entertain ourselves, how we treat others and how we prioritize God in our daily lives; will separate us from the world.  In that position, we cannot be afraid of rejection from the world, we should be glad for such rejection–Abraham was! Jesus promised–“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
 
God Bless You

Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”

“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring[a] I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim[b] and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.

That Just Isn’t Fair–Genesis 21 Part 1

We see the world linearly, while God see’s the world from an all knowing, omnipresent way. Because our view is so limited, many things that God does and allows seem both unfair and unreasonable.  What Abraham understood was that God knew the plan–and it was not his job to question it; it was his job to trust God and follow his lead.  Make no mistake, Abraham loved his son Ishmael, but, God always intended to build Abraham’s lineage through Isaac. Trusting that, Abraham honored God’s command and sent Hagar and Ishmael on their way.  I am sure it was not easy, but, as Abraham had trusted God for 25 years–he had to again trust God to bring his plan to fruition.
 
Nothing has changed.  There is so much in the world that seems unfair.  Many of the things result from men’s choices to do evil and reject God.  Some things that happen, however, do not seem–from our linear perspective to make sense or even align with God’s nature in any way.  We, therefore, begin to blame God for life’s trials–rather than seek Him to make sense of them and follow him through the difficult times.  Many things will never have a why attached, but, most will find him walking with us and propping us up–when it seems we cannot continue to go forward.
 
God is both ready and able to meet us where we are and carry us through any and all circumstances–even those that do not seem fair. We, like Abraham, must be willing to trust him and follow him even in the times we do not understand his plan or life’s circumstance.  This is war–and, as his warriors, we must be prepared to take the steps to survive and follow his lead.
 
God Bless You

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[b] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

Visitors Are Welcome Here!–Genesis 18 Part 1

You never know who might drop in on you…On this day, Abraham had 3 visitors–they just happened to be God!  When they appeared, Abraham knew right away they were not just anybody–So he rushed out to meet them, welcomed them and treated them as honored guests in his home.  What Abraham was about to experience would be a day that he would never forget–largely, because he welcomed them honored them and trusted them.  Sadly, then as now, that rarely happened.   As Abraham and his family feverously prepared to honor their guests, God was preparing to honor Him.
 
In our lives, we have to be open to the idea that God places people in our lives like the visitors who came to Abraham. They appear and we treat them with honor and respect–only to find later they were God’s emissaries to meet us, train and bless us.  We have to be kind and respectful–trusting God to use us in the lives of others, but also knowing we may be visited by his emissaries.  We live in a society that teaches us that we are the most important person in the room.  The selfie craze is only a manifestation of our hearts attitude that constantly cries out–“Look at me!!!” As his chosen, we have to be the people that cry out, “Welcome, how can I make your day?” It is the selflessness that sets us apart and honors God.  In addition, that selflessness allows God to come in and do great things in our lives–far greater than what we could ever do for ourselves!  Treat folks with love and respect–you never know, you may be entertaining Angels!
 
God Bless You 
The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

Legacy and Life–Genesis 11 Final

Every person knows the story of Abraham. How he left his home country, went to Canaan and established the beginning’s of Israel. Very few people, however, know that his father Terah was also headed to Canaan. The Bible fails to speak to the reason for Terah leaving Ur of the Chaldeans and going toward Canaan.
 
Perhaps, God had already impacted Terah. God knew that his chosen people would not survive in the land that later became Babylon. For whatever reason, Terah stopped in the land called Harren. There they live well and acquired great wealth. Still, it is as though Terah did not complete his task. 

Still, it is obvious, he raised a son that love the Lord. That Son, Abraham, was predisposed to move to Canaan, despite never traveling there before.

We do not know whether Terah simply failed to complete his task, or, if his job is simply to get Abraham close to Canaan so that he could begin the journey God had for him. Whichever task was the case, Terah certainly was it integral part of God’s plan for Abraham.

In our lives, we do not always know if we’ve completed all that God has put in place for us to do. But, if we remain faithful, we will have an integral part of whatever plan he has for us and our family. Well, there are times, when we feel as though we have failed to complete his plan, only God knows how he chooses to use us. 

We, therefore, need to focus on being faithful and raising our family to be faithful. If we do that, he will complete what he started in our lives and the lives of those we raise. Thank you God for causing Terah to leave the land of his father. Thank you also for giving Terah the character to raise a son of the quality of Abraham. 

Please help me Lord to be the kind of father raises children who will later change the world. 

God Bless You

This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.

Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’ s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah.

Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.

The Conclusion–Ecclesiastes 12 Part 2

So to close the book, the wisest man that ever lived made it simple–do the right things for the right reasons.  Do not spend your energies trying to beat the system and kicking at the Goads.  It simply does no good to fight the right way to live; and if you do the right things, you will enjoy peace and uphold your civic duty.  It is a very basic concept, but one that has stood the test of time.
 
If we would be willing to simply honor God with our lives, trust him to lead us on this journey; then we–like Solomon would see that God is faithful beyond measure, and will meet each and every need we can face and provide us a full and meaningful life on this journey and eternal life from now on!!!
 
God Bless You!
Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people.
He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.[b]

12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

Unforseen Consequence–Ecclesiastes 10 Part 1

Solomon continues his discussion on the distinction of the wise and the foolish.  One of the big distinctions that Solomon observed was the inability to foresee danger in the choices we make. Solomon looks at various scenarios like digging a pit or breaking through a wall. But the idea is if you are going to trap, steal, attack or pilfer–you must be ready for the consequence of your actions.  unintended-consequences

The wise color within the lines.  They do not look for ways to sneak around the rules or gain something for nothing.  Instead, they think through their choices and their actions.  They work hard and smart.  They use the right tools–ready and in good condition.  They speak with reserve and don’t simply clamor to hear the sound of their own voice. 

In our culture–we love to be the selfie royalty.  We love to see our picture, hear our voice and find the loopholes to evade work and capture.  God and Solomon remind us that that lifestyle leads to serious consequence.  Be content to sit in the background.  Affect lives from the wings.  When you are center stage–be people of humility and integrity–then you will live long and fulfilled lives; and you will have a lasting impact and legacy.

God Bless You


Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
    whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;
    whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.

10 If the ax is dull
    and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed,
    but skill will bring success.

11 If a snake bites before it is charmed,
    the charmer receives no fee.

12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious,
    but fools are consumed by their own lips.
13 At the beginning their words are folly;
    at the end they are wicked madness—
14     and fools multiply words.

No one knows what is coming—
    who can tell someone else what will happen after them?