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August 2019

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I have made simplicity my goal for this year. I use to work long hours and didn't have time for anything. I was miserable. I spent time with God in prayer and boy did he give me a nice part time job and I make more on this job than on the one I spent hours working. He really has blessed me. I have time for my personal life. I was more concerened about having time for things like church and spending more time with family and he just has really blessed me. Isn't that just like our God????

In reading Leviticus, It reveals how precise and exact our God is to things and though it might not make sense to us, it draws my attention to how awesome God is. He covers every minute detail and leaves nothing undone. This should speak to us about how thorough God is in seeing to it that we are taken care of. It also makes me Grateful and thankful that Jesus fulfilled all this through His dying on the cross and accounting for all sin and became the Supreme Sacrifice and escape goat that we not have the consequences of our sins fall on us but, our sin fell instead on Him who died and rose again just for us so we might be set free from all these year to year sacrifices for sins and being unclean.

It should make every person with deep respect to God for all that He has done for us and all he asks is simple obedience to Him. He already prepared, and provided all, A-L-L- for us and Just wants us to simply Believe and accept.

Why we make it so complex is because of the finite ways that we as yet are growing daily out of and as the Holy Spirit of God does what Philippians 1:6 says we are being conformed in to the image of His dear Son.

May every one as we approach Easter in another month, begin to meditate on these things that God gave for us to be having continual fellowship with Him as If they had never sinned. Now we must learn to let Him change us within through our prayers, reading of His Word and letting His Holy Spirit work in our lives.

Mike,
Simplicity goes to perspective. For example, do we compare ourselves to the rich or the poor? With hat and whom do we surround ourselves, thus setting the context by which we view our own lives? In order to set a proper perspective it's becoming my practice to begin any economic discussion or deliberation with this thought: "Every three seconds a person dies of AIDS or poverty." (http://one.org )

Its interesting to see how the Holy Spirit works in my life. Our Ash Wednesday sermon came from Matthew 28: 19-20 the sermon was titled "From Believer To Disciple". Our Rev. challenged us to choose a day of the wek and spend ONLY $1.00, so that we might see how some people all over the globe are living. Now one of our comments you're asking is based on the same principle. Well aw'ritey!! I totally believe that if we can learn to live on less then God will bless us with more..That is not the reason I am doing it but for the greater good of being diciplined.

i just want to thank mae for opening my heart to all this. i've had a really, really rough year last year and i don't know what i would have not done without her, even though she probably thought at some times i was a total pysco path and i probably am. but she is such an encouragement. i see how happy and at peace she is and i want that same feeling. someday i know i will have it too. slowly. as i tell her, baby steps. all in good time. i've never met someone quite like her in my life before. i've always had people judge me and its always hurt like, well, you know. but not mae. and she made me realize that not only she doesn't judge, but she taught me that neither does god, and that he is always there for me even when i get so flippin angry at him and try to close him out, which i did for a long time. but since i opened my heart and asked for forgiveness, i feel like for once in my life, my prayers are finally being answered. and i'm starting to feel some peace in my life. i'm seeing a whole new light. i've been "stalking" this page for a month or two now and decided i was ready to join it and to learn more.

i absolutely believe that living less can actually add more to our lives. i was working in a factory making close to 13 dollars an hour. i hated it there. one huge reason i took a volunteer layoff. then my unemployment started running out and i had to get another job. i work less hours, and make less money but for once, i'm happy. we still do the things we normally do but for some reason, i'm happier. i'm here in town, only 1 minute from home instead of a 30 minute drive. and the people are so much nicer and the job is a whole lot less stressful. i AM less stressed, (just ask mae!!!! lol), i'm able to work on my art more and read more, go to the movies in the afternoon and to the coffeehouse without obnoxious teenagers and its quieter and i'm happier. i don't like crowds. they make me nervous. so my hours work out great for me. and again, i'm happy. me and my husband are getting along much better now also. which is a huge plus.
i guess simple life habits is reading this everyday, and trying to take my vitamins everyday which is a huge chore for me since taking pills is hard for me. i have a hard time swallowing them so i just decide not do to take them. even though they make me feel better and i have more energy. and trying to keep my big mouth shut when i get angry. trying to control my temper. and trust me, i have a nasty bad temper.

psalms 41 verse 1 stood out to me. i guess i just love the chapter of psalms. it has always calmed my nerves and i feel like god really understands how i feel and that he is talking to me. (is that weird of me to think that?) that here he is telling me that he is there in my time of troubles. cuz when i'm in trouble and feel like i have no where to go and no one to go to, i feel weak and vunerable. but yet hes there and then i feel better.

Sweetie, you don't have to thank me, you know that, right? But I'm glad you did ha ha ha ha ha You know what, the Lord really helped me, He gave me the directions. He wanted you to be in His Kingdom and that's why He helped me! You know how much I love you, right? Well girl, He loves you even more ... I know, I know ... it seems impossible since I love you to the moon and back, but really ... God loves you even more, He loves you eternally!!! I'm so happy you asked God for forgiveness, that's what we need, right? I'm proud of you! I'm proud of who you are and what you do! Babysteps are just fine, I mean ... that's really what you are right? A baby? Just like I am LOL I was saved only 5,5 months ago, I'm a baby!!!! I love you so much, my silly silly girl!!!!!

And you know, it's not weird of you to think that God really understands you, because He DOES understand you! He lives in your heart, so He knows what's going on in there! I'm happy to hear that He talks to you ... now you can experience that you're never alone!

I'm so happy you posted a comment ... you really made my day and warmth my heart!
Again: I love you!!!!

I absolutely love the question of the day: Based on these Proverbs reflections above, do you think living with less can somehow actually add more to our lives? Is there value in living a simple life? ~ I used to be one of those girls (women? LOL) who thought that materialistic things could ease my heart. I wanted it BIG, I wanted it EXPENSIVE. So the world could see that I was a manager, I had money, I was a respected woman. UGH, how sad ... I wanted expensive brands, because I thought so less of the 'regular' brands. I've always been casual and not bling bling, but the Jeans HAD to be Diesel, my shirt HAD to be DKNY, my shoes HAD to be Jimmy Choo, my purse HAD to be Bjorn Borg. Things have changed a while ago when I started to realize I missed something in my heart. Expensive clothes, expensive furniture and my shopaholic behaviour didn't help me fill up that aching gap in my heart. So two years ago I gave my husband all my cards and told him not to give it back to me any time soon. Even if I was threathning him with the big D-word LOL It was a life-changing experience for me, I know, it sounds sad, but it did change my life a lot. The first months were pure torture for me ... honestly! It was so painful that I wanted to steel!!! I just needed to HAVE the new DKNY cologne! One morning I looked in the mirror and was ashamed of the person I saw in it ... 'I needed to HAVE things'. That was absolutely NOT how I was raised by my parents. A little while after that moment we were at the point that we almost got bankrupt and I had to take a job, ANY job. I cried my eyes out, because taking any job, meant: no matter what your resume sais ... you just get a job! So I applied for just any job ... I didn't care: cleaning offices ... if I had to, I would! This was actually the time when I got saved. At that time Jesus was knocking at my door, not only knocking, He kept asking me how long I thought I could be this stubborn. Me being a Christian changed a lot in me, it makes me the person I want to be! Happy ... satisfied ... patient ... friendly ... I don't care what other people think of me, I care what God thinks of me. Of course I still love DKNY, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's ... come on, I'm a woman!!!! But I've come to peace with it that I don't NEED it! The beauty of it all is that Rene will be promoted soon and I know we'll be able to afford all those things again. With him promoted and me having a great job ... but I don't need it! I buy what I like, I buy what I really need ... not what I think I need. We don't life in a new and expensive neighborhood, but we don't care, we're happy here. When we first moved here, I just saw this as an in-between-house, just till we'd find something better. But we love the house and I don't care what other people think anymore. This year we won't go to Bali for a vacation, this year we'll be taking care of a little girl from the United Kingdom. It's this European Children Foundation we entered. We'll take care of a child that lives in a poor family and they can't afford to go on vacation or go places for a day. This makes me happy, the thought of making a child happy makes me happy! A simple life furfills my life more than walking around like a psycho-shopper!!! Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!

Mark

At first glance there does not seem to be a connection between Jesus' discourse on "clean and unclean" and today's readings.

Notice however that today's readings center around Jesus' ministry in the region of the "Gentiles". To the Jewish person - the Gentile was referred to as a "dog". Israel was God's chosen people, and these people - well, they were not even regarded as people - but as "dogs". This is an extension of the clean and unclean discussion except now it is about people.

Jesus came for the whole world - yes, first it was for the Jew, but ultimately for the "whole" world.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the WORLD that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV-CAPS MINE)

Note Jesus defeats evil, heals sick, and feeds - all the same things He has been doing in Israel. Symbolically it represents His powers in the spiritual world - conquers evil, restores from sin, and feeds the "bread of life".

[NOTE: Jesus is back in the Decapolis region. The last time He was there was in dealing with "Legion". The people asked him to go - now they came to Him in droves. Legion's testimony and witness of God was very powerful.]
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Jesus in dealing with the deaf and speech impaired man is interesting. Jesus took him aside - touched his ears (indicating He would heal them), touched the man's tongue (indicating his speech would be restored), and looked up to heaven (indicating the source of the healing was God). A sigh - perhaps representing the invisible agency of God in the healing (Holy Spirit???).

Once healed - notice Jesus addresses the crowd "Jesus commanded THEM". The crowd was amazed at the action - the sign - but the man healed knew the source of the act. He was allowed to go witness because he knew the truth. The crowd was commanded (and the verb tense indicates in a continuing manner) not to witness - because they only knew the partial truth. God doesn't deal in partial truths.
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Feeding the four thousand

I think two things are worthy of note here:

Jesus had compassion for the people - the Gentiles. Preparing the way and as an example to the disciples for their future ministries.

Seven leftover baskets - If the twelve leftover baskets represented Jesus' ability to (spiritually) feed the nation (twelve tribes) of Israel to an overflowing capacity. What about the seven baskets here?

Seven is the number of completeness - so perhaps it means Jesus could spiritually feed the "complete" world. Jews and Gentiles. Or - There are seven continents - so again the concept of the whole world. Or - the tribes in the region were the seven tribes thrown out of Israel - (all the "ites") - so Jesus could feed the Gentiles (again the rest of the world) in an overflowing state.

Leviticus

Sabbath - when atonement is done once a year for the nation - they are to cease work - sabbath rest.

When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior - we are resting from trying to earn (work) our way into heaven. We are trusting in, relying on, depending on the Lord. We rest, and leave it up to Christ and His shed blood. On the day we make that commitment to God - our sins are atoned for - not just on an annual basis but forever.
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God has symbolically pointed out up to now in Leviticus - our needs as mankind - and how He makes provisions to fill them.

Now in Leviticus - God starts discussing Standards of Behavior. However, note the order. God is not a legalist. He does not just throw down commands and expect them to be obeyed by a fallen mankind. First - He provides the basis from which to operate - fulfilling the needs of man so that man has the power to meet the standards. The problem with Israel is that eventually they gave lip service to the sacrifices - and they became ritualistic and never met their needs - thus they, as a nation, became far from God.

The same is true today - Our needs are met and we are given the provision by Christ on being in fellowship and synch with God - then we are to obey the laws written in our hearts. Without Christ - we would have no chance on this matter.
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Blood

Do not offer blood to false gods, and do not drink the blood.

Life is from God - do not denigrate God by making sacrifices to satyrs (goat idols). There is no power in them, and God is mocked when sacrifices to false gods occur.

Do not drink the blood - yes, because blood represents "life" and "life" is God's to give. On another level - blood drunk from these animals would be partaking from the life of an animal that is part of a fallen creation.

For us - symbolically- we are not to feed on the "flesh" of our fallen life, but - symbolically - on the flesh and blood of Christ - to become one with Him. We are not to partake of the fallen - but the divine.
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Sex

Some people say this generation is no worse than the last - just more publicized. Maybe. But Historians will point out that the fall of most great civilizations is coincidental to a great decline in moral values (sex included).

God has no problem with sex - as long as it is in a marriage. The list of things not to do - are outside of marriage.

When violated, especially on a widespread basis - it will destroy a nation. Some would even say - God is pointing out here that it is tied to ecological disaster. (The land vomiting out its inhabitants). I leave each one of you to figure that one out.


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