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Isaiah 8:1-9:21

Isaiah is in the midst of his people, God’s people, and is given a name to give to his child, a son, yet conceived, much less born. His two son’s names as well as his name, Isaiah, are prophetic reminders of what God will do. Yet despite all the destruction and despite Ahaz’s paying off of Assyria to chase away or stop Rezin, king of Syria and Pekah, king of Samaria—the Northern Kingdom, Judah and Jerusalem will be overtaken like a flood by the empire, Assyria, which she has paid handsomely to be her ally. Instead of turning to God, which Isaiah had previously told Ahaz to do and which was confirmed by a prophetic Word back in chapter seven, Ahaz turned to the Arm of Man, Assyria.

Immanuel, God with us, is something we think about as happening when Jesus was born, but Immanuel was back there when evil king Ahaz was on the throne with Rezin and Pekah breathing down his neck. Immanuel was back there when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt hidden in the Pillar of Fire by night and the Pillar of Cloud by day.

Just like Immanuel was with Israel and Judah even when Assyria was flooding their land, he is with us today through natural disasters and manmade wars. . Are we bold enough to see Him in that Cloud and in the Fire? Are we perceptive to see him in the names of the children God has given to the prophet, as well as in the name of that prophet? We cry out, “Where is God?” when we experience pain, destruction and confusion, yet Immanuel is all around us. Open your spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear Him.

II Corinthians 12:1-10

It is usually preached that Paul’s thorn-in-the-flesh was some kind of illness and disability whether from actual sickness or from the myriad of beatings and stonings that happened to him because of his boldness in spreading the gospel but I’m not a firm believer in that line of thinking. Paul had been beat up a lot, so he probably looked like a train wreck in search of an accident. Even if Paul was funny looking and repulsed people at that time, we humans have this funny thing about us when we are around someone who is exuding love and kindness, we don’t see that “funny looking stuff.”

A pretty face and a “cut” body may first draw our eyes to look upon such a gorgeous vision, but if the person has an “ugly” personality then pretty gets ugly very quick. No, I think, this messenger of Satan was a person, or a person that had a pretty ugly spirit. Maybe it was those folks that followed behind after him trying to undo the freeing work of the Gospel. Again, I repeat, this is my opinion.

It is when I have tried everything to reason with an unreasonable person making sure and checking myself that there was not anything I did to cause animosity that I put that person, and myself, in God’s hands.

Psalm 55:1-23

Not only can we understand when our enemies come against us, well after all they are enemies, but it is our friends, or loved ones that caused the most damage and pain when they come against us. That is the time we need to call on God for our protection. An enemy does because he is our enemy; but when those who are suppose to “have our backs” turn on us that is the unkindest “cut” of all. And just like there are those who turn on us, I’m surer than sure that we have turned on those who we are suppose to be in a loving relationship with.

Proverbs 23:4-5

If we were to make a study of people who acquired wealth by working for it, we will find that the wealth, the wealth that lasts, did not come by way of get-quick-rich schemes. Most wealth earned legitimately was earned by ordinary people doing ordinary things extraordinary well. Besides there are other wisdom Proverbs that speak of wealth earned wrongly,

Proverbs 13:11 NET. Wealth gained quickly will dwindle away, but the one who gathers it little by little will become rich.

Proverbs 10:2 NET. Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from mortal danger.

Grace and peace,

Dear Mike,

I echo on your sharings about the teenagers. I used to work for the severely mentally handicapped. I now work for the physically handicapped. I do find so much joy and meaning in my job.

BTW, the money the cat is holding in your picture is Hong Kong money. I'm from Hong Kong as well.

In Christ

Dear Mike,

Thanks for sharing your personal stories with us. Personal stories make everything come more alive. BTW, I love you blog. Thank you for all your hard work!

In Him,

Thank you for addressing the subject of why some suffer and what
they should do when life isn't all they thought it should be.
As a mother to an adult autistic man it has been a challenge
to see how his suffering. With Gods help perhaps I will find
some answers and until then I need to turn it over to God.
That is something I have had trouble doing as his Mother I want
to make it better for him.
Love in Christ,

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