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The Evil Shepherds and the Good Shepherd – Ezekiel 34

Prophecy against Israel’s Shepherds

1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

3Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

4The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

5And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

6My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

 7Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

8As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

9Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

10Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

The Good Shepherd

11For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

12As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

15I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

16I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

 17And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

18Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

19And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

 20Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

21Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

22Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

23And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

The Covenant of Peace

25And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

28And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

29And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

30Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.

31And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

–Ezekiel 34–

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Old Testament, The Bible, Uncategorized

 

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Crowder – Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in Christian music, Faith, Uncategorized

 

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for King & Country – It’s Not Over Yet

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in Christian music, Faith, Uncategorized

 

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“The History of Sports Idolatry” – Jason Cooley

This brand of preaching might step on some toes, but hopefully it encourages our hearts toward Jesus and toward a serious mindset. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand….”

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” –Matthew 6:24

This passage was alluded to in the message, not sure if it was alluding to Paul being forced to fight animals at Ephesus or not. But regardless, Paul did not do what he did for glory or for other’s entertainment. Sports is not wrong, but like anything else, it can be an idol, and can be used to draw us away from God.

“Seeing what shall they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? why also are they baptized for the dead? why also do we stand in peril every hour? Every day do I die, by the glorying of you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: if after the manner of a man with wild beasts I fought in Ephesus, what the advantage to me if the dead do not rise? let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die! Be not led astray; evil communications corrupt good manners; awake up, as is right, and sin not; for certain have an ignorance of God; for shame to you I say [it].” –I Corinthians 15:29-34

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Faith, Uncategorized

 

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Kutless-We Fall Down

We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus…

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Christian music, Faith, Uncategorized

 

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Take your Spending Habits back in time 100 years

ingalls

Many people want to get better control of their budget and spending in the new year. For many people, incomes haven’t kept pace with the “need” to purchase items to fit their lifestyle.

One way that my husband and I have noticed inflation or decreased spending ability of our money in what we purchase is in the packaging – items such as food are in smaller containers with about the same price as before so you are getting less. Another way we can see inflation is that items are of poorer quality or of a nature requiring frequent replacement – this is called planned obsolescence. If you have a pair of shoes that fall apart as little as a couple months to a year after purchasing them – that is what we mean. It doesn’t matter that you got a “good deal” on the shoes if you have to keep buying many pairs because of their defective nature. Quality – from everything from food to clothes to tools and appliances – has seemed to have a general trend of going downhill.

Another factor we see is that big business has seemed to “gobble up” a lot of small businesses. We have let this happen – by letting our government have a very complex tax code in which big companies can be highly profitable but pay next to no taxes and also when we give preference to a multi-state or multi-national giant corporation over our locally-owned stores. If we had a flat tax system, it would actually be much more fair. We not only have welfare for the poor, we have welfare for the rich.

We think we are getting a good deal by going to the huge stores – but we aren’t. When small and medium size companies are being shafted with unfair tax rates of bigger competitors and with regulations they can’t absorb like many different taxes to file, health insurance mandates and minimum wage requirements not conducive to their type of business — they tend to fold, shrink or move elsewhere. And big business seems more likely to use automation – eliminating more jobs. They will “use” a high minimum wage to get rid of their competitors – and then they will automate! We went to a common burger chain near us that is in nearly every state in the country, and they now have computers at the table to enter your order and pay your bill if you wish! I’m sorry, but this is not a dining experience, and I do not plan to go back.

Another way the common man is being robbed is that you can’t make money on your money anymore — unless you ride the highly volatile stock market roller coaster. Interest rates in banks are deplorable! If you have a 5 year CD, you might make 1% a year. That is losing money! Retirees and those close to retirement used to be able to live off money in CDs – but now they cannot. So even our savings and retirement tends to be at the mercy of said big corporations who care about the bottom line the most, even if they screw the consumer and fail to provide enough family-wage jobs long term.

So now what? What can we do to resist the economic enslavement that we see where we are seemingly led to the shiny objects that we are told to buy, while we don’t seem to be getting ahead? I think the answer is to get back to basics — and embrace the consumption habits of our forefathers. Think Little House on the Prairie, which documented Laura Ingalls Wilders’ parental family of several children surviving summer and winter in frontier life in Wisconsin. Their story took place about 140 years ago, and they not only survived but thrived.

Here are some guidelines for spending that I have adopted, inspired by our forefathers. [Personal note: recently I bought an American made vacuum cleaner, and it met the categories of 1, 3, and 4. I am happy with the product so far.]

  1. Used – buy or obtain used goods. This is just economic good sense. You usually get more “life” out of an object per dollar spent this way. And in a lot of cases things made 5, 10, or more years ago are of better quality. Used items usually are disposed of when someone is trading up to something else. Our forebears would have children wear older siblings’ or cousins’ hand-me-downs. This encourages good traits in us – to reuse, repurpose, and recycle.
  2. Ingredients – buy the components for making something, not the finished product. Is it cheaper to buy a can of Folgers coffee – or espresso drinks for a month? Coffee beans or ground coffee is actually an ingredient, even though it is pretty simple to make coffee. We need to think more this way. Sometimes however buying ingredients will not be cheaper. If I buy cloth and materials to make an outfit for a child, it might not actually be cheaper. But it would be uniquely designed for the child, and I would gain in the experience of making something from scratch. I would have something unique and keep developing my own skills. Think of other areas where you could use ingredients rather than finished widgets — cooking, gardening – seeds and mulch are ingredients to making harvestable crops, or lumber and screws to make a bookcase or item for your home. Buying ingredients is a great way to both be creative and develop your basic skills.
  3. Less than 200 employeesgive preference to buying from a company of less than 200 employees. Isn’t it great knowing you are supporting your local community in a more direct way? Many times when you purchase this way you will look the owner of the company in the eye, and they will seem to have a personal concern for you. Sometimes a local company will have more flexibility with their smaller suppliers, and they will spend more time with you, answering your questions. The mechanic I go to is not a chain and so it is almost always the same people that we deal with every time. I believe they take great care of our cars and I feel like they are honest to deal with, I had quit going to a chain because I didn’t feel like they were honest or even  listened to me to fix my original problem. But even dealing with local vendors – I will still question and occasionally bargain with them.
  4. Quality – buy items that are verifiably of high quality. We have seen a big deterioration of quality in many things, but there are still companies that produce the quality we are looking for at a reasonable price. Sometimes price and quality are a mismatch. Some luxury cars are more likely to break down on you, and some expensive vacuums are more likely to need warranty repair. Sometimes the item we seek may be used or often it may be new. Maybe we are looking into a North Face jacket or want to purchase a new bicycle. Whatever the item — research, research, research! Never rush into a purchase, and only buy things that you believe will stand the test of time. This will often be the one time where I might deliberately purchase from a large company.

I hope these tips have helped! I would personally stay out of the stores that make you dizzy when you step into them. One of the stores I think of is one where the corporate symbol is something one shoots at, hmmm. The other company has a name which involves dropping 3 letters from ‘martial law’. Are they telling us something, like we are zombies or slaves? They might have cheap prices, but sometimes you don’t get what you expect, and sometimes you bring home more widgets than you expect. Do we really need all of that? If we can’t buy truly locally or buy components to make something, maybe we don’t need it.

Best wishes.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Family, Living on Less, Uncategorized

 

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for KING & COUNTRY – Fix My Eyes

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. –Matthew 6:22-24

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” –II Timothy 2:1-7

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in Christian music, Faith, The Bible, Uncategorized

 

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