Restoring our vision to align with the vision of the Father.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).”
In most instances when I hear this verse being quoted, those quoting most often only quote the beginning of the verse. What Solomon and those quoting this verse are conveying is the need to have vision in walking through this life. We should express forethought in our lives as to how we are directing the choices we make in the present in order to positively affect the future. Our lives should be a process of continual growth and learning. If we stop growing, if we stop learning, we stagnate in the blindness of comfort. The blindness of comfort being the complacency of allowing the present condition to govern our very being. Too often we settle and accept our circumstances out of comfort. Our tendency toward complacency lulls us to reject actively fulfilling the call of God to those who place their faith in Him.
I do believe we need to have diligent vision directing our lives. We should look at life through spiritual lenses knowing that this life is temporary; it is a shell of a greater reality awaiting us in the promises of God. Our vision should be directing us to make choices that help us come into alignment with this greater reality. Rather than having vision to cope with and make adjustment to meet the challenges we see on the horizon, we often just blankly stare ahead and await the coming of those challenges. The vision that Solomon speaks of is the vision to know what is on the horizon and adjust our lives to overcome the difficulties that we face.
Not only should our vision be looking ahead, our vision should also peer into the past. Our vision should expose us to the foundation of our beliefs. This vision cannot be limited to the traditions of our own doctrinal understanding, but our focus should be seeking the standard of Biblical truth. We should seek to pierce the veil of the cultural traditions that cloud the historical and spiritual heritage of our faith.
To then complete the thought that Solomon put forth in Proverbs 29, those who have vision should find rest on the foundation set forth by the Most High God. It is essential that there is also an anchor to ground our vision. Without this anchor, vision becomes relative to the individual. In this vision there can be no common ground as we all are like sheep who “have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:6 KJV).” Sheep without a shepherd are lost because there is no one to guide their vision. They will be distracted by every blade of grass further down the field that flickers in the light of curiosity. Solomon warns that vision must have a standard from which to find structure.
Our faith as Believers in Messiah should be driven by vision but at the same time, our faith should be anchored to our heritage. The heritage of the church is not the Roman political construct developed early on as a means to quell the people to submission to the state. Our heritage is in the heritage of God. The heritage of the people of God whom He brought out of slavery in order to establish an everlasting covenant. Our heritage is Hebraic. Our heritage is in the Hebraic account of God’s people as written in the Holy Scriptures. Our Heritage is God’s Word starting at “In the beginning,” Our truth must be derived from this council. Our vision must originate and be guided by this understanding and recognition.
If we simply take a quick survey of the landscape of the church in our day, we see division and confusion. There are countless divisions within the faith. Even within specific individual denominations there are divisions of doctrine and tradition. There is confusion in how we aree to appropriately interpret the Word of God. Do we take the Word literally, seriously, as a suggestion, as a moral allegory, or maybe even just as a story. In this state of confusion, our vision has no foundation. Without a foundation, the whims of the sin nature are able to run rampant on the desires of men. Sin then sets us free in our captivity to be bound to directionless, fruitless vision.
Paul writes of the difference between the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. He gives a clear distinction between the two as a means of discernment. Paul addresses this topic in order to give substance to our vision. Paul writes:
“But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law (Galatians 5:15-23 NASB).”
We can easily see that many in the church have not chosen to be led by the Spirit. This has caused the church to suffer many divisions and to stand upon a weak and ever shifting foundation, as we can see today manifested in the unprecedented tolerance of sin. Our vision truly is bound to the slavery of our sin nature.
Paul writes of two types of fruit. He first describes the fruit of the flesh. Paul describes this fruit as producing, what I think we can all agree, as being negative, harmful, angry results of division. This fruit divides, causes jealousy and impurity to rise, which undoubtedly leads to a lascivious lifestyle. The fruit of the flesh will always seek to please itself by causing its rot to permeate the whole being. Feelings of negativity fester and thrive within those driven by the spirit of the flesh.
Paul exhorts those who have faith to be aware of the fruit that they are producing. We are to consider the fruit that comes out of the choices that we make. If we are producing anger, discord and jealousy, we are acting in ways that are according to our sinful nature. If left unchecked, sin will permeate the whole person. Sin will consume the person like a cancer causing the infected individual to become increasingly preoccupied by that which the sin produces. We close in to ourselves and our vision is limited only to the things that will feed the ravenous sin dominating our lives.
As Believers, we are to be aware of our fruit. Our behaviors should be aligned with producing the Fruit of the Spirit. The choices we make, the words we use and the behavior we exhibit to others should contribute to the production of God’s Spiritual fruit. This fruit builds relationships. This fruit strengthens the faith of both the individual and those whom they come into contact with, and ultimately, this fruit draws us closer to God. Our character comes into agreement with the character of God that dwells within our hearts. The Spirit of God will be given opportunity to manifest outwardly as a witness.
I ask, where do we find the fruit that is produced on a tree?
The fruit is on the outside, hanging from the branches full and vibrance. This fruit finds nourishment from the root. In turn, heathy fruit gives nourishment to those in need. Healthy fruit contributes to the lives of those within the environment. Healthy trees drink from the source of water in its environment. The water must be living and alive. The root system of the tree must be firmly planted on the foundation of soil. The tree must work to draw the water up, through the foundation, this effort produces the abundance we see as fruit.
We, as those of faith in God Most High, should be like this tree. We need to be firmly planted in the foundation of our faith. We need to rely on the Word of God to direct our thought and actions. When we fail, we need to go to God to seek forgiveness, for this will produce a healthy root system by which we are able to drink from the Living Water. We, as Believers, must put in the effort to draw the Water up from the foundation and distribute it throughout the rest of our body. We need to allow the Water to refresh us and redeem us unto our Heavenly Father. This Water brings life and restores us to a right relationship with The One who created all that is seen and unseen. Without this redeemed relationship, we are bound to the sin nature and destined to produce rotten fruit.
Be Diligent! Be determined, my brothers and sisters, to draw from the Living Water. Allow the Source of Truth to enable you to produce good fruit. Inspect the fruit that you produce and compare it to what Paul describes as the Fruit of the Spirit. If this fruit is healthy, allow it to nourish others. If you encounter bad fruit, seek to discover the source of the contamination in your life. Prune the negative influence so that the sin will not taint the rest of the crop. Use your good fruit to bless others. Be an encouragement and seek to build the faith in those with whom you come into contact. Allow your life to be a source of nourishment, a source of good fruit.
In summary, the lesson is to have vision grounded in the Word. To produce fruit that is of the Spirit which will bring harmony and peace. Our vision should be in alignment with God’s vision. His vision is for His children to be a community of servants seeking to plant His grace within the fields of the hearts of mankind.
The Words of Jesus: “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit (Matt. 12:33 NASB).”
My friends, seek to be known as a good tree.
This Blog Post is Courtesy of Philia Contributor Corby Shuey Becoming Bereans Ministries https://www.becomingbereans.com
Joshua 24:15 "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
All throughout scripture, we see the people of God turning aside to false gods and idols as soon as things weren't going perfectly for them. It's so easy to look at these people from the pages of scripture and see the deep fault in them and want to yell at the pages, "What were you thinking!"
We see time after time, a gracious God delivering His people and yet they turn aside to fables and idols. While it is so easy to see the fault in their hearts, it seems more of a challenge to acknowledge the idolatry and lack of faith and gratitude within our own hearts. It's a challenge to ask ourselves, what notion, fear, addiction, emotion, hobby, attitude, or desire of the flesh have I set up as an idol in the seat of my own heart? Who am I serving when I ____________?
In these days, where the big clock is ticking closer and closer to midnight, it is so imperative that we are willing to examine the condition of our own minds and hearts in all that we are choosing to do, think, and say. This thing that you are doing, thinking, or saying, is it loving Adonai with ALL your heart, soul, and mind and loving others as yourself? Or is it serving another god, idol, desire, notion, or fear? Oh Lord, we repent! Oh Lord, we surrender! We extol Your name forever!
The Ten Commandments, and the law was built upon the first commandment: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me” (Deuteronomy 5:6-7). Here we see not only God’s prohibition against idolatry, but His reasons for that prohibition. It was the Lord God who had the power to bring His people out of bondage in Egypt. He alone cared enough for them to choose them to be His own, and He alone delivered and protected them. For all this, He declares that He alone deserves to be worshipped and reverenced. No idol made of wood or stone is God. Idols are deaf, dumb, blind, and powerless.
Paul’s letter to the Romans indicates the worship of things in creation themselves—not just their images—is wrong in the eyes of God (Romans 1:25). Paul also warns the Colossians against worshipping other supernatural beings: “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize” (Colossians 2:18a). Yeshua (Jesus) expanded the definition of “other gods” to include concepts in addition to images, living things and other supernatural beings. In Matthew 6:24, He warns against the worship of material things. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”. The Greek word mammonas, translated here as “money,” does not mean the money in one’s pockets. It is the personification of wealth or money (especially wealth gained through greediness), the love of which, in modern terminology, is “materialism.” The dangers of worshipping material things are clearly outlined in the story of the rich young ruler Matthew 19 who turned away from Christ because he could not part with his wealth.
In the Hebrew word study, the commandment Have NO other gods translates to, Don't put another face on God. WOW! How often do we do this? We change Him in our minds to suit our situation, and in turn we create false god worship. We must know the God we serve by praying and reading our Word so that it is harder for the enemy to deceive us into putting another face on Yahweh.
David describes what awaits the person who puts God ahead of all else: “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods” (Psalm40:4).
As for ME and MY HOUSE, we will Serve Yahweh.
There is nothing on a chilly winter day like a warm bowl of soup. This soup has that old fashioned slow simmered and made with love taste to it. Great if you are feeling under the weather or just want a tasty healthy dish.
Avocado or Olive Oil
Grass Fed Butter
3 Garlic Cloves diced
1 Onion diced
1 or 2 heads of celery chopped
3 Large Carrots chopped
Frozen Peas (Optional)
Optional Herbs and Spices: Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Cayenne, Thyme, Rosemary
Roasted Seasoned Chicken Thighs or Legs with the Bone in (See the Video Below for detailed instructions)
Bone Broth, Chicken Broth, or Water
INSTRUCTIONS: (If you prefer detailed video instructions check out the short video below)
Roast the chicken in the oven. (These instructions will vary depending on the chicken you choose and the oven you are using)
Add the oil and butter to the bottom of the pot on low medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and herbs and simmer until the onions are soft. Add the roast chicken straight into the pot. Cover the ingredients with the broth or water. Add peas. Allow to simmer 30 mins to 3 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside. Remove the good meat from the chicken and put it make into the pot. Add more seasoning and pasta or rice.
"There are some important things to consider before you answer the question. Do you really trust the Lord? That he is able, faithful and willing to do what he said he would? If we do, then why don't we pray or believe like we should? Why do we not cast our cares on him and leave them there instead of picking them back up and trying to do it ourselves? Bro. Wilkerson examines the passage in Jer. 17:5 "Cursed be the man who trusteth in flesh". This is a very important message for all. True faith in God results in an abiding peace and rest in your soul. When we haven't learned to trust God, he will bring us to a place of depth to train us to trust him no matter whats. God wants us to be prepared to trust him. He wants us to learn how to depend totally on him for everthing, completely surrendering to his will. Then comes the calm and rest. "
- David Wilkerson
There are moments in this journey when God allows the unexpected, the curve in the road, the twist in the plot, the moment we didn't see coming. Sometimes these moments are wildly amazing and victorious and build up our faith tremendously. These are the times when God shows up, answers prayers, and makes a way where no way existed before. Some of these moments however are different... things appear to not go as planned or seemingly don't pan out the way we think they should. ALL these occurrences are equally God showing up in His faithfulness and majesty. Yet, one scenario builds our faith and the other.... well, that's up to us.
When God has doors He is about to open, plans He is about to unfold, destinies He is unlocking, purposes He is pouring out, He always tests us. God will always test you before giving you more, and God will challenge you before sending you on your way forward. You see, it's really not about us trusting God, but about God trusting us. It is so easy to trust Him and be moved by His character and His awesomeness when things go "our way" and it's easy to know He's with us. For whatever reason, as humans, we default to leaning on our own understanding as soon as things don't happen as we planned. We panic, scurry, worry, gripe, complain, throw fits, shake our fist at God, all without stepping back and realizing that He's the same God who was in the moments of victory. God doesn't change, ever... it's only us who are tossed to and fro by the waves of life. It's only us who are moved by every wind shift of our emotions and imaginations. It's vital that we begin to train ourselves in those moments, to direct our minds right back to the truth of who God is and ask ourselves, what is my role in this moment? God is always the same and so it's me who He's calling in this moment to hold onto my faith, to continue to trust in His ways, to leave my burdens at the cross, to not allow the enemy to convince me that God is anything other than who He says that He is.
God allows the testing.... He did it to almost every great man and woman in the scripture. He is testing the condition of your heart, the fortitude of your faith, and the resolve of your trust. Never EVER forget who God is, and in those testing moments of life recognize that His greatest concern is not with your comfort or happiness but with your eternity and holiness. So, allow Him to do what His is doing, with faith that HE IS FAITHFUL.
Armor up saints.
Shalom. - Lea
Homemade Cranberry Jam is my absolute favorite thing to make with cornbread muffins. I typically make the muffins once a week as a yummy treat to heat up throughout the week. Taking ownership over what food products you consume and knowing what goes into the things you are eating is a major part of wise stewardship of the body. Eating intentionally does not mean that you have to miss out of amazing flavors and delicious foods. Thank you so much as always for taking the time to come to my blog and hang out with me. I would love to hear how this recipe goes for you!
2 Cups of Cranberries
Fresh Orange Juice or Fresh Oranges
Maple Syrup or Honey
Arrowroot, Pectin, or Cornstarch (I prefer arrowroot)
Place the cranberries, water, and cinnamon sticks in pot. Allow to simmer until the cranberries begin to soften and cook down. Add your fresh orange juice. You can either juice oranges, squeeze orange slices, or add organic organic juice If it's all you have. Substitute with water If need be making sure the cranberries to not get dried out. When the mixture begins to look soupy, begin slowly adding the arrowroot, cornstarch, or pectin and stir as you go. Continue adding and stirring until the mixture starts to thicken and look like jelly. Add nutmeg and honey or maple syrup. Continue smashing the cranberries with a fork and stirring until you get the consistency that you prefer.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 we read,
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."
Here in the Jersey pocket of the East Coast of the US, we are in the dead center of winter. The temp rested around 6 degrees last night and the usual loud nature sounds outside retreated to stillness.
Just like the weather here in the North East, sometimes life has seasons that feel an awful lot like winter. Maybe you feel as though your spiritual walk is stagnant, or that you've been waiting for an answered prayer forever, or life has beaten you up a bit. You aren't feeling vibrant, warm, or alive. I have been there... we have all been there. Life is full of valleys, peaks, trials, and detours. Sometimes, God in His goodness allows these seasons to show us the greatness of His hand or to invite us to rest in His presence while we wait for our breakthrough to come.
I could take it as far as to say that all of this life for the believer is a season of winter and that we are waiting on our King to come and bring Spring to the land and to our hearts again. It reminds me of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when they are speaking about Aslan returning...
"Wrong will be right when Aslan comes in sight, At the Sound of His Roar, sorrows will be no more, when He bears His teeth, winter meets it's death, and when He shakes His mane, we shall have spring again."
The Lion of Judah will come and the age of winter will be over.... and OH what a glorious day.
Until then, here we are, all of us in different places on the journey, in different seasons of life, and with different testimonies to share. I look around sometimes at the winter landscape outside my window and I realize that it has its own unique beauty to behold. That there is something about the shorter days, the stillness, and the way the earth sleeps, that makes it shockingly beautiful. It is so much like the challenges of my life.... when I can see them through the lens of heaven and realize that there is beauty there If I choose to see it.
I encourage you all today to see the beauty.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Ps. 23:4-5 (ESV)
This is one of my favorite DIY homemade facials because it's simple, easy to make, and makes my skin feel amazing. This facial recipe is exfoliating and nourishing for your skin and you don't have to worry about any harmful chemicals because all of the simple ingredients are edible!
Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar
I mix all the ingredients today and when I apply this mixture to my face I first rub it in to allow the sugar to gently exfoliate my skin and then I let the masque sit in my skin for another 10-20 mins.
Benefits of Coconut Oil: Adds healthy fats to the skin, nourishes, heals inflammed skin, combats dryness.
Yes, according to our experts. Coconut oil is used in many natural beauty products, and for good reason: It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal, coconut oil for skin is an excellent moisturizer, it can penetrate hair better than other oils, and, well, it smells like cookies and awesomeness.
Benefits of Raw Honey: It's antibacterial properties flush out impurities and kill unwanted bacteria. Acne: Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it's great for acne treatment and prevention. Aging: Full of antioxidants, it is great for slowing down aging. Complexion boost: It is extremely moisturizing and soothing, so it helps create a glow.
Brown or Coconut Sugar will give your skin a gentle exfoliation which is so needed in these dry and cold winter months.
I also use this as a masque on my lips!
I pray that you enjoy this facial recipe and that you take some time for yourself to breathe and think of all the things that you are grateful to God for.
P.S. I won't tell If you eat a little while you're making it :)
Hugs and Shalom,
This is a healthy delicious version of fried rice and also a great way to use up that day old rice nobody wants to eat. I used rice that was uncooked and rinsed but as I said you could also use rice that has gotten hard from the previous day.
Oil (I recommend avocado or sesame)
1/2 yellow onion
Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
Water or Broth
Carrots, Peas, and Peppers or Broccoli (You can use any veggies you have and like)
Spices If you so desire
How It's Made:
Heat the oil in the saucepan on medium heat, add onions and cook until soft, and then add your rice.
Once the rice is coated in the oil, pour some of the soy sauce or liquid aminos into the saucepan and continue stirring. (If the rice is uncooked you will have to continue stirring and watching the rice until it reach desired consistency.)
As the rice is cooking, you can add small amounts of broth or water and continue to stir (If you add to much it will get mushy so only add a little bit at a time)
Add your veggies and chopped chicken If you so choose and continue to cook until everything has reached desired consistency.
Super easy, delicious, and frugal!
Being set apart. As a believer, we may hear this term often... but what does it really mean? The biblical definition of this term is something that is holy or sanctified. When something is set apart, it is taken out of something else, and becomes holy or sanctified. Throughout scripture, The Most High refers to many things as set apart, certain foods, spirits, regions, and us! The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) quite literally means the set apart spirit of Yah. When God takes something and sanctifies it by the Word (Yeshua), he is calling it something that can enter His presence. We know that no unclean or sinful wicked thing will be able to enter the presence of The Most High, but If it be made holy or sanctified by the Word, then it may enter into His presence. We see all throughout the 1st testament, the process that one had to go through to make themselves clean and sanctified to be able to step into the holy place before God. Now, we are sanctified by the blood atonement of the one to lived blameless.
::Chills! Every single time, chills.::
We can now enter into the Holy place with Yah because of Yeshua (Jesus).
Another aspect we see in this is the choice to live righteously. So, what does that mean exactly? We know that it is by no power of our own or justification by our works that we are deemed clean and holy before God; it is only by faith in Messiah. However, Yah calls us to be set apart from the world and continue to choose to aim to live righteously and follow the perfect example of our Messiah. Truth be told, you will fall short... we all do.... and thank God for grace and the sacrifice of Messiah.
When Adonai asks us to come out from amongst the world and to be ye separate, He is calling us to live lives that are in contradiction to sin and to the world and live in alignment with His standards and statutes. Scripture says, "If you LOVE me, you will keep my commandments"
The bible defines sin as transgression of God's commandments (of His Torah). He is asking us to live in alignment with His perfect and good Torah to the best of our ability as an act of love towards Him and as a choice to live lives that make us set apart, peculiar, and a light in a dark world.
We can not be the salt of the earth and a light to the unbelievers If we are blending in with Babylon.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Hey beautiful friends! Here is the recipe from VLOG 24 that was requested by so many of you. If you haven't checked out that DITL Vlog episode yet, I will post it below. Please let me know what you think of it when you try it! This recipe can be altered to accommodate dairy free diets.
Broth (Bone broth, chicken broth, veggie broth)
Organic Cream (Coconut Milk for dairy free)
Arrowroot or flour to thicken
Lentil, Chickpea, or Regular penne pasta
Chopped up chicken (I used the leftover roast chicken)
1 Clove Chopped Garlic
1/2 Yellow Onion
Butter or Oil
Turmeric, Salt, Pepper, Paprika
Parsley to garnish
The amount of ingredients used will vary based on how many mouths you are looking to feed.
Chop onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and add to butter and oil on medium heat. Allow to sauté until the onions are translucent. Next, drop the chopped chicken and stir all the ingredients together. Add the broth of your choice about three inches over the ingredients in the pot. Allow to simmer on low medium for about 20-30 mins. Once the carrots are tender, add the thickener and the cream (add thickener to your desired consistency) Continuing stirring until everything is mixed together and the soup begins to thicken. Simmer another 10 mins. Add the pasta and simmer on medium another 10-15 mins or until pasta in cooked through. Add spices and stir. Garnish with parsley and parm cheese. Enjoy!
Lea from James and Lea D chats all about life as a wife in pursuance of the Father's heart. Follow my faith walk journey and all that it involves. Faith, family, food, and fellowship. Come, relax, and have some tea with Lea. Shalom & Blessings!