Four Life Lessons Taught by a Pair of Jeans

The school bell has rung, class is now in session.

Recently I put on an old pair of jeans that used to be my favorite! They were by a brand I have worn for over twenty years, and always appeared to be great quality. Changes in the brand became noticeable after they were sold to a huge department chain five years ago.

Love these jeans

A few years ago, I revisited a boutique that has had a reputation of selling quality clothing since 1947. They had a sell on their jeans and I bought some of them, and wouldn’t you know, they fit fabulously! So those all became my go to jeans. Fast forward to the present. I put on my old favorite jeans, and they were so ill-fitted. I could not believe it. The seams weren’t straight, which I vaguely remember being an issue in the past, but I would always fix them throughout the day. They were also extremely high watered. (I love anklet pants, but these were borderline “Steve Urkel-ish”.

Lookin good

I began to wonder when had these pants changed for me, and reluctantly put them in a bag to take to Goodwill. This brings me to the Four Life Lessons Taught by a Pair of Jeans.

Four Life Lessons

Lesson 1 – Great Fit

There may be a time when the friends you have, the organization(s) you belong to, the place of your employment, the products you use and the clothes you wear, are a great fit!

When you started with the friends, you all had certain things in common, and fun together. When you first joined the organization(s), it had so much meaning. When you started your position, you were full of purpose and excited about all of the potential opportunities that awaited. When you first used the products or wore the clothes, they seemed perfect.

It is totally natural to feel good about something when you first start it and even more common to keep it around if it is a good fit for you at the time.

Lesson 2 – Perception

To perceive, is to interpret things by our senses instead of at face value. Do not get me wrong, we need to be able to see if something is a good for us, but sometimes going only by what we see, can cause us to ignore minor defects that will become obvious in the long run.

A good example of this is when the Pharisees had conspired against Jesus, and planned to ask him a question in order to catch him off guard. The Bible said that Jesus “perceived their thoughts” and ended up being the one to catch them off guard with his response. If you want to read more about that it is in the Book of Luke chapter 5.

We can think something is a good fit, and it very well may be, but also be open to perception. Make sure to pay attention and not ignore what you may not see with the naked eye.

Lesson 3 – Change and Transition

You may be loyal to a certain brand, relationship, organization(s), place of employment, or location, but you must remain open to the possibility of change and transition.

Change and transition allows you to have the option of being flexible. Flexibility is the keyword. If you are open to change, then even if you are loyal to the brand, the relationship, organization(s), and position, you will be able to see things objectively and perceive whether or not it is time to transition to something different.

Transition

Lesson 4 – Making Room

Most of us are pretty good about going through our old jeans, clothing, and household goods. We end up putting what we no longer need into a bag and donating it. Why? To trim down clutter, and make more room/space. We may need to observe all areas of our lives and see if it is still a good fit for us. If it is, and you know it is where you need to be and what you need to be doing; in theory, continue wearing your old pair of jeans!

If you evaluate the areas of your life and determine it no longer fits who you are, and that you may need to be doing something else; it could be time to open the doors of change and transition.

It is my hope that the Four Life Lessons Taught by a Pair of Jeans, benefit you as much as it did me.

Jeans and Life Lessons

The school bell has rung, class dismissed.

How Long Will You Mourn for Saul?

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Background Story

After King Saul’s disobedience to God’s command to destroy everything and everyone from the Amalek Nation, his kingdom was torn from him. King Saul remained on the throne until he committed suicide, but the anointing was no longer on him. He did not care as much, because in his eyes, he was still “King.”

The Prophet Samuel mourned over this day and night until God spoke to him and asked, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning one Israel?” God told him to fill his horn with oil, and go to Jesse, the Bethlehemite; because a new king would be chosen from there.

Real World Connection

Are you mourning over something or someone that God has rejected? Could that be the reason you have not been given instructions for your next steps?

It is quite possible that your next steps will only be unlocked, after you have decided to stop mourning over something/someone that is no longer serving its correct purpose in your life. When I read a passage from the Book of I Samuel, Chapter 16 in the commentary; it pointed out that God would not allow the failure of a man to stop His work, He would appoint someone else in order to ensure that His purpose is carried out.

Takeaways

  1. Follow the example of the Prophet Samuel.
  2. Discern the time(s)There is definitely a time to mourn, the issue was that the Prophet Samuel mourned over someone God had rejected due to their constant disobedience.
  3. Follow instructions – The Prophet Samuel’s next instructions were contingent on his obedience to the command given to him.
  4. Do not be afraid to let go, there will be something better.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

The Dark Side of the Web

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Video lists: Dark Agenda Exposed, Childhood 2.0, Mom goes Undercover as an 11 year-old

Objective: The learner will discover the negative effects of social media on the development of young people. The learner will be able to analyze shadow banning, and explain how it affects faith-base content creators. The learner will create a theory explaining why supervision is imperative for young people when using social media.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you watch the video(s) below, ask yourself, what is the purpose of these platforms and where do parents and guardians fit into the picture? Please watch with your eyes and your ears, it may help you to create a safer environment for your loved ones in the long run.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Neighborly Deception

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I was studying a chapter in the Book of Joshua, and came across a lesson that would benefit everyone who reads it. Essential Question: Have you ever had an enemy in your life? How did you handle them?

Joshua had many surrounding enemies. It was not because of anything he did, but was because God continued to give him victory over his enemies in battle. Victories can produce jealousy.

The enemies of Joshua and the Israelites were so upset, that some decided to joined together in order to construct a frontal attack on Israel. Note: A typical strategy of an enemy, is to find others who do not like you, and join with them to make their attack even stronger.

The second attack strategy is what I would like to focus on. There was another group of people called the Gibeonites, who decided not to join the others in their head-on attack. They wagered on the use of a different approach, deception. They conspired a plan to pretend to be ambassadors from a far away land and seek sympathy. They took with them moldy bread, wore old patched up sandals and garments, and placed old sacks on the backs of their donkeys.

When they arrived at Camp Gilgal, the group told Joshua and the leaders that they were from far away, showered them with compliments, and asked to please make a covenant with them. Note: Be careful when people seem to want to gain your agreement about certain matters rather quickly, especially when you have not had an opportunity to learn the motives or intentions behind their request. Use discernment.

6. The Gibeonites said that even though they were from far away they had heard about how God was helping the Israelites win all of the land. They asked if the people of Israel would make a special agreement to never hurt the people of Gibeon. The Gibeonite Trick 6.

Joshua asked the group how he could make a covenant with them without knowing exactly who they were or where they were from? For all he knew, they could have been from their enemies’s camp. Joshua knew that God charged him to destroy his neighboring enemies, especially since they were secretly plotting to attack Israel.

The Gibeonites went on to reassure them, that they were not neighbors, but from far away, and had heard all of the great things God had done for the Israelites. Although they were lying about themselves, they were telling the truth about God, and knew it would be pointless to oppose Israel. Note: The Gibeonites did not join the others in their planned ambush against the Israelites because of the Israelites’s reputation for overcoming their enemies. Instead, they decided to pretend to be from far away so that they could obtain a covenant of protection. They even mentioned that their clothes and sandals were worn, and their bread was very moldy in order to make it appear they were from far away. Note: This was a falsehood, they were not from far away, but were willing to stop at nothing to get what they wanted.

Joshua and the leaders took the Gibeonite’s provision, and did not counsel with the Lord about any of it. Joshua made peace with them, and let them live. Note: The main issue here is that they did not seek the Lord about these people. They accepted the deception hook, line and sinker. They chose to walk by sight and not faith, taking everything at face value.

Three days Later, the Gibeonite’s deception came to the surface. The Israelites decided to pay the Gibeonites a visit, but could not harm them because of the covenant they made to the Lord. Note: Even when a bad oath is made, it was a mark of godliness to honor an oath to God. To prove the importance of the oath; years later, King Saul harmed the Gibeonites, and brought famine on the land for his disobedience.

Because of their deception, the Gibeonites were made slaves, but left unharmed. Their motive for lying was the fear of being annihilated. The main takeaway is to seek Godly counsel when making decisions. When your enemy feels desperate, instead of attacking you like a normal enemy would do; they could decide to form an alliance with you based on deception. While the outcome would not be good for them, it would not be great for you either. Note: We do not know everything, and must be sure to not fall victim of our own intellect.

Walk by faith and not by sight.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Two Eagles and a Vine: A Riddle and a Parable

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I have been studying the Book of Ezekiel and decided to park in chapter 17.

I came across a really interesting riddle and parable. Let me preface this by defining the two. A riddle is usually a statement, question or phrase containing a double or veiled meaning; presented as a puzzle to be solved. A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. Jesus was really good at using these. Let’s begin!

This is the beginning of the parable of the Two Eagles and a Vine. Before the Book of Ezekiel, it was prophesied that the Children of Israel would fall into the hands of their enemies, due to their disobedience and lack of loyalty. The first eagle represented King Nebuchadnezzar, and the twigs on the top, represented the nobility of the Children of Israel. He came, uprooted and deposited them in the city of merchants (Babylon). The King made an oath with the Children of Israel and their leader, King Zedekiah. The oath basically stated that they would remain in submission to him, and would be well cared for. He even allowed them to live freely. Think about your life right now. Have you ever felt uprooted and taken out of your comfort zone? Have you felt like you have been given over to the hands of your enemies? Have you felt powerless to stop what was happening? What if I told you that this COULD possibly be the Will of God for your life?

The twigs (Children of Israel) were placed in a fruitful field, by great waters and a tree. They were provided for by God, even though they were in captivity. This captivity was a part of God’s judgement on their disobedience, but through His mercy, He still provided a comfortable living for them. Consider this, the Children of Israel were taken and placed in a fruitful place, the only thing they had to do was pay taxes and be under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. I know in hindsight it sounds easy, but how many times have you felt forsaken, or wondered why you were going through a certain situation? This is how King Zedekiah felt for himself and his people. Over time, the twigs began to grow and with them came forth new generations. As they began to grow, another eagle came onto the scene.

The second eagle represented Egypt. King Zedekiah began to despise the oath he made with King Nebuchadnezzar, and plotted on how to overturn him. He began to conspire with the King of Egypt and the more they talked about joining against the King of Babylon, the more King Zedekiah’s judgement became cloudy. The parable went on to describe how the branches (Children of Israel), began to divide between each eagle. God was sorely displeased about King Zedekiah’s plan to break his oath with King Nebuchadnezzar, because it was ultimately God’s plan for the Children of Israel at that time. This part of the book was profound because essentially, King Zedekiah thought that by seeking assistance from the King of Egypt, that he was in the will of God. He was dead wrong and God judged him for it. How often does this happen in our lives? When we use our human intellect to reason what is right or wrong, only to realize afterwards our huge mistake. This chapter caused me to reflect because I know I have made decisions in my life that I thought were God ideas, but turned out to be only good ideas. Going forward in this new year, take your eyes away from what is seen on the surface, those things can be deceiving. If King Zedekiah had been paying attention, and remembering what God had originally said; he would not have ended up dying before his time.

*Take away* Hide God’s word in your heart. He is one with His Word. You cannot know one, without the other.

The last lesson that can be learned, according to the Matthew Henry Commentary is “Those who depart from God, only multiply their wrongdoing by changing one (humanistic) confidence for another, and will never prosper.”

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

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