The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Thursday, March 31, 2022

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The Story of the Virgins

25 1-5 “God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

6 “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bridegroom’s here! Go out and greet him!’

7-8 “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’

9 “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’

10 “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

11 “Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’

12 “He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’

13 “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.

-Matthew 25:1-13 The Message

Parable of Ten Virgins

25 Verse 1: “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom.

Verse 1 study: Jesus told these parables because he wanted to clarify what it meant to be ready for his return and how to live until he comes. Matthew 25:1-13 is the parable of the ten virgins. We are responsible for our own spiritual condition. Matthew 25:14-30 is the parable about using the necessity of using what God has entrusted us. Matthew 25:31-46 is the parable of the sheep and goats. This parable stresses the importance of serving others in need. No parable by itself completely describes our preparation. The parables should paint one part of the whole picture.

This parable is about a wedding. On the wedding day, the bridegroom went to the bride’s house for the ceremony; then, the bride and groom would return to the groom’s house for a big feast with a crowd lasting a week.

The ten virgins were waiting to join in the procession, in which they hoped to take part in the wedding banquet. The groom came late, and while waiting, five of their lamps ran out of oil. When they went to get more, it was too late to join in the feast.

When Jesus returns to take his people to heaven, we must be ready. Spiritual preparation can’t be brought or borrowed at the last minute. Our relationship with God must be our own.

Verse 2: Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.

Verse 3: For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take extra oil with them;

Verse 4: but the prudent ones took oil in flasks with their lamps.

Verse 5: Now while the groom was delaying, they all became drowsy and began to sleep.

Verse 6: But at midnight there finally was a shout: ‘Behold, the groom! Come out to meet him.’

Verse 7: Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.

Verse 8: But the foolish virgins said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’

Verse 9: However, the prudent ones answered, ‘No, there most certainly would not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’

Verse 10: But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.

Verse 11: Yet later, the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open up for us.’

Verse 12: But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’

Verse 13: Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.

Be Prepared

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 03/30/2022 9:00am

45-47 “Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.

48-51 “But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it, and it won’t be pretty. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.”

-Matthew 24:45-51 The Message

Verse 45: “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household slaves, to give them their food at the proper time?

Verse 46: Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.

Verse 47: Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

Verses 45-47 studies: Jesus asks us to spend time taking care of his people and doing the work here on earth, inside the church and out. This is the best way to prepare for Christ’s coming.

Verse 48: But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’

Verse 49: and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and he eats and drinks with those habitually drunk;

Verse 50then the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect, and at an hour that he does not know,

Verse 51: and he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Verse 50 study: Because Christ’s return will be unexpected, this should motivate us to be prepared. Living irresponsibly is not what Christ asks of us. We don’t sit, wait, or do anything. We don’t seek self-serving pleasure; we don’t use tarry as an excuse not to do God’s work of building his kingdom. We don’t develop false security based on events calculations or let our curiosity about the end times change our thinking from doing God’s work.

Verse 51 study: “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” is a phrase used to describe despair. God’s certain judgment is as certain as Jesus’ return to earth.

More On Jesus’ Return

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

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36 “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

37-39 “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

39-44 “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.

-Matthew 24:36-44 The Message

Verse 36: “But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Verse 36 study: This verse is good for us to not know when Jesus will come. If we knew, we might become complacent with our work, or we could sin right up to the end and then turn to God. Instead, we should continue to do the work of the Lord because Heaven is not our only goal. We have to stay working until the day comes for our unmistakable Savior’s return.

Verse 37: For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

Verse 38: For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

Verse 39: and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Verse 40: At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.

Verse 41: Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Be Ready for His Coming

Verse 42: “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

Verses 40-42 studies: Christ’s second coming will be quick. At that point, there are no second thoughts or bargaining, or last-minute repentance. The choice we make will be our eternal destiny.

Verse 43: But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

Verse 44: For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Verse 44 study: The purpose of Jesus telling about his return is not about predictions. It is about preparedness. That is his warning to us. Will you be ready? The safest choice is to obey him today.

Jesus Talks About His Return

Monday, March 28, 2022

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26-28 “So if they say, ‘Run to the country and see him arrive!’ or, ‘Quick, get downtown, see him come!’ don’t give them the time of day. The Arrival of the Son of Man isn’t something you go to see. He comes like swift lightning to you! Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it’s not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.

29 “Following those hard times,

Sun will fade out,

    moon cloud over,

Stars fall out of the sky,

    cosmic powers tremble.

30-31 “Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.

32-35 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.

-Matthew 24:26-35 The Message

Verse 26: So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.

Verse 27: For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Verse 28: Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Glorious Return

Verse 29: “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Verse 30: And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

Verse 30 study: The nations of the earth will mourn. That is when unbelievers will see they chose the wrong side. Then, all the things they complained about will happen, and at that point, it is too late.

Verse 31: And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet blast, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Parable of the Fig Tree

Verse 32: “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: as soon as its branch has become tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that summer is near;

Verse 33: so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

Verse 34: Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

Verse 35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

To Be Determined (TBD)

Sunday, Mach 27, 2022

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21-22 “This is going to be trouble on a scale beyond what the world has ever seen or will see again. If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God’s chosen people, the trouble will be cut short.

The Arrival of the Son of Man

23-25 “If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and bewitching performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning.

-Matthew 24:21-25 The Message

Verse 21: For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again.

Verse 22: And if those days had not been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.

Verses 21-22 studies: Jesus talks about the end times telescoped near future and far future events as it did with the Old Testament prophets. Many of these persecutions have already occurred, with more to come. Remember that God is in control of even the length of persecutions. He will not forget his people. This is all we need to know about the future to motivate us to live now.

Verse 23: Then, if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘He is over here,’ do not believe him.

Verse 24: For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

Verses 23-24 studies: In today’s world, Jesus’ warnings about false teachers still hold true. When you examine it, it becomes clear that many nice-sounding messages don’t agree with God’s message in the Bible. Only a solid foundation in God’s Word can equip us to perceive false errors and distortions in false teaching.

Verses 24-28 studies: Strong believers will find it hard to be loyal in times of persecution. To keep from being deceived by false messiahs, we should understand that Jesus’ return will be unmistakable;

26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

-Mark 13:26 NASB

No one will doubt who he is. If you have to be told that the Messiah has come, then he hasn’t, Christ’s coming will be evident to everyone.

27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

-Matthew 24:27 NASB

Verse 25: Behold, I have told you in advance.

Abomination of Desolation

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Monster of Desecration

Sincerity Having Peace Instagram Post. 03/26/2022 9:00am

15-20 “But be ready to run for it when you see the monster of desecration set up in the Temple sanctuary. The prophet Daniel described this. If you’ve read Daniel, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills; if you’re working in the yard, don’t return to the house to get anything; if you’re out in the field, don’t go back and get your coat. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Hope and pray this won’t happen during the winter or on a Sabbath.

-Matthew 24:15-20 The Message

Perilous Times

Verse 15: “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place—let the reader understand—

Verse 16: then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Verses 15-16 studies: Daniel and Jesus mentioned “abomination of desolation.” What does this mean? It’s not seen, but it can be seen as an on-purpose attempt to mock and deny the reality of God’s presence. Daniel’s prediction did come true in 168 B.C. when Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the sacred temple altar (Daniel 9:27; 11:30-31); Jesus’ words were remembered in A.D. 70 when Titus placed an idol on the rite of the burned temple after destroying Jerusalem.

27 And he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come the one who makes desolate, until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, gushes forth on the one who makes desolate.”

-Daniel 9:27 NASB

30 For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore, he will withdraw in fear and will return and curse the holy covenant and take action; so, he will come back and pay attention to those who abandon the holy covenant. 31 Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.

-Daniel 11:30-31 NASB

Ultimately, the antichrist will set up an image of himself and order all to worship it. (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:14-15)

4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

-2 Thessalonians 2:4 NASB

14 And he deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause all who do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

-Revelation 13:14-15 NASB

These are “abominations” that mock God.

Verse 17: Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get things out of his house.

Verse 18: And whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.

Verse 19: But woe to those women who are pregnant, and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

Verse 20: Moreover, pray that when you flee, it will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath.

Prophets That Are Not Real

Friday, March 25, 2022

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9-10 “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.

11-12 “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

13-14 “Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.

-Matthew 24:9-14 The Message

Verse 9: “Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

Verse 10: And at that time, many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another.

Verse 11: And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people.

Verse 11 study: The Old Testament mentions false prophets.

13 Now Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What business do you have with me? Go to your father’s prophets and your mother’s prophets.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to hand them over to Moab.”

-2 Kings 3:13 NASB

25 Causing the omens of diviners to fail,
Making fools of fortune-tellers.
Causing wise men to turn back
And making their knowledge ridiculous,

-Isaiah 44:25 NASB

16 This is what the Lord of armies says:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you.
They are leading you into futility.
They tell a vision of their own imagination,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.

-Jeremiah 23:16 NASB

2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy from their own inspiration, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Lord God says: “Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing.

-Ezekiel 13:2-3 NASB

5 This is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who lead my people astray:

When they have something to bite with their teeth,
They cry out, “Peace!”
But against him who puts nothing in their mouths
They declare holy war.

-Micah 3:5 NASB

2 “And it will come about on that day,” declares the Lord of armies, “that I will eliminate the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land.

-Zechariah 13:2 NASB

Fake prophets claimed to receive messages from God, but they preached a “health and wealth” message. They said what people wanted to hear, especially when the nation was not following God the way it should have. They are the famous leaders who tell people what they want to hear, such as, “God wants you to be rich,” “Do whatever desires you,” or “There is no such thing as sin or hell.” Jesus told people that false teachers would come and warned his disciples, as he warned us, not to listen to their dangerous words.

Verse 12: And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold.

Verse 12 study: With fake teaching and loose morals come a particularly destructive disease, the loss of true love for God and others. Sin cools your love for God and others by turning your focus on yourself. You can’t truly love if you think only of yourself.

Verse 13: But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved.

Verse 13 study: Jesus predicted that his followers would be severely persecuted by those who hated what he stood for. Amid terrible persecutions, they could have hope, knowing that salvation was theirs. Times of trial shows to sift true Christians from false or fair-weather Christians. When you are pressured to give up, turn your back on God, don’t do it. Always remember the benefits of standing firm and continuing to live for Christ.

Verses 9-13 studies: You may not face intense persecution now, but Christians in different parts of the world are. When you hear about Christians suffering for their faith, remember that they are your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them. Ask God what you can do to help them in their troubles. When one part suffers, the whole body suffers. but when all the parts come together to ease the suffering, the entire body benefits.

26 And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is [a]honored, all the parts rejoice with it.

-1 Corinthians 12:26 NASB

Verse 14: This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Verse 14 study: Jesus said that before he returned, the gospel of the kingdom (the message of salvation) would be preached throughout the world. This was the mission of the disciples, and it is ours today. Jesus talked about the end of times and final judgment to show his followers the urgency of spreading the Good News of salvation to everyone.

Signs? What Signs?

Thursday, March 24, 2022

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Routine History

24 1-2 Jesus then left the Temple. As he walked away, his disciples pointed out how very impressive the Temple architecture was. Jesus said, “You’re not impressed by all this sheer size, are you? The truth of the matter is that there’s not a stone in that building that is not going to end up in a pile of rubble.”

3 Later, as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”

4-8 Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.

-Matthew 24:1-8 The Message

Signs of Christ’s Return

24 Verse 1: Jesus left the temple area and was going on His way when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.

Verse 2:, But He responded and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

Verses 1-2 studies: No one knew what the temple looked like in its entirety, but it is said to be beautiful. Herod had helped the Jews remodel and beautify it and also stay friendly to his subjects. Next to the inner temple, where the sacred objects were kept and the sacrifices offered, was a large area called the court of the Gentiles. A reminder that this is where moneychangers and merchants kept their booths. Outside the courts were porches. Solomon’s was 1,562 feet long; the royal portico was accurate, with 160 columns stretching its 921-foot length. Looking at this fantastic and massive structure, the disciples found Jesus’ words about its destruction difficult to believe. But the temple was destroyed 40 years later when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Verse 3: And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Verse 3 study: The prophet Zechariah predicted that the Messiah would stand when he came to establish his kingdom, in which Jesus was at the Mount of Olives, the same place Zechariah made his prediction.

4 On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split [a]in its middle from east to west forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the south.

-Zechariah 14:4 NASB

It’s fitting because the disciples wanted to ask Jesus when he would come in power and what they could expect from them. Jesus’ reply emphasized the events that would take place before the end of the age. However, he also mentioned that his disciples should be less concerned with knowing the exact date and more concerned with being prepared. Living God’s way consistently so that no matter when Jesus came to glory, he would claim them as his own.

Verse 4: And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.

Verse 4 study: The disciples asked Jesus for the sign of his coming and the end of the age. Jesus’ first response was, “see to it that no one misleads you.” The fact is that when we look for signs, we become very susceptible to being deceived. For example, there are many “false power of authority” around the counterfeit signs of spiritual power and authority.

11 And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people.

-Matthew 24:11 NASB

24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

-Matthew 24:24 NASB

The only sure way to keep from being deceived is to say focus on Christ and his words. Don’t look for unique signs, don’t spend time looking at other people; look at Christ.

Verse 5: For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people.

Verse 6: And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.

Verse 7: For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Verse 8: But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.

What’s Going to Happen to Jerusalem?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

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37-39 “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!'”

-Matthew 23:37-39 The Message

Grieving over Jerusalem

Verse 37: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

Verse 37 study: Jesus wanted to gather his people together like a kangaroo protects her children (joey) in her pouch, but no one let him. Jesus wants to protect us if we let him. We hurt but don’t know where to turn to in any situation; Jesus wants to save us if we let him. We reject Christ’s help because we don’t believe he can give us what we need. As our creator, he knows what we need. Anyone who turns to Jesus will find out that he helps and comforts like no other.

Jerusalem was the capital city of God’s chosen people, the ancestral home of David. Israel’s greatest king and the temple’s location, the earthly dwelling place of God. This is the center of worship of the true God and symbol of justice to ALL people. But Jerusalem had become blind to God and insensitive to human need. Here, we see the depth of Jesus’ feeling for the last people and his beloved city, which would soon be destroyed.

Verse 38: Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

Verse 39: For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!'”

Time to Put in the Work

The week of August 22nd – September 26th of 2021

I am writing this today, March 22nd of the year 2022. As I sit here preparing to write this blog, I am sitting here drinking a cup of coffee and reading over the journal I’m keeping during my weight journey. The one thing I have to work on is more detail. I see why people tell me to “use your words, Darren.” Now I see why. I’m not good at this. I hit and miss a lot of things on this journal. Thank God I have a decent memory of knowing some things that happened. Still, not everything I remember, so not everything will be in detail. According to what I wrote, I noticed that it’s by week and not by day, and most of my entries are like this. But I’m glad I did this way because I can get through it faster, get caught up, and stay current. Also, I noticed that this stretches across an entire month and five days; then, I started logging by week again. I’m going to break it down, so it won’t be this long, overbearing blog post trying to catch up. But let’s see here, I have other records such as recorded exercise times and calories burned. I’ll have those to depend on as well.

The weekend, August 21st, I didn’t go to the gym that day or Sunday so I could rest. However, I did cut grass and logged in some exercise time. I burned 835 calories on Saturday. On my last blog, “About ME,” I’m weird, if you haven’t noticed. I cut my grass on two separate days. Either on Friday or Saturday, I cut the front yard; on Saturday or Sunday, I cut the backyard. I do this for two reasons: (1) I don’t like gas lawn mowers in or around the house. Even though I don’t have a shed, I wouldn’t put a gas tin or a gas mower in it. I don’t like flammable liquid, so I use an electric or battery-operated mower. (2) The battery on my lawnmower is small and takes some time to charge. So to make it easier on myself, I cut the front yard, let it charge, and then hit the backyard the next day. On Sunday, the 22nd, I logged 853 calories and only 5 minutes of exercise. I was upset because it took roughly 30 minutes to cut the backyard. I guess my heart rate didn’t qualify as exercise minutes.

I weighed myself, and I stayed within the 300-pound limit. To be exact, 303 pounds. At this point, I am tired of seeing 300+ pounds. Even though I only did five days of exercise, I felt that exercising was not helping. The frustration of losing weight had been going on for some years now. My lack of patience showed because I am still in the 300-pound range. Seven years ago, I didn’t have this problem. I went on a vegan diet where I ate no meat and dairy products. Everything I ate was plant-based. I was in the best shape of my life and felt terrific. I had so much energy. I would go out for a 6-mile run in the morning, work an 11-hour shift, go and run a 4-mile evening run, work my second job for two hours and then do it all over again. I’m planning on going back to that lifestyle. In saying all this, I realized a couple of things: (1) I’m just starting this, so I have to keep working on it. (2) I have to keep emphasizing patience. In the first week of working out, I burned an average of 1,077 calories and exercised on average 37 minutes. The only day I didn’t work out was the 24th because I caught my niece’s cold. Fun fact? As I am writing this out today, March 22, 2022, I still catch her colds, and I am recovering from one now.

As we go into a new week starting from August 29th – September 4th, not too much changed from the previous week as in different routines. I’m eating two meals, still getting up at 4am, getting water down, and always asking myself, “what am I thankful for?” Let me be honest. I did not go into exercising with a plan. I just started exercising without a plan. I realized this week that I need a plan to pursue my goals. So, my goal now is to make a plan. Goal to lose each week, the current weight at the beginning of the week, and ending of the week. But as of now, I am focused on making sure I get up and get going. The food I ate this week was some hot cereal and protein meat, sometimes eggs. For dinner, a salad and another source of protein. This week, I burned, averaging 1,092 calories, and exercised on average 40 minutes. This weekend (September 4th and 5th), I did a workout because I was on a roll, felt good, and was addicted. If there is an addiction to have, exercising is one of them. I am still on the treadmill and the cycling machine, both on the weekday and on the weekend, rotating off the treadmill one day and the cycle machine the other day. Oh, but I did a cycle and a treadmill workout on Sunday. There is a reason for that. It’s a reason I didn’t expect because I stayed focused. Find out what it is on the next blog why I did do a 10-minute workout on the bike when it is supposed to be a light workout weekend.