Post 194

A Willing Heart

Look at these verses from Exodus in the Bible. I was noticing that you can see how much God wanted them to have a willing heart to follow Him. He doesn't want us to follow Him because we HAVE TO, but because we WANT TO.

Ex 25: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

Ex 35:5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass... -God

21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD.
25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.
26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair.
29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
Ex 36: 1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.
2 And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:
3 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.
4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.
6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

See all the things about their heart, and about how they were willing. Lord keep us willing hearted.

We went skiing. It was such a blessing, such a peaceful place.

The Detroit Children's Museum

Amanda and I met this lovely family, the Bala family. We went to repair their furnace one cold evening, and they just took us in like family. Then we had them over for dinner the other day. It was an  enourmous blessing to have them, God was working. Here's a few shots of the time...

Had a painting day with the Biddingers

At the coffee shop.

Playing dolls with the girls.

My brothers made this sledding run, and here's all the church kids sledding on it...

Amanda's birthday

Amanda and I put this together.

Levi. We were out on a late night job, and decided to have a little fun with the camera.

Went to the Detroit Botanical Garden on Valentine's with my Valentine...

This is a written writing written by my brother Levi and brother-in-law Andrew. They wrote it. 

Hello Brothers and Sisters,
Andrew and I (Levi) woke up this fine morning and prayed for each peoples of you and then we read some verses that we'd like to share with you all. When I read them I thought, "Wow. These verses are like exactly what we talked about in the van ride." So we wanted to show them to you. If any body has other people's emails, you could email me back with them. Also, if any body has new incites on these scriptures you can hit "Reply All", so that we can all gain from them. Now Andrew and I both noticed that whenever we read through a commentary, we always seem to skip through the verse and simply read the author's notes. DON'T do that. Please try to really focus on the verses, not our comments. If anything, skip our comments! =)

Ephesians 5:1 "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
Levi: We need to walk in love with each other and God.
Andrew: Right.

"5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."

Andrew: I was thinking how convenient it is to goof-off in our conversations because it was so easy to talk non-spiritual things that don't really matter. But as we saw on the car ride back, the rewards are so much greater, even though it's not the easy thing to do.
Levi: Yeah. When I look back, the most memorable conversations I've had with my friends were spiritual ones. I remember talking with Joe at a classical guitar concert at the church. I remember talking with Andrew in his room. Spiritual is way better.
Andrew: Right.

"5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Levi: (Remember to not skip through the verses. Read back over them.) We were thinking how not only is it talking about reproving other people, but...
Andrew: We need to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness in our own lives.
Levi: Right.

"5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Levi: Verse sixteen shows a sense of urgency. We don't have all day. We need to redeem the time now, the days are evil.
Andrew: Like Ryan Cooper said last night, we'll only live eighty something years, and even less if the rapture happens, and yet each year seems to go by faster. Let's not waste it. Jesus is everything.
Levi: Right!

"5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
Levi: This sounds exactly like what we were doing in the car ride. Not only were we singing spiritual songs, but we were submitting ourselves to each other by asking forgiveness of sins. Wow.
Andrew: Levi just stole what I was going to say.
Levi: You can go foist on the next one.

The next several verses are about wives and husbands submitting and loving each other as Christ loves the church. You can read these verses in your own bibles and think about the essence of them. We brothers and sisters in Christ need to submit and be loving in our words and actions also (not necessarily the same way husbands and wives should, but as brotherly love.)

"6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."

Andrew: We talked about that last night. By obeying our parents we're really obeying Christ.
Levi: Uh-huh.

"6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:"
Levi: Our "masters" are our parents, Christ, and elders. We need to obey our masters not only in deed, but in our heart. Another big point to make is that we should be saying or doing things to be seen by men. I know I struggle with this. Sometimes I say something or do something just so others will see and say, "That's spiritual." God help me not to be a menpleaser. Now I don't know if I just said that to look "humble and spiritual."
Andrew: No, it's ok. The point of this letter is to...look spiritual...(both of us LOL)...just kidding. The point is to exhort others and be an encouragement.

"6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

You can read Ephesians 6:11-21 also. They are highly recommended. As you can see, this email is getting really long.

"Goodbye!" from Andrew and Levi.

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

I was so happy to read this one morning. It was an encouragement to me through work all day.

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Brother Bear
1312 New Life
Rochester, MI 48309
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