QT: Malachi 1-4

For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the LORD of hosts. (‭Malachi‬ ‭1‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. (‭Malachi‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬ NKJV)

“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts. (‭Malachi‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.” (‭Malachi‬ ‭3‬:‭16-17‬ NKJV)

“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. (‭Malachi‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NKJV)

QT: Zechariah 1-14

Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 1:3 NKJV)

For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. (Zechariah 2:8-11 NKJV)

‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. (Zechariah 3:8 NKJV)

Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?” And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?” Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are? ” And I said, “No, my lord.” So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:11-14 NKJV)

Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be expelled,’ according to this side of the scroll; and, ‘Every perjurer shall be expelled,’ according to that side of it.” (Zechariah 5:3 NKJV)

Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying: “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the Lord; Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’ (Zechariah 6:12, 13 NKJV)

“Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves? Should you not have obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?’ ” (Zechariah 7:5-7 NKJV)

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ” (Zechariah 8:23 NKJV)

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’ (Zechariah 9:9, 10 NKJV)

“I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, Because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I am the Lord their God, And I will hear them.

I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, And gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no more room is found for them. (Zechariah 10:6, 10 NKJV)

Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter. (Zechariah 11:12, 13 NKJV)

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. (Zechariah 12:10, 11 NKJV)

“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones. (Zechariah 13:7 NKJV)

Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:3, 4 NKJV)

QT: Haggai 1-2

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the LORD. Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.” (‭Haggai‬ ‭1‬:‭12-13‬ NKJV)

‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid—consider it: Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you. ’ ” (‭Haggai‬ ‭2‬:‭18-19‬ NKJV)

Got My Gloves Ready for 2016

Because I’m done crying (I say this now but who knows) and I’m ready to fight for my life this time. One major lesson I learned in the past year is that when you don’t have much compared to your colleagues, you can become bitter. And it’s through those times you realize who you truly are at your core. I was reminded of this when I read tips from a friend on how to help the homeless. One advice was not to give really nice things that will get the person beat up and the item stolen. I was bewildered at the thought that people even in their lowest state would steal from their fellow streetmate. Then I was reminded of my core and wondered how was I any better? And that’s when conviction entered and I was humbled to be grateful and fearful even when I didn’t want to. At the same time I was truly grateful for the opportunity to discover this about myself and to ask God to give me a holy core so that I won’t be moved by external things but be content in all things.

2015 brought me the most tears I can remember having. Just crying and having several meltdowns all the time as my core was being shaken. God did not forsake me like I thought he did and he did not see me as less deserving like I thought he did. He’s just training me because he knows I’ll come through…eventually, ha! God did not give us Son for the few but for the world and that includes me.

I still have to remind myself that eventually we’ll get old and some of us will have the luxury to burden our future kids to take care of us and some of us might end up abused and neglected at a senior home (scary!). At the end, we will all face death and truly find out (or not) where our soul will go. We can’t take anything with us when we die, we can’t take our funds, our spouse, our homes, our careers, etc. If anything as C.S. Lewis has illustrated in his works, it would be our true identity that we determined out of our free will. Not the one we blame our past for but the one we choose to mold and go forward with. So the question I ask myself is who am I overall? My mantra is my identity is the daughter of the Most High who made me equal to my colleagues whom He sent His Son the Messiah to become human (I’m thinking of Thor now!) and died for us humans. I may not know a lot of things and sometimes I may not be able to add much value as I would like and sometimes I don’t get the respect I yearn for but I’m finding that’s okay sometimes.  Like a fish in water and birds with wings, I will find, cultivate and protect my element that God created.

(By the way, a side note – I just refuse to downgrade for the sake of society’s expectation to having a husband and a family like Mariah and Whitney. Nick and Bobby? Really ladies? And I refuse to steal and wreck homes like Angelina, Natalie Portman and Alicia Keys. It would have been nice if Whitney found her soulmate during her time alive but I realize she’s so awesome, she never needed one just like the other divas I just mentioned. And I’m happy Mariah is with an age appropriate man who has his own money who by the way took her to visit the Holy Land. Amen! I just won’t do things for the sake of it if it’s not natural and genuine, ya know what I mean?)

It took me 3 years and I’m almost done with Old Testament; getting the foundational truth of who God and his people were and are. Now this year I get to read more of God’s love; not that the Old Testament didn’t show it but the New Testament is the fulfillment from what God promised in the Old Testament. I don’t have anything clever to end this post with so I’ll end it with what I always say: Bring. It. On.