December 17, 2005

A view of the home front while observing the war on Terror

To many on the American home front, it is becoming more problematic to keep the home fires burning while observing the War on Terror. Paying through the teeth while the gas gouge is in full swing is only one example of the pain the average American is presently enduring.

Another example is the growing scarcity of well paying jobs.

Just recently it was revealed that General Motors will be cutting 30,000 jobs

While we observe this war on Terror, the average American is being laid off and left out to hang with this struggling and sorry excuse for a "robust economy".

Sure, gas producers and private military contractors are not complaining. And for those of us who do complain about the current state of economic affairs in America, we are viewed as annoying bugs that those who are fairing financially well desire to shoo away from them with the back of their hand. That reminds me of the attitude those in the Administration have toward all who question their actions in Iraq. One gets the feeling that anyone who may take issue with them over their past and present actions are just a trivial annoyance to them.

Another sad state of current affairs on the American home front is the prescription drug plan instituted by our President. Many I know are confused at best and frightened out of their wits over the ultimate outcome of this much touted plan put into law by those in the Administration:
" Report Asks if Some Poor May Lose Coverage "

The above linked article goes on to report: "Government auditors said Friday they are uncertain that all poor people now getting medicine through Medicaid will be able to get their prescriptions filled beginning Jan. 1.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is automatically enrolling them into the private plans. However, even if 1 percent are overlooked during the transition, 60,000 people would have problems getting their medicine".

Who will be the one to stick up for those who will be left defenseless and disappointed because of this new drug plan? In another recent article, the headline reads:

Neediest may be hurt by new Medicare drug plan

"Some of the nation's oldest, sickest and poorest people could wind up being hurt instead of helped by Medicare's new prescription drug benefit, health advocates warn.

They fear that some people -- including patients in assisted-living homes, the mentally ill and those with chronic conditions such as AIDS -- could face higher costs and bureaucratic obstacles that make it harder to get the drugs they need ".

I have been concerned that in the end a mess might ensue when this prescription drug plan was first being discussed and touted.

These are only a few of the views from the home front that we as Americans are faced with every day. But what of those whom we love and who are absent from the home front due to the war on Terror?
Mission Accomplished

The question utmost on many people's minds is:

Just when is the mission truly going to be accomplished? When is the United States military going to get out of Iraq?

The way I see it, in order to answer these questions, we must first understand what we are doing there.

This is not a simple task.

We are told we are there because reconstruction must be completed. So let's see how the reconstruction effort is going shall we?

This from the Christian Science Monitor, dated August 26, 2005: the headline reads

" Iraq reconstruction shows limited progress :Need for extra security, money lost to corruption, hinder rebuilding efforts".

The article goes on to relay "A series of recent reports by the US government, non-governmental agencies and private organizations shows that despite spending more than $9 billion in Iraq in the past two years, the US has had only "limited progress" in important sectors such as oil and power".

This is only one news item I have found while stumbling across many. I am sure you can get a much clearer picture from reading the article in it's entirety.

All of that money and time, not to mention the loss of life equals limited progress with the reconstruction effort.

Can someone please tell me how reconstruction in Iraq is to be completed in a bloody war zone? Such efforts would appear to be in vain.

From this perspective, how are we to believe the situation will get better in Iraq to the extent that our military can come home?

When having this question put to them, those in the administration act as if we are whining cry babies. They act as if we are being unreasonable by asking any questions about our mission there and when it will end.

This is not the way for any Administration to act. After all, how many of those in our current administration watched their sons or daughters march off to risk their lives for this war effort? We have valid questions but I take it our questions do not matter to them.

While defense contractors are enjoying a rosy and vital economic status since this war began, the rest of us are struggling to pay taxes and keep gas in the tank so we can get to and from our low wage jobs. That is, if we have one. Where is the outrage at all these issues? We should all be seeking God in this hour and asking him for guidance during these chaotic and dark days we live in.

With this said, I believe as I have said before, America is in for dark days ahead. If we believe that we can escape God's hand of judgment, we are mistaken. Do you believe that this war is a good thing?

Do you believe that God himself condones our actions in Iraq?
Do you believe that it is a justified action that those in the current administration have undertaken?

James 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

In Isaiah 58:6, God says :

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

We are to be currently engaged in setting the captives free by first telling them the good news and secondly, by helping and not hurting them. How different this is from innocent people being killed in this bloody war the American administration has chosen to undertake. The Iraqi's didn't cause the terror in the United States, yet they are being treated as if they did. They have been punished as if they have. We are to be yoke breakers. Instead we are placing a heavy and painful yoke on the necks of those innocent souls we have harmed since the beginning of this war.

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?

Again, this is easy to understand. Our Lord always makes it that way. Instead of taking away from people, we are to be adding to them, for their good and all to bless them. We have done the complete and total opposite in doing what we've done by force in Iraq. Those stripping the clothes off Iraqi's and taking photographs of them to taunt them is a disgrace. Those who have done such things should be ashamed. But they had their orders and they chose to carry them out. Those who gave the orders for our military to do these things, as well as those who actually participated in such atrocities should be ashamed.

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.

These are our rewards for doing as the Lord has instructed. We will enjoy good health and be filled with understanding and wisdom and joy. The very glory of the Lord will be our reward.

The bottom line:

Among other things, I believe that this war on terror is serving to ultimately wear down and weaken our military. Many see this fact and are asking why those in power are continuing to let it happen. If we were dealing with and fighting an enemy who threatened our freedom and way of life, then it would be in every way understandable. But since this is not the case with Iraq, many are right to sit in awe and silence when they think of this war on "terror".

How is a weakened military in America's best interest?

It is not

But it is in the interests of some, I am sure of it.

If there is another terror incident in the USA, will a draft be implemented?

I believe that an attack on America is the only event at this point that would perpetuate a draft, I believe this wholeheartedly.

We are told that if we do not defeat the terrorists on foreign soil *Iraq* then we will have to fight them here. It was the United States that invaded Iraq's turf, and not the other way around. No friends, something does not add up and hasn't made sense to me ever since the administration's "effort" in Iraq commenced.

What about the negative implications of this war on terror? Where is the debate when it comes to these things? Foremost among these negative implications we can see a weakened United States Military and a tremendous debt to the United States of America.

We most certainly have suffered casualties as a result of this war on terror.

On the one hand:

The numerous lives and limbs of those who have only done what they were ordered to do. These men and women have trusted our administration that they would not put them in harm's way unless absolutely necessary.

On the other hand,

The strength of our military has suffered. Our military of these United States has been weakened in a major way.

Are these two things in the best interest of Americans?

I think not.

December 7, 2005

Drug Addiction: Shattered Dreams, Wasted Lives Pt 6

Lies and Manipulations

A drug addict lies in order to protect and coddle their addiction. They believe if they tell a lie to you that they are doing it for a "good" reason. Their main reason truly is to get you to back off and leave them alone. But a lie is still a lie and when they cross the line and resort to telling an untruth, they are still a liar no matter how they want to justify or dress up that lie.

I have had experiences with drug addicts as friends and drug addicts as family members. When confronting an addict, what I get is always the same. Their problem really is not their own, they will not acknowledge it nor own it. Their bad behavior is NEVER the problem, it is another's behavior that is causing them grief. Usually they blame the problem on their wife or husband. Sometimes they will toss the blame on another family member. Any old port in a storm will do just fine to them. They are masters at playing the blame game. And they will continue this "passing of the buck" until they make your head spin. When you confront them about their behavior, they will stand and argue with you until you finally tire of their denial to the point that you are willing to accept whatever they say. This is only IF they wear you down to that particular point. But if you stand your ground, they will most likely attempt to have the last word, turn on their heels and walk away from you in disgust. In dealing with a drug addict, I have seen this happen and it is truly annoying to those who are being walked away from.

As I said, lies are told by the addict in order for them to continue using, however, some or many of these addicts are master con-artists as well. They are in active addiction and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason for their constant and steady stream of lies. You should also know that some people who suffer with troubling personality or mental disorders are prime candidates for drug abuse.

There are some addicts who simply do not care about the lies they tell. But there are some addicts who are sorry for the lies they tell.

When you go down the path that leads only to destruction, it is a lonely one indeed. The addict finds that their lies always catch up with them eventually.

I have known some addicts who lie over the most colossal things and I've known addicts who lie over the most trivial of things.

No matter what type of addict you are dealing with, in order for them to even start the process of recovery, they must face the TRUTH. This means admitting that they DO have a drug addiction. And they have coddled and preserved and fed that addiction until now it is a behemoth that they can't even dream of controlling. After sincerely admitting this, they must then take an ACTIVE and not PASSIVE role in their recovery.

From my observations, many drug addicts eventually DO confess the truth of their addiction, but seldom go on to take an active roll in recovery.

They may say, "Yes, I have a problem". Then you, their family member or spouse are SO overjoyed at this turnabout, only to wonder a few days later when they don't come home, what that confession they made to you was really all about? Many addicts seem to take a passive and unproductive role in their recovery. These are addicts who don't care to get clean yet. They have not suffered enough yet. Do they feel BAD? Do they have no shame? A drug addict already feels bad about themselves deep within. Truly, I believe they are walking lumps of shame. To not have shame and guilt eating at them would mean that they have no conscience. They usually act cocky and arrogant and in control of themselves and those around them . But this is only a mask they wear that is covering that part of themselves that they cannot show to those around them. Inside, they are spoiled, frightened little children.

But we must remember that they themselves have chosen to give themselves over to drugs. The decision to go down this painful and destructive path was made by them and not by us. Just say no That commercial always irritated me. Telling someone that has never tried drugs to JUST SAY NO is one thing. But this does not pertain to someone who is in the throws of active addiction. These people have long since said YES and are now repeatedly saying YES to drugs. This is why it's so hard for an addict to quit. The addict cannot QUIT for their family or any significant other. They must choose to stop for themselves.

An important aspect of them choosing to stop for themselves is realizing and BELIEVING what value God places on the life HE gave them. They SHOULD stop because of the pain and agony they are causing those who love them, but the love for the drug overshadows any caring they have for another person, and even though it's sad...more often than not, the love for the drug even overshadows them caring for themselves.

I have known drug addicts who get into a cycle that leads to the absolute destruction of their lives as well as the lives of those who love them.

The drug addicts that I have known start out their Monday's going to work and working until payday. They get their checks, cash them and go STRAIGHT to fetch their drug of choice from their dealers. They then indulge in drugs until the money is gone. Usually this takes a few days and by Sunday they are out of commission until they again get the money it takes to further support their drug use. This is the cycle of addiction and what a web drug addiction can weave in the life of people today.

From my observations, a drug addict who is without money will do anything in order to GET money to buy more drugs. Thieving, lying and stealing are all used in order to keep them high and in control. I have known drug addicts who won't think twice about stealing from loved ones who think the world of them. This is what these people do, for GUILT is NOTHING compared to the addiction that drives them and directs their steps.

November 28, 2005

The Bible, Our Playbook for Life

bibleJust as a football team has a playbook filled with strategic plays for games, we must utilize our playbook for life - The bible.

God always intended that we reach out for his word, the Bible, in order to know how to live this life. There are play books in football and the entire team depends on the plays inside that book in order to help them win games. If we want to be victorious and win at the game of life, we must depend on God's playbook to do it.

What you will find

God's book, the Bible, is filled with wisdom and light and you won't find foolishness within it's pages. Inside of this playbook you can find answers to all manner of obstacles and dead ends you may encounter in life. If you lack love and compassion, this book will tell you why. If you wish your faith to be strengthened, the bible will tell you how to get a strong and unshakable faith. If you have the feeling that you haven't a friend or family member on earth that understands the pain and grief you're going through, we are told in the bible that there is indeed a "friend who sticks closer than a brother". It is he who can see you through these problems, even when there may be nobody else who cares what becomes of you.

At the most make or break times in my life, I have reached for his word and have never been let down.

Do you wish to find someone who understands what you're going through with all the struggles and sorrows that have been heaped on you by others in this world? You will find a man named Jesus and his story within the pages of this playbook's text. You will find that he can truly understand your grief and pain.

Do you feel persecuted and treated unjustly by those who are to care the most for you - your family?

We read in the bible that even a man's own dear family and friends may turn against him. This is a sad fact of life. But we do not have to allow the pain of even this to have power and reign over us. We do not have to allow anger and bitterness to rule over us and control our actions and our lives. We do not have to allow sin to have dominion over us.

While we go about living this life and learning from the struggles we endure, we can come out of a trial either stronger or weaker than when we first experienced the pain of it. We will have pain and struggles and we will most likely be angry, hurt, humiliated and betrayed but in all of these things, we can know by reaching for his playbook that he has never left our side and that he will see us through these things as well.

From the Book of Psalms more than any other, I have found the words that have offered me the comfort that was needed to see me through some truly devastating times. In these pages I have read where God say's that he will settle the matters that have caused me pain and suffering. He not only wants to do this for me, he wants to do this for all who would call upon him. It is he and not me who will set all things straight and will judge a matter in which I have been wronged or hurt by another. We are not able to judge matters rightly as he can. No matter what we say, do or think, God knows what is in the heart of man. Therefore, it is only he who is able to judge and not we ourselves.

The playbook can and will direct our steps we take on our journey in this life.

We read in the bible that it is not in man to direct his steps and to plot his own course in life. We are to be directed by God's spirit and by his Holy word.

Our eyes and senses divert our attention away from God, his word and his truth. This world is filled with powerful attention getters. We have television, movies, sports, money, shopping, politics, religion, all competing for our attention and time in this life. Time is one commodity that is truly worth it's weight in gold. We waste precious time on things that will ultimately dry up and wither away. But what of the things that will last forever like our souls? What about our spirit that God has given us? What will happen to us once we have lost our life in this world and go on to our life in the hereafter?

These are all questions that many want answers to.

God would have us to be concerned over these questions and the answers to them. God would have us ponder the afterlife. He would have us to ask questions of him, for he desires to give us answers.

The answers to these questions are all in the playbook for life, the Bible.

May we all strive to give more attention to this playbook. It is in our best interest to do so. God would not have us be blinded to his truth and to understanding that truth. We are bombarded on all sides by lies and deceit because we live in this world which grows darker by the day. But you will find no lies and deceit within the pages of the bible. Only truth and light.

September 29, 2005

Drug Addiction: Shattered Dreams, Wasted Lives, Pt 5

The Tragedy Of The Enabling Parent

I have received a mountain of email asking me to write more on one particular issue in the life of the drug addict and his or her family.

The issue is that of strife in the family due to one parent taking on the role of the enabler while the other family members have stopped enabling. This is a very bad place to be. The addict will ensnare the enabling parent by insisting on his "help" no matter what the cost to the rest of the family or your bank account. You should know that if an addict can get his way, he will not care how it will complicate your life, marriage, or your relationship with your other children. Many addicts play one parent against the other in order to get their way. This is something you must realize and take steps to stop if it is already wreaking havoc in your life.

The Enabling Parent causes strife and grief in the lives of many

The main theme of most of the mail I've received on this subject is as follows:

"I have a brother who is addicted to drugs, me and my mother have told my dad that he must stop enabling my brother's behavior. We have told him the dangers, etc.. but he refuses to stop enabling him because he says my brother would not have anyone else to help him and that he will not turn his back on his son". He pays his bills, gives him money and bails him out of jail every time.
Can you please help me, my dad just won't listen?

The father, the enabling parent in this situation, along with other family members are the only ones who are truly ABLE to do something since the addict himself will not.

Here we have the mother and sister of the addict who have already realized that enabling is not helping the addict. The dad on the other hand is still caught in the web of enabling.

What can the distraught family members do who struggle to get through to the enabling dad?

The truth is always the best and it is no exception in this case. They must make sure they have faced the enabling dad with that truth. They must tell him how his behavior is ultimately pushing the addict on into deeper addiction by taking care of the addicted son's needs and worsening it by giving him the money or resources to get more drugs. They must tell the enabling dad that he is putting up a barrier that prevents his addicted son from facing consequences that we ALL must face as a result of our wrongdoing in this life. They must tell him that taking care of every need his addicted son has is getting in God's way and blocking his son from hitting rock bottom. The enabling dad is guilty of hurting his addicted son, yet he believes he's helping him.

What can the father do if he wants to do right by his addicted son?
Stop pushing the addicted son toward deeper addiction by giving him money, paying his bills, etc.

Who is the enabling dad hurting in this saga?

The answer is not only his addicted son, read on:

1. He is hurting his addicted son by enabling him to continue his life of addiction.

2. He is hurting his daughter by coddling and enabling the addict brother. The father is showing his daughter who is not addicted, that's it's ok to do wrong and not ever suffer consequences. He's showing the daughter that anything her brother wants, he gets. He is showing his daughter that he is a pushover and is naive and gullible in the extreme and is worthy of being used, abused and manipulated.

3. He is hurting his wife. Many fights and much strife has abided in the households of those who have addicted children. In this situation, the wife sees what is going on and has stopped enabling her addicted son while the dad continues bending over backwards in order to supply everything his addicted son desires.

The very focus of this family is geared toward the addicted child.

4. The enabling dad is hurting himself. We all have opinions and views of our family members, our views are based upon what they believe, do and say. In this situation, the father who is enabling is viewed poorly by his addicted son, even though he provides the son everything and denies him nothing. Make no mistake, the addict son views the enabling dad as weak and someone worthy to be conned and manipulated. The daughter sees her father in the same light. The wife views her husband the same as the daughter does. Yes, in this situation, the only one thinking he is doing his addicted son a great service is the enabling dad.

Addicts Look For Anyone To Use

While an addict has anyone taking care of the responsibilities that he himself should be taking care of, he will NEVER get better. Why would he? He has the best of both worlds. He does not have to work and he does not have to be RESPONSIBLE for anything he needs to live this life. He has already learned how to WORK his family over to such a great extent that he has no need to put forth an ounce of effort to take care of himself!

Why else should the enabling father say NO to his drug addict son?

Bad behavior such as: lying, stealing and manipulating is not something that we should allow from our family members. Just because we love them and they are family does NOT give them the right to use, abuse, and manipulate us.

God himself and Jesus Christ our Savior does not want this for us. For us to by lied to, manipulated or used by a family member is not God's will for our lives!

In fact, our family members should be the very ones who can be counted on to treat us with respect, loyalty, love and honesty.

Most parents do not want to face the truth that their addicted child is blatantly using them and conning them. Even though they may have a sense this is what's going on, they choose to believe otherwise.

Why does the enabling parent keep this up?

At the heart of enabling, there is a feeling that just one more time of helping the addict will make all the difference... What does this mean? The enabling parent feels that THIS TIME things will be different. "If I just help them out this one LAST time".

I have known addicts who are so accustomed to having their enabling parent tell them, "This is the last time I help you", that their response is a muffled "Yeah Right". The response is as if to say, "I know you don't mean a word of it. You'll ALWAYS do what I want you to do, your actions so far have shown it.... so get off my back"!

When an enabling parent gives out warnings such as the one above, this is like a joke to the drug addicted child. A running joke that is, because by this time the enabling parent's "warnings" have went on for years. Children LEARN from experience what they can get by with, and a drug addicted person is like a cunning, manipulative child who learns from watching his enabling parent give into his every whim. The enabling parent simply must come to this realization.

Why does the enabling parent believe their addicted child and continue enabling them?

The parent does this because they have been lied to all along by their addicted child. An addict will say to their enabling parent that they:

1. are currently looking for rehabs

2. have a good lead on a great job

3. things are definitely looking up for them and they are SO glad that their mom or dad has not given up on them like everyone else has!

These words are intended to play on the sympathy of the enabling parent.

This is just stringing the enabling parent along and the addicted child knows what the parent wants to hear, so that is what he tells him or her.

September 9, 2005

The Protective Hand of God

We in America have taken the protective hand of God for granted. How many potential hurricanes have been diverted from their path at precisely the right time so as to not intrude near our shores?
The Story of Job and the Great Destroying Wind

In the book of Job, God said, "Behold, all is in your (Satan's) hands. Satan left from the presence of God and the great wind ensued. This happened because Satan told God that the only reason Job is faithful to him is because of God's hedge of protection upon Job.

Read carefully:

9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for naught?

10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy (satan's) power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord

At that moment God lifted that hedge of protection from Job.

Afterward, the great wind caused the death of Job's children:

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Even though Job lost everything he had and later, even his own body suffered, still he kept his faith and did not charge God foolishly for the things he suffered.

Losing Everything

I can hardly imagine what it would be like to lose everything. The only sure thing I do know is that if I suffered the loss of all things, I would still have God with me. That is a small consolation for some, but it is the biggest consolation I can think of for me.

We in America believe that if we don't have a well paying job, luxurious home or other earthly needs met, our life is over. Surely our life consists of more than these things. Many early Christians were nomads, wandering around with only the clothes on their backs and no big dreams and goals to sustain them. They wandered around preaching and teaching and helping their fellow man. Their chief objective and desire was telling all of the Good News of Christ. How far this description is from our preachers and teachers of today. The wealthy preachers of today cannot be satisfied with four walls and a roof. They build their mansions and have three cars packed in a garage that's the size of many people's homes.

A Question of Repentance

We in America think we have seen the worst of disasters in Katrina. But if we choose to harden our necks and remain unrepentant towards God, there are future things we may witness that could make Katrina look tame.

We as a nation have decided to toss God out of our personal lives, courts, schools and even a majority of our churches on a grand scale.

We have enjoyed God's protective hand and been at ease in the land of freedom for far too long. It is entirely possible that his hand of protection has been lifted from us. God will not stay where he is not welcome nor even acknowledged.

After 9-11, there was a grand opportunity for all of us in America to repent of our sins and welcome God back into our hearts and lives. Now that this hurricane has caused death and destruction, we again have opportunity to repent.

Those in the Christian Church who call God by name and profess to know him must repent of their greed and gluttony and desire for earthly things. Money and other possessions have been idols in our hearts for far too long.

All of us in America must recognize the Iraq invasion for what it is, an unjust war, and repent of it

Our military must leave Iraq and our Administration must make restitution for the wrongs that have been done there.

Any deceit and misinformation that has been allowed to grow and fester in our Administration must be dealt with and repented of.

The sin of pride, greed and haughtiness by those in America must be repented of and must cease.

Judgment upon the earth Isaiah 4

4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone.

12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction.

I believe that America, and not any isolated city or state will be humbled and brought low from God Almighty. Last week we witnessed the destruction of New Orleans and Mississippi, next week it could very well be the west coast in peril and lamentations. I am well aware of the sin and depravity that Mardi Gras has hosted for many years, make no mistake, God is not pleased by it, but I happen to believe that the entire nation will be judged and no area on the map will be safe from his wrath if we do not repent.

When a horrible calamity such as hurricane Katrina strikes, many in our nation ask "Why has God allowed this"?

Why would these people who turn their backs to God continuously choose to bring up his name now? Many of these people do not bring up his name in thanksgiving for all the good he brings to their lives. They never acknowledge his existence, yet they hold him accountable for destruction and suffering when it strikes. This way of thinking is misguided and foolish.

Those affected by this destructive hurricane looked to the government for help and were disappointed.

As I type this, it is being announced that Michael Brown has been removed from overseeing the Katrina Hurricane disaster. What a debacle that was. Where is the accountability for who put him in charge in the first place, President Bush?

Many were angry and felt betrayed by their elected officials and Federal Government because of their slow response to the tremendous needs of the people. The Federal Government knew how bad this hurricane would be. These situations are monitored and everyone from the President to the head of FEMA are alerted and kept well informed. There was just no way they "didn't know" of the possible horrific outcome Katrina could leave in it's path.

America's Decay

America is the nation that repeatedly calls the name of God and claims to know him better than any other. Yet many of these who call him "Lord" have his name on their lips, but he is far from their hearts.

People have replaced God with every useless idol imaginable. Here in America, many think more of their favorite automobile or sport than they do of their creator God.

America is currently engaged in bombings and killings of innocent Iraqi citizens and has been since 2003. We in America have not spoken out about this travesty as we should have. We have remained silent on this issue. Many could care less since we are not the ones getting bombed or invaded. We are lazy and complacent. Yet who cares to open their hearts and eyes to these facts? Who cries out to God and repents for these sins? While we remain comfortable and at ease, gazing at our big screen televisions, our nation is falling apart at it's seams. Our nation is slowly decaying and crumbling before our eyes and we do not even recognize it.

Hope for America

This is a time of trial for us as Americans. I believe that there are many God fearing people in America who are drawing nearer to God an he is doing likewise. There is nothing like a tragedy of this magnitude to show us where our treasures truly lie. Are your treasures invested in heaven or are they invested in this earth where dust can corrupt them and they can be taken away at a moments notice? Nothing in this life is permanent. Dear souls, everything that this life consists of is temporary. Tomorrow I could be both homeless and penniless. But even so, I would not be Godless. For no one can take away from me who I am, not to mention the God I love and serve.

August 30, 2005

The Seared Conscience of the Sociopath Part 1

1 Timothy 4

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;


1. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury;

mischief; harm; -- opposed to {good}. Evils which our own misdeeds have wrought. --Milton.

Those who have turned from God and have chosen to serve themselves are those who have had their conscience seared. These people are haughty, high minded and self-centered.

Some may characterize these people as narcissists or sociopaths.

In dealing with the sociopath, many dread to go near them with good reason. One thing is certain, prayer is an absolute must before being in the presence of such people.

What are a few characteristics of the sociopath?

I list these characteristics because they are the primary ones I have personally noted when dealing with the sociopath.

1. One who shows no regard for the feelings or needs of others.

3. Has a grandiose or elitist attitude

3. Displays a horrific sense of entitlement

4. Consumed with both jealousy and envy

5. Shows no empathy nor regard for their fellow human beings.

These people are concerned only with what they can gain out of each and every situation. America is said to be currently bombarded with a "ME" generation. Have you heard the expression, "What's in it for me"? Chances are you've met up with a sociopath who has little or no conscience. Every thing's about them. Constantly being ordered around by someone who won't lift one finger to ever help you, yet they can spew out orders with the greatest of ease? Chances are you have one of these selfish and hurtful people in your life.

These people must be the center of attention at all times. Do not ignore them or you will feel their wrath.

These people secretly feel (although they would never admit to it) as if they're superior to God.

I sometimes wonder if these people don't actually feel that they could rule both heaven and earth better than God himself! Their behavior certainly seems to conclude these assumptions. Sounds like Satan himself doesn't it? He wanted to rule above and to be worshipped by Jesus himself! Now if you have never met a person like this, there is no way for you to understand what it's like in having to deal with them.

These are a lazy bunch
Except when there are reasons not to be lazy and an activity of some sort would benefit them. They prefer not to do menial tasks such as working at a job or even taking out the trash. Chores such as these are beneath them and are seen as unworthy tasks, not suitable for someone of such high stature as themselves.

These people will scheme and con their way through life looking for people who will serve them and their purposes well. It seems at times that they never stop dreaming up ways to get more out of life, but for all their day dreaming, they enlist others to fight their fights for them. They prefer to watch from afar and remain inconspicuous when able, unless there is reason for them to actively participate in the evil they've helped to create.

These people are charmers and flatterers when necessary to further their cause. They know what others want to hear and will heap great praises upon whomever they're trying to con.

They prefer choice seats at restaurants, to them only center stage is satisfactory, never a back seat. Even innocent children can be manipulated, conned and used by them. They are needy, but never thankful or appreciative for anything. You can do for them over and over again and try to please them, but their lifestyle is of the highest maintenance and rest assured, you can never MAKE them HAPPY.

These hard to please people are like spoiled brats. Case is point? Confront them on some issue and let them know that they're wrong. You won't believe the fight you'll be in for and the misery they will attempt to heap upon you. Why would they react this way? So that you won't make the serious error of correcting them again. You will have to seriously weigh whether or not you should attempt to correct them on any issue in the future, no matter how large or small! Such twisted reality craves unending devotion to them -- unquestioning devotion.

Saying No

NO is not in these people's vocabulary. If you tell them no, even for the best of reasons, they will scorn you and resent you.

Try saying no and denying the selfish, self-centered sociopath and see what you get. Most likely they will use GUILT and TEARS to get their way next time. You will be feeling so guilty that you will think twice before using that two lettered word with them again.

Sociopath's never allow you to question them. However, it's totally acceptable for them to question you. What's good for the goose is never good for the gander from their distorted viewpoint. Sulking and tears are only two weapons in their arsenal among a long list of other such manipulative toys.

If you refuse to go along with their twisted and ungodly ventures, prepare to have a bulls-eye permanently tacked to your back because these people will stop at nothing to make you suffer for not bowing down to them. You see, to them you have committed the unpardonable sin. That of willful disobedience toward them, and they won't soon forget it! These people's egos are so large they would fill a Mack truck! But they themselves are small indeed. The longer you know one of them and truly start to understand them, the smaller they seem. Consider the following bible verse in which God describes Satan and compare his description with that of the sociopath. Those people you know who lack conscience :

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

This verse has always reminded me of those who are selfish and self serving and who care nothing about others. This describes the sociopath or the narcissist well.

Pathological Liars

We all have been lied to. It's pretty much a common occurrence for all of us in life, yet God says that all liars will have their place in hell. With the sociopath, truth is a rarity, whereas lies are the norm. There sometimes seems to be no rhyme or reason for the abundance of lies that spew forth from their lips.

They will lie to you about what you just heard. What you know as a fact, they will label fiction. Even with things that you alone have firsthand knowledge of.

We are told in the BIBLE that one of the things that God hates, one that is an abomination to him, is feet that are swift in running towards mischief. The person I've described to you remains in a state of malicious mischief. They scorn to stay out of trouble and to stop their gossiping and backbiting. They see nothing wrong with their actions. We are to live our lives and carry on with our work in such a way that we keep our heads down, avoid gossip and even the appearance of evil, yet if you tell these people how God desires us to live, it would seem as though you were speaking a foreign language to them. It appears it is not in them to understand godly morals.

August 4, 2005

The Substitutes

subgifRather than learning to be content in any situation we find ourselves in as the apostle Paul describes below, we attempt to apply a quick "fix" to escape the unpleasantness that we experience in our lives.

Philippians 4: 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

More often than not, our "fix" tends to push us toward more unpleasantness and emptiness. Have you ever noticed that drug addicts never feel at peace and contented unless they are high or using?

What have they done? They have substituted the drug for the true contentment that God alone offers them. We could say the same about money. People who feel depressed and unhappy when they have no money to spend have substituted money for a relationship with God that would bring lasting contentment. These substitutes will never measure up and they always fall short of the true contentment that is found in Christ. There is one action common to those who substitute other things for true contentment in Christ:
They keep coming back to their substitute hoping to gain contentment from it, only to be discouraged and depressed afterwards because they never get that contentment.

Why? Because they're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and it isn't working for them.

Their square peg is their substitute, whether it be drugs, money or other addictions and compulsions. Their round hole is that place of spiritual wholeness. The place at the center of their being which God designed when he created mankind and which is reserved strictly for a spiritual relationship with him.

That which is of the spirit can never be satisfied with the things of this world. John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit

That spiritual part of us can never be properly substituted with the things of this world and of the flesh. But oh how we try to gain contentment and satisfaction from those things which will never profit us spiritually such as drugs, jobs, money and material possessions.

Those who do not believe in a creator God and his Son, Jesus Christ, have trouble grasping these truths. In order to understand our use of substitutions I've outlined in this article and the lack they represent in our lives, an individual must first believe that there is a Creator God.

How do we banish these substitutions in our lives? By finally understanding what they are and not being deceived any longer by them. See them for what they truly are - Sorry Substitutions for the true contentment that Christ gives to those who truly desire it. By recognizing the substitutes for the hindrances they are to our own spiritual growth. By knowing that what they offer only leads to more emptiness and depression in our lives. By us taking action now to put them in their proper place in our lives instead of allowing them to be idols in our hearts.


Trying to get lasting contentment out of the things of this world is like pounding your head against a wall and expecting a positive experience with no pain. It just isn't going to happen.

I know people who are still chasing things like money and drugs and they are STILL expecting a good outcome from the emptiness these things repeatedly bring them, some of them have been on this roller-coaster for many years.

These same people wonder why they're often so depressed. They're depressed because trying to gain fulfillment in these things is like trying to handcuff the wind. You can try for the rest of your life but it is not going to happen.

These substitutes will never fill that place God reserved for himself inside of us- his Sprit, they were never meant to. Satan has used them as tools to entice us and to keep us from entering into a true and fulfilling life that only God provides for us in Christ

Satan wants nothing more than for us to keep our focus on and our time wasted on these substitutes *these things of this world*. Satan knows that once our vision is fixed on our creator God and our understanding is enlightened to his (God's) truth, (Satan's) power over us will be broken and his days of deception in our lives are numbered.

We set up idols in our hearts with these substitutes. But we have to wake up out of our sleep. We must take action toward banishing them from our lives while we have the chance. The days of our lives on this earth are but a vapor. One minute we're here, living this life and the next, our lives are over . When your life is over and your eternal life begins, will you find yourselves in heaven or in hell? What are the substitutions you have fallen victim to? What are the things you throw your time and care into on this earth? Do you feel as though you've substituted the things of this world for God?

If you have, please say this prayer with me now and believe it in your heart:

Dear God, I have put things and people in that place that was only meant for you. A relationship with you should have been my number one priority and instead it has not been on my list of things important to me in my life. But I'm trying God, I'm trying to understand that this is not what you want for me because it will leave me empty and cold toward you and your will for my life. I know that your will for my life should be important to me . I pray that you give me ears to hear what your Spirit is trying to tell me. I want lasting peace and contentment that will never be taken away from me and I pray that you would give it to me. I thank you for your mercy that you have given me and everyone else on this earth.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

July 31, 2005

Swimming With Sharks : The Hypocritical Christian

This article addresses the actions of hypocritical Christians.

Swimming With Sharks : The Hypocritical Christian

Enduring the actions and attitudes of a hypocrite reminds me of swimming with sharks. The shark thinks nothing of taking a bite out of someone. In the same respect, the Christian hypocrite thinks nothing of taking bites out of their fellow man.

Have you ever met a Christian whose judgmental actions and attitudes make you cringe?

They're ready to let you know what you've done wrong, yet their own unchristian like ways they are oblivious to.

Luke 6:41

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Instead of being consumed and harping on their fellow man's sins, they should throw all of that energy into taking care of their own sinfulness and shortcomings. But these people NEVER do that. They are much too busy sticking their noses into the business of everyone around them. Jesus called these people hypocrites.

Luke 6:42

Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

Being Hypo-Critical


marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws; "a critical attitude"

Why do they do it?

I believe that hypocrites suffer from

"Misplaced Introspection"

*I made this name up myself and it describes those who have practiced inspecting everyone else's lives to the neglect of their own*

Introspection means :A looking inward; specifically, the act or process of self-examination

Weighing and judging other people's actions is their way of avoidance. What are they trying to avoid?

The mirror

They would rather avoid taking a good healthy look at the actions and motives of their own heart. So instead, they fix their gaze onto the next best alternative, everyone else's actions and motives.

It never ceases to amaze me how we overlook the sin inside of us that we should be focused on, yet we are all too ready to focus on another's sinful ways. Sometimes the sin that is within ourselves appears to be small and insignificant, but in reality it can be a huge beast of a problem that must be conquered.

Concerning the conduct of others, hypocrites should remain silent much of the time rather than blasting others with their input. Hypocrites attempt to FORCE people to live as they would like them to. God made each and every one of us with a WILL. And nobody can override another's will for any reason. I don't want someone telling me how to live, I choose instead to pick up my bible and read up on how to live well.

The hypocrite who touts Christianity desires shouting out other people's shortcomings and sins from the rooftops but they are lacking in the attributes of long suffering and mercy. They certainly come up short on personal introspection.

This reminds me of an accuser of the brethren.

The only thing that God desires us to do if we are confused and bothered by the actions of others is to PRAY for them and have faith that he will do a work in their lives that will save them from a life of misery before it is too late. Barring this, we are only to speak to them about their sin if we are confident that God has told us to specifically, and even then we are to do so ONLY with love and compassion in our hearts toward them.

Christian Hypocrites Thwart God's Will for Others

If we truly believe that God is able to clean our neighbor's life up and set them on a solid rock and on the path toward everlasting life, then why do we so often offend them and thwart what he is trying to do in their lives by living as a hypocrite?

Why do we get angry when others don't listen to us and live as we encourage them to?

Our anger toward them is not going to change them.

There is an over abundance of unsolicited advice going out from hypocrites.

Instead of blasting them with our opinions, we should tell them the truth *if they ask us* in LOVE and compassion. This is what Jesus did. His anger was stirred at the Pharisees and nobody else, why do you suppose that was?

Because it was the Pharisees who were trying to trap him and trip him up by his words and actions. It was the way of the Pharisees to act pious toward other's. It was the Pharisees who were religious hypocrites!

Christian Hypocrites and Anger

Hypocrites always seem to be mad about something, especially Christian hypocrites. The hypocrites anger comes from living a life that is making them unhappy. Many of them are living by their OWN power and not relying on the power that comes only from the Holy Spirit and truth. This is why they are so puffed up and full of pride. Because they may say they are living their life with God's help but in reality they are not. Hypocrites truly ARE living their life through their OWN power. This leaves them nothing but an empty feeling inside of them and when they see the freedom in Christ that other's enjoy, their anger shows. But you can forget approaching them with this truth. As I said, they are blind to their own faults, yet very aware of the faults of others. They believe they are right on all counts and live so much better than their fellow man.

Those who rely on the power of God to live their lives do NOT have a pride problem. In fact, they are only too aware of their weaknesses and shortcomings and this is why they KNOW that they must rely on God's grace and mercy to help them live this life.

Do as we say and not as we do

Generally, people will not DO what we tell them to do. We will usually butt heads with someone if they attempt to control us. What people will do is notice how we live and notice how we treat others. That is more of a witness than a thousand words will ever be to them. We were never meant to allow another person to control us, God is the one who should have that

If we see what appears to be SIN in other's lives, we have all kinds of advice for them that might "help" them. When we see what appears to us to be sinfulness in another, we would do well to pray for them and NEVER do anything that would offend them and turn them away from Christ in any way. Many have been hurt and angered by these hypocritical Christian zealots and very few have been helped by them.

The Christian hypocrite would do well to ponder on the following scripture and put it to work in their own life:

Romans 14:4

Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

July 9, 2005

Drug Addiction: Shattered Dreams and Wasted Lives Pt 4

A drug addict is arrogant, willful and cocky when they have money in their pocket, but they are full of hard luck stories when they are broke.
Many of them only work in order to keep a steady supply of their drug of choice.
When they are broke, they will then seek out those who they can borrow money from to keep their habit going.
If there seems to be nobody who will lend them money, they will then resort to theft and various con-games.
Arrogance and Drug Use
1.Drugs are like a shot of self confidence to those who have little or no self esteem. If the person you love is addicted to drugs, chances are you have not seen the REAL them for a long time. What you have been looking at when you gaze upon their faces is a stranger who seems to have taken over their bodies and minds.
Money In their Pockets
When drug addicts have money in their pockets, they are on top of the world and high as a kite flying in a strong breeze on a clear day. They are self assured, totally in control and seem VERY happy go lucky.
But take away that drug, that little helper of theirs and they are spoiled, tantrum throwing two year olds!
The Drug Abuser and His Job
2. Chronic drug abusers will only work in order to supply their habit. They have no use for a job and they do not take pride in a job well done as non-addicts do. The addict simply does not care about a job or taking pride in his or her accomplishments because to them, a job is only a tool they USE in order to continue courting their only true love, their drug of choice. The drug abusers that I have known will work for a few days, only until they get that paycheck, they then immediately speed to the bank, cash it and then it is straight to their dealers house where they are like a kid in a candy store. When a drug addict starts to habitually lose jobs because of the escalation of his drug use, he will then resort to theft as well as selling drugs. At this point, he is a lot closer to being put behind bars or losing his life or on the more positive side, he may be getting closer to a prodigal son experience.
The Penniless Drug Abuser
3. When a drug abuser is penniless, he is a lot LESS cocky and arrogant. He would flatter anyone and everyone if he thought it would profit him. They will borrow from anyone, no matter if the loved one they hit up for money is having a hard time paying their own bills! You see, the drug addict thinks absolutely nothing about the problems his loved one could be going through, there is only one thing that is utmost in his mind, getting his next fix.
The Drug Abuser As Thief
4. Many chronic addicts that I have known will resort to stealing if that is what it takes to get drugs. Heck, some of them would sell off their own family members without batting an eye, they are so desperate when they run out of drugs that they could care less about any morals. Why do you think drug users are such risk takers? Because they don't care WHAT happens to them or the pain it causes their families because in the grand scheme of things, it's all about getting what they want at any cost to themselves or others who might try to stand in their way. An addict who is penniless can be quite dangerous. They will stop at nothing to keep their drug supply up and to catch that next high. If you live around those you suspect of drug addiction, please lock your doors and protect anything you value. Another danger is that they may attempt to buy drugs on "credit" from the dealer. But someone always has to pay their drug dealer sooner or later.
Master Con Artists and Manipulators:
Drug addicts are masters at manipulation. They have learned this because those who truly love them are continually making an all out effort to persuade them to get clean and to STOP destroying themselves. Although those who love them SEE the obviousness in this, the addict sees the opposite. The addict believes that if you try to separate him from his drug, you are attempting to DESTROY him, therefore in his twisted thinking, you are now his or her sworn enemy. How perverted is this? Very.
I know this is twisted thinking. But in the mind of an addict it is seen this way. You try to split up a relationship between the addict and his lover, (his drug) and you are an enemy to that addict, no matter how you may try to persuade the addict that you CARE about him.
The Spirit of Addiction
I believe that there is a SPIRIT of ADDICTION. There is most certainly a spirit world that we read about in the BIBLE. There are things we can see, and there are things we cannot see. We cannot see into the spirit world as such. Only those who have died or have been given visions or dreams from the Holy Spirit have seen into the spirit world. However, it has been noted by some addicts that when they have been on their "TRIPS", they have seen "demons or other evil spirits or creatures" that have frightened some of them so much that such encounters have persuaded them to stop their drug addiction cold turkey.
When we dabble in drugs, there is a VERY solid chance that we may lose our life. And that is not the worst of it. When we exit this life, we will go to one of only 2 places. Those places are heaven or hell. We are asked of God in the bible to choose life or death. In this respect, when we choose to give our lives over to drugs, we are actively choosing death for as long as we continue our addiction.

July 4, 2005

Economic Uncertainty and the End Times

This page is my personal opinion and does not reflect on anything that anyone else has said or told to me. Please note that my opinion has not been affected by the recent downturn in any country's profitability and/or financial situations. I have believed for years that our nation would someday suffer an economic breakdown. Those who know me, family and friends know that I have said this for many years. Sometimes it was taken seriously, but most times it was scorned.

It is not always easy to speak your mind, especially when there are many who do not share your point of view to the point of arguing about it. It seems to me that when people feel that their survival or lifestyle could be threatened, as it would IF an economic crisis were to take shape, they don't want to think about it. It is a fearful thing to them and I understand that. This is why so many can be in denial over the current chain of events that are unfolding in relation to our economy. Extensive downsizing, corporate fraud, ect. But as I've said so often on my web site, we do not all have to agree on everything. None of us are right all the time and with that in mind, we can agree to disagree.

With that said, what cannot be neglected has to be mentioned right away. I believe the Bible. The scripture I will first bring up is in the Old Testament.

From Ezekiel 7;19

They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.

Just what is God trying to tell us in this scripture out of Ezekial 7?

1. That our money, both silver and gold, will be cast into the street as worthless. Our money I believe will lose it's worth in a big way. Think about this and let it sink in really deep. If we believe what God says in his Word, then in the future, our currency will be useless. And when our money becomes useless, if this is the case, how will we be able to pay our bills, buy food, take care of our family and manage the numerous other things that we have depended on currency for to carry us through and make our lives manageable and stable? I believe that in the future, very soon in my own opinion, our money will be as useless as a piece of slag!

In comparison, God tells us in Proverbs 8;10:

Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

We are told that instruction from God, as well as knowledge that only comes from him is better that silver AND gold.

And another in Proverbs 8;19:

My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

The outcome of serving God and loving him and living a life in which we CHOOSE to live for him, is better than silver AND gold.

Why would an economic crisis happen? And why would GOD allow it?

The reason we will have an economic crisis is simple and is as well found in the word of God.

Ezekiel 7:19:

"because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity"

Who could ever say that money has not been the stumbling block of man's iniquity? In fact, out of all things, we are told in the Bible that "The love of money IS the root of all evil". So we see that the love of money will cause us to stumble into iniquity or sinfulness very quickly. Let's face it, in our days especially, money is the cure-all.

Money can be a huge stumbling block to you personally if you know of someone who is in need yet you choose to look the other way when you COULD help them, you have made your choice NOT to do so.

If people don't have money, they feel as if they simply don't exist! I know that it's seldom ever thought of but even so, it's the truth. This stumbling block causes us to look away when confronted with others in need of our help financially. This is called selfishness. This hurts God and angers him. We have had business men jumping to their death during the great depression. They lost their fortunes when the stock markets headed south and instead of facing it, they were so despondent and depressed, they decided to DIE rather than go on.
Where was their wealth? Jesus said that "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". So in conclusion, we know that in Ezekiel 7 and verse 19 that God has already said that our silver and Gold would be changed into meaningless rubbish. And the reason why is because it has become the "stumbling block" of our iniquity".

The Mark and the Beast

Revelation 13:11-18 11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

But there is another reason or two why this will happen. In the book of Revelation, we read about "The Beast". There will be a final great world superpower and this one will consume and take charge over the ENTIRE world! It will be the last one and it is during this time that Christ will return in Glory and Honor. *We can read this as well in the book of Daniel*

This great world government will at some point during it's rule, make it impossible to buy or sell, hold a job, or do ANYTHING that requires money UNLESS you are willing to take a mark, the mark of the BEAST. This will happen. The prophecy given by the Holy Spirit to John on the Isle of Patmos WILL come to pass. Every single human being on the face of the earth must accept a MARK in their right hand or forehead IF they want to buy or sell anything. If they want a job, IF they want to eat, whatever the case may be, if they do not have the MARK, then they can forget it, it's that simple.

16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The "He" that John is referring to in verse 16 is the Antichrist.

But we are warned of God in Revelation that whosoever receives this MARK is damned to Hell and will NEVER receive forgiveness but only suffering awaits them.

14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Now I have to tell you that when people start lining up for this mark, it will not be something that is as simple as getting a credit card. I believe there will be some sort of a pledge or a covenant to the Antichrist before or during the acceptance of this mark. There would almost certainly have to be. In the book of Daniel, we can all read about the GREAT IMAGE that Nebuchadnezzar had made and at the sound of the music, he commanded ALL to bow down and worship the IMAGE! This is why Shadrach, Meschak and Abendego were tossed into the fiery furnace. But what happened in the end? God not only saved them from dying, but the very ones who tossed them into the fiery furnace were consumed!

I have always felt as though history would repeat in this matter, not in that there will be another fiery furnace episode, but we know by reading God's word in regards to the IMAGE references both in Daniel AND Revelation, because In Revelation, there is an IMAGE also! And the Antichrist will cause all those to be killed whosoever does NOT worship the beast and his IMAGE.

Remember, the people who choose to take this mark will be under GREAT DECEPTION.

And by the way, what was the FIRST warning that JESUS gave unto his disciples when telling them about the last days? DECEPTION, that's what.

Here is some biblical explanations as to the extent of the DECEPTION that will be so great during those days.

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

More on the coming Financial Wipe-out

There Has to Be A Financial Collapse Before the New System is Set Up

Under our current monetary system, these things I've mentioned can never come to pass. But if you have read about or seen the recent "Chip People" in the news, you know that these things are not in our FAR future. Under our current financial system, the control capability just is not there yet. The scheme of the Antichrist is all about control. You will be controlled in every imaginable fashion. Simply said, your life will cease to be "Your Life".Think about this, just 50 years ago or less, we didn't know nor did it enter anyone's mind to create a device as small as a grain of rice that could be put "inside" or "underneath" the skin with information about you. Also, if you read up on this, you will soon find out that it is not just for information and for your "security". The ones who opt to have this mark can also be tracked by GPS satellite and other resources.

And finally, some more of my own personal opinions, and that is all they are:

I want you to know that I believe it is not wrong to have "gut feelings" when dealing with matters that affect us and the world around us. So I would like to tell you some things that I feel that God has lain on my heart over the past few years. I would not call these just intuition, gut feelings. I will not be so bold as to say that "God Said" to me these things. I t is enough to say that I TRULY believe that the Holy Spirit has laid these things on my heart and leave it at that.

Around 1991 the belief was and still is in me that some time in our future, an economic downturn would take place. This downturn would be far worse than anything that happened during the Great Depression. In addition, it would not only affect the Markets here, but would be sweeping worldwide. The best way to describe it would be to say that a "blanket" would be covering the land. This "blanket" would cover the face of the entire earth. I remember at the time thinking to myself "But our Nation is a Christian Nation". Though I saw even then how more and more were turning from God and choosing everyone and everything over and above him. I then noticed that certain of those who were representative of the Church were doing things a little different.

Later still, I noticed that those same ones were doing things a LOT different. I could hardly believe the things I would hear when I would tune in to Christian Television. Why do I bring up these things with the Church when talking about economics? Well, the two are intermingled I believe. Truth is the most powerful force there is. Certainly for the Christian. And when the Truth gets stepped on and changed so drastically, we all know what that is called, "The Fall of the Church" as we read in Thessalonians. The possibility of Great Deception is at our doorsteps.

God's judgments will be in the earth. We are told that from scripture. When Jonah was sent to Nineveh, that great city, he was sent there with a message to the people of that city and that message from God was to "REPENT". Nineveh did repent and God turned away his wrath.

What about our free will and choice?

Now I am not saying that all of these things will happen just because God is causing them. Think about us for a moment. The Love of many has waxed VERY cold, just as Jesus said that it would in the last days before his return. So many are out for themselves and not concerned with their fellow man. Now this is OUR doing and OUR choice and this also allows our hearts to be hardened to the point of not even being able to hear God. Yes, our own sins have nudged us on this path. It would be wrong to think otherwise. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and there has been an abundance of Greed in the past several years.

Please don't feel like I am getting on anyone at all, why I myself have NOT done all I feel that is within my power to do for the kingdom of God. But there is not ONE of us who can make that claim. We are not PERFECT, yet the only time we lose is when we give up! And we're not going to do that! Are we :)

Nations forgetting God

In the proverbs, we read that "All nations that forget God will be turned into hell".

So the question is, "Has America and/or the other Nations forgotten God? I know that not all of us have, and I do not want to sound like a doomer and gloomer, but much of our Nation HAS forgotten that He is the one that created them, yet he is not even listened to much of the time, not even believed in by SO many.

So What are We to do?

Just as Noah was warned about the great flood and prepared, I honestly believe that if we feel as though we could have an economic collapse, we should prepare as much as we are able to do so.

What do I mean by "prepare"?

Maybe not what you think. The first and by far the most important preparations are the spiritual. We should be taking in the Word of God every day . We should be praying in the Spirit everyday. We should be looking for Jesus's return EVERYDAY.

Now, with the spiritual taken care of, I believe that we should not neglect taking care of the physical. If at all possible, when you go to the grocery store, buy a little extra necessities *only if it is possible*. Remember, we do not know when this will happen. I know that it will in my personal opinion, but not dates. Never a date. Noah did not know when the floods were to be subsided, but God told him to BUILD. And when he was finished, God spoke again and told him to go into the ark after he loaded it with 2 of every kind. So the answer I believe is NOW. We are seeing many things come to pass now in our economy.

And another thing, do not begin to think that all is well if we have a few good market days or if you read a couple of positive newspaper articles stating that the economy is "rebounding". You can thank God for it at the time but PLEASE, do not forgot that the word of God does not change . We are surely going to witness our gold and silver deemed "worthless". That much you can bank on.

May 25, 2005

Freedom from users and abusers

In our world today, we are surrounded by people who are seeking to use and abuse those who are willing to be controlled.

Exploiting others is second nature to these people. The good and kind people that surround them are seen as easy prey.

These people are always wanting something from us. The list is long and the grief is great from us being seen as a means to get their desires and needs met.

What type of people are we to watch out for? Why is it that their needs are always seen to be greater and more important than our own?
Selfishness drives people to do outlandish things. Selflessness in a person, although a good thing, can also drive them to do too much for others.

How to spot them:

Your previous experience with people often serves to give you the best knowledge of their future actions. We learn from our past experiences with people what we will be in for in the future when dealing with them.

These people can be family members, friends and even strangers. Their needs are always greater than your own and they won't think twice about relating that fact to you in a roundabout way. Do you fall for their plight and pitiful stories? Or instead, do you question them and then listen to see if their pity filled life might be that of their own making? Most usually you can spot them by the pity play. Many of those who are using you have their consciences seared just as the Bible speaks of:

1 Timothy 4 1&2

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

I am not speaking of those who have proven that they have genuine needs that you may be able to meet. I am speaking of those who by their past actions and by habit, have proven that they cannot be relied upon to do the right and godly thing with what they have been given by you or others, whether it is money, your time or other resources you have given them.

Did God place us on this earth in order to be used by others?
I think not. The very character of Christ was that of love, compassion and merciful service to others, yet Christ never allowed himself to be used as a tool by anyone in any way. The only one who Christ subjected himself to was God, in order that man might be saved and delivered from this sin-filled world. To enable another in their godless and destructive lifestyle is doing them an injustice.

During his time on this earth, Christ encountered those who wanted to make him King.

John 6:15

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Jesus got away from those people and retreated to a private place and did not allow those people to have control over him or his mission on this earth. These people wanted to place him as King of this earth, an earthly kingship is NOT what Christ was to receive and not what he was sent to this earth for. Remember what he said before his Crucifixion? My Kingdom is NOT of this world. In this same respect, God does not intend for us, his people to be used and manipulated by others. Yet in our world today, many can see this all too often being done on a grand scale.

Just as a battery is depleted of it's power, we can have our power taken from us and be run down by those who seek to accomplish their own goals by our usefulness to them. You are NOT doing God's will by being all things at all times for everyone else. We are to be all things to all men, but the Apostle Paul didn't address this to us in order that we be spent and used up by anyone, rather he was meaning that we must be able to RELATE to others in the situations of life. We are not to be wrapped up another's neediness when they will do nothing to help themselves and instead never choose to live a responsible and godly life. Paul was concerned first and foremost with these people's need for a Savior.

This is what those who use and abuse others never care to realize, they glaze right over their greatest need of all

1 Corinthians 9:19

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Whenever we encounter another who is in need, we are to RELATE and share common ground with his plight. But Paul was not saying to do for people what they are fully capable and should be doing for themselves. The essence of living a fulfilling and productive life is taking responsibility for one's life and not using another person to accomplish what only they themselves are to accomplish.

The power to control

The power to have control over another person is a great one. The devil sought to have control over Christ when he was tempting him. He tried it three times on our Lord while tempting him in the wilderness. Satan wanted:

1. For Christ to use his power for good to make a stone into bread.

2. For Christ to use his power for good to throw himself from the pinnacle and have God's angels save him.

3. For Christ to use his power for good to bow down and worship him, and he said after that He would GIVE him anything in the WORLD, for it was his to give..

Christ did not give Satan what he wanted.. He instead used the word, the Bible on him after each temptation.

Co Dependents World

It is a co-dependent world we live in. On every side we are being pressed to feel pity for those who do not need nor deserve our pity.

What they truly need is to stand up, stop blaming others, and take responsibility for their own lives and actions. They need to get honest with themselves concerning their abilities and shortcomings. Those of us who feel used and abused need to get real about the extent we are allowing ourselves to used by others and put an end to it now.

It is very important that you do not allow others to control you. This is just as important for those who seek to use and exploit you, because the line must be drawn by someone and it will not be drawn by the users and abusers that surround you. As long as they are getting what they need from you, they will not stop using you, remember about that depleted battery? Ever wonder why those of us who are used and manipulated by those we love feel so depleted and drained all the time? It's no wonder, for we are being depleted by those who should be ashamed of what they are doing, but as I said, many of these people have little or no conscience.

So action must be taken by you. A fact of life is that selfishness is rampant in our society and among those we live around and see every day.

I have had much experience with Co Dependent family members and friends who would go so far as to enlist me in their service, but I don't give in.

Instead, I get real with myself about what their abilities truly are and do not allow unjust pity and undue sympathy to control me.

It would be all too easy to go overboard and give into their pressure if I chose, but I cannot because such action taken by me would be a sin.

Jesus put forth the question to the lame man by the pool "Wilt thou be Made Whole"?
I have often pondered this passage of scripture.

The people who are trapped in a co dependent life of woe would do well to read the following passage :

John 5:

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

Why would our Lord ASK this man if he wanted to be whole and healed? Wasn't it obvious that he wanted to be healed?
Not necessarily, you see, he could have been just laying by that pool to garner pity and sympathy from others with no real desire to get better!

That is why Jesus asked him, I truly believe this.
Because unless the person desired to be healed, Jesus was not going to take action to help him in ANY way whatsoever.

The impotent man explained to Jesus that there was NO man to place him in the pool and that while he was in the process of getting someone to place him in the pool, another beat him to it!

Jesus listened to the man's reaction to his question and Jesus SAW that the man had a valid need to be made whole and be healed. Jesus heard the explanation the man gave as to why he couldn't get whole, because someone else always got there before he could.

Their needs are always urgent and more important than anyone else's

In my own experience with manipulative people, I have noted that in their opinion, their needs are so much greater than my own or anyone else's that are in similar situations. This is a tip off as to whether you are dealing with someone who has chosen to rely on you rather than take responsibility for their own needs and actions.

It doesn't bother them much at all to ask you to drop anything you have going that's important to you in order to fulfill their needs. This is plain old selfishness.

When you continually take care of them and run to their aid, they will learn they can turn to you in the future. These people are like small children who are used to getting their way and can get very angry when you start doing the right and godly thing by holding them accountable for their actions and responsible for their own life choices.

In closing, just remember that It is more important for you to do as God would have you to do rather than continually offering yourself up, only to be used as a tool by those who manipulate and use you.

May 24, 2005

Drug Addiction : Shattered Dreams, Wasted Lives Part 3

Empty Promises
One of the things the addict offers his loved one when they urge him to stop using drugs is promises.

If you are the spouse or loved one of an addict, chances are you are only too familiar with the promises he makes you. Most of the time the addict knows full well that he doesn't intend to keep the promises he makes to you of stopping his addiction but he makes those promises nonetheless. He knows that promises, empty though they may be, will buy him TIME. He needs this TIME in order to get you and everyone else that nags and hassles him off his back.

If you call this manipulation, you are on the right track. *more on manipulation later*

In order to continue his chosen lifestyle he will promise you the moon, only don't hold him to it. You will find out later the promise he made to you was nothing more than a passing gesture meant to pacify you at the time he made it. The promise is one with ZERO substance.
The next time he disappears from home or is seen by you under the influence of his drug of choice, the cold reality of his empty promise will be evident to you.

At this time, when you are once again faced with his lies, this infuriates you and annoys him. You are infuriated because he lied to you, He is annoyed because you're on his back again!

Now notice what I just said: He is only annoyed because you are on his back again, not necessarily annoyed at himself for having lied to you! Why would he not primarily be bothered by having lied to you? Because an addicts chief concern is NEVER about you or your feelings, nor is it their dishonest conduct towards anyone else, their main concern is always FEEDING THEIR ADDICTION.
This is not to say that they have no conscience. I believe that addicts have random, yet seldom times in which they reflect on their actions and are sorry for them, but as I said, these are few and far between for most addicts in my experience. You may have thought that those crocodile tears meant something every time you saw them fall. I wish that were the case, but most times it is not.

Even if the addict regrets having lied to you once again, it does not overpower his desire for drugs - his first love.
It would be better if you stopped the addict in his tracks while he is in the process of making his latest promise to you and tell him, "Don't make me any promises because they mean
nothing to me." You always break them". When the addict comes to the end of himself by plunging himself far enough down in the gutter by his own hand, then and only then will you see positive actions on his part that will confirm any promise he could make to you and will as well confirm that he has changed. Until that time, any promises are empty and worthless.
Think of it this way: The drug addict wants something - To continue to use. You want something - Him to stop.

He will continue to use until his use causes him to suffer great hardship and sorrow!

You will continue wanting him to stop until he does stop.

You are saying NO while he is saying YES.

This is opposition that will continue until one of you gives in or gives out! In this dance of desperation, what if I told you of the only way to win this struggle?


Listen carefully because this is a surefire way for you to win this battle:

1. Just as the addict must get sick and tired of the life he leads and must suffer pain and loss before he gets clean, you, the loved one of the addict must get sick and tired of issuing ultimatums, threats and having empty promises tossed at you.

2. You must get sick and tired of leading a life that is engulfed and wrapped up in the addict and his selfish actions.

3. You must see that to continue enabling his addiction in any way is going to lead to his ultimate ruin.

If you are still thinking/ believing there is something YOU can do to control HIM, you are wrong. You might have great intentions, but those won't get the job done, they won't free your loved one either. Enabling shows that you believe that you somehow hold the key to his freedom-- But I assure you that's not true.

Have you been told that you're the problem?

One reason why you refuse to remove yourself from the situation is because the addict has told you that you are the problem! This may make you doubt yourself and wonder if he is right. So you may be attempting to change yourself and your actions in order to make HIM happy with you. This is often the case. He may tell you that your depression is causing him to use drugs. It is most likely true that you are depressed, who would not be living with the likes of an addict such as him, but your depression and actions are NOT the reason why his is using! The truth is: You only become a problem in the life of an addict from God's perspective if you are enabling his lifestyle and bad behavior.
The danger of enabling

You must realize that God has plans for you as well as your addicted loved one. He has a will for your life and his. The thing is, if you are enabling his drug use, you are standing in God's way and shutting down any plan he has for your loved one's freedom. The first step toward his freedom is taking yourself OUT of the situation and making sure the enabling stops.

Those who are loved ones of addicts will bail them out of jail, give them money and do other things which BLOCKS the addict from taking responsibility for his own bad choices and dangerous lifestyle. This is enabling. The drug addict, MUST SUFFER CONSEQUENCES before he will even desire to change his ways and his life. It is these consequences that the enabler is shielding their addicted loved one from and that is why the devastation of drug addiction seems like a roller coaster ride. Those who enable drug addicts should realize this.

Enabling the lifestyle of the addict is dangerous to him. In fact, enabling the addict is many times more dangerous than allowing him or her to own up to their own destructive lifestyle and take responsibility for their own actions.

If you enable the addict, they will stay trapped in their addiction and many times with your help, (if you enable them by giving them money, paying their bills and generally doing for them what they should be doing for themselves) their addictions usually escalate. I have experience with the addicts drug use escalating and spirally out of control due to a spouse or parent's enabling. Though these loved ones intentions are always well meaning, the addict takes advantage of their "Help" and his use will escalate almost every time. Tell an addict NO after he has only known you to tell him YES and you will quickly see him turn on you. This is why many spouses and parents of addicts choose to deny them nothing.

Those who enable: Tools of the addict

The addict uses those he or she loves. It is very hard to accept, but it is this very truth that many of us must realize. Just as tools are used to "fix" an inanimate object, their loved ones are tools that the addict will use to "fix" them. In other words, to help them maintain their addictive lifestyle. If you refuse to be used by them any longer and are not being their tool, you will most likely be left alone by them, but it will not be an easy adjustment. Most times, the addict will go on to find others who will enable him, but that is not your problem. You are not responsible for the actions of others, only yourself. Perhaps given enough time in the pit of despair, your loved one will emerge a changed person, having beaten their addiction through a prodigal son experience that has humbled him greatly and left him with the chance, the only chance at a fulfilling and real life.