June 29, 2007

The Things of This World

All of us have the capacity to be consumed by people and things down here on earth. However, these things which make up life here on earth are temporary. How often do we forget that this life we live is but a vapor and then it's gone?
Consider the words of Paul the Apostle in his letter to Timothy:

2 Timothy 2:4
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Foolish people live their lives as if there is no tomorrow. These people are continuously living in pleasure while on this earth. What do they think of the afterlife and eternity and where they will spend it? For the most part, they cannot think beyond their next adventure or pleasurable experience so where they will spend eternity really doesn't cross their minds.

Living for self and for the moment

There is nothing more futile and foolish than a person who lives for himself and for the moment. These people are walking a tight rope and at both ends of that rope is only destruction.

In my life I have known a number of people who live this way. They fly by the seat of their pants, prefer to live life on the wild side, and taking risks is second nature to them. Knowing them like I do, I often wonder what enables them to continue travelling this dead end road that only leads to more misery and ultimately their destruction. Friends, it is SELF that enables and drives them forward. They are consumed with the affairs of this life. They have been conformed into the image of this world, and not God's dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:21; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
This scripture tells us much about ourselves.
  • Where is your treasure? What or who means more than all else to you?

  • What are the things on this earth that you just cannot seem to live without?

  • Are you only concerned and taken aback by this world and the things in it or are you more interested in the things of God and the world to come -that one which is eternal and shall never pass away?

This world offers us good things, and it is not a sin to partake of them. The sin is in allowing this world and the things in it to become our God! In allowing them to become more to us than what they should be is what we all struggle with.
When we cross that line, we are committing idol worship and we find we are worshipping the creation more than we worship the creator.
If you have allowed this to happen in your life, please know that it is never too late!

  1. Know that the past is done, you cannot undo it.

  2. Now that you have understanding of the matter, stop allowing the things God has created for you to be more to you than he is!

  3. Put the things of this world in their proper place and keep them there

June 25, 2007

Dealing with Lazy People

It's wrong, it will wear us down, but we've all done it. How many times have you taken care of a loved one when they were fully capable of taking care of themselves?

Dear readers, there are a lot of lazy people out there who want to be "taken care" of by any soft touch they can find. As the return of our Lord draws near, we will notice more con-artists and lazy, dependent people who come to rely on the generosities of family and friends to support them.

I call them lazy because that is what they are. More people than ever before prefer to lay around, shirk the responsibilities a job entails, while expecting others to take care of their daily needs. Who do these lazies expect help from? The government, family members and friends.

The bible outlines in specific detail what should happen to a man who is "able" to work but will not.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Now notice I said those who are ABLE to work have no excuse not to. The disabled, elderly, and children are exempt altogether.

You see, I am writing on the subject of lazy, dependent people because I've noticed an increase in able-bodied young men who prefer to lay around the house all day, waiting for mommy and daddy to bring home the bacon and cook it up for them!

Providing for one's family

Those who shirk the responsibilty of taking care of their families:

1 Timothy 5:8

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

The root of laziness is selfishness. These people don't want to sacrifice the least bit of "self". However, they are more than ready to sacrifice your hard earned money and efforts in order to satisfy their own needs. Each of us are responsible to keep ourselves busy, working and providing for our families. If we don't do this, it says a lot about our character.

How many times has a parent pulled their hair out due to a lazy adult child who mooches off of them?

How many times has a spouse been driven to utter exhaustion due to holding down 2 jobs because their lazy spouse refuses to contribute to the family he is responsible for?

Friends, these things should not be allowed to continue. What can you do and just how do you stop it? Stop enabling the lazies.

Put your foot down and hold them accountable for a change. Tell them that if they want:

  • food

  • shelter

  • clothing

then get off their couch and get a job!

June 19, 2007

God is Capable, Just Wait

It's nearly impossible in the midst of a crisis to wait upon the Lord for an answer and a way of escape. Our impatience coupled with our overly exaggerated faith in self often leaves God out of the equation altogether.

Why do we feel so capable to handle trying situations in our lives? Because we have too much "self" confidence and not enough "God" confidence. Looking entirely to ourselves for answers to life's problems is most like swatting a gnat with a pencil. There's nothing wrong with self confidence, but generally we all overdo it by placing too much faith in our abilities and not realizing God's capabilities. The next earth shaking crisis you encounter, may you choose to take it to God first and in doing so, you will have put "self" in it's proper place.

June 9, 2007

Those Who Have Went the Way of Self

When you reject Christ, you have opted to go the way of self.
A self-serving life is one which will cost you much by the time you get to the end of it.
A person who is overtaken with self will come to the end of his life alone, angry, and empty. Such a person has always been empty because they are without God. And it is so easy for these people to hurt others. Where is the compassion and empathy they feel for those around them? It is non-existent. They have self preservation in mind above all else. One cannot have a relationship with someone who is overtaken with "self", because in the end, they always prove to be one-sided and too hurtful to endure for any length of time.

The Good Samaritan: A Picture of How Jesus Would Have Us Treat One Another

Luke 10:30-37

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said: "Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend." Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? He said: "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him: "Go and do likewise."

Why would Jesus tell us the story of the Good Samaritan? Because he wanted us to know how we are to treat others, no matter if they were strangers or beloved family members.
The Good Samaritan treated the stranger on the road like a brother, yet he didn't even know the man. This is a portrait of how mankind should treat one another. Jesus desires us to conduct ourselves as the Good Samaritan did.

But what of the others who passed by and did nothing for the man in need? They had gone the way of self.
And notice, one was a man of God, a priest.

Narcissists and Sociopaths (those without conscience) who tend to only think about themselves are wreaking havoc in the lives of others everyday. These damaging people's mindset is geared toward what is best for them at the sacrifice of innocent others they run into during their time here on earth.
While walking on the road of life, be sure of one thing:
That you meet the savior, learn of him, and take up his ways instead of becoming acquainted with the evil one, learning of him, and taking up his ways.

June 7, 2007

Those Who Point the Way to Jesus

You should be able to recognize the preachers and pastors who point the way to Jesus.
If you have been listening, you know that there are many pastors and preachers who will point you towards "achieving prosperity", but they seldom focus in on Jesus and his message.
In our present culture, who/what gets talked up by the Christian preachers and teachers? Who/what gets the primary bulk of their airtime?

  • Do they spend their time instructing you on the power of wealth?
  • Do you hear the salvation message or just another message on how to "sow a seed and get wealthy"?
I get annoyed by the ones who wear our ears out by talking up prosperity and the ability to get wealth. These have chosen not to give time toward pointing the way to Jesus and giving glory to him. Instead, they are giving glory to getting rich in this life which is precisely what Jesus said not to do.
Matthew 6:19:
  • 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
  • 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
  • 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
If Jesus were on the earth today, do you believe he would spend his time instructing you on the fine points of prosperity or would he talk to you about his father in heaven?
Would he tell you about his Mercedes Benz or the love you are to have for your brother?

I cannot see how people are taken in by these smooth talkers, these wolves in sheep's clothing. All we have to do in order to not be deceived by them is to listen to what or who they are giving most of their airtime to.

The preachers and teachers who give you a repeated diatribe on the fine points of prosperity are bogus. They key in on this subject because it is useful to them.
How man times have I heard, "Sow a seed and see all of your loved ones saved and your debts demolished"? And who do you sow your seed to? Why them, of course. How long must we endure these charlatans?

Jesus pointed to his Father God and gave glory to him. He pointed to the Holy Spirit. He pointed to the truth, the word of God.

Are the majority of our television evangelists and teachers following in his footsteps? I think not. It is a sad state of affairs when you seldom see a preacher open his bible but instead he will find the time to read some man's poem he stumbled onto that has inspired him. There is nothing wrong with reading an inspiring poem, but give the word of God priority.

What is in a man's heart will come out of his mouth. He will open his mouth and talk on the things which are most important to him. Take time to listen to those around you who claim to be Christians and carry God's message to mankind.

June 6, 2007

The Neglected Children of Drug Addicted Parents

I can think of nothing worse than to be raised by drug addicted parents. The children who live this hellish existence find that they are always at the mercy of their addicted parent's whims. We all know that you cannot reason with or live around a drug addict without it messing you up in your mind, body and spirit. We as adults can get away from this situation. But the children who are under the care of these addicts have no way of escape.
There are many detrimental effects of living in a home with a drug addicted parent:

  1. Severe Neglect: The children often are not fed, cleaned, or watched properly. The addict cares more about what they need than what their kids need. This will be how it is until the children are taken out of the home or the addicted parent gets clean. I am not talking about a simple matter of lack of choice of foods available to the children. I am talking about NO food for the children. Many addicted parents will take their support check and use it for drugs while leaving their children without basic food, clothing, and adequate essential needs for existence.
  2. The Parents Who are Never There: Most addicted parents will leave their children with other people while they are out having a high old time. They cannot be bothered with being responsible for caring for their kids because they are totally irresponsible. So they will run off and leave their children alone or with younger siblings and this is when accidents and abuse happens as well as other situations that will scar these kids for life.
  3. Physical and Mental Abuse: Drug addicts are notorious for abusing others. And the child who is stuck in a home with an addict for a parent will no doubt suffer much physical and mental abuse at their hands. An addict is prone to taking out their frustrations on others around them and the child stuck in a home with these people as parents are always the ones who are subjected to the most extreme forms of abuse.
These precious kids will suffer LACK on all levels. They will lack nurturing, adequate food and shelter and most of all, love. An addict does not love himself or he wouldn't do the things he does. He only keeps one thing as the centerpiece of his life - his drug of choice.

If you know of a child who is perhaps in danger due to living with a drug addicted parent, contact your authorities.

To report abuse, you can always call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

If the abuse is a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

June 4, 2007

Rick Warren's Porn Profiting Church Member

I thought I'd heard enough of Rick Warren and his antics when I got an eyeful of his book, "The Purpose-Driven Life" and an earful of his purpose-driven rap, but no such luck.
I recently clicked on a Christian news site and found out that one of his most prominent church members is none other than Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox network. Murdoch is also responsible for building a hard-core porn network of which he is profiting greatly.
Murdoch's pastor is Rick Warren of Saddleback church in California.
Now this is where it gets touchy because Murdoch is the one who published Warren's book, "Purpose Driven Life". You see, Murdoch owns Zondervan Publishing Company.

Folks, you couldn't dream this scenario up in a million years. I've always said that the love of money causes Christians to turn their backs on God and ruin their witness to this world in one fell swoop. Greedy gain has proven to be the downfall of many Christians. They get their eyes off the Lord and his word in favor of focusing on prosperity and financial gain in this life.
Warren is fond of speaking out against pornography and now he finds himself with a church member who profits greatly from televising it! Murdoch himself is responsible for making it possible for men and women to stay steeped in the sin of lust and lasciviousness!

Now keep in mind that Murdoch claims to be a born-again Christian.

What of Warren and this situation he now finds himself in?
Should he treat brother Murdoch any differently than he would another member of his mega-church?
Should he take him aside and set him straight on the fact that born again Christians do not produce and profit off of pornography?

Warren would do well to take Murdoch on a bible tour and the first stop would be to
1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Then he might want to guide him onward to
Galatians 5:19
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 4:1-3
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries

One thing is certain, if or when Warren sets Murdoch straight, we will not hear about it. Personally, I am not holding my breath. I don't think we will hear so much as a peep about open rebuke, confession, and repentance where Murdoch is concerned. Warren is the pastor of his church and is to be the shepherd of the sheep who choose to attend there. He and every other pastor and Christian teacher are given great responsibility and accountability. They are there to oversee and guide those that God has put in their care - their congregations.

I am so sick of these mega-preachers who refuse to stand up for God's word and refuse to rebuke their members openly on outrageous sin issues such as these. Without a doubt, this is one situation in which Warren should do so.

June 3, 2007

Sociopaths Growing in Number?

I visit a variety of group forums from time to time and lately I've noticed an increased number of topics on the subject of sociopaths. The threads I've had time to read often peak my interest because I write from time to time on sociopaths.

It should come as no surprise to us that we are being exposed to many more people with these characteristics as the return of the Lord draws near.

Sociopaths are those people who are only out for themselves. They usually won't hold a job, but encourage everyone around them to. They tend to tell others what they want to hear, even though it is never the truth. These people strike out to do whatever they desire without respect to your feelings because what you feel doesn't matter a hill of beans in their mind.

Sociopaths are spoken of in the bible:

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

What are the signs of a seared conscience?
  1. One who has no compassion or sympathy for their fellow man. They just don't care about anyone but themselves and what they want.
  2. They tend to view others as objects which can be used, maneuvered and shuffled around like chess pieces on a board.
  3. Speaking lies in hypocrisy - the bible nailed it!

Stoning the Adulterous Woman

Perhaps one of my favorite passages in the bible is that of Jesus and the adulterous woman.
We can glean more from this passage than only understanding the forgiveness of God toward us sinners.
John 8:
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them,
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

What does this story tell us about the sociopath?
All of these scribes and pharisees had a conscience. They realized that they had sinned before and had no right to stone this woman.

Compare this with the mentality and conscience of the sociopath - Ice people. The sociopath would have lied and said they had not sinned and therefore had a right to stone her. This is the # 3 characteristic that the bible nailed - Speaking lies in Hypocrisy!

See, you cannot deal with these people and have any type of a meaningful discussion or relationship with them. As I've said before, you cannot hope to have a relationship with a scorpion and believe me now, a sociopath will hurt you every bit as much as a scorpion's sting will. You get too close and that's it, you will suffer pain. This is how a sociopath gets to you. They will find something you may be able to offer them and they will charm you right out of the shirt off your back.

The sociopath and his "love" for you

The sociopath only loves himself. Many hope to change sociopaths but be warned, you can try until you are blue in the face but if a person's conscience is seared, they will harm you if they feel the need to. If it comes down to you or them, forget it. You are expendable while they never are.
The very essence of the the sociopath's demeanor is loving himself at all cost and as I said, everyone else comes in a distant second. I will never say there is no hope for a sociopath. But then again, I never will say that about anyone. I will tell you that praying for one of these people is the best you can do. And take care of yourself and steer clear of them if at all possible.
The very essence of Christianity is love for one another and loving self is the essence of the sociopath. These are Jesus's words and commands:

John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 13:35
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The words of Peter:
1 Peter 3:8
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

The Words of John:
1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

For more on the sociopath, follow these links:
The Seared Conscience of the Sociopath Part 1
The Seared Conscience of the Sociopath - Part 2: His way of life
The Seared Conscience of the Sociopath : Part 3

June 2, 2007

Our politicians: More talk while their faces turn away from Iraq

Time keeps ticking away, yet those in Washington cannot seem to pull themselves away from their meaningless fluff in order to come up with an exit strategy from Iraq. I have to say, I don't care to watch the evening news anymore. I don't want to hear of another man or woman who has lost their life to the war in Iraq. Hearing of our military death tolls angers me to no end. Every time a news item revealing how many more men and women we've lost comes across the screen, I have this same thought: Our government seems content to let this massacre continue.
Our politicians and those in charge of our military could do something about this tragic situation, yet they seem strangely indifferent and uninvolved.
According to this news item from May 29: 10 U.S. Soldiers Killed On Memorial Day, 5 British Nationals Kidnapped, "Gunmen dressed in police uniforms kidnapped five Britons from Iraq's Finance Ministry Tuesday, the same day that two suicide bombings killed at least 44 people and U.S. officials announced the Memorial Day deaths of 10 American soldiers".

Friends, this is not an isolated incident. These types of killings and kidnappings are a regular occurrence now. What do we hear from our President? Is he silent on this issue that is the single most important one this nation has faced for years?

A recent article from Counterpunch seems to sum it up. Here is a snippet:

President Bush can meet with family friend, Prince Bandar while Vice President Cheney meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, but neither leader are able to meet with Cindy Sheehan and the mothers who ask to know why their children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our President and politicians seem indifferent, aloof, and unconcerned about the ever growing death tolls in Iraq because they are unconcerned! Man, what a revelation.
They are much too busy finding ways to line their pockets and stay in office.
From the time of our President's infamous, "Bring it on" statement to this day, The Prez seems like it doesn't matter how many of our military are killed and maimed.
Why are we still in Iraq?
Why are more of our sons and husbands, wives and daughters, dying?
These have been my questions over and over again.
I can see my own son giving his life to protect this country. It would be hard on me, but I could take that. I could accept that. But I could never get my arms around him giving his life for an unjust and futile cause.

The loved ones who have lost family members to this war are the first ones our government should give an account to.
The intelligence was flawed and this was the reason why we waged this war? Well it isn't flawed anymore. We have known full well for some time now that going into Iraq was a mistake.

War Profiteering

I will tell you my opinion of why we are still there and why our government has told us to buckle down and get ready to be there much longer than anticipated: It is because there are some getting very rich off of us staying there! Carlyle, Halliburton, Bechtel, and other corporations are loving this and every drop of blood that is spilled is nothing to them. If we leave, the money spigot stops for these people. But all is not lost. There is always something we can do, no matter how futile the situation may seem.

You can contact your Senate, just dial the switchboard for Congress at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your senator by name.
If you need additional contact information for your senator, here is the place to get it.

Who wants us out of Iraq? The Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus. Take note of the names while you're there.