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Run away, now!

satanTemptation.  You know, Snickers bars, buttery popcorn, ignoring speed limits, yelling first asking questions later, even pretty ladies.  We all deal with temptation in our own way.  How do we overcome it?

Here we go!  Let’s look at a guy named Joseph.  He gets sold into slavery and bought by a rich family.  He’s a really smart guy and the man of the house sees it.  Joseph is given incredible responsibility to run the household because he does it so well.  The family prospers.  You must also know that good ole Joe is a pretty handsome guy too.  His owner’s wife notices this fact.  Uh Oh.  She wants Joe to pay attention to her if you know what I mean.  Joe isn’t into that at all, and he runs away from her repeatedly because he was taught to not mess around with another man’s wife!  Eventually, this lady is so fed up she traps Joe and he gets away, but he has to leave his coat because she is holding on to it.  Talk about a prima donna who must have always gotten her way!

Well, this lady goes on to tell a lie to her hubby.  She says Joesph tried to rape her. This leads to Joseph getting tossed into jail.  Fun, right?  Well, this all ends well.  Joe is so smart he is given a high place in running the jail, he helps others in jail and eventually is noticed by the King.  In the end Joseph is 2nd in command of the entire land and he helps everyone survive a severe famine.

Here’s the moral of this story.  No matter what evil temptations are coming your way, run from them.  You may have guessed this is a paraphrased version of the Biblical account of Joseph in Genesis 39-42.  God blesses Joseph in all that he does and even the bad circumstances lead to even better situations.

Do we trust God that much?

 

Horses and Pace Cars

Well, there comes a time when you can truly enjoy the perks of a great city.  For many years Indianapolis has teetered on the edge of having GREAT sports teams only to see something like “The Brawl” occur and dash our hopes.  In 2013 we city folk didn’t have our hopes set too high on our Colts NFL team, and we had reasonable expectations for our Pacers NBA team.  So, how’s it going?pacers colts

So far the Pacers are having a historic start to their season and it looks like the bench upgrade is paying off.  The Colts have also started off strong, showing great resilience and strong effort too.

The Pacers are 9-0 at this point and that’s not a guarantee of ANYTHING in the NBA, but it does seem to bode well for their future as most teams that start like this do make the playoffs.  Here in Indy we like to boast that the Pacers were built from the ground up and nurtured into a contender; they were not bought like the Heat or Nets.  Just like our office leader, Larry Bird, we work hard to get results.  Bird’s Celtics of the 80’s were built up piece by piece and that’s history.  The Pacer’s seem to fit that same mold.  Hibbert, the block machine, and Paul George, the do everything player, are BIG TIME now.  Lance Stephenson is quite possibly THE story of a player who has improved and turned around his play over the last two years.  David West and George Hill are solid floor leaders period!  I can’t wait to see how they all continue to grow.

Looking at the Colts at 7-3, they have almost assured themselves of making the payoffs and their style of play is incredibly exciting.  Although it’s maybe not the wisest idea to always play the first half poorly and then make a superhero like comeback to win (see St. Louis game to understand the dangers) it is entertaining nonetheless.  Andrew Luck is the real deal and will only get better.  The Colts need a more stable O-line and they need to put Donald Brown in the #1 rusher spot in my opinion.  Trent Richardson could be a better wide receiver in my humble opinion.  We need one with the loss of Reggie Wayne.  Other than that, they are doing well and could surprise a lot of teams in the playoffs.  Just consider, this season they have defeated the big three: Denver, Seattle and San Francisco.  We’ll see how they handle Kansas City a little later.

Sports in Indianapolis are a major deal and we love it!  I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.  I think we have a legitimate chance in the coming 3 years to have both NBA and NFL champions in the same city!

Go Colts!  Go Pacers!

Banning Guns?

Shame on Starbucks! Of course they can create whatever policies they wish, but shame on them for their lack of foresight.  Shame on all these gun control groups out there claiming this is a victory.  How?

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, please look up Starbucks’ reported decision to ban guns on their premises.  What in the world?  Oh wait.  Let’s see how this will work.

b19mechanics182

Criminal:  I was heading to Starbucks to shoot up the place, steal some cash and hopefully blow holes in several people.

Newspaper article: You can’t bring guns to Starbucks anymore,

Criminal:  X&%!$, dang it, are you kidding me?  That just ruins my plans for today.

Gun Controllites: YES!!  Look, see how this saved lives!!!

If you half a brain you see that this scenario would never play out.  You have common sense and know that a criminal will ignore any and all laws in order to do what he/she wishes to do.  What this stance by Starbucks shows me is just how close we are to the silly but entertaining movie Demolition Man (1993).

Jump into the future where police only have stun sticks and everyone and everything is supposedly “peaceful”.  Throw in a thawed out cryofrozen criminal from the past and see just how inept the police of the future are with their stun sticks and lack of battle skills.  Oh my, what to do?  Unfreeze a police officer from the past of course!  As the movie future police officers exclaim…We must find a way to fight this type of criminal with the same methods that he is using!  This is from Hollywood I remind you.  What a great movie to review when considering the “let’s ban guns everywhere” notion.  Do we really think we will be a perfect peaceful society?  Remember, it only takes one nut to ruin the day.  One nut in a room of peaceful gun lacking coffee drinkers would be quite ugly and a waste of good coffee.

CRIMINALS DON’T CARE ABOUT THE LAW OR ANY “POLICY”.

If you are in Starbucks and a nut job comes in and wields a gun, let me know if you would be upset when a law abiding citizen pulls his legal gun and drops the criminal to the floor.  That’s what Starbucks is banning.

Death & the Proof of Your Untimely Demise

Uh oh, maybe titling a post in such a way was a bad idea, maybe not.  The ultimate statistic in life is that 10 out of 10 people will die!  Sadly, it’s one of the most predictable stats, yet for many people one of the least cared about facts of life.grave 1

We don’t know our expiration date.  Sure would be nice, then I could be sure to get all my housework done beforehand.  Or maybe I could be sure to finish off my bucket list in the nick of time.  So, why do we often seem to brush off the idea that we will die and replace it with the notion that we have lots of time left?  Do we think it’s too morbid to consider our own death?  I think it’s quite the opposite.  We need to be aware and we need to be ready.

No matter your spiritual beliefs or thoughts on the afterlife, or lack thereof, something will happen upon our time of death.  From the Christian perspective it’s very clear, but I wonder how many Christian’s are confused about death?  The Bible (God’s word) clearly proclaims that “the wages of sin is death” and “all liars will have their part in the lake of fire” and Jesus told a man “you will be with me in paradise”.  How do we reconcile these thoughts?

First, we must understand sin.  Sin isn’t exclusive to convicts in jail, child molesters and plain old “mean people”.  Sin is a part of everyone’s daily life.  Yes, everyone.  Think of the basic moral laws summed up in the Ten Commandments.  Do you know those laws?  Don’t steal (no matter the value), lie (a lie is a lie), murder (hate), take God’s name in vain (GD), covet (be overly jealous), commit adultery (lust), you know some of these, right?  Well, God is so holy that we cannot be in his presence even if we have broken one commandment one time.  Whoops.

grave 2So, how do we deal with this fact?  Personally, swimming in a lake of fire sounds pretty hot.  I’ve lied too many times in my past.  Now, what’s to be done?  Ah, here’s where your Christian training comes into play.  This Jesus thing, right?  Jesus took our punishment so that we CAN be with God.  We just need to humble ourselves and place our faith and trust in Jesus as the Lord (leader) of our lives.  Once we are baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are “new” people with “new” desires.  To some this all seems foreign and confusing, but in actuality it’s quite simple.

In the end, we all die.  Do we plan to enter the afterlife standing on our own grave or on the empty tomb of Jesus?  Die hoping our own lives will merit some inclusion in “heaven” or die knowing Jesus has already prepared a place for us in heaven?

The Great I AM

-Before the power and the presence of the Great I AM-

You know many of us are pretty pitiful as Christians.  We believe (hopefully) in God who is out of this world powerful and his mere presence makes

mountain  4-The demons run and flee-

just

-At the mention of his name, King of Majesty-

Do we understand that?  Really?

-The mountains shake before him-

Is there –any who can stand-?

Too often I think we actually sit back and think that “WE” actually have it all figured out!  “WE” have the solutions and “WE” just ask God to watch us do “OUR” wonderful works. Bless us God!!!!!!!!!!!…….we say.

So, let’s get this straight…-Before the power and the presence of the Great I AM- we are going to simply do what we want or do what we think that God wants, THEN pray about it and ask for God’s blessings, AND wonder WHY things didn’t work out?  Some of us get upset with God when something doesn’t work out.  We pray to the Great I AM asking him why?!?  WHAT IN THE WORLD DO WE EXPECT?!?

“But seek FIRST his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

“You do not have because you do not ask God.”

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Yes, -the demons run and flee- through the power and the presence of the Great I AM.  Mountains shake…but do we first ask God what he would have us to do, OR do we first make OUR plans, then seek God’s approval?  Do not let PRIDE, because that is what it is, get in the way of putting God first!  Do not let pride deceive us into following wrong motivations.  God should be #1 because he is #1.

-Lyrics between “-“ marks in italics are from the song “The Great I am”.  Take a listen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_VR-zwp2KA

Obvious (Hey, I’m back!)

[With the load of Cub Scout leadership off my table, hopefully this will get me back to a more regular blog post schedule!  I had 10 minutes and here’s what you get…]

The many things in my life that I have missed in the past and now understand, often to the point of having a “Duh moment”, is incredible.  Duh!  Hey this topic is way more than basic education and realizing the wonderful relationships hidden within mathematics.  Way more than  the quick realization that wearing a seatbelt IS a GOOD idea while you are airborne in a car in an ongoing accident.  So, what now?

I have a fragment of science background being a mechanical engineer and have often meditated (for lack of a better word) on the idea out there that we as humans are actually “getting better”, “evolving into something better”.  This idea is so often completely misunderstood.  Sure, humans could seemingly improve on themselves over time, generation to generation for reasons like:https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1lcYYrLf8q9sVIPApaxb9QVz5CXISnKo0gt65hB_o7TXr2EVU

1)      Vitamins

2)      Eating antibiotic filled meat

3)      Not having a back breaking life

These things can lead to better overall growth, appearance and extended life.  BUT…are we getting better, OR are we simply just taking advantage of what is already available in our genetic code?

Doesn’t genetic code get diluted over time?  Think this through…Can a family that has bred out the gene for blonde hair have a blonde haired child?  Nope, and bleach doesn’t count!  How can blonde be reintroduced?  Simply marry a blonde and have a kid!  Now the gene “may” be available in future generations until it again is bred out.  Same principle applies to our overall genetic code.  We lose information over time, we duplicate genes, and we duplicate bad genes and mutated genes.  It’s no surprise we seem to have more cancer and genetically born diseases today.  It’s simple.  We are not getting better.  Our genetic code is slowly degrading.  We are losing information just like a small group of animals stuck on a deserted island.  That’s what happens.

Hey, vitamins can maybe make us live a bit longer or make us look healthier, but in the end the battle is with our genes.  It’s a losing battle, and it’s obvious.  Of course, if God were to create a new batch of humans who have that original untouched and perfect gene code, then we could gain back some of those wonderful traits through procreating and adding these genes back into the worldwide gene pool!  Yes, it’s obvious, but all too often ignored.

In the end, the best and only source for fixing our messed up bodies is through Jesus Christ.  Seek him out!  Just as our bodies are in a losing genetic battle, or souls are in a losing battle to sin.

One Sin

 must admit, at times I feel that it seems harsh that one lie would keep me out of heaven.  It’s true, but at the same time, hard to swallow at times.  So, like I usually try and do, I went to my trusty bible to try and make even more sense of this truth I have known for many years.  AND… I got my answer.

I’ve read the book of Romans a ton of times, but WOW, these verses in Chapter 5 hit home and really made this whole sin issue make a lot more sense.  If we read Romans 5:16-19, we see several references to the “one sin”.   This being the actions of Adam and Eve in the garden.  Adam was right there with Eve, but allowed the “one sin” to occur when they ate from the tree God told them not to eat of.  Paul wrote clearly about this history as recorded in Genesis.  Paul is also clear that this “one sin” is why we all have a problem with disobedience, lying, stealing, lusting, hating, sin, sin, sin.

So, to clear up my original confusion in paragraph one, I came to the realization (again) that God is completely Holy, Perfect and Sinless.  To God, having sin around is kind of like throwing hot oil into water.   BOOM!  THEY CANNOT MIX.  So, no matter how I may perceive sin, or how bad “one lie” really is, God sees it ALL as hot oil that can be thown into that pan of water.  No amount of it is good, or okay, or just a white lie.  It is ALL worthy of hell.  Can you imagine trying to coax the water into not reacting to the hot oil being spilled into the pan?  This is the same as imagining God dealing with sin, any amount of it.

So, to sum up, “one sin” will keep you out of heaven just like water will explode with even a drop of hot oil.  That’s why we need a Savior that was meant to wash us of that sin, or in this context, remove that hot oil so the water will be pure and calm.  Pretty cool.

Blessings,

Jeff

-Original posting was June 5, 2008-