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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?

 

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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-

The Lost Ability to Cope

https://i0.wp.com/glamslamtennis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Anger-Post.jpgI had to cope with waiting in line at the BMV – boring!  I had to cope with riding in the car for 1 hour with nothing to do!

The idea of coping with things in life has almost gone by the wayside.  Let me explain.

Technology now allows us to have entertainment at our fingertips 24/7.  No more boring waiting rooms, or heaven forbid the need to read a magazine.  No more gazing out at the countryside as the car travels quickly down the interstate.  No more coping skills being developed…

Have you ever considered that developing coping skills may be extremely important?  I believe that a lack of coping skills helps to develop a world class complainer.  Waa Waa Waa.   Sure, coping with losing a game on a DS or 3DS can be oh so traumatic, but wait, all we need to do is reset the game and start over until we get the result we want….again, no coping skills being developed.  Sports allow for some coping skills to be learned, but really, when EVERYONE gets to make the team nowadays how is that realistic for training a young person for life?  Do we even pray anymore?

Will your young one be yet another young adult who feels entitled to everything life has to offer?  You might ask how in the world I can jump from coping with riding in a car or losing a video game to how a young adult may struggle in life after mommy and daddy?  I tell you (and you know it) real life is full of disappointment and the need to know how to gracefully deal with it.  We don’t need to be raising a bunch of complainers.  I know because my generation was on the “imaginary line” between dealing with real life all the time and having instant comfort all the time.

My faith even warns me of this time:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Whether you adhere to the the words of the Bible or not, I’m quite sure we don’t want the next generation to be whiny, lacking self-control, complaining all the time and unable to cope with the real world.  I see it in my son, even with all my efforts to teach him, he is unable to cope with everyday life much of the time.  He has many outlets, TV, video games, but he has healthy responses too like reading and hobbies learning about and watching birds.  I pray I am able to give him balance, since he must also live in this fast paced self serving world… This world where it is all too apparent that the love of pleasure in all forms has replaced the idea of loving God.  I struggle with this!

So, how do we cope with life?  Have we forgotten to teach about gazing upon the wonders of God’s creation as we drive down the road?  Have we forgotten the Spirit of sharing our faith with our neighbor in line at the BMV?  Have we tossed in the towel and become self serving without realizing it?  Are we boastful and proud, lovers of money, rash, conceited and most of all have we grasped a hold of a form of godliness but denied it’s power (i.e. giving to a good cause yet never being an active part of the cause)?  A huge part of life is learning to cope and handle the challenges placed before us, not to ignore them and bury ourselves in something “that we want to do“.  Digest this challenge and make changes to your life first, then show your young ones what it’s all about.

The Expectation

As a young person we typickingally have the joy of a vibrant life full of energy and everything life offers.

Let’s look at the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon.  Solomon gives us some insight throughout the book of Ecclesiastes that should be heeded by all.  Looking at two examples, let’s dig in.

1) In Chapter 12 Solomon warns:

Remember your Creator

in the days of your youth,

before the days of trouble come…

Think about this…why would he warn young people to remember?  Because he was wise enough to know that they would forget!  He was wise enough to know that when times are tough we tend to blame God, how foolish!  We blame God when we have a weak foundation, no understanding of scripture and no real relationship with our Creator.  Hence, REMEMBER.

2) Continuing into Chapter 12, Solomon describes beautifully the joys of old age (if we make it there):

        …and the years approach when you will say,
       “I find no pleasure in them”-

 before the sun and the light
       and the moon and the stars grow dark,
       and the clouds return after the rain; [Here he describes depression in old age]

 when the keepers of the house tremble, [Weak legs]
       and the strong men stoop, [Bad back]
       when the grinders cease because they are few, [Teeth fall out]
       and those looking through the windows grow dim; [Eyes fail]

 when the doors to the street are closed
       and the sound of grinding fades; [Ears fail]
       when men rise up at the sound of birds, [Sleeping issues]
       but all their songs grow faint; [Ears fail]

 when men are afraid of heights
       and of dangers in the streets; [Fear due to fraility]
       when the almond tree blossoms [Graying of hair]
       and the grasshopper drags himself along [No energy]
       and desire no longer is stirred. [Sex drive and other desires gone]
       Then man goes to his eternal home [Death]
       and mourners go about the streets.

When old age catches up with you, without a firm foundation on the Rock, your faith will wash away like sand.

Solomon ends with advice that we must recall the context in which it’s imparted.  Solomon, King Solomon, had everything, money beyond compare, knowledge and wisdom with no equal and he advised:

Now all has been heard;
       here is the conclusion of the matter:
       Fear God and keep his commandments,
       for this is the whole duty of man.

 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
       including every hidden thing,
       whether it is good or evil.

It’s good we have a Savior, Jesus…  Very good.

Are They Playing Dumb?

The front page of the Indianapolis Star puts forth the observation:

$9T Deficit Projection Threatens Obama’s Plan

Budget Office’s Analysis Finds Level of Spending Unsustainable

Two things…

1) Are we seriously being led by complete imbeciles?  I’ve been hearing since well before the Presidential Debates this question: “Where are you going to get the money to pay for your programs…?”

dumb2) Most likely tax payers were charged to fund this analysis.  Now, I can’t prove that, and it doesn’t really change anything either way, but come on!

Once again, it takes over a year for the government to figure out that what they were saying during the campaign is “unsustainable”, “unrealistic” and complete “pie in the sky” rhetoric.

I pity all the Obama backers out there that are smelling their feet as they enter their mouths.

It was bad enough that Bush put forward one bailout, now we have had a second.  We begged for accountability regarding how the money was spent, but the bank parties went on and the bonuses spread.  We begged for this Republic to let the industry work itself out, but no, we toss money on the fire assuming that money isn’t combustible.

A government that cannot seem to think is what is not sustainable!

God did what?

I was attending a religion course at my church last night and was blown away that I had never noticed this small bit of history from Deuteronomy 34:

5And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. (emphasis added)

God buried Moses.  No, this isn’t a context error, God buried Moses.  I had grave-diggingnever noticed this.  I really do love reading the Bible.  Something new pops out every time!

I’m sure God set the standard for all future grave diggers that day.

A Day of Rest?

I’m curious what others think about the Sabbath.  The day of rest. In the book of Exodus, chapter 20 it’s stated:

 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Now, Jesus clarified that if an oxen fell into a pit, we should help get it out, workrestand that healing on the Sabbath was not “work” in the spirit of this law.

I’m just curious how people observe, or don’t observe this commandment.  Why do you feel the way you feel about it?