November 30, 2015
So often in my 63 years I have heard people complain about trauma and drama in their lives and blame God or wonder why He did not do something different in their lives or why He allowed various negative things to come into their lives. I admit I have had some of that in my life as well since I am a human and often as unwise as the rest of the race.
We live in a blame shifting, finger-pointing world where people never accept the responsibility for their actions or bad choices in life. We have become the victim. Once people thought “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” , which while not completely true was far more true than the current, “Woe is me! It’s not my fault.” mentality that is permeating most Western cultures, but is especially pandemic in the US.
When I listen to all the various reasons given by people or various professionals for why crimes were committed or why their life is full of trauma, drama and failure I am amazed at all the stuff I did not do because my childhood was less than idyllic. Indeed, my circumstances were far more negative than positive and much of that I did not originate or have any control over, but still I did not respond in a positive way to all that so there were negatives that were my fault. Had I made more positive decisions regarding the negatives thrown at me I may have had a better childhood than I did.
Could I have overcome all of it by my actions? No, bullies are going to be bullies and people’s assumptions are difficult to overcome, but I chose to sometimes play the game since I was most likely going to get the blame and the suffer the pain anyway. That was wrong. Though at the time, I did not think like this, it would have been better to suffer injustice for the things I did not do than to give the unjust perpetrators reason to believe they were justified in treating me as they did. My teachers and peers are responsible for the wrong done to me unjustly, but I was wrong for my reactions whether I acted those reactions out or held them in as bitterness and anger in my heart. That part was my fault and mine alone.
Many things have fairly easy solutions on the surface. Mad at the government? Vote and vote wisely. Mad at your employer? Get another job. Mad at the town? Move. In a bad relationship? Break it off. In debt? Spend less. You say, that all sounds simple. As I said, on the surface the answers are easy, but there are things that can make them more complex. How long we have been in the problem and the emotional ties with people or things can make it harder to make the positive decisions to correct the negative decisions we made.
Some decisions are impossible to reverse. If you have an incurable STD, it is not going to be turned around unless God does a miracle in your life. You cannot undo that condition. If you were in an accident because you were DUI or a passenger in the vehicle and you lost an arm or incurred some other injury on that level you cannot change it even if you determine to never again drive DWI or get into a car with a drunk driver. You cannot blame God or anyone else for the the STD or the injury, That was your choice and yours alone.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
God has been trying to keep us from making bad decisions since the Garden. He has give us a book that is an instruction manual on how to navigate through this life. Life was simple in the Garden. One command was all that needed to be followed to keep life perfect. After the Fall, life became more complicated because human nature was doing the same thing as the universe. It was falling apart or degenerating. That degeneration was from the break in fellowship with God and amplified by the enemy of our souls and his minions. We got the knowledge of good and evil and yet we consistently chose evil and even the good we chose was sometimes not for a good reason. We may choose good because it is beneficial to us at the time, but we don’t always see good as beneficial. If we did, the world would be so different even in our fallen state that it would seem like Eden compared to the world and the ways of the world we live in.
God sent prophets and others to mankind. That was showing His love for us and trying to get us back to Him. What happened to those folks? Most of the time they were ignored and often killed as the verse states. God would judge the people for the rejection because they were rejecting Him. It was great to be a minister when then people repented and revival happened, but it was rough being the first boots on the ground to get the revival going. They could not blame God. They made those choices. Sadly, many Gentiles benefited from God’s prophets and blessings instead of His chosen people because the Gentiles had faith and His people did not. Again, that was the choices of the people, not God’s fault.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Even sadder is that God’s people are often still in that same situation. Now, we are not under law, but grace yet we still suffer from our bad choices. Before the Cross, many could have said, we did not have all the Scriptures, we did not have the Holy Spirit in us and other humanly reasonable excuses as well as not so reasonable. But what is our excuse?
We have the complete Word of God and we have the Holy Spirit in us, if we are truly born again, to guide us into ALL truth which means we have no excuse for our bad decisions that we try to blame on God. Has He not given us all we need in the Word and yet on top of that He gave us the Spirit to help us understand that Word and to help us pray when we ask for wisdom. So why do we call Him, Lord and yet do so many times opposite of what He says and then blame Him for the negative outcome? Why do we neglect to be grateful for all He does do for us and yet fuss when something happens that does not meet our expectations of what we think He should have done in our life? It is simple. We are unwise and to often in the flesh instead of the Spirit.
Too many times we just do not see that what appears to be negative in our life is very positive from the Father’s perspective. God has allowed people to die as a blessing to them. Did we see it as a blessing? No! We were hurt. We grieved, but God knew it was best for the person and maybe even for the family to allow that person to die even if they were what we felt was too young to die.
Most of us are not rich, by the world’s standards, because we get into enough trouble with what we have. If we were rich, we might fall into many more temptations and follies because we could afford it. So many lottery winners are broke within three years and worse off at the end than when they started. If you cannot handle a small budget you will not handle a large one well. We don’t get the promotion because it would go to our heads and we would waste the raise on stuff we do not need. I have heard people talk about how God blessed them with a raise and a bigger house and shortly thereafter they were divorced. I don’t think God works blessings that way.
Honestly look at your life and what has caused most of your drama? It was what you did or didn’t do or who you interacted with or who you did not. It was how you reacted to negativity. It was your failure to grab an opportunity or you grabbed at something you should not have grabbed and now it will not let you go. It was all about you. You never asked your Heavenly Father it was a good thing for you. You exercised your free will and limited knowledge to make the decision and it flopped. The first thing you said was, “Why God??” The time to question Him was before the decision, before the relationship or the reaction. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes it is hard to get to the point where you are willing to own your mistakes and often even harder to own your sin. Hard, but there is no path to freedom until you do own it. It is then you can go to Father God and ask Him to pick up the pieces and for wisdom and direction. It is never His fault for He is omniscience and knew what decision you would make and what road you would walk or run down. The glory and grace of it all is that He is waiting at the end of the trail and in the ashes of that decision to take you in His arms and heal you with His love.
If you are ready to walk away from the drama, trauma and sin, don’t blame the Father. Come to Him! Admit the mess is yours and then ask for His touch of restoration and renewal. If you don’t know Him as Father than come to Him for redemption. His Son Jesus died for you. Call out to Him to save you and He will lead you into the Father’s presence and arms. Then the Holy Spirit will dwell in you to lead you into all truth that will guide and protect you if you heed what He shows you. Are you ready? He has been waiting for you to come. You will be welcomed. Don’t wait! Father loves you and wants to bring you into a relationship like you have never known before and to raise you to levels you never imagined. Don’t let pride or the enemy detain you. That would just be one more bad decision. If you spent a lifetime blaming the Father, it is still time to come home. He knows and He forgives and saves. He wants to be your Abba, Father! Come now! Maranatha!!!!
November 27, 2015
Coming home from work last night, I heard a preacher tell his congregation that we should be thankful for our finances even when we think there is not much to be thankful for in that area.
He then explained that poverty level in the US is considered making $11,200 dollars a year as an individual. He also said that if that is what you made you were still in the top 15% of the world’s wealthiest people.
Having spent a year in Thailand, I can testify to real poverty. A girl working in the rice fields all day at that time would have earned 50 stang (sp?) which was equal to 2.50 cents as a baht had 100 stang. Little wonder so many women sold themselves as prostitutes for 100 baht or $5 for all night or short time. Now that the bases have closed they are living off of what they saved or are in deep poverty and pain since they went so long without doing hard manual labor. Don’t judge them. If the hard times predicted for the US comes you do not know what you would do to feed your families and maintain life.
Even that is relative, because the cost of things for them is different than for the affluent traveler or perceived wealth of the GI. I had to explain the difference between USAF stripes and Army stripes because I did not have super baht. Hence, I learned how to read numbers in Thai so I could see what a Thai would pay for the same item and then we could haggle to a fair price. Too often we look at a country’s system and compare it to ours and it is not a perfect apple to apple situation.
I have also seen many pictures of people in other countries in worse economic conditions. I have seen the picture of a vulture near a young girl just waiting for her to die. That is real poverty. Our poor are fat and suffer all the diseases of obesity. People here may not have all they might want, but most have far more than they need. Are there people suffering here? Yes, but many of those are doing so because of life choices, not lack of resources. Many have the resources to get what they need, but instead use them for things they do not need. Having worked in a rescue mission and a food pantry I can testify to that. It does get hard to separate the truly needy from the scammers and those who choose to be in poverty.
Our system of welfare does not inspire getting off of it and indeed enables many to choose to stay on it who could get jobs and move on. If they did that would free up more resources to help those who would work if they could, but cannot. I think it is great that states are starting to require drug tests or even some requirement to do some work to get food stamps and other aid. Work is a dirty word for some and so it will not be worth the effort to apply for the benefits.
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 Note, it does not say he who cannot work, but he that will not work.
When I worked at the food bank, people came in better vehicles I was driving smelling of smoke and alcohol, the latest Iphone, blue tooth, tats and well dressed to get the $40 of food we supplied and to ask for rent and utility assistance. I suspect many had a large screen TV and cable. We would ask for their income data and most put zero or very low incomes and we were not allowed to verify that income. Bad policy, that is.
In the Old Testament, God required the owners of the field to let the poor glean the field after the owner harvested it. They had to come into the field and actually work to get it. It was not placed in baskets by the road for them to come by and get it or delivered to them. They had to work and they had to be content with what was in the field. They could not ask the owner to plant an acre or so of whatever crop they liked. We had people come to the food bank with a shopping list and asking for name brand items and get upset if we did not have them. That is not what is normally donated to the bank. I was raised to be glad I got what I got and to not complain but be grateful. It appears that has not been taught lately.
So, I guess Capitalism is not so bad. Our poorest are in the top 15% of the world’s wealthy. They are fat with the corresponding health issues. We have enough resources to provide for the scammers and lazy. We enable them to be that way rather than vetting them. People are trying sneak in here, not break out of here.
The irony is that those who are multi-millionaires are condemning the system that got them to that wealth. They claim to care about the poor but they would change the system that best provides for the poor and do little themselves with their wealth or power to fix the needs. Instead, they support policies that would keep the poor in poverty and not lift them out it. Go figure. Capitalism is not perfect, but it is not the problem. It’s naysayers are the problem. There is no better system.
November 8, 2015
A picture was posted on Facebook of a knight in armor with these words.
I am a Christian, but make no mistake.
I will defend the weak.
I will defend freedom.
I will sacrifice so that others can live free.
I will defend my family to the death.
I love peace, but I am a fierce enemy.
I live by a special code.
I live with honor!
I was born to be the WARRIOR.
This was obviously a military picture that was modified to be descriptive of a Christian. We are called to be warriors. Ephesians 6 describes our weapons and in 2 Corinthians Paul tells us more of our warfare by describing our true enemy and the tactics we are to use. We are in a war.
Yet, are we really warriors or must we admit that we have become draft dodgers by denying our calling? Why are so many AWOL or on permanent R&R leaving the few to do battle? Why are putting our armor away thinking the battle is over? Whatever happened to Onward Christian Soldiers, Am I A Soldier of the Cross and other Church Triumphant thoughts? Words now so vainly sung as we hide under our pews begging God for the Rapture.
We were called to engage the World, not be engaged to it or enraged at it, but engaged in spiritual warfare in faith the overcomes the World. Rise up Christian soldier and gird your armor on saying, Lead On, O King Eternal as we sing the victor’s song.
His Kingdom is forever and it is long past time for us to live as Warrior Princes and Princesses of that Kingdom rather than collaborators with the Devil or cowering in fear. Glory to His Name!
Maranatha, but until that time may we occupy until He comes as the gates of Hell cannot prevail before us as Christ and the Holy Spirit anoints and empowers His children to conquer in His love and by His grace. Holy is the Lamb who Was, Is and shall ever be the One who has conquered death and Hell. Faith is the Victory. Let us war by that knowledge. When the King is sent by the Father to set up His throne may we be found still standing by faith though scarred by the battles.
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.