Falling into the Wrong Crowd when the bad person in the crowd is YOU


We’ve all heard this before: many times. We blame the behavior on someone or someone else and state it occurred because of their influence.

Most of us have even done this for our own behavior. It was because of ‘them’. Of course, we would NEVER do something like that on our own. It was because of THEM.

We witness the identical explanations during the original sins.

Adam blamed Eve.

Eve blamed the serpent.

In fact, if you think about it, only the serpent owed up to what he had done and to that effect, I guess at the time he could have reasoned: ‘What did we expect…he was a snake acting like a snake.” And for that we can at least reason, fair enough. Yes, he was a snake.

And so after proclaiming my message here, I hope it is not I who is that person who composes the crowd. I hope it’s not me who influences others to negative effects.

And once that dastardly deed is done (for whatever bad thing that we do) and all the fingers begin to point at whomever is responsible.

I hope I’m not that crowd who is to blame. You know…the bad influence…the one who causes others to stumble because they were hanging around me.

Or more importantly, perhaps I’ll be held responsible for my behavior the same as expected from all. When it comes to ultimate responsibility, I am simply one out of a group and when you add each individual up… we form a crowd. We are ALL responsible for what we do.

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What If God Talked To You The Way You Talk To Others?


Now I am sure this would be interesting. Can you imagine being told to Go to Hell or being given The Finger by God? How about all those times we raise our voice or even scream in anger. Better yet, examine those golden moments whenever we correct or discipline a child. When it comes to correcting others, we are more than good. We don’t miss a trick and correct and correct to the point whereas the child is placed under a microscope and even abused with all our self-righteous ‘correction’. Of course, we explain to them that it’s all for their own good and that we are only thinking of them.

In fact, when it comes right down to it, if God spoke to us the way we speak to others, then it would be down right cruel. Most of us wouldn’t even be able to stand it and would probably attempt to block our ears.

And how would we feel about he off-colored jokes…about how we point out some girls knockers or other sexually based detail…how would we like hearing God speak that way?

You know how it goes. “Cut out all that damn language. It sounds like hell!” Sure. We know how it goes.

So then, I believe I’ve made my point. I’m sure we wouldn’t God to sound like us. In fact, the opposite should be our desire. We should be willing and seeking to speak in a Godly manner. And no, I don’t claim to be an expert in spiritual talk or by any means a saint or priest, only that we should at times listen to ourselves and reflect on the impact we impose on others via our speech. Our assessment should be critical and weighed in on how we sound or and come across to others. In the end…we must judge whether or not we could withstand an assault of our own words. And in most cases, the answer probably is probably not.

In short, most of us in no way could endure listening to our own words as spoken by God and thus, whatever we speak we should be sure of what it is that we say for if no one else pays attention we can bet that God is listening.

Are We Really So Much Better Off Because of Them?


Celebrities and the media like for us to believe that somehow or someway we are indebted to them. By some mechanism, they believe their contributions to society is over and above and that we thus, should revere them.

The media is so bad when it comes to them, we know when they are married, have kids and often even know their dogs and cats and relatives.

The truth be told, their contribution to mankind has been not only exaggerated but also a skewed. Their total contribution is small, marginal at best and many times contaminated with self-indulgence.

For example; yearly we see the memorial of John Lennon and his legacy to the world. Forgotten is his travails of sex, drugs and godlessness. Oh sure. He gave us something and it’s called debauchery and rebellion. In short, his contributions are not only harmful, but at times, downright evil.

But this is also true oftentimes for many other celebrities. All one needs to do is examine any yearly roster over the suicides and drug overdoses among this societal group. This is a sick leadership that suffers ever so much themselves, but love to see themselves as leaders of others.

Boiling this down: are we really better off because of them? More than likely the answer is a negative one. No, we are not better off and oftentimes we are even worse off because of them.

This is something we should reckon with whenever we find ourselves envying them and wishing we had whatever it is that they possess.

In fact, as Christians we should not even embrace their characters but instead, distant ourselves from them. This is true even for the so called “Christian” celebrities who also believe they are on earth for the sole purpose of ingratiating us with their ever present perceptions of God and of the world.

Our focus needs to be on one person and one person only and that is Jesus. In the end, it is Jesus who saves and not the incessant noise and clamor of self-indulged celebrities of one time or another. Ultimately it is important: is the world better off or worse because of us. In truth, we need to be considered an assess an not a liability.

When People Leave you (Separating God)


Death is an experience we participate with daily. We see evidence of this while cutting our hair or clipping her fingernails or perhaps defoliating dead skin. In a way we might say that death is a way of life. Yes I know it seems ridiculous to refer to death as a way of life.

Perhaps the most traumatic death experience does not involve the disintegration of the bias, yet pushes both force with explosive feeling as we experience it with separation with those we love.

We see this first in divorce. A divorce can be extremely painful torturing the best of sinew and bone. And along these lines the same is true whenever other people we love leave our vicinity.

When those we love leave we experience in excruciating emotional death.

We might see this encounter as it is demonstrated with Jesus on the cross. Of course there is the factual observation of his death. There is a spiritual reconciliation of Jesus’s death. The hardship however distances itself above human senses as those left standing, mourning, crying and kneeling, exasperated and lost whenever we count the emotional death and the pain thereof as we experience the separation of Jesus and man.

Nothing can equate to this emotional death. Nothing is more powerful than this form of death. And nothing can be more assuring except in reconciliation with Christ and man. Ultimate joy might be expressed upon the return of the wayward man’s to God.

By this reconciliation, atonement we see complete healing, and joy as a result of a death experience that transformed into life. Truly Christ and Christ alone can mend the pain, the suffering for all those who experience the many trails and trials of emotional deaths.

Highlighting our own salvation, we can testify not so much on the others that we wish to redeen, but on that chosen occasion where it is us who rejoins the family of God.

During those moments, the hardships of death are not only defeated, conquered but reversed under the force of love instilled by the creation process of our father in heaven. Only he can reverse the traumatic ordeal of an emotional death.

The Oddity of God’s Name


In precious articles I have expressed the differences between the title of the word, God and God’s actual name.

However, it also comes across to me that it is rather peculiar that over and over again the scriptures refer to God as The Father, not as Our Father.

Okay, we desire to distance ourselves from the deity of God. I get that. Yet to refer to our Father as The Father seems to place too much objectivity as to the status of God. Let’s take this one step further when we witness how Jesus addressed His Father. Jesus addressed God as Abba, or more or less as Daddy. While this might not seem like a large deviation, it is a large deviation when noted that for the Jews and most of their existence were NOT allowed to mention God’s name at all.

Yet, with Jesus we see a different, a new approach to our creator as we are to embrace Him as a loving parent.

Aside from masculine pronouns, we can actually infer that God is really neither male or female as sex is not found in Heaven. Thus, it stands to reason that since God is a spirit sex fails to enter into the equation at all.

And while I’m sure some would detest my suggestion that God is something along human lines (I don’t suggest this at all). What I do suggest is that Abba, our father seeks a close inward relationship with us and strives to pull us closer to Him in a new alliance not found in the Old Testament.

This means that Jesus, who came as our friend, demonstrates God’s intimacy with us by virtue of comparison to earthly parents, that is, God’s feelings for us is the same as we possess to our children here on earth. In other words, God’s love is REAL and can be experienced as humans here on earth.

Thank God for Jesus to teach us this: And in this illumination we should draw our self near to His Son, Jesus and to His Father for the benefit of edifying the spiritual Family of God. In short, it means knowing who God is sets us free as we embrace the truth that God is the author of our existence. He is the author of His Son Jesus who urges us to nestle to His Father the same as we do to our earthly father. Yet, God as father proves special status and that special status is exemplified by the name of abba, Daddy our father in Heaven.

The faint Hope of Light


At least one facet of Mammoth Cave National Park located in Kentucky is the experience deep within a large cavern where the lights are turned off and one embraces the element of complete and total darkness.

As anyone knows who has turned on a flashlight or floodlight in the broad sunlight, attempting to appreciate the brightness, the shafted aura of light is extremely difficult if not altogether impossible in the broad daylight. Light of this nature is embraced fully with surrounding darkness.

And since Christians are considered the light of the world just as we are referenced as the salt of the world, the idea comes that each of us as Christians should address: just where do we add light to this dreary and forsaken world?

In truth, do we actually, truly add that energy of light to that decrepit world of darkness?

At the abyss of Mammoth Cave, one can appreciate a single ray of light, and our presence here on earth should be comparable. Our presence should make a difference to those starving for light.

And where in Mammoth Cave we are speaking of a physical light, in the spiritual world we are discussing the vital life of spiritual light: generally a spiritual light arrives in the form of hope or love or compassion or any other product of goodness that generates needed help to those in need. In all of this, the author of light is God Himself through Jesus who provides for all.

In assessing our usefulness to a decayed and sinful world: we must tally our assistance to this lost world as we provide the needed light to those who grope in the torture of darkness.

Finally, as we are subject to our Lord Jesus, are we actually and truly in obedience to His words of subjection? Are we providing for His Sheep all of the services Jesus commanded us to perform or are we, God forbid, instead, part of the darkness that is indicate so much of a world that issues judgments of cruelness? In answering this question, of light or darkness,we should concentrate on the very words of Jesus. In the end, I am convinced that most of us can contribute so much more in order to be a source of light to the world. I would hate to think that as a Christians I would have to assess myself like many others and in that fatal void of contributing nothing more than the misery of darkness. As a Christians we are required to perform so much more than darkness.

 

One’s Last Breath


There is an ominous feeling when one inhales only to discover that moment when that last breath doesn’t quite exist. Instead there is a push-back within the lungs. On such occasions, the body’s autonomic response is one of panic, spasmatic body contortions and a reaction of desperation of gasps for the precious commodity of air.

This happened once with a friend of mine who was in training, scuba diving in a sinkhole. His brother, the trainer had turned of his oxygen tank to simulate a crisis, but due to my friend’s small size, he was unable to physically reach the control knob. If not for the complete trust my friend had for his brother, panic would have provoked the incident into a crisis situation. Trust prevailed between my friend and his brother and the situation was remedied without incident. Oh, the need for assurance of our life-giving air.

Ask anyone who suffers from COPD in reference to the fears of breathing and the attacks of shortness of breath. As their medical conditions grows worse, so too the fear as eventual death is the consequence of the disease.

As much as the brother was to the scuba diving example above, the nebulizer is the ‘savior’ for those who suffer from COPD.

In both cases, oxygen is the lifeline necessary for existence and the entire process begins at birth upon the first act, the first breath of life.

So too is the nature of God: God’s word, His scriptures is ‘God Breathed’ and the Holy Spirit is often described as that imbued with the wind.

And as important as air, God’s word and His Holy Spirit, the major connection is that we absolutely need GOD to survive.

Life begins and ends with GOD. Our breath arrives from God’s as God breathed into man the breath of life. This should be easy enough to understand.

And because of SIN, man suffers a direct connection to His BREATH and thus, endangered to eternal death.

With the physical world, our body jerks in reflex when cut off from oxygen. The same is true when cut off from spiritual oxygen from Christ.

There is a vital link in the spiritual world just as one exists with the physical world and in both cases, crucial links must be established to supply one with the vital foodstuffs.

Separated and alone, one must journey through life as a result of sin. The opposite is true with Jesus for with Jesus we are connected to God and God’s universe visa-vie His, breath.

Whereas the physical world is short-lived, the spiritual is eternal with God. The idea here is to be joined with God at the hip and not to be separated as a result of sin.

In the end, it is natural for man to seek the source of life. The journey that processes from this quest will be determine by what choices we have made in our standing with God. With Jesus, we learn that TRUST in our faith sustains us from all the elements of the world and with Jesus every breath of our existence is attributable to God and God alone.

A Christian should never divorce their families


Consider this if you will: can you imagine attempting to connect with Jesus only to discover that he left and was retired? Naturally, this would be understandable for he’d had worked at that point with His Christian church for at least 2,000 years.

Insomuch that retirement is not mentioned in the bible, we should at least address where this notion arrived on the American scene.

For too many times now, we see a trend where the man and wife, with their children grown and now the parents  retired, move away from their church and friends.

Okay. I get part of this: a man and woman work their entire lives and then decide to get away from it all.

Yet, how does one get away from God’s calling? Wasn’t Moses 88 years old when he was called into service?

Don’t we declare each other as brother and sister while at church and insist that we are a large family?

Yes, of course, we do.

And since we are family, how does one pull everything up and then go another way? How can this be?

We see the same even among pastors. They grow old and then feel ‘led’ to separate from the church body they had served and known and somehow ‘divorce’ themselves from this sacred family of believers.

And I say this is not how it should be. There is no program whereas we put in so much into our tender and then leave. Where is this in the Bible?

And if it is okay for us to divorce ourselves from our family, then too, it should be cool that Jesus does the same.

How absurd.

Yet, the identical is true whenever we speak of our brothers and sisters that part from us.

The next time we plan our exit away from our church, we should consider first not how this all fits into our retirement, but rather how we remain connected to the body, our family and how we continue to serve God through His church at home. I expect to take some heat for this, however I stand by my words. We should never divorce our families. Ever.

Why do you care what others say about you?


Don’t believe a lie. Don’t believe the myth of what others call you. And this sense don’t even believe yourself. This all follows in the categories of: you’re brilliant, dumb, stupid, good, bad or any other adjective attributable to our character or and personality.

Even with the great biblical figures, we see an evolving trend of goodness, sin, atonement, but all in all a system of brokenness. Perhaps with the exception of Daniel who was described as a man with an excellent spirit, we see all rise and fall, subject to rebuke from God.

What difference does it make what others say about us? Society does not have the ability to define who we are. This is only reserved to God who judges our heart unlike how men judge us.

When people explained to us that we are good, we know this judgment is not only temporal but amiss as it failed to judge or to take in account our human totality.

We see these graves reservations among the so-called talented-among celebrities who drink, and take drugs to prop up their failing egos. Whereas they might be admired from afar, in reality they are subject to the same shortcomings as all people on earth.

Even as a criminal, it matters not how the world views us. Redemption exists for all. Surely, one should not remain a criminal, but should strive to be completely known by Christ.

It should go without saying that the only person that matters in reference to their opinion of us is God. One might believe in the distortion that they are great or mighty, yet when faced with the cross everyone falls pale to Jesus.

This is not mean we should be up on ourselves or walk around with a defeatist and bruised ego complex, but it does mean that we should be humble before man and in particular, God.

In real terms, no man has a right to tell you who or what you are except in reflection of God’s image as he defines it. This illustration of who we are to be, always in the future tense is the goal, the virtue of being a Christian. This process, transformation is a forward momentum journey that only ends up on death. Then and only then does it only really matter who we actually are. And then it matters as the Holy Spirit introduces us to our maker home.

What’s in a Name? Calling the Kettle Black


Euphemisms abound when it comes to activities we all desire to participate in or endorse. To continue calling a spade a spade we quickly learn that ‘Pro Choice’ really means abortion and abortion is similar to euthanasia which means killing, death.

A ‘Gentleman’s Club’ really means ‘strip club’ and so-called Adult Language means to curse. Adult film really means porn.

The word ‘discipline’ really means punishment, a call girl is normally a prostitute and Vietnamese were not really people, they were gooks. Poor people are not really poor people, they are ‘clients’ and to ‘make love’ means to have sex.

There is no end to our names. For some cops, to Explain Something means to beat the crap out of them. To lie is to have mis-spoken, to sell drugs on the street corner is an undocumented pharmacist and a wayward child is really a sinner.

To confiscate is to steal, exterminate is to murder. There is almost an endless list: many of which that I failed to include and some brought to the forefront of your own memory.

Let’s face it. We have this thing about names.

As I’ve written before, we don’t even call God by His name—we simply refer to His title. However, one thing is in common with all these names. And the commonality is that we posses an abundance of talent to obscure and rationalize whatever it is that we want.

When it comes to sin, we have an unlimited appetite. We call things what we do to minimize our actions. In the process, of course, we deny our guilty and seek to hide culpability. Thus, in a name, we tweek our efforts to make ourselves look better to the world than what we really are. Only through Christ to we come to terms with the truth which sets us free from all these stupid names.