These people believe what the world tells them and that is they are ugly. They believe what those around them tell them and that is they are useless. They do not believe what God tells them. I know, because I used to be like this as well.
One thing I have learned during my years with my Beloved Lord God and that is there is No Faith where there is no Hope. The two are so entwined and bonded together that it is impossible to have one without the other. And the third cord in the unbreakable heavenly rope is Love. With Faith and Hope comes Love. First the Godly Love that He pours into our hearts so that we can at least lift our face up to Him. Then comes the Faith and the Hope that Life really isn't ugly.
Most people equate self-esteem with selfishness, old nature, flesh, pride etc. This is demonstrated with false humility when we've done something for God. When we sing, "such a worm as I" and has now been changed to "such a one as I". We have changed the lyrics in our beloved hymns to remove the "wretches" and the "worms" because it is debilitating to our "self-esteem". When we listen to the teaching that Selfishness and Ego and the Flesh are the same as Self-Esteem, we are removing Hope which takes away Faith and that takes away the capacity to recognize God's Love.
We love God because He created us with a huge God-sized hole within our hearts that only He can fill but we can only recognize something that Spiritual because He created us with a self-esteem that requires self-preservation almost at all costs.
It is a God-created characteristic and is necessary for us to be able to recognize God's love. In other words, God created it on purpose.
The question is as powerful today as it was several years ago when I first heard it. I was sitting on a comfortable couch. My friends from several different churches gathered about the TV with Beth Moore teaching her Bible Study, "Jesus the One and Only" on the tube. We had our Bibles open on our laps and she was talking about having a deep, open relationship with God through our prayer life. It must be vibrant. It must be personal… be a priority… be on purpose… and for a purpose. I'm nodding my head, 'Yes, of course! I knew all this.'
Then she tells the story of being wronged by a Christian sister.
My brain moves from what she's saying to an incident that had happened not so very before. A woman who professed Jesus, but never acted like she possessed Jesus was trying to get me fired from my job. I was very good at my job, but she couldn't stand the thought of me getting praise for a job well done. She took credit for several things that I developed. She assassinated my character to the point that I still cannot get a job where I live. I'm thinking she couldn't stand the sight of Jesus in me. Every day of the week there was new trumped up evidence that she would present to my bosses putting me in the wrong and her in the Wonder Woman suit saving the day. I can't tell you the number of times she took credit for my work... and not just to my bosses. She was so busy smearing mud all over me, her work suffered. She finally succeeded in getting me fired.
I told God on her. I told Him everything she did. I pointed out how hurt I was and how this demonic attack was affecting my job, distracting me from bringing a better economy to my part of the state. I prayed that God would expose her. I prayed that God would take her peace from her, if she really was a Christian. I prayed that God would convict her of her sins of lies and intrigues and strife. Steam was building in my soul, and anger was about to boil over, then I suddenly came back to the present. "I heard Him ask me, 'What would you have Me do to her, Beth?' What could I say, but 'Have mercy, Lord! Have mercy!'"
Forgiveness. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." There isn't anything in that prayer Jesus taught His disciples which says, "Forgive us as we forgive only our brothers that offend us." Nor does it say, "Forgive us as we go about our daily life and never mind about those folks who offend us regardless whether they are Christian or not. They'll get theirs in the end anyway!"
Forgive them for they know not what they do. Stephen begged this as he was stoned. Jesus begged this as He hung on the cross. If they can do it in those circumstances, what is losing a job compared to that? There is much that God has forgiven me for, too much for me to harbor anger or bitterness against a woman that didn't understand eternal things. Nor did she know she was doing me a great favor in bringing me to my knees in front of my Lord and Savior. What a great blessing. What a great privilege. What a marvelous relationship builder as the Lord steps between me and Satan."Have mercy, Lord. Forgive her and bring her to Your side. Forgive her because she had no clue what she was doing because she didn't know the sweetness of Your forgiveness."
Several months went by. I thought I had forgiven her. I found out that I had not. She was sitting on the back pew of my church one Sunday night a few weeks ago. I didn’t recognize her until I was on my way home. So I had a bit of an excuse that night. But she was back the next Sunday. I had all week long to pray about it and still thought I’d forgiven her. I had not. I could not bring myself to go talk to her or to shake her hand and welcome her to church.
Have mercy on me, Lord. Forgive me for I did know what I was doing and I failed You. I did know the sweetness of Your forgiveness and I failed.
Then God reminded me that forgiveness isn’t horizontal. Forgiveness is vertical. It is between my heart and the Lord. If I harbor anger, resentment and bitterness, that comes between the Lord and me and that ruins our sweet relationship. That is a choice I have… a choice of action on my part.
I must guard my heart against grudges or feuds. If I consciously decide to release that anger and resentment to God, bitterness never forms and my relationship is refreshed. I do not have to be best friends with someone in order to forgive her. In fact, it is wise to be wary of the sinner’s ways, for they can entice away from God’s side and God’s ways. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16
We have two promises that I can think of right off the bat, "The LORD lifts those who are heavy laden and those bent beneath their loads," Psalm 145; and "Come to Me you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest," Matt. 11:28
I wrote a post about talents and gifts and it was sort of a half post, I had more to say but now it has gone past the newsworthy phase. So, I've revised it into weary and worn because that seems to be hitting a nerve with Christians recently.
I said in my post that the Master gave the talents according to the abilities, but did not give the abilities in that particular parable. The story Jesus was telling was not about abilities or what kind of abilities, but more about willingness to use the ability to increase what was given.
Obviously, the servant who received the most from the Master enjoyed using it to make even more. He wanted to make the Master proud. He obviously used it wisely because he doubled what he was given. In the exact same way, the Holy Spirit gives us motivations which spur us on to do God's work without becoming weary or heavy laden. We just need to know what our motivations are in order to operate in them to the fullest extent of our ability.
Take a moment and analyze what motivates you... What interests you the most, and how to you go about solving problems?
Let's take one example and look at how each of the Motivational Spiritual Gifts Paul outlines in Romans 12:6-8 would handle the situation. The gifts Paul lists are: Prophecy/Perception, Server/Minister, Teacher, Exhorter, Administrator, Giver, Compassion with Cheerfulness.
Let's say that in a neighborhood live all the gifts, please note that every Christian has all the gifts of motivation each in proportion to their abilities and in proportion to their faith (something most teachers of the Spiritual gifts forget to mention, but Paul does not).
One neighbor gets sick. Which of these reactions best suits your instinctive desire to help your sick neighbor?
__will take over meals, offer to do housework, run errands, mow the lawn.
__ will ask how she feels, empathize, hug, weep, stay by her bedside.
__ will find it hard to relate to her, but will take a good book and tapes, magazines, or read out loud.
__ will go right over and encourage her, share uplifting Scripture, make sure she is following doctor's orders.
__ will find out what she needs and organize the neighborhood to meet all the needs.
__ will bring food and other gifts, spend time talking and listening, or just sitting quietly.
__ will pray both privately and with her for healing, strength and endurance.
When you've figured out what your motivation is, then you will operate according to that gift and you won't burn out, get weary, or get worn. It is when we are doing things with a mistaken motivation of DUTY that we get overwhelmed.
Have you decided yet which way you respond to a friend or loved one who is sick?
Would you like to know more about these gifts? Go here
I reported on April 6, 2010 the story that Wiki Leaks has posted a full version and a shorter version of a military operation in Iraq. They call it Collateral Murder. The fact that they have editorialized the title is a good indication of the bias view of the subtitles and focus WikiLeaks has put on the leaked video. The video shows several men who are carrying weapons and two who carry cameras. The journalists carrying the cameras are from Reuters. You can click on the link and view the video for yourself. I recommend you study the thing hard because it gives only a slice of the real story.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates lambasts the posting of the video from Iraq in 2007 because it is a "soda straw" view of war in a Fox News article. I agree wholeheartedly.
There are so many who think that war is where everyone fights fair and plays fair, when any military person could tell you that is not the case. Just ask anyone who fought in Viet Nam. Wiki Leaks proclaims they have scientifically analyzed this video and declare that murder was committed. I watched the full version which is 39 minutes long, beginning with several men walking along carrying AK47s, and several others who are not armed, gathering together before they enter a building. It ends with the US Military finally blowing up the building.
I am proud to be an American, and proud of how our boys reacted to this clear and present danger. Perhaps there was a bit of callousness in the radio transmission, but after so many years of this kind of war, I have no problem with their judgment. What the military guys said was true. Once the weapons are spotted, permission is asked to engage, meaning to fire upon those with weapons. In a war zone, any person carrying a weapon, and is not a military friendly, is up to no good. The Rules of Engagement were followed to the T, every i is dotted and every t is crossed.
Common sense dictates that you do not bring your children toward a military engagement where shooting is happening, you would run the other way. War has been going on in Iraq for a very long time and people there know that the US military is not playing games. Our boys have suffered more from sniper fire, roadside bombs, car bombs, suicide bombers and the like. These fanatics are not playing games either as this jihad bears witness. They did right to not hold back from engaging those with weapons who regularly hide behind women and children. A point which Gates points out saying, "Let's also face the reality that we are in a war and our adversaries ... use civilians. They purposely put civilians in harm's way."
They also did right by evacuating the little girl and getting her hospital care as soon as possible. They did right when they shot those who were trying to pick up the wounded because, if you watch closely, you see two from the van shooting missiles at the helicopter above. You can’t hear the hand-to-hand combat, or see it, but you hear it reported from the troops on the ground. War is nasty and there are casualties. Iraqis know by now, if there are military personnel around and there is someone armed close by, they need to run the other way… unless, of course, they are up to no good .
I’ll let you judge for yourself, but from what I observed, our boys were fired upon and met that fire with considerable patience. It was a military operation, carried out with military precision. I find no fault here, and I definitely am considerably ticked that anyone has the effrontery to call it murder.
Okay, I'm playing around with the Share This button on my column at Live As If...
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Truly, Seagal is weird. I've heard some of his beliefs and have they are a bit "out there around Pluto". But, I've seen him in action and some of his causes, and I find it very difficult to believe the story. So I looked it up on TMZ and while I was there, Megan Kelly on Kelly's Court had a couple of attorneys talking about the very story on her show on Fox News.
If you click on the title link, I caution you that this court-filed suit reads like a very bad romance novel (something Megan pointed out). It is explicit and I find it all extremely bizarre.
Megan Kelly showed a clip from Kayden Nguyen (the plaintiff) in which Nguyen claims she can "trick any man to do" what she wants and that she can "get any girl she wants."
There are allegations that Seagal has had other harassment charges. Where there is smoke and all that. It would seem that Seagal did not learn his lesson from the previous allegations which, according to Kelly, came to nothing.
The 32 page complaint has a great deal of detail which actually turns my stomach. I couldn't read all the way through it. It sounds to me like someone started telling a tale and got really caught up in the story telling.
First of all, when a crime has been committed against your person, you go to the police. If you don't trust the police in the area where the crime was committed, then you go to the police where the company is based and that is in Los Angeles. For me it is truly suspect that she did not run the other way when her new boss said that his wife wouldn't mind if she became his lover. That is a tell which is made of neon, and no woman should ever play the "wait and see" if words like that are actually said to an employee.
Take a lesson kiddies... don't set yourself up for a fall. Make sure you keep far away from the appearance of evil, check people out before you "fall in" with them. References are good, then most likely you won't have problems. Still, you can't be too careful.
Most people will abide by the Walls a person puts up. If you act like a sex fiend, then you'll be treated like a sex fiend. If you dress like a floozy, then you'll be treated like a floozy. I have such a sick place in my heart caused by the way some women dress, act, and talk. We were not designed to be that way. We were designed to be treasures, for a good woman's value is far above rubies. We should take this as a directive from God and strive for it.
One of Peter Marshall's sermons derided the movement of women to become like men. I agree with him. We are softer, made that way on purpose. We are made to nurture and to have babies while men were made to hunt and defend. We've gotten our purposes mixed up.
No wonder women on the prowl are called cougars and men are actually puppies in cheap fur coats. However, to turn a phrase from a Mark Twain quote, "What would men (or women) be without the other gender? Scarce, sir .. mighty scarce." -- Mark Twain
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Isn't it strange that we must have some social psychologist or social scientist somewhere do a study that we already know is fact?
Texas A&M diversity in sports director, George Cunningham, speaks out on how our religious differences make us "not fit in" and how when we work with people who have the same faith and beliefs we have, how we like our job more, like the people we work with more, and in general are happier workers.
So what do we do with this "new" knowledge? Does it give us more freedom to hire "like-minded" people when the new laws being pushed by our president are soon to make it more difficult to hire whom we like without facing incredibly risks of expensive law suits, especially when the LGBT or ACLU funds are thrown at lawyers to fight for the boy-dressed-as-a-girl to work in your day care center.
Whether Americans want to admit it or not, back in George Washington's day, people had the same beliefs in the same God, pantheists were unheard of, and this social acceptance helped put the United States on the map. They did not all go to the same church, but for heaven's sake, Thomas Jefferson held church services in the White House! It was the One True God our forefathers worshiped. It is high time the pursuit of Truth was literally endowed along with the right to the pursuit of happiness. Without Truth, there is no happiness because the lies that some are trying to choke our children with are leading down the road to destruction.
Yes, I believe there is. Doing a word search/study on Talents, we first notice that this was a measure of money back in Bible days. I think it is such a word play when we look at the servants of the harsh master. The Master gave each servant according to his abilities. To one, he gave five talents, to another he gave two talents and to the last he gave one talent. Noticing that each received according to his abilities is important. (Matthew 25)
The Hebrew word translated talent means round as in a round tract of land or a large, round coin. We say today that if a person is well-rounded, then he or she has sufficient skills and abilities to maneuver within a wide range of situations and/or problems with reasonable success potential. In Israel, a talent of gold weighed approximately 200 pounds. At today's prices, that would be about $3.2 million dollars for one talent (since gold prices fluctuate so much on a daily basis we'll call it $1,000 per ounce).
The Master did not give abilities, he gave the talents according to abilities. I find that so interesting. Paul tells us that he would not have us ignorant concerning the gifts so he describes them as Spiritual gifts in Romans 12 and in 1 Corinthians 12 which is followed closely by the Love Chapter 1 Corinthians 13. That wasn't by mere chance.
Romans 12:4 For even as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function, 5 so we the many are one body in Christ, and each one members of one another, 6 but having different gifts according to the grace given to us...
The gifts are given so that we may actively participate in God's works through our functions.
In 1 Corinthians 12:21-26, Paul explains that each organ of the body has its own contribution to the body whether it is an "unseemly" part or a "seemly" part that needs no adorning, God has combined the various parts of the body, giving special honor to the humbler parts so that there might be no sense of division in the body but all organs might feel the same concern for one another.
A finger cannot see the myriad colors of a calico kitten's fur as the eye can see. An eye cannot feel the soft fur of that cuddly kitten. Neither the finger nor the eye can hear the soft contented purr of that kitten, but the ear can. Put the organs together and the joy of the experience is not quite complete. We must have a hand to cradle the kitten and we need the cheek to ruffle the fur and the shoulder for the kitten to lay upon. Not once did the tongue have to do anything in that particular scenario.
In order for the kitten to have a complete experience, however, the hand and fingers and cheek cuddle and stroke, but the soft voice gives great comfort as well as assurance that all is well for the kitten.
To say that a person must speak in tongues in order to have the fullness of the Holy Spirit is actually limiting the Spirit's usage of the whole body for a complete ministry of God's work.
We must not only know what to do, we must know how to do it. The Bible gives us that instruction, and it takes the whole body to absorb it to the fullest. Paul explains it thus:
1Corinthians 12:4 And there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5 and there are differences of ministries, yet the same Lord.
6 And there are differences of workings, but the same God is working all things in all.
7 And to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit.