Let’s Call It What It Is, Selfishness.

Let’s Call It What It Is, Selfishness.


There is nothing new under the sun. No new faults, desires, sins. It all boils down to self, the “I wants”, right now, greed.

Greed, the hardening of the heart to put self before all else is as old as time. “I want”, “I need”, and “me first above all else” is priority. Self leads to all sins because self rules.

People want to be rich, they want success, they want prosperity, they want everything centered around them, they want… want… want. Wants, not needs, is as old as recorded time.
Yesterday New York celebrated a “want” for women. High society, highly successful New York, so sophisticated, so highly educated, right? Or, are they just turning back time to archaic and barbaric practices? Did they not just erase centuries of advancement for women?

The Canaanites, circa 1509 BC, practiced a ritual of offering their first born to the fires of Moloch so they would receive riches, prosperity and a successful life. Malkam was the same for the Ammonites and Melqart for the Tyrian. Placing their first born in a fire, how barbaric people say. How ignorant, how selfish. God thought so.

Leviticus 20:2 “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death.

Imagine what He thinks now as New York has just turned back time. Women can now offer their first born to the fires of abortion. Yes, fire, saline abortion is toxic and it burns. Essentially it burns soft tissues, even skin in the womb. The baby is burned even from the inside as the child swallows the solution. Such torture. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. How barbaric. A modern woman would never do such a thing.

New York has done the unthinkable. A woman can choose to torture an infant for convenience, for costs, for unwanted, for wrong gender, for any reason. Be careful though, you still cannot disturb a turtle or eagles nest. Those eggs, fertilized or not, are still protected by state and federal laws.
Welcome to 2019 New York. Your women can sacrifice their first born for convenience, career, riches, gender choice …. success and prosperity. Moloch just changed his name to abortion.

A civilized woman would utilize self control over selfishness. A civilized society would fund adoptions, not abortions.

Stinkin-in and rotten-in!


As toddlers our girls were spoiled rotten (yeah, I know, they still are).   But, we would tell them they were rotten to the core; stinking and rotting.   Now, when they would tell it back to us it sounded more like … stinkin-in and rottin-in.   Their dad still tells them they are rotten in the toddler terms.

Truthfully, things that are rotting are usually stinking and it is anything but cute.   stinkWhen something stinks, it usually has sat around awhile, soured and rotted.  Unfortunately, many Christians become rotten from sitting around and souring.  They get upset, get discouraged and get down.  Instead of going to their knees, seeking fellowship and prayer partners, they just sit and stew … and stew … and then they sour and after a while they just SMELL.  You would think they would get the message when people start avoiding them.  You can not stand to be around them.  They are sour on the world.  Nothing is going right for them; nothing is going their way.  As the saying goes, “misery loves company” and they want you to be miserable with them.  You just want them to get “washed in the blood” all over again.  All you can do is bathe them in prayer.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15(HCSB) 14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on displayin Christ and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.15 For to God we are the fragranceof Christ among those who are being saved  and among those who are perishing.”

Hopefully, you are not the one stinkin’.  Each day you make a choice.  You get up and you choose your attitude.    In Matthew 5:3-11 you will find the Beatitudes:

BEatitudes = Attitudes To Be (a previous blog)

 

If you are going to “smell” … smell sweet!

 

“Imagine a life with no worries ….”


That’s what the billboard reads as I drive to work.  I cannot remember the product.

The song lyrics read, “don’t worry, be happy (whistling)”.

Worry … it’s a sin. (I actually wrote a post, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” , two years ago that handles that topic.) The truth is, life is hard and there is no way to not worry … in our own strength.  Imagine a life with no worries?  No product can produce that in your life; no service can produce that in your life.  The only way to lift worries is to lay your concerns before our Almighty Father in Heaven.

Matthew 11:28 (NTL) “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Worry is a sin, it means you are not trusting God.  In the wee hours of the morning Corrie Ten Boom stood before us with Billy Graham by her side.  My brother and I were volunteers for the crusade and we were helping type up the cards for counseling of all that had come forward that night at the Crusade meetings.  We were all tired.  My brother and I had come from the hospital prior to the meetings.  Our father was in the hospital having had a lung removed from lung cancer.  My world was shaking as my earthly father lay struck down.  I had always relied on him.  I needed to learn to rely on my Heavenly Father, who cannot be shaken or brought down.    Corrie Ten Boom told us about ‘not worrying’.  I was 18 years old.  My world was collapsing, but here was a woman who had been through way worse telling me, “don’t worry”.   She said, (and I have never forgotten):

“If it is too small to pray about, it is too small to worry about.” Corrie Ten Boom

A worrier will begat a worrier …. if you want your children and loved ones to lean on Christ, they have to see you leaning on Him; “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”.

Don’t worry, be happy?  Yes, you can ” … Safe and Secure From All Alarms”!

Psalm 55:22 (NASB) “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”

My Get Up and Go …


Got up and went.

Ever feel this way? You know, when your day is done (or maybe just begun) and your get up and go, got up and went.

Know the feeling?  We are always on the run, here, there …. everywhere.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  We have such a frantic schedule, especially when we have children at home.   My mother use to say she met her self coming when she was going.  Think on that one for a minute.

Other sayings from the South:

* running around like a chicken with their head cut off

* they won’t know they’re dead until they lay down three days later

We live life to the fullest.  So full, we overflow into utter exhaustion and yet seem to get little done.  Another saying: “Take time to smell the roses”.   Oh, we can quote them, but can we live them?  Each generation reflects back to when life was simpler … oh, for the good ol’ days.

Is it any wonder we do not hear answers to prayers?  We are too busy to slow down and listen and follow instructions.

In John 9 Jesus met a blind man. The man wanted to be healed.  Jesus placed mud on his eyes and told him to GO and he WENT.

JOHN 9:6-7  6  “After saying this, He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” He told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

The man had to put action to his faith in this instance.  Jesus showed him to listen, follow and do.  Oh, we listen when we take the time to hear.  But do we follow?  Do we put any action to our faith?  Do we “GO”?

Today as you are hurrying around to the point that your “get up and go, got up and went” (in other words you are exhausted), think on what God has asked of you to do.  Have you been too busy to hear His still quite voice leading you?  What did you hear?  Did you say, “I don’t have time, or later Lord?  Maybe not in so many words, but in your actions that is what you say, right?  If you put as much into His schedule as you do your own … if when He asked you to “GO” you got up and “WENT”.  What might you see happen?

Just DO IT!


A popular logo on sportswear/equipment uses the slogan,

The world sets standards and we push to prove ourselves to the world.  We think nothing of it as we strive to be better than the next person.  Our ego wants us to be better than them in all ways imaginable:  better car, better house, better looking, better kids, better at this and better at that.  The media pushes it at us from every direction; clothing, billboards, commercials.  It is subliminal sometimes and we buy into the mindset.

Yet, when it comes to our spiritual life we become wimps, milk-toast, wall-flowers.  Scared about what His word tells us to do.  Scared to take a stand.  We buy into satan’s* lies and hide.  We cannot DO IT!  We do not know how to DO IT!  Excuses, we have plenty.  The Holy Spirit urges you to spend more time with your family in His word, in worship.  You see a need and you think, “next time”.  That hurting homeless person on the side of the street you see gets a “quickie” prayer, “Lord help them.”  Your child’s classmates need shoes.  The elderly neighbor just wants someone to take time to talk with them.  The Spirit nudges and you keep moving, in the opposite direction … too busy to JUST DO IT.

We are so prone to talk about the things we are going to do when we have time.  A mission trip, the soup kitchen, the coat drive…. making up handouts for the homeless**. Jesus’ first miracle recorded  in John 2, tells of His mother asking for help.  She told the others, “do what He tells you to do”.  And they simply did as they were told.  It would be so wonderful if we would simply do as we are led.   Our cups overflow with His love through His gift of salvation.  He wants you to share His love.  JUST DO IT.

Start each day asking the Lord to use you in His will.  When He shows you a need JUST DO IT.  Do not stop and think you are not capable.

ROMANS 8:26-28  26 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

He has a plan for your day.  Open yourself up to the possibilities.  As a parent, grandparent, co-worker, spouse … God uses each of us each day IF we allow Him.  We are not puppets and He is not a puppet master.  It is our choice.  Do not think about it, JUST DO IT!  No matter what He is asking you to do today, no matter what obstacles and trials He allows you to go through, it is for a reason.  He is there through it all, working it for GOOD.

NEVER forget that the day ahead of you carries no task or trial that is greater than the POWER behind you as a Christian.

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

** Homeless handouts: NEVER give cash, but you can carry several 1 gallon zip lock bags (something they can use later when it is empty) filled with: Tuna packet, crackers, snack size nuts, etc..  Include: package of  tissues, comb, trial sizes of hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.  You can put a New Testament or Christian track in there as well.

“Clouds got in my way …”


In 1967, Joni Mitchell wrote the song “Both Sides Now”, a haunting song of many verses:

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

The song has several other verses.  She wrote it after reading a book where the author was talking about flying over Africa and how due to modern technology we can fly above the clouds and see them from both sides (verse 1) and then in day-to-day life (verse 2) what clouds mean.   She told in an interview that it occurred to her that we should see both sides to everything and not be afraid to die, it is just another side of where we are now.  What clouds are in your life now? Which one is the one to follow?  Do you ponder the clouds?

Over the past couple of weeks I have had clouds come up in several things I have read.  I found over 147 times in the Bible where God refers to or uses cloud(s). God used a cloud to guide Moses and the children of Israel through the desert. The cloud stopped, they stopped … it moved, they moved.  In a book I just finished reading the girl prays for God to guide her in choices by helping her follow His “cloud”.  I heard Joni Mitchell’s song on the radio this week and started thinking about the “cloud” God is using in my life now.  Then yesterday I was walking through Annapolis with my good friend Karen and looking at a clear blustering sky with varying sizes of clouds. I told her of God using “clouds” to guide me.

Figuratively, clouds are everywhere.  There is a “cloud” on my blog that helps people find this post based on the key words they put in their browser.  When I stare at the clouds in the sky I imagine I see shapes.  Phil and I sometimes look up and show each other those shapes.  We laugh and share stories based on what is brought to mind.

I can look to the sky and there are all types of clouds depending on the day and I decide if I need to dress for cold, rain or heat.  The weatherman tells us what clouds are coming and what to expect.  “Clouds” help us to decide many things if we consider them and look at them from both sides.  In life these “clouds” take many shapes. God places “clouds” and more specifically A CLOUD in our life to guide us.    Looking at the cloud from both sides  (His and ours) and taking the time to think about it in prayer with Him, helps us to make decisions.  God still guides us today through our “cloud”. You know what it is and you choose to follow the “cloud” or make a conscious decision to ignore the way you need to go.  When you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit will guide you in your daily and life’s decisions.  Remember, as parents, how you make your decisions  is how you teach your children to make decisions.   What do they see you do when faced with a choice?

The Bible says,

James 1:5 HCSB
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”

Unlike the song,

“It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all”,

we can look towards Him with full confidence; with no disillusionment and know our “cloud” will guide if we will only follow Him.

In-Action = Action


Have you ever thought about your actions?  Sure you do.  You tell your children, employees … discuss it in Sunday School – “Your actions speak louder than your words”.

What about your “IN”actions? When you do nothing … nothing at all.  Life is inaction or action.  You arrive with a blank slate … lights, camera, action.  When you are sitting there doing nothing … the ‘camera’ (life) is still rolling.

When you come to a scene change (a fork in the road if you will), you make choices.  As Christians we pray about our choices.  Sometimes we have many choices for one road … many doors.  We pray that God closes all but the right door. What if there are no doors, no forks in the road?  You’re standing still, waiting on Him and His timing to open a door …show you the forks in the road … (as opposed to throwing up your hands and saying ‘woe is me’).  When you’ve done all you can and are waiting on Him, this is not ‘inaction’ … this IS action.

Inaction is when you sit back and say, “God you’re going to have to do it all”, and you do nothing.  Action is when you acknowledge you are at a dead-end or in a room with no doors, so you pray, you read His word and you wait on Him.  This is ACTION at its most intense, its most suspenseful, …tension packed if you will.  Trusting in the unknown next step because you know the final chapter is already written and you’ve won because you are linked with Him that won 2,000+ years ago (which in eternity time zone is probably like 2 minutes).

Take your blank slate today and as life rolls make sure that any “IN”action is action.  Apathy towards life is ungodly.   There is no room for despair, discouragement and gloom.

1 Thessalonians 2:12

James 1:2

1 Peter 4:19