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.

Shhhhh….


Yesterday seemed to be the day for screaming kids in our store.  I am continually amazed at parents disrespect for others’ places of work (and even other customers).  I work in a bookstore.  People are trying to read, select books and study materials.  I am not talking about a sudden outburst, but an out-and-out continual loud crying tantrum.  The kind where you cannot hear yourself think.   The mom’s idea was to ignore the kid.  That is fine, but only if it is at her expense, not that of the store’s employees and other customers.  Take the kid to the car, let them scream and sit and ignore them all you want.  Never let your kid scream or carry on, run around, etc. in another person’s place of work.  Could you or your husband work under that condition?  Of course not.  Remember, stores and restaurants are somebody’s place of work.  Respect that.  Let others hear themselves think as they shop and/or work.

So I have vented.  Now to my point.  Quiet time.  For us, for kids.  Learning to be quiet, so you can hear… not just all that is around you, but the Holy Spirit’s quiet voice leading you.  Teaching you and giving you discernment.

My husband has always thought I have bionic ears when it comes to children.   He swears I would hear our daughters change breathing patterns during the night.  I am a light sleeper.  I treasure my quiet, quiet is a valuable thing.  The least little sound wakes me.  Quiet time, something to treasure.  Any mom can tell you that.  Unfortunately, through the years of multimedia, we have grown accustomed to…

LOUD

Is it any wonder when we feel we have not heard from God?   We never slow down, we never get quiet … we are on the go … over stimulated with noise and sights … leaving no room for His

 still, quiet voice.

I could always hear when my children awoke, when they breathed differently, coughed … I was tuned into my girls.  I hear my grandchildren during the night when they visit.  The house is still, all asleep, and I am in tune to the changes of my quiet.

Would it not be wonderful to be so still in my spirit and so attuned to Him that I could hear His still quiet voice anytime day or night?  If only we could hear His voice no matter the clamor all around us.  It is so important to find a quiet time in the day to keep that open line of communication so we KNOW His voice.  It is important for our children to know we have that quiet time as well.

Does He always have to get our attention the hard way?  If only I felt His breath on me … He’s there.  I just need to listen.  Be still.   Shhhhhhhhhh.

1 Kings 19:11b-12  “…And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.”

Depending ….


February 1 …. everyone should have their W2’s from the previous year.  It is time to look at taxes.  Did you claim enough dependents? Was there enough withholding?  Do you owe?

Dependent.  I looked the word up and it is one of those words with so many meanings, “depending” on what you want to say.  This time of year we are looking at how we claimed dependents.  Dependents are those that lean on us for their needs, so we claim them to reduce our taxes.

Just the 2 of Us

Our children are grown and married so my husband and I only have each other to claim for tax purposes.  “Depending” on how you claimed your “dependents” in the previous year, you now look to this year’s W4 to decide on withholding based on dependents.  Confused?  That is just one way to look at dependency.

Co-dependency, chemical dependency, alcohol dependency, (Starbucks dependency :-D) ; the lists go on and on.  As Christians we can claim one kind of dependency that takes care of all our needs.   This is the dependency we need to pass on to our children.   Christ.   We need Him every hour, every breath.  So many days we hit the ground running without recognizing our need for Him in our life and then at the end of the day when we have made a huge mess of things, it hits us.  We ran around in our own power.  That is like running around on a skate board when you have a fine tuned race car in the garage.  What are you waiting for?  Pull it out and start the engine.

2 Peter 1:3  (HCSB)  “3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

Christ is all you need.  He is all the power you need.  You need Him every hour and He is there.  You can lean on Him.  You can trust Him.

I see people daily running to books and pastor’s, church groups and help groups bypassing the power of going to Him.  It would be amazing to see what would happen if the first stop on everyone’s day was in His word and in prayer talking with Him.  There is nothing wrong with Bible studies, reading books and seeking pastoral advise.  I write my blog to help others.   We learn from others and it is Biblical.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV) “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

But, for Christians to continually seek help outside of Him is the wrong kind of dependency.   Our problems occur when we only recognize our need for Him because we are in trouble.   The truth is we need Him every hour, not just in hard times.   IF we only run to Him when we are in  trouble, then we have not realized our true need.  Recognizing our need for Him, leaning on Him daily in His word and in prayer, carries us through the trials of life.   Yes, God will use the pastor and church as well as it’s members, to help in time of need.  But, just as we should not expect the schools to help raise our kids, we should not expect the church to meet our needs.  God meets our needs … sometimes using the church.  Unfortunately, some people will never step pass their needs to recognize all they need is Him.

Today we need the Lord.  Where is your dependency?  What or whom are you leaning on?  What gets you through your day?  Your kids, your family, your friends, co-workers …. they need to see your dependency on Him.

So when they meet you today, will they meet Him because you are leaning on Him?

“Fair Winds and Following Seas”


A nautical blessing of unknown origin, “Fair Winds and Following Seas” is how many sail through life.  A hope and a prayer for smooth sailing.  Are you sailing through life?  That can be disastrous, especially since your kids are learning how to handle life from the way you handle yours.

Is Your Life Sunk?

Early in our dating years, my husband taught me to sail his catamaran.   I cannot tell you the thrill of controlling the boat using the wind in the sails, the tiller and rudders.  Control is an awesome feeling.  Lose control and you capsize.  Yes, I did.

Our life is like a sailboat.  The rudder decides the direction as guided by the tiller.  Whose hand is on the tiller? Yours?  The current of the world is strong.  The Wind of God’s Word is stronger.   Without His word you cannot sail, the current will push you into the rocks.  Your sails need to be trimmed through prayer and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your life.  When we navigate through the currents of the world, if  the rudder (our character)  is directed with our hand on the tiller  then we are going to capsize and sink.  If on the other hand, our sailboat has a keel shaped by Jesus Christ through salvation, then the rudder is directed (our path)  by Him and His hand is on the tiller (His will vs. ours).

Life is hard and there are plenty of rough seas.  When you need to put into harbor for safety His promises are your anchor.  You can count on His promises to keep you as you ride out the storms.  Sometimes He calms the seas (Mark 4:35-40), sometimes you have to ride out the storm and sometimes God uses the storm to shape you (Jonah 1).

God needs to be the Captain of the boat, not the co-captain.  His hand needs to be on the tiller of your life setting the rudder so that you sail safely no matter the weather.  From time to time you need to lighten the load and He will direct you to throw your baggage and cargo overboard.  Some of it may be precious cargo, but often it is garbage.  Allowing God to be in control and guide your sailboat will not give you smooth sailing, but it will always give you safe sailing.

Set sail today; let go, sail with Him at the tiller.

Whose hand is on the tiller?

I believe …


… “I Believe I Can Fly”
… “I Believe”
… “I Believe In Angels”
… “I Believe, I Believe”
… believe in our product … believe in the team … believe in yourself?

The world says believe in yourself.

Binging,which I prefer rather than Googling, the words “I Believe” is fascinating.  Humans need to believe.  It is innate. It is that little something in us that is a hole, a void, that needs to be filled.  God put it there, that need for Him.  That longing for Him.  The world tries to help you fill the void.   As you can imagine, there are scores of song lyrics, t-shirts, photos and artwork with those two words incorporated in or on them.  Remember the scene in Miracle on 34th  Street at the end when the little girl keeps reciting, “I believe, I believe.”?  We need to believe. We WANT to believe.

I am not talking about looking at that chair and saying, “I am going to sit on you chair and I believe you are going to hold me up.”  We believe in many things .  I am talking about the ultimate belief, the one thing that fills the void in our lives that nothing else can fill, our belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ.  That is the only “fill” for our void.  God provided the Lord Jesus Christ and  the Holy Spirit to meet our need and fill our void.

Dateline: 10/15/2011 5:45PM ~ She stood outside the store where I work.  She was shopping in the store and had waited on me outside when she saw I was leaving at the end of my shift. She said she was Jewish and her friend Catholic.  They are friends and had wandered into the store while out shopping.  She had questions.  She said, “I believe in God.  I am a Jew, yet I was raised in private Catholic schools.  I am open-minded.”    She has questions, she is searching.  She has a void.  She needs answers, a way to fill that void.

“I believe in God.”  Many people make that statement.  The truth is, satan* believes in God.  The  Bible says satan* knows who Jesus Christ is and that He is the Son of God.  The difference is  Christians believe Jesus is the Savior.    I was raised on the “Four Fold Gospel ~ Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King.”  He saved me, cleansed me, heals me and will return.  That sums it all up.  Yet, I cannot stop there.  I  have to read His word and pray.  I have to get to know Him daily and walk with Him. I have to know what the Bible says.  A saying from the 18th century states, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”  I think we can study the Bible all our lives and never understand or learn it all.  But I have to continue to read, pray and grow.  Some of us are further behind than others in learning.  If you have not started, you need to get started.  We all should learn and teach our children who will teach their children ….

Do you believe?  What do you believe?  Do your children, family and friends know what you believe? Do you believe as the world tells you to believe?

Webster defines believe: 1a: to have a firm religious faith  1b: to accept something as true, genuine, or real ;  2: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something ; 3: to hold an opinion : think ;  4a: to consider to be true or honest; 4b: to accept the word or evidence of; 5: to hold as an opinion
God’s word simply defines believe as faith:

John 3:16 ESV “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Mark 16:15-16 ESV “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Why do you believe what you believe?

Webster defines Apologetics:  1: systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine);  2: a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity

Wikipedia defines: Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers (c. 120-220) who defended their faith against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called apologists.

So do you believe?  Do your children believe?  What have you taught them to believe?  What do others think you believe?

*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.

 

“Now I Lay Me ….


down to sleep” ; “God is great, God is good….”; “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name…”

      HOW DO YOU PRAY?

"Where two are more are gathered..."

I have noticed through the years that people pray as they have ‘heard others pray’.  We all grow up hearing the children’s prayers.  Some faiths have recited prayers.   Many pray only when in need or after they have tried everything else.

Children are sponges.  They soak up all around them as they grow. both the good habits and the bad.   So many times we inadvertently teach them to PRAY only as a last resort because all the other ‘praying’ is in recitation, not real prayer.   There is the ‘blessing prayers’ … “God is Good, God is Great.  let us thank Him for our food.”   One of my cousins when asked to pray would get to the point with, “Dear God, bless this bunch as we munch our lunch.”   There is the bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep … bless mommy, daddy, the cat … the goldfish …. oh and dear old Aunt ______ (P.S. please stop her from pinching my cheeks.)    As they get older we teach our children The Disciple’s Prayer:

Matthew 6:9-13, ” 9“Pray, then, in this way:  ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’(NASB)   This prayer was intended to teach us HOW to pray and while it is OK to pray it, it was never intended for us to ‘use it’ as a substitution for PRAYING.    Many people call that portion of scripture  The Lord’s Prayer but, it was the Disciple’s Prayer.  A prayer Jesus used to teach them HOW to pray.   (The Lord’s Prayer is John 17:1-5)

So how do you pray and how do you teach your children to pray?  You use the ‘model’ He gave us in Matthew 6 to teach them to TALK with God in Prayer.  It’s a conversation not a recitation.  Acknowledge WHO He is, praise Him, ask forgiveness, pray for others and THEN ask for your needs.  That is a ‘season’ of prayer. 

There are faiths that pray three times a day.  But, we as Christians are to pray unceasingly.  And we can.  What does that mean?  Well, even though in your morning devotions or night-time devotions you pray as the Lord taught His disciples, throughout the day you pray unceasingly.  You see a wonderful sight in creation and you pray, “thank you Lord … that’s beautiful”.  You see a homeless person on the corner and pray, “Lord be with them, meet their needs.”  A friend calls or is brought to mind, “Lord you know their need right now, meet them.”  You wake in the middle of the night and someone comes to mind, “Lord, I do not know what is going on right now, but I lift them in prayer asking you to guard and protect them, meet them where they are.”  You pray, unceasingly … when the Holy Spirit brings Him to mind or others to mind … you lift up a prayer.   This is intercessory prayer, interceding on the behalf of others as the Holy Spirit brings them to mind.  The Lord uses this way to teach you faith and draws you closer to Him through the Holy Spirit.  You learn to listen to Him. 

Sometimes you can close your eyes, other times you silently lift up the prayer.  The Word instructs us to have a daily time of prayer:  “Matthew 6:6  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”  But you can pray at anytime and should.  It gives you peace to be in constant communication with our Heavenly Father.

Many times people live their lives (and this is the only part their children see) sending up ‘quickie prayers’.  Make sure you have a daily time of prayer.  If you only go to Him when you are in trouble, your children will only go to Him when they are in trouble.   People would call my Mom for prayer  because she had “camel knees”.  Everyone knew my Mom spent time in prayer on her knees …they said she had a ‘hot line’ to Heaven.  We all can have that ‘hot line’.  Unfortunately, many of us only use the line in time of need and is it any wonder we feel we are getting a busy number?

 

It’s All About The Fishin’


I love a sunrise or sunset walk along the beach; sun creeping up over the horizon or setting in the west.  The lap of the waves, the call of birds, the peace and beauty of God’s creation is all there at the beach.  I stroll, pickin’ up little treasures along the way; thinking, praying, singing.  At the beach my world is peaceful.  People smile and greet me, sometimes wanting to know what I have found.

A fisherman greets me with, “Find anything good?”  I smile, “not yet … just started … and you?  Catch anything yet?”   He smiles, “No, but it’s not about the catchin’, it’s about the fishin’.”   I continue to walk and think.  Raising kids, working, day-to-day living … it’s about the fishin’ not the catchin’.   God places each of us here for His purpose … the fishin’.  Sometimes we cast nets to get bait.  Other times we  re-bait a simple hook.  Fishin’ takes patience and time.  Sometimes you catch nothin’, sometimes you catch a lot.   Some days are beautiful and others stormy.   Life is a lot like fishin’ and we need to remember it is not about the catchin’.

Some days it seems you are always fishin’ and never catchin’.  Sometimes it seems like stormy days will never end.   Days turn into weeks, weeks to months and months to years.  It is so hard to focus on the fishin’ at these times.  It does not matter if it is struggles with raising kids, working at a job you dread, struggling in a marriage or whatever other difficulty you may be facing.  You have to face the day and focus on the fishin’.

When my husband takes our oldest granddaughter fishing, he knows there will be little catching.  Mainly it will be re-hooking and untangling.  He has to focus on the time he has with her and not the results of the catch.  It’s about the fishin’ … being with her.                                                                                                                       

In our day-to-day life with others we need to focus on the time we are spending with others.  It may be our children, our spouse or other family members.  The majority of my time is spent with customers in a retail store.  The phrase ‘quality time’ is over used, however, it is the best way to describe what God sent Jesus to do … 33 short years on earth, yet the quality of His time with those He came in contact with and the effect on their lives resulted in touching all mankind for all eternity.

Today, you’re fishin’.  As a parent, spouse, employee, etc., your daily fishing touches others.  Make sure you spend time in the Word and in prayer (proper preparation for fishin’).  My husband takes our granddaughter through the steps of preparing to fish knowing it may be a long while before she is able to fish on her own, and even longer before she may catch anything.  We also must show others around us by the way we “fish” how to prepare for life.  Maintain your fishin’ equipment so that you are ever ready for the day-to-day fishin’ at home, work, school, the mall… everywhere.  Having dull hooks, broken lines, and a messy tackle box will keep you from being ready to fish.

Jesus never said you were to go out and catch.  Leave the catching to Him.  He simply says to prepare yourself. 

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”