Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tonight's Entertainment...

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on His law day and night. -Psalm 1:1-2


With this in mind, what is it that we delight in? Good, or evil? Everyone knows the difference between the two. But what do we see when we look at our lives?

We see sin there, and we are up to our necks with problems. We wonder why this is. I believe that our entertainment choices have a lot to do with it, particularly for Christians. Sure, we prayed the prayer, and go to church on Sunday, but what were we listening to on the drive there? What were we watching on TV on Saturday night?
As the old saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out". This is so true. Because you set your mind on something that is rotten, your life will start being rotten. Are you laughing at some dirty jokes? Pretty soon your mind will drift there. Spend enough time in the presence of evil, that evil will start to rub off on you.

"But I'm a Christian, and I know that it's wrong, but it's just so funny!" Sure, laugh now, and you'll regret it later. When you take time to listen to secular music and you get into the groove of things, do you know what the people are singing? "But I just listen to the music, not the lyrics." Music resonates so much with the human heart. When you are not careful in guarding your heart, and you dwell on the beat of the song, you begin to think about that song. It starts to play over again and again in your head, and soon you begin to sing along. And when you start to sing along, are you thinking about what you're saying?

If you are, then that is good. But when you think about the song is saying, it's message, are you disgusted? Are the lyrics themselves evil in any way? If you said yes to both questions, and you still listen to the song, you are meditating on it. And when you meditate on something, you begin to embed whatever it is into your soul, whether good or evil. As children of light, we are called to be separate from the darkness. So we cannot let this happen. Some people may be strong Christians, and find that the music doesn't affect them. But it can. If you're proud enough in your capability to not sin in one area of your life, you had better be on your guard, because the devil is always searching for someone to entice.

How about stuff we watch on tv? If something that starts causing your mind to wander to lust, is that helpful for your growth? Absolutely not! If you're watching something and you begin to lust, than you should find something else to watch or do...

These are just some examples. We must be careful in our entertainment choices. Music, movies, tv shows, websites, videos, books, you name it. Each one has the capability to drag us down. They plant ideas, whether good or bad. So maybe we need to start looking for good entertainment choices for us instead.


"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." -Philippians 4:8


I love you guys!
Be wise. Fear God!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trust and Forgiveness

Sometimes, trust is hard.
I've recently experienced a recent loss of trust. Someone close to me hurt me very much. And right now, I don't feel like trusting that person. I left my thoughts out there, and the person misinterpreted it and ran away with those words, believing a false idea about my character.

Of all things I hate, the thing I hate the most is having someone close to me think that I am something that I'm not. This makes things difficult for me. And now it's really hard for me to forgive that person and trust them with myself again...

Am I so shallow that I can't give this person the credit they deserve? This has been the first time they hurt me deeply. Will they do it a second time? Undoubtedly. The person is a sinner, just like me. No one's perfect. But the person was called to repentance and they said they were sorry. Do I feel like forgiving them? No... I'd rather find fault with them...

I feel like it's a game now, trying to find something that is a fault of the other so that you can use it to manipulate them. To hold it above their head so that they feel sorry for what they did. That way your sins are forgotten when the other person is now in the limelight, so to speak. Then the other person finds a fault... So the vicious cycle goes on and on till both are sick of it... Christians do the same thing. Except they are more subtle at it and use the 'God' card', or the 'holier than thou' approach. "It's been laid upon my heart that I should stop sinning in this area of my life." (Whereas they really haven't been sinning here, but you have been. Quite clever and manipulative, I might add. I've done this before, on several occasions.) I must apologize, because right now it appears that I'm using this post to do the same thing, but seriously I am not trying to do this. I seriously struggle with forgiving others, using the 'God card', and the 'holier than thou' approach.

That's not a Christian way to live, but sometimes that's how I act and feel about things. This is how a Christian is supposed to act: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you." -Ephesians 4:32

Did Christ bring up these sins over again to remind us that we hurt Him? No! Jesus Christ doesn't bring up the dirt over and over again. He calls us to do likewise with each other. It ain't easy, but it's the thing He wants us to do. So now I'm going to throw away the feelings of distrust and anger, and I'm going to forgive and trust once again. It doesn't matter what the person did, I still need to forgive. And in order to grow again in our relationship with one another, in order to forgive, I must trust again. And I'm ready to do that.

This is a song by P.O.D. This is a good song about this issue of trust. I would've included the actual music video, but it has some suggestive content, even though it fits with the message... Sorry about the picture, but that's the album cover...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crucifixion

Hey all, felt like blogging about this too.

If you do not like reading about very graphic details, please stop reading.

Crucifixion. One of the most horrific executions imaginable... It was so horrid that Rome made a law that Roman citizens could not be executed in this manner, no matter the crime. First, most criminals were whipped mercilessly. Their bodies were mangled beyond recognition. The cat-o-nine tails, fixed with pieces of metal and spikes, were designed especially to rip a person apart.
Next, being dragged to the nearest public road, you were thrown onto a cross that was likely used many times before. The splinters pricking your already open wounds... The executioners would strip you naked and drive nails in between the bones on your lower arm. If you were a male, they would sometimes drive a nail through your private parts, adding another level of extremely intense pain. Next they would drive nails through your feet between the bones. When they finally finished doing this, they raised up the cross and slid it into place, jarring you as it stopped, ripping your wounds even more. If you survived this, you could be on that cross for hours dealing with the extreme pain. In order to breathe, you would have to push up off of the nails in your feet, otherwise you would drown in your blood that was building up in your lungs... And typically if you survived all this, the executioners would eventually break the bones in you legs so you would lose your ability to stand on your nails, thus drowning you in your own blood....

This is awful! So horrific! Granted, Jesus did not have His legs broken, nor did he drown in his own blood. Rather most theologians speculate that He died of heart failure. But imagine also having a crown of thorns mashed onto you head, piercing your scalp. Yet what is far worst is the unimaginable grief that came with the betrayal of your closest friends, and bearing the weight of the sins of the world. So much so that He experienced our betrayal and hatred, even when we were not His friends.

I just figured I would share this bit of information with you. I'm sure I haven't covered all the bases on crucifixion, but I think what I described was enough to give you an idea of what it's like. It isn't Jesus with a loincloth with a thorny crown gently place on his head, with a footstool under his pierced feet so he could put his weight down, and ropes tied around his pierced arms to keep them in place. He was in a nightmare come to life. Crucifixion!

Here's a song put to a montage of the Passion of the Christ. This is somewhat graphic in nature as well...
And some consider lethal injection inhumane...

Moving from dependence to Dependence

This is rough. Last night our Bible Study group discussed the topic of having dependence on other Christians in order to stay strong in our battles. We were reading 2 Chronicles 12. We reached verse 17 where it says,

"David went out to meet them and said to them, 'If you have come to me in peace, to help me, I am ready to have you unite with me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free of violence, may the God of our fathers see it and judge you.'"

David depended on God to justify himself, rather than having his army that stood behind him justify himself. David, while still willing to have his friends support him, his ultimate reliance was on God.

I have been depending on other Christians to support me than I have depending on God to be my support. I am so sorry God! I have not been waiting upon You to save me! I want to strive to please You first before I try to please others...

I have broken the greatest commandment: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. I mean, my Christian friends are great and wonderful, but I have been placing so much more reliance on them and my girlfriend, rather than relying on the One who gave me life.

So, from now on, I'm going to try and depend on God first, rather than others.