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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thinking Positive for the New Year

It's easy to think negative about problems you're facing.  I think about Joshua.  He was faced with leading Israel across the Jordan and conquering new land, unfamiliar land.  One thing you have to do when facing adversity is talk positive and think positive while working on what you may see as a negative.  We can see shortcomings in our family members and problems at church or in the lives of those around us, or even in ourselves, but if we concentrate on the positive, the negative will fade (where it belongs) in the background.  God had to tell Joshua more than once "Be strong and of a good courage". In verses 6,7, and 9, of the 1st Chapter of this book,  God repeats to Joshua "BE STRONG, BE COURAGEOUS".  This is a message that we all need to learn in adversity.

God did not promise smooth sailing.  He only promised to get us to the other side.

~Let's live Holy~

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Whatever you get, get it right...

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall have increase.
…He that gathereth by labor shall increase.  This word labor literally means “hand”— working with your own hand.    Have you ever heard someone say “get your own”, not always in a mean spirited way of being selfish, but encouraging you to have your own resources.   God is very much like this.  He wants to give us our own testimony; our own increase, wealth, spirituality.  He promises that if we labor, we will have increase.
 Often we dislike people who jump in the video after the work is already done. I don’t believe God cares for this attitude either.  God honors burdens and hard labor, working. The first part of the scripture deals with getting wealth the wrong way.   It will not be permanent if gotten the wrong way.  Good ends never justify wrong means.   Years ago, the Lord showed me a scripture about getting something you want the wrong way.  As a convert, I tried to rationalize how this could work but God showed me this scripture: 
Ezekiel 22:13:   Behold, therefore, I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made...
 Just “smitten” and “dishonest gain” jumped out from the page.  I left that idea alone. The idea of the original Hebrew language is that God caused something to happen to the person’s new found wealth.    When people are greedy, they will not hold onto their gain long.
 Bernard Madoff, made off with $50 billion but only for a space of time.
The next time you think about cheating someone to get an extra buck, think about this.

~Let’s Live Holy~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quotes on Honesty

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.  ~Mark Twain
No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.  ~Abraham Lincoln
Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.  ~Austin O'Malley
The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Truth fears no questions.  ~Unknown
"Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons." ~Thomas Hardy
Source  for the above  :

--Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813
Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.
Spencer Johnson 
Click on links for sources

--Let's live Holy--

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Old Fashioned Repentance

In a house with three noisy children, somebody seemingly always has to repent. As a mother, I am constantly forcing, teeth-grinding apologies out of my children.  I have heard from some parents, that they don't bother to make children apologize if they're not really sorry. Whether I am using the Dr. Phil method of child raising or not, I'm not sure, but I can get answers quicker sometimes just praying for and communicating with my children.

My middle child who is the most inquisitive of my three children, asked me about this "forced" apology thing one day.
"Why do I have to apologize, if I'm not even sorry?" My son asked glaring sideways at his little brother.

"Because you hurt his feelings" I said. " It's as simple as that.  The issue is not you all the time, it's sometimes just the right thing to do." I said, surprised that I actually had an answer--well --to anything this boy asked. It was a stimulating question.  Should you do what you feel (leave his brother hanging) which may be more honest, or just do what is right, and maybe feel dishonest?

My son with his usual smirk said "But Mom, isn't this lying?  Are you a precious saint of God, telling me to lie? I'm not sorry, he's a crybaby".

"Okay smarty, do we always do things based on how we feel?"  I said."When you hurt someone, you owe them, even if you feel they are a crybaby. Am I right?"

Then I launched into a list of things that I did not "feel" like doing either, picking up his clothes, reminding him about homework, and oh, I don't know, cooking his dinner---and this was more trouble than it was worth to him to keep this argument going. closed. This is a lesson in how to win an argument by guilt--Mothering 101.

This conversation  though (he did grudgingly apologize) made me think.

If I get angry and knock a plate out of someone's hand, I owe them an apology even if I think I am justified.   Have you ever heard someone say about a former inmate, "they paid their debt"?  Joe Jailbird can be unremorseful, he's not quite feeling the repentance thing,  but society (the law) said he owed a debt.
Now about us and God.  We may not feel we owe a debt to God, but the debt still exists every time we do wrong. The debt is piling up.   President Obama did not create the debt, but the debt became his responsibility once he took office. We become debtors  and take on responsibility for that liability once we realize that we are doing wrong. 

 A child may take cookies from a forbidden cookie jar and proudly come into the room with cookie crumbs all over his shirt.  He does not understand his actions. He is not trying to hide.  But once that child tries to hide what he is doing, he has become aware of wrongdoing and needs to apologize for his wrong.

We are responsible to God for our sins once he notifies us of the wrong we have committed against him.  Actually this happens pretty early in our life, so most of us are living off of credit. Unfortunately, we inherited this balance which only the blood of Christ can pay off for us.  It gets cleared by repentance.  The old chapter 7 bankruptcies used to do this.  God has something better.

In the bible, repent is to"turn" from wrong to do what is right; to turn so completely that I stop the action that led to the debt and go the opposite way.  No one would believe that a person has repented or is sorry if they continue to perform the offense...would you? 

Something to think about...

---Let's Live Holy---