Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is Your Clean-Out Clogged?

It happened again. It's been probably two years since we got it fixed the first time and now it has happened again.

Our plumbing clean-out got clogged. The clean-out got clogged so the drain water from the washing machine had no where to go except back into the house. The pipes were clogged with built-up particles that do not belong in drain pipes.

We had a clogged drain pipe and things get trapped and backed up and over flowed into the house.

So of course we had cleanup to do. Part of the backup flowed into the kitchen sink and made the dirty dishes dirtier and the sink looked like a dirt pit. More carpet got wet as well as the ceramic tiles in the kitchen.

The buildup created a backup that resulted in a much needed cleanup. We had to have the plumber run an auger into the clean-out and through the pipes so that the bad stuff could flow out and the dirty water will not impact our home any more.

The clean-out is similar to our minds. We need to keep our minds clean and flowing with the pure Word of God. When we listen to the world, we clog our mind and His truth can not permeate our beings. When we are filled with falsehoods instead of being filled with His Spirit and truth, eventually those falsehoods backup and overflow into our lives and the lives of those around us. If we accept the relativism of the world instead of the truth of the scriptures, we will eventually share those ideas and concepts with others thus clogging their minds as well. If we don't keep our minds and hearts focused on our Loving Lord and His Word and His truth, we can be the cause of many messes in the lives of those around us. A clogged up soul will negatively affect your witness for our Lord.

What concepts of the world are you accepting as truth today? Abortion, alternate lifestyles, materialism, adultery, fornication, greed? Will you ask our Loving Lord to run His spiritual auger through your soul and expose what needs to be cleaned up in your thinking? Will you surrender to His truth and clean out the worldly influences in your thinking? Will you prevent the trap from getting clogged again by staying in His Word and in prayer?

Psalm 119:9-16 (The Message)
How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I'm single-minded in pursuit of you;
don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.
I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won't sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living. I'll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you've done it.
I relish everything you've told me of life,
I won't forget a word of it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Will You Stick With The Sure Thing?

I received this email today...

We have reviewed your resume at Careerbuilder.com and are eager to inform
you that we are ready to offer you a vacant position of the "Financial Agent".
We looked through your skills and became sure that you correspond to our
requirements.
The position of the "Financial Agent" will require from you a
half-day activity.Your work will consist in transferring money among our
clients.
Job scheme will comprise the following:
1. You get a check by mail.
2. Than you cash it
3. You transfer the money to our clients
Your earning will be 8 % of the amount of each check. Additionally we are
going to effect you $1500 as your salary at the end of each month.
Required
skills to start this job:
- Honesty, responsibility and promptness in operations;
- Prior customer service experience is a good benefit;
- Internet and e-mail skills; Experience in online work;
- Good communications skills
This job will allow you to:
- Get additional free time;
- Efficiently work at home;
- Get financial independence working only 3-5 hours per day;
General requirements:
- Prior customer service experience is a good benefit;
- Internet and e-mail skills; Experience in online work;
- Willingness to take the responsibility to set up and achieve goals;
- Effective interaction with customers;
In addition we will be able to offer you $ 2500 as a monthly payment after completion of the trial period. In case you are interested in the position, please answer this message. We will get in touch with you within 2 working days.

It's interesting that these con-artist even put the word 'scheme' in their email.

How easy is it for us today to get caught in a trap like this one? Easy money, big dollars, little work. These people would send you a check and you would deposit it and transfer the money to their 'clients' and get a commission for doing so. Sounds easy. Sounds good. The only problem is that the check they send you would be no-good and you would be out the money you transferred, out of your own, personal money. It is wise to be aware of schemes and scams.

The same can happen in our walk with the Lord. Some one comes along talking a good game of theology. You are caught unaware. You leave your good sense behind and follow this 'new view' of the Bible. Then.

Then you realize that you had already built a good, solid foundation and your witness had been strong. But you threw it all away when you 'cashed a bad check' from a false prophet. You brought others along with you who now, because of their weaker foundation, are confused and disillusioned by the faith.

Will you check your spiritual bank account today? Will you see if there are enough deposits (prayer, Bible study, use of your God-given spiritual gifts) to sustain you through hard times? Will you remember that even in hard times the Truth is the Truth and we still need to make those deposits? Will you keep your eyes on our Loving Lord so that you will not be swayed by wooers who want to tell you the easy way to free time and riches?

Isaiah 26:3-4 (The Message) People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don't quit.Depend on God and keep at it
because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.



Monday, December 03, 2007

Can You Accept Change? (revised)

Football is big in Texas.

Currently the best high school teams are in the play-offs seeking a state championship in their division. Our largest high schools are 5A and we have 5A division I and 5A division II.

One local school, Southlake Carroll, had some unbelievable win streak come to an end early this year when they played a high school from my hometown which is in Florida.

Still, the Carroll Dragons made the play-offs as did the team my son graduated from, Trinity High.

This past weekend Carroll, once again, lost. The Trinity Trojans won. Trinity is still in the play-offs and Trinity is one of the noted teams in this area.

So I was very surprised when the news media did a full package story on the Dragons complete with player interviews but only said "in other games, in a rematch between Oddessa Permian and Euless Trinity, Trinity came out on top." No pictures, just the scoreboard. No highlights or interviews.

I thought to myself, "This news team is so used to Carroll winning that they can't bring themselves to not give them press coverage. They're out. Come on guys, give coverage to the ones still in the hunt."

How often do we hold on to the past instead of accepting the present? How often do we say "but I'm used it being this way not that way"? Oh there are many ways that we say it..."I wasn't raised that way", "I've never done it that way", "I wasn't trained to do that". How often do we refuse to accept change?

When we come to Christ, we come to change. Sure that change is from the ways of the world to the ways of the Lord but it is also to change that comes from Him leading us in our lives.

What if Jesus had said "I can't change that water to wine. My wine would be much better and no one has ever left the best wine for last"? Or if he had said, "I can't bring Lazarus back from the dead. You know that's not the way we do things around here. Dead is dead."

How will you let our Loving Lord change you today? What will you do to accept change like you never have before? Whether you are 9 or 99 or somewhere in-between, will you say "Okay Lord, here I am, what fact of change do you want me to accept today?"
2 Corinthians 5:17 (King James Version) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new
.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

How Did It Happen Before Email?

I'm very curious about something even though I think I know the answer. How did stories about things God is doing spread around before email?

I'm also curious as to why He suddenly needs email with conditions to have His love spread around. You know what I mean by 'with conditions'. Emails that instruct you to send the email immediately to x number of people within in x number of hours or days so that you will receive a special blessing. You've received them, right?

I'm still looking for the prophecy in scripture that says that this is how He will continue to spread His Word.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not against using email to spread the Gospel. I do it each time I write a blog and release it to my subscribers. I realize there are many types of electronic items that exist today that were not available in our Loving Lord's days on earth. Things like the telephone, radio, television, internet, even microphones and sound systems so more people can hear the word at one time. And I think all of these can be used for good to share the Message.

I also find it funny that those who have me in their address books and forward 'message' emails to everyone, well, these people seem to leave me off when they forward Little Lessons on. If they are forwarding the ones that speak to them, I'd love to know. So I think it's one of two things, people don't think there is anything here worth sharing, or, I don't promise any thing more than what the Word of God promises so the lessons are not worth passing along. Right?

I still wonder about the need for believers to fill other believer's email boxes with clearly witnessing stories just because their is a hook in the email that says 'if you forward this email, you will be blessed within 24 hours.' I receive these from friends all the time.

I also wonder if one person anywhere really actually has a testimony about what happened to them based on forwarding one of these emails. Oh, I know. I know that the email SAYS that the person who sent it to the person who sent it to you was shocked and surprised by it. The email says it's mystical, magical, mysterious how it happens. But has anyone every actually witnessed 'it' happening? Has anyone ever really received a big check from forwarding an email or received deving healing because they didn't break the chain?

I have a suggestion. If the story really speaks that much to you, instead of forwarding to everyone, or almost everyone, in your address book, why not do one of these things instead...

  1. Think of the person you most want to send it to. Then pick up the phone, call the person, ask them how there day is going. Then tell them that you just read an email that made you think of them. And ask them if you can read it to them. If the person is a believer, you can simply tell them why this particular email made you think of them. If they are a non-believer, you can share more and possibly lead them Christ. I think it would be the very rare case where the non-believer would have read the email and picked up the phone to call YOU to ask more.
  2. Print the email out and add a hand-wriitten note to it and then mail it to those you want to share it with. If it's not worth the stamp, it may not be worth forwarding in email. Then when the person gets a hand-written note from you, it will probably make their day and that my friend should always be a blessing.
  3. Finally, if the message of the email is that good and if you feel you must share this particular email with a ton of people, then go ahead and click forward BUT WAIT, before you hit send, move down into the body of the email and strip out everything but the actual story you want to share. Strip out all the addresses of the people who forwarded it to people who forwarded it to people who forwarded it to you. Strip out the parts that talk about "if you forward this to x people then..." Simply share the story.

What will you do? How will you handle the next great witnessing story or friendship story that you receive in your email box? More importantly, how will you share one-on-one with those that really need to hear the Good News to be sure the Message gets through?

Revelation 22:18-19 (The Message) I give fair warning to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this book: If you add to the words of this prophecy, God will add to your life the disasters written in this book; if you subtract from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will subtract your part from the Tree of Life and the Holy City that are written in this book.