Monday, May 13, 2024

May 13, 2024 Posted thoughts on truth and lies

 My dad had a saying 

“These kids are like mushrooms. They have been kept in the dark and fed bullshit.” I can’t argue with that when we see what is happening in society today. What we see happening on college campuses. The “no consequences” to bad behavior in our city schools. The silence from our pastors to speak with urgency on all the ways America is being pulled apart. It is sad to watch and my hope is that more people wake up and actually see the destruction attacking every aspect of Americans lives. Dad's wisdom given so many years ago rings true today. I know as a Marine, he would not be okay in the rewriting of history or the removal of the love and patriotism we all cherished in the freest country in the world. There are days I wish I could just chat with him about what we are witnessing today. I am sure he would send me to revisit the Book of Revelation and the end has already been written. 

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8: 31-32).

My mom heals through music

With my mom still here, I spent some time honoring her on Mother’s day. We talked about memories, past haunts, and her future voice being recorded so that her life story can be written. Her wounds are deep and people have a tendency to try to pull her back into a past she doesn’t want to keep revisiting. We listened to one of her favorite songs. As sang parts of the song, she pointed out the parts that spoke to her the most. I can understand as I know you can that the healing comes when parts of our past we just do not need to see anymore. The truth of our past mistakes are there but the prayer is that God, help us to let go of the past and not let us see so we don’t stay in that shame or unforgiveness. Read through these words. The man who wrote and sang this song fell from grace in his life/ministry. But, if we believe in Jesus we know we are redeemed and the truth is that we are saved by grace. 

Lord don't let me see the way I used to be

Remove the scars that follow the pain

Wounds of my shame, bind them up in Your great name

Cast them all in your forgetting sea

Take away all the strife that followed a wasted life

Tried to build on the dust of a foolish dream

Just an empty space of time

Somewhere in the corner of my mind

If all the world should recall, don't let me see

Truth matters in both what my mom and dad had to teach us throughout our lives. In my study this week I was listening to a speaker and she was talking about truth and lies in today’s society. She then spoke about some interesting points about truth and lies in the Bible. I like learning new things so I had to look up for myself what was the true importance of the words truth and lie in Hebrew. Here is what I learned:

Hebrew words for truth and falsehood/lie

-truth-3 letters in Hebrew-see the feet standing firm or strong base firmly on the ground

-falsehood/lie-3 letters in Hebrew-see no feet to stand on wobbly so cannot stay upright so not standing on firm ground 

Hebrew word for truth:

The Hebrew word for truth, Emet (אמת), contains the first, middle and last letter of the alphabet. Indicating that truth encompasses all things, and endures from the beginning to the end.

Truth, certainty, honesty, faithfulness, sooth


Hebrew word for lie:

The Hebrew word for lie,  שֶׁקֶר • (shéker), carries multiple related meanings - lie, false, null, nothing, for nothing, vain etc.

Lie, lying, false, falsehood, falsity, untruth


To help us see the critical nature of truth, Paul describes truth as the belt of the armor. The belt was critical for the warrior to be prepared to engage in battle. The belt is what held the tunic up and cinched everything into place. Truth performs this critical function.

For example, in the King James Version (KJV), the word "truth" is mentioned 224 times. In the New International Version (NIV), it is mentioned 233 times. And in the New Living Translation (NLT), it is mentioned 275 times.

Commandment 10: Don’t Bear False Witness

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).

God hates lying

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him” haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6: 16-19).

The bottom line is that there are times to hold to truth and do not fear to speak in truth. We desperately need truth right now in our government, schools, communities, and in our own families. But, also there needs to be a balance that it may be true that you have been wronged by someone but grace means you do not keep dragging that person back down into pain and shame. Just as we need grace, so do those around you. 

It is very difficult to give grace this year. I feel abused by this school year. It has been tough to stay in the midst of grace. It has been tough to be on the receiving end of someone’s rage that was not provoked by me. Then I am requested to reach out again and again. I still have to stay in truth, but soften the brutally honest part (I really want you to know I understand it's not easy by any means).

As we get closer to summer elections, my prayer is you are paying attention and getting involved as the future of our country is on a tipping point. Stay honest but be kind when you can. Keep the past in the past. See yourself through the eyes of Jesus who sees you as redeemed, loved, and an heir to His kingdom. 

God Bless you,

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Worldview: Learning to Think and Live Biblically by Greg Laurie: The Prayer Chapter

Worldview: The Prayer Chapter:

The Lord’s Prayer

-He is my mighty awesome God

-God is worthy of my respect and submission

-aligns ourselves with His will and purposes

-Jesus is the greatest example of prayer warrior

-Jesus provides a template and pattern so we pray like Jesus

-we should want to understand what prayer really is 

-ask for His will in every area in our lives

-ask for HIs provision for our daily needs

-admit our sins and turn from them asking for forgiveness

-determine our minds to to forgive all those who have offended us

“God will allow hardship, challenges, needs, and sometimes even tragedy to enter our lives so He can reveal Himself to us in fresh ways and put His power and glory on display.”

Why pray?

-we need to pray because we are weak

-prayer shouldn’t be the last resort, but the first resort

-when I am weak I am strong

-thankfulness when life is going well

-because you have faith

-to stand in the gap for others

-go to God with your needs

-talk to Him about what is on your heart

-He loves to talk to you and hear your voice

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5: 13-14).

-the Lord’s prayer is really the people’s prayer

-the Lord’s prayer should be called “the disciples prayer”

-the Lord’s prayer is a model, or pattern for the sort of prayers we should offer every day

Here is the Lord’s Prayer spoken by Jesus

Our Father who art in heaven

Hallowed be thy name

Thy kingdom come 

Your will be done

On earth a sit is in heaven

Give us day by day our daily bread

And forgive us our sins

For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us

And do not lead us into temptation

But deliver us from the evil one

(Luke 11:2-4)

The Lord’s prayer is divided into two sections

-the first deals with the glory of God

-the second concentrates on in this chapter

Three Petitions

1. Our Daily Needs

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

-bread was a staple for the first-century Jew and a part of every meal

-Satan himself brought bread into the conversation when he challenged Jesus to turn stones into bread in the wilderness to curb his physical hunger

-the Bible is not speaking of physical bread as food

**it is speaking of food in general

-when we pray “give us this day our daily bread”

-we are asking for the Lord to provide me with my human needs that I need to live (ex. Food, clothing, shelter, etc…)

-so we ask God to provide for our needs 

-God wants us to come to Him in prayer to make our requests

“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).

-ask for His provision over your life and the lives of your family, friends, and community

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11: 11-12).

**Make note that Jesus said pray for needs and not greeds

**The Bible doesn’t promise that God will meet our every desire so he may overrule you

**God willingly provides but we should not just sit around, be inactive, or neglect to work

(don’t be a lazy bum saying the Lord will provide)

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

When you pray

-acknowledge that everything we have comes from God for all days

-speak to Him about this provision “our daily bread” on a daily basis

-keeps you connected with Him as our Father and Provider

-to be a good steward of what He does provide for me

-faithfully give back to Him and invest in the work of the kingdom of God

“But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi”, says the Lord Almighty. “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people. Because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law” (Malachi 2: 8-11).

2. Forgiving and Being Forgiven

“Forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

--we need to pray for the forgiveness of our sins

-we are always in the process receiving forgiveness and forgiving others

-the term “debts” is not referring to credit cards

-the team “debts” is translated as “sins”

-to forgive our trespasses means our shortcomings or our resentments or what we owe to You for the wrong we have done

-we need to pray that God opens our eyes to how we have sinned against others

-to remove the stain called pride

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

-thoughts that go through you mind can leave a stain

-attitudes of the mind can leave a stain

-we all fall short of the standard of God

**As we receive that forgiveness, we should extend it to others

**Forgiven people ought to be forgiving people

Embittered people are unwilling to forgive:

-our culture esteems vengeance and payback

-they spread bitterness 

-the bitterness grows to be more and more toxic

-society does not value forgiving and is seen as a sign of weakness

-not being forgiving brings sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit

-holding grudges or hate grieves the Holy Spirit

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15).

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4: 31-32).

***The Bible says we are to be forgiving and to extend this forgiveness over and over again

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive” (C.S. Lewis).

2. “Lord, Don’t Let Me Fall!”

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6: 12).

-we all need to pray the we not fall into temptation

-pray that the Lord will not allow to be tempted above my captivity to resist

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

-satan is like an expert who knows just the right bait or lure that will attract you most

-pray daily to the Father to keep me from falling

-pray that the Father guards me from the temptations I will encounter today

-we can be quick to condemn sin in someone else’s life

-we can easily rationalize our own sin or compromised behavior in our own life

-pray God keeps you from doing wrong and displeases the Lord

Jesus encourages us to keep praying and not give up 

-our Father wants to answer so be persistent and keep asking 

-Jesus says to ask, seek, and knock

-the word “ask” implies requesting assistance

-we realize our need and we ask God for help

-set that we are not going to stop praying for the  answer and provision from God

-intercessory prayer means you stand in the gap for someone

-interceding for someone’s life or someone’s salvation, and refuse to give up

-ignite our passion into prayers for nonbelievers

-asking should be your passion

-seeking should be your patience

-knocking should be your persistence 

-ask God to reveal any sins or attitudes that displease Him

-extend God’s forgiveness to those who have hurt or offended you

*****To Pray is a Privilege

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59: 2).

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is an offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139: 23-24)

 “Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[a] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11: 5-9).

Saturday, April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024 Posted thoughts mental health's downward spiral

 Checklist of the past few weeks:

Check-had to have a root canal

Check-sent to orthodontist to finish root canal

Check-back to dentist to finish the crown on top of the root canal

Check-woke to ice pick chiseling in my ear so ear infection

Check-ear infection infected my sinus canal

Check-I am too old and healing takes a lot more time 

Check-still worked through so I must be a glutton for punishment

Final Check-posted a lot of writing to my blog today so check them out

I feel like I work at a mental health facility. I had 5 students admitted into a hospital due to extreme anxiety, depression, suicide ideation, etc. last week. Then when released I am supposed to fix the student’s educational issues. I am still in shock when I hear that students have been locked away in their room since 2020. Now they are so credit deficient that adult education will be flooded with post seniors still needing credits. 

I have parent conferences and they want to clear attendance, have the student skip assignments, and tests and quizzes not count against the grade as the student is too anxious to deal with tests. 5 years? So, a senior in high school has not been actively involved in a normal life since age 13 or 14. 

The hard part is the family doesn't seem to comprehend when I mention the student being able to bounce back, but only want to lower expectations of the student as it stresses him/her out more. No, let's build up resilience, personal accountability, remove excuses, and overcome mental health issues. It is like this is just how it will be for the rest of the student's life and the world needs to figure out how not to upset the newly formed fragile being. This is learned helplessness! 

People need purpose in their lives. They need to know they are valued. Here is a scripture and my prayer for our young people:

Isaiah 40: 28-31

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Maybe the circumstances of life has swallowed your kid whole and you feel the family is in a dark place with no way out then it is time to rely on a God who can handle and help you all to overcome:

If you have found yourself crying today in your loneliness, in your discouragement, or over the feeling of rejection; know this that those tears that fall don't go unseen. God keeps track of every one of them. The Bible tells us:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side!” (Psalm 56:8).

Revelation 21: 3-8

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Consumed by Fire has a new album out, “First Things First.” A song by the same title is what this world needs. 

First thing's first

I seek Your will

Not my own

Surrender all my wants to you

Keep the first thing first

To live Your truth

Walk Your ways

Set my eyes

Lord I fix my face on you

All my desires reversed

To keep the first thing first

May 13, 2024 Posted thoughts on truth and lies

  My dad had a saying  “These kids are like mushrooms. They have been kept in the dark and fed bullshit.” I can’t argue with that when we se...