Got Long life?

Well…This here would appear to be one of those trick questions right? Who could in all their days determine for themselves if they will receive long life…Well, I would imagine if we need any answers as prevalent as this…we would do well looking to the source of all life..The word of God is sufficient and replete to answer this question too…

In our day we do a lot of things for longevity of life. For some it’s using anti-aging cream somehow we believe if we don’t have to grow old, if we can just stay youthful looking then things will be just fine for us.. we can stay “relevant” in the culture. For others of us, we run to the gym everyday, gotta keep our hearts in shape with some cardio and we need the strength and circuit training after all if you don’t use it you lose it…Isn’t that the famous quote we like to say, and when we’re not hitting the gym, we are watching those calories and carbs..it’s like a science…if we eat the right things and do all the right exercising our body will stay youthful and naturally that means “long life” or so we suppose..Until we see there are people who use the anti-aging stuff and they still grow old and get the wrinkles and even if they don’t get the wrinkles they die in a car crash or a natural disaster, and we like to know that for each day we get quality of life not just quantity when we are working out…but what happens when our muscles start fighting themselves and we’ve worked them too hard and find ourselves in the hospital anyway..I see it all the time trust me it happens.. We think by just taking care of our body we are shielded from a heart attack, or different types of cancer or pain…and what happens if that happens anyway..

I spend all week dodging my children who were coughing and sneezing all around me and went to dinner with one guy and got way too close to his face and wounded up with a cold anyway…after scolding my children I didn’t want their colds and to keep their germs to themselves…Ughhh…isn’t that how it happens sometimes ..we go to such lengths to stop something from happening one way..and what do ya know..it seems like it comes another..

I searched a promise out ..one you could hang on to…But it’s conditional..
That simply means you have to do your part first, then you can expect to have Long Life..

There were many people in scripture who desired long life..and they asked for it..and they got answers. Answers like this one: “With long life I will satisfy him and let him see my salvation” I’m just trying to tell you that long life only comes from one place and we’re seeking the wrong sources.

We see in Deuteronomy 6:2, if we love the Lord our God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves we are keeping His commands and a promise for that is …Long life and prolonged days..Deut.20:30 it says by loving God and obeying his voice and holding fast to Him, we lengthen our days.

But here’s my favorite..I will close this blog now for the interest of time…But because this promise is reiterated in the New Testament that means this one stands and is for us…

1 Peter 3:10-11 says…
“For, the one who desires life, to love and see good days….(This is the promise)

Must keep his tongue from evil and lips from speaking deceit. He must turn from evil and do good…he must seek peace and pursue it. ( man’s part)

For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attentive to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil”

There you have it…the promise of long life will not be found in any of the things we are putting stock in…if we are on the opposing end to God. He has ways to end our days we can’t even comprehend or imagine.
So watch it..just be on guard, you may hear someone who is preaching what sounds like the word of God..but they die an untimely death and it just doesn’t seem right that this person would die in a plane crash since they ate healthy, and exercised, and did all the right things and appeared to be living for God..while there are some things we can’t explain this promise is the one thing we can stand on…It’s true even when others are fallible.
Try it and see…

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Gas anyone!?

This past week in Texas has just been really crazy…
It would appear everyone had their minds set on one thing…GAS!

I watched as all the cars flocked to the gas stations, sometimes even ramming into other cars, uneasy and unkind everyone appeared to go into a panic and it seemed the one major concern for everyone became…Putting gas in their car…Even if they already had gas, people were topping off and people were getting extra gas and storing it in their cars so others couldn’t have access to it..just in case they’d need it in the future..

Worried, I saw people live in a place of scarcity and I myself drove around when the regular day for me to buy gas came and I headed to my regular gas station and they were out of gas..I drove around about 10 minutes before I found gas, numerous gas stations had bags on the pumps, others had signs that simply said “Sorry for the inconvenience but there’s no gas as this gas station” It was the first time in my life time I’d ever seen anything like that happen!

We worried and because of the great demand we drove up the gas prices…this was a great example of what worry can do…
Hadn’t we seen this happening all around the world, our society is money driven so most people realize that education is so expensive and yet even though we know that the biggest debt in our country can be attributed to “Student loans” the amount of people going to college is still yet on the rise..so the increase in demand continues to raise the prices..
What else do we worry about in our day…Health..We all want to live a long healthy life so we get on the South Beach Diet and we go to the gym every day and we try to watch our calories..it’s so important to be healthy and we sometimes make that our idle…how thin our waist is begins to define who we are at some point..WE become obsessed with being the prettiest so we bombard the make up counters and we get the weave or extensions put in our hair because to be accepted in our society means you have to be pretty and we definitely want to be as pretty as we can be..or at least better looking than the woman that might be trying to take our husband right??

Yes, we have a complex….we seek security in beauty, in money, in fame, in our good job even in our own name…we seek after all the ways we can benefit ourselves our short lives here on earth, so we go out of our way to do things that most time have no eternal impact or benefit..

To worry….about these things I’ve mentioned is a misuse of imagination, but there are consequences that come along with worrying..
When we worry about our employment or careers..We spend money on college education for a career that has nothing to do with what we are passionate about..When we worry about our weight we spend time losing precious days of our lives monitoring steps and calories all for naught, when we worry about our money ..we spend all the time saving and never imagine the benefit and joys of giving, when we worry about our children’s outcome we invest in them playing sports and that becomes their idle not serving a true purpose for their lives. When we worry about our spouses leaving or finding the right one many times we lose confidence in our own value and purpose.

We found ourselves starving ourselves to death because we have to be the right size…and what does it do but lead us into anxiety and fear…Fear that that partner will leave if we don’t look just right..fear that we might not be able to get the right one if we don’t always “look right” We go to such extents in our worry about what we wear a nice little outfit won’t due..nah, we have to have the priciest clothes and purses ..otherwise what will we be worth to others…Our worth to others has become the most important thing to us..

But my dear friend I’m here to tell you of a better way..

If you are a christian..and you have chosen to follow Christ you don’t have to be in this number…Jesus said “If anyone is weary, burdened down or heavy laden..let him come to Me..and I will give him rest for his weary heart” We have promise after promise that we don’t need to worry about anything..not even what will happen tomorrow..tomorrow has enough trouble of it’s own and can worry about itself…

We have the light of the world..and we are to show that light to others..so when others are squirming at the gas stations and when others are spending thousands on make up and name brand designer clothes…although we can have those things we don’t spend nights awake worrying about credit card debt or any other kind of debt we went into because we were worrying about “what kind of schools our children would go to, or if our neighborhood has crime in it” We have a promise that We will receive rest.. We have a promise that if we seek first the kingdom of God and all it’s righteousness these things will be added unto us..

Hang on to that promise…for it’s good and He that promised is faithful to perform all HE said.

How I endure…..

In our world…I mean the world we live in right now…We scarcely like to think we are “blessed”.  But then again…don’t we call everything “Blessed”, take the general greeting…”How are you today?” “Chile I’m blessed and highly favored” we like to reply. But we think “blessed” means trivial things like..We got the good parking spot up front at the mall that day it was completely packed and we didn’t want to walk in that heat at the grocery store, so we were blessed that we had that parking spot…We don’t count the  fact that we have clean running water, “a blessing”, while there are those in other countries dying for lack of it..We normally don’t think of ourselves as blessed if we have a roof over our head with carpeted floors and central air for summer and central heat for winter..We normally don’t count ourselves blessed when we live to see another day and we have health and strength to hit the gym…I don’t think we think through the math when we are able to go and buy groceries and fill our pantries with food for the week or even month, while there’s someone sleeping under a bridge somewhere in our cities..We tend not to think much about the safety of our children…Although real blessing isn’t found in things at all..
While the truth of the matter is, right around us…in our own city, state or even community.. some little child is being sold into trafficking and used as a sex toy because the PARENT wanted “Drug”  money..not a stranger sold and kidnapped them but their parent, and what of the parent’s that would tie their children up to a backyard fence with a dog chain link..Their are real atrocities going on all around us…like what of the person in the hospital tonight on their last leg and their parents or siblings or children are praying for a miracle healing from the cancer or organ failure…and what of those who don’t have the luxury of going home and sleeping in their own bed tonight, they can’t go behind their own boundary called a door, lock it with a key and walk away and not worry about their things being taken..their under the bridge and all they have is that bag, while we are bragging on our 30th pair of shoes.

As we watch those few in the “top percentile” that are “smarter than others” get all they can, can all they get and many once they get their can, on their cans they’ll sit… We watch the atrocities of a society that is cold and brutal and not willing to be kind, fair, or give mercy or patience and we lack forgiveness and take offense at any little word someone says… There’s pain all around us…I heard on the news last week someone was simply driving their car and in a tussle for a spot on the road now people are pulling out guns and shooting drivers in the head. Where has the respect for human life gone, the love for one another seems to be waxing cold and it’s hard to think about anyone but ourselves as we watch others suffer around us we make excuses about why they should have saved better or made better choices…or prepared well…As we watch Isis which is a spirit of evil strike again and again..we don’t try to kill the spirit of evil with the spirit of love.we simply try to snuff out this person or that group thinking that will stop the spirit behind it..

 

I make no comments about these things because my focus is in a different place..I’ve set my affections on a higher plane. I know that sounds really crazy, the young girl at Columbine was killed and many others because they simply set their affections on something higher…something they were willing to die for..There’s a crown..they call it the crown of righteousness..and what of the one who endures until the end. The one whose love doesn’t wax cold, who doesn’t stop fighting for justice in a perverted political and educational system, what of the one who stands up to make a difference and be a trail blazer, the one who has higher values and is bold enough to say something about it. What of the person who says I want to stop trafficking so let’s start a movement, because in all essence…ALL LIVES DO MATTER…Black, White, Brown, Red, Green, Blue…whatever you want to call it…if there’s a person dying of cancer…they matter, if there’s  a person being gun down in the street they matter, if there’s a child whose being abused by their parent so badly they have no self esteem and no hope they matter..if there’s a loveless judge or lawyer who takes bribes the person who was innocent he ruled against…they matter.. We used to have parents just leave their babies outside in dumpsters or on others footstools but these days they are drowning and killing them…yes, we have an eye opening reality where laws are being  made my grandparents would have never imagined..

When I say I set my affections on things above, it doesn’t mean I do nothing..it means I know where the ultimate answer lies. This world is not my home, the days I live are going to be few I live them the best I can and with all the joy I can no matter the circumstance.. but how I endure is I have a set focus a ready aim..on a crown …that will endure forever!

The issue of security

In our society, we are ingrained in the mindset that we must feel safe. It’s the reason we lock our doors to our homes, it’s a barrier, a boundary, which let’s others know this is where they stop and we start.. We even go to such extents that we look for homes in “nicer” neighborhoods (gated communities) so that we feel safe from “those” kinds of people. You know the kind, the kind that break in people’s houses and steal their things, and we pride ourselves in living in neighborhoods where there are “safer” schools for our children. We often invest in spending thousands of dollars to send our children to private schools, why? It’s an issue of security. We want our children to be insulated. We don’t want them around “negative influences” after all, bad company corrupts good character and “environment is everything”, further more if we gather enough wealth to “come up” we don’t want poor people living in our neighborhoods and going to our schools because it just “messes up the status qua. In our society, we love safety and security, we not only lock our doors to our homes and cars when we exit them because we want a sense of safety when we aren’t there… We buy dogs sometimes and train them to “protect us” granted some people have Pit Bills as companions and others have German Shepherds,Rottweilers, and Pinschers because they want to feel safe and they want their homes to be free of robbery when they are away. As a precaution, we buy alarm systems for our homes just in case, someone tries to break in. Some people keep guns in their homes, just in case someone ever thought to break in,

Obviously security is an important issue in American life, and with great reason. This week I audited a medical record of a young lady who was only 30 years old, she was careless, she drove without a seat belt on, she was unfortunate enough to not only get into a major automobile collision, she was ejected from her car, and rolled over on the street. This woman was brain dead by the time her husband ever got to her, and he was facing the lost this month of not only a child, but a wife. We care about those we love and we want them to be safe and we care about others enough to be as safe as we possibly can. So, by all means buckle up every time your in the car, you never know whose on the road while your out there.

we may even carry around Mace, as females when we travel alone, we don’t want to be caught up in the wrong situations. We take “self defense” classes because we want to always be prepare and have taken the proper precautions so that “if” we find ourselves in a compromising situation we have a tool we can reach back and grab to defend ourselves. Some People carry guns in their car. Just this week there was a young lady who was about 20 years old, she got into a tussle for a spot on the road, the man shot her in the head, road rage can be bad out there so be careful. I guess that was the reason he had the gun in the car in the first place, in case anyone wanted to test his limits, he had to keep himself safe if you know what I mean.

Airlines are now taking extra steps to keep people safe, they are making a digital scan of your fingertips possible, at this point it’s not mandatory, now on some jobs they are putting little chips in their employees shoulder to clock in, but that’s not mandatory yet either. Just a few short weeks ago I learned someone at a tire shop had completely ripped me off and used my credit card to his own benefit. Well, there are ways now to guard against that, banks are making a chip available for those who so desire. Restraining orders are another method we use for safety.

All of these technologies are being created because we need more safety today somehow than what we needed 50 years ago. It is true times are changing. We are living in such a nostalgic generation, even the phones are going out of date the week after we buy them. And we are needing more and more safety to keep the things we have because others are seemingly more jealous and have more at their disposal to take what we have.

But, what if we lived in a culture where everything we had didn’t have us. Where we were more concerned about others than ourselves. I met this couple once many years ago as a stay at home mom, they were a lot like this family I knew when I was growing up. The Armitage’s  were much like the Carr’s.  These were the 2 families I knew that left everything they had open to whatever gain and profit it could mean to others. I rarely ever went to any of their homes and the doors were locked. It was amazing, I was astounded that people actually lived that way. They would feed people who came over hungry and they would keep company with those who were just lonely and needed somewhere to go…especially on holiday’s if they weren’t invited to someone else’s house. The only time they locked their doors were when they left. And amazingly, no one ever broke into their homes. Granted they didn’t invest their lives into owning the most expensive plasma screen and they didn’t have the bombing radio systems in their cars to attract others but they had enough for themselves and whatever they had was opened for others..The one thing they had in common, as The Armitage’s were white and the Carr’s were black was that they loved Jesus in such a way that they felt like this life was so not worth trying to protect things they could replace and most certainly they regarded their lives as those that  Christ was the epitome of.

I’m not saying that these people were perfect or that they never sinned or did anything wrong, but this one thing they had in mind at all times..It’s not I who live but Christ who lives through me. I prayed for a lady on yesterday, she lost her job earning 180,000 a year…that’s right this lady was making 6 figures and the only thing she could think of was her 400,000 home and her daughter..how would they now make mortgage and the expensive car note they now have.. Don’t see what I’m saying wrong, It’s okay to have a 500,000 home and it’s perfectly fine to drive a 53,000.00 car, but when those things have you to such a point where if you lost them you became suicidal, “Houston, we have a problem”! These are great things to seek for, I think we should all have hope and aspirations but when it becomes so serious we are forced to get microchips as animals are just to use our bank account I think security has gone way too far. I believe the day is coming when people will have chips put in them just to work for certain companies to keep track of every place they go…When security becomes that important, it’s not security anymore..It’s imprisonment!

Let us be clear, we should put on our seat belts, let’s not be reckless, we should lock our doors and car doors, for we do live in such a time in certain places where people may take what you have “worked so hard” for.. but by all means…have the things…don’t let the things have you!

 

 

 

That’s not in the bible!

Have you ever heard someone say:
“The bible says, God helps those who help themselves” or “if you take one step He’ll take 2″ Sayings like this have really been prevalent, and the sad thing is most people believe the bible actually said..”Money is the root of all evil” When in fact if you read the text it actually says: “The love of money is the root of evil” We like to say those famous man made quotes, you know the ones that are no where in the bible like..”Spare the rod spoil the child” Some of these things we’ve even taught our children having no real understanding of what they mean..Come on, don’t we say lots of things we take at face value as truths that are not truths at all..We seem to accept things too easily for instance the saying that “People will forget what you did but not how you made them feel” What you did made them feel the way they did.. And what about this one.. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” Well, when I was younger I knew my parents cared about me..but I still didn’t care how much they knew..

Is there a possibility that the things we thought we absolutely knew was either incomplete or totally wrong?  How can you know what those things are unless we are opened to gain more understanding than what we currently have.

 

Although sometimes there are principles.. That work every time, whether you give them a scripture verse and a text or not. There are some things we should do further research on.

Pictures of children

Last week my children bought home their school pictures, I looked at them and thought they were really cool..So, I went and bought frames for them and not only did I hang the 8 by 10’s in the living room…I put the 5 by 7’s into frames and took them to work to put on my desk..You heard right..I didn’t take the wallet sized ones or the 4 by 6 that would be too small and everyone that passed my desk wouldn’t see it..They had to be noticeable..they are pics of my children..

When people would pass they would make comments …”Look how cute”, “They’re getting big aren’t they”, “they look just like you” You know those comments that make you smile…but then there’s that one person that stops you and wants to have a conversation about your children..that happened this morning..One of my co-workers stopped and said…”So these are your little ones who are still home with you..and this is the infamous Benjamin…..heyyy Benjamin” she said with a smile..I started to tell her how proud I was of them.. they are taking the Staar test this week, but they are doing great..And this one’s on the honor roll and that one is playing basketball and he made a lot of points last week and made player of the week..

Let me tell you nothing brings joy to a parents heart and brightens their face more than talking about their children…they suddenly become assets…Even when our children are younger, we don’t complain about how tired we are from being up all night..we want the cute picture of them walking for the first time..that’s where we build memories…

Beloved…Our Father is the same way with us..If He had a wallet I’m certain He’d have all our pictures in it.. Picture it, He calls Gabriel to Himself and says..Take a look at my son/daughter…and Gabriel says something like..”Yes Lord I’ve seen them 20 times today” Just as we like to make mention of the good things our children do and not really the bad..God is that way with us. He’s not constantly rehearsing the things you’ve done wrong..A parent wants to show everyone their children because of one reason..They’re their children, and they love them, and they want everyone else to know it..

I look at my children’s pics periodically throughout the day…and it reminds me of how our names are written in the Father’s hand. Our names are written in His book of life if we have accepted Him, and He loves us unconditionally, I see my children and think..look at how mature your becoming..now it doesn’t mean your perfect but my I remember you from when you were so small you could fit in the palm of my hands…and here you are…growing up, and sometimes it’s really neat when you start seeing your resemblance in them and you know your children were placed here to live your legacy and it’s worth the investment.

Who does that?

Remember that movie Les Miserables…I relished in that one scene when the thief Jean Valjean  breaks in and steals the silver from the priest..

Did you notice that in the scene the man wakes up…and walks into the room and sees the thief…he looks him directly in the eye…and Jean actually slaps him.

He wakes the next day as though nothing happened..
Personally, I would have been offended..but not this man..something was quite remarkable about him..
It was only right for him to require justice as the man was caught..but knowing what had happened with the police ready and willing to do justice…The priest looks him in the eye being apprehended by the authorities and says..”You forgot these candle sticks they were most expensive”
Who gives away more of what’s valuable to a thief who has robbed them??

This story reminds me of so many things I could make commentary on right now..but the mercy and the grace of the priest..everyone knows that this is a crime deserving a penalty..and possibly of death, but at least jail time. After all this man is as a commoner…and the priest well, at least he has status..but the man of status forgives..and he releases someone who offends him greatly…even violently assaults him..

Would you let it go?? Would you have done this..Just a thought?
Do you know anyone who has?