Monday, November 23, 2009

Red Flags


Red flag is a semi-official term to denote various attention and awareness indicators and signals, both explicit and implicit. It can used in various contexts usually as a warning or when things seem too good to be true, as well as, unexpectedly good results.-(Wikipedia).

I think we use this term more in relationship, business, or interpersonal settings. Usually when we date someone, are doing business with someone, or interacting with someone in a social setting, we use the term “red flags” because of signals, feelings, or emotions we are getting. Maybe they are telling us to break-up or not marry this person? Maybe they are telling us to stay away from that friendship, or to not do business with that person because they are dishonest, or do not trust that person because their character or integrity is in question. The point is a “Red Flag” is an unseen and unwritten warning to us that something isn’t right, on the up and up, or something bad is going to happen if we continue on this same path.

If you are like me, at times you’ve ignored the “red flags” in life and you’ve paid a heavy price for it. You’ve been lied to, heartbroken, disappointed, burned, betrayed, abused, devastated, angry, frustrated, bitter, resentful, traumatized, or worse. Sometimes we are a victim of our own insecurity, stupidity, naivety, or selfishness. Other times it’s because we trust too much, ask too few questions, we don’t want to say No, don’t want to be alone, don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or we don’t stand up for ourselves.

The point is “Red Flags” are there for a reason. A warning. If you were driving down a road that had a warning sign “Road Closed, Bridge Out” you would not keep driving, yet for some reason in our relationships (professional and personal), we can’t seem to always heed the warnings. They put warnings on cigarettes, yet people still smoke. People are warned of the dangers of abusing alcohol or drugs, yet they still abuse them. People who know you best or know other people warn you not to marry that person or do business with that person, yet we go ahead and live a life full of remorse and regret.

We need red flags at times in our lives and more that needing them, we need to recognize them and use them. When we see a “Red Flag” we usually start making excuses, justifying, and ignoring them. If our heart, mind, or nature tells us we need or want something, then it doesn’t matter the consequences at the time. The thing is our minds and heart lie to us and can trick us. We can ignore the bad behavior of a person because they are physically good looking or because we don’t want to be alone, so we date them or marry them. We need to make a quick buck or we become greedy and think about all the money we could have so we do business with someone who takes our savings or retirement and blows it. We want to be friends with someone so we’ll be popular, fit in, or accepted so we hang out with the crowd or person who is not good for us and before you know it, we are trapped in a life we didn’t want and doing things we never thought we’d do.

Red Flags. They exist for a reason. A warning. Danger is ahead. Harm is coming. Hurt is heading your way. Decisions you can’t take back are going to happen.
Regret. Remorse. Guilt. Shame. Resentment. Pain. Suffering. These things are your future if you do not heed the warning signs. When you see or hear the “Red Flag” take time to stop and evaluate it. Evaluate the relationship, the friendship, the path you are heading down. Evaluate the Why’s and the What’s. Why am I doing this? Why do I need to do this? What will be the consequences? What do those closest to me and care about me and love me say? What does my gut tell me? What does God think of this?

“The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.” Proverbs 16:17(NIV)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote to think about

I love this quote from Andy Stanley's book "The Principle of the Path":

"At the end of the day, when you finally reap the results of your misguided(or unguided) decisions, you're not the only one who suffers. Every decision we make that hurts us also hurts the people who love us most. And those who depend on us most will be hurt the most."

Monday, November 16, 2009



Selfish. Self-seeking. Self-absorbed. Self-centered. These words describe people who use others. They use people for their own selfish gain, motives, agenda, or wants. I think it’s in our human nature to be selfish or to put self first. But, there are extremes where we use people in harmful or hurtful ways. We use people in business to make money, get a promotion, or get ahead. We use people in relationships because we are lonely, needy, insecure, or afraid. We use people in life because we are bitter, resentful, angry, or hurt.

Sometimes people can be selfish and use people and not even realize they are users. They are so self-absorbed with their own pain, struggles, addictions, or problems they don’t see how they are using, hurting, or damaging others. Sometimes people can use people and know they are being selfish and they don’t care. They only care about themselves. Their own feelings, wants, desires, and agendas.

Jesus Christ teaches us a different way. God teaches us that to become first we must be last. Instead of being served we need to serve. He teaches us to put others needs above our own. He instructs us to Love God, and love others. He doesn’t even mention self. Being a Christian or a follower of Christ forces us to take a hard look at “self” and realize we need to change our attitudes, behaviors, thinking, and actions and treat others out of love, respect, and concern.

Though our human nature teaches us to only worry about ourselves, a relationship with God forces us to look at how others feel and how our actions effect others. It’s a process, but if we truly want to honor God we must learn to develop a self-less attitude, a God-centered life, and an others-seeking agenda. It’s not that our wants, needs, and feelings are not important, but we should evaluate our motives, our thoughts, actions, behaviors, and lifestyle choices and decide are these things selfish, self-seeking, or self-centered. Are my actions affecting others negatively? Are my behaviors hurting others? Are my decisions impacting others in a harmful way?

If we could begin to take an honest look at “self” and accept responsibility for ourselves and see if we are honoring God or moving closer to Him or if we are full of “self” it could be the path to having a life that has meaning, value, and peace. If we could become less selfish and more about God and others I think we would have healthier honest relationships, we’d be better employees and employers, and we’d not burn so many bridges or hurt so many people, ultimately we are really hurting ourselves the most with our selfish behavior or when we use people for our own selfish gain. We also should be careful to avoid people in our lives who are using us or who show a pattern of selfish behavior. If you are a user, stop! Start treating people with respect, appreciation, and do not use them or take our your issues on them. Treat others with the love that God shows us.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Philippians 2:3(NIV)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Remerbering those who serve or who have served. Thank you Veterans.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

farting preacher

Maybe you've seen this maybe you haven't, you gotta love Robert Tilton

Monday, November 09, 2009



Our perspective in a situation sure has a way of changing how we act, feel, or respond in situations. Whether it’s relationships, behaviors, habits, lifestyles, faith, or careers our perspective in a situation determines whether we stay married or get divorced, fix the broken relationship or end it, continue with the business deal or break ties, whether we embrace God or blame Him, or whether we face our fears or run from the truth.

Perspective. It can help us make the right decisions or cloud us into make a poor decisions. It can make us blame someone that is not to blame or help us see we need to take responsibility for our actions. It can help us treat people the way we want to be treated or make us treat someone unfairly. It can bring us to be compassionate or caring or it can cause us to become calloused and hard-hearted.

How is your perspective? Is it positive or negative? Accurate or inaccurate? Clear or clouded? Just or unjust? Your perspective on top of a building is different than that of one standing on the ground beside the building. Your perspective of someone’s actions may change depending on how well you know the person. You may think a person is rude or purposely ignoring you when you waved at them and they didn’t wave back or look at you, if you have an insecure or guilty conscience. However if you know them and do not have any reasons to doubt, then you may realize they simply did not see you or were distracted.

How many times have you thought one thing about a person or situation only to realize you were wrong on basing your judgment on a bad perspective. How many times did you think things would never get better or change because you had a negative or hopeless perspective? When our perspective changes in a good way, many times our circumstances, situations, problems, etc…begin to change. God can work better in our lives when we have a Godly perspective.

It’s tough, I struggle with it. Stinkin Thinkin. You think a situation will never change, never get better. It’s because our perspective of it is wrong. When we begin to see things through God’s eyes and have an eternal perspective in our lives, hopefully it will change our actions, behaviors, attitudes, and responses in all aspects in our lives. Things aren’t always as good as they seem and sometimes they are not as bad as they seem. How many times have you seen someone you love dating or married to someone you know is not a good person or good for them or to them and everyone else sees it except them. How many times have you been warned not to do business with a certain person, and you are the only one who can’t see they are dishonest or they lack integrity and you pay for it. We sometimes are the last to see something because we refuse to see it or admit we were wrong.

We need a God perspective. An eternal perspective. An accurate, true, righteous, honest, and realistic perspective of ourselves, our relationships, our lives. It begins and ends with our relationship with and to God. Even God did not judge or base things on outward, temporary perspectives. He looks at the heart of the matter.

“God does not judge by external appearance.” Galatians 6:2B(NIV)

Friday, November 06, 2009

"Sometimes we don't really need answers, we need THE ANSWER. Sometimes maybe even the right explanations wouldn't satisfy us like we believe they would, and we need to realize that the only thing that will truly satisfy us is God Himself" -Vince Antonucci(from his Book)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Swampy Steve

Check out Swampy Steve interviewing for the 100th Annv. at Central Christian Church in Huntingburg, IN.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Silly or not

Does anyone else think it's silly or stupid or funny that christians or churches like to have things, but then they feel the need to have to change the name so it's not "worldly".

  • We won't have a magician, but we can have an illusionist (isn't it the same thing?)
  • We will hire a children's or Youth Minister, but if it's a female they are suddenly a Director instead of Minister. ( I'm pretty sure Jesus said we were all directors, not.)
  • We will have Halloween parties at church, but we can't use the word "Halloween" or "trick or treat" so we have or "Harvest Parties" or "Hallelujah Parties". (guess what? We are still celebrating Halloween and its for the kids anyway)
  • We don't have fundraisers, but we have "donation" events (I say just give your money and we won't have to organize anything to do).

My point is, we get so caught up or worried about things, we miss the point. Everything in this world is not bad or evil. Not everything has a hidden or hurtful message. If we are doing things to reach people for Jesus, honoring God, ministering to our congregation, or whatever, I think we need to stop worrying about being political correct or offending people, and just work toward pleasing God. Our job is not to please people, appease people, or worry about someones deep ingrained opinions that are based on ignorance. We need to stop being so silly because when we focus anything other than God, we are not focusing on God at all. Just a thought.

Monday, November 02, 2009



Webster defines “Conviction” as “a strong belief”. We can be convicted about morals, values, principles, or right and wrong. What are your convictions? Do you have any?
Are you convicted to be a person of the highest integrity or character? Do you want people to know you are honest, dependable, and trustworthy? Are you convicted about your stances on social issues like abortion or drunk driving? Or maybe you have convictions about certain sinful behaviors like lying, cheating, or adultery, or abuse? The fact of the matter is we need conviction in our lives, if not, we will not stand for much of anything or have any boundaries in our lives.

We need to be convicted when we lie, hurt others, are rude or dishonest. We need to be convicted when we see someone being mistreated, abused, or harassed. We need to be convicted when see things in this world that are wrong and do not honor God. We need to be convicted when our lives do not honor or reflect the power or love of God. We need to be convicted when we handle situations wrong or we need accept responsibility for our actions or we need to face consequences.

Truth is people (including myself) can be convicted of certain things in our lives and then totally ignore other areas of our lives. But, God does not compartmentalize sin. Sin is sin. Wrong is wrong. Lying is lying. Adultery is adultery. Abuse is abuse. Dishonesty is dishonesty. Betraying trust is betraying trust. We cannot take a stand for foul language and be convicted not to curse and then turn around and talk like a dog to our spouse, kids, or neighbors. We can’t condemn someone for drinking alcohol and then we are the biggest gossip in town. We can’t be convicted about lying and then turn around and justify arrogant behavior. You see what I’m getting at? When God comes into our lives He wants to live in all our lives. His spirit convicts us so that we will become WHOLE beings in a relationship with Him. God wants all our areas of our lives so that He can help us be the best we can be and live the best possible life we can live.

I want to have conviction about all sin in my life. I want to always be convicted by God’s Spirit to do the right things and run from the wrong things. I want to take a stand for things that are right and against things that are wrong whether that is social, moral, principle, or personal. I want to honor God in all areas of my life and not just parts. If we truly want to honor God then we must allow His Holy Spirit to work in our lives and convict us of things whether it is things we need to do or say or be or things we need to stop doing or saying or being.

What things are you convicted about? What are you doing about them this week? God will help you and me become the people He wants us to be if we will truly and honestly seek Him and allow Him to work in our lives.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent and praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8(NIV)