Friday, May 27, 2011



The dictionary defines Defend as "to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury".

In Luke 10:25-37 (go read), we have the story of the "Good Samaritan". A Jew was beaten, robbed, and left for dead in a ditch. A priest (preacher) came by and saw him and went on other side of the road. A Levite(religious servant) came by too and saw him and went on the other side of the road. Finally, a Samaritan (an emeny of the jews, jews looked down on them) came along, saw him, had compassion on him, helped him, and took care of Him.

Now the parable Jesus told was about "who is my neighbor?" and Jesus was saying everyone is our neighbor. We are to love everyone. God first, then others. However, I want to go a step farther. I think we as Christians have an obligation to stand up for those who are helpless, hurting, in need, and have been wronged. We should not only be "Defenders" of the faith", but "defenders" of those who are wronged.

Love this scripture in Proverbs:

Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Unfortunately, we live in a society today that "doesn't want to cause a scene", or "doesn't want to get involved". We love to look the other way, or think it will just go away eventually. People don't want to stand up for what is right or for people who have been wronged because it's "Uncomfortable" sometimes it involves someone they care about, so, It's easier to ignore the problem, or let it go, or pretend nothing happened, or how it all works out on it's own.

My wife and I both in our pasts have been hurt at the hands of other people. I am sure some of you reading this have to, we all probably have in different times and ways been hurt or wronged by people. It seems the people who should care the most to defend you or come to your aid don't. People will tell you to your face how awful it is what you endured or went through and how wrong it was, but when they are faced with the problem or the person that hurt you, 99.9% of the time, they do or say nothing. I'm not sure what hurts worse? You may also think, well if you've been hurt, you just need to get over it and move on, sometimes it's not that easy, especially when you don't have the proper support.

Now, I'm not suggesting we take matters into our own hands or seek revenge because justice and vengence is for the Lord(Romans 12:19). I'm not saying if someone hurts your kid to go hurt them back, or someone is mean to your sister to go beat them up. What I am suggesting is that we defend those who cannot defend themselves. What I'm saying is that we don't look the other way, pretend nothing is wrong, or allow the person who is wrong to go around pretending they did nothing wrong or contribute to their delusion.

Many times, people who do wrong, won't accept or admit their wrong, and they go around acting as if they did nothing wrong, and the problem is when we see them and we allow them to act that way, by being nice or acting like nothing is wrong. This just encourges them to keep living this lie or justifies their actions even more. Does that make sense?

There are too many people walking around free in this world living their lives of lies. They are evil, mean, wrong, or need help and either in deep denial or simply don't care how they treat others. They bully, abuse, betray, treat others wrong or bad, and if people don't stand up to them, or defend those they are hurting, how does the cycle ever break?

We can pray for God to convict them, and we can pray for God to deal with them and bring justice and avenge the wrongs, but I also think as Christians we have an obligation to defend our own. Not with physical violence or revenge, but with simple standing up, taking notice, not looking the other way, and not being "fake" nice. Jesus didn't mince words with the pharisee's when they were being hypocrites and Apostle Paul didn't sugar-coat His words when dealing with sinful people in the church.

People want to think being a Christian means being nice all the time. We are in spiritual warfare. Satan is on constant attack, we have to be on constant alert. Satan uses people to hurt people. We have the power of God within us at our disposal. God wants to use us to defend His church, His people, and ourselves with His power at work in us. Sometimes that means being uncomfortable, having uncomfortable conversations, confronting someone, or standing up to defend someone. Being a Christian isn't always nice ,cozy, & sunday morning smiles. Sometimes it's confronting sin, standing up for right, and defending wrongs.

If you have family members or friends or church members who have been wronged or hurt by others, then support them, care about them, and do so by defending and not allowing the hurt to continue or to be made worse. Nothing worse than salt in a wound. If you are confronted with the person who hurt your loved one or friend, you don't have to punch them, or kick them, or cause a scene, but you can avoid them, and if you can't avoid them, you can let them know with body language or words, that you know what they did, you don't appreciate it, and you aren't just going to act like everything is ok or let them get by with pretending they didn't hurt someone. I hope that makes sense? I'm not promoting conflict, or revenge, but I am promoting standing up for what is right, defending those wronged, and ending the cycle of silent approval.

Most of all if you have been wronged, you can forgive the person even if they don't admit doing anything wrong, and you can pray for them to repent, but also for God to bring justice. Prayer is the best thing we all can do.

Monday, May 23, 2011



That's what I always say, in a sarcastic voice when something happens when people are surpised by something that is so obvious is going to happen.

We live in a society that is "Master of the Obvious", it's not shocking that if you play with fire, you can get burned; if you don't look when you cross the street, you could get hit by a car; if you don't study, you won't pass the test; there are countless examples in life of "natural" consequences for not making the right choices or doing the right things, yet when they happen, people are shocked? Caught off guard? Didn't see it coming?

Why is that? Stupidity? Igrnorance? Apathy? low expectations? all the above? I don't know for sure, but we should know that life has natural consequences and that when we make certain choices or decisions, things in life are going to happen, regardless of what we want or wish.

You keep giving in to temptations, you are going to fall. You keep cheating, you will eventually get caught; you keep lying, it will eventually catch up with you; you keep drinking too much and too often, you are going to have multiple issues; you hang out with the wrong people and for the wrong reasons, you are going to get hurt.

Yet, we date the loser and are "shocked" when they cheat on us or hurt us? We hang out with the wrong crowd to fit in and are "shocked" when they throw us under the bus? We don't take God serious and we are "shocked" why we struggle in our faith? We don't read our bible or pray to God and we are "shocked" we don't know God's will?

People there are natural consequences. Then there are good consequences for good choices and bad consequences for bad choices. Then there are warnings signs, warning signals, and things that show us "not to go there, or not to do that, yet we ignore them, then we are shocked when things bad happen for us.

If I get in my car and drive to New York City, I'm not going to end up in Los Angeles. As Andy Stanley says, "direction not intention, determines destination". In other words, you are going to end up in what direction you are headed.

You lie, cheat, act lazy, have a bad attitude, cheat, be dishonest, don't care, etc..whatever your attitude is is where you will end up. You do drugs, abuse alcohol, use people for sex, gamble away your money, and you're going to end up addicted, alone, desperate, isolating those you love, and could end up in rehab, the hospital, or dead.

People the warning signs are there for a reason. Don't be shocked when your decisions and choices lead you exactly to where they are supposed to. Also, don't think because you are a Christian or become a Christian that your life is going to be easy, or you're going to coast. Though becoming a Christian is the BEST choice you will ever make, becoming a Christian puts target on your back. The closer you get to God the more the devil may tempt you, persuade you, and pursue you. When the devil doesn't bother you is when I'd be concerned. It means you aren't doing anything that is a threat to Him.

Heed the warnings friends. Don't go down roads you don't want to go, they lead to sin, pain, struggle, and destruction. Don't be shocked when you choose selfishly and end up hurt. Don't be shocked either that when you strive to live for God, that Satan is right there fightin you every step of the way.

I Peter 4:12-13(NIV)12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Monday, May 16, 2011



"Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."

Do you really rely on God? I mean lets be honest, most of us do only what is within our power to do and most churches really only do what is within their power to do. Many of us don't really live by faith, which is the call of the Christian.

God did not create us to rely on ourselves and certainly God didn't send Jesus to die on the cross and go through hell on our behalf for us to rely on our own wisdom, strength, or power.

First, God is God, He created us, therefore He is to be sought out. Secondly, God sent Jesus, so that through Him we may not only have forgiveness of sins, but also so we can have a relationship with God on a personal level. Thirdly, God promises and gives us His Spirit when we are baptized into Him to help guide us. Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, these 3, are 3 in 1, and because of that, we don't need to rely on anyone, anything, especially ourselves without Him.

Look at how many decisions and choices we make everyday and do not consider or consult God. We take jobs, buy houses, enter dating relationships, make business deals, financial decisions, pick places to worship, we get married, we make friends, and make all sorts of choices without fully relying on God's guidance, wisdom, discernment, and approval. I am guilty, we all are and can be.

God cares about us. He loves us uncondtionally. He would not have created us, send us His Son, or give us the gift of His Spirit if we are not valuable to Him. However, God is a God of freedom and will not force us to Love Him, choose Him, obey Him, or listen to Him. All He can do is offer and be there for us.

We must choose God. Choose to seek, listen, decide, and choose. It is up to us whether we read His word, pray, grow, attend church, serve, or use our gifts God has given us. If we do not choose God or learn to rely on Him, then our life will be riddled with regret, pain, sorrow, and grief. If we don't rely on God, we may make choices or decisions that could have been prevented had we relied on God.

Relying on God isn't going to keep our lives free from mistakes, problems, or even temptations. But, learning to Rely on God will help us make better decisions and choices. It will help us have strength, endurance, and hope when we are faced with troubles, trials, problems, and things that grieve us that are out of our control.

Rely on God. Put your faith into practice. You will not grow or mature in your faith until you learn to rely on God and learn to fully surrender your will, your ways, and your life to Him. It's a process, it takes time, but slowly we all can learn to RELY on God in ALL areas of our lives and how different will our lives and churches look if we've got people relying on God to do things only God can do?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Learning Lessons

Learning Lessons

I find myself sometimes in church or listening to a sermon/message on the radio and thinking "I wish __________(fill in the name) could hear this." Are you with me? It's very easy for us to want "others" to be taught a lesson and wish they'd hear a good sermon and get convicted for their actions that have hurt us or others.

Truth is we are not God. God is God. It's up to Him who,when,where, what is being taught. Our job is to worry about our own self. There are lessons we need to learn. Believe me, God will keep teaching us the same lessons until we realize He's talking to us, and WE need to hear it.

I am very guilty of this, when I am wronged or see someone else wronged, I want the offender to be convicted, accept responsibility, and for God to teach them a lesson. The fact is, I got my own lessons to learn, and secondly, we have no idea how or what God might be doing to teach that person.

Also, if we do not learn the lessons God is trying to teach us, He will keep providing opportunities until we do "get it" or we will continue to suffer consequences. I think the real issus is that we need to focus more attention on our own behaviors, attitudes, and things God is trying to teach us, and allow God to do His job and not try to do it for Him.

Believe me in the big scheme of things, those of us who are committed Christians don't get what we deserve ,but by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, we are saved and secure. However, there are those out there who reject God and will never surrender to Him and then there are those who claim christianity, but still refuse to follow God's will.

But, the point is today, it's not our job to teach others lessons. It's our job to learn the lessons we need to learn. We all have areas of in our lives where we need to work, focus, and learn things God is teaching us. We also need to allow God to work in the lives of others. If someone has wronged you, trust God that He will bring you justice, and that He will take care of the wrongs in this world people do, one way or the other.

There are happy endings sometimes when people wrong us, know it, admit it, accept responsibility, and seek to make ammends. Nothing wrong with praying for these outcomes, sometimes we cannot have those outcomes and sometimes those outcomes, we are better off without that person in our lives. Either way, we need to let God do His job. He's the ultimate teacher. He will convict those who need convicted, teach people the lessons they need to learn, punish those who do wrong, forgive those who confess their wrongs, but even then we will have to accept the natural consequences.

Learn the lessons God wants to teach you. He taught me a valuable lesson this morning, worry about myself and the lessons I need to learn, and let Him handle others. He don't need my help. God will take care of everyone in His Time, His Way, and according to His will.

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed

Monday, May 02, 2011

Blame Shift

Blame Shift

In Exodus 32 in the Old Testament of the Bible, while Moses went to talk to God up on the Mountain, we have the story of the Golden Calf. Moses was gone awhile, and the people got restless and came to Aaron and wanted to make them a God. So Aaron told them to bring all their gold to him and He fashioned a Golden Calf out of all the gold they brought.

God knew what was happening so He sent Moses down off the mountain to deal with it. He was furious at what the people were doing, Dancing and partying around this Idol God. The Bible said he burned with Anger and he want to Aaron and this is what Aaron said:

22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” (Ex 32:22-24)

Do you see what Aaron did? He shifted blame on the people and did not accept responsibility for his actions. He could have told the people to wait on the Lord and corrected them, but instead He gave into their wishes and then when confronted blamed them.

Sounds familiar doesn't it. Not many people want to accept responsibility for their actions these days. It's so much easier to blame others for our mistakes, problems, and decisions. We blame our parents, our friends, our children, our spouse. We blame the government, our employer, our school. We blame God.

Truth is truth. When we make mistakes, poor choices, bad decisions, lie, treat people bad, steal, swear, use people, are selfish, and do wrong, it's OUR FAULT. We all have ultimate control over our feelings, choices, decisions, and life.

People may die, we may grow up poor, we might have been abused, we maybe have been wronged, or missed a break or two, but ultimately, our attitude, mindset, feelings, and emotions dicate what we do, how we act, and how we treat others. One WE can be accountable for our own actions, no other person, place, or event.

Bad things happening to us is no excuse to give up, throw in the towel, fall apart, become bitter, resentful, or horrible to be around. If that was the case, we'd all have an excuse to be and do evil.

As long as you constantly blame others for your behavior, faults, problems, and attitude you will never overcome anything. You especially will not allow God to work in your life if you always blame shift and never own up.

None of us is exempt from mistakes, bad choices, or problems, but being human some of those things are our own fault. We screw up, we err, we have a bad day, we sin, we fall short, or we let the situation get the best of us. Best thing to do is own up, accept responsibility, be honest, and learn from it and move on. Most of all allow God to work in your life in whatever situation it might be.

Do not be like Aaron and join in on the wrong and then blame shift.

Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse