Sit on Your Hands


What do Victor Cruz and Roddy White have in common (besides being wide receivers in the NFL)? They both apologized this weekend for tweeting violent messages.  Both men were furious at the jury’s decision this weekend to acquit George Zimmerman of his murder charges in the Trayvon Martin case.  Cruz and White were caught in the emotion of the moment after hearing the news they did not want to hear.  Both lashed out on Twitter, sending out tweets that recommended violence even to the point of death.  Both men have rethought their emotional outbursts and deleted their posts along with making apologies for the words that were used.

I am not writing this post to take any side in the Martin/Zimmerman case, rather I am writing this because I too have been known to post my thoughts in the heat of the moment.  I have been one who has hurt feelings, been unfriended (yes, this is now a word in my vocabulary), been blocked and ridiculed.  I have been one who did not think before I posted to social media.  I look back now at these times and what seemed so important then now seems so trivial.  The tweets/statuses that I am talking about typically were about politics or matters of opinion.  I have had to apologize and delete items that I have posted.

We have all heard the saying “bite your tongue,” indicating the need to hold back the emotional words that are spewing out of the mouth of one who is angry, sad, etc.  Proverbs 21:23 says: “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.”  If followed, these inspired words will help us steer away from much disaster.

However the problem with social media today is that we have the ability to trash the world and our friends while we are biting our tongues!  We do not have to open our mouth once to vomit all over cyber space all the negative thoughts we have toward a certain person or group.  We also do not have to look at a person in the eye while screaming at them through our computer screen.  Social media is a blessing, yet it can be a curse if we use it for these causes.

Seeing that biting our tongue helps us little in the cyber world, I would like to call for us to develop a new phrase, “Sit on Your Hands.”  When your emotions are high, “Sit on Your Hands.”  If you want to let the world know how mistreated you are, if you want to trash an old friend, if you want to debate politics, if you want to debate matters of opinion…“Sit on Your Hands.”  Sitting on the instruments that can type or text so much heartache for you and those that you love, can save you from certain embarrassment and repercussions.

Now I am not saying that there is never a time or a place to talk about such things as politics, matters of opinion, or even disciplinary action.  However I have seen in my life that when I sit on my hands and think it through the words that must be said come out clearer, friendlier, and more Christ like.  One wise preacher has said: “When I write an email, I never send it without sleeping on it first.” That 24-hour period of sitting on your hands and not allowing yourself to press enter can save you and those who know you a world of hurt.  During that time you are giving yourself the opportunity to change your thoughts, cool down, and even change your words.  My guess would be that Mr. Cruz and Mr. White are wishing they would have sat on their hands.  Let’s look at the mistakes of others, and change our life for the better.


Ancient Boundaries: SPIRITUAL LIBERTY


The wise Proverb writer through the inspiration of the Lord stated “Do not move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set” (22:28).  He states it again in 23:10, “Do not move the ancient boundary…” During ancient times, land boundaries were often separated by nothing more than a stone or some other item that could be seen and determined as a dictator as to when one individual’s land stopped and another’s began.  Personal land as well as whole countries would be separated by just a memorial that might be elaborate or rather simple. You start thinking of the implications of this rather simple way of keeping track of your land and some might cringe.  What would stop someone from simply picking up the stone and moving it a foot or two?  The unethical individual might easily add a good deal of land to his parcel without drawing notice to himself at all.  You think how one might try one day to just kick the stone a few inches, only to get braver throughout the years and move the stone several yards.  The proverb writer explicitly condemns any sort of unethical behavior in moving that which was already set in place.

This condemnation still applies to us today.  No, we may not be concerned with the size of a parcel of land, and we may not have the ability to broaden our borders by simply moving a stone, yet we still have the temptation to move what has been set in place for centuries.  The first Ancient Boundary that we will discuss is that of Spiritual Liberties.  The church is full of good intentioned individuals that have a mind to help fellow Christians be the best Christians they can be.  These individuals will write, teach, preach, and counsel others in many areas of their Christian walk (personal, family, etc.).  This is needed and is very beneficial.  The problem arises when our counsel moves into areas that are not legislated in the Scriptures and we hold those areas as doctrine.  For example, areas such as home/public education, youth groups, dating and Santa Clause are argued a good deal in the church.  Some have argued their position to the point that they annihilate anyone who would have a different view.

As we look through the New Testament, we see many principles that will be helpful in examining this.  Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 both speak on our liberties.  Paul writes on how some may partake in the eating of meats and in the observing of days.  Romans 14:5 says: “Each person must be convinced in his own mind”.  Jesus also condemned a group of Jews called the Pharisees on many occasions who had the custom of adding to the Law.  They were a legalistic bunch who prided themselves in being more righteous than the rest, all the while adding laws that people must obey (even when the Lord had not legislated the law).  Just by doing a rather quick study on the passages from Paul and condemnation of the Pharisees, we can gather that we must not hold laws above the heads of our fellow Christians that are not found in the Scriptures.

The main area I would like to touch on is that of homeschooling.  For those of you who know me, I am very pro home education.  I was homeschooled throughout my childhood and my wife and I have decided to do the same with our children.  When I was young, my family ran into the problem of fellow Christians moving that ancient boundary of Spiritual Liberty by condemning my folks for homeschooling us.  However, in today’s world Christians have become more accepting of the practice.  I fear now that on occasion the roles have been switched and the homeschoolers are now the ones who sometimes move the ancient boundary of Spiritual Liberty.  It saddens me to see Christian families condemn others because they have chosen to educate their children through the public or private school systems.  When one uses their mouth or their computer to spread gossip, or to say that one is sending their kids to hell by sending them away from the home for education, they are indeed moving the ancient boundary of Spiritual Liberty.

Do not read me wrong; I am in no way saying that one may not promote an item such as home education.  If you are around me long enough, you will probably hear from my mouth benefits of home schooling.  One of these days, I will more than likely write an article or two on why we homeschool our kids, or why I love homeschooling my kids.  If I know a young family that is considering homeschooling their children, I absolutely will encourage them to homeschool.  Yet, I as well as other home educators must be sure that we do not condemn those that decide on a different route.  I have known many Christians that have had success in raising their children in a Christian way, and they did it in a different manner than what my wife and I have decided to do.

Brethren, if the Lord has not legislated on it, we have no right to force it.  Let us keep the Ancient Boundary of Spiritual Liberty in place where the Lord has set it.

A God Particle?

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Did you hear the news?  Scientist in a group called CERN announced today in Geneva that a particle that they have been studying since last year is very likely the Higgs boson or God Particle that the world has been eagerly seeking.  By finding this God Particle Scientist believe that they have proven the big bang and that this particle is the Missing Link that is needed to conclude the “evidence” of the big bang.

What is this God Particle?  If I understand the description of this particle, this is what it is about: It is a particle that has the ability to give other atoms size and shape when the atomic particles are smashed together.  The theory is that during the big bang, the Higgs bosom is the particle that helped in the cause of growing the size and shape of the aftermath of the collision.  This theory has been tested in a $10 billion dollar underground tunnel.  This tunnel is 17 miles long and is located around the border of Switzerland and France.  The tests are conducted when atomic material is smashed together and then detectors along the tunnel measures the growth, shape, and distance (that the atoms have traveled).  All of this has put smiles on the faces of evolutionist around the world.  The God Particle has been found.

Now I will not claim to be a scientist, and I will not claim to even understand all of the details of this particle.  But I do have some questions for scientists who believe that this discovery proves the big bang.

First, assuming that this Higgs boson is able to cause differences in size and shape of atomic material, where is the proof that this actually happened?  The only “proof” that they have is found in the perfect situation.  There testing facilitates are elaborate and the tests are performed in a manner to get the results that are desired.  The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that energy and matter decreases and breaks down over time.  By example, if you bought a brand new car in 1983, that car over the last 30 years has been deteriorating over time.  It does not matter if you drive it, or sit it outside and never drive it, it will eventually deteriorate.  When we talk about the creation of the world, how can we say that something like atomic mater can have the ability to take something very minuscule and turn itself into something phenomenal? Where is the proof?

Second, lets say everything that they are finding in this massive test tube could have potentially happened.  Where does this bring us?  Does this automatically bring about the existence of the universe? Or does this just give us a bigger mess of atomic matter?  I seriously doubt the folks at CERN are dealing with a new universe being formed in their 17 mile tunnel (how crazy would that be?).

Third (and most importantly), where did this God Particle come from?  All of the “proof” in the world as to what this particle “might” do is for not if one cannot prove where it came from.  If there is not a Devine Creator, then where did this particle and other atoms come from?  Is it not ludicrous to assume that these atoms came into existence on their own?

No matter how many missing links scientists claim that they find throughout the ages, the Bible still has the most logical explanation as to where this universe came from: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).  Does it not make so much more sense to believe that a Creator who is eternal (has no beginning and no end) created the universe?  Before we believe what scientist throw before us blindly, let us look to see how it compares to the Biblical account.

Short but Powerful


Napoleon Bonaparte, Bruce Lee’s one inch punch, the Gettysburg Address, “Jesus Wept” (Jn. 11:35) & the Book of Obadiah all have two things in common: They are all short, but powerful.

As we go through the Psalms, we come across the shortest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 117.  This short psalm consists of only two verses:

“Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples!
For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting.
Praise the Lord!”

One might get the impression that a passage so small cannot possibly have much power associated with it. Yet, this small passage packs a punch!  This passage is broken into three main points:                                                                                                                                                                                           

One, A Call to Worship.  In verse one, every nation under heaven is commanded to praise the Lord.  Now we might praise Him in the worship service, and we might praise Him in the confines of our own home.  But do we worship Him in all that we do?  The Psalmist continues by saying: “Laud Him”.  When and what do you Laud (Applaud)?  We applaud when we are at a Sporting Event, or at a Music Hall.  Do we ever applaud the Lord?  This does not mean that we should stand up and become “Holy Rollers”, rather our life should applaud the Lord through our prayer life and the way that we live our life in obedience to Him.  Worship Him in all that you do!

Two, Why Praise Him? Because Our Lord is Great Towards Us! The ESV uses the word “Steadfast” in verse 2.  That is what the Lord’s love toward us is like!  We sing the song, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases”, but do we really stop and think what this means?  His love is continuous, His love is great, His love is constant!  Praise Him, Laud Him, for His love for us is great!  We see this in the way He takes care of our daily needs (Matthew 6:25-29), and in the way that He has extended Salvation to us through His Son (Ephesians 1:7-12).

But who is the “us”? Who does the Lord love and show His lovingkindness to?  Everyone!  You will note verse one again, “all NATIONS”, “all PEOPLES”.  We should worship the Lord because He loves everyone!  The Saints and the Sinners, He loves them all.  We as Christians can love the Lord for the purpose that He not only loves us, but also loves our friends and family who have not yet obeyed.  As long as they are still alive, we can know that there is a chance to bring them to the truth because God loves them more than we do!  1 Timothy 2:4 says: “Who (God or Savior) desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”.  He loves all!

Three, Praise Him! All we need is two short verses to see, that He loves us…so Praise Him!  Praise Him while you are awake, and while you sleep.  Praise Him when you are at work, and when you are at play.  Praise Him at Worship Services, and when you are away from the building.  Praise Him!

These two verses hold even more truths than I cannot fit into an article.  Never think because a particular Word of the Lord is short, that it is not powerful!

Don’t Be A Hamad


Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan is a wealthy man.  He has over 200 cars, a motor home that looks like the earth, his own island, and is part of the Royal Family (as well as a Sheikh) of Abu Dhabi.  Now Mr. Hamad is one that doesn’t only spend his money on himself, no, he is one that gives a great deal of money to charities to support Philanthropy.  As with many human beings, Mr. Hamad has felt the need to tell the world of his greatness.  Maybe it is the greatness of his wealth; maybe it is the greatness of his charitable deeds.  In order to accomplish such a feat, Mr. Hamad decided he would broadcast himself all over the world, by showing off his name to the rest of the world.  You see, the name shown above is his name that you can see from space!  On his own private Island, Mr. Hamad had his name carved out of the ground at the size of 2 miles long!  As you can see from the photo, three of the letters have started filling up with water and are now waterways.

Now before you snicker and say, “what a waste of effort and money”, ask yourself the question, “when was the last time I was a Hamad?”  Now surely you have never carved your name in the ground so that people can read your name from space.  Yet have you done a good deed for the sole purpose of getting recognized?

Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount that we should avoid this kind of behavior.  In Matthew 6, He gives three scenarios of good deeds that can be done in the wrong manner.  The three scenarios are as follows: Giving, Praying, Fasting; three great areas that we as Christians should partake in.  The problem arises when we do these (or any other good deed) to be noticed by others.  The examples that are given would be sounding a trumpet, standing where others can see you, putting on a gloomy face when the good that you do hurts.

As a preacher, I find that I have to constantly watch myself for this.  I have been blessed to spend my life and career studying and presenting the Word of truth, as well as serve others.  Yet as I present a lesson, or as I spend time with someone in need, the temptation can be there to “show off” a bit.  You know what I mean, let the world know what I have been doing with my day and what I know about the Scriptures.  When I do this, I am no better than Hamad.

I encourage you to not be a Hamad!  Yes, continue to do good deeds.  Yet remember another portion of Jesus’ Sermon.  After every example of wrong that He gives, He tells how you can receive a righteous reward for the good that you do.  He says “Your Father who sees what is down in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18).  Do your good deeds for the benefit of others (including God) in secret, and He will bless you far more than you could ever bless yourself.

Push a Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln was and forever will be one of the most captivating characters in History.  From his height to his beard, from his hat to his story, our 16th President of the United States is a man that Americans cherish.  The man had morals and vision.  With these attributes, he administered the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves during the war.  Two years later, he would push through the House and the Senate the 13th Amendment that completely banned slavery in this nation once and for all.  Against much opposition, Lincoln pushed freedom and morality.

Yet before Lincoln could push the nation to do what was right, he too had to be pushed.  Yes, he despised slavery very much, but he was not ready to push abolition.  To be an “Abolitionist” was to be a radical, Lincoln did not consider himself a radical.  Lincoln had to be pushed by men with abolitionist views in order to understand the urgency.  Such men as Frederick Douglass who is quoted as saying, “A blind man can see where the president’s heart is”, indicating that the President knew what was right, just was not ready to act.  Before he became a man with a conviction, he had to be pushed by those that saw his true potential.

Hebrews 10:24-25a says, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together”.  This word “Stimulate” literally means to Provoke or Irritate (In a loving manner, of course).  Christians need to be looking out for brethren that may be just shy of the mark.  Their heart is good, and their intentions are good; and yet they are not reaching their full potential.  They need to be pushed.

There are three areas in which the Hebrew writer encourages us to push our fellow Christians to do better in:

First, Love.  Jesus commanded us to love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34-35).  This love being an “Agape” love is a selfless and sacrificial love that we should have for the brethren.  If you haven’t already noticed you soon will, but there are conflicts among brethren.  Have you also noticed that we will meet together at the building during the regular hours designated for worship and study, but then we go on our merry way never thinking about and loving our brethren throughout the week?  We need to push the brethren (and ourselves) to show concern for one another in our love for them throughout the week.

Second, Good Deeds. Loving is one thing, showing it is another.  James tells us that faith without works is dead (2:14-20). We can tell one other all day long that we love each other, yet if we do not show it, the words are no good.  When we look around and see brethren that are missing the mark, let us push them to show good deeds to one another.  Let us encourage them to be hospitable, benevolent, supportive, etc.

Third, Not Forsaking the Assembly.  Before I get too many of my readers upset, I cannot and will not say that “thus and thus passage says that you must make it to the building Sunday AM, PM, and Wednesday PM”.  That passage is not in the Scriptures.  However, when one is constantly missing out on the encouragement that one receives by being with the brethren, and when one constantly misses out on worshipping the Lord; should we not push them to do better?  If the church is the Body of Christ, then it would stand to reason that the more often that Body is together, the stronger the Body is.  The stronger the Body is, the more readied that Body is to combat Satan and live for the Lord.

Find a Lincoln this week.  An individual(s) in your congregation that can do a great work for the Lord, yet are falling just short of the mark.  When you find them, push them, stimulate them, provoke them, and irritate them (lovingly) to do better.  Who are you going to push?

“It’s Bond, Gay Bond”

I read an article today in which Daniel Craig (aka James Bond) was asked if he thought there would ever be a “Gay Bond” edition to the ever growing collection of James Bond movies.  The answer was a quick and defining, “No”.

I can almost feel the tension lifted and hear the heavy sighs of relief come from any Christian that enjoys a good Bond movie from time to time.  What would happen if it ever got to the point that our society fell so low as to allow a “hero” of sorts to give himself over to unnatural desires for the same sex (Romans 1:26, 27)?  I would imagine that many Christians would be outraged and boycott the movie, as they should.

Yet, as I look at the Plugged In review (a website that all parents should be familiar with), I read that there are three women that James Bond has intercourse with during the newest installment of the Bond Collection, “Skyfall”.  Scenes that show nudity and sexual acts are rampant in this film.  According to the movie reviewer, this movie (as sexually filled as it may be) is really no worse that any of the other 24 films made about this intelligence officer.

I know that Homosexuality is a grievous sin.  It is a sin that two cities in the book of Genesis were destroyed for, because their men were committing this act.  I also applaud those who would try to stop our society’s fast free fall into the pit of this terrible sin.  Could it be the case, that while Christians are doing a fine job trying to expose the sin of Homosexuality, they are ignoring the overall sins of fornication and lust?

In a week that has seen a great deal of sadness for Christians around this country due to the election, many will worry about where this country is headed.  We have in the White House, for another four years, a man who promotes homosexuality.  We have our first openly gay Senator and two more states have voted to legalize Homosexuality.  How sad it is that our country has accepted this sin with open arms!  Yet, how sad it is that Christians ignore the other sins that plague our country as well!

Christians should not be watching filth that will fill our minds with thoughts of lust.  Have we forgotten the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:27, 28 which say: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart”?  A sin, is a sin folks.  And if we are allowing ourselves to be filled with the thoughts of sin as we view a movie on the big screen, it really shouldn’t matter if it is a homosexual sin, or a heterosexual sin.

Before you go and watch a movie this weekend with your spouse, children, or friends, take time to look up what sin you will see in the film, and ask yourself if it is something you should be promoting (much less dwelling on).