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Why God took vengeance from us

In the midst of the apostle Paul’s writing on the maturation of Christians he points out that vengeance belongs to God. The creator of the universe claimed this prize for himself.

Vengeance is something that has to be done in love and given our very nature in the flesh it is something we would always struggle with. We have a difficult time seeing the “big picture” when someone has harmed us.

One of the wonderful things about our God is that he can be consistent in the most difficult of times. God, who knows all, is never caught off guard with our actions. His goal is to always teach us through our living and always give us outcomes to make us stronger and not destroy us.

David understood this about God. In one story, David had sinned and God gave him a choice for his kingdom to suffer a famine, for David to be turned over to his enemies or for God himself to punish David. The king of Israel’s response was interesting. He said that he would prefer God punish him because he did not want his fate to be left in the hands of man.

Our flesh burns with our anger. We were told in scripture to be angry but without sin — meaning anger and evil are among the deadliest of combos. In America alone we have an obsession with sentencing people. Knowing the mortality rate of an American, our courts won’t hesitate to give someone 100 years. Why? Because were are outraged and we need that feeling to be satisfied.

Someone murders our son, he must die too. Someone rapes our daughter he needs to be placed in the deepest part of the prison and then raped.

Crimes are already bad and it seems that many of us believe that the only thing worse than a crime is a crime done to me. Where does this selfish entitlement come from? Well, the answer to that question is the reason God spared us of vengeance and why it can’t be ours.

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My mind is against me

If you constantly heard voices you would be labeled schizophrenic. If there were never any voices then you would be labeled normal, but what is normal? In between these two extremes is a person whose mind is against him.

This mind is filled with negativity and it will never look at a scenario positively — this is actually the voice of your subconscious.

In your subconscious is where you have stored your pain, from that place, negativity rises to the top. There you can’t do anything right. Nothing ever works in your favor and your subconscious mind enjoys predicting outcomes for you.

“You can’t do that!”

“This won’t work!”

“That will never work in your favor!”

Sound familiar?

It’s as if your mind was jealous of you. One part of the mind supportive and the other part becoming the biggest player-hater on the planet.

To silence these voices you need to settle your past. There are things you need to forgive and forgiveness you need to seek. There are negative situations that hurt you and because you have not forgiven yourself or someone else or you have been wounded and instead of healing you have been reopening the wound.

Your mind needs peace. You must allow it to rest. If you can’t do it alone, reach out and let Clydestyle Services Group help.

Posted in Accepted, Change, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, freedom, God, God's Promises, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Light, Love, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Uncategorized, Worship

Too much wind for ya??

It has been a while since I expounded on God’s word so I would like to share Matt. 14:23-33.

In this passage of scripture, Jesus was with a multitude and once he sent them away he went up on the mountain to pray alone. By the time he had finished it was getting late and the ship where his disciples were was in the midst of the sea being tossed around about by the waves and the wind.

Jesus comes toward them walking on the sea (yes, he was actually walking on the sea as if there was a makeshift walkway) and his disciples saw him and were afraid as they thought he was a ghost. The savior calls out to them to let them know it was him.

Astonished, Peter was the brave soul to take it a step forward when he asked for proof that it was in fact Jesus. His proof was that Jesus would allow for him to walk on water and meet him. The creator granted Peter’s request and here is where we get the meat for this story.

Verse 30 says that the wind was boisterous. That means it was loud and forceful, but this is something the text says Peter saw, not heard. Peter first saw Jesus walking on water and he was afraid. He also “saw” the wind boisterous and was afraid.

Which do you think scared him the most?

The assumption here is that when he saw Jesus and realized that it truly was him, he wanted to do what Jesus was doing. And he actually did walk on water.

But the wind’s actions were accompanied by force and it stood in opposition of what Peter wanted to do, Peter backed down because he felt he was no match for the wind. He knew that the force of the wind was far greater than he was. When he began to sink he cried for Jesus to save him and immediately the text says He did but asked Peter why did he doubt.

The lesson: The wind represents everything that is against us here from trials and tribulations to sin. Jesus is still Jesus in this lesson and Peter represents us. Jesus did not save Peter because they were good friends. In fact, any of the disciples could have done what Peter did. Peter just happened to be the one bold enough to ask. The assumption is that if you asked the question, the answer should have produced faith. In other words, Peter said Lord if it is you, then let me come to you. By the fact that Peter was able to come meant that it was in fact Jesus and now your faith will be made perfect in your work (walking on water).

Am I going too fast?

Faith without works is dead. Peter’s question was answered and he began through the work to demonstrate his faith, but the wind (trial) was too much. And even though Peter did nothing to earn his salvation, Jesus saved him anyhow. Why? Because he is God and that’s the business he is in.

Dear reader, do you believe that God will save you? Have you come to him in obedience to his will and allowed your faith to grow through your works?

Or is there just too much wind???

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We have an obsession with Black and White

When we began as a country it was on the premise of one side being right and the other side being wrong. The Civil War was about one side being right and the other side being wrong. In fact all of our wars played out that way.

Business decisions are made with both sides believing they are correct and no one believing they are incorrect. Arguments with family and loved ones are the same and so are our political views: We have an obsession with Black and White.

So you see it’s easier if things are just Black and White because then there are not a lot of choices to be made and far less arguing with just two choices.

So to see any other color is absurd. To think that a choice other than Black or White could exist is crazy. Or is it?

Gray decisions throw us for a loop. It’s like being in a fight for a specific reason and then a third wheel joins the fight for a completely different reason. And by the time each original side figures out which side they are on, the third wheel proves they are the enemy.

So now in the 21 Century we have gone far beyond gray. We now have the whole spectrum of colors — we are even beyond the rainbow! Black and White can’t even argue with each other, in fact they can’t get close enough to each other because of all the new colors.

So how does the color scheme play out?

Well, so far, Black and White colors are sneaking around mixing with the various colors. The saying is true that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

You have White colors saying they are half blue and Black colors claiming to be yellow this week and red the next. Some are even considered orange. New colors are being formed every day and some are so shocking that we just didn’t know what color to call it!

The solution to this problem is simple. And maybe it’s so simple that we’ve overlooked it.

While I’m busy hating your color, we cannot work together … in fact we can’t accomplish anything — but we need to. I can’t stop hating your color probably because I have a jealousy towards it.

What would happen if the focus of our involvement was centered around our success and not our differences? Well then, we would be free to help each other and embrace our diversity instead of wasting time hating what we don’t understand or won’t accept.

We need to stop all the talk about color and work together and create a functioning, vibrantly diverse culture of inclusion, acceptance and advancement.

I am more than my color!

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Are you a part of pill nation?

Currently, 7 of 10 Americans take prescription drugs according to the Mayo Clinic.

What does that say about our nation? Are we feeble, sickly, stressed out and anxious? Well, yeah!

How did we get in such bad shape or is this all for profit? How much do you personally rely on drugs?

Clearly the stress of “making it” in America is rough as is the anxiousness of losing everything or it being taken from you. Our prejudices have many of us living in fear and the violence gets depressing.

Congress has us on the worry wheel and the economy fluctuates too much. Doctors are being taught in schools to diagnose and treat with synthetic drugs. Did you catch how I said that?

A doctor today will not tell you that all you “need is some zinc and vitamin C so head to your local health food store and they’ll hook you up!”

You will get a synthetic prescribed drug and Walgreens and CVS will be waiting on you!

In addition there are people who are taking meds because they told their doctor they were having problems with something and out came the prescription pad. To have to take 5 to 10 pills every morning is no way to live when food could be the medicine.

How much have you bought into pill nation? Do you think there is a better way? Could lifestyle changes be the key to a better life for you? Are you even willing to try??

I’m asking for a friend…

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We need another “We are the World” recording

Back in 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie lead an all-star cast of singers and musicians in the recording of We Are The World to raise awareness and funds for those starving in Africa. It was unprecedented and it made a difference. Twenty-five plus years later another group of all-star singers and rappers got together for a similar recording with the beneficiary being Haiti this time. Equally as touching and Haiti was better off.

Now, America needs to come together for our troubles here. We have lost our way and greed, fear, hate and selfishness has consumed this country. Everyone is for themselves and people are dying, oppressed, forgotten and depressed.

Rich people are being trusted to take care of the needy and they are doing a horrible job. There is a clear history of disparities in this country and both political parties have blood on their hands.

Americans have lost its compassion. In the song there is a line that says “there’s a choice we’re making. We’re saving our own lives.” This is a profound statement because it calls attention to those who participate in humanity. You cannot be a part of the human race and not care about the whole human race. If one of us hurts, we all hurt. When you turn a blind eye towards any injustice your conscious dies a little each time. With slavery, civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights, too many of us have tried to look the other way at the expense of their conscious.

America is leading with it’s worst parts out front. Change needs to happen immediately for we don’t have time anymore for politics. The people who will suffer first will be the weaker vessels meaning the very poor and uneducated.

Then the suffering will continue all the way to the middle class. Do we have to wait that long before we decide to get involved? We are responsible for us!

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Mind over matter

What’s real and what isn’t?

Many times we have battles in our mind that stem from what’s going on in our lives. This battle built on actualities and interpretations — what actually happened and how my mind interprets it.

So if I already have doubts about myself or self esteem or self worth issues, just imagine how bias, against me, my mind will interpret every situation I’m in. I won’t ever be able to do anything right. Someone will always not like me or be against me and I will always find someone else to blame for my troubles.

My rational emotive behavior is working against me and statistically speaking if I am a minority, I am effected by this condition more often than my white counterpart.

Before the mind over matter battle happens in the mind, there needs to be a pre-battle in my conscious where interpretations are challenged. Not to make this complicated but I had to take responsibility for the healthy functioning of my brain and that includes having a favorable outlook on self.

For example, in your mind you might think nobody likes you. But in your conscious you must challenge that statement. Because all I have to find is one person to like me to make it a false narrative. I may think I can’t do anything right. My conscious says sure I can and begins a list of things I have done right.

The old hip hop adage of “check yourself before you wreck yourself” rings true here. So begin challenging those thoughts that stop your forward motion. Argue those thoughts that make you abandon your dreams and love your best life — in support of self!