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Archive for the ‘Something to Think About’ Category

German Box for Board Games Wikicommons Walters 7193

After the game, the king and the pawn

go into the same box.

~ Italian Proverb

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In the game of chess, the players strategize to corner or checkmate the opposing side’s king.  Many pieces are used in order to do this – some more expendable than others.  At the bottom of importance is the lowly pawn.  But even though the king is the most valuable piece and the pawn is the least valuable, after the game ends, the fate of both is the same.  They both are placed in the same box.

Such is the case in real life.  All people – whether kings or commoners, rich or poor, famous or obscure – all will have the same fate one day.  We all will die.  Death is no respecter of persons…and neither is God. (Colossians 3:25)

We’re all made of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), and no human life is more valuable than any other to God.  We are all made in His image and He loves us so much that He sent His Son to this earth to save us from the punishment of sin, which is eternal death.  (John 3:16)  He did this by becoming the perfect human sacrifice and shedding His blood to cover our sins because “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” or forgiveness of sins.  (Hebrews 9:22)  He had to do this because the blood of animals could not permanently erase sin.  Only the blood of a perfect human being, without sin or blemish, could satisfy once and for all the requirements for permanently blotting out the sins of mankind.  This perfect human being is named Jesus Christ.  (Read all of Hebrews Chapter 9 for a thorough explanation of this.) 

Whether you’re a king or just a regular person, if you confess to God that you are a sinner and believe that His Son, Jesus, died on the cross to cover your sins, then when the day comes when you die and are placed in a box, you’ll have the assurance that you will have eternal life with God and not have to face an eternal death of unimaginable horrors.  The choice is yours.

Just something to think about…

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For more information on this very important subject, please see:

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Don’t look where you fall…

 but where you slipped. 

~ African Proverb

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What profound words of wisdom!  “Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped.”  In other words, we shouldn’t look at the end result of making a mistake, but at what caused us to make that mistake in the first place.  Unless we realize what the stumbling block (or temptation) was that caused us to “fall,” we’re likely to repeat the same “mistake” again. 

What would we think of a person who just kept slipping and falling on the same old banana peel over and over… and over again?  We’d probably think, “Now that’s pretty stupid of them!”  (Some of us may have even stronger thoughts about such a person.)  But if we know that a certain temptation causes us to fall or sin every time we’re faced with it, then it should be avoided – no matter what it is. 

I’m sure we can all think of things which have made us fall into sin in the past.  And perhaps some of us keep repeating the same sin over and over.  It may be gluttony, lust, unforgiveness, gossiping, lying, cheating, stealing … or a whole myriad of other things that God considers sin.  Whatever our besetting sin is, we must take actions to avoid the root cause of that sin.  (Hebrews 12:1)

For instance, if a certain person is prone to gossiping about others and draws us into the conversation every time, then perhaps we should limit our contact with that person or even avoid them altogether.  God hates gossip and is grieved when we participate in it.  This includes listening to it. 

Another good example is that if we constantly succumb to the temptation of viewing pornography online, then steps should be taken that make it very difficult to do this.  Maybe getting an internet filter or joining an accountability network would be a good start. 

These are just a couple of examples of what can be done to counter our yielding to sin.  I’m sure we can all think of many more sins and perhaps counteractions that will keep us from following through with them.  But the bottom line is that whatever causes us to stumble and fall into sin – whether it’s a person, place, or thing – should be avoided.  Period.

Here are some very thought-provoking words of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  He said,  “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” – Proverbs 27:12

Just something to think about…

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Bloom Where You’re Planted

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There’s an old familiar adage that says, “Bloom where you’re planted.”  This basically means that no matter what your situation is in life, make the most of it.

A good example of someone doing this quite well is Joseph – one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) and the great-grandson of the patriarch Abraham.  Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of attempted rape by the wife of a high-up Egyptian government official and as a result, imprisoned for many, many years.  However, in every instance of unjust circumstances that he found himself in, the Lord was with him and he prospered.  As a slave, he was made the head of his masters house; as a prisoner, he was put in charge of all the other prisoners; and after being released from prison, he eventually became governor of the whole land of Egypt, second only to Pharoah!

Joseph’s life is an amazing testimony of someone who “bloomed where he was planted.”  He could’ve curled up in a corner for years, severely depressed and crying, “Oh, woe is me!  Woe is me!”  But no, he made the best of all his bad situations.  He didn’t let them quench his God-given spirit to thrive and to prosper – in the good times and the bad.

We can all learn a lesson from Joseph.  No matter what our physical circumstances are, we should strive to do the best we can with what we have to work with until we’re able to move on to better things.  This is easier said than done, but with God’s help, we can overcome any adversity and flourish – just as Joseph did.

Just something to think about…

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Read about Joseph’s amazing life in Genesis 37 and Genesis 39-50.


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But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

~ Daniel 12:4 ~

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These words were relayed to the prophet Daniel by an angelic messenger.  Daniel had fasted and prayed for 21 days for an answer from God about a certain matter.  Then after that time, he was visited by this heavenly being who, after being detained by the Prince of Persia,* came to give Daniel a very important message about what would happen at the time of the end.  After relaying the prophecy, he told Daniel that its meaning would be shut up and sealed until the time of the end.  He goes on to say how this particular time would be known. 

First he states, “many shall run to and fro.”  Today we have all kinds of cars and mass transit vehicles (i.e. buses, subways, and trains) as well as airplanes, etc., that provide transportation.  And depending on which mode is utilized, it’s now possible to reach any destination on earth in a matter of hours, instead of days, weeks, and months, as was the case during the time of Daniel.  It’s quite apparent that many people are running “to and fro” at this time.

Also, the angel told Daniel that “knowledge shall be increased” at the time of the end.  Needless to say, in our day and age, knowledge has increased exponentially since the time this prophecy was given – and it continues to do so.  Cable channels, computers, smart phones, and iPads are just some of the avenues for attaining knowledge at literally the touch of a button.

Never before has there been a time such as the one we’re living in.  Could this be the time of the end spoken of in Daniel 12:4?  If so, are you prepared for what was also prophesied in the rest of the chapter?  (Read about it here.)

Just something to think about…

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* The Prince of Persia is a malevolent spirit being who resisted Daniel’s heavenly visitor for three weeks to try and prevent him from relaying this prophecy to Daniel.  He was finally able to break through with the help of the archangel, Michael, and continue on his mission to pass on this message to Daniel.   (For more on this topic, see this commentary on Daniel Chapter 10.)

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These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies…

And one who sows discord among brethren.

Just something to think about…

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* Quote from Proverbs 6:16-19

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To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that…

…the prisoner was you.

                                                                                                              ~ Louis Shmedes

~~~~~

All of us have been hurt by someone at some time in our lives.  It may have been a friend or family member, a significant other, or a complete stranger.  It’s understandable that we would hold feelings of unforgiveness towards those who have betrayed our trust.  But while the person who hurt us goes on with their lives, we are giving them permission to continue hurting us by replaying their trespass against us over and over in our minds and continuing to harbor feelings of bitterness and resentment towards them.

Studies have shown that prolonged negative emotions such as unforgiveness actually create chemical reactions in the body which, over time, can cause sickness and disease.  These intense emotions cause increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, increased perspiration, as well as a host of other physiological changes.  (Read about it here.)

Not only does unforgiveness wreak havoc on us physiologically, it also hinders our spiritual relationship with God.  How many of us have said “The Lord’s Prayer” as modeled by Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13?  It’s a very powerful prayer to recite.  However, if we notice in Verse 12, it says,And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”  So basically when we say this, we’re asking God to forgive us “as” or “the same way” that we forgive others.  This should make us think twice the next time we pray this prayer.  We may want to examine ourselves and make sure we have no bitter feelings towards anyone.

Also of note, a few verses later in Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus adds, For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  So if we don’t forgive others, then God the Father will not forgive us.  What a sobering thought!

So what exactly is involved in the act of forgiving someone?  Does this mean we condone what they’ve done to us?  Absolutely not!  What it does mean, though, is that we let go of the bitterness and resentment that we have against them.  Even if the offense was great, God can help us to let go of it and forgive.  He commands this of us, so He will make a way for us to accomplish it.

Also, forgiving doesn’t mean that we should blindly trust the person again who has wronged us.  We should proceed with caution – especially if they have not changed their behavior and may still have the propensity to continue in whatever act that caused us to lose trust in them.  Remember, God also commands us to be “wise as serpents but harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)  And because every situation is different, we need to pray about each one.  God will have to reveal to us the right way to handle each person who has offended us – even after we’ve forgiven them.

So we see that unforgiveness is a state of mind that keeps us in bondage – not only physically and emotionally, but also spiritually.  We must choose to forgive others – if not for their sakes, then for our own overall well-being.

Just something to think about…

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A single moment of understanding can flood a whole life with meaning.

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Have you ever heard the story of The Ugly Duckling?  It’s about a little “duckling” who was hatched in a farmyard along with other ducklings.  However, he was quite different than the rest and was horribly picked on and ostracized.  He eventually ran away and suffered months and months of very heartbreaking rejection everywhere he went.  He finally came across a flock of swans and much to his amazement – they accepted him!  While swimming with these lovely birds, he looked at this own reflection in the water and discovered that he looked just like them!  He had grown into a beautiful swan!  He was NEVER a duck, as he had believed for so long!

Some people believe that they, as humans, are nothing more than the result of a cosmic accident that happened billions of years ago; that our origins began in some primordial “soup” in which our distant ancestors just happened to sprout legs and crawl out of; and that there is absolutely no reason for our existence.  This belief is called “evolution” and it has caused a lot of confusion throughout the years.  It also makes our lives totally devoid of purpose.

How many of us have let this belief supersede our innate understanding that life could not possibly have come about by accident?  The complexity of every system in our bodies gives credence to this truth – especially since we now have the technology to peer into the very essence of a simple cell… which we now know is not simple at all. This technology was not available when these crude evolutionary theories came about.

It’s interesting that Charles Darwin, who is known as the father of evolution, always referred to evolution as a “theory.”  He never claimed it as fact, as some are doing today.  He even laid down a criterion for testing it in which he stated:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.” (The Origin of Species)

Darwin wrote this in 1859 – over 150 years before the scientific advancements of today.  Hence, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to continue believing this way today.  We know better.  Even many scientists have denounced this theory.  But some choose to stubbornly ignore the facts. (Romans 1:19-22)

Just as the ugly duckling realized that he was not a duck at all but a beautiful swan, we need to realize that we are not just an accidental “thing” that crawled out of the slime billions of years ago.  We are human beings made in Gods image, whom He created for a purpose.  We just have to find out what that purpose is.  And God is the only one who can reveal it to us.  All we need to do is ask.  (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Just something to think about…

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