Silhouette DeJour

dejourFrom detective programs Dragnet to CSI, all those police shows have shown a chalk outline of a silhouette drawn on the floor or ground at one time.  That lets you know that there has been a death, and the deceased was found in that exact location and position.  A detective or team of experts and forensics specialists then attempt to figure out the who, how, and why of the crime—if there was one.  The scene is then roped off with bright yellow plastic border tape with the words “Police line do no cross” signaling, stay away, this scene is off limits.  Now, let’s move from Hollywood to Rome for a minute.  In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter tells us, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”.  True?  True!

outline

If you see a ‘partial’ chalk outline, and it’s in your shape, in places you frequent, look around—a lion has been stalking you.  At the first hint that you’re being “Chalked”, examine your defenses.  Be on guard!  Don’t be an easy target.  Don’t go where there is danger.  Don’t go where you shouldn’t.  Don’t push deadly boundaries.  Don’t let the lion get too close.  Don’t think he won’t try again and again.  He will.  Take no chances.  1 Peter 5:9 gives us the winning formula if we’ll just follow it.  It says, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith”.  Don’t be the “Silhouette of the day”!

Satan uses our past to destroy our future.  He steals our faith by stealing our joy.  Prowling lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals that are defenseless: they choose victims who are alone, vulnerable, or not alert.  Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or being persecuted.  Feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from other believers, so focused on our troubles that we forget to watch for danger, we are especially susceptible to Satan’s attacks.  During times of suffering, seek out other Christians for support and comfort—and prayer.  Keep your eyes open and on Christ, and resist the devil.  Then, says James, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you”.  James 4:7-8  Don’t be the one they draw a “chalk line” around.

Giving to Charity

Giving to Charity

GiveYou have been solicited by someone at sometime asking for something to help someone in need.  The sales pitch is given in a straightforward manner with all the integrity and honesty the solicitor can deliver.  The request may be to help the homeless, a children’s home, a pet’s shelter, a fundraiser for police or firefighters widows, a wounded veterans program, or it may be to fight some notorious disease that has claimed millions of lives.  All causes, all deserving support.  Your next decision is who’s using the money for the greatest good?

Doesn’t the Bible say that charity begins at home?  Not in so many words, but it does say that we are to be discerning about who we support with our monies.  Some charities spend 80 to 90% of the total money they raise to throw parties, hire staff, and send out promotional materials to…you guessed it, raise more money!  Millions of dollars are raised, but only a small percentage goes to help the intended parties.  Wasteful, deceitful, disgraceful—yes.  Would you care to be in their shoes come Judgment Day?

How are we to help all those suffering people?  Do we ignore their pleas?  Do we sell everything we have and give it all away?  Where is that happy middle ground?  Giving away money and hoping it will be used wisely is irresponsible.  There are questions to be asked and answered truthfully.  A charity or foundation should strive to open their records/books for public scrutiny.  They should be able to prove that the money you donate to help the needy in any/all areas do exactly that.

Churches used to help those in need.  In this present day, the government helps those supposedly in need.  One was helped by charitable giving.  One is now helped by the tax you are forced to pay without accountability.  God loves a cheerful giver, but God also demands an accounting of our time, our talents and our treasure. Maybe we could follow the teachings of the Bible.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

Warning, This Might Be Confusing

When you read the Bible do you get confused? 

When is “She” a “He” and “He” a “She”?

When you read the Bible have you ever said, “I never noticed that?” 

Have you ever noticed how you can read the Bible one day, and then, read it another day in a whole new way? 

Well!  It happen to me.

warning

This might be confusing

The story of Balaam’s ass (a donkey) in Numbers 22 is unusual.  For one thing Balaam holds the only record of a Biblical person who spoke to a donkey, and then, the donkey spoke back!  Yeah, you remember the story.  Balaam was a Mesopotamian prophet who was hired by Balak, an enemy of Isreal, to curse Isreal.  It all started, when a poor donkey transporting Balaam balked, because the donkey saw an angel and was scared.  The donkey spoke to Balaam about the angel.  Numbers 22:28 says, “Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and “SHE” said to Balaam, what have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”    This is interesting because 2 Peter 2:16 says, “But he (Balaam) was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey–a beast without speech–who spoke with a “MAN’S” voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.”  When did “SHE” become a “MAN”?  “Confusing!”  You betcha!  Read it, and see for yourself!

Let’s be clear.  Donkeys were all-purpose vehicles used for transportation, carrying loads, grinding grain, plowing fields, and carrying people on their backs.  They were usually highly respected, dependable, and had good value.  But most of all they were reliable and dependable, which explains why Balaam lashed out at the donkey.  We sometimes also strike out at blameless people who get in our way because we are embarrassed or our pride is hurt.  Lashing out at others can be a sign that something is wrong with us.  We must not allow our own hurt to lead you to hurt others, animals or other things.  It doesn’t matter if the voice was a “SHE’ or a “HE”, God can speak in any voice “GOD” chooses. Wouldn’t you be, a bit startled, if not scared, if you were visited by an angel?  

donkey