Tag Archives: 4th of July

Reflections in a Mirror – How do you see you?

Have you ever seen that cute poster that shows a little cat sitting in front of a full length mirror and the reflection is that of a huge lion? The point that this image is conveying is that how you see yourself is of utmost importance. But is that really true? Isn’t that a bit self-centered and egotisical?

With all the focus on “self esteem” and “self worth” and the “look-at -me” social media lifestyle we live with today, I took issue with this mind set. I took issue because God doesn’t teach us to be so self-centered and ego-driven. His Word tells us to be humble and modest and to place others before us. But when we look around and see the drug abuse, eating disorders, violence in schools, hazing and peer pressure and all the pain and suffering caused by negative self-image, poor self-worth and the desire for acceptance, I had to rethink my position.

I looked into the Word of God and found somethings I’d like to share.

   Psalms 23:7 tells us that:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

   There are many examples in the Bible of those who had either a very low self esteem or a prideful sense of self and God dealt with both accordingly. In Judges chapter 6 we see the angle of the Lord address Gideon as a “Mighty man of Valor!” yet, Gideon reveals very clearly how he sees himself in his response;

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel?

My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.

  Gideon says that in all of Israel his family is the smallest, weakest and least powerful family and as if that wasn’t enough – he is the least of them! He just opened his mouth and declared himself to be one of the least powerful, important or capable people in the whole country!! Wow! talk about a poor self-image. But keep in mind that this is not how God sees him. Thankfully, this is not the end of Gideon’s story. He goes on, with the power of God, to fulfill his destiny as a mighty man of valor and saves Israel – see Judges 7

But lets look at how Gideon could say such a thing. Jesus gives us insight into where such things come from –

For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Like 6:45

   So we see that Gideon said this about himself because that is what he really believed deep down inside himself. Regardless of what anyone else thought or said about him – he felt helpless and small. Thankfully God was able to turn his thinking around.

But lets look at an example of an over-inflated ego – King Saul

 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.  And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. 1 Sam 9:1-3

   Unlike Gideon, Saul was a handsome man who came from a powerful family and was taller than anyone else around. Add to that the fact that he was chosen to be King of Israel and you have a formula for pride, self-reliance and disobedience. 1 Samuel records the story of how Saul, ordered to kill the Amalekites and not leave alive or take anything. He did not obey. He let the men take the best of the livestock under the pretense of making a sacrifice to God with them. His pride and concern for public opinion among the men of Israel caused him to disobey God and that cost him the crown. He was rejected by God as king over Israel and later, a small, skinny boy would be chosen to take his place – David.

Young David is an example of a healthy self-image.

  With Saul rejected as King the Prophet Samuel is sent by God to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king. Jesse has seven of his sons stand before the prophet but God says no to each of them. Only after the young skinny son that Jesse overlooked was brought before Samuel did God command – Go, anoint this one! David began his journey as King of Israel. David, who even as a child had a good self image and knew how he stood with God. This is clearly seen in the way in which David stood up to Goliath even though the entire army shook with fear of that giant.

David declares that no one should be fearful about this man because he (little skinny boy David) will fight and defeat him! On the surface this might seem like a prideful statement but David was drawing on the confidence inside him because of his relationship with the One True God and past experiences.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:24-37

  David trusted in his own ability coupled with the power of God with him. Much like Daniel in the Lion’s den who trusted, come what may, in God’s Love to see him threw the situation ahead of them. Hopefully, you know how both these stories end. If not please look into it.

So, you see it’s all about a balance. You are not the lowest of the low no matter how you might feel and likewise, you are not he greatest one to walk the earth, even if you think you are!

Getting back to that cat looking at it’s reflection in the mirror.

He should see a great and mighty Lion in the mirror

as long as he also sees The Lord Jesus Christ beside him

otherwise it’s all and illusion!

Jesus said it best –

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

  Be blessed today as you go forth in the Power of the Holy Spirit to stand confidently in your place with Jesus by your side. Al

Further verses on this subject are listed here for our consideration.

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Pr 16:18

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time 1 Peter 5:6

What’s the Devil like?

What’s the Devil like?

   Did you ever see that old movie where a family is experiencing strange things in their home? You know the one – a little blond haired girl stands in front of a static filled TV screen and turns to announce “their back!”. Yup, that one. Well there’s a scene in one of the movies in that series where a tall skinny scary old man walks up to the screen door and yells “You’re all gonna DIE!!!”

That, Virginia (and everyone else), is what the Devil is like!

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour   1 Peter 5:8 NKJV

And if we left it at that it would be a fairly scary situation to be in

But there’s more to the story

You see, the devil, is a defeated foe. Beaten down by our Lord Jesus Christ

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.

And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Rev 1:18 NKJV

   Whatever authority the devil thought he had when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he lost it that day on Calvary. By dieing the death of a sinner the sinless Savior broke the curse and defeated the devil.

 Death came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man (Christ) has done that now there is the resurrection from the dead. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, being members of his sinful race, and wherever there is sin, death results. But all who are related to Christ will rise again1 Cor 15:21-22 TLB

   If you recall, Sin came into the world because the devil (serpent) deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. That sin was past down threw the years to all by birth. Jesus being both God and man, born of a woman but without the sin of man upon Him, died in all of our places so that the devil has no hold (ownership) on us. Jesus called the devil the father of lies and revealed to us that the only real power the devil has is to deceive. Yes, it’s true that the devils job description is to kill, steal and destroy. But, he accomplishes his tasks by deception. Just pick up a paper or turn on the evening news and you will see acts perpetrated by people who were listening to a liar. Theft, drug addiction, domestic violence, murder, abortion, adultery, fornication, and on and on – all acts fueled by lies whispered into peoples hearts and minds by the father of lies. But we do not have to believe his lies. We do not have to act on his lies. We do not have to die in our sin.

  We can be free from our past sins. We can be born again by accepting Jesus as our Savior and our Lord.  We can open the Bible and read the Word of God that will tell us how to live a life in victory of the devil. Do not be confused here. I’m not saying that your life will not have troubles or trials. Everyone on this earth will see their share of difficulties. What I am saying is that when trials come we can see them for what they are – bumps in the road. Potholes of life if you will. They are not the end all of all. You are not gonna die!! No matter how loudly that skinny scary old man screams it at your door.

   Granted some potholes may be bigger than others. I have had my share of potholes that I thought would take me out. But they did not. Jesus is truly bigger than any pothole you hit. He will see you threw whatever life or the devil throws at you. But if you don’t know that it’s just a pothole. If you think you are alone on the side of the road because you don’t know Jesus or His Promises found in the Word. You may be tempted to believe the liar who is screaming at you that you’re gonna die! That’s why it is so very important to have a relationship with Jesus, read His Holy Word, and be strengthened thru fellowship with other believers –

so that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free  John 8:32

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Lord you can get to know Him. He is waiting for you to call out to Him. All you need do is admit that you are a sinner. The Bible tells us that all have sinned. Admitting that you are a sinner is the first part. The Bible also tells us that the wages (penalty) of sin is death. Jesus Christ died for your sins. Yes, your sins. As He hung on that cross He thought of you and how much He wants you to be free from sin and be with Him in Paradise. Call out to Him and ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to save you and become Lord of your life – and He Will. The moment you admit your a sinner and ask Him to save you it will be done. Don’t expect to feel or hear or see anything special or different. Your sins silently weighed on you and just as quietly they will be washed away. You will be a child of the most high King and although you die you will live.

If you prayed a pray like that and you meant it in your heart, you are saved and Jesus is Lord of your life. get a Bible and find a church that reads and teaches the Word of God (not mans opinion) and grow in your new relationship with the Creator of the universe.

If you already know Jesus and have a Bible that you read and a church that you attend remember to beware the liar lion that roams about and see if you can help save others before they really do die.

God bless you all and thank you for stopping by, AL

Enjoying Your Freedom

Liberty Close up

   Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:1 NKJV Bible Gateway

   Liberty and Freedom. Today is a day of joyous celebration for the whole country. Marching bands and barbecues and fireworks. Nothing shy, subdued or subtle about the 4th of July. We will remember those who have died to create this land of the free as well as those brave men and women who gave their all to protect it. The very bones of our nation are built on the idea that all of us are equal and free to persue happiness. Whatever that might look like and regardless of the cost.

    No! That’s not what it says in the constitution. It does say that we are all created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But, one mans happy might be another mans sad. This is why we have laws to govern our behavior. I am not free to do whatever I like if it interferes with another persons life, liberty or pursuit of happiness.

    Likewise most “religions” have lots of rules of conduct and traditions that must be adhered to. Jesus came to fulfilled the Law and heralded in a new and better way. Radically different from the old way because the Law of Moses was incapable of cleansing us from our sins. It only covered up our sin until they could be washed away. Washed by the Blood of the Lamb. The Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

     We, who have trusted in the shed blood of Jesus, should hold our heads up high and walk in the liberty and freedom that Christ has made for us and not be again mixed up in the rules and traditions of religion or in the guilt and shame of our own past sins. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. Free to live a life full of love for Him who first loved us and free to share that love with everyone. Yes, everyone.

    Let freedom ring this 4th of July and let that song you sing be a song of love because God is love and He desires that all come to the saving knowledge of the truth. Let us fulfill the law of Love.

      Be blessed. Have fun. Love them like Jesus. Al

Happy 4th Of July !!!!!!

God Bless America by Irving Berlin

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Bar-B-Ques, Parades, Fireworks, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, Family and Friends and hopefully no rain! Oh, lets not forget the music! Concerts and patriotic songs playing everywhere. Once a year we all stand up and beat a drum (and our chest) in celebration of our country and our history and our freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of an oppressive foreign king. Freedom from free and freedom to live the life you want.

Norman Rockwell immortalized FDR’s* 4 freedoms in oil paintings back in 1943. They are just as touching and true today. You can see them here.

While you are enjoying the freedom our forefathers authored and so many have protected with their lives keep in mind the freedom that was purchased for you over 2000 years ago. Freedom from the bondage of sin and freedom from the death sentence sin brings with it.

Like our forefathers, God had a dream of seeing His people live lives free from sin. Like those who fought so hard to keep America free, Jesus gave His all to make it possible for everyone to be free from sin and death. All you need do is trust Him at His word and turn to Him. He will do the rest.The blood Jesus shed on the cross will wash away even the darkest sin and make you white as snow.

Consider enjoying Independence Day in a whole you way

Give your heart to Jesus and be truly free.

 Freedom of Speech TSNY

Blessed is the Nation whose God is The Lord  Ps. 33:12 KJV

* FDR proposed 4 Freedoms, that everyone in the world should have, in his state of the union speech in 1941.