The Heart of the King, Pt.1

How could I keep this post short enough to read? I realize that the majority of people are not convinced the Bible is accurate. I know that I could not throw every proof discovered over the past fifty years, so I won’t. Here is a biblical view of selecting leaders in a way that pleases God, or displeases Him.

If you read the books of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, in the Old Testament, you may find it most interesting how each of Israel’s divided kingdom’s leaders reacted to their being placed to rule over the people. You see a name, then you get the length and sum of his reign. It says something similar to this: “And Joash reigned over Judah 40 years, and did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,” or, ” Abijah ruled in Israel, and did not walk in the ways of the Lord and did wickedly”… These books showed how this powerful little nation rose to power under a godly king, in David the shepherd giant killer, that loved God with everything, and how Israel prospered under his reign, to kings that took Israel’s prominence to the dirt, ignoring God completely, and served foreign gods, eventually tearing the people out of the land. They were then taken away to bondage in Babylon, as they were before in Egypt. The land was their’s forever, but God said that He would remove them from this promised piece of ground if they were disobedient and disregarded Him.

I am sure there were people then, as there is today, that say things like, why is God so unjust? What have we done to offend Him, that we have lost our freedoms, and our prosperity? I don’t want to serve a God like that, in fact, I don’t even believe in Him!”  Does that sound familiar? It should because this is the state of mind we are in today. We have listened to those who have no belief in God, and follow the god called science, that only believe in things that have physical proof, but they are, at least many are, fully in agreement with science without evidence, and follow Darwinian evolution as an explanation for man’s existence. They wholly follow anything that disregards God, and put these unproven “facts” in our textbooks, teaching our children false teachings of man. We have a society that elects leaders that follow their beliefs, or walk in the ways of the scientist, and do “wickedly” in God’s sight. How do they do wicked things?

It isn’t just the science, but every branch of education, every governmental program or department, all scream out the Constitutional “separation of church and state,” which does not appear in our Constitution, but they have successfully written this law in the minds of the citizen’s, and have had any reminders of God removed from government and public places. They have set up new idols of man’s achievement, eliminating the memory of our humble beginnings, and how the originators honored the Almighty as head of this land. The fall began when the doctrines of man took first place over the truth of the Bible, the prayers invoking God’s blessing and provision was removed from public ed, and instead of having hundreds and thousands of school children asking blessings, we have near anarchy in many inner city schools, that are located in war and drug zones. Little children are  having to walk through metal detectors, to be taught to believe in man, and not God any longer. (What did you say, I didn’t hear that. Did you say we have gone from the top ten in education worldwide to twenty-sixth?)

All of this does eventually come together. Israel’s repetitive obstinence, continued to place leaders as kings, that did, as we do, by ignoring God and His ways, and they eventually were no more. Those leaders put the prophets of God to death, elected false prophets that spoke in their favor, and the kings crushed any resistance to the new, false prophets doctrines, erasing every thought of the law, and the history of those who had done the same. As the king goes, so goes the nation. Every kingdom that has ruled, and placed man as the center, has fallen, or is falling.

The difference a leader makes in biblical history is staggering. When the good king, that directed the people into God’s ways ruled, the nation prospered and the people taught their young from birth to follow God. Of course, this is just a fairy tale to the ones who say the Bible is not reliable truth. The evidence of these truths are on the pages of history, yet we have become like those evil kings and listen to the words of false prophets and leaders, and look where we are today. Before kingdoms have fallen in history, two things happen. The first is moral decline, second is economical collapse. Are we there? More importantly, can we stop the fall?

There is more to say, so I will try to finish this tomorrow. There are many scriptures that I feel are pertinent to this post, but I want to keep this as short as possible, to keep your attention and not bore you to sleep. The election is nearing, but so is Christ’s return. All over this world people are hungering for peace and prosperity as in the former times, at least in the free nations. People under oppressed governments, and communistic rule, want to see freedom’s origin. I understand that we have an enemy determined to wipe out these hopes. Come back for part two tomorrow, and I will attempt to wrap this up, and give the people who read my posts in those places some hope from a biblical perspective, and we who think we are free as well.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

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The Vote Ahead

It is that very special time of year! No, not Christmas, it is voting season. In less than two months, we will re-elect Mr Obama, or bring in Mr Romney for the next four years. Four years seems like an eternity when you are young, but as you get older four years seems like four months. That may be a good thing if your pick loses, but for all of us, it is bad. The reason is, is we get to hear the constant harang of political commercials and rhetoric that does not cease to amaze me. How do we as Americans  not threatened the makers of these ads with prison time…or capital punishment is beyond me. Of course, capital punishment to advertisers is making them watch their own commercials 24/7 365, for however long their sentence may be.
Here is a question for you. Did those you cast your ballot for, fulfill your expectations? Did they do as they said they would? If not, think about that Senator, Representative, Mayor, President, etc., that you placed your faith in, he is going to tell you that he needs 2 more years, or four more, to finish the job he/she started. I don’t buy a minute of their moment of wasted air-time that they spend a fortune on. We have, in the part few decades, watched as our nation breaks right down the middle. We are divided.
” …Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them; ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Mt.12:25
I realize that many people do not take the religious view of life as their worldview, and have more of an eclectic way of seeing things. so Christ’s words here are meaningless. The quote here is the understanding people had in those days, and we are more educated and have progressed since the time of Christ, His words don’t apply to our time. Except for the fact that before His time, these words applied, during His time they applied, and up to about a minute ago, they still do.
The worldviews of the American people are as far apart as they could be, or ever will be. When G.W. Bush was president, no self-respecting liberal could even think of agreeing with him. During B. Obama’s reign, the conservatives have buried their heads in the sand…not to ignore him, but in fear of national judgment they expect God to pour out on us.
My thoughts are that having two sides is dangerous, and on every level of our government we are two- dimensional. I know we have ultra conservative and people who belong to conspiracy believing groups. And I am aware that the far left have similar groups that have the conspiracy beliefs. I also believe their are times when “we the people” are conspired against by our leaders, for various reasons. But  the point is not just the two dimensional way media outlets portrays this government, but that the real problem to me is how the people themselves vote along the same lines traditionally, and fall headlong for anything one of their parties candidates say. “Our family has always been Republican,” is the line of thinking so many have in our day. I think that is absurd.
You hear that the dems are for the working man, right? Tell me how that is. The working man pays taxes. Tax money goes for things that a normal person disagrees with. The money it takes to run this massive government is insane! We have a budget that, is volumns thick, and nobody understands. And I guess the dems had nothing to do with it.  That is the way some, actually many think. The rich are evil. The poor are lazy. The middle-class is the heart of this land. What middle class? These are the thoughts of the voters flamed by the media through films, newscasts, variety talk shows, and even sitcoms. The reps and dems know they have to play up to the expectations, and say what the people want to hear to get elected, then do what they want to do. EPA, FCC, FDA, and many other programs, though well-intentioned, mainly waste our money, and both parties point the finger at the other as to who originated them.
Now it is going to be easy to vote with my help, isn’t it. I would not tell anyone how to vote, but to think about your motivation for voting as you do. It isn’t easy to see the other side’s view regarding any matter. I will never agree with legislation in matters of morals and values. I will never, with God’s help, judge either side for how they vote. All of the politics aside, we all should remove the media’s input from our decision making. I do not mean one should not read a paper, or watch a newscast. I do feel that an article in a paper that gets my attention should be seconded by the political hopeful’s history as a person, and a politician. Though I hope never to be judgmental or dislike someone for who they vote for, I think when any nation places moral values second in importance for the people of their land, like all other kingdoms, they fail, miserably.
This is a rant,to some, and a word of advice to others, and I think before this election, I would like to take more of your time with this topic.
And the next time I am going meddle. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

I Struggle With…Recovery Meetings

Recovery from addictions can be difficult for some, easy for others. Once the compulsions to whatver the addiction is goes away, then the one with the problem is able to relax little by little until they seldom remember their cravings. This is a great feeling, and should make the sufferer see how that they had been driven to near insanity from the pain they had endured. But too often it doesn’t. When the pain subsides, the committee holding sessions in your head adjourns, the recovering addict or alcoholic tends to relax, entering the danger zone.
Getting clean and sober is accompanied with an important stipulation, staying clean and sober. Too many people come to recovery meetings and make a snap judgment about AA, NA, and especially Celebrate Recovery. I say that because so many people attending CR are believers that fear everyone will know that have an issue, and judge them not as perfect any longer. In AA/NA, many come because everyone already knows they have a problem. In all of these helpful programs, many come and go without ever getting help. They think, now that I have been clean and sober for a while, there is no need to continue those meetings. They never grasp the true concept of real life-changing recovery…the spiritual side.
This is from page 568 of AA’s Big Book:
“We find that no one need have a difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty, and open mindedness ar essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.”
True and truer words were never spoken in this book. Some give up on recovery meetings because they do not like the spiritual side of the simple 12-step programs. Others do not like the spirituality of the program because they were not raised to believe that way. In that particular case, I say you need to look into changing the way you were raised, it obviously did you no good. I see that these true spoken words really can keep you sober as the statement indicates, for honesty and willingness can get you far in any endeavor.
The problem is that without a direct relationship with God, most people tend to not be honest, willing, and are definitely closed minded, including religious people…especially religious people. Walking away without giving these programs a chance helping you get better is foolish when you know millions have been helped. That knee-jerk reaction can land you in a morgue.
I know that not everyone that reads my blogs have issues like this, but they have loved ones who do. These loved ones leave meetings and tell you anything to make you happy, and you take the hook, line, and sinker with one gulp. Investigate, give these programs a chance to work for you. You were in trouble, you asked God for help, He saw to it that you made it to recovery meetings, but you, or your loved one didn’t like the way something went, and back they go for another round of self-destruction.
Check out these programs if you are the one with the addiction, or if it is your friend or family member. If you and I refuse to at least get to these God-sent programs, we will die as we are right now. We may think we will change one of these days, a lie from that devil speaking into our ears, or from an over-inflated ego, but the change will not come “one of these days.”
Page 568 ends with this quote:
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance- that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”   Herbert Spencer
I will end with this. You cannot say to God on the day of Judgment that you didn’t like CR/AA/NA, and since you did not know, you went head on and threw your life away, self serving all the way. The believer cannot stand before the judgment seat of Christ and complain about their reward not being big enough and they didn’t know they could actually serve in CR at their church. Why? Because I just told you about it! Now get in, get out, or get run over.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Laws, Freedoms, and Change

I was very frustrated, actually enraged by a recent event, where an Ohio law placed me in a very difficult place. I made a statement on Facebook, which I truly believe is factual, and I emailed the governor’s website, looking for someone to hear my plea. And when I finished my rage…I remembered the Lord my God, and strengthened myself in Him. The advice I give to others, run to God when you get into trouble, don’t run from Him, was the last place I visited.

I took my own advice and looked to Him for help. I will not give you the details of what happened just yet. I can tell you that ever since I finished my upcoming book, there has been such spiritual opposition,such heavy evil opposition, that I could not have continued if God had not given me the grace to do so. I thank Him for bringing me to this point, for all He has done, and for what I see Him doing now.

I haven’t changed my thoughts regarding lost freedoms in this country. Nor do I feel that our voices should be silenced, and we become pacifists in relation to the evils of political actions that cause “we the people” to lose sight of what so many have given their lives for. No, we should, or I should, be more intent on seeing this country restored to our inherent belief, that in God we trust. I’m looking for restoration, not change. Those desiring change may not realize we are a divided people, they want all to change to their way of thinking, sorry, and please return to earth immediately, we need you here. I want to see us restored to having the ability to pursue life, liberty, and happiness…you know, like the Constitution says.

This recent event taught me that as a follower of Christ, I am to be in subjection to the law of the land. I am to be a man with integrity, loyalty, and honesty. I feel I hold to these doctrines of liberty, to a point. I do feel that laws that cause a believer to compromise truth, are to be questioned and challenged. In the book of Acts, the religious leaders had ordered the followers of Jesus, to stop preaching this gospel. Peter responded, We must obey God rather than men! Acts 5:29 (NIV) It is only of recent years that our government has stretched and twisted the law to where our tax dollars go to programs that are unjust, and unholy, and destructive to this nation. This was true in Peter’s time as well and they could not adhere to them all, like worshipping Caesar. Paul wrote these words:

Remind the people to be subject to the leaders and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, an to show  true humility toward all men. Titus 3:1 (NIV) 

This is how we are to present Christ to everybody, not shoot abortion drs, not to spew hatred at gays, not to condemn hookers, drug addicts/alcoholics, not to seek the demise of misled people-even politicians, but rather to give the grace shown to us through Christ, to them. God is the judge, He will reward us all by our works in this life. If you are a follower of Christ, take the time to read Paul, John, Peter, James, writings, on how we should conduct our lives. Then do it. Getting results to bring real change for me is in my surrendering my will to God’s will. If I am surrendered, I don’t need to fight, God does that for me. I can re-focus, re-center, and re-fuel on what He has promised as I conform to His will. The results He gets for me are far greater that my results from anger, complaining, and trying to convince others of my correct line of thought. In this recent experience, when I surrendered, strengthened myself in what He is able to do, peace followed. I placed Him in charge.

 

This morning, I surrendered again to Him, and went to face the giant. I went knowing He is Lord, He is with me, and I mentally blessed everyone I would meet before I met them. I have His favor. The results were completely wonderful, for everyone. I believe that their contact with me this morning changed their entire day for the good. Not because of who I am…because of whose I am. I am not saying that the lesson will never be repeated and I will have no more problems. I did learn to get results to manifest in my life, I have to go through the proper channels. First to God in the spiritual realm, and present the situation to Him, then as I do what’s necessary in the physical realm, He has prepared my way.

 

Thanks for reading everyone,God bless and keep you all. Keith

Teach Us to Pray

I am so impressed to see people praying for the needs of others through social networks, and sites where church members can lay their request out there, and praying people take the requests to God. If you struggle with praying as many do, hook up with these sites and tell others what you need prayer for. Don’t ever think God doesn’t care about the problems in your life. Don’t ever think you have to be perfect to pray, or you are waiting to pray when you get your life together…or you’ll never pray, because YOU will never get your life together. Prayer will put the broken pieces of your life back together.
So many people say they don’t know how to pray, it seems silly. Believe me, it isn’t silly, and if you really want to know how to pray, here it is. Jesus was asked by one of his disciples if he would teach them to pray like he prayed. From that request, Jesus gave them the Lord’s prayer as a guide to pray. Kind of like a “Praying for Dummies,” type of thing. Look at that prayer, use it as your guide. He also told them to be relentless in prayer for a specific need.
In Luke 11, Jesus gave his followers a story about a man who went to his neighbors house at midnight asking for food to be loaned to him to feed out-of-town guests. The man said go away we’re in bed. But Jesus said that persistence would get the man up and he would give the neighbor as much bread as he needed. God responds to us when we are persistent in prayer. Jesus then said these famous words:
“So I say to you, ask, and you shall receive, seek, and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you….if your son asked for bread from any father among you, would you give him a snake instead? If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your HEAVENLY FATHER give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”  Luke 11:5-13
Needs are overwhelming for many of us today. There is post galore for those needing help on Facebook, et al. They range from serious to selfish, but all have meaning, and are real to each of those asking. Those we think may be selfish, are from a person who has the courage to at least ask. Take them all serious. Personally, I don’t have to ask for my day to be perfect if I surrender the day to God’s will and purpose for each day. He works out the details, I just want to be centered, or if you prefer, balanced, and focused on doing the next right thing to honor Him.
Finally friends, ask in faith. Believe that He is able to do anything. Believe He loves you enough to have your picture on His mantle. Nothing is too hard for Him. I have witnessed it, experienced it, waited for it, cried over it…it is all about His omnipotent power, unending mercy, and steadfast love for all. Picture your need met, your debt paid, your joy renewed, your health restored, your child free of addictions, your marriage healed…He is able! Then thank Him, over and again. And pray more. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Why We Kill Each Other

The other day I was listening to a radio broadcast by a double Phd minister who was being asked about another minister, whether the other was on the up-and-up. The supposed brilliant radio host proceeded to take the other apart saying he was a false teacher and for the caller to stay clear of that man, along with everyone else that didn’t agree with him. Of course he is biblically correct and has the doctorates to prove it. The thing I find interesting is that the man’s program is a half hour long, and the largest percentage of his program is selling his “useful” tools for spiritual growth, and the proceeds going to keep him on the air….right. I guess he really works for free since he doesn’t make any money from his “helpful” tools.
The pic of the little “cowpoke” here is the image I have of this radio host. His plan is to run off all of the false guys, and make sure everyone gets on the same page with himself. He is little man with a lot of knowledge, but little understanding. The results: the only person harmed by his attack is everyone, but specifically, Christ who died for all. I haven’t found being a sheriff, as a spiritual gift in the Bible. It goes beyond that. There are many people that call themselves “watchdogs” over the body of Christ, thinking that they are the protectors of the Faith. In the final analysis, they are the ones that the Word says to beware of, but they don’t know it’s them!
We know of the warnings of Jesus, Peter, Paul, and James in the New Testament. There are phonies out there that have one goal in mind; to dupe people out of money for their personal gain. The advice Jesus gave is simple enough to follow:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” Matt. 7:15, ” Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.” 7:20
His words to us is that we will know the bad guys by the fruit they bear. If a man or woman’s entire message is based on money and profit…their no prophet. If it is Christ centered with a message of profit through prudence, sharing with the needy, supporting your local church, then hear them. Does that make sense?
The same goes for the “faith” ministers. If it is a Christ centered message, do like a cow does, eat the hay not the sticks. Every person in ministry will stumble doctrinally. For us to kill each other for the error is demonic. The Holy Spirit dwells in you, He will guide you, if you look to Him. But if you run around chasing all kinds of hot prophets for answers, instead of searching the Word and going the the University of Kneedom, praying for answers, then He will let you search the world over for answers you will not get. He will patiently wait until you surrender and seek Him for the truth. When surrendered, the answers you search for will come in surprising ways…a topic for another day.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasures that war in your members?”  Jas.4:1  The members is not church members, but our own mental faculties, our desire to be doctrinally correct and having the mind of God regarding spiritual truth. It is pride, the pleasure of being right and proving another wrong. We bring reproach on the name of Jesus with our pride of being right, and the world sees our dissention and hatred to each other and skeedattles away from believers, I want no part of that, they often say.
Okay, I don’t want this to be a book, just a reality check for us all. One says God doesn’t heal today, that passed away with the apostles. The same goes for all of the gifts of the Spirit, and they can prove it with scripture. The other says God does heal, the gifts of the Spirit are part of the spiritual nature we receive when we believe. One boxes God into a corner, the other allows the flow of spirituality to continue, but doesn’t teach their followers how to “flow,” and then you have all kinds of oddball prophecies and phoney healers among the people of God.
One group says Jesus will come back mid-trib, the next group says pre-trib, the other post-trib, and some says He has already returned, headquartered in Salt Lake City, (I’m sure that one is wrong), and each, except the last one has biblical proof, so we devour each other, and the world remains in darkness, our family members are hell-bound, and we hate and lie about it saying, I really don’t hate them, but they are teaching false doctrines!  So as long as your are right, the things you and I should be on our knees about don’t really matter. They will matter when we all stand at the judgment seat of Christ. How will we account for our hatred toward each other. This is just another way we use our liberty in Christ, and justify ourselves.
“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren (and sistren), these things ought not be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” James 3:10-11
Can we agree to disagree about non-redemptive issues? Can we warn each other without naming names? Can we actually follow New Testament conduct doctrines and love each other, and forbear with each other, careful not to cause each other to stumble? If so, this begins revival among in the body of Christ, and fulfill God’s joy as we become one. Even though we still may not be one doctrinally, we love, truly love one another. If not, don’t partake of the Lord’s table. (another topic) Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Time to Re-focus

There is a time for everything. The ability to be aware of the need to change with the ebb and flow is a spiritual matter, I really believe. One day everything is going perfectly well, I sense this feeling so intensely that I am convinced nothing will ever go wrong again, I have finally figured out how to stay in this particular frame of existence. The next day I wonder what happened, how did I lose this mountain top experience?
There are also days so full of things needing to be accomplished that I seem not to care what frame of emotion I am sensing, or how I am spiritually. This is the most dangerous “place” to be. The continuous onslaught of items needing attention, fills me to the gills, and where I suffer the most is in my relationship to God. Second to suffering in that, the most important of relationships, comes the relationship to my wife, then my children, and eventually, every relationship I treasure takes it “on the chin.” Here, in this most dangerous of places, things quickly fall apart, and I’m left wondering, what do I do now?  This is the time to review and re-focus.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap; a time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, a time to build up; a time to weep, a time to laugh;  a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Eccl. 3:1-4
I am grateful that I have the understanding, that when the controversial winds blow, in times of heavy trials, and fear…these will all pass. This is an awareness I experience from the indwelling presence of God, to cause me to see that I’m out of balance. You all know what I mean, it is like having one tire that’s bad on your vehicle…it is very annoying, and you get to the point you want to stop driving until it is fixed. I need to re-balance, review, re-focus, and where I begin is with the main relationship, with God. When that is repaired, the others follow smoothly. God graciously causes me to see the time to change, surrender my will and my life to Him, to relinquish my control.
This is my address today, rather this moment. I have really experienced some heavy-duty doubt, frustration, some real emotions of dysfunction, am I where I need to be?  What  should I be doing today?  There is a place I know to go, my hiding place. It is hidden so well, I nearly forgot where it was myself!  I will tell you all where it is…it is in the Rock, not Alcatraz, the One Rock that Lives and never changes.
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavillion, in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”  Ps. 27: 5
I have had many challenges of late. The book business has dominated my waking moments, the thing I am to be doing is self-promoting, getting the book into the attention of my sphere of influence, and the people I know. Then when August 28th rolls around, the book will have already had some play, and hopefully word of mouth will help the national release be even more successful. The publisher has quite a bit of money invested in this project, and desire to re-coup their investment and much more. They would love it to be a #1 best seller. I have really struggled with placing the book on my sites, on twitter, facebook, etc, concerned that people may think I’m prideful and have no humility.
You may not believe this, but some people duck and run, thinking I am going to bug them about buying the book, or talk about it incessantly. There is another factor, there is a number of people that are actually jealous, and do not regard this as an achievement I should be proud of…really? The people closest to me never mention the book, I feel at times like I have a plague or something! But then, God reminds me of the purpose. The book is written to help the struggling alcoholic/addict that follows Christ, stay clean and sober through their focus on Him.
My times of riding the emotional roller coaster, fearing what you think, real or imagined, is put away so that I can return to doing what pleases Him, and gives me purpose, that is helping others. I have to remember that there is a time, a purpose for everything. How I feel or what you think will change with the time.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Tripping Over Me

The group Casting Crowns has a song that I find disturbing yet powerful. “Jesus, Friend of Sinners,” has words that literally cut me to the heart. I often think about the reality Jesus, how that we, His followers do as much to de-christianize our world as to convert it. A portion of the lyrics especially stand out to me:
Jesus friend of sinners the truth’s become so hard to see, The world is on its way to you, but they’re tripping over me, Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded, A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
O Jesus, friend of sinners, open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers, Let our hearts be led by mercy, help us reach with open hearts and open doors. Jesus friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.
The words may mean nothing to you, they may not touch many who follow Christ. But they really need to be heard, and pondered. I can see how I have been acusing toward people who claim to know Christ, but their lifestyle shows otherwise. It irks me to see these people bring reproach on Christ’s name, I mean, they couldn’t possibly Christians in anything but name. Maybe they think becoming a christian has nothing to do with personal decision, but babtism at birth. And as I type these words, you see my dilemma, I am expressing my thoughts in judgment against people who claim they are Christian. Who do I think I am?
Are my eyes on Christ? No they’re busy watching you. Like the line from the movie, “Mr. Mom,” ‘you’re doing it wrong!’  The whole time my finger is aimed at you and your shortcomings, I’m committing sin by accusations directed at you. You and I who follow Jesus, can become a loaded weapon with having a wee bit of biblical knowledge, and a shallow relationship with Christ. How pititful.
The deeper we look into the eyes of Jesus, the closer our relationship becomes, and the people we tend to point at are seen through His eyes, broken, confused, and needing Him. We can stay in this warped frame of religious thinking, like modern day pharisees, or we can throw off our traditional beliefs, and realize our low estate without Jesus. In Luke 18, Jesus tells a parable  about a Pharisee and a sinner tax collector. Both went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee, Mr Religion, prays like this:
“Lord, I thank you that I’m not like other men, extorting, unjust, adulterers, or even as the tax collector”….I fast twice per week,  pay tithes on all of my possesions.”
The tax collector prayed in this manner: He prayed and would not  as much s lift his eyes toward heaven, but beat his chest and said, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner!”
Jesus went on to say that this “sinner” went home justified to God, not the other. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”
If we are not broken hearted over those around us, we should begin to look to God in humility, and in repentance, until we are touching His very heart, that IS broken for the lost ones around us. He loves that person we want to criticize, as much as He loves you. He died for everyone, not just me. For me, I want to unload the baggage of pride, and the habit of scorn directed at the those Christ died for. With this in mind, we can spend our time getting fixed, not trying to fix others.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith

Under The Influence

we have a book…and an ebook.

Hello all! This is just a reminder about my new book now available. I have about a month and a half before it goes public, but you can get it now through my website at www.skeithbarnes.com We are pretty excited, and those who have already received their copies are pretty pumped! This should be a real help to the individual that struggles with drug, alcohol, porn, gambling, well…any addiction. Alcoholics and drug addicts wanting to stay clean and sober, learn a few secrets about doing just that in this book. The truth is, there is no secrets per se, it is how you start each day, live through the day, and reflect at night.

 

It is possible to live every day with purpose, fulfilled through a relationship with God through Jesus, and a grateful heart. Any person wanting to recover and serve the Lord, needs this tool. It works, as we work it. This isn’t a pie in the sky, hope to heaven it works. The book is a guide to staying sober through spiritual focus. If you or a loved one are struggling, get this book, or ebook, you won’t be sorry. I will sigh the book for you, and get it to you asap. Allow 1-2 wks for delivery.

 

The book will retail for $27.99, but you can get it through my website for $23.00 plus tax, and $3 will ship it anywhere in the US. That’s $27.61 total. The ebook is $10.95 including tax and shipping. International rates are a little higher for shipping, but no sales tax is added. That’s it. Thanks for reading, hope you like the book, but more importantly, it helps you grow in Christ and stay sober!

Anger

I discover new things about myself on a regular basis. Just when I’m sure that I am really growing and mature, emotionally speaking, my self-awareness brings a new character flaw into view. Anger is one of those things I feel above, but I am not. I was looking through some of my un-published posts, and I have three posts that I nearly finished for the fourth of July, but posted none because they didn’t feel right. I am angry about this country and lost freedoms. Americans continue to fight for what they believe from either side of the aisle, left and right actually believe they are right regarding freedom, law, and what is good for this nation. We are divided, a house divided cannot stand.
 Then there were other thoughts that began to surface about my view of me. I am not very tolerant about certain issues, many are not life altering, but some are off-the-chart wrong. But wait a minute…I am in recovery, I have worked on myself for quite a long time now, I know I’m right about this stuff! I have the wisdom of years, I have witnessed historically, and consider myself well read on issues facing this nation, families, and experienced personally the right and wrong way to live as an individual. I have biblical understanding! What is wrong with everyone?
My anger stems from a greater problem PRIDE
Thinking that I have enough tome in sobriety, and now have the answers to everything, shows how I am far from fixing myself, rather allowing God to fix me. It takes total surrender, it is humility, and memories of what I had become through prideful living, that I must keep in plain view daily, lest pride returns me to debaucherous thinking, and living.
“The ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” Prov. 6:21-23
 
I can honestly say that youand I do not have to accept or be tolerant of things that are opposite of what we believe. We can speak against those things, blog about them, and use whatever means to express our beliefs…but not in anger, not in an arrogant condescending manner. I feel that Paul the apostle, Peter and John, disciples of Jesus, expressed themselves fervently, zealously, but in the Spirit-led conviction, not in anger or pride. We should have our personal convictions, call things that are wrong, wrong and right, right. But do this in love and concern.
Do not become entrapped by arrogance and go astray from truth because of the way of surrounding generations ideals and methods of expression. Stay focused on your purpose, on praying for leaders and those about us, and for yourself, that God would bring to mind that you are as broken as those you want fixed.
There are friends I know, that have a relative who nightly, year round, goes out into his backyard and lights up his little homemade fireplace, sits down with his Bible, and cooler full of beer, and contemplates the world’s problems…and does this alone. He, according to them, hates everyone, all ethnic groups, especially those of other beliefs, and does this using the Bible and booze. The truth he reads becomes twisted by the booze he drinks, and the hatred inside.
This can be you and I if we don’t see our need to look deep into ourselves, and desiring God to re-arrange our bad thoughts and ideas, conforming us to the image of Christ. I want to be free as an American, but not as much as I want freedom from self-serving, the self-induced slavery. Politicians can legislate freedoms we enjoy away, but only I can give away the liberty I experience in sober living, and in my journey with Christ, from refusing to see myself in a prideful way, always right about everything. I prefer change, even though it is painful.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith.