June, 2014

Repair Relationships

Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are those who are merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” And, Matthew 5:9, ” Blessed are those who are peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

We’ve just completed Father’s Day, a wonderful day for most, but a tough day for many. All father/child relationships aren’t great. Maybe it’s time to do something about that and any other relationships that are painfully broken. We can only do our part, but we can at least do that.

REPAIRING RELATIONSHIPS BY FORGIVING THOSE WHO’VE HURT YOU There are at least three reasons, and they all benefit YOU!

Because God Has Forgiven You. People that feel forgiven have an easier time forgiving.

Because Resentment Doesn’t Work! Holding on to resentment is unreasonable, unhelpful and unhealthy. You are hurting yourself with your anger. You are drinking the poison and expecting someone else to die. It is unhealthy to have a bitter heart. It takes the joy out of life, adds stress and lets you sit in misery. It’s an emotional poison with physical consequences. Bitterness and Resentment drains you physically and emotionally leading to depression, stress and fatigue.

Because You’ll Need Forgiveness In The Future! Resentment blocks you from God’s Forgiveness. When we say the Our Father, we are telling God that we are forgiving those that have hurt us! The Our Father directs us to forgive others that have trespassed against us. When we forgive others, the Spiritual Event of forgiveness spills all over us! We are asking God’s forgiveness of our sins as we forgive those who sin against us! Are we misleading God?

HOW DO YOU FORGIVE OTHERS? Reveal, Release and Replace!

REVEAL YOUR HURT! We tend to repress our hurts, ignore our hurts, or suppress them [push them down]. You get over the hurt when you admit the pain! Remember there is no closure without disclosure. Your pain and hurt has to be revealed to you! You cannot forgive a hurt that you are denying or repressing.

RELEASE THE OFFENDER!   How does this work? When do I release the offender? You do it now, you don’t wait for the offender to ask for forgiveness. How often do I have to do it? “…Jesus replied, “seventy (70) times seven…”, or 7 to the 70th power, or infinity. It is continual, not a one shot deal.   You know when you have released the offender when you think about them, and your thoughts don’t hurt you anymore. Always remember, … “HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE'”. Pray for God’s Blessings on the offender. Remember also, it is not always wise to release the offender face to face. Some times it is not even possible as the offender is deceased, or you cannot find them.

REPLACE YOUR HURT WITH GOD’S PEACE.   We learn to relax and let God settle the score with the offender. We all will stand in His Judgment. You get to choose what rules your heart. You can chose the misery of unforgiveness, or the peace that passes all understanding that Christ gives to us. Your Choice!
When you forgive those who have hurt you, God is free to do the needed repairs in your heart.


Now we move from the 1st step of forgiveness to the next step of making amends. Why and How do we make amends:

WHY?: The root of our problems are unresolved relationships. We have to deal with them, or you will not recover! Making amends is working for peace! “Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.” Proverbs 27:17. MAKE PEACE!

HOW? 1. Make a List of Those You’ve Harmed and What You Did! Just write down the names and harm. Don’t worry about the how-to yet. 2. Think about How You’d Like Someone to Make Amends to You.

Timing: There are right times and wrong times. You time it in their best interest. Not right before going to bed or when they are hurrying to do something else. Make an appointment if you can.

Attitude: Do it privately. Just humbly acknowledge your part in the problem, no justification, no excuses. Your clearing up your part of the ledger, your side of the street. Do it without expectations. Don’t expect anything back. Remember the actual Heart Change is about you, not them. You doing what is right.

Appropriateness: Consider the situation. If you are doing more harm to them, others or yourself, is it wise to try to make this amends?

Restitution: Make it where ever it is possible. It gives you freedom and confidence, even if it takes a long time. Also, some restitution can never be made. Therefore, a sincere apology is a good amends.

REFOCUS YOUR LIFE. Live in the moment. Live Today! You can refocus your life on doing God’s will in all your relationships! By making the choice of forgiving others that have hurt you and making the amends to those you have hurt, God begins to recycle the relationship garbage of your life and use it for good.   The book of Job tells us “Put your heart right….Reach Out to God….then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more.” Job 11:13-16.


Breaking Good

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.’1” Matt 5:6.

Breaking Bad was one of the most popular television series of recent years. It’s the story of a mild mannered high school chemistry teacher whose decision to start cooking meth was the first of many bad decisions that lead him down a very very bad road. We all have things about us, character defects, that we need to change. Isn’t it time to start Breaking Good by changing our decisions and by making better choices?



Our Chromosomes: From your mother and father you received about 2,000 chromosomes from each. Positive and negative traits or characteristics. However, this doesn’t excuse you from acting act in self-defeating conduct. You are ultimately responsible for YOUR CONDUCT! Our genetics can contribute to our character defects, but they do not give us excuses. They do provide us with some understanding. If you are born with a defect in your brain that allows you to become an alcoholic, you can understand the physiology of the disease; however, you can no longer drink alcoholic beverages.

Our Circumstances: Much of our childhood history and life’s circumstances have contributed to our character. Much of how we relate to others was learned from watching others. However, many of our current character defects are actually self-defeating attempts to satisfy our unmet needs. Respect, love and security are important things we all need. If we didn’t get them earlier, we have learned negative ways to try to satisfy them now. One night stands, superficial relationships, etc.

Our Choices: The choices we make are the most significant source of our character defects, because they can be changed. You can do something about them! You can not change the past; however, with God’s power, you can change the choices you make now and in the future.


BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD THEM A LONG TIME! They are painfully familiar. Further, we think they have worked for us in the past. Maybe a short time of pleasure was derived; however, a lot of pain was given as well. But they are comfortable; therefore, difficult to let go.

If I let go of this defect, will I still be me? The answer is to show our self as a grateful believer who struggles with these defects. We are identifying with Jesus Christ, and not our Character Defects.

BECAUSE EVERY DEFECT HAS A PAYOFF. Temporary relief from pain, attention, and control. They may give us an excuse to fail or allow us to compensate for the guilt in our lives. It will bring some sort of “perceived” benefit. Negative behavior works in dysfunctional families. Kids come when yelled at or threatened.

BECAUSE SATAN DISCOURAGES OUR EFFORTS TO CHANGE! He is whispering in our ear all sorts of negative thoughts, “This will never work! You can’t do it! You can’s change!” When you start to try to change, he will say “Other people can change, but not you. You’re stuck. It’s hopeless. Don’t even
think about it!” Remember, the Bible says Satan is the Father of lies. John 8:44.

FOCUS ON CHANGING ONE DEFECT AT A TIME. Chunk it down, don’t try to work on thirty things at a time. You can only eat an Elephant one bite at a time! It is a daily reprieve we are seeking, and God will help us 24 and 7.

FOCUS ON VICTORY ONE DAY AT A TIME. Live in the NOW. “…Give Us Today, Our Daily Bread…” Lean on God Each Day! Life by the yard is Hard, but by the inch it is a Cinch!

FOCUS ON GOD’S POWER, NOT YOUR WILLPOWER! Our willpower doesn’t work. We wouldn’t be here today if it did. We have to trust God’s Power not our own. Pray, “Lord I know I can’t change on my power, but I’m trusting YOU to change me.”

FOCUS ON THE GOOD THINGS, NOT THE BAD. If we focus on the bad, it will dominate our lives. If we focus on sex, and we are saying I’m not going to think about sex, then guess what. It will dominate.

FOCUS ON DOING GOOD, NOT FEELING GOOD! Fake it until you make it. If you wait to feel like changing, you will never make it. Do the right thing, take the right step. When you try to change, it will feel alternately awkward or bad because it doesn’t feel “normal” to you. Normal was self-defeating! Normal has killed relationships, opportunities, and relationship with God! Doing the next right thing will become the NORM, and it works.


FOCUS ON PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION! Perfection will set you up for failure. Progress is “inching forward” and improving each day. Remember God is with you always, and at all stages in your life.

Start the Breaking Good process today. It’s all about grace, that not only forgives, but empowers us to do better.


Coming Clean

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God Matt. 5:4

Confession is go for the soul. I remember as a good Catholic kid getting ready to go to confession and polishing up my “sins.” Sometimes I really had to stretch to come up with some. I wouldn’t have to do that today. I have plenty to confess. There is much I feel guilty about. Getting rid of guilt isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.

Guilt Destroys Our Confidence!   The two cannot exists in the same person. Guilt is a dark cloud hanging over our head wherein we are worried that someone will find the skeleton in our closet that deep, dark secret that only we know about. It literally robs us of our confidence.

Guilt Damages Our Relationships!   It sabotages them by causing us to respond in harmful ways. Overreaction because of anger or impatience, or rage out of some buried guilt.   It causes us to indulge people unwisely. Parents that feel guilty over poor choices over indulge their children. It causes us to avoid

Guilt Keeps Us Stuck in The Past!   It’s like driving a car, and we are always looking in the rear view mirror. We never see the present or look forward to the future. Only Spiritual Growth enlarges our windshields and shrinks our rear view mirrors.   If we don’t, over time our guilt will make us physically sick.

TAKE A PERSONAL MORAL INVENTORY! This transforms our lives!   Follow this acrostic:

M – Make time to begin your inventory.

O – Open your heart and your mind.

R – Rely on God’s grace.

A – Analyze your past honestly.

L – List both the good and bad choices and events in your life.
Do be radically honest with yourself.
Don’t rationalize past behavior and conduct.
Don’t blame others for what we have chosen to do in the past.
Don’t deceive yourself.

ASK GOD FOR FORGIVENESS. God’s nature is the basis for forgiveness. There is no sin so severe that God cannot forgive.

Don’t Beg. Just humbly asking as God wants to forgive you more than you want His Forgiveness.

Don’t Bargain. If you say you will never do something again that is your weakness, you will be setting yourself up for failure.

Don’t Bribe. If you say you will do something, such as go to church or tithe or help the poor, you are playing God. He wants you to freely admit your transgressions to Him and turn from them to His purpose for you.

Do Believe. Know He will forgive you! He forgives your sin and makes you thoroughly clean from all that is evil.

ADMIT YOUR FAULTS TO ANOTHER PERSON!     “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16. Why must another person be involved? Simply, because the root of our problem is relational! We lie to each other,deceive each other, and are dishonest with each other. We wear masks and pretend to have it together. We are only as sick as our secrets! What you reveal will be healed!

Whom Do You Tell? CAUTION! Don’t broadcast your sins!
(1) Only share with a SAFE & TRUSTWORTHY PERSON (someone that can keep a confidence).

(2) Ask someone who understands the VALUE of what you are doing and understands you journey of

(3) Ask someone MATURE enough not to be shocked.

(4) Ask someone who Knows the Lord well enough to show His Forgiveness to you.

When Do You Do It? ASAP! Don’t Procrastinate!
1. GOD Forgives Instantly;

2. GOD Forgives Freely; and,

3. GOD Forgives Completely!


Promote God From Co-Pilot to Pilot

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5.

Remember the “God is my Co-Pilot” bumper stickers?   After we realize that we are not God and that there is a good God who loves us and has our best interest at hearts, we can tend to treat Him like our co-pilot. We call on Him when we get lost or crash our plane. Like a loving parents, He will often bail us out. Sometimes, like a good parent, He will let us suffer the consequences of our mistakes. Eventually, He hopes we will choose to make Him pilot, not just co-pilot.

This is the COMMITMENT CHOICE. We must  consciously choose to commit all of our life and will to Jesus Christ’s care and control, or in some cases, we make a renewed commitment to let go of our lives and give them over to Christ’s care and control.

If we don’t, we will catch ourselves in a Cycle of Despair where we start feeling GUILTY about our behavior and the mess we have created; then we get ANGRY at ourselves for not being able to change; then the anger turns to the FEAR that things are never going to change; and, when we realize that our hurts, hangups and habits are controlling us, DEPRESSION sets in. This vicious cycle repeats over and over until we SURRENDER to OUR LORD JESUS.

“Our choices determine our circumstances and our decisions determine our destiny. The following five (5) things keep us from making this Commitment Choice to let go and let GOD!

  1. PRIDE: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5. It is really false pride that holds us back. When you understand that the Greek word for meek actually means “strength under control” and ready to do the Master’s Will, instead of being timid or afraid, it is a perfect word for this beatitude. We are being asked to lay down the false pride that inflates our egos, and submit to God’s will, and what he wants done in our lives.
  2. GUILT: We have a lot of shame for what we have done that makes us feel less than, unworthy. We may be afraid to ask God for help. God has forgiven us of all of our sins. Jesus died for us. God wants to help us be all we can be for Him and others. God’s great Grace and Mercy heals all the shame and unworthiness that we carry.
  3. FEAR: Surrendering our will and control! How does that feel? Are you afraid to trust God? Afraid of losing control? Afraid of becoming a religious fanatic/zealot? Remember the man who lived in the cemetery, among the tombs outside of Kersi [northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee], and he was filled with a Legion of Demons? Jesus drove the demons out of him, and restored him to sanity. The people of Kersi did not recognize him. Jesus puts us in our right minds-soundness of mind. We have nothing to fear with God [except our rejection of Him]!
  4. WORRY: This causes us to confuse the decision-making phase with the problem solving phase. With God’s help, we become part of the solution. We let God guide us in taking the next right step.
  5.  DOUBT:   “Have you ever thought, I want to believe, but my faith is too small? If so, you need to know the story found in the Bible in Mark chapter 5, about a guy named Jairus.”   He needed Jesus to heal his daughter; however, when asked by Jesus “If you have faith, then she will be healed.” Jairus replied “Lord, I’ve got a lot of doubts. I want to believe; help me with my unbelief.” Jesus said that was good enough and healed the girl.   It is not the size of you faith, it is the who or what you put your faith in. Choose God, because nothing is impossible for God!

The Christian Life is a decision followed by a process.

Military Action is a good model. First, the military bombs and fires armillary at a beach head to soften it up. Second, the marines and soldiers would set up a beachhead.

Phase 1: Softening Up. Our hurts, habits and hangups are causing chaos in our lives. We are troubled, and we cannot go it alone. This struggles are softening us [bombarding us] to let go of control, to have hope and now to decide [to choose Jesus].

Phase 2: Establishing a Beachhead. Just getting a foothold, a little piece of the beach to operate from. Conversion is establishing our beachhead. Being reborn into Christ. This is wonderful, but it is the beginning of a life long process where we trust God will take care of our hurts, habits and hangups, and guide us to take the next right step

HE WON’T LET YOU GO: We are human, and sometimes we take back control. God is still by you with His unconditional love and freely given grace.


(1) Accept God’s Son as Your Savior;

(2) Accept God’s Word As Your Standard;

(3) Accept God’s Will as Your Purpose;

(4) Accept God’s Power As Your Strength.

God’s a Better God

“Blessed are those that morn, for they shall be comforted.” Matt 5:4.  Once we realize that we are not God, we mourn that loss of control.We need to learn about the one who is God, that He is in control, loves us, cares for us, and has the power to change us. God is so much better at being God than we ever were. It’s a process, a journey from mourning to joy.  Isaiah 61:3 “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.”

It’s a painful process. Pain lets us know something is seriously wrong and needs our attention. Pain is literally God’s Fire Alarm. However, when our internal fire alarm goes off, we tend to cover up the sound. We try to mute it with people, work, food, alcohol, sex and many things. If you ignore your home’s fire alarm, your house may burn down. It’s the same with your Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical needs.

At this point, remember that just because God allows pain into your life, doesn’t mean God causes it. Pain is often the consequence of poor choices, or the poor choices of others in our life. God allows them to play out. God loves us and wants to lead us out of our pain and into His healing.  So, how is your pain level? Is God using your pain to get your attention? God uses three denial busters to get our attention:

Crisis – illness caused by years of substance abuse; overbearing stress that  leads to a mental health problem [workaholism; job loss; divorce, etc.]

Confrontation – People who care enough to say to us, You’re blowing it!” “You’re about to lose your health!” “Your marriage is on the rocks!”

Catastrophe – When the bottom falls out! When you hit bottom and don’t bounce – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, relationships. God steps back and lets us feel the full impact of our own poor choices.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Most people acknowledge God exists [95% of those polled]; however, this is because it takes more faith not to believe in a creator that it does to believe in one. Unfortunately, acknowledgment is it for most people until they have no where else to turn  Since most people believe that God exists, then the real issues become, “What kind of God is He? Do I really matter to him?

Sometimes, we have misconceptions about God. A lot of people think God is like one of their parents. If their parents were unloving, abusive or aloof, then they may think that God is this way. The truth is we have a GOD who cares about us. God knows about our pain, our hurts, habits and hangups, our depression, our fears(s). He knows it all! Nothing escapes God’s notice. Matthew 6:8 tells us in pertinent part, “…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” King David tells us in Psalms 56:8 “Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll – are they not in your record?” A new translation is, “You have kept a record of my tears.” Job 13:27 says of God, “You keep a close watch on all my paths.” God knows the good, the bad and the ugly of our lives. All of our secrets.

He cares about our situation and us! Jeremiah 31:3 says to us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” He wants to be the kind and sympathetic Father many of us never had. His love for us is unconditional [agape]. It is not based on our performance, it is based on God’s character. He gave us Jesus the Christ, and as John 15:13 reports Jesus said,”Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus died for us, his friends.

In Luke 18:27 Jesus says, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” So, nothing is too hard for God. He raised Jesus from the dead, he can set us free from any addiction. He can take our guilt and shame. God has the power to change us and/or our situation. Millions of people have been transformed with God’s Power and Love. God has done for them what they could not do for themselves. So, let it be done unto us by God!

St. Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7 gives us God’s Triple Power Surge which is all we need, “For God did not give us a spirit  of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” We need to plug into God’s Power. We need to believe that a power greater than ourselves (God) can restore us to sound choices. We need real love! To love people and have them love us back. Letting go of fear of getting hurt by the ones we love. Authentic relationships and not superficial, hurtful, selfish relationships.

First, believe the 3 truths about God:

  1. God Exists;
  2. You matter to Him:
  3. He has the power to help

Then Receive: Just ask Jesus for HELP. God, I need you in my life! Jesus Christ please put your spirit in me. God make me willing to change. Philippians 2:13, “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Basically, giving us the will and the power to achieve his purpose.

When we call for help, God has promised to respond, Isaiah 43:2, “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

You Are Not God

Next Saturday I will be participating at a one-day retreat at Angola. It will consist of eight talks on the Beatitudes. Perhaps you need a retreat to start your summer. Join me for the next eight days as I summarize the talks and take the retreat journey with me.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs of the kingdom of heaven.” Matt.5:3.  You are not God. It’s a hard truth that some never grasp.

We act out our God complex by trying to control. Trying to be God is humankind’s oldest problem. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve tried to be in control. They only had to stay away from the forbidden fruit, one tree! There were in Paradise! Satan said to them “…If you eat this fruit, you will be like God.” And, they wanted to be God! Today, we still want to be God We attempt to play God by denying our humanity, and trying to control everything for our own selfish reasons!

a.       We Try To Control Our Image. We care so much about what other people think of us. We wear masks and play games. No worry, no fear. We don’t want others to see the real us. “If I tell you who I really am and you don’t like me, I’m in trouble-because then I’m all I’ve got.”

b.       We Try To Control Other People. Children, Parents, Husbands, Wives, Coworkers, Anyone and Everyone. Along the way we develop the tools of Manipulation: Guilt and Shame; Praise and Affirmation. Anger, fear or silent scorn. All to gain control.

c.       We Try To Control Our Problems. “I can handle it!” “It’s not really a problem!” “I’m okay, really. I’m fine.” Words of someone trying to play God! “I don’t need any help!” “I can quit at anytime. I will use my will power!” How is that working for you?

d.       We Try To Control Our Pain. How much time and effort do you spend running from pain? Avoiding it, denying it, escaping from it, reduce it or postponing it? Some try to eat our pain, some drink or drug it away. Some shop it away. Some isolate and build walls, steep and mighty, to keep others and the pain away. Some commit suicide. We will try almost anything to keep the pain away. When we realize that we are not in control, the real pain comes. This is scary, but paradoxically it is what gets you to the point of admitting your need and acknowledging you are not God!

Blessed are the poor in spirit is all about Admitting Your Need!

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR PROBLEMS: The cause of most of our problems is our effort to control everything, and these lead to the following consequences of playing God:

  1. FEAR: Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” We have
    a lot of fear (toxic fear) around being found out, who we really are. Full of
    it, a disingenuous person [a fake, a phony], that we don’t really have it all
    together. We are not perfect. This sets up for rejection. There won’t love
    me, like me, unless my image is perfect.
  2. FRUSTRATION: We think we are so self-sufficient and can do anything. Trying to be the CEO of the Universe is very frustrating. We keep getting one problem in control and four more pop up. We get those in control and ten more pop up. We are dishonest with ourselves and who we are not. Frustration is a symptom of a deeper issue. A failure to acknowledge that we are not God.
  3. FATIGUE: Playing God makes us tired. It is hard work pretending to be God. We run, run, run from our pain by keeping busy. We become a workaholic, compulsive in everything we take on. Even over involvement in religious activities. If you are constantly tired, ask yourself “What pain am I running from? What problem am I afraid to face? What motivates and drives me to work and work so that I’m in a constant state of fatigue?”
  4. FAILURE: Playing God is on job where failure is guaranteed. We are not big enough. Proverbs 28:13 says “You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give up; then God will show mercy to you.” We need to be honest and open about our weaknesses, faults, and failures.

THE CURE FOR OUR PROBLEMS: Comes through admitting weakness through a humble heart.

ADMITTING WEAKNESS: 2 Corinthians 12:10 gives us Paul’s view of this. “That is why, for Messiah’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” This is counter cultural to us self-sufficient Americans. Be the strong, silent type. Be John Wayne or the Lone Ranger – don’t depend on anybody else. Raise yourself up by your own bootstraps. We must admit we are powerless to do it alone – that you are spiritually poor  that you need other people, and you need God. Making the first choice to healing means acknowledging we are not God, and admitting three important facts of life:

  1. “I admit that I am powerless to change my past.” Forgiveness, and letting go of resentments.
  2. “I admit that I am powerless to control other people.” I am
    responsible for my actions, not theirs. I can’t control other
  3. “I admit that I am powerless to cope with harmful habits,
    behaviors, and actions”.
    Good intentions don’t cut it. Willpower
    is not enough. I need God, because He made me to need Him.

A HUMBLE HEART: James 4:6 says in part, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Our false pride continues to insist that we go it alone. Some of us are still thinking, “I can do this on my own. I can solve my own problems.” No you can’t. If you could, you would have already done so. But since your can’t, you won’t. You need God.

What is humility? Being true to yourself. Knowing yourself inside and out. The good, the bad and the ugly. Getting out of denial, and honesty naming your hurt, hang-up or habit you have been ignoring. Then, you admit to God that you are powerless to manage your life on your own.

I’ve given you much to consider. Talk about it with someone close. Come back tomorrow. It gets  better. I promise.



Statistics, thanks to my wife who shared this article.

America has the highest percentage of single-parent families in the industrialized world and

The highest abortion rate.

The highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

The highest rate of teenage birth by far.

The highest rate of teenage drug use.

The largest prison population per capita than any country in the world.

In the last 50 to 60 years:

The divorce rate has doubled.

Teen suicide has tripled.

Reported violent crime has quadrupled.

The prison population has quintupled.

The percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers has risen sixfold.

Couples living together unmarried have increased sevenfold.

In spite of this moral decline:

Eighty-four percent of the inhabitants of this nation say they believe Jesus Christ is God.

45 percent claim to be born-again Christians.

Seventy-seven percent believe their chances of going to heaven are excellent. Thirty-three percent believe one day everyone will go to heaven. 

I can’t help but believe that many are deceived about who they are in Christ and where they will spend eternity.

Lessons from a Dance Recital

kkdanceThose of you who follow me on Facebook are probably aware that I attended my great granddaughter’s dance recital last night. These things are long and since I only knew one of the seemingly hundreds of kids that paraded across the stage, I was not always completely focused and entertained.

It is amazing what kind of following a cute kid can garner. There were over a dozen tickets sold based solely on my offspring’s participation. I guess I’m a little jealous. I have never, as child or adult, had a dozen folks show up to watch me do anything. Of course, I’ve never dressed in a tutu and danced around a stage. I like to think that if I did I could surpass the audience Kaydence drew, and give at least as entertaining, if not as cute, a performance.

The performers get a very enthusiastic reception. I’ve heard quieter crowds at a football game. There is much clapping, and whooping and shouting throughout. When it’s all over the performers are showered with flowers, balloons and gifts. Like I said, I guess I am just jealous. The young dancers are cute and most of the older ones are pretty good. Some might do better on a soccer field, but I am not going to be the one to tell them.

Like most things that happen on a stage, there are life lessons to be learned from a Dance Recital.

1. Talent is not equally distributed.

2. People really love their kids, grand kids, great grand kids, distant relation kids and kids of friends and don’t recognize the truth of #1 above.

3. There is a little ham in most of us.

4. God must sometimes feel like He’s got the only seat at a dance recital. He must smile as his children dance and tumble and think they are pretty special. Since they make God smile, I suppose they are.

5. Not all my posts are really deep.



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