Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meet Joseph, Joey, and Joe

Before reading this blog, please take a moment to watch this video.   Http://
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  How is everyone doing?  It seems that the illness season has come upon us.  Everyone back home is taking turns getting sick.  I was supposed to be home this weekend but someone (either customer or Werner) has messed up on the load that I was supposed to pick up on Friday and take home.  So I am now sitting in Salina, KS and will be here til Monday.  On Monday, my dispatcher will come in and sort out the mess.
I want to take a minute to introduce ourselves to you. 
"Hello, my name is Joseph."
"Hello, my name is Joe."
"Hello, my name is Joey."
Of course, we are the same person.  I like to have a little fun and often hold a conversation between Joseph, Joe, and Joey.  People say I do it a little too good and question if they should be calling a mental hospital on me.  It does get a lot of laughs and it is fun watching peoples reaction.  But you know, there is a little bit more to my acting like I have a split personality.
As I started to live more and more of a Christian life, many times I did feel like I was fighting against myself.  Today I still feel like I am in a tug-o-war between two people.  The thing is that I know what I am supposed to do but many times the temptation is very strong.  If a Christian is honest with themself then many will also say they go through the same thing.  But, have you really given much thought to why it feels like you are being pulled in two directions?
Most Christians think that the devil is in the works with every temptation to sin.  While the devil did tempt Eve into sinning and he is very much still at work, he (nor his fellow fallen angles) is at work with every temptation to sin.  Satan doesn't need to be.  Our very own flesh (what I often refer to as human nature) helps him out. 
Every human as a flesh, soul, and spirit.  The flesh is what is against God.  The flesh can do no good.  It is the part of us that is selfish, hateful, and self-righteous. It is because of our flesh, we can never do good of ourselves.  The spirit is the good in us.  It is weak until we accept the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit comes in us and cleans our spirit.  Our spirit is then made righteous. It gives our spirit the knowledge, strength and boldness that we need to help our soul to make the right choice.  Our poor soul is the one caught in the middle and is very very weak.  Remember that until we accept the Holy Spirit, our flesh has had full range and influence on our soul.  This is why it is so hard to change even after you know what you are doing is wrong.  Another thing is that our flesh will not die until we leave this earth (die the first death).  Therefore as long as you are on this earth, your flesh is going to continue to tempt your soul to go against God.  Your flesh doesn't want to change.  It loves the sinful life.  Even your anger pride and self-righteousness comes from the flesh.  All the good you have done for self gratification comes from the flesh.  Yes, your flesh can do good deeds but it is for selfish gain (financial, material, or pride).  Your flesh is even too strong for your own spirit.  This is why you have to accept the Holy Spirit into your life and you must kill your flesh (by ignoring the flesh and listening to your spirit).  You must also educate your spirit by reading the Word of God.  I know a lot of Christians who don't read the Bible and some even say the Bible isn't the word of God.  When I ask how they know what God wants they say that God speaks to them directly.  Yes, God does speak to me directly everyday but so does my flesh, Satan, and Satan's army.  I will blog about God's Word in another blog though.  The thing is that you must challenge the spirits and the only way to do that is to educate yourself in God's Word.  Otherwise, your soul is going to be tricked into listening to the flesh and ignoring the spirit.
If you didn't watch the video above, I really encourage that you do so.  There are things said in the video that I disagree with.  One is that everyone has a spirit.  Your spirit has always been in you but has not had knowledge or straight.  The other thing is that Satan is very much at work.  It is just that he doesn't have to tempt you every time because your flesh is working against you.  This is why it is said that if you are living according to your flesh then Satan doesn't know you.  Now once you start living more and more by the spirit, then Satan starts paying more and more attention to you.  This is when Satan and his demands do get to know you and they will start to work on you.  He will try to get you to give up and will use the world to hurt you and discredit you.   He will use fear to shut you up and try to get you to hide.  Satan loves your flesh and hates your spirit.
I pray that the video above and this blog helps you to better understand why people continue to sin, why you feel like you are at war with yourself and why you need the Holy Spirit.  This may also explain why God says we are made righteous after we accept the Holy Spirit and yet God continues to say we are sinners and always will be sinners.  Take care and God Bless.
The Oklahoma Tomcat

Monday, October 10, 2011

Holiday Attitude is a Parent's Responsibility

The following comes from a blog written by "The Life of a Prairie Mom" (
Go to any store and you are bombarded by the signs of the upcoming
Holiday season. How do you combat the lunacy of the commercialism &
Stress of the season? How do you teach your children to not get caught
Up in it?

Mashed toes alert! If you are the sensitive type who takes offense
Easily, be warned. The following comments are my own opinion and it may
Not be one that is shared by others. This is a topic I have been
Praying over for quite some time. It is my prayer that others will read
It and be given cause to stop and think about my words. See if any of
It rings true in your heart.

Each year, I read emails or have conversations with other moms who
Lament about the stress of the holiday season. These ladies are
Familiar with my family's ideas on simplicity and express a desire to
Adopt a more simple way in their own families. The primary reason given
For not adopting it is always the same - their kids are so used to
Pricey gifts that the kids would not be willing to get more simplistic
Gifts. Really? Is that truly the reason? All right everyone, if you
Think you may be getting your toes mashed, now is the time to follow a
Suggestion our pastor has given the congregation in past sermons and
Tuck your toes under your chairs.

Why do we, as parents, allow our kids to dictate how expensive the gift
Giving will be? I see several reasons for this. First, we want to
Avoid feeling guilty for not giving our kids everything that they want.
It is much easier to give in to them than to say "no" and listen to
Their displeasure. Heaven knows, some kids are quite brutal in letting
Their parents know just how angry they are to not get the video game or
Other gift they expected. But who's fault is that? Who gave the kids
The idea that they could get away with that? Sadly, the guilt-trip is
Extremely effective with single parents who already have guilt issues
After a divorce.

Second reason that I have seen is the parent who wants their child to
Have everything they never had when growing up. This is very common.
You hear parents use that same approach in their discipline and
Household chores. The most common 2 phrases you hear are that they
Don't want to be as strict as their parents were and that they want
Their children to be a kid and not have to worry about chores. Problem
With this is those same parents will lament later on when they can't get
Their children to help with any tasks that need doing or their child has
Become the "ruler of the roost" due to lack of discipline.

The last reason is likely the most common one of all, if we are honest
With ourselves. In our human weakness, we want to be the "good parent"
And we buy our children's affections through giving in to their whims
And fancies. We don't want our child to think harshly of us. We want
Them to love us and be happy with our decisions. In doing this, we can
Actually be causing them great harm.

Who is the parent? Does not the Lord give us stewardship over the
Raising of His children? How many times do we think of the birth of a
Child being a blessing from the Lord? Yet, when we are raising these
Children we often forget that blessing. Are we honestly doing our
Children a great service by catering to their demands? If not the
Parents, who then will teach our children that you have to work for what
You have? Who, if not the parents, will teach them to be grateful for
What the Lord has blessed them with? Who, if not the parents, will
Teach them the principles of it being better to give than receive? Who,
If not the parents, will teach them how to gracefully accept
Disappointment? I tell you in all truth, it is a much harsher lesson to
Learn as an adult than it is as a child.

Stress at the holiday season can be greatly diminished when we take a
Step back and quit trying to please everyone else. Most especially, it
Can be lessened considerably when we stop trying to out-do our gift
Giving with our children each holiday & birthday. If we allow our
Children to pitch a fit because they didn't get what they wanted, we can
Only blame ourselves. Allowing them to display that kind of attitude is
A trained response. We have trained them, through lack of consistent
Discipline, that such behavior is acceptable in our eyes.