Author Archives: charmony777
Drag me to Hell is a horror movie I saw a while back. Basically the main character is cursed by a gypsy woman who come to the bank where the main character, Christina, works, looking for an extension on her loan. Christina refuses to give her the extension, though the old women begs. Finally, it is clear that Christina is unmoved by her pleading, the gypsy woman puts a curse on her. Bad things begin happening to Christina immediately.
She spends the rest of the movie trying everything she can think of to find a way to end this curse. None of it works. All of her efforts just make the problem worse. Toward the end, she tried to get rid of the curse by passing it on to someone else, so that the person she “gifts” will get trapped in Hell, in Christina’s place. It does not work, and she realizes, too late, that she will have to pay the penalty for her sin, and in the final scene, as the title of the movie says, she is dragged down to Hell.
The movie unintentionally portrays a graphic reality. This is not just a Hollywood fiction. Every human being ever born has been born under a curse. With one bright shining exception. The world knows it–that’s wny Hollywood makes movies like this. People know they are sinners, deep down, they know they are on the way to Hell, and they know Hell is horrible. They try everything they can think of to get rid of their sin, to no avail. Everything they try only makes the problem worse. The only thing they won’t try, the thing they ignore, if that one bright shining exception, the sinless one who dies in innocence, to pay for the guilt of another. The one who willingly said, “yes, I will take that curse from you, I will take it upon myself, and I will exhaust it, because though I descend into Hell itself, on your behalf, Hell cannot hold Me.” Jesus said “No man takes my life from me, I lay it down, and I will take it up again.”
If you go to Hell it is because you chose to ignore your only way out, by the efforts of another, and chose to try to do, on your own, what is impossible for you. You are owned by the devil, and you have nothing with which to offer to redeem your soul. Christ has redeemed your soul, but if you reject Him and His sacrifice, there is no other sacrifice.
This doesnn’t say you should never co-sign for somoen, but it is a caution saying that if you do, you will likely end up paying your friends debt.
I have heard it said that diligence and hard work can make up for lack of talent and lack of opportunities. There are many stories of talented people who did not make the most of their talents, or thought they could succeed on talent alone and were not diligent in doing the mundane tasks required to be successful. Here is an example.
My husband and I recently watched the movie “Founder” about Ray Kroc, the man who (supposedly) founded McDonalds. Actually, the original idea and the name came from two brothers, who built the original one, a hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California.
When Ray Kroc met the McDonald brothers, he was a travelling salesman, selling mixers out of his trunk. The McDonald brothers ordered eight mixers from him. He is excited by this, because he has been having a streak of rejections in trying to sell these mixers.
Ray drives to San Bernardino to meet the McDonald brothers in person. While he is there, he orders lunch and is pleasantly surprised at how fast the food arrives, and how good it is; especially compared to other drive in restaurants he ate at on the road, where the food took nearly an hour, and it was wrong, when it did arrive. After the brothers give Ray the tour, he is really impressed, and wants in on the operation. I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you, if you haven’t seen it, but here is what I took away from this story….
You begin to see Ray Kroc’s determination to succeed on his own terms. At this point in the movie, he is a visionary who sees that McDonald’s has the potential to be hugely successful, throughout America, and he sets out to make it happen. Now he doesn’t have much cash flow up to this point, he is just a guy selling mixers out of his trunk. His diligence however, overcomes the lack of funds, and lack of opportunity, that’s the first obstacle.
Next obstacle is discouragement from the person closest to him–his wife. She sees that he has not been very successful with the mixer business, and she remembers his string of failed businesses before that. So discouraging voices around him and past failures, could have been the second and third hindrances, but he doesn’t allow them to stop him. Facts aren’t always truth, and the past does not always determine the future.
The next hindrance is that the people holding the purse strings are holding him and the franchise back from full potential, because of fear. So Ray has a choice here–is he going to stay fearful and cautious, or is he going to step out in boldness and accomplish what could be–will he step out of what’s comfortable, to begin something bigger and better?
That is the fourth and fifth obstacle–separating yourself from people who don’t share your vision, aligning yourself with those who do, and moving out of your comfort zone to accomplish greater things that benefit many people, not just you.
Matthew 12: 7-8
“But f you had known (known in your heart–which is far more valuable, than head knowledge, in my opinion) What this means, I will have mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.”
Happy joyful people are those who understand mercy–it has been extended to them, and they have understood and appropriated it, not just once, but on an ongoing basis. It has become part of them–mercy lives in their spirit and soul, so they are able to extend mercy to others. They don’t go around judging, gossiping, condemning other people. Understanding mercy makes a happy, joyful soul, and helps to solve a lot of problems that might other wise make a person miserable. Better by far to be Christ focused, instead of problem focused.
Sometimes people can become bitter and miserable because the mercy they extend has been misunderstood–the person they showed mercy to either takes advantage of them because they don’t understand mercy and perceives it as weakness, or the person is suspicious and goes on the defensive and launches a passive-aggressive attack.
That can make a person bitter, and turn them into one of those other two types, but it doesn’t have to be that way–it is a series of choices. If they are Christ centered, and continue to choose to stay that way, instead of being problem centered, it won’t happen–they won’t become bitter, suspicious and defensive. This doesn’t mean you will never get your feelings hurt, just don’t let it change your center, and your focus. If you don’t stay Christ centered, those problem circumstances WILL erode your faith and make you bitter, and cause you to turn to something other than Christ for answers.
Jesus’ words are simple, and yet full of wisdom. Simple, so that everyone could understand them. He never wasted words, and he never wasted any opportunity to teach. He was, and is, Master and Shepard. He did not come as a Scholar, though His was the greatest human mind in all of human history. He was the King of Kings, but he appeared as a carpenter’s Son, but in reality he was and is The Son of God. Jesus was a quiet mature person (Mt 12:20) but as a man, he was fully human, and had personal preferences like everyone else–he preferred certain of his disciples though He chose them all, and he was closest to John.
Peaceful protests like the Bus Boycott of 1955-1956
[E. D. Nixon escorting Rosa Parks to the courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama, where she was tried for her role in the bus boycott, 1956] [graphic]. Credit: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.47367/
Prayer Rallies like The Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington for Freedom which took place on May 17, 1957
Using your rights as citizens to the American legal system, as with Brown versus Board of Education, 1954
The people involved in the Civil Rights movement accomplished many goals and brought about a lot of good changes by intelligent tactics, lawful procedures, prayer, and peaceful protest. AND IT WORKED!! What has violence ever accomplished except to breed more violence and harm the cause? Nothing.
Yes, at times war is necessary, but as a last resort, not as a first response. If there has ever been a time in human history where people accomplished so much through peaceful protest and prayer, I am not aware of it. Prayer was the major part of the Civil Rights movement that caused it’s success–human effort cannot be credited for that as much as God’s action and intervention. So I am calling on the faith community, whatever your skin color, to pray as God shows you, for peace, equality and change.
It is not weakness to seek to peacefully bring about change, it is not traitorous to work within the system–it is wisdom. Prayerfully seeking God’s will is the way to ensure success.
Is it wrong to ask the Lord that?
Every trial is designed to teach us something. There is something in each trial that the Lord wants us to see, both about ourselves, and about Him. There is often something He wants to fix in us–or something He wants to equip us with for the next area of service He is moving us into. He also uses trials to teach us some aspect of Him that we would not have known experientially if not for that particular trial.
So from that mindset, it is not wrong to ask the Lord what the purpose of the trial is, as long as we are asking with a teachable spirit. Look at the difference in the responses of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, and Mary, when the angel Gabriel appeared with an important message.
Remember, you are going THROUGH–not staying in that trial forever.
For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
This was written by David, about the betrayal of Ahithophel, one of his closest advisors, and his wife Bathsheba’s grandfather. This passage also describes Judas’ betrayal of Christ. Have you ever been betrayed like this? By someone close to you–a person you thought was a friend? I have. It is only when we are down and out that we truly know who our friends are. Job also found this out.
Throughout the book of Job, you can read about the “encouragement” of these high and mighty (in their opinion) so called friends. Even though Job found out the true nature of these three men who he thought were his friends, God never let him down; God was shown to be consistent in His nature toward Job–He showed Job just as much grace when he was destitute as when he had been wealthy. God’s nature does not change–one of the many lessons in the book of Job
Now most of us–had this happened to us–would have wanted to see those friends dealt with severely by God. They weren’t–but they were chastised and told to offer sacrifice. Do you know what that tells me? These men were saved–they knew the Lord in a very real way, but their hearts were far from him, and so they condemned a man whom God had justified.
For the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives.
Furthermore, God required Job to forgive these friends, and not only to forgive them, but to intercede for them for forgiveness for the very sin they had committed against him.
And Job did.
I believe that Job truly forgave them because God would not have accepted the sacrifice he offered for them, other wise.
Like many people, I remember exactly where I was that day; at home, listening to the radio. I heard the entire event on the radio, from the moment the first plane struck, until the towers fell, a few hours later.
What is on that site now? A mosque….
But there is hope….
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Withold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
Say not unto your neighbor, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when you have it by you.
So is this meant to be taken literally or figuratively? I think most people would say it is meant to be taken literally, so why then do so many in the church live like it is meant to be taken figuratively? If the church truly took this literally, I think we would see an end of poverty, everywhere. Or are all the starving people in third world countries not to be considered our neighbors?
Shameful that those who don’t even claim to believe in God or Christ often act far better than the so called church. I am so done with religious hypocrisy! But, I need to hate it within myself, first.
Devise not evil against your neighbor, seeing he dwells securely by you.
Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done you no harm,
Envy you not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
For the froward is abonimaton to the LORD: but His secret is with the righteous.
The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but He blesses the habitation of the just.
Surely He scorns the scorners; but He gives grace unto the lowly.
The wise shall inherit glory; but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
The bible is intended, in part, to be a mirror to show us the flaws and evil in ourselves. So when we read these verses, we should recognize the wickedness, selfishness, foolishness, evil, envy and strife within ourselves, not other people. As Jesus said, ‘Thou fool, first remove the plank from your own eye, then you shall see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’ This wasn’t literal; obviously people don’t have literal planks sticking out of their eyeballs. His point should be clear; and, once we become aware of our planks, it will humble us to the point where we are concerned with dealing with our plank, and far less concerned with condemning our brother for his speck.
Proverbs 4 King James Version (KJV)
4 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
These verses have a dual meaning, the writer is Solomon, but the words are also the words of Christ. When you read it with that in mind, it gives the words a whole new depth of meaning. I have often read of Jesus going to a secluded place to pray, early in the morning, during his time on earth. I have often wondered what He prayed. Many of the Psalms and Proverbs contain the prayers of the Son of God, and we are privileged to read the sweet and holy discourse between the Father and the Son.
In verses 1-3, Solomon clearly is writing of himself, as beloved of his mother, Bathsheba, and taught by his father, David. But they are also the words of The Father to His Son. Jesus was the beloved Son of his mother Mary, and He kept all the commandments of His Father, and never sinned, not even once.
Jesus fulfilled these verses. He exalted wisdom, in teaching the people. And, as verses 8-10 states, He was exalted, and crowned. His name is above every other name, He is King of Kings, and because He lived a perfect life, He is our worthy Savior. He lives forever, and He is seated at the right hand of our Father, ever interceding for us.
He is coming again. The first time, He was the Lamb. The next time, He will come as the Lion. That is the “perfect day” of verse 18. In verses 19-27, the Father speaks to the church, to keep our hearts with all diligence, and so be ready when He comes again.