Death of an Innocent

I went to a party, Mom. I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom, so I drank soda instead.
I really felt proud inside, Mom, the way you said I would.
I didn't drink and drive, Mom, even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom, I know you are always right.

Now the party is finally ending, Mom, as everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I'd get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.
I started to drive away, Mom, but as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn't see me, Mom, and hit me like a load.

As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say,
The other guy is drunk, Mom, and now I'm the one who will pay.
I'm lying here dying, Mom. I wish you'd get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom? My life just burst like a balloon.

There is blood all around me, Mom, and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom, I'll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn't drink.
It was the others, Mom. The others didn't think.
He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank and I will die...

Consider the Consequences

Have you ever wished you could be somebody or have something? Of course! It’s within every human heart to dream, to wish, to fantasize about what might have been. The problem is, we often don’t become, don’t have because we haven’t paid the price. Even more importantly, how often do we get ourselves into a situation (because our wanting) without first understanding what it will cost us? And then, in the midst of everything, we regret where we are but are so enmeshed, we can’t extract ourselves.

Desire without knowledge is not good,
and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.
Proverbs 19:2 NRSV

"Desire without knowledge..." To want something without understanding what it will cost. The Lord Jesus taught about this very plainly:

"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?"Luke 14:28 NASB

Hard to Make Ends Meet? Your Budget is the Plan!

1. A budget is nothing more than a plan for saving and spending money. It includes where the money will come from and how much to expect, as well as what expenses that same money will be used to meet. A good budget takes care of all the regular and important bills — like rent or mortgage, utilities, food, gasoline and insurance — and allows for the unexpected or occasional expenses.

2. With budgeting, when the paycheck comes in, the family already knows how much of this check needs to be set aside to meet the bills coming due, and how much is available for extras — perhaps dinner out and a movie. Everything is planned for and covered.

3. To live without a budget often leads to short-sighted decisions:
"If I have money right now, I can spend it right now. So if I want new clothes today, and I have the money today, why not spend it? The rent isn’t due until next week, so I’ll worry about that then.”

Hold Your Hands Out

Can you hold out your hands in front of you, open, palms up, with all that you have and all that you are or will ever become held in them?

Can you keep them open like this, open to the Lord?

Then you are beginning to know THE TRUE FAITH!

Will you refrain from grasping, self-promoting, or gloating? Will you love those He gives you to care for, as they continue on their journey, passing through your hands? Or will you have your own agenda for them, push and manipulate by fear or condemnation and guilt?

Will you give what He tells you to give, and let go what was never yours in the first place? All is His!

Little Sins

"Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same — will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:19

A great many people are careful about breaking large commandments and committing heinous sins — while they commit "little sins" continually and without scruple.

They would not tell a direct lie for the world — but their speech is full of little falsehoods!

They would not steal money from the purse or drawer of another — and yet they continually commit small thefts! For example, by mistake the grocer gives them a penny too much change — and they do not think of returning it. Through the carelessness of a postal worker, the postage stamp on a letter is left uncancelled — and they take it off and use it a second time.

They would not purposely try to blacken a neighbor's name or destroy his character — and yet they repeat to others the evil whispers about him which they have heard, and thus soil his reputation.

They would not swear or curse in the coarse way of the ungodly — but they are continually using such minced oaths such as, Gosh! Gees! Heck! and other mild, timid substitutes for overt swearing.

They would not do flagrant acts of wickedness to disgrace themselves — but their lives are honeycombed with all kinds of little meannesses, impurities, selfishnesses, and bad tempers.

What are Your Choices?

There is an old proverb which says, "We would all be rich, if we didn't have to eat." This is simply another way of saying that we all have priorities, and we make our choices in terms of them.

Some men choose to be miserly on food, clothing, and shelter, because they value money so highly. They may like their family, but they love money more, and so they sacrifice everything to accumulate money. Others sacrifice for their children, and everything else takes second place in their lives.

Many other examples could be cited, but we can summarize it thus: we are always making choices, consciously or unconsciously, in terms of what we prize or love the most. Our choices reveal our faith.

Lies and Secrets

Dishonesty becomes a way of life for most people with addictions...of any kind.

And when they swear off the use of drug or the repeating of the act, whatever that may be, the tendency to shape the truth doesn't just disappear. In fact, I would be willing to bet that most addicts/alcoholics resort to lying throughout the stages of addiction. Traditionally, the steps are labeled misuse, abuse, dependence, and full-blown addiction. These stages are the cornerstones of our secrets.

    * Misuse
    This, the initial stage, is where people begin to experience negative happenings in their relationships at home and at work. A pattern of deception of is born.

    * Abuse
    When people continue using a substance in spite of negative consequences, it is considered abuse. They are not only deceiving others, now they are deceiving themselves as well.

The Danger of Complacency and Sin

Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin... The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie. ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Matthew 23:26 NASB
You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

God is always ready to forgive -
but we must never become complacent about sin and think it doesn’t matter. Rather, we must do whatever we can to avoid temptation and deal with sin when it happens.

God does not want us to take a neutral attitude toward sin.
Though He loves the sinner, He does not love sin. It is sin that separates man from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), yet He does not desire that any perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Addiction and the Healing Power of Jesus Christ

Millions are sick and dying of alcoholism and drug addiction, and many of them fail to realize the healing power that comes through the son of the living God.

As all Christians know, the way back to God is through the lamb, Jesus Christ. It is not an intellectual way. Nor is it a moral way.

You cannot think your way back because human thought will not coordinate with divine thought.

You cannot worship your way back because man is essentially a spiritual rebel from God's will.

You cannot moralize your way back because human character is prone to sin naturally.

Jesus said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Are You Choosing Haughtiness or Humility?

Proverbs 18:21 NRSV
Before destruction one's heart is haughty,
but humility goes before honor.

Though my mom did a lot of amazing things in her life, she was basically unknown in a world filled with the famous and well-known. She never aspired to be an actress and yet she had a leading role in a movie starring a former Miss America; she also revised her role as Mary, the mother of Jesus in many churches. She never aspired to be a speaker, and yet she had her own radio show and appeared on television a number of times. She didn't know how to write out music and yet she had three children's musical published. If you were to meet her, you would think her charming but thoroughly ordinary. She was first and foremost a wife, mother, and homemaker. She sewed most of her own clothes, decorated her house with thrift store and yard sale finds, cooked almost every meal (burning her share of peas and corn), and lived humbly, never seeking fame or fortune.

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