Monthly Archives: June 2010

How important is integrity?

 
 
SOMETIMES IT’S HARD to sell people on the value of integrity…
 
From all outward appearances, it doesn’t “pay” to be honest.
 
There were certainly times in the life of Joseph when he must have been tempted to say, “What good has it ever done to me to walk the straight path?”  Here was a young man who remained committed to integrity no matter what the cost.  Sold into slavery by his own brothers, he was eventually falsely accused and thrown into a dungeon before finally being vindicated by the Lord.
 
When Joseph ran from the crude seduction of Potiphar’s wife, he wasn’t just running from a woman.  He was running from anything that would abort God’s purposes in his life.
 
Do you remember what he told that adulteress (probably again and again)?  “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9).
 
He chose God’s way.  He chose to see God’s purposes fulfilled in his life rather than fulfilling a passing fleshly fancy.  He feared losing God’s blessing upon his life.  That’s why he didn’t walk or stroll out of that woman’s presence, he RAN. 
 
THOUGHT: Integrity says, what I am in public, I am also in private.  Integrity is what you do when you’re alone, and no one’s eye is upon you but the Lord’s.  (Ron Mehl)
 
“Discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you” (Proverbs 2:11).
 
–Mike Benson
Joseph avoided sexual sin

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A survey on magnetic pens

A poll on gravity defying Magnetic Pens –

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SPELLING BEE PROTESTERS

       People just amaze me sometimes, and that is not always a good thing.  In a recent article I read, people gathered around the Grand Hyatt at Washington D.C to protest, get this, the spelling bee!  Now, people will gather and protest many controversial topics, but the spelling bee?  The people who were there represented the American Literacy Council and the London-based Spelling Society.  Their agenda?  To simplify the way we spell words.  The protestors had signs that read messages like this, “Enuf is enuf; enough is too much.”
       Ok, now I know the English language is not the simplest language.  It has strange spelling and breaks nearly every rule it has, but is this really something worth protesting?  We have terrible actions such as homosexuality and abortion, we are living in a culture that elevates impurity and sinful living, and yet they are protesting about the spelling of words?  What a terrible waste of time and energy.
       As I read this article, I was reminded of people who are contentious and  argumentative about pointless things.  Titus 3:9 says, “But avoid foolish controversies…for they are unprofitable and worthless.”  Now, I am not talking about things where the Lord has specified and given commands about.  Any command we see in the Bible is something we should stand firm and be unmovable with. 
       However, let’s be careful about the things we are arguing and protesting about that are not biblical commands.  Are they really worth our time or would our time be better spent elsewhere?  Too many times we get caught up with the pet peeves and minor details and we forget the main focus of this life and in the church (Matthew 6:33).  Is our opinion really important enough to cause disunity in the church and possibly turn someone away from the Lord? Too many churches have been split and people have been driven away from the Lord due to foolish controversies. While we all have our own opinions and ways we like to do things, is it really so bad if someone does it a bit differently?  Let’s strive to be people who always encourage peace when it is about insignificant things (Romans 12:18) but firm on the commands from the Bible.

–Brett Petrillo

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HOMELESS IN HAWAII

Paul Harvey asked the question of how so many out of state homeless people were able to get to Hawaii.  Joel John Roberts, who writes  a homeless blog for the city of Los Angeles, California, suggests that local communities are paying the plane tickets for the homeless to go to Hawaii.  The rationale is that it is harder for the homeless to make their way back to the mainland.  At least one state representative is pleading with the state of Hawaii to pay $100,000 to return these homeless people back to their original communities.  Rida Cabanilla, who is Hawaii’s chairwoman of the Housing Committee, points to a University of Hawaii study that reveals nearly 1,000 people or 19 percent of the homeless population of Hawaii have been there less than a year.  Nearly half the homeless population did not live in Hawaii ten years ago.
 
The Hawaii homeless are not a “one size fits all” community.  A good number of these folks were sold on the imagery of Hawaii as a place to sit and sip drinks on the beach.  Reality has been harsh for these folks.  Some had no idea it would be so expensive and could not afford to elevated prices of the island state.  Some are content to visit the soup kitchens and live in a tent.  Some mention various hardships that have left them with no choice but to remain.  But, Cabanilla and others would love for all of them to go back home.
 
A couple of things stand out to me.  First, how many people have pursued “paradise” only to find out that reality was much different from what they dreamed it would be?  Others are content to live in squalor and cling to “paradise” because they think it does not get any better.  People are deceived by sin, even calling good “evil” and evil “good” (cf. Isa. 5:20).  Second, there are a good many people out there who it seems nobody wants.  Nobody wants to pay them attention or wants to have to deal with them.  Yet, God loves them and paid the highest price to redeem them, too.  What should our attitude as Christians be toward them?  Finally, there is a sense in which Christians are not at home in this world.  On occasion, we may feel as though we are undesirable to the worldly mind and the present culture.  It is good for us to remember that we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth (cf. 1 Pet. 2:11).  We will not be at home until we reach that “long home,” that “home of the soul.”  One thing is for sure.  Nobody should feel “homeless” in God’s family.  Paul calls the church “the household of God” (1 Tim. 3:15).  There is a place for everybody in this spiritual home on earth.  May we each take our place there.
Neal Pollard

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Trust: In whom do we trust?

IT’S IMPORTANT TO be careful where you place your trust…

Some barbers say “trust me” as half of your eyebrow falls into your lap.

Some dentists say “trust me” as they drill down deeper than Exxon.

Some postal workers say “trust me,” stamp your package “Fragile,” and then drop-kick it into the parcel bin.

Some manicurists say “trust me,” as they push your cuticles back to your elbow.

Some mechanics say “trust me,” then make your engine purr like a kitten…with strep throat.

Some friends say “trust me” as they borrow your favorite shirt, accidentally wash it in hot water, then hand you back a swatch.

A lot of people say “trust me,” but don’t quite earn your trust. They fall short of their promises, and leave you wishing you hadn’t placed your faith in them in the first place.

THOUGHT: Aren’t you glad, though, that when God says “trust Me,” you can? (Martha Bolton)

–Mike Benson

“He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him” ( Prov. 30:5b KJV).

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A Golden Opulence Sundae

Have you ever eaten expensive ice cream?  If so, it probably was not nearly as good as the “golden opulence sundae.” 

The golden opulence sundae is a desert from a New York eatery—a dessert covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf.  Tahitian vanilla ice cream is mixed with Madagascar vanilla beans and chunks of rare Chuao chocolate from Venezuela.  The cost for this average sized treat is one thousand dollars.

The next time you enjoy a sundae with Hershey’s chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry, someone else may be enjoying a “golden opulence sundae” with the world’s most expensive chocolates, gold-covered almonds, and Grande Passion caviar.  Of course, the 18-carat gold spoon used to eat this treat is not a keepsake, but the Baccarat crystal goblet that holds it is. 

Some people enjoy the very best of life.  They have the best food, the most luxurious clothing, and mansions for houses.  Jesus once spoke of a “certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day” (Lk. 16:19).  Although this man seemed to “have it all,” Jesus said his great banquets and fine clothing were only temporary and ultimately offered no comfort to him.  Notice these additional points from Lk. 16:22-25: 

 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried.  23 And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.  25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted, and thou art in anguish.” 

Most will never taste or see a golden opulence sundae, but all can be “content with what they have” (Heb. 13:5).  Accountable people can also live in such a way where they will receive an eternal inheritance that surpasses the most luxurious life on earth (1 Pet. 1:4). 

Are you a faithful child of God who will receive the eternal inheritance for the saved?

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