Greed, Lust, Obsession Oh My!

Unless you have been under a rock this week you have seen or heard the hoopla about the Mega Millions Lottery. Today it was announced that three lucky people are splitting that 640 million! Wow. I didn’t win then again I didn’t buy a ticket. My husband told me last Monday that he was taking me out-of-town today for my birthday and today he says we are going to the Imperial Palace Casino this afternoon. It is about a two-hour drive from where we live. He likes to play cards. Now, I don’t gamble much. It is not that I have a moral reason against it, I just think that I could give that money away to a charity and it will be better used. We haven’t been to a casino in years, so this should be fun.

If you are saying to yourself, “Wait a minute isn’t this woman a Christian?” Well I am, stay with me here. Gambling in itself is not a sin, it is the greed, the love of money that we are warned about. When we go to a casino we will take a limited amount of money each, the credit/debit cards stay home. We usually go out to dinner here at home on date night and maybe a movie, when we do we spend about 150 bucks. I imagine that we won’t take much more than that to the casino. A night out with the hubby, for fun!

The problem comes when people obsess over gambling and become greedy. It is the love of money that the Bible warns against. Actually, if you do the biblical research it is the indulgence of anything, the obsession over any thing other than God that is the sin. It is the excessiveness of the thing that we are warned against not the thing itself. It is the drunkenness of wine, but not wine. Jesus turned water into wine. It is the love of money, not the money. It is the idol worship that is wrong, not the thing.

Anytime we place something in a high place in our lives and create a potential for a replacement for God then we are in trouble. It doesn’t mater if it is money, booze, sex, drugs, our family, job, hobby, gambling, a famous person, a book, a movie, a trilogy of either a book or a movie…anything we give high importance to can replace God. Any of those things can be a god in our lives, an idol.

Exodus 20:3 NKJ  “You shall have no other gods before Me.

There are other verses that tell us that our God is a jealous God. So remember, have fun with whatever you like, but don’t let it control you or take control over you. It is easy to allow things to escalate to a place of importance in your life. Guard that place in your life and heart for God alone.

Today I may spin a few quarters in a slot machine and my husband will play a few hands of black jack. If we win any money we have decided we will give it to my church. It’s been in the devils hands long enough!

 

You Have Survived!

Psalm 97:11-12  (MSG)

11 Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,    Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. 12 So, God’s people, shout praise to God,    Give thanks to our Holy God!

 

Today is Friday which is a day for thanksgiving! Thank God for the simple fact that He got you through another work week! Thank God for all the lives you touched this week! Give God the glory for your life!

I have been doing alot of whining abotu my job the past few months. Today I am thanking God that I have a job. So many are still unemployed. Pray for them. If you are one of them I am praying for you!

Today is about thanking God!

Happy Friday!

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

For the most part I liked the story. The characters and plot are well written; however, I think the story did not benefit from children killing each other. The theme of death could have been handled without murder. I am certain that the story could have been just as effective if the tributes died from starvation, sickness, or wild animal attack, which did happen in the story . The element of death is convincing and challenging without adding the element of child on child violence.  If the book is read by younger children parents should be willing to talk about it and read it with their kids. There are bound to be questions. I posted on my other blog about Hunger Games, here. Other than my issue with the children killing, the political under tones were interesting. The thought of what North America could be in the future is sort of scary. I plan to read the rest of the trilogy. I recommend the book, but you are warned. It is not for the faint of heart.

Is It Just me? My Take on Hunger Games

I have a separate blog for book reviews but I have a book I would like to talk about. It seems that the entire world is talking about Hunger Games. I finished reading it last night. For the most part I liked the story. The characters and plot are well written; however, I think the story did not benefit from children killing each other. The theme of death could have been handled without murder.

When I posted this comment on my Facebook page, “Am I the only person on the planet that thinks there is something wrong with 24 children killing each other in a novel that is promoted as a young adult must read?”  I received varying responses, but for the most part everyone seems to like the book.

Val, a middle school teacher responded to my post with this comment,

“Violence that they see in most movies and video games does not relate to them. At 13 they aren’t fighting a war or zombies etc-it isn’t realistic to them. However, putting them into a world where it is killed or be killed because their government demands it for both punishment and entertainment makes it real. It has also opened some of their eyes to the political maelstrom going on in our country, and they see how the world of Panem could happen. Their comments to me don’t glorify the violence; they are more freaked out by the reality of it.”

That got me to thinking, children need to be “freaked out”. They are disengaged from reality by all sorts of things, video games, movies, so-called reality TV that is not really real. I responded to Val, ” I see. I like that they are tuned in and “freaked out” by the reality. Too many kids are tuned out.” Also, they should be involved in the ” political maelstrom ” in some way. They will be the voters of the future.

I am still certain that the story could have been just as effective if the tributes died from starvation, sickness, or wild animal attack, which did happen in the story . The element of death is convincing and challenging without adding the element of child on child violence. If the Hunger Games book or movie engages kids in politics, condition of world peace, violence prevention, overall  doing good deeds for others, and gets them to consider what happens in reality, then I could be a fan.

God’s Plans are the Best

I missed writing for you yesterday. Life got in the way. I am reminded that we can make all sorts of plans but God has the last word.

Proverbs 16:1 Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. (The Message)

We can try to plan, but if what we plan is not in God’s plan for us then we will be reminded. God has a way of doing that to us.

Today Is My Birthday

As I think about my birthday, it occurs to me that I really don’t feel older. Not really, I do feel that I am wiser. Then again, I do feel old and clueless too.

I know that makes very little sense, but it all depends on the day. When I am giving advice to my daughter I feel old and wise. When I think about my place in the family of God and what I should be doing to serve Him I feel young and clueless. Not adequate at all.

The thing is I don’t have to know all the answers and it is fine if I feel like I am not good enough. God will equip me when I need it and give me the maturity when I need it too.

There is an old quote that says “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

What matters is that I am listening and that I move when called to do so. God will take care of the rest.

My God Is Bigger

My God is bigger than
My problems
My fears
Your problems
Your fears
My God is bigger than
World hunger
Homeless children
Injustice
My God is bigger than everything and He is in control.

As I think about the challenges that are ahead of me this week and it comforts me to know that God is working a plan for my life. The hard part is giving up my hold on things and staying out of God’s way.

Jeremiah 29:11 ” I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (The Message)

God knows where your life is going. He has a plan. Be smart and get out of His way. The only way to know the plans He has for you is to pray.

So go pray, now!
Empty your mind of all things but Him.
Calm your spirit and focus on God.

God God God
Jesus Jesus Jesus
Holy Holy Holy Spirit

Amen