Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My beautiful baby -8 weeks old

Congratulations Chris and Megan Sommers-

On your new baby girl - ROWYN GRACE!!!

Do not gossip -

What does the Bible say about gossip?

Question: "What does the Bible say about gossip?"

First and foremost, God considered gossip to be such a serious matter that He included the avoidance of it as one of the Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20). When you repeat something you heard from someone else, or share a story where you're not 100% certain the facts are correct, or even share information about another person that will only bring them harm and not good, you are bearing false witness against them. Since the second greatest commandment is "Love your neighbor as yourself," you would be breaking that one as well by gossiping. Would you gossip about yourself to others? If not, then why commit that act against your neighbor?

Now, women are not the only ones who have been found guilty of this sin. Anyone can engage in the act of gossip simply be repeating something heard in confidence. The book of Proverbs has a long list of verses that cover the dangers of gossip and the potential hurt that results when care is not taken to think of the other person and how he/she might react if something they wanted kept private is revealed. "A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret" (Proverbs 11:12-13).

Many times, people are asked to keep a secret, but they find the secret too good *not* to share. So, they tell just one person, thinking it'll be all right if only one other person knows. But, then that one person tells one who tells another who tells someone else, etc. Before long, what was originally repeated has become distorted and barely resembles the truth it was at the start. The problem began when the person who agreed to keep a secret, didn't stick to the promise made. There's a saying that states, "Two people can keep a secret, if one of them is dead." That saying didn't just become known without a significant measure of truth in it. "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends" (Proverbs 16:28).

Think about a time when you witnessed the destruction of a friendship over a misunderstanding that started with gossip. Those who engage in this behavior do nothing but stir up dissension and cause strife among friends. There is nothing honorable in their actions, and their own struggles or shortcomings are covered up by their desire to bring someone else down rather than focusing on the areas in their own lives which need work. Some people thrive on this and look for opportunities to destroy others. And when people like this are confronted, they deny the allegations and answer with an excuse for why they've done what they have. Rather than admit their wrong, they blame someone or something else, or attempt to make it sound like the sin committed isn't so bad. "A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts" (Proverbs 18:7-8).

Gossip usually hits deep. The topics that are "too good not to share" are generally ones that end up inflicting deep and cutting wounds to a person's inner being. And the betrayal almost always comes from someone close to the person affected. Gossip is bad enough when it comes from someone who is simply looking for a source of information they can share. But, when it begins with a trusted friend or someone who has been taken into a confidence, the betrayal cuts deep to the soul, making it even harder for the one on the receiving end to forgive. "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much" (Proverbs 20:19).

Those people who are considered "busybodies" are easily spotted and are usually in the center of the action, flitting from one situation to the next, seeking out a tidbit of information they can use to spread to others. They'll talk to just about anyone, pretending to care or be genuinely interested in what is being said to them, when all the while, their minds are racing ahead to the first person to whom they can repeat their conversation. Gossips are only in it for themselves and the perverted pleasure it brings them to tear others down.

But, God promises light at the end of the tunnel. "A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will [perish] not go free" (Proverbs 19:5). The righteous will overtake the house of the wicked and bring them to ruin (Proverbs 21:12). Those who guard their mouths and tongues keep themselves from calamity (Proverbs 21:23). So, guard your tongue and refrain from the sinful act of gossip. Surrender your natural desires to the Lord and allow Him to help you remain righteous. Love your neighbor as yourself and don't sin against them in any way that you wouldn't also do to yourself. God rewards the just and the righteous, so strive to remain as such.

Judgmental People ---- Judgmental Christians!!!

Question: "What does the Bible mean that we are not to judge others?"

This is an issue that has confused many people. On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evil-doers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them? 

Christians are often accused of "judging" whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, "Do not judge." There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with
careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew 7:2-5 declares, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

In Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for their sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is their Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with their sin (Matthew 18:15-17). This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God's Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction." We are to "judge" sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

This means, do so in LOVE, not with anger, not with personal judgement and not with your own way of punishing or hurting the person(s) you love for their sinful behavior.  Let GOD handle that part.  You are to speak the truth, lovingly and respectfully to the person you see is sinning, in hopes to let them hear the LOVE and CONCERN you have for them and the RESPECT you have of Gods commands.  When you behave mean, or with anger or bring your own personal judgment into the picture, YOU are in fact sinning worse than that you believe to be sinning. 

So I ask you to ask yourself and look at yourself in the mirror, "am I doing this MY WAY or GODS way?"  Am I doing this LOVINGLY and RESPECTFUL or am I doing this as a hypocrite, while I stand and look at myself in the mirror with a huge plank in my own eye and seeing a miserable person looking back at me in the reflection? 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. - Ephesians 4:29

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. -Romans 16:17

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. -Luke 6:31

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (or your child's, or your spouses, or your friends) - Matthew 7:5

What is GOD kind of love?

4      Love is always patient;13

love is always kind;

      love is never envious

or arrogant with pride.

      Nor is she conceited,

5            and she is never rude;

      she never thinks just of herself

or ever get annoyed.

      She never is resentful;

6            is never glad with sin,

      but always glad to side with truth,

whene'er the truth should win.




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