ARTICLES TWO

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ARE YOU FAILING?

Are you living life by your own standards, by your own will, in your own energy, in your own wisdom, and in your own intelligence?  If you are, in general, are you succeeding or are you failing?  The chances are that you are failing in a few areas and maybe even in many of them.  If that describes you, you should make some changes.  After all, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is one of the dumbest things you can do. 

Keep in mind that you were not created to be an island and that you do not have all the answers.  Yes, you can be independent to some extent, but eventually you need other people.  Those people can help you with your physical needs, as well as the spiritual, emotional and psychological ones.  If you try to meet all those needs by yourself, you will only encounter difficulties, frustration and maybe even total defeat.

If you are encountering difficulties coping with life, believe it or not, God has the answer for you.  In order to find the answer or answers, you have to go to the Bible, which is the word God provided for you, so you can know Him and His will for your life.  God wants to have an intimate relationship with you because He loves you.  No, it is not religion.  Religions were invented by men, not by God.  Jesus does not want you to follow religion, but He does want you to follow Him (Matthew 4:19).    

Allow God to speak to you through the scriptures that I will provide for you on this article. 1 Peter 5:6-7 – “ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”Bring all your problems up to God in prayer and release them to Him.  He can handle them; you cannot.

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Do not worry, do not be anxious and do not be frustrated, but turn your problems over to God and He will help you handle them. You will have a peace you never had before.

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18  – “ See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Pray for your needs without ceasing, and give God thanks in advance as if  He had already done the miracle.  If you pray in faith God will be with you and He definitely will help you.

Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” You have to start casting your burdens on the Lord Jesus.  Put your trust in God, not in your money, strength, wisdom, friends or on anything else.  Everything else will let you down sooner or later, but God will always be with you.  God will never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Always pray to Father God in the name of Jesus.  It tells you to do that in several scriptures in the Bible.  John 14:14 – “ If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” These are the words of Jesus Christ.  John 15:16 – “ You did not choose Me (Jesus Christ), but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name (Jesus Christ) He may give you.” John 16:23-24 –  “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name.”

If you are reading this article, and you have no idea how to pray, I will give you a couple of examples:  “Father God, in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, I ask You to restore my marriage. Work in the life of my spouse, so he/she will be reconciled to me.”  Another one would be:  “Father God, help me find a job in my field that I will enjoy and it will be well remunerated.” One more just to make sure you understand:  “God Almighty, in the name of Jesus Christ, bring many more clients to my business.  Thank you, Lord.  Amen.”

If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, find a place in this web page that will tell you how to do it.  Read what we call, “The Sinner’s Prayer” to God in all sincerity.  God will hear you and He will accept you as His child.  God bless you!

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  rlsalvation@gmail.com  (5/17/18)

 

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YOUR WAY OF THINKING

There are many factors involved in a person’s life, but the most important one is his way of thinking.  That factor is the one that makes the difference how, when, and where a person will live, as well as what profession or jobs he will have, not to mention who he will marry and if he will have children or not.

Two people could have almost the exact background, yet one is the boss and the other one is the employee.  What makes the difference?  Some important circumstances could apply, but in most cases it is their way of thinking.  The Bible says:  “As a man thinks, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7.  The question arises, how do you think?

Two brothers raised basically in the same way; one becomes president of a company and the other one is in prison.  Did the parents go wrong somewhere?  Not necessarily.  One son had a way of thinking and the other had a different way.  Nobody is at fault but the brother who committed the crime, whatever it was.

One team goes into the playoffs just happy to be there maybe for the first time, while the other team expects to be crowned champion.  The expected happens.  Why?  One team was expecting to lose and the other one was expecting to win.  Sometimes however the team that the people consider the underdog does not consider itself to be one.  It fights, it fights, and it fights and it defeats the so-called superior team.  What made the difference?  Their way of thinking, nothing else.

Often times a person goes into business and he goes bankrupt, so he never tries going into business again.  Another person may fail at business the first time and maybe even the second or third time, but he does not give up.  He keeps on trying different businesses and finally he succeeds in one and hits the big time.  What made the difference?  He was not a quitter.  All along he knew that sooner or later he would make it.

What makes the difference in any life is the way of thinking.  Some people think that life began with “the big bang theory.”  They fail to realize that something cannot come from nothing.  So if there was nothing in existence, how did the big bang happen?  The answer is…it could not.  Their way of thinking is flawed, misdirected, wrong and senseless.

Some people think that we evolved from one cell, then to animals and then to people.  Wrong!!! If we had been monkeys at one time, there would be no more monkeys.  They would have kept on evolving.  There would be no more horses or even humans.  We would have kept on evolving to something else.

Even if life had evolved, who started the evolving process? Someone or something would have had to start that process.  No matter how you look at it, no matter how you shape it, no matter how you interpret it, no matter how you flip it over somebody or something had to get the ball rolling.  Someone or something always gives things a beginning.

That evolving process had to be extremely intelligent and powerful in order to make mankind male and female.  He would have to do the same for most animals.  If that is not enough he would have to make sure the plants and trees could produce fruit and reproduce themselves.  Not only that but that fruit had to be edible for the human beings.  That evolving process had to be one smart individual.

 

Life in its entirety has a design.  All one has to do is look at the universe, look at the human beings, look at the animals or look at the plants and then one can plainly see that everything has a design.  If everything has a design, then there has to be a designer.  We call that designer God. You may call Him something else, but you have to agree there is a supreme being who started the ball rolling and who keeps everything going.

If you are an unbeliever I challenge you to ask God this:  “God, if you are real, in the name of Jesus Christ become real to me.” If you do it in all sincerity He will answer you in a tangible way.  He cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7), so if you do it in a mocking way, He will not answer you, but you will meet Him face to face during “judgment day,” and then you will be sent to the lake of fire to suffer eternally.  Hopefully that will not be your case.

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  rlsalvation@gmail.com  (5/10/18)

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EVERYBODY HAS HIS OWN AGENDA

The days when we were proud to be Americans, to work for a certain company or to belong to a certain group seem to be over.  Now days everyone has his own agenda.  He wants to do whatever pleases him, and it does not matter who else it may affect in a negative manner.  If that were not bad enough every day people come up with new ideas of what they want to do. The worst part of it is that they are moving farther and farther away from God.

In Hollywood the producers, the directors and the movie stars have their own specific agenda, and it is not to make America better or to help people learn something useful.  It is to teach people how to destroy things, how to be disobedient, how to produce violence, how to kill people, how the mafia works and that sex out of marriage is the normal way of life.

The politicians in Washington have their own agendas.  A part of the agenda of the Democratic Party is to bring in as many illegal aliens as possible to pay them very low wages and to have them vote for them.  Another part is to disregard God’s principles completely by championing the right of people to have abortions, to sell marijuana legally, to sell assault arms to anybody who wants them and have people decide what sex they want to be.  They have forgotten that God made each person either male or female.

The Republicans, on the other hand, want to give tax breaks to the businesses, the corporations and the wealthy.  Giving tax breaks to corporations may work if the latter will pass on those breaks to its workers.  However if they don’t, they are just getting wealthier and wealthier.  Both parties seem to have forgotten that they need to work together for the common welfare of the American people.

The wealthy singers and the famous and wealthy sports competitors have their own agendas. They either push a product or an ideology, and because they are famous people fall for it.  Just because a man  or a woman is good at a sport that does not make him or her an expert in other areas. For, whatever the reason, normal people do not seem to understand that.

The news media does not seem to have any standards or guidelines whatsoever.  It is out of control. The people working for the news media do not report the news any more. They give their own ideas.  In other words, they just simply give their own opinions.  They consider themselves to be experts in every area when in reality they are just plain reporters. It is getting next to impossible to get the real facts on any current event.

The husband has his own agenda and so does the wife.  Unfortunately for the children it is not one where they plan to stay together until death do them part, but rather until one of them get bored and starts looking for love in the wrong places. The divorce rate is increasing at an alarming rate.  Some people do not even bother to get married; they just live together because it is convenient.

Because of some of the negative factors I have discussed, we are producing a generation of people who may not have any moral values.  Not only that, but they are divorced from society.  We are creating a generation of lone wolves.  These lone wolves are not connected and so they can turn to killing scores of people and feel no remorse whatsoever.  We have seen that time and time again.

But enough of the negativity.  Let us dwell on the answer because if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.  The answer, of course, is for this nation to turn back to God.  We started as “One nation under God, and in God we Trust.”  It is time to get back to basics. If we were to do that many of our problems would be instantly solved.  God’s blessings would come back to us.  God loves people who love Him.  Let me close with 2 Chronicles 7:14  – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net   rlsalvation@gmail.com  (5/2/18)

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THE WILD FIG TREE

An old wild fig tree had many branches, but it was not producing any fruit at all.  Some of its branches were drying off, falling off and were being thrown in the fire just to get rid of them.  This went on year after year.  But then the owner of the land noticed that the tree had one small  limb that had a little bit of life in it.  In spite of its lot in life, it seemed as if it wanted to survive and bear fruit.

Being that the owner of the field felt sorry for the little limb, he cut it off and grafted it into one of his choicest fig trees. That tree had been planted in a ground that had been especially prepared by his son who had weeded it, dug it, fertilized it and it watered abundantly.  Some  envious evildoers who hated the owner and his son, knowing that the branch would flourish, killed the son and tried to cut off the branch.

Unfortunately the son did die, but the branch although it went through some rough times,  did survive.  In the years to come there would be many attacks on the branch, but since the owner was protecting it, it was never destroyed.  As a matter of fact, it kept on giving more and more fruit.  It did not have a normal harvest season as other branches and trees did.  It kept on giving fruit all year round.

That branch flourished because, in spite of its circumstances, it would not give up. The odds were against it, but the little branch’s desire to give fruit were bigger than the obstacles obstructing it.  The other people saw the little branch as a worthless one that would die without producing anything, but the owner, who loved trees, their branches and their fruit, saw the potential in it.

Most Christians can probably understand and relate to this parable immediately, but there may be some new Christians or unbelievers who do not understand it at all.  Be that as it may, I will fully explain the parable, so that there will be no doubt in your mind as to what its true meaning really is.

The title of the parable is, “The Wild Fig Tree,” because the Bible refers to Israel as the fig tree.

They are God’s chosen people, whether we admit it or not.  If Israel was intended to be a good fruit-bearing fig tree, then we the Gentiles are a wild fig tree that at the beginning did not even know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob let alone give any fruit.  Fortunately many of us have come to embrace Father God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The old wild fig tree now represents the people who either are totally unaware that God exists, or the ones who just openly deny His deity and even His existence.  They are not producing any fruit, which means that they are not bringing anybody into the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Nobody can come to the Father – salvation or eternal life  – except through Him (John 14:6).

The branches that were thrown into the fire represent the people who, after the final judgment, will be thrown into the lake of fire to suffer there eternally.  Who are those people?  Those people will be the ones who, for one reason or another, never accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  If you have not or will not accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be one of them.  Let’s hope that is not your case.

The owner of the land is God.  He created and owns everything that existed, exists and will ever exist.  He is always looking for people who are ready to repent, turn their lives around, ask Him to forgive them, and who will receive His Son Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  When He finds such a person He blesses him or her with salvation – eternal life with Him.  That person is represented by the small limb.

When the little limb was cut off and grafted it means that it was taken out of the world of unbelievers and brought into the kingdom of God.  Jesus is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).  That is why the small branch was grafted into Jesus Christ Himself.  Believers give fruit – they do God’s will -  because they are heirs with Jesus Christ to the kingdom of God (Romans 8:17).

The son of the owner was killed refers to Jesus the Son of God being killed for our sins.  The life He gave up on the cross and the blood He shed make atonement for our sins.  Our sins would send us to hell and to the lake of fire, but since Jesus already paid for them, all we have to do is repent, ask God to forgive us, leave our sinful ways, and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

We are the branches who kept on being attacked and giving fruit at the same time.  Even today around the world many Christians are being martyred for their beliefs.  In our own country – the United States of America – people are being ridiculed and even punished for having a Bible or for saying the name of Jesus in public.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net (4/26/18)

 

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THE STUMBLING BLOCK

Normally a stumbling block is something that may cause us to stumble and fall because we did not see it or because we were careless.  It could be just about any object that may be on our path.  Another stumbling block could be something that impedes us either from accomplishing our goal or from doing it sooner. Those however are not the stumbling blocks I am going to discuss in this article.  The stumbling block I will be exposing before you is the one mentioned many times in the Bible.

In 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, the apostle Paul says:  “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

To the Jews and the Greeks it did not make any sense that a man who came in love, kindness and forgiveness would be God in the flesh. They expected a God who would destroy the Roman Empire and any other enemy of Israel. They were deceived completely because Jesus was not at all what or who they were expecting. They could not accept Him as God and that is why He became a stumbling block to them. They kept on stumbling in their darkness – sin – instead of coming to the light – Jesus Christ.

To the Jews, the Romans and the Greeks Jesus became a stumbling block because they were in darkness and they preferred to stay in it.  In Proverbs 4:19, King Solomon explains it this way: “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.”Of course, he is talking about a spiritual darkness. That darkness was prevalent then, and it is prevalent now.

In Peter 2:6-8, the apostle Peter tells us:“Therefore it is also contained in the scripture, “Behold I lay in Zion a chief Cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, and a stumbling stone and a rock of offense.

When Peter uses the words “chief cornerstone, stumbling stone and rock of offense,” he is referring to none other than Jesus Christ.  The Jews ordered Him to be killed and the Romans carried out the execution on the cross at Calvary.  The reason for their actions was simple; they did not believe He was God incarnate.  They thought He was an evildoer, a maniac, someone out of his mind.  They rejected the truth because the truth was a stumbling block to them. That way of thinking has not changed.  When we want to disobey a law, a godly principle or anything else, we rationalize, justify and make excuses for our sinful behavior and actions.

To many of the so-called religious peopleJesus is a stumbling block. I will not mention the religions for the sake of persecution and negative consequences.  In John 14:6, Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”He makes it extremely clear that He is God and that He is the only way to heaven. In Acts 4:12, the apostle Peter tells the people:  “ Nor is there salvation in any other (Jesus), for there is no other name (other than Jesus) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Do not allow yourself to be deceived.  There are not many ways to heaven. There is only one way, and His name is Jesus. If you belong to any religion that says Jesus was just a prophet, a good man, a brother of the devil or anything else other than God, get out of there.  If you belong to a religion that says that some other entity is higher than Jesus Christ or equal to Him, run as fast as you can. Any other person or entity that any religion may be worshiping was not, is not, and will never be God. There is only one God and that is the God who created the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God – Jesus Christ – who came into the world to save us.

Do not let Jesus be a stumbling block to you, but let Him be your light, your hope, your Savior and your God. If you do that, heaven will be your final dwelling place.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (4/19/18)

 

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THE PENDULUM HAS SWUNG

In the United States for many years the pendulum was swinging too much toward the right.  That, of course, was not right. The optimum solution would be for the pendulum to say somewhere close to the middle.  However lately the pendulum has swung all the way to the left and that should be totally unacceptable to any Christian person or to any citizen with a little bit of common sense.  A few examples would be beneficial and would suffice.

The Pilgrims left England because there they were forced to belong to “The Church of England.”  They wanted to worship God in their own way and attend a church of their own choosing.  They had every right to do so.  Now however we are not allowed to mention the “Ten Commandments,” or the name of Jesus Christ in any public building.  “Separation between church and state” did not and does not mean we cannot mention God in public.  The pendulum has swung the wrong way.

Way back in 1787 the intent of the Second Amendment, which allowed private citizens to possess firearms, was for protection from dangerous people, protection from wild animals, and protection against government oversteps.  in those days those were very good reasons.  People had to protect themselves, as the government was not really equipped to do it.

Now days, however, other than people who use rifles for hunting, it does not make any sense for every citizen to have a firearm, and especially assault rifles.  The (NRA) – National Rifle Association – and many firearm owners argue that the country would be safer if everyone owned a firearm of some type and that arms don’t kill that people do.  In response to that I say:  “If two men get in an argument and neither one has a gun, probably neither one is going to die.” Now suppose each one has a gun, what do you think would happen?  The answer is obvious.  The pendulum has swung dangerously to the left.

Not too long ago, a boy knew he was a boy and a girl knew she was a girl.  There was no confusion in that.  God made it simple when He created Adam and Eve.  He did not create Adam and Steve or Eve and Ada.  God told them to procreate and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28). There is no way that Adam and Steve or Eve and Ada could replenish the earth.  The human race would have become extinct immediately.  The pendulum has swung erroneously to the sinful left.

Addiction to just about any drug causes physical, emotional, psychological and medicinal  problems for the addict, as well as for society in general.  Yet our government has legalized the sale of marijuana supposedly for medicinal and recreational purposes.  The obvious reason, of course, is to levy a heavy tax on them and to receive more revenue.  The pendulum has swung because to the government money is more important than people’s health and wellbeing.

The main function of the news media is to give us the news accurately as they are happening anywhere in the world.  That is what they should do, but that is not what they are doing.  They are giving us false, erroneous and misleading information, so they can shape the destiny of our society.  Unfortunately it is functioning quite well for them.  People believe what they hear, see or read without questioning it.  The pendulum has swung away from the truth.

It is unfortunate, shameful and disgraceful how the whites treated the black people during the slavery days in this country.  Even up to the forties and maybe even the fifties the Afro-Americans were treated as second or third-class citizens.  Yes, there was undeniable prejudice and discrimination in many sectors of our society.  However lately there seems to be what I would call “reverse discrimination.”  I will not go into detail for fear of being accused flalsely, but sometimes whites or Hispanics are fired from their jobs simply because or reverse racial discrimination.  Trying to correct the biased and prejudiced past the pendulum has swung too far to the left in my humble opinion.

If you agree or disagree with the points I made, do not let that affect you negatively.  Just reflect on it remembering that anything carried to the extreme is incorrect.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (5/12/18)

 

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INVEST IN PEOPLE

People throughout the ages and all over the world have invested in a myriad of things.  Some of those investments made a lot of sense and made a big difference in people’s lives, but unfortunately some of them were utterly ridiculous.  The worst part is that some people are still investing in awful things, such as war machinery, recreational toys of different types and sinful practices that challenge the most sordid imagination.

The best investment without any reservations whatsoever is investing in your eternity.  All of us have eternal lives.  The big differences is where we will spend eternity.  There are only two possibilities – heaven and the lake of fire.  If you want to spend eternity with God, the good thing about it is that it is available to you and it is totally free.  It will not cost you any money.  What you invest is faith and time.

To receive salvation from God you have to invest faith because without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  To have salvation you have to receive Jesus Christ in your heart by faith.  You accept Him as Lord and Savior of your soul by pure faith.  You may not hear any bells, there will not be any fireworks and you will not receive a diploma, but your name will be written in “The Lamb’s Book of Life” in heaven.  If your name is on that book you will be allowed to enter through the pearly gates.

To be able to spend eternity with God, you must spend time with Him.  You do that by reading the Bible, going to a born-again Christian church, praying and by helping other people in any way possible.  The best way, of course, is to tell them about what Jesus Christ did on the cross and how they too can have eternal life with God.  People need help in many areas, and if we help the needy, we are actually serving God.  Jesus tells us that whatever we do for needy people, we are doing it for Him (Matthew 25:34-40).

Other than investing in God, the most important investment is in people and since we are people we should start with ourselves.  We can invest in us by  obtaining a good education and by favoring our talents and abilities.  We should try to reach our potential in every single area of our lives.  In some of them we will be better than in others, but what really counts is that we do the best we can.  The more talents, abilities, education and gifts we have the more we can help ourselves and help others.

We should definitely invest time, money, wisdom, love and any other resources that may be at our disposal in our children.  Other than God and our spouse the children should be the most important thing to us.  We should pour love, confidence, time, understanding and everything we can into them to help them succeed in life.  Life is tough, but with a good upbringing, children can overcome difficult circumstances.

We should not only invest time, money, wisdom, love and other resources into our children, but also into other people we may know who are deserving of it and who will benefit from it.  Those people could be relatives, friends, employees or others we may come into contact with in the course of our lives.  If we change one life that life could change many others.

Think back and think who invested in you to make you who and what you are today.  Go back in time and find out in whom you have invested and what results it produced. The results will vary and may surprise you. But regardless of what those results are, keep investing in yourself and in people.  When your life is over you will be glad you did.

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (3/29/18)

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DO NOT JUSTIFY

Some people spend their lifetime trying to justify why they live the way they live and why they never encountered success.  They do not accept the fact that we reap what we sow.  In other words, our actions have consequences and if we fail to plan for the future it may not be a good one for us.

During our lifetime we make thousands of decisions.  Almost every decision has consequences – some extremely significant and some very insignificant to the point where we do not even notice them.  Some of those decisions that produce insignificant results are made automatically without thinking hundreds of times during the day.  It is as normal as breathing and we do it almost as a matter of habit.

To a large extent our destiny is shaped by our parents.  That includes so many factors that it would take, at least, one book to explain them.  Some examples:  In what country we are born, the social status of our parents,  the economic status of our parents and their educational level,

their prejudices and their biases, the relationship between mother and father,  and the God-given talents and abilities the parents may have, plus their idea of parenting.

All those factors mentioned in the previous paragraph, the genes that he or she carries and other factors not mentioned come into play in the life of a young child.  To that we have to add the talents and abilities God has given him or her.  To that we have to add the motivation and drive that each child has.  Even identical twins many times have very different motivation and drive.

God gave each one of us what is known as “free will.”  Free will is what gives us the ability to decide for ourselves what to do in every circumstance.  Coupling all the experiences we have ever had and all the factors that we already mentioned with our drive and motivation, that allows us to make a decision.  The type of decision we make depends on all those factors.

All those factors mentioned affect our decision-making process.  Of course, the most important factors are our motivation and our drive, which come from our way of thinking.  Is our destiny cast in stone?  Of course not!  We can change it by renewing our minds and transforming our way of thinking. In Romans 12:2, the Bible puts it this way:  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

If you have a low-paying job and are blaming the system, the President or your destiny, blame yourself.  Maybe you did not attend the university, learned a trade or did not take advantage of other opportunities.  If your adult offspring are not living healthy lives maybe you failed them as a parent.  Maybe you did not take care of your body, now you are ill and are blaming others, blame yourself  I could give other examples, but I think those are sufficient.

Do not blame others, your destiny or God.  Do not justify your shortcomings. You will not make any headway, unless you accept the truth.  If you do not see that you are the problem, or at least part of it, you will never change your situation.  The first step in solving a problem is realizing that there is a problem and finding out exactly what it is.

It is never too late to change for the better.  No matter how well you’ve done in the past, you can always improve. Remember this:  Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Some ideas; restore your broken relationships.  Let go of past hurts.  Forgive people. Exercise your body and your mind. Learn something new – maybe a skill.  Have a good image of yourself.  Apologize to people you may have hurt willingly or unwillingly.

Whatever you do, do not justify past failures, wrong actions, lack of action on your part, or lack of preparation.  Leave the past in the past, and move forward with a positive attitude.

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  rlsalvation@gmail.com (3/22/18)

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THE EXTREME CHRISTIAN

This article is not for you if you are self-centered, self-absorbed, self-admired, self-conceited, self-dependent, selfish, egotistical, close-minded or do not want to help others in any way, shape or form.  Let us hope that does not describe you, but if it does you may stop reading.

NOT JUDGING 

The moment we start criticizing and judging others, we are saying they are inferior to us and that we are superior to them.  In God’s eyes we are all the same.  Just because we were born in a certain country to a certain family with a certain amount of intelligence, wisdom, talents or abilities does not make us better than other people, but it does make us more fortunate.  If we are more fortunate than others, we should thank God because it was all His doing and definitely not ours.

FORGIVE OTHERS

Sooner or later somewhere along this walk of life somebody is going to hurt us.  Many times the ones who hurt us are the ones we love the most.  Our job is not to judge, but to forgive.  God will do the judging, not us.  When we forgive others, everyone comes out winning. It is a win-win situation.  The ones who hurt us win because we do not hold a grudge against them and the relationship may be restored.  We come out winning because we stop carrying hatred with us and because God cannot forgive us unless we forgive (Matthew 6:15).

PRAY FOR OTHERS

Since none of us are perfect and being that all of us have problems of one type or another, we ought to pray for our loved ones, acquaintances, world leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and the world in general.  There is much power in prayer.  In John 14:13-14, Jesus Himself tells us:  “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

ENCOURAGE OTHERS

Many people are good at discouraging others. Be an encourager and not a discourager.  Children need a tremendous amount of encouragement, but there are many adults who also need it in several areas of their lives.  A word of encouragement you give someone may make a tremendous difference in his or her life and it will not cost you a cent.  Be the person who encourages others!

GIVE NEEDED ADVICE

All of us have knowledge, wisdom, experience and expertise we have gained as a result of living in this world. We should share that with others who are lacking it for whatever the reason.  People are continually making bad decisions for lack of knowledge, wisdom, experience or simply because they are selfish.  We can give them the proper advice – whether they apply it or not, that is up to them.

GIVE NEEDED HELP

As long as we live on this earth, people will need help in one form or another.  We should be willing to help them unselfishly whenever possible.  They may need physical, psychological, emotional or financial help.  In some cases we may be able to help them in some areas, in one, or in none. The main thing is that we are willing and that we make ourselves available.  The final outcome may be up to them and up to God.

KINDNESS

The previous six acts of kindness that I mentioned should be done in love.  Those are some of the things that an extreme Christian should do.  If he or she is not doing those things, then I would question whether that person is really a Christian.  In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus Himself puts it this way:  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ and then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you;  depart from me you who practice lawlessness.”

Love and kindness should be in the life of every believer.  Our job as Christians is to imitate Jesus Christ as much as possible. From now on, try to be the best Christian you can possibly be.  Your reward may not be in this life, but it will be for sure in the one to come.  May our God bless you!

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (3/15/18)

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THE LIGHT IS SHINING SOMEWHERE

Unfortunately we live in a darkened world.  I am not referring to the sun or the moon not giving us their light, but rather to the violence, usage of drugs, prostitution, adultery, pornography, alternate lifestyle, abortions, hatred, cheating, lying, fraud, corruption, plotting, scheming and everything else that is vile, repulsive, heinous, depraved, degenerate or wicked that is going on in this world.

Do your best not to participate in the activities mentioned above, and do not have strong ties with people who are involved in them.  Remember that you are judged by the company you keep, and not only that but if you hang around long enough by the edge of the river, sooner or later, you will fall into it.  Don’t let that happen to you.  

However, in spite of everything illegal, immoral and detestable that is going on all over this world, there is always a light shining somewhere.  Your task is to seek that light and move away from the darkness.  In practical terms, there are always nice and decent people everywhere who have not given in to the lifestyle or temptations around them.  You should associate with them as much as possible.

There will be some form of light wherever you find (Galatians 5:22) “The Fruits of the Spirit,” which are kindness, goodness, righteousness, love, humility, peace, harmony, gratitude, joy, longsuffering, faithfulness, gentleness,  and self-control.  Associate with those kinds of people and do likewise by producing good fruit yourself.

When you associate with other people who are in the light, you combine your light with theirs and everyone is better off because of it.  That is because they not only need your light, but they benefit from it, and you also need and benefit from their light.  In Deuteronomy 32:30, the Bible puts it this way:  “How could one man chase a thousand, or two (men)  put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up?” Their Rock here refers to Jesus Christ or God.

On that scripture there are two main points and they are:  One; two people are much more effective than one, and two: the people who are not with God or if God is not with them,  can be defeated easily.  Another scripture – Romans 8:31 – says:   “ What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  It means if God is on your side, it does not matter how many, how strong or who may be against you, they will surely be defeated because God is fighting for you.

Where can you find the true light?  You can definitely find it in the Bible and that is where you should start looking for it.  In the Bible you will find Jesus and He is the light of this world. In John 8:12, He Himself states:  “ Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” If you seek Jesus, no matter where you may find yourself spiritually, sooner or later, you will find the true light that will allow you to have eternal life with God.

If you have never been to a Christian church, for whatever the reason, start going to one.  Now churches are like people.  You may go to a good one, but somehow you do not feel at home there.  Go to another one until you find the right fit for you.  Make sure it is a born-again-Christian church, that the pastor teaches directly from the Bible and that he is not there to accumulate wealth.

Some of the most famous pastors are not necessarily the best ones.  They are famous and wealthy because they tell the people what they want to hear.  They are fake and their light is fake.  You do not need that type of pastor.  You need one who will tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If a pastor tells you that you will be rich, famous, that your best days are ahead of you, and if he asks you to send so much money and you will receive a miracle from God, get out of there as fast as you can.

Keep coming back to my pagehttp://thelivinglights.com/ – because the light is truly shining here. We are not after your money nor anything else.  We just want you and your loved ones to spend eternity with God and not with the devil in the lake of fire.  (3/8/18)

 

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THE WAR ZONE

For quite a few generations, the United States of America was considered to be one of the safest countries in the world and “the promised land” to many foreigners.  We had a strong military, good police protection, good family values, a good work ethic, a Christian-based society and most of our people were law-abiding citizens.

Now days we are just a shadow of what we were.  Our public gatherings and our schools have become battle fields and our country as a whole has been converted into a war zone.  We do not even feel safe in our churches.  Some of them have become targets for radicals who just want to kill innocent people for no specific reason.

Some of our founding fathers and early patriots suffered, fought, bled and died to give us the freedom we now enjoy.  However many people instead of being appreciative of that fact demand more and more rights as if they were owed to them, and if that were not bad enough some people who are not even citizens or legal residents are claiming rights too.  In what other country in the world does an undocumented alien have rights?

Back in the sixties when our country began to change, President John F. Kennedy said:  “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” He was unequivocally correct.  Young people had begun to become more selfishly-minded and less patriotically-minded.  They wanted more benefits, more freedom and more say in the government without any responsibilities on their part whatsoever.  Unfortunately it has gotten worse and worse.  If it keeps going in the same direction, we will wind up with anarchy.

What moved us away from being patriotic, good citizens, God-loving people, hard workers, and a loving people? One of the things was television and the movies.  In the fifties the movies were about patriotism, helping each other, doing the right thing, love and other positive things.  The television shows were about family values, good parenting, comedy and good entertainment. Now days the movies and the television shows have nothing but violence, sex,  drugs, dirty words and unscrupulous behavior.  The children grow up thinking it is normal to cheat, steal, lie, kill, be gay and disobey their parents. 

The physical root of our problems lies with the Supreme Court of the United States.  What those judges declare constitutional or unconstitutional has a definite effect on all of us who live here.  Some examples will suffice.  It is constitutional for a US citizen or permanent resident to own as many weapons as he wishes, and because of that, according to Facebook, 100,000 people are shot every year including 87 who die every single day.

Other than the Supreme Court and the appellate courts there is another place where there is an intense battle going on.  Of course, I am referring to the Congress.  The Democrats and the Republicans are fighting each other with such intensity that they have forgotten why they are in Washington.  They should be serving our country doing the best for our citizens, but instead they are wasting their time, energy and our money to oppose anything the other political party tries to accomplish.  It is childish, asinine and pure stupid.

Another battle field is in the news media.  It has declared war on President Donald Trump.  If he says something is white, the news media people will say it is black.  If he says it is black, they will say it is white.  No matter what Melania Trump wears, they criticize it.  Obviously there are more important issues to discuss than what she wears or does not wear.   

With the news media attacking the President, the Democrats attacking the Republicans and with the Republicans attacking the Democrats every American loses.  We are destroying ourselves not only within our country, but in the eyes of the world.  Every time we attack each other the enemy is happy and has more ammunition to use against us.  We have identified the enemy and it is us. 

We need to come together as a nation.  Instead of attacking each other, we need to work together.  Using President Kennedy’s way of thinking, let us reason that It is not about how this nation can make us better people, but rather how we can convert our nation into a better one.  That, believe it or not, will make a big difference.

On paragraph 6, I mentioned that the physical root of our problems lies with the court system.  That is true, but the spiritual root of our problems lies with the fact that we moved away from God as a nation.  Read the Old Testament in the Bible.  Whenever Israel would get close to God, He would bless it, but whenever it moved away from God, God would remove His blessings and it would not go too well for the Jewish people.

Our country was founded as a Christian nation.  As long as we remained close to God, He blessed us.  For years we were one of the most blessed nations in the world and probably of all time.  Our first love was Jesus Christ and it should be again.  What Jesus told the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5, also applies to us:  “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place – unless you repent.”

http://thelivinglights.com/   rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  rlsalvaation@gmail.com   (3/1/18)

ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Do not worry

Worrying takes the joy out of life completely.  If you truly want to enjoy life, one of the things you will have to do is to stop worrying.  You will have to work at it, as most people are worriers by nature. Have you ever seen one problem solved by worrying? In the Bible in Matthew 6:26-29, Jesus tells us:  “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”   Conclusion:  Don’t worry.

Be thankful with what you have

If you want to be happy, be thankful with what you have wherever you may be.  That will make you a happy person. That, of course, does not mean you cannot plan to improve your lot in life. No matter in what stage of your life you may be, be happy and keep on improving until you reach your true potential.  Happiness has to come from within, not from without.  Money, position and possessions will not necessarily make you happy.  Learn from the apostle Paul who stated it like this in Philippians 4:11-12 – “ Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

Enjoy whatever you do

True happiness cannot come because you are doing what you love to do all the time.  There will be many times when you will be doing something that is not appealing to you for whatever the reason.  Take control of your mind and tell it that you will enjoy doing it.  Before you know it, you will be enjoying it.  Being positive and flexible will make all the difference in the world. Yes, by renewing your mind, you have to transform your way of thinking.  In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul tells us like this:  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Be happy with whoever may be with you

Be flexible enough to enjoy other people’s company no matter who they may happen to be. Do not depend on them to make you happy.  Your happiness should be obvious and contagious.  When the other person leaves you, regardless of the circumstances,  he or she should be a better person because he or she spent time with you.  If you learn to bring joy to others you will be a blessing to them, and they in turn will love being with you.  One cannot ask for anything more.

Do not try to please the world

Many people try to please everyone and wind up being miserable.  Please God, yourself and to some extent your loved ones, and forget about the rest of the world. Know who you really are and be yourself.  Do not try to be somebody or something you are not.  If you are fake, people will know, and the worst part is that you will know it too.  Just simply be the best you, you can be.

Look for the silver lining

Many times there will be negative situations in your life.  Instead of being downcast, feeling defeated and being frustrated, look for the silver lining.  Many times good things can come out from bad things.  When one door closes a bigger one opens.  You just have to be positive, be patient and look for the silver lining.  Joseph, the son of Jacob, had been wronged by his brothers, but God blessed him.  In Genesis 50:20, he told his brothers:  “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Then in Romans 8:28, the apostle Paul tells us:  “ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Expect good things to happen

Some people receive bad things because they attract them.  In other words they are expecting them.  Positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. Turn the coin around and expect good things to happen. A change in attitude completely changes the game.  After all, there is power in what you think and in what you confess with your mouth.  That is why in Proverbs 18:21,  the Bible says:  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Accept the final outcome

The final outcome may not be what you were expecting, but accept it as a mature individual.  Do not whine, do not complain, do not feel sorry for yourself, and do not be expecting sympathy from all the people around you.  Just accept it and be happy in spite of the circumstances.  Let me remind you again that happiness is a state of mind.

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (2/22/18)

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THE WINTER OLYMPICS

Now more than ever the Olympic games are needed and should be truly appreciated.  In a world full of hostility, it is very refreshing to see Olympians from different countries compete in a friendly atmosphere.  Some of them make friends for life and others even get married. It would be great if we, the citizens of the world, just as the athletes do would work together in a meaningful way to make this a better world for all of us.

Politics notwithstanding both South and North Korea are participating as one country. It would be great if they could reconcile their differences and become one democratic nation under God. Kings, Communism, dictatorships and Socialism should not exist in this modern age.  People need to be free to go where they please, to live where it is more convenient for them, to work in what best suits them, and to believe in whatever they want to believe.

Most of the Olympic athletes have been practicing for years just to have a chance to participate in worldwide competition.  When they finally get there, it is a dream come true for them.  Being that just the best of the best get chosen to represent their countries, that should automatically make them champions  in their own eyes and in ours as well.

Of course, the ultimate goal of every participant during the games is to get a gold, silver or bronze medal.  If they do get one of those medals, it opens doors for them to live a successful life financially.  They mingle with famous people and become celebrities themselves, which opens doors for them to endorse products, come out in TV commercials, and get involved in projects, which otherwise would not be available to them.

What about the ones who do not get a medal?  Most of them get treated with love and respect in their respective countries. They can still feel proud of themselves because they have done their best.  After all, the most important thing is not necessarily to win, but to do our best in whatever we do.  If we do our best, we feel good about ourselves, and no one can take that away from us.

While some Olympic athletes may think that a gold medal is the ultimate achievement and some professional athletes may think that winning a world title is the pinnacle of success, in both cases they are wrong.  Both of those glories are short-lived.  Why is that?  Quite simply because time passes by fast and waits for no one.  Sooner or later a younger, stronger, faster, more talented or wiser person will come along and beat them.

As their record gets broken or they lose their title, people will be idolizing the person who broke their record or took their title away from them.  They will no longer be the toast of the town.  Some members of the younger generation may not even know who those athletes are or what they did.  Some people belonging to the old generation and some to the new one may not even care who they are. To them they are past history.

Most of us will never be an Olympian, will never have a world title, but we can run the race of life with dignity, pride and success.  That is because success is not necessarily gaining wealth, winning a gold medal, or gaining a world championship.  Success is being the best person you can be with the resources you have available. That means touching other people in a positive way by listening to them, advising them, encouraging them, and helping them in whatever ways you can to meet whatever needs they may have.

The most important medal you can have, the most important title you can gain and the most success you can attain is spending eternity with the God who created everything that exists.  Just as an athlete takes the first step to victory when he or she starts training, you can take the first step of being a Christian by receiving Jesus Christ in your heart as your Lord and Savior. The apostle Paul tells us to finish the race, so we can obtain the crown of salvation.  In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, he states it this way:  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”

If you want to begin running the race, so you can receive the crown of salvation and spend eternity with God, you may do that if you receive Jesus Christ in your heart as your Lord and Savior now.  In case you do not know how to do that, read the following prayer several times, and when you understand it, pray it to God in faith in a loud voice.  He will hear you and will receive you as His son or daughter. He does not reject anybody who is sincere.

It is not necessary at this point, but if you truly want to understand why it is necessary for you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you may read the following scriptures:  John 3:3, John 3:15-17, John 14:6, Romans 10:9, Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins.  Please forgive me.  I confess and believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, that he suffered and died to pay for my sins, that He resurrected on the third day, and that He is at Your right hand in heaven praying for me.  I receive Him as my Lord and Savior, and I also ask You to allow the Holy Spirit to live in me and to guide me.  Amen.”

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (2/15/18)

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR TRUTHS?

Any intelligent person knows there can only be one real truth and nothing else.  However people make their own so-called truths and will even fight and die for them.  I will explain some of them, so you will know exactly what I am actually talking about.

For the sake of clarity I will only deal with two so-called truths and the real one.  What are the two so-called truths?  The first one is the one that has been accepted by the majority of the people because it is obvious, because it is common sense, because it can be proven either scientifically or by other means,  because it is practical, or because people have always believed that way.

The second so-called truth is what you actually believe to be true.  It may not be true for others, but it is true for you in your particular case.  This one has a lot to do with your environment, past experiences, your exposure to it, your immediate sphere of influence, the way you think, how you look at things, your reasons for  rationalizing and, of course, with your pattern of behavior.

The so-called truths can change due to several factors, but the real one never ever changes. The real truth, of course, is the truth of God.  The Bible declares that in Hebrews 13:8, where the author of it, which is probably the apostle Paul, says:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Then in John 14:6, Jesus says:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus Christ should be the source of your truths. Any other truth is subject to change.

There is only one truth and that truth is Jesus Christ.  Now you may believe in evolution, that we came from a single cell and evolve into monkeys and then into human beings. Maybe you believe that our ancestors came in a spaceship from outer space, or it could be that you believe that we do not really exist that this world is imaginary, or that our lives are just a dream.  Whatever you believe that is a truth to you, but not necessarily the real truth.

The European people believed that the world was flat and that was a truth for them.  Christopher Columbus believed otherwise and he proved it.  The teachings in the schools had to change.  For many years intelligent scientists believed that there were only so many planets and that was taught in all the schools.  Therefore people believed it.  Then they discovered more and the people discarded an old so-called truth for a new one.  As time goes by this truth will probably change too.

An intelligent wise person is not one who does not question some of the so-called truths, but one who questions them and is willing to make changes if necessary.  However there is nothing wrong with a person not changing until the so-called truth is proven faulty.  If a truth cannot be denied, one should cling to it.

A person should establish his or her character,  principles, morals and scruples on unchanging values and truths.  That has worked well for millions of people before and they will continue to produce positive results for anyone who practices them.  I sincerely hope your truths are based on accurate facts, not on what you want to believe,  not on emotions, not on popular opinion, not on what you hear on the news media, not on what the politicians say, and not on theories.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (2/8/2018)

 

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GOD CAN CHANGE YOUR SITUATION

God has a purpose for your life, and at any time He can change your situation.  Although your situation may look bleak right now, God can change it in the twinkling of an eye.   Now that may seem impossible to you, but with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).

Let’s take a look of some examples in the Bible of how God changed people’s lives.  Adam was nothing but a lump of dust from the ground and God gave him life.  In Genesis 2:7, the Bible says:  “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” One minute there was dirt then that dirt became a human being.

Abraham and Sarah were old and had no children because Sarah was barren (Genesis 11:30), but then when Sarah was about 90 years old and Abraham was 100, God gave them a son – Isaac.  In Genesis 21:1-2, the Bible puts it this way:  “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken.  For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.”  Abraham who was old and had no children became the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5). What seemed impossible to them was possible with God.

Joseph, the son of Jacob, was thrown unjustly into prison (Genesis 39:11-20). One day Joseph was in prison and the next he was second in command over the land of Egypt.  In Genesis 41:38-46, the Bible explains it this way:  “And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.  You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.  And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.”

One day while Moses was tending sheep working as a sheepherder God appeared to him in a burning bush (Exodus 3:2) and told him that he had been chosen to bring the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt (Exodus 3:7-10).  Moses went from leading and protecting a small herd of sheep in the desert for 40 years to leading and protecting around 3 million people in the desert for 40 years. In just one day, God changed Moses’ life forever.  He can do that for you.

Saul, who later became known as the apostle Paul, used to hate Christians.  He would hunt them down and take them to prison (Acts 9:1-2).  God had other plans for him and so while Paul was on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:3), God knocked him down from his horse and blinded him.  In Acts 9:4-6, the Bible explains it this way:  “Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” In an instant, Paul became a different person.  Instead of hating Christians, he became an excellent one himself.

God is still in the life-changing business.  Undoubtedly you have heard of people whose lives have been changed for the better overnight.  You can be one of them.  Have faith, pray, believe and receive.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net

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SOCIAL MEDIA IS A THREAT

Many of us have not given much thought to the fact that social media, the news media, and the new technologies are an extremely serious threat to our families, society, Christian values and to our democratic form of government.  All of them are being seriously affected in a negative way  by the mentioned threats.

Whatever limited communication there was between the parents and their children before has come to almost nothing.  If the children are not texting, the parents are.  Consequently they do not have time to talk to each other.  If that were not bad enough, some kids bully others using their phones or other technical means, and unfortunately some children have committed suicide as a result of that.

Almost every single family that has children over the age of six or seven years old is affected, one way or the other by the smart phones, the social media or the television programs.  Most television programs have foul language, nudity and violence.  Even in the cartoons the children are exposed to violence, greed, aggressiveness and who knows what? Then we wonder why there is so much violence on the streets and at home.

The social media is guilty of promulgating misinformation, fake news, lies and even hatred toward certain groups of people or individuals.  Many people see it on social media and take it for granted that it is the gospel truth.  Even if they take it with a grain of salt, subconsciously it enters their brain anyway. If a person hears a lie often enough, he or she begins to believe it. The dictators and the Communist leaders practice that principle quite successfully.

The social media can make or break a person.  It can break him by attacking his moral character. It does not matter if the person is not guilty, did not say, or did not do what the social media says he said or did.  The social media is just the opposite of our court system.  In our court system a person is innocent until proven guilty, but in the social media a person is automatically guilty and it is almost impossible to prove his innocence.

Our democratic form of government is at risk because the social media and the news media can give positive coverage to one candidate and negative to the other.  That can make a huge difference in the polls.  That is because people believe mostly what they hear, and that may not necessarily be the truth.  The winning candidate can very well be the one who has the most money to pay for TV ads or the one who knows how to bribe the news media by hook or crook. I know that is not correct, but that is the way politics work in our country.

Very seldom do we actually hear news on the news media.  What we hear is the opinions of the people on the panel.  Yes, they always have a panel of so-called experts.  Those experts are like the lazy-chair quarterbacks.  They always give their opinions after everything has been said and done.  If they are really experts, why don’t they give their opinion before something goes wrong, not after it went wrong.

Believe me, I am not against the news media, the social media, television or the new technology.  All of them could be the greatest resources known to man if used correctly.  They have tremendous potential.  What I am against is using them incorrectly, which is exactly what is happening in most cases.

The news media and the social media are running completely unchecked and they need to be regulated to a certain extent.  I am not talking Communism or complete governmental control, but rather some guidelines that would have to be followed. Some regulations that would protect our children and even the adults.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net    (1/25/2018)

IS IT COMMON SENSE,  WISDOM,  DISCERNMENT OR PREJUDICE?

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between common sense, wisdom, discernment and prejudice. To get  a clear understanding of what they are, and to have an accurate perception of them, let’s define each one for what they really are.  To accomplish our purpose we are going to use the definitions given by ”The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus.”

The definition given for “common sense” is:  “Sound practical sense in everyday matters.”  That would be doing not only what has worked for us before, but what has worked for most of the people. It is what most people would do under those same circumstances.  It would be something that we would not give it too much thought; we would just do it either automatically or almost automatically.

The best definition for wisdom is:  “Experience and knowledge together with the power of applying them critically or practically.”  In other words, it is combining all the resources available to us, such as intelligence, knowledge, experience and any other abilities we may have to act accordingly.

Discernment is defined as “good judgment or insight.”  That means knowing what to do and doing it.  Good discernment comes from having learned from our past experiences, using common sense, intelligence and wisdom.  Without discerning the circumstances we will make many wrong decisions.  That is because common sense comes from discernment.

Prejudice is defined as:  “Having preconceived opinions, being biased or partial, intolerance or discrimination against a people group because of race, religion or gender.” Racial prejudice is condemned by our society and rightfully so.  However there are circumstances and then again there are circumstances.  I am not justifying it, I am just explaining it.

Let’s begin not to rationalize, but to explain some of the circumstances leading up to prejudice.  Supposing in a fictitious country named Calinia there had been twenty terrorist attacks and fifteen of them had been perpetrated by members of the same religion.  One could certainly affirm that some members of Calinia would dislike the members of that religion.  They would not distinguish between the peaceful and the violent ones.  Yes, it would still be prejudice, but it would be explainable and maybe even understandable.

The Calinians, whether they became prejudiced or not, would have to use discretion, common sense, wisdom and discernment in every situation where members of that foreign religion could potentially cause destruction or the loss of lives. The unwritten law of self-preservation would definitely apply to them.  Would you blame them?

Supposing in Calinia there would be members of another race who had a tendency to group together in certain cities.  Now supposing there was much more crime in their cities than in other cities where the population was mixed.  If you, belonging to the race that founded Calinia, would walk down the street at night in one of the other race’s cities would be in danger of being mugged, injured or even killed just because you were different, would you have an affinity for them?  Would you be prejudiced or would you be wise and discerning for not going out at night in one of those cities?

Simultaneously our country seems to be prejudiced and biased toward certain religions. I am talking about the Catholics, the Christians and the Muslims.  It all depends on what side of the fence you are on.  Although personally I am a born-again Christian, I deplore violence by members of any religion.  All of us have the God-given right to believe in what we believe as long as we do not harm anybody else.  Whether we spend eternity with God or not that depends on the choices we make here on earth.  On John 14:6, Jesus Himself tells us that He is the only way to the Father.

If a man were to impose his masculinity on a female just because he is physically stronger, would he be guilty?  He should be guilty before the authorities and he would be guilty before the eyes of God.  There should be equal pay and equal opportunities for both sexes. Favoritism of any type should not be tolerated in our society.

If a woman accuses a man of violating her personal life, the man should not be considered guilty until proof has been provided.  If he is proven guilty, he should be punished according to his crime and according to the rules that govern that type of offense.  If the woman has lied, for whatever the reason, she should be held accountable and be made to pay for her false accusation.

In our country people are being accused left and right of being intolerant toward the African-American, toward the gays, toward members of a certain religion, and maybe even toward women.  In some cases, it is correct and justified, but in others it is a miscarriage of justice. We must examine each individual case according to its merits, according to the Bible, and according to our conscience.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (1/18/18)

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DO NOT BE A PUPPET

Right now in our society we have a few puppeteers and way too many puppets. Unfortunately the puppeteers in many cases are corrupt, immoral, biased and have their own agenda that they impose on the puppets.  They pull the strings and the puppets move accordingly.  Let’s hope you are not either a puppet or a puppeteer.

Unfortunately you may be one of those puppets.  You can tell if you are a puppet if you follow the crowd most of the time.  If you get on the bandwagon easily, you are a puppet.  If you do not take time to think for yourself, you are a puppet.  If you do not investigate rumors, but simply accept them as being the gospel truth, you are a puppet.

Let’s get a lot more specific.  When there is an incident between a white person and an African-American one, do you assume immediately that it was because of racial prejudice or do you investigate the actual facts? When the police arrest a person, do you immediately think that the person is guilty or do you think that the police acted wrongly?  If you come to your conclusion without looking at all the facts, you are a puppet of today’s social environment.

When the Democrats or Republicans say that a certain bill in Congress brought about by the opposing political party is horrendous, do you condemn it without really knowing what it says or how it is going to function?  That is happening constantly in our country.  Do you assume that everything Donald Trump says or does is wrong just because the Democrats say so?  Do you believe Hillary Clinton should be in prison just because the Republicans say so?  You may be a puppet if you do not t look to see what is behind the allegations.

Do you agree that we should not have control of firearms in this country just because the NRA and many people think that way?  Thousands of people are being killed with firearms in this country.  It is really quite easy to possess a firearm.  Unless he is a hunter a person should not need a rifle, much less an assault one.  Do you really think anybody who wants to possess a firearm should have one? If  you do,  you are going  along with the crowd.

Do you believe that men should be able to marry men and women should be able to marry women, or are you simply going along for the ride?  How do you think God looks at that issue?  Regardless of what your position is on that issue, is it like that because other people believe that, or is it because you have actually thought about it, have studied the issue and have come to your own conclusion? If you are following public opinion, the trend or the herd, you are just a puppet, and puppets will always be puppets.

Do you eat what you eat because you like it and because it is good for you, or do you eat it because everybody else is doing it?  Are you partaking of it because you saw it advertized on television or because you like the taste and you know it is good for you? As with everything else it has to do with the reasoning behind it.

If you have a profession or are practicing a skill, did you choose it because you truly enjoy it, or did you go into it because your parents expected you to do so?  If you are in it because somebody talked you into it, you are a puppet.  If that is your case, you will never really be happy in that skill, job or profession.

Do not get me wrong, get angry with me or accuse me of being racially prejudice or of anything else, I am just trying to get you to think, to find out the truth behind everything, to enjoy life, to live life your own way, not to live a fake life and not to be a puppet to any puppeteer.  There are many of those who would like to manipulate you. I am not one of them.

THE END IS THE BEGINNING

When I say, “The end is the beginning,” you probably think that I am making a totally erroneous statement, but it happens to be true.  I will explain it and will give you reasons to look forward for it to happen in your life.  That is because the beginning can be so much better than the ending.

The end of a fetus is when it is born and it becomes a baby. One stage of life ends, but a new and better one begins. For the baby that is the beginning in this world.  He comes out of the darkness in the womb to the light of the world. He goes through many new learning experiences that will eventually lead him to be the person he becomes.

When a person graduates from college or decides after high school to join the work force his dependence on his parents or on his studies ends and a new life begins.  Now that he is independent he can live where he wants to, can buy whatever he needs or desires and can make his own decisions.  A new life has begun for him with a lot more freedom.

When a person gets married he leaves the single way of life and becomes a husband. He loses some of his freedom, but he gains so much more now that he has a companion with whom he can share the joys of life.  He and his wife may even enjoy just being together alone as a couple for a few years,  but then when the first child comes, it changes their lives again. It is a joy that only parents understand.

Unfortunately, in our society, many times people divorce.  You may be on what may seem to be the losing end. I am referring to when your spouse divorces you and you did not even see it coming.  Take time to heal, but do not despair.  There are many fish in the sea. If you are a Christian, pray to God and He may do a miracle for you just as He did for me. God may have the perfect spouse for you and with her you will find the happiness you never had before.

For any given reason you may lose your job even after many years of working for a company. What you have to remember is that when a door closes a better opportunity may come your way.  Yes, one job ends, but a new one begins.  You may earn more money on the new one, or you may even have a lot less stress. You just have to keep a positive attitude.

A person may be looking forward to retirement because he knows that he will have more time to relax and do some of the things he could not do before.  When his working days are over there is a new beginning.  That new beginning is different for every individual, but when it comes every single person has different options to choose from.

The last stage in everybody’s life is when they pass from this world to the next one.  Yes, this life ends, but a new one begins and the latter is so much better than the first one.  Of course, that depends on where you will spend eternity.  The people who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will spend it with God and the ones who have not, for whatever reason they may have, will spend it in the lake of fire with the devil and his demons.

The main point of this article is to give you hope when something ends or when one door closes.  When that happens instead of fretting, being stressed out or worrying, look forward to the new beginning.  The new beginning will be even better than what you had before and especially if you keep a positive attitude looking over your options and choosing the very best one.

Remember this…the end is not the end, but just the beginning and that beginning can be exactly what you are looking for and exactly what you need

YOU ARE NOT JUST ANYTHING

Most people who do not have what we would call a very important job or occupation, simply think of themselves as just being something.  They are totally mistaken because in God’s eyes no one is just something.  For example Adam was given the job of taking care of the garden of Eden.  He was not just a gardener.  It was an extremely important assignment and because he did not do it correctly according to God’s instructions, he and Eve were removed from there.  In essence, he disobeyed God.

Was Adam just a gardener?  I don’t think so! Because of his disobedience and not doing his task the way it should have been done, all of us have been penalized and are now paying the consequences.  Yes, sin came into this world and because of that all of us suffer in one way or another.  Not only do we suffer in this world, but all the people who refuse to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Redeemer will wind up in the lake of fire burning and suffering forever and ever.  One of those people could very well be you.  Open your eyes, your soul and your heart and that will not happen to you.

If you are a teacher at any level, do not say “I am just a teacher.”  You are impacting children every single day you work with them.  Some of those children will grow up to have extremely important positions and you will have had a part in shaping their futures.  No, you are not just a teacher, you are a person who can make a tremendous difference in the lives of your students. Do it with pleasure, with joy, and with plenty of satisfaction.

If you are a stay-at-home mom, you may say:  “I’m just a stay-at-home mom.”  But you know what?  You are a lot more than that.  You are shaping your children’s future.  They need your love, your caring, your attention, your guidance, your teachings and your help.  Your legacy will live on through them.  Whatever they accomplish in life can be directly attributed to your efforts.

Maybe you work in a factory and your job has become just a routine to you.  Don’t let it be so.  Because of who God is and because of who you are, do the best you can and you will feel good about yourself.  You have to see the overall picture.  The items you work with could be vital to a machine, such as an automobile, a train, an airplane, a computer or something even more important. If you do not do your job correctly, it could affect many other things.  It could even cause someone’s death.   No, you are not just a factory worker – you are someone who is important in our workforce and extremely important to your loved ones. 

It could be that you are a regular church attender and your think of yourself as just a Christian or just a church member.  You are much more than that!  When you pray, God hears you and because He does changes take place, which can affect many people in a positive manner.  Your tithes keep the church afloat and your presence in church does make a difference, whether you realize it or not.

You could be thinking:  “I am just one of millions of Americans.  I do not count.”  Your vote, your taxes, your voice and the work you do are very important in sustaining this country as a democracy.  This country would not be what it is without people like you and me who serve in the military, pay our taxes, vote, work and live under a democratic form of government.  No, you are not just another American, you are an important one.

Regardless of where you live, what you do for a living, your age, sex, ethnic group or anything else, your life does matter.  Upon reading the Bible, you will find out who you really are.  You are a child of God (Genesis 1:26).  That means God is your Father and He will bless you.  By receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you become a chosen person, a royal priesthood, a holy person and God’s special person (1 Peter 2:9-10).  More importantly, you will spend eternity with Jesus enjoying every single day.  Every day will not be just another day, but a wonderful one. The curses of this world, such as illnesses, death, aging,  hatred, envy, jealousy, violence, low self-esteem, racial prejudice, sadness, frustrations, worries calamities, destruction, wars, hunger and everything else that is negative will no longer exist.

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (12/28/17)

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CALL IT WHAT IT IS

In order to make sin palatable and acceptable society has come up with fancy names.  The new names make the sin exciting, intriguing and inviting. After the sin becomes a common practice it becomes the social norm.  For example; a drunk is no longer a drunk.  He has become a social drinker, and as such he has become part of the in-crowd and an integral part of society.

A woman who aborts a fetus is actually taking a human life because a fetus would become a baby and later on an adult.   However now days she is not committing a sin, but rather practicing woman’s choice. Society may look at it that way, but God definitely has a different view on the matter.

A man may have sex with a man and a woman may have sex with another woman and they call it an alternate lifestyle.  Society has approved those so-called marriages 100%, but God has disapproved them 100%.  Let’s see what God has to say.  Romans 1:26-28 – “ For this reason (exchanging God’s truths for a lie) God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” Leviticus 18:22 – “ You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”

Instead of calling it racial prejudice the public calls it racial profiling when a patrolman stops an Afro-American person or a Hispanic simply for not being white.  Regardless of what they may call it, it is still racial prejudice.  William Shakespeare would probably say:  “Racial prejudice by any other name is still racial prejudice.”

Many couples instead of calling it sin when they have sex out of marriage, they call theirs an open marriage.  Both man and wife have sex with other people and are happy with that lifestyle.  What does God say about it?  Exodus 20:14 – “You shall not commit adultery.” Leviticus 18:20 – “Moreover you shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, to defile yourself with her.” Matthew 5:27-28 – “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

A man who goes on a rampage and kills many people is probably just plain mean or crazy, but the psychiatrists will say that he has a mental disorder, instead of saying that he is just a plain murderer. According to them he is not competent enough to be tried by a jury, so he is not given capital punishment. He is incarcerated for years and it may cost the tax payers anywhere from 25 thousand to thirty thousand dollars per year. He was competent enough to devise a plan, carry it out, and kill many people, but he is not competent enough to be tried by a jury.

A marriage where the man is too lazy to work and does not wear the pants in the family has become known as a female-led marriage. Supposedly he displays a submissive behavior. That’s because he chooses for his wife to be the bread winner and allows her to make all the difficult decisions.  He is not a submissive husband, but rather a spineless one.  If you are one of them and if I stepped on your toes, I am not sorry.  The truth is the truth!

Some people tell a lie to cover up something, to protect someone or to keep secret something wrong they have done and they call it a white lie.  A lie is a lie and it has no color.  If it is not the truth, it is a lie no matter how you wrap it, decorate it or for what reason you tell it.

The point I made on this article is to call things what they are.  Face the music and don’t disguise what you are doing.  If you do, you are only fooling yourself. Remember this truth…If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

http://thelivinglights.com   rlsalvation@gmail.com   rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (12/14/2017)

 

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WE DEFINITELY NEED EACH OTHER

There are people in this world who think they do not need anybody else, but the truth of the matter is…we need each other, whether we want to admit it or not.  No person can be an island. Even if we isolate ourselves as much as possible, we still need others.  There are people we need, regardless of who we are.  Some of those people are parents, doctors, nurses, teachers, paramedics, police, first responders,  coroners and so on.

We associate with different people because we have specific needs and because at any given time we have certain circumstances which require the presence of certain people.  The first people we encounter at birth are the doctors, our mothers and the rest of our family members.

The relationships we establish with our family members are blood-related connections. In most cases those connection happen naturally.   

As we start to grow we become friends with other people.  Those relationships normally develop due to close contact with others and because we enjoy being with them and they enjoy being with us.  Those friends could be neighbors, classmates, co-workers, teammates and so on. Normally we move in the same circles and enjoy doing the same things. Most of the time we have a mutual admiration society with those friends.

Sometimes we associate with people because we have the same interests.  That could be enjoying the same sport, liking the same kind of music, being of the same religion, being of the same culture, having the same kind of pets, or because we enjoy participating in the same activities.  There’s a saying that says:  “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Another reason for associating with people is because we need their service or they need ours. A patient needs a doctor to be healed and the doctor needs patients to earn a living. We need policemen to keep us safe and policemen need society to have a job.  We need mechanics to fix our automobiles and mechanics need cars that are not running correctly in order to fix them and get paid.  I think these examples suffice.

As we grow into adolescence and adulthood we began to establish amorous relationships.  That is quite simply because male needs female and female needs male.  There is no getting around that.  I know that the homosexuals and the lesbians claim otherwise, but God and science do not necessarily agree with them.  God created us and gave us the mandate to multiply and fill the earth with people (Genesis 1:28, 9:1 and 9:7)

In order to multiply the human race as God commanded us, men need to have sex with women and women need to have sex with men hopefully in marriage.  Having sex out of marriage is a sinful act against God.  Men having sex with men and women having sex with women is also a sinful act against God the Creator of all existing life.  We know that both men and women can justify having sex out of marriage to society and it is readily accepted and maybe even lauded, but they cannot justify it to God. 

One of the most import reasons we need each other, if not the most important one, is because we need to love and to be loved. The person who says he or she does not need to be loved is either lying or is a person to be pitied more than anyone else we may possibly know. In 1 John 4:8, the Bible tells us:  “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Four questions arise:  Do you love? Do you need to be loved? Do you know God? Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Not only do we need each other and to love each other, but we also need God and to love Him. You may verify this by reading Matthew 22:37-40 in the Bible.  Many atheists, agnostics, self-sufficient, and supposedly intelligent people believe in evolution.  Evolutions has so many flaws in it that it would take much more faith to believe in it than to believe in God. The principle that nothing comes from nothing will never ever change.  So, how did evolution began?  It had to have a creator.  That Creator is God. 

http://thelivinglights.com   rlsalvation@gmail.com   rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net   (12/7/2017)

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DO NOT BE PART OF THE PROBLEM

The world has become an extremely dangerous place and it is becoming more dangerous by the day.  The person who does not have a gun, has a rifle and the one who does not have a rifle has an assault weapon.  People are being killed by firearms around the world on a daily basis.  It has become a common thing. In my humble opinion, we should have strict guidelines and regulations as to who could own a gun.  To own one should not be a right but a privilege.

I know that the NRA (National Rifle Association) and many people who either own several guns or would like to have some, are going to completely disagree with me.  I also know that the terrorists, the arms manufacturers and the owners of the stores selling arms will not be in agreement with me. I am also aware that if someone were to show this article to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, it would be ridiculous in his opinion.

Do not be part of the problem, but be part of the solution.   Do not own an arsenal of guns.  Do not even have one.  One thing is sure…if we diminish the number of guns on the street we will diminish the number of deaths caused by them.  Urge your congressman to come up with legislation for gun control.  If you don’t, the carnage will continue.  The next victim could be you or somebody you love.  That’s because no one is exempt from gun violence.

The abortions are running ramped in our country.  If you are an abortion advocate, think what would have happened if your parents had been abortion advocates.  You would not be here.  Every single abortion advocate has parents who did not and probably do not believe in aborting a child.  If you are thinking of aborting a child, give him or her up for adoption.  There are many couples who cannot have children and would love to have them.  A fetus is a human being ready to be born.  When a woman aborts she is really taking a life.  Maybe not our court system, but God considers it murder.  Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.  You will be glad you did!

If you are drinking, smoking or using drugs because you want to be accepted by your peers, stop doing that.  You are harming yourself, your family and society.  The people who do not accept you for who you are, are not worth having as friends anyway.  You cannot please everyone, but you should please yourself and please God.  After all, you should be the most important person to yourself and you should please God because He can send you eternally to heaven or to the lake of fire. Don’t be part of your own problem, rather be part of your own solution.  When you leave this world you will be glad you were!

Don’t follow the herd.  Be your own person.  Think for yourself and act accordingly.  You don’t have to have a tattoo or ring on your nose just because you see somebody with one.  Be strong enough to make your own decisions and then abide by them.  Don’t be a copy cat or a monkey see, monkey do.  Any weak  and not too intelligent person can follow the crowd. It takes an intelligent and strong person to forge his or her own path.  Don’t follow the herd, lead it. 

Many people are attacking President Donald Trump.  It does not take any courage or intelligence to get on the bandwagon with them and to do the same.  It takes a lot more courage and intestinal fortitude to defend him and defend what he is trying to do for our country.  You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.  It is entirely up to you.  Choose the correct one.

Some people supposedly are coming out of the closet.  Stop and think for a moment.  If your father had been a homosexual and if your mother had been a lesbian, would you be here? If Adam and Eve had been able to choose what sex they wanted to be, and even if just one of them had chosen incorrectly, would there be a human race?  Have you seen a homosexual horse or a lesbian mare?  Read chapter 1 of the Book of Romans in the Bible and see what God has to say on the matter.  Because God gave us free will, you can choose between right and wrong. That, however, does not mean you will not have to pay for the consequences if you choose wrongly. 

I could give you many more examples, but by now you probably understand that our society is in complete disarray and moral decay.  However it does not have to affect you in a negative way and you can avoid being contaminated by the world’s sin. You have the right and the privilege to choose in  just about every single situation. 

http://thelivinglights.com   rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (11-30-2017)

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A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND

Any business, family, government or group that is divided will be short lived.  It will not be able to stand.  In Mark 3:24-25, Jesus told the scribes:  “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Getting the idea from Jesus, Abraham Lincoln said in a speech during the time when part of our country wanted to maintain slavery and the other part did not:  “A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure permanently, half slave and half free.” His actions and history proved him right.

Unfortunately our country is divided more than ever.  It is divided in many areas, but I will just mention the four that are foremost in our minds.  The one we see more in the news now days is the one in politics.  The Democrats try to undermine everything the President does, and the Republicans try to undermine everything the Democrats do.  Consequently nothing of real value gets done and the losers are the working people.  We are tossed around as pawns by both the Republicans and the Democrats.

It would be beneficial to everyone concerned if the Democrats and Republicans would act as educated human beings who really cared about the people.  They seem to care more about their ego and themselves than anybody or anything else. Each party is trying to find dirt on the members of the other party, so it can gain political advantage.  The country is sinking, but the politicians don’t see it because they are too busy fighting among themselves. There a saying that says:  “We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.”

Another area o division is the racial one.  One would think that would have been over centuries ago, but unfortunately it is very much alive.  It’s difficult to understand why a person of a certain color would think that he or she is better than somebody with a different skin color. Now in our country when most people think of racial prejudice they think of whites disliking the Afro-American people.  However in my experiences I have found that some Afro-American, Japanese, French and German people are also prejudice.  I am quite sure that there are other races as well.  I just have not had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting them.

It seems that lately somebody has opened Pandora’s box to sexual harassment.  Prominent men are being accused of sexual harassment by several women.  Some of those accusations supposedly took place thirty or forty years ago.  I am quite sure that probably most of them are valid accusations.  The question does arise…why did those women wait those thirty or forty years to speak out?  What motivated them now and why didn’t it motivate them a long time ago? There could be valid reasons, of course, but it might just be possible that a few of those stories could be fabricated if somebody paid them a good amount of money.

There is no faster way to ruin somebody’s life or career than to accuse him or her of racial prejudice or sexual harassment. When those allegations come forth against somebody his or her career is automatically over. When somebody is accused of something like that, the news media automatically condemns him or her.  No trial is needed.  In the public eye that person is already guilty.

Although there are more divisions in our country, I am just going to mention one more, and that is the division in our churches.  First of all, there are the people who believe in Jesus Christ and the ones who believe in something or someone else.  I am not even going to mention the Muslim religion for fear of being accused of something.  Some of them are extremists, but I’ll let the government worry about that.  After all, it the job of our government to protect us.

I am going to concentrate on the born-again Christian religion.  Some pastors and evangelists preach directly from the whole Bible and withhold their private opinions.  Thank God for that! Unfortunately those churches are becoming fewer and fewer. Other pastors or evangelists take a scripture or a principle out of context and become wealthy preaching only that, selling books, CD’s and DVD’s on that topic.  They preach what people want to hear and because the people like it, the churches grow and more money comes in.

Many of the modern churches do not have a cross inside anymore and the pastors don’t mention sin.  They preach the message of prosperity and the gospel of grace.  In other words, God is going to prosper you financially, and you can sin because grace (unmerited favor) covers your sins.  Needless to say people like to hear that and because they do, they flock to those churches and give more money.  Those churches are called seeker friendly churches. 

In conclusion I would like to say that our country is on a path to destruction and unless we decide to work together putting our differences aside, there is very little hope for us.  Instead of trying to defeat the other person, we should try to uplift him.  When one member of a group loses, everybody loses, but when one person wins, everybody wins.

http://thelivinglights.com/  rlsalvation@gmail.com   rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (11/23/2017)

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EXISTENCE AND INTERACTION

The very act of existence compels us to interact with each other, with animals, with the planet and with God. Without cooperation it would be almost impossible for us to coexist in this planet.  Each component is an integral part of the system.  What one does affects the others.  We are all dependent on each other. 

The most common interaction. of course, is between people.  Most people think of that one and don’t even think that there are other interactions. One of the main reasons for that is that we have learned to communicate verbally and on top of that we do many activities together.  Society would not exist or be what it is without us communicating and interacting with each other continually. 

Another interaction and communication is with the animals.  Many people have pets and in some cases they communicate and interact more with them than with people.  Dogs, cats and horses come to mind, but people have other pets, such as snakes, rabbits, chicks, ducks, iguanas, hamsters and whatever else they choose to have as a pet.  One man had a crocodile for over twenty years. Apparently they communicated and interacted somehow.

Unfortunately most of the human race interacts with nature in a negative way.  We pollute the rivers, the oceans, the air we breathe, the ground and just about everything else.  We have not learned to be one with nature. We abuse it and abuse it.  There may come a time when it no longer can sustain life as we know it.   In Romans 8:22, the apostle Paul says:  “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

The most important interaction and communication we can have is with God. He is the Creator of everything that exists.  In John 1:3-4, the Bible says:  “All things were made through Him (Jesus Christ), and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”  Then in Genesis 1:1, the word of God says:  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” 

Since God is our Creator, we should communicate and interact with Him on a regular basis.  We can communicate with Him in different ways. The primary way is just plain talking to Him to thank Him for Who He is, for what He has done for us, and for what He is currently doing for us. Another way is to worship him by singing praises to Him.  Probably the most common way is when people communicate with Him through prayer.  Unfortunately many people only pray to God when they are in trouble, when they need something, or when they want something. 

You can improve your life, the lives of others,  the lives of animals, and the well-being of the planet by doing the will of God.  Be friendlier to people. Truly listen to them and try to understand them.  Help them when they need help and get involved in their lives as well as in your community.  Do not be a one-person island and do not be the lone wolf.  Some people need you and you need them. 

Be kind to pet animals. They don’t necessarily have to be yours.  Do whatever you can to save endangered species. It could be voting on a measure, signing a petition, donating money or getting physically involved. The animals may not be able to thank you themselves, but some people will and God will be happy you did your part.  After all, He created those animals.

There are many ways in which we, the human beings, are damaging the planet.  Do your best not to litter, not to pollute, and not to destroy what God has created.  Automobiles, airplanes,  factories and homes are some of the biggest contributors to air pollution.  Some of the other things that are harmful to the earth are:  chemicals, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, radiation, toxic fumes, gasoline, diesel and many other things.  Try to recycle as much as you can.  That helps our planet. 

http://thelivinglights.com   rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  (11/16/17)

 

WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?

An important question that you have to ask yourself is:  “Why do I do what I do?”  Do you work to live or do you live to work?  Most of us work to live because unfortunately we need money to pay for our daily living.  If you live to work, you are killing yourself, maybe neglecting your family and not giving enough time to God.  Work to live, but do not live to work.

Do you help people because it comes from your heart, or do you help them so people will think you are a good person or because you are expecting something in return? If you do it because it comes from your heart, may God bless you!  If you are doing it for any other reason, you are a superficial person.

Do you do excellent work at all times, or do you do it only when the boss is watching?  If you do it all the time, more power to you!  If you only do it when the boss is watching, you are only fooling yourself.  Sooner or later, the boss will find out and will probably let you go, but even if he  never finds out, God is watching.  He sees everything.  God cannot be fooled or mocked (Galatians 6:7).

Do you act piously at church on Sundays, but the rest of the week you are hell on wheels?  You may be fooling the general public and even your Christian friends, but you are not fooling God.  Even the pastor may know you are fake.  Be the real deal.  Live by Christian principles and love, not because you have to, but because you sincerely want to.

Do you follow the traffic laws and other laws because you may wind up in jail, or do you follow them because you know it is the right thing to do?  If you follow them for fear of being apprehended, you are doing it for the wrong reason.  You should follow them because you want to be a law-abiding citizen.  Nobody should have to force you to do it.

Are you not participating in an adulteress situation because you love your spouse, or because you are afraid he or she could find out? If you are doing it out of love and respect for him/her, great for you! If you are not cheating on your spouse for fear of being found out, losing your reputation, losing your family or your home, shame on you! Those reasons have not been, are not, and will never be valid.

Do you do certain things to please others?  I am talking about smoking, drinking, using drugs, putting on tattoos, using a certain language, dressing a certain way, or doing anything else, so people can think you are cool and allow you to be part of the in-crowd? if you are doing any of those things to fit in, you are not being true to yourself.  You are just a puppet who goes where the sun shines the brightest. Be yourself!

Do you have principles and values you live by, or do you make decisions according to popular opinion? If you have unchanging values and principles you live by, stick to them!  If you keep on changing like a chameleon, you don’t even know who you really are.  Let’s hope that is not your case, because if it is, you are pathetic.

This article is intended to make you think, meditate, reflect and react not to criticize you, downgrade you, or to put you down in any way, shape or form.  If I gave you that impression, I sincerely apologize to you.

http://theliivinglights.com   rlsalvation@sbcglobalnet   rlsalvation@gmail.com  (11/9/17)03-project-lamborghini-terzo-millenio

WHO OR WHAT DO YOU IDOLIZE?

If you idolize something or someone that is your master.  Yes, willingly you make yourself a slave to that person or that thing, whoever or whatever it may be.  Be that as it may, you are still a slave.  You will never be free, unless you release the hold that thing or person has on you. For some people that is easy to do and for others it is almost impossible. It depends on how much you are attached to that person or that thing.

Let us discuss some of the things or people that can enslave you.  For many of us it can be our body or our looks.  People spend millions or billions of dollars on cosmetic plastic surgery,  anti-aging creams, exercise machines/programs, the latest fashions in clothing, expensive jewelry, on self-improvement programs and on other things.

Many people are slaves to their work.  They work and work to the point that many times they neglect their families.  Many times divorce is a result of people devoting too much time to their work and not enough to their spouse or children.  It is very important to be a good employee or business owner, but at some point we have to draw the line.  Our families have to have priority over our jobs or businesses.

Some people make possessions a priority.  In other words they work themselves to death or do whatever is necessary to have a boat, an expensive car, a motor home, a big house or whatever else fills that void in their lives.  If you are an empty shell, have psychological problems, have low self-esteem or are greedy, the more possessions you have, the more you want.  What you have will never be enough and you will never be truly happy.

Some people are in a pursuit of power.  If you don’t believe that look at the politicians, or at your spouse if he or she is a domineering person.  Hopefully that is not your case, but if it is pray for God to change that person.  What we cannot do, God can.  When a person is in pursuit of power the people under them suffer.  Consider how the people suffered under Stalin, Hitler, Fidel Castro, or Franco in Spain during his reign.  Now days look at Venezuela with Nicolás Maduro, Cuba with Raúl Castro and North Korea with Kim Yong-Un.

For better or for worse, our country idolizes sports.  If you find that hard to believe look at the salaries some of those athletes receive.  When a person gets paid 23 million dollars for playing six months out of the year and a person with a BA from the university may only earn forty-five thousand for working the whole year you know our society has idols.  When an athlete refuses to salute our flag because he thinks he is bigger than that or when he refuses to believe in God because he thinks he is too important to believe in such nonsense, according to him, you know you have a so-called idol. Some of them are a legend in their own mind.

Movie stars and singers are others who earn millions of dollars for doing whatever it is they do. The public idolizes them.  Keep in mind that without people buying their records, going to their concerts or seeing their movies, they would not earn any money.  It is the public who lifts them up.  They are people just like us.  Some of them are bigger sinners than most of us.  So, why do we make idols out of them? It is totally ridiculous!  When they face God on judgment day, there will not be a red carpet. Their money, fame, possessions and their many followers will not be with them, but even if they were, they would not mean a thing to God.

By the way, there is an absolute truth; all of us will die some day.  Yes, that includes you.  It will not matter who or what you idolize or who idolizes you.  What will matter is if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  In other words, have you received Him as your Lord and Savior?  If you have and have tried to live a decent life, you will go to heaven, but if you have not, for whatever the reason, you will go to hell and later on will be transferred to the lake of fire to suffer in the fire eternally.  The choice is yours!

If you must idolize something or someone, let it be Jesus Christ.  He lived a sinless life and He gave up His life to pay for your sins, so that you could spend eternity with Him.  In that eternity there will be no death, no illnesses, no greed, no envy, no sadness, no suffering, no hatred, no racial prejudice, and nothing negative that we know in this life.

If you are already a born-again Christian – congratulations!! If you are not and you want to spend eternity with God let your real idol be Jesus Christ.  Receive Him in your heart as your Lord and Savior.  If you do not know how to do it, read the following prayer and when you truly understand it and believe it, pray it to God aloud in all sincerity.  He will hear you and will receive you as His child.

“”Father God, I repent of all my sins.  Please have mercy on me and forgive me.  I believe and declare that Jesus Christ suffered, died on the cross and resurrected on the third day to pay for my sins.  I receive Him in my life as my Lord and Savior and I ask Him and the Holy Spirit to live in me and for them to help me do Your will.  Amen.”  http://thelivinglights.com/    rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net    rlsalvation@gmail.com

WHAT IS SUCCESS?

What is success?  The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus defines it as:  “1. The accomplishment of an aim; a favorable outcome  2. The attainment of wealth, fame, or position.  3 A thing or person that turns out well.”  Those three definitions have merit to them.  However I am going to discard number two for now and focus mostly on one and a little on three.

The most logical and important definition to me is the accomplishment of an aim.  You see, it does not matter what the aim is, but what does matter is that it gets accomplished, that it is fulfilled, that it comes to fruition and that the outcome brings forth the expected results. What the aim is, is irrelevant – what really matters is that the desired results are produced.

Let me give you some examples to clarify what I am saying. Supposing a child is two years old and for whatever the reason has never taken one step and then he or she takes one step or two.  The parents would consider that a success.  Maybe a team had never won a game all season and then it won one by one point.  That would be a success to that team for that specific day. Success can be different in different situations and to different people.

What one person considers success some other might consider a failure and what some may consider a failure others may consider it a success.  That’s because success is an individual thing. Each one of us is different from the rest in many respects.  We have different abilities, different backgrounds, different opportunities and different ways of looking at things.  What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander.

On the outside many people look extremely successful and that is all we can see.  On the inside, however, they may be extremely sad, lost, depressed and hurting. I would not consider them successful.  A case in point would be the movie stars.  They seem to have everything because they have good looks, fame, money and powerful acquaintances, but some of them have been married many times, are into drugs and are living an immoral lifestyle.  Are they successful?  I don’t think so!

Success is knowing who you are, feeling good about yourself and about your loved ones, being happy with your lot in life, loving people and being loved, giving back to society, having a job you enjoy doing, having the necessities of life – not necessarily your wants, and having a personal relationship with God.  If you have a personal relationship with God you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that when this life is over you will be spending eternity with Him.

Yes, my friend, the ultimate success is spending eternity with God where there will be no more pain, sadness, troubles, illnesses, hatred, racial tensions, envy, depression, jealousy, death, gossiping, double crossing, violence, hunger, lack of your necessities, or anything they may be negative in any way, shape or form.  Yes, it will be a utopia, a Shangri-la and a paradise. You can be there, but only if you are a born-again Christian.

You may have the question:  “How do I become a born-again Christian?”  It is easier than you may think.  Go to my article called:  “No One Is Sinless.” Read all of it and then pray aloud the prayer that is almost at the end of it.  If you do, you will go from death to life, from an unbeliever to a believer, from an enemy of God to His child, and from an unsuccessful person to a successful one.   http://thelivinglights.com/    (1026/2017

R      O      O      T      S

Trees, shrubs and the vascular plants have roots and without them they cannot exist.  The reason for the roots is that the plants, the trees and the shrubs get their nutrients through them.  The nutrients, of course, are the soil and the water needed to keep the plants alive.  If the roots die, for whatever the reason, the tree, the plant or the shrub die.

In a human being the roots are his or her ancestors.  Those roots, which are his or her ancestors, in many cases have a big effect on the life of the person.  The culture through which a person is reared has a tremendous influence on his or her life.  An American infant who is raised in China by a Chinese family  when he or she grows up is more Chinese than American. The environment a person lives under  tremendously affects the life and the behavior of that person.

The culture, as we mentioned, has a tremendous impact on a person’s life, but so does the DNA that comes through the bloodline.  Almost everything related to the physical body comes through the DNA.  That, of course, includes certain illnesses, intelligence (mental capacity), weaknesses, strengths and physical characteristics.  One cannot really understand a person without knowing his or her total background and upbringing.  That includes genealogy, culture, environment, past experiences and even then, since every person is unique we cannot really know him or her.

The only one who truly knows a person is God because He knows everything; He is omniscient (1 John 3:20). In Psalm 44:21, the psalmist tells us:  “Would not God search this out?  For He knows the secrets of the heart.”  Then in Psalm 139:1-3, the psalmist tells us:  “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up;  You understand my thought afar off.  You comprehend my path and my lying down,  and are acquainted with all my ways.” In other words, God knows us better than we know ourselves.

Just as we have roots as individuals, our country – the United States of America – has roots as well,  just as every other country does too.  To know our roots we have to know who our founding fathers were, why they came to an unsettled land, what their intentions were and what legacy they wanted to leave for us.   We can find out all that information by perusing through history books.  There are plenty of sources of information, since it was common knowledge why this country was founded.

The founding fathers were religious people from England who were dissatisfied with being forced to belong to  the Church of England.  This group of people who later became known as the Pilgrims,  in search of religious freedom,  left England and went to Holland to establish themselves there.  Because of the language,  culture and conditions there, they were not able to truly establish their community the way they had planned.

Because of religious persecution in Europe  the Pilgrims decided to try their fortune in the New World, which, of course, was America.  They went to London, chartered a boat called the Mayflower and set sail for America.  In 1620, they landed on what is now the state of Massachusetts.  They went on to establish the 13 original colonies, which were under British rule until July 4, 1776 when the colonists declared independence from England.

Both our Constitution, which was actually signed in 1787, and our Declaration of Independence  have many ideas from the Bible.  Contrary to what people want to believe now days, our country was founded by Christian people with Christian values.  God was the focal point of their lives.  The founding fathers were not atheists, agnostics, pot smokers, homosexuals, lesbians, abortionists or politically correct.  They were just normal people who loved God, loved our country, loved their families and loved their fellow citizens.

Up to a few years ago our citizens were proud to see the ten commandments on public buildings.  They would freely say the name of God and even pray to Him in our schools.  They were proud to say we had Christmas vacation or Easter vacation.  They would not call them winter  vacation or spring break. They would proudly serve in the military and salute our flag at any given occasion.

If some of our founding fathers could see how American is today, they would not recognize it.  It is not at all what they had in mind.  Right now, it should not even be called The United States of America, but rather The Divided States of America.  We can give thanks for that to the news media ,  Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the movie stars and to the football players. It is time for every American to remember our roots.  We need to go back to godly values.  The Bible would call it going back to our first love  (Revelation 2:4-5).  That first love for America was God.  We started as  a godly nation, and although we have drifted away so far we know  God can forgive us if we truly repent and come back to Him asking Him to forgive us.  If we have crossed the line of no return and we refuse to repent, one thing is for sure; destruction awaits us, just as it happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.  God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7-8).  Only time will tell.  http://thelivinglights.com/  (10/19/17)

A GROUP WITHOUT RULES OR GUIDELINES IS DOOMED TO FAILURE

Any group, whether it be a family, a team, a business, a community, a state or a nation, that has no rules, guidelines, discipline, goals or a good responsible leader is doomed for failure.  In the absence of rules. guidelines, goals  or a good leader chaos ensues.  That would be almost as if the blind were leading the blind.

Many American families are suffering for the lack of a father image.  Those are the families where divorces have occurred, children were born out of wedlock, the father has abdicated his responsibilities, the parents are on drugs, the father is in prison or the children don’t even know who their father is.  Those types of homes do not have a stable leadership and the children get confused and grow up as such.

The strength of any total comes from the sum of its parts. Therefore the nucleus of the strength of any country comes from the unity and dedication of its citizens and especially its families.  Because our families are broken, our government is also broken. In order to fix our country we have to fix our families and that may never happen because the problem seems to be going from bad to worse with every generation.

What is the reason that our families are broken?  The real problem is that we live in an individualistic society.  In other words, everyone wants to live life in his own way without adhering to rules, regulations, any type of authority or taking into consideration the needs, the wants, the feelings and the lives of other people.  It’s all about me and not about anybody else at all.

Our country, the United States of America, seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into a chaotic pit of sinking sand.  We will keep sinking deeper and deeper unless we change our way of thinking and that, of course, is the key.  Nothing will change until we change our way of thinking.  Changing our way of thinking will change our way of acting and doing things.  When we do that, we will change the results.

Our country is in chaos because:  Congress does not listen to the President, the President does not listen to Congress, the athletes do not salute our flag, the news media does not give the news; it gives its opinion,  Hollywood wants to run our country, the American people has lost confidence in the politicians, the American people has moved God aside, moral laws have been discarded, and everyone wants to do whatever he or she pleases.  Anarchy can destroy any nation, and it may destroy ours if we do not take the appropriate action.

If we do not change, we are doomed for failure and maybe even destruction. The government will not be able to change the people, but the people can change the government.  Change does not come from the top on down, but rather from the bottom up.  Yes, it has to be a grass roots effort. That effort has to have a leader and that leader cannot be the news media, Hollywood, the athletes, the politicians nor the sold-out evangelists or pastors, who just want to become wealthier and wealthier.

The leader of that movement has to be the Holy Spirit working through honest, sincere pastors, evangelists and people who are trying to advance the kingdom of God and not their own.  Thank God, there are still honest people who hear from God and want to do His will by taking His word to a dying world.  They do not want to get rich or famous, they just want to see people receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, so they can receive salvation and have life in abundance, according to John 10:10.

If you are a parent, accept your responsibility wholeheartedly.  Teach your children by example and by other means, so they will follow rules, be disciplined, follow guidelines and set realistic attainable goals. Teach them to love God, to love others, to love themselves and to follow God’s principles in the Bible. If you do that, not only will you be helping your children, but you will be helping the community and, of course, our country. It’s a win-win situation.   (10/12/17)

http://thelivinglights.com/   rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net

LEARN TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS

Many people do not learn to recognize the signs and because they don’t, they pay the consequences, which sometimes can be a matter of life and death.  It is vital for us to learn to recognize the signs in many areas of our lives.  Once we recognize them, we should take action because if we don’t, what follows may even shake our lives.

We have to recognize the signs of illnesses in ourselves, in our children and in other loved ones. If we fail to recognize them, when we finally go to the doctor it could be too late.  The main culprit here is cancer.  When many people discover that they have it they only have a few months to live.  There is nothing medicine or the doctors can do at that point.

Sometimes a marriage is going downhill fast, but by the time one of the spouses becomes aware of what is actually going on, it is too darn late.  Many families are torn apart and children suffer because one or both adults have not paid close attention to their marriage.  They think that it is an automatic thing.  They put it on automatic pilot as they start moving farther and farther apart.  For a marriage to succeed both the man and the wife have to do their part.  It is not something that will take care of itself.

Both husband and wife in a marriage or partners in a man and woman relationship have to pay close attention to the signs of their relationship.  Normally there are telltale signs when a relationship is going sour.  They may be different for a male than for a female, but nevertheless both of them have to recognize those signs.

A business needs a lot of attention of its owner.  Some businesses require a lot more work than others.  Big businesses can have absentee owners as long as they have a good CEO and a board to run them, but small businesses, in most cases, require the presence of its owners.  One cannot rely on the workers to take care of the business as if it were their own. The owner has to make sure that the business is running smoothly.

The owners have to keep checking constantly to see if they are gaining or losing clients and if their profits are increasing or decreasing.  They have to keep an eye on the market because it may change.  What was selling like pancakes yesterday may not sell at all today.  The world keeps changing and the smart business owner changes with it.

If you are, or a loved one is, smoking, drinking or using drugs, you should keep an eye on it, so you can close the lid on it. If you don’t recognize the signs that there is trouble, the roof is going to cave in.  A so-called social drinker may actually be a drunk with a very serious problem.  A so-called “recreational user of marijuana” may really be a pothead.  It is vital that you know the difference.

The boss may be getting ready to fire you through no fault of your own.  Since you may have a family to support, it would behoove you to know those signs.  Don’t let it come upon you as a complete surprise. Be looking for employment in advance, so that if they fire you, you already have a better job lined up.  Many people have done exactly that.

Unfortunately this country is moving away from God, and because it is, God is moving away from us.  How do I know?  Look at the violence, the hurricanes, floods,  tornadoes, earthquakes and other calamities that are happening in our country – the United States – and around the world.  It is not a coincidence.

Jesus warns the people about not knowing how to discern the times.  Luke 1254-55 – “Then He

(Jesus) also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is.  And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” What Jesus meant was that people knew what the weather would be like, but it did not know the signs of the times.  One of the signs was that He (Jesus) was God incarnate – God in the flesh.

Some of us do not understand the signs of the times.  They are violence, earthquakes in diverse places, fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and so on.  What do those signs mean?  They mean that Jesus Christ is coming back  to take the Christians to heaven in what is known as “the rapture.” That means we will live forever with Him.  The ones who stay behind will be the ones who have never and will never accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  I sincerely hope you are not one of them because those people will spend eternity burning and suffering in the lake of fire.

You can escape going to hell and spending eternity in the lake of fire by repenting, asking God to forgive you, receiving Jesus Christ in your heart as your Lord and Savior and by changing your sinful ways.  You may think it’s fun and funny to sin as much as possible, but when you are cast in the lake of fire you will think differently.  If you do not want to wind up in the lake of fire with the devil and his demons, reach out to God and He will reach out to you.  (10/5/17)  http://thelivinglights.com

FULFILL YOUR POTENTIAL

For one reason or another, many of us do not really fulfill our potential.  Yes, we have a lot more potential than what we are currently doing.  If you are one of those people, you probably already know it and I don’t really have to remind you of it.  Actually it might even make you feel uncomfortable.  Nevertheless my job is to tell you the truth because it will set you free.  In John 8:36, the Bible says:  “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” In this case, it will set you free from mediocrity.

In order to fulfill your potential you must have a vision.  If you don’t have a vision, you are probably floundering at the whim of the world, circumstances, people and maybe even the devil.  Yes, he does exist and he does not want you to succeed.  If he can make you believe that he does not even exist, he has you whipped already.

Visions do not come to you out of the clear blue sky.  You must do some serious thinking and then do some research.  After you acquire knowledge as to what is needed, what is available and what is possible, then you may develop a vision of how to undertake the process of coming up with an invention, developing a business or a solution to some needed change.

After you have the vision clear in your mind, you need to take inventory as to what you already have to make your dream come true.  After doing that, you will know as to what you will still need to complete the mission.  Of course, you will have to count the costs.  Because it will be then, and only then, that you will know if it’s worth taking the risk or not and if you can actually accomplish it.

Assuming that you have decided to go forth with your vision, then you must lock into it with faith and determination.  The chances are there will be several roadblocks, but you cannot let them deter you from accomplishing your goal and you cannot allow them to sidetrack you from your course. You must stay focused on your goal if you are to succeed.

There will be some naysayers – freely they will always give you their negative opinion. They will give you many reasons why you should not go forward with your dream.  That’s because they only see the obstacles and not your potential. Do not listen to them.  As long as you have done your homework, know yourself and have a dream go forward and do not allow negative people to derail you.  The sky is the limit if you have a dream with a vision according to your potential and if you stay focused with your eyes fixed on the goal.

Fulfilling your potential will not come easily to you.  You will have to work hard, persevere and not allow circumstances or other people to dissuade you.  There is a saying that says:  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  That’s exactly what you will have to do.  You must do the very best you can do in the present time, but you must also keep your eyes on the future and on the project and see it as if it were already finished.

Last but not least, you must have faith in yourself and faith in God.  In Hebrews 13:5, the Bible says:  “ Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He (God) Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”If you are a Christian, God will always be with you.  In John 10:10, Jesus says:  “The thief (the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus Christ) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” God wants you to have life in abundance and He will help you do exactly that if you put your faith in Him.

If you are not fulfilling your potential, for whatever the reason, I sincerely hope this article has helped you and that it drives you into taking action, so you can get the most out of life.  Not only will you benefit if you do, but all the people around you who are affected by your decisions will also benefit and be glad that you decided to fulfill your potential.  Good luck! (9/28/17) http://thelivinglights.com/

THE GOD OF THIS WORLD HAS BLINDED SOME OF US

Most people do not know that the Lord of this world is the devil.  2 Corinthians 4:3-5 states it this way:  “ But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,  whose minds the god of this age (the devil)  has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” Some people will never believe in God, because they just don’t want to believe.

In 2 Corinthians 11:14, the Bible tells us:  “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” That means he can appear as a virgin, a saint or an angel and deceive people into believing they are getting the word of God, but instead they are worshiping the devil. Do you know of a religion that may be doing exactly that? The devil is the master of deception.  He has been practicing that successfully for thousands of years.

In Genesis 3:4-6, the Bible tells us:  “ Then the serpent (the devil) said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Eve was the first person to be deceived by the devil and that’s when sin entered this world.  Previous to that the devil had deceived one-third of the angels in heaven.

In John 8:44, the Bible tells us:  “ You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Jesus was telling that to some people who believed in Abraham, but not in Him (Jesus).  The devil is a liar and the father of lies.

The devil is the one who insinuates to us that we are worthless, that nobody likes us, that we will never amount to anything, that life has no meaning, that he and God do not exist, that once we die there is nothing else and so on.  If he can get us to believe all his lies, we are defeated.  That’s when we have low self-esteem, feel frustrated, disgusted, unwanted, worthless and believe that heaven, hell , God or the devil do not exist.

In Ephesians 6:11, the Bible tells us:  “ Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The apostle Paul tells us that we have an adversary, which is the devil, and for us to be prepared for war.  We do that by reading the Bible, praying, going to church, having faith and rebuking the devil.  We have power over the devil and his demons if we know and apply the word in the Bible.

In 1 Peter 5:8, the Bible tells us:  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The apostle Peter tells us to be on the lookout because the devil is trying to devour us. We have to be aware that the devil exists and that he comes at us from different angles, in different ways and at different times to attack us in the unprotected areas of our lives.

In Revelation 12:9, the apostle John tells us:  “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” He was the most beautiful angel God had created, but because he rebelled against God, God cast him out of heaven with one-third of the angels, who are now demons. However the devil did not lose his intelligence or what he knew and that’s why he knows exactly how to tempt human beings.

In Matthew 24:24, the Bible tells us through the apostle Matthew:  “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Since the devil does not have any real power, his weapons are lies, false truths, cunning, deceit and trickery.  He has used them very effectively throughout the centuries.

When something dreadful happens, people who do not even read the Bible or go to church ask: “If God is so good, why did He let this happen?” God did not cause it.  It was caused because of sin and the devil is behind all sin.  Sin first came into the world through Adam and Eve when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They disobeyed God.  He had instructed them not to eat the fruit of that tree, but they listened to the devil instead.

Don’t let the god of this world blind you.  If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a son of God and are very important to Him.  Do not have low self-esteem, do not feel alone, forgotten, depressed, deprived, anguished, unwanted, unimportant or anything of the sort.  You have value and your value comes from God.

If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, for whatever the reason, you may do it now.  If you do all your sins will be forgiven immediately and you will become a son/daughter of God.  If you have no idea how to do that, read the following prayer.  When you understand it, pray it to God aloud in all sincerity.  He will hear you, forgive all your sins, and will make you His son/daughter.

“Father God, I know I have sinned and I repent.  Please, forgive me.  I believe and I confess that Jesus Christ is Your Son, that He died to pay for my sins, that He resurrected on the third day and that He is at Your right hand interceding for me.  I ask Him to be my Lord and Savior and I also ask the Holy Spirit to live in me, so He can help me live a Christian life.  Thank You, Father! Amen.”

Don’t be a lone wolf.  Find a good born-again Christian church where they preach directly from the Bible. Make friends there and start learning the wonderful word of God. It will transform your life.  Keep coming back to my page – http://thelivinglights.com/   Good luck!!   (9/21/17)

GIVE IT AWAY

If you take inventory of what you have, you will find out that you have a lot more than you think.  For one reason or another, you haven’t really thought about it.  Actually you have taken for granted most of what you already have.  I am going to remind you of some of the things you have, so you can be more grateful than you have been.

I am not going to elaborate on what you have in order not to insult your intelligence.  I will just make a compilation of what you have, and you will assess how many of those things you already possess and to what extent.  You may be aware of some of them or you may never have realized or acknowledged that you had them.

We don’t know how much you have developed them, but one thing for sure is that you have intelligence, wisdom, physical abilities, skills, talents, special gifts,  feelings, likes and dislikes.  Some of them are unique to you.  You may be the best or one of the best in a certain field.  The reason is because it gives you satisfaction and you have worked hard at it.  Then again, you may be one of those individuals to whom talents come naturally.

Whatever gifts, talents and abilities you may have, they are meant to be shared.  Don’t hoard them.  You can bless many people with them.  Not only will it make other people happy, but it will give you a sense of satisfaction.  That’s because it gives us more pleasure to give than to receive.  Jesus Himself said that it was more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).  Share your time, gifts, talents, abilities, money, wisdom, intelligence, advice, knowledge of the word of God and whatever else God may have blessed you with.

Imagine how the world would be without a Beethoven, a Picasso, an Abraham Lincoln, an Albert Einstein, an Albert Schweitzer,  a Ronald Reagan, a mother Teresa, the Wright Brothers, a Nelson Mandela, a Christopher Columbus and many others.  They affected millions of people.  The world would not have been the same without them.  They made a difference and you can make a difference too, maybe not to the scale they did, but a difference nevertheless.

If the scientists and the inventors were not to share what they know, we would still be in “The Dark Ages.”  In the area of communications we have made tremendous progress – thanks to the people who have burned the midnight oil to come with new inventions.  Compare your cell phone to a phone from the fifties or sixties.  Those phones would not even be a dinosaur compared to what we have today.

The best example of sharing was given to us by Jesus Christ Himself.  What did He give or shared?  He gave His time,  knowledge,  talents, abilities, wisdom, love and ultimately His life.  John 3:16 says:  “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Don’t let His death be in vain.  Receive Him in your heart as your Lord and Savior and you will spend eternity with Him.

We learn by living and doing.  There is no better school than experience.  In any given field there is always someone who knows a lot less than you do or has a lot less than you have.  Instead of looking down on them, being jealous of envious of them, help them get ahead.  Whether they appreciate it or not, is up to them.  You, on the other hand, will feel good about yourself, regardless of the outcome.

Whatever it is you have, share it with the world.  Don’t keep it to yourself.  If you do, you will enjoy life, but if you don’t, you will die sad, lonely and unsatisfied.  That’s right!  Just give it away! Look for ways to bless others with your talents, knowledge and abilities. If you bless others, God will bless you.    (9/14/17) http://thelivinglights.com/

 

WE ARE AMERICAN

We should not be a country of black, white, brown or red people.  We are a country of people who have chosen to live here and make this country their home. We are American.  We are not a country of Irish-American, Hispanic-American, Afro-American, Italian-American, Asian-American or anything else American.  We are just American.

We should not be a country of wealthy people, middle-class people and poor people.  We are just American people.  It’s not about being famous, popular or living incognito.  It should be just about being American.  That was good enough for our founding fathers, good enough for our ancestors and it should be good enough for us.

It should not matter to us if we have ten thousand degrees, work in an office or work on construction.  What matters is that we are American.  We should love our country, love our differences because, after all, we are American.  Nobody can take that away from us, but us ourselves.

Our country should not be about believers in Jesus Christ and unbelievers, not about religious people or atheists and not about church goers or people who do not go to church.  All of us are American and because we are, we should conduct ourselves as such.  A country divided cannot stand.  Jesus said in Matthew 12:25 that a kingdom, a city or a house divided against itself could not stand.  We should be about believing in the American way of life.

Our country is one of different cultures, different languages, different foods, different religions, different philosophies, different ideologies and many other differences, but what should bring all of us together is our love for God, love for our country,  respect for our flag, love for ourselves and love for each other.

Instead of focusing on our differences, of which there are many, we should be focusing on our similarities and on being American.  We should be proud to be American, to salute our flag and to serve our country in whatever way we can.  Not everyone has to be a soldier, but everyone can contribute something to make this a better country.

Our differences should not separate us, but should bring us closer together and make us stronger. We have heard the saying, “Two heads are better than one.”  That is absolutely true.

The many cultures we have represented, the many languages, the many foods and the many ways of thinking are much better than one.  Our strength should be in our differences.  What one group is lacking, another one can supply it.

If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem and that is exactly what the people who are bringing division in our country are.  I don’t believe in “black lives matter” because I don’t believe that “white lives matter.”  I believe that “all lives matter.”  That includes a fetus, a one-day-old baby, a ninety-nine-year-old uneducated woman and any other person on this earth.

Let’s remember that we are American and that every single one of us matters.  Whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant – each and every human being matters to Him.  Jesus actually appeared to me in a vision in 1978 and I know that I matter to Him.  How do I know that?  He wouldn’t have come seeking me if I did not matter to Him.  You matter to Him too!

You matter so much to Him that He gave up His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to pay for your sins (John 3:15-17).  I, for one, am proud to be an American, and even prouder to be a son of God.  Yes, I am a Christ follower and wouldn’t have it any other way.  Where are you? If you do not love this country, nobody is forcing you to stay here.  Go to another country where you agree with their way of governing, way of thinking and way of life.  Good luck!  (9/7/17) thelivinglights.com

 

WE LEARN BECAUSE OF NECESSITY

Basically we learn because of necessity.  The first two people to learn were Adam and Eve.  Since they were created as adults, they did not have the luxury of learning one thing at a time as most of us do.  Everything was completely new to them.  Simultaneously they learn to walk, talk, hear, eat, think, feel their emotions, take care of their basic needs and many, many more things that we take for granted.  It was probably exceedingly exciting and scary to them at the same time.

We really have no idea how God equipped them to deal with everything that was coming at them so fast.  One thing we know is that for God everything is possible (Mark 10:27).  We may never know how God prepared them or how He works miracles, but all we have to know is that He is able because He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. If by His word He spoke the world (Genesis 1:1-25), the universe and the galaxies into existence, surely by His word He equipped Adam and Eve.

Let’s leave Adam and Eve at peace wherever they may be and concentrate on the human race and modern times.  From the very first breath we take when we are born, we start learning.  In most cases the first thing we learn is to breath and the second one is to cry.  We learn that by crying we get attention, so we do it.  Another thing a baby learns almost immediately is to drink milk from the mother’s breast or from a bottle.  That seems to be something innate that God gives all his mammals.  If you are an evolutionist, how do you explain that?

When a child is born and up to the age of five years old, 90% of his brain development occurs at a tremendous rate.  Parents and teachers should be very much aware of that in order to take advantage of those years teaching the children good sound principles, as well as other things they need to know.  In most cases, what a child learns then will stay with him or her for life.  Those are the building blocks that will shape his or her future.

There is a saying that says:  “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  It is a very true statement. Nobody invents something that is not needed.  If he does, there will be no market for it and it will go into oblivion rather fast.  Some inventions have a time duration of existence.  That is because they become obsolete.  The buggies for horses became obsolete when the automobile was invented.  Rubber from the rubber trees in Brazil became obsolete when synthetic rubber was invented.  That is what progress is all about; one invention replacing another.

An inventor sees a need and then he invents something to take care of that need whatever it may be. It could be a machine or just an object.  We needed a paper to write on and somebody invented it.  There was a need for an ice-cream cone and guess what?  Somebody in Europe invented it.  Oil lamps were not very efficient, so Thomas Edison tried and tried until he came up with the light bulb.

Learning is a life-long process.  We should never quit learning, if nothing else because of necessity.  Since new inventions are constantly being invented and implemented, we have to keep on learning or we will not know how to use the new machines and the new technology.  In some cases it could very well be a matter of life and death.

So far we have mentioned machines and technology, but we cannot stay in a stagnant way of thinking.  We have to learn to adjust to new situations, new ways of thinking, new ways of doing things and new ways of processing information.  The world keeps on changing, and we should be changing with it.  I am not talking about being politically-correct, but rather about recognizing what we are doing wrong and addressing the issue.  If we do that, we will be able to change where we need changing and not change where we do not need changing.  That, of course, will make us a better person.

In essence, keep on learning remembering what was good yesterday may not be good today.  Since information is coming at us from different angles, learn to process it properly.  Look at it from different perspectives, decipher it,  analyze it and then act on it accordingly.  (8/31/17)  thelivinglights.com

YOUR REFLECTION

When you look in the mirror you see your reflection.  That reflection looks exactly like you.  If you want to change that reflection, you change the way you look.  You can shave off your moustache, cut off your beard, dye your hair, comb your hair differently and even put on makeup if you are a lady.  By changing clothes you change your reflection on the mirror. There are literally thousands of things you can do to change your image on the mirror.

Just as the reflection in the mirror is a picture of what you look like, the things you do, how you treat people, with whom you spend most of your time, and how you spend your time and money,  are a reflection of who you really are. Your family, your friends and people who are acquainted with you have a reflection in their minds of who and what you are.

There are people you cannot fool or deceive because they know you too well.  President Lincoln would probably say:  “You can fool most of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” That is a very true statement.

If you have any type of an addiction, instead of hiding it from people and trying to give a false image, it is much better to deal with the real issue and quit participating in that activity, whatever it may be.  If you need professional help, receive it.  If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, shopping or anything else, start doing something about it.  In most cases friends and family are willing to help if you ask them.  If you can afford it or if there is free professional help, run to it.

Some people try changing their physical looks and that in itself might be a good thing for them.  Although changing for the sake of change is nothing,  changing for the better is always good. Unfortunately many people make changes to be accepted by a peer group.  Some examples would be putting on tattoos all over your body, dying your hair blue, green, pink or any other weird color and wearing skimpy clothes to draw attention to yourself.  Some of those fads are expected of adolescents, but when people in their fifties, sixties or seventies do it, it simply looks ridiculous.

A person who has to draw attention to himself or herself normally has low self-esteem.  If you feel good about yourself you don’t need to prove anything to anybody.  You simply enjoy being you, because after all, the best you is you.  Nobody can be you better than you.  You do not have to imitate anybody because you value who you are.

You may be giving a wonderful reflection of your life, but, in essence, your are deceiving people, but more importantly you are deceiving yourself. You cannot deceive God because He is omniscient,  omnipresent and omnipotent.  The Bible tells us that He cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7).  Eventually after this life is over, all of us will be judged by Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:10).

You may say, “I don’t believe in God, so I won’t be judged.”  My response to that would be, “You may not believe in death, but some day you will die,” or “You may not believe that fire burns, but if you put your hand on top of a flame, it will burn you.” What reflection of your life is God seeing?  Let’s hope it’s one of sincerity, humility, righteousness, kindness, goodness, loving, and honesty.

The legacy you will leave is the one you are establishing now.  Don’t wait until your funeral so people can say, “He was a good man or she was a good woman,” live in such a way that people will say it now while you are alive.  Let your life reflect godly values.  IF, for whatever reason, you have not been giving a good reflection of yourself, it is time to change.  You will not be able to change, unless you change your way of thinking (Romans 12:2).  That is why the Bible says: “As a man thinks, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7.

Yes, it is possible to change, but you may have to get rid of some preconceived ideas.  Some of them may have been with you since childhood.  Start looking at life with a different perspective – a positive one.  One more thing; remember that reflections are not long lasting.  If you gave negative reflections in the past, they are gone.  Let the new ones be positive.  (8/24/17)  thelivinglights.com

 

LEARN TO BE HAPPY

If you think you cannot be happy unless you have certain things such as a new car, a new house, an important job, a perfect family, lots of sex, illegal drugs or are participating in fun activities, then you will never be truly happy.  Most of those things should have some degree of value and importance to you, but they are temporal and will not give you real joy or fulfillment.

You cannot depend on people, situations or circumstances to bring you happiness. Real happiness has to come from within you. If you sincerely want to experience true happiness, you must learn to be happy under any and most circumstances. If you are not a happy person, in order to change that you will have to discard some of your bad negative habits and develop some new positive ones.

In the Bible in Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul gives us some advice.  It goes something like this:  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” What that means is that you have to change your way of thinking.  Instead of looking at the world with negative eyes, you have to start looking at it with positive eyes.  Instead of seeing the glass as half-empty, you have to start seeing it as half-full.  If you start doing that, it will make all the difference in the world to you.

Do not dwell on what you don’t have or what you don’t know how to do.  You have to learn to appreciate what you have.  Concentrate on everything that is positive in your life and try to improve it.  If your feet are ugly, don’t complain and feel bad about it.  Think of the people who don’t have legs or feet, and they wish they had them.  If you have an older vehicle and are griping about it, think of a person in a third world country who does not even have a horse or a bicycle.

Maybe you were unable to attend the university or you did, but had to quit for financial reasons and have low self-esteem because of that.  Let’s assume you are about forty years old, in perfect health and belong to the middle class in the USA.  I would be willing to bet that Stephen Hawking, who is a paraplegic English physicist, cosmologist and author would trade places with you on any given day.  Mr. Hawking is one of the most intelligent human beings in the world, but he is missing the two most important things in life; his health and not believing in God.  He is an atheist.  Not only is he suffering in this world, but when he passes to the next one, hell – eternal suffering -  will be waiting for him.

Enjoy everything you do!  That includes your job and any chore that may come up.  Instead of saying, “I have to do that,” say “I get to do that.”  Instead of dreading it and procrastinating, look forward to doing it.  That includes starting new projects, doing different activities, going to different places and meeting new people.  It’s your attitude that will make the difference.  Not only will you be happier, but you will bring happiness to other people too.  You see, a positive and joyful attitude is contagious.

Being happy or sad is a choice we make on a daily basis.  When you go to bed at night, go to sleep happy.  If somebody wronged you, forgive him or her.  The Bible tells us that if we don’t forgive people, God won’t forgive us ((Matthew 6:14).  Besides if you go to sleep mad, you will wake up in a bad mood the next morning and that will ruin your day.

When you wake up in the morning, decide what kind of day you will have.  Decide to be happy and to stay on top of the situation, regardless of what the world may throw at you.  In many cases you cannot control what will happen, but you can control how you will react to it by controlling you thoughts, feelings and emotions. . You do not have to let other people or the circumstances dictate how you will feel.  Do not let them have dominion over you.

You do not have to feel depressed, frustrated, disillusioned, sad, lonely or unimportant any longer.  The apostle Paul tells us to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).  What does that mean?  It means that as soon as you get one of those thoughts you should rebuke it.  In other words, do not accept it and change it for something positive.

In conclusion I would like to tell you that you have the weapons within you to defeat unhappiness, sadness, low self-esteem, frustrations, depression, disillusionment, negative thoughts and everything else that may come up against you.  God bless you!  (8/17/17)  thelivinglights.com

WHO IS RAISING YOUR CHILDREN?

Who is raising your children?  For the sake of the children that question needs to be asked and to be answered.  The reason is simply that our children are not necessarily being raised by who they should be or how they should be raised.  For various reasons, there are too many factors involved.

One of the main reasons that our children are not being raised the way they should be is that most marriages are not “till death do them part.”  Now days they are “till divorce do them part.”  Unfortunately the divorce rate is at an all-time high and, instead of getting better it is getting worse.  Marriage has quit being a commitment and now it is a convenience.

Because of the high divorce rate, many children are being raised by stepparents or by their grandparents.  In some cases it does work out rather well, but in many of them it does not. Some stepparents treat the children as it they were their own, but in too many cases they are mean to them.  Not only are there many cases of abuse and child neglect by stepparents, but the latter have even killed children.  In some cases the actual parent in order to please the new spouse has collaborated in mistreating or even killing a child.

Because of the economy many times both parents have to work fulltime.  That leaves the children with a babysitter who may mistreat them.  Even if that does not happen, the babysitter is not interested in teaching the children real values.  That job, of course, belongs to the parents, but if they are not there, they cannot do it.  The children may be surviving quite well physically, but mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually they are being deprived of a normal childhood.

The teen-age babysitter tries to do as little as possible and that is really not her fault since she is not prepared professionally and her pay may even be below the minimum wage.  To her it’s just a way to earn a few extra dollars.  There are some adult female babysitters who do it for a living, but some of them never finished high school and even if they did, they didn’t get any specific training to take care of children.  Of course, the ones who really pay the price are the children.  They are being shortchanged.

Since the babysitter is way underpaid and unprepared she turns on the television for the children.  The television becomes their teacher.  Since most of the TV programs show nothing but violence, hatred,  sex, corruption, witchcraft,  conniving, and everything that goes against godly values, that’ s what the children learn. Because they see so many dysfunctional families on television,  they come to the conclusion that it is normal.

The babysitter may even, with the parents’ consent, allow them to use the computer, I-pod, cell phone or any other electrical gadget to keep them occupied.  Yes, it keeps them busy, but who knows what they may find there?  It could be pornography, violence, bad words, etcetera.  That electrical gadget, whatever it may be, becomes their source of information and instruction.  They might even learn how to make a bomb there, how to kill people and so on.

Even in the public schools, the children may be told that there is no god, that there are many ways to get to heaven, that they can choose their own gender, that marriage is obsolete, or that we evolved from animals.  The question is…who’s teaching your children?  Whether you believe it or not,  your children are at risk.  There are many dangers facing them and it is your job as a parent to protect them.

When everything is said and done, God is going to hold you accountable for how you raised your children (1 Timothy 3:4, Ephesians 6:4, Proverb 22:6).  It’s nobody’s responsibility to teach them but yours.  If you don’t do it, somebody or something else will, but the results could be catastrophic.  Do not let your children suffer because of your immorality,  busyness, immaturity,  irresponsibility or disobedience!   (8/10/17)  thelivinglights

ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE

Happiness is not an automatic state of being.  We have to learn to be happy by accepting the things we cannot change and by getting the most out of life.  We cannot allow negative circumstances to get the best of us, instead we have to use them as  learning experiences and to come out wiser and stronger on the other side.  Unless we learn to do that, we will not be happy and we will not feel successful.

We should always have realistic goals and objectives. People who do not have them will never accomplish much.  How can you get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going?  You must have a destination.  Some goals and objectives should be rigid while others should be flexible.  You should set your goals and objectives according to the circumstances.  Since circumstances change, your goals and objectives should too.

If you set unrealistic goals and objectives, you are setting yourself up for failure.  If you weigh 130 pounds and you want to be a tackle on the NFL, you would be wise to change your expectations.  If you are 5’5” and you want to play for the NBA, you would be wise to reconsider your way of thinking.  I could give you many more examples, but I think by now you are beginning to understand the main point of this paragraph.

I am not trying to talk you out of your success.  There are many people who will do exactly that. If you want something bad enough and you will stop at nothing to get there, the chances are you will succeed.  Do not let anyone talk you out of your dream.  Most of the successful people had a dream, they went for it, and they accomplished it.  You can join that group if you are willing to work hard, not give up, not listen to the naysayers, be willing to accept criticism, receive advice when appropriate and persevere till the end.

The first thing you should do is to accept who you are, what you are and where you are in life.  Do not worry about the things you cannot change.  Concentrate on your strong points and get even better at them.  Remember that…practice makes perfect.  Nobody is born knowing everything.  As a matter of fact, we are born knowing almost nothing.  We spend the first few years of our lives learning the simple every day things we need to know just to survive.  Some of us keep on learning until we take our last breath.  Unfortunately others quit learning at an early age.  Those are failures.

Many people think that success means accumulating large amounts of wealth, being famous, being popular, having several degrees or traveling a lot.  While those things are nice to have, they do not necessarily bring happiness.  Happiness and success come from within.  If you are happy with yourself, God, spouse, children, job, friends, where you live and your surroundings, you are successful.

You can be happy and successful in a cave because both of them are a state of being.  You do not need external factors to bring you success or happiness.  If you think you are successful and happy, you are.  On the other hand, if you think you are unsuccessful and unhappy you are.  Whatever you think you are, that is exactly what you are.  The Bible tells us: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” –  Proverb 23:7.

In essence, I want to tell you to accept the things you cannot change, to change the things you can for the better, and to be happy as much as you can.  You gain nothing by being frustrated, disillusioned, disappointed,  disgusted, sad or unhappy.  8/3/17

WATERED-DOWN CHRISTIANITY

God does not change, but if He were to change then He would not be God. If that were to happen, He would be like a regular human being.  His statutes, principles, commandments and will stand forever, which is something that the current pastors and evangelists brush aside because that does not bring in new members.  They are more interested in drawing more people in who will give them money on a regular basis. The love of money motivates them more than the love of God.

Several of the pastors and evangelists have properties worth millions and millions of dollars.  One of them has over 250 million dollars with his own private jets and airport.  They teach the prosperity message.  Yes, they are living an extremely prosperous life, while some of the people who give them money are living paycheck to paycheck or on social security.  They do not teach about sin or anything that would make the people feel uncomfortable and that is why the people like it.  They are basically told that they are not accountable for their sinful actions.  Anything goes because they are living supposedly under grace.

Grace means undeserved merit or favor with God.  What it really means is that we do not deserve salvation, but because God loves us unconditionally He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and pay for our sins (John 3:15-17).  What grace does not mean is that we can sin purposely as much as we want and that God will forgive us.  If we die in our sins without repenting, we will wind up in hell and later on in the lake of fire.

In John 8:21, this is what Jesus told the religious leaders of his time:  “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin.  Where I go you cannot come.”  Jesus went back to heaven and if we die in our sin or sins without repenting, we cannot go to heaven, regardless of what the popular pastors and evangelists may be teaching.

In Hebrews 13:8, God says:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” You read this correctly…God does not change.  He was, He is, and He will be the same forever and ever.  He has no reason to change.  God has not changed nor His message, but men have changed the message to please more followers. They are getting richer and richer giving people a false gospel of prosperity and licentiousness – a license to sin willfully.

In 2 Timothy 4:34, the apostle Paul tells Timothy, his disciple and fellow worker:  “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”  Guess what?  That time is now.  People want to hear watered down Christianity and that is exactly what most of the pastors and evangelists are giving them.

Unfortunately right now, people can only say what is socially and politically correct.  It does not matter if it is morally and ethically incorrect.  We know abortion is morally wrong, but society embraces it.  God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Let us see what God has to say through the apostle Paul.  Romans 1:24-29  – “Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers.”

The words above are from the Bible and are not mine, because they are Paul’s the apostle of God.  Preachers are not preaching it because it is not popular.  If they were to preach the truth as the Bible states it, many people would leave their congregation.  Not only would their ministries suffer a financial setback, but personally they would struggle to make ends meet and that is why they compromise.  The Bible clearly tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

If you are attending a church where they give you a watered-down version of the word of God, move away from there as fast as you can.  Find a church where they give the complete word of God, where they teach about God’s blessings, but also about God’s judgment on those who sin purposely.  That church, the same as God, should love the sinner, but hate the sin and it should tell people to sin no more (John 8:11).   July 27, 2017

 

THE DEATH OF THE TRUTH

If the truth were to really be known, the truth has been dying for quite a few years in the United States. Just like a slow torturing cancer, it had been experiencing a slow painful death up to recently, but now we can compare it to stage 4 cancer delivering a fast agonizing death.

The truth is dying because it has no value anymore. Most people lie as if it were the natural thing to do.  Politicians make many lying promises to get into office. Once they are in office they forget all about the promises that got them elected.

The movies lie, supposedly to make them more interesting to the public.  The spectators go to see actors and actresses do feats in the movies that are humanly impossible. They call those characters super heroes.  Not only do people admire the characters in the movies, but they also admire the actors who portray them.

The teachers and the professors lie to the students because it is politically correct to do so.  Many of them cannot tell the truth, because if they do, they may even lose their jobs. They may be compelled to teach evolution even though personally they may believe in God and creation.  Other may teach that marrying people of the same sex is perfectly okay, although it goes totally against God’s principles and even against common sense.  Still others may teach that “Black lives matter,” instead of teaching that “all lives matter.”

The death of the absolute truth seems to be imminent. Short of a miracle nothing can save it. The lies are rampant in the movies, the radio, the internet and in most of the news channels on television. They do not give the news, instead they give their version of them.

The so-called experts give their opinion on every issue.  It does not matter what the event, the issues or the catastrophe may be, every person on the panel of the so-called experts gives his/her opinion.  They seem to establish what is right and what is wrong.  The public just hears their point of view and consequently it accepts it as if it were the gospel truth.

Unfortunately the people in the news media have the ability to destroy a person’s credibility and even his life if they so choose.  To many times they choose to do exactly that.  On the other hand, they seem to overlook a person’s weaknesses, failures and even wrongdoings if they want to lift him/her up for whatever the reason.

However, regardless of what may happen in the world, there is a truth that will never change and that, of course, is God’s truth.  In John 14:6, Jesus said:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Although men may try to ignore it, circumvent it or discard it completely, God’s truth was, it is, and it will be what it is – the absolute, unchangeable, undenying truth.

In John 8:31-32, Jesus said:  “ Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  Although the truth is dying, as we know it, if you read the Bible – the word of God – you will be set free.  Free from what?  Free from ignorance, sin, despair, loneliness, frustration, hopelessness, worries, anxiety, fear, drugs, drinking and anything else that may have you under bondage.

Do not believe or accept the world’s lies.  Live your life with gospel truths and values, not bending, but doing what you know to be right in every situation.  Good luck!  7/20/17

D      I      S      C      O      V      E      R

According to the dictionary one of the definitions for discover is to be the first to find something,  to be the first person to find out something or to be the first one to become aware of it.  That means that the first humans who discovered this world were Adam and Eve.  The first ones who discovered America were the people who first got here and made it their home. Nobody knows for sure who they were.

The scientists are continually finding or discovering something that they did not know before.  It may be a discovery to them, but not to God, or maybe even to people who knew about it centuries ago.  The scientists are always finding new planets,  stars or other heavenly bodies. They probably have always existed, but the scientists were not aware of them.

Necessity is the mother of inventions and for that reason Inventors are always inventing something.  The potential is always there, but if there is no need for that invention or nobody has thought of the possibility there is no invention.   For example; the sun has always been there, but nobody had thought about harnessing that energy and putting it to work as solar energy until somebody thought of the possibility and did it.

Some inventions and vocations become obsolete with time.  Times are constantly changing and today there is no more need for what we needed yesterday.  We no longer need the wheels nor people to repair them for the buggies that were drawn by horses.  Now we need mechanics who can fix automobiles and even those are constantly changing.

One of the best discoveries is when people discover their potential in any given area.  Many people don’t know what they can really do, until the need arises. When they start doing what they thought they could not do or what they had not even thought of doing, they may even find out that they really enjoy it.  Doing what one enjoys and doing it well can really bring satisfaction and happiness to a person.  If you are working in an area that displeases you, change job, vocation or profession and do what really gives you pleasure.  No matter how much you are getting paid it is not worth it if you are miserable doing it.

Some people are looking for something, but they don’t know what it is.  Somehow they can’t put their finger on it.  They jump from one place to another, from one situation to another and even from one relationship to another, but happiness is like an elusive butterfly to them.  They can never seem to find it, let alone catch it.

If you are one of those people, I have some good news for you.  You can find true happiness, but it’s only in one place.  It’s actually not a place, but a person and that person is Jesus Christ. He is God, but at the same time He is a person.  Being God He lived on this earth as a person to experience what we humans go through.  He lived, suffered, shed His blood, died and resurrected from the grave, so that if we believe in Him we would have eternal life.

That void or emptiness that you may feel can only be filled by Jesus Christ.  Once you discover Him and allow Him to come into your heart, you won’t need drugs, alcoholic beverages, possessions, fame nor thousands of friends to make you happy.  Many people have become aware of the love He has for them and have accepted Him as their Lord and  Savior.  Not only have they found joy and happiness, but they will spend eternity with Him.

If you want to discover God’s love for you and find true happiness, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  If you don’t know how to do it, read and pray the following prayer to Him and He will receive you as His child.  Your life will change for the better.  Don’t spend another day lost in the wilderness, in the darkness, in doubt, in anguish nor in despair.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins.  Please forgive me as I believe and confess that Your Son Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross, died and resurrected to pay for my sins. I ask Him now to be my Lord and Savior and for the Holy Spirit to live in me.  Thank You, Father God.  Amen.”

IF you prayed that prayer and meant it, God has forgiven all your sins.  You are as clean as can possibly be.  Find a good born-again Christian church where they teach directly from the Bible.  Read my whole page on a weekly basis and tell your friends about it.  If you are sincere, I will see you on the other side of this life.  Blessings!

WE SHOULDN’T LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE

In the sixties Peter and Gordon used to sing a beautiful song called “A World Without Love.” The lyrics said:  “I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay in a world without love.” Their singing was good, the music was good and the message was excellent.  If you haven’t heard it, you can hear it on the internet.

In the sixties Jackie DeShannon also had a hit song talking about love.  The song was – “Put A Little Love In Your Heart.”  The first stanza went something like this:  “Think of your fellow men, lend him a helping hand.  Put a little love in your heart.  See how it’s getting late, so please don’t hesitate, put a little love in your heart…”

All of us need to put more love in our hearts.  Most of the problems of this world would disappear if we were to do that.

The sixties, of course,  was the flower generation in San Francisco.  Scott McKenzie used to sing the song “San Francisco.”  The beginning lyrics were:  “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. If you’re going to San Francisco, you’re gonna meet some gentle people there.”  Because of the Vietnam war, young people were putting an emphasis on love and not on hate.  Today we should be doing the same thing.

If we watch the news, the only conclusion we can come to is that “we live in a world without love.”  One of the reasons is that the news media only reports the bad news.  They overlook the good things that are happening around us.  It is sad, but unfortunately very true.  Many people’s perspective would change if the news media were to place a lot more emphasis on  positive events and acts of kindness that people do on a daily basis.

The politicians in our country – the USA – are the worst offenders.  The Democrats blame the Republicans and the Republicans blame the Democrats.  Consequently very little actually gets done in Washington D.C. and instead of demonstrating love and cooperation, they are demonstrating hatred and division.  The political parties spend most of their time fighting each other.  They are setting a very poor example for the young people.

We don’t need to wear some flowers in our hair,  put them on somebody else’s hair, or go to San Francisco,  but we do need to be kinder to one another.  If the adults were to do that, what a lesson that would be for the younger generation and for the little children. They in turn would do the same when they became adults.  Children are like a sponge – they absorb everything they hear and see.  We need to be and set good examples for them.

Many children and even adults admire and emulate famous people, such as movie stars, singers, athletes and politicians.  Unfortunately many of those famous people don’t have any morals or scruples whatsoever.  They live as they please, without regards as to who they may be hurting along the way.  The ones they hurt include their spouses, children, relatives, friends and the public in general.

Let us take the lyrics of the songs that Peter and Gordon, Jackie DeShannon and Scott McKenzie sang and take them to heart by living by love, in love and for love’s sake, which is what God is (1 John 4:8).  Yes, God is love and that’s how He wants us to live.  If we do not live in love and by love, we will have a miserable life and we will wind up in the lake of fire burning and suffering forever.  Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) and most of our faults.

Do not let your world be one without love.  Be transparent by Loving God, loving yourself and loving others.  Yes, sometimes you will get hurt, but that’s part of life.  overall you will be much happier.  Good luck and may you find true happiness!

 

ACCEPT REALITY

The first step in solving any problem is to realize and recognize that you have a problem.  Once you do that you can come up with several solutions.  After that you choose the most practical one.  The next step, of course, is to come up with a plan and set it in motion.

Regardless of what the problem is you have to accept reality.  The reality can be harsh, but if you do not accept it, the problem will never be solved and the consequences could be extremely severe.  A real problem will not be less real and it will not go away simply because you do not accept it. Actually if you do nothing and just ignore it, it will more likely than not become much more serious.

Accepting reality comes with maturity, but since some people never mature they do not accept reality.  Regardless of their physical age, they act like children and because they do, either they suffer the consequences or the people close to them do.  If they do not accept the responsibility, it falls on their spouse, parents, children or somebody else.

Reality is reality and there are some absolutes that will never ever change.  If a person mistreats his body, sooner or later, it’s time to pay the piper.  If a person does not plan financially for the future, it will get here and he will be up the creek without a paddle.  If a person drops out of high school, the chances are he will never have a job that pays him well enough to support his family the way he should.

I will just give you a few examples, as a few of them will suffice for the wise.  If you are diagnosed with cancer you have a few options; 1. You can accept it and start looking at your options.  2. You can have a positive attitude and do all you can to help yourself.  3. You can do nothing and hope it will work itself out.  4. You can give up all hope and get ready to die.  5. You can feel sorry for yourself and blame others, even God.  6. You can and should get a second or third opinion.  6.  You can work up your faith and ask God to heal you.

Let’s say your spouse is definitely leaving you and there’s nothing to be done.  1.  You can accept reality.  2.  You can beg him/her to reconcile.  3.  You can try to put that experience behind you and move on with your life. 4.  You can feel sorry for yourself and be a basket case. 5. You can learn from that experience.  6.  You can use that situation to get closer to God.  7. You can help others who are going through similar situations.

You have been working for fifteen years for a company and have been an excellent employee, but the owner’s grandson graduates from college, takes over your job and you are dismissed. 1. You can be mad at the world. 2. You can hate that company.  3. You can lash out at the person who took over your job.  4. You could feel sorry for yourself.  5.  You could accept reality, put yourself in God’s hands and move on with a positive attitude.  6. Leaving that job could possibly take you to a better position – either one that would pay more or one that you would truly enjoy.

In case you have not seen it by now, the main point of this article is for you to accept reality no matter what it may be.  All of us go through a crises, sooner or later, but the important thing is that we should come out stronger.  We accept it for what it is, keep a positive attitude, analyze it, come up with a plan and put it into action.  When the going gets tough, the weak break, but the tough get going.    6/29/17

WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO WE ARE

It is extremely sad when a person, a family or a group of people forgets who he, it or they are. It is even worse if they never knew who they really were in the first place. As bad as that may seem, it is much worse when a country forgets who it really is.  Unfortunately, that is the case in the United States of America.  We have forgotten how we started, who we were, what we stood for and what we should stand for now in the 21st century.

The absolutes have been thrown out the window, which means that godly values, morals and righteousness no longer play a part in our decision-making process.  Everyone forms his own values as he sees fit because there are no parameters and he can even change those values to accommodate his current situation according to his whims and according to an ever-changing society.

One of the main reasons why our country has turned away from God is because by doing so we can do whatever pleases us and we do not have to justify it to anyone.  By not accepting any spiritual responsibility we can disobey any of God’s commandments and principles without suffering any earthly punishment or repercussions.  While that may be true here on earth, it is definitely not true in eternity.  People who disobey God willingly will be judged at the white throne judgment, be found guilty and will be thrown into the lake of fire to suffer eternally. I have a feeling those people will not have the last laugh.

Our forefathers came from Holland by way of England because they were Englishmen.  They were seeking religious freedom – not freedom from not believing in God – but freedom to attend the church of their choice.  Prior to that they were being forced to attend The Church of England.  As a result of that, they wanted to have separation between church and state. That was their intent, but it was not written into the Constitution as some people may think.

Thomas Jefferson, our third President (1801-1809) was a strong supporter of people choosing their own religion as well as what church they would attend.  To make his feelings clear in 1802 he wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in which he carefully explained that believing in God was a personal and sacred thing and that the government had no business  telling us how we should believe or not believe.  In essence, he was saying that there should be separation between church and state.  Although he was one of the framers of our Constitution that phrase does not appear in it.         

Separation between church and state was never intended to mean that we could not believe in God or that we could not mention His name in public places, which of course, is today’s interpretation, which is totally wrong.  It only meant that the government could not force us to attend a certain church or to attend church at all.  Believing or not believing in God is an individual choice.  We should not disrespect the believers or the unbelievers.  Currently our government is respecting the wishes of the unbelievers, but not the ones of the believers.  Consequently believers cannot mentions the word  G O D  in public places, but unbelievers can say whatever they want to.

According to the Bible, our first love should be God (Revelation 2:4-7).  Our country became a republic loving God, but we have moved away from our first love and consequently we are spiraling down at a tremendous speed.  Former and not-now President Obama went as far as saying that we were no longer a Christian nation.  More likely than not, he belongs to the religion whose members have caused most of the terrorist attacks.  They keep saying it’s a religion of love, but their acts speak louder than words.

Our country has moved so far away from God that no sin is out of the realm of possibility.  Some examples are:  1. Marrying people of the same sex as if it were normal and natural.  It’s an abomination to God. 2. Abortions and selling fetus’ parts.  3.  Legalizing marihuana.  4. Giving millions of dollars to terrorist nations.  5. Depriving Christian children in public schools of their God-given rights.  6. Legalized gambling and prostitution in some states.  7.  Corruption in our government.  8.  Scams on the internet and by telephone.  9. Racial hatred. 10 Idolatry.

Our country has become an idolatrous nation.  We idolize anything and everything.  Yet God tells us not to have any other gods before Him (Exodus 20:2). Anything we idolize becomes our God.  It could be a person, an automobile, a motorcycle, a sport, possessions, our job, movies, video games or anything else that takes first place in our lives.  God hates idolatry and our people have become infatuated with idols.

We know that Catholics adore so-called saints and virgins.  Yet God tells us not to make or worship any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; that we shall not bow down to them nor serve them…(Exodus 20:4).  Other religions worship Buddha, Krishna, Allah, the Great Spirit in the sky, Mohammed and who knows what else.

Before it is too late, it is time for us as a nation to remember who we are.  We were born as a Christian republic and as such God blessed us.  Because we have abandoned God, we find ourselves floundering and meandering without knowing where we are going.  It is time to come back to Him and get on the right track again.  thelivinglights.com    6/22/17

 

UNLEARN YOUR NEGATIVE HABITS

Due to your environment, background, acquaintances, educational level, low self-esteem, thought process or past experiences you may have developed bad habits. Because of these bad habits you may speak negatively most of the time. The way you think of yourself and speak influence your life.  The Bible tells us that the way a person thinks that’s what he is (Proverbs 23:7). How do you see yourself?

If you think negatively you have to unlearn that way of thinking and learn how to think in a positive manner.  When you change your way of thinking, you will change your way of talking and when you change your way of talking you will change your life.  In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul tells us:  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Learn to use positive terminology.  You should never say, “I can’t do that,” because if you do you are already confessing that it is beyond your capabilities.  That means you will not even try to do it, but even if you do you will do it half-heartedly, and, of course, you will fail.  One thing is for sure; you are capable of more than you think you can do.

In Mark 9:23, the Bible tells us:  “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Then in Mark 10:27, the Bible tells us:  “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Instead of saying, “I can’t do it,” say, “With God’s help I can do anything.”

Don’t even say, “I am going to try.”  If you say that what you are really saying is, “I am going to give it a try, but if it seems difficult, I’ll quit.”  What you should say is, “I am going to do it!” It does not matter how long it takes you or how many times you try, if you have that attitude you will succeed.  Thomas Edison tried two thousand times to invent the light bulb.  He did not give up.  Basically he said:  “I just found two thousand ways how not to do it.”  But you know what? – the next time he succeeded. 

Don’t look at a setback in a negative way.  Look at it as a learning experience.  By the same token, don’t look at an obstacle as a defeat; look at it as a challenge to overcome.  Think of the many possibilities to solve it, choose the best option, and then put a plan into action. The words, “give up,” should not be in your vocabulary.  If you are a born-again Christian, ask God to help you.  He will hear you and before you know it you will have the problem solved.

Don’t be afraid of change.  It is through it that you will grow.  The more changes you see, the faster you grow.  The people who see very little change, crack the first time they see a major change in their lives. The people who embrace change are more successful than the ones who do not.    

Be a person of true grit, resolve, moral ethics, perseverance and of great character.   Don’t run away from problems or obstacles.  Don’t meet them necessarily head-on, but tackle them with intelligence. When you overcome obstacles, trials and problems, you are building your character, which makes you a better and stronger person. 

The only thing that has been stopping you is your way of thinking. From now on, speak positively of yourself. Remember; if you believe and confess you can’t, you can’t, but if you believe and confess you can, you can.   (thelivinglights.com)  6/15/17

IT’S GOOD TO BE AWARE

A person cannot grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually or even financially unless he comes face to face with reality.  In other words, he has to see where he needs improvement.  If he does not see it or does not admit it to himself, he will stay in the same situation because he is set on his ways and is unwilling to change. 

Stubborn people who don’t see themselves as they really are will be a stumbling block to others and to themselves.  They will always blame other people for their troubles.  Some of them will even blame God.  They think they are right and that everyone else is wrong.  They criticize everything and everyone. 

It’s always good to be aware of our surroundings, weaknesses, fears, shortcomings, faults, dangers and needs.  If we do not recognize our fears, needs, shortcomings or weaknesses, there is no way we can overcome them.  Once we know what they are we can take steps to remedy them. 

A person who recognizes his fears, weaknesses, shortcomings or faults is half-way to solving them. Then and only then is he able to reach out to others and others can reach out to him.  If he recognizes that he needs help, then he can get professional help if necessary.  Knowing that he knows the problem, his friends can give him some advice without fearing that he is going to get mad at them.  

The only way to solve any problem is to know what the real problem is, to come up with different solutions, to discard the ones that are not feasible – for whatever the reason – and to field test the most logical one first. If that one does not work, then it’s time to field test the second best solution and so on.

Many people see the symptoms of a problem, but fail to see the real problem or what is causing it.  It’s like being in the forest and not being aware that you are in a forest because you are just seeing the trees.  Sometimes you just have to step back, detach yourself from the situation, so you can see objectively.   

The one who can help us the most, of course, is God, but He will not do it unless we call out to Him.  Subsequently, if we do not recognize that we have a problem or if we don’t admit it, He won’t help us. On the other hand, if we humbly and sincerely confess to Father God that we need help, invoking the name of Jesus, He will be attentive to our prayers. 

In conclusion I would like to ask you to look at yourself objectively.  Try to look at yourself and at your circumstances through somebody else’s eyes. You will have a truer and different perspective as to why you are where you are.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or blaming others, you will take definite steps to be a better person.  It will not only be a win-win situation for you, but also for the people in your sphere of influence.  Good luck!  (6/8/17)

DECISIONS, DECISIONS, ALWAYS DECISIONS

According to some recent research and studies the average person makes about 35,000 decisions every single day.  Many of those decisions are trivial, insignificant, of minor concern and inconsequential. In most cases the brain takes care of each one of them automatically as it has done thousands or millions of times before.

However there are decisions that are important, impactful and may have serious consequences.  We cannot take them lightly.  If we make the wrong decision we could wind up paying for it the rest of our lives. In some cases it could be a matter of life and death.  Surely we would not want to be at the wrong end of that decision.

Because of the possible consequences, whether positive or negative, we should give every decision the importance it requires. Even what may seem like an insignificant decision could turn out to be of major importance.  As examples, we may decide not to answer a certain phone call, not to answer a certain email, not to talk to someone or not to meet a certain person, yet that person could make a tremendous difference in our lives.  Many people have missed many opportunities by making the wrong decision. 

Some of the opportunities we may lose are not meeting our perfect spouse, not going into business with the right person, not buying property at the right time or place, not making a positive difference in somebody’s life, not taking advantage of bargains, not being at the right place at the right time, not believing who we should believe, believing who we should not believe and, of course, not ceasing the opportunity when it presents itself. 

Something that can get us in hot water fast is going into dangerous situations without really thinking of the consequences.  That includes being a distracted driver, smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, using drugs, selling drugs, abusing prescribed medication, being what they call “a daredevil,” and in essence putting ourselves in harm’s way. 

There are some decisions that will affect us throughout our lifetimes.  If you do not believe that, you can talk to some of the inmates who will be imprisoned for life, some of the wives or husbands who are miserable being married to the wrong person, some of the people who are taking any job just to make a living because they did not prepare for a profession, career or job, some of the people who did not take care of their bodies and now are extremely ill, some of the people who never got married and are now old, alone and lonely and so on. 

Of all the decisions a person has to make, which will probably be billions in his lifetime, the most important one is choosing where he will spend eternity.  Yes, a person gets to choose.  It’s not a random decision by God or anyone else, but a choice every individual can make.  You have that choice before you right now.

There are two choices as to where a person will spend eternity; the lake of fire or with God. It is not a complicated issue.  If you do not choose God, you automatically choose the lake of fire. It is entirely up to you.  If you want to spend eternity burning and suffering in the lake of fire, don’t do anything and you will get there.  If, on the other hand, you want to spend eternity with God in heaven, then repent of your sins, ask God to forgive you, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior by faith and try to live a decent life. 

If you have decided you want to spend eternity with God, then in faith, in sincerity, in humility and in a loud voice pray the following prayer to God:  “Father God, I repent of all my sins.  I ask You to forgive me.  As I receive Your Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I believe and confess that He died for my sins on the cross, that He resurrected on the third day, and that He is at Your right hand in heaven interceding for me now. In the name of Jesus, I also ask the Holy Spirit to live in me so He can guide me and protect me.  Thank Father God for accepting me as your child. Amen.” 

Find a good born-again Christian church where you can learn the word of God and where you can grow in faith,  knowledge and in wisdom.  Keep reading my entire page on a weekly basis.  God bless you!

IS YOUR LIFE A DASH?

Is your life a dash?  In other words, your life is a dash if you have not done anything to make the difference.  Many people go through life just getting by, just doing enough to survive, and not letting anyone or anything affect them.  They don’t get involved because if they do, it will cost them money, time or effort.

Jesus was not a dash.  He came, taught us His word, taught us how to live and gave up His life for us. Because of what He taught and how He lived He made such an impact that two thousand years later people are still following Him. I am one of His followers.  If He had been a dash no one would follow Him.

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus tells us:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus makes it extremely clear that He does not want us to be a dash.  If we truly love God and love people, we will make a difference by touching people’s lives.  The person who does not touch people’s lives in a positive way is not making the difference.

Abraham had been a dash at seventy-five years old, but then God called him into His service and he became the father of a great nation (Israel) and his name is revered by many people even of different religions.  Genesis 12:1-2 – “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.” Abraham was anything but a dash. He is a patriarch and the father of the Christian faith.

Moses just like Abraham had been a dash until God spoke to Him from the burning bush.  His life completely turned around.  He went from leading sheep to leading the Hebrew nation.  Exodus 3:1-4 – “ Now Moses was tending the flock (sheep) of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.   And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.  Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”  So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:9-10 – “ Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me (God), and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.  Come now, therefore, and I will send you (Moses) to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Moses quit being a dash and become a man of purpose with a definite mission.  God wants you to become a man of purpose.

It does not matter where you live, what your job is, how old you are, what your educational level is, what sex you are, what religion you are, nor your social status, you can make a difference.  You can make a difference by touching lives.  Sooner or later everyone needs a favor, a friend, a helping hand, some advice, some attention or financial help and you can be the one who meets their specific need whatever it may be.

If you have been a dash, quit being one and find ways to give back to society, so people will be glad when they see you coming, instead of thanking God when you are leaving.  Leave a legacy so people will remember you because your life made a difference.

ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!

Being happy is a state of mind.  Enjoying certain activities depends totally on you.  Getting the most out of every situation requires your effort.  Seeing the glass half-full instead of half-empty should be your way of looking at things.  You should have a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances.

Since being a happy person is a state of mind,  you should be happy regardless of the weather, your economic situation, your job status, your marital status, the weather conditions, your living arrangements, your friendships and any other circumstances that may be favorable or unfavorable to you.  Happiness comes from within, not from outside sources.  Do not expect other people or material things to make you happy.

Enjoying certain activities depends totally on you.  It does not really matter what the activity is. The more activities you learn to enjoy, the happier you will be.  What would be a dreaded chore to somebody else could be pure enjoyment to you.  Instead of hating doing it, you would learn to enjoy doing it.  Remember…happiness is a state of mind.

To get the most out of every situation requires you to have an open mind and to put forth some effort.  You can think of different ways, meditate on your options, and then choose the best one that will give you the desired optimum results.  There is a silver lining in almost every situation.  All you have to do is find it.  Once you find it, put it into action.  Not only will you be satisfied with the results, but you will be happy with yourself.

You should definitely learn to look at the glass half full and not half empty.  It makes a world of difference.  Look at the positive and not the negative.  See the bright side and not the dark one. There are always two ways of looking at things. Something that may seem negative can become a positive learning experience.  Learning from your experiences will help you tremendously in the future.

You should always have a positive attitude regardless of the situation.  The situation may not only seem bleak, but it may be just that, but if you approach it with a positive attitude, you may come out of it smelling like a rose.  Attitude is 99% of the battle.  Very few people – if any – have found success with a negative attitude.  If you have negative friends, start distancing yourself from them.  You will not bring them up, but they will drag you down.

Some advice; don’t dwell on yesterday’s misfortunes, mistakes or failures. Leave the past in the past.  If you dwell on them, you’ve got nothing to gain and everything to lose.  Don’t worry about the future.  What’s going to happen will happen in spite of your worrying.  Worrying will just give you ulcers and other illnesses, which will take you to an early grave.  Besides you don’t even know if you will make it to the future. You do not have a lease on life.  Besides many times the things we worry about never happen and if they do they are not as bad as we thought they would be.  Everything comes, but it passes.

In conclusion I would like to tell you: “Enjoy the moment!”  It does not matter where you are, who you are with, what you are doing, or what is happening. Learn to enjoy the now because that’s the only thing you have for sure. Everything else can leave you or be taken away from you at any moment, but the present will always be with you no matter where you are.   (5/18/17)

LET US NOT ABUSE OUR FREEDOM

In the United States of America we have a democratic republic with a constitution that protects our God-given rights.  That constitution and those rights have withstood the test of time until now.  Those rights were written in the document so we could live in an orderly fashion helping each other and respecting each other’s rights.

Lately, however, as some groups are demanding more rights than they should have, they are infringing on the rights of others.  This, of course, is bringing violence and chaos to our society. If it is not kept in check it may bring anarchy to our country and if that were to happen it would bring negative consequences to all of us. Yes, there would be repercussions affecting all of us in one way or another.

One of the factors that is always present in a defeat or destruction is division.  An enemy can be defeated a lot easier if there is division within its ranks.  As the saying goes, “Divide and you will conquer.”  Even if you don’t conquer, you have a much better chance of causing substantial damage if you can bring division to the enemy.  That is a strategy that has worked ever since the Devil tried it in heaven.  He did not beat God, but he was able to bring one-third of the angels with him.  Those are the ones that are called “the fallen angels.”

In the garden of Eden the Devil did it again.  There was perfect union between God, Adam and Eve, but the Devil was able to disrupt that harmony.  We lost that relationship we had with God, and that’s why Jesus had to come down to earth to reconcile us back to the Father.  The Devil divided and he caused a lot of harm to the human race.  All the souls who are in hell and the ones who will be there soon are there because of that division.

About the middle of the 19th century our country was divided on the issue of slavery.  That led to the Civil War and thousands of people being killed.  In the South the blacks were treated as possessions, which, of course, was cruel and inhumane.  The blacks suffered a lot through no fault of their own.  That is a chapter in our history that many people would like to forget or to sweep it under the carpet.

Now days the pendulum has swung maybe too far the other way.  If any person, other than a black one, says the word “black” he or she is called a racist and may lose his/her job.  One cannot speak anymore for being afraid of not being politically correct.  Political correctness has  brought an end to free speech.  People are afraid to speak for fear of losing their job, being incarcerated, harassed or ostracized.

People are abusing our court system.  Not only do they sue for political incorrectness, but for anything whatsoever just to get money.  Because the courts award compensation for millions of dollars the insurance companies have increased their premiums tremendously. The pharmaceutical companies are charging an arm and a leg for any medicine that the doctors prescribe.  As with everything else, the consumer is the one who winds up footing the bill.  Of course it’s all done in the name of democracy, but supply and demand is the real factor.

The news media has ceased being a medium of information.  It has become “the source.” Whatever they give us, which is their opinion, not necessarily the news or the truth, is what we have to accept.  It seems as if they have no watchdog to keep an eye on what they are feeding the public, which in most cases is strictly their agenda. No doubt in anybody’s mind, they are abusing the freedom of the press.

One of the best examples of abusing our freedom is exemplified by the Republicans and Democrats.  One party is as bad as the other.  Instead of working for the benefit of our citizens, they work for their individual party.  President Trump would get a lot more done and might even become a good President if the Democrats, instead of fighting him, would cooperate with him and help him protect our interests all around the world.

In essence, I would conclude that if the Republicans and Democrats would work together, if the blacks and the whites would live in harmony, if the wealthy would help the poor, if the states and the federal government would agree and if the scientists believing in evolution would share their findings with the ones believing in creation our country and world would be much better off.

I would like to close by asking you not to abuse your freedom and not to infringe on someone else’s rights.  Yes, you have rights, but so do the others.  When you start demanding, you are stepping on somebody else’s toes.  Instead of demanding, be understanding.  Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution! thelivinglights.com  5/11/17

DO NOT FOLLOW THE CROWD

The easiest thing in the world is to follow the crowd.  Many wild animals run in herds and unfortunately many people do exactly the same thing.  They cannot think for themselves and they are afraid to be different.  We should enjoy our differences because that’s what makes us unique.

If all of us were males or females the human race would become extinct in one generation.  If all of us looked exactly alike, this world would be as boring as could be.  Thank God for the differences!  If all of us were followers nothing would get done because we need leaders, and if all of us were leaders there would be no one to do the real work that needed to be done. By now you are probably getting the picture.

Dare to be different, but develop your strong gifts, so you can contribute to this society.  Whatever it is you like or you are good at, get even better at it and help others do the same. If everybody were to do that, this world would be so much better.  We need to work together and share our ideas, interests, passions, abilities and resources.

By working with other people, we begin to understand them and, at the same time, we become more productive. As the saying goes:  “Two heads are better than one.” It would be great if the Republicans and the Democrats would understand this principle, not to mention the different countries.  Even though the countries have different ideologies, they could learn to share, inventions, ideas and even resources.  It would be a win-win situation.

No matter where you may find yourself in the future, dare to be unique and to contribute to society in whichever way you can.  It could be with knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, skills, strength, advice, experience, lending an ear and even with money.  Money is not, by far, everything, but it sure comes in handy many, many times.

If all you do is follow the crowd, you will be mediocre all your life.  Don’t settle for being a member of the herd, be a leader in your own right.  All of us can be a leader in one field or another.  That’s because all of us have skills, abilities, gifts and talents that others don’t have.  If we don’t use our abilities, we are shortchanging ourselves and others as well.  In one group we can be a leader and in another we can be a follower.

By following the crowd, many people fall into using drugs, smoking, drinking, putting on tattoos, joining street gangs, dropping out of school and so on.  Let’s hope you are not one of them, but if you are, start changing.  You do that by renewing your mind – changing your way of thinking.  That’s what this article is all about.  If you are in a herd, you will always be there, unless you change your way of thinking.

Look at your potential, not at your obstacles.  Every athlete that has become rich and famous did it by overcoming many obstacles.  Some of them were told:  “You will never make it.”  Guess what?  They did not listen to the naysayers.  You will always find people who will try to discourage you.  They are part of the herd and will remain there.  They always live insignificant lives, but you can make a difference.

People who follow the herd will never leave a good legacy.  Their lives can be represented by a dash.  A life began ——it ended.  There’s a dash in the middle because nothing of significance happened.  You, on the other hand, can make a difference in somebody’s life or in society in general.

You don’t have to be a famous singer, a well-known movie star, an inventor, a wealthy businessman or anything like that.  Just be the best person you can be wherever you work, wherever you live, with whoever you are and at whatever you do.  Be honest, sincere, polite, friendly, compassionate, merciful, caring, forgiving and loving.

Nobody in the whole wide world can be better at being you than you yourself.  Just be yourself at all times.  Think for yourself and don’t let anybody else think for you.  Good luck! (5/4/17)

 

CHASING AFTER THE WIND

Some people spend their lifetimes chasing the wind.  They think when they catch it, everything will fall into place, but that premise is faulty on two counts; first, they will never catch the wind, and second even if they did, they would still not be completely satisfied.  True happiness and the wind are extremely elusive.  Are you a wind-chaser person?

It’s okay to chase realistic dreams, but not unrealistic or elusive ones. The wind, of course, represents elusive or unrealistic dreams.  Most children have those dreams, but when they grow up, they realize they are foolish or unattainable.  However there are many adults who, for one reason or another, never grow up mentally and keep on chasing the wind.

A person who keeps on chasing the wind will wind up perplexed, disillusioned, disappointed, disgusted and  even frustrated.   Some of those people wind up being a total failure or, at best, mediocre.  Unfortunately some of them become disgruntled and commit heinous crimes against innocent people.  They blame everybody else, except themselves, for their troubles.  Are you one of those people?

What do I mean by chasing after the wind?  I mean that some people are never happy.  They are always looking for something else to make them happy.  They do not understand that happiness has to come from within.  It’s not external, but internal.  If you are not happy with yourself, you will not be happy with anybody else or with anything more. Not only that, but you will never make anybody else happy, either.

People become lovers of themselves.  Almost everything they do is to please themselves.  Very seldom do they think about making others happy.  Their attitude is “if it feels good, do it.” They live for the moment.  That is why they turn to drinking, smoking, using drugs, sex, and whatever else may bring them temporary happiness.  Yes, they do achieve temporary happiness, but in the long run they are really sad people.

Some people think that money and material possessions will make them happy.  Sometimes the man becomes a workaholic, neglects his wife, children and other important aspects of his life.  His wife divorces him and he does not understand why.  He loses the most important people in his life and many times he also loses most of his treasured possessions.

Other men think that being with as many women as possible makes them more “macho.” They wind up hurting many people along the way.  Many of their children grow up without a father image.  Children coming from dysfunctional families turn out to be dysfunctional themselves.  They in turn hurt more people.  The cycle does not seem to end.

In order to have a successful life, we need to have a plan with goals and objectives.  Within that plan we need to set well-thought and realistic priorities.  Although we need to adhere to the priorities of the plan as much as possible, those priorities need to be flexible enough, so we can make changes to them when it becomes necessary. Inflexibility should never ever be part of our lives.

The number one priority in our lives should be our relationship with God.  Be careful here – I am not talking about religion.  No religion will take us to heaven.  On the contrary, many religions lead us into destruction.  God is THE GREAT I AM (Exodus 3:14). He is telling us:  I AM your Savior, Lord, healer, protector, provider, refuge, peace, hope, and anything else we may need.

Quit chasing frivolous things and your life will change for the better. If you must chase something, let it be God.  In Matthew 6:33, God tells us:  “Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added unto you.” You will never catch the wind, but you can find true happiness if you seek God.  He will let you find Him.  (4/27/17)  thelivinglights.com

THE KEY IS EDUCATION

Learning encompasses everything we need to know to live a successful life. When most people think of learning they think of a formal education, which is, of course, attending school. A formal education is necessary because that’s not only where we learn to read, write, but also many other essential things we need in order to navigate successfully through the oceans of life.

The key to being successful in life is to have an excellent formal education, because that is the key to learn other things we need to learn. If we don’t know how to read, write, express ourselves adequately or do simple math, life becomes extremely complicated. No, it’s not impossible to succeed without a formal education, but the odds would be completely against us. We would constantly be fighting an uphill battle.

However other than a formal education there are many other ways of learning.  The most important one is probably through experience.  That’s how we learn to walk, talk, think, use the five senses and to recognize feelings and emotions.  Everything we learn to do comes through experience.  Not only do we learn from our experiences, but we learn from somebody else’s experiences.  We learn what to do and what not to do through experiences.

A good solid education comes from contact.  The most important one here is contact with other people.  Prejudice would be greatly reduced if there were more personal contact between people of different races, cultures, religions, ages, social groups and so on.  Instead of dwelling on their differences they would enjoy their similarities.

Contact between people and animals is also good.  Many people enjoy being with their pets just as much as they enjoy being with people.  Many people not only protect domesticated animals, but they even protect the wild ones.  Some species of wild life would become extinct if it weren’t for people protecting them and that only comes through education and understanding, which leads to caring for them.

Contact with modern technology gives us an invaluable education.  Where would we be if we did not know how to drive, how to use modern appliances, smart phones or how to use computers? We would be in the stone age. Thank God for people who go beyond a formal education to come up with new inventions.  Those new inventions challenge us to keep up with the latest technology.

Traveling is a wonderful way of receiving an international education.  Traveling allows us to have first-hand knowledge of where and how other people live.  Once we do that,  we can relate to them so much better and they can relate to us.  People who don’t travel, for whatever the reason, are doing themselves a tremendous disfavor because they are not learning from other people.  Every culture has something positive to offer.

Communication is a wonderful tool to enhance our education.  Through communication with other people and the news media we can receive good advice on just about any given subject.  We have to be willing to listen, to think and to meditate on certain ideas, principles or philosophies.  People with a closed mind are missing out by not living the best life they could possibly live by not maximizing their God-given potential.

Reading was and is a good way to improve our education.  Of course we have to be selective of what we read.  We cannot believe everything we read just because it’s printed on a page.  There tons of encyclopedias full of knowledge.  There are also many books that teach us how to do just about everything under the sun. There is a perfect magazine just about for every single person on this planet.

The internet is the current most popular source of information and education.  Since much of what is found there is somebody’s biased or prejudiced opinion, we have to sift the information found there through the strainer of common sense and veracity.  If it doesn’t pass the test, we should not receive it. However, if it does pass the test, it can be very helpful.

The best educational tool without question is the Bible. There are several reasons for that and they are:  1. It is the word of God.  2. It does not change. It was the same yesterday, it is the same today and it will be the same throughout the many tomorrows.  3. It gives us solid and true principles to live by.  4. If we live according to it, we will receive blessings from God.  5. Through its teachings we can achieve eternal life.

Regardless of your age, sex or where you live, if you are lacking education in some important area of your life, and it is within your reach, go and get it.  You will be glad you did.  God bless you!  (4/20/17)

THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO ROADS

There are always two roads; the correct one and the wrong one.  Which one you take is entirely up to you.  You will come to that fork on the road several times every day and you will have to decide whether to go left or to go right.  Most of the time the wrong one will be much easier, but in the end it will bring you negative results.

It started even before you were born.  Your mother had to decide whether to abort you or to let you be born.  If you are reading this, she made the right decision.  She could have taken the easy way out and aborted you.  She would have saved a lot of money, a lot of hard work and a lot of worries.

During all your childhood years you had to decide whether to obey or disobey your parents, your teachers and any authority figure.  If you chose to obey, you are much better off than you would be if you had chosen to disobey. Of course, it would have been much easier for you to disobey because then you would have done exactly what you wanted to do.

When you graduated from high school if you chose to attend college and received your degree in a specific field, you are much better off than the ones who decided not to go to college. While you were in class and later studying they were probably having fun doing what they wanted to do, but now you have the career that you enjoy and are earning much more than they are.

Maybe you got married and decided to be faithful to your wife and to be a good father to your children.  Another person could have decided to take the easy way out; he could have divorced his wife as soon as the going got rough or maybe he was chasing other women and then his wife left him.  If he had children, they suffered because he took the wrong fork on the road. That happens frequently in our society.

Maybe you came from a Christian home, but you thought your parents were too strict, too old-fashioned and out of touch with reality, so you decided to use drugs to spice your life a little. Then you became hooked on them, dropped out of school and now you are homeless or living in a rehab home.  You took what seemed to you the most exciting fork on the road, but in the end it led to your destruction.

It could be that you think that people who go to church are nerds, weak or not too intelligent, so you don’t want to spend your precious time and money getting involved.  After all, you are smarter than that.  Let’s say you die and you get to the pearly gates and God tells you:  “I never knew you.  You are going to hell.”  You would have definitely taken the wrong fork on the road.  You would regret it, but there would be nothing you could do.

You are a fork on the road now.  Let’s hope you choose the correct direction.  If you have never received Jesus Christ before as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity now. You don’t need any special training or have been a model citizen, but you do need to repent and ask God to forgive you.  If you do not want to spend eternity burning and suffering in the lake of fire, in all honesty, sincerity and humility pray the following prayer to God.  He will hear you, forgive you and give you eternal life with Him.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins.  Please forgive me.  I believe and confess that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross, died to pay for my sins, resurrected on the third day and is at your right hand praying for me now.  I ask Him to be my Lord and Savior and for the Holy Spirit to live in me, so He can guide me and protect me.  Thank You, Father.  Amen.”   April 13, 2017

BE UNPREJUDICED AND UNBIASED

Before you give your opinion on any subject, topic, event, situation, government, religion or person do your homework.  In other words, get all the facts, look at the pros and cons, understand the circumstances and investigate the reason or reasons behind it.  Be aware that not everything is as clear as black and white.  Many times we will encounter shades of gray.

Do not prejudge a person or a situation.  If you had done that, many of your friends would not be your friends and many of the endeavors you have undertaken with much success would have stayed undone.  It’s much better to simply let life take its course, but do not misunderstand me you still have to be a responsible person by thinking, analyzing , meditating, asking for advice and praying to God before making any major decision.

When you go into any situation go into it with an open mind.  Be willing to change your perspective or way of thinking if the situation calls for it.  Don’t go into any situation with a biased, prejudiced or predisposed mind.  If you were to do that, you would only see, hear and understand what you wanted to see, hear or understand.  Unfortunately many people are doing exactly that.

Do not let past failures stagnate your future.  In other words, just because you failed before does not mean you are going to fail again.  Learn from your failures and don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over again because if you do, you will keep on failing.  However if you do your homework and take a different approach the chances are you will succeed. Thomas Edison tried many times unsuccessfully to invent the electric light bulb, but he never gave up until he actually did it.

Don’t be gullible and believe everything you hear, whether it be from a friend, a so-called expert or the news media.  Unfortunately many of the members of the news media are prejudiced and biased.  Instead of reporting the news, which is really their job, they give their personal opinions.  It is very difficult to find a news media that reports the facts just as they happen without adding or subtracting from them.  Every radio or TV stations seems to have its own agenda.

Be extremely careful when receiving information.  Make sure it’s not gossip, slander, defamation or propaganda to justify someone’s agenda.  Anything can be justified, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.  All the dictators justify their dictatorial rule, but the people are still suffering.  A poor person can justify selling drugs to earn money, but it’s illegal, immoral and it hurts people.

Although we talked about approaching everything with an open mind there are absolute truths that you have to adhere to.  If you don’t you may have to pay dire consequences.  For example; if you jump from a ten-story building, you will die.  If you drive inebriated the chances are you will crash.  I can give you thousands of examples, but I truly believe these two will suffice.  Since absolute truths will always be absolute do not try to bend the rules or you will find yourself on the losing end. (March 5, 2017)

YOU CAN BE SOMEBODY’S MIRACLE

When you saw the title probably the first thing that popped into your mind was that you could not possibly be somebody’s miracle.  Your immediate reasoning would probably be that you are not wealthy, that you are not especially gifted in any area, that you don’t practice the gift of healing, that you don’t have much faith, that God does not even hear your prayers and maybe that you don’t even feel comfortable talking to people.

All those points could be valid, of course, under certain circumstances, but there are always exceptions to the rules.  The answer is not always an iron clad “yes,” or “no” to any of our questions.  In most cases there is always a way out no matter how bleak the situation may seem at the time.  All we have to do is stop, think, pray to God and look at our options.

The question is…How can you be somebody’s answer to prayer or somebody’s miracle?  People have many needs and most of them are not financial or miracle healings.  All a person may need at a certain time is a smile and you definitely can give him or her one.  A simple smile could make somebody’s day.  Clint Eastwood would probably agree with that.

Some people could need a hug to be assured of their self-worth and you could give it to them.  It wouldn’t cost you any money, but it would have a great impact on their lives.  All of us need to feel needed, wanted and that somebody cares about us. We may have fame, fortune and thousands of acquaintances, but if we don’t feel loved, we are just as bad as an empty shell.  An embrace or a word of encouragement could make the whole difference in the world to us.

Your words can destroy or edify people.   Use them to build up people.  Many parents destroy the lives of their children by telling them things, such as:  “You’ll never amount to anything,” “You will not be able to accomplish that,” or “You’re not smart enough to go into that.”  Instead we should be telling our children, “The sky is the limit for you,” “You can achieve whatever you set your mind to,” or “I’m behind you 100%.”

Let’s suppose the automobile of a young couple with a three-month-old baby and a two-year-old child breaks down on the freeway and the temperature is at 115 degrees.  You happen to have jumper cables, tools and you know a little about cars.  You stop and in about ten minutes you help them get on their way. You would have been their miracle. You may have even saved the baby’s life.

Maybe you have first or second-hand knowledge of someone being scammed on one of those schemes being perpetrated through the internet, the mail or via the telephone and you hear of an elderly couple that is about to fall into that trap and you warn them.  You may have saved them thousands of dollars.  You would be their guardian angel.

By now hopefully you have realized that you don’t have to be Superman, Batman, the Spiderman, Indiana Jones, a superstar or an angel to be somebody’s miracle. You already have all the tools you need, which are:  a smile, a handshake, a pat on somebody’s back, a hug, your friendship and a willingness to help others in their time of need, whatever that need may be.

I left this miracle to be the last one I would discuss because it is the most important one bar none and that, of course, is the miracle of salvation.  Anybody who has not accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior is going to spend eternity burning and suffering in the lake of fire. You can be somebody’s hero and miracle by bringing them into the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No religion or quantity of good works can bring you to heaven.  The saying goes:  “The road to hell is paved with good works and good intentions.”  In John 14:6, Jesus said:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father, except through Me.”

Regardless of your sex, age, culture, religion, social status or anything else, you can spend eternity with God if you repent, ask God to forgive you and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  If you don’t know how to proceed, read the prayer below and when you understand it, pray it to God aloud in all sincerity and humility.  He will hear you and you will become his son or daughter.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins.  I ask You to forgive me.  I believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Your Son, that He suffered, died on the cross to pay for my sins and that he resurrected on the third day.  I ask Him to be my Lord and Savior and for the Holy Spirit to be my companion,  guide and counselor. Thank You, Father.  Amen.”

You will learn a lot if you keep coming back to my page.  Find yourself a good Bible-teaching church, so you can get closer to God.  He is still in the miracle-performing business.  If you need a miracle ask God in faith and He may just surprise you.  God bless you!

thelivinglights.com March 30, 2017

THE NEWS MEDIA

With the explosion of technology the news media can report information as it is happening in any part of the world.  Of course, that is a tremendous asset to the reporters all over the globe.  It is also a blessing to any person in the world because we are always aware of what is happening at any given moment.  Consequently the resources that are needed to ameliorate the situation get there much faster than before.

Because the reporting is done live sometimes the facts are not yet fully known.  Therefore they give an incomplete report or even an erroneous one.  For that reason many times the viewer does not receive accurate information.  As a reviewer we should process it, taking various factors into consideration.

Some of the factors we should take into consideration are:  1. Are the facts complete?  2. Is the person being interviewed biased or prejudiced?  3.  Is the reporter asking the proper questions? 4. Is the reporter biased or prejudiced?  5.  Is that channel reliable for giving the news correctly

without altering them?  6.  If it is a controversial subject, are they giving equal coverage to both sides? 7. Are the facts up to date?

Unfortunately the owners of some of the TV channels or radio stations have their own agenda and consequently the reporting only covers one side of an issue.  They only interview people who agree with their way of thinking.  If they interview people who oppose their ideas, they give them less time or ask them pointed questions. As a viewer each one of us should know the integrity of the reporting of that particular station or reporter.

One of the most popular ways of getting the news is through the internet.  The only thing wrong with that is that it does not seem to have any controls on it. Just about anybody can write something there.  Many times what is said on it has no veracity and cannot be substantiated by any facts whatsoever.  Nevertheless because the people see it in writing they take as the gospel truth.

Probably the worst thing about the internet is that there is much false information on it.  We cannot and should not take it at face value because it could cause somebody harm.  It could even harm ourselves. We have to sift its information through the strainers of practicality, truthfulness, intelligence and wisdom.

On a positive side the internet is helping tremendously because it does provide a lot of information that we have available to us at our fingertips.  We don’t need to go to the library, read volumes of encyclopedias, read books on the subject or seek an expert in the field. We can find the information needed right at home in our computer.  We just have to learn how to use it intelligently.

The essence of this article is for you to learn to use the news media properly.  Use it intelligently with practical wisdom.  Don’t just believe what they say for the sake of believing.  Do not let it shape your opinion nor change your godly principles.  Just use it to receive information – nothing more, nothing less.

THE MAN WHO HAS NO WILL OF HIS OWN

A pilot flying an airplane without any instruments will never get to his destination because he has nothing to direct him.  He may fly in circles or he may land somewhere, but he has no idea where he is, much less have any control over the situation.  We could say that he is at the mercy of chance.

A rider riding a horse bareback without reins, a bridle or a rope will go wherever the horse will take him.  He has no way of controlling the horse or of knowing where the horse will take him. He is at the mercy of the circumstances and the horse.  Not a very good idea to do that.  It’s much better to be in control of the horse at all times.

A man who has no character gets pushed around by people and by the circumstances of life. He is forced to meander through life because he does not have the character or the guts to oppose whatever comes against him.  About the only thing he knows how to do well is to bend.  The only problem with that is that after he bends so many times comes the breaking.  The only question is…How many times does he have to bend before he breaks?

A man who does not plan his life has no idea how he will live, where he will live or with whom he will be living.  He goes through life drifting from place to place many times being a burden to others.  Since he has no skills, trade or profession he has to take any job where he is accepted.  Does not sound like an exciting way to live.

A man who has no will of his own will wind up doing somebody else’s will.  Believe me there are plenty of people out there who want to impose their will on you.  If you don’t have a will of your own yet, develop one because if you don’t, you will be a sitting target.  All it takes is for you to change your way of thinking.  Think of yourself as someone who has great value in the eyes of God and even to other people.  Nobody is more important than you, regardless of their position or social status.

God wants you to have a will that coincides with His.  If your will does not coincide with God’s will then it coincides with the devil’s.  That, my dear friend, is the worst thing you can do. If you do the devil’s will, you will wind up in the lake of fire suffering and burning forever and ever. That is not a very pleasant thought.

Don’t enticed by the carnal things nor be swayed easily by persuasive rhetoric, but rather remember who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve learned and where you are going.  If you do that you will get there sooner or later.  You may deviate a little or it may take you a little longer than expected, but if you persevere you will get there.  (March 15, 2017)

 

WHY DID DONALD TRUMP BECOME PRESIDENT? (March 9, 2017)

Why did God allow Donald Trump to become President of the United States? That is the question that many people, and especially unbelievers and Democrats, are asking.  Yes, it is a logical and valid question, but one that is not that difficult to answer if one knows the Bible and American history. We need to go back to our roots.

If you read the Bible you will find out that every single time that Israel had a king that did wrong in the eyes of the Lord, God would punish Israel, and, by the same token, every time that Israel had a king that did what was correct in God’s eyes, Israel would be blessed.  The Jews are God’s chosen people, whether we like it or not, and that is why God deals with them the way a father would deal with his children.

I will give you just one of many examples in the Bible when a king did what was wrong in God’s eyes: 2 Kings 13:1-3  – “In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days.”

The anger of the Lord has been kindled against the United States because of abortion, gay marriages, legalizing marijuana, pornography, violence and nudity in movies, corruption in the government, lack of morals, idolatry (immigrants bringing foreign idols into our country), Obama disdaining Israel and much more. God has been removing His covering from us little by little.  Hopefully now that Donald Trump is President God will protect us again.

God brought Donald Trump into the Presidency because he wants to restore America to what it once was – a Christian nation.  Obama said that we were no longer a Christian nation and did not allow Franklin Graham to pray for our nation on “The National Day of Prayer.” On the other hand, Donald Trump has had many Christian leaders pray for him and for our nation. Many of us are continuing to pray for him, our nation and for the world on a daily basis and that will make a huge difference.

Way back in 1620 we started as a Christian group of people and God wants us to come back to our first love (Revelation 2:4).  In the Old Testament Israel was “The Promised Land.”  Too many immigrants the United States has become “The Promised Land.” We became that because God prospered us for being a Christian nation.  People from other lands want to live in our country because of our freedom and prosperity. I don’t blame them one bit.  However they should come in legally and not illegally.

We were losing our prosperity, our freedom and the respect we had throughout the world because we were moving away from God.  President Trump is bringing back our freedom, our prosperity and our respect by bringing us back to God.  In the Old Testament every time the Jews had a godly king God would bless them. God will bless us once again because we are praying and because we elected a President who has Christian values.

Mr. Donald Trump did not only become President because of his principles and values, but also because he is a very strong person. With all the attacks he is getting from the Democrats, the news media, the so-called famous people, world leaders and even some Republicans he remains strong and sticks to his convictions.  Some other person would have thrown in the towel by now.

Our country and the world need a strong leader and Donald Trump fits the bill.  He can deal with Iran, North Korea, Russia and anything else that comes his way.  There was such a man as him in the Bible.  His name was king David – a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).  It is quite possible that Donald Trump may be a man after God’s own heart.

When the Jews were about to be exterminated in the Old Testament, Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, told her that she was raised…”for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14.  I sincerely think that Donald Trump became President of the United States for such a time as this.  The chances are that nobody else could handle the job.

Do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that he is a saint or that he has salvation. He may or may not be a saint and he may or may not be saved, but I, for one, don’t know.  Only God knows that for sure, but what I am clearly saying is that God chose him to be our President (Romans 13:1-2).  If the Republicans and the Democrats work together with the President it will help all of us.  The bickering and the backstabbing that is going on is hurting all of us.

YOU HAVE TO RELEASE

Many people, including some Christians, are not receiving God’s blessings because they haven’t learned to release.  They expect blessings, but keep on making the same mistakes over and over.  They find themselves in a vicious cycle that can never change, unless they change.

God is love (1 John 4:8) and if you have hatred bottled up inside you, He cannot bless you.  You may justify your anger to yourself and even to other people, but the bottom line is that it’s wrong and it will continue to eat you inside as long as you hang on to it. You have to release that anger by sending it to oblivion.

Somebody may have done you wrong and you cannot seem to forgive them.  Not necessarily for their sake, but for yours you have to forgive them.  Release that feeling and replace it with forgiveness.  It does not mean that person has to be your best friend, but it does mean you do not carry any animosity toward him or her.

Supposing you have a deep-rooted fear or phobia because of what happened to you a long time ago, you have to get over it.  If you don’t, it will possess you and will rob you of the happiness you could have.  The fear may not even be real only exist in your mind.  The Bible tells us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).  If you have any phobias it is time for you to say good-bye to them.  Release them into the wind.

When enter any type of competition or contest you have to believe that you are going to win. If you believe that, you will give it your best effort and the outcome will be so much better than if you went in with the attitude that you were going to lose – that you didn’t have a chance of winning. Your attitude plays a major role in whether you will experience success or defeat in anything you do.

If you pray, but don’t really believe God will answer your prayer, He won’t.  If that is your case, don’t even pray because you will be wasting your time. When you pray you have to release your faith.  God does answer prayers, but He does it through your faith.  The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  Many times when Jesus found somebody who needed a miracle, He would tell them something like this:  “Let it be done according to your faith.”

If you feel frustrated, guess what?  You have to release your frustrations.  If you don’t those frustrations will only bring more frustrations.  Learn to put on a happy face.  Everybody enjoys winning, but we have to learn how to lose gracefully.  After all, life is not always a picnic.  Just because we lose a battle does not mean we are going to lose the war.  It takes courage to persevere, but that’s exactly what winners do.  My advice to you is release your frustrations and keep on trucking.

All of us have troubles of one kind or another.  The chances are you have some too.  Don’t let them bother you.  Release them to God.  He can handle, you can’t.  God tells us to bring all our troubles to Him in prayer and supplication (Philippians 4:6).  Have you ever heard of some problem being solved because somebody worried? Do the best you can to solve them, but don’t worry about them.  In many cases what will happen will happen.

So far we’ve been talking about negative things.  Let’s change to the positive ones.  If you are afraid of releasing your love because you have been hurt before, you have to release it again.  If you don’t you will be miserable.  Yes, some people will disappoint you, but God made you to love not to hate or to be indifferent.  True happiness comes with loving people and being loved.  If love is not present in your life, I sincerely feel sorry for you.

Don’t squander your money or possessions, but learn to release them when necessary.  Don’t be a hoarder.  You heard the expression:  “You can’t take it with you.”  Have you ever seen a hearse being followed by two semi-trucks carrying the belongings of the deceased person? Use your money and possessions to help the less fortunate.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t try to imitate others. Be the best you, you can be because you don’t necessarily have to please everyone.  No matter how hard you try, some people will not be satisfied.  It’s their problem, not yours.  Release your true personality without being rude, unkind or insulting people. After all, nobody can be you, but you.

thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  3/3/17

HOW TO LIVE A FULFILLED LIFE

It is very unfortunate but most people do not live a fulfilled life for several reasons.  They fall short in several areas as you are going to see as you read this article.  We know almost for a fact that you fall short in some of the areas, but since it is never too late to make adjustments hopefully you will make the necessary ones.

I like to call the different areas the Ls.  The first “L” is learning.  Regardless of your age you should never stop learning.  When you stop learning you have no reason to look forward to tomorrow.  Life becomes boring to you.  Death comes quicker.

The second “L” is living.  You should live life to the fullest.  It does not really matter what you do, but it does matter that you enjoy it.  If you enjoy it, life will be much sweeter to you.  You will look forward to the next activity no matter what it might be.

The third “L” is loving.  Love yourself, love people, love God and love doing things. Without love you are an empty shell.  An empty shell is worthless.  You have value, other people have value and God definitely has value.  Love, love and love.  Never quit loving.

The fourth “L” is longing.  Always be longing for something and looking forward to getting it.  It could be a spouse, a new-born child, a new house, a new car, a new job, retirement, a vacation and so on.  When you quit dreaming, you quit living.

The fifth “L” is leaving the past in the past.  Sure you probably have had some unpleasant experiences.  Don’t dwell on them.  They can only drag you down.  Forget about them and look forward to a brighter future.  The Bible says:  “As a man thinks, so is he.” –  Proverbs 23:7.

The sixth “L” is letting God into your life.  You can do that by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  If you do not accept Him in your life you will spend eternity burning and suffering in the lake of fire.  If you have never done it, you should do that now.

The seventh “L” is look at yourself the way God looks at you. Don’t look at yourself the way some people may look at you.  Romans 8:37 – “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christwho strengthens me.” God loves you and you are very important to Him.

The eighth “L” is leaning on God.  God says to bring all your problems to Him in prayer and supplication – Philippians 4:6.  Guess what?  He can handle them, and in many cases you cannot handle them because they are bigger than you are.

The ninth “L” is let the Holy Spirit guide you in making decisions.  He knows the past, the now and the future.  He knows what’s best for you.  Pray for Him to guide you in everything you do, and He will.

The tenth “L” is learn not to worry.  Have you ever seen a problem solved by worrying? I am sure you have not because it does not happen.  Worrying is just a waste of time, energy and it makes you get older.  Worrywarts die sooner than the people who refuse to worry.

The eleventh “L” is look forward to spending eternity with God.  In John 14:1-3, Jesus told His disciples the same thing He would tell us:  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

The twelfth “L” is look up because your redemption draws near – Luke 21:28.  Yes, Jesus Christ is coming back for us in what is known as “the rapture.”

thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  2/23/17

S   U   P   E   R   S   T   I   T   I   O   N

According to the dictionary one of the definitions of superstition is:  “A widely held but unjustified idea of the effects or nature of a thing.” Superstitious people do certain things or do not do others because they think certain consequences will follow. Although there may be no scientific proof at all they believe it with all their heart, soul and body.

If you are a superstitious person, I hope this article will set you free.  You need to be set free from unfounded ideas, old people’s tales, illogical superstitions and just plain nonsense.  Jesus Christ Himself said in John 8:36 – “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” That freedom is free from guilt, shame, lies, fear, sin, superstitions, the second death and from everything else.

Some people do not do business on Friday the 13th because they think it brings bad luck.  Everything else being equal, the 13th is just like any other day.  Do business on that day as in any other day, but examine the pros and cons before signing the contract or doing business.  That, of course, also holds true for any business you may do on any given day.

Some people never walk under a ladder.  Unless there is something on top of it that could fall on your head, there is no problem whatsoever with walking under it.  Of course if there is a gallon of paint on top of it, a hammer, a drill or something else, it would be a wise thing to walk around it.

Some people hate to see a black cat cross their path.  Black just happens to be his color.  Let as many black cars as possibly cross in front of you and nothing will happen to you out of the ordinary.  The same principle holds true for any black animal that may cross your path.  Don’t fear them, unless they are wild and could cause you harm.

People believe that if they have itchy palms they are going to receive money.  Of course it is not necessarily true.  In some cases it may happen, but it is just by coincidence.  I hate to burst your bubble in case you have itchy palms.  However if you do receive money, more power to you.

If you break a mirror on purpose or by accident, don’t worry about it.  No bad luck will come to you because of that.  It could come for other reasons, but not because you broke a mirror.  Things do have a tendency to go wrong sometimes.

There are those who think crossing their fingers or knocking on wood will bring good luck to them.  Those are just myths.  But if it makes you feel good, by all means do it.  Many times if we have a good attitude it does change things for the better. Positive thinking is a tool that all of us should learn to use.  The Bible says:  “As a man thinks, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7.

Some people actually carry a rabbit’s foot for supposedly good luck.  They would probably also carry a horseshoe if it weren’t so darn heavy.  Neither one of those will help you, so if you have them, get rid of them.  Be free! There is nothing better than feeling relaxed, comfortable and free.

If you have seen Walt Disney movies you may be wishing upon a star or carrying a four-leaf clover.  Sorry to disappoint you, but no star can grant your wish and no clover, regardless of how many leaves it may have, can bring you good luck.  Instead of wishing upon a star, set goals, make plans and carry them out.

You may think you have beginner’s luck in the casinos because they may let you win a few hundred dollars, but then they take you for thousands. Yes, they take you to the cleaners.  Some people lose all their money and then they pawn their wedding rings or whatever else they may have of value.  Don’t be one of them!

Many people refuse to take the number 666 on anything.  The reason being is that the Bible says that’s the number of the antichrist.  According to the Bible the people who agree to take that number, either written on their hand or on their forehead, will lose their salvation and will wind up suffering eternally in the lake of fire. Therefore refusing to take the number 666 in any way, shape or form may be justified.

To some people believing in God is a superstition, but to me it is not.  The reason is very simple; Jesus appeared to me in a vision in 1978.  He has also allowed me to hear His voice audibly.  To me it is a fact that God exists and that He is who the Bible says He is.  It is not a superstition; it is knowledge.

Prayer can change things.  That is not a superstition; it is a fact.  Some people who were terminally ill have been prayed for and have been completely healed.  People who have been declared clinically dead have been brought back to life when people prayed for them. If you don’t believe in God, pray this way:  “God, if you are real, make Yourself known to me.”  If you are sincere in asking, one way or another He will let you know He is real.

I sincerely hope this article helps you get rid of some of your superstitions.  They are not doing you any good, but they may be blocking you from living life to the fullest.

rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  2/16/17

WHO IS BRAVE?

The world has an erroneous concept as to who is brave.  Some of the reasons are what we see in the movies, who is good in sports, who looks forward to getting into fights, and who fights to the bitter end.  Some of those involved in those activities may be brave, but not necessarily all of them.  Some of the people who are involved in those activities do it for different reasons, which may have nothing to do with being brave.

By human standards some of those people may appear to be brave, but not necessarily according to the way God sees them.   In Isaiah 55:8-9, God Himself puts it this way:  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” A person who we consider brave God may consider a coward and a person who we consider weak or a coward God may consider strong. That’s because God does not look at the results, but at the motive and at the heart of the person.

Being brave is not necessarily never being afraid.  A brave person is one who, in spite of being afraid, confronts danger and overcomes.  If he is not afraid that is just being confident because he knows he has the upper hand for one reason or another.  Unfortunately many people are bullies because they know the other person is physically, psychologically or emotionally weaker than they are.  The brave persons are the ones who, in spite of danger to themselves, defend the victims from being bullied.

A brave person is not one who has been divorced one, two, three or four times, but one who perseveres in the marriage come rain or come sunshine.  Many children grow up without a father image or a mother because his or her parents called it quits.  The parents took the easy way out.  A mother who gives up her children for adoption or a father who leaves a wife with children are not heroes, but cowards.

A lady with children who becomes a single mother because the husband abandons her or because she becomes a widow and raises the children by herself is a real heroine.  The man who leaves her is a scoundrel.  We have too many cases where that happens. The ones who really suffer the consequences are the children.

An adolescent who does not finish high school because supposedly it’s boring or he is too lazy to study is not brave, but an irresponsible human being.  Many of them wind up working at fast-food restaurants complaining because the minimum wage is too low.  No, they are not brave. They take the path of least resistance and become a burden to society.

A person who becomes what is known as “a daredevil” is not brave, but irresponsible.  He or she is constantly defying the odds and sooner or later, the inevitable will happen.  People like that do not really value human life. If they were to love their immediate family, they would not make it go through what the family goes through every time they put themselves in harm’s way.  No, they are not brave; they are without feelings.  What they do is not bravery, but plain stupidity.

Being brave is being consistent, having perseverance, keeping one’s word, doing what is correct in any given situation, not evading obstacles, accepting responsibility, maintaining true and godly values and overcoming any challenges that may present themselves. Lack of character forbids many people to live by the already mentioned principles.

There are different types of bravery and brave persons.  A brave person could be one who finds himself or herself in a compromising situation and, in spite of the danger, fear or circumstances, acts quickly to solve the problem whatever it may be.  As mentioned in the previous paragraph the majority of brave people are the ones who live life being consistent, doing what is right for them and others, and persevering regardless of what life may throw at them. Those are the real heroes.  Are you one of them?

rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  thelivinglights.com  2/9/17

THE FOOLISH THINGS TO PEOPLE

As society keep changing some things become foolish in the eyes of men, but not in the eyes of God.  The main reason being is that absolute values seem to be going into oblivion, not become they have become obsolete, but because society continues to become more and more permissive and tolerant as time goes on.

Since God does have absolute values that never change, in many cases, people’s values are foolish to Him.  In Hebrews 13:8, the Bible says:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He does not change.  What was true six thousand years ago is true today and it will be true throughout eternity.

It was in the Garden of Eden – Genesis 3:6-7 – where  the human race through Adam and Eve first disobeyed God. It sounded foolish to them to obey God and not their own desires.  It still sounds foolish to the majority of people to do God’s will and not their own. That is why sin abounds.  Consequently because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience they became separated from God. Unfortunately it affected the whole human race, not just them.

It sounds foolish to most people that we can come back to God and live with Him forever by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  In John 14:6 Jesus tells us:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Those who think it’s foolishness to believe and call on Jesus Christ will spend eternity burning and suffering in the lake of fire.  Don’t be one of them!

To God it’s not foolishness for us to believe in Him.  That is exactly why He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ (John 3:15-17) not only to offer salvation to us, but to let us know what God the Father is like.  In John 14:9, Jesus told Philip, one of His disciples, the following: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

There is only one God, but He has three different manifestations.  He is a triune God.  The manifestations are:  Father God, who is on His throne in heaven, Jesus Christ who is at the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer.  Yes, He lives in us. That is the little voice that sometimes tells you not to do something or to help someone. However if you don’t pray, don’t read the Bible and have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit is completely dormant in you.

People who do not believe in God think this life is all there is.  That’s why they live it according to what pleases them at the time.  They participate in living together, prostitution, adultery, pornography, fornication and same sex marriage – an abomination to God (Romans, chapter 1).  It may be extremely popular and legal, but they are going to wind up suffering eternally in the lake of fire. Right now it’s foolish for them not to participate in those activities, but the real foolishness is suffering eternally for the sake of having immoral sex.

It’s foolish to people not to lie, not to steal and not to connive because by doing those things they may get ahead in this wicked world.  However participating in them is foolishness to God because they go totally against His principles and His commands. Even in this world, by doing those things many times you win the battle, but you lose the war.  A few examples will suffice: You cheat on your wife and she divorces you.  You cheat at work and you get laid off. You cheat on your income tax and you wind up in prison.  Need I say more?

It may sound foolish to you to go to church on Sunday.  After all, you can watch football games, go to the park, jog and exercise, spend time with your friends, go watch a movie or do ten thousand other things.  Not only that but at church you may be asked to donate some money and you may think I can use that money for something else.  All those things have temporary value, but the word of God is eternal.  It will assure that you and your family have eternal life in heaven with God.  That’s right!  You can spend eternity with them.  So what is more foolish – to go to church or to do something else?

It may sound foolish for you to believe in God, but you believe in evolution.  Even if there was a big bang – guess what?  Someone had to cause it, and that one would be God.  Nothing can come from nothing.  Nothing gives life to itself. The universe is well planned and so is this world. It really is foolish to believe it happened by itself or by chance.

If it’s foolish for you to believe in God now, I guarantee that you will feel more foolish when you meet Him face to face and He tells you, “I never knew you.  Your destination is hell.”  Then if it’s foolishness for you to believe that the devil exists when you meet him face to face it will be a lot more than foolish.

I hope this article helps you not just to live for today, or enjoy the sinful pleasures of this world, but to plan for eternity.

thelivinglights.com   rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net  2/2/17

CEASE THE MOMENT

Every single one of us has twenty four hours in a day, seven days in a week,  an average of thirty days in a month and a lifespan of maybe seventy years or more.  What we do with that time is entirely up to us.  We can use it wisely or we can waste it completely.  If we use it unwisely there will be consequences to pay and when they appear we have nobody to blame, but ourselves.

Not necessarily all the time, but some of the time an opportunity presents itself only once. If we are wise we take advantage of it at the proper time.  If we let it go, it may never come back again.  Many people have found this out the hard way.  Some even spend their whole lifetime regretting the missed opportunity or opportunities. Don’t be one of them!

There are many good examples of squandered opportunities, but one of the most important ones is failing to get an education.  With a good education the sky is the limit, while without it

many doors are completely closed.  Yet many students say:  “School is boring.”  They don’t pay attention in class, don’t do their homework and don’t study or if they do they don’t give it enough time.

Another good example would be growing with the job.  In other words, working for a company and working your way up the corporate ladder, as the saying goes.  It could be any type of business where you start at the bottom and work your way up to being the boss or even the owner of the business.  All you have to do is give your best, learn as much as you can about that specific business and be constant.  People who persevere will always succeed because the word quit is not in their repertoire.

Another important area is that of choosing your spouse.  Many people let the opportunity go by for several reasons.  It could be because you are immature, don’t appreciate the qualities the other person has, or you want to play the field.  Later on you realize you should have married that person, but you let the opportunity go by.  I have known several cases where after one or two divorces a person marries the one he should have married in the first place.

So far I have talked about missed opportunities and I could give you many more examples.  The chances are you have squandered some of them, but now I am going to tell you how to cease the moment.  The past is in the past and you cannot change it, but you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future and that’s what it’s all about.

If you are unhappy with your job or you are not earning enough to support yourself or your family, start looking for a better one.  If you need some preparation start doing it because nobody else is going to do it for you.  One way of ceasing the moment is to be ready when it appears.  It does not do you any good if an opportunity presents itself and you are not qualified or ready.  If that happens somebody else will grab it.

If you are single, regardless of your age, and you would love to have a spouse keep your eyes peeled and when the right one comes along, don’t hesitate.  If you do somebody else might beat you to the punch. If you are a Christian pray to God to bring the right one into your life. Guess what?  He will.  A word of caution:  Don’t be too hasty either.

Now let’s talk about being a good consumer.  It does not matter what you are going to buy, there are four factors to keep in mind –  Do you really need it? Is the price right? Is the quality good?  Can you afford it? If the answer is “yes” to those four questions, buy it.

When a good opportunity arises, in season or out of season, jump on it.  Don’t regret it the rest of your life. Speaking of opportunities…if you have never received Jesus Christ in your heart as your Lord and Savior, do it now.  You don’t know when you are going to die and if you die without receiving Him, hell is waiting for you.  However, if you truly receive Him, you will be heaven bound.  If you don’t know how to do it, read the following prayer and when you understand it, pray it to God aloud in all sincerity and humility.  No matter what you may have done, God will forgive you and receive you as his son or daughter.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins.  Please forgive me.  I believe and confess that Jesus Christ is your son, that He died on the cross to pay for my sins, and that He resurrected from the dead on the third day. I ask Him to be my Lord and Savior and for the Holy Spirit to live in me.  I ask all this in the name of Your Son Jesus.  Amen.”

I hope you did not miss the opportunity, but if you did, you can only blame yourself as you suffer eternally in the lake of fire.  On the other hand, if you took advantage of it you will be with God rejoicing throughout eternity.

thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net 1/26/17

A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND

Apparently the members of the Democratic Party have not read the Bible or if they have they have not understood it.  In Mark 3:24-26, Jesus said:  “ If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end.”  In other words, in order for any family, business, country or kingdom to succeed it has to be united, not divided.

On June 16, 1858 as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln delivered the speech in which he said:  “A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe the government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided.” Of course he borrowed that principle from the Bible – from Jesus Himself.

Just as our country could not stand being divided in the 1860s, it cannot stand being divided now.  If the Democrats really love our country, they would accept Donald Trump as our and their President.  After all, we live in a democracy and because of that when a new President is elected some people are very pleased and some are not too happy about it, but even those  accept  the fact and our government keeps on functioning.  That has happened from generation to generation and we have never had any trouble because of it.

For selfish reasons King Barack thought that he or his political party would reign indefinitely.  Maybe they could do that in Africa, Cuba, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea or some other country, but in the United States we have a democracy.  It is not a perfect system, but we have learned to follow the rules. Chaos only comes when people refuse to follow the established rules.  Apparently that’s what the Democratic Party, the Hollywood stars, and the other followers want.  There’s a Spanish saying that says: “Divide and you will rule.”

Obama was not the ideal candidate, but when he was elected President the Republicans and some of us independent thinkers did not demonstrate, did not badmouthed the President, nor did we make him out to be demonic.  Even some of the  whites  from the Southern states, who might be racially prejudiced, did not try to attack him in any way, shape or form.  Even though most of his policies actually hurt the country we did not set out to make him a villain in the eyes of the world.

If we do not come together under President Trump as a nation, we are going to spiral downward at supersonic  speed.  When we look in the mirror we will see the enemy and that enemy is going to be us. We won’t have to worry about Russia, China, Iran or North Korea.  They won’t have to fire one missile. We will destroy ourselves.

Let’s hope we come to our senses before it’s too late.  The Republicans and Democrats should learn to work together for the benefit of our country.  It’s not Obama, Hillary, Trump or the party they should be loyal to, but to God and to our country.  Hopefully they’ll get their priorities straight because if they don’t, all of us are going to suffer.

Don’t get mad at me for writing this article.  If you have any doubts read our Constitution.  The Bible will also help you in understanding what’s wrong and what’s right.  Romans, Chapter 1, will help you understand how God feels about gay marriages.  Hopefully you will understand it because Hillary,  Obama, many Democrats and some Republicans do not.

If you believe in God, in His power and in His sovereignty, pray for Him to bring peace and love to this country.  We owe it to ourselves, to our children and to our grandchildren.  God bless you!

thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net

ALWAYS ACT WISELY

When talking to other people, it is always better to think before we talk, to analyze the topic before we give our opinion, to be sensitive to the other person’s feelings and point of view, and to foresee the possible consequences of our words before we act.

We should approach any discussion with an open mind, unprejudiced, unbiased and ready to actually listen to the other person.  We should try to understand where the other person is coming from.  The more we know of his background, the more understanding we will be.  That does not mean we have to agree with him or tolerate something that goes totally against our moral fiber.

We should try to avoid at all costs discussions that are unproductive.  If we know the other person quite well, we know in which subjects we should not participate.  If we allow them to engage us in arguing a specific point in which they have very strong feelings, it will wind up being a lose-lose situation.  We would have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

The fact that we should be understanding does not mean that we should be tolerant of something that goes totally against God’s will and godly values.  Tolerant people are the ones who are politically-correct, but godly-incorrect. They are not part of the solution, but rather part of the problem, and we cannot turn a blind eye to that.

It’s quite okay to be permissive to a certain point, but there has to be a limit. Most parents know that we have to keep our children on a short rope.  If we fail to discipline them when they step out of bounds, the problem will go from bad to worse rather fast.  They need guidelines and the parents (not the schools, the police, the courts, the Welfare Department, the TV shows nor the Internet) are the ones who should set them.

If we see something wrong and we do nothing, we are enablers.  If your son is on drugs and you

give him a hefty allowance every week, you are enabling his habit.  You are part of the problem, and not part of the solution.  You should not be that permissive and should not condone that type of behavior in your home.

Some things are popular because most people always take the path of least resistance.  They follow the herd or the flock as the case may be, and because of the influence of those herds, tolerance, political-correctness and social-correctness are thriving.  Our society is moving away at record speeds from our established moral and social values. As a matter of fact, they are almost non-existent.

If you have been brought up with good moral values, be sensitive and understanding to people, but don’t be tolerant of what should not be tolerated, do not be too permissive when you should not be, and do not condone what should not be condoned.

thelivinglights.com    rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net   1/12/17

SIEMPRE ACTÚA SABIAMENTE

Cuando uno habla con otra persona, siempre es mejor pensar antes de hablar, analizar el tema antes de opinar, ser sensible a los sentimientos de la otra persona y a su punto de vista, y anticipar las consecuencias de lo que se dirá antes de actuar.

Se debe entrar a cada discusión con la mente abierta, sin prejuicio previo, con imparcialidad, y dispuesto a escuchar atentamente a la otra persona.  Se debe tratar de entender el punto de vista de la otra persona.  Entre más se sepa de la otra persona, se le puede entender mejor.  Eso no significa que uno tiene que estar completamente de acuerdo ni tolerar algo que va totalmente contra la moralidad de uno.

Se debe tratar a todo costo no entrar en discusiones que no sean productivas.  Si conocemos a la otra persona bastante bien sabemos en cuales temas no debemos participar.  Si uno permite ser entablado en una conversación en la cual la otra persona tiene sentimientos muy arraigados

el resultado será negativo.  Uno no tendría nada que ganar y todo que perder.  Es mejor evadir o esquivar esa clase de conversación.

El hecho que uno debe ser comprensivo no significa que debe tolerar lo que va contra la voluntad de Dios o contra los valores de uno.  Las personas tolerantes son las que están social y políticamente correctas, pero divinamente incorrectas.  No son parte de la solución, sino parte del problema, y eso no se puede ignorar.

Es bueno ser permisivo hasta cierto punto, pero tiene que haber límites.  La mayoría de los padres saben eso, y por eso les dan rienda corta a sus hijos.  Si uno no disciplina a sus hijos las primeras veces que desobedecen después es mucho más difícil.  Los hijos necesitan perímetros, y los padres (no las escuelas, el gobierno, la policía, los programa de televisión, ni el internet) son los que deben establecer esas reglas.

Si uno ve que algo no marcha bien y no hace nada, uno es parte del problema.  Si tu hijo anda en las drogas, y tú le proporcionas dinero semanalmente, tú eres el facilitador.  Eso te convierte en parte del problema y no de la solución.  No seas permisivo, tolerante ni condones esa clase de comportamiento en tu hogar.

Muchas actividades son populares, porque la mayoría de la gente toma el sendero de menos resistencia.  Sigue la manada, porque es lo más fácil y es muy aceptable.  Por la influencia de esas manadas, las personas tolerantes están social y políticamente correctas, pero totalmente incorrectas según la voluntad de nuestro Dios.  La sociedad va a velocidad rayo alejándose de Dios y de los valores morales y sociales del pasado.  De hecho, esos valores ya casi no existen.  Ya son dinosaurios para la juventud.

Si tus padres te han enseñado buenos modales, buenos valores morales, y buenas costumbres, es bueno que seas sensible y comprensivo con la gente, pero no seas tolerante de lo que no debes ser tolerado, no seas permisivo de lo que no se debe permitir, y no condones lo que no debes condonar.

thelivinglights.com    rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net   12 Enero 2017