Monday, March 31, 2008

Materialism and it's dangers

As I shared with you last time, one of the reasons I wanted to create this blog,(honestly Beth really created it) was to share with you some things that God has done in my life and one of those things is, He has shown me what real Stewardship is. When I use the term "stewardship", most people immediately think "money". Just one of many aspects of stewardship, so today I want to share some things about materialism and the dangers it presents to us and to those we are closest to.
John D Rockefeller said, "The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money."
Max Gunther said, "the type of man most likely to grow very, very rich is the type of man least likely to enjoy it."
The devil makes the assumption that every person in this world, past, present and or future will have their price. I've found that most people will give in to or surrender themselves and their principles or lack thereof, to whatever gods will bring them the greatest profit. God spoke of these same issues in Isaiah 57:3-9, Jeremiah 3:1-10 and Ezekiel 15:1-48. In fact He calls Israel a harlet meaning they would leave him for someone else only if the price is right.
I read once a short story that demonstrates best what God is trying to say. Now you must hold on to your hat because it sounds obscene but truth jumps out of it as clearly as anything I can try to explain. So please hang on and try to get the jest of the story: OK
A beartiful young women who was surrounded by a lot of wealthy socialites sat at a dinner table on a beautify boat. Much to her surprise, a millionaire passed her a note which ask, "Will you go to bed with me tonight for ten thousand dollars? The young beautiful women blushed but responded by note right back to the millionaire. "YES" So they both left the party and while they were walking, the millionaire ask the question like this, "Will you go to bed with me for Ten dollars? The women was outraged and ask the man, "What kind of women do you think I am?
The millionaire was very matter-of-fact and replied. "We've already determined what kind of women you are. Now we're just trying to find your price."
Unfortunately, that's the way most of us are. We have a price. Anything less than our price, brings us to an outrage. In the above scripture God portreys Israel as a prostitute because she is willing to abandone her rightful husband (God) and sells herself to the highest bidder
Now the New Testament tells us that greed is idolatry (Col. 3:5) and we know that Idolatry is serving or worshiping anything other than God. Everything we have including money and material things are either a tool or an idol.
Herbert Schlossberg speaks of idolatrous nature of materialism this way. "The common expression that best describes such a value system as, the pursuit of the almighty dollar, is soundly based in the recognition that the exaltation of possessions to the level of ultimacy is the end of a religious quest, one that seeks and ascribes ultimate meaning. Like all idolatries, it finds ultimate meaning in as aspect of the creation rather than in the Creator. And like all idolatries it finds outlet in destructive pathologies taht wreck human lives.
Sounds like a use of a lot of words to say Greed or idolatry is man's way of serving another god and it will always bring about destruction.
Let's see what Scripture says about this thing of idolatry or greed and it's destructive result.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 says it this way, "people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
It appears that Materialism consists of the two things God hates most--idolatry and adultry.
The love of materialism (money) is the root of every evil that we know. It all starts with the love of money, not money but the love of materialism and or money. It causes self destructive nature in all of us to repeatedly pierce ourselves with all kinds of grief. Jesus even said that the rich are at a spiritual disadvantage in Matthew 19:23-24 and yet who of us today does not use the term "I need".
Scripture tells us what we really long for, what the deepest desire and need of our hearts. Listen!
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God....for the living God
Psalms 42:1-2 NASB
My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalms 63:1 NASB
How priceless is your unfailing love! both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. for with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalm 36:7-9
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matt. 5:6
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has siad, streams of living water will flow from within him. John 7:37-38
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost fromt he spring of the water of life. Rev. 21:6

All of us should come to realization that our old nature is greed, idolatry and without a close and clean life under the arms of God, we can go back to that old nature. Only Christ can keep us close and clean and He will not force us to do so. Their are consequences to that disobedience.
We should all pray as St. Augustine prayed.
"How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure."

Next time, I will share with you the 10 things that our Materialism prevents or destroys.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thanks to Beth

Well, it appears that the older I get, the less I know. Now that's different than my Dad. I use to think when I was young that he didn't know anything, but the older he got and the older I got, the more he seemed to know. Beth has helped set up this blog site and so what you see as updates, and changes, she did. So thanks Daughter, you one of the three greatest. Notice I can't leave your sisters out. Today at lunch, I was telling a real good friend who is my accountability partner that a man who was working on a web site for me unexpectantly died last Friday. But just as I mentioned that, he ask me his name and for the life of me, I couldn't remember. The more I tried to think, the more "Blank" my mind went. So apparently, I'm either developing that dreaded terrible "Alzheimers" or I'm just so "absent minded" that I can't remember a name. Now just as soon as I got in my car and drove away from the resturant we were at, this man's name came to me, but for 30 minutes I couldn't remember it. Does that ever happen to you? Well, I've had a few people come from Beth's blog to visit me here, and I've had a couple of folks speak to me, but many more can if you like. One of the main reasons I wanted to have this blog is so I could have a forum to speak about my ministry and about our Lord. I have been in Stewardship at FBCW now for over 10 years and during those years, I've been blessed to write material for training and teaching. We have used it here at FBCW and I've been blessed to see people's life changed, not because I'm good at writing but because God is good at speaking to hearts. So if you would like to hear about any of these writings or trainings, let me know and I will put it right here on this blog. Well, that's all I have time for right now, so may you have a very blessed day and may God in His infinant wisdom bless you with just what you need to help you through this God blessed day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How Ya Like Me Now?

I have updated a few things - let me know how you like the new look.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting the hang of things

Well, I just spoke to Beth by phone and her oldest son is out of school today sick. Her other son woke up after having a bad dream about spiders and she went in to see Lake and scared him to death. I told her that she lived in a zoo and that we needed to start charging for admission. Beth is a very verbalizing person and she has learned from her sister how to make a short story--long. To know Beth is to love Beth. She has a different take on life than most young women and she is full of fun and yet can be so serious. She has some real sympathy for people at times and at times she can quip real hard and fast. Lisa who is the oldest of the three daughters, is a happy go lucky, no big deal kind of girl. She lives and let's live and just doesn't seem to get up in the air about nothing. Jennifer is the youngest and I would say she is half and half being like her two older sisters. She is high strung sometimes and low strung at other times. The one thing that is consistant with all three of my daughters is they really love their Dad and for that I am so blessed. God is so good to me and I'm so proud of my girls and I wouldn't change one thing for any of them even if I could. They have given me 5 precious grand-children and what else could a man ever want this side of heaven. So to say the least, I'm very proud Dad. I also like my sons-in-laws. They too are very different and that's not all bad either. I really believe that each of them love my daughter with all their hearts. Do they always show it? Probably not but my daughters probably don't always show their love for their husbands either. But again, I'm very proud of them all. Although they each are different, the difference is attractive and it shows their individualities. You will find, in this blog, the things I like talking about are my pride and joy which is my daughters. I also like talking about my Lord because of what He has done in my life. Iam so blessed and I realize that all blessings come from Christ and He is the source of my strength. Well this is all for today and perhaps later I will give you some insight about all of our family.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Here Goes

Well here goes, I've tried this once and thought I was doing so good and because I don't have a clue as to how to do this, I lost what I wrote and so here I am again doing it over.
I'm a proud 62 year old dad who has 3 daughters, 4 if you count Shelley and I have 5 grandchildren. I'm very proud of all these girls and what they are accomplishing in life. Lisa is my oldest and she has 3 children. Lisa and her oldest son Brandon are going to graduate from college this spring. Now that's my kinda girl. Lisa very seldom every had to study in high school and so going back to college and working full time was not as hard on her as with most people. But I know it's hard as it would be on anybody, but that's my girl, she's tough and when she put's her head to it. she knows how to get it done. Bethanne is my middle girl. She has two boys ages 4 and 6. If you've read her blog, you know that the oldest son just recently got saved and was baptised. She's on cloud nine, as she should be, about that. Bethanne graduated several years ago summa cum ladan ? Can't spell and it's obvious all three of my girls are smarter than me. Jennifer is my youngest daughter and she is working now while her husband is going back to school. He recently got out of the Marine Corp where he spent two terms in Iraq. He's studing Computer Science. I'm hoping that she will get her education as soon as her husband graduates. They have no children yet.
I was in banking for over 25 years and spent five years building and selling Real Estate. God called me into the Stewardship Ministry at FBCW some 10 years ago and I have been blessed to see many couples come to know real freedom in Knowing Christ and others in becomeing free from debt. Last year alone, 32 persons came to my office admitting they had financial problems and as I shared Christ with them, they prayed to recieve Christ as Savior. Awesome thing for God to turn our heads and our hearts at the same time. I was saved at the age of 27, after having tried fooling everybody around me for many years. On Dec. 3, 1971, I tursted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now this is a little about me and I might tell you more as I get the nerve, or better yet can think of what to write, but for right now this is the start.