The Thief!

burglar

While working at the parents house, today and in past, I have come across a lot of things that aren’t really valuable but have sentimental value or that trigger memories. I came across a strawberry shortcake thermos today that did not sell. It made me think about one night that the family was my parents when I got off work. I went there to get them and we ended up staying for dinner. Then, a Strawberry Shortcake Christmas show was coming on and our oldest, at the time only, daughter loved Strawberry Shortcake and wanted to stay and watch it, so we did that and another Christmas cartoon after that, then we finally headed home. But, when we got there we noticed the living room was a mess and realized that it was cold in there but could hear the furnace running. Then, we realized that someone had been in there, but the door had been locked. We looked, and found that someone had broken a window in the back of the house and come in that way. Apparently going out the same way or locking the door behind them when they let. We started looking and found that 2 rifles, my good 35mm camera and a shotgun had been stolen. None of the gifts had been taken. Now, we were not really financially stable at that time so any loss was significant. But the biggest loss of all was the shotgun, a bolt action .410 that had been my grandfather’s. It wasn’t a valuable shotgun by any means, other than the sentimental value made it irreplaceable. Thankfully we had good homeowner’s insurance and everything was replaced and because it was theft, there was no deductible. But, that still did not replace the actual shotgun, first, I could not find one like it, and second, a replacement would not have been Pop’s shotgun. Due to that, I was still pretty upset about it being stolen.

Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15

Well, 3 or 4 years later, one of my wife’s brothers admitted that he knew who had broken into our place and stolen my things, it was one of the other brothers. Even worse was I found out that he knew it the very next day but said nothing. I was betrayed by two family members. Now, the fact that one knew, but said nothing was shocking and hurtful, but what was truly hurtful was the one that had stolen the things. There are a lot of things that one can do to another that are wrong but stealing involves several things at the same time: stealing obviously, but also involves a lot of other sins against someone else: lying and deceit, greed, assault (mental,) jealousy, destruction of one’s property. And, even worse was that I also eventually learned that he traded everything for about $50 worth of drugs. There were multiple family functions over the time between when that happened and when I learned about it and both the brother that stole from me and the one that concealed the facts never acted like they had done me wrong. No sign whatsoever that they had done me so wrong. Both had been present that Christmas, probably 2 weeks after the robbery, and another brother asked if the sheriff had found out anything and asked a bit about things and I mentioned that the one thing that bothered me most was Pop’s shotgun. The two guilty brothers offered sympathy and said things like: “I can’t believe how some people are.” and the one that had stolen my things said, “That kind of person is the lowest of the low.” Looking back, I am stunned that one could do someone that wrong and act so innocent. Stealing from me something of a value that no one could replace and pretending to be concerned and that they were innocent of any wrong doing.

Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.  Leviticus 19:11

As I said, it was bad enough just having it happen, but then later to discover that not one, but two, family members were in one manner or another involved. I had a hard time forgiving either of them, I have now, but it took me a very long time. I still struggle to understand how one person can intentionally wrong a family member, steal from them and then pretend to be innocent of any wrong doing. While not my siblings, I had been married to their sister for over 6 years at the time and considered them as close to me as my own brother and they pretended the same towards me. If they actually did have any consideration of family ties, it is obvious that they have no loyalty to family. To steal from, lie to, cheat, deceive and intentionally hurt a relative totally shocks me beyond words. Any person that would try to steal from family is far worse than a stranger stealing from a person in my mind.

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.  Proverbs 10:2

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.  Mark 10:19

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.  John 10:10

 

I harbored hard feelings against all those that were aware and complicit in the theft of my things, much more so than had they had been strangers. I felt betrayed in addition to the personal affront of being stolen from since it was family that had done so. It took me a long time to forgive. Oh, I shan’t forget what they did and I do not think I will ever trust them again, but I do forgive them.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.  Colossians 3:13

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20

 

Lord,  I thank You for teaching me to forgive, despite the wrong treatment by others. Showing me how Christ would have me respond. I thank You for the mercy and grace that You show me, despite my unworthiness. I thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made on the cross to redeem me. I pray for those who have done me, and others, wrong and that they be shown the error of their ways. Show them Your truths. Somehow Lord, lead them to You. Draw us all closer to You and show us that riches from sin are never going to be enjoyed. I pray that all loved ones learn to honor You and come to You asking for Your forgiveness. Help me see any manner in which I have sinned against others, help them be able to forgive me and help me to not sin against others or You again.

Amen

 

I appreciate those who find their way to my blog. I hope that you all have a blessed day, and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

The Salesman

car609

I remember going to shop for a car, the salesman was quick to greet, was extremely friendly, tried to chat me up to get me to like him. That’s his job, to get people to like him because it is easier for him to sell us a car if we like him. It’s harder to say no to someone you like. Now, with salesman, maybe they are friendly people by nature, but for most, it is a show, a game, a ploy. Because, they have an agenda, they want to make money by selling you a car. Well, DUH! But, did you ever think about some of the tactics they use? Like I mentioned, they like to make you think they are your friend. Try to find out things about you that they can use later to help them, ask about family and such for example. Then, of course, they start showing you cars and they seem to prefer showing the more expensive models, with all the extra features. They want you to want the extras, that means a bigger commission for them. Then, the test drive, they make sure to emphasize the good features, and minimize any bad. Then, afterwards, if they sense hesitation, sometimes they encourage you to take the car home for the night, drive it to the store and such. A couple reasons for that is that it can make you want it more, sort of talk yourself into it and also that it makes most people feel some obligation. They guilt you into being more likely to buy it.

THEN, the negotiations begin, they tell you all the stuff they recommend, try to get you to agree to a lot of options, talk about possible trade in, then, the list price. They always have different discounts to throw on there, then, ask about financing. Then, finally they show you a price, sort of, because a lot will actually say how much your payments will be, not the actual cost. They obscure information that you should have to make the right decision for yourself. Eventually, if you really want to buy, then make an offer, they will have to go talk with a manager, then, eventually come back with a minimal reduction. This goes on for a while and maybe a price is agreed on. Then, they want to add extended warranty, treating the interior, rustproofing, etc all to bump the price back up again. If you say no to something, they start getting a little condescending and will talk down to you. Personally, THAT is when the negotiations stop and I walk out, but that’s me.

If you start to seem like you are getting cold feet, then your “friendly car sales person” often becomes a bit hostile. Hmmm, what happened to the buddy, buddy stuff? Maybe instead of that they get even more chummy than they were previously. They all have a little different tactics they use, but all to get your money into their pockets.

So many ways they manipulate people, they are taught to do so. Try to find a weakness and exploit it. I think about people that I know and know of, that are that way too. They look for a vulnerability and exploit it. All the while acting like a friend to the person they are dealing with at the time. All the while, having their own agenda that they are concerned about, not the person they are supposedly helping. At times, they try hard to ingratiate themselves to the persons family or friends who then support the person’s agenda.

There are others in the world, believers (maybe I should say some that claim to be believers) and nonbelievers, that are selling things; false believes, pushing their own agenda for self gain or in other ways seeking to manipulate others for their own benefit. Sometimes through smooth talking, sometimes through giving gifts or donations. Unfortunately, there are people that are sometimes deceived by the “salesman” and end up suffering one way or another in the long run. Temporarily they may obtain, of feel they have obtained, some sort of benefit from the “purchase” they made. Perhaps they do benefit in one manner, but the benefit comes at a tremendous cost. If a false prophet, then they risk losing their souls. But there are many other ways these people lose when they fall prey to the person “selling” them whatever it is they are using to manipulate them.

I suspect all have been deceived in one manner or another by this type of person. I know I have been naïve and bought something I either didn’t need or had a true cost far more than I realized at the time. Does anyone remember the tape of the month clubs? You would get a bunch of cassette tapes for a penny, but the fine print says that after that you have to buy a certain amount of tapes at regular price in a year. If you didn’t return a card they sent by a certain date they would ship the next month’s tape and you were billed. Well, the notice usually came less than a day or two before the tape would ship and there was no way that one could mail the notice back in time if they didn’t want that particular tape. So, the tape arrives, something you don’t want and it was higher priced than you could have bought at a local record store.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

 

13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15

 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men’s] bones, and of all uncleanness. Matthew 23:27

 

There are many other verses that discuss deceivers, those who would manipulate and use for their own personal gain, with no regard for those they trick. There are churches that teach false doctrine (thankfully where I go this is not the case.) There are individuals that use others in different ways. We must be ever vigil to avoid falling into these peoples traps. I have fallen victim at times but have learned. I suspect I have other lessons to learn as well, but I will be more diligent in the future and hopefully avoid such situations.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

2 Peter 10-12

 

Lord, I thank You for the wise teachings You give me. I praise You for the guidance You give and how You give me tools to help me avoid falling into various traps in life. And, helping me avoid worse damage if I do fall victim. I pray in Jesus name that You continue to help me with these things and help me not succumb to those who would use me and cause me suffering. I pray that You help others see the truth about things so they make wise decisions as well. Lord, please draw us all to You and give us the heart and mind of Christ.

Amen.

 

I hope all have a great day. Thanks for the visit. And, of course, try to be a blessing to someone.