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.

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The Magic Show

magician with rabbit

I saw a commercial on TV earlier about a circus.  The lions and tigers and bears, Oh My!  Elephants, clowns, trapeze artists and more. That made me think about magicians, which made me think about a brother in law that used to do magic. One time he was showing me some simple tricks. Simple or not, if done well they are  neat to see. After he did a few he showed me the “magic” behind them. Very simple for the most part and after he showed me a couple he had me try. As I said the actual tricks were simple and I mastered those, not really mastered but could perform the me tricks. Except, it was obvious how I was doing it.  I practiced a little more and was able to do them better but it was still obvious what I was doing. There must be more to it. And, there was which is something I think I’d heard before but had never been told straight out. I asked him and he said that no matter how “hard” the trick looks to be the acts are usually simple and the one thing that made it “magic” was the illusion of the trick and the only way to create that illusion was through distraction. The performer has to do something so the audience doesn’t see the mechanics behind the trick. That can be done with fancy props, a cape, a little smoke or any number of ways. He then added that the best tricks are simple to do and usually involve one hand doing the trick while the other hand distracts people or by saying or doing something that causes them to divert their attention, to the performers face or an assistant. Hmmmm, no magic. I knew that part. But just get them so busy looking elsewhere they don’t realize what is happening.

As I remembered when he taught me those tricks (which I haven’t even tried since) it occurred to me that It was simply manipulation. People donthat all the time, sales people, con artists (basically a type of sales,) politicians, journalists and others that just manipulate people for whatever reason. Sometimes the manipulators work hard to keep the attention focused on other things, their possessions, going to fancy restaurants, entertainment if any kind, they will talk about their possessions and such so you have trouble seeing them through their distractions. Car sales people do it a lot by getting a person focused on one or two of the best features and gloss over or don’t even mention any negatives such as higher price, lower gas mileage, less warranty period or other issues they prefer you not know and by only talking about the pluses, they hope you won’t notice the other issues.

Can you guess who else distracts us to play tricks on us? Not those that may entertain, cost us money or take advantage of us but one who, if we aren’t careful will cost us our souls.  I am betting you figured out I mean Satan.

The interesting thing is he will use many different people or things to distract us. Desire for education, a better job, nicer car, nicer house, boyfriend , girlfriend, and many other ways. Anything can be a distraction, anyone can be a distraction. Could be family, friends, coworkers, but for me, the one that seems was used most often to distract me was ME! I got distracted with education and career goals. Telling myself that while I should be going to church, reading the Bible and praying I really needed to study or work. Satan will keep one so focused on whatever it is he is using that one doesn’t realize he is embedding himself deeper into one’s life. I mentioned the other day about how I slowly slipped away from Christ in the past. It doesn’t happen suddenly. Rather slowly in small increments. Why? Because sudden, big changes are things a person is more likely to realize sooner. But the little steps are less noticeable. You are a half step away. Then a step. Then two. Three. Etc. Such a slow process you didn’t even see it happening because your attention was diverted. But enough little steps and you are as far as if you took a huge leap or multiple leaps.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2Corinthians 11:3

 

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 11:14-15

Satan is a deceiver, we all know that, he does things subtly. He doesn’t usually appear to us as a horrible creature, in the form of disasters. He did that to Job when God allowed him to do so, when satan tried to prove that Job would turn on God. But, usually he is sneaky. He distracts us, shows us all the things our human selves want to see, want to have and by promising them draws us into his snare. Pulling us away from God.

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

 

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

 

Paul was pretty harsh about some of what he said on how satan manipulates us. He keeps us so busy looking at this or that and then chips away at our relationship with God.

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

2 Thessalonians 11:13-17

 

But, no matter the devices of satan, God can defeat him. We can defeat him and satan has no power over us if we claim the pray in the name of Jesus for insight and understanding, for the ability to see his manipulations and deceptions. That we stand fast in our believe in Christ and our salvation so we do not allow satan into our lives.

 

Lord, I worship You and glorify Your precious name and your Son Jesus who died for my sins that I may have salvation. I come to You today asking for better discernment of satan’s manipulations of me. That I see his tricks to divert me from my service of You and relationship with Christ. I ask that loved ones be given the discernment as well that they not fall into the devil’s traps. Protect my loved ones from satan and the harm he can cause.

I thank You for my salvation, I pray that not only do You protect my loved ones and myself but that You help them not only avoid satan, but more than that, You draw them closer to You. Help us all be better servants.

In Jesus Name, AMEN

 

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