And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

 

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My mother would quote this scripture when I was a child and she thought I, my brother or someone else was lying about something like when someone broken something or maybe got into some candy without permission or whatever other mischief kids are prone to get into. She would start out asking us as a group, then as individuals. She would usually quote John 8:32. Eventually someone would confess or tattle on the guilty party at risk of getting into further trouble. And, because of when she used it, I often thought back then that it was essentially a scripture for use with guilty parties to “force” a confession so they would have less punishment and, to an extent, that is true. BUT, the truth that sets us free is the truth of Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins and was resurrected. Defeating death and earning us forgiveness and salvation that we don’t deserve. AND….we escape all punishment for our sins.

But, I also realize that like many scriptures there is more than a simple meaning to it. Yes, there is always a simple understanding of the scripture, but there is often a deeper, more profound, meaning to many verses and passages. Now I have come to realize that the truth of Christ is not the only truth to set one free. Sometimes in life a person is accused of some sort of wrong doing but the truth comes out, the falsely accused will be found innocent. Such a situation occurred at work not too long ago, one nurse accused another of not doing some things at work she was supposed to do, and also claimed the accused nurse did some things she didn’t do, issues with patient treatment that came up after the patient complained that something was done wrong. Well, nurse A accused nurse B, because nurse C made statements to the effect that nurse B did not splint a patient as they were told, and that they gave them a wrong medication. Confusing? Hang on, because it gets worse.  But anyway, one nurse accused another because of what a third nurse told them because of what yet another nurse said that they heard. Well, it was a few days after the fact before it was reported and the supervisor started to investigate the situation. At first, the nurse that was accused by another nurse that was not even working the day it supposedly happened but said “she was told” that the nurse didn’t know what she was doing, splinted the patient wrong and then did not check the medication that she gave the patient. Well, she didn’t say who told her but did admit it was what she heard but did not know for certain. Well, the accused nurse was on duty the day in question, but after reviewing all the information she was not the nurse that was taking care of the patient involved and after they determined what nurse was actually taking care of the patient they talked with her and she initially denied, but then later admitted that she did not know how to apply the splint she was supposed to put on the patient. Now, she could have asked and someone would have helped her or done the splint for her. In addition to that, she said that she was stressed because of the splint and “may have grabbed the wrong pill bottle.” Well, as it was she only gave a lower dose of the prescribed medication but not a wrong medication. Still, too low of a dose and the patient did not get the pain relief they should have gotten. There was a lot of conjecture about who told nurse A about what happened and most seemed to believe that the nurse that actually started the rumor and almost got the initially accused nurse into a lot of trouble was likely the one to start it. All done by a different nurse to try to keep herself out of trouble.

A few lessons in this case, if one doesn’t know something they should ask for help; if one does something wrong then admit it. Because as it stands, the truly guilty nurse had more problems after all this than if she had fessed up in the beginning. Nurse B who was falsely accused and had to deal with a lot of the fall out was in the end, exonerated. Although, put through a lot of stress unfairly, because of the unsubstantiated allegations that were made and some “judgement” of being guilty until proven innocent was applied. All in all, it was a mess for a while. Because someone would not admit to a mistake and because of the effect of the rumor mill.

BUT, the truth, when it finally came out, did make nurse B free. Not the freedom from sin and eternal damnation from which they who believe In Christ receive but freedom from the repercussions of someone else’s wrong act.

Well, thinking about the times my mom would quote John 8:32 she would often also quote:

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

She would try to get someone to confess and if the guilty party did confess they would probably get a lecture about being more careful, but if they did not admit to whatever had happened she warned she would find out and the punishment would be more severe. Well, the same thing applied to the nurse that initially messed up. She apparently tried to cover up her wrong doing by causing scrutiny of an innocent person.

As I think about this situation, there are a lot of lessons to be learned, on a day to day, real life situation it is better to admit shortcomings than to try and cover them up. It also reminds me that if one sins and does not confess to Christ that they are a sinner and ask for God’s forgiveness, they will have a price to pay for their sins. BUT, the truth and glory of God’s mercy and grace is that He sent His Son, Jesus, to stand in the gap for us, to take our sins upon Himself and obtain forgiveness for us.

 

Lord, I pray that I remember the truth of Christ and His sacrifice for me. That my forgiveness is not earned by me, but bought by Christ, the true Son of God. I ask in Jesus Name that You help me avoid sin and to live as You wish so that I can be an example of Christ on earth. I ask that You forgive me of any sins and that You help me see the truth in all situations before I subject someone to unfair scrutiny and false accusations. Teach me to not judge others and to not gossip and cause others to suffer needlessly. Draw us all closer to You and teach us all to be the Christians You wish us to be.

Amen

 

I hope all are ready for a great weekend, that you are blessed and also that you have a chance to be a blessing to someone else.

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The Spider Web

 

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The garden spiders are starting to appear again. The big, multi-colored spiders that are kind of pretty while kind of creepy at the same time. They build huge webs and some put an interesting zig zag pattern in part of it. I don’t know it that makes it stronger, if something about the pattern attracts the prey or what but it does seem to attract them. Other times the insects just are not aware of the web and get trapped. But they do catch the bugs. One thing I have noticed, is that when they catch something, usually wrap it in silk. Totally enveloping it so it has no way to escape and then they feed on it, not eating, but by injecting venom that breaks down the tissue so the spider can, well, basically suck the life out of the pray. Once it has done so, the spider, at least these I see, discard the remains of their prey so other potential victims won’t see the danger and to make it easier for the spider to trap another. But, if you look around the web, below it on the ground, you see the discarded remains of the victims of the spider, dead, empty shells.

Insects are either lured to the web, or happen into it because they don’t see some of the strands that ensnare them. Have you ever been walking an suddenly felt part of a web on your face? I have, sometimes when I go hunting I have walked into spider webs and to be honest, it kinda freaks me out. Usually its a bit dark, so I don’t know how much of the web I have on me or if the spider was in that part and wonder if I now have a spider on me. It would be sort of comical to see me as I get near frantic and do the “spider dance” trying to get the web off of me and hopefully brush a spider off if it is there. Other times, I feel just a little something on me and when I go to brush it off, I find a spider had gotten on me and to be honest, it always creeps me out a bit. How did it get there? Was it a more dangerous one or just there accidentally? Was that feeling a bite? and, many other such thoughts.

Well, all those thoughts got me to thinking how sometimes we accidentally walk into Satan’s webs. Sometimes we are enticed by a pretty pattern, a promise of sorts, of something that looks to be something else. We get deceived.

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

Other times we get a little complacent and aren’t as alert as we should be and get a little entangled in something and at first, it doesn’t seem so bad but then we get more and more entangled, a little at a time, slowly getting so caught up in things that before we realizing it we have been wrapped up in the silk and are being consumed.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

Either way, we become caught up in Satan’s web of deceit and he feeds on us, in the process stealing our eternal lives from us, taking all that God wants for us and leaving us empty shells, hollow and devoid of the life Christ died to give us. He warns us to be watchful and alert, to pay attention, to not fall victim to the deceiver but sometimes, often, we are not on guard and end up in situations we know we need to escape but can’t get free.  If we are watchful we can avoid the trap, if we start to become entangled and fight early we can escape.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

BUT, the great thing is that God has a way for us to escape that web, no matter how badly we become entrapped. We can end up so badly entangled in sin because we like some of the things sin brings us, things like possessions, prestige, pleasure but we eventually become so wrapped up that it becomes harder and harder to escape, at least on our own. When we reach that point, and even earlier on when only caught by a small thread, if we call out to Jesus to save us He will break the bonds and we will be free. He will give us the strength to escape and avoid being devoured.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36

 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].                  1 Corinthians 10:13

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

 

 

My Heavenly Father,

I thank You for the many blessings, grace and mercy You give me. I praise Your Name. I thank You for helping me avoid, and at times escape from, the webs of the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy; that you helped me avoid the destruction that would have come to my soul had You not been protecting and helping me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to help protect, save and guide me as I try to avoid the pitfalls and snares. I pray that You help loved ones escape from the webs in which they find themselves so that they can avoid harm. Draw us all to You and show us Your perfect way for us. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your son, Christ, who died that I may be forgiven.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your visit today. I pray you all have many blessings come your way and that you are a blessing to others as well.

Independence Day!!!!!

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I used to love the 4th of July, especially as a child, the firecrackers, sparklers and especially the huge boom and explosions, of sound and the flash of the lights, from the big fireworks display in town. Well, that part has changed, Iraq took some of that from me, the explosions and the smell of the burning powder in the fireworks are potent reminders of a less than wonderful time in my life. But, that is not the Independence Day of which I wish to write. Oh, I am patriotic, I have over 20 years in the military so, yeah, I am very patriotic and have done a lot for this country and all the citizens, but as I said, I have a different kind of Independence I wish to discuss today.

Today, as the country celebrates Independence Day, I plan to celebrate too. BUT, I will be celebrating my independence from sin, hate, bitterness, anger, and all the other negative aspects of the world. I plan to celebrate the independence, redemption and salvation that Christ gave me when He was crucified and then rose 3 days later. THAT is the independence we all should be celebrating. Freedom from the things that bind us to the world, all the negative emotions and actions that separate us from God. I am free from Satan’s grip on my life.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galations 5:1

 

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

I am also free of those filled with hate, those who would use me, mistreat me, lie to me, judge me unfairly, criticize, gossip or in any other way treat me or act towards me in any way that is not Christ like. Those of this world that are so filled with self hate, hate of the world, hate of anyone and everyone they cannot control or use, those who would drag others down in order to feel good about themselves or in any other way choose to do wrong to others and in so doing, allow Satan to come into their lives. As for those who would try to drag me down, who slander me and mistreat me, I forgive them, I love them with the love of Christ and I pray for them, that they may too be free of the hate that they carry for themselves and for others. I have my freedom, my independence of the burdens of carrying around anger and hurt due to the acts of others, free of the concern about the wrongly placed hatred due to lies of others. I am free of those burdens because Christ gives me forgiveness and I give forgiveness to others.  I am free because He freed me. He made me a partaker of Himself, I must only hold onto my faith and be steadfast and dedicated to Him.

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end Hebrews 3:14

 

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:14-15

 

12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Acts 26:12-18

 

Lord, I thank You for my independence from sin, from the burden of all the negative emotions brought on by my sins and those of others against me and from the burden of carrying around the anger caused by them, from the frustrations of trying to make my own path, from worry about my future. All those things have been given to Christ, He has paid for my freedom, my independence, my salvation. I praise You Lord for all You are and all You do. I pray in Jesus name that You continue to Your work in me, help me learn to seek Christ, help me better serve Him and help others have the independence You have given me. I ask that You draw all my loved one to You and give them the desire to have the same freedom from sin. Help me be a better example of You and the difference You make.

Amen.

 

I hope all have a blessed and safe 4th of July. I also hope that you are able be a blessing to at least one other person today.