Tuesday, August 22, 2017

To Boldly Go..

Last month I posted about boldness in standing up to "authority" in regards to safeguarding the Truth. I mentioned that would tie in to this months post. I have been wanting to write this months post many times over the past few weeks but I haven't as, the conversation I've had with God went something like this:

God: Your next post is going to be about being bold in regards to having the courage to search your own heart in regards to sin.

Me: Oh, yeah lots of people have that problem. That is a great idea for a post.


Me: Totally, more people need to search their hearts because everyone tends to get so calloused you know...

God: *sternly looks directly at me*

Me: ... you know... ... they...  ... because... ... them.

God: Get to work.

Me:*looks at heart*  I am so so so so so so so flawed.

I often have it in my mind, " I know I'm flawed, but maybe I'm not that flawed"  That is such dangerous thinking. It puts me in a mindset that is to look at others and judge myself better than they are, and that isn't right. I should be comparing myself to the Savior, because then I am at least without illusion of my flaw. I am not very Christlike. I know a lot of scriptures, and I can be very generous... but what of it? There is no verse that commands by our Master's breath that I be better outwardly than my neighbor, while inside I slowly lose perspective.  I do sometimes, lose perspective. Sometimes I carry with me the pains that others cause me when I am supposed to forgive regardless. Forgiveness...  just the word brings up in my mind a dozens of clever talking points and conversational loopholes that I have heard said or said myself.

"They haven't  acknowledged what they've done, so I can't forgive them until they do"

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. - Matt 18

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering- Matt 5

Either way you slice it, if you have something and you're not seeking to make it right, or you know of something you should be seeking to make it right. It takes courage and boldness to look in your heart and stab your own pride. It takes courage to allow yourself to be uncomfortable and experience vulnerability in seeking restoration. When we avoid take a hard look at ourselves we're like someone who was stabbed and pretends that we aren't. In order to heal, we need stitches, and in order for that, we need to remove the knife. In order to remove the knife, we have to acknowledge that we've been stabbed in the first place.  Love is a hard and dangerous thing that kills parts of us. We grow back, if we grow, stronger because of it. There is this quote by C.S. Lewis:

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

We're called to love each other, Like the Messiah, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Bridegroom does.
I don't even know what else to say this month because I've just been... not great.

Suffering produces character. There is some hope in all this.

To run from things because they might hurt is like a plant that chooses to die rather than be pruned by the gardener, for its own good, to flourish, and to produce fruit.

...lemons are fruit...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bold Flavor

Sunday morning I heard a sermon dealing with Acts 4 and it seems to have tied all the various things that I wanted to talk about this month into one. Starting with verse 13

"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. "

Having observed the confidence of Peter and John. Lets back up a second and get the audience that Pete and John were talking to in verse 5

On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem;  and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”

Rulers, Elders, Scribes, high priests, relatives of the high priests.

These are people that have wrongly imprisoned John and Peter. These are people that had just arranged and carried through with the death of the Savior. Now, standing before them, Peter doesn't cower and apologize. He doesn't shy away from anything. By the power of the Holy Spirit he tells the truth regardless of the consequences

"Rulers and elders of the people,  if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone.  And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Peter who was arrested for proclaiming Christ and performing miracles in His name, testifies to the men that did the arresting, the men who offered up Christ, that Christ in the Messiah.. AND THEN points out their wrong doing. Peter, a regular dude, is pointing out to the educated and studied men of the church that their hearts and doctrines are wrong. Peter didn't pause and calibrate "Am I coming against the Lords anointed?" He told the truth to men that were 'of a higher position/authority' so to speak.

So, they're rebuked and what is the next line?

"Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

In my pro-torah position I've had a handful of experiences where pastors or leaders in a church will believe that they have a right doctrine because they have studied the teaching of men. Some of them went and paid money and did a lot of hard work to study flawed men's interpretations of Biblical text. Some of them have degrees that essentially state "This person has learned everything that we flawed people, think that they should know about how other flawed people understood the Bible and therefore since they have paid the money and spent the time studying the thoughts of people... they should be trusted to learn what the Bible says" This is a parallel that I've come to understand in my walk and Peters. My life has a few parallels. Times when I've said things like "I'll never deny you lord" and then felt the weight of my own strength and will crushing me. Yet this, this boldness... to go before these men and women who were instructed in only a specific flawed line of thinking, having no formal instruction myself, God has used me to amaze and silence some. Why do so few people have that sense of boldness to speak on the matters of Truth in God's word? Many times, the people I discuss with have the same types of reactions that the Council did:

And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.  But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.  But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.”  And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus."

True story. Having discussed things with certain "men of learned degrees" and having contradictions not addressed within their doctrine, I have experienced the meetings where I am asked to not teach what I see or ask the questions that I ask, other times... it is requested that I leave.  Thanks be to God who sustains me that I have held to His boldness and try to hold to the response as Peter and John saying:
  Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;  for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

.There is a saying that "if you do not stand in times of peace, you will fall in times of battle"  Which brings me to my next point... which I might just save for the next post.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Among Papal Potshots...

These days one can have discussions with all kinds of people in the church and many of those people would tell you pretty much the opposite of Psalms 1. They'll probably say something to the effect that the Law of the Lord ( of God) is bondage and slavery. They might say that by following it, you're entering into a covenant of death. Yet in this passage it is the one who delights in the law of God that is given the imagery of life, being planted firmly with strong roots and nurtured... bearing fruit. It says that the one who meditates on the Law of God does not wither.
Yet, when you are in many churches today you might have coffee with your pastor and relate what the scriptures say... but get scoffed at. Perhaps they counsel you to not be obedient to the Law of the Lord that is the Law of God.
What of the pope in his bubble car? If he makes his way to a podium with his fancy hat and robes and says things that are contrary to these passages, should we follow what he says? What authority do they derive this doctrine from? Many attend Bible schools and pay lots of money to be told things that are contrary to what the scriptures report. Should we believe them because of the money they paid?
Think for a moment about this passage

 "When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them,  saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus,whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
 But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them"  -Acts 5

These men were before the HIGH PRIEST!!! The high priests didn't have their doctrine right and when they were called out, they were angry. In that day, we might be tempted to put our faith that the high priest and the Council. We might have been tempted to say things like " they know more than we do so we should obey them expressly. After all, they've sat at the feet of rabbis and they have studied more than I have" But from this text in Acts is that knowing texts doesn't mean that you're teaching the right doctrine. Sometimes, I'd venture to say that many times... standing up for what it true means that you're going to be mocked and often ridiculed by people, even people that you expected to be on your side.

Am I saying that there is something wrong with Bible school? Absolutely not. Am I saying that all pastors are wicked? By no means. Am I saying the Pope is hogwash?  ... well yeah, kinda... but I'm trying to do it lightly. Talk to your doctor and see if the scriptures are right for you. If they says no, ignore them and read the Bible anyway.

I guess what I am trying to say is that you have to be mindful to those who you rely on to bring you the Word of God. One of the rebuttals that I encounter from time to time when sharing the Scriptures and the applicability of the Torah to the life of believers is a form of a phrase:
" How come the Spirit didn't tell me any of this" or " I prayed a little about it and the spirit didn't tell me to follow any of this." They're dangerous words.

1 John 4 starts out with a charge for believers to test the spirits to see if they are of God
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

From this passage and others like it we can see that there are a number of people that are listening to a spirit, and attributing it to the Holy Spirit. Many of them justifying passions and fleshly desires that are contrary to God. Some times people in these positions of "authority" and "shepardship" may even tell you that they have no desire to discuss the scriptures with you. This is particular problematic as, their position is to correct your doctrine if it is wrong according to the totality of scripture, or to receive correction humbly if it is they who need doctrinal correction. If they're unwilling then perhaps one has to shake the dust from their feet and ramble on.

"As you enter the house, give it your greeting.  If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.  Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city".- Matthew 10

"Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’  But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.  They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.  And just as He called and they would not listen, so they called and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts "- Zechariah  7

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Little to Big Things

 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Gal 5

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Cor 6

Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" - Rev 21

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.- Rev 22

That's quite a list.

Yet if you talk to anyone off the street they might tell you that they're going to heaven because they're a good person. It's pouring into the church with people that if they haven't out right endorsed certain sins as acceptable, they don't have the strength in their convictions to speak against them.
When I look at this list, I know there are things that I need to change and that there are more than one thing that could bar me from heaven. I'm holding to God's grace as I work on them, but I also know that it's important that they be worked on. I have evidence of the working of God's Spirit in my life as when they heave their insults and they pour out the hatred, I'm slightly less quick to anger than I used to be. I still have a ways to go.

In the past week I have been told that I am not a believer because I quoted Leviticus 11 in regards to a cheese stuffed lobster carcass. I was told that it was judgment and these "other believers" said that I was going to burn in hell and wasn't following God because he said " judge not". Never mind the part where he says to judge with righteous judgment or the fact that in the context of what I was speaking about, I've removed the log from my eye and am able to speak of the speck in others in that regard.
I was also treated to a fury of insults ranging from very light to quite vulgar because I had the audacity to say that homosexuality isn't an identity, it's a sin. I was called a bigot and was told that I was filled with hate, even though I stated that I am quite tolerant of those who struggle (or don't even struggle) with homosexuality. I stated one biblical truth, cited one scripture, and that was enough to illicit a heinous response.

One of the things that stands out to me louder than the rest is cowardly. I often wonder about how many that encompasses. I know in our culture we're conditioned to not offend others with beliefs and that Christianity is offensive to the culture. In the scripture we're taught that to have friendship with the world is to be an  enemy with God
 "You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God"- James 4
Yet, we go out of our way to not really teach or preach the Truth, but kinda poke at it with a stick with tracts or neck ties with scriptures on them. Cowardly. Many of us are too timid to pray in public. Why? Why would we be so self conscious about speaking aloud to the God that gave us life and redeems us from our own lusts and selfish destructive ways?

A.W. Tozer has a line that says Christians don't tell lies – they just go to church and sing them” We say things like "I surrender all" and "God have your way in me" then the moment Church lets out we drive to the nearest burger place and tell them to pile bacon high on our meal in contrast of Leviticus 11:7 where God says expressly to the people who He made the New Covenant with, Don't do this.
We say we love God but we don't even keep the Sabbath, which is by design a day off to hang out with God and love Him, given to us as a gift. We wont even stand up to ourselves... but what are we supposed to do with the world starts getting really bad?
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful,unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.- 2 Tim 3

Would you hold up in China where there are raids on Christians for being believers?
Would you lay down your life for the love of God and your faith?

... how are we ever going to get to those places when we refuse to be obedient in the small things as not sticking some gross abomination in our face and eating it?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Passover Musings.

I forget how to start blogs these days. I try to start them like I am talking directly to you, but for some reason I get a few lines in and scrap the entire conversation. I doubt you appreciate that since, in real life it would be as if you were starting to say something and I glanced at my phone and walked away.

What I want to talk about this month is Passover and unleavened bread. I was privileged enough to be asked to help throw a Passover dinner with some friends and it was awesome. This was the first time that I had lamb and it tasted delicious, the only time before that was in a gyro so, now I don't know what to believe. It gives me hope because for me, I consider myself a symbolism guy and to say that "Lamb just isn't my taste" always made me a little uncomfortable theologically. I did a clean on parts of my house and removed (ate) the leavened things before they were Biblically off limits for Unleavened bread. This lead to an interesting predicament.

There are those who clean out the leaven out of their house and they usually give it away to those that do not observe the feast. I've done this in the past, but over the last few years I've adopted the mindset that if it's sin, it's sin. Aren't we as believers supposed to be about 1) removing sin from our lives, and 2) teaching others how to be that example of Christ?  If it is a sin for me to be eating unleavened items during unleavened bread, then it would be a sin for me to give unleavened bread to another person and therefore contribute to their sin. This is the conclusion that I have come to in my walk.

This post may be a little scattered and hazy, on account of my being Italian and not having full bread or pasta, it's taking a greater effect that I'd like to admit. Where was I? Oh right. So, I did a clean on parts of my house and knowing the time was approaching I didn't buy more things with leavening in them as to not be in a situation where I am purchasing things to just throw away.  Some times I attend a bible study with a well meaning guy who brings a teaching that is somewhere doctrinally comparable to what I believe being like Baseball, and what he believes being like Cricket. Might be a weird analogy, because the guy isn't British, but I think he is Jewish. Either way, we both have hearts to keep God's times. So I'm trying to get my house squared, but I've got roommates. They're believers, but compared to the theological analogy of Baseball vs Cricket, they're probably more Softballers.  Teacher guy decides to clear out his leaven and pass it over to my roommates. Now the leaven is in my house, with Softballers who I've been talking about major league stuff with. It's in my dugout.

This got me to thinking about other sins. Do we do this with other sins? Do we excuse certain sins because the players aren't in the same sport? I, am a terrible example of righteous living... but in my defense, which is no defense at all, I do tell people out right that when I am in sin, it doesn't excuse the sin. The sin doesn't cease being as such because I am in rebellion. It's still sin, and I should be a better example of resisting it. I don't think I have ever told someone that something in the Bible that God has defined as Sin ( not issues of personal conviction mind you, but God laid text) wasn't a sin to them if they did it because of  X_________. This is something that I have mused over, and researched some, but could stand to study more you know?  I'm getting that conversational rhythm back, you know. Yeah, you know.  I'm not trying to be unfair to the Cricket players standards because he's still working out his stuff and in fairness he hasn't been doing this for as long, and probably hasn't' had anyone on his wavelength that knew enough to check him on some of the things that he's brought about. Is that MY place? probably not. Do I do it anyway? Like a compulsion. I do limit my attendance for both of our sake.

The question still stands, If sin is the transgression of God's law, and God's law is His self disclosure to the world, Then should it matter if you're Jew or Gentile, Saved or not, Man or Woman, Child or Adult? Shouldn't Sin be opposite of God and therefore be avoided by all of mankind? I have a hard time seeing it not. If we look at it as some sins for one race and others for another, I think that fosters a sense of elitism and division between nationalities and it turns the Commands of God from a position of "living like the Savior" to a position of elitism.  If Galatians 3:28-29 is to be true that we are all believers in Christ and therefore descendants of Abraham, then we should be looking out for other believers in trying to keep them from sin regardless of birthright.

Chocolate covered matza is the best way to eat matza. I saw a video wishing people a happy Passover and they used Matza as like, construction material. It made me laugh because of parallels. Never fails though, I get two days into unleavened bread and every time I turn around, I am punched in the mouth with a longing for doughnuts. I've also learned how easy it is to live off of lunchmeat, honey mustard and a tortilla.  The tortilla is really just an eatable plate.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sons Of Abraham

Some of the things I hear often, usually when talking about scripture relating to not eating pork, is something like these comments:
The OT is for the Jews? The Law was just for the Jews? How many times have you heard this argument?  Yet is it found that way in scripture?
"But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him’” Numbers 15:30-31
So an Alien ( that people say isn't part of Israel) who blasphemes (the God of Israel) Is to be cut off from his people ( isn't he already cut off from his people, and an Alien in Israel, unless this means from his people ISRAEL) because he broke a commandment ( Aren't the commandments only for Israel? )

What about the commands for keeping the feast of Booths?
 You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. 15 Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

Leviticus 24:22
22 There shall be one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the Lord your God.’”
 Numbers 15:16
 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. 16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”,

Perpetual statute means forever and it's echoed here in Galatians 3

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise

So, lets recap, Who left Egypt?
Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
39 They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.- Exodus 12

Sons of Israel and Mixed Multitude

Who were the sons of Israel?
These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,
Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.- 1 Chronicles 2

12 tribes and a mixed multitude of people.

What did the Mixed multitude of people and the 12 tribes do?
All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. - Exodus 19:8

Just to be clear, Deuteronomy 29:9-15
So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
10 “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14 Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today
The Torah is for
Chiefs, Tribes, Elders, Officers, All the men of the 12 tribes of Israel,  Little ones, Wives, Aliens,
Those who are sons of Abraham, those who are in Christ, Those who were there at Sinai and those who weren't.

Of all of those people, why do we say that it is only for Judah?

A perpetual statute with the Alien is a perpetual statute. A perpetual statute with ones not there, is still a perpetual statute. 
We hear things like "Christ came to free us from the Law" and then we say "The law was never for us because we aren't' Jews"
We whom are saved by Grace through Faith are just the same as all those listed in Hebrews 11, who were saved by Grace through Faith... and it results in obedience, but is not a pre-requisite of Salvation
The Idea that the Law or Commands of God were to be kept in order to be saved was a NEW heresy that was springing up in Acts 15. Never before was such a doctrine in place and it was never the case that God had laid out in the "Old testament" To believe that in the "old testament" people were saved by adhering to commands and then Jesus came to discard the antiquated system is to trample on God's standard of Holiness, and to paint Him as disastrously inept. The same ideology paints Christ not as an obedient Son and Savior reflecting the goodness of His Fathers will, but instead makes Christ to be a violent over thrower of the kingdom of God, diminishing him to the likes of the Greeks on Olympus.

Neither Jew or Gentile, we are one in Messiah, the Savior, the Christ, to walk as HE walks.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ayin Tova

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.- Matthew 6

Time is the only currency we truly have. We trade some of it for money, which we trade for food and shelter so that we can spend other time on things more enjoyable. We spend, aptly put, our time. 
These principals caught my eye lately when I confessed to a roommate of mine that I've been lacking spiritually lately. I do not spend enough time in prayer, and I do not spend enough time reading the Bible.  I do God stuff, like go to church and serve. I attend a Mens Bible study where I do what I can to be transparent. It was at that Bible study that I was prompted to investigate my heart.

The other day someone ate my lunch. I'm not talking like, they chowed down on a $1.99 sandwich that I was left in the fridge for a week, no. I'm talking one of those $3.99 premium mac and cheese dinners that are even better than restaurant style mac and cheese. Now, I had had some tension with this person before, and this set me further on edge. They ate MY lunch.  This injustice was the subject of a lot of my thoughts until it's resolution, a week later. Yeah, a week later it was dealt with. that was a lot of time, a lot of life, that I spent on being upset over something stupid. I was hung up on it. My eye was not full of light. My heart was not where it should be.

At that Mens group Bible study the men said that they'd pray for the whole situation. When they said they'd pray for "the situation" what I am sure they were saying was " we pray that everything works out for peace" but what I heard was "we pray that you pull your head out of your butt".  That caused me to take a step backward.

That is when this passage came to mind:

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.  When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.  But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’  But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.  So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened.  Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’- Matthew 18

Anger and gratitude cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Had I had more of a discipline focusing on the gratitude that I have for God's mercy and patience and gracious giving in abundance, I probably wouldn't have been so indignant about $3.99.  How much of my life looks dim because of a darkness in my eye? How much of the world looks bleak, not out of reality but out of our perception.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.- Philippians 4