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rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Brother Rahman,

I agree with your perception of the common man and what drives him or her. I agree with the notion of the immence diversity that exists within the U.S. Most are blind because of the pedestal mentality. I agree with your perception:

"I think Americans are only interested in, and strive for three things, their own individual pursuits of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapiness" which satan has transformed into modern America's new religion ..."

However, I also believe there is the promotion of what you have identified above. The "pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapiness which satan has transformed into modern America's new religion" is the substance for which many people work to create for the masses. The world promotes it's own. Just think back to the book of Daniel. The ark angel Gabriel was delayed for some 20 days, because he was busy fighting the prince of Persia. In these last days the efforts of satan are going to be more pronounced, more focused, more rapid as in the birth pains of a woman.

I like your statement: " for where things were once at a simmer in our world, the bubbles I see popping to the top tells me that soon comes a vigorous boil! ...

I have an article that talks about one type of bubble.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/2 18:00Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Please make a special note of the quote attributed to John Galbraith.

Here is an article from the Bakersfield paper:

Title: Ignore financial history at own peril, by Andrew Wahrenbrock

Readers of this column might be pleased to learn of my ongoing quest for balance via a May 20 conference call with economist Art Laffer (Laffer Associates). The tone was overwhelmingly market/economy friendly.

Laffer is perhaps best known for the "Laffer Curve" adopted in large degree by the Reagan administration. The story goes that Laffer drew the curve on the back of a napkin at a Washington, D.C., restaurant for a couple of administration bigwigs, and the rest is history...

The summary of the call promotes the idea that the dollar's slike is about over, rates are generally where they should be (ten-year Treasury, short-term will increase) and the Fed is correctly managing the money supply. Break out your sunglasses.

Those that may consider this writer's outlook at times "negative" or "bearish," pay attention here.

Steve Puetz of the Steve Puetz Letter writes: "Recognizing the formation of a bubble, central banks usually burst a bubble before it gets completely out of control. But the Fed has proven to be the exception. The Fed has let the multitude of bubbles form with complete indifference. The damage from a bubble is always in future years. Given the magnitude of the current bubbles, the damage will likely translate into a total collapse of the U.S. financial system. In short, andy economy based on ever-expanding credit is doomed in the long-term. The size of the bubble dictates the following pain. Judging by the current bubbles, the coming pain will be unprecedented. The Great Depression of the 1930's will be mild in comparison."


Ken Gerbino's recent essay, "The Fed Can't Stop Inflation," points out: "Starting in 2000, the U.S. has created $1.5 trillion new dollars (M2), and has cumulative trade deficit of $1.6 trillion...

Here is the reality check on the above mentioned $1.5 trillion created from the year 2000. First, I will refer to the U.S. money supply (M2) in 1980. It was $1.5 trillion. All the tangible wealth in the United States, every bridge, office building, home, car, television, plane, everything was created over 200 years with a money supply that ended up at $1.5 trillion. 200 years of blood, sweat and tears to create all the tangible wealth in the U.S. Our country in a bit more than four years has created the same amount of money! $1.5 trillion. This money has not created anything near the tangible wealth of the first 200 years $1.5 trillion. This is currency depreciation on a grand scale."

While you're dwelling on the significance of it all, a word about U.S. debt outstanding. The figure has increased by $11.6 trillion (45 percent) since 2000, to $37,247 trillion through the first quarter 2004. In 1980, the figure was $4.28 trillion. Crystal clear is the evidence that post-2000, the massive amounts of money supply and debt growth has produced an anemic economy.

What has been produced is the universe's biggest real estate bubble. Investors hold stocks and bonds in this environment, but why? For exercise, simply imagine the economic performance during the past four-plus years without the currency debsement and credit growth.

I'm reminded here of Howard Ruff's line that inflation is not rising prices, it's falling money. We are privy to this phenomenon via the daily drama of oil prices. China, India, terrorists, we're running out, refinery capacity, etc., etc. confront us daily as to why oil is high, and rising. The fact of the matter is that that's hardly the point. The simple reality is that the Fed is monetizing oil by its continued excess money growth. Inflation is being institutionalized, before your very eyes....

I close with a quote from John K. Galbraith's 1955 work, The Great Crash: 1929; "Even in such a time of madness as the late twenties, a great many men on Wall Street remained quite sane. But they also remained very quiet. The sense of responsibility in the financial community for the community as a whole is not small. It is nearly nil. Perhaps this is inherent. In a community where the primary concern is making money, one of the necessary rules is to live and let live. To speak out against madness may be to ruin those who succumbed to it. So the wise in Wall Street are nearly always silent. The foolish thus have the field to themselves."

Do you see the failure of men's systems? Do you see how the substance for which men strive causes them to compromise their God given conscience. The only path where truth does not need to be hidden is the path that leads to Jesus. We will not have to compromise for the treasure that is in Him. For what do we seek?

In Christ
Jeff



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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/2 18:12Profile
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Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

I agree with you there and while I don't know what the outcome of all these enterprises will be, God will judge accordingly. You're also right in saying that men will worship themselves, look at how we behave. We always want things our way, when we want them irrespective of the consequences. We have become so selfish and self-centered that we are squeezing God out of our lives.

Before a great fall, there is always great pride so it would be wise of us to evaluate ourselves to see that we are humble because humility is something God seeks in us all. Unless of course we want to be moved from one of the high chairs at that heavenly banquet to one of the lower ones.

you know, I don't know what cheney's faith is, or any of the others in the cabinet...

I think men are being swayed more and more by these philosophies because they sound good and what the word says is fast becoming politically incorrect because it offends people. I suppose one would be offended if the word was speaking against something one was doing. these philosophies are like cake, sweet to eat but it'll get you fat and a mouth full of cavities given time.


_________________
Farai Bamu

 2004/7/6 12:56Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

I wrote in a recent post:

"Today, one third of all money spent by U.S. corporations, is spent on advertising. Meditate on this phenomena. Today men spend vast amounts of capital on something that produces nothing physical. Do you see the power of the unseen? What controls our thoughts? What is it that creates the desires of our hearts?"

The nature of our economic system has changed over the decades. Inovation, natural resources, and manufacturing created the wealth of the country. The mid 1960's marked the apex of that wealth creation. Since then, things have changed. As I stated above, advertising, a form of thought creation, a form of idol creation has evolved to capture the minds of those who would believe. Below is a list that demonstrates the shift of our economy.

Taken from the book of Wealth and Democracy by Kevin Phillips

page 85, The Thirty Richest Americans and Families of 1968

Mellon Family (oil, finance), Rockerfeller Family (oil, finance), J. Paul Getty (oil), Howard Hughes (aircraft), H. L. Hunt (oil), Edwin H. Land (Polaroid), D. K. Ludwig (shipping), Dupont Family (chemicals), Ford Family (cars), Whitney Family (oil, investments), Houghton Family (Corning Glass), N. Bunker Hunt (oil), J. D. MacArthur (Insurance), W. L. Mcknight (conglomerate), Charles Mott (cars), R. E. Smith (oil) H. F. Ahmanson (banking), Charles Allen (banking) V. W. Clark (cosmetics) John T. Dorrance (Campbell Soups), Charles Engelhard (mining), Sherman Fairchild (technology), Leon Hess (oil), W. R. Hewlet (computers), David Packard (computers), Joseph Kennedy (investments), Eli Lilly (pharmaceuticals), Forrest Mars (candy) S.I. Newhouse (media), Marjorie M. Post (food).

There is one person in this list that became wealthy in the media industry.

Now look to the 1992 list.

Walton Family (retailing), Mars Family (food), Dupont Family (chemicals, inheritance), S.I. and Donald Newhouse (media), Bill Gates (software), Bass Family (oil, inheritance), Mellon-Scaife Family (inheritance), Rockefeller Family (oil, inheritance) John Kluge (media), Warren Buffet (investments), Cox Family (media), Sumner Redstone (media), Pritzker Family (real estate, investments), Dorrance Family (food), Koch Family (oil), Hunt Family (oil), Hearst Family (media), Ron Perelman (investments), Ted Arison (shipping), Paul Allen (software), Laurence and Preston Tisch (media), Rupert Murdoch (media), Richard DeVos (marketing), Jay Van Amdel (Marketing), Phipps Family (inheritance), Anneberg Family (media), Ross Perot (computer services), Edgar Bronfman (liquor and investments), H. L. Hillman (investments), Ted Turner (media).

Please notice that in this top 30 list, 11 families or men have acquired their wealth through media and marketing. The nature of our economy has changed. The economy that produced the greatest wealth that this nation has ever seen ended back in the 1960's. What is product of this new economy we live in? Look at the power of the media. Money has flowed into the creation of ideas and perceptions. What are the nature of these ideas and thoughts? Do they point man to God? Or do they glorify men?

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/7 12:05Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Many of these posts, whether writing about the Nazis or the media, have one underlying principle. I am trying to bring to light the massive effort being expended to influence, and shape the perceptions of the common person. This effort is not a conspiracy brought about by a few. But rather it is a general massive movement within our generation.

Remember, we as a generation have only experienced a very short time in His story. Many things we believe to be true are based only upon the wisdom of the generation that preceded us and our own. Today, this generation, because of technology, has been shaped and molded unlike any other in the history of the world. The powers that rule this world have unprecedented opportunity to influence the sea of humanity.

I exhort you to meditate on these thoughts. The bombardment of speeches, thoughts, philosophies, and hopes are all around us. We cannot escape this world. But God calls us to be no part of this world. He calls us out of this world.

What does it mean to be no part of this world?

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/8 11:32Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Here is a side note or an illustration. Does America accept this truth about itself?

Bakersfield Califorian, Thursday, July 8, 2004

Cox News Service
Despite stricter enforcement and greater protection for victims, human traffickers continue to smuggle in thousands of foreigners from poor countries to work as slaves in brothels, homes, factories and farm fields in the United States, witnesses told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Wednesday.

"Americans may be particularly alarmed to learn that at least 15,000 human beings are trafficked into lives of slavery in the United States each year," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who chaired the hearing. He said some estimates put the figure as high as 50,000 a year.

Women, children and men are brought in from places as far apart as Uzbekistan and Mexico, enticed with false promises of glamour, education or, in some cases, simply the propect of a steady pink-collar or blue-collar job. Beatings, isolation from society, threats of deportation, sexual humiliiation, rape or theats of retaliation against family members in their home countries are among the tactics used to keep them from escaping.

The Justice Department's U.S. attorneys have uncovered "numerous examples of forced labor and sex slavery...from California to Maryland, from Hawaii to New Jersey, from Georgia to New Hampshire," Cornyn said. "The stories they tell are tragic, disturbing and hear-rending."

Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, the panel's ranking Democrat, said those cases include "forced farm labor, domestic servitude, sweatshop labor, forced prostitution, construction work, restaurant work, or adoption."

end of story

About 4 years ago we traveled as a family to Virginia. One of the sites we visited was Jefferson's home of Montecello. Jefferson who was responsible for writing much of the Constitution, built his home on top of a mountain. Everyone listened to the Park Service interpreter list inovation upon inovation of the features that Jefferson incorporated into Montecello's design. We saw gardens, and water features for storing rain water. Yet without slaves Montecello was not possible. You see Jefferson built a home which had no water supply. The slaves would have to truck up water from a river a mile or two below his property.

Holy Scripture, if one wants to hear, is filled with the foolish exploits of man. There is much to learn about the world in Holy Scripture.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/8 15:03Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
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 Re:

Here is another illustration of the failings of men in this world. Most who read this may not understand the economic impacts of this work done by our government, yet Mr. Buffet the second or third wealtiest man in the world calls the kettle black.

Featured article on Yahoo Finance site:

"Many companies, particularly in the high-tech industry, have railed against a current Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) proposal to account for employee stock options as expenses because it would increase the reported cost of these options and make their financial results appear worse. FASB isn't in the business of outcome-based decisions, but Congress sure as heck is. So the House, perhaps noting after the accounting scandals of the past decade and in the face of disgust over exploding executive compensation, recognizes that some further tightening of the rules is perhaps inevitable.

As Buffett notes, though, what the House bill has in mind is simply bizarre. It accepts the fact that options are compensation and, therefore, should be expensed, but then it comes up with the gimmick that companies must only expense for the five highest-paid executive officers at each company. Further, the pricing mechanism that the House bill proposes to be used is one that assumes that the price of the underlying stock never fluctuates.

Great. Show me the company stock that never fluctuates. Everything fluctuates. Buffett's verdict: "A for imagination... flat-out F for logic."

And just so his point isn't lost in the inevitable recriminations of the "he doesn't know how it works" or "he's just jealous" crowd, Buffett notes that his position on accounting for options has fealty from the following: all seven members of FASB, all four of the big accounting firms, and legions of investment professionals (I'm sure he was including me in that assessment. I'm just sure of it.).

That House members wish to ignore the voices of these folks who know a thing or two about accounting (the standard setters as well as the largest, most knowledgeable consumers thereof) is simply frightening. There is a good reason that FASB is an independent group not beholden to political interests: because it can make decisions for the benefit of the polity of accounting consumers without consideration of the special interests.

The tone Warren Buffett uses in this editorial is a little more acid than I've seen in the past. He notes the silliness of counting only the top five execs' bonuses as expenses, then also notes that if Congress wishes to take on the roll as the chief scorekeeper for accounting that it had better clean up the hash of its own financial reporting. He noted that current standards allowed managers to "lie." Not "fudge," not "adjust," not "adopt looser accounting standards." Lie.'

end of story

All is vanity. I think Solomon would agree with Warren Buffett.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/8 15:34Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: OUR FRACTURED DISCOURSE

Thought this was relevant to this thread but perhaps not in the way it could be interpeted. Have learned a great deal through the postings here and my thinking is in applying this to the 'whole' as Jeff is guiding us...

[url=http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/editorial/9129673.htm?1c]OUR FRACTURED DISCOURSE[/url]

Here's a couple of snippets:

"``That is the question: How does anyone know anything today?'' said Michael X. Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania."

"For Delli Carpini, ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' is just the latest flash point amid the confusion and controversy generated by a ``breakdown between news and entertainment, and between fact and opinion.''"


"Separating facts from semi-facts, speculation and loose assertions is a job that has become, perhaps ironically, much harder as we've been deluged with new sources of information. We're already worried about the weaknesses of the mainstream press, and now unsubstantiated ``news reports'' fly around the world by e-mail, gaining strength by virtue of their computer-accelerated repetition. And with Moore's instigation, we're sitting in theaters trying to sift through the allegations about distortions and falsehoods in his film."

"The fallout includes growing cynicism about the media among consumers and a polarization in TV and radio habits, based largely on people's ideological disposition."

"``If you have the slightest familiarity with the World Wide Web,'' said Toobin, ``there's more diversity of information than our parents could conceive of, let alone see.''"

"With that much diversity, of course, comes the potential for more conflicting ``noise,'' rather than clearer news."


[i] But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.[/i] Dan 12:4


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Mike Balog

 2004/7/12 10:35Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

Brother Mike,

We see the confusion, many time we fall into the confusion.


I and my family have just returned from San Quintin Mexico. It was a first time visit for my wife, daugther, and niece. Five of us drove down in a Toyota Tercel. We visited some of our missionary friends who live down there. We shared fellowship with the various indian tribes who work the fields of the land owners. They are paid between 7 and 8 dollars a day for a 10 hour work period. Many of the home of these people, consist of one room. All the cooking, all the living happens within a 200 square foot shack.

The love of Jesus fills these shacks. They prepared meals for us that cost them 2 days wages. They gave freely of all that they have. We were blessed by fellowship in the Lord. They sing and praise Him. They thank Him for His provision. When we asked them how they were doing, they would respond, "Muy contento." (very content).

As we sat and ate, flies swarmed, landing occasionaly on our food. I watched my family eat these meals that up until that point they would have look to in disgust. Yet, the plates were clean after they had ate. Many times at our own dinner table, the plates are not as clean. The love of Jesus can overcome all that causes us to stumble. The love of Jesus can overcome the unknown pride in our hearts.

These people love their families. They love their kids. They love to have lots of kids. The family is the center of their lives. They know nothing of the things that occupy our lives. News and advertising does not fill their lives with the cares that the world dictates. The Holy Scriptures, is the only book that they own.

It seems to be working for them.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/13 13:28Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

On our way back from Mexico, as we crossed the border, we were met with a shocking reality. A fence seperates the two countries. One is poor and the other is rich. As we entered the San Deigo area we were surrounded by the prosperity that has so permeated our lives. We have come to expect nothing but the best, the best buildings, the best food, the best schools, etc. We really know very little of the living conditions that exist throughout the rest of the world. We know very little of the struggles of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We know very little of the joy that they have in Christ.

We know very little of the joys of fellowship because we have allowed ourselves to be encumbered by the pursuits for which men strive for. These encumberances dilute our prayer life, they dilute our time of meditation. These encumberances make us hard of hearing, and near sighted.

Brother Robert speaks to this from another thread:

The Key to Laying Aside Your Weights…

Hebrews 12:1 teaches us that there are weights that serve as an encumbrance in our spiritual lives, and sins also that easily beset us. The word beset could have been translated as compete. The Scripture would then read…the sin that does easily compete against us. The sense of the meaning is that there is a sin that easily competes against us and prevails. Key in on the word EASILY. There are sins that come against us and easily prevail against us. This ought not so to be! God has given us the keys to making that sin that easily beset us, into a sin that very RARELY if ever besets us. That is the context of Hebrews 12. This passage teaches us that there is a great cloud of witnesses that overcame the sins that would have easily beset them, and the weights that would have hastened their defeat. Have you laid aside your weights? Are you running the race to WIN! The victors of past races would be seated near the track in the ancient Greek games. The writer to Hebrews illudes to this. There are many that have gone before us as a testimony that God can keep us the same as He saved us.


The Destruction in the High Places


From the beginning of time mankind has sought to do or have that which is forbidden. For Israel it was the groves and the high places. The Old Testament is literally filled with the people of God repenting and backsliding over and over again. Ultimately the issue was the heart of the people, but many things contributed to God’s people backsliding. Much of their backsliding could have no doubt been prevented if the leadership had removed and kept removing the groves and the high places. The high places were elevated or hilltop sites dedicated to the worship of pagan gods. Ancient peoples often built their shrines on hilltops. In Mesopotamia, where the land is flat, they built artificial mountains in the shape of step pyramids called Ziggurats. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) was probably such a Ziggurat. Most of the Old Testament references to high places indicate a form of pagan worship forbidden to the Israelites. But sometimes the Lord's people, with His approval, worshipped Him at elevated altars. This happened between the time Shiloh was destroyed and before the ARK OF THE COVENANT was installed in Solomon's Temple. For example, Samuel blessed the offerings made at the high place which perhaps was Ramah, a word which itself means "high place" (1 Samuel 9:12-14). At nearby Gibeon there was a high place. During the reign of David the Tabernacle was there (1 Chronicles 16:39; 21:29; 2 Chronicles. 1:3-4). At this "high place" Solomon made many sacrifices, had his dream, and asked God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:4 -15). At these times God’s people would seek Him at the high place, but later they would serve other gods there. Solomon would eliminate the need for ANY high place after the building of the Temple. So in our lives after becoming the true Temple of the Holy Ghost, we must forsake the high places, lest we return to them to our own destruction and perdition.

Beside of these periods in Israel's history, all high places mentioned in the Bible were off limits to God's people. In Leviticus 26:30 God promised to destroy the high places, which He knew His people would later build. When Solomon began to backslide he established high places for his pagan wives (I Kings 11:7-8). After Solomon's death, the rebellious Northern Kingdom had its high places. The two major ones, containing golden calves, were at Dan and Bethel (I Kings 12:28-33). Then as ungodly kings came to the throne in Judah they inaugurated high places, and afterwards righteous kings abolished them. During Rehoboam's reign high places appeared (1 Kings 14:23), but Hezekiah broke them down (II Kings 18:4). Manasseh in his wickedness built them again (II Kings 3), but righteous Josiah utterly destroyed them and burned the groves as well (II Kings 23:8). He ground the images into powder and sprinkled the ashes of them over the graves of those who worshipped them and built them. Probably nothing provoked God to anger any more than His people turning from Him- to the groves and the high places.


Casting Down the High Places

In modern times a “high place” could be a place where you go to encounter that which you used to know as a sinner; a place where God does not reign in our lives…. , the place where God ceases to be God in our life. Going to a high place is like telling God “time out” I’m going to take a break from my calling, Christian testimony, and worst of all from your presence.

In our Christian lives we will grow no farther than our high places. Our spirituality ends where our high places begin. God will not tolerate other things in our lives competing for the love and devotion that belongs to Him. We cannot be as Israel and serve God on one hand and this world on the other.


Tossing Aside the Encumbrances


"There is a pathway of stepping stones that lead to the high places in our lives. These stepping-stones form a bridge back to the world. A bridge that was once burned, but has been rebuilt. Each of those stones makes a formidable pathway that must be removed piece by piece. The sins that easily beset us are like the high places in Israel that keep us backsliding and repenting over and over, and the anger of the Lord thoroughly kindled. We must remove the things in our lives that make us vulnerable to the sins that so easily beset us. Why should we fool ourselves into believing that we can handle a multitude of encumbrances that make us easy prey for Satan? Why should we hand Satan the advantage against us in our lives? Among all of Satan’s devices, none are more successful than the stepping stones that we put in our lives as we listen to his lies. If you know it is a hindrance and is making you vulnerable-forsake it! Before it leads to you having forsaken God.

What do you keep telling yourself that you can handle? What are you 'running with' that is alloeing sin to catch and trip you up? Why do you allow yourself to be knocked down by certain weights weighing you down? Always keep in mind that nothing is worth sacrificing the presence of God for, our victory for, and all the more…our soul for. What would a man profit if he gained all the world and lost his own soul? What would a man give in exchange for his soul? Words that are so often…just words. They have become of none effect in so many lives. Now more than ever when direct access to the world has invaded many of our own homes, we must use discernment.

The FIRST KEY to unlocking the victory in YOUR LIFE is turned when you go through your house, car, work area, and heart and begin to dispose of those things that are causing you to struggle to keep the victory. Turning the key begins when we realize that we cannot take fire into our bosom and not be burned. Sadly, many people know WHAT they need to get rid of but will not, because they have listened to the lie of Satan and he has stolen their desire to have victory. God forbid that we would opt for defeat when God has made provision for victory, because we loved our toys and vices more than we desired to live righteously before God."


I believe there is an evil that permeates our way of life. The promotion of self and individualism has placed a veil between us and our Lord. The media saturates ever means of communication with this philosophy. How many ways do we fall victim to this philosophy of individualism? How does this self promotion affect our fellowship with our Savior, with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?

In this past week I have seen a little bit of the blessedness that Jesus speaks of in the beatitudes. It looks nothing like the prosperity gospel in this nation.

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2004/7/14 11:10Profile





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