Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Now flee from youthful lusts- 2 Timothy 2:22a (NAS)

      "Well, Randy, she’s all mine." Bill said as he kicked back in a a chair and put his feet on Randy's desk. "Who? Your wife?" Randy asked as he looked up from his sermon notes. "Julia!" Bill replied with the biggest grin. "Julia? Who's Julia?" Randy asked a little puzzled?

     "Julia," Bill started to brag, "Is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. When I first saw her it was instant love and I knew I had to have her." "Um," Randy injected, " Is Julia a new dog?" " No Way!" Bill laughed, "We already tried the dog thing with Muffy. No. Julia's much more than a dog, she’s what every man should have, and I’ve got her."

     Becoming a little concerned, Randy wondered, "So what does your wife think of her?" "Um," Bill gulped, "She doesn’t know about her but I think the kids might have seen me looking at her once or twice."You know, Bill," Randy said shaking his head, "Things are going to get ugly." "Ugly! No way!" Bill shouted "Not Julia, she’s so, so, sleek looking." Sleek?" Randy quizzed. "Yeah," Bill continued, "Sexy didn’t sound quit right." "I'd say not." Randy said in disgust

     "You know," Bill continued on, "I’d go by and see her everyday at lunch time and, say, maybe you would like to see her." "I'm not sure I would want to." Randy answered. and Bill continued on "Maybe we could even take her fishing." "Fishing?" Randy questioned, "You don’t have a boat." "But I’ve got Julia now," Bill told him, "And can she ever move. She even comes with a depth finder and an underwater camera if I can figure out how to turn them on."

     "Don't you mean 'Her on?''" Randy chortled, "Oh," Bill smiled big, "I know how to turn her on. Her keys are always in the ignition." "Keys in the ignition?!" Randy said a bit puzzled "You need keys to turn her on?" "Of course," Bill replied, "And boy do I love to turn her on." "But you're married!" Randy shouted. " Stunned and a little puzzled by Randy statement, Bill just needed to know, "What does being married have to do with turning on a boat?"

     "I’m not talking about a boat!" Randy said, "I’m talking about Julia, the other woman you’ve been seeing." "Other woman?" Bill answered back, "Julia is the name of my boat." When he heard that, Randy started to laugh, "You bought a boat named Julia? I thought.... Never mind what I thought." But Bill never heard him "Wow! Wow! Wow!" Bill said, "Did you see that boat named Frankie go by? I've got to have that boat." and with that Bill forgot all about Julia and started chasing after Frankie.

     Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin. "First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. "Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. "He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the Arctic night. "So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue. Nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood. "His carnivorous appetite just craves more - until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!" (Chris T. Zwingelberg, Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)

     The Oxford dictionary's 1st definition defines it as strong sexual desire and while that is what is often thought of when one thinks of lust, according to Oxford it is also a passionate desire for - something. In the Bible I find it often portrayed as evil desires.

     Lust by either definition can be very dangerous
  • Lust Is Not From God and that alone should be a red flag - 1 John 2:16 - for all these worldly things, these evil desires--the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth and importance--these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. (TLB)
  • Lust Wars Against The Soul - Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls. (TLB)
  • Lust Entices - James 1:14 - But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. (HCSB)
  • Lust Enslaves - Titus 3:3 - Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. (NLT)
  • Lust Corrupts - 2 Peter 1:4 - Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (NIV)
  • Lust Leads To Sin - James 1:15 - Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (TEV)
    • The sin of adultery - Matthew 5:28 - But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (HCSB)
    • The sin of murder - James 4:2 - You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.(ESV)
  • Lust Confuses - Often times lust is mistaken for love
     In response to Lust we need to take Paul's advice to Timothy - Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. - 2 Timothy 2:22 (NAS)

      Here's something to ponder
  • What are the things you desire or lust after?
  • How do you respond to your desires?

Saturday, June 18, 2011


We must not be ... jealous of one another. Galatians 5:26 (TEV)

      In James 3:16 we read that envy can cause problems. It says “For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil.” (HCSB) It was a couple of weeks ago as Helen Gray was cleaning the church building that she bumped into a case of dueling envy and as she learned, even preachers can fall to its grasp.

     As Helen was pushing the dust mop by Randy’s office door she heard him muttering out loud “Why? Why? Why?” Trying to be humorous she answered “Z” “What?” Randy said surprised to see her at his door. “Z comes after Y” Helen explained, “Isn’t that what you were trying to remember?” “No,” Randy told her, “I just want to know why?”

     “Why what?” Helen asked as she shook off her mop. “Why JOE’S are always BETTER than MINE!” Randy started to explain getting louder as he went, “We went to the same school, we use the same computer programs, we use the same topics and use the same Bible version. Everything is the same.” and with clenched fists he let out a loud grunt.

     “What are you talking about?” Helen asked, “Are you talking about your Bible lessons?” “Close.” Randy replied, “My sermons. His are always better than mine and I’m tired of it.” He continued and than with a loud shout he yelled out, “I want my sermons to be like his!” than calming down a bit he got an evil grin on his face and said, “Maybe I can sneak over to his office and copy his outline.” and than he took off.

     “This can’t be good” Helen said as she turned back to her dusting but when she turned, she bumped into the strangest looking character. “Have you seen Randy Smith around?” He asked in a deep voice. It was Bud or at least that’s who Helen thought he was. “He just left” she told him. “Great!” Bud responded, “I need to pay his office a visit while he’s gone.”

     “While he’s gone?” Helen questioned “I need to see his sermon notes.” Bud told her. “Why don’t you just come to church on Sunday and hear the sermon for yourself.” Helen told him. “I don’t care about the sermon,” Bud replied, “I’m just here to get a copy of Randy’s sermon notes for Joe.”

     “For Joe!” Helen gasped “Yeah” Bud responded, “For Joe. I guess he’s is tired of Randy’s sermons always being better than his. He thinks he can be as good as Randy if he just gets a copy of his sermon notes” “But, but,” stuttered Helen, “But what?” Bud interrupted. “I just do what I’m paid to do. And if anyone asks, I told you nothing and you never saw me.” and with those words Bud snatched up Randy’s sermon notes and ran off.

     According to the Oxford dictionary, envy is defined as a discontented or resentful longing aroused by another's possessions, qualities, or luck. Many times in the Bible envy and jealousy are interchanged. Let us look at another of the Seven Deadly Sins - Envy

     A little snail that lived by the ocean noticed with envy the big and beautiful shell in which the lobster lived. "Oh! How this little shell of mine pinches," whined the little snail. "What a grand palace the lobster carries on his back! I wish I lived in his place. Oh! Wouldn't my friends admire me in that shell! Think of a snail living in a mansion like that!" In time a wonderful thing occurred. The watching, envious snail beheld the lobster work right out of his shell to grow up in another, larger one. When the empty, metallic green shell of the lobster lay neglected on the beach, the snail said, "Now I shall have my wish. Hurrah! The little snail is going to live in a lobster shell!" In his pride he cried out to the birds overhead, "Ah, the little snail is going to live in a lobster shell." He cried to the cattle in the field, "Oh, oh! Now you shall see. The little snail is going to live in a palace." So the birds and the cattle in the field were curious and they watched the little snail. The snail pulled himself loose from his own little shell, and cried, "Well, I'm glad to say I'm through with you. Goodbye. You've pinched me and pressed me for the last time. I am going to live in the grand lobster shell." The birds and the animals saw the little snail proudly crawl into the towering lobster shell and he huffed and puffed and blew and gasped in an effort to make himself fit. But with all his efforts he felt very small inside the grand lobster shell. He grew tired, too. That night he died because the great empty shell was so cold. A wise old crow then said, "You see! That's what comes of envy. What you have is enough. Be yourself and save yourself from a lot of trouble. How much better to be a little snail in a comfortable shell than to be a little snail in a big shell and freeze to death!" - (Bible Illustrations)

     Envy or jealousy can be quite dangerous.
  • Envy is Like the Grave - Song of Songs 8:6 - Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame. (NKJV)
  • Envy Is Of The World - 1 Corinthians 3:3 - You are still not spiritual, because there is jealousy and quarreling among you, and this shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting like people of the world. (NCV)
  • Envy Rots Away At Us - Proverbs 14:30 - A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. (ESV)
  • Envy Drives People Away - Proverbs 27:4 - Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?(ESV)
  • Envy Shows No Mercy - Proverbs 6:34 - For jealousy enrages a husband, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. (HCSB)
  • Envy Brings Disorder And Evil - James 3:16 - For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil (HCSB).
  • Envy Kills - Job 5:2 - "For anger slays the foolish man, And jealousy kills the simple. (NASB)
      With such a reputation, one can see why envy / jealousy is so deadly but there is hope in contentment 1 Timothy 6:7-8 - For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (ESV)

      Here's something to ponder
  • Are you envious of what other have?
  • Are you content with what God has given you?

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Proverbs 21:25 Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work. (NLT)

      When it comes to being lazy, most people in Pupperville think of boy named Harold Peterson but Daisy Smith found out girls can be lazy too.

     It was a cloudy day and it was threatening to rain as Daisy prepared the picnic shelter at the park for the church’s summer picnic. As she rounded one of the corners of the shelter she ran smack dab into one of the Miller twins. “Mindy? Is that you” She asked, “I haven’t seen you around for a long time.” “That’s because I’m grounded for the summer.” Mindy replied

     “Grounded!” Daisy exclaimed, “Let me guess. You and your twin sister were swapping places again.” “We quit doing that a long time ago.” Mindy replied, “It kept getting us in to BIG trouble. I’m grounded because I got a “D” on my report card.” “You got a ‘D?’” Daisy said in astonishment. “Actually” Mindy continued, “I got 4 ‘D’s’ and 2 ‘F’s’”

     “I thought you liked going to school.” Daisy commented. “Only because it got me out of doing work at home.” replied Mindy. “Don’t you have to do work at school?” Daisy asked. “Sort of,” Mindy answered, “but I just bring it home.” “And than you do it?” Daisy finished. “No way!” Mindy told her, “Besides I can’t find it once I get it in my room.”

      “You make it sound like your room is as bad as Harold’s used to be.” Daisy said as she stretched out a tablecloth. “Why don’t you clean it up?” “Are you crazy?!” Mindy shouted out in disbelief, “That would be work.”

     “So, what are you going to do now?” Daisy asked as she spread out another table cloth.
“I think I’ll go watch some TV.” Mindy answered, “There should be something on worth watching.” “Huh?” Daisy questioned, “I thought you were grounded?” “Oh, yeah.” Mindy said sadly, “No TV, no computer, no going out, no this, no that,. I can’t do anything.”

     “Can’t do anything?” Daisy commented, “I think it’s more like won’t do anything!” “I guess I could always go and take a nap.” Mindy responded totally ignoring Daisy’s comment. “How about cleaning your room or studying? Or maybe even helping me set up for the church picnic tomorrow?” “What!” Mindy gasped, “You mean actually work? You must be crazy. I’d rather, rather.....” “Rather what?” Daisy asked. “Oh, never mind.” Mindy answered, “ It would be too much work.”

     What do you know about sloths? Sloths are very slow in their movements, when undisturbed. Reaching a tree limb, the creature advanced along it, body hanging underneath, suspended by the long claws of all four feet. So slowly did it take each step, so deliberately did it place each set of claws over the limb, that one would have thought it was stalking something rather than traveling. Because of their legendary slowness, writers have indulged in exaggerations: before they could come down from one tree and climb another, they were skin and bones, though they were fat when they started; and it took eight or nine minutes for them to move one leg forward three inches; and even in action, the second hand of watch often covers more distance! (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)

     According to the Oxford dictionary, slothfulness is: reluctance to work or make an effort; or just plain laziness. According to Pope Gregory the Great. Slothfulness is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

     Slothfulness, better known as laziness to most people, can be quite dangerous.
  • Slothfulness Leads To Poverty
    • Proverbs 10:4a - A lazy person will end up poor, (NCV)
    • Proverbs 20:4 - The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing. (NKJV)
  • Slothfulness Leads To Deterioration
    • Proverbs 24:30-31 - I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. (NLT)
    • Ecclesiastes 10:18 - Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks. (HCSB)
  • Slothfulness Leads To Hunger
    • Proverbs 19:15 - A lazy man sleeps soundly--and he goes hungry! (TLB)
  • Slothfulness Creates Busybodies
    • 2 Th3:10-11 - While we were with you, we used to tell you, "Whoever refuses to work is not allowed to eat." We say this because we hear that there are some people among you who live lazy lives and who do nothing except meddle in other people's business. (TEV)
  • Slothfulness Is No Good For All
    • Proverbs 10:26 - A lazy fellow is a pain to his employers--like smoke in their eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge. (TLB)
    • Proverbs 18:9 - A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things. (NLT)
     With such a reputation, one can see why slothfulness or laziness is so deadly but there is hope in ants. Proverbs 6:6-8 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy bum Learn from their ways and be wise! For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.

      Here's something to ponder
  • Are you considered to be lazy?
  • Do you ever encourage laziness in others?

Friday, June 10, 2011


     Over the course of the next 7 weeks the Pupperville Puppets will be taking a look at what has been called the "Seven Deadly Sins" starting with Slothfulness better know to most people as laziness.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24b (NKJV)

     Do you have a good friend, maybe a best friend? A friend that sticks around and helps you when you need it. Stella has a friend like that. Her name is Bernadette Henderson.

     One day Bernadette found her best friend Stella Peterson sitting on a swing at the park and she was crying. When Bernadette went over to see what was wrong with her best friend, Stella yelled at her “GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” “Do you really want your best friend to leave?” Bernadette asked in reply.

     “I have no friends, my life is ruined and I don’t want to talk about it,” Stella yelled, and started crying even harder. “Your life is ruined?”questioned Bernadette, “Has your brother Harold been spreading nasty rumors about you again?” “It’s worse than that,” replied Stella, “Basketball season is over.”

     Bernadette became confused, as she often is. She knew Stella didn’t like sports, especially basketball. “What are you talking about?” she had to ask. Stella than told her what was really wrong. She was crying because she wouldn’t get to see all those cute boys that played basketball. That’s why she thought her life was ruined.

     Bernadette decided her friend needed some encouragement and reminded her that basketball season would come back next year. When Stella told her that, that was too far away, she started telling her all about baseball, football, and hockey and that they are played by boys too. When she heard that, Stella stopped crying and asked if the boys were cute.

     Even though Bernadette didn’t know if the boys were cute or not, Stella was happy to have her as a friend. “My life isn’t ruined,” Stella said, “You’ve filled my life with hope.” “I’ll always be your friend,” Bernadette replied, “just like in our memory verse.” “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother named Harold. Pv 18:24," Stella thought to herself.

     As they headed off to find a baseball game they started trying to figure out if the game was played by throwing a ball into a net or if the players had to try and kick a puck over it. I thought they had to skate around some bases.

     While Proverbs 18:24 doesn’t really say anything about Harold, it does say there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NKJV) Even though Stella told Bernadette to go away and leave her alone, Bernadette saw Stella needed help and stuck around and encouraged her when she thought her life was ruined unlike some other guys I know of.

     Friends are great to have. Solomon recognized this when he wrote Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break. (NCV)

     Along with having friends we are friends and as a friend one of the things we do is comfort our friends such as Job's friends tried to do for him. Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him. - Job 2:11 (NAS) Unfortiontly, Job's firends didn't do a very good job of comforting Job for after listening to them ramble on he called them "miserable comforters" in Job 16:2

     Stella was discouraged because she thought she lost something she enjoyed and even thought she wanted to be left alone in her misery, Bernadette new she needed a friend to encourage and comfort her. In the book of Thessalonians Paul reminds to be people who encourage and build up, people that comfort others.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (HCSB)
      In 2 Corinthians Paul reminds us that our source of comfort for comforting others comes from God.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. If we have troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation, and if we have comfort, you also have comfort. This helps you to accept patiently the same sufferings we have. Our hope for you is strong, knowing that you share in our sufferings and also in the comfort we receive. (NCV)
     Here's Something to Ponder
  • What are some times you've needed comfort and received it?
  • Who around you is in need of your comforting help?
  • Are you willing to comfort those who are in need of comfort?