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, July 30, 2011


But Jonah ran away from the LORD - Jonah 1:3a (NIV)

     It was a rainy Monday morning and Robert Grey and Bill Peterson were checking out deep sea fishing gear at the local sporting goods store. "I really think this is a great idea that you came up with." Bill told Robert as he picked up a rod "Maybe I can catch me a shark." "Not with that thing." Robert said, "That thing is barely big enough for a crappie."

     "Well, than," Bill said as he grabbed for a little bigger rod, "Will this one be big enough?" "No, no, no!" Robert shook his head and picked up a rod and handed it to Bill. "What's this?" Bill asked "It looks like an oversized flag pole." "That, Bill," Robert laughed, "is the fishing pole you'll need to catch your shark."

     "Wow!" Bill said as he started to fall over, "I'm not sure I can handle something this big." "Wait till you see the fishing tackle you're going to need." Robert said as he pulled Bill into the next aisle. When they got in there Bills eyes almost popped out of his head, his mouth dropped open and he dropped the rod knocking over a big display.

     As Bill's eyes slowly scanned the shelves in front of him he saw lures and hooks that were bigger than his tackle box. "How will I ever hook my worms on one of those?" Bill asked as he pointed to a lure. "Ah, Bill." Robert said as he shook his head, "We don't use worms, we use chickens." After a few minutes of silence, Bill said "Maybe this cruise trip isn't such a good idea."

     "You know what will happen if we stay?" Robert reminded Bill, "Besides we already have the tickets and I can't wait to see the Bermuda Triangle." "Isn't that where all those weird things happen?" Bill said with some concern in his voice, "And things disappear?" he continued. "Don't worry" Robert tried to assure Bill, "That's only a myth. The only place I know of where weird things happen and things disappear is Harold's bedroom."

     "I guess you're right," Bill sighed, "Maybe I'll just sit on deck and play shuffle board with all those old people." "Well, you better enjoy it." Robert said, "I worked hard to make sure we would be gone on this trip the same time Randy was planning on having us go on that mission trip to Puerto Rico. Doing mission work is the last thing I want to do."

     "I don't really want to do mission work either." Bill said in agreement as he put the flag pole back where Robert found it. "I think the travel agent said we could use the cruise ship's fishing gear." Robert said to cheer Bill up, "Maybe I'll go for something bigger than a shark, like a whale." "I guess that might be fun." Bill said and started to smile, "Just as long as the whale doesn't swallow us."

     The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
Jonah 1:1-3 (NIV)

     When we think of Jonah we almost always thing of how he ran away from a God given command and was swallowed by a whale. We may think that as a prophet of God he should have known better but do we ever think about how much we are just like him. Like Jonah, many of us would rather run the other way, come up with excuse, plug our ears, or pass things on to someone else than do what God would have us to do.

     Like Jonah we have a commission to make God known, to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the world.
  • Matthew 5:14-16 - You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (NLT)
  • Matthew 28:18-20 - Jesus told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this--that I am with you always, even to the end of the world." (TLB)
  • Mark 16:15 - Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone. (NCV)
     When we fail to heed God's commands like the ones above than we are nothing better than Jonah or...
  • The fool - Matthew 7:26-27 - Everyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house, and it fell with a big crash. (NCV)
  • The lazy Servant - Matthew 25:14-30 - Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last ... But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money ... But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! ... Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver ... from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (NLT)
     Trying to escape God makes things worse. Jonah knew that God had a specific job for him, but he didn't want to do it. Tarshish could be one of any number of Phoenicia's western ports. Nineveh was toward the east. Jonah decided to go as far west as he could. When God gives us directions through his Word, sometimes we run in fear or in stubbornness, claiming that God is asking too much. It may have been fear, or anger at the wideness of God's mercy, that made Jonah run. But running got him into worse trouble. In the end, Jonah understood that it is best to do what God asks in the first place. But by then he had paid a costly price for running. It is far better to obey from the start. - (Handbook of Bible Application)

      Here's Something to Ponder
  • What is God wanting you to do?
  • Will you respond as Jonah did?

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Proverbs 16:18a - First pride, then the crash (MSG)

     It was a hot afternoon as Randy tried to start the lawn mower to mow the church yard.. As he pulled on the rope for the 50th time, John and Tracy walked up and Tracy was crying. “Hi” he said “Is something wrong?” “Oh,” John sighed in reply, “It’s been a rough day,” to which Tracy added “You can say that again” and of course John had to repeat himself “Oh,” he said, It’s been a rough day” to which Tracy shouted, “I didn’t mean literally.”

     “Oh, boy” thought Randy, “What’s wrong now.” and than John started to explain. “All summer Tracy’s been bragging about the veggies she was growing. Well, today we were out harvesting in the fields, and when we came to Tracy’s veggies they were the biggest best looking veggies I’d ever seen.” “Yeah,” Tracy piped in, “but looks aren’t everything”.

     “Carrots almost 3 inches across.”John continued his story, “Onions the size of softballs, heads of lettuce nearly 18 inches across, potatoes the size of footballs, and squash the size of basketballs .” “Are you sure you’re not exaggerating a bit?” Randy asked, but John kept right on talking, “I had to use my tractor with a lift on it to pick up the pumpkins and I still haven’t figured out what Tracy did to get them so big.” and on and on he went.

      “If all you say is true” Randy finally interrupted, “Why has it been such a rough day?” “Well,” John answered, “Not everything is as it seems.” to which Tracy added “You can say that again” and so John did, he said it again and got a “Daaaaaaad. Do you have to do that?” from Tracy

     After giving his daughter a funny look, John continued his story, “As I was saying,” he went on, “Not everything is as it seems. When we found all those veggies, Tracy grabbed up bunches of them and took off to the farmers market.” “Did she try to sell them?” Randy asked “No!” Johns replied, “And I’m glad she didn’t She took them to brag - She thought she was the best gardener around and no one could be better.” Upon hearing that, Tracy cried out “I was the best!”

     “You were?” questioned Randy “She thought she was,” John added, “Until she dropped one and it broke open.” but before John could finish, Tracy butted in crying out “They were rotten - Just like this day.” “Nothing like getting knocked off your high horse.” Randy laughed when he heard what had happened but Tracy just cried all the louder.

     “Proverbs 16:18 says Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Randy reminded them as he turned back to his lawn mower. “You can say that again.” Tracy blurted out and with out missing a beat Randy did and Tracy rolled her eyes and left. “That was great.” John said with a laugh, and headed after his daughter.

     In a certain pond on one of the farms in the East were two ducks and frog. Now these neighbors were the best of friends; all day long they used to play together. But as the hot summer days came, the pond began to dry up and soon there was such a little bit of water that they all realized that they would have to move. Now the ducks could easily fly to another place, but what about their friend the frog? Finally it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck, and then the frog would hang onto the stick with his mouth and they would fly him to another pond. And so they did. As they were flying, a farmer out in his field looked up and saw them and said, "Well, isn't that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it!" The frog said, "I did..." (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)

     It could be called a group of lions but it could be better defined as the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself. (Oxford) or an unreasonable and excessive vie of one’s self-esteem (Webster) It is when one thinks higher than self than one should. What is it? It is Pride, another of the seven deadly sins.

     Let's look at some of the dangers of pride
  • Unhealthy pride is a form of self deification. (Making ones self out to be god.)
    • 1 Peter 5:5 - Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (ESV) - Pride is in opposition to God
    • Proverbs 16:5 - The Lord hates those who are proud. They will surely be punished(NCV)
      • Pride is hated by God
      • Pride will be punished by God
  • Pride is not user friendly
    • Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (ESV)
      • Pride brings destruction
      • Pride causes one to fall
    • Proverbs 29:23 - Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor. (NLT)
      • Pride leads to humiliation
    • Proverbs 11:2 - Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (NLT)
      • Pride brings disgrace
  • Pride sets us apart - it alienates us
    • Psalms 10:4 - The wicked people are too proud. They do not look for God; there is no room for God in their thoughts. (NCV)
      • Pride lures us into living independently of God. The proud person depends on self rather than on God
    • Not just from God
      • Pride distorts our view of our self and others - setting us apart
      • Pride blinds us to our own faults and magnifies the faults of others - setting us apart
      • When one makes mistakes - and we all do - the bragger is often left to his own.
      Pride, something we can live without. The opposite of pride is humility of which we have a great example to follow - Philippians 2:3-8 - When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others. In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death - death on a cross. (NCV)

     Here's Something to Ponder
  • What are the things in your life that you boast about?
  • How often does pride get you into trouble?

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Those who love money will never have enough - Ecclesiastes 5:10a (NLT)

      It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and Martha was trying to organize a bunch of kids that had gathered at the church for what was supposed to be an outdoor game day. As she was going over a list of games Daisy walked up behind her "Well, It happened again." Daisy said to Martha startling her.

     "Do I dare ask what?" Martha asked once she regained her composer. "I ordered in 12 dozen new pencils for Sunday School again and every single one is gone AGAIN!" "Did you just misplace them?" Martha queried. "Once maybe but three times?" Daisy answered, "Besides I opened the package and put 12 of the pencils on the table with some papers for Sunday and the rest in the supply cabinet and they’re not there, they’re ALL gone."

     "Wow!" Martha exclaimed, "Those pencils must have been really special for someone to want to take them." "Not really." Daisy said shaking her head, "They’re just an assortment of blah colors with the church logo on one end. I just can't imagine why someone would want 36 dozen pencils. That's 432."

     "Four hundred thirty two!" Exclaimed Randy as he walked over and kissed his wife. "I'll kiss you that many times." "Not in front of the children." Daisy scolded him. "Alright," Randy smiled, "That's not what I came here for any ways. I came here to ask you why we had so many pencils hiding in the pantry at home?"

     "What are you talking about?" Daisy asked in interest. "Well," Randy answered, "I was looking for some chips to snack on and I found what looks to be over 400 pencils tucked away on the bottom shelf.." "So, that’s where you put them." chuckled Martha, "I guess your memory is going." "No." Daisy shook her head, ""I know I put them in the supply cabinet here at the church."

     "What’s going on?" Randy asked a bit puzzled. "According to your wife, someone’s been taking all of her pencils for church" "Well, " Randy replied as as he went on to tell them more about the pencils he found. As he did Louie had been a short way of listening in muttered an "Uh ho" and took off.

     "Did you hear that" Martha interrupted. "Yeah, I did." Daisy answered, "And it sounded like a Louie," "And I think we may have solved are pencil mystery." Randy added "Now to catch a pencil thief." "And while you're doing that dear," Daisy continued on, "I'm going to get and return some pencil." And with that she kissed her husband and left. After that Martha walked over to Randy, handed him her clipboard and said "I'll find Louie for you. I'll let you organize this rainy day game day. since you're here." and than she left to find Louie.

     A philosopher once said: "I was walking in a garden when I saw a tree whose branches were so loaded with fruit that they bowed down to the earth. Some of them broke under the heavy weight. 'Poor tree!' I thought. 'Here's one who was destroyed by the overabundance of his success.' " He continued his walk and saw a shepherd at whose feet lay a dead sheep. A wild dog had killed it. All the other sheep had run into the fold and were safe. They had managed to get through a hole in the fence. But the sheep that was killed couldn't get through because it was too fat, and the dog jumped on it. And the philosopher thought, "Another life destroyed by an overabundance of blessings." The philosopher went on until he met a man hobbling along on two wooden legs with the aid of two canes. "Tell me, sir, how did you lose your legs?" asked the philosopher. "I'll tell you. In my youth I served in the army. Some of my fellow soldiers and I attacked the enemy and put them to flight. Then we began helping ourselves to the loot. My comrades just grabbed a few things and left quickly. But I wanted to take as much as I could carry. Meanwhile the enemy overtook us. My friends escaped, but I was so heavily loaded down I couldn't run fast, and I was wounded. I escaped with my life, but I lost my legs." "Indeed," said the philosopher, "success, riches and greed can all equally destroy." (Bible Illustrations)

     We don’t often here the original name for the deadly sin we are going to look at today. Oxford defines it as extreme greed for wealth or material gain and is the word “avarice.” Today we will simply think of it as greed, an intense and selfish desire for food, wealth, or power

     So, What's wrong with being greedy?
  • Greed Is Foolish - Luke 12:21 - “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (NLT)
  • Greed Doesn’t Satisfy
    • Luke 12:15 - And he went on to say to them all, "Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be."(TEV)
    • Ecclesiastes 5:10 - Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (NLT)
  • Greed Leeds To Evil - 1 Timothy 6:10 - The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow. (NCV)
  • Greed Hurts Self In Time Of Need
    • Ecclesiastes 5:12-13 - Those who work hard sleep in peace; it is not important if they eat little or much. But rich people worry about their wealth and cannot sleep. I have seen real misery here on earth: Money saved is a curse to its owners. (NCV)
    • 1 John 3:17 - If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God? (TEV)
  • Greed Turns On One - Proverbs 11:6 - Righteousness rescues those who are honest, but those who can't be trusted are trapped by their own greed. (TEV)
  • Greed will Be Punished - Proverbs 28:20 - Honest people will lead a full, happy life. But if you are in a hurry to get rich, you are going to be punished.(TEV)
     In response to greediness, Jesus has some great advice found in Luke 12. Here are a few of those verses. Luke 12:22,31-34 - Jesus said to his followers, “So I tell you, don’t worry about the food you need to live, or about the clothes you need for your body.....But seek God’s kingdom, and all the other things you need will be given to you. “Don’t fear, little flock, because your Father wants to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Get for yourselves purses that will not wear out, the treasure in heaven that never runs out, where thieves can’t steal and moths can’t destroy. Your heart will be where your treasure is.

      Here's Something to Ponder
  • Is there anything that you tend to horde?
  • What do you do with your excess?

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Be careful not to spend your time feasting, - Luke 21:34a (NCV)

      They call themselves the Graveyard Gang. A bunch of hooligans that are never up to any good. In fact, they make Harold look good. Thankfully there are only four of them, Butch, Bud, Chuck and Joel. On the Fourth of July they were up to no good again and unknown to the group, Harold, was in a tree above them and could see and hear everything they were up to.

     It was the loud sound of "Psst" Bud made as he called out to see if Butch was around that caught Harold's attention. "Yeah, I'm here." Butch answered as he stood up from his hiding spot in a bush a little ways away. "Did you find a spot for the Pig Out?" Bud asked him as he crept over.

     "No" Butch told him, "That was Chuck’s job. You gave me the job of stealing, I mean finding all the food." Well," Bud humphed, "Have you stolen, I mean found enough food for us yet?" "Maybe for me." Butch laughed, "I'm still working on the rest." "Well just remember its a pig out." Bud growled.

     As Harold sat in the tree listening he began to wonder if he should show up - well until he heard some one below him say "We eat until we puke, just like last year, just like old Chuck did with those hotdogs." "I don't want to eat that much Harold thought to himself. as he saw Chuck slither up behind Bud.

     "Did you find a spot yet?" Bud shouted as he turned and pushed Chuck on the ground. "And don't sneak up on me." "Spots?" Chuck snorted, "Yeah, I've found lots of spots but none will work, not even last years spot in the grave yard. The police are watching everything." What Harold heard next got pretty gross, even for him.

     "Are you going to try top 36 dogs this year?" Butch asked Chuck. "You eat." Chuck replied, "I'm doing something different." "Can't" Butch said, "I’m trying for 2 gallons of ice cream and brain freeze." "You don’t have a brain." Bud butted in, "You fried it out last year." "Oh, yeah!!" Chuck said with a grin.

     "I'm going for 100 meatballs covered in chocolate sauce." Butch told the gang. "Well, I've got some flame thrower salsa and two gallons of Mountain Dew." Bud spoke up, "That should give me a burp that will register on the Richter scale." As they continued to talk about tubs full of candy and stomachaches and chili beans and tooting and other gross stuff to gross to repeat, Joel came running up to the group "RUN!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, "The Police Are Coming!" and just like that the graveyard gang took off and Harold decided to climb a little higher up the tree.

     There is a scene from a Monty python film where there is a man over indulging himself with food to the disgust of the waiter. As the gentlemen eats he gets fatter and fatter to the point where he is absolutely full and he cannot eat anymore. His body looks like it will explode at any minute! Then the waiter encourages him to eat one more item, a wafer thin after eight mint, he refuses at first but then he is encouraged too indulge one more time... then upon eating the wafer thin mint he bodily explodes in the restaurant. That is a comical take on gluttony but it is an epidemic problem.

     Another illustration related to gluttony titled, "You Know You Overdid Thanksgiving When...." makes light of over eating for you know you overate when
  • Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the EZ-Boy.
  • The "Gravy Boat" your wife set out was a real 12’ boat!
  • You receive a Sumo Wrestler application in your e-mail.
  • Friday you set off 3 earthquake seismographs on your morning jog.
  • Pricking your finger for cholesterol screening only yielded gravy.
  • That rash on your stomach turns out to be steering wheel burn.
  • Representatives from the Butterball Hall of Fame called twice.
  • You consider gluttony your patriotic duty.
     Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. St. Thomas Aquinas list six ways to commit gluttony:
  • Eating too soon.
  • Eating too expensively
  • Eating too much.
  • Eating too eagerly
  • Eating too daintily
  • Eating wildly
     Gluttony as a form of greed is just one more of the seven deadly sins that is quite dangerous. When you read through the scriptures you find gluttony taking various forms such as drunkenness, feasting, partying, etc. Here's some of what the Bible has to say.
  • Gluttony Is The Way Of The Godless - 1 Peter 4:3 - You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. (NLT)
  • Gluttony Leads To Poverty - Proverbs 23:19-21 - Listen, my child, be wise and give serious thought to the way you live. Don't associate with people who drink too much wine or stuff themselves with food. Drunkards and gluttons will be reduced to poverty. If all you do is eat and sleep, you will soon be wearing rags.(TEV)
  • Gluttony Keeps One From Being Prepared
    • Luke 12:45-47 - "But if the man begins to think, `My Lord won't be back for a long time,' and begins to whip the men and women he is supposed to protect, and to spend his time at drinking parties and in drunkenness-- well, his master will return without notice and remove him from his position of trust and assign him to the place of the unfaithful. He will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty he refused to do it. (TLB)
    • Luke 21:34-35 - “Be careful not to spend your time feasting, drinking, or worrying about worldly things. If you do, that day might come on you suddenly, like a trap on all people on earth. (NCV)
  • Gluttony Brings Humiliation - Proverbs 28:7 - He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father. (NAS)
  • Gluttony Ends In Eternal Loss - Philippians 3:18-19 - For I have told you often before, and I say it again now with tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road who are really enemies of the cross of Christ. Their future is eternal loss, for their god is their appetite: they are proud of what they should be ashamed of; and all they think about is this life here on earth. (TLB)
     With those dangerous in mind keep these word of advice in mind as well
  • Proverbs 23:1-3 - If you sit down to eat with a ruler, notice the food that is in front of you. Control yourself if you have a big appetite. Don’t be greedy for his fine foods, because that food might be a trick. (NCV)
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV)
     Here's Something to Ponder
  • Are you given to over indulging yourself
  • Are you able to say "That's enough." and than stop

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper... Psalms 37:8 (NLT)

      It was Friday afternoon and Stella was fit to be tied. “I Am Going To Kill Him. I Am Going To Kill Him. I Am Going To Kill Him.” she said as she frantically searched the house.
“MOM! MOM!” she would yell out as she tossed things to and fro. “MOM! MOM! Where are you?” she kept yelling not knowing her Mom had walked up behind her to see what was wrong.

     What happened next was almost hilarious. As Martha started telling Stella she could stop yelling because she was right behind her, Stella jumped and let out a loud scream which in turn startled her mom who than jumped and let out a scram of her own. As their heart beats settled down, Stella looked her mom in the eye and said “I am going to kill him for what he did.” “Who?” Martha wanted to know. “That no good, rotten, brat that you call my brother, that’s who.” Stella huffed.

     Before Martha could find out what was truly going on, there was a knock at the door. It was John McDonald and he was looking for Harold as well. “What do you need Harold for?” Martha asked as she let him in. “I’d like to wring his neck for what he did..” John puffed as he walked in. “You’re going yo have to wait your turn.” Stella quickly told him.

     Barney was the next to arrive. “Have you seen Harold?” he asked as he walked in the door. “Not you too.” Martha exclaimed “What do you mean, “You too?” Barney asked “If you want to kill him...” Stella answered, “Or wring his neck...” John continued, “You’ll have to wait in line.” Martha finished. “No!” Barney growled, “ I just want to send him to the moon so I’ll never see him again.”

     “Alright everybody, what’s going on?” Martha asked with a commanding voice, to which everyone replied in unison, “It’s Harold! He makes me so mad I, I, I, I” but Martha never let them finish. “Well, he’s not here.” she told them, “He’s at space camp and has been all week.

     After a few minutes of silence Stella piped up, “I thought he was just hiding from me. Does that mean he didn’t do it - take my dolls and tie firecrackers to them?” “You sold them at the garage sale last week.” Martha reminded her, “Oops, I did didn’t I.” Stella sheepishly replied. “He probably didn’t knock down my tree fort either than.” Barney thought out load. “I saw that come down in the wind storm a couple of days ago” John replied, “The same time a tree came down - on - my - tractor - oops.”

     As everyone stood quietly looking at their feet wishing they had kept their mouths shut, Martha turned and picked up a load of laundry. “Why are there holes in all those shirts?” Barney asked as he looked up.” When Martha saw the holes, she had but one things to say “H A R O L D !!”

     America is becoming a nation of angry, short-tempered people. From road rage to airplane rage, grocery store rage, and violence at youth sports events, the media has been reporting these emotional outbursts with unprecedented frequency. More than three-fourths of Americans believe angry behavior has increased in places like airports and highways, according to a recent USA Today CNN/Gallup Poll C. Leslie Charles, author of Why Is Everyone So Cranky? writes: I'm describing a fuming, unrelenting, sense of anger, hostility, and alienation that simmers for months, even years, without relief. Eventually, all it takes is a triggering incident, usually minor, for the hostile person to go ballistic.James Garbarino, human development professor at Cornell University, reports a major social shift: There is a general breakdown of social conventions, of manners, of social controls. This gives a validation, a permission, to be aggressive. (Illustrations for Every Topic and Occasion)

     Oxford defines anger as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Webster adds that it is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance. As one of the seven deadly sins, I would question if it belongs for if anger is an actual sin than Jesus himself was a sinner. I don’t believe that anger in and of itself is sin but uncontrolled can be deadly.

     How bad can Anger be?
  • Anger makes one weak - Proverbs 16:32 - He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (NAS)
  • Anger makes one foolish
    • Proverbs 14:17a - Short-tempered people do foolish things, (NLT)
    • Ecclesiastes 7:9 - Don’t let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools. (HCSB)
  • Anger makes one sad - Genesis 4:6-7 - The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy? If you do things well, I will accept you, but if you do not do them well, sin is ready to attack you. Sin wants you, but you must rule over it.“ (NCV)
  • Anger leads to unrighteousness - James 1:20 - Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. (NLT)
  • Anger stirs up conflict - Proverbs 29:22 - An angry man stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered man increases rebellion. (HCSB)
  • Anger leads to trouble - Psalms 37:8 - Don’t get angry. Don’t be upset; it only leads to trouble. (NCV)
     As you can see anger has the potential to wreak havoc in ones life. Since we all tend to get angry from time to time let's head the apostles advice Ephesians 4:26-27 - If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Don't give the Devil a chance. (TEV)

     Here's something to ponder
  • Do you control your anger or does it control you?
  • Do you need to make right wrongs caused by your anger?