What Defines Me?

Another sports star falls, then a public apology follows. It is a sad, repeated story.  Only time will tell if the apology is genuine or forced. Today’s apology from an IU basketball star caught my attention, not because it was different, but because of the common error it conveyed. “I’ve made a bad decision but my bad decisions do not define who I am.” My concern is how many, whether athletes or non-athletes have bought into this positivistic view of oneself. Think about it, if our decisions/actions do not define us, what does?

First, scriptures tell us our decisions do define us, good or bad. Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” Our decisions/actions/conduct make it known who we are. Notice the language in Proverbs 20 dig deeper than decisions defining us, but that they are really giving everyone else a glimpse into what is inside of us. Not only this but we must give an account for our decisions, thoughts, and words to God (Romans 14:12, Matthew 12:36).

Second, scriptures tell a different side of what this athlete may be trying to convey. Isaiah 64:6 “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” We light to think too highly of ourselves. We want to believe that things we say, actions we do, are not the real me. Well in all honesty, they aren’t, but it is not because we are better than the things we do, but because we are worse. Matthew 15 “16“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” It is our of the core of who we are that all these things flow.

Third, too many today leave the definition of oneself to oneself. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Being true to ourself is biblically impossible unless we want to own up to our deep capacity to sin. Unfortunately we even fall short in being able to be honest and truthful about this.

Our problem seems to be we would rather define who we are because we don’t like our own actions and we don’t like God’s description of us. It leaves us in a big mess, falling short. This is why the gospel is good news. Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is why true repentance always goes through the cross and Christ. True repentance does not want to convince others we are better than our actions, but that our actions need a Savior, need forgiveness. We need transformation. We need to be forgiven of sin and turned from sin, because lets face it, even we don’t like who we are. This is why we try to convince others that our decisions and actions don’t define us. We would like to give them a better definition. Our actions do define us, but are we listening to the definition they are giving? We are sinners, we need a savior.

Ray Rice and the Verse No One is Talking About

Ray Rice, former RB for the Baltimore Ravens, punched his future wife in the head, knocking her out. Video has recently come out that clearly depicts this ugly incident. It is sickening to watch, media and society all seem to agree. The NFL, Baltimore Ravens, and Nike have all broken ties with Rice. Most of us grew up being taught, you never hit a woman, but Rice did. Now most have seen him do it, and they have loudly declared it absolutely wrong and want justice.
Few if any are quoting, “Do no judge, so that you might not be judged” (Matthew 7:1). This is good news. No on is arguing that we don’t understand how difficult it is to be Ray Rice or that we don’t understand his difficult childhood, or that we don’t even know all the circumstances surrounding the video. They are simply and correctly judging his actions were wrong. Maybe now, light can be shed on this verse and it will be seen and used correctly. Jesus is not telling us to never make moral judgements. He is not forbidding us to differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong. He is not saying our actions don’t matter. Jesus is simply warning us to be fair and humble in our judgments.

Even though society may be trying to limit absolutes, there are absolute rights and wrongs. We are taught to live by them in God’s Word and discern what is right and wrong according to them, looking first to ourself before we examine our neighbor. Even though society often wants to make everything grey, instead of right and wrong, and therefore wrongly apply Matthew 7:1, the Ray Rice incident has shown that we have to make moral judgments for ourself and at times others. (John 7:24 “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”)

25 Days of Christmas Music, December 24, 2013

Well our internet was down yesterday so I couldn’t post. That means I will make up for it on Terrible Tuesday.

This is my all time terrible Christmas song, The Cat Carol

Second on the list, is “My Grown Up Christmas List”

Third is a catchy little tune, with a creepy message for all children “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause. 2 of my children say I have nothing to worry about. One because she says Mommy hates beards. Another because he trusts his mommy’s moral judgment. The other is just ornery.

The last of the day is “Christmas Shoes”. Arguments could be made for this being higher on the list, but I don’t want to give it any more credit or recognition.

25 Days of Christmas Music, December 21, 2013 Saturday Free For All

Don’t forget Amazon is still giving away 25 days of free Christmas music.   Didn’t see too many I would recommend this time, but I did find it ironic that Straight No Chaser’s “Nutcracker” was today’s song.  Our house was decorated with Nutcrackers by some “friends last night as a joke.

Noisetrade also has some decent Christmas music for free.  Here is a fun album with various artists and 2 songs from Jars  of Clay.


25 Days of Christmas Music, December 18, 2013 Wednesday Wonder


There are different kinds of Wonder.  Internet Choirs and Flash Mob Orchestras are wonders.  However, the greatest wonder that the earth has every known came over 2000 years ago, but it was anticipated for thousands of years before that.  He was announced to shepherds who wondered, wise men wondered, even His mother wondered.

I love this song which beautifully describes  the fulfillment and wonder of Jesus being born.

This is Jesus, He has come.

Came to rescue fallen ones.

This is Jesus. He has come.

The night is over, the day is dawned.

Turn to the Savior, do not fear.

The night is over, the day is dawned.

The God of heaven Has come near.

This is Jesus.  He has come.



Updated Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices: Device #12


And oh! the terrible godlessness and wickedness that Satan has drawn men to sin—by moving them to hang out with and befriend proud people.
Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To meditate, until your hearts are affected, on those commands of God which expressly require us to shun the society of the wicked (Eph. 5:11): ‘ Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.’; (Prov. 5:14-16): ‘Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. 15 Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.’ 1 Cor. 5:9-11, 2 Thess. 3:6, Prov. 1:10-15. Turn to these Scriptures, and let your souls dwell upon them, until a righteous anger be raised in your souls against fellowship with worldly men. ‘God will not take the wicked by the hand,’ as Job speaks (34:20; 30:24). Why then should you? God’s commands are not like those who are easily reversed—but they are like those of the Medes, they cannot be changed. If these commands are not observed by you, then they will eventually  be witnesses against you, and millstones to sink you, in that day that Christ shall judge you. The commands of God must outweigh all authority and example of men. (Jerome).

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That their company is very infectious and dangerous, as is clear from the scripture above mentioned. Oh, how many have lost their reputations, and lost their estates, and strength, and God, and heaven, and souls—by associating with wicked men! As you shun a stinking carcass; as the seaman shuns sands and rocks, and reefs; as you shun those who have the plague-sore all over them, so should you shun the society of wicked men. As weeds endanger the corn, as bad infections endanger the body, or as an infected house the neighborhood—so does wicked company the soul. (Prov. 13:20).
Eusebius reports of John the Evangelist, that he would not allow Cerinthus, the heretic, in the same bath with him, lest some judgment should abide them both. A man who keeps ill company is like him that walks in the sun—tanned insensibly.
Bias, a heathen man, being at sea in a great storm, and perceiving many wicked men in the ship calling upon the gods: ‘Oh,’ said he, ‘refrain prayer, hold your tongues; I would not have your gods take notice that you are here; they sure will drown us all if they could.’ Oh, sirs, if a heathen can see so much danger in the society of wicked men, and can you see none?
Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, To always look upon wicked men the way Scripture describes them. The Scripture calls them lions for their fierceness, and bears for their cruelty, and dragons for their hideousness, and dogs for their filthiness, and wolves for their subtleness. The Scripture styles them scorpions, vipers, thorns, briars, thistles, brambles, stubble, dirt, chaff, dust, dross, smoke, scum. (2 Tim. 4:17, Is. 11:7, Ezek. 3:10, Matt. 7:6, Rev. 22:15, Luke 13:32, Is. 10:17, Ezek. 2:6, Judges 9:14, Job 21:18, Psalm 83:13, Psalm 18:42, Ezek. 22:18, 19, Is. 65:5, Ezek. 24:6.)
It is not safe to look at wicked men as they describe themselves by, or by their self flattery; this may hoodwink the soul—but looking at them under the names and notions by which Scripture describes them, may preserve the soul from frequenting their company and delighting in their society. Do not tell me what this man calls them, or how such and such count them; but tell me how does the Scripture call them, how does the Scripture count them? As Nabal’s name was, so was his nature (1 Sam. 25:25), and, as wicked men’s names are, so are their natures. You may know well enough what is within them, by the apt names that the Holy Spirit has given them. Such monsters are wicked men—which should make their company to all who have tasted of grace and God’s love, a burden and not a delight.
Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan, is, solemnly to consider, That the society and company of wicked men have been a great grief and burden to those precious souls that were once glorious on earth, and are now triumphing in heaven (Psalm 120:5, 6): ‘Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.’ So Jeremiah: ‘Oh that I had in the desert a travelers’ lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a company of treacherous men.’ (Jer. 9:2). So they distressed Lot’s righteous soul by their filthy conversation’ (2 Pet. 2:7); they made his life a burden, they made death more desirable to him than life, yes, they made his life a lingering death. Guilt or grief is all that godly gracious souls get by talking with wicked men.

‘O Lord, don’t let me go to hell, where the wicked are: for Lord, you know I never loved their company here’—said a gracious gentlewoman, when she was dying.