Fantasy Island

Posted in Choice, Decisions, Diet, Personal Growth, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 31, 2012

For those of you that weren’t blessed enough to be raised in the 70’s, you might have missed one of the most interesting TV shows called Fantasy Island.  Honestly, most weeks were pretty lame as far as the depth of the script, but it did provide an hour of mindless entertainment.  Each week, new arrivals would come to Fantasy Island and through some mystical experience have the opportunity to live out their fantasy.  Sometimes this would lead to a wonderful time, while others had a dreadful stay, but all seemed to learn something.  Most came to the island thinking it would be the capstone of their lives and lead to fulfillment, however, it never turned out exactly as they imagined.

I think a lot of people spend their days trying to live on Fantasy Island.  They think that some mystical experience or stroke of luck is going to change their fortune.  People think, “If I can just hit the lottery my financial problems will be over”, “If I can just bump into that special person, then I’ll be in my dream relationship”, “If I can just catch the right break, my future is going to be fantastic”, or “Even though I don’t always stick to my diet, I think I’ll still lose weight.”  See what I’m saying?  That’s living on Fantasy Island.  The problem is, that most people find it easier to live in a fantasy than they do in facing reality.

The Bible has a lot to say about personal responsibility, and if our life isn’t going where we want it to go, then it’s up to us to change direction.  The Apostle Paul mentions how he “beats his body” to make it his slave, lest he become a victim of a lack of discipline.  Some of us could use a little body beating before we go reaching for the cookie jar – again!

You can be your best asset or your greatest liability.  The difference is all about the choices you make.  Instead of sitting around waiting on Prince Charming, why don’t you work on being a princess worth finding?  Or, instead of thinking success is something that just happens, you could step up and make your own success with something most people call hard work.

Don’t sit around waiting on the next plane to Fantasy Island…”Da plane, da plane” (You would have to see the show to know what I’m talking about), instead start walking in the direction you want your life to go.  Wake up and realize, as nice as it may sound today, we don’t live on Fantasy Island; instead we live in a world that requires a lot of discipline, but the rewards are real.

Do you know anyone who needs to wake up and smell the coffee?

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Take Time To Remember

Posted in holiday, Thankfulness by PCraig on May 24, 2012

What are some ways you and I can honor what this Memorial Day weekend is all about?  After all, it’s not just the start of summer, an extra day off or a chance to fire up your grill.  Here are some thoughts I had about it:

  • Take a moment this weekend to thank someone in the military for serving to protect our freedoms.
  • Pray for those currently serving in areas of danger in the world for protection.
  • Pray for families who have lost loved ones while serving our country.
  • Ask God to bless our country and lead us closer to Him.
  • Think about all the freedoms you enjoy because of the sacrifice of others, then think of ways you can give back.

I’m so grateful to be an American.  Please use this weekend for fun with friends, family and neighbors, but also take time to remember.

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How To Raise A Juvenile Delinquent

Posted in Parenting, Relationships, Weekend Reflections by PCraig on May 17, 2012

I found this on the internet, and it was attributed to the Houston Police Department as 12 Rules for Raising a Juvenile Delinquent:

1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes

2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute. It will also encourage him to pick up “cuter phrases” that will blow off the top of your head later.

3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21, and then let him “decide for himself.”

4. Avoid the use of the word “wrong.” It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around – books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.

6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but don’t worry about his mind feasting on garbage.

7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.

8. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his. Why should he have things as tough as you did?

9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.

11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him!”

12. Prepare yourself for a life of grief. You’ll surely have it.

Even though I’m not sure of the source, it does give some good food for thought.  Which ones do you think matter most?  I really think the indulging of kids, along with excusing their bad behavior without reprimand is key.  This past weekend, I dealt with the topic of discipline in the home and had great feedback.  If you weren’t able to be with us, you can listen to the podcast from our webpage:

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Mastering Anger

Do you get angry?  In any relationship you’ll have conflict, because human beings disagree.  Conflict is inevitable but combat is not.  Anger can burn down your marriage, friendships and any other relationships in your life.

The Scripture says, “In your anger do not sin:  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” Eph 4:26-27.  You can be angry and not sin.  Anger alone is not wrong.  It might even be the appropriate response on the right occasions.  However, the wrong expression of anger can open the door to the devil.  How many people invite the devil into their lives, homes and relationships by not mastering their anger?  I don’t know about you, but I want to lock the devil out, not invite him in for room and board.

Those who spew their anger need to remember the power of their words.  In anger a person can express things that later they regret, but it’s too late, they’ve already laid it out there.  Yes, the other person may forgive you, but they will not be able to forget what you said.  Others who stew in their anger, can do equal damage by building up walls instead of dealing with it.  Resentment, hostility, and other negative emotions develop in the dark room of anger.

What can you do about anger?

  • Admit your anger & accept responsibility
  • Decide in advance  what your response SHOULD be when anger rises up
  • Pray and let the Holy Spirit reveal the real issue (sometimes we argue and get upset about things that really aren’t the true issue.
  • Submit to the Holy Spirit and allow the fruit of self control (Ga.5:22-23) to grow in your life

If you are going to mad at somebody, why not be mad at the devil?  He’s the one that Jesus said has come to “steal, kill & destroy.”  Do something positive with anger, get mad about 1 in 7 people not having clean water to drink, 38 million carrying the AIDS virus, or 1.2 million children involved in human trafficking each year.

What steps do you need to take in mastering your anger?  What would God have you to be angry about to make a difference?  Is there a social justice issue that you could do something about?

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Can A Christian Be Demon Possessed?

Posted in Devil & Demons, Holy Spirit, Victorious Living by PCraig on May 4, 2012

In a word “NO!”  I get asked this question every once in a while, so I thought I would write my response.

A Christ follower is already possessed by Jesus and baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit.  (Ga. 3:26-27)  The word that is used for “possessed” by a demon in the New Testament, can refer to being “vexed” or “possessed.”  This could mean the difference between a person being controlled or under the influence of a demon and being demonized.

Possession implies ownership, so to say a person is “demon possessed” would mean they are owned by the demon.  A Christian is owned by Jesus Christ as a child of God and cannot have duel ownership between God and the devil.  When God owns something, He owns it outright and completely.

The New Testament teaches that demons are squatters or vagrants of territory that does not belong to them.  A thief may break into your home but that doesn’t make it his.

The Scriptures warn believers to stop giving a place to the devil in Ephesians 4:27, which suggests that we can allow an entry point of influence by the evil one.  We must by like John the Baptist and say, “He (Jesus) must increase and I must decrease.”  As we get more and more filled with God’s Spirit there will be less room for anything else.  “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 Jn. 4:4).

A question to ask might be, “How am I giving opportunity or room for demon influence in my life?”  Are you so sold out and filled with God that there is no room for anything else?

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