Last Minute 2010 Snow Storm Hits Arizona

This past week, starting on Wednesday, Northern Arizona was hit with a beautiful Winter Storm.

The images posted here are a sample of the ones I took on December 30, 2010:

1. At the area of the Water Wheel Fire near Beaver Valley that almost burned my home and caused my evacuation in 2009. Campers from the Phoenix area that did not put out a campfire when they left on Sunday to go back home started the fire.

2. Along Huston Mesa Road just North of Payson, Arizona that is the only access route to my home in Beaver Valley.

3. Along the Control Road north of Payson, Arizona.

The cameras I used were the one in my Droid Incredible cell phone and my Nikon D50 with 105mm lens. Do you think you can tell which image was from which camera?

It was snowing at the time the images were made.

On December 30, 2010

The Nearsighted Photographer,
Guy Lewis
Payson, Arizona

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Letter: Lesson of Life

From Her:

“I need a job that will pay enough for a single person to live and pay her bills. The process works like this:

1. I find out about a job either through the Internet or a friend.

2. I apply for said job.

3. Wait.

4. Hopefully they call me for a phone interview.

5. Wait

6. Hopefully they will fly me in for an in-person interview.

7. Wait.

8. When hired, I will need a place to stay until I can get my own apartment… which I’m guessing maybe 1-2 months.

I can’t afford to move first without a job already secured.

You Rock”

Reply From Him:

Well those all seem so important but what does God want you to do? God sent people all over the world without having a job until they got to where they were going, no phone interviews, no in-person interviews, and no condo until they got to where He wanted them. Yes they were condos with canvas walls to.

Let me tell you a story. I once knew a man who was not working in California. Had been months. Funds had run out and he was living in a basement (unfurnished with a dirt floor) when a woman told him to go to where God wanted him. So this man packed up everything He owned that would fit into a 1978 Toyota Celica and drove east. He made it to Vegas and knew instantly that was not where he should be. So while running out of money fast, he turned south and drove to Arizona. Arriving in Mesa, tapped out financially, a kind couple gave him a place to stay until he could get back onto his feet. This was in November of 1995. By March of 1996 he was finally employed with a very prestigious employer in Arizona – able to pay off old debts – save some cash – and he moved to Payson in April 1997 where after 9 months was able to purchase a house with deer and elk as neighbors. A year later he was able to trade the leaky – oil burning Celica in for a Chevy S10 pickup. He continued to work at this job until November 1999 when life turned unexpectedly and he found himself pre-maturely retired for life. Continuing to do what was in front of him to do each day, he was instrumental in helping a lot of people change their destructive lives back into socially benefit lives until October 2004 when major depression was handed to him on a silver platter. The depression did not start to lift until December 2005. The old S10 continued to take this man where he needed to be for God’s service and in 2007 he was able to trade the S-10 in for a nice new shinny red Colorado named Ruby. Still under forced retirement, this man continued to do the next indicated thing in his life which allowed him to make many wonderful friends and touch the lives a many people all around the world until this very day. This man finally learned the lesson that it is not what you have in life but how you help others with what you have that really matters. During all of this time, he continued to walk each step where he understood God wanted him to walk. Though his life has never turned into a palace of gold on earth, he has never gone hungry, never been without clothing, always had something to drink and always had someone in his life less fortunate to help. This man, by the way, had skills he had learned in college, but God never saw fit for him to be employed in those fields of employment. The field of service God intended this man was to work with others, to bring smiles to others hearts, and to buy an ice cream cone at Ranger Ball games once a year for another worthy person to enjoy.

Sweet Friend, sometimes you just have to follow your heart and allow God to use you in His way – forgoing every single plan you might have for what you think you are supposed to be and do.

I love you my friend and I am here for you in what every way God allows me to be of service to you.

Hugs,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010: 5:42 AM

Attempt to Help Novice Understand PTSD

To answer everyone that keeps asking me; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental disorder that is caused by external conditions and causes. There are 3 classes of PTSD: Single Situational PTSD, Combat PTSD, and Complex PTSD. I have lived with my PTSD for most of my life only I did not know I even had PTSD until 1999. My PTSD is indirectly related to my military years as well as my youth. Although the direct cause of my PTSD was childhood related, my military career exacerbated my condition greatly as a criminal investigator. There is no cure for PTSD yet known. Simply put, it is flashbacks and what I call “day-mares” to the traumatic memories that re-hurt and hunt a person relentlessly day or night. A person with PTSD is hyper alert to things that trigger the PTSD episodes. These can be anything from a sound, a smell, a song, and similar situations, movies that depict similar situations, to the traumatic event in a person’s life. Because no one can control life there is no cure. What I have is known as complex PTSD. This means the event or events that caused the PTSD were prolonged events over a long period of time and were reoccurring constantly during the traumatic exposure period. For me the direct traumatic events took place over a period of 17 years. Secondary events took place following the primary ones for another 26 years. All total I was exposed to traumatic events and situations for a period of about 43 years. This is why CPTSD is so hard to completely reverse. It takes up to 10 years of therapy to reverse the effects of combat PTSD in normal cases. Combat PTSD is normal short exposure to a traumatic situation for a short duration. In all reality I will suffer from some level of my PTSD for the rest of my life. It is my PTSD that has made me choose to be a recluse in life. There is a lot of research and theories on the Internet. There is a lot of data concerning the three basic forms of PTSD on the Internet. It would be impossible for me to describe all of it here. So I ask that if you are really concerned or interested, that you do a Google search and discover all about it. Hope this helps you to understand better about PTSD.

Hugs, Guy

“What About Charity?”

What About Charity? – Sunday PM Lesson Dec. 19, 2010

CHARITY (noun): Love; universal benevolence; good will

CHARITY (noun): Giving help to the poor and suffering; generosity

CHARITY (noun): Bestowed gratuitously on the needy or suffering for their relief; any act of kindness

CHARITY (noun): Any true relief of the poor or friendless

 

The most common example of biblical CHARITY is Luke 10:29-37 when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.

Concerning the “Good Samaritan,” there seems to be four True or False questions that come to mind right from the start.

  1. We don’t have to be kind to everyone.
  2. The Priest and the Levite made excuses for not helping the less fortunate.
  3. It did not cost the Samaritan anything to help the man.
  4. The Samaritan didn’t know whether the victim was a good or bad man.

Things to Consider from this scripture about the Good Samaritan:

  1. Was the victim religious?
  2. Did the Samaritan know the injured man?
  3. Are we supposed to help others?
  4. Should we help only people like us?
  5. Will it cost us to help others?
  6. Can non-religious people, help, facilities, and supply materials to be used in our help of others?

***

In the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” written in 1938, starting in chapter seven, the author, Bill Wilson wrote:

PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”

Now you might be asking yourself, “What do these two paragraphs written by a alcoholic have to do with a Bible lesson?” I am glad you asked. These two paragraphs show what the practical application of the biblical principle of charity really looks like in our modern world and modern lives.

***

Over the past two years and especially the last three months, people have expressed to me personally, that the way I lead the charity food drive is not scriptural.

  • They imply that I am doing it all wrong.
  • They imply that I am violating God’s directed authority concerning helping others.
  • They imply that I am sinning in the creative ways funding has be accomplished.

Are these accusations valued?

This study will take a close look at what the Bible actually has to say about charity.

***

Modern Hindrances to Charity

Today many things compete against God for our devotion. Some of the things that become modern-day distractions to our love of God, if we allow them to become more important, are:

  • Excessive attraction to material things: Homes, money, cars, clothes, jewelry, physical appearance, entertainment, etc.
  • Pursuit of wealth, power, fame, pleasure, or status.
  • Excessive devotion: Self, job, hobbies, country, ideologies, heroes, leaders, sports, school affiliation, false religious beliefs, and even family.

***

One day, a religious leader asked Jesus which of the commandments was most important:

Mark 12:28-30 (NIV) “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

After saying, “Love the Lord your God” is the most important of the commandments, Jesus continued:

Mark 12:31 (NIV) “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

The English word “love” has many different meanings, but the Greek word, agape, used in the New Testament, is known as “Christian love.” It means to regard, be concerned, offer charity, be helpful, and be involved with the welfare of others.

In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus made the point that we should extend our charity to all people, regardless of race, religion, nationality, or any other prejudicial synthetic distinction. In the words of Jesus, we must practice charity, even, toward our enemies! (Matthew 5:43-48)

***

Hypocrisy Hindrances to Charity

If there was any one group of people that Jesus could not stand, it was hypocrites: The Pharisees.

The Pharisees were a religious and political denomination within the Hebrew religion and political world that insisted on very strict observance of their interpretations Biblical Law.

However, at the same time, the Pharisees forgot the true spirit and intent of the law and became self-indulgent, self-righteous, snobbish, and greedy.

  • Pharisees harshly attacked any person who did not agree with their narrow view of religion.

  • Pharisees view their traditions as untouchable.
  • Pharisees devalue all non-traditional understandings of God’s truthful intent.

  • People with Pharisees thinking fail to understand that the command to be helpful does not rest solely with people of the same faith and belief just because a few passages of scripture do include helping the needed within the church.

***

Commands about Charity

Jesus commanded:

Matthew 5:42 (ESV) Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”

Mark 10:21 (ESV) “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Luke 6:38 (ESV) “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

The Hebrew Writer wrote:

Hebrews 13:16 (ESV) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

John wrote:

1 John 3:17 (ESV) But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

Paul wrote:

Philippians 2:4 (ESV) “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Galatians 6:10 (ESV) So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ESV) “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”

James wrote:

James 1:27 (ESV) “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

James 2:14-17 (ESV) “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Note: To dissolve any misunderstanding that the use of the Greek word’s “adelphos” and “adelphe” translated “brother” and “sister” are not referring to fellow male or female believers in Jesus but to a person of the same nationality.

  • All of these preceding scriptures (and many more) direct believers of Jesus to help others. They all give biblical authority to extend charity to the less fortunate within our lives.
  • Nowhere in scripture have I discovered any direct or indirect commands or suggestions or example on how true charity is to be extended or how to precisely go about meeting God’s commands to extend charity.

***

How then do we show charity?

The Bible tells us to share generously with those in need, and good things will come to us in turn. Each of us has something to offer to someone in need. We can give our money, our time, be a friend to someone who is sick or lonely, or do volunteer work that help others regardless of the chance of repayment.

Returning to the opening quote from the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” lets reword the two paragraphs to apply to the life of a true follower of Jesus.

PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from sinning as intensive good work with other sinners. It works when other activities fail. This is our suggestion: Carry this message to other sinners! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very lost.

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people turn from sin, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with sinners and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”

***

Concerning the “four True or False questions from the start of this lesson:

  • We don’t have to be kind to everyone. FALSE. The biblical text tells us we need to be kind to everyone. The lesson Jesus is teaching here is that we do have to extend charity.
  • The Priest and the Levite made excuses for not helping the less fortunate. TRUE. As Jesus told the story, He made clear that religious justification was used to avoid being kind. The lesson Jesus is teaching here is that there is NO excuse for NOT offering charity.
  • It did not cost the Samaritan anything to help the man. FALSE. As Jesus told the story, He made clear that helping in kindness did cost the Samaritan. The lesson Jesus is teaching here is that it will cost us to offering charity.
  • The Samaritan didn’t know whether the victim was a good or bad man. TRUE. Jesus made no indication that the hurt man was ever known by any of the other people in the story. The lesson Jesus is teaching here is that we do not need to know anything about the people we offer charity to.

***

Concerning the list of things to consider from the start of this lesson:

  • Was the victim religious? UNKNOWN. Jesus gives no clue as to the religious affiliation of the hurt man.
  • Did the Samaritan know the injured man? UNKNOWN. Jesus gives no indication that anyone in the story knew the hurt man at all.
  • Are we supposed to help others? YES. Jesus makes it very clear that it is right and just to help others in need that we come across during our walk in life.
  • Should we help only people like us? NO. Jesus makes it clear that knowing a person in need is not a stipulation to extending the help they are in need of.
  • Will it cost us to help others? YES. Jesus tells us that helping people in need will cost us time, effort, money, and materials.
  • Can non-religious people, help, facilities, and supply materials to be used in our help of others? YES. Jesus tells us that all of these can be put into use in our efforts to extend charity to everyone.

***

Christian simply means to be like Christ.

Remember that Jesus Christ:

  • Hung out with sinners
  • Showed compassion to sinners
  • Dined with sinners
  • Worked with sinners
  • Helped sinners
  • Feed sinners.
  • And even allowed a prostitute to wash His feet.

***

Are you really a true Christian?

Have you freely helped someone in the last week?

Are you really a true Christian?

Do you only help people like yourself?

Are you really a true Christian?

Do you really seek to offer charity to ALL PEOPLE in need?

Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona

December 6, 2010

Consider Respect

Consider Respect

Do you like me or hate me?

Do you love me or loathe me?

Do you see me as ugly or handsome?

Do you want to be friends or use me?

Do you honestly respect me?

***

All people deserve respect. Age, intelligence, nationality, etc… do not determine a persons worth of receiving respect. I have read about and heard that everyone deserves respect. I have read and heard that age affects a person’s comprehension of respect.

I have never read or heard that there are levels of respect or degrees of respect. Respect is just respect. You either give respect or you do not.

***

All people need and respond to respect:

  1. Mental Babies – Though self-centered show respect when their needs are meet: They learn to trust.
  2. Mental Toddlers – Though self-righteous need to hear “please” and “thank you”.
  3. Mental Teenagers – Though blind followers need to see the strong follow their own rules: They then will follow the fair rules themselves.
  4. Mental Adults – Need to be allowed to show their independence and hear true rewards for the work they do.

***

How do I view respect?

  • Acknowledge Show me in your actions and words that you value what I do for you or others. Do not ever devalue my efforts as if they are unworthy.
  • Assume Never show me by your words or actions that you believe the assumption that you are somehow above, somehow smarter, somehow holier, or somehow better then me.
  • Avoid Selfish and self-centered attitudes directed towards me.
  • Care Demonstrate honest concern.
  • Encourage There is no honesty in stealing, cheating, or lying within a relationship with me. Helpful words from the heart go a long way with securing my trust in you.
  • Fair Set mutual boundaries and abide within them.
  • Honest If you do something wrong, admit it and apologize.
  • Hug This form of touch goes the extra mile in expressing acceptance of me as a person with feelings and value.
  • Listen Give me your full attention without distraction, manipulation, harmful criticism, or destructive critique.
  • Love Only say this word to me if you feel it and show it honestly: No strings, No tricks, No lies and No manipulation attached.
  • Model Show me in your behavior the esteem you give and want in return.
  • Obey Follow the same rules you expect me to follow.
  • Polite Honor my personal and private space: Physically and emotionally.
  • Positive Don’t embarrass, insult, or make fun of me. Honest compliments go a long way and cover many faults.
  • Reliable Keep your word by showing me that you have the integrity to honor your promises and commitments.
  • Trust Let me make choices and take responsibility.

The Nearsighted Photographer,

Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona: December 20, 2010

To scared to be stupid.

My daughter asked me in a Facebook message on December 19, 2010, to write out a list of “How I Am Brave” but I am not sure I am brave at all. I think the above definition is more the way I continue to survive life.

Perhaps of course Valerie was openly referring to the Webster Dictionary definition: having or showing courage. What Valerie really wants from me is a list about my life that shows how I am bold, faithful, courageous, fearless, gallant, gutsy, heroic, stalwart, valiant, and undaunted. But am I?

Perhaps she wants a list of my perceived personal strengths: Perspective, curiosity, creativity, persistent, integrity, loving, kind, forgiving, common sense, or appreciation. But am I?

Or – perhaps – maybe – she wants a record of how I have not killed myself even though racked with annually – monthly – daily – hourly – instantly – excruciating anxiety and fear that was born and nurtured from birth? But is this bravery?

***

Can a person who breaths a thousand styles of FEAR really know bravery – too emotionally ugly – scared – to quit – Would this be substantial bravery?

***

Does a brave person consider death – Is death bravery?

Death is merely a separation.

Death is freedom from vulnerability.

Death is to say goodbye to eternal pain.

Death is the ultimate unwrapping of a final Christmas gift.

Death is conclusive serenity.

Death is the start of true life.

Does a brave person –

***

Cry alone at night?

Take pleasure in lucid nightmares every time they close their eyes?

Delight in mystified day-mares every time their closed eyes open?

Fear life with terror and trepidation every step they walk?

Weep alone in secret even in a crowd?

Live with arousing mental leprosy?

Face their unrequested existence in the fog of rational uncertainty?

Ever regard the moment “friends” will show their true depth of repulsion?

***

Is bravery –

Being too terrified to flee?

Being too angry to fight?

Being too panicky to be horrified?

Being too skeptical to trust?

***

Is life bravery or is bravery a social adjective for being too scared to be stupid?

Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona: December 20, 2010

Modern Day Pharisee

If there was any one group of people that Jesus could not stand, it was hypocrites: The Pharisees.

The Pharisees were a religious and political denomination within the Hebrew religion and political world that insisted on very strict observance of their interpretations Biblical law.

However, at the same time, the Pharisees forgot the true spirit and intent of the law and became self-indulgent, self-righteous, snobbish, and greedy.

People with pharisaical attitudes led Jesus to remark:

Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV) “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

Jesus went on to declare that people with pharisaical attitudes would not go to heaven when He stated comments such as:

  • John 7:32-34 (ESV) The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.”
  • John 8:21 (ESV) So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

However, to His followers – believers – Jesus said they would eventually go to where He was going.

  • John 12:26 (ESV) If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
  • John 13:33-36 (NIV) “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
  • John 14:19 (ESV) Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”

Where was Jesus going? He was going back to heaven to be with God once more.

Acts 1:9-11 (ESV) And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Why did Jesus issue His Ominous Death Sentence to the Pharisees that they would not go to heaven but tell His believers that they would?

Pharisees are any people who sit in judgment and call the good works of the Son of God and or the ongoing works of God’s Spirit evil.

Matthew 9:34 (NIV) “But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

  • Pharisees are quick to jump to conclusions and harshly counter any person who holds thoughts outside of their narrow view of religion.

  • Pharisees limit or discredit the power and workings of the Holy Spirit of God and do not consider the Spirit’s ongoing function and characteristics in the modern world.

  • Pharisees attribute good works – that do not follow their “letter of the law” interpretation – to the devil.

Pharisees are any people who follow established rules of mechanism and codes (written or not) of ridged rules based on works negating God’s intent. i.e. “Legalism

Matthew 12:2 (NIV) “When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

Luke 11:39-40 (NIV) “Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?”

Titus 1:15 (NIV) “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.”

  • Pharisees are people that follow a strictly ridged traditionalism to a “letter of the law” interpretation.”

  • Pharisees view doctrine as only correct and scriptural if it follows “the ridged traditional interpretation of the human opinion based upon past teaching – having no room for new thought, views, ideas, or understandings of scripture.”

  • Pharisees own view their traditions as untouchable.

  • Jesus answers the Pharisees by saying they needed to place more value in the moral, ethical, and spiritual intent of God.

Pharisees are any people who aggressively and at times brutally oppose those who they perceive to be contrary to their traditional views of doctrine and work tirelessly to tear down all who differ from their strict interpretations.

Matthew 12:14 (NKJV) “Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.”

John 5:18 (NIV) “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

  • Pharisees have zero tolerance for different viewpoints and ideas that challenge their “letter of the law” interpretations.

  • Pharisees intimidate others for having a different opinion and understanding of scripture then their traditionally held strict interpretation that threaten their “letter of the law” views by extending retribution, of various kinds, designed to destroy or undermine the good work being accomplished.

  • Pharisees are dangerous to confront because they strictly adhere to a human ideology grounded in keeping the status quo and view all new concepts or interpreted analysis of scripture as threatening their perceived scriptural authority and power. Pharisees are any people whose behavior is infectious and when lived continually over time makes permanent.

Matthew 23:15 (NASB95) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

Luke 12:1 (NIV) “Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

  • Jesus calls people like this “children of hell.”

  • Jesus warns his true followers to avoid such people. Pharisees are any people who obstruct others from a true personal understanding of God.

Matthew 23:13 (NASB95) “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Luke 11:52 (NIV) “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

  • Pharisees block the true attainment of assuring faith by people seeking a real relationship with God, publicly calling anyone who has a different insight as a false teacher.

  • Pharisees devalue all non-traditional understandings of God’s truthful intent. Pharisees are religious people characterized as pretentious, arrogant, and self-righteousness.

Matthew 23:12-14 (MKJV) “And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he who shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in, nor do you allow those entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and pray at length as a pretense. Therefore you shall receive the greater condemnation.”

  • Pharisees direct this attitude towards any person that does not hold to their strict interpretation of scripture.

Modern day Pharisees are any people who have disregarded the true character and intent of the assignment of the Christian (individually) and church of the Lord (as a whole).

  • The paramount activity of the child of God is reunion of a lost world to God, compassion to all people, sharing the message of hope, demonstrating real love to all people, and helping others in need. However, people with a Pharisees mind, tells people that the church can only help their own kind. This ideology does not conform to scripture. The commands of scripture direct goodwill to all people where love, compassion, sharing, and helping are concerned.

  • People with Pharisees thinking fail to understand that the command to be helpful does not rest solely with people of the same faith and belief just because a few passages of scripture do include helping the needed within the church.

  • People with Pharisees attitudes fail to understand and fully appreciate the intent of God, by picking and choosing instead of applying all passages concerning Christian generosity as a whole in order to comply with the intent of the commands of God.

Are you really a true believer or a modern day Pharisee?

Are you acting like Christ or acting like a Pharisee?

Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona; December 5, 2010