If You Are Able And Willing

If You Are Able And Willing

This Friday, the 28th of January, will be a milestone in my life: 21 years without any alcoholic drinks or illegal drug use. To some this might seem like a no brainer and yet to others it might seem impossible.

Both groups are right.

In my 54+ years on this planet, one thing I have discovered to be 100% true is that each and every one of us has our own dance with addiction. There are no people in my life that do not struggle in their own way with this issue.

Some like myself, the issue of addiction has mainly settled with alcohol or alcohol and some drugs. Others it has mainly been drugs or drugs with some alcohol. Still others have addictions with food, coffee, cigarettes, lust, money, driving fast cars, cheating on taxes, making their own rules, material satisfaction, pride, resentments, envy, blame of others, self-righteousness, educated arrogance, birth arrogance, skin color arrogance, political arrogance, and list goes on and on.

Wrong is wrong no matter what colorful paper we personally choose to wrap the explosive gift in. Sin is sin no matter how we franticly endeavor to redecorate it to our liking. We fool very few with out tireless efforts of making the truth.

I first drank at about age 10. I first used at about age 10. My last drink or use was on January 27th, 1990 when I was 32 yeas old. The simple math says that I used to escape reality for 22 years of my life. So even with the great milestone of being sober now 21 years, I have yet to balance the slate between sobriety and addiction.

Some people say that addiction of any kind is a disease. Some people say that addiction of any kind is a choice. I do not have an answer that will agree with every person’s premeditated opinion in this area. What I do know is that one in 3 or 4 people in the United Sates today have troublesome issues with addiction. That to me means what ever it is: It is an epidemic.

I am grateful that God loved me enough to open my eyes 21 years ago and allowed me to see that I did not have all the answers. I am grateful that God allowed me to see my human faults and failings. This has been the best gift of my collective life.

I am further grateful to God for allowing A.A. to lead me to Him. I am further grateful to A.A. for leading me to God.

Recovery has not ever – ever been an easy path to walk in life. It has been an up hill road laced with exotic boulders, beautiful quick sand, kitty cat clothed lion’s, beautiful thorns, and enticing prehistoric creators from hell: Many tears. Many scares. Many mistakes.

God, through A.A. and many people that actually cared about me as a person, human, worthy being (though many time times lacking complete understanding): Walked with me daily up the hill of recovery. For these few people I am eternally blessed. To these angels I say thank you from the deepest depth of my soul.

On Friday the 28th of January 2011, I will thank God for giving me a second chance at life that I richly do not deserve. I will honor Him at the 1:30 meeting of Rule 62, here in Payson, Arizona for loving me enough to take the time to open my eyes and bless me with a life so few have ever be graced. If you are able and willing, I invite you to share this time of gratitude with me in honor, respect, and love for a God that cares enough to actually change the lives of millions of people world wide: One Day at a Time.

I am thankful that God is not done with me yet.

Thank you for being a part of the magical miracle of my life.

Sober hugs,

Guy

 

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The Implication is Big! Matthew 16:13-20

The Implication is Big!

The Text:

Matthew 16:13-20 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.” (ESV)

Delegation:

Before we look at the text in depth, we should refresh ourselves with the words and definitions of delegation and delegate. For this, we will first refer to Webster’s definitions of the common use of these words within our language.

1del·e·gate noun \ˈde-li-gət, -ˌgāt\

Definition of DELEGATE

: a person acting for another: as a representative of authority

Examples of DELEGATE

  • The U.N. delegates from African countries
  • He’s been chosen as a delegate to the convention.

Origin of DELEGATE

Middle English delegat, from Medieval Latin delegatus, from Latin, past participle of delegare to delegate, from de- + legare to send

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonyms: agent, ambassador, emissary, envoy, legate, minister, and representative

2del·e·gate verb \-ˌgāt\

del·e·gat·ed or del·e·gat·ing

Definition of DELEGATE

1

: To entrust to another <delegate authority>

2

: To appoint as one’s representative

Intransitive verb

: To assign responsibility or authority <a good manager knows how to delegate>

del·e·ga·tee noun

del·e·ga·tor noun

Examples of DELEGATE

  • A manager should delegate authority to the best employees.
  • Those chores can be delegated to someone else.
  • He doesn’t delegate very well.

First Known Use of DELEGATE

1530

Related to DELEGATE

Synonyms: commission, depute, and deputize

Returning to the Text and Specifically Verse 19:

Matthew 16:13-20 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.” (ESV)

This single verse, Matthew 16:19, may be one of the most important single verses contained within the whole of the New Testament to Christians alive today.

Let Us Take a Close Look at Four Key Parts to this Passage:

  1. 1. Who was Jesus talking to in the passage?
    1. He is not talking to the Jews.
    2. He is not talking to the crowds that were following Him.
    3. Jesus is talking directly to His disciples. This Greek word translated “disciples” refers to those that were being directly taught by Jesus. From many other scriptures we know that the disciples that were being directly being taught by Jesus were the twelve apostles.
    4. Therefore Jesus was talking directly to the Twelve Apostles in this text.
  2. 2. What is the topic of this passage?

The topic of the passage is clear and unmistakable. “Who is Jesus?”

  1. 3. What was the response of the passage?
    1. The first response was John the Baptist.
    2. The second was Elijah.
    3. The third was Jeremiah or another of the prophets of old.
    4. The final response was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  2. 4. What was the reward given in the passage?
    1. The reward for the correct answer was the full and complete delegated authority over the New Kingdom or Church that Jesus would be soon establishing.
    2. This authority was delegated to all the apostles’ not just Peter as most assume when doing a cursory reading of this passage.
    3. Jesus was never only talking to just Peter in this passage, but addressing the entire collective group of the apostles as a whole even though it was Peter who gave the answer for the twelve.

Therefore, if this single verse, Matthew 16:19, is one of the most important single verses contained within the whole of the New Testament to Christians alive today, it begs two very important questions to be answered.

  1. What does Jesus mean by or is implying by this statement?
  2. How does this statement impact Christians today?

The Implications of Jesus’ Statement:

Jesus statement was that Peter’s statement was the ROCK on which the Church would be established and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Jesus never gave all authority to Peter alone in this passage. The context of the passage does not agree with that conclusion.

The context of the passage does agree with the conclusion that Jesus give complete and total authority to all the twelve of the apostles to have and exercise authority over what would be required in the New Kingdom or Church and what would not be required in the New Kingdom or Church.

The Impact Christians Today:

The impact on Christians today is very simple. What apostle said what?

Which apostle issued what decree or what direction on what subjects?

  • Daily Living
  • Salvation
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • How to Worship
  • The Lord’s Supper
  • Helping the Needy
  • Family
  • Relationships

What did the apostles actually bind on earth?

What did the apostles actually loose on earth?

If you honestly believe Jesus – believe He gave the apostles this authority.

Guy Lewis: Payson, Arizona

January 22, 2011

 

Modern Day Pharisee Lesson Jan 16, 2011 PM

The 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? I think there are at least seven main reasons.

1. 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.

2. Pharisees are any people who follow established rules of mechanism and codes (written or not) of 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?”

  • 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 human opinion based upon past teaching – having no room for new thought, views, ideas, or understandings of scripture.”
  • Pharisees view their own traditions as untouchable.
  • Jesus answers the Pharisees by saying they needed to place more value in the moral, ethical, and spiritual intent of God.

3. 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 threatens their “letter of the law” views by extending retribution, of various kinds, designed to destroy or undermine the good works being accomplished.
  • Pharisees are dangerous to confront because they strictly adhere to 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.

4. 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.

5. A Pharisee is any person who obstructs 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.

6. 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.

7. 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?

 

Lesson: Modern Day Pharisee

Given By Guy Lewis

January 16, 2011 PM Assembly

Payson Church of Christ

Payson, Arizona

 

Study by: Guy Lewis, Payson, Arizona

September to December 2010

 

Answers to True & False Quiz on Alcohol

Answers to the Quiz about “What myths do we hold as truths that color our understanding and perception of alcohol?”

1.

  • Myth: Even moderate alcohol drinking destroys brain cells. FALSE
  • Fact: The moderate consumption of alcohol does not destroy brain cells. In fact it is often associated with improved cognitive (mental) functioning.

2.

  • Myth: White wine is a good choice for a person who wants a light drink with less alcohol. FALSE
  • Fact: A glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer, and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol and are the same to a Breathalyzer. A standard drink is: a 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a one and 1/2 ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink).

3.

  • Myth: drinking too much beer causes a “beer belly”. FALSE
  • Fact: eating too much food causes a “beer belly”. No beer or other alcohol beverage is necessary.

4.

  • Myth: Drinking coffee will help a drunken person sober up. FALSE
  • Fact: Only time can sober up a person…not black coffee, cold showers, exercise, or any other common “cures.” Alcohol leaves the body of virtually everyone at a constant rate of about .015 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour.

5.

  • Myth: Drinking long enough will cause a person to become alcoholic. FALSE
  • Fact: There is simply no scientific basis for this misperception, which appears to have its origin in temperance and prohibitionist ideology.

6.

  • Myth: Drinking alcohol causes weight gain. FALSE
  • Fact: This is a very commonly believed myth, even among medical professionals, because alcohol has caloric value. However, extensive research around the world has found alcohol consumption does not cause weight gain in men and is often associated with a small weight loss in women.

7.

  • Myth: Alcohol stunts the growth of children and retards their development. FALSE
  • Fact: Scientific medical research does not support this old temperance scare tactic promoted by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and similar groups.

8.

  • Myth: Men and women of the same height and weight can drink the same. FALSE
  • Fact: Women are affected more rapidly because they tend to have a slightly higher proportion of fat to lean muscle tissue, thus concentrating alcohol a little more easily in their lower percentage of body water.

9.

  • Myth: A single sip of alcohol by a pregnant woman can cause her child to have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FALSE
  • Fact: Extensive medical research studying hundreds of thousands of women from around the world fails to find scientific evidence that light drinking; much less a sip of alcohol by an expectant mother can cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

10.

  • Myth: Bottles of tequila contain a worm. FALSE
  • Fact: There is no worm in tequila. It’s in mescal, a spirit beverage distilled from a different plant. And it’s not actually a worm, but a butterfly caterpillar.

11.

  • Myth: Drunkenness and alcoholism is the same thing. FALSE
  • Fact: Many non-alcoholics on occasion become intoxicated or drunk. However, if they are not addicted to alcohol, they are not alcoholic.

12.

  • Myth: Alcohol is the cause of alcoholism. FALSE
  • Fact: Alcohol no more causes alcoholism than sugar causes diabetes. If alcohol caused alcoholism then all drinkers would be alcoholics.

13.

  • Myth: Eating breath mints will fool a police ‘breath test’. FALSE
  • Fact: breath mints do not fool the breath test. Blood alcohol measurement devices measure the alcohol content of the air in your lungs – breath mints will not change the alcohol content.

14.

  • Myth: Mixing or switching alcohol, wine and beer will make you more drunk. FALSE
  • Fact: Mixing alcohol will no t make you any drunker but it can result in side effects such as upset stomach.

15.

  • Myth: Eating certain foods before an evening of heavy drinking will help keep me sober. FALSE
  • Fact: Certain foods may slow down the rate of absorption of alcohol into your blood but it will not keep you sober.

16.

  • Myth: Taking a cold shower or splashing water in my face will sober me up? FALSE
  • Fact: No, it won’t. While it might make you feel fresher or more awake, it has no effect on your blood alcohol content.

17.

  • Myth: Physical activity will sober me up. FALSE
  • Fact: Exercise, because it speeds up your heart rate, may have a marginal affect to sober you up. However, this affect is so marginal that it’s almost negligible in the grand scheme of things.

18.

  • Myth: If you can’t taste the alcohol in a drink, it’s not there. FALSE
  • Fact: Some mixers, such as fruit juices, can mask the taste of alcohol but the alcohol is still there.

19.

  • Myth: Vodka cannot be smelled on your breath. FALSE
  • Fact: All alcohol leaves a destintive odor on a person’s breath and emits a destintive odor from the pores.

20.

  • Myth: You can spot an alcoholic in a crowd. FALSE
  • Fact: Alcoholics come from all walks of life and it is not possible to pick one out in a crowd and the stereotype street bum is only a small percentage of the alcoholics.

These Myths and Facts were primarily derived from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Statistics, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Washington, DC, of 2000 as well as 27 other noted sources.”

Total people that answered quiz: 24

Total Women to answer: 14

Total Men to answer: 10

Only two people (women) had perfect scores.

18 people thought question 7 was true.

15 people thought question 1 was true.

11 people thought questions 5 & 6 were true.

10 people thought question 10 was true.

9 people thought question 3 was true.

8 people thought question 12 was true.

7 people thought question 4 was true.

6 people thought questions 8, 9, & 17 were true.

5 people thought questions 14 & 19 were true.

4 people thought questions 2, 11, 15, & 16 were true.

3 people thought question 18 was true.

2 people thought questions 13 & 20 were true.

Note: This quiz was answered via Facebook, email, and this blog.

Thanks to all that took the time to take the quiz and help in my research.

Hugs, Guy

True or False Alcohol Quiz for Research

Just for fun and for me to gather some research information, please answer this quiz without Googleing the answers. Please just answer the questions in a comment post off the top of your head as you think the answers are.

True or False Alcohol Quiz

Please answer each of the 20 statements if it is a true or false.

  1. Even moderate alcohol drinking destroys brain cells.
  2. White wine is a good choice for a person who wants a light drink with less alcohol.
  3. Drinking too much beer causes a “beer belly”.
  4. Drinking coffee will help a drunken person sober up.
  5. Drinking long enough will cause a person to become alcoholic.
  6. Drinking alcohol causes weight gain.
  7. Alcohol stunts the growth of children and retards their development.
  8. Men and women of the same height and weight can drink the same.
  9. A single sip of alcohol by a pregnant woman can cause her child to have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).
  10. Bottles of tequila contain a worm.
  11. Drunkenness and alcoholism is the same thing.
  12. Alcohol is the cause of alcoholism.
  13. Eating breath mints will fool a police ‘breath test’.
  14. Mixing or switching alcohol, wine and beer will make you more drunk.
  15. Eating certain foods before an evening of heavy drinking will help keep me sober.
  16. Taking a cold shower or splashing water in my face will sober me up?
  17. Physical activity will sober me up.
  18. If you can’t taste the alcohol in a drink, it’s not there.
  19. Vodka cannot be smelled on your breath.
  20. You can spot an alcoholic in a crowd.

Venting Frustration with the VA

Letter To: Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation

Just thought I would share this information with you, as you set in your cozy warm home this winter, enjoying an efficient heat supply, paid for by your Federal Government benefits.

The heating replacement unit, the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation evaluator highly recommended, when she came to my home and do the home evaluation back in the fall of 2009, after the VA once again determined that they would not allow me to return to any type of gainful employment, would be very useful right now.

The best I can get my home warm right now is about 55 degrees in the living room only. The rest of the house is much colder.

Last night the temperature where I live in Beaver Valley dropped to less then 5 degrees. My water pipes are frozen in the walls and might burst because I have no way to raise the heat to slowly thaw them.

My feet and hands and legs are like popsicles and my Chihuahua is having a wonderful time trying to stay warm.

Just though I would share this wonderful news.

Have a great comfortably warm New Year.

Guy Lewis

January 1, 2011