Sunday, November 5, 2017

5 Signs of an Evil Heart

I came across this article today and felt I should share. So many people I know meet these criteria that I am seriously reconsidering some of my friends and acquaintances. You know who you are.

Sorry Leslie Vernick of the Association of Biblical Counselors. Because of the weird way Crosswalk.com set up the article, I am having to copy/paste it here instead of linking it here. Bonus: The blue text links back to a Bible app to show the corresponding Bible verse.  Pretty nifty, especially if you don't own a Bible.

So here goes:

1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention.

They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information. (Psalms 5:810:758:3109:2–5140:2Proverbs 6:13,146:18,1912:1316:2016:27, 2830:14Job 15:35Jeremiah 18:18Nehemiah 6:8Micah 2:1Matthew 12:34,35Acts 6:11–132 Peter 3:16)

2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words.

But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors. (Psalms 50:1952:2,357:459:7101:7Proverbs 12:526:23–2626:28Job 20:12Jeremiah 12:6Matthew 26:59Acts 6:11–13Romans 16:17,182 Corinthians 11:13,142 Timothy 3:2–53:13Titus 1:10,16).

3. Evil hearts crave and demand control, and their highest authority is their own self-reference.

They reject feedback, real accountability, and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance. (Romans 2:8Psalms 1036:1–450:16–2254:5,673:6–9Proverbs 21:24Jude 1:8–16).


4. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card.

They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust. (Proverbs 21:101 Peter 2:16Jude 1:4).

5. Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse.

They do not struggle against sin or evil—they delight in it—all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14–1510:2312:1021:27,29Isaiah 32:6Romans 1:302 Corinthians 11:13–15)

Do you know someone like this?

If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics, it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.
They want you to believe that:

1. Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences.

When they say “I’m sorry,” they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person he or she has harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.
The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10).
The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people, but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisee’s with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, he or she is eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin (see Zacchaeus’ response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19).

Tim Keller writes,

“If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, ‘Sorry, can’t we just let it go?’ You would say, ‘No, that would be an injustice.’ Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required—some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.”1
As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.
The evil person will also try to get you to believe...

2. That if I talk like a gospel-believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk.

Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know, but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.
The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18Jeremiah 7:8,10James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8).
If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk, you have every reason to question someone’s relationship with God.

Can an evil person really change?

Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we have been trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good, and without discernment we can be easily fooled (Hebrews 5:14).
When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry” or “that he’s changing” when, in fact, he is not.
Daniel says, “[T]he wicked will continue to be wicked” (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!


One never know who they may encounter at their office. No, this is not me. This is a multi-talented young lady a my office!.She made her costume from scratch, including her wig, skull cap and make up.

I went as, what else, Joy.

Not my best costume. Someone at the gym thought I was Marge Simpson with my blue hair. I know. I am far from spritely, but it was fun.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where Were You?

Today was Patriot Day. You know ....Nine Eleven.

As it has become my tradition, I share my own personal story of 9/11.

I also post this video. This song makes me cry every time I hear it.



I feel like America has forgotten what happened. And after sixteen years, it's easy to do.
But I wore my yellow ribbon and American flag pin.

We have trainees in the office for the week.  One of the new recruits asked what it was for. He was young. I am sure he was just a child when it all happened. Another, elbowed him in the ribs and said "Duh...Nine Eleven". He kinda cocked his head and muttered, "Oh, I forgot that was a thing."

The hurricane coverage of Irma over the last few days reminds me of the information overload that we all suffered from at that time. The constant barrage of destruction and doom. But I am happy to report that all of my loved ones, friends and acquaintances are safe.

As I sit in my living room and listen as Irma, now a tropical storm, whips the trees in the back yard, I remind myself why I observe today.

2,996 souls.

Never forget.
.



Monday, August 21, 2017

Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

Or in other words,  where were you  when the 2017 solar eclipse came through?

I, as always, was at work.

I did get this nifty souvenir that my boss found on her phone.

LOL


Friday, August 11, 2017

How Cool Is This?

 
I have always been a fan of metal.
Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Glam Metal. Power Metal.  Heavy, Heavy Metal.

I have also always been a fan of Garth Brooks.

Here, two worlds collide as All That Remains covers Garth Brooks'  "Thunder Rolls."



EnJOY

Monday, June 26, 2017

Oh How Nifty! Guess Who's Fifty?!

Well, I made it! I am officially on the downward side of "the hill"

One thing is certain.... I will have to do double time in the gym! I have been taken out to eat almost non-stop all weekend!

I took myself out to dinner on Friday night to my new favorite Mexican cantina Alamo Bar and Grill in Irondale. I had been dreaming of their homemade street tacos ever since last Saturday's event in the park. The street corn was AMAZING!



The Maternals took me to Papadeaux's on Saturday. The food took forever but when it came it was really good.

Since Saturday night was Cyn's birthday. We have G-free brownie with fruit and ice cream. Yummy!

Sunday lunch found me back at the Alamo, craving shrimp tacos and street corn.  I wandered around South Eastern Salvage to walk that off.

My girls took me to dinner at Seasons 52. The weather couldn't be more perfect for a night out on the patio.  We asked our waiter to take our picture, which he did on the restaurant's digital camera. Midway through dinner, he brought me the photo in the sweetest little card!


...to be continued...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Strokeaversary!

Today is my "Strokeaversary!"

A year ago today I had a stroke. Yeah, I thought I was "too young" to have a stroke too. But surprise, surprise, here I am. Stroke survivor.

In the year since, I have taken charge of my health and have really began to listen to my body. I am healthier than I ever have been before. I am more aware of what goes into my body, work out at least 3 times a week and my strength and endurance have improved dramatically.

I do still notice some after effects. 

I continue to have a lisp, especially at the end of the day when I am most tired. But the bonus to having a job where one talks all day long is that the opportunity to practice pronunciation and over enunciate is never ending.

I still notice weakness on my right side. When we are lifting weights in my class, I can see in the mirrors, that I can't quite raise my right arm as high as my left, Similarly, balance exercises on my right foot are shaky at best. But Trudi says she can see the improvement in me since I started almost a year ago.

There has definitely been some damage to my short term memory. Long term seems fine but I find myself writing things down just to retain it, just from the short distance between my bosses office and my desk. It takes hearing something seven times to commit it to memory. For me, it is more like ten.

The most disheartening is the recall for my vocabulary. Any one who knows me well, knows that the ability to express myself thoroughly, has always been very important to me. I find myself reaching for the most common words. It is like I have lost the ability to form complete sentences.

But I am alive.

And for that, I am grateful.