Saturday, February 12, 2011

Showing Your Cards

I'm going to keep this short and sweet today.
Growing up down South I was surrounded by a lot of country music.....a LOT of country music! Most of those artists and even the new ones today I now can't stand due to overdose by immersion, but a select few artists I still enjoy....most of them being from the OLD country versus the new country venue. I can still randomly belt out a Patsy Cline verse or two when the mood strikes and hit it pretty accurately too. Johnny Cash of course is always on my ipod or laptop or somewhere easily accessible in case I need a gritty soul fix...although he's more rockabilly than country....but I digress. Unlike Patsy and Johnny though most of the ones I enjoyed as a kid I now don't really care for.
Kenny Rogers is one of those. As a kid I loved him, of course that was before all of his plastic surgery when he still looked human and not like a cat-man...(STRASHNA!!!) of my favorite songs by him was The Gambler. Of course back then there was the entire line of Gambler movies to help propel the song...but even without those, I just LOVED that song! As I got older I forgot about it for many years, then one day I was thinking about how we need to constantly live life with a strategy, a plan, and that song came back to mind. Specifically a few lines of the song. Now if you know Kenny Rogers, then you probably know the most famous of the lines from the song which are.....
"........If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right
You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run......." 
HOWEVER......many people don't know the words that follow shortly after and those are the ones that came to my mind the other day. Here they are,
".....Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep..."

Now, before we go any further let me do my obligatory disclaimer for those reading this that will go on an accusatory tirade. PLEASE don't misunderstand or misquote me...I am NOT implying or eluding to any kind of support statement on gambling. I am simply using the lyrics to a song to make a scriptural point...that's all, so please don't go HRH (Holy Roller Hypocrite) on me. **Now, back to my point.**
As I thought about the lyrics and about my previous thoughts on life...I couldn't help but notice the wisdom in those simple song lyrics. The secret to survive in this life is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. HOW TRUE!!! How many times have I and I'm sure you, latched onto things that quite simply were killing us. Oh, maybe not actually physically taking our life, although that is a possibility too, but perhaps killing us inside. Think about it, have you ever struggled with any of addiction, being trapped in a toxic relationship, holding onto past wrongs done to us by regularly (or semi-regularly) reliving the memory, or following a doctrine simply because somebody who went to school and supposedly knows what they are talking about tells us it's true. Every day in many ways we are bombarded by things that we should be weighing in a scale of wisdom.  Asking ourselves, "Does this have positive or negative value when I have reached completion of this thing? Does this action or thought pattern reflect BIBLICAL TRUTH, not hearsay? Does this breathe and or encourage a trend of life or death into me or others? Does this action or thinking glorify God?"
Once you answer those questions and come to an honest answer...then you are saddled with the responsibility of weeding. You must decide that even though you may be accustomed to living within certain parameters and patterns, if it isn't bringing LIFE into your life..then it needs to be removed.
 HOWWWW do we do this? Well, here are my thoughts on the matter. Things I HAVE done and am STILL doing.
1) Be transparent and take responsibility for your actions. If you are doing something you shouldn't be doing...don't pretend like you aren't and certainly don't pretend like God doesn't know. You know and He knows so instead of trying to bury it let Him help you clean it up and out so you can move on unfettered!

Psalm 139:10-12 (Amplified Bible)

10Even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
    11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me and the night shall be [the only] light about me,
    12Even the darkness hides nothing from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.(A)

2) Read and memorize the Bible. You can't live what you don't know!

Psalm 119:11 (New Living Translation)

 11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
      that I might not sin against you.

3) STOP PLAYING OLD TAPES. If you are reliving old hurts or offenses often enough that you have no trouble at all remembering every little detail...then you are thinking about them too much!  Turn off the tape layer in your head and heart and BURN the evidence!

Isaiah 43:18 (New Living Translation)

 18 But forget all that—
      it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

4) Remove the toxic people from your life. If you are surrounded by people that are doing some or all of the toxic things you need to stop doing, and they are doing them to such a degree that you find their own sewage is draining off into your life...END IT! Regardless of how much you may love them and WANT them in your life, until they get healthy themselves, all they are going to do is bring you walk, better yet...RUN from them and don't look back!

1 Corinthians 15:33 (Amplified Bible)

33Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.

5) Once you decide to change and move forward with life....drop anchor and do not MOVE. NO matter what happens, and trust me, all kinds of things will happen to try and bring you back, but don't let go. You keep your eyes faced forward no matter what and you walk. You WILL get breakthrough. I promise you that. I can't promise you how long it will take, but as somebody who has done and continues to strive for these works if you commit to it...TRULY 100 percent, life or death commit to it. God is always faithful.

Galatians 6:9 (New Living Translation)

9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 

Let  me know how you are doing and I will keep interceding for you. Change is never easy and I won't pretend it is, but life on the other side of it is always worth the scars you receive in battle! 

Psalm 34:5 (Amplified Bible)

5They looked to Him and were radiant; their faces shall never blush for shame or be confused.