Pot is UGLY...don't you think? Yep, it looks like bits of dirt or pooh; any I'm not talking about Winnie the Pooh who is adorable, don't you think?  Last night Colorado voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use for those 21 years old and older. I can't tell you how embarrassed and sickened I am to be living in a state that would do such a thing. This post actually has been on my list for some time, but how can I not write God's words now. I'm just going to start as I was planning and let what ever comes out of me come from that...I HAVE to write about this subject. Pot is now seen in our world by a HUGE number of people as acceptable for "relaxing" after a hard day. This is what the world thinks. This is what the world boldly announces; without any shame...that scares me to death! HOW did this happen that something as disgusting as pot is now seen as an acceptable form of recreation? I actually know of people who are in their 60's who would smoke pot; who even help their kids get medical marijuana licenses so they can smoke it too. It literally makes me sick to think about this as an activity that some would participate in with their kids! In my lifetime POT has gone from something ugly and dirty that only the "bad kids" did to something that the world continues to try to get legalized so they can do it openly. WOW, and I'm not THAT old am I for our world to have deteriorated in this area that much? maybe I am...hmmm.
God actually has something to say on the subject of drugs. "Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21  This word sorcery is Greek for
pharmakeia (pharmacy or pharmaceutical in reference to illicit drug use). I cannot improve upon what God just said here. It is pretty clear...and if it isn't, here is another...
Titus 2:11-12 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live SOBERLY, righteously, and Godly, in this present world."
Besides the obvious we will not inherit the kingdom thing (which should be big enough right there), another issue with drugs like pot is they impede and sometimes even destroy our ability to think soundly.  Proverbs 23:7 "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he..." With that in mind ...
Proverbs 4:23 "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  The problem with drugs like pot is that it destroys or at the least impedes our ability to think soundly. When we are not of sound mind how can we have that relationship with God!!
I had a friend who, as she told me, was a genius in her early years. She told me she smoked pot in college and it literally destroyed parts of her brain so that she no longer was considered such.  She took away what God made her to be.  Thankfully she stopped and turned her life around.
Have you ever been around someone who is stoned? Their eyes are half closed and bloodshot, their speech is slower or faster, THEY REEK!...they start speaking and then stop for awhile only later to start up again, usually by saying "what was I saying?" They sometimes stumble, they go on and on about any topic that comes to their head...they are NOT someone you want to have a meaningful conversation with I can promise you that, because chances are they will not remember anything you said! 
I diligently studied the effects of pot for several years (reading, interviewing physicians and psychologists)and learned that smoking pot actually DOES kill brain cells, it impedes good judgement, it damages (sometimes permanently) short term memory. The younger a person who smokes, the more damage...which makes sense as it is destroying what God made from an earlier age.
The bible teaches us that our bodies are to be temples (places of residence) for God's Spirit, we need to take care of our bodies.  In doing so it shows respect to the God who made us.  I Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price [Jesus death on the cross]. Therefore honor God with your bodies." Smoking pot does NOT honor God.
I am weary of people making excuses about pot. I am tired of hearing it is no big deal (remember that phrase in my post "In the Path of a Lie")  The truth is it IS a big deal. It IS a sin...legalized or not, if you believe what has been said by going in there yourselves and reading what the scriptures say.  I am tired of the "it's just like drinking a glass of wine" (The bible has something to say about drinking too, but that is for another day)...oh my, it is time to be grown up and not make excuses for sinful behavior! sigh...
Through it all this has also reminded me that this world is not our home as Christians. I Peter 2:11 "Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul"
I'm also happily reminded that God is in control, still...He has a plan, and if we live as He would have us live we get to have our reward in heaven one day!  Stay true, fight the good faith, let God be God.  Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."
In case you need some these passages, they will help!  Romans 8:28;  Matthew 19:26; Matthew 6:34;  Ephesians 1:11;  Psalms 22:28;  Joshua 1:9;  I Corinthians 10:13;  Psalms 99:1-9...may it give you peace and assurance that God is in His heaven and ALL IS WELL!!







What would happen to the light if the dark took over?

In researching this topic I found myself wanting to talk to someone who I have seen to be a man who lives what he preaches. He gave me some good Godly counsel that I want to share! Thanks Rick!

In talking to others throughout my life, and in trying to decide for myself on the topic of friendships for a Christian I often would refer to the verse in II Corinthians 6:14 regarding light and darkness and being unequally yoked.

II Corinthians 6:14 -"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"  I learned from my conversation with my preacher that the concept of the "yoke" thing comes from a passage in Deuteronomy 22:10 - "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together".  In this situation if an ox and a donkey were yoked together it will be the ox that determines where they are going to go.  When you take the text from the NT it moves to the spiritual realm.  The idea that a Christian should never place themselves in a position where a non-believer (non Christian) would have undue influence over the Christian's life. This could be in work; the boss asking an employee to keep two sets of books, or using the subject at hand in friendships...being friends with a non Christian who would influence the Christian to do something outside of what God has asked us to be or do. Like, oh, I don't know...drinking, doing drugs (yes, EVEN pot for those who think there is nothing wrong with it) (thinking about amendment 64 today), lying, cheating,...etc, etc, etc... I am even going to remind us that if we don't do those things, but those friendships would accept us if we DID do them...what kind of friends would they be??...yep...NO! Remember in the last post I talked about Proverbs 22:24-25 "Don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them." ? Well, do think God would think any different about associating with people who are liars, cheaters, drinkers, drug users? hmmm...what is the wisdom here?

Back to this concept of light and darkness as the visual at the top refers to. Let's get real...LIGHT is something that is warm and shows everything, you can see very clearly.  I John 1:5 "...God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." God is understood to be "light". But "darkness" is not really a thing to be measured in any way except it is the absence of light...thinking in spiritual terms it is those things that God is not. Look at I John 1:6 - "If we have fellowship [Koinonia: to share, have in common, participate together] (thanks again Rick for the Greek) with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth".  Just a side note...we already know that God hates a liar, and a liar is one who will not go to heaven.  That came from God...ouch...TRUE!

One final twist to this idea of not being unequally yoked and friendships. I can't tell you how many people write me and ask me to talk about how this works in a marriage. SO, I can't let this topic close without addressing this issue. This will in NO way be comprehensive, but we can use the scripture above and couple it with a married couple who is "one" together.  Genesis 2:24.  If you are in a marriage that is a contract between you, your spouse and God
You made promises before God to let no man put asunder (that also means YOU), to cherish, to live together as one putting ONLY God first before each other.  All the scripture I used above still applies...but what if there are friendships that one party has that are not what God would want; does it hurt the marriage? YOU BET IT DOES! If a married couple is truly trying to live with God's commands foremost in life and a friendship that one spouse has that is outside of what we just considered above, how can there be light in that marriage? How can the one spouse stay in the light and still be "yoked" with their mate that may choose to have friendships that hurt the marriage by bringing darkness into the union in the form of friendships that are not what God would have us cultivate? I urge you to really consider these words and if you are the one who has friendships with the world what are you doing to your spouse? It's tough stuff, but there IS a Godly answer. We've already looked at it...simply, make your friendships in the light. And, most surely NEVER let those friendships you may have hurt your spouse or your marriage..the goal to keep your spouse first only after God, so THAT relationship is the most important here on this earth.

In closing (for now), the excuse that people often make about Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors (which were the dregs of society in the 1st century), if HE is doing that and we are to walk in His footsteps, what about that?? Yep, I've heard those excuses...and the answer is simple...WHAT was Jesus doing when He was eating with them?  Yep, He was teaching salvation. Yep, He was influencing them. He was the Ox so to speak. So, if there is a friendship that falls in the "darkness" category and your intent is to influence them, teach them the truth AWESOME...but, get real, if you are using it as an excuse to continue with friendships that are outside the light for years and years...chances are you are not influencing them, they are supporting you and influencing you...chances are...Be careful out there!! :)