• More on how to handle criticism
  • Giving do’s and don’ts
  • How did Jesus give?
  • When to say “no”
  • HeadCase Christians blog post

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Hey, guess what a wonderful person wrote a wonderful blog about this show Finally Alive Radio.  I’m going to read a couple parts out of it just because I really appreciate what she’s done here.  She’s goes as head case Christian, she has a blog.  This blog post will be on the website finallyaliveradio.com so you can read the entire blog.  The head case Christian says recently I had the opportunity to listen to a Christian counselor out of California.  I cannot tell you as a Christian, who battles with depression and anxiety how valuable it is to find a counselor that believes in God and the power of His word.  At times it can be like finding a needle in a haystack that is one of the greatest benefits of the internet now, we have access to things, information and people that we may not otherwise have access to.  If you’re asking yourself is there really a Godly approach? Remember that John 14-26 refers to the Holy Spirit as a counselor.  Also throughout the Bible we are told to seek, listen and receive counsel.  Some good word there.  She goes on to say this can be a pretty large road block for someone who needs counseling or merely someone to listen to them.  I know from experience that when you’re a believer and you’re seeking counsel or therapy from someone who is either atheist or agnostic or maybe simply doesn’t feel comfortable to speak of their own spiritual beliefs this can be very frustrating when you’re trying to seek answers, provision and relationship with God, the Father.

Having a counselor that understands your belief system, your core values, your identify because you both follow the one true God makes your session much more fruitful.  For instance, the Bible is our answer book.  When your counselor knows a verse, when he or she has spent time in prayer and meditating on the word.  He or she can share the very words that you needed to hear.  That is an extension of God.  That is your counselor being the hands and the feet of God in a time when you may be weak.  She says, I encourage you to check out Finally Alive Counseling Ministry.  They have a Facebook page you can follow and a Twitter.  They also have a YouTube channel for you video lovers.  Recently, I listened to their radio broadcast and I was thoroughly encouraged by how much scripture Gary used.  So often we look to men for answers because it’s someone who is tangible right in front of us.  We seek affirmation and validation when really we need to be seeking the answers whether those answers come with tough decisions and actual participation on our part or not.  Gary approaches life and struggles from a Biblical standpoint.  A thing of which is greatly lacking in this world.  Gary does radio broadcasting postings.  I would remind you even if you think you don’t need therapy or counseling the Bible instructs us to think on good things.  The Bible desires for us to seek encouragement and fulfillment through God’s word.  You can easily do that by simply turning on one of Gary’s broadcast and listening to it.  It’s a very easy way to refill your vessel with encouragement from God’s word.  Thank you so much, this is an amazing piece of work and I appreciate all the wonderful things you are saying about the show.  I really do hope that this show is a blessing to you.  As I told you earlier you are in my prayers.  Again this blog post is going to be on our website finallyaliveradio.com where you can click blog post.  Again thank you head case Christian you are in our prayers.

You know it’s nice to hear encouragement that’s always a good thing.  We spoke about criticism a couple weeks ago.  Then I was recently told Gary, why are you so passive, if someone is criticizing you then you need to stand up for yourself. You need to stick up for yourself and tell them the way it is. You shouldn’t give anybody a chance to talk down to like that.  I appreciate that thought but here is my rebuttal to that.  The way I see criticism is in the few ways.  I’ve learned to accept and look at criticism in a different way probably more than an objective way where I’m going to put my emotion aside and really listen, like I said in the other show listen to what the other person is saying.  What I’m looking for you can do this, you can do this in criticism, you can do this in relationships, at work.  Listen to the criticism, see what they’re really saying.  Where are they coming from?  For the sake of this topic, there’s two main ways that separate the criticism.  One is going to be a matter of fact, if I’m being criticized for maybe using incorrect facts or if it’s using incorrect facts in the sense that maybe I misquoted something or I’m wrong on a certain topic. I want to hear it and I want to discuss it and I don’t want to argue that.

Then the second category with criticism is a matter of opinion.  My stance is you’re entitled to your own opinion.  You’re allowed to criticize whatever and whoever you want, that goes along with emotion.  You can’t tell somebody that their emotion is wrong.  You know why?  Because you’re not them.  So I meet someone and they say I feel mad about this certain thing, it’s my job to understand why they feel mad not to tell them that when you’re wrong. No I’m not them, I need to understand them.  Matter of opinion you are entitled to it and guess what my opinion may be completely different than yours and you know what I’m entitled to it.  That’s how I keep a smile on my face.  Your opinion is yours and mine is mine.  Quick examples; someone says I don’t like your show I don’t like you, I don’t like your voice, I don’t like how you talk.  You’re entitled to your opinion; you don’t need to like me.  That’s the beauty of life.  If you can accept the fact that everyone doesn’t need to like you.  For some people that’s difficult.  But, learn that lesson.  In fact I’ll say this; there have to be some people that don’t like you.  Jokingly it’s actually serious but jokingly I say if you want to be liked by everyone does that mean you want to be liked by the devil too.  We have a quick laugh about that but isn’t it true.  There are some people some entities that need to hate you.  There are some people out there that need to hate you.  In essence what they’re doing is not hating you, they’re hating God, they’re hating your stance, they’re hating your philosophy.  If you don’t like God, I can’t change that. That’s between you and God but if a person hates God and doesn’t like me, that makes sense.  The fact that I’m ok with that because you’re not really hating me or it’s not that you don’t like me you really don’t like God because that’s all I’m preaching.  I’m not the originator of the things I’m telling you, I’ve learned this stuff by attempting to understand God to the best of my abilities.

But that aside, some people are not going to like certain things about the show we talked about the music which by the way I still want to change, we’re still working on that.  I really never was sold on that song that we’re using, it was a copyright thing. So, we had to use that.  I might change my mind, I might keep it forever I don’t know, we’ll see.  But, I do have someone who has been working on it so it sounds pretty good so far so I’m pretty excited about that.  Someone says I don’t like your show, great that’s your opinion.  You gave me nothing to work with there.  It is what I call a personal shot.  You take a shot at me, you call me a name and this is important in relationships.  When there is name calling we get nothing done.  I highly recommend constructive criticism, name calling does nothing.  Constructive criticism though can really be helpful.  Gary I think you were incorrect here and this is the Bible verse to refute what you are saying.  Now I’m getting we have something to talk about.  Now we’re talking about something not just personal attacks, I don’t play that game.  I think I’ve grown enough thick skin to let those kind of things just slide cause it’s all just an emotional attack and that is the key issue here it is out of control emotions.  Out of control emotions especially for the show I’m not going to lose sleep over that.

Going back to the main statement that was told to me, you should deal with this and you should face it head on and tell him the way it is, No, I’m not going to do that.  They’re entitled to their opinion and they can stick to their opinion. Now if they want to argue, I am game. Let’s argue but bring me something.  Bring me something to work with not just personal attacks, that’s petty and childish.  That does nothing for anybody.  This is a good lesson on helping.  You don’t need to help everybody; you don’t need to answer everybody.  Some people want to deal with every single situation.  Sometimes we deal with a situation by just leaving it alone.  That’s not being passive that’s just being wise I think cause not everybody wants help.  Once in a while what I see is people come into counseling and they think that all they’re going to do is just rant, that’s okay.  I think everyone does and requires moments of ranting. I think everybody has that.  I think I’m doing it on the show right now.  We all rant, that’s okay, we have to get things off our shoulders here.  But, it doesn’t end there.  We have to start to get constructive at some point, but that’s the issue.  Some people want to cry for help and they will stay helpless because they will not help themselves and some people will take your help really gain from it, really learn from it and grow.  Not everybody is going to grow.

Some people are going to make it to Heaven on the skin of their teeth as they say because though they believed, they pretty much made themselves almost useless.  They’re not really helping trying to enrich the Kingdom of God. You can still make it to Heaven but what good is that?  What good is being on the best team ever, God’s team and not using your talents and your abilities.  Regardless it’s all about Salvation, if you’re saved you believe in God, it’s not your works, it’s not what is going to get you into Heaven. You’ll still make it to Heaven.  With that said, if you got gifts, everybody has gifts, use them.  But, you must use them wisely. The moment I leave the counseling office, the counseling part of me turns off generally speaking.  Why?  Because I’ve learned that people don’t want to be helped, generally speaking, not everybody, not all the time.  It’s just the fact of life that is different some people look like they want help but some people just want handouts.  You know that person who is always asking for a little bit of money that I promise I will pay you back and they never do. Do you help them?  It depends, it depends on who they are, what’s going on and what God has told you to do.  If you feel like God is moving on you to help them.  I don’t believe in helping every single person on earth and I don’t believe that.  God does His thing.  I know this cold, sounds very cold to some people, I get that.

 I give you a good example, I have this rule that unless I sense that God is moving in my spirit.  I will not give a single dollar to a homeless person on the street.  I won’t do it.  This is why, I was out in L.A, this was many years ago out in L.A on the street I was about to cross a street so I’m waiting on the edge of the street. A man who appears to be homeless comes by ask for money, gladly I give it. he goes into his sock pulls out a stack of money.  It was a thick, wack of money, at that time I didn’t have that amount of money I’m not even upset about that.  What really upset me is that he was cursing at me under his breath.  Maybe what I gave him wasn’t what he was expecting, maybe he wanted more from me, I don’t know.  Example number one. Here’s example number two.  This one I was out in Santa Barbara, out with my wife, it was one of our anniversaries and we were staying at a small hotel over there and they have like this little outdoor patio and they had a continental breakfast.  We grabbed a couple of things, bagel and things like that.  I remember vividly I had tea, I typically drink tea.  I have my tea, we got bagels and Danishes and all sorts of things on the table and a man who appears to be homeless walks up to us and says, hey, I remember this was about six in the morning.  Walks up and says, hey do you guys have a couple of bucks?  I honestly didn’t have my wallet with me and think we were about to go to the beach or something like that right after.  I told the person I don’t have any money but, I said whatever is on the table is yours, you can have whatever you want.  He looks at the things on the table, looks at my drink.  He says, “What are you drinking?”  I said, “It’s tea.”  I’m going to quote this person; this is what he says, “Uh, I don’t drink tea.  I drink beer.”  That’s almost the way he said it too.  Six in the morning that’s what he’s telling me.  I told the guy, okay, I can’t help you; I can’t do anything, that’s all I got.  Six in the morning I would imagine you want something to eat and something to drink and I had it right there for him, right in front of him.  He took nothing and walked away.

I’ll give you one last example, I was out with my wife on a double date with a friend of mine and his wife couple of years back. We were waiting to be seated at a restaurant and we were just standing outside and the person comes up and says, hey, do you know again, same spell, can you give me a couple bucks?  By this time I’m already kind of burned.  I don’t want to turn my back on people but getting burned over here.  I’ve heard let me try a different approach here.  I said, “Look, sir. Are you hungry?”  He said, “Yea, I’m hungry.”  So, like here is the menu, I grab the menu, take a look.  Order whatever you want I’ll buy it for you.  So, he looks he says, I’ll take some of the soup.  I said, “Fine.”  I said, “We are going to be right now in a five minutes, if you can wait ten minutes I’ll get you the soup, I’ll bring it out myself and I’ll hand it to you.”  He says, “Sure thing.”  He stands about five or ten feet away.  We go inside we get seated.  I say, “Do me a favor really quick if you don’t mind before you take our order, can you put the soup in, I want it go just really quick and then we can order our food.”  They said, “No problem.”  They brought me the soup in a nice to go container.  I take it outside literally, literally I walked around the entire building looking for his person.  I walked around like a fool with a handful of soup to go and help a fellow human being and he was nowhere to be seen.  That’s three different experiences, three different places.  Three different places in my life but the exact same type of result.  What do you make of that?  That’s my rule and I’m not saying that should be your rule because we’re talking about helping. But I’ve grown and I’ve learned unless the Lord moves on my spirit and he has and there have been times when I’ve given and I won’t look back and that’s fine.  I don’t mind helping.  Those moments taught me a lesson that you don’t help everybody.  Everybody doesn’t deserve to be helped because everyone isn’t looking for help.  Those three examples I gave you, I don’t think they were necessarily looking for help.  I think they were looking for hand-outs and they didn’t get what they wanted.  Every single time, they didn’t get what they wanted and they left very bitter and my stance on that is not my problem.  I’m not here to enable, we are not here to enable laziness cause God hates laziness.  We’re not here to enable lying because that’s another thing God hates and we’re not here for hand-outs.  I have a very strong stance against that.

I have also years ago I worked in the money service business, that was probably some of the most eye opening moments in my life.  I saw how people were out to get, to take and it wasn’t every case.  A really big lesson I learned is not everybody is out there to make their own life better, in the sense of prospering or being successful or growth or spirit especially, spiritual growth.  Some people are just out there existing because they’ve learned that if they cry loud enough someone will come and pacify them and you can clearly see that in the last couple of years speaking politics really quick I don’t want to really get into politics but you can see that in the last couple of years what’s that done it’s created a nation of criers, a nation of squeaky wheels, a nation who is not willing to pick up their own, a nation of those who will not stand up anymore.  Tying up the boot strap and walking, not happening.  It’s a sad state, it’s a sad state, it’s a very sad state that we’re in. I urge you, I really do all because we’re believers in Christ doesn’t mean we’re required to help every single soul.  You pray, you need to be moved in your spirit before you help because sometimes it’s just our guilt speaking.  It does, it just does, you’re human.  Who wants to see somebody else suffer?  I don’t think most people want to see other people suffer and you know, in the heart of hearts this is probably a nice thing to do.  But I’m telling you do not be moved emotionally, be moved spiritually which means it’s going to be a ton of logic behind your move. There are those who need help to get to the next level but there are those who will take your help and find their next victim.  They’ll pull a fast one on you to get them to the next place where they can pull a fast one on them.  Don’t play that game, all because you are Christian do not be naive in the sense that you just help everybody, No.  You help the ones that the spirit of God tells you to help.

  Let me read to you Matthew 15 starting verse 21 it says, Jesus went away from there and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon and a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out saying have mercy on me Lord, Son of David, my daughter is cruelly demon possessed but he is Jesus, He did not answer her a word and His disciples came and implored Him saying send her away because she keeps shouting at us.  But, he answered and said I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.  Remember, this woman is a Canaanite woman she’s not part of the House of Israel.  Verse 25 says, but she came and began to bow down before Him saying Lord help me!  Imagine someone going in front of you and bowing down, please help me.  Wouldn’t you feel horrible? That would move on you, wouldn’t it?   I think that’s the point where I might have crumbled and said okay, okay I’ll help you.  Like what it says in verse 26, it says, He answered and said, it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.  Did you catch that?  Jesus just called this woman a dog.  How could he?  But, that’s Jesus.  He could never, no.  Jesus remember Jesus says, He is the way, the truth and the life.  Part of the truth unfortunately it’s going to be that some people are going to be like dogs.  If Jesus says the way, the truth and the life, is he lying here?  No.  I don’t think he’s lying.  There are some people you don’t help.  There are just some people who just don’t deserve it.  I know that sounds really cold but we’re taking a page from Matthew here, speaking of Jesus seeing the way Jesus dealt with it. There are leeches in life, there are leeches.  You know that friend who calls you right before church and you’re on the phone for two hours trying to help them and they say I feel better so thank you so much, God bless you.  Now you miss church and guess what by six o’clock at night this person is calling you back, oh my gosh another episode, more drama.  Some of those are leeches unfortunately.  Not all of them, not all of them because we all have our moments like that but sometimes there are just people unfortunately who are always doing that.  They don’t want to take the next step, they just want to complain and be stuck in that place.  I get it.  The other side to that it’s scary, I understand it’s fearful what am I going to do if I change.  I urge you, do not be stuck there.  You make the changes that you need to in life.  It’s scary but it’s better.  That’s what life is all about, it’s about growth and growth is never easy.  Don’t be a leech.  Quit expecting everybody else to do things for you.  You get up, you get up and do what you need to do.  Ask for help but not for the sake of being a leech.  You know some people are just about take, take, take.  See that’s the one I’m telling you not to help.  You help once, you help twice sometimes it’s like come on guy, haven’t you learned your lesson yet?

To really be specific about what I’m talking about for example let’s say you have a friend who is addicted to gambling.  You know every week they go and spend $200 on lottery scratchers or they go to their casino or something.  That’s their rent money, end of the month shows up, oh my gosh I don’t have enough money.  I get it, you might help kind hearted you know friend you’ve known him for your whole life maybe. You help him out once or twice giving you the same spiel. Oh my goodness I don’t have enough money for rent and you know this person is spending $200 gambling, you don’t help anymore.  At that point you have become the enabler.  You are part of the reason why this person continues to do what they do.  You’ll be part of the reason why they will not change.  Do not do that, I’m very comfortable saying that but here’s where things change. Here’s a really good example, verse 27.  It says but she said this is the Canaanite woman. That same woman but she said responding to Jesus calling her a dog she says, yes Lord but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from the master’s table.  What an answer!  This is what moved Jesus.  She proved to be not like the rest of them.  Remember Canaanite is an outsider.  Verse 28 Jesus says, oh woman your faith is great.  It shall be done for you as you wish and her daughter was healed at once.  This woman proved not to be a leech, not to be like the rest of them she walked her walk and she spoke correctly.  She knew who to trust.  She wasn’t leeching.  Now, maybe you’re thinking wow, Gary you’re really being cold here haven’t you read the parable about the Good Samaritan?  But I want you to know the difference of the story of the Good Samaritan and what I’m talking about.  The Good Samaritan parable is hugely different and this is why I quote Luke 10 verse 30.  A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers.  They striped him and beat him and went away leaving him half dead.  That’s the difference.  This person you obviously help, this person is clearly a victim.  You help this kind of person.  You help a situation like this.  This person is not trying to be a leech.  A truly unfortunate thing happened here.  These cases we help, we do anything we can.  The point of the whole story is like I don’t care who it is, where they’re coming from.  You help them but notice the criteria.  They have to truly need the help, that’s the difference, doesn’t say help everybody.  You help everybody, you help the one who truly needs help.  It’s unfortunate we’ve painted Jesus to be a very weak type of man.  He wasn’t only filled with love but also with justice just like his father.  Speaking of miracles, I give you a good example already but I’m going to give you some more. In Mark chapter 8, verse 11 says, the Pharisees came and began to argue with him, with Jesus seeking from Him a sign from Heaven to test Him.  Notice some people, they didn’t come to Him because they genuinely needed His help, they came to test him.  This is my point guys, not everyone deserves the miracle, not everyone deserves the help.  It says and Jesus deeply in His spirit and says why does this generation seek a sign?  Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation and he left them.  Got into a boat again and went to the other side.  Jesus leaves him hanging, he doesn’t help.  Do you know why?  Because even if Jesus did the miracle it wouldn’t matter, they wouldn’t believe anyway.  That’s the kind of leeches, I’m talking about.  They’re going to be people in your life that say oh, well it’s me and nobody helps me and here you are and you help them and they love you and you are there hero and you’re just a God sent for them.  Then one day you can’t help them, you’re just not available or you’re just don’t have funds available or something to help.  All of a sudden, you are their enemy but, were they really your friend?  Let’s think about that, were they really your friend?  Would they do the same thing for you?  Doesn’t sound like it.

In Mark 15 and verse 29 it says, and those you pass by railed on him wagging their heads and saying aha, you who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days save yourself and come down from the cross.  This is obviously when Jesus is on the cross.  Listen to what people are telling him, people knew he was innocent, He was never supposed to be crucified.  He committed no sin and they crucified and mock Him while He’s being crucified, how much lower can it get than that?  Then it says so also the chief priest of all the people, the priest, I don’t think a lot has changed by the way.  So, also the chief priest with the scribe mocked him to one another.  He saved others, he cannot save himself.  Let the Christ the King of Israel come down now on the cross that we may see and believe.  See how foolish that sounds, it just got done admitting Jesus saved others and now they still want to see more miracles.  Typical people, why doesn’t Jesus get off the cross?  How come he doesn’t prove them wrong?  Because some people are just mockers and that’s all they do.  Some people don’t need your help.  Some people don’t need your input and in this case Jesus doesn’t get off the cross because their mockery doesn’t out do God’s plan and God’s plan was he had to die on that cross as he did three days later of course he resurrected.  If he got off the cross to prove them wrong, dying and resurrecting would have never happened.  In some cases, some people who want you to prove something or quote on quote help them will actually take you off your path.  Think about that, that would have taken Jesus off his path.  The path that he supposed to be on.  You do not go off the path that God wants you on.  The tempers will come with many different faces.  Some will cry, some will mock, some will praise you to entice you. Be moved by the spirit of God, nothing else and nobody else.  Help the person like in the parable of the Good Samaritan who truly needs the help.  If you’re not sure ask the Lord and sometimes that still may not do it for you but you may need to help the wrong people long enough to learn the lesson that some people are not out there to better themselves.  They just want to keep doing what they do and use you do not be an enabler.  It really frustrates me to see how people have painted Jesus as if he never said, no.  When Jesus said, no, number one when it was against the will of God which umbrellas over foolishness.  He said, no to foolishness when they wanted a miracle for the sake of wanting a miracle.  He didn’t do it.  He doesn’t need to do polar tricks for you.   By the way, every miracle I’ve preached on this before, every miracle has the shallow end which is oh, he helped someone, someone was blind and now they can see.  That’s the shallow end, that’s not really the point of that miracle. There’s always something deeper when Jesus did a miracle.  How in the back of your mind when you read about Jesus doing a miracle in the Bible and ask the Lord to really reveal that to you.  It’s not just the miracle, read about who is there read about where he is.  For example, He fed five thousand with what?  Bread and fish.  Why does he multiply bread and the fish?  Could it be because he calls himself the bread of life?  Could it be because he calls his disciples the fisher of men.  He goes to a well and talks about living waters, waters you know not of.  I have an abundance of water.  In fact, when you drink of this water you will never thirst again.  What in the world does that mean?  He preaches that word to this woman and this woman becomes an evangelist and gets a bunch of people believing in Christ.  Jesus’ moves were all very strategic.  If you don’t know by now God is an absolute genius.  He moves with purpose, God is not randomness.  Satan is randomness.  God is very purposeful and God is very logical.  It’s just us who lack the logic.

I hope you understand my heart with what I’m saying.  See I think this lesson is a little bit more supplicated because generally speaking we as Christians were taught to just help everybody.  I would slightly modify that and say we help by first asking the spirit of God what should I do which means I’m not going to help everybody.  Here’s a general rule that might be helpful to you.  Who do you help?  Helping starts in the house of God.  You help your church, you help your family.  It starts within church and family.  That can be church family and that could be your blood family.  That’s where you start.  After that, you can spread out, you can spread out to friends, you can spread out to strangers.  That’s between you and God but the general rule is do what he wants.  It’s amazing.  I’ll give you some stories about this too that there have been times when I’ve helped people, God’s people because I though God was telling me hey, help this person and that may have been the last bit of my pocket money that I had for that day or week or whatever.  Low and behold someone comes and buys me lunch, where did that come from?  It’s simple, I was being faithful, I walked in faith and God took care of me. It’s one thing you’ll notice about people who are generous for some reason typically they’re not lacking.  They may not be rich, but they’re not lacking.  It’s amazing when you’re charitable what happens.  When you got a giving heart I encourage people be a giver definitely be a giver do not lack in giving.  That’s one thing you don’t want to lack in is giving.  In fact Paul says, be a cheerful giver meaning it’s the Greek word Hellario, like a hilariously give just give cheerfully, give with discernment as Jesus would say, you don’t give pearls to swine.  That’s out of Jesus’ mouth.  You don’t give pearls to swine, obviously, they’re going to tramp on it, they don’t know what to do with it.  They don’t know what to do with it.  Your giving must also be appropriate but again be led by God.  So, my friends give accordingly, be a giver but give appropriately.  I hope this message was a blessing to you.  God bless you.

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