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“Too Smart for Your Own Good!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Why want you go sit down somewhere! I tell you there are just some people you can’t tell anything. Their minds are like steel traps, tightly shut and difficult to open. They have their mind made up and they’re not going to change for you, me, or even God. That’s pretty much the situation we discover in Jeremiah 44. Jeremiah warned the people that God was upset with their behavior… their response: “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD!” [Jeremiah 44:16].  They had made up their minds. They like what they were doing and they had no intention of stopping for Jeremiah or God.  Many people today tend to think that they are the ones in charge of their lives. They call the shots. They make the decisions. And God is left out of the picture, “It’s my life and I can live it the way I want to. If I wanna do this or that then I’m gonna do it and no one’s gonna stop me!              

Let me tell you something; God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. He wants to be quick to bless and slow to wrath. He doesn’t want to go to war with you! You are living on borrowed time and borrowed strength. You better know that you know! You can turn against God and fight or you can turn to Him and be forgiven! But what you don’t want to do is go to war with God because you will surely loose.  [Jeremiah 4:5-6:30]. Now there are two consequences in life – You Can Attend the Feast or You Can Attend the Funeral [Proverbs 9].  Attending the Feast – Wisdom spreads her table for those who enter her house. She strengthens them, she satisfies them, and she sustains them. She gives them all they need for now and for the future. The same is true for the person who chooses the way of God over the way of the world. He spreads His feast for us as we pass this life, 1 Cor. 2:9, and He promises us that we will have a home with Him in His heaven forever, John 14:1-3! Now Attending the Funeral, that’s a whole different story. The context and the contrast. While the wise man goes off to enjoy the feast, the fool goes off to endure his funeral. This truth is vividly illustrated in Proverbs 7:5-27. This is the lot of the fool! Living this life to the full with sinful pleasures, but with no preparation for tomorrow! Fool, God says, “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:32-36.

Now Proverbs 14:12 tells us that: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Seems like it’s right, seems like it’s good, but leads to death. That’s man doing it his way.  I want you to know that sin is the transgression of the law of God: it is doing things your way instead of God’s way [I John 3:4]. Now God has all wisdom and He has revealed it to us; but if you insist on doing things your way know that you will reap the consequences. Warnings do come before destruction. Consider yourself warned! You better read about Israel. When Israel rebelled against God, He responded by giving them over to their enemies for punishment. The Bible says He “sold” them. This word means to “turn over; to give up”. In other words, God abandoned them to the life they chose for themselves. You should know that they paid a terrible price for their rebellion, Judges 5:6-7. They were literally driven from their highways and their homes. There is always a high price to pay for disobedience to the will of the Lord. When you choose your ways over God’s ways, you can expect His displeasure. He will send chastisement into your life, Heb. 12:6-11; Deut 8:5; Rev. 3:19. Do not be deceived! God will not be mocked. If you choose to do things your way expect God to touch your life in ways you will not like. Your life can be hell before going to hell if you ignore or reject God’s Word [Pr 13:15; 22:5].

In Genesis chapter 27, four people chose to do it their way. Isaac did things his way by trying to bestow the family blessing on Esau, in opposition to God’s revealed will. Esau tried to take back what he had already sold to his brother Jacob. Rebekah deceived her aging husband into giving the blessing to her favorite son, Jacob. And Jacob lied to his father and outsmarted his brother. They all did it their way, not God’s way. In the end they all came up empty and paid a high price for their selfishness. You see, every person in life has a theme song entitled, “I Did It My Way” or “I Did It God’s Way.” You would think that the lines would be clearly drawn: Every person outside of Christ would sing, “I Did It My Way” every Christian would sing, “I Did It God’s Way,” but I find that many who profess to believe in Christ are really just living for themselves, often using God as the means to self-fulfillment. But Genesis 27 teaches the principle that …When you seek your own way, you never get what we want and you will always pay a high price. So, don’t do it… Don’t do it your way… Do it God’s way… for there are great rewards and blessings promised to us by God if we will just do it His way.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” [Deuteronomy 30:19].

Knotts Family Agency to Host Jazz and Wine-tasting Fundraiser

Ann Clark and Michael

Ann Clark and Michael

Ann Clark of Rialto doesn’t consider herself a foster care parent as much as a parent to many teens in need over the years. The high school vocational education coordinator and her husband, Michael, a logistics worker, are currently parenting four adolescent girls in their home through Knotts Family Agency.

“It’s very challenging but at the same time it’s very rewarding,” Clark says. “You are able to instill the qualities and values that you would on your own children. What you expect of your own children, you expect of them also.”

Knotts, a foster care and adoption services agency in San Bernardino, will honor the Clarks and other parents at a jazz and wine tasting fundraiser from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 15 at Edwards Mansion in Redlands. The other honoree foster care parents are Deborah Martelly of Highland, Belita Foster of Rialto and Jeannette and Charles Howard of San Bernardino.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser will help support the Knotts Family Agency Educational and Cultural Enrichment Initiative. The program exposes over 75 foster care youths in the Inland region to fun and educational activities, from Magic Mountain to math and science camps.

More than 2,500 individuals and families are served each year by Knotts Family Agency, which was founded in 1992. They receive critical support for resilience, mental health, care coordination, parenting, youth mentoring and leadership development, financial and environmental literacy and job training.

CEO Gwen Knotts says that education positively changes the direction of a young person’s life. “We really emphasize that with education and tutoring, we’re hoping to change the outcomes when the youth are emancipated or transition back to their biological family.”

Knotts provides social services to foster care families and stay in constant contact during the child’s stay. “They really go the distance to make sure these kids have what they need,” Clark says.

For tickets to the Knotts Family Agency jazz and wine tasting fundraiser, contact Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600. Tickets are $50/$65 at the door. Table sponsorships are also available.




Thanks to a new partnership with desertFIAT, 9th–12th graders with perfect attendance for the 2015–2016 academic school year have the chance to win an array of incentives from iPods, iPads, scholarships, up to a NEW 2016 FIAT 500.

It’s a Gas to Go to Class is a school attendance program designed to motivate students. Now in its fifth year in the High Desert, It’s a Gas to Go to Class is coming to San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD). Thousands of students attending District high schools returned to school on Monday, August 3 and heard about the program on the first day of classes. 

Pacific High School students were among the first in the District to see the new car on Monday, when representatives from desertFIAT visited the campus to introduce It’s a Gas to Go to Class. In the coming weeks desertFIAT will visit every District high school to encourage students to maintain perfect attendance.

“Giving students an incentive to be in school has made a tremendous, positive impact in the High Desert, where It’s a Gas to Go to Class started,” said Billy Mack, Director of Sales at Victorville Motors and desertFIAT. “When students miss school, they miss critical instruction time that cannot be made up,” Mack said. “That impacts teachers who have to spend extra time with the student.” 

It’s a Gas is expected to help SBCUSD significantly improve its high school attendance rates, which have been increasing in recent years. Last school year, about 1,500 high school students had perfect attendance. dj-fiat-500x-ri_653

The program is a win-win. Higher student attendance means more state funding for SBCUSD, but most importantly, it means students are more likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school. According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, research shows that missing 10 percent of the school year—or 18 days in most districts—correlates with academic trouble.

For more information about the San Bernardino edition of It’s a Gas to Go to Class, visit www.desertFIAT.com/itsagasSB.htm.