Tag Archive | choices

I’ll Choose Purple Every Time!

Lowes-Paint-Color[1]Are you prejudice?

Kind of an odd way to start out I know…. but it is a fair question considering what all is going on in our little world today.

Prejudice definition:  preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Blacks… Whites….
Gays…. Straight…..
Christians….. Muslims….
Democrat….. Republican….
Death….. Life…..
Broncos….. Chiefs…..
In….. out…..
Right….. Left…..
Up….. Down…..
Pink…… Purple…..

….. and that is just the tip of the iceberg of things we have “preconceived opinions” about.

I remember when my boys were babies and I would take them different places…. or even just show their latest pictures.   Depending on the group I was around… almost always determined the outcome of the conversation of which parent they looked like.    If the majority of friends or family had known their father the longest…. they “look just like his daddy”   ….. but…. on the other hand…. if they were mostly my family or friends I had known the longest…. well what do you know….. they thought they “look just like their mommy!”

Now HOW can one baby….. the exact same baby…. look just like their daddy and just like their mommy!?!?!?

Well…. lets blame it on that preconceived opinion thing!   The truth is, when we get right down to the bottom line of it…. each person was biased…. prejudiced…. so to speak in their opinion.   Their opinion wasn’t based on careful observation…. but in reality it had been swayed by their desire to tip the scale toward the one they were most loyal to….. or… the one that would also boost favor toward themselves.    I mean who wouldn’t want to brag to everyone that this beautiful baby boy got most …. if not all their good looks from “my” side of the family….. or “my” best friend?”

Some …. however did try to look past the preconceived opinions…. and really try to discern the features on actual “facts”.   Most times they would end up saying something to the effect of….. “well…. his hair color is the same as….. and I think he has your….. but he definitely has his dads…….    Truth was… they were a perfect mish-mash of both …. mommy and daddy…. making them then…. unique and special.

When it comes to choosing a color….. My favorite has always been purple for as long as I can remember!   I’m not sure what it is about purple that I like… other than it just gives me that happy feeling when I see it.  It brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart….and well….. it just makes me go…… awwwwweeeeeee….. !!   So…. with that said…. if there is ever a color option for me to choose… pretty much anytime my pick will lean to the various shades of purple if at all possible!   You could say … I am prejudice in my choice of color because I have had preconceived opinions that are already formed because of my personal feelings.

Deeper issues…. such as Political…. Race…… Religion…..can and have … been the basis of conflict which has caused division and discord among family, friends, colleagues…. and even nations!

How did we form some of these “preconceived opinions?”    Many were formed in us simply by being born into certain family’s.  For generations some ideals were accepted somewhere in our family tree and passed on to generation to generation and have formed some mighty deep and sturdy roots.   Most things passed down to us from our ancestors are totally irrelevant and harmless….. some however…. can be quite the contrary … making us indeed….. narrow minded… bigoted…. and yes…. Prejudiced .   Trying to remove those roots can be a major excavation project.    The process could be very costly… not only in a monetary way…. but it could cost jobs… friendships… social acceptance as well as family relationships.    Roots … as we well know… can go deep…..DEEP into the earth and spread in every direction touching many things as well as people.  Most times we would never know who or what could be affected…. until those roots are tampered with or begin to come to the surface.

Other opinions are formed….. or changed….. by the group of friends we begin to hang around with, as we grow into our own person.   If our generational roots have not grown as deep and strong … or if we have chosen to rebel and sever those roots… our opinions can take on the form of those people we surround ourselves with.   There again… not always a bad thing… depending on the subject matter it could actually be a better thing.  Even very controversial issues can take us on a new life journey, and as long as those opinions do not invade someone else’s opinions…. by sucking life out of their roots, we can all still live side by side and get along.   Many new opinions are formed simply because of selfish ambitions.   They have swayed our directional thinking so we can “fit in” with a person or group that will take us to bigger, better and higher places, without giving them any real thought, consideration, research or prayer time.

Many of these issues could be solved in this world if we would just stop and discern every issue we face in a totally unbiased manner …. unfortunately…. most of us already have those “preconceived opinions” tucked down so deep inside of us we probably don’t even recognize they are there.   When asked… are you prejudice???   ….. We automatically get on the defensive side and deny any such thing because that would mean we are narrow minded…. bigoted….mean spirited and just plain rude.  We try to come up with many reasons to defend ourselves….. to justify our reasoning’s and some could be justifiable while others…. well… they just wouldn’t hold water ….much like a bucket with holes in it!

Being prejudice TOWARDS things …. are one thing …. being prejudice AGAINST people is an entirely different story!
We are ALL important to God…. He said in His Word
….For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another]. Romans 2:11 (Amp)
and again …
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.   Acts 10:34 (NLT)

God Never in His Word ever made reference to skin color as a basis of blessings… favoritism….entry to Heaven…. exclusion from Hell….
in fact V 35 of Acts continues by saying
In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
In fact … one of the Greek definitions of the word “nation” in this verse is “RACE”
…. We could say… In every RACE he accepts those who fear Him and do what is right!!!
So many times through out the Word of God…..God said….. ALL….  and in case we are not sure the definition of the word … Websters definition .. copied and pasted is….

Simple Definition of all

  • : the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of

  • : every member or part of

  • the whole number or sum of

Like they say…. ALL means……there ain’t no more!!!

But then again…… Matthew 24:7-7 says talking about the signs of the end…..
Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.  But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

That same word… Nation…. “Race”…. says Race will go to war against race….. one of the end time signs….that is most definitely coming to pass right before our eyes!!!
Even though the media continues to stir this pot….We do not have to be a participant!  We Can choose to Love!   Love like Jesus did…. color blind!
…..The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”   1 Samuel 16:7
It’s whats INSIDE that counts!

So…. if you have found yourself in a place where you might have to answer the question…. Are you Prejudice?…. with a yes….. Stop and ask yourself…. and God…. why do I have this issue?
Where and when were these preconceived ideas formed…. and then… Repent…. and ask God to continue to change your heart.   Ask Him to open your eyes to see past color… Race… Religion….He is big enough to do it….. the question I guess though….. but… Are YOU big enough to change it?

When we begin to Love like He Loves…we will see Revival break out in our lives… our church… our community…. and in our Country!   It starts with you…. it starts with ME!
Lets keep our prejudice ideas to the little things…. and remember….. ALWAYS choose PURPLE!!!


What’s In A Name?



When I was born I was given the last name of my Father.
That was my name for about 19 years until I got married.  Then.. it changed…. to  Lair.
That name is what I went by until I was around 27…. divorced and then married to my second husband, which changed my last name again…. now … to McNaught.

This is the name that is currently on all my mail.  My paychecks.  It is how I sign anything … legal or non.

Although my last name has changed over the years….. my first name….. Teresa…. has not.

I have been Teresa for 52 years.    As far as I know…. I will always have the name Teresa.
“I” have not changed.
Oh… yes… I have gotten taller… and well…. wider….over the years, as well as smarter… or should I say…. wiser.  My likes and dislikes…. have changed over the years.  I have different views on things I thought were unchangeable in my youth…..and my standards …. have changed…. hopefully for the better.   Priorities….. have most definitely changed.   My Style…. has changed…. and yes…. My hair color changes frequently!

The person of Teresa…. is still ….. Teresa!

As a child…. I went to the little church in my back yard.   It was a Methodist Church.
When I was older I was saved and Baptized in the Christian Church.    I became a member.
Years later…. I became a member of a non-denominational church.
Now…. I am a member of a different Methodist Church than the one I grew up in.

Although…. the churches where I have been a member has changed over the years….. born again name… CHRISTian…. has not!
I have been a CHRISTian for over 23 years.   Being a CHRISTian …. has never changed.
Oh…. yes… I have grown stronger in my Faith over the years.   I have gained more knowledge about the Word of God.   I have had to put away some wrong thinking and accept some truths
I had not seen before.   My patience…. is growing…. my fears…. diminishing…..my love increasing…. my joy overflowing…. my peace…. oh that sweet peace…. is always what I crave.
Memberships…. like last names…. change.

I am reminded of a line from William Shakespeare’s  …. Romeo and Juliet.

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”


Whats in a name?
That by any other name…. I will still be…. Teresa…. a CHRISTian!

A Flashlight And A Cow Path

4436064097_65f85da4a1_z[1]Now, I am no expert on the things on a farm….I wasn’t really raised on a farm like I’ve said before…. but I did have Grandparents that had milking cows, so…. I have brushed shoulders with the “farm” life in the past, mainly on weekends and a few weeks on summer vacations.
Something that was very fascinating to me were those cow paths.  What cow or cows started that path?   How did they remember…. from trip to trip… the exact same path to follow in order to trample down the grass and earth to make a definite pathway in the middle of the pasture.  How… could those huge cows make such a narrow little path…..?  There were paths Everywhere.  Paths…. leading to places the cows wanted or needed to go….. out to the barn…. to the pond…. to the shade trees…. to the meadow, like little freeways….in a pasture.

I can remember walking those cow paths with my Grandpa…. going to the barn to milk or looking for cows out in the pasture that may be hurt or calving.  The paths made it easier to walk through the high grass in the summer, as well as in the winter through the snow.   You really needed to watch your step, however while walking those paths.   One… because  the path was narrow…. and usually not in a straight line, making it harder to stay in it.  Many times they would wind back and forth which made the journey a little longer than cutting across at an angle.     Although a slower way to travel than cutting across the pasture, you could never be sure of what could be hiding in wait off of the path… a hole to fall into….. a branch to trip over … or maybe even a snake…. sleeping…who would not be happy about someone interrupting his slumber!!

And…Two…..you needed to watch  your step because…well… there were sometimes some little surprises scattered along the path …..sometimes dry….. and sometimes…. not … and those were the things you sure didn’t want to step “in.”
During the day you were able to see ahead of you where you were going.  You could see where the path was taking you and the curves and the “surprises” in front of you to allow you enough time to process the strategies and also to walk pretty fast.
In the dark….with a flashlight… would make the travel much slower, especially to someone who wasn’t as familiar with the path.  A flashlight beam is very low and narrow …you had to keep that narrow beam just feet in front of you as you walked in order to see where your next few steps would land.   You would never really be able to see more than a few steps in front of you at any given time.  You just had to trust the path you were taking, was going where you needed to go, no matter if it seemed like you would never get there.

There is a Scripture in the Bible that says in Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path

…. a “Lamp”… to my feet…. and a light…. to my path……

A flashlight…. for my steps…. and a light….. on my narrow…. winding…. cow path…

Life….is kinda like that cow path
Trusting the path God leads us down can be a hard thing to do when its dark and lonely and you are not sure exactly where the path He is taking you.   Oh…. we know where we want to go…..and we know where it will ultimately end….. but its the narrow and winding path He chose to use for us to get there that makes the journey seem hard.   The path, however..is the path He carved out for us.   He made a safe passage through the pasture of life… and if we stay on that path…. not venturing into the “high grass” …. we will avoid the holes of trouble we could fall into.   Our Faith wont be tripped up over obstacles….. and the snakes …. we will be able to avoid waking up.
Of Course there will be things….. surprises…. that will cross our path on the way…. but by watching each step… with His light…. we will be able to handle them much better.

Living in a instant gratification time…. I would much rather have that path…. and that flashlight… more like a freeway and a flood light!   I want to zip through life, running 70 miles and hour and plenty of light to see hundreds of feet in front of me and on both sides of me.

That just isn’t the way God’s perfect plan is for us… He wants us to Trust Him.   One step at a time.   To rely on Him to guide our path.   If we could see that far ahead of us…. how many of us would end up taking short cuts…. or assuming we knew the way…. and well… from my past track record… it usually makes the trip longer by missing an exit and having to turn around or something worse.

So…. that reminds me of another scripture….
Matthew 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate  (Path); for wide is the gate (Path) and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

14 But the gate (Path) is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.
So…. I guess we need to get that flashlight…(God’s Word)…. and continue on this Journey we are on… called life.
I do believe we may be close to reaching our destination. It just may be right around this next bend in the path.

You Can’t Sit On A Barbed Wire Fence

HPIM0504-1[1]Although…. my Maiden name is Farmer…..I wasn’t actually raised  a “farm” girl…. but I wasn’t a “town” girl either…. and most certainly not a “city” girl.   I was just a girl… raised out in the country!   We had dogs… we had cats… and we did have some chickens …. which actually would just roam around in the yard…. mainly for decoration really.   Cows…Pigs…. horses…. nope…none of those.    We had a riding lawnmower and a tiller… but no tractors or combines.  We had a garden…. but no acres and acres of crops.   So… the “Farmer” name was just that… a name.

Oh … I’m sure it had to have had its origins somewhere from generations before.   In fact …I saw evidence of that…. just a few generations back with my Grandpa Farmer.  He was actually a little more of a “farmer” than us because he had dogs… cats…and chickens…. and his chickens actually produced eggs my Grandma Farmer would retrieve from the hen house to be consumed by us in some great recipe or simply for breakfast.
Although they didn’t have pigs …. they did have Cows.   Those cows … he would milk.   Some by hand… some by machine!  I remember how it seemed they knew exactly when it was milking time, because they would all mosey up to the barn and …. just line up …. waiting for their turn to come in to the stall.  Grandpa placed some feed in the trough in front of them and then locked them in.   They ate.. while he milked.   A simple exchange …..a trust that had been developed over the years…. a give and take.  After one bucket would fill… he would pour the fresh warm milk into the tall milk containers and then roll them out to the milk truck that would come and pick them up from him to do what ever they did to them to make them store ready.
Yes indeed… that is about as close to a real “farmer” as I got.

During the Summer….each of us grand kids would usually get to spend a week of our Summer break out in the country with my Grandma and Grandpa Farmer.  We would spend our days climbing the mimosa tree…. playing croquet… helping with the garden and what ever else came up.    I remember one summer going with them to the old Hunter place to “check the fence row” where the cows were.  We would have to get out and walk where we couldn’t get close enough with the truck to see.    Grandpa wanted to make sure those electric fences were working properly and those barbed wire fences were taut, with no gaps or broken places,  making sure that what was on this side of the fence … stayed… on this side of the fence… and what was on the other side of the fence… stayed… on the other side of the fence.

Why was that important?
What was on “this” side of the fence was his property…. his cattle… his investment…. his livelihood.  What was on “that” side belonged to someone else….their property.   Along with keeping property lines separated… there was also the risk of predators coming in to kill his cattle, so by having either an electric fence or a barbed wire fence running around the property, there was less chance of loss.

Funny how a simple fence could keep those big cows from going to the other side.   I never was brave enough… or stupid enough…. to try to touch an electric fence.   I don’t like pain…. and why would I want to touch something I know would cause me hurt…. big or small… it wasn’t worth it to me.
The barbed wire fences however…. have gotten me a time or two.  When we would go down by the pond, there was a barbed wire fence we would have to get over in order to get to it.  There really isn’t an easy way to do that.   Trying to simply climb over it was a challenge.   They aren’t built for weight on top and so they were very wobbly and just high enough not to straddle with ease.   You could try to find a support pole close enough and big enough to use to get you high enough to “clear” the barbs which made it a bit easier….. or if you tried to squeeze through them you really needed help from someone else who could try to pull the layers apart far enough so as not to get you….. or your clothes… caught on them.   Very rarely did we come out of those adventures completely unscathed.

I often hear people refer to some Christians as being “fence sitters” when they don’t want to commit wholly to their Christian walk.  They love God… go to church and are involved with helping where ever they can…. but… they still want to run with the “world” too.  You know… those “little” sins.. that well…. EVERYONE is doing or that are no big deal really…. because… well…..Jesus loves me…. and His Grace covers me…. I am … after all… human.  By sitting on that fence, it gives them the ability to jump from one side to the other when ever the situation is convenient or advantageous to them.   They live their day to day lives without total commitment to either side.

I’m not sure the picture you have in your mind when someone talks about the fence sitter… but I have always pictured that fence as a nice, wooden fence that is easy to climb and wide enough to sit on comfortably.   I also don’t picture it very high so in case they are on the “wrong” side of the fence and need to scurry back over to the “right” side of the fence…. they would be able to almost hurdle it before trouble got too close or they got caught.  The perfect plan…. it seems… really….everyone does it so what harm can it do?

One day as I was listening to someone talk about a fence sitter… I felt like God say…. ‘you know that fence you see in your mind…. its all wrong!   Instead of a pretty wooden fence to sit on…. it is actually a barbed wire fence’!
Wow… well that painted a very vivid but very different picture in my mind.   Barbed wire?   You can’t “sit” on a barbed wire fence!!
That means you have to always be on one side of the fence or the other… no matter how close you hug the fence… you are either on one side or the other….no in between!   It is always a conscious decision on which side of the fence you are on.

Now…. think about jumping that fence….the getting over…. under…. or through “that” fence.   On a wooden fence there wasn’t much risk of hurting yourself outside of a few bumps or bruises,  but on a barbed wire fence… you will more than likely get snagged…. scratched…. poked… scarred…… and bruised and ….  you will bleed.   The more times you jump that fence… the more wounds you get, and if you find yourself having to jump back to the other side quicker….and more often…the less cautious you becoming and the deeper the wounds…and those wounds don’t have time to heal in between.    In other words… every time you jump….you leave part of you on the fence and it leaves a mark on you!  It definitely costs you more than you may think.

What happens while you are on the “wrong” side of the fence?  Besides the obvious of being out of the Will of God…..I believe the ultimate reason Satan wants you to keep coming over to “his side” of the fence is to lure you further and further away from the fence.   Each visit to the other side of the fence… makes you more and more at ease with the surroundings.   You find yourself moving farther and farther from the fence.   Each step you take further from the fence…makes it harder to get back to the other side.  Eventually…. if you get far enough away… you will lose sight of the fence all together and will not even know which way is back.
No harm though…. right?
That will never happen to me!
God said He will never leave me……
Is there a chance that YOU will leave HIM???

Scripture tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1  AMP
But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach……

Matthew 24:10  And MANY will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.

Revelation 3:15-16  “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

If you cant commit to one side of the other… wouldn’t you say that fits?

One last one:
Deuteronomy 30:15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.

17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.

19 “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! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Time to make a choice… here or there… this side or that side… North or South… cold or hot….God or Satan!
It’s your choice… Choose wisely!

….and Remember…
You can’t sit on a Barbed Wire Fence!!



Pot….Or No Pot….

Decision-Making[1]Changes are always happening…. Every day there is change… some good…. some bad… and some… well…. just seemingly unimportant enough to bother with..
Change in the weather…( here in Missouri… it can change 4 or 5 times in a single day )….
Change in our hair styles and even hair color…
Change in Job careers …
Change houses…
Change Marital status….
Change our minds…. (again… as a woman In Missouri…. 4-5 plus times a day)

Change is inevitable… It happens all the time, and every change will not affect each person involved the same way.   Case in point….In a divorce…. often,  one is excited about the change while the other one is having a horrible time excepting the change…Children are affected…. other family members are affected…. friends…. enemies… some affected in a positive… some in a negative… and some are just neutrally affected at all.

One Change that is very new and also very controversial right now is the new change in a law over legalizing Marijuana.
It is very interesting to read comments in a news-feed on Facebook or any numerous avenues when the subject is brought up.   Some…. are VERY direct and adamant about their views on the new law.   Some of course are for the change… some are against the change…. and of course there are those who do not think it will affect them one way or the other.

So…. Of course….I have my own view of this law change that is and has happened in a few states already…. and I sure do not want to start any small wars over a blog….but … since this is my blog… I do want to at least give my version of why I feel the way I feel about this particular subject!   Of course, if you have read any of my previous blogs…. you know that the way I explain a subject is by word pictures.   It seems to make more sense to me… and hopefully to the reader… so … this one will be no different.   You may need to bare with me though for a few minutes to get the point.

I am a carb-aholic.   I have always loved Sweets….. Chocolate…. Ice Cream…. and Potatoes….. Mashed Potatoes….. and Noodles…. and Noodles ON my Mashed Potatoes!!!    Yes… you can say I have it bad!!!
When I was a teenager… I could put all of that away in a single day…and NEVER gained a single ounce.   My Breakfast for several years after I graduated High School consisted of 2 Ding Dongs and a full fledged Dr. Pepper!  I survived on junk food for most of my life… with an occasional green vegetable thrown in for good measure just once in awhile.   Yep…. you could say I was on a constant sugar high for most of my early life!
People would tell me things like….”I used to be that thin once”…. “I used to be able to eat anything and everything too when I was your age”…. “That all will catch up with you one day”…. “You better enjoy it now while you can”…
I would just roll my eyes at them and chuckle inside with thoughts of…. ‘those people are crazy… I will never have to worry about weight’…..!
I would also make excuses for my addiction… reminding those around me that God made milk… He made the sugar cane… He made the Potato for us to enjoy.   Why on earth would He put anything here to harm us!

….and then…. I turned 30!!!!

Not sure exactly what happened except… Life!   But now instead of Potatoes being my friend… Ice Cream being my comfort…. they all have turned on me and have become my enemies!   Every bite seems to show up …. SOMEWHERE on my body!!!   Believe me… it is not anywhere near flattering either!   Time…. caught up with me.  That grace period… ran out.   Age…(no…lets not factor that one in).   The compound affect…. over time… layer upon layer…. has manifested in my body and it takes work… and determination to reverse the damage.

It is absolutely not fair however… to watch others eat what I used to eat and stay just as slim as ever!
Other people have no desire or draw towards sweets…. they can “take it or leave it”.  ( I truly think those people have a mental defect that should be addressed).
… and still ….. like me… there are those…. who once you open that door to a cup cake…. or bite size candy bar…. have now unleashed the monster within and will not see the end of the feeding frenzy till the next morning when we begin to pick up the piles of wrappers left on the end table.  (or so I have been told … ).

The point is…. there are things the enemy tempts each of us with…. he will continue to do so until you take the bait and indulge…..no matter what that is for you!  Everyone is different.  But each of us DO have a weak spot.
The bible says …

1 Corinthians 6:12 Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.
John 10:
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
You … may be able to handle your alcohol…. your Marijuana…. your chocolate….
but the ones who are watching you…. looking up to you…. may not….!
It may be the very thing that is the thing that will trap them and destroy them…. maybe not today…. maybe not tomorrow…. but it WILL catch up with them eventually!    It will make them a slave to it!   It will steal their joy… destroy dreams…. kill them mentally.. spiritually…. and someday…. physically!Making things legal … in my opinion… could be alright I’m sure in certain circumstances…. but… with legalization comes, the mindset of…. It is OK for me to do this…. no matter my weakness!
With freedom….. comes responsibility….!1 Corinthians 8:9 Only be careful that this power of choice (this permission and liberty to do as you please) which is yours, does not [somehow] become a hindrance (cause of stumbling) to the weak or overscrupulous [giving them an impulse to sin].  10 For suppose someone sees you, a man having knowledge [of God, with an intelligent view of this subject and] reclining at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged and emboldened [to violate his own conscientious scruples] if he is weak and uncertain, and eat what [to him] is for the purpose of idol worship?   11 And so by your enlightenment (your knowledge of spiritual things), this weak man is ruined (is lost and perishes)–the brother for whom Christ (the Messiah) died!   12 And when you sin against your brethren in this way, wounding and damaging their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.  13 Therefore, if [my eating a] food is a cause of my brother’s falling or of hindering [his spiritual advancement], I will not eat [such] flesh forever, lest I cause my brother to be tripped up and fall and to be offended.