Food, Gambling, Television, Smoking, Dancing & Alcohol – Are Any of These a Sin?

I suspect this entry will raise some eyebrows, especially since I come from the Bible belt where my culture is conservative.

First, allow me to give the disclaimer: : I am not advocating nor giving you permission to do any of the items that I mention in this article. I cannot make choices for you, God doesn’t even do that. I’ll write and you make your own decisions based on the knowledge you have and your own personal convictions.

Let me also clarify this entry by letting you know that your culture and geological location has a great influence on your belief system. Your views on the following subjects depend greatly upon where you live; what Country, what State, the North, South, East or West, or even what city or part of a city you live in. Many people who go to church or call themselves Christians actually have a very radical and sometimes, extreme, belief system. In our culture in the south, many Christians are taught not to drink, smoke, gamble, or even to dance. There are also a few extra legalistic teachings floating around some churches, such as not wearing make-up, women must wear dresses, and in some places women aren’t allowed to speak in public church services.

Now Let me ask you a few questions: Is it a sin to drink? Is it a sin to smoke? Is it a sin to gamble? Is it a sin to dance?

Let me add a couple of more questions to the above list: Is it a sin to watch tv? Is it a sin to eat?

Most of us would answer yes to at least one of the above questions.

Let me give you some simple anecdotes for gaging whether or not something is a sin:

-Do you control it, or does is control you?

-Do you do it in excess?

-What does the Bible actually say about it?

-Does it bother your conscience(or the Holy Spirit) when you do it?

-Have you prayed about it?

Now please do NOT get me wrong and tell me that I am advocating all or any of the above activities, I am not. I just want you to think about yourself, not others right now. Think about where you live and what you believe. Why do you believe the things you do? Is it in the Bible? Was it taught to you by your family, friends, or even your church?

Is it something you have always done? Perhaps motivated by tradition or from religious customs.

I want to submit to you that I say that I am not religious, yet I do religious activities every week. (The Bible doesn’t give us a step by step program for activities in a church service for example) Religion is simply mans way of trying to get to God. It is not entirely wrong but God desires a relationship, he is not looking for a religious person proclaiming to be a Christian. There is a difference.

Let me ask you a few more questions:

Which is worse, Drinking a glass of wine once a week or over-eating compulsively?

Is gluttony any less of a sin than drunkenness?

If a person goes to a casino once a year and gambles is that worse than watching 3 hours of television daily?

Hey I am not endorsing anything, And I am not giving you permission to do anything, I just want you to think.

Is it wrong to go to a ball and dance, Is it wrong to dance in church?

Yes, there is a difference. Dancing has been distorted by the world. But I am not going there now. I can’t dance anyways, I am a white male:) I just want you to think about the motivations behind your beliefs.

Here’s one more question:

Is it worse to smoke or to be a fat, lazy inactive person?

I guess you could see my thoughts on the subject embedded in my question. I don’t smoke, but I am not a slob either.

Most Christians say that it is wrong to Drink alcohol, smoke, gamble and dance. However they do not think that it is wrong to overeat or to watch the television all day long.

Let me say this about eating, Eating is a necessity. It is the only thing that we have mentioned that must be done. If you don’t eat, you die.

That said, overeating could also be a vice, just as drinking, smoking, gambling , sex, & television can be a vice. If you do it in excess then it is probably controlling you. If it controls you, it is your God.

There is a word that I like very much; it is called “balance”. I do not like judgmental Christians. I agree with Jesus Christ on his disdain for the Religious pharisees.

Let me give you some other thoughts on balance:

-Jesus tells us not to cause anyone to stumble by our actions. So if someone sees me drinking then they could possibly think to themselves, It is ok. However, I my drink every once in a while and they may turn into an alcoholic. So I don’t drink,; At least not in public.

- If we feel convicted because of our actions, we shouldn’t do it. But why do we feel convicted because we drink and we do not feel convicted when we overeat or live to be entertained?

If smoking bothers your conscience or offends you but does not bother your neighbors conscience, Is it a sin for your neighbor to smoke?

Let me sum up for now because this is a sensitive subject, especially among Christian and we could be here for quite a while.I guess If I really just followed his admonition to Love God with all that is within me and to love others as myself, I wouldn’t struggle so much with the above activities that could all be turned into a vice, and I most likely would not be very legalistic or judgmental towards others.

Choosing the Right Casino Games Will Improve Your Gambling Experience

You know you’ve got the gambling itch but you’re just not sure how to go about choosing the right casino games to play. While all of the games you’ll find involve gambling of one type of another, there is such a wide variety of choices in most casinos that everyone can pick one that best fits their own personality and desires.

The first decision to be made in choosing the right casino game is to determine just how much time and effort you’re willing to put into the game. Are you just looking for something entertaining to do for the day? Or do you want to study the way the game works and spend time practicing and learning in order to improve your chances of winning?

If you’re just into the games as a way to pass the time, I’d suggest concentrating on the casino games that rely strictly on luck, with little or no reliance on skill in order to win. These games will also offer you the advantage of not having to make many, if any, decisions along the way. Unfortunately, most of these games offer the highest advantages to the house so your chances of winning over an extended period of time are slim.

But having admitted that you won’t spend a lot of time studying or practicing a game makes the task of choosing the right casino game for you a much easier task. You’ll look for games that require no real thinking other than how much to bet and often which numbers, or color, to pick. The most popular classic games to consider here are roulette and slot machines.

With slot machines the only real decisions to be made are how much to bet and how long you want to spend watching the wheels spin. While there are more choices to be made at roulette (red or black, odd or even, one number or a group of numbers, etc), once the bet has been made there’s nothing left to do but watch the little ball spin around the wheel. Other good choices here might include keno and baccarat.

Choosing the right casino games gets more complicated if you’re willing to study and practice to improve your odds of winning. The added incentive here is the fact that these games also offer some of the lowest house advantages giving you, the knowledgeable player, an excellent chance of winning over the long run.

With only a few exceptions, most of these choices are card games where the higher your skill level, the better your odds will be of winning. The two most obvious selections would be blackjack and poker, most commonly the sensationally entertaining Texas Hold ‘em variety. The classic game of blackjack, of course, has a legendary reputation as a game of skill, especially for those willing to dedicate the time to become an expert on counting cards.

If card games don’t appeal to you, the clear choice of a game where knowledge and experience are important is craps. With an almost unlimited array of betting opportunities and a fast moving and boisterous pace, this is another game where the house advantage on many bets is as low as you’ll find anywhere in the casino.

Don’t underestimate the importance of spending adequate time analyzing yourself and the variety of choices available before choosing the right casino game for you. Your enjoyment of the gambling experience, and your chances of actually winning, can improve dramatically simply by selecting the game that fits your personality, your budget and the time and energy you have available to learn more than just the basics.

How I’ve Minimised the Risk With Gambling

I’ve spent a lot of my life losing money gambling on football with British bookmakers. I chased the ‘easy money’ dream which clearly doesn’t exist and it’s fair to say that over the years it has cost me a few quid (that’s a bit of an understatement).

I do still believe that money can be made from gambling, but you have to be a particular type of person. You need the knowledge of the sport you are betting on, a decent staking plan, and patience and discipline.

Now patience and discipline are the two areas that I have consistently failed with. It’s frustrating because I know where my weakness lies, but I just don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

Around 10 years or so back the betting landscape in the UK changed with the introduction of betting exchanges. Betting exchanges allow you to both place bets and take bets from other people. Using betting exchanges is also a bit like trading shares, where you can buy (place a bet) at 3/1, and you can sell (lay a bet) at 2/1, allowing a guaranteed return.

What they also do is allow you to trade an event, say a football match, before it has started. The sheer weight of money for a particular football team leads to price movements. Therefore if you can predict those price movements you can back a team (buy) at a higher price, before you lay (sell) that same team for a shorter price, all before a ball has been kicked.

This is where an impatient and poorly disciplined gambler like me comes into the equation. As I can’t seem able to cope with the discipline side of betting, I have decided to take the betting side of things out of the equation.

Using my knowledge of the sport and of the gambling markets I am now currently trying to earn (not win) about 1-2% of my betting bank on live football matches by taking advantage of price movements before the game starts.

I usually use the outright winner market, but have also been using the goals spread market of Over/Under 2.5 goals (3 goals or more, or less than 3 goals), where there is obviously only two outcomes, as opposed to the win/draw/lose scenario of the outright market.

It is tricky and not as simple as it sounds as markets don’t always react in the way you expect them too.

The best part about it for me though is that I am not really gambling. Yes, if the price moves the wrong way in my pre match trade, I could lose money, but only a smallish amount that would be in proportion to what I will make when the trade goes the right way.

So far after three weeks using the technique I am up by about 15% of my starting betting bank. It is probably a bit below where I would like to be, but I’ve got to bear in mind that I am only learning the technique and that this is a long term project, so as long as I’m making money every week – no matter how small – I should be happy.