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Friday, January 15, 2010

How to avoid screwing up a relationship? Defensiveness!
 
Malcolm Gladwell[1] in his new #1 bestseller "blink" describes how marriages can be predicted to fail or succeed based on a couple having a fifteen minute discussion on a selected subject while being monitored to carefully review their facial expressions.

  Apparently this has a 95% success rate in predicting whether a couple will stay together in the future or not!

This sounds crazy but the facts are the facts and have apparently been checked out over the years. He goes on to explain there are just a few of the 20 odd emotions that cross our face that are significant in this prediction. A guy by the name of Gottman who specializes in this says these would be defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt.

Let's look at these in turn. Today I plan to address defensiveness. I will focus on it in relation to what a Christian guy or girl would be advised to do in regard to this attitude or position they may be tempted to adopt. The others will be addressed in a future blog! 

So, how about defensiveness? 

Consider if we have ever been  defensive when someone starts to discuss something we said, we did, or we believe. we can become defensive quite often, and often when we do, it grows and can erupt into anger as well! Now I have to say I do tend to get defensive when those I love are attacked by someone either verbally, or physically, but that is not defensiveness in the way this word is used by Malcom.

Defensiveness in this sense is a particular type of defending! It is not defending others, but rather defending ourselves! It is self oriented!

So what does the good book have to say about defensiveness?

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." 

This shows that when defending ourselves we should attempt to have others support us! i.e. don't go there if others don't agree enough to go with you! In the New Testament it advises us to take others with us when we go to let people know they are out of line.

In a different place in the bible, it also advises that when defending ourselves to those in authority over us we should behave as follows:

 ""When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.""[2]

Hmm! Seems like we should be letting God's Spirit provide us words for defense!

This is difficult! I don't tend to easily have the ability to stop and listen to a friend's advice while I am busy physically or verbally attacking someone else! This just isn't something that happens too easily is it?

Once we let our emotions take over, our vision closes in, our mind races into the attack, the options get overlooked, and we often ignore even our best friends advice.

This means that if we are to hear Holy Spirit, we must remain calm!

Then, we will be able to listen to the advice, view the situation from more angles, and speak solid building words that clearly communicate our case with clarity and force.

For example remember how Jesus acted in front of a despotic dictator "Pilate", with people calling for his blood, with his death coming soon, and with people being antagonistic towards him. He handled himself so well, that his accusers could only get their way by forcing Pilate to do what they wanted. He didn't want to touch Jesus! Fear of the crowds got him to do what he didn't want to do!

Why didn't Pilate want to touch Jesus?

Maybe because there was a presence bigger than the human he was looking at. Pilate knew people of presence! He was in the crowd that socialized with world movers and shakers! He could recognize quiet power when he saw it! 

This report is strange since Pilate was one of the most feared and violent men of the time, one who according to history books (other than the bible) say killed on a whim! How could he be so impacted by a simple common carpenter? Almost not reasonable to consider unless one factors in Holy Spirit's power at the time!

That's the power God makes available to us! It's not that death dealing, crush my opponent type of power. (God has that type of power but doesn't want it in us). For us God wants a power driven by love and strength of character! It wants to change our enemies into our lovers! It moves people from their worst side to their best! It's a wonderful way to address our defensiveness!

The bible also says "Peter came to Jesus. He asked, "Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven."[3] 

We can also say it referred to my sister as well because it had that type of meaning in those times. The answer given was to forgive others plenty of times!  This is another key part of fixing up our defensiveness. Let's forgive and be open to others!

There is a real weird attitude in North America that apologizing for something is a sign of weakness.

Gibbs on NCIS propound this as a law, I often hear it in boardrooms around the continent. Why? We need to speak truth in love! If that requires we apologize, lets not falsely defend ourselves! Rather let's take the initiative away from the attacking party and apologize.

Where can they go then? If they continue to berate us, they just look like nasty bully's and people loose respect for them. Apologizing is not a strength thing! It's a "doing the right thing" approach! It benefits us all!

What about when we are being accused? Should we not defend ourselves?

We should relax, ask Holy Spirit (who us weird Christians believe lives inside us) for advice, and speak that advice in love and truth. Sometimes we get to put truth infront of others, but more often we get to stay quiet! Not answering is a clear way of indicating disagreement wiothout generating anger in the other person.

Think how Jesus dealt with attacking questions. . .

They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

 "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.   "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of." But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed."[4]

Jesus agrees with this accuser when truth is required but doesn't get involved with countering falsehoods.


So, if defensiveness can wreck a relationship and is one of the top four things that do, what are we going to do about it?

I will be trying to be more open, more forgiving and more loving. I will be trying to speak truth in love when necessary, and trying to keep my big mouth shut, even when untrue things are being said! After all, normally I am talking to a person I do appreciate and they will figure it out sooner or later.

As a good friend of mine always says "sanity tends to prevail"

Have a great day!


[1] Gladwell, Malcom, blink, New York, Back Bay books, 2007

[2] Luke 12:11-12 NIV

[3] Matthew 18:22

[4] Mark 15:1-5

Fri, January 15, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Love, hate, Haiti?
Today I want to point out that we need to respond to the need in Haiti. 


Our sacred writings say:

 
Anyone who says he loves God but in fact hates his brother or sister is a liar.He doesn't love his brother or sister, whom he has seen. So he can't love God, whom he has not seen. Here is the command God has given us.Anyone who loves God must also love his brothers and sisters. 1 John 4:20-21 


 

Tough words! Are we able to respond?

 

I have seen poverty. Africa, where I was born, is full of it. I saw extreme poverty on the Island of Santorini in Greece. Just by going off the tourist track and walking down on a simple path between the fields, I saw people who had hollowed out holes in the mud embankments and were living there. They packed mud around tins and lit fires underneath to build simple ovens in the dirt. Very sad! I see people living under highway overpasses and sleeping on air conditioning grates in our own country. I have friends who are poor and living below the poverty line in Canada. This is terrible! It breaks my heart and moves me to tears sometimes.

 

How far worse is it to be poor and then have your health, shelter and loved ones taken away!

 

This Earth has shaken and moved for years. Pressures build up and then they release suddenly! The Mercelli scale used to measure these describes the effect of as 7 point Earthquake as “Difficult to stand; furniture broken; damage negligible in building of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken. Noticed by people driving motor cars.”[1]

 

If that’s the case why is Haiti so badly hit? Well note the “considerable damage in poorly built or designed structures”! These people are poor and making do with what they can get! This means their buildings fell apart crushing them, their loved ones and their possessions. 100 000 people may be dead! They are someone's child, father, mother, grand parent, lover, friend!

 

I hate the fact that the first thing non-christians ask Christians are questions like; Did God do this? Is this due to the Devil?

Other than supporting  gravity, earth and water to live with and the science that is what we call the discovery of rules that guide this, we cannot blame God. This is a natural outcome of life on this planet! God gives us a wonderful place to live, but it has basic structures which change over time. It’s not a God or Devil “thing”! It’s living and making our way through the works of life type of  “thing”!

 

I guess many in Haiti are asking similar questions, but adding the question “why?”

 

My friend, it happened! Maybe so that you can help them right now! That’s what God wants! This happened for a good scientific reason, the earth picked up stress that our scientists with all their tools, processes and techniques somehow missed, and it gave way suddenly!

What about the people killed? Were they sinners or saints? Probably both!

All of us suffer from one disease that will kill us all! It’s called life! When it ends, we get left in one of two states, and only one of the two. We are either a sinner or a saint! Each of us have that choice! If you are reading this you definitely do! Once the choice is made and we die, the choice is locked down. What does this mean? Simply decide now! Then I want to motivate you to do something to help the people in Haiti.

  If in North America we all sent over just $5 each, (there is 340 million of us)

that would raise $1,700,000,000 dollars of relief!

So, miss out on three or four cups of coffee, and make a huge difference in this world!

Some people will not send that $5, so if you can please send more! Don't go crazy and send you life savings, but do look at what you can spare right now. the people of haiti will appreciate it and so would Jesus. During his whole life on earth, he asked us to take care of the poor. This is an opportunity!

Haiti was a small country, very poor, and was to a large extent forgotten by the world. Now it’s center stage! Maybe this is the opportunity to help the poor! Maybe that’s “why”. Maybe this will give poor people a chance to jump start the lives of their nation, and improve their  lot considerably. The event has happened, how can we make it into something good? By loving and helping! That’s what God wants!

 

They are part of the brotherhood we inherit as humans. 

God wants us to love these folk and I think we can!

Let's love Haiti!
Thu, January 14, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lacking sleep, not well, grouchy, a tough day ahead?

Days when we feel less than great are not that uncommon in life. In fact, as the years increase, the number of those days seem to increase rather than decrease! Most young children seem to have more good days than bad and those over 80 in age seem to have to struggle with more tough days than good ones.

Strange how that happens isn't it?

Today is a day where I am lacking sleep (I woke up ill), I have a really tough day, and lots of people have demands on my time and skills that have to be satisfied. Other than my wonderful wife, I guess not many of them have too much time for how I feel either!

With this in mind, I did what I normally do on these types of days and plan to tell you so that maybe this could help you also.

Firstly, I reminded myself, that I am not in the worst situation I have even been in. I remember that I have been in more uncomfortable and nasty situations.

One occasion was when I found myself standing in front of an angry bunch of young people who were throwing stones at a school I had to enter. Students who were part of a crowd that recently had filled an old car tire with gasoline, pushed it over a man's body pinning his arms to his sides, and set it alight, burning him alive him. That is probably the worst situation I have been in. On that specific occasion as the crowd surged towards the car that my friend and I were in, all I could do was pray that God would intervene. We got out and my friend spoke to them. God intervened (as he usually does) and instead of loosing my life in a horrible way that day, the crowd stopped throwing stones and parted to allow my friend and I to enter the building. Probably this is better understood if you know the context of the situation.  It ocurred in the apartheit period in the country of South Africa. I was the only "white" person there, and therefore a "target" to the angry "black" young people despite the fact I was trying to help them get education.

If God could work a miracle to help me through an impossible situation like that one, he can help me overcome my tough day today! He can help us all! He's incredible! He's God!

So, instead of allowing despair and gloom to pull us down, we should ask God to help us! Then, we need to remember how he has helped in the past (if we have given him the right to help us by believing in him), and then we need to look for the good things that happen to us, allowing Holy Spirit to show the bright side of every situation to us.

For example, today, driving to work in city traffic, some lady decided to turn her car from a stationary lane into my lane. She was at 0km/hr  and my congested lane was traveling at 80km/her (50 miles/hr). She didn't wait for space to do the turn, she just turned and drove out into traffic. Right at me! I had to hit brakes, almost swerve into another lane, being fortunate that the cars in the lane alongside me saw what was happening and moved over to make way. I just managed to stop in time! Then she just continued to drive into the lane in front of me despite the horns blowing and the annoyed traffic around me. (I was pretty annoyed as well!)

How should I have reacted? I could have got extremely angry couldn't I? No, instead, as soon as the situation was safe again, I turned to God and asked what I should do. The answer I got was that I should keep my day positive. So what I did was forgive the nutty lady and pray she wouldn't cause another accident. My day was better off for it! Probably hers was as well!

I intend to keep that attitude today!

It's not great when we aren't well, but it's far worse when we allow that discomfort to cause us to damage ourselves for the rest of the day as well.

What do you think? What attitude would you have? How do you want your day to evolve? I pray you will take what I call the "high" road!

Wed, January 13, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How were the sacred books gathered? Are there others? Can we trust them?

biblematrix.JPG 
The picture describes a summary of some of those ancient texts.

 

This table places the biblical texts into a timeframe and groups them into broad types of texts.

The word Canon speaks of those manuscripts gathered and selected as being part of the bible.

There were various ways this came into being as godly men over time tried to remove false writing from the true.


For the New Testament (NT) some of the criteria used included that of closeness of the writer to Jesus.
Also, closeness in relationship to the twelve apostles that Jesus taught when he was alive on the Earth was a factor. Those writings are considered more important since they are written by people closest to Jesus and his time. Sort of like writing down what happens on holiday or shortly afterwards so you can talk about it accurately in a year or two’s time. Without doing that we forget stuff fairly soon, and worse, we can start to make stuff up without knowing it.


As I go through this discussion, I want to start with pointing out this bible is made up of over 1000 manuscripts and thousands of scraps. The King James Version of the bible that western people almost “idolize” as the “best” form, is not even close to the original manuscripts! It is written in English! No part of that original bible was in English!


Hebrew and Greek are the main languages and you need to understand Aramaic as well! That’s if you want to read the original! Fortunately, we have lots of tools to help us understand the difference between our English versions and the original. We just must remember that English didn’t exist when the bible manuscripts and scrolls were being written. English came long afterwards! This must be kept in mind if we are to properly understand our bible!


If we want to understand a bit about the bible, we have to understand that by speaking English and reading it in English,(or any language except the original Hebrew and Greek) we are losing a lot of meaning before we start! Sorry folk, but I did start off with pointing out that we want to be truthful. This is being truthful!


Can we trust our English versions? What versions can we trust?


Over the centuries, many men and women have worked hard to get us the best bible content possible. I don’t want to bore us, but teams of people have worked for years to get us what we have. Some were willing to die for any mistake they made. The authenticated versions we have are all pretty good. Some are more accurate than others but generally those based on those ancient texts do their best to represent them faithfully!


Before we consider the bible texts in more detail think about this; If God inspired people to write texts guided by Holy Spirit, then it will only be those original texts ,as written by the original writers, that are the valid texts! This gives us a bit of a dilemma. How many original texts exist and how do we know who wrote them?


In the Old Testament, most people think that either the book of Job, or Genesis are the oldest of the manuscripts in the old testament.


The Old Testament texts are gathered in what is termed the “Massoretic” texts
. This was written in Hebrew, compiled from ancient manuscripts and checked for accuracy against parts of the Old Testament found in the Dead Sea scrolls. [They were written by scribes called Massoretes, so that’s how they got that name] Basically it comprises the “Tanakh” or the bible used in Judaism. This is in turn broken into groupings called the “Torah” or “ Teaching”, the “Nevi'im” or “Prophets” and the “Ketuvim” or “writings”.  This text and the Christian bible Old Testament have a very high degree of correspondence to each other.


There are many non-biblical references to these writings that go a long way back. Various historians such as guys called Josephus and Philo reference them. There are quotations on coins, pottery, amulets etc. This shows they were really old!

When we consider the bible that Jesus used, we find he used this Tanakh, but also used another called the “Septuagint” or “LXX”. This version of the Old Testament bible was
requested by a non-Jewish and non-Christian world leader before Jesus was born.  Alexander the Great, who was Greek wanted people to respect their own religions, but wanted all people to speak Greek as a common language. It was one of his Greek Kings, Ptolemy, that commissioned seventy two scholars to translate the Judaic religious texts into the “Septuagint” which was the Old Testament bible in Greek.


Jesus used these when he walked on this earth. In addition, Jesus also at times seems to quote from another source, different from the Massoretic text and the Septuagint, but one that we no longer have today! [Let’s keep looking]


So, if Jesus used these versions, I guess we can, right?

Okay, I will discuss the New testament writings (the ones written after Jesus lived) in a future blog. Have a great day and know that the bible is based in reality and fact! Faith is needed, but a lot of what we read in the bible has been backed up by the facts of science!


Lets be thankful for such amazing help! Ciao!

Tue, January 12, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dancing and the joy of being human!
 

I have just been to the Broadway musical "Mamma Mia", which uses those great songs from the 70's by ABBA.

This got me thinking about culture differences, dancing and hot young sweaty bodies enjoying the glories of youth. My own particular flavor being that of a warm African summer night after that glow of a spectacular red, orange and yellow sunset. The sunsets in Africa are so spectacular that they would make my Canadian friends grab their camera's and talk of their beauty for days afterwards if they could see them.

Yes, there is a vibrant earthy energy that drove me to enjoy life to its fullest as a young guy! I could hardly wait for the time that I and my engineering friends would be meeting a group of young college woman and going dancing.

Yes, I did say dancing!

Being born in Africa I have a beat and flow in my blood that can only be fully expressed by the syncopated movement of limbs and torso in time to music.

Here in North America, we often find that guys who dance are muttered about negatively by the guys that don't. This is strange, since even here, I have noticed that the guys that do dance get the girls. Ah well, our culture works against us sometimes I guess!

Males can be very self conscious. They don't want anyone to know they lack confidence! This is particularly evident when they are asked to dance. Their courage slides away when faced with the dance floor and a feeling of stupidity slides into their minds. This then steals there enjoyment of life to its fullest!

Thankfully around the world others know better and learn this social skill without denting their masculinity in any way. What male doesn't want to have wonderful women in your arms, moving in time to a rhythmic beat! Get real! Those guys that don't dance are the wimps and lack courage! They fear rejection, they fear not being able to perform, and their fear makes them losers!


The reason I bring this up, is that I really enjoyed the music of the Broadway production. Yes the theme is not the best but the story does have a delightful ending and generates many laughs along the way.

The reason I really enjoyed it is because it brought back great memories of dancing with many young woman, of meeting my beautiful wife, and of glorious evenings where we literally danced the night away.

Then on the negative side, I unfortunately think of the stupidity with which the church tries to tell young people not to do the same! Where do these crusty, tradition bound, old fashioned, none real people come from? Should we call them Pharisees?

Sorry, here I am going to stand on peoples toes, and unfortunately to be honest, I do so deliberately!

I find it totally hypocritical to see older members of church congregations condemning dancing in one breath and approving missionary work in the other! I say this because I know, (having lived in Africa) that those missionaries use dance and song to deliver much of the joy of the Christian life to those they work with! They understand we are human and to connect we need song and dance. I do believe God understands this far better than we do!

Nowhere in the bible does it ever condemn dancing! Anyone who knows Middle Eastern people know that dancing is in their blood too! They fully understand "See that girl, watch that scene, diggin' the dancing queen ... You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen / Dancing queen, feel the beat ..."[1]


Why do we think God disapproves of us dancing?


Hey! The bible talks of people dancing with tambourines[2]. There are many, many, references to dancing and the joy it produces! The man of God, David, was an exceptional dancer! It says "David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might". An ephod was probably a type of linen cloth tied around his waist!


So dancing was definitely in!


I can hear the older more conservative people saying "yes, but only in special occasions before God"!


"Garbage!" is what I say to that! Do you live on planet earth?


Do you not know God created us specifically to get excited by the opposite sex! People of those days danced as part of their enjoyment of life, see Judges 21:13-24. It was seen as positive, see Jeremiah 31:13, part of expressing the joy of true life and freedom. Lack of joy was equated with a lack of dancing[3]. Dancing was the norm of happy society!

Now I know that Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."[4] .



Hey folks! He was writing about adultery not dancing! He was talking of protecting marriage, not discussing if we should dance with members of the opposite sex! The two are NOT the same. Get your heads around that please! An early follower of God, Paul, who wrote many of the letters in the bible expands that for us by saying "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."[5]


Folk we are aren't chatting about adultery, but about dancing! We are talking of the joy of getting to know the bodies of the opposite sex in a "safe" way, within a community setting, that enables us to learn things that will be of great benefit to us once we are married and want to "enjoy the wife of our youth"[6]!


Our bible and our God are not stuck up! Let me give an example. That quote I just made in full says


"May your fountain be blessed,

and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

 A loving doe, a graceful deer-

may her breasts satisfy you always,

may you ever be captivated by her love."


I guess a good red blooded male wrote that, eh?

Do you really think a bunch of men who fish for a living would follow a guy who was not a real masculine male! I wouldn't, and I work with computers and writing. I guess those hard living fishermen who had to make their own boats, nets, fight storms and work hard to put food on the table are less likely to go for an academic wimp!

I think Jesus was a very real man! He had to be a guy that those rough and tough men could relate to! Consider that he was a carpenter by trade and had spent his life picking up tree's, cutting them into heavy logs from which he fashioned beds, doors, furniture and other necessary stuff. Not a wimps job! Particularly being the eldest of numerous siblings and a breadwinner. Jesus was a real man!

Jesus was a party guy! That's what the bible says! His first miracle was making alcohol for a wedding party![7] Hmmm! Some Christians just don't like to hear that. Again, the bible warns of getting drunk, not drinking alcohol. Jesus was known to frequent places where drunkards and prostitutes went. Again, I am not saying we should do this, but I am saying that doing it isn't wrong. Doing wrong in those places is not what God expects however! That is wrong!

Yes folk, alcohol was part of Jesus life too! I know a lot of Christians modify the celebration of that last meal he had where they drank wine to use grape juice, but that's to care for those who walk into our midst who have a drinking problem. The bible talks of wine. Years of translations have never found it comfortable to translate the word as grape juice. I don't know of a translation that has ever used grape juice instead of the word wine. That would be lying! It was wine! He drank wine because it was customary to do so on those feast days.

By the way the feasts of the Old Testament were generally parties where people had good times for days at a time. I'm sure they danced!

Okay, how about alcohol in our gatherings. Well if we love all people and wouldn't want them to have a problem, it probably means we exclude alcohol where it can hurt others. Does that mean alcohol is outlawed for a Christian? Nope! But drinking too much (which is defined clearly by our country laws now days) or being selfish, ignorant or nasty in relation to alcohol usage, definitely is outlawed! If you have a drinking problem, then it is wrong!

Okay, so I have probably insulted a large group of Christian people. Sorry, not wanting too, but I have to speak  truth!

So to get back to dancing. .

I learned dancing in a setting where Christians got together to dance.
From teenagers to parents to elderly couples, we all came together to enjoy an evening of dancing in a church hall once a week. All styles were used. We did old time dancing (the type you see in old fashioned line dances where ladies dance at balls in front of kings and queens), we did square dancing(that country dancing stuff), we did Latin American dancing (cha cha, salsa, swing and jive), we did ballroom dancing, we did disco(Saturday night fever, etc), we left nothing out! We did it, as Christians, under the watchful eyes of our elders who taught us the best moves and the correct ways of holding a lady. We did this because it was fun! We did this because honoring God is enjoying what he created!

He created "Us"!

Let's enjoy this and allow others to do so! So, if you don't dance, how about considering it? It's healthy, invigorating and adds to the simple joy of living!



[1] Lyrics of Dancing Queen by Abba.

[2] Exodus 15:20, Judges 11:34, Psalm 150:4

[3] Lamentations 5:15

[4] Matthew 5:27-29

[5] Hebrews 13:4

[6] Proverbs 5:18

[7] John 2

Mon, January 11, 2010 | link          Comments

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happiness, Contentment and Lust!

Lust is defined to be: A longing desire to possess or experience a sensual pleasure.



So much of the understanding of what lust is seems to trigger many people, (particularly guys) to think of sexual lusts. That is wanting to experience the touch, taste, smell, and sights related to sexual activities with someone of the opposite sex.

This is not the greatest as it causes us to miss out on seeing the other attributes of the person! Jesus warned us as follows: Matthew 5:28. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. That’s with this one aspect. You can probably get a bit more information and guidance at Okay, so how do we deal with the sexual content that gets flipped up into our face all the time? and Surely it’s better to have sex with a few people. . .is God's view still valid?

 


But what about other forms of lust?

 


Okay so women don’t lust after visuals of naked men as much as men lust after visuals of naked women. But women lust after the power and that apparent freedom the guys have, they often lust over controlling others, particularly powerful individuals. Manipulation and coercion (i.e. forceful manipulation) are things that many woman use and desire. Think of how many women you know who try to force their husbands to change into some idealistic image they have of how they should be! They lust the ability to dominate and control. That’s as bad if not worse than the men’s problem, but it is less obvious.

 


God warns us that we can really screw up by lusting. Our brains don’t have the freedom to correctly evaluate all options, our senses become extra sensitive for a short while, and then we habituate (become accustom) to the new experience. So it’s not enough so we really go for more and more. Soon we go from being normal to having abnormal desires.

That’s why pornography is so dangerous for men! It starts out giving them a sensual high, but soon that high is not so good. Quickly it moves them from being able to have healthy sexual experiences into wanting to try something to increase the high. Nasty! Like a fish gobbling up bait after bait and ignoring the hooks, it makes it real difficult to get loose.

 

So if we have lusted, how do we get out of this horrible, hooked, and caught experience? Trying to duck and run makes the hooks dig in deeper and we are less likely to get away.

 

Well, firstly we need to understand the difference between lust and love, between the bait and the real thing. Bait ends up in death, real food give life.

How do we get to understand this? Well we have to be sure to go to someone who really knows the difference. Here, Christian firnds can help. They help by explaining what we are doing wrong and how we can modify our behaviours. Mostly they become accountability partners! We can talk to them and get good advice. (No, they should not get all the gory details! If they want to hear that find someone else).

 

Most of all we need to hide behind the rock and let the rock break the line. Jesus is described as a rock in the bible. Reading our bible to find out how God sees us and how we should see ourselves, and how we can behave in the right way to get optimal performance out of our lives is critical. It’s the only way you can break those lines and swim away from our bad habits and lusts that have got us!

 


Also, don’t think that it will be easy! That fish with two or three hooks needs to wear that line back and forth on the rock. The lusts tug, but each tug that is resisted wears that line a little more. Soon it breaks and we start on the next line. After a while we are free!

 


What do you think? How will you overcome your lusts?

Sun, January 10, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse.

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
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