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Friday, April 9, 2010

Fair play? Are we allowed to get angry?
. . .

Ever been scorched by someone who cheated and took you out?


 It’s just not easy to forgive and forget is it? We get caught up in the moment of competition, fail to watch for the sneaky underhanded move and next thing we are behind and chasing after the sneering victor. Not nice!

 
Why do people cheat? It’s interesting to consider this because we all assume its because they want to be the winner, but that isn’t the real reason.
 
The real reason is that they feel inadequate and don’t want it to show! If they were comfortable with who they are and their abilities they would be willing to compete fairly and accept the position their abilities allow them to achieve. So cheating is really about a destructive attempt to presever our self image!

Worse than that, the cheater can never really win! They have set themselves up for failure even if they don’t get caught! They know they are not adequate or they wouldn’t have had to cheat and they know it’s hidden from others but if it gets out they will become even more inadequate in the eyes of others. Their self love is distorted to cause them to damage themselves deeper and more severely each time they cheat!

 This is sad and one of the reasons why I don’t easily get as angry as I used to with people I catch cheating!

 I just think that perhaps if I explain that they are adequate, God loves them very much and that if they choose to follow his guidelines, they will not have a need to cheat. Our Father has the words and the help that can enable the most beaten up of self images to grow into beautiful strong personalities!

 
What about those of us that are watching others cheat, are we allowed to get angry?

 Yes!
 
 Let’s just direct it at the right place!

Let's direct it at the creature that has caused all this pain and suffering! That tradesman in self hate and disillusionment! That evil one we have named Satan! Let us know he is the enemy not the poor victim being consumed by his destructive prodding.

 
God’s guidelines or laws are fair and right! They are completely trustworthy! Satan on the other hand is unfair and sneaky and totally untrustworthy.

Gold in Satan’s hand is just a way to get some poor unsuspecting person addicted to wealth and loose their life chasing it. Success is a way to steal a persons time to the point that they have to worship success at the expense of their personal contentment and friendship with others! Can I get angry about that? Definitely!

 
If only people would pay attention to God’s words, his promises are true. We all have our share of trouble and suffering, but if we follow God’s guidelines we can stand up self assured and confident that we have done the right thing. We can delight in his love and guidance!

 
All we need to do is to ask God to help us understand the guidelines and then live by them. When it comes to cheaters, it is looking for the best way to help them.

Sometimes it’s just coming alongside, letting them know you know but you love them anyway and are willing to help them improve to where they can win without cheating! Maybe nobody has done that for them before. Maybe we can be ray of light and hope in their contorted world.
 
Let’s hate the manipulator and love the person!
 

Hey, have a great day!

Fri, April 9, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Teach me to live as you have promised!
.
 
What is successful living? How do we measure success?

 Katharine C. Giovanni, and author speaker puts it this way:

 Success is an inside job. To be successful we must first think that we ARE successful. Everyone measures it differently. Some measure it by how much money they make. Others measure it by their career path and corresponding title. Then you have the people who measure it by the things that they have such as the size of their house, their art and jewellery and the number of cars that they own. Others measure it by the state of their health.”[1]

 “To be successful we must first think we are successful” Really? She goes on to say we need to BRAG ABOUT OURSELF., is that what she really thinks?

 Is this not pride? This is the first sin that took man down isn’t it? Pride!

That insidious creepy little demon who slides into our life and points out to us how much better we are than others. Once that lie takes hold, then soon the next one follows! The one where we get asked if we can do things better than our loving God. Once that one takes hold we are on a slippery slope into a hell of a life!

 Having been a multi-millionaire at one point, I am aware that money and worldly success isolates you! It can easily remove true friends and put them at arms length, it forces you to pamper it, insure it, prop up our image, attend functions that waste our lives.

 However, it can also help us help others if we use it wisely! Money itself is not evil!

It’s just the number of temptations that come with it that foster evil. There is never enough money until we realise that the need for more is a waste of our lives and that we need to remove the strings of wealth and focus on a life of serving others.

We can easily damage our life’s purpose by our greed for self, whether it be for money or success.


 
That doesn’t mean we must divest ourselves of our wealth, far from it!

We must employ our wealth at the direction of God’s Holy Spirit. Our Father will show us what is enough and what is too much

As we listen to Holy Spirit's guidance on where we need to spend our time and where we should limit our time, we get more contented. We need to know where we are to give gifts, where giving gifts would harm the person He loves!

 
Most of all, let’s check what we do against God’s guidelines in the sacred writing he left us!

If we obey them we will find purpose. Let’s not get to complex about understanding them either! Those guidelines are written so that even simple folk can understand them. God does not see success as being in intelligence!
 
 Success is in desiring to get God’s guidance and following it when we get it! It is communicating continually with God and having our Father turn his favour on us! That’s what he does for those who love him. He loves us all!

 
Success is asking our Father to teach us how to live and keeping selfish, ignorant and nasty activities away from ourselves.

It’s being free of evil even though we live within evil in our cultures. Its being right in life and knowing God is smiling down on us! It is sad that so many people are chasing success without knowing what it is![2]

 
I hope today I can live a life of true success.
My prayer for you is that you would also enjoy this freedom.

Have a great day!




[1] Katherine Goivanni, How do you measure success? http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=16059 accessed 8 April 2010

[2] Ps 119:129-136 NIRV

Thu, April 8, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Discernment, a lost art?
. 

“Discernment” is a word we don’t really use today, right?

 If we do use it, it is watered down to mean “Help me understand what is right”. This may be part of the meaning of this word, but it sure lacks the power and strength of the original word.

 The free dictionary online defines it as follows

1. The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment.
2. Keenness of insight and judgment


 Where does this keenness come from?

This is what makes the whole word work correctly or incorrectly. We all judge, but do we all judge keenly. How accurate, devoted and intensely do we apply ourselves to that judgement? Are we totally involved in it? To what extent is our whole heart focused on getting to the core of the matter?

 Even if we apply ourselves wholeheartedly with devotion to actively trying to find out truth, we can miss the mark.
 
 Discernment is more specialized in meaning for a Christian. It involves allowing the power of God’s Spirit to activate our insight, power up our judgement, and focus our thoughts where they can get the best traction on what we need to understand.

There is a spiritual component, a component whereby the power of God is loosed onto the unsuspecting words
to unveil an extreme truth that is beyond the understanding of the normal non-Christian.

 
 It is time based as well! Meaning changes with time! Let me illustrate this: 

 Let’s say you have a young girl who is not yet mature and you are explaining to her the complexity of marriage. She may understand in part, but compared to the old woman who has outlived three of her husbands, that young girl would not understand the meaning of the word marriage in the same way as the older woman.

 Similarly when we apply ourselves to reading God’s word, it is not sufficient to apply our young minds to it, we need to apply the wisdom of all time to the problem to fully understand what is meant.

We have to allow God’s spirit, that “Ancient of Day’s”  to become active in our mind,
enabling our thoughts to be provided with additional layers of meaning that would be missed by our own meagre attempts at understanding.

 We cannot do this without first accepting God’s Spirit as a controller of our lives. His love is supreme and his desire to help us absolute. We can either reject this and trust in our understanding like that young girl, or we in our youth, empower our lives with the love of |God who has lived for eternity and will live for eternity. This is the way to understand God’s word.

 Does this mean we disconnect our brain and let God do the work?

 Never!

 
There are good principles God wants us to understand! Our knowledge is active and needed.

God works with us, not without!
(Why he does it this way is a question I often ask and have not yet fully understood, but one thing I do know,he chooses to work with us!) 

 This means we need to try and understand the meaning the original author had for the words and its application to us today. (Let’s try and not only apply only our current understanding to the words we read since our modern reasoning and logic is often very different to that of the original writers).

 Pray and ask God to unveil meaning that we ourselves could never discern without Him! That’s when it gets exciting to read the sacred writings! Without this, they can become just another boring history book!

 My desire for us all is that we would have discernment. As it says in Psalm 119:125 (NIV)

 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.

 
 First we become servants of God before we get discernment. Once we have discernment, we understand! Without it all we do is ask others to “Help me understand what is right”. That’s not an optimal use of our abilities!

 Today, I pray our loving Father in Heaven will give you discernment. I pray that if you haven’t already asked Him to come into your life and empower you, that you will.

  He loves us so much!
Let’s give Him a chance to show us how much!


Wed, April 7, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why are some people double minded?
  The explosion of knowledge and information over the years has had a side effect that is barely discernable unless we think about it. It is this. . . 

 Our ability to be certain of our knowledge is being undermined!

 In years past, children went to school to gain knowledge of the structures which enabled them to know a fair amount about everything that went on in the world around them. While no-one would have thought they knew everything, there were people who knew almost everything.

Radio shows had people on them who could answer questions on any subject. The panels of experts like “stump the team” entertained all. They answered almost every tough question put to them without resorting to computers and databases. They were amazing! 

 Life has changed. Information is growing exponentially and there is no chance that the young person of today could even hope to know part of the information out there. Now days the “stump the team” requires electronic assistance and we no longer see these panels of experts. Nobody can link that amount of information together! With this comes huge stress!

 We know that as young people looking to make a decision on what we will do as a career, the number of options looks almost limitless. Just trying to understand what the titles of these jobs are, stretches us and our abilities, never mind understanding the requirements, the challenges and rewards of a profession. Then once we think we know, we have the awesome task of selecting how best to prepare ourselves for this activity. Behind all this is the stress we experience, that stress that lies in wait to ambush us, “What if I get it wrong?”


 This all leads us to becoming what is termed “double minded”. We selectively change our opinions and attitudes to fit the circumstances. 

 This is no more evident than in the traditional church setting where we as young people are put under pressure to have “faith” and reject science teachings, so we often comply and build an information base that we dutifully use to answer from, when in the church environment.

 Then we go to school. Here we answer questions and write essays from the currently understood world views of science and technology. Here again we build an information base from which we answer these questions.

 When we don’t build a single minded view of this then we are being double minded. Then we are asking to have trouble! We ask why people walk away from the church? Could it be they honestly ask questions that our clergy have no ability to answer? How many religious leaders have the time to become great men of science and technology, and also become great men of God. FEW!


 So what happens is that we are not progressing in truth but rather propounding a lot of dated ideas that if we only knew, have been superseded by the investigations of the “few”. Not only that, but often these “few” are labelled as trouble makers and heretics. This despite the fact they love God dearly and only want to assist us to become single minded.

 The bible says in psalm 119:113 to 120

 I hate double-minded men,
       but I love your law.
 
 114 You are my refuge and my shield;
       I have put my hope in your word.
 115 Away from me, you evildoers,
       that I may keep the commands of my God!
 116 Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live;
       do not let my hopes be dashed.
 117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
       I will always have regard for your decrees.
 118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
       for their deceitfulness is in vain.
 119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
       therefore I love your statutes.
 120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
       I stand in awe of your laws.

And then in revelations 3:13 to 16 it also says. . .

'Those who have ears should listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches.'  "Here is what I command you to write to the church in Laodicea.  Here are the words of the One who is the Amen. What he gives witness to is faithful and true. He rules over what God has created. He says,  'I know what you are doing. I know you aren't cold or hot. I wish you were either one or the other! But you are lukewarm. You aren't hot or cold. So I am going to spit you out of my mouth.

These combined can often be used to constrain the thinking of individuals. We can be told to “have faith” and by this people mean “blind faith”, but this is not what is requested!


 God wants us to use the brains he gave us to search his word for Truth. He believes in truth so much that he says he is Truth! We should never be double minded because then we are going to become lukewarm and the bible says that is not good.

 Instead we must be willing to search for truth, to try and clear up ambiguities, be willing to question anything and everything, but to do this knowing Jesus created and sustains all and is truth. It’s okay not to understand something, but it’s not okay to agree with someone just to make them happy! That is being double minded!

Let’s know God’s guidelines for life and walk forward in them. Let’s admit what we don’t understand, but also admit and state what we do. Let’s be honest to the world and others.

 
That’s my objective for today! What is yours?
Tue, April 6, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, April 5, 2010

What pushes us to do things?
In our family we have a saying

"
It's good to have something that gets you out of bed in the morning!"


What we mean by this is that there needs to be a purpose to our day! This morning was a Easter Monday and I didn't have work to do and slept in late. However, when I woke and saw how late it was, I was out of bed in an instant and within minutes I am writing this blog. Why?

Well, I feel a responsibility of duty towards our loving God to be responsible towards all of you who read this, and I agree with the bible verse that says:

“For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Our loving Father guides us through our days and gives us purpose, Holy Spirit lives within us guiding our lives each moment of every day if we let Him. I know that I am not full enabled to provide what you want to hear, but I do know that our Lord and God is. He gives me the words to speak and the time to speak them. This is a flow of energy that is so profound that I cannot but be compelled to acquire that taste of the joy of doing his work every morning. It's an amazing experience, allowing God to take control of your finger tips and letting his will flow into the page.

We are not all the same! Some of us have different talents and some of us are more gifted than others. This makes little difference to God who loves us equally and wants the best for all of us. Whether we let Him however depends on one great choice we make. Do we allow God to guide our lives?

If we want to get out of bed in the morning then we need to know Jesus because it makes a huge difference to the enjoyment and anticipation with which we approach each day.

I love getting up to the work our Lord provides!
How about you?
 




 

Mon, April 5, 2010 | link          Comments

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jesus isnít the only one in the bible who came alive!
  Easter celebrated in much of the world is a time where we party around the fact that Jesus in the first century somehow came alive after being killed in a particularly nasty manner!

 Many people think Jesus was the only person who came alive but there a number of stories where people came alive again in the bible:

 1.       1 Kings 17:17-24 is the story where Elijah prays and God raises a young boy from death 

 2.       2 Kings 4:32-37 describes how Elijah’s successor, Elisha raises the son of the Shunammite woman (); 

 3.       2 Kings 13:21 explains how a dead man's body thrown into the dead Elisha's tomb comes to life when the body touches Elisha's bones.

 4.       John 11 describes how Lazarus is brought back to life by Jesus.

 Today we consider this to be unreal and impossible. But, even now days we get odd stories about this. See http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=175923  for a description of a woman who was dead started moving as they prepared her for burial.

This happened in February 2010
and it says:

 “Funeral home workers in the Colombian city of Cali got the shock of a lifetime when an apparently dead 45-year-old woman suddenly started breathing and moving as they prepared her for burial, AFP reported Wednesday.”

 In this case she never regained full consciousness and is in a coma. Quite a few skeptics think this is what happened to Jesus.

 
 The problem with this argument is that a spear was thrust up into his side. Based on the fact that blood and something like water flowed out, it’s very likely the guys doing this actually knew their job quite well and thrust it through his heart. It’s real difficult to come back from a coma with a hole in your heart. You definitely don’t walk around or push a huge stone out of the way like Jesus did.

 Jesus came back to life miraculously!

 Others say the body was stolen, but we know a whole crowd of soldiers were watching to make sure this couldn’t occur. If it did let it happen they were likely to be killed for failing in their duty. Again this is not a likely scenario!

 So we are pretty sure Jesus was really dead! Then he really came back to life! Fortunately for us, otherwise, I doubt those disciples would have had the courage to do what they ended up doing. If Jesus didn’t motivate them I think that Christianity would have fizzled out after his death.

 It didn’t! Thank God for that! Jesus lived, walked, talked and motivated others when he came back to life. It was so dramatic that it changed the world. It still does!

 It’s also good to remember that God’s gift of life after death is for us as well!

Have a happy Easter Sunday!


 ACTS 1: 6-9 When the apostles met together, they asked Jesus a question. "Lord," they said, "are you going to give the kingdom back to Israel now?"

 He said to them, "You should not be concerned about times or dates. The Father has set them by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Then you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem. You will be my witnesses in all Judea and Samaria. And you will be my witnesses from one end of the earth to the other."

 After Jesus said this, he was taken up to heaven. They watched until a cloud hid him from their sight.

Sun, April 4, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

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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?

 

 

 
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