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Friday, May 7, 2010

I hurt as I see others hurt themselves! How about you?
...
 
Daily we hurt ourselves and others!

 
I watch as people damage themselves due to the way others have hurt them in the past, the way they hurt themselves by trying to do more than is possible within a given time period, by wanting more than they are due, by rejecting their own bodies and raising those of others to the status of Gods, by simply repeating self damaging behavior when they know it will lead to further pain, and in many other ways!

 
Fortunately I cannot judge others because at times I have been guilty of this stupidity myself!

 
But I do so want to help others when I see them hurting themselves!

 
Yesterday I was in a discussion with a guy who told us he had not slept more than 4 hours a night for the past few days due to job pressure. When some of us pointed out that getting sleep would benefit both him and the job, he said it was not necessary and he was replacing sleep with “coffee and cigarettes”! My retort was something like “So you are stealing from the end of your life to help you now!”

 
I expected him to deny this but he just said “Sure!” Hurting himself willfully!

 
Why?

 
Why do we do this self destructive behavior? We know in the long run it doesn’t benefit us! We throw all the good advice out and follow painful paths that lead us downwards. I think one of the most common ones is not forgiving and the contorted emotional mess it leaves within us.  

 
 Wising up is a Godly thing to do! God wants us to respect ourselves fully and to follow his guidelines to avoid these pains that invade our lives. How can we guide others if we don’t have a light to show the way?

 
As Christians we have a responsibility to stop hurting ourselves and those around us! This is a pure instruction from God. In Roman’s chapter 2 verse 23 Paul a Guy who is known for understanding God’s heart well says “You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?”

 
He was talking to Jews who had the old bible and yet were hurting themselves by misinterpreting it and putting false restrictions on what people did and could do! However the same principle applies today and can be translated as;

 
“You who say you are Christians, through your failing to follow Christ’s example, do you dishonor God?”

 
In church’s I hear of unforgiveness between members, people hurting themselves and others in the process. I hear of arguments on things that have no eternal importance, like whether the item in the bathroom should be up or down a few inches, or whether some part of the time together should be extended or not, or whether we should actually allow certain activities?

 
All these things can be so hurtful! We seem to find ways of amplifying it and making it more painful because we do it to people we love, and then we hate ourselves for doing it and take it out on ourselves in some other way!

 
Why don’t we just do what God wants? Why don’t we accept that as sinners we fail? Why don’t we just ask God and others for the forgiveness we need? (It doesn’t matter if they actually say they forgive us or not, it’s up to us to ask however).

Why don’t we just let God show us how much he loves us despite our imperfections?


When we see how much God loves us despite our mixed up lives and mistakes, we can have compassion and humility to love others we disagree with and who are hurting themselves.

We don’t have to fix everything that’s going wrong because we only need to do what God leads us to do!

 This takes pressure off us to get involved in every situation!

 
How many times did Jesus push his way into another’s life to help them?

I cannot remember one time can you? He's not going to start now! We have to ask him to help and be willing to do the things he says (e.g. like get rid of our pride and ask forgiveness).

 Nope Jesus will not push his way into our lives to help us! What Jesus did was live as an example and help those who came to him! Let’s go to him today! Let's not push our way into the lives of others but let's listen for that faint cry for help and respond! 

 Let’s live as an example of love on Earth following Jesus guidelines and helping those who appeal to us to help!

 
Have a great day!
Fri, May 7, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How do I talk to God? Is it crazy to do so?

...

“Only crazy people talk to themselves!”


 

Isn’t this the attitude that most people have towards people who talk to themselves? The problem is that when a person is talking to God, it can look like they are talking to themselves. So, it is something that can make us very self-conscious isn’t it?


 

We get ashamed of ourselves for no real reason! If we sing out loud to ourselves and it’s the latest and greatest song, people may smile a little, but they don’t think the worse of us (unless they are annoyed by the noise since I don’t sing the greatest!).


 

The problem is that this feeling becomes a hidden pressure to stop us talking to God. You, know, like he doesn’t exist and we are talking to ourselves!


 

Now, I have to say you have to give me a bit of space here since I know God exists and I talk to him all the time. Only two days ago at work a problem occurred in an area for which I was responsible for where we could have brought a $24milproject to its knees. We did everything we could to fix the issue but everything came down to one little test that would take 24hours to finish. I told my co-workers we needed to pray. Some laughed, some nodded and some didn’t really react (openly that is).


 

I prayed to my Father as did my wife, and perhaps a few of my workers did too. Most of the workers had resigned themselves to a bad decision since that was what we were told by the experts would happen. Turns out it didn’t! God intervened!


 

Now, that’s not proof God exists! It could have been chance, or simply poorly informed experts! For me however these “God-incidences” have been happening since I accepted that Jesus was the son of God and asked Holy Spirit to empower and activate me to love others and to do good in all areas where I could(and had the courage to do it).


 

This is why I have to dig so deep to get back to my first prayers. Even then I have difficulty, because when I made my decision for God it was 100% and so prayer and appearing stupid was lumped in with the agreement. I was willing to be a fool for Christ!


 

However, my problem was praying in public! I didn’t feel I was able to correctly put words to what God impressed on my small heart! I felt less qualified than these amazing people who seemed to have wisdom dripping from each syllable they uttered.


 

So it took a lot for me to get to my first prayer! I remember how shaky I was when I first prayed and it was only a few words! God however seemed to use that prayer more than he did those of many others. I learned it’s not how you do it, but a “I love you and just have to say so even if it scares me!” thing.


 

Our Father wants to hear from us! He wants us to love him and those around us enough that we talk to him about how we can best use our precious time and strength to benefit our planet and those around us. We do this by being in God’s will! That means we don’t pray that he would destroy our enemies, but he would teach us how to love our enemies! Tough, but that’s a prayer in Jesus name!
 
Our prayers when we align them with God’s will for us and those around us are guaranteed to reach our Fathers ears. Then there is a whoosh of power in ourselves as Holy Spirit does great things around us!

 

I know that first prayer is difficult, but our loving Father knows it too! Two sincere honest and truthful words are more important to him than books of insincere or rote prayer!
 

 

Hey, lets get to love the God of the universe and chat to him asking his advice. Do it in private first, it's easier! But true honest words are true prayer! Don't worry about thinking you are a bit crazy! You are not crazy at all! I am crazy about God and don't really care what others think other than I want them to consider if he is worth being crazy about!

 

Happy world day of prayer!

Thu, May 6, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Honing our Judgement skill! Making the tough decisions!
...

TOUGH DECISIONS, all day, every day!

 
We are all given tough decisions at times! At times these tear into our hearts and minds, stealing sleep, contorting dreams and causing us to vacillate from one pole to the other as we struggle to make sense of a seemingly incomprehensible situation.

 
There is help and guidance the can make this a little easier. For example on the web we can find advice such as that in Wikihow (How to make tough decisions yourself). This gets us to write down the components of a decision in columns; "+" Score, Positives, What I'm Deciding to Change, Negatives, "-" Score.

 
Unfortunately just doing this can introduce stress and that can incapacitate our decision making further.

 
Probably we need to understand what assumptions we are making as we face the decision. So often these are flawed or unrealistic, or in some cases illegal. Christians need to add a check that their assumptions are supported by biblical evidence from the sacred texts. Check that we have not read the text out of context since that will definitely lead us into confusion. What is the attitude of all the texts to this decision we are trying to make?

 
How does our decision support our love and work for our loving Father in heaven? Sometimes it’s good to consider what Jesus would do in the situation. Sometimes we even have similar stories of what he did do to point us in the right direction.

 
Next we need to consider if our decision is depending on what we are currently doing or where we currently are in location or life. Will it change if these change? If so, in what way?

 
Most of all we want to be sure the decision reflects our life values because without being true to that we are living our lives as a lie!

 
The toughest decisions involve deciding on something that impacts others. Here we must be very, very, careful since the good book warns us;

 
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?”[1]

 
So what this says is when we judge others we are in fact judging ourselves! We need to think about what our judgement would be like if we are in the seat of the other.

 
This is difficult, because we also need to consider what we would like to be doing in relation to God’s will as that other person. Sometimes we are quick to jump to a human compassion judgement without considering the divine purpose behind the situation. We have to judge based on one criteria only. TRUTH!

 
God’s judgement is based on truth. This means all our judgements are flawed! Only God has pure truth. Does this mean we must not judge? It means we must try to not judge!

 
The bible is full of warnings about judging others so I wonder why so many Christians are judgemental. Sure we can point out that something is wrong in relation to God’s word but we must keep to facts. Lets look at just a little of what God says about judging others

 

Micah 3:1
[ The Lord Warns Israel's Leaders and Prophets ] Then I said, "Listen, you leaders of Jacob's people! Pay attention, you rulers of Israel! You should know how to judge others fairly.


 
Matthew 7:1
[ Be Fair When You Judge Others ] "Do not judge others. Then you will not be judged.

 
Matthew 7:2
You will be judged in the same way you judge others. You will be measured in the same way you measure others.


Luke 6:37
[ Be Fair When You Judge Others ] "If you do not judge others, then you will not be judged. If you do not find others guilty, then you will not be found guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

 
Romans 2:12
Some people do not know God's law when they sin. They will not be judged by the law when they die. Others do know God's law when they sin. They will be judged by the law.

 
1 Timothy 5:24
The sins of some people are easy to see. They are already being judged. Others will be judged later.

 
The summary of this is that as we get tempted to judge, we should temper our minds with his kindness, tolerance and patience.

 
Kindness will bring compassion into play and we will look for ways to decide in the way that is best for God and for the others involved (all the others).

 
Tolerance is a self check! We check ourselves for prejudices! Do we have pre-dispositions or attitudes that cause us to decide in a certain way. What are they and how can we be sure to not misuse them!

 
Finally patience with others and decsions! Take time over decisions! Fast decisions can be fatal ones. Sure when that truck is hurtling towards us on the highway we need a fast decision, but when we have time, set a time at which we will make the decision, but make it before going to sleep if at all possible. We need to remember each day has enough worries for itself, and when we turn in for the night, it should be after a chat with our God and handing him the completed decisions for that day. Let him keep them for us. We need the rest!

 
May you have a wonderful day today! May God bless you as you make those tough decisions. Know His Holy Spirit is with you so perhaps chatting to God about decision as you decide shares the burden!

 
Be blessed!


[1] Romans 2:1-4 NIV

Wed, May 5, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fools or wisdom, what makes the difference today?
...
Ever heard people saying this belief in God is a lot of C…..?

 
That guy from the 1st centaury AD, Paul heard them saying that a long time ago. So it’s no new news!

 The writings say

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”[1]

 A few days ago I pointed out we can all see that the things around us are more complex and varied than happens by chance and as children we have no problem believing in God. As we get older our thoughts are changed and much of the distortion is due to arguments older people put into our head causing disillusionment and distrust and even despair. These start to ride up into our hearts and minds.

 It’s amazing how we start to look for reasons to disbelieve in God. Because some people have bodies distorted by the ravages of illness or genetic problems, they say God doesn’t exist (because why would a loving God allow this). They forget a loving God is a just God and man himself was untrustworthy and started the pain, work and suffering that this world experiences all triggered by believing the lies of an evil being who wants to see our pain and destruction. Then God often compensates those lacking in one area of lifeby giving them exceptional abilities in another area, or using them to trigger exceptionalactivites and work by others (they often ignore that).

 So people simply like to reject God’s existence! It’s easier than having to admit we need to be responsible! We like to blame someone, but if the blame rebounds, we would rather deny the charges, right? Isn’t that the way of so many people now days?

 Fortunately not everyone!

 In the old days they made totem poles, worshiped animals and other things they sculpted from wood, stone and moulded from metal.

 Today we do similar but we are so more sophisticated. We worship at the thrones of iPods, iPads, BMW’s expensive homes, sophisticated occasions, movie stars, our own images in the mirror, adult movies, etc.

 Yes! We still worship idols! We worship the creators and their creations, or ourselves and our creations, rather than the true creator who gave us the brains to do this work! The Father said we were in his image so we must create, but we must not think we can out do the Father himself in creating.

 A fool is someone who thinks that! I remember the story told about the scientist who tells God that he can now create man from dust. (By the way we don’t yet have the knowledge to explain how even that first strand of DNA originated, never mind this impossible task). So God says “carry on, show me”. The scientist bends down to grab some dust and God says “ no way! Get your own dust!”

 It’s rather impossible to think of anything coming from nothing (proven by science) unless we consider an ultimate being co-ordinating the impossible.

Let’s get it straight, many people will try and confuse us with smart sounding words, but when it comes down to facts, none of those words can be proved either. Everyone is faces with faith! Faith in God or faith in what we make up. [like we made up that man came from Neanderthals for years until we proved ourselves wrong].

 We must be so careful not to exchange the glory of our immortal God for a lie! Now does than mean I like to go around saying “you fools?”

 Not a chance! I just want everyone to get to have a personal relationship with our mighty God and understand he loves us so very, very much!

We all screw up now and then don’t we? Let’s be thankful Jesus came here as one of us to check out how difficult it is for us not to screw up and he says he will forgive anything we do if we switch our ways and start to follow truth instead of lying to ourselves an others.

 That’s my objective today.

I want to follow truth as best as I can and not lie. I want to love others with everything in me over today.


I want to make a difference in life today. What about you?
 
 I say this belief in God is a lot of Christ!


[1] Romans 1:21-23

Tue, May 4, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dealing with family Fueds
Family feuds infect every member of our families, including those too young to understand properly or comment.


We should try and study some conflict resolution techniques because good problem solving helps us in our family life.

We need this because often two or more family members or groups become opposed in their interests or wants which appear to be incompatible!  Then all hell starts to break out! (sometimes literally).

Often the argument can start over a very small aspect of common life! One person claims to see black, the other white and personal hurt is experienced by the other parties refusal to "understand".

It is as if our antagonist Satan takes a "cone", shows one party the underside so they only see a circle, shows the second party a sideview so they see omly a triangle, and convinces both the others are lying!

What we need to understand is that in a good, fair compromise, neither party likes the outcome, but both agree to it and stick to that agreement! 


This means we need a few things to happen! While we need to be assertive, we also need to be empathetic and loving and willing to talk. We need to all understand we do not own “truth” (only God knows), and we cannot help the other person in the conflict if we do not practice what we preach.

Controlled, careful discussion of points of fact with time between to consider them is important.


We need to know what our emotions do to us (even if we cannot always control them).  It is difficult to cope with emotion while maintaining our sense of who we are and what we represent. We need to plan to have as much control as we can, and know when to step out to cool off.


In the middle of feuds, if different parties are wanting us to join them, be neutral! Let’s trust our instincts regarding when to add something to the information, and when not to. Make sure we are not favoring one group unfairly over the other, even the one we don’t side with!


Pray about it  continually and ask Holy Spirit to give us a chance to switch off our anger and emotion before we get to the point we cannot. Pray for ourselves and the parties involved. Look for a way to bring true love and compassion into the situation. Let’s get rid of false comfortable beliefs that we cannot fully substantiate with facts. Then let’s pray about the facts and ask God to soften them where necessary to enable us to react well in difficult circumstances.


Let’s be strong, courageous and explore every way this may be able to be settled. Remember that while perceptions may differ widely, truth is not relative!


In a feud, the whole family looses. Try and minimize losses by not subscribing to untrue aspects of the situation. Respond to all respectfully! Remember our conversations need us to both talk AND listen! Listen carefully because it is easy to miss something due to thoughts in our own head. We must understand the others perspective if we are to make headway!


Unconditional love and acceptance are hard to get to, but respect, vulnerability, empathy and honesty go a long way. Sometimes we still get hurt, then its time to hand it to Jesus and love anyhow! Remember, we don’t own the solution, God does!

The most important aspect is to remember that God says forgive! Don't let his work get damaged over personal or group pride. We need to be bigger than that. Sadly we often fail to ask the simple question "What would Jesus do?"

How about asking ourselves that the next time we are getting drawn into a conflict situation. "What would Jesus do NOW!"

Let's ask ourselves that as we  interact today!

Mon, May 3, 2010 | link          Comments

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How to hate religion, love Jesus, and flow in spiritual power!
How to hate religion, love Jesus, and flow in spiritual power! 


I hate religiosity, don’t you?


Religious people can be some of the worst in the world. They are self opinionated, focus on ceremonies, building, getting money and placing rules on people who want to be free!

 
I say this as a Christian and so this may cause a few people to raise their eyebrows and add to the listed items above the attribute of “hypocrite!”

 Hold on just a little longer as I explain!  Let me explain something using an analogy.

Let’s think of a container like a ceramic jar or glass containing something that we like to drink to energize us!
 

The container represent Religion,
The contents represent true faith in Jesus and the power of God working second by second is the contents.

 
The problem we often have is we mistake the container for the contents!

There are lots of different types of religions or containers, but there is only one true God and we need to understand that we should desire the energy drink of allowing this God to enter our bodies and rejuvenate us.

 
I think a teacher at the meeting house refers to this in one of his discussions when he says the refreshment is about “Faith” the container is religion!

 Religious people who lack the content are mean spirited, rule bound, judgmental people!

 I don’t want to be like that! I don’t want to be a worshiper of fancy buildings and people groups! I want to follow the real spirit that flows form God.

 
Paul, one of the guys who was very “religious” and then got smacked right off his horse by the “true” God said this:

 
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”- Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

 No rules, fancy building, trying to be spiritual or meditate will get us connected with God.  That’s perhaps how may “spiritual” books of today suggest we need to do it but that is container stuff, not content stuff.

 
That same teacher pointed out some of the bible says 

 Jeremiah 2:13 (New International Version)  
"My people have committed two sins: 
       
 They have forsaken me, 
      
the spring of living water,
        
 and have dug their own cisterns, 
       
broken cisterns that cannot hold water. 

  
 This old prophet of God was pointing out that true spiritual experience is  natural, like water flowing from a spring. That’s the cool, refreshing water that is super clean and fulfilling.


 
Unfortunately we like containers! So we build them!

They are human constructions and we try to hold the living water in them. What happens when that is done? The container may start out with living water, but over a period of time it gets stale, stagnant and nasty green stuff starts growing in it. We get a cistern instead of a spring! The truth disappears as the staleness sets in.

 That’s our churches today in many places. They are religious instead of faithful!

They hold to the container instead of being invigorated by the contents that flow freely.

 
Also, we need to know that there is more to it than just this! Take a look at what Jesus himself said;

 
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice,
          "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.
(John 7:37 to 39 NIV).

 
Jesus said we need to accept himself as the son of God able to give the streams of living water that give life. 

 
If we do this then we ourselves become a spring of this living water.

God of the universe in some unexplainable way will come and live within us. He will allow his Holy Spirit to energize our lives and enable us to also be the type of people who will allow others to see this unusual power of god as it flows from us!

 
It’s the gift that keeps on giving! It’s the revitalization of our lives on an ongoing way! Once we connect, we cannot but want to stay connected, because it is exhilarating to be a pipeline for our God.

Do you see that we are to hate religiosity?


We are to have wonderful faith in God and allow his power to pervade our lives and enable us to flow with the power of the universe.


 

What a privilege! What a gift!


Sun, May 2, 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.

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