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Friday, May 14, 2010

How patient am I when I am hurt?

 

 ...

I am not good when I am hurting and people expect me to be patient!


 

This applies whether the pain is physical or psychological, in either case I get impatient, edgy and tend to be short with those around me, both those close to me and those more distant.


 

Pain increases our inability to process things that happen around us easily and with due dignity and care doesn’t it. This is accentuated when somebody treats us unfairly or in a selfish, nasty or ignorant manner.


 

We are not good at taking the positive approach to life when people are ignoring our good advice, doing things to hurt us, and selfishly taking what is ours as theirs. If that includes acting as if they are entitled to the praise for work we have done, I for one become downright nasty!


 How would you react?

 

The reason I ask is that I was reading in the bible the following words of Paul to the Romans3 (NIRV):


 “Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory. The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free. God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood.
 
    God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them. God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus. 

   So who can brag? No one! Are people saved by obeying the law? Not at all! They are saved because of their faith. We firmly believe that people are made right with God because of their faith. They are not saved by obeying the law.”

 

This got me thinking!

God chooses not to punish us at the time we do nasty, selfish and ignorant things that hurt him.


He could immediately take action but he doesn’t, he is patient. He doesn’t punish us for our sins(selfish, ignorant, nasty and stupid things we do) and instead patiently allows us to build up a package of nastiness towards him, so that we would have a chance of accepting a way out of this mess we make for ourselves.


 

God threw the angels that sinned out of heaven when they did the same as we do! So it’s not as if he cannot do this, but with us he doesn’t. He allows love to overcome the hurt and inject a patience that is willing to accept hurt while he gives us time to reconsider and understand his love in Jesus.


 

In fact he was so patient that he even came to earth as one of us, to give us examples of how to live right and to take all those selfish, nasty and ignorant things we do onto his record, to be judged instead of us.

We are guilty but he says he will stand in for us on the punishment to be handed to us. He will take it instead!


 

The amazing thing is he is willing to do this, and yet people still abuse him. They ignore his good advice, they do things to hurt him, and selfishly take credit for what God does.  If that includes acting as if they are entitled to the praise for work God has done, they do it!


 

How does God react to all this? Patiently loving them and waiting for a change in attitude and a willingness to say sorry!


 
Wow! What an amazing God!
 

What is more amazing is he said we are in his image and over the past few years I have noticed I am starting to take on some of this attribute of being patient and loving.


 
I want to be more this way although it sometimes hurts.

What about you?

 
Fri, May 14, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Foolish people say in their hearts,

 

 ...

Foolish people say in their hearts,
      "There is no God."

 It’s a strange world in that so many people reject the presence of God and so many agree to the presence of God but do nothing about it!

 I was looking at some images that were the best images of the year, taken by journalists around the world. There was no co-ordination of what was selected, they were images that shouted with raw emotion. Emotions of love, anger, pain, hope, disillusionment filled the pages.

 One pair of images were particularly vivid and horrifying. The first showed people of one religion racing down the street after a man running for his life. The second showed the man beaten up getting his throat cut.

 Horrific! Why did it occur?
 

Because he was a Christian in a non-Christian society! Here people believed there was a God so much they kill others! In our community we kill others reputations with a pen(or keyboard), but don't touch them physically!

 We are confused as the human race and in the first world we don’t kill those who we disagree with, instead we subject them to psychological pressure if they accept it. Instead of believing in God, our media and laws promote no single God, and a bland social uniformitarianism.

 In this part of the world it has become vogue to say “there is no God”.

 Psalm 14 in the NIRV translation says

1 Foolish people say in their hearts,
      "There is no God."
   They do all kinds of horrible and evil things.       No one does anything good.
 2 The Lord looks down from heaven
 
      on all people.
   He wants to see if there are any who understand.
 
      He wants to see if there are any who trust in God.
 3 All of them have turned away.
 
      They have all become evil.
   No one does anything good,
      no one at all. 

 Do we understand? Do we trust God? Do we know what good is? I know I fail in so many ways! We all do! But it is our attitude and words that distinguish our true heart from the false!

 So much of our view of what is good is tied to what the law says is right, and all of us know our laws are imperfect! 

 In fact almost every day now, someone is let out of jail because DNA evidence shows our laws failed and convicted the wrong person!

  Our laws help us decide on things as a group but have no bearing on what is really good and what is really evil! That is in God’s hands! The hand’s that reach out to us in love, and unfortunately which many non-Christian journalists would like to see nailed again!

 To continue with the Psalm, the writer says

4 Won't those who do evil ever learn?
      They eat up my people as if they were eating bread.
      They don't call out to the Lord for help.
 
 5 Just look at them! They are filled with terror
      because God is among those who do right.

 Does this describe the way Christians are often mocked? Now please don’t think I don’t agree some Christians need to be criticized. It is good the pope is facing truth at the moment and it will clean up that church denomination which is good. Yes, there are people who abuse others using bible texts to backup their bad behaviour, but the majority of Christians love others deeply. 

 How come is it that this love aspect is almost never publicized in the press?

When did you last read about the great humble serving activity of the church? When did you last hear that the majority of Christian money is focused on helping others? When did a journalist last point out the millions spent supporting the poor?

 
 Are these journalists afraid of truth? Perhaps!

 I want to say to you journalists out there

 “You who do evil make it hard for poor people to do what they plan to do.
      But the Lord is their place of safety.”

 Journalists failure to speak truth does not scare a Christian!

We are resting in the safety of God’s protection. We want to let you know we resent distortion of truth but our love for you overflows. We pray for you often and ask God to forgive you because we understand you do not know what you are doing!

 That’s my prayer today, that the hearts of those with ability to influence the masses might see Jesus! The rest will be up to them and their conscience! Let’s praise God!
 

We can make a difference if we use our prayer, attitudes and love to improve our world and speak out.
Let’s start that today!

Thu, May 13, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Let us do evil that good may result"?
"Let us do evil that good may result"?
 

Have you ever had something you have said taken out of context and repeated!

 

I have, and it is most disturbing. “I never said that!” I have complained, “they got it all wrong!”

 

Sometimes this happens by mistake, but often it is deliberately. That is why we get upset with our reporters if they misuse truth to gain popularity.

 

When it comes to quoting people who make statements related to Jesus and Christian work, it is as if they world looks to find different meanings to the words spoken. The plain meaning is easily overlooked.

 

That’s just the way it is. Nothing we can do about that other than to try and speak carefully so that we are not misunderstood. That is no guarantee people will not take part of what we say and use it as if it is the whole meaning.

 

When Paul made the statement “let us do evil that good may result?” he was saying that we would not increase good by doing evil. The context of this is in Roman 3 and is a discussion on God’s faithfulness, that God is true and men are often liars.

 

He makes the point that by our failings we stand in contrast to God who is pure, true and never fails, but wants us to know we should never fail as a means of showing this contrast, instead we need to take our thoughts (see yesterdays blog) and words (todays) and use them to build up others around us into God’s love. We are to speak well to ensure others understand our words the right way. We are to love on thoughts, word and in what we do!

 

That’s my challenge for today. To not only keep my thoughts true, but to watch that my words reflect the God who lives in my heart.

 

Have a great day!

Wed, May 12, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How does God judge people who have never heard about Jesus?
  ...
Surely non-Christians who have never heard of Christ can’t go to hell?

 

The answer is it depends on them!

 

God is fair and his fairness is based on love. Paul when writing to people who lived in the Roman Empire spoke about how this works itself out in Romans 2 verses 16 to 16.

 

He explains God’s law was given to the Jews. Today we have copied of that law everywhere because it is written into the bible since the Jewish torah, is copied into the first books of the Christian bible. Christians adopted it.

 

This means that anyone who reads the Christian bible falls into the category that Paul explains as “having the law”. We have God’s guidelines and so know more exactly what God wants us to do as party of our purpose here in this life.

Let’s get our thoughts right so that they will say positive things about us when they get revealed one day. 
 

There is another category of people however that have not read this book of guidelines. They are people Paul refers to as “without the law”. Now Paul points out in verse 7 that “God will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good. They want glory, honor, and life that never ends.”

So how does a non-christian do this if they have not heard of Jesus and what he does?


 
In verse 12 and following he explains “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.  Hearing the law does not make a person right with God. People are considered to be right with God only when they obey the law.”

 

Hmmm! Seems like God will judge those who don’t know his law a bit different to those that do! He is a just God so as expected his judgment will be true and without fault. That’s enough for us that believe to agree to, but god knows we have sceptics in our midst that question further so he allows Paul to explain further.


 

“Those who aren't Jews do not have the law. Sometimes they just naturally do what the law requires. They are a law for themselves. This is true even though they don't have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts. The way their minds judge them gives witness to that fact. Sometimes their thoughts find them guilty. At other times their thoughts find them not guilty.” Verses 14 & 15 NIRV.


 

So, it appears as if God has given us a knowledge inherent within ourselves as to what is good and right, and what is wrong! I think we all know this! We may distort it, twist it, but we have it. Our hearts and mind, emotions and will, enable us to decide and do things and know if we are doing right or wrong. Our own thoughts are our judge. Maybe that’s why in the prayer Jesus taught us he said we should ask God to “ forgive us as we forgive others”.


I need forgiveness and I need to forgive!


 

To get back to our topic, Paul then explains that those that don’t have God’s direct guidelines in their life are judged by their own thoughts. God will use our own thoughts to judge us. Because God has experience of human life when he was here as jesus, that part of God that is Jesus will be the one that judges, because he knows our context. He know what we go through.


 

The bible says” People will be judged on the day God appoints Jesus Christ to judge their secret thoughts. That's part of my good news.”


 

Jesus will display our secret thoughts to others and these will be used to judge non-Christians. i.e. Our own thoughts will be used to display our intent and attitudes and Jesus will judge them from the perspective of a human as well as from the perspective of God.


 

So, what does this mean? Can I think what I please?


 

NO!


 

I need to think good, correct and uplifting thoughts! I need to be transparent to myself, not lying to myself.

Transparency with myself and God will give me the foothold to climb to new heights. To reach up to the heavens and grasp the hand of God who can lift me out of my current circumstances and give me heavenly power for the day!


 

That’s my challenge for us all today.

Our thoughts will be revealed, so I want to be sure they are good! What about you?

Tue, May 11, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, May 10, 2010

Winning my Friend Back!
Winning my Friend Back!

 You know how it happens, a few words spoken in jest or principled anger, and years of wonderful friendship start crumbling away!

It often seems as if time accelerates, blasting through the separation process at supersonic speeds compared to the incremental crawl with which the friendship built itself up.

 
How sad! 

Almost all of us have screwed up in this way at one time or another!

 
What is even sadder is that often these rifts in friendship are empowered by the very love that first governed them. Strangely enough, sometimes the other person cannot even be fully aware of what was done to cause the damage. They may even ascribe the damage to a different incident than the one we think is so very important.

 
Our individuality is what makes us good friends, each brings a different aspect to the relationship that complements and clarifies our roles in the joy of living. Unfortunately with the wrong emphasis and with a little intervention by the evil in this world, and we can drift into the area of resenting these differences, which can flow us into the current of negativity that pushes us towards the rocks that will break-up a beautiful relationship on the jagged edges of those same attributes that once provided comfort.

 
Why do we let it happen?

 
Generally one or other in the difference of opinion has allowed evil to direct our ways. Some selfish, nasty or ignorant intrusion has swept our thoughts or actions into an area of incompatible mind space. Sometimes it’s them, sometimes it us, but generally neither of us believe it to be our problem. We like to blame the other! 

Blame and flame are two very similar sounding words
that in the case of disagreements have similar actions. The small fire of anger fuelled by pride expands rapidly into a fire that starts to eat up and consume our thoughts, burning its way into irreconcilable differences.

 The problem is that we nurture the flame! We feed it with hate, anger and self righteousness! Why? Why when our guide Holy Spirit gently tells us we are wrong!

 In churches I see this happen so easily! Those that should be humble become pumped up with their own importance and grab a corner on being the only ones to be able to fully interpret God’s will or God’s word in a situation. With great authority they proclaim that they understand exactly what Jesus wants of us, sometimes with such anger and force, that any humble person can see it is wrong, but motivated by self righteousness, the army marches on until they are definitely doing things the not approved of in the bible. Like avoiding meeting up with the people they dislike, or rejecting years of friendships with others because they refuse to agree with a one sided approach to the disagreement.Why do we do this? Why do we not use a key bit of advice from the good book?

 
It says, “If your brother sins against you, go to him. Tell him what he did wrong. Keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him back.”[1]

 
We need to ask ourselves if we have done this?

Have we actually gone to the other person and discussed this difference of opinion.
Often when we do, we find that the problem is what I like to call a “circle and triangle” problem.

 
I see a triangle, and the other party sees a circle. That’s how our evil friend Satan does it. he convinces us our view is right! From our perspective it is! 

The real problem is that both of us are only seeing different views of the same cone!
One from underneath, the other from the side!
 

So God’s advice is to go and openly chat to the other person.
Not from a perspective of shouting repeatedly that the circle is right, but to listen in love to the person who a short while ago we counted a friend, and understand their triangle. Then if we both ask Holy Spirit to help, we will probably identify the evil that is polarizing our viewpoints, and clearing it, both gain by seeing the cone!
 

Sometimes this is difficult because one or other party is too locked down in their own false view and will not respond to this outreach.


What do we do then?
 According to the good book "But what if he won't listen to you? Then take one or two others with you. Scripture says, 'Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.'—(Deuteronomy 19:15)”[2] 

So now we go back with others.


Don’t just take people who back our view, but rather impartial observers who can attest to the facts (and who see the cone). In this way, we try to pull the truth from the situation and present it to both ourselves and the other person.

 
Sometimes this also does not work!

 
Now it is time to check we have not got it wrong! We need to follow the next piece of advice, and tell it our community of Christian friends and ask them to check we are not wrong, and if we are not, to try and help our antagonistic friend.

 
Sometimes that does not work either!

 
Now it is time to follow the deepest part of the love. Our bible says “And what if he refuses to listen even to the church? Then don't treat him as your brother. Treat him as you would treat an ungodly person or a tax collector.”[3]

This does NOT mean reject the person! What does this mean? How did Jesus treat ungodly people and tax collectors? He loved them, and went out of his way to help them. In fact, he died for them to give them a chance to recover their situation.

 
What this means is that while we cannot accept the persons “spiritual;” guidance because they have distorted their view so badly, we are to do all we can to continue to love them even more. We should not impose requirements of them that we do on ourselves as Christians, but should love them despite everything they do wrong!

 
God’s love is boundless and we would do well to understand he never wants us to give up on those he loves. He loves even the most despicable, selfish, nasty and ignorant of people who hurt others because he sees their potential, not the pain.

 I pray I can be like that! What about you? 


[1] Matt 18:15 NIRV

[2] Matt 18:16 NIRV

[3] Matt 18:17 NIRV

Mon, May 10, 2010 | link          Comments

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Can we flow in spiritual power! Do we want to?
 
Can we flow in spiritual power! Do we want to? 


A short while back we discussed that Jesus didn’t come to establish a religion, but rather to show us a way of life that was a heart or attitude changing way to live and deal with our world!


It’s key to not only chase “knowing more”, but to “do” what we know already!

What do we already know about Jesus and his way of living?

I’m sure like me you know quite a bit, but even if you don’t, it doesn’t really matter as long as we take that part we know and do what is true and right with it! Does that make sense to you? We can’t be expected to do more than what we know, right?


Okay, so it’s about having the right heart and that’s occurs by changing ourselves from the inside out as well as from the outside in.

 Paul describes his feeling of helping others to be Jesus like in Gal 4:19 as  My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,”

 
Okay so we must change, but we need to want to do it right, and our heart and will need to be in it!

Remember learning to ride a bicycle?


I really wanted to learn that skill! So badly that on my first attempts I landed in a bed of roses whose thorns that tore my young skin to shreds and left me red and bloody. However I just climbed on and tried again.

 
Years later I can ride a bicycle with ease!

I don’t even think of balance or control. In fact I can ride chatting to others without holding the handlebars (don’t do it or somebody will blame me for teaching you bad habits J ). 
 

What is really happening is that which I started externally controlling, the bicycle riding, changed and became something I can do without thinking. 
 

Switching our lives to live as Jesus wants us to, and being part of kingdom of God way of life is a bit like that.


For example, think of forgiving others! Can we practice this like we practice riding a bicycle until it becomes natural? If we can, we will have changed our spirit into one that is like Jesus Spirit! Great for the future!

 How do we know we need to do this to be like Jesus?

Well, we read the bible, and we find out that’s something he advises us to do. Then, because we want to do it for love of him and because we know he knows best, we allow ourselves to gain the internal changes that make this part of our life.

In this way we make Jesus part of our life every day. God’s Holy Spirit can then start working miracles through us because it’s God’s will that happens as we do decide to do things!

 
That’s when amazing things start to happen! When we say “Have a great day, it’s okay dude!” and move on with our lives even after they the guy has hurt us! Retaliation is so easy and so wrong! Read my blog on “Happiness, contentment and hurting others” if you need some help there!

 
We often talk of the most powerful expression of love is dieing to save someone else. The movies have a person jump in front of another and take the bullets so the other can be saved [Not likely nowadays since the rifles would just kill both, but in the movies it always works right?] 


To get back to the point, true love is dying to prove it! Jesus did that for us but we have heard it so often it gets “boring” to some of us, right?

 
Let’s get it straight, if you love Jesus as much as he loves you would be willing to die for Jesus?

How’s you love for him under that measure? Can you honestly say you would walk into a bullet for Jesus! Okay, not just say it, do you know in your heart you would?

 
If not, you don’t love him as much as he loves you!  Years ago I faced this question literally and found I could! Like with Isaac, I was saved from proving it at the last moment. How would you do? 

Are we willing to allow our spirits to switch over to autopilot for Jesus!
Are our bicycles tracking on the right paths!
 

I sure hope so! Let’s have a week proving it!
Sun, May 9, 2010 | link          Comments


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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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