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Friday, August 13, 2010

Prophecy and pain. . . part 2
...

 Yesterday I mentioned that a good friend of mine was going in for surgery to remove cancer from her bowel and I asked people to pray.

 

The good news is the operation was successful in removing the cancer, but we need to wait for final results before we fully understand the Good News!

 Yesterday I was also considering how mental pain is sometimes greater than physical pain. I looked at how the young  Jesus would have been sent to synagogue to memorise scripture.

 I have been looking at some of the prophecies in the older scripture that was written probably written about 1000 years before Jesus was born. Today I want to do something mathematical or perhaps statistical with it. We are going to look a piece of writing that describes aspects of Jesus life and death written 1000 years before he was born

(a bit like you describing your
great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grand childs life right now).
 
Try and figure out if you were to do this if you would be as accurate as this without some supernatural knowledge.
probability.jpg

 Okay, so here are the words, Psalm 22: 1-31 (NIRV)

  1 My God, my God, why have you deserted me? 
      Why do you seem to be so far away when I need you to save me? 
      Why do you seem to be so far away that you can't hear my groans? 
 
2 My God, I cry out in the daytime. But you don't answer. 
      I cry out at night. I can't keep quiet. 
 
3 But you rule from your throne as the Holy One. 
      You are the God Israel praises. 
 
4 Our people of long ago put their trust in you. 
      They trusted in you, and you saved them. 
 
5 They cried out to you and were saved. 
      They trusted in you, and you didn't let them down. 
 
6 People treat me like a worm and not a man. 
      
They hate me and look down on me. 
 
7 All those who see me laugh at me. 
      They shout at me and make fun of me.
 
      They shake their heads at me. 
 
8 They say, "He trusts in the Lord. 
      Let the Lord help him. 
   If the Lord is pleased with him, 
      let him save him." 
 
9 But you brought me out of my mother's body. 
      You made me trust in you 
      even when I was at my mother's breast. 
 
10 From the time I was born, you took good care of me. 
      Ever since I came out of my mother's body, you have been my God. 
 
11 Don't be far away from me. 
      Trouble is near, 
      and there is no one to help me. 
 
12 Many enemies are all around me. 
      They are like strong bulls from the land of Bashan. 
 
13 They are like roaring lions that tear to pieces what they kill. 
      They open their mouths wide to attack me. 
 
14 My strength is like water that is poured out on the ground. 
      I feel as if my bones aren't connected. 
   My heart has turned to wax. 
      It has melted away inside me. 
 
15 My strength is dried up like a piece of broken pottery. 
      My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. 
      You bring me down to the edge of the grave. 
 
16 A group of sinful people has closed in on me. 
      They are all around me like a pack of dogs. 
      They have pierced my hands and my feet
 
17 I can see all of my bones right through my skin. 
      People stare at me. They laugh when I suffer. 
 
18 They divide up my clothes among them
      They cast lots for what I am wearing
 
19 Lord, don't be so far away. 
      You give me strength. Come quickly to help me. 
 
20 Save me from the sword. 
      Save the only life I have. Save me from the power of those dogs. 
 
21 Save me from the mouths of those lions. 
      Save me from the horns of those wild oxen. 
 
22 I will announce your name to my brothers and sisters. 
      I will praise you among those who worship you. 
 
23 You who have respect for the Lord, praise him! 
      All you people of Jacob, honor him! 
      All you people of Israel, worship him! 
 
24 He has not forgotten the one who is hurting. 
      He has not turned away from his suffering. 
   He has not turned his face away from him. 
      He has listened to his cry for help. 
 
25 Because of what you have done, 
      I will praise you in the whole community of those who worship you.
    In front of those who respect you, 
    I will keep my promises. 
 
26 Those who are poor will eat and be satisfied. 
      Those who look to the Lord will praise him. 
      May their hearts be filled with new hope! 
 
27 People from one end of the earth to the other 
      will remember and turn to the Lord. 
   The people of all the nations 
      will bow down before him. 
 
28 The Lord is King. 
      He rules over the nations. 
 
29 All the rich people of the earth will worship God and take part in his feasts. 
      All those who go down to the edge of the grave will fall on their knees in front of him. 
      I'm talking about those who can hardly keep themselves alive. 
 
30 Those who are not yet born will serve him. 
      Those who are born later will be told about the Lord. 
 
31 And they will tell people who have not yet been born 
      that he has done what is right.

 
As I normally do, I will now give you the words the guys who walked and talked with Jesus through his life to his death on the cross, and afterwards once he came alive again said. . .

 They recorded in Mark 15:16-37

 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace. It was called the Praetorium. They called together the whole company of soldiers. The soldiers put a purple robe on Jesus. Then they twisted thorns together to make a crown. They placed it on his head. They began to call out to him, "We honor you, king of the Jews!" Again and again they hit him on the head with a stick. They spit on him. They fell on their knees and pretended to honor him.

  After they had made fun of him, they took off the purple robe. They put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to nail him to a cross.

 A man named Simon from Cyrene was passing by. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon was on his way in from the country. The soldiers forced him to carry the cross.
 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha. The word Golgotha means The Place of the Skull. Then they gave him wine mixed with spices. But he did not take it.

  They nailed him to the cross. Then they divided up his clothes. They cast lots to see what each of them would get.

  It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. They wrote out the charge against him. It read, ~the king of the jews.=

  They crucified two robbers with him. One was on his right and one was on his left.

 Those who passed by shouted at Jesus and made fun of him. They shook their heads and said, "So you are going to destroy the temple and build it again in three days? Then come down from the cross! Save yourself!"  

In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law made fun of him among themselves. "He saved others," they said. "But he can't save himself! 32 Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross! When we see that, we will believe."

 At noon, darkness covered the whole land. It lasted three hours. 34 At three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? " This means "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"—(Psalm 22:1)
 Some of those standing nearby heard Jesus cry out. They said, "Listen! He's calling for Elijah."
 One of them ran and filled a sponge with wine vinegar. He put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink. "Leave him alone," he said. "Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down."

  With a loud cry, Jesus took his last breath.

 And Mark 16:1-7

 The Sabbath day ended. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices. They were going to apply them to Jesus' body.
 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they were on their way to the tomb. It was just after sunrise. 3 They asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?"
 4 Then they looked up and saw that the stone had been rolled away. The stone was very large.
 5 They entered the tomb. As they did, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe. He was sitting on the right side. They were alarmed.
 6 "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. But he has risen! He is not here! See the place where they had put him. 7 Go! Tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him. It will be just as he told you.' "

So, what do you think? Jesus obviously saw that Psalm 22 talked of him in order to have shouted the first verse of that psalm  to God while he was in incredible pain, dying, having a huge thirst, and unable to breath correctly because of the fact he was hanging by his arms that had been nailed above his head.

 Why waste energy screaming the words out if they were not very important for us to know?

 Jesus turned the minds of the people watching to the words of that psalm so they would think about it and remember it from that day. The one line reference took all that was in the psalm and put it out in front of God without him having to waste words to say it.

 This psalm was his prayer to God his father as he died for us. It’s worth reading again considering it from this perspective. Then look at what it points out. . .

 
  1. They hung him on a cross like we bait a fishhook with a worm!
  2. They hated him and made him a public spectacle. ( Stark naked, nails through him, writhing in pain, blood everywhere and an apparently “stupid” sign over his head).
  3. The guards mocked and laughed at him.
  4. “let him save himself” as predicted was said.
  5. He was born of a woman only(no mention of Dad)
  6. His enemies surrounded him.
  7. Hanging there his strength was gone and his bones would have felt as if disjointed.
  8. He was thirsty (tongue stuck to the top of his mouth)
  9. They pierced his hands and feet ( a non-normal method of crucifying since normally they tied people on)
  10.  His bones could be seen through his skin as he hung there
  11. They laughed while he suffered
  12. They divided his clothes among themselves
  13. They gambled for his clothes (cast lots)
  14. Jesus never turned away from his suffering
  15. The spiritual poor were given communion and Holy Spirit to satisfy their longings and clear away their sins, giving them hope. (that’s me he’s talking about!)
  16.  People throughout the earth remember this event and turn to Jesus. 
  17. The roman empire (which was considered the whole earth at the time) made Jesus King when they made Christianity the official world religion.
  18.  AT that time all rich people had to worship Jesus.
  19. People like me who were not born when Jesus died serve him.
     

Okay so lets say you think 3 items I said are invalid(I want to be fair) so lets say there is 16 valid points that were made 1000 years before Jesus was born.
 
What’s the probability of guessing this correctly? Okay less assume each statement could have equal probability of being selected.

 If you were looking to find any 3 numbers from 49 (that’s a lottery type example) the answer is 3/49 x 2/48 x 1/47 = 1/57 or 0.01754386


But
the psalmist has an infinite number of things to select from.

Infinity is represented by the symbol infinity.jpg
 . This represents a number bigger than we can imagine. This is too big for us to understand.
 
So (to make it simpler) I will just say the psalmist had 1000 things he could have chosen.

 This far smaller number(1000) that I will use is much less than if infinity.jpg  was used to calculated the probability of guessing these things.
 
The probablity using 1000 is

  16/1000 x 15/999 x 14/998 x13/997 x12/996 x 11/995 x 10/994 x 9/993 x 8/992 x 7/991 x6/990 x5/989 x 4/988 x 3/987 x 2/986 x 1/985 = 2.36051x 10-35

 or 0.000000000000000000000000000000000236051% of a guess being right!

 Basically it’s a real small chance of gusesing right! That’s if we use 1000. However, if we say the psalmist could use anything, then it goes to ZERO.

 That means the psalmist could not have written what he did unless a person who knew what would happen 1000 years later told him. That person was God. That’s why this writing is so accurate and valuable and interesting.

 What’s this mean?

 It means you have a choice. . .you can believe Jesus is the son of God or not.

 If you do believe you need to respect Jesus because it would be stupid to ignore what a God who loves us suggests is good for us wouldn’t it?

 Well I’ll leave you with that thought! Christians aren’t crazy, some of us think deeply about what we believe. Want to join us?

Fri, August 13, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prophecy and pain. . .

 

 ...A good friend of mine is going in for surgery to remove cancer from her bowel as I write this today!

 

May God’s peace and love be with you Sharon!

 Needless to say, my heart goes out to her and as I look into the good book this morning to look at great prophecies of the past, I am also thinking of the pain that some of us have in life.

 Physical pain drags us down, but it’s really the mental pain that causes the most damage isn’t it! The threat of upcoming circumstances like knowing we have cancer and have to have an operation to get it out.

 Think of how that young boy Jesus thought as he read the prophecies and knew they were talking about him! The mental strength to walk through the years and love the people that would do this to him.
whipped.jpg

 If you don’t get what I am saying, you soon will J here’s the prophecy I am talking about, it is written about 700 years before Jesus was born or 2700 years ago.

 Isaiah 50:4-10 NIRV
The Lord and King has taught me what to say.
      He has taught me how to help those who are tired.
   He wakes me up every morning.
      He makes me want to listen like a good student.
   The Lord and King has unplugged my ears.
      I've always obeyed him.
      I haven't turned away from him.
   I let my enemies beat me on my bare back.
      I let them pull the hair out of my beard.
   I didn't turn my face away       when they made fun of me and spit on me.
   The Lord and King helps me.
      He won't let me be dishonored.
   So I've made up my mind to keep on serving him.
      I know he won't let me be put to shame.
   He is near. He will prove I haven't done anything wrong.

      So who will bring charges against me?
      Let's face each other in court!
   Who can bring charges against me?
      Let him come and face me!
   The Lord and King helps me.
      So who will judge me?
   My enemies will be like clothes that moths have eaten up.
      They will disappear.
   Does anyone among you have respect for the Lord?
      Does anyone obey the message of the Lord's servant?
   Let the person who walks in the dark
      trust in the Lord.
   Let the one who doesn't have any light to guide him
      depend on his God.

 So after Jesus was beaten up by the Romans at the request of his own people, and died, and came to life again, some of the people who had known him all the time wrote this so we would know what had been prophesied about Jesus actually happened. . .

 Matthew 26:67 (NIRV)
Then they spit in his face. They hit him with their fists. Others slapped him.

 Matthew 27:27-31 (NIRV)
The governor's soldiers took Jesus into the palace, which was called the Praetorium. All the rest of the soldiers gathered around him. They took off his clothes and put a purple robe on him. Then they twisted thorns together to make a crown. They placed it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they fell on their knees in front of him and made fun of him. "We honor you, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him. They hit him on the head with the stick again and again.
  After they had made fun of him, they took off the robe. They put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to nail him to a cross.

 Can you imagine being the young boy Jesus and reading that first part from Isaiah? They had to memorise this as part of schooling. Can you imagine memorizing how you would be tortured years before it happened and knowing it would happen to you?

 How could Jesus still love us with that mental anguish in front of him? He did and does! You want miracles? Isn’t that an example right there?

 Then the bible says. . .

 1 Peter 2:24 (NIRV)

 He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did it so that we would die as far as sins are concerned. Then we would lead godly lives. His wounds have made you whole.

 If he didn’t allow it to happen we wouldn’t have the connection with Holy Spirit we have now and so couldn’t experience this wonderful relationship with God that those of us that follow Jesus do.
 
He gave up a lot for us didn’t he?

 Unconditional sacrificial love for others! That is the central core to Christianity! Not rules! Just love! Deep love that knows no boundaries!

 
How about we go love someone that way today?
 
Does anyone among you have respect for the Lord?

Does anyone obey the message of the Lord's servant?

Let the person who walks in the dark trust in the Lord.

Let the one who doesn't have any light to guide him

depend on his God.


Thu, August 12, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Living up to expectations - A life’s mission foretold 700 years ahead of time.
...
 
Living up to expectations - A life’s mission foretold 700 years ahead of time.
Pregnantwithpurpose.jpg
 

"Let each individual know that it came into life with a purpose from God. Let each individual know that it is as a harp upon which the breath of God would play. While all may not be as prophets or as preachers, neither may all stand in the halls of learning as directors of men, now that you each have your part to do." by Edgar Cayce

 This guy was perhaps the first new age advocate who connected with “spirits”

 Prophecies have been around for a long time and people who claim to be wise men. Many men have claimed to have this gift and there is definitely some people who can know things happen before they do.

 Take Isaiah who lived about 2700 years ago. Yesterday I pointed out how he accurately pointed out many things about Jesus. Today I want to discuss his thoughts on Jesus mission in life.

 In Isaiah 42:1-9 (NIRV) he says

 "Here is my servant. I take good care of him.
      I have chosen him. I am very pleased with him.
   I will put my Spirit on him.
      He will make everything right among the nations.
   He will not shout or cry out.
      He will not raise his voice in the streets.
   He will not break a bent twig.
      He will not put out a dimly burning flame.
   He will be faithful and make everything right.
      He will not grow weak or lose hope.
   He will not give up until he makes everything right on the earth.
 
      The islands will put their hope in his law."
   God created the heavens and spread them out.
      The Lord made the earth and everything that grows on it.
      He gives breath to its people.
   He gives life to those who walk on it.
      He says to his servant,
   "I, the Lord, have chosen you to do what is right.
      I will take hold of your hand.
   I will keep you safe.
      You will put my covenant with the people of Israel into effect. 
      And you will be a light for the other nations.
   You will open eyes that can't see.
      You will set prisoners free.
      Those who sit in darkness will come out of their cells.
   "I am the Lord. That is my name!
      I will not let any other god share my glory.
      I will not let statues of gods share my praise.
   What I said would happen has taken place.
      Now I announce new things to you.
   Before they even begin to happen,
      I announce them to you."
 
Can you imagine starting life out with that sort of mission statement?

 The good thing is we can check this out against what happened in Jesus life and find out it’s accurate.

 A guy who walked with Jesus wrote this down about him in Matthew 12-9-21

 Going on from that place, Jesus went into their synagogue. A man with a weak and twisted hand was there. The Pharisees were trying to find fault with Jesus. So they asked him, "Does the Law allow us to heal on the Sabbath day?"

     He said to them, "What if one of your sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath? Won't you take hold of it and lift it out?  A man is worth more than sheep! So the Law allows us to do good on the Sabbath day."

    Then Jesus said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out. It was as good as new, just as good as the other hand. But the Pharisees went out and planned how to kill Jesus.

     Jesus knew all about the Pharisees' plans. So he left that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick people. But he warned them not to tell who he was. This was to make what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah come true. It says,

     "Here is my servant. I have chosen him.
      He is the one I love. I am very pleased with him.
   I will put my Spirit on him.
      He will announce to the nations that everything will be made right.
    He will not argue or cry out.
      No one will hear his voice in the streets.
   He will not break a bent twig.
      He will not put out a dimly burning flame.
   He will make everything right.
 
       The nations will put their hope in him." —(Isaiah 42:1-4)

 God knows what we each are capable of and what we need to do with our lives. Sometimes life seems to take a negative direction. If we try and determine our purpose or mission from the events of life we can be very wrong.

 Let’s take a look at Jesus.

 The local people who ruled the province tried infanticide to kill him before he was two years old. He escaped that just in time. He was born to an unwed mother. He had to do hard physical work for a living. When he got a group together to do things with him, they didn’t understand him and most liked fishing more than anything else. He found that when he was speaking and trying to help people that he was continually bugged by people who tried to trick and confuse him so they could have something to use arrest him. He didn’t have a place where he consistently lived but went around the countryside living wherever people gave him a spot to sleep. The leaders of the country he was in didn’t like him and the authorities were determined to find a way to get their police force to arrest him.

 Then if he knew he was going to die in a horrible way (and from everything we read he did know this), it’s really unlikely that you or I if we were him would have been able to say our purpose was directed by the circumstances of our life would we?

 We so often expect that things must go well if we are “following God” correctly. Who said that? There is absolutely no precedent for that statement. Check it out if you think I am wrong!

 The apostles (the guys Jesus selected and trained) never had it easy. Early Christian died horribly for not rejecting Jesus. These people knew that to meet their life’s mission they had to take in everything about Jesus, accept it and change their lives to live it out.

 That’s our mission! To live the life God prepares for us day by day. No matter what it brings. Each event is there to achieve something specific for God and we get to select if it will happen the way God wants’ it or not! What a privilege! What a challenge!

 Sometimes it’s not so easy, but it is definitely worthwhile.

 Living is never better than when we are full alive with Holy Spirit flooding us with wisdom and love, with miracles happening around us, and with those who love Jesus close around us praying and helping us!

 Let’s go and have a great day knowing God is with us!
Wed, August 11, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Foretelling accurately! The start of prophecy of a coming world leader…who came as predicted.
...

 "The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching."
 
Allegedly this came from an Assyrian tablet, c. 2800 BCE.

dictatorendofworld.jpg 
We have had some really strange predictions of End of World scenarios for a long time. It’s amazing how inaccurate these were. I am including a few I found on a web site [1] about the year 2000 for interest. These are

 
  • According to the Weekly World News for 1999-DEC-14, long lost "Bethlehem Prophecies" predict that one half of the earth's surface will vanish under water in the blink of an eye. The cause may be a meteor or comet hitting one of the world's oceans.
  
  • If you divide 2000 by 3, using integer arithmetic, the answer is 666, the number of the Antichrist mentioned in the Biblical book of Revelation. This might indicate that some enormous events predicted in that book might come to pass.
  
  • Hal Lindsey currently no longer makes specific predictions about the end of the world. In his book The Late Great Planet Earth he did predict the battle of Armageddon in 2000 CE and the second coming of Christ in 2007 CE. He also cited 2048 as an alternative date.
  
  • According to Weekly World News for 1999-APR-27, Edgar Cayce predicted that a cosmic storm will hit the earth at this time. Winds of 1,000 miles per hour and tremendous swings in temperature will kill millions.
  What makes us so interested in apocalyptic scenarios? We seem to be fascinated by the macabre on a grand scale don’t we?

 In the 1st century the Jewish people were expecting a different type of event. They were waiting for a world leader to appear in their nation to save them. There were many prophecies about this guy.
 
 Here is one. . . written about 700 B.C.

 The Lord says, "My servant will act wisely and accomplish his task. He will be highly honored. He will be greatly respected. Many people were shocked when they saw him.
 
      He was so scarred that he did not look like a man at all.
      His body was so twisted that he did not look like a human being anymore.
 But many nations will be surprised when they see what he has done.     Kings will be so amazed that they will not be able to say anything.  They will understand things they were never told about. They will know the meaning of things they never heard about."
 Who has believed what we've been saying?
      Who has seen the Lord's saving power?
His servant grew up like a tender young plant.
      He grew like a root coming up out of dry ground.
He didn't have any beauty or majesty that made us notice him.
      There wasn't anything special about the way he looked that drew us to him.
Men looked down on him. They didn't accept him.
      He knew all about sorrow and suffering.
He was like someone people turn their faces away from.
      We looked down on him. We didn't have any respect for him.
He suffered the things we should have suffered.
      He took on himself the pain that should have been ours.
But we thought God was punishing him.
      We thought God was wounding him and making him suffer.
But the servant was pierced because we had sinned.
      He was crushed because we had done what was evil.
He was punished to make us whole again.
      His wounds have healed us.
All of us are like sheep. We have wandered away from God.
      All of us have turned to our own way.
And the Lord has placed on his servant
      the sins of all of us.
He was beaten down and made to suffer.
      But he didn't open his mouth.
He was led away like a sheep to be killed.
      Lambs are silent while their wool is being cut off.
      In the same way, he didn't open his mouth.
He was arrested and sentenced to death.
      Then he was taken away.
      He was cut off from this life.
He was punished for the sins of my people.
      Who among those who were living at that time
      could have understood those things?
He was given a grave with those who were evil.
      But his body was buried in the tomb of a rich man.
He was killed even though he hadn't harmed anyone.
      And he had never lied to anyone.
The Lord says, "It was my plan to crush him
      and cause him to suffer.
      I made his life a guilt offering to pay for sin.
But he will see all of his children after him.
      In fact, he will continue to live.
      My plan will be brought about through him.
After he suffers, he will see the light that leads to life.
      And he will be satisfied.
   My godly servant will make many people godly
      because of what he will accomplish.
      He will be punished for their sins.
So I will give him a place of honor among those who are great.
      He will be rewarded just like others who win the battle.
That is because he was willing to give his life as a sacrifice.
      He was counted among those who had committed crimes.
He took the sins of many people on himself.
      And he gave his life for those who had done what is wrong."[2]
 For those that don’t know, Isaiah was a guy who wandered around in the Middle East and spoke warnings to an ancient people about what they could expect. He wrote this 700 years before Jesus came an did what he said. Then in about 40 A.D. or thereabouts once this had happened people recorded the outcomes in the bibles New Testament. . .

 1 Peter 2:22-25 (NIRV)
Scripture says,
   "He didn't commit any sin. No lies ever came out of his mouth." —(Isaiah 53:9) People shouted at him and made fun of him. But he didn't do the same back to them. He suffered. But he didn't say that bad things would happen to them. Instead, he trusted in the One who judges fairly. He himself carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did it so that we would die as far as sins are concerned. Then we would lead godly lives. His wounds have made you whole.  You were like sheep who were wandering away. But now you have returned to the Shepherd. He is the Leader of your souls.

 Romans 5:6-8 (NIRV)

At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 Philippians 2:6-11 (NIRV)

  In his very nature he was God.  But he did not think that being equal with God was something he should hold on to. Instead, he made himself nothing.
      He took on the very nature of a servant.
      He was made in human form.
      He appeared as a man.
      He came down to the lowest level.
      He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death.
In fact, he died on a cross. So God lifted him up to the highest place.
      He gave him the name that is above every name.
 When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone's knee will bow to worship him. Every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth will bow to worship him.  Everyone's mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord.
      And God the Father will receive the glory.

 It’s good to see a prophecy that came true accurately! What is important is that we know that the people who wrote it were probably unaware of how it would work out or when. There are prophecies of Jesus returning and we need to know it will not happen when someone predicts it because the same good book says that Jesus after coming alive again (Wow, that is rather weird to start with right) told the guys he walked around with that
 
"It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.[3]
 At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.[4]

 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.[5]

 So just know this, if someone says they know the time of the end of this world , they are wrong! The bible says they are!

 One thing we need to know is God knows our pain on this Earth, he had far more than we have! He loves us and wants to help us live life successfully. We don’t need to know when the end is coming because we have stuff to do! Let’s go do it!

 Hey, have a good day!


[1] http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrl10.htm

[2] Isaiah 52:13-53:12

[3] Acts 1:7 NIRV

[4] Matthew 24:23-24 NIV

[5] Matthew 24:36 NIV

Tue, August 10, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, August 9, 2010

My world is falling apart, what do I do?
... 
despair.jpg
I’m angry! I know it’s not a virtue or the “right” response, but I cannot help myself!
Why is this happening to me!
 

Ever feel like this! I know I have!

 Life seems to be pulling the mat from under my feet and as I stumble and try to keep my balance, the world rocks, syncopated waves of conflicting advice seem to hit my mind, and all I want to do is scream “stop it all, I want to get out!”, but despite this life seems to move on relentlessly!

 
Okay, so how do we deal with all this? How do we make sense of a senseless situation?

 
Firstly, something I discovered a long while back, it really is a good to prepare for it before it happens!

 
“You’re crazy! How can you prepare for the unexpected? You can’t prepare for the nasty stuff, the overwhelming stuff, the impossible to see stuff?”

 We can!

 
I was in the army and one thing I learned is that the army has to do this type of preparation as part of everyday activity. Their job is to be prepared for the hideous, nasty unexpected stuff!

 So how do they do it?

 
They train their people by getting them to work out how they would deal with the situations in terms of what they can rely on, what standard procedures they need to activate, how to call for help, who to call for help, what they must save, and how to set priorities in an emergency!
 
So how can we use this to help us?

 
As a Christian faced with disaster, how do I react?

 
Well firstly I warn myself that “Panic” generally makes us do the wrong thing and can even kill so the first thing I do is remind myself it is important to stay calm and to do this I apply the first part of my emergency kit. That is Jesus words. . .

John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

This gives me a reminder that God doesn’t expect us to go crazy in a mad situation but allow Him some space to calm our hearts and minds by knowing God is still in control. This is only the first step and I often don’t do it too well. Another bit of advice that is good to remember is…

Proverbs 3:25-26 (NIRV) “Don't be terrified by sudden trouble. Don't be afraid when sinners are destroyed. The Lord is the one you will trust in. He will keep your feet from being caught in a trap.”

Okay, so that is good advice but how do I get it to work for me?

One thing I do is remember that in the past God has pulled me through many tough things. This may be the worst, but so far together with Him I have made it through big problems. This is probably going to be one of them I will look back on and see like I have with others that despite the horror, pain and suffering, there was also good I got out of it and that I moved forward as a person when I faced the trouble and moved through it. That gives me some hope I can do it again this time!

Next I don’t do anything immediately provided there is no risk to human life (mine or others), and I apply remind myself 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIRV) “God is not a God of disorder. He is a God of peace”.

I don’t tell myself I’m not in a tough spot because I am!

Lying to myself is not what God wants either, but I do remind myself that things coming at me are probably not a result of people but rather that of the evil one trying to upset and destroy and hurt! That’s what I have seen him doing all my life so why should this be different! This gives me perspective to see the evil behind the situation!

Next, while I love my Christian friends, I don’t immediately take their advice and when I do it I put in place some checks and balances.

I know they don’t know the future, God does and since he is my dear friend, I need to ask him to help me before I listen to the guidelines of others.

When I listen to their guidelines I put weight on the advice of those I know are right with God and have given deep wise advice in the past. I also try to find such a person who has been through what I am going through right now. I ask them to pray for me because I know they will do so in truth, sincerity and with great empathy!

Then I try to apply some other things I know. . .

Proverbs 3:5 (NIRV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways remember him.      Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.”

So I ask our loving Father in Heaven to help make the way smooth and straight.

Now I remember God has emergency planning for those in trouble! I remember some of the emergency plans the bible speaks of for bible greats like Noah, Joseph, Lot, Paul and others. Mostly I remember that Jesus died but in so doing provided the most incredible escape from evil of all time and he said it was available for us to use by trusting and believing in Him!

Okay so where is my fire extinguisher? It’s in rejecting fear, panic, lies of the evil one and focusing on God, considering the situation I have to deal with in light of a forced peaceful calm that I induce by turning to God and connecting with Him first.

That gets the blaze under control but often it is still burning bright and I cannot simply wait or it will overcome me again. I have to do something don’t I?

Well now I need to figure out and even write down a few things. Firstly I try to describe the situation factually making sure to leave out all emotional words. Facts as clearly as I can! I identify where in fact am I located in this situation, I try to describe the extent and boundaries of the problem.

Unfortunately, normally doing this increases my anxiety again, so I pray about it again until I recover that forced peace or calm that comes from being connected with God and activating Holy Spirit in my life.

Now I ask God for wisdom! I remember the words . . .

Proverbs 4:6-8 (NIRV) “Stay close to wisdom, and she will keep you safe. Love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is best. So get wisdom. No matter what it costs, get understanding. Value wisdom, and she will lift you up. Hold her close, and she will honor you.”

I also know this means remembering God’s guidelines and not loosing it and doing a whole lot of ungodly things now! 

Next I set up communication with one to three people
who are strong Christians and who I can call for help and know they will maintain full integrity and be able to keep confidentiality.
 
I do this because I know my own judgement gets distorted in extreme circumstances and I need others who can speak to me. I give them the right to be brutally honest with me and covenant to hear them out even if I disagree totally with their advice!
 

Then I use the “facts” to give them what has happened and ask for them to pray before coming back to me with advice at a future time.
i.e. Ask them not to respond immediately but to go think and pray about the response and them come back with it. This enables God to work with them to help me!
 

To these people I open up myself!
Someone must be able to hear it all, the good, bad and ugly, and help me gain the right perspective! This is why I try and identify these people before I even get into trouble!

Sometimes in the situation I am much to messed up to make good decisions and since I really want to be sure to have the right people alongside me in situations like this, I select them when I`m okay and able to make good decisions!
 

Now, I consider if I am in the situation where I can be physically at risk and I take measure to rectify this
.

If it is health issues, I get experts who can help on this! If it is an abuse situation, I get out of it and then ask experts on how to deal with it, if it is a psychologically damaging behaviour, I tell the Christian people I trust and then try and go to the people they tell me may help me!
 

Sometimes I can be so frightened that it’s difficult to do anything.
I remind myself that its better to force oneself to move on because by staying in one place we will definitely not improve the situation, the best we can expect is to have exactly what is happening now. So I force myself to take action despite my fears and anxieties, praying for God’s help the whole time!
 

Containment of the situation is also something that can help
.

Knowing the real boundaries and making sure that Satan doesn’t have too much of an opportunity to bend, twist or aggravate the situation is also a good idea!
 

Mostly I turn to God who is my real help in these times.
I try to gain as much out of the situation as possible and learn the tough lessons life teaches. That way I gain from something that evil used to try and destroy me. I remember the worst thing that could happen is I will end up in Jesus arms and that’s okay!
 

Lastly as I move out of the calamity, I sit down and revise this plan of mine for dealing with calamities
and I try to help others to prepare themselves for these tests of life.
 

Together we can overcome the world and gain
, moving forward in love and not letting the world steal that love of others from us!
 

Hey, who said being a Christian is easy
? It takes courage and strength, but the joy of life is best experienced as we overcome and love despite tough circumstances. That’s the real power of life!
 

So I trust if you don’t have a calamity, you will put together a plan to deal with one before you have one.
 

Have a great day!
Mon, August 9, 2010 | link          Comments

Sunday, August 8, 2010

God doesn’t answer prayer! Thats Obvious isn't it?
God doesn’t answer prayer!
 
That’s obvious isn’t it?

 

The fact that God doesn’t regenerate amputee’s limbs is a case in point isn’t it?



 Some guy has spent a lot of time and money to write articles, a book and put video’s on youtube to “prove” to us “that God is completely imaginary. God does not answer prayers. God did not write the Bible. God has not incarnated himself.[1]

 He bases a fair bit on the fact that amputees limbs don’t grow back despite Christian prayer and challenges Christians to accept that prayer doesn’t work or have to accept God is imaginary.

 This will bother a lot of people, but doesn’t bother me because I had doctors tell me I had an incurable disease. In the medical terms it is described as

 “Gluten enteropathy: A condition, also called celiac sprue, in which the absorption of food nutrients through the small intestine is impaired by an immune (allergic) reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat or related grains and many other foods. Frequent diarrhea and weight loss can be symptoms. A skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis can be associated with celiac sprue. The most accurate test for the condition is a biopsy of the involved small bowel. Treatment is avoidance of gluten in the diet”[2]

 Now, please understand before I understood this diagnosis I was dying, having lost so much weight that I could not get out of bed easily and I had given up on life. Fortunately for me (since I didn’t believe God healed any more at that time) the elders of a small church I attended came and read me a bit of the bible “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”[3]

 They put their hands on me prayed, and placed oil on my forehead and went away. I was annoyed! I resented them coming!

 I was a Christian however and only permitted them to do what they did, due to the fact they could quote from the bible, the fact that I did love Christ and was willing to accept what was in the bible even if I didn’t like it, and the fact that I didn’t want to reject their love and friendship. [By the way, I still have contact with that pastor so if anyone wants to check my story out I can refer you to him.]

 In the next week I got the diagnosis that said if I didn’t eat wheat, oats, barley or rye I would get better. I did! No miracle here you say! Perhaps, but it sure felt good to know I would live! Who says a diagnosis in a situation like that isn’t a miracle. Probably the atheist writer of the article I am referring to would reject this event as a miracle because it cannot be “proved” and would chalk one up for me being “deluded”.

 I got better and yet I was not healed. That didn’t bother me, but what did bother me was the fact that I couldn’t have communion with the rest of the church! That really bothered me! They told me I would never get better either! Apparently up until today there is still no cure for the disease. All we can do is avoid triggering the problem!

 It broke my heart to not be able to take communion, and then one day, as I passed the communion plate across to the person alongside me, I got the distinct impression God was urging me to take the bread (which was poison to me!). In faith I believed and did it. I ate that gluten filled communion bread and NOTHING HAPPENED! I didn’t get ill!

 Now folk, to give you an idea of how bad I was, I used to get ill if I ate fries that were cooked in the same oil as batter had been fried in! I even carried around my own microwave oven and cooked my own meals to avoid contaminations. The bread should have made me very ill but it didn’t!

 Super happy I was healed, I tried a bit of non communion bread in the next week only to find out my illness was still there! I got real ill!

 Miraculously for the next year I was able to have communion each month, but unable to have any other gluten source. This was miraculous!

 Then one day while praying for a young lady who had severe problems, I again got a message in my heart from God. He let me know that once he had helped the young lady, Nina, who I still have contact with today and who now lives in Australia, she would pray for me, and I would be healed of the disease.

 That’s exactly what happened! Subsequently I have had medical tests to check for the presence of the disease and it has gone!

 So, to get back to the question about whether God answers prayer. He does answer prayer, just within his own parameters and not ours!

 The atheist who wrote the article is perhaps just a little jaded with life. He fails to understand that God wants us to accept him by faith, not due to spectacular tricks. Proving God by having him perform tricks like a circus animal is degrading, not glorifying. God chooses when and how he heals, not us. We are also expected to pray with wisdom. God created the natural order of things and we have been given talents to “bring it under our control[4]. We are not supposed to pray stupid prayers like “remove all hunger from this earth in the next ten seconds”. Get real! Get faith! Try to get to know our God!

 God will not allow us to prove his existence! If he was going to do that he could have manipulated events during his life as Jesus, to force people to acknowledge he was God. He didn’t!

 Also, Jesus didn’t heal everyone that was ill! We know this because we know he walked in and out the temple continually, but after his death Peter healed a lame man[5] at the temple where Jesus probably walked almost daily as he went in and out that temple. Jesus left the man to be healed later. Why? I don’t know, but God does!

 Let’s get it straight! God can heal anyone anytime, but often he doesn’t! People die after praying for healing that only comes as they leave this life and enter heaven. We are not the controller of God and cannot demand he change circumstances and the laws of science to fit our needs. Hungry people are everywhere and manna does not drop from heaven! God is not a puppet and who are we to say how this earth and universe should run. Can we create one tiny piece of life? No! Until now, no scientist has even postulated a realistic way of creating life so how can we criticise God?

 But to those God loves he gives ability to have faith in Jesus and then gives us so much more. We have eternal internal comfort even in difficult circumstances. (Like being shot at while in the army, another experience of mine). We have a loving friend we can lean on in a way that never fails to be there for us.

 So why doesn’t God heal amputees? Why doesn’t God just force every man to accept him and go to heaven?

 What gives you, Mr. Atheist, the right to say an amputated limb is more important to be healed than the illness that nearly killed me! Is it just because one is more visible and dramatic?

 God doesn’t force us to believe by perform amazing tricks because we must be given a 50/50 chance of believing in Him and we need to accept him by faith, not fact! Tough as it is, that’s a solid spiritual principle.

 So, don’t go about looking to prove existence or non-existence of God. It’s a relationship thing, not a mathematical formula.

 How about trying to use our God given talents to find ways of helping those in need instead of using them as a proof for God’s non-existence?

 That’s the Christian way!

 We are here to be God’s hands and feet on this earth, let’s go do it!


[1] http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/summary.htm

[2] http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3614

[3] James 5:14-15

[4] Gen 1:28 NIV

[5] Acts 3:1-6 NIV

Sun, August 8, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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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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