Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, October 1, 2010
True freedom, comes from rejecting freedom!
Fri, October 1, 2010 | link
True freedom, comes from rejecting
How many times have we seen how people who fight against oppression
somehow end up being oppressed even worse?
Unless Christ is in the middle of the reason for
the fight, it often can go badly for the person who rejects freedom.
What do I mean?
Well consider that in how teenagers fight against their parents control of their lives. . .
There are levels of resistance!
Those that totally reject their
parents and go out into the streets to be “free” end up with far worse problems than those who stay in their parents
homes. Poverty, struggle and continual loneliness can result from this rejection of “oppression”.
“But that type of oppression
is only a perceived oppression, not a real oppression!” some would say.
True, but then so many perceived oppressions are considered
to be true oppression by those undergoing them (Also please note that I am not saying that every time we are oppressed
we make bad decisions, only that there are many cases where this is true).
Why even discuss this?
Well, I consider how this guy Paul who walked around with Jesus rejected
In 1 Corinthians 9:19 he saysThough I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to
win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew,
to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win
those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law
but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become
all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that
I may share in its blessings.
This is a guy who was very free according to the measures of his day.
He had authority
of the government and church to do what he wanted to do (kill Christians!) and was doing so, until he met the true God. Then
he rejected that “freedom” to become a Christian! (Really weird right? must have been a significant event right?)
In so doing he found a freedom he could never have experienced in his old way of life. He found it
so worthwhile he was willing to undergo incredible hardships to stay true to this freedom. He says of himself,
“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged
more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the
forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times
I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly
on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger
from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in
danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep;
I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold
and naked.” He did all this to stay free!
Today with the freedoms around us, we need to understand
that the freedom that comes from accepting Jesus is the most precious and least well understood. Many people consider Christians close minded,
probably rightfully so because many do close their minds to reality of life. True Christians don’t close their minds,
they go places, experience life to its fullest, have adventurous and fruitful lives, and are free every moment! A
freedom bought by being a slave to Christ! Now that’s an oxymoron worth remembering!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Another prostitute scandal? How would Jesus react?
Another prostitute scandal? How would Jesus react?
Thu, September 30, 2010 | link
Canada's National Post says…
|Ontario judge strikes down prostitution laws|
TORONTO — A ruling that struck down three of the country’s prostitution laws is based on a balancing
of the constitutional rights of sex-trade workers and not about morality, an Ontario Superior Court judge said in a potentially
The ruling, which could ultimately lead to legalized brothels in
Canada, was immediately praised and assailed.
Sex-trade advocates said the judge
rightly acknowledged that the law forces prostitutes to conduct their work, as it were, in a climate of inherent danger, while
conservative groups argued prostitution is immoral and against societal interests.
federal Justice Minister said he is seriously considering an appeal of the ruling, which applies only in Ontario but could
be the basis of similar challenges across the country.
As Christian’s they expect us to react and we should!
question is how, since there is definitely a precedent in the bible to stop a nation falling into the prostitution
trade. Doesn’t our bible speak against this? For example doesn’t it say. . .
Do not degrade your daughter
by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.
So this is a warning that this course of action will lead to wickedness in the land (as if there
isn’t plenty of that already).
But then it also says
You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male
prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD your God detests them both.
it seems that this was a means of doing business in those days as well right?
guess the point is that we should try and avoid promoting prostitution, and we should not allow the church to benefit from
this activity, and if a country degrades itself to permit this to become a norm, only wickedness will grow from the practice.
Now let's be honest, this practice will never go away until the human race dies out.
There will always be desperate people who have to make money and find getting naked and doing things for people who are to
inadequate to find a true partner is a way of making money. Then, when they overcome their decency and allow this to occur,
they quieten their conscience and so damage themselves further.
The final stage of pain is when they
decide that they want others to be like them and start to shout it out and in this case “fight for rights”.
Now let me say, I don’t agree with mistreating prostitutes.
the law does do this! They are not given fair hearings and justice they rightfully should get. But that’s not a reason
to make the practice legal! That’s showing us this is time to update and train our police force in true handling
of the situation. It’s a failure of policing that needs to be remedied, not a promotion of prostitution!
What did Jesus say on the matter?
If I remember there was one statement
that said in Matthew 21:30-31. . .
"I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.
For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes
did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
A repentant prostitute
is free of guilt and sin, and can enter heaven according to Jesus.
This seems to have been
his treatment of these ladies of the street.
How would Jesus deal with it?
I think of two
situations where immoral woman are brought to or came to him (Where were the cases of immoral men? Doesn’t it take two
to do it? men seem to be good at staying in the background don't they?)
Luke 7:36 on talks of one who could be
considered a prostitute who came to Jesus, repented, washed his feet with her tears and very expensive perfume, and of whom
"Your sins are forgiven" and "Your faith has saved you; go in
Later a women caught in adultery is brought to him. First Jesus sets up the criteria for convicting
her by saying
"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone
Then after this gets rid of the crowd (who obviously understood he would be able to point
out every occasion when they thought of illegal sex [since he had warned people that thinking of it was enough to sin]), Jesus
says to her,
"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
So, Jesus loves people that are hurting! We should too!
Jesus doesn’t want us
condemning others when we all have thoughts that are sexually inappropriate to others. Holy Spirit know these thoughts we
Jesus would not want us to support people continuing in a profession that
degrades and damages them and the country, but would want to see them helped and loved (correctly).
Then what about our relationships with prostitutes. Paul comments.1 Corinthians 6:16
Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is
one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."
out our bodies belong to Jesus and we should not abuse them.
So sex with prostitutes is out for Christians!
Then should we protect them? Well remember that Paul also reminds the Israeli's that
By faith the prostitute Rahab,
because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
So there is a
precedent for treating them right, if they treat society right.
Where does this leave us?
I think it leaves is wanting the prostitutes better protected, but without having a way to promote their activities.
This is not the intent of the new law, so I cannot support it!
Mr Harper, you go and get this one corrected! Our judicial system has failed us!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Facing giants and overcoming everyday calamities!
Wed, September 29, 2010 | link
Archaeologists Uncover Goliath's Hometown
They are digging it up now!
Maayana Miskin of the Arutz Sheva, Israels national news reports:
“An ongoing archaeological excavation in Tel Tzafit continues to unearth the ruins of what was
once the city of Gat – described in the Bible as the hometown of Goliath.”
facts to backup our bible as being a book that spoke about real people, and this story is one of the greatest.
For those that don’t know it or have become unfamiliar I will recap the ancient war story with excerpts from
1 Samuel 17 . . .
“Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh
in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the
Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites
another, with the valley between them.
A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp.
He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing
seventy five kilograms ; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.
His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed seven kilograms. His
shield bearer went ahead of him.
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel,
"Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man
and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and
kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel!
Give me a man and let us fight each other."
A big outspoken bully of a man who had the
power to kill with ease.
How often do we seem to be in front of impossible
We like the Israelites look at how we have to move ahead and find out that
if we want to get rid of the person, the structure they represent, or the governmental bodies that they are mis-using,
we have no strength or ability. That’s the way it was on that one hot, dusty day in the fields, as the Israeli army
stood quivering in fear at this challenge!
But one guy didn’t see this all!
This was a
shepherd boy that had come into town to give supplies to his brothers who were part of the army of Israel. All he
heard was the taunt, and felt that righteous anger that happens when a person who loves God hears people mocking him. He saw
opportunity where others saw failure!
David was a boy, and his brother got angry with him and told him to get
out of the area (they don’t like being mocked in front of their youngest little brother).
We'll to cut the story
short (you should really read it in 1 Samuel 17).
David gets permission from the king to go and face Goliath.
He goes out with shephards clothes, weapons, but with the fire of God in his heart. Fear doesn’t
touch him! He doesn’t even try to protect himself, trusting God to do that. No armour! (Like riding in Afganistan
in a Honda civic instead of a tank).
He’s out to punish a God mocker! Then he runs
towards the giant, whipping a stone from his sling into the mans forehead. The giant crashes to the ground stunned, and David
uses the giants sword to cut off his opponents head.
Problem solved! Well almost!
Turns out that David underestimated the greed, envy and selfishness of the Israeli king and people, and so for years
they(the ones he won the battle for) ended up causing him grief. He did finally become king and was one of the greatest
Kings of Israel. God loved him!
So what can we learn from this?
Firstly let's be energetic in our love of God. It activates us and also turns our eyes from immediate
monsters and calamities to the source of power and love.
Secondly, let's not take up the battle
gear of those around us. Manipulation, lies, rumours, gossip, bribes, and sneaky plans are not part of Gods way of
dealing with things. Those things are for Goliaths of our world, not for us.
underestimate the power of Holy Spirit in our lives to give us aim, focus and direction. Godly directed action will
find it’s true target with pinpoint accuracy, despite huge distractions.
we are victorius, remember who gives the victory. Let's not run down our enemy. Yes, they will have to pay their
dues, but we are not here to exact punishment, other than that which God himself exacts.
Do you know later in life
David actually joined the Philistines for a short while! They didn’t kill him! They respected him! Strange isn't it?
If we treat our enemies right, we can turn them to be friends!That’s the Christian way.
go slay our Goliath today!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I am a hypocrite, but then what’s wrong about that? Everyone is!
Tue, September 28, 2010 | link
I am a hypocrite, but then what’s wrong about that? Everyone is!
love to talk about how loving, dutiful and compassionate they are, yet I have yet to meet ONE who does not practice hypocrisy
to the highest degree. Their willful ignorance of the Bible combined with their two faced idealism to preach it, has made us sick, hasn’t
Heard these types of words before? I have!
The interesting thing is to consider
is what it takes to make a hypocrite. Firstly hypocrites have to have a system of beliefs don’t they.
anyone who doesn’t have a system of beliefs can’t be a hypocrite can they?
guess that excludes a huge percentage of the civilized people in this world.
thing I see is that people who often label Christians as hypocrites often do so from the “moral high ground” of
not having beliefs! Strange argument isn’t it. Hardly a fair way
to do it is it. Basically these types are saying “because you belong to a group that ‘believes’ I am going
to target you!”
That’s discrimination folk! Agreed?
most of these people are like racists, except they target Christians instead of people of a different race.
look at the second part of what makes a hypocrite.
have to say they are trying to follow their belief system.
Okay, that now excludes another huge group
of the population from this allegation. How many people actually believe in something and say to others they are trying to
be honest and follow their beliefs. I say it’s an admirable thing to do, wouldn’t you agree? Firstly to
have a system of belief ,and then to saying they are trying to follow them!
Unfortunately, this opens
them to being a hypocrite!
You see, if you do your best to follow very high ideals, then
you are likely to fail in some way or other!
we label a person who wanted to be a doctor but failed and became a ambulance driver a “hypocrite”? They believed
in medicine and aimed at helping from the top and failed. Personally I have respect for a person who does that. I wouldn’t
call them hypocritical!
SO does this missing the target make them failures and hypocrites?
to most critics of Christians it does! You see a Christian goes for very high ideals, and strives to model their life in the
best way possible. (They want to be like God!)
In so doing they often fall short of the mark! Then people look at them and say
they are “hypocrites”.
If that’s the case, I am! You see I only want to do the best I can. I know
I am not God and will fail! All I want to do is a little better next time and perhaps help someone while I am doing it.
So, perhaps the next time someone shouts hypocrite, we should ask them what they believe in? Whether they have beliefs
that will improve the world and help everyone around them? Whether they are willing to admit publically they have these beliefs?
And if they are, whether they have ever failed? If they have failed they are also a hypocrite.
with Christians are they admit failure and try and move on and improve.
That’s why I want to be
a Christian and you can call me a hypocrite if you like.
It really doesn’t matter provided I am
allowed to love and help others!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Mon, September 27, 2010 | link
Separation is a two edged sword, forgiveness a better option! Why is it so tough to do?
Ever been separated from the person you love!
Where does your mind and heart tend to go
the moment you have spare time?
Ever wanted to protect the person you are separated from, and been unable to
due to the distance they have put between you?
We want to be near and have contact with those we love don’t we?
The most difficult times are when we are separated from the person we love and they are ill or hurt and we cannot
be with them!
Psalm 4 in the bible points out we
need to “Remember that the Lord has set his faithful people apart for himself.”
God has taken time to establish a different type of people that will be known as the ones he loves.
God has put us in a place in his heart that is different and special. He loves us!
Then we do things to put distance between ourselves and him. Somehow we ignore his love and let our life’s
desires intrude and take away the pure relationship and love we have for him.
What types of things have
we done in this last week, that have put distance between us and God? In this last month? In this last
We sometimes don’t even really know why we do these things! “They happen!”
is what I have heard said. Then we get embarrassed or angry, and perhaps tell God he doesn’t want to be near us.
Perhaps, we even blame him for not wanting to be near us!
We are wrong! The
bible says “The Lord will hear me when I call out to him”. He hears! Unfortunately it is us that have to change
our minds and go back to him! He has already made the first step. A big one! A reconciling step of letting us murder his Son
and not retaliating! He has shown us his love, and all we have to do is accept it and go back into those loving arms.
is a two edged sword. We separate ourselves from God by doing stupid, nasty and ignorant things that
hurt him and others, but it ends up we are doing it all to ourselves. God is still there loving us! He is the one who is waiting
for us to return to him, yearning for that moment, ready to hug and hold us!
It’s time we made the next move! It’s time we took steps to rejoin our lives with the God of our universe.
be successful, we cannot keep on doing wrong things and asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is there, but it is abusing
the relationship. Abusing the relationship damages us! Like an alcoholic who goes dry, and then fails over again by taking
that one drink, we fail by doing that one wrong thing again! That’s not the best way to live!
need to take each day one at a time and focus on living right for God. If we fail, we need to say sorry, and go back
into his arms and then try again!
If we stay in his arms we will be protected!
Let’s stay there!
If you want to see a short blog describing a perspective on what I believe click here
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May you be blessed today!