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Friday, November 5, 2010

Face changes!
 
Face changes!
DecideForTruth.jpg
“It wasn't until several hours into the long flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver that Air Canada staff knew they'd been had.

 A passenger went into the bathroom elderly and white – his face wrinkled, eyes scrunched nearly shut, only a few wisps of white hair clinging to his otherwise bald scalp – and emerged a fresh-faced, young Asian.”
excerpt from a Globe and Mail[1] article

 This guy did the impossible and got onto a flight one race and age and left another race and age. Unfortunately for him, he was caught in the process.

 Doesn’t this parallel what many people try to do in life? How many times in life have we observed someone who we are sure is “putting on an act” for the benefit of deceiving others? 

Generally, something gives them away, because we are not very good at being anyone other than ourselves.

This guy who climbed on the aircraft with the mask of on old man got caught because he could not make his hands appear old. This alerted the wise flight staff!
 

So, why do it?

 
There are many reasons! Some don’t want people to know the true person under the disguise because they don’t feel they would be appreciated for who they are, others do it to manipulate people into thinking certain thoughts, and others like the feeling of deceiving another. There are many more reasons but I’m sure you can think of them yourself. 

There are at least two problems with “masks”.

First is that they take away true relationships between people. The person in the “mask” can never feel truly loved and appreciated, because they never reveal themselves fully and so the other person is loving and appreciating a lie. That does nothing for the deceiver's self esteem!
 

Secondly, the longer we live with the “mask” on, the more we start to take on the attributes and qualities of that type of lifestyle and this means we start to loose ourselves to a lie. The lie takes over our lives and pulls us into it’s dirty falsehood. Now we are failing ourselves deeply! 

As Christians we are faced with being true to God!

This does not mean making out that we are better than we are, or alternatively, that we are worse than we are.

Our lives are lived in a world that hurts us and the selfish, nasty and ignorant sides of life in this world try and get us to take on those negative qualities. The work of life is to resist this evil, and stay as innocent and truthful as possible.  
 

The bible says it’s not easy…of one bunch of Christians it says 

I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me,”[2] 

We live in a tough world that is Satan’s domain.

We expect to see, hear, and have to resist doing things, that the negative person of the universe, Satan, engineers to stealthly creep  into our lives. Little by little Satan tries to take us deeper into disception. It's our work to notice and resist!

Ever notice how easy it is to get into these situations and how hard it is to get out. That guy on the flight has been arrested! How often do we find we get caught in our lies. Almost always!


We need to be true to God and let Holy Spirit guide us, learning what is right from how Jesus lived.

It’s not easy but the truth is, it’s the only way that brings fulfillment, true self worth, together with a peace, love and  joy that is solidly ours.
 

So, if we are wise, we give up the lies and deceit that steals from our lives and join in with truth and love that builds our self worth. 

That’s my objective today, whats yours?



[1] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/disguised-man-boarded-air-canada-flight/article1786681/

[2] Revelation 2:12-14 NIV

Fri, November 5, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Intelligent Design is NOT a belief in creation, so why do the Darwinists get so angry?
 Let’s look at the statement in Wikipedia[1]


Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, but one which deliberately avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer. Its leading proponents—all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank believe the designer to be the God of Christianity

GodDesigner.jpg
 A lot of words to say a simple thing, which I summarize as …”We can’t see everything around us being established by random chance mechanisms alone, so some intelligent director must be directing the process!

 Hmmm! Does that say anything about the Christian God?


 
Not really! If you believe in the Christian God it does, but if you believe in another God, it could just as easily be talking of that God.



It says NOTHING about who the director is, only that direction cannot occur only by chance!


 
One thing I want to point out is the level of bias in the above statement from Wikipedia!

 
Notice the word “All” that I bolded and underlined!

 
This is a very obviously an untrue statement as it is easy to find proponents outside this very small organization. Secondly, as you can see this is also not an aspect that only applies to Christians, nor should it be. The statement in Wikipedia however tries to link this concept to Christianity. False information!

 
Why?

 
Because in Christianity we have a bunch of people who fail to be scientific in their approach and so are easily targeted! Also, the fundamentalism of their statements and ignoring of factual evidence, or unwillingness even to investigate it makes them easy targets.

 
Are all Christians this way?
NO WAY
!


 
There are wonderful Christians in the world of science (although the bias against them is huge). These men and women have to be much more focused and dedicated than their non-Christian counterparts.
 
Today, many of them are subject to discrimination and glass ceilings despite very good work.

 
Why?

 
They point out weak parts of scientific arguments that other people have accepted totally without question. Not great but it’s the way it is!

 
We need to keep open minds on all fronts. As a Christian (yes I am a born again, faith focussed believer) I want to be open minding seeking TRUTH and being will to examine all the evidence (not only what pleases me).

 
So far it seems to me that the Darwinists fail to accept that NOBODY knows about the “Origin” of the species.

 
No true scientist on earth would ever try to explain that they have facts describing how life originated.

 
The first cell is too complex to have occurred by chance and I do challenge any scientist on earth to say I am wrong. Then, that cell had to survive and multiply in a very hostile environment. That's just not possible if we use our current level of knowledge!

 
So saying we know the origin of the species using science is a LIE!

 
Saying that we have seen small parts of evolution, and snapshots of evolution that show it could have been occurring over time since the origin, is much more palatable.

 
Intelligent Design actually seems to support this aspect of the Darwinian proposition, and truthful creationalists would not disagree!

 
Now let me upset our biblical apple carts a little. . .

Please understand that I am NOT trying to undermine your beliefs. Before I go on, know this…I fully accept God(our Christian God) created, but I want to be careful in being mindless in this statement.


 
So…here is BIBLICAL evidence that man was not totally created in one day!

 
Let’s go to Genesis and if we read the first chapter verse 27 (NIV) we find it says…

 
“So God created mankind in his own image,
  
in the image of God he created them;

  
male and female he created them.”

 

If we read this in context we find it happened on the “6th” day!


 
Notice a few things.

 
Firstly male and female were created on this day…not just male.

 
Secondly, they were “in the image of God” which is the first occurrence of this fact.

 
Thirdly, it is an intelligent designer who did the work![God]

 
Fourthly, and not so evident is that this is many “days” after the vegetation was created as the vegetation was created on the “3rd” day!

 
Okay, please check this all out…it’s all in the bible, not any science textbook!

 
Now, let’s go to chapter two of Genesis (NIV) starting at verse 5…

 
Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

 
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

 
So let’s list a few facts here…

 
Firstly man is formed with the plants and shrubs.

 
Secondly, there is no direct evidence of the time taken by God in his activities (we have to get that from chapter one).

 
Thirdly, man is moved from where he is created into Eden.

 
Fourthly, no one can say what the “breath of life” is for sure, only that God somehow inserted this into man at some time in the creation process! [So far, this has never been duplicated]

 
Okay! So where do we go now?

 
Let’s put these facts together.

 
Chapter one says man is created on the SIXTH day – Fact!

 
Chapter two says man starts to be formed on the THIRD DAY – implied Fact (logic above).

 
Conclusion…man started to be established as the first life started on Earth on the THIRD DAY and was only finally established on the SIXTH DAY.

 
Fact or not?

 
You judge from Christian principles!

 
This is all from our bible, not some Darwinian propaganda!

 
Maybe those Intelligent Design folks have a point in accepting some of those evolutionary concepts right? I know you think it’s almost heretical for a Christian to say this, but please if you dislike it, refute the facts above!

 
We must stay open to Holy Spirit’s movement in our hearts, minds and in mankind’s social development.

 
God treats man differently through the ages because we become more complex and think differently. God has remained the same and he put things in place to ensure ALL ages of men(and women) would be amazed at his knowledge, complexity and simple beauty.

 
I could go on but my time is almost up. Here are a few more things to think about. God created man OUTSIDE Eden and moved man there (it doesn’t say how). God created man and women but somehow Adam is created differently and referred to as the “living” being. Since “life” often refers to living in understanding with our God, could it not mean just that?

 
What can we learn from this today?

 
I hope a few things.

 
Let’s listen to people carefully and not get so focussed on what we believe that we fail to see facts.

 
Let’s understand that people who believe in Intelligent design do not necessarily believe in creation in the Christian sense.

 
Most of all, let’s learn to love our “enemies” since that’s the Christian way. Didn’t Jesus say “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”[2]

 
He also said “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”[3]

 
That’s my aim for today. To respect others who disagree with me! Will you join me in this?


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

[2] Luke 6:27

[3] Luke 6:31

Thu, November 4, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So the ancients offered “burnt” offerings, what's the equivalent today?
 
To bare our souls is all we ask, to give all we have to life and the beings surrounding us. Here the nature spirits are intense and we appreciate them, make offerings to them - these nature spirits who call us here - sealing our fate with each other, celebrating our love.
Alex Grey

 Nature spirits???!!…maybe…but I see that just a little differently , but I agree with the basic statement Alex makes!
BurntOfferingAltar.jpg

 Today I want to have a quick look at that ancient practice of burning things on an altar to show submission to a god. (Let’s just ignore the cynicism that it’s what an inadequate spouse provides for their partner J )

 Mankind has been doing sacrificing for a very long time. It started before history (history starts with the beginning of writing…before history is pre-history times). There are ancient animal bones with marks on them associated with implements that show a ritual killing occurred before the start of history.

 Then as men spread around and developed different cultures and different religions, they had different practices. A common point of almost all cultures, was a giving back to the god’s, of a part of what a person owned. This was to appease or to please the god.

 In many ways, I see this as immature mankind’s attributing to the god, their own desires!

Think of it!

The ancient is saying something like..."I love my flocks so much I am sure god will too, so I should provide some to god so he makes sure I am successful." This was similarly done with the bread from my wheat, etc.

 I see this as a rather manipulative self seeking practice, but one that earlier cultures demanded they should be allowed to do.

 So what about the Christian and Jewish God. Why did he permit this?

 Notice, I didn’t say God demanded it, because from what I see in our bible, it was a response from men that was not asked for by God. The first sacrifice was mentioned in the first part of the bible was that of Cain and Abel.

 Genesis 4
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.

 God never asked for it, they decided this was a good thing to do! This activity also resulted in the first murder of a man. Notice that as soon as we started sacrificing, we developed intense greed and envy. Intense emotions increase actions assocaited with them. Humans fail to have the right reactions sometimes. I guess not much has changed has it? Anyhow, we insisted on sacrificing!

 
Wow! Why did we do this? God was (and is) available to us without us having to build places for him and sacrifice to him.

 In fact it says in

 1 Kings 8:27 & 28 (NIV) “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.

 I like this excerpt because it shows its for us that we build these human constructions for us rather than God. Similarly with sacrifices…

 The ancient Hebrews came out of slavery and the first place that was setup to separate God from man was a tent that Moses setup called a tent of meeting.

 See Exodus 33:7 on (NIV)
Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses.

Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

 Notice, NO SACRIFICE mentioned! 

We can worship without sacrifice! So why did it start?


Well people built altars and burnt things on them to say “thanks” to God.

The reason they burnt the stuff is that this was a way of consuming the article to ensure it had no future value. i.e. to ensure the full value belonged to the person/entity that was to accept the offering. The attitude behind the offering was more important than the offering itself!

 Later as time went by, God saw that people really wanted to do things this way so he set up some rules and regulations to enable this to happen in a controlled way. With these expectations, people were more easily able to get comfortable they had actually complied, and so were not second guessing whether their sacrifices were “adequate”.

 No sacrifice was “adequate”, since how can we give to God what is already created and maintained by him? Sacrifices are for us to respond to God in love, since that is how they were designed. 

One sacrifice area was in the tabernacle.  It was a bronze altar just inside the main courtyard opening, or doorway. Here the people brought animals and crops to be offered to God. The animals and crops varied based on wealth and availability and the seasons.

The altar was made of bronze, covering acacia wood, and with a bronze metal grate. It had a slope going up to the area where the carcasses and crops were burnt on that bronze grid. (So the priests wouldn't expose their nakedness under their robes [no boxer shorts in those days])

At the four corners of this overgrown barbeque, were pointed parts of the metal structure that people called “horns” (since they looked like horns). They were one piece with the altar.

 These horns had multiple purposes, one being a point where people touched sacrificial blood and hung some of the sacrificial meat.
 
The blood on the horns was a point of evidence to those watching that blood had been spilt as part of the sacrifice
. These horns also acted as a place of safety for people running away from others to hold onto (since you didn’t want to kill a person so close to the altar as innocent blood had the ability to destroy purity of that situation).
 

So what about the sacrifice?

Well a lamb was sacrificed in the morning and evening. It had to be without blemish. (If I was a lamb in those days I would have loved to have a crooked leg).

 How was it done? The animal was killed, and its blood was poured out at the base of the altar and some was put on the horns(sometimes). Then parts of the animal was burnt (different amounts for different occasions), and then the rest was given back to the priests, and sometimes the people to eat. i.e. like a big barbeque party. Sometimes they burnt the main body of the sacrifice outside the camp if it had been a sin offering(keeps the smell and smoke down). So in summary, they did this sacrificing in different ways for different situations!

 
Why talk about this? What is the application for today?

 Well in the New Testament times just before the temple was destroyed and sacrifices stopped forever, Paul writes this…

 Hebrews 9:10-16
The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.
 
And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

  Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

 So an optimal sacrifice was made by Jesus, but this doesn’t change the fact that we still like to give something back to God.

Today our sacrifices or offerings are still coming from the attitude of our hearts, like those people of old.

The mechanism we use has changed. We don’t find burning something we own as a good way of doing things. Instead we need to give something that is harder to give, that is appreciated very much, and which we ourselves appreciate getting.

 What is this?

 
Praise! Acknowledgement that what is said and done by the praised person is true! Doing good for others in the name of the one we offer the praise to is also acceptable! Sharing with others in the name of the one who we praise is a sacrifice that helps many!

 

Now that’s a true sacrifice God can appreciate!
Is it a true sacrifice we are willing to make?

Wed, November 3, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Three levels of spiritual depth are available to us, want them?
 In my own life if I knew I was going to pass away I'd love to sit down and resolve every issue so I could go peacefully.

John Travolta

3LevelsOfReward.jpg

 Why do we wait it out until the last moment? We almost seem to believe that somehow we loose out by getting deep into clearing the issues we have and making right with God and the world.

 This is nonsense! Clearing up our issues and letting God take care of them and getting into a good place with our friends and acquaintances is a good place to go any time! Isn’t it?

 Is it better to have unfinished, or finished business?

 Okay, so let’s say we want to clean up our life, how do we go about it? 

I want to explain this in relation to ancient worship practices in one of the most ancient places of religion, the tabernacle.

 This was a tent divided into two areas, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, and inside an enclosed courtyard.

 Outside the courtyard life went on normally, but people closer to this courtyard were more influenced by the presence of the tabernacle. The closer one was to it the more the influence. The priests stayed directly around the courtyard, and then staying a bit further away were the people who believed in the God, and then very far way (out of sight) were all those who didn’t believe in God. 

Is this not a bit like the attitude of people to God today? The more people accept His presence, the more likely they are to want to be close to Him! Those who deny he exists don't come close enough to find out! 

Okay so let’s specifically talk about the way people gave gifts and changed themselves to get into a deeper and deeper spiritual relationship with that God. 

Firstly, to offer a sacrifice you needed to believe the God was real!

Do we believe God is real?

To enter into that courtyard, required a step of faith or there would be no reason to go in.

People could see the altar in the courtyard where those ancient priests offered the sacrifices from through the open gate, and so could see where they needed to go as a first step. Going through the gate, taking that step in faith is the  first real step.

Acknowledging to ourselves that Jesus gives us directions to the true God and accepting that what the bible says he did in this regard is really our first step nowadays.

 

Then, the ancient person would take an offering to the priests to burn on that first altar, the altar of burnt offerings. In those days they brought one of a Bull, lamb, goat, ram or dove depending on the ability to pay for these items. Notice it cost the person to come to God in those days!

 What does God want us to pay? NOTHING! We have someone who has provided the sacrifice for us, so that we don’t have to pay ourselves.

It’s like those ancient people being provided with a bull to sacrifice, if they believed enough to go in through that gate.

 Similarly, we can take our belief in Jesus, accept Jesus is our sacrifice, and then His sacrifice takes the place of our own stupid, nasty, ignorant, and selfish things we have done as he pays for these wrong things, giving us a clear conscience and forgiveness allowing us to come before God today.

This is only step one! A person in those days who wanted to get in deep with God would go deeper.

 Now to enter the next level of sacrifice and worship, we need to be priests. One of the original Christian guys who walked around with Jesus explains that when we accept Jesus we accept we are part of the priesthood. 

1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 

The ancients knew the second level of spiritual depth was the Holy Place.

This was the first room in the tent, lit by a golden lamp stand with seven lamps. At the far end as you enter you will see another altar, the altar of incense, and immediately you would smell the rich exotic smell of incense.
 

At the far side, a priest would be burning the incense and if we wanted to be deeply spiritual we would be the priest burning this incense.
 
So today, what is the deep spiritual experience that takes us to this level?
 

A hint is given in the last book of the bible. It’s talking about the incense altar in heaven and it says…

 Revelations 8:3&4 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.  

So it seems that our prayers form part of the second level of spirituality.
 
It’s easy to accept what Jesus did and get our sins cleared and then do nothing more.

That’s as far as some people get, it clears their unfinished issues, but it does not get them connecting closely with the person who made us and everything we know in our universe.
 
To do that we need to pray! That means speaking to God either out loud, or silently. (Out loud is a bit easier!).

 Now the first time we do this, it helps us to realise the words go up in front of God like incense.
 
Incense is interesting, it stimulates our senses, it makes a place smell a lot better, and it enters into us, filling our lungs with this aroma. It adds to the quality of life we are experiencing and improves it. God wants to experience our prayers deeply, inhale and consume them.

God wants to not only hear prayer and see us as we offer them to him, but he wants to experience every nuance of what we mean and savour them.

 By opening our mouths and letting God know how much we appreciate Him, we are doing amazing things.

We are connecting deeply with the God of the universe. Like that original priest, we too inhale the incense.

We become part of the environment of heaven and experience in a very small way, the immense love, peace, and joy of the heavenly places. For a small portion of time, we move out of our own environment into the presence of God. This is the second level of spiritual depth.

Some people never learn how to pray correctly and never gain the full benefit of prayer
, and others grasp and become good at prayer gaining in spiritual depth.
 

The next room in the tabernacle tent was very special. It was called the Holy of Holies, or the most Holy Place. There is no place with deeper spiritual depth on this earth! 

This was a cube shaped place about 15 ft square. A very thick curtain separated it from the Holy Place.

This was a place that only the highest level of priesthood could go. The high priest could only go in once all sacrifices for sin and all prayers had been made.

He had to be clean in thought, word and deed or he would die. The only light inside this room was light of God’s glory itself! Not something to mess with! Just after Jesus lived it was described this way…
 

Hebrews 9: 7-14 (NIRV) But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.  

The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

 This final place can only be entered by turning over our lives to God totally.

Jesus’ blood is to be used to clear away all vestigates of wrong doing in our lives.

We can only enter this depth of spirituality while PURE! No sin in our lives! All of our life totally handed over to Jesus so he can make it right so we can go into this depth of spiritual worship.

 Now, are we allowed in?

 Only one person was allowed inside in the past, so this is a significant question. Jesus made the way. It says…

 Matthew 9:50&51 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

 God made away that opened up the most Holy Place for us to be able to go in. It’s there for us all, if we get to that third level or depth of spirituality!

 To go in we have to give up fear, anger, pride, boasting, self promotion, grudges and learn to trust, love, protect, hope and persevere!

 I want to go into this third level of spiritual experience, how about you?
Tue, November 2, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, November 1, 2010

Living in God’s presence, 3.5 thousand years ago, and now!
Living in God’s presence, 3.5 thousand years ago, and now!

 Before me, even as behind, God is, and all is well.

~John Greenleaf Whittier

tabernacle.jpg

 In the dust sun of a hot desert with little water, many animals milling about, living in heavy animal skin tents a group of people lived with God in their center!

 This group had been forced to act as servants to foreign people for about 300 years and were now free!

The freedom came at a price! They had to govern, feed and cloth themselves. Things they were not used to doing for themselves. Those simple daily things we take for granted and assume is part of the struggle of daily living had been lost to them over the years.

Subservient people have no such worries! All this is given to the slaves in return for the hard labour they have to provide.

 So, it was to a motley group of people, separated into large family groupings called tribes, that God introduced the place where his name would be. The tabernacle!

A huge courtyard and tent where he would be represented as living in contact with the people of those ancient days. He set this up with some very careful instructions he gave to a guy called Moses.

 So how was the Tabernacle placed? Firstly it was oriented according to the points of the compass. The entrance was placed east so that the morning sun would shine on it, showing the beautiful coloured gateway and being the very first thing people would see in the morning.
I guess this is so those people like ourselves could see they should be approaching God first thing in the mornings at the start of day. The ancients would have approached the tabernacle at that time for the morning worship. The positioning caused them to turn their backs to the sun, a common false idol worship object of those early days.
 

 Then, God organized that during the day, a pillar of smoke would be over the temple, and at night a pillar of fire.

 If you know deserts, you will know that clouds and smoke in the sky are not normal in deserts.

These atmospheric phenomenon are not often seen in the desert sky. Desert air is clear, and clean, and the stars appear to be in the millions at night, with the blue hot sky and sun burning down during the day, and not much around about to burn to make smoke!

 God made sure that he was there for them to see using these common but unusual symbols. God used everyday items to show his presence! Things people could refute and argue about. I can hear what some of the cynical comments would be like. . .

 “It’s just the smoke from the sacrifices!” or “The firelight is reflected in the smoke at night, that’s what the light is”. The actual fact that food fell out the sky daily (except on the Sabbath) would have been explained away as “this always happens in this place anyhow”.

 Don’t we find people saying this about Christian activities today?
 
Isn’t it common for the unusual to be explained away and our blessings to be taken as expected with no thanks being given for the wonderful way of life we have?

 We tend to be quick to find a way to explain away things of God don’t we?

The interesting truth is that God generally shows us aspects of himself through circumstances and situations that have the ability to be perceived either in Godly spiritual terms, or in human non-spiritual terms.

 Is this perhaps because God wants us to come to him through faith? This is not something easily done, because it requires releasing selfishness and allowing ourselves to be taken into places where we are not in control.

 That’s what God really wants!
 
Unconditional release of our lives into his control!

 

  That’s the living sacrifice talked about in the time of Jesus. God doesn’t want us to do this release of ourselves to him blindly, and without direction. He gives as clear indications of who he is and his nature and how we are to give our lives to him!

 That ancient slave group were released based on God’s miracles, he fed them, and made sure their cloths would not wear out easily. He set up a place where they could come and meet with him.

He even organised the tribes around this tabernacle in a specific order, with the priest group closest to the tent and the others separated at the four points of the compass further out. He did this so that everone would know he would be in their center!

 So why is this important for us today? Is there anything we need to understand that can help us in our life today?

Yes! We must understand that in our life we will see signs of God’s work.

They may not be huge amazing things, they may be simple timing incidences, when things happen at a time that sets them apart in our mind. They may be small decision points that change our lives for the better. They may be a small voice of reason and love in the middle of the heat and stress of the day.

 God is in the center of our life activities.

 Those guys and girls who lived just after Jesus died experienced an unseen presence of God in that a presence that they called the “Holy Spirit” that came into their lives.

 He was originally seen as flames of fire over their heads.

One big flame separated and came down to over each believers head!

This symbolized to those people that the God of their forefathers who had shown himself in fire above the tabernacle, was not changing but was now dividing he love equally to become the guide of each and every person. Jesus said we would have Holy Spirit with us all the time.

 So it’s different now! Our God is with us as Christians everywhere!

 He is us here today!

Our challenge is recognising this and putting him centrally in our life activities.

That’s what I want to do! What about you?

Mon, November 1, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

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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?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
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