Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, December 17, 2010
Simplicity and Life!
Fri, December 17, 2010 | link
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Simplicity and Life!
Ever considered by how we damage our lives by our complexity, and requirement for that complexity?
Every waking moment we are required to decide how to use our time whether we actively decide to do it, or passively let it happen. Think
about decisions you made in the last hour…
they are simple decisions, like to up
or sleep in, coffee or orange juice, sex or sleep, kiss or cuddle, drive or walk.
At other times they appear much more difficult, degree or college, change job or stay, take in the mother-in-law or not!
Looking into Jesus’ life we find a reasonably simple life in the way he lived
He rejected his own life’s needs replacing these by the needs of others. Ignoring health issues he healed people instead! Ignoring sleep he prayed
for others! In his years on helping others he didn’t have any fixed place to stay, but instead enjoyed the company of
hundreds of people, some who gave him a place in their homes at night.
I figured out, if he stayed at a new location every week (perhaps underestimated) during three
years of ministry, he would have lived in about 156 different places!
Talk about stress of change!
Yet Jesus didn’t get stressed about change, he took it in stride.
He didn’t own much!
He and the people who went around with him carried what they owned. Since they moved on foot, it
was probably not too much.
in the extreme!
We, on the other
hand, stay predominantly in one place and accumulate goods and problems!
That television getting outdated every few years, a car that we really underutilize
daily in our travels, rarely giving others use of the additional seats, ahouse that housing only our family and that continual
maintenance problems. I’m sure you can think of many other things that keep us focused on the items rather than people!
We build complexity into our life by owning stuff and ignoring people in
Despite this, complexity is not really the
issue, it’s the effectiveness of living that’s
the real issue.
- Do we live well?
- Do we make a difference?
we leave earth will it be a better place because we were here?
Tough questions that can cause anxiety right? (well maybe, some of us have lost that level
of caring and are already in a bottomless zone of not caring)
Was Jesus’ life easy?
Probably not! Let’s consider that he probably took over the family business as a young man(it is hypothesised that
his father died) and had to supply the needs of at least seven people (his mom, four brothers and at least two sisters).
He understood what it meant to have to make money and feed people!
Then he had to influence the whole world!
Who would want that as a life assignment?
He had to die the most horrible
death for people, many of them who hated him, and many of who today still hate him!
Anyone up for that?
Yet, Jesus continued to love and summed up
life in the words…
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with
all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
He was a lover!
Then he kept what he said, simple and
pictorial. What is a more beautiful and
succinct way of saying things…
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
or, the way we say it…
“Look around you and you will see that everywhere people
and animals make homes for themselves, and consider this, I, God’s son, don’t have a place that I can call my
Jesus’ words, simplicity and direct memorable communication!
Our way of speaking , complex, way to logical,
not pictorial enough! Rather difficult to remember!
Right? Jesus knew the important of
not wasting time!
He knew the importance of making things beautiful and memorable for
those of us who live in tough lives. He everyone to remember what he said easily, using
the words to make their lives more effective each day.
make decisions easier!
I actually would like to do the same for others!
I want to see people enjoy their day, to make decisions easier, and think about the beauty of the complexities in
life we see around us!
That’s one major reason why I spend precious time writing this blog!
I do hope you have a wonderful day! That our God blesses
you richly today.
May the sunshine of God’s love you brighten your path to good
decisions reflecting his light into others today! Have a good one!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Do we enable younger people, or just try to placate them?
Thu, December 16, 2010 | link
we enable our youth, or just try to placate them?
candidate Mike de Jong wants to see the voting age in B.C. drop from 18 to 16.
Citing poor voter turnout in recent elections, de Jong on Wednesday said it is time to give teens
the chance to become more involved in the political process.
"Year after year, voter turnout has declined
and among young people, participation is even worse," he said.
What I don’t
think these bureaucrats realise, is that the youth ARE voting!
by not voting!
and its working!
The older generation still thinks they can dictate to the younger generation. What they don’t realize
is that life has fundamentally changed with the introduction of accessible knowledge!
In the past we had
to respect our elders and listen to their demands because in the past they were custodians of the truth and knowledge in the
Today, knowledge in the world is DOUBLING very five
years(probably faster now).
There is nobody who is custodian
of all knowledge, instead we have a world
wide phenomenon called the internet which sucks up knowledge faster than we can imagine and those who can plumb its depth
can find almost anything!
What this means is the youth
no longer have to take what the older generation say as fact or even necessary to follow.
They take what they can get and make up their minds without necessarily taking
the advice of the elders into account. Often they go and research what the elders say and find it limited or wanting.
So, what does this mean?
Well, it means that the youth don’t stick to normal channels of complaint
So the fact
that they are not voting is because they have decided the current mechanisms of government are ineffective, slow and
old fashioned, failing to engender innovation and future thinking that the youth need.
I agree! Let me add that we have the same problem in churches! The youth are voting by their absence!
When will we learn that they don’t
come to church for psychology, platitudes and music, but to understand the deep truths of God!
When will we start
to teach the word of God directly from that bible God provided, and explain it in terms of current knowledge
and technology instead of boring them to tears with another three or five point sermon that they have no interest in
When will we allow youth to criticise and ask hard questions of those
who can find them the answers, (notice: I
didn’t say those who know because if we are honest we cannot say we know, only we will find out!
Nobody KNOWS, everyone LEARNS).
I heard just last week of a lady who no longer goes to church because the people couldn’t answer some questions
she had. Not difficult questions but definitely confrontation ones! Ones that pastors and priests don't have the background
to answer! Those are questions young people ask!
need to understand they are not trying to be smart!
They really want to know! They don’t have to phrase the questions softly, because they want TRUTH,
and have been told Jesus provides it.
SO, if that’s the case, why cant we give it to them?
Is it because in our divinity colleges and universities we spend more time in church management,
psychology and sociology than in understanding Gods bible, reading the scriptures, getting a basis in archaeology, science, cosmology, biology, anthropology, and other “ologies”
that are directly linked to understanding Gods word?
When we do try to understand the bible, we are subject to hours and hours of history on why Christians did things
wrong in the past and why we now know its better!
Here’s a truth folk…
people don’t care about the mistakes or processes of the past…
to know the truth of the here and now!
So what can we do?
Instead of lowering voting ages to capture people who will not vote(or attend) anyway, let’s get relevant!
Then people will vote and attend churches! Teach the deep truths of the bible IN LIGHT OF TODAY KNOWLEDGE!
How about giving our pastors a basic knowledge of ALL of the “ologies” so they don’t
tell young people they must “just accept things by faith”. Mostly
let’s give them deep instruction on what is in the bible and how to understand it in today’s terms.
If, faith is “belief
in unseen things”, then telling people to accept “seen and known” things as “unseen and unknown”,
ie. by faith, is not truth, but a lie.
We need to stop lying to our youth. They know we do it!
We need to ask forgiveness and move on from there!
So today I want to help a young person answer a deep question about life using God’s
word and truth!
Will you help me?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The Most Holy Place! Today?
The Most Holy Place!
Wed, December 15, 2010 | link
The ancient Tabernacle’s most Holy interior was the Holy of Holy places and contained the Ark of the Covenant!
This construction, the tabernacle, we are told is like something in heaven…
Those who follow my blog have already know a lot
about the Tabernacle, that place the Hebrew people were told to create for God’s name.
But here is
Paul that ancient
Christian says of the temple priests…
They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy
and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it
that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
and this is Paul refernecing what is said in Exodus by God
to Moses about the construction of the tabernacle. Exodus 25:40…
See that you make them according to the pattern shown you
on the mountain.
The tabernacle has three areas that each enclose the next area;
the holy place, and finally
the "Most Holy Place".
this "Most Holy Place" or "Holy of Holies" was placed the Ark of the covenant.
This Holy of Holies was a perfect cube in shape, separated from
the Holy place by a thick curtain or veil (see previous blog).
Surrounding the room depicted on the veil
and coverings were pictures and emblems of cherubim, angels or heavenly beings that represent the protection
of the holiness of God!
was told …
“Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely
twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid
with gold and standing on four silver bases. Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind
the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Put the atonement cover on
the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place.
Now, the only person allowed into this place was the high priest on the feast of Yom Kippur
(the day of Atonement) after he had totally purified and cleaned himself from sin (at least as much as we humans can).
Even today Jewish people still observe this feast
each year. Normally with fasting and prayer.
It is the day where everyone reflects on who they are in
relation to the mighty God. We would do well to take a day each year for the same activity! Perhaps it would help increase
the peace in this world if we did!
The day before this is one celebrated with festive meals and giving to charity, as well as asking others
Again, we would do well to take on some of these attitudes to living with others
wouldn’t we (and do I like the idea of good food and fun!)
The Ark of the covenant was covered inside and out in gold, had two cherubim on the lid with
wings that were lifted upward overshadowing the covenant.
Now most pictures we see depict two wings, but from
research(see my previous blog on cherubim) we know they actually had six so how exactly they covered the
top of the Ark, we are not sure!
the wings formed three layers of cover or protection?
The atonement cover is often also called the Mercy seat. This is incorrect and a later addition.
“The phrase mercy seat
is not a translation of the Hebrew term kapporeth, which appears in its place in the Masoretic text, nor of the Greek
term hilasterion, which takes the same place in the Septuagint, but instead is the translation by William
Tyndale of the German term Gnadenstuhl, from the same narrative position in the Luther Bible; Gnadenstuhl
literally means seat of grace, in the sense of location of grace.”
The bible talks only of an "atonement cover"!
Now we can see this area of the tabernacle was not easily accessible to man.
The High Priest who went in there had to be very careful and had a cord tied to his foot to pull
him out if he died due to not being right with God. That way they could pull him out without killing themselves.
The Shekinah glory of God (Hebrew word Sh'cheenah ) was shown in this
We are told when it arrived in Exodus 40:34-35. . .
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory
of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it,
and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
Prior to this it had been seen only on a mountain top
“To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on
top of the mountain.”
This is perhaps the same Glory of the Lord referred to in the Christmas story
when the angels appear to the shepherds…
Luke 2:9 An angel of the Lord
appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
This light was somehow terrifying and showed the purity and holiness
when he came to this earth was the promise of the covenant.
When he died, the veil of
the temple was torn.
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.”
So the death of Jesus tore open the Most Holy Place, opening it for all to see in.
covenant with God was now available to all, not only for the High Priest.
The payment of blood to remove
sin and allow entry to the holy place was paid for once, forever, by Jesus own blood!
We are permitted into the Most Holy Place.
To go in however, we have to decide to do so!
That is not much!
Yet, it requires us to believe God is who he says he is!
It requires us to accept this fact! Then it is a requirement to speak this fact as well! We cannot be secretive in our belief! Romans 10:8-10 has Paul explaining
“But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the
message concerning faith that we proclaim:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe
in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth
that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Then we can experience and live in God’s presence.
To stay in the power and glory of God in our lives, we need
to be right with God(and others).
That is done by telling God we are sorry for what we do wrong as soon as
we become aware of doing something wrong, and living a life as pure as is possible for us humans!
also be right with others as far as possible! If we do that, I do believe this world
would be a better place!
That’s what I want to do? What about you?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Trapped and nowhere to go?
Tue, December 14, 2010 | link
The problem with this type of incident is that to survive,
one has to have the resources needed to maintain the wait until the circumstances
Trapped and nowhere to go?
“Hundreds of people have spent a cold night huddled in vehicles awaiting rescue along a snow-clogged stretch of
highway in southwestern Ontario.
Police in Sarnia,
Ont., said drifting snow and zero visibility had trapped about 300 people in some 360 vehicles since Monday on Highway 402
between Sarnia and County Road 22, about 30 kilometres east of the city.”
- Winnipeg Free Press
If you live in Canada in winter, this can happen any time, but in life we fall
into similar circumstances just as easily don’t we?
Here in Canada they
tell people never to let their gas tank get less than a 1/3 full! The reason is that in a situation like the one mentioned,
the idling motor provides the warmth needed to keep the stranded motorists alive. Last night is was -15 Centigrade (that’s
about -5 Fahrenheit) with a wind chill that dropped it a fair bit more. Nasty cold!
The boy scouts motto of “Be prepared” saves lives in this situation.
Being prepared for an unexpected situation is important.
However in our lives we often
get into similar sticky situations!
Perhaps we loose a loved one, or we go bankrupt, or we are
involved in an accident and are injured, perhaps permanently!
These an other changes in our lives effectively
strand us in a place where it’s difficult to recover. Without God, we are like the motorist without gas!
We cannot take care
of ourselves and have to run around looking for help and appealing for help to people who may not have the ability to do so! Like keeping the car gas tank full, keeping our faith and living a righteous
life gives us the ability to weather the storms of life and emerge into the light of a brilliant new morning after
the storm passes.
Jesus the storms may reach us but cannot hurt us significantly!
Remember what Jesus did for his disciples… “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let
us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were
also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t
you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be
still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so
afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves
This is really interesting because it speaks of a time when the guys with Jesus were out on
a trip at his request when they get into trouble.
Not much different from the motorists on Highway 402, they were in danger of their lives. The first important aspect to get is that they were doing Jesus business
when this occurred.
I guess that says to you and me that we can be doing the right things when
we get into real difficulty!
Next it says that this world is not perfect and nasty things happen to innocent people!
I guess we can think of similar circumstances that have happened to us or those around us right? Notice that they had Jesus with them.
This was crucial
or they and the boats around them would have had problems (and please note there were other boats around so this story would
have been corroborated in the 1st century!).
So Jesus is with them, but Jesus is unconcerned!
God has absolute
control of life, so if we have Jesus with us it should help us become less concerned about the circumstances.
Unfortunately I must admit that I am probably more like the disciples! I get worried far too easily instead
of putting my faith in God immediately things go wrong.
Notice the disciples took a while before they woke Jesus! The boat had to be nearly
swamped before they did the right thing!
How often we choose to turn to God only as a last resort and in so doing get our lives swamped with concern
before we turn for help!
I do this too often and I do hope and pray you are wiser than I am,
but often I see people who are more like me than like the wise who turn to Jesus immediately.
We can try to fix
the circumstances, but we have to work within the laws of human existence. God has abilities outside this natural
realm. He supersedes science and earthly life.
That’s why turning to Jesus for help can evoke a supernatural change in our circumstances.
We may be surprised by the answer.
I am sure the only reason the disciples woke Jesus was to ask him to help bail
out the water from the boat! Instead he switched off the storm!
So, my recommendation for those of us who are up to our necks in trouble, swamped
by the cares and burdens of life, is that we stop trying to bail ourselves out and instead trust God, turn to him
for help, do what we can but allow him to work his amazing changes that make life worth living.
Our loving Father is standing by to help, it takes
us connecting with Holy Spirit in our lives to release the potential of a powerful God and get us to the point of victory!
God loves us! We need to let him help, right? Hey have a great day!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Why did it have to happen to ME?
Mon, December 13, 2010 | link
Why did it have to happen to ME?
Bruxy Cavey says. . . The first thing to understand is that how we apply the answer to the question “why”
can make it either evil or good!
stage of suffering we are at
tend to ask WHY!
So what does the bible say about why suffering occurs?
Having only one standard way of answering to “why” is not sensible!
are different answers because are there for different situations.
know the world is imperfect, because God made it that way! (see previous Monday blogs) Having an imperfect world
is perhaps the only way we can have free choice, and so allowing imperfection (of which suffering is part) is the
only way we can FREELY choose!
Questions this side of heaven may have answers, but they
will always be incomplete and will always have questions behind them!
SO we should expect that the deeper we go asking questions, the more they unveil and
this in turn opens more detailed and specific questions. (Ask anyone in the science fields and they will tell you
this happens in science, it’s the same in theology).
I think God did this to keep us from getting
to the point we think we know it all, or the point where we become bored. (PS: on a side note: if church is boring,
then you are not asking the right questions or not looking for the right answers)
To reiterate a core concept: To
have free choice, we cannot have absolute proof of the truth because that would remove this freedom!
I know this argument is a bit tricky to follow, but let’s understand we all know we probably
all know we don’t need that snake from the garden of Eden to tempt us. We do a good job ourselves right?
But the original people, Adam and Eve, didn’t have this tendency to be tempted and so they needed to have the choice,
posed by the tree and the snake to give them the ability to have free choice!
So, for us to love God
truly, we need to be committed to God, and then the questions we face need to be dealt with within the context of that commitment.
Like when we marry, we commit to that person, and from that point on everything
we do is interpreted within the context of the commitment. A choice once has long term consequences! A good choice has long
term good consequences, and a bad choice…well I think you get the point right?
So, our decisions
are located within free will and within our commitment to God. God’s plan will always take place but we are always choosing freely.
This can be confusing, but so is marriage right? The choices we make after getting
married are free, but with a context.
So let’s look at choices. Sometimes our choices
will bring evil into existence. This is one way of answering the why question.
We can choose to not accept
God’s purpose! So one answer to the question of why we suffer, is that choices we have made not to honor God’s
is only one possible answer and we cannot apply it to all situations! We normally know when this is the case, though
we don’t always know it. This concept is similar to the non-Christian doctrine of Karma, the belief that what goes out
results in justice coming back at some time. i.e. What is put out comes back to the person who put it out. Christian
doctrine says there is no way that is there justice in this world! Karma disagrees!
Luke 13:1-5 has
Jesus pointing out that people who were dealt with horribly by Pilate were not greater sinners than others because of how
they were dealt with.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with
their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans
because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died
when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I
tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
He says this was not the
case! Jesus is pointing out people have things happen to them that they do not deserve! He understands!
He points out we have
a future judgment where justice will be done! It does not occur while we live on this earth!
answer two…people sometimes suffer because they choose the right choices. 1 Peter 3 says But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Peter is saying it’s
better to suffer for doing good than when you deserve to suffer. In what way do we know of Christians who suffer unjustly!
Think of Jesus’ suffering! Was this just? Many people died and suffered for doing good as martyrs in the past!
So, today if we are suffering yet doing the right and good things, we need to know
that it sometimes happens. This is not a perfect world! Again, this is not the only answer that can be applied to why we suffer! We cannot
just apply this as if it is the only answer to “Why?”
Third answer is that other people make choices that cause suffering and fourth there are
choices of Satan that causes us to suffer.
Think of the instruction to pray that Gods will, would
be done on earth (Lords Prayer). If we have to pray this, then obviously Satan causes damage to us sometimes. (other wise
why would we be instructed to pray against this happening).
God always uses Satan’s evil choices for his final good purpose (he doesn’t
let Satan get away with permanently damaging us). God will always use these bad things for ultimate good, but we don’t
always get to see this!
Think of the persecution
of Jesus and the cross! Satan
thought he had taken Jesus down. God used the apparent victory of Satan (death of Jesus) to do the opposite and save everyone
in the world.
Another answer is God actually allows suffering and pain, but for a loving
purpose. Think of
a young child being restricted by a parent, the child thinks its bad, while it is actually for the child’s good.
This was the
experience of the Israelites in the wilderness. When things went well they fell away form him so God continually brought tough
things onto them to get them back to him.
In all of these we see God at work in our lives. God in Rom 8:28 And
we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
says “ALL”. We need to know that God is working for our good.
We need to know this. Let’s believe this today!
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!