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Friday, December 17, 2010

Simplicity and Life!
foxhole.jpg

 Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. 
~Albert Einstein
 
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. 
~Author Unknown

 “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
~Jesus

 

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…

 Sometimes 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 it.

 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.

 Minimalistic living 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That television getting outdated every few years, a car that we really underutilize daily in our travels, rarely giving others use of the additional seats, ahouse that housing only our family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 the process.

 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?
  • When 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 own!”

 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.

 
To 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!
Fri, December 17, 2010 | link          Comments

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do we enable younger people, or just try to placate them?
Do we enable our youth, or just try to placate them?

vote.jpg

 
 

Liberal leadership 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.
[1]

  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 world.

 
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 or response.

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 hearing?

 
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!

 We 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…

young people don’t care about the mistakes or processes of the past

they want 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?



[1] http://www.theprovince.com/news/Lower+voting+Jong/3985142/story.html#ixzz18HiRTZB4

Thu, December 16, 2010 | link          Comments

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Most Holy Place! Today?
The Most Holy Place! Today? 
HolyOfHolyArk.JPG
 
The ancient Tabernacle’s most Holy interior was the Holy of Holy places and contained the Ark of the Covenant!
 

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 some more...

 This construction, the tabernacle, we are told is like something in heaven…

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.”
[1]

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. 
 

Moses did this!

The tabernacle has three areas that each enclose the next area;  
   the outer courtyard,
   the holy place, and finally
   the "Most Holy Place".

In 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!

 
Moses 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 for forgiveness!

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!  

Perhaps 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.”[2] 

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 place.

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.”
[3] 

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 of God. 

Jesus when he came to this earth was the promise of the covenant.

When he died, the veil of the temple was torn.
 
Matthew 27:50&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.”
 

So the death of Jesus tore open the Most Holy Place, opening it for all to see in.

The 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!

We should 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?
 


[1] Hebrews 8:5

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercy_seat

[3] Exodus 24:17

Wed, December 15, 2010 | link          Comments

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trapped and nowhere to go?
 
Trapped and nowhere to go?
StrandedInLife.jpg
“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?

 
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 change! 

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.

 With 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 obey him!” [1] 

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!


[1] Mark 4:35-41 NIV

Tue, December 14, 2010 | link          Comments

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why did it have to happen to ME?

Why did it have to happen to ME?

Bruxy Cavey says. . .

 
Whatever stage of suffering we are at
 we tend to ask WHY!
why.jpg
  
So what does the bible say about why suffering occurs?

 The first thing to understand is that how we apply the answer to the question “why” can make it either evil or good!  

Having only one standard way of answering to “why” is not sensible!
 

 There are different answers because are there for different situations. 

 We 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 purpose.
 

But, this 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! 

Now 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.
 

Note it says “ALL”. We need to know that God is working for our good. 

We need to know this. Let’s believe this today![1]


[1] http://media.themeetinghouse.tv/vpodcast/2010-11-21-730-video.m4v referenced and summarized in the production of  this blog
Mon, December 13, 2010 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

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