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Friday, March 4, 2011

Climbing, and the art of life!
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Endurance,
Facing the odds,
Overcoming fear,
Taking stock of ones situation,
Using the opportunities that present themselves,
Never giving up,
 Trusting others with your life,
Entrusting yourself with the life of others,
Being a true friend in tough times,
Holding on when there is little to hold onto…

 These are attributes of a good climber!

 

These are the attributes of an effective Christian as well!

 

Having just had the fun of being part of a crowd of young Christian people climbing, I couldn’t help but compare the art of climbing and the Christian life.

 

The opportunity presented itself at the Tour De Bloc competition at the True North climbing gym in Toronto Canada.

This amazing facility had 60 different climbing problems for young people to test themselves on. These differed in difficulty from the simplest “route 1” to the most complex “route 60”.

 

Peer evaluation enabled people to randomly select a route to climb, get two other climbers to watch and grade their performance and then at the end of the competition the scores are added to determine who gets into the finals.

 

What is wonderful to see is that honesty reigns supreme, no climber would think of cheating! That would be too horrible for words to describe! This is a sport of camaraderie and trust and to fail in those is worse than anything.
 
People who successfully complete routes, freely give advice to those about to try them! In so doing they increase the competition, and the enjoyment of the sport!

 
Then come the finals with those apparently superhuman events!



The most memorable was the men’s final where just to get off the ground the guy had to pull himself up by four fingers (only) stepping on a small protuberance about the size of our small fingers nail.

Then this person had to hook two fingers into a hold above their head and pull their full body weight upwards and outwards hanging away from the wall on two fingers.
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Suspended in this way they had to rotate their body and swing it
so that they could latch another two fingers into another hold about four feet away, leaving them hanging spread-eagled from both arms, held up by two fingers on each hand. In this position they were facing away from the wall and the next hold was five feet above their head if they looked upward.
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 The only way to get up the four feet was to swing the whole body up, and then launch their feet upwards to hook both feet into this hold above their head.

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This done while hanging in a crucifix position from four fingers and dangling over open space.

 

 

Once the feet hooked, they had to let go with their hand and climb up their own legs to grab the hold between their hooked feet with their hands.

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Then they dropped their feet downwards and were left hanging about 11 feet above the ground with their hands on this single hold.

 

Not finished yet, they had to pull themselves to a position where they could jump from that hold, four feet higher to the lip of the wall, where if they could grab it, they could haul themselves over and complete the problem.
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Almost a superhuman effort was needed, but some made it through!

 
What a sport!


What dedication to training, strength, willingness to carry on despite pain and difficulty, and what great reward!

There is great satisfaction as the crowd roars appreciation and encouragement!

 

As Christian’s we would do well to consider the parallels to our lives.

With our goal being eternity in an incredibly stimulating and beautiful place, we are asked to love other unconditionally and love God the most of all.

We are not promised the going in life will be easy, in fact the opposite is expected. We out of love for God train ourselves to face difficulties and over come them. when we fail, we try again until we succeed! That's what makes a strong Christian, letting God guide us to success!

We are told others will help us, they do, and we are to help them!

 

We need to honestly encourage and mentor each other! We are to look past what we consider impossible, and find ways of allowing God to show us how to make the impossible possible!

 
Isn’t that a great challenge for today?


Let’s look for ways to do the almost impossible for God under his guidance!

Fri, March 4, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Showing respect or actions, which counts the most?
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A father had a business and two sons. He went to the first and said, “Son, go and work today in the machine shop”,

“I will not”, the son answered, but later he changed his mind and did.

The father went to the other son and said the same.

The second son answered “I will, sir”, but he did not.

 
Which one of the two do you think the father wanted?

 
 

This is an ancient question and ties into our most basic attitudes and actions. The question was posed in another form about two thousand years ago and yet it is as valid today as it was then.


 
Fundamentally we have to ask ourselves if a person doesn’t show respect and has the wrong attitude, but is willing to change these and do the right thing, is better than a person who shows no respect, but changes to do the right thing anyhow as we see by their actions.

 
I think this is something our communities of Christians need to grasp today.

The words we say have to be backed by our actions. We cannot promise one thing and do another.

 
This is the fundamental criticism levelled at our Christian church denominations today.

Do we really care for and love people, or is it a masquerade to collect souls like some scalp hunter? (As if it is something we can do that anyhow!).

 
It hurts me as a Christian to see those who profess to have Jesus love, a love that knew no bounds, failing to love others properly because they screw up or don’t meet the expected minimum requirements for being treated right according to some abstract concept that is not even biblical.

 
On the other hand it is wonderful to see people who are avidly vocal against the church’s inadequacies, but when the time comes put their effort into doing the right thing for the community and fellow Christians! 

It was Jesus who told that story many years ago. He said in Matthew 21:28-32 (NIV)

 
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
   “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.  

  
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

 
   “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

 
   “The first,” they answered.

 
   Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

 
 We can see that having the wrong attitude and lacking respect is not a failure in itself if we change our minds, but that saying we are doing the right thing and failing to do it is not acceptable by the God of the universe!

 
The most despised person in our community, the lowest on the social order will be coming into the kingdom of God ahead of those who give God lip service, and fail to do the right thing.

 
All God wants is for us to inherit a good eternity!

To do that we need to do some work on this earth now. Our work is getting rid of selfishness and learning true love for God, others and ourselves. Love that is sacrificial! That’s a tough message in today’s world, but Jesus wants us to be lovers who can take pain for loves sake.

 
I hope I measure up! How about you?

 
Thu, March 3, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The great Christian Mindmeld!
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A "mind-meld" is a technique for sharing thoughts, experiences, memories, and knowledge with another individual - wikipedia

 
Vulcans, those fictional humanoids that Spock characterises in the series Star Trek, have an exceptional ability to share the thoughts, experiences and knowledge with others.

 
We think of this as a non-human capability and perhaps it is in some ways but the Christian faith has been teaching a form of mind meld that has been ongoing for many years.

 
This ability was referred to as being given to us all in Act 2:17 where it says;

 
“In the last days, God says,
 
   I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
   your young men will see visions,
   your old men will dream dreams.”

 
God’s Spirit, which is Jesus’ spirit comes to live within a Christian at the point that belief in Jesus enters our consciousness through a decision of our will.

That Spirit links our minds with the mind of God to the extent that we submit to this mind meld.

 
Doesn’t it say in 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 ;

 
The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

 
   “Who has known the mind of the Lord
   so as to instruct him?”

 
   But we have the mind of Christ.[1]

 
Why?

 
Well isn't it so we can all have a mind meld with each other?
Doesn’t it say

 
Romans 15:5-7 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 

Our minds become one in the combined focus on God! God enables our thoughts to be released to a higher level of existence, the level in which he resides, but onbly to the extent we submit to God’s glory and work in our lives.

 
We have no right to demand this but it is given as a pure gift, without price, enabling us to reach beyond the here and now into the richness of eternity.

 
This is a mind meld that is beyond fantasy, beyond knowledge, beyond human failings! This is a mind meld that each and every one of us can take part in.

 
It’s your choice and mine!

 
I choose to be part of this great social, uplifting, mind renewal process, applying my intellect and will power to evaluating and learning from the process, and not just mindlessly submitting to it!

 
What will you do?



[1] All references from NIV 2011 version

Wed, March 2, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

“I only believe what I can see with my own eyes” , Is this a valid statement to use to ignore God?
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A website reports a person stating “I don't have any religion. Since I only believe what I can see with my own eyes”

Then there is Wayne Dyer who says “You'll see it when you believe it.”

Who is right? Why?

So often we are led by our senses and we have to trust them because they have been proved to be trustworthy on many occasions in the past.


Why then does this world pose so many complex questions to us that seemingly just don’t make sense? We are all open to the suggestions of others even if we don’t admit it, aren’t we?  We also say we want to have our own choices don’t we?

 In many cases our own choices are the substance of the composition of many other previous choices, and we are not the author of all of these choices are we? These choices that were made, are often not even within our control to make ourselves, or even to acknowledge!

How then can we be so sublimely influenced by others to the extent that we say that we can only believe what we see?

Sight is more that physical images!

Nothing we see is actually seen without interpretation by our brains, and so we add meaning to the visual stimulus. A paper weight seen simply has an added value of weight, a helium balloon, the lack of the same. Both are objects, and one is even bigger than the other, but we know different things about them when we see them, right?

 Our lives are built of composites of this type of knowledge and it is the wise man, or women, who considers this aspect on the way to making up their mind on any important issue.

What is there is always influenced by what is not there!

So to come to our quotes above, the person who says they “only believe what they see” is in fact probably quoting someone else or the influences of others, and worse than this, they are obviously making a statement that they have not thought about too deeply.

Such a person needs to be careful not to expose their lack of thought to others in this way! This type of statement clearly says they have never considered it’s content.

Have they seen DNA, but do they believe it exists? Have they seen their own birth, but they do believe they were born don’t they?

Have they seen the roundness of the Earth, but they believe it to be round don’t they?

All knowledge is acquired in part and assembled in part.

Acknowledging this process and being as careful as we can to evaluate how we come into this knowledge is important, isn’t it?

We must however, also be careful of the other extreme, that of saying we create what we see!

Wayne’s quote above goes in that direction.

What is there for us to see, is actually there, and is not necessarily created!

A cup of hot tea will burn me if I spill it over my naked skin independently of whether I see it as hot, or cold. Some things in life are so universally understood as to be labeled as facts.

I don’t really hold to facts being proven beyond doubt, but I do hold to them being proven to the point that our faith in them is so strong that we consider them to be true without doubt.

This brings me to God and Jesus!

It is interesting to me that my first experience of Jesus was rather weird by most peoples standards.

You see, I was not thinking of God at the time, having been arrested by the police for breaking and entering on that day. I was a young boy, and I was not even considering God at the second that Jesus opened up my consciousness to see him!

Instead, I was going through a checklist of how to steal money and get out of the town before I had to pay for the consequences of my actions.

So, here is a case where all previous memories and guiding influences were directed away from God at the moment Jesus reveals himself to me.

I didn’t read the bible at the time, didn't go to church, and had no interest in God either!

Despite this, when Jesus allowed me to see his love for me and for this world, it totally overwhelmed me to the point I realized that I wanted to change my life and help others with the little time I had left on this earth.

Quite a change for a self-centered little brat that I had become!

That was many years ago!

Since then I have seen and done much that confirms the “fact” that Jesus not only exists but is influential in all our lives (whether we accept this or not).

God took a drop out of society and turned this person from an agnostic, into a lover of God and others!

I know! I’m the person!

That’s why today I ask you to consider that; seeing is accepting what is seen and unseen, questioning it, and that true sight can only come by faith!

This means that whether you believe hot air balloons go up, or that God is who he says he is, you are expressing faith in a fact.

So when you meet someone who says they only believe in what they see, know that this is a person you will need to pray for and show the love of God, because they are in some ways deluding themselves.

 Have a great day!
Tue, March 1, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, February 28, 2011

Depression, courage and “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”!
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If depression is creeping up and must be faced, learn something about the nature of the beast: You may escape without a mauling. ~
  Dr. R. W. Shepherd

Depression is inertia. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer


"Courage is more than forceful, aggressive, bold outward action. At its most infinite level, courage is an in-depth, inward examination which leads to alteration and application of a new way to be." from Faith in the Valley by Iyanla Vanzant


Every human at some point in their life claims to be depressed.


They are exceedingly sad for a short while and most find a way back to happiness without intervention and move into what most of us call “normal” life.


 

Some don’t!


These are often labeled by those who think they understand the ravages of the disease as being; in a valley, a funk, or “out of sorts”.

These terms minimalise what can be a deadly disease!

 Christians are worse than most when it comes to facing this evil, and yet we should be one of the best for we do see it for what it is, an evil! We need to put away our quick fix prayers and short sharp bible verses that wound more than express God's love.

This is not about short sharp intervention, but about the power of God's overwhelming love building up increasingly each day until the walls of this disease give way to new life and joy!


Evil is addressed by God and by his guidelines, but not only by these, or God would have had no use for the man who puts his will in the hands of Holy Spirit to improve the world and counter these forces of evil. God has use for men, and so should we.

We are body, soul (mind, emotion and will) and spirit! When evil attacks, it generally enters through one area, but it spreads it’s infection to the others as fast as it can!

Depression starts in the emotions and mind
, but fast, it progresses to paralyzing the will and then it starts its work on the body, ( we cannot go anywhere, do anything, and we would rather sleep than face reality), and then it attacks the spirit undermining our very faith in the living God and his willingness to give us joy in life.

Life is hard, and searching the bible, the depressed person could find verses such as “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Of Phillipians 1:21.

This then tends to push the person to thoughts of suicide and yet those very words mean something else!

Faced with life in prison and hardship with the potential of death every day, Paul writes these and says as a follow on to them

I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.”

He says we should not give in to the adversity of pain in life that hits us and tries to take us down!

As Christians we are to soldier on, fighting the ravages of this evil in our lives! Not alone, but asking other Christians to be with us in mind, spirit and body.


 

Courage is not ability to overcome very obstacle, but the willingness to continue to try to do so!


Because this evil hits us in so many ways and dimensions, there it is good to go to the medical people to get help for our body. They may have medications that can help very much! Going to Christian psychologists (who understand God and how to deal with the human mind) can be of great benefit as well!

Lastly, trusting God and finding good Christian friends who understand that this is a disease (like cancer) can kill (like cancer),helps. Asking for and getting the help of doctors and friends and prayer helps very much.

For those of us who know people in this situation, who have the love of God in us, let us ask God’s wisdom in helping them, his patience in giving them time to recover, and flood them with God’s love, for this illness is one of selfishness as the person looks inwards away from God and it is only God’s love that can turn their eyes back to him and others.

Let us pray for these people today, and try and help them a little! And, if you are in this way, do the impossible and ask God to help, and then let a good mature Christian know and ask them to help you to find more help!


 

May our God bless us all today!

Mon, February 28, 2011 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
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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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