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Friday, April 15, 2011

Letís leave simple teachings and move on! (An answer to boredom with life)
Past_lifes_Basics.jpg

 
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
- Benjamin Franklin

Every feel you have reached a humdrum state in life?

 The same things done in similar ways seem to trundle us through our lives daily. That spark that originally ignited enthusiasm and vision has become a weak glimmer that barely enthuses us to reach for our morning coffee!

 
It happens!

 
Life goes through times where we sit in doldrums and seem to make no headway!

 
 To move we need wind in our sails and to get that we have to appeal to the power of the God of the universe.

 
As usual, if we turn to God’s word he has some good advice. Listen to these words…

 
So let us leave the simple teachings about Christ. Let us grow up as believers. Let us not start all over again with the basic teachings. They taught us that we need to turn away from doing things that lead to death. They taught us that we must have faith in God.  They taught us about different kinds of baptism. They taught us about placing hands on people. They taught us that people will rise from the dead. They taught us that God will judge everyone. And they taught us that what he decides will last forever.

 
 If God permits, we will go beyond those teachings and grow up.  

The basics of life as a Christian are explained first
! Of these the first is to turn away from things that drag us down. This is something we must do, not God. We must turn! This is a basic activity.


 
Secondly, have faith in God. Paul considers this basic, but how many people find this one of the most difficult things to do? 

Thirdly, there is the teaching about baptism
. Have we been baptised? Another basic!
 

Fourthly, the placing of hands on people for spiritual effect
. How many people today even consider this true, never mind how uncomfortable we feel when physically touched, simply because of the social phobias that our world has instilled in our lives. Where is the normal appreciation of another’s touch and love. Healthy touching! Caring touching! Spiritual touching! This to Paul is a basic need of a Christian(and everyone)!


 
We need to understand people rise from the dead and believe this. A basic understanding of a Christian. Do we have difficulty believing people rise from the dead, that we will, that Jesus did? If so we haven’t yet mastered the basics. 

How about knowing God judges everyone for their life activities and that everything we have done will be shown to all some time after we die?
How about that basic truth? Do you believe this?
 

If our lives seem humdrum or boring or lacking vitality, let’s start by getting the basics right.
 

Then, if we again get to a humdrum, boring existence (which I really doubt) then we can move on to the next step.
 

Most of us have not yet fully explored and assimilated the basics!
 

However if we want more there is plenty more!
 

Our confidence is on Paul’ encouraging word that follows…
 

God is fair. He will not forget what you have done. He will remember the love you have shown him. You showed it when you helped his people. And you show it when you keep on helping them.
 

We want each of you to be faithful to the very end. We want you to be sure of what you hope for. We don't want you to slow down. Instead, be like those who have faith and are patient. They will receive what God promised.
 

Life is full of opportunities for us to step into love and caring. We march in step with those who want to make a difference, who want to fully love God and others
.
 

 
If we feel humdrum, perhaps we are being self focused, instead of having God’s focus on loving others.
 

Today I want the wind of Holy Spirit in my sails pushing me into turbulent but exciting life paths
.
 

I want to be sure to follow a Godly way of loving, what about you?
Fri, April 15, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Forgiveness, pride and consequences
reconciled.jpg
 

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”  C.S. Lewis

 Isn’t the toughest part of our failing to do the right thing at some point in time, is having to go to a person we respect that was involved and admitting we screwed up?

 Wow! Is that hard! It is torture until we get it done, right? 

We wonder how we will be accepted, or if we will be? We considerwhether the person will ever trust us again, or if we will have to make it up to them somehow? It gnaws on our conscience doesn’t it?

 One of the reasons this happens is because we have unreasonable pride!

This pride keeps us wanting to put out to others a view of ourselves that reflects us as better than we are.

Truth says we should let others see us as we are and not make out to be who we aren’t, but few of us achieve that status. The measure of whether we have comes when we screw up and have to admit it.

 
How easily do we admit a failure?

 

It's difficult isn't it? I guess this has been a problem since the most ancient man existed!

 Often other people have to apologize for our mistakes simply because we cannot bring ourselves to do so! 

 Remember how the Israelites had this problem?

Let me remind you, Numbers says in chapter 14 that Moses pleaded with God for the Israelites who had screwed up as follows. . .

 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

 

Okay, so Moses puts out a really good case pleading for those that screwed up!

Notice they don’t get involved, but rather allow a representative to take the pain of facing God.

My friends, if we think a priest, pastor, or teacher should represent us to God we are mistaken! We should do it ourselves or there could be consequences!

 
There were for that crowd! See what God says…

 The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea,” (NIV)

 

They spend 40 years in a desert due to their failing to acknowledge God's great love and trust him.

We can so easily disconnect ourselves from God gracious provision by not pleading with him for forgiveness directly as soon as we can with heartfelt humility and sorrow!

God is a loving God, but also a just God!

 He is the same God who said… Matthew 11:27-29

 My Father has given all things to me. The Father is the only one who knows the Son. And the only ones who know the Father are the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to make him known.

  "Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. (NIRV)

 When we become our greatest load, God knows and loves us and offers to take that load.

We need to accept what we have done, accept we screw up, accept we are not better than the level our thoughts,  actions and words reveal, and accept that Jesus doesn’t really care about the mess we get ourselves into, but rather the eternal value of our lives and his love relationship with us.

If we can get this and really connect with this and understand how much God loves us, then we can honestly and directly ask and receive forgiveness. Sometimes the consequences of our action will carry forward, but with God, they have no eternal effect on our growth as a spiritual being in eternity.

 
Isn’t that great!

It is wonderful to know we have to do so little to receive so much!

 Hey, have a great day!
Thu, April 14, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Common sense, an attribute of God?
common_sense.jpg

 
Psalm 19:7
The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

 Common sense is defined by the free online dictionary as “plain ordinary good judgment; sound practical sense”[1]

 Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,  but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

 Common sense is not something everyone has! As I look around myself daily it seems that common sense is normally culturally and sociologically interpreted. Where we come from and the in which environment we find ourselves tend to define our view of common sense don’t they? Take eating with our hands! This is a culturally determined activity that people consider common sense knowledge, but it really is not is it? It all depends on where we are born and where we live!

Similarly rules and regulations around us in life depend on where we are born, and the environment in which we find ourselves!

Should we be limited by our environments and society? Wouldn't true common sense be independent of such influences?

What makes common sense to me, is that “ah ha” moment as I see something done. Something that really impresses me as a fundamentally simple but not necessarily previously obvious in that activity or action! Common sense!
 

I love to see how a complex issue is so logically and simply solved. “It’s obvious” is the cry we all tend to have on seeing it, but moments before we ourselves may have missed that obvious step!

 So is God a reservoir of common sense?

Jesus had the simplest way of resolving issues I have come across to date!
 

Everything he did was totally fair and even handed! However he did it with a clarity that the participants of the various situations found they could not ignore! As one example, think of the women caught in adultery and how he saved that situation!

Since Jesus himself pointed out that the Kingdom of God was here as he walked around with us, do we need to perhaps acknowledge that with him came the ultimate common sense? He simplified the most complex issues down to the ones we need to know and gave us the simplest of motives for applying the common sense. Love! Love of God and others and ourselves!

 Reading God’s word helps us gain common sense if we don’t make it complex and start to build structures on it that aren’t there.

Defending God is not really necessary, God can do that can’t he! An all powerful God doesn't need our assistance except where he requests it. He never askes us to war against unbelivers, only to love them! We are simply to open Gods word up so others can see and make up their own minds. Is that not common sense?

 Unfortunately the churches of this world show less Jesus and more of rules, regulations and in so doing push people away from God’s common sense approach.

 Today I want to bring a few people back to God’s common sense approach. Let’s go do some loving!


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/common+sense

Wed, April 13, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

50 years ago the first man entered space! 2000 years ago a man came as God! Which is the most spectacular?
Yuri_Jesus.jpg

 
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (Russian: Ю́рий Алексе́евич Гага́рин,[1] Russian pronunciation: [jurʲɪj ɐlʲɪˈksʲeɪvʲɪtɕ ɡɐˈɡarʲɪn]; 9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961. (quote taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin)

 Born in a village of farm workers, this small simple man became forever famous simply by representing mankind on a journey of high risk. Canadians will like the fact he was a keen ice hockey player. Like all of us humans he died. An air crash while on a routine training flight was the cause.

 Fifty years later, we as humankind have progressed far (we think).

Having been to the moon and investigated other planets, mankind has broadened horizons far and wide. Today perhaps the greatest achievement is the delivery of detailed information to the world through computers and the internet (or should I now say iPads and mobile devices?).

 We seem to have moved so far since that initial day that we almost forget the achievement it represented!

 As a child I was wow’d by space news and listened with great interest to our radio every night (we had no TV).

 Today, spacecraft leave earth almost every other week and few get coverage except in the locality of the launch.

 
We depreciate amazing human achievements so easily don’t we?

 

However, there is one achievement that seems to resound continually in the human race!

That Nazarene that walked and talked almost 2000 years ago continually ends up in arguments, discussed news broadcasts, talk shows, and seems to impact personal lives daily. Dead yet alive he influences millions!

Is it not amazing that of the millions of important people on this earth, one man could have such an impact?

 

He said he was God!

That is either crazy or true, but it is hard to be between these two isn’t it? At least in the modern thought it is since we apply such rigid tests for “gods” today don’t we.?

 
Jesus’ words have withstood the test of time, science and religious diversification. Emerging through the clutter of noise that makes up life, there is a continual message of god’s love and promise of eternal life.

 “The Kingdom of God is upon us!” is as true as it was 2000 years ago.

It will be just as important in the next 50 and 500 years. Yuri may be forgotten except for those interested in space history, but Jesus will never be.
 In 50 years, Yuri's nation has fallen from it's position of 60's national power, Jesus' kingdom is unchanged for over 2000 years!

That’s a positive thought to start out our day isn’t it?

Do we know him and allow our life to be influenced by his directions today?
Tue, April 12, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, April 11, 2011

Letís not get Tyreíd?
tyre.jpg I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. She will become plunder for the nations, and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
Ezekiel 26

 Tyre was an ancient city. A profitable hub of commerce that provided much needed luxury goods to its neighbouring nations.

 

Maybe we could think of it as a New York of ancient times! A hub where many cultures met and did business!

 This city was on the edge of the Mediterranean ocean and consisted of a mainland part and an island. It produced a purple dye that was extremely rare and used in the expensive cloths that kings and royalty wore. It’s actually the reason that even today purple is associated with royalty.

 It’s name meant “Rock” because it was built on rock! Around the time when David was King in Israel, the king of Tyre, Hiram I and David were friendly and exchanged useful gifts.

 Okay, so it seems God was not happy with this nation and used nations (not a nation) to pull it down. That  is exactly what happened!

 Starting off with Nebuchadnezzar the city was attacked put under siege and destroyed.

When people tried to inhabit it again, Alexander the Great in 332BC destroyed it tore everything down.

The main island on which Tyre existed was decimated and the mainland cleared of any structures that stood up.

To get to the island, Alexander built a causeway from the mainland and it is probably the area that the fisherman spread their nets.

 What did Nebuchadnezzar do when he took the city? The prophecy is accurate, it says

 “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. 8 He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

  Hmmm, doesn’t pay to annoy God right?

 Jeremiah who wrote these words was born around 655 BC and it is assumed he died around 586 B.C. a while after he had written this.

How do we know this?

  Nebuchadnezzar attacked around 586–573 BC. However, it says at the beginning at the writing of Ezekiel 1:2,”On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin”  dating this as 597 B.C.

 So this happened 11 years afterwards!

 This means that his prophecy actually happened just after his death, a while after it was written.

One interesting point is the point about throwing everything into the sea, because that’s what was used as a base for that causeway that got built leading to the final demise of the city.

 To today this is not a very built up area in Lebanon, but people do live there now. But for how long? No-one can tell right? Recently it was used as a PLO base and Israel blew it apart again. Seems like it’s not a good place to live with security!

 That’s the problem with annoying God and doing things he doesn’t appreciate.

We end up getting into difficult times and the more we try to go back to our old ways, the more likely it is we get hit by trouble. It pays to take God at his word, ask forgiveness of the silly, ignorant and nasty things we have done and move onto doing the right things, leaving behind the decimated remains of our past habits.

 That’s why I always think about this incident of Ezekiel foretelling Tyre’s demise.

I don’t want to “Tyre”, do you?
Mon, April 11, 2011 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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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?

 

 

 
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