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Friday, May 13, 2011

How do I read the bible? It seems difficult! Help me!
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A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
Theodore Roosevelt 



 
 If we open a bible and the first words we read are from Genesis 1 and they say: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

 Then we could get very discouraged and put it down forever! The bible is not a normal book and needs to be read in a different way. I always suggest starting at the book of John. (A book  of the bible is like a chapter of a normal book, look for John). Within the book of John look for Chapter 1 and then start reading at the verse marker number 19.

 
Why?

 Well, John writes in a story form and tells how Jesus came to be and do what he did. When you finish John and carry on reading you get to read about what the early church does in that book called acts, and if you then read further, you get to read a lot of the letters to that early church environment. It is an easy way to get into the bible.

 Okay, so thats where to start! Now I guess we need to consider how to do the reading to gain maximum information.

 I don’t have too much time to explain and so will only give the high level points but here goes:

 Firstly, start with talking to God. Something like “here I am God, help me understand what I read and help me do the things it suggests after I agree with them!” is a good start. You will chat a lot more as time goes on.

 Now pick a piece to read, read it over once to get the overall idea and then go through it again carefully considering the; who, what, where, when and how’s? This focuses us on the elements of the text. Pick up a pen or marker, and underline main points (a bible is to written in not only read). Identify any lists and chapter themes. Look for comparisons, contrast’s, and discussions indicating time.

 Now look at each piece of information in the context of the information around it. We don’t just write pieces of disconnected text, so we shouldn’t read bible stuff that way either, right?

 Don’t only take one piece of advice from the bible without reading a whole lot on the same subject in the bible.

  It’s the overall truth that counts.

Reading only one part is like taking the part of a paragraph… “Take a gun and shoot yourself.”...  without looking at the whole piece of writing to find the person has written... “I hate gun’s! Keeping one in the house is silly. It’s like saying to a child ‘Take a gun and shoot yourself’. You should never do that!” Different message right?

 The common example is the guy who opened a bible and pointed to a verse and read “Judas went and hanged himself”, not happy with this the guy repeated his attempt to gain information and got “Go thou and do likewise”. 

 Are we crazy enough to read stuff in this way and think God will bless us. No!

We need good common sense! That’s why we have brains!

 Okay, now for some other pointers… remember that God’s word does not contradict God’s word, so if you see an apparent contradiction, investigate it carefully! There is probably a golden principle in there somewhere.

 Don’t base your understanding on an obscure part of the bible, take the overall truth given into account.

This means you need to read a lot of the bible before you decide on an understanding of obscure bits!

 Look for the main meaning of the text you read and remember God was writing for everyone, not only nuclear scientists.

Expect the common meaning is the one he intended.

 Lastly, if you have the ability, find out about the audience he was addressing with that particular part of the text. Things change over time and words used then, can be different now.

 A modern example of this is that thirty years ago a “gay” person was happy, now they are considered to not have heterosexual tendencies. Times change, but the words written mean what they meant at the time they were written.

 I hope that helps you! Let’s go read Gods word and enjoy the insights it gives.

Then let’s do what it suggests!


After all God is not likely to be wrong provided we do what he suggests.

Right?
Fri, May 13, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Refugees from other countries celebrate freedom of religion in America. Why do we so often reject religion and these people?
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"Displaced societies are of value. Their issues are our issues."
--
Cynthia Basinet 

 
  Don’t you find it ironic that we who have the greatest opportunity to have freedom of religion, are the ones who seem to respect the fact the least?

 I was reading of refugees from Nepal who arrived in Austin, Texas and how these people who battle for existence every day, unable to speak English and often being rejected as workers are completely thankful for their lot.

 The privilege of being able to follow Jesus without persecution is to them a wonderful reason to accept these other hardships in life.

 I live in the wonderful country of Canada in a city called Toronto. Here we have people from many different countries and cultures living together. At work in the row of worker cubicles I am in we have ten people and they represent seven different cultures and language groups. All are now top level consultants speak English better than many Canadians and love Canada.

 Talking to them we all agree, freedom to live with respect for each other and worship God the way we want to makes this a wonderful country.

 When I get together with my American and Canadian friends, I hear similar words, but often find that the true actions and attitudes don’t follow to the same extent.

  Mockery of God is below the surface in secular conversations. Pleasure at the expense of others is prolific. Capitalism is abused to become a suppressor of the poor rather than the upliftment of the masses it has proved it can do! Attitudes that a religious person is a dangerous person lives subliminally in the mind of many.

 Why? Why are we so two faced that we say one thing, but believe another?

 Is education to blame, or self-conceit, or self-pleasure, or fear of others, or just a lack of love?

 Times are changing and I know as Christians we have an attitude that there is not much time left. I guess that comes from ...

 
Rom 13: 11 on … And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

 Our focus is on improving life for everyone! Sometimes that means taking a stand when people speak down to other social, cultural or race groups.

It is to proclaim with great confidence that religious freedom gives me the right to love others unconditionally, the way Jesus does!

 That’s what built the country of our forefathers and will build our future. We better believe it!

Thu, May 12, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lost Paradise
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“He that does good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward, but he is sure of both in the end”

William Penn

  We live in an age when people are so full of their time and space they rarely have time to take a turn at assisting someone else. Every day we are lost in the sins of chasing our own perspectives and in full flight hardly recognise the fact that around us others are needing to be helped, supplied, encouraged and communicated with.

 Our very essence is lost in that great drum of eternal self worth and we claw our way around as if making a difference is all that counts. We forget we are in the drum of life and cannot escape.

 What should we do, what do we do if we want to change this?

 Only by reducing the aims and goals of individuals who are self focussed to that of a single cause that is focused from outside that drum can we start to work in unity and love.

 God says, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” in Romans 13 of the Christian holy writings.

 The love that overflows into our lives and stops the mad scramble for the top of a seething pile of humanity gives us space to respect ourselves and others. As we honor those that need it, they respect us in turn!

 We find ourselves supporting and helping one another, and asking what the other needs before we ask for what we want, and often we no longer have to ask for our desires because in some strange way, guided by the God of the universe, others supply our needs before they develop those wants.

 This is one of the mysteries of life! In giving we receive, in loving we are loved!

 Let’s go out and experience this today with joy in our hearts and a preparedness to do what it takes! Have a good day in Paradise!

 We are worth of being loved, right?
Wed, May 11, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let's get rid of our ice claws! We are all worthy of being loved, right?
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Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
Mother Teresa[1]

 Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.
Mother Teresa

 Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.
Mother Teresa

 Prejudice is like ice claws!

 It tears away at people in society and leaves gapping wounds but when we look for the weapon, it evaporates and it appears as if the assailant is a lovely pussy cat! 

North America being a first world country is full of prejudice!

Coming from the Apartheid hurt country of South Africa, I was appalled how many people on this continent
would sidle up to me and reveal a prejudice about which they would not speak to anyone else.

 Hidden feelings and attitudes abound!

It’s not just race that is targeted, but level in society, that rich/poor division, and even the rural/city division.
 

Faced with their prejudice, these people suddenly are all loving, kind and say the nicest things.

It’s a pity that
I already know differently having heard their inner most secrets.

 We need to take to heart the advice Paul gives to Christians and which I believe Mother Teresa took to heart… Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 Why do we think we are better than another?

 It is but the grace of God that gives us abilities to perform differently than others.

 Each of us is asked to develop to our own optimum potential without looking at others aren’t we? Do we do this?

 Do we do our best to develop our own abilities, overcome our own failings and know God intimately in our own way?

 If we do, we tend to see others as doing the same!

If we see others as doing the same, it does not depend on their station in life, it depends on their resolve to do the best in this world.

 Those are the people I want to be with and learn from independent of whether they are rich, poor, clean, unclean, rural, city, white, Asian, black or other.

 I want to be with people who teach me how to love more like my God and care more like Jesus!

That’s real joy of living!

 Have a great day!


[1] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mother_teresa.html#ixzz1Lwm8lW3r

Tue, May 10, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eveís fruit eating mistake, or was it Adamís?

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      “Ever since Eve gave Adam the apple, there has been a misunderstanding between the sexes about gifts”
 Nan Robertson quotes[1]

 
Conflict between men and women, husbands and wives, male and female seem to appear in the most unlikely places.

 Have you ever been at an airport when a couple gets belligerent with each other? I have.

 Heard you ever heard hard words between couples at restaurants? I have.

 On street corners, at movies, on road trips, in the kitchen, the bedroom and in a multitude of other venues inappropriate words are used as swords to inflict injury and to point out that one or other sex is better off or more capable.

 Is this true?

 One of the things many men seem to point back to is those words in Genesis 1:

 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

  4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

  6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

 This was obviously Eve’s doing, was it?

 Take a second look! Read verse six again carefully.

 Yes! Adam was with her!

 This guy was doing the guy thing of hanging back and letting his women get herself into trouble.

 

Since God had originally given HIM the instruction, and he KNEW she should not take the fruit, and he was WITH her, so he was no less culpable than she was in this event!

 It is a human failing to blame another isn’t it? We like to get out of trouble by pointing to another. I find this very prevalent in North America but would believe it to be a human condition rather than a localised attribute.

 Today I must be sure to respect woman as equals in this task of loving others the way God does. Women need to respect men the same way! That way we together reach our potential and as “one flesh” move the temptations out of our lives and reach for true life.

 That’s my goal today! What is your?
Mon, May 9, 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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  • Published: September, 2010
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