Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, October 28, 2011
Establishing a core sample!
Fri, October 28, 2011 | link
Determining what happened
over a period of time when we were not around is always difficult isn’t it?
is no absolute certainty, but we all use different techniques to try and understand these gaps in our experience.
Think of when we head
out to work, school or even on a vacation. We leave one environment behind and go to another, very different environment.
While we are
away, things happen and when we come back, we try to figure out what happened. We ask questions, we look at evidence
of things happening and we extrapolate backwards on what we know, to build up a picture of events and conditions in the past.
all do this!
Geologists have a way of cutting out a cylinder of rock, a core, in a way that goes down
through layers or rock, sand and stone. They then pull it up and look at it carefully. In this way they can see which layer
is on top of the other. If they do enough of these over a big enough area, they get a good idea of what the layers look like
under the earth.
experts core trees in a similar way to determine their age. They core the tree and count the rings to determine the
number of summer/winter cycles that tree has undergone. They even look at the width and color intensity, and by putting cores
together can have a good idea of the favourable and unfavourable years going back in time. This is the science of Dendroclimatology.
It measures the cumulative impact of temperature, precipitation, sunlight, and wind on the trees.
Looking at old trees, there is sequences
that goes back far. Some groups are six thousand years, some eight thousand, and if we allow for gaps, I have now
heard they are using radio carbon analysis on tree rings to measure sunspot activity to 11 000years ago.
Now, I think we can all agree
in all of these circumstances we don’t know everything and cannot be certain of everything,
but we have a GOOD IDEA of what happened with supporting evidence.
That party at home while Mom and Dad were away
leaves detritus that even when cleared away often results in them getting the picture of what happened, right?
In the Christian
world we have the ultimate core sample. It is called the books of the bible.
Here God’s work over the years, is exposed in small segments so that we can look at it.
Do we know what God was doing between these segments? No, but we have a good idea of how to fill in the blanks.
has seen fit to give us clear small pieces of knowledge that build up an overall view of a mighty and awesome God.
To understand God more
clearly, we ourselves need to understand this “core” sample well.
A geologist will take days even years investigating the core they
bring up. It is protected and photographed, small pieces put on slides and inspected very carefully.
Our bible has had this type of scrutiny from
others. There are plenty of books written about the bible, but none is as good for us to investigate as the bible itself.
Reading a geologists paper, or a dendroclimatologist’s paper, helps us as we look at the core sample, but without that,
it is simply taking another person’s word at face value.
So, let’s read our bible folk!
Let’s read understanding it is a core sample, not a story. It is exposure of God over the decades of history going back
many, many years.
I am going to read some useful verses to guide my understanding of God. Will you be doing this?
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Why do I feel so depressed some days?
Thu, October 27, 2011 | link
I love God, know he loves me, but some days I just don’t feel great,
I don’t seem to want to respond the right way, the things I normally don’t
even notice as annoying loom into my life and take on proportions way outside
of their reality.
Maybe you never feel this way! I do hope and pray that is the case, but I am not one of
those people! Some days I just feel like I am not up to par.
Amazingly, I normally find those
are the days I really can get close to God if I try. That’s the key part. . . if I
try! It’s easy to fail in this one critical aspect!
It’s easy to chat to God when we are up and full of the joys of life, but when we are not exactly happy
with our immediate environment, situation and mood, it is less attractive isn’t it? It takes effort to go to God, it
takes energy to align our thoughts, it takes persistence to continually talk to ourselves and point out that these molehills
are not mountains. That it’s only today that is making them seem that way!
Also, it is easy to misread others on these days.
We assume they think or feel a certain way, and that their actions mean something, but often they don’t. Then we get
upset and do or say something the wrong way! Perhaps in a day or two we find out all we did was make a situation that would
have gone away or remained a non-event, into something that caused issues.
I always remember that some of God’s
greatest people got depressed.
Think of that amazing
stood up for God, took on 450 prophets of Baal(see 1 Kings 18), taunted them, at God’s direction made them look fools
before finally destroying them. Then, he pronounces the end of a drought and it rains on his saying it will! Then after all
this success, the evil kings wife gets upset with him and puts a price on his head. Instead of trusting God and laughing at
the foolishness of it, he goes to pieces, gets afraid and runs! Literally!
He goes into a deep depression, in fact he says “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
Totally suicidal but without the energy to do it himself (and knowing
it is against Gods laws to take his own life he asks for the easy way out)
How does God deal with this?
He allows him to get enough sleep, makes sure he is fed and gets enough to drink, and with this encouragement sends him back
on his way.
is a lesson in that! Get enough sleep, food and hydration!
Then, God shows himself to Elijah! Literally!
This is what I am talking about when I say
it pays to focus on God and listen to him when things just seem to go wrong and we get to feeling flat. It’s
in these times that God sometimes shows himself to us. Our attention is able to be focused sufficiently in
these times that we notice what God is doing. This is a gift if we have the time to notice and low it to happen!
Elijah went on to become a
very powerful man of God, he called down fire from heaven on enemies and it happened, he saw kings come and go, he brought
people back to life once they were dead, and then, at the end of his life, he went to heaven without dying (see 2 kings 2).
Not too many people get that privilege!
This shows that we can come through a time of being down without being damaged by it! It
is often a time of great learning!
So if you like me feel less than full of energy at times, let us realize that God’s joy is not happiness,
but rather a presence of Holy Spirit with us even in the darkest of times. With God these negative times can become positive
steps to growth!
good news isn’t it? So let’s get going, push aside our negative attitude and move into the day knowing God is
Have a good one!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Why not other sacred writings? Why the bible?
Wed, October 26, 2011 | link
There are hundreds of sacred texts in this world aren’t there?
Plenty to choose from, Buddism, Hinduism, Islam, Occult and others.
even have the Gnostic texts which appear to be biblical. They have a look and feel of the bible and although written later
and not being appreciated by the Christians of their era as valid, have drawn quite a following.
So why the bible?
Paul writing to Timothy one of his students and a younger guy
has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes.
It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. By using Scripture, a man
of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIRV
true, but it is difficult to see why this is not also true of the other types of writing as well, right?
So, let’s do a check-out of logic to validate the book!Firstly since God must be all powerful
and eternal to really have the attributes of God, we would assume the guidelines the correct sacred
writing proposes should have been in place a long long time, and should in general prove to be correct.
since a God would be able to avoid having the people who appreciate him devolve into a useless mass or a dead religion,
we can assume the religion must still be practiced.
Then, the books
creation must generally agree with sciences discoveries. (I cant take these creation stories that bear absolutely
no resemblance to actual understood scientific truths. To see how Christianity aligns see my blogs on the subject. I find it amazing people criticise Christianity when Buddists don’t really have a creation story [nice
way of avoiding the facts], Hindu’s cannot make up their minds and have about a dozen creation stories, etc. The Abrahamic
religions at least have a creation pattern that almost exactly mimics the scientific discovered pattern of development of
species and the universe.
Then, the most important part, is that once we meet God, the God we meet and the book
revealing him need to align. For me this is totally true.
So we need to take modern religions, which have existed since the
beginning of time, that don’t have weird creation stories as a base.
So let's kick out all those modern religions,
they are not meeting even the first criteria. Next let's kick out Egyptian, Mayan and other dead
religions as they are exactly that, dead.
Now we really have a handful of religions. These are the ones we need to really consider!
I then want to point out that I am totally
biased, because I have lived my life in love with Jesus and applying
his guidelines to it. I have investigated many other religions, even getting very interested in eastern religions such as
Taoism for a while, but only Jesus connected with me personally. The rest were rituals and religion. Jesus
was irreligious, radical, loving and personal.
That’s why the bible is the book for me.
That and the fact that I have investigated its truths from almost every possible angle. Check my blogs if you think differently. I think you will find quite an open minded investigation.
Also, notice how in the west
Christianity is almost singled out for abuse as are christians...Pauls says..."In fact, everyone
who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be treated badly." hardly surprising right?
Despite this, my prayer is others would have
the courage to investigate Jesus as well. He is worth it!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Worshipping icons! And why itís wrong!
Steve Jobs did amazing things in his lifetime, which is now over!
Tue, October 25, 2011 | link
One of the most amazing is the excellent advice given to the person who is taking over from him. According to
the “Times of India” , Tim Cook, the guy who took over was told by Steve jobs. . .
"Among his last advice he had for me, and for all
of you, was to never ask what he would do. 'Just do what's right'"
do what is right!
Good words, encouraging words, words that open the future and enable the present.
Unfortunately it is in the decision of what
“right” means that people are likely to get hung up.
As Christians we don’t because our relationship with God is personal and clearly
spelt out in the scared writings of the bible. We get strong guidelines on what is right and what isn’t.
One of the things that is NOT right is worshiping
make sure we get this, it is repeated a number of times:
"Do not put any other gods in place of me.
not put any other gods in place of me. Do not make silver or gold statues of them for yourselves.
not put any other gods in place of me.
Here are things you must not do. Don't sacrifice
your children in the fire to other gods. Don't practice any kind of evil magic at all. Don't use magic to try to explain the
meaning of warnings in the sky or of any other signs. Don't take part in worshiping evil powers.
What is this about sacrificing children
to gods? This is archaic isn’t it?
We would never do this, or would we?
Take a look at CuteKid™ you will see they are aiming to get babies linked with products such as “Huggies™, Gerber Life™, Scholastic™
Disney??? A baby?
them young, feed them virtual reality, translate it into products, and have them worship unreal objects!
I think that is the objective or am I wrong?
If you think this is silly, see what parents are doing with kids at Kamera Kids.
about getting a kid into the movie business before the child can think for themselves?
Why do we do this to our kids? Is it perhaps because we have already fallen for
icons of business? Glamour, glamorous people, fame, and fortune!
Let us ask ourselves how deluded
we have become by the glitter of the plastic life around us?
Steve Jobs did a lot in life, but many found him harsh! He
was definitely egotistical and he badmouthed others publically. (I know that most of us agree that Bill Gates needed to be
exposed for being a copycat of Apple, but where was humility in that?). Steve berated others, manipulated, and forced people
to do things exactly as he wanted. In some ways he was a tyrant!
If we are to look to icons, perhaps we should look to what motivated them before
we consider their true value?
Think of Benjamin Franklin. . .he had a focus on trying to cultivate his character
by a plan of 13 virtues, which he developed at age 20.
1."Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."
3."Order. Let all your
things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
4."Resolution. Resolve to perform
what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
5."Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself;
i.e., waste nothing."
Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."
7."Sincerity. Use no
hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."
8."Justice. Wrong none
by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
9."Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting
injuries so much as you think they deserve."
10."Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."
12."Chastity. Rarely use venery but for
health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
Imitate Jesus and Socrates.“
(This list comes from Wikipedia's comments about him)
Steve Jobs would not have fit his criteria!
Neither would Bill Gates, Clinton, and many others!
At the end of the day, we want to look back and know we have not followed others
blindly, worshipping their methods, themselves, or their gods.
We want to know we have
lived life to the full according to Christian guidelines.
We want to know we have done what is possible
to protect innocent children from falling prey to worthless gods that steal their lives.
If we do that, we can be satisfied with our lives! I wonder if
Steve left this world satisfied. . .somehow I don’t think so!
Monday, October 24, 2011
What is heaven? Why is there a hell?
What is heaven? Why is there a hell?
Mon, October 24, 2011 | link
Ever seen these ethereal pictures with mist clouds
and people clothed in white almost glowing
This seems to be an artists conception of what they would like
heaven to be like.
I find it almost strange the different concepts of heaven people have. We really miss out on some of the
basics as we get into the areas of hypothetical thinking.
try and go for some basic thinking facts.
Let’s assume God is real and he is who he says he is in the Christian bible (this is a basic that others
may not agree with, but it is the one I am starting with).
God cannot tolerate evil, and yet we as people have within us evil and good.
We know the
difference between good and evil and yet this does not stop us from doing evil does it? Can anyone ever say they have never done anything wrong? I can't
and I'm fairly sure neither can others!
IF God is pure and heaven is a place where God is, then there can be nothing evil
If we have to honestly
respond on our own account to the question of whether we have done evil things, we would all say we have done something
that would exclude us from heaven.
In the presence of God at that judgement, when our lives are opened and everyone can see them,
we would definitely have to agree we have done evil.
This means none of us is entitled to go into heaven where there is eternal peace, love , lack of pain and no
Yet, God made way!
It cost him the life of his very essence, his son Jesus, who had to die as a human, horribly! He dies to cut away the evil
from our lives. Provided we acknowledge this is what he did and accept his guidelines for our life. When we stand at that
Judgement, Jesus steps in front of God and says he will pay for what we did!
In this way, we are pardoned by God and allowed into heaven.
If we accept
Jesus, God gives us a chance. While alive we can do this but once dead, this option is closed. The contract is over. Judgement
God had to create a place for people who reject him. These are people who do not accept God and so for eternity they have to go to a place without God. They
cannot go to heaven! That would not be just!
Unfortunately, that place(called Hell or the Abyss) is also without God’s attributes and controls.
hell, the evil in man that we have seen on this earth is magnified! There is nothing to hold it back. Together with Satan and the angels that rejected
God, all humans who choose to reject God live in this place for eternity.
It is so painful and horrible that the closest description we can understand is that of a lake of eternal fire where we burn without dying!
I personally don’t think this is actually what hell is, but rather that it’s the closest analogy our human minds
can comprehend of how horrible it is.
God cannot live with evil! People that chose to reject God and accept evil as eternal beings spend eternity in a place without God
by their own choices on this Earth.
You and I can choose! The choice is free and without compulsion.
What is your choice?
Let us realise we will not disagree with God
at the judgement despite our choice. God is fair! If we reject him we will know he is fair! So we should not waste time now
in this decision!
another note, I have put together a few verses to give us a flavour of some of the aspects of heaven. See below:
It says in the sacred writings:
21:3 NIRV I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, "Now God makes his home with people. He will live with them.
They will be his people. And God himself will be with them and be their God.
This means God and his people are going to be in the same place.
God has advisors in heaven
that are angels:
1 Kings 22:19 NIRV I saw the Lord sitting on his throne. Some of the angels of heaven were standing at his right side.
The others were standing at his left side. So all of them were standing around him.
These angels are called Cherubim:
2 Kings 19:15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. He said, "Lord, you are the God of Israel.
You sit on your throne between the cherubim. You alone are God over all of the kingdoms on earth. You have made heaven and
God watches mankind from Heaven:
The Lord looks down from heaven on all people. He wants to see if there are any who understand. He wants
to see if there are any who trust in God.
From there he intervenes and sets up life for people who love him
Psalm 113:5 Who is like the Lord our God?
He sits on his throne in heaven.
He bends down to look
at the heavens and the
raises poor people up from the trash pile.
He lifts needy people out of the ashes.
He lets them sit with princes.
He lets them sit with the princes of their own people.
He gives children to the woman who doesn't have any children.
He makes her a happy mother in her own home.
Praise the Lord.
At a future time God says he will create new heavens
Isaiah 65:17 I will create new heavens and a new earth. The things that have happened before will not be remembered.
They will not even enter your minds.
later says in 66:1 that these new heavens and earth will last forever. They will never disappear. (By the way, the reason
it says heavens is that the word was used for the spiritual place God lived in, and also for the sky!)
Children have angels that represent them in
Matthew 18:10 "See that you don't look down on one of these little ones. Here is what I tell you. Their angels
in heaven can go at any time to see my Father who is in heaven.
has all authority in earth and heaven
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth
has been given to me.
We will not be angels, but
like then angels we will not marry in heaven.
Mark 12:25 When the dead rise, they won't get married. And their parents won't give them
to be married. They will be like the angels in heaven.Jesus went to heaven
Mark 16:19 When the Lord Jesus finished speaking to them, he was taken up into heaven. He
sat down at the right hand of God.
Paul explains we will get new bodies in heaven that will be different from our own. He calls this our “house
2 Corinthians 5:1 We know that the earthly tent we live in will be destroyed. But we have a building made by God. It
is a house in heaven that lasts forever. Human hands did not build it.
During our time on earth we groan. We long to
put on our house in heaven as if it were clothing. Then we will not be naked.
While we live in this tent of ours, we groan under our heavy load.
We don't want to be naked. We want to be dressed with our house in heaven. What must die will be swallowed up by life.
God has made us for that very
purpose. He has given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment. The Spirit makes us sure of what is still to come.
So here is what we can always be certain about.
As long as we are at home in our bodies, we are away from the Lord. We live by believing, not by seeing. We are certain about
that. We would rather be away from our bodies and at home with the Lord. So we try our best to please him. We want to please
him whether we are at home in our bodies or away from them.
We must all stand in front of Christ to be judged. Each one of us will be judged for the good things
and the bad things we do while we are in our bodies. Then each of us will receive what we are supposed to get.
When God creates the new heaven it will have a new Jerusalem in
REV21:1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth were completely gone. There
was no longer any sea.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. It was coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a
bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, "Now God makes his home with people. He will
live with them. They will be his people. And God himself will be with them and be their God.
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!