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Friday, December 2, 2011

Is there a less self-conscious world emerging?
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    Facebook takes our images and comments, broadcasting them to hundreds of people, albeit only to those we permit to see them(we think).

Google+ enters the fray to do the same.

Then we have the Twitters, the photo’s snapped on cell phones (even when we are unaware of them),video’s of our antics(good and bad).

Even businesses track employees and potential employees using Linked-in and the social media.

The openness of this reminds me of that story of the naked rabbit in the field. . .

 Hairless through no fault of it’s own, this young bunny is hopping around chewing on the fresh green grass when an older rabbit hops up and berates it.

“How dare you expose yourself to the hundreds of family members out here in the open?”

The young rabbit looks around at the hundreds of rabbits around them in the field, pauses, then before resuming the grassy meal responds, “Grandpa, what I show is evident because I need to eat grass growing in public sunshine. However, your insatiable obsession is more evident to see in any light!”

Allowing others to see us for whom we are seems to unavoidable!


Aren’t we all exposed publically in so many ways?

In ways that would have been inconceivable to understand or accept in the past decades.

Privacy has taken on different dimensions!

We are all much more public figures, we are perhaps less embarrassed by it now and all of us that move into this modern world of electronic social media and commerce need to accept the fact that it expands our world awareness.

Is this good, or is it bad?


Genesis 2:9 says (NIRV) The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. Their fruit was pleasing to look at and good to eat. The tree that gives life forever was in the middle of the garden. The tree that gives the ability to tell the difference between good and evil was also there.

It later says as humans we came to get the knowledge of good and evil. In this one area however understanding good vs. evil is most complex, although the key aspect is that we cannot hide ourselves behind masks as easily as we could in the past.

My wife and I run two youth groups and it has become a way of life to text young people, send Facebook messages back and forth. What is amazing is that once within the youth world, the openness that is evident between people. The older generation worries continually about privacy and copyright and secrecy. The younger generation tends to ignore these and work on a basis of letting others know not only who they are (carefully Photoshop’d images however), but also how they are feeling at any moment.

It is not unusual to hear of a night out on the town, getting stoned, the latest sexual exploit, or another activity broadcasted for the world to see. It is equally easy to see dedication to God, choices for purity, loving words, encouragement and care for others.

Since early times there have always been some people have decrying the advance of technology while others embrace it. Some shout how ungodly it is, where others investigate and adopt it, not finding anything ungodly about it (think Copernicus and the church).

A tool is a tool and can be used for good or evil!

As a good friend of mine says “A fool with a tool is still a fool!”

These technologies simply act as magnifying glass showing what is in our hearts more clearly.

If we want to gain, we need to clean up our hearts and lives and in this case, the magnification simply increases our ability to add value to the world.

Struggles are just that! I believe people who are struggling can be helped by those who are able to do so only if we know they are struggling. These modern tools make this more evident and so the help is easier to provide!

Yes ,evil is also able to progress more easily, but perhaps we need to trust God’s word in Psalm 37:17 (NIRV) where it says, “The power of those who are evil will be broken. But the Lord takes good care of those who do what is right.”

How else except through the exposure of evil can the prayers of the righteous be unleashed to suppress evil’s ability to harm?

As a side issue, can I encourage you to pray for the Egyptian people, both Moslem and Christian? May God influence both to live with each other in love not hate! [One example of how we can help with the knowledge we gain]

That said, the modern technology is not evil and neither is it good.

“The wise with a tool are still full of wisdom!”

Let’s go out today and use our technology to expand our personality, trust and love to those who may best gain from it. Let’s understand we need to allow God’s love to purify us so that we do not have to be self-conscious but rather be “other” conscious, helping our global community!

Have a great day!!
Fri, December 2, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lost in the future?





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    Very rarely will one do amazing things and be under the illusion that one is not able to achieve them! This is the way that things normally happen when we do not cover the world with the love of God. Under these conditions, we rarely will have any option on how life is to develop. Knowing that we are right, we will blunder wildly into activity that leads into the most peculiar of ventures, understanding that these are the only way that we can go.

Are they really?

There is little to guide us or to dictate the directions we need to follow in life. Life itself rests on a bed of undisclosed events that we can barely discern and interpret.

Covering each other with the love of Christ is the only way we can be sure that the future will be successful. We cannot determine the paths of life or the twists and turns they will take. We cannot be the ones who show others truth since we ourselves lack the sure knowledge of it. All we can do is to trust the living God who does know all these things and who loves to help and guide us through the most chaotic of circumstances.

Never in the history of the world has God ever let us down, so we can be sure he will not start now.

Blasting ourselves into the future using false self-confidence and human judgement is a way to kid ourselves we are important and can understand all the variables of life. Today so many people do this with such confidence that they draw the unsuspecting less intellectually or cognitively blessed into believing they know absolutes when all they are doing is scratching the surface of knowledge.

How about these people who claim to know so much of the development of the earth and how we should go ahead? Think Hilter and Marx as examples! How about Harper and Obalma? How do we know that they know where we should be going? If you are in Europe, think of those dictating economic policy? If in Asia, those dictating development strategies for the region? Are you sure you know these people know what they are doing? Many people have thought their leaders knew what to do and it turned out they didn't. How can we be correct in our knowledge? 

So far we cannot determine even how the human fetus forms, or if the universe is greater of less than 46 billion light years across! We think the universe has existed for 13,7billion years, (notice 46 vs 13.7...interesting right) but even that had changed over the decades. We cannot make up our mind on how to deal with our climate change, or what is the best course of action to take in the face of threats such as Iran’s nuclear development. Are we two faced in the way we dictate others cannot have nuclear power! We cannot say to others they are wrong and then we hoard hundreds of nuclear weapons ourselves. What are we doing to disarm?

We cannot know truth if it stares us in the face, because we are not God!

Our future is lost unless we turn to absolutes! Yes folk, there are absolutes in this life! Unfortunately they are only achieved by faith and the facts will never allow 100% knowledge that the faith is right or our free will would be seriously compromised!

We have choice to follow the living God and so make our way through the murky mists of the future by following the light, or we can stumble along in our self-confidence and human understanding getting more lost all the time. American and Canadian forefathers knew this light and look what they did! In Europe that light guided development that pushed the world ahead.

So will we follow that light or blunder onwards in blind faith in ourselves?

Which will it be?
Thu, December 1, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A bucket full of wealth
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    What is of value? Here is a story. . .

Once upon a time concerned about the future, the owner of a successful company became overly worried about the future. He had a mental meltdown and started to hoard every cent he earned, placing it in a bucket under his bed. He stopped paying bills, stopped paying his employees or even buying food from the money he had made.

Within a short time he was out of work.

Soon his home was out of electricity! When bankrupt he took to the streets. To find food he frequented shelters and food banks.

Wandering the street with bucket in hand, exposed to illnesses in the shelters, he was a pitiful sight to see. Finally the illness, rain and cold got to him and pneumonia set in.

Not spending a cent, he hid his bucket and went to the hospital emergency to be helped. Once healthy, he went out on the streets again, retrieved the hidden bucket and continued on his futile quest for security.

Every handout he got went into his bucket. Finally, he became too ill to recover and died!



The person who found the bucket found over a million dollars!


Of what value was that money to him?

Foolishness we say!

No common sense!

Lacking in basic understanding!



Then we remember he had a medical problem and in a some meagre way we pity him, don’t we?

We all have life and can do with it what we will! That is God's gift to us!

We can choose to use it effectively to improve the world and those around us, or we can try and get as much pleasure for ourselves as possible. 

Pleasurable experiences can build up continually and yet despite this we can still become empty inside, unfulfilled! Unchecked, we can even become unable to interact correctly in cases where others have deep needs, simply because we must find and experience pleasure in every way. We choose our own pleasure of helping another in pain!

We ignore others to serve ourselves!

Like the man with the bucket, that focus on pleasuring ourselves can overcome basic humanitarian needs and we can fail to correctly respond to our fellow human beings around us.

Are you carrying a bucket around with you?

We may not be this extreme, but are we carrying smaller buckets around?

I remember a different story about light in a bucket. It goes something like this. . .

People do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. Instead, they put it a stand. Then it gives light to everyone in its vicinity.

That’s a paraphrase of Matthew 5:15 of the Christian bible. Succinct, a far better story than the one above, with a basic truth!

We have something to give this world, but if we try and save it for ourselves, it is starved and dies.

We need to be using ourselves up in service of providing others in the world with opportunity if we are to be fulfilled.



We get, to give! We have, to enable! We are, to be!


Let’s remember that!



An example of what can go wrong is that today in Durban South Africa, leaders of our worlds nations are following the miser principle with regard to our environment. They are not acting in the best interests of this world but in their own economic best interests. This is a symptom of the pleasure greed reflected by our society. A reflection of hoarding of wealth!

Let us be aware that the norms of this world do not reflect God’s desire for our lives! Let's decide to chose for the best!


Let us choose to follow universal truth rather than part-time wisdom.

Let’s go and try and be wise, loving and helpful today! Let's put our light on a lampstand!

 Have a good one!
Wed, November 30, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iím in lifeís dead end and at a loss of where to go. . .

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 Cornered by life with nowhere to go! Every option investigated seems to foretell failure! Desperation of the search for a way out dwindles to inactivity, depression and disillusionment! Life is too hard and there are not enough friends!

These are the thoughts that can hit us when we walk into one of those dead ends of life.

I remember years ago sitting in my lounge looking at the floor in an apartheid South Africa. I realized I was not in agreement with my government of the time! Realizing that as a Christian I knew that I could not express this by taking up arms or siding with the violent. Then I realized my children’s future was seriously compromised.

This then extended outward in depth and a pain for all those beautiful African children as I realized they would all lack true education. Depression seeped into my soul and brought me into deeper anguish.

There was no way out! No way to help my family! No way to be truthful to myself, my God, and my country of that time!

Tired and lost, I walked into the African sunshine into the middle of the amazing garden surrounding our home. Some African homes have big properties and I had good sized middle class home and property.

Standing in the middle of the lawn I started to pour out my heart to God. I explained how at a loss I was! How I loved my children, how I loved the children of the land and how I could do nothing to help them. That I was too small and insignificant to make a difference in this huge situation.

Then I remember how I attacked God with my prayer. “You know what it’s like to love your son, you know how you would want your son to have the opportunities” my prayer went and I continued to explain how the children of Africa needed to get education.

A voice behind me said “Do something about it!” 

I spun around only to find no-one there. I spun around in a circle looking for the person who spoke but I was met by an open view of lawn and sunshine. No person around!

I cannot remember if I called out but I do remember that feeling of cold fear that settled on my heart when I realized I had AUDIBLY heard the living God!

I remember how shocked I felt as I registered what the words meant!

 At the point of my greatest disillusionment God spoke to me. Did he change my circumstances at that second? No! I was the same person in the same predicament! The difference was I understood God wanted me to do something. I had a mission and it wasn’t man made!

How could I change something when I was one of the lowest paid people in an information technology company? The answer was that I had no idea! However, I now knew God expected that I could!

This could become a long story. . .

a story of how my company asked employees for ideas to help the country,

. . . the story of how God revealed to me a specific education system that would be non-discriminatory and would educate everyone,

 . . .how it was years ahead of it’s time (I am only seeing some components coming into play now in the world),

 . . .how I would meet the political leaders of all groups and cultures in the country,

. . .how I was to risk my life daily for a few years trusting only in God to keep me from a horrible death,

. . . how the education system was snapped up by the best private schools and at the same time educated the poor in a squatter village.

God took me from a dead end putting me at the helm of a great venture.

Together with the Douglas Ramaphosa, brother of the man who wrote the new South African constitution(Cyril Ramaphosa), I was to set up a company to do great things.

Things did change, that education company development was stopped by the greed and political power hungry people who didn’t actually want the people of the country educated. It appeared to be another dead end. This time was different. I had learned that God is ALL powerful and can rescue us from despair. He does this if we call out to him in righteousness and honesty. So he rescued me again!

That’s my encouragement for us all today, let’s call out to God, ask him to forgive all our selfish, ignorant and nasty actions, ask him to take us and give us his mission for our life. The one where every day is an adventure and miracles are part of the fabric of life! That’s living! Let’s go do it!
Tue, November 29, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time is tricky to understand but easy to control
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    Ever run out of time when doing something?

Did you wish for more time? Unfortunately, I think we have all done that.

It begs the question of where does time come from, can we manipulate it and to what extent will it exist in the future.

The scientists tell us that time started with our universe. Our bible agrees. “In the beginning” is a time statement, “God created the heavens and the earth” follows this statement and gives the events that followed.

Time started in the beginning but God preceded time. It seems as if time and the sequencing of events seem to be a little different. In a way that we cannot fully understand it seems that events can be sequenced even if time is not available, or it appears as if they can from that Genesis 1:1 statement.

Einstein gave us that great equation E=mc2 where c is the speed of light. IThe equation doesn’t seem to use time until we understand that speed is the rate distance is covered in a certain time. Time is nestling in the depth of that famous equation!

Over the last while people have been investigating whether neutrino’s can travel faster than light. In other words, if neutrinos and light are both created simultaneously in an explosion, the neutrinos could look back as they travel and not see the explosion until they stop, and then they would see the explosion in which they were created…strange thought and totally weird isn’t it.

The jury is still out on whether this is actually happening or not, but it does pose a question of whether we will find another aberration in time or not.

It is interesting that we arbitrary measure time based on the spinning rate of a ball that hasn’t even spun for the whole time the universe existed.

We like to measure everything in days. That’s the time it takes for the earth to revolve once! Unfortunately, the earth slows each year! They say we slow down at about 0.005 seconds per year, per year. So when this earth first started out, we had 14 hours days (or something like that). Proof? “
Fossil rugose corals preserve daily and yearly growth patterns and show that the day was about 22 hours long 370 million years ago, in rough agreement with the 22.7 hours predicted from a constant rate of slowing (Scrutton 1964; Wells 1963).”[1]

So we measure time on a scale that is variable. Most of us are not aware of this!

Then we get to time in the bible. There is a whole variety of different ways of measuring time in the bible. Most ancient cultures used the heavens; the sun, moon and seasons to determine time, but none of them had our modern one timeline tool to connect them together. (Not that we really have one timeline either.) It is hard for us to imagine, but even today the Jewish calendar is still totally different to the one the rest of the world uses.

In ancient times Greeks and Chaldeans tracked time as they watched the stars and even the Arab’s built elaborate water clocks. In Asia they measured time using different technologies to the middle east. In the west nobody seems to have established a very early formal system, but rather lived in the moment with the seasons.

So we have a hodgepodge of time measuring tools and timelines. It is into this environment that we live and conduct our daily activities.

It is important to understand God is outside time as we know it!

The beginning and end of time is all in view simultaneously to God.

What we have done and will do is immediately known!

Yet, we are to live along the timeline of life to still do what God has already understood us having done. Within this timeline we are free to make decisions and decide on our different courses of action. God even limited himself in some way at one point. He inserted himself into this timeline to see what it was like to be in time and suffer the constraints of mortality. He did this to communicate with us and do things for us that we ourselves, limited in our timeline couldn't do!

What a wonderful God that he loves us enough to take the interest, never mind the fact that he would take the pain of our misadventures and die to enable us to have the opportunity to join him outside of this timeline in the experience of eternal reality.

Isn’t that an amazing thought!

That God cares enough for us to allow us to get out of the locking constraint of time through his intervention! He offers to help us from this vantage point while we are still within the timeline if we simply trust him and follow his guidelines.

Perhaps that’s the true miracle of life, that fact that we are born for eternity!
Mon, November 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?

 

 

 
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  • Published: September, 2010
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  • Pages: 208
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