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Friday, January 20, 2012

How does Martin Luther King, Jr. change you today?
How does Martin Luther King, Jr. change you today?

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“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr day!

Here was a Baptist that changed America and is said to have followed in the footsteps of great men such as Jesus Christ and Ghandi.


Great men become great not of their own volition, but in answer to immense needs. Great men do not count the cost to themselves of what they do, but the cost of not doing! Great men are the greatest servants of humanity, not the greatest leaders!

Here is how Martin Luther King put it;

All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

 —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr[1]

I think Jesus said it more simply “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

 and “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 So it is with a view to the future and doing for others that we remember the past and how Martin Luther King and the people who learned from his example changed racialism in America.

It is good that this occurred!

It would be good if the love aspect of God resided in the hearts and minds of the changed America.

 It would be good if the messages could resonate over the oceans and around the world as we need to know that others, even if different in form, language and aspirations are also children of God.

People are important! Always!

Injustices impacting others should not slip our responsibility. It is our attention to these that changes history. Willingness to move, live and do for something greater than our selfishness must invigorate our thoughts, actions and words.

Today, we should consider what we have done in this last year for our neighbours, relatives and friends.

We need to consider who we have helped that we don’t know! As we look around this week, what can we do to make our world a more loving, caring and respectful place.

It starts with that stranger at the store, or that person others reject or worse, don’t notice. Let’s care! Let’s try to be a voice for those who are so hurt they are subdued and say little.

It’s cold today in my part of Canada. A frosty -29C or -20F.

Let’s make sure those around us are warm enough! Have enough food! Have the rides and medical they need!

Systems and programs are good! Science makes great changes for good, but the power of the loving touch of a caring human is far more powerful. That loving touch, supported by prayer and Christian giving of ourselves is infinitely more powerful. Let’s give!

If we all do that this is a better place. We can be proud that God motivates us in this way. We can relax at night knowing we have contributed to the universe in a measure that is inexplicably valuable.

Let’s have a wonderful productive day!
 


1.       [1] Warren, Mervyn A.; Taylor, Gardner C. (2008). King Came Preaching: The Pulpit Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. InterVarsity Press. p. 174. ISBN 083083253X 
Fri, January 20, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, January 19, 2012

So is what I like done to me. . .the measure of what should be done to you?
So is what I like done to me. . .the measure of what should be done to you?

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 Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr
.

Ever been in a car speeding down the freeway in traffic, just at the speed limit (or slightly above) when a car in the lane next to you shoots past and cuts in front  before slamming on brakes, because if they didn't, they would hit the car in front of you? 

Then we have to brake ourselves!

How do we feel about that?

Inconsiderate isn’t it?

Before we judge that situation, let’s consider how often we cut others off. . .

How about in conversation?

Another is talking and making a point, but instead of allowing them to finish we cut them off to make our own point. Not something we would like them to do to us, is it?

How about grabbing that last piece of … before another can get it?

How about honking at the driver in front of us who is slow to pull away at the green traffic light?

There are so many examples of this behavior that we know is selfish, but we tend to do it anyhow. We then tell ourselves its okay to do this! Sometimes we even say it's okay for everyone to be like us in the selfish behaviour!

We know that statement is a lie, but self-delusion is easy in these circumstances isn't it? 

(What if everyone drove at high speed and cut others off, what would happen?  Basically that same principal applies to our other avenues of selfishness)

What if instead, we consider the bibles words that say;

 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NIV

It isn’t easy is it? I’m talking about considering others with respect when they don’t earn it! Isn't that what we would like to have?

We also want to be respected when we screw up don't we? Really, if we honestly think of what we do, and say at times, we also need to admit we don’t always earn that respect. Somehow we often need it to allow us to get past life hurdles. We do love those selfless people who give us space and love us despite our silly and sometimes hurtful mistakes, don't we?

That verse quoted above follows this one:

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

God gives to us the amazing gift of eternal life even before we respected Him. He makes sure we have the option of having a life filled with the power and the supernatural strength of Holy Spirit. He sent His son Jesus to be our example!

Let’s take the advice God gives us!

Let’s try and respect every person we come into contact with today. Some will earn it, some will not!

Let’s at least try to treat them the way we want to be treated in similar circumstances.

Let’s spread a little light around, giving others a break, and letting God’s love work in us to improve the world around us a little!

If we all do that, today will be just a little better than yesterday and worse than tomorrow.

Have a great day!
Thu, January 19, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Grumbling and arguing, how does it help me?
 Grumbling and arguing, how does it help me?


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“Home: The place where we are treated best and grumble most” – Thinkexist.com

Notice that sometimes the only thing we seem to do is complain, grumble and be negative towards something or someone. So often it is with those we love most that we are the most vocal.

We seem to think that by the complaining we will get some type of improvement in the situation.

Do we?

Don’t we just drop the spirits of those around us a little instead. If we continue without stop, we finally end up making those around us unhappy as well, right?

How about at work?

When is work easier to do, when we are grumbling about it and arguing with everyone, or when we are simply getting on with the job.

Life is full of painful events! Not the searing 911 emergency at the hospital type, but rather small, hurt pride, slight mistreatment types. They come at us like mosquitos on a warm summer evening. The only difference is that it is us that does the whining! Perhaps we should swat the annoyance down and get on with living instead of being interrupted by these nuisances.

Does the Christian bible even give us advice with this type of behaviour?

Here is one example of what is says;

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV

God understands we live in a “crooked and warped generation” and while that was talking of the time Paul was alive, it was even worse then! Women and children had few rights, people worked hard with no social security, and men were conscripted as labour at a moment’s notice. I guess we actually have it easier than they did!

Yet, God advises us to avoid grumbling or arguing!

Why?

Who would you rather work alongside? The person who smiles, takes the annoyances, ignores them and gets on with the job, or the person who will not stop whining about what has or hasn’t been done and why it should have taken another path.

I prefer to work with the former! I expect most of us want to be with smiling, upbeat and positive people.

Perhaps we need to take our bibles advice and be that way! I don’t mean we should ignore great injustices or where people are being abused, but I do think we can ignore the small aggravations and move on.

In this way “you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

Let’s hold to Jesus, ask Holy Spirit to give us God’s joy, love others enough to not want to subject them to grumbling, and in this way, let’s improve both our own and others enjoyment of the day today.

Let’s go have a good positive day!
Wed, January 18, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Abortion of girls to select boys, what do you think of that?
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  Pro-abortionists, please explain to me how aborting healthy little girls just because they are girls is right?

In Canada our medical and legal communities are faced with a new problem among Asian families.

The Vancouver Sun reports;

An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal is calling for doctors performing prenatal ultrasounds to conceal the sex of the baby for the first 30 weeks, to curb a trend toward "female feticide" in the Asian community.[1]

It goes on to say;

"A woman has the right to medical information about her-self [but] the sex of the fetus is medically irrelevant information - except when managing rare sex-linked illnesses - and does not affect care," the editorial states. "The solution is to postpone the disclosure of medically irrelevant information to women until after about 30 weeks of pregnancy."

Hmmm! Christians have been anti-abortion for a while in many areas. The reason was for spiritual/moral reasons and here I think we have a case in point.

In these communities the number of boys born outstrips girls considerably. These are the same communities where the value of women is less than in other westernised communities and where on marriage the parents have in some cases to pay the father of the groom at the time of marriage to ensure a good marriage.

We need to educate people!

The God I know loves people and doesn’t love abuse of people!
 
Aborting a healthy little girl is abuse! In fact, it is murder!

I find it interesting that so many of the comments postive to doing this are coming from men!

Working with youth I watch how with couples that get pregnant unintentionally that it is the male of the partner that presses for abortion! It’s the easy way out for the guy!

The girl is left with the emotional baggage.

This is not an issue of giving women the right to choose, but rather giving manipulative male figures the right to manipulate their wives or girlfriends.

The correct resolution to this problem is for our country to create a law indicating it is illegal to abort a fetus if it there is no indication it would not grow into a healthy child. In fact, the law should be charging anyone who does so with murder.

I doubt the Canadian courts will have the courage to do this. Instead I expect a whimpering plea to parents to not do this and half-hearted “communication” and “education” sessions with no real backbone to be the proposed answer.

Those of us that love God should be praying that this situation will be addressed correctly by our laws and not be a breeding ground for creating more callous and hurt people in our world.

Then, if we get into a situation of being pregnant, we need to take the route of loving that child. A child is a blessing, no matter what the sex!

Have a great day!
Tue, January 17, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, January 16, 2012

Epiphany, what does that mean?
 
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Jan 6 in the West and Jan 19 in the East is celebrated by Christians as a holiday called Epiphany.
 

Great but what does that mean to the average person like me in a modern world?

To answer that we need to udnerstand the word came from the Ancient Greek word of epiphaneia, meaning "manifestation" or "striking appearance" and was used by them (one of the meanings) to mean a divine appearance of a god.

According to Wikipedia Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles.

Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

Let’s look at the western perspective of Epiphany today. The story goes as follows;

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

  “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
   who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. [1]

So interesting question. . .

How many times in the above bible text does it refer to Kings of the Est bringing Jesus gifts?

Answer: Zero! (check it out)

Who brought Jesus the gifts?

Answer: the MAGI

What does Magi mean?

Wikipedia suggests “Comes from OLD PERSIAN word maguš, and is a term, used since at least the 4th century BC,” and it is used “to denote followers of Zoroaster the ability to read the stars, and manipulate the fate that the stars foretold. The plural ‘magi’ entered the English language around 1200.” “Early church fathers, such as St. Justin, Origen, St. Augustine and St. Jerome, did not make an exception for the Gospel, and translated the word in its ordinary sense, i.e. as "magician"

 Who are these Magi?

Magi was a term originally reserved for a particular tribe of Medes that were Priests of the Persian empire. They were the ancient “Consultants” and “ambassadors” asked to represent the royal families. The chief of their order was in charge of the magic of the empire.

They watched stars to determine the significance of events.

It has been proposed that Daniel was in charge of the Magi at one time and here is why. . .

In ancient times King Nebuchadnezza of Babylon made Daniel “The Man!”

Daniel 2:48; Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.

This was in Babylon, then an incoming King Belshazzar continued honoring Daniel

Daniel 5:29; Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple, a gold chain was placed around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.

Then in the Persians war the Babylonians lost yet even the winners of that war wanted Daniel with them. King Darius and King Cyrius of Persia continued the same way

Daniel 6:28;So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

It is highly likely Daniel was a member or even leader of the Magi hundreds of years before Jesus was born!

How many magi brought Jesus gifts?

The bible doesn’t say, check it out! However . . . Those were time of thieves and robbers along the roads, so wealthy people travelled in big groups with private armed guards supporting them. Possible for these types of gifts around100 to 200 people would have been needed.

Then the bible says. . . Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”


Why secretly?

Was it perhaps because Herod didn’t want to acknowledge some “king” makers had come into town.

Why did he want to know the exact time the star appeared?

Perhaps because he wanted to kill children that age and under? He did send out troops to kill of children two and under once he found out the town where Jesus was born! (read on in Matthew to read about this)

By why is this all important to us at all?

Epiphany of JESUS is celebrating the revelation of God the Son as a human being.

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
   who will shepherd my people Israel.

Is the Prophecy that refers to. . .

Micah 5:2 (NIV)

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
   though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
   one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
   from ancient times.”

So have we the faith of the ancient wise men. . .

·         Do we believe the ancient writings saying that Jesus is God?
·         Are we willing to use our time and resources, minds and will to find the Son of God in our lifetime?
·         Will we take . …
o   our strength, …
o   our money, …
o   the things we love in life, …
o   the things we want to distribute when we die, …
and use it to worship and serve God and those he wants us to help?



[1] Matthew 2 NIV
Mon, January 16, 2012 | link          Comments


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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?

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