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Friday, February 3, 2012

Can God tempt us?
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“You mustn't always believe what I say. Questions tempt you to tell lies, particularly when there is no answer.”  Pablo Picasso


Tough times! The debt woes of Europe, global warming signs, Syria in upheaval and many other things that indirectly impact our lives.

We so want to see a path through it all, and to be able to make up our minds that all is well, and all will be well.

Maybe!

However, saying that we need to meet our desires and not deal with reality is something we need to really consider carefully as this is the source of much of this pain.

Desires drive needs, and needs drive action!

In Europe, the desire to have a good life and easy living, has resulted in countries extending themselves past their monetary means to the point that we now have a large global issue.

In the Americas when this same illness is exposed, it will be even worse, since so many people are so into fulfilling their own desires for a “good life”, that the USA is running up debt even faster than European countries.

Desire seems to lie under these temptations doesn’t it?

These two are interwoven, desire and temptation go together as a terrible twosome.

Then I read James comment. . .

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death; James 1 (NIV).

This seems a bit harsh doesn’t it?

Doesn’t God put desires in our hearts? So it only stands to reason that if he allows us to have desires, then God himself is responsible for our temptation isn’t he?

Here is the crux of the matter!

Temptations only have traction, if we have the wrong desires!

If we desire to live within our means and have our countries live within their means, then in our western democratic world where people decide on government, there would not be any need for Europe (or America) to run up national debt.

Instead of wanting more than we can afford, a desire for the wrong things, there would be nothing to attach the temptation to, and we would be without the impending disaster this world is fervently trying to push away.

That need for additional money would just not be there!

 The world would have been saved before it was in trouble.

I guess the MBA programs worldwide have had it wrong for a while. Increasing demand past the point where there are resources to meet the demand is something we have found to be counter productive. We should perhaps not be charging more than what items are worth(greed) and should perhaps not be cultivating needs where there are none, but instead finding and meeting the real needs. What an awesome different idea, right? But I digress. . .

God does not tempt us! 

Our sinful desires lead us into temptation.

If Eve never allowed herself to desire the fruit in the garden of Eden, Satan’s attempts to entwine her in his altercations with God would have failed miserably.

So, the key aspect to doing what is right in our lives is not avoiding temptation, but disabling temptation!

By removing sinful desires, the ability to tempt is stopped before it starts.

This is something we ourselves can do! It is not necessary to wait for the temptation and then resist it. It is to work on having the correct desires before we arrive at the point of temptation.

God explains in the bible what he expects us to do. . .

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22 NIV

Building the right desires is something we need to actively do! We need to be passionate and chase the right goals. Our desires should be aligned with God’s Holy Spirit’s leading in our life.

Then temptation will have little effect on us! God doesn’t tempt us, our evil desires do. Let’s eradicate those evil desires today.

That’s my plan, what’s yours?
Fri, February 3, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Swearing, who does it damage?
  
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Moving in the circles of Chief Executive staff of multi-million dollar organizations as part of my work, it is amazing how little swearing one hears from these people.



Then as I work with people within these organizations and go down the lines of authority, the swearing increases. It’s interesting!

Why this pattern I ask myself?

Biblically we get some simple instructions regarding the language of swearing.

All the Abrahamic religions, (Judaism, Christianity and Moslems) know the Old Testament says in Exodus 20 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name,”  however the words these people use are more than simply “Jesus” or “God”. They expand into sexual terms that mean things not actually said by the words themselves and abuse good relationships.

Jesus said, “Matthew 5:36-38 (NIV) And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

Swearing to emphasis a point is not to be done according to the last statement and generally this is what people do.

The amazing thing is the poor image of the person it establishes in the hearers mind if the hearers do not swear themselves!

It really drops the person down in our appreciation. By swearing they show themselves to have a poor vocabulary, an incapability to truly express themselves and that they have little appreciation of others.

Perhaps that's why so few Chief executives of companies swear. These people get to their position by dealing correctly with people and swearing is  just not a tool to be used in these circumstances.

If avoiding swearing is good enough for them, and God says we shouldn't, we should perhaps consider if avoiding swearing is good enough for us as well!

Have a great day!
Thu, February 2, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Love is not free!
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The term “free love” was probably coined in mid 19th century by John Humphrey Noyes to describe sex outside marriage.

I want to look at the cost of free love not only in this context but in all contexts.

Think of it!

Every time we think they have found free love(deep caring intimate love) with another person, when it is taken away, we find there is a cost in that action.

 

Normally both parties feel it don’t they? Items that are free should not have that type of value, but should be easily available and replaced at no cost. Easy replacement is not part of free love isn’t it?

No relationship is easily replaced! I therefore argue that the love given is not actually free!

Well maybe. . .we could argue that we can get given a very expensive gift, but not have to pay for it, therefore it is “free”.

That is true, but that gift still costs someone else didn’t it?  This again circumvents it actually being “free”. Free to us does not mean it is actually free in the global sense.

Somebody pays!

In the early sixties girls and guys were giving up their virginity under the auspices of “free love”. With doing this, they took often away a level of intimacy that can only exist in the fragile environment of living with one’s first love in a deep intimate way. For many, it cost them that special type of life.

A life of deep love that God desires for us! A life where we have a deep, deep trust in one special person that is not only our soul mate, confidant, but also the person we respect most and love the deepest. If we taint this by loving another first, then we cannot fail to compare and in so doing diminish the value of the trust. At worst, we know we have taken part of our life and handed it to one who is not the central person in our life. We steal from ourselves!

Love always costs!

Think of a mother’s love(late night feedings), the love for our country(where people die protecting it), the love of food(exercised excessively this causes obesity, bulimia and other disorders), the love of alchohol(dangerous). I am sure you can find every time we consider love we also have to consider a sacrifice of some type.

The one does not come without the other!

So then, why do so many of us not realise that love requires us to sacrifice something to attain its highest levels? Why do so few of us step up to the plate and focus on the high goal that is waiting for those of us who work at hitting the target with true love.

In ancient times God asks a nation to love him “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NIV

Then in more modern times this request to love is intensified to us as individuals “1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

The cost of this love is explained in the more commonly know verse, John 3:16 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

It cost that man, Jesus his life, which is bad, but it cost God the Father a degrading despicable death of his son, that is far more expensive. Then in some unexplainable way Jesus and God are one and so God himself took that painful, horrible death.

 Why? To pay for the love that we can now freely enjoy!

Yes! Love costs! It cost God!

Now as we start to move in love, it costs us also! We are not to be passive recipients of this love.

It grows in our hearts and the love flows into us. For love we to become willing to sacrifice ourselves for others. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big!
 

That is why John describes the evidence of God’s love in a person in this way 1 John 4:20 “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

God’s love overcomes!

It overcomes our human selfishness and pride. It offer forgiveness to the unforgivable. It grows into our hearts minds and soul until our spirit unites with the powergrid of God’s holy desire for others and then to moves out to do in love for others what others will simply not do.

God is true love!

We under the power of God’s true love, start to experience and act in true love.

That love is not free but it is the most invigorating wonderful life giving and life fulfilling experience we can have.

So how about we go love someone today! God’s way!
Wed, February 1, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mohammad Shafia killed for religious reasons. How wrong is that?
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   The story is summarised by The Chronicle Herald as the “tragic story of the "honour killings" of four women, three of them teens, by their Afghan-Canadian family, the Shafias, in the cold, dark waters of a Kingston Mills, Ont., canal lock in June 2009.”

Shafia claims to be a devotedly religious man. Yet in Christian terms we know that God says clearly “Do not commit murder.” (Exodus 20:13) so we know what he did was wrong. Very wrong!

Yet this prejudice that he exhibited has tendrils in all our lives.

It is so easy to be judgemental isn’t it? It is so easy to say to ourselves "We would never do….  would we?"

I leave you to fill in the blanks.

Maybe it’s not murder, but if you want to check yourself, simply apply the simple test of checking yourself against the ten commandments! I suggest that, because whether Jew, Moslem or Christian, those commandments are part of our holy writings, so they must apply to all.

Let’s see how we do?

[1] We would never hold another being or belief in greater respect than God,  would we?

[2] We would never make images or pictures of other Gods, would we?

[3] We would never use God’s name in a meaningless or disrespectful manner, would we?

[4] We would never work every day of the week would we?

[5] We would never disrespect our parents or say something negative about them, would we?

[6] We would not ever murder, not even think evil thoughts like this of someone would we?

[7] We would not ever think of having sex with another person to whom we are not married would we?

[8] We would not ever steal anything, not even music or something off the internet, would we?

[9] We would never say an untrue thing about someone else would we?

[10] We would never ever want something just because we see it advertised and see someone else with it would we?

When we compare ourselves against this rather simple list of guidelines, we can see that we also fail miserably!
 
So in simple terms, none of us are undeserving of being found guilty, just like Shafia was!

The price is a sentence! His was by the Canadian justice system and they drew back from death. Ours is by the supreme being of the universe who exists outside space and time.

What will be our sentence?

God sent Jesus to explain it may be that we can go free! That is if Jesus is our defence attorney.

It’s our choice to accept , or reject, that defence attorney. Then I remember how he once told others that if they were without sin, they should be willing to take part in killing another guilty person, but if not they shouldn't. I think I need Jesus in my life beacuse I am not perfect.

I think I need to accept him! What about you?

Tue, January 31, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, January 30, 2012

Godly ambition, improving ourselves and others?
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“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.”

Norman Vincent Peale


One problem with considering how to improve myself that I have is probably one many of us have,. . . is that to improve we need to grade the value of ourselves and that means putting people into groups and judging them.

Despite not liking this, we all do it because as social creatures we must categorise people order to successfully work together with passion.

One classification of people working with spiritual passion is given by Gordon Macdonald in his text entitled Restoring your Spiritual passion. I can’t say I totally like it but it is useful! Here I summaries the types of people he describes;

He starts off with VRPs, or Very resourceful people which can be considered as Mentors, advisors, contributors.

Next on the scale are VIPs, or Very important people those that are passionate and visionary, the leaders and self-directed followers that contribute to the love of God in the community.

Third is the VTPs, or Very trainable people, those that enjoy the passion but don't have deep knowledge yet and need help to contribute to the love of God in the community.

Then there are VNPs, Very nice people, those that enjoy the passion but don't contribute.

Lastly, we have VDPs, Very draining people, those that suck up passion and want comfort and compassion. Often they cause conflicts, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

Now, we must not get this wrong and think God considers any of these people as less worthy of his free grave and love, but we do need to understand that some people do more in this life to further the Kingdom of God than others.

I think at times we have all come away from discussions with VDPs totally drained and tired and feeling little has been achieved, but on the other hand, we have come away from VRPs feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world with new ideas and energy!

What we do matters, doesn’t it?

Here’s a question or two to help us focus this thinking.

·         Who do you think is a great person (other than Jesus)? Why?
·         Is true humility and serving others part of their lives? Probably it is, isn’t it?
·         In what way?
·         Is it easy to serve in a humble way?
·         What makes it difficult?

Yes, most people who are considered great have humbly served others at expense to themselves, and yet these are the people that we often we really respect. [If you picked Idi Amin, Hitler, or similar types as your great person, please seek help from a competent professional J ]

Somehow being a fighter and destroyer of others is not as important as transparency and courage in leaders and mentors. People we want to be like are those who others want to be with! (Generally that is)

Also, when we consider the scale Gordon Macdonald suggests and which I paraphrased, we need to understand we are all at different points in this scale in the different aspects of our lives daily. We don’t often only fit into one of those categories in all areas of our life. All of us are complex and beautifully made by God and growing in different ways.

However, to improve takes Grace. [The meaning of grace can be remembered by Gods Riches At Christ’s Expense!]

We need to search ourselves

PS 139:23-23
Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting

Then we need to confess all the selfish, ignorant and nasty things we have done to others (Sin).

1 Jn 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Knowing sin is removed

Ps 103:12

as far as the east is from the west,

   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Knowing God no longer remembers our sin

Isaiah 38:17
Surely it was for my benefit
   that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me

   from the pit of destruction;

you have put all my sins
   behind your back.
Sin is remembered no more

All because Jesus dies on that cross for us

Col 2:13-14
At one time you were dead in your sins. Your sinful nature was not circumcised.
But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave us all of our sins.
He wiped out the written Law with its rules.
The Law was against us. It opposed us.
He took it away and nailed it to the cross.

Doesn’t that make it possible to improve ourselves and others?

The more we apply this grace in our life, the more we want to do something in response, the more we serve, the more we start to ascend the social categories Gordon Macdonald describes and the more we contribute to the Kingdom of God on earth.

Now isn’t that a good way to approach others today?
Mon, January 30, 2012 | 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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