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Friday, February 24, 2012

A Human with Godís Spirit?
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  In “The Anatomy of a Spiritual Person” Vijai P. Sharma, a clinical psychologist quotes Wayne Dyer, a renown contemporary psychologist saying . . .

“We all are spiritual beings having human experience."  We are physical, emotional and spiritual beings, a living proof of "trinity," in this case the trinity of the body, the heart and the soul. To what extend we develop the spiritual or the other two dimensions depends on our environment, upbringing and self-cultivation.”[1]

However he goes on to say “not all spiritual people are religious, and not all religious people are spiritual” a point that I think we would agree with.

He then goes on to point out some aspects of spiritual people from his perspective:

1.   They know they are more than their bodies and five senses,
2.   They are at peace with themselves,
3.   They see others as more than their physical form,
4.   They seldom feel alone,
5.   They know there is a supreme intelligence and continually seek guidance,
6.   They have a spiritual connection with the universe.

Consider Jesus according to these aspects and we find that Jesus knew and stated we are more than our bodies and five senses. Jesus claimed not only to be at peace with himself, but stated: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”[2]

Jesus saw everyone as spiritual beings with eternal destinations. The only time Jesus seemed to be alone was on the cross just before he died when he called out; “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

His relationship with God was one of unity and as a son with a father. It was intimate!

Jesus is also the originator and sustainer of the universe according to the bible (see yesterday’s blog).

SO, this puts Jesus on equal standing with others who make these claims.

Two things give additional evidence that Jesus is different and superior to these.

One is the number of prophecies about him before he even lived on earth (we are looking at some of these over the weeks that come), and another is how he rose from the dead.

Jesus was spiritual but even this aspect of his life was foretold.

Isaiah (chapter 11) says “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
   the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and of might,
   the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.”

Jesus was a descendant of Jesse and the qualities described here were evident in the revealed aspects of his life that we can find and evaluate.

Isaiah also prophesied of Jesus “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.”

Jesus sure proclaimed good news to the poor!

In New Testament times we read that “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.”[3]

A point of clear identification with God, and notice it does not say it was a dove, but it was like a dove!

Why did God give Jesus to the world and also empower him with Holy Spirit?

Perhaps Acts 10:38 says it the best. . .

You know how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Jesus went around doing good. He healed all who were under the devil's power. God was with him.”

So what does this mean for me as a follower of Jesus?

It means that I can be confident that God knew exactly what he planned to do to enable Jesus to help us all. Since Jesus promised us that we too would have Holy Spirit and that promise was fulfilled, we can also live exactly as Jesus did with spiritual power.

Is it not amazing that we can know we are more than our bodies and five senses, that we can be at peace with ourselves, respect others as spiritual beings, never be alone, know that not only can we know the supreme intelligence of the universe and continually seek guidance, but know that through Holy Spirit who Jesus left behind to live within us, we can have a spiritual connection with the universe.

Yay! It’s just got to be a good day! Have a good one!


[1] http://www.mindpub.com/art078.htm
[2] John 14:27
[3] Matthew 3:16  
Fri, February 24, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why do people say Jesus is the son of God?
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 Men since the beginning for time have said they are gods.


Egyptian pharaohs are not even the earliest, but they claimed a title of the gods. Roman emperors said they were gods. Ancient rulers in China from the Western Zhou dynasty claimed to be the offspring of gods, as did Jimmu Tenno of Japan who claimed to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess, Amaterasu.

So somehow men have grabbed the title of gods for themselves many times, before and after Jesus’ time.

What makes Jesus different and did Jesus ever actually claim to be the son of God?

The most direct statement comes from Matthew 3:17 (NIV) “And a voice from heaven said, ’This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’" An eye witness describes a voice from the sky making this statement.

Old Testament words seem to add to this in statements like. . .

Proverbs 30:4
“Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
   Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
   Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
   Surely you know!”

To which I have to say, “I don’t know unless I have more information” but the bible also says, talking of Jesus . . .

Colossians 1:15-19 (NIV) “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,. . .”

So here we see that Proverbs 30:4 is talking of Jesus.

Mary, Jesus’ mother reports an angel telling her in Luke 1. . . “The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God.” also “You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.”

Here we see Jesus was reported to be the son of God!

Then Paul says “The good news is about God's Son. As a human being, the Son of God belonged to King David's family line. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he was appointed to be the mighty Son of God because he rose from the dead. He is Jesus Christ our Lord” Paul says this in his 1st chapter of his letter to the Roman church.

True to Paul’s academic nature, he points out the one thing that differentiates Jesus from all these others that claimed to be gods. Paul reminds people of the time that would have know Jesus and his life that Jesus came alive again. These people could have checked up the facts. These facts are that Jesus rose from the dead. i.e. he went from stone cold corpse to a living breathing person!

To make sure this wasn’t just a person who temporary went into a coma, we can read and find out that they stuck a spear through his heart to make sure!

So Jesus’ claim to be son of God is much stronger than any others, simply because as a man, he did something only a God could do. Jesus came alive after a violent death!

Did any Egyptian Pharaoh, Roman or Chinese emperor, or others who deluded themselves into thinking they were gods do this?

No!

So Jesus stands alone! Nobody who was around him at the time of his death argued aginst the fact that he had come alive again. [Except perhaps Thomas! That changed when Thomas met him and physically touched him!]

So, we have proof that Jesus was the son of God!

Isn’t it good to understand how the Christian faith is based on human facts so that we can understand and believe?

Let’s go and have a wonderful day appreciating that Jesus is with us in the form of Holy Spirit’s guidance. (That’s another mystery for discussion on another day).

Be blessed today!
Thu, February 23, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Catastrophic blunderings
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  As president of a company, I was rather taken aback but mildly amused when one of my new employees who just happened to be a black person called me a “Kaffir” (not to be confused with Kafir).

“Kaffir” is a derogatory word that is used by South Africans in describing black people. It is a horrible word that I don’t use and that is an insulting term for an African. I grew up in South Africa so I know this intimately.

So why did he do this?

He did it, because I was working alongside my own employees inn jeans and a t-shirt assembling office furniture for our firm and he had never met me before and had no idea I was head of the company that had employed him.

What did I do?

Nothing! I let him continue never returning the snide remarks.

This was a Saturday, and on the  Monday when he was introduced to me in my office, the look on his face showed he understood he believed he had made a catastrophic error.

Fortunately for him, I don’t care what people call me as I try to live up to who I am in God’s eyes and I don’t think less of those who fail because I have failed so many times myself. We became quite good friends but that word definitely dropped from his vocabulary.

Is there not many times we wish we could take back something that we have said and done that leads to potentially catastrophic situations? If only someone had warned us, we think.

Ancient Israel annoyed God and the whole country acted up horribly worshipping false Gods and failing to give God the honour due to him. They were told things would happen.

Take a look at Micah 5:1-2 which says

Jerusalem, you are being attacked.
      So bring your troops together.
   Our enemies have surrounded us.
      They want to slap the face of Israel's ruler.
 2 The Lord says,
   "Bethlehem, you might not be
      an important town in the nation of Judah.
   But out of you will come
      a ruler over Israel for me.
   His family line goes back
      to the early years of your nation.
   It goes all the way back
      to days of long ago."
      Bethlehem was also called Ephrathah.

Catastrophic circumstances were being foretold in these first two verses.

This first part of Micah, the prophet, where he laments about how the people are failing to correctly worship the true God. He is foretelling that they would pay for it by being taken into captivity. But he is also foretelling something else. . .

This prophecy is interesting in that Jesus’ birth in Jerusalem is foretold.

 Beth-lehem means “house of bread”.

We know Jesus referred to himself as the “bread of life”  in John 6:35 on saying “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

So perhaps even the town’s name was part of the prophecy of Jesus.

Then the alternative name “Ephrathah” was also predictive. It means “fruitful”.

People of the time understood the region was fertile, but didn’t realize that it would give growth to Jesus, the son of God, although Micah told them!

If only the people of the time had listened to Jesus, then things may have been different, right?

Do we listen to Jesus and the words about him in our bible?

Paul tells us

“Christ is the exact likeness of God, who can't be seen. He is first, and he is over all of creation. All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can't be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him. Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together.

And he is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning. He is the first to be raised from the dead. That happened so that he would be far above everything. God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ.”

Jesus is in the likeness of God. We are also constructed in the likeness of God (see genesis 1) but Jesus is the EXACT likeness.

Jesus  shows us God who we cannot see! He is the first of all people to enter heaven after dying as a man. He is before men in that he himself  created everything we know and see(not ethe bible does not clearly say HOW he did this). He even created and held together the substance of those very people who crucified him. [How is THAT about staying dedicated to completing a task until the very end?]

To ignore Jesus is to invite a catastrophe! It’s the biggest blunder any living person can make!

So, if we ignore Jesus, who do we have to blame but ourselves! That’s the one thing god made sure belongs totally to ourselves. We choose! We decide!

Let’s decide wisely today and then live our lives in the power of our decisions avoiding a catastrophic blunder!
Wed, February 22, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Telling the truth, but not the whole truth...who gains?
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   I had an experience this last week of delivering a message to my boss and having him quote me to a customer of ours leaving out a critical part of the message.

 Now it looks like I am misinforming him and the customer thinks less of me for it!

The truth was told, but not the whole truth and that is equivalent to lying!

Why do people do that?

We all have this at one time or another haven’t we?



Under pressure as kids we have probably told Mom or Dad a partial truth to keep her/him from grounding us or worse, right?



The problem is that this evasion technique is one that can get us damaging ourselves.

Consider that boss of mine! Do you think I will trust him with delivering messages I give him again. Not likely! Now when I send him information I will be sure the client gets a copy. Now when he confidentially asks for information I am forced to  answer publically so he is unable to gain the subterfusion what he desires.

We need to consider God is all wise and when he says we should not lie, he is doing it not for his good but ours!

Every lie turns upon a person at some time!

I have found that although people sometimes say they don’t like my honesty, they prefer to hear what is going on from myself than others simply because I do my best to present the truth. Even liars want people to tell them the truth don’t they?

In proverbs it says “A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully.”

When we relay information let us be true to the message. Let’s listen carefully and try to put it out with the meaning with which we receive it. That is the way God likes it!

 Perhaps we would gain from liking that as well! What do you think?
Tue, February 21, 2012 | link          Comments

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The art of releasing oneself to the future,
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 Bondage!

“Is anarchism desirable? Well, who does not seek freedom? What man, unless willing to declare himself in bondage, would care to call any control agreeable? Think about it!” ~ Johann Most.

Sometimes we think that freedom is being free of bondage, but is it?

Most of us want to be free of being subject to a force, power, or influence, don’t we? We think that we are able to direct our future, don’t we? Don’t we tend to rather trust our skills, abilities and perhaps superior strength to get the better of those around us.

At least in the Western world we do this rather easily, not wanting to face others, or submit to the greater good of the group. As Westerners, we are so individualistic and self-focussed that even when we are trying to be altruistic we fail. We fail by acting in an individualistic manner while selfishly expecting others to conform to our chosen direction.

Let’s look at an example! When fighting for a greener planet we focus on what each individual should do instead of the social requirement to respect others and the environment simultaneously. We don’t see the hunger and lack of work in the greater world. We fail to incorporate the needs of those areas with lesser ability. Those that are unable to be sufficient, or to meet 1st world targets.  We don’t address these as part of that greener world requirement, other than as a manipulation factor or to place unrealistic demands on burdened societies.

We care more for the cause than for those hurting and unable to help themselves, who perhaps are impacted by this cause. We don’t look for global solutions. Instead, we go for one-sided, self-focussed solutions. We shout green and yet consume more energy that many other lesser privileged nations combined. We shout green while ignoring the poor and hurting in our global economy. We fight without regard for their very lives.

When this is pointed out, we are aghast, clearly pointing out that we have a specific focus and that this focus is not part of that distant need. That need we gladly admit is severe, but then we do little to nothing to solve it because it does not impact us now as individuals.

 When we finally react, it is often due to external pressures and forces that are now beyond our control, forcing us to view this collective situation we have been attempting to ignore.

Why?

As Christians, should we do this? Is there not a better way?

God’s plan is very different! In God’s plan, it is better to give than to receive.  An apostle of Jesus says; “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35

By giving and sacrifice, we as Christian extend ourselves past a simple view of freedom and gladly lock ourselves into being a tool of the living God who created our universe and keeps every part of it in motion.

In fact, we as Christians, actually see God as underlying the very substance of the universe. Submitting to the controls of the living God’s will for our lives, we are releasing a freedom!

This freedom gives us the ability to go out into our day introducing universal waves of compassion and love into a short-sighted world. A world so myopic that in the search for freedom, it cannot see that the task is actually simplified by handing over our individual lives to eternal direction.

 Freedom is not the removal of constraints, but rather the enabling of the right ones!

A car on ice cannot get going until those spinning tires get constrained by grit or salt, enabling traction. Human lives spinning freely out of control need God’s application of lives dedicated to Jesus, before we can change that aimless energy wastage and direct ourselves forward towards our heavenly goal.

This is difficult to understand, but by letting God talk into our spirit we can take relevant action and gain understanding. Then, we find the value of our lives within God’s eternal structure.

We don’t have to wait for the myopic world values to lead us. Instead, we can forge ahead under divine leadership tracking into our future with confidence.

We don’t build a future based on extrapolations of dubious predictive worth, but rather move to a certain goal with sure knowledge that we are following one who has been there and knows the way.

So, today, if we want to be free, we need to hand over our individual desires for the freedom that our God provides through Jesus. Holy Spirits leading then gives us back an individually designed life plan that aligns with an eternal vision! This maximises our individual potential within our world’s needs.

Now isn’t that the way we want to use our abilities today? Let’s go into our day praising our God as we joyfully follow His direction!
Sun, February 19, 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?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
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