HomeBlog ListingTop TenScience & Genesis"Heavy" stuffVideoNicene CreedA belief statement
Getting somewhere requires effort,
 it takes faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,

Archive Newer | Older

Friday, April 6, 2012

The power of a risen life
Kingdom_of_God_coming.jpg

 
 
Easter is the time when we look at life re-generated, the unfolding of newness, the rising of the Son of God.

It is also a time of mixed emotions isn’t it?

Those of us within a comfortable happy family environment may enjoy these times with people who we love very much. However, not all of us have that gift of human family love in this life! For some of us there is much pain, loneliness and even ostracisation.

No matter which group we feel representst us, we are all part of God’s family however!
Everyone is welcome to Gods family, anytime!


Isn't it amazing that the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection can identify with those lost and lonely as easily with those in loving relationships and happy? Jesus’ death was one where he underwent extreme loneliness, pain and suffering. The result is the most happy ending of all time! God freed from the pain. turns and opens up the doors of time to let us through. into a life that is limitless in extent and time.

Amazing!

Yet, this weekend, as we walk the paths chosen for us, we should be considering those around us who perhaps are less on that happy end of the continuum, and more in the struggling end.

Let’s invite others into our homes, make sure they have enough food, warmth and comfort. Let’s extend the love in our hearts outwards to encompass their needs and perhaps by extending our comfort zone, we will also be blessed?

Jesus reminds us;

I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in.[1]

Do you want Jesus in your midst this Easter? If you do, invite him in! Invite others into your home. Expose them to the comfort and blessing of a safe warm |Christian family environment.

If you cannot do this because of strife in the household, make peace, extend past your comfort zone to those with whom differences have built separation. Pull down the walls first, don’t wait for the other to start the process. Forgiveness is good for the forgiver independent of what the forgiven thinks.

May God bless and keep you this Easter, may he allow his Light to shine on your life and soul, may he rejuvenate you for the year ahead, may you know the comfort of the glory of his presence, may you be blessed exceedingly.

 Have a wonderful Easter!


[1] Matthew 25:35NIRV
Fri, April 6, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Father we love you!
  
reconciled.jpg
Daddy! Pa! Dad! Pappa!

Words that uniquely describe a special relationship, a father to a son!

 

One of the most incredible relationships in the history of mankind.



One that cannot fail to be of great value to everyone in all circumstances!

Nurturing, growing, mentoring and leading, this person is the man who empowers each child to be the best he or she can be. Or, at least this is how it should be!

Not all fathers are good, and not all mothers have the ability to rest and rely on the strength of the man of the family. This is sad, incredibly sad!

Men are becoming less the tower of strength that they used to be, and more damaged in their ways.

We are told this is because the men of the past abused woman, and so their is a need to be less manly and more womenlike to reduce this threat(or it seems that way to many of us men). This abuse may be true for some, but it is definitely not for all!

We have all met great men who never abused women, but who were leaders, strong in their own right, solid support for their communities, lovers not only of their wives, but also of those around them. Men unashamed of being truthful in difficult circumstances and strong when others were weak! Good, great men!

These were men that woman desired, children loved, and the elderly looked on for support!

This is such an important relationship that God himself defines himself in terms of it. God the Father!

The ultimate relationship in the Christian world is that between Jesus the son and the Father! It is the relationship of all time! It defined time! It is time!

God in his unique way chose to enable us to be partakers in this incredible relationship. It is not only Jesus who can cry out “Abba” (the Hebrew version of ”daddy” or “dad”). We as we accept Jesus is the son of God, that he died and rose again to empower us, are included into this very same relationship with God, so that we can be called sons of God, and can call out to the father “Abba” “Father”.

Luke, that ancient physician describes this relationship while giving advice;

"But love your enemies. Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will receive a lot in return. And you will be sons of the Most High God. He is kind to people who are evil and are not thankful. So have mercy, just as your Father has mercy.[1]

Being a son of God (and this applied to woman in ancient times) we get gifts, good gifts;

Luke continues to say;

Even though you are evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more will your Father who is in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"[2]

Then the gifts of Holy Spirit are. . .

The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives the message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives the message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages.

All of the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives them to each person, just as he decides.[3]

Then from this we gain the ability to lead others correctly;

But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind.

 Today, let’s give honor to the good Father, the eternal “Abba”, to the person who we owe our very existence, for his guidance in our lives, for his love, his joy, his peace. Let’s thank him for being patient, kind and good. Let us adopt for ourselves his strengths of faithfulness, gentleness and control of ourselves.

May our God bless you today!


[1] Luke 6:34-36 NIRV
[2] Luke 11:13 NIRV
[3] 1 Corinthians 12 NIRV
Thu, April 5, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Letís take a look at the week before the cross, (are there three days between Jesus death and rising to life again?)

whip.jpg

 
  There is a saying that “assumptions” coming from the word “assume” make an “Ass” out of “u” and “me”, or in simple terms, assumptions lead to incorrect conclusions that do nothing for those making them.

The days describing the week before Jesus died are in this class of assumption. Unfortunately, most of the Christian world has failed to review this situation closely.

Let’s follow Jesus walk to the cross. . .

Firstly we need to know that the Jewish “day” and the Roman “day” were measured differently. As the diagram below shows, the Jewish day started at about 6pm modern timing, while the Roman day like ours starts at midnight or 12am.


JewishVsRomanDay.jpg

Now we know most Christians ignore the fact that if Jesus died on good Friday afternoon and rose on Easter Sunday morning he wasn’t in the grave three days (ancient or modern)

Yet there are many references to the fact that this should be so:

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
 
(Jesus speaking!)

 Matthew 26:55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.    Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’
 
Matthew 27:39-41 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”

Matthew 27:62-64  The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.  “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’  So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

Mark 8:31[ Jesus Predicts His Death ] He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

 Mark 9:31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”

 Mark 10:33-35 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

Okay, so let’s discover when Jesus was crucified. . .

Mark 15:25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him 

Mark 15:33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)..

By simple logic conventional thinking cannot be right can it? Jesus could not have died Friday!


 
Let’s look at a timeline

ConventionalTimingJesusDeath.jpg
Now, let’s look at the facts!

The bible actually says

Leviticus 3:23
There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.

 And

John 19:31
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.

The words Special Sabbath, make it different from the conventional Sabbath.

 So let’s look at the events leading up to Jesus death from the Thursday the week before the week of his death.

Thursday (death-6days): Nissan 8( Nissan 8 is Jewish first month day 8), From the bible Jesus spends the Thursday before at Zaccheus’ home in Jericho, Luke 19:1-21]

Friday (death-5days): Nissan 9. Jesus goes to Jerusalem [Matt 21:1-15]

Saturday (death-4days): Nissan 10. Jesus spends Sabbath in Bethany [Mark 11:11]

Sunday (death-3days): Nissan 11. The fig tree cursed! Jerusalem overturned traders tables, Temple teaching, back to Bethany [Mark 11]

Monday (death-2days): Nissan 12: The fig tree has withered! Jesus authority, teach in temple, goes to Mt Olives, back to Bethany, anointed [Mark 11]

Tuesday (death-1days): Nissan 13: The Preparation for the Passover [Mark 14:12]

Wednesday (death-day): Nissan 14: Dies on the cross 

TuesdaypreparationJesusDeath.jpg

Let’s look at the timeline of the Tuesday preparations




Notice that the Passover was on Jewish Wednesday but Roman Tuesday!

TruthTimingJesusDeath.jpg
We know the trial with Pilate was early in the morning, so this was Wednesday morning. Jesus died in the afternoon, Wednesday afternoon. The Thursday was the “Special Sabbath”, then there was the Friday, then the “normal” Sabbath, and Jesus rose on the Sunday.

THREE days and THREE nights!

Exactly what Jesus and the prophecies said!

This of course does not please traditionalists and religious people. But jesus was not one for traditionalists and religious people so I cannot be concerned with anything but the truth.

There we have it! Our faith is based on solid facts!

Have a great day!
Wed, April 4, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Expensive gifts, a waste of money?
   
jAr_perfume.jpg

Gift giving is part of the human way of life!

Have you ever asked yourself why?

What other creature gives each other gifts of the variety and extent that we do?

Gifts seem to not only to please the giver who loses something to provide the gift, but they please the person getting them as well!

The greatest gifts are those that are given with something intangible, that is, they are given with “love”.

When a person who loves us gives us a gift, the value of the gift is exponentially more than the value of the gift itself. Then, if the person has little and gives us a great gift, the way they have put themselves out of comfort, to give us the same, penetrates to the core of our being. We are blessed and blessed again! Love conquerors all and enables us to reach above ourselves to heights unimagined.

Gift giving is therefore at the very core of our human nature, and yet it is more than that as well, it is a gift from God himself that reflects itself in the human soul and ripples forward through the mists of time, giving others the opportunity to have a little of what God has given us.

It may not always be the real reason we do the activity, but it is the underlying reason. In every circumstance we come into, we are reflecting that wonderful love of our saviour into the hearts and minds of those around us.

Isn’t that what happened on that Tuesday, so many years ago when Mary, a common and despised woman of the town, a prostitute, comes into the house of important people where Jesus was eating? She takes her prized possession, a special perfume that could have brought many men to her, helping her gather income to herself and instead, in an act of selfless love, breaks open this special jar and pours the perfume onto Jesus’ head?

The bible says;

Some of the people there became angry. They said to one another, "Why waste this perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's pay. The money could have been given to poor people." So they found fault with the woman.[1]

Have you noticed that sometimes when someone gets an expensive gift, those who would have liked it get annoyed? Selfishness seems to grow in the face of great selflessness doesn’t it? Greed entwines the hearts of callous men and women just as love embraces the recipient of the gift. Sad isn’t it?

What does Jesus do or say?

"Leave her alone," Jesus said. "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. You will always have poor people with you. You can help them any time you want to. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body to prepare me to be buried. What I'm about to tell you is true. What she has done will be told anywhere the good news is preached all over the world. It will be told in memory of her."

He accepts the gift of love graciously. A lesson for those of us who get gifts! Let’s remember the giver is handing out something precious in love. Accepting it graciously is important!

Jesus knew what was going to be happening to him and somehow in some supernatural way, this woman who had been so beat up by life, knew this as well!

She honored him and also helped him. Did the wafting stimulating accents and tones of that perfume ease his pain as he hung on that cross? Was there still the cloying traces of that fine perfume to accompany him as he hung there in the great pain of his life?

Was her gift in some ways, the only one that could stay with him to the end?

Strip naked, made a public spectacle, tortured until his blood ran, was that faint trace of love perhaps the only thing that stayed with him? Even as tothers rejected him?

Gifts have great value if given under the direction of Holy Spirit!

Who else could have prompted this woman to do this?

Our choice is to listen to Holy Spirit today and to try and allow Gods power to flow into the future of others, making great changes in their lives.

Not everyone sees the value of what we do!

Some even go further and use it against us, and the recipient. See how Judas reacts;

Judas Iscariot was one of the Twelve. He went to the chief priests to hand Jesus over to them. They were delighted to hear that he would do this. They promised to give Judas money. So he watched for the right time to hand Jesus over to them.

Here Jesus is experiencing the people who invited him into their home, conspiring with one of his apostles to have him killed! They are being two-faced, while the common woman was quietly lavishing her love on Jesus, and exposing herself to town ridicule.

Who really gained from this encounter?

I think we all did, if we consider it and learn from it! We need to give of ourselves honestly, openly and in love, if we are to truly make a difference in this world. No matter what people say or do, God is the ultimate Judge and our ultimate guide in this life. We cannot fail to gain greatly by being simple, and submitting to our loving God’s guiding.

Have a great loving day today!



[1] Mark 14 NIRV
Tue, April 3, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, April 2, 2012

Palm Sunday and the next day (what is Palm Sunday?)
    
CrowdWavingPalms.jpg

In Christian circles the words “Palm Sunday” are flipped around as if the whole world knows it’s meaning.

They don’t folk!

 
Palms to many people, make them think of Hawaii, the ocean, beach fronts, hot sun, margarita’s, and cacophonic sounds in the distance of music, drums and people telling tall tales.

Palm Sunday was anything but this!

It was a close to a ticker tape parade as the ancient Middle East got.

Remember those scenes when those first astronauts got back from the moon and drove through the streets in Cadillac’s as the crowds strained in to see them. The crowds threw colored tape streamers from the high buildings and cheered. Remember when Kennedy road through the streets of Dallas before he got shot, people strained for a glimpse of the hero!

For Jesus, is was riding on a donkey!

The people threw palm leaves down on the road in front of him, to make a palm road, (The ancient version of the red carpet). They waved palm branches and shouted and cheered.

The bible mentions this in many places (Mark 11:1–11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19).

As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two of his disciples. 2 He said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you. Just as you enter it, you will find a donkey's colt tied there. No one has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it here. 3 Someone may ask you, 'Why are you doing this?' If so, say, 'The Lord needs it. But he will send it back here soon.' "

 4 So they left. They found a colt out in the street. It was tied at a doorway. They untied it. 5 Some people standing there asked, "What are you doing? Why are you untying that colt?" 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to. So the people let them go.

 7 They brought the colt to Jesus. They threw their coats over it. Then he sat on it.

 8 Many people spread their coats on the road. Others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those in front and those in back shouted, 

   "Hosanna!" 

   "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" —(Psalm 118:25,26) 

 10 "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" 

   "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple[1]


Now it is interesting that people would immediately have thought of the prophecy from many years before. . .

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
   Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you, 
   righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey, 
   on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
[2]

 Sunday is the first day of the week, interesting to us, because it is still that way although many of us think it is Monday. The Sabbath is generally Saturday, so for the Jewish people and many today, Sunday is the first day of work.

Jesus is acknowledged by the crowds as a future king!

The crowds are in Jerusalem, they are coming in for the Passover, and this demonstration of alignment with Jesus must have caused the authorities great concern.

While Jesus did nothing to work the crowd up, it did nothing to reduce this fear in both the Jewish Sanhedrin, and the Roman occupying forces. Numbers swelled as the Jewish nation came into the capital for their celebrations. When crowds are around, and the alcohol starts to flow, problems of unruly people start (today and in the past, people are similar!)

If the Romans experienced problems, the Jewish council would be in for trouble, and the Roman forces would descend and there would be pain in the land.

It was better to keep this guy, Jesus, out of the public eye.

So yesterday, Palm Sunday, would have been representative of the day that the threat of Jesus’ popularity was reaching a critical level in the minds of the current rulers. Yet Jesus never worked up the crowd against them! This made it difficult to do anything against him.

People loved this guy, and he was even heard to say to give the Romans their taxes and the temple priests theirs. He actually supported the governing authorities.

A tough situation for those that wanted him out the way!

So that’s Palm Sunday!

What else did he do that day?

Well, Matthew explains how he goes into the temple and chases the money making crowd who were not honestly worshipping God out of the area. He makes a whip to do this. Not really something, the authorities liked either! This impacted their money making schemes!

Jesus is getting popular with the crowds, and unpopular with the authorities.

We read that as it got late in the day Then Jesus left the people and went out of the city to Bethany. He spent the night there.[3]

The next day he goes into Jerusalem again, but in a less showy way.

Here he explains to the people the concept of the Kingdom of God. He does miracles for example showing a fig tree shrivelling up immediately on his command.

People knew the tree to be symbolic of Israel and must have wondered about this.

Then the important people of the time come to investigate him.

The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' stories. They knew he was talking about them. 46 So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The people believed that Jesus was a prophet.[4]

The authorities had a problem, but the crowds had a prophet!

Today as we look into these things, we realize that popularity and persecution can easily come together. As more people focus on something someone does, so do the critic’s.

Just last week, I was smiling at the criticism this blog gets on the internet. People will always disagree, and those who disagree start to fear, and fear grows into action, finally.

God on the other hand does not want fear in our lives! He wants love to drive us despite the reactions around us. He wants us to accept popularity and distain with the same attitude, that of ignoring it!

Instead, God wants us to focus on doing the work he gives us to do despite the circumstances (good or bad) and we are to be the enactors of God’s love to those around us in as many ways as we can in the course of our day.

That was what Jesus was doing in the week before his death. Living for God!

That’s what he wants us to do as well!

Will we?



[1] Mark 11:1–11 NIRV
[2] Zecheriah 9:9 NIRV
[3] Matthew 21:17
[4] Matthew 21:45
Mon, April 2, 2012 | link          Comments


Archive Newer | Older

If you want to see a short blog describing a perspective on what I believe click here

 RiftInEvil.gif

Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse.

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com

Credit cards are acceptable on sites having Ken's books:

Images of credit cards

:)


Click on XML

Click here => Link to web log's RSS file

to be told of new blogs

 Ken's book covers are displayed below. . . 
Kiara_Book_eCover_Thumbnail.jpg

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?

 

 
  

To purchase Kiara's Pursuer ebook  @ $1.99

            kindle version click here,

To contact the author contact Author@KenXBriggs.com

 
  
  

 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
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
wwwFREEillustratedBIBLEcom.jpg
Frugal Eating Advice
frugal_eating.jpg
Good advice for students living on limited $'s. Click on the image!

By joining our mailing list, you will be the first to know about:

  • New book information
  • Promotions and discounts
  • How to get signed copies from the author
You can contact me at author@KenXBriggs.com with your name and email address .
ALSO 
To join my RSS feed and get the blog in your internet explorer,
simply click the XML button below the blogs!
Then you will get updated whenever a new blog occurs!


Choose a Bible Book or Range
Type your text here
Ignore Case
Highlight Results

webassets/KenXBriggs.gif