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Friday, April 20, 2012

Uncertainty, or the gift of love?
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 There is gold. There are plenty of rubies.
 
      But lips that speak knowledge are a priceless jewel.[1] ~Psalm 20:15

 
Would you rather have gold, rubies, money and be hated?

Or, would you have less worldly wealth, but be loved?

We are not fond of being isolated from others in any way are we? We want to have others accept us for who we are, and yet, it is so difficult to be on good terms with everyone all the time isn’t it?

Somehow, to touch people lives deeply and have them appreciate ours is valuable!

When we can do that, we observe we have deep skills and knowledge of life! Depth of understanding seems to have more value than money doesn’t it? 

 
This morning I was reading the news about how “Mark Carney, the governor of Canada’s central bank, has been informally approached as a potential candidate to replace Sir Mervyn King as head of the Bank of England in June next year.”[2]

Here a Mark Carney who is Canadian is requested to head up a British bank, simply because his value is in his knowledge and the speed with which he seems to acquire that knowledge before he applies it effectively in his specific field of expertise.

He is young for the position, only 47years old! This is a wonderful opportunity and privilege, independent of whether he accepts or rejects this offer. It says that others appreciate and want him to help them out. Isn't that nice?

Lets think about ourselves for a second. . .

Do others know us for helping them out?
Do we focus on the wealth that comes from applying our God given abilities into doing the best for our world and those in it?

Isn't that all God wants us to do each day? To live at his direction to enable and help others?

The bible says “The Lord directs a man's steps.  So how can anyone understand his own way?”
[3]

How can we know where our lives will go? We stress and strain so much to know this actually God knows it all along and wants us to connect with Him so he can lead the way!

Their is wonderful comfort we can gain is from knowing God protects and looks after us. As we focus on learning God’s ways we get more and more wise! That knowledge that we gain is of lifelong value exceeding the short term knowledge we gain by our public schooling.

When we learn to look for God first somehow the other things in life fall into place. We understand our bibles message when in it Jesus says. . .

"Don't spend time thinking about what you will eat or drink. Don't worry about it. People who are ungodly run after all of those things. Your Father knows that you need them.

 "But put God's kingdom first. Then those other things will also be given to you.

This is a simple rule bringing knowledge and a wealth of love and understanding.

Sometimes it brings us the physical wealth, like the gold and rubies as well. Often there is less of that but in all situations the love of God and the love of the community of Christians comfort us and gives us knowledge that our lives are not in vain. We always have a deep purpose and we draw strength from Gods leading, directing us towards that purpose. Plugged in God’s power source we can do a lot! Amazingly our lives get stuffed full of purpose, action, activity and joy!

All we need to do is be wise and be careful of chasing money instead of God. What good is money in the hands of a foolish person? He doesn't want to become wise.”[4] says the bible.

Then as we become wiser, we need to be careful and remember “When a wise man takes wealth by force, he becomes foolish. It is sinful to take money from people who want special favors.

Honest living is our target today. Treat all others as God would! Let's be honest and led by Holy Spirit in all we do!

Let’s go out today, push aside our uncertainties and conquer those rewarding challenges, knowing we are loved by God and his people!

Fri, April 20, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Deadline anxiety, ever get it, what do we do?

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"A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large."
-unknown
 
  
Ever get given a deadline and have no real way of knowing how to get the stuff done on time? It’s easy to get anxious isn’t it?

The ways we chose to cope with this are varied, and many are dysfunctional aren’t they?

A lot of people I know, simple reduce on the quality of the work output and dump a load of rubbish out there as the final product. This devalues them as people, angers the recipients, and generally reduces their ability to move ahead in life.

Then we get the procrastinators who do nothing and then try to rush it in at the last moment. The argument is that they “work better under pressure”. Nonsense! That’s a weak excuse for inability to plan, decide and do.

One used by many younger people with school assignments (not university however) is to hand it in late without negotiating a new delivery time.

 At school they get away with this but a friend of mine explained how at university his daughter, who had got used to this, was called up by the university and advised to drop out the program for the year ,or she would never get back in. So her handing in items late, resulted in her losing a year of life after university, and having to pay big amounts of money for another year of tuition. When she went back, she did very well, but handed in everything as requested. I guess handing in things late, is not an option either!

So what do we do?

I was thinking of Jesus and his date with death!

He knew before his death, it was coming. He knew his Father expected him to save humanity. He knew he had a small bunch of guys and girls to get up to speed before he was killed. He knew they didn’t get it yet! There was a time pressure with a nasty ending. Talk about a deadline!

Yet we don’t see him “blowing off steam” and hurting others because he was under pressure. We don’t even see him focussing only on those he had to get up to speed. We see him carefully addressing the right priority of each moment! Each person or occasion he enters into, he addresses adequately, accurately and with as minimal wasted effort as possible. We see him prioritizing what is said and when! We see him thinking carefully under pressure and looking for the very best way of communicating, rather than providing a torrent of words and letting us sort them out.

We can learn from this!

Think! Evaluate priorities! Communicate succinctly, where necessary! Look for the underlying need and address this, rather than the superficial aspects.

Next, let’s consider him when the time crunch gets real bad! That is hours before he is arrested, in the garden of Gethsemane.

He looks to friends for help! Do we look to friends to help us in need? What do we do, if they fail us in our hour of need?

Jesus forgave them and chided them mildly, for missing an opportunity to serve.

How would we react?

Next, let us pray like Jesus did! The Father in heaven sees all things, and we can get super advice if we listen to God in times of need. We can also relieve our pressure, by handing our concerns to God. The reduction in the anxiety will enable us to think more clearly, and take the right actions.

Then, we need to face the situation and do what we must do focusing of the underlying goals and not perhaps the immediate situational goals. That way we answer the overall question correctly, and achieve what needs to be done.

Jesus had the Father and Holy Spirit. We have Jesus, the Father and Holy Spirit to help us! What a team! Let’s face our decisions today with confidence and knowledge God helps! The work isn’t always easy, Jesus knows that, but doing it the right way is a fantastically rewarding experience!

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dealing with the moods of life!
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“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson


Life without moods is colourless! However it does seem more easily evaluated dispassionately and some would say more logically.

Perhaps, but who would want to live in such an emotional vacuum?

Joy is paramount to quality of life and even sadness colors our existence, sometimes paying homage to a past joy.

We are all subject to emotions, and yet some of us seem to be afflicted with excesses of emotions that disturb us and cause us to wonder how we are to deal with them to be “normal”.

The “normal” person is much overrated and everyone should understand this fact.

We are all individuals, and so this non-existent “normal” person that is a conceptual amalgamation of all others is hardly something to strive for. The “normal” person is a construction and does not actually exist, although there are many similar to this imaginary person!
 
Does the bible not say …for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,…[1]

and does this not mean that the “normal” person is actually one who fails to reflect God’s glory, a state we should all aspire to?

Then we need to understand that as we get closer to that end of time termed “the last days”, evil increases. That friend of Jesus, Peter explains this as. . .

In the last days people will make fun of the truth. They will laugh at it. They will follow their own evil longings.”[2]

This means the “normal” person will make fun of truth, laughing at it. Is that the right behaviour?

The “normal” person will chase evil longings. Is that the right behaviour?

It sounds like being “normal” is rather overrated, right?

What I am trying to establish is that moods are not necessarily bad.

It’s how we deal with moods that counts!

 How does the bible suggest we go about this?

It says . . .Are any of you in trouble? Then you should pray. Are any of you happy? Then sing songs of praise. [3]

Notice that the advice is to connect with God no matter what the mood. Faith is the great uplifter, independent of the mood in which we find ourselves. Holding faith firmly is the way to gain strength and increase our universal value. In this way we can add influence to improving the “normal” person, and connecting ourselves with God at the same time.

I like what C.S.Lewis says . . .      “Faith... is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.”[4]

Moods color our lives, but should not drive them!

Let’s remember that as we live our lives today!


[1] Romans 3:23
[2] 2 Peter 3:3 NIRV
[3] James 5:13 NIRV
[4] C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity
Wed, April 18, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two types of Wisdom!
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 Intelligence is not wisdom! I explained that in a blog a while back (see If wisdom isn’t equated with intelligence, how do I get it?) Not everyone looks for wisdom, but for those that desired it, I suggested a way to obtain it in that blog.

Today, I want to look at two different types of wisdom as explained by that ancient brother of Jesus Christ, James, and I want to ask the question of how wise we are?

How do we measure if we have got wisdom?

James starts off saying. . .

“Are any of you wise and understanding? You should show it by living a good life. Wise people aren't proud when they do good works.”[1]

Notice the practical test! Do we live good lives? Are we proud when we do something good?

What is a good life? One where we party every day, having weird sex, drink gallons of alcohol and do drugs without being caught? If that is what we think is a good life, then we have not read much of the bible.

In the bible a good life is one where we go to God for safety, where we are honest and put our trust in God. A good life is one where we live in a simple Godly approved way! A good life is one where it is more important to be in God’s presence, that do the wrong things.

A good life is where each moment of each day, we are taking in the joy of life around us and appreciating God’s provision rather than complaining and looking for fault. That’s the good life!

Do we live it?

Secondly, how proud are we when we do something good?

 This is a deeper question and goes to what we get out of doing the right thing.

Are we simply glad to be given the opportunity to do the right thing, or are we trying to show others how good we are, instead of how gracious God is? James suggests we should be thanking God, when we do the good thing, not ourselves!

Then he says. . .

“But suppose your hearts are jealous and bitter. Suppose you are concerned only about getting ahead. Don't brag about it. Don't say no to the truth. Wisdom like that doesn't come down from heaven. It belongs to the earth. It doesn't come from the Holy Spirit. It comes from the devil.”

Getting to the top of the organization, my career, my social network! If this is our objective, we should never brag about it! That is not wisdom!

Don’t stomp on the truth to get to the top! That’s not wisdom either. I always think a good measure of how much a person is like that, is evident in how they drive. Do they cut in front of people because they are in a hurry. Do they speed? Do they chase their car up behind the other so fast, and then sit there so aggressively, that the other moves out the way.

The chances are that if we behave like that in traffic, we behave like that in life as well. The same underlying cause is a motivator. That need to get there ahead of the next person, to endanger others lives and disadvantage them to push our own agenda.

Is that what we do? James says if you are like that, don’t brag about it. You are not living a good life!

That is the first type of wisdom, the type that drives capitalistic greed to extreme levels. The type that will not end up well for the owner of that wisdom, or for those around them.

How much of that “worldly” wisdom do we see around us? How much of the worldly wisdom have we bought into and believe in? How much do we still take part in it without believing it?

Then James continues focusing the attention to how this wisdom takes us down. . .

“Are you jealous? Are you concerned only about getting ahead? Then your life will be a mess. You will be doing all kinds of evil things.”

The end of the matter in this direction of following worldly wisdom is our lives become a mess! No matter how much or how little money we have, what our influence or lack of it, what our social standing or lack of it, if we direct our lives according to this wisdom, we are messed up, damaged and probably mildly insane! Evil is the final result of this behaviour!



There is another better form of wisdom however, James says. . .

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is pure. That's the most important thing about it.”

 Untainted! Kept perfect! Never damaged by its surroundings! This wisdom is deep, clear and wonderful! It comes directly from heaven, from God.

How do we get it? By opening our lives to God, to the quiet voice of Holy Spirit speaking into our lives and by letting go of worldly wisdom and fear in favour of God’s leading of our lives. It’s in living pure lives open to God every moment of every day, basking in the warmth of his love and guiding our minds to follow the course he has set for us in that moment. It is not worrying about the future, but living in the present fully, allowing God to take care of our future. Pure wisdom!

Then James qualifies it by saying. . .

And that's not all. It also loves peace. It thinks about others. It obeys. It is full of mercy and good fruit. It is fair. It doesn't pretend to be what it is not.

True wisdom seeks to establish peace and is considerate. We think of how others are experiencing God, and ask God what we can do to make it better. When God advises, we obey.

When others screw up and do the wrong things, we are merciful not vindictive. We want the best for others, even when they don’t seem to want it for themselves! Our lives are full with trying to make a positive difference in this world. We do our best to be fair, and perhaps this is the area that generates the most strain in our lives, that desire to do the right thing and make the right decisions, for others and our communities.

We never pretend to be what aren’t! We live the good life!

That is the second wisdom! That’s the one we should aim for. Today, that’s the direction in which our lives should go ,if they are to improve.

So let’s go and be wise today!


[1] James 3 NIRV
Tue, April 17, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blessed be your name!
  
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Names, identifiers of persons!

The strange thing about a name is that is more than a label.


From the first moment of life, the first breath that enters our body, our name starts to gather with it, meaning of who we are, our nature, our identification characteristics.

 A baby without a name, is a potential of a name, that holds in waiting all those special aspects that make up that little personality, with all its potential and the love of those around it (generally).

Then, as we grow, screaming, shrieking, laughing and crying into the world, the name represents all that we are.

It is a repository of our “self” as perceived by others.

A name is of no real important for a person who has no contact with others. Our names are the substance of our communication. Consider, a hermit, a trapper, or one who lives in the great silence of nature without contact with others. To them, the name is of little worth, it is in the using of it, the accumulating meaning that it gathers worth.

Entering witness protection and taking a new name, simple drops all known behaviours and contacts, and rewrites a new book for the person involved.

Yet even then a name is given, isn’t it?

We have to have the container for the behaviour and personality!

God knows that no matter what people do with our name, no matter how much people abuse it, they are not actually changing us as a person. 

God knows us without our name, he is the one who, while he knows our name, also knows us personalliy without it. He loves us suprememly without that container of our personality, because he knows the real us. The us, without a name.

That is why he advises us. . .

Blessed are you when people hate you,
      when they have nothing to do with you
      and say bad things about you,
      and when they treat your name as something evil. [1]

People can treat our name whatever way they want!

We are lovers of God, the ultimate God of the universe. We have meaning above all names given to us. All this is independent of our name!

Luke who wrote these words in Luke 6:22 also says  “They do all this because you are followers of the Son of Man.”

He precedes this with a comforting note; “Blessed are you who are sad now. You will laugh”.

Joy comes from knowing we are truly understood by God! Today as we wend our way through the many activities of our day, as we bump into people who call out our name, understand that on each encounter there is one who knows us better and loves us despite knowing us.

God the Father, who sent Jesus his son to save us from a horrible eternity worse that death, who gives us the joy of true life, who sent Holy Spirit to live with, and within us, so that we can experience his love in our daily tasks knows us withouit our name.

He is the one who is, was, will be and ever will be.

Praise HIS name!


[1] Luke 6:22 NIRV
Mon, April 16, 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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