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Friday, May 4, 2012

The unrepentant wolf cub and the rabbit warren!
   
HareInGlade.jpg
 Here is the story. . .
 
 Once upon a time, a she-wolf inherited all the wolf cubs of the pack on a warm summer day.

It was her job to mold them into their wolf team and develop their hunting skills.

She took them out into through the shadows of the dark forest to the edge of a sunny glade that sported a grassy and heather covered hill with a rabbit warren containing hundreds of rabbits.

Before she set them free to practice their hunting skills she gave two pieces of advice. The first was;

“One eye to the heather, another to the sky,
keeps us together, and we may not die!”

The next was. . .

“Share our time in the shadow and in the sun,
Small periods in both, to ensure the fun!”

Then she set them out to learn the skills. Initially they worked as a team and soon each day they were bringing back a rabbit for their meal.

One slightly stronger more self confident wolf cub, Dirk, soon considered he was more skilled than the rest and started to distance himself from them slightly. The She-wolf encouraged him to join in with the rest, but he told himself he was different and that the She-wolf didn’t understand or allow for this inherent difference that gave him his advantage.

He slipped away and soon started hunting for himself on the other side of the glade. Not only this, but he was successful and brought back his own rabbit to show it.

He was dismayed when the She-Wolf was not impressed. In a somber mood she repeated her two pieces of advice asking him to stay with the pack and be one of them. "We need to help each other", she insisted.

He ignored this, and took to hunting by himself. Little by little he found he could not focus as well with one eye on the sky. The short times spent between both forest and sunny worlds was insufficient to really hunt well, he thought. Despite the She-Wolfs advice and that of the others, Dirk wanted to focus on the hunt on the hill. So, deliberately, he took his eye off the sky each day until he had caught his rabbit, and then he went into the shadow of the forest with his prize.

For a few days this appeared to work. Then, when hunting in the sun, the little cub heard a swoosh from above, a huge shadow descended and the last thing the other wolf cubs saw from the shadow of the forest, was Dirk in the claws of an eagle, being carried off as food for her eaglets.

The she-wolf was very sad, but explained that those two pieces of advice were important. Failure to follow them had proved to be a problem in the past. Everyone has free choice, but sometimes it pays to listen to good advice!

 Christians have to live in the activities of life, the same as everyone else, but we are also to gather together with other Christians and spend time in solid healthy Christian environments.

The bible says;
"Those who use the things of the world should not become all wrapped up in them. The world as it now exists is passing away.
" - 1 Corinthians 7:31

When we are in the “world” we are to not be “of the world” and should keep a careful eye on both “worlds” to ensure we keep balance in our lives.

We must never spend so much effort in life activities that we are not able to continually refresh ourselves in Christian environments and in spiritual practices.

Also, God has put us together to work together, not away from the others. It is easy to fail when we allow ourselves to be taken away from other Christians. Soon, we start to develop our own thinking and have no recourse to advice and guidance of others. Sometimes the others are listening to God better than we do, and their example or advice can help us stay safe.

Selfishly alone, we can even start ignoring God. If that happens, we may at first think we are succeeding, but finally Satan will take us down.

God loves us and gives us good advice!

It is all written in the bible so everyone can get access to it. More important than the words, is our relationship with a loving but just God.

Let’s build our relationship with God today and help keep our way safe!

That seems to be the best way to go doesn’t it?
 
Fri, May 4, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Controlling my tongue is so HARD, isnít it?
lickTheBlade.jpg        
“The tongue like a sharp knife... Kills without drawing blood.” ~ Buddha

 

 The words come! Then the realization follows! Shocked at the words, we react!

Without thought, the torrent of our own words flow back, cutting and slicing at the object of our anger, that person who has shocked, hurt or dismayed us!

That never happens to us does it?

We never let our words erupt like a Plinian volcanic eruption do we?

(Plinian eruptions are large, violent, and highly dangerous explosive volcanic events)

Afterwards, it is again so easy to run the “I said” “they said” scenarios around in our head, trying to make sense out of our nonsense. Then we often fall into rationalization to excuse our own bad behaviour. There is no doubt “they” behaved badly, but we, often rationalize “we were justified” in mimicking the poor behaviour.

Those rare times when we see a person verbally attacked, not only accept the attack, but defuse it with love and care for the attacker, are rare treats.

How our estimation of the person that was attacked goes up! Respect flows from us to them! We don’t see them as the victim, but rather the victor.

Perhaps that’s why James and Peter, those guys who walked around with Jesus said we should watch our tongues.

Here is what Peter said;

 "Do you want to love life
      and see good days? 
   Then keep your tongues from speaking evil. 
      Keep your lips from telling lies. 
 11 Turn away from evil, and do good. 
      Look for peace, and go after it. 
 12 The Lord's eyes look with favor on those who are godly. 
      His ears are open to their prayers.
   But the Lord doesn't look with favor on those who do evil." —(Psalm 34:12-16)
[1]

Keep our tongues from speaking evil!

Easier said than done! Control over a tongue is control over our life. Control one, and the other follows. The tongue is the door through which people watch how we live within. The only true way to control the tongue is to live correctly within.

That’s why Peter precedes these words with. . .

Finally, I want all of you to live together in peace. Be understanding. Love one another like members of the same family. Be kind and tender. Don't be proud. 9 Don't pay back evil with evil. Don't pay back unkind words with unkind words. Instead, pay them back with kind words. That's what you have been chosen to do. You can receive a blessing by doing it.

Love one another. . .be kind and tender…no pride…forgiveness.

Key aspects to controlling our tongue!

  • How many times do we say something because we are not loving enough?

  • How many times do we say something because we are not being kind?

  • How difficult is it to say the wrong thing while having tender thoughts towards another?

  • How many arguments are centered on our pride, how many should be?

Our lives can be easily impacted for the better by allowing the evil to flow past, to be taken away by Jesus pain on that cross, and instead to flow back to the person, the love of God that can overcome our inadequacies in this process.

We can make up for our inadequacies by letting God’s love fill the gap where our love ends.

Then, our tongues will be messengers of hope, love and joy, instead of cruel and hard. People will have respect for our words and love us more. We will gain and those around us will as well!

In this way we all make a better world for everyone. Isn’t that a great objective for today?


[1] 1 Peter 3:10-12 NIRV
Thu, May 3, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why do Muslims kill Christians?
Speaker.jpg
 
  
I don’t know too much about the Koran or the Muslim faith, but today I read again of another incident that said;

“A pastor and at least 20 worshippers were killed when gunmen suspected to be Islamist militants opened fire in two separate incidents targeting worship services in northern Nigeria Sunday.”[1]

I went to look for the reason why they do this! Searching for advice, I found that there are many nasty quotes from the Koran such as ;

“Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191

“Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.” Koran 9:123

“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5

“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85

“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”... Koran 9:30

“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33

“Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19

“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65

“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28

“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12

“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60

These seem to me to be quotes that are not aimed at bringing any form of love or comfort to others, but rather hate and violence.

What do you think?

I didn’t check every one out but checked a few random ones and I found that in some western writings they get watered down, but the meaning is still there.

 It is so easy to hate isn’t it?


We read things of this nature and immediately they stir in us a mild form of aggression if we let it happen. It is not that we, as Christians, cannot fight since I think many wars and situations show the opposite. In fact, in the past the Christians were as bad or worse in this religious fervour to kill unbelievers. Yet, somehow, God’s love has settled into us. We know fear needs to be replaced by respect and love.

As Christians we have a different approach to outsiders, don’t we? God does not promote this hatred, but instead we are told that Jesus asks us to be perfect in love, and explains what that means;

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor.—(Leviticus 19:18) Hate your enemy.' But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Then you will be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

   "He causes his sun to shine on evil people and good people. He sends rain on those who do right and those who don't.

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Even the tax collectors do that. If you greet only your own people, what more are you doing than others? Even people who are ungodly do that. So be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 
Which is easier, to hate or love?

Which is more powerful, to hate or love?

Which has more life changing capability, to hate or to love?

Hate can kill a person, and loose a family? Love can change a person and then change a nation.

Perhaps that is exactly why so many Muslims are in tension and aggressively persecuting Christians and Jews. Maybe they have fear!

Fear that love is actually the true answer! That Jesus is actually right! Maybe they desire to be loved deeply and unconditionally.

Jesus does that!


So to avoid this fear, perhaps they try and eradicate love. They kill and maim to try and engender hate and fear.

We as Christians may have many faults! In fact, we have very many faults!


Yet, one fault we don’t have is that of thinking that we can change others attitudes, with fear.

We know God’s love and that it is the power of the universe. Smashing against that love will be nothing less than hitting ones foot against a stone.

Christ is the living Stone. People did not accept him. But God chose him. God places the highest value on him.[2]

The stone is very valuable to you who believe. But to people who do not believe, 

   "The stone the builders did not accept 

      has become the most important stone of all." —(Psalm 118:22)  And, 

   "It is a stone that causes people to trip. 

      It is a rock that makes them fall." —(Isaiah 8:14)

I understand Muslims accept the Old Testament of the bible in some way as well.

These verses suggest that going against Jesus with hate and fear will cause those doing this to fail!

Again, I don’t know a lot, but I know this, I have met fine Muslim people that I love and I will continue to love with God’s love. It doesn’t not matter if some obey these distorted writings saying kill others! We know these are wrong! The world knows these are wrong! Even the western Muslims make apology for these parts of the writings.

Instead, we as Christians will continue to love with the love of God because that is the truth!

God loves each man, women and child enough to die for them. We can only try and be similarly perfect in love.

Let’s do that today! Have a wonderful blessed day!


[1] http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-20-worshippers-killed-in-nigeria-church-attacks-74071/
[2] 1 Peter 2 NIRV
Wed, May 2, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The weirdness of true knowledge and how to guide it

optical_illusion1.jpgimage from cognitive philosophy

   “Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious...” ~ Michael Stipe

 Obviously! Consider knowledge and familiarity for example. At first glance, these seem completely different concepts, but consider it for a second. . .

Is familiarity with specific facts and situations not a big part of knowledge?

Can we have knowledge without being familiar with the things we want to know?

Generally not!

To get knowledge means we have to have at least have some familiarity with the area in which the knowledge is to be gained, or will have to get it.

Traction requires grit, knowledge requires familiarity!

Then as we need to understand, we need to start to investigate in order to find out more about what we want to know.

This is actually the second step in the process that is incorrectly taken first! Wise people start a step back at step one instead of skipping to this second step.

Wise people ask themselves whether the investigation for the specific component of knowledge is even worthwhile. They ask themselves what it could deliver if gained.

Have you ever watched a movie and known it was about to come up with a horrible, gross, disgusting scene that would haunt you for a long time. Did you watch the scene? Why? Has that knowledge been beneficial to you or not?

Sometimes it can be, but more often those images embed and lock in. With young people they become the stuff of nightmares and fears. Is it worth exposing ourselves to this?

Pornography is another intrusive area of knowledge many of us would do better to avoid. True wisdom is knowing which knowledge is good for us, and which isn’t.

 Isn’t it?

How can we know this? How can we guide ourselves into getting knowledge in a safe manner?

The bible tells us about Solomon an ancient King blessed by God with much wisdom. He wrote down quite a lot and had his people write down more. We have wise words to go to. Not only wise, but he actually writes them to teach others wisdom.

Proverbs in the bible is such a book. It is similar to much of the wisdom literature of the Middle East at the time but different in its focus. Solomon clear identifies a focus saying. . .

If you really want to gain knowledge, you must begin by having respect for the Lord. But foolish people hate wisdom and training. [1]

Notice he divides us into two groups, those looking for knowledge and wanting to become familiar with it, and the fools.

Fools are those who don’t look to become familiar with knowledge.

Then he says something interesting, “you must begin by having respect for the Lord”.

Hmmm! Not conventional thinking here!

Weird thinking right? To start gaining knowledge we need to have “respect”. How does that fit in? How does respect have any bearing on knowledge? Why would respect have any bearing on knowledge?

In fact, many would say knowledge is gained through the study of facts and respect has nothing to do with it.


If Solomon was the wisest guy that ever lived, then these people would be wrong wouldn’t they?

Respect for Jesus and God is the beginning of knowledge, he says.

Consider our abilities if we respect God and link ourselves spiritually with God. God not only created all things but knows all events, past, current and future. He can guide our fingers as we write to explain great truths, he can guide our lives as we live to live great lives. Amazingly, opening lives to Him allows us to gain incredible access to the riches of the universe in thought, mind and deed. We are not limited by our abilities by unlimited by Gods. It lifts us out of the quagmire of the humdrum of life, into the echelons of heaven on earth.

Knowledge is opened to us, rather like a rose petal unfolding. Working at gaining knowledge is not required, familiarity with knowledge and God is. Turning to the great lessons of time, we can not only understand but explain them to others pulling them into the warm glow of God’s presence.

What a gift lovingly given!

That’s the God whom I want to become more intimate with and respect. That is why Solomon explains, we must begin here since here is both, the beginning and ending, the first and the last.


Basking in this love as we gain knowledge is our pleasure. Let’s enjoy that pleasure today!



[1] Proverbs 1:7 NIRV
Tue, May 1, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, April 30, 2012

Top down vs. Bottom up leadership
   
“Leadership must be established from the top down.” ~ Sam Rayburn quotes (American Politician and Lawyer. He was responsible for passage of New Deal legislation, 1882-1961)

Hmmm!? Really? Do we agree?

What is top-down leadership?

It is that style of leadership where the top person in control, sets the goals or objectives, and convinces those directly under him or her to convince the rest of the crowd to follow what he or she says. This type of leader tends to motivate with fear or incentives, but limits feedback required from those under them and sometimes even unilaterally determines training and hiring.

What is a bottom-up leader?

Here the leader listens to the employees, who in consensus, make the decisions as to what is the best. They, not him, take the decision as to the direction and this leader then helps and facilitates those under him or her. This leader will even take their input on to whom to hire and what to train.

Well industry guru’s seem to think that bottom-up leadership generates more collaboration, but I ask what that really means, since the definition of bottom-up includes collaboration. Then we need to ask if collaboration always means success? It doesn’t if we consider those collaborations on failed high school projects.

In general, it seems that a mixture of top-down and bottom-up is required and that determining the correct mix is what brings about success. I was listening to a TED talk yesterday, with Sir Charles Branson (the virgin guy who owns over 400 companies) and Sir Charles was suggesting that to get good work out of people, they need to want to work together and enjoy doing it!

That’s the success!

That got me thinking about God’s leadership style. It’s a good mixture of top-down and bottom-up, isn’t it? In fact, it is both extremes simultaneously!

God the Father, who created the universe! (Yes I know some of us disagree, but Mr Hawkins, something from nothing is still a stretch of any imagination, even a superior one). Then Jesus was in the Earth management job before any human was walking the dust ball. God is the supreme dictator of what must occur if he chooses to be isn’t he?

The amazing thing is he doesn’t dictate that often, does he? Today many people even mock him and flaunt their created intelligence in his superior face, yet he is patience, kind and loving to them.

I would probably get annoyed and start with the “I’ll show you ….” statements. Wouldn’t you?

God doesn’t, he KNOWS he is all powerful, and doesn’t need to prove it!

That’s the key aspect! God wants to help us! He loves us!

Yet, God also is the perfect bottom-up leader! He came to us as a baby! What is more helpless than a human baby placed into the hands of human adults?

From that, he grew with us, walked with us, used the toilets like the rest of us. Then he gathered a few friends around him and explained what he knew and together they developed the plan to take it to the world, so the world might know the greatest leader of more than all time.

That was significant servant leadership!

He died for us all, that’s dedicated servant leadership!

Yet, sometimes we forget God is not only a bottom-up leader, he is top-down in his leadership approach. Yet he is benevolent, kind, and loving and listens all the time to all feedback. Quick to listen, slow to react! God even has humour, perhaps we can inject a little of that in life. Who but a God of humor would create a duck blled platypus? Yet God's overwhelming attribute is love!

Perhaps we can learn from our loving God? We need to stick to truth in love, leading from the top-down with those qualities. Yet, we should also be in with our teams, lifting the loads with them, helping them, loving them with our actions that support them in everyday tasks as well!

If we do this we will be able to do what the bible suggests. . .

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love. We will grow up into Christ in every way. He is the Head.” Ephesians 4:15 NIRV

Then we can be true leaders and provide the correct mix of leadership into our world! That’s you and I! We can do it!

Let’s go try it today!
Mon, April 30, 2012 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
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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
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
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