Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, May 4, 2012
The unrepentant wolf cub and the rabbit warren!
Here is the story. . .
Fri, May 4, 2012 | link
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.
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!”
was. . .
“Share our time
in the shadow and in the sun,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.
Small periods in both, to ensure the fun!”
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",
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
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.
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.
build our relationship with God today and help keep our way safe!That seems to be the best way to go doesn’t it?
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Controlling my tongue is so HARD, isnít it?
Thu, May 3, 2012 | link
“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
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.
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
and see good days?
Then keep your tongues from
Keep your lips from telling lies.
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.
ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord doesn't look with favor on those who do evil." —(Psalm
Keep our tongues
from speaking evil!
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 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.
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?
is it to say the wrong thing while having tender thoughts towards another?
arguments are centered on our pride, how many should be?
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?
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Why do Muslims kill Christians?
Wed, May 2, 2012 | link
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.”
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.”...
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
and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12
“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.”
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
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
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
is the living Stone. People did not accept him. But God chose him. God places the highest value on him.The stone is very valuable to you who believe. But to people who do not believe,
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
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
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!
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The weirdness of true knowledge and how to guide it
Tue, May 1, 2012 | link
image 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. . .
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?
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.
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.
How can we know this? How can we guide ourselves into getting knowledge
in a safe manner?
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.
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?
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.
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!
Monday, April 30, 2012
Top down vs. Bottom up leadership
Mon, April 30, 2012 | link
“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)
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
What is a bottom-up
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.
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 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!
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?
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
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!
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!
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. .
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!
go try it today!
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The town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman
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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?
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May you be blessed today!