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Friday, May 18, 2012

Simple advice for end times. . .
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“Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tic! Toc!

Time marches on doesn’t it?

“Where does it lead us?” that is the question.

More accurately, I guess, we each we need to ask ourselves where it leads me!

For many of us the question is uncertain isn’t it? Some decide that we ignore it and party on, and all will be well. Will it? How do we know? How can we tell?

Almost every person has asked that question.

Answers are many and varied. Some are decidedly weird or stupid! Every now and then, some crazy person comes up with the idea that the end of the world is on this, or that date. It never is!

Then, sometimes people are so influential, they convince a whole crowd to kill themselves to join some space object or alien, because that way they avoid the end of the world. Personally, I think that is about a stupid as we can get. Why do these people not simply wait for the end, at least that way they know if the date is valid?

Among the Christian writings, there is a direct statement from God about the end of time that most of us will do well to understand. It says...

Heaven and earth will pass away. But my words will never pass away.

"No one knows about that day or hour. Not even the angels in heaven know. The Son does not know. Only the Father knows.[1]

I guess that means that all these false prophets are actually weirdo’s that sound convincing, but really don’t get it! Nobody other than Father God can say the earth will end on this, or that date. Not if Jesus is to be believed!

So, if we don’t know the date, what are we to do between now and then? That guy, Peter,  that Jesus left in charge says this. . .

“The end of all things is near. So keep a clear mind. Control yourselves. Then you can pray. Most of all, love one another deeply. Love erases many sins by forgiving them. Welcome others into your homes without complaining.

 God's gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God's very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ.

   Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Keep a clear mind! Don’t let people clog it with false things. We need to be wise, not foolish! We need to realise God gave us free will to use it. We need to use it, to choose the godly and right things of life and reject those stupid, ignorant and nasty things.

We need to build our relationship into God more and more, by spending time talking to God. We can chat to the God that created this universe about anything. Yes ANYTHING! He understands it all! If anyone has difficulty praying, I have written a number of blogs on that subject because those first prayers seem so weird don’t they?. Soon that passes as we see God at work in our lives.

Happenings or “God incidences” occur frequently and gloriously. We start to rest in peace, and feel God’s presence as we walk and talk with others.

God becomes so real, that reality is brought into focus and becomes crystal clear! Many things we previously didn’t understand, or worried about, become unimportant and peace fills our lives. Soon joy follows! Not that soft mushy, here one minute gone the next happiness that we manufacture, but a joy that stays with us even when we are in difficult trying circumstances. It’s unfathomable how it happens, but it just does. It is great!

Soon all we want to do is love and help others! One of the reasons I write this blog! The gift I have received is too big to try and consume, or keep to myself. Sharing it  freely, means it grows and we all benefit by it.

Let’s rejoice in actions, helping others! Let’s understand the gift of giving, is one of experiencing God on earth! Let’s love absolutely, as we are loved absolutely! Let’s know, that whenever God choses to end our time, we have had a glorious life.

I’m having one, are you?


[1] Matthew 24:35-36 NIRV
Fri, May 18, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What do we think about Christian organizations hiring marketing companies to increase awareness?
peas.jpg
Image from sovereign UK website 
 
  
“Christians get such a bad rap!”

Ever heard that said? I have! Is it true or not? Over 90% of the news of Christian work is positive, uplifting, supporting of others, loving the community. So why does the media concentrate on the 5 to 10% of negative stuff instead of the 90 to 95% of positive stuff?

I do agree, Christians in history have a done some stupid things! We still do! Yet every nation culture and religion has done stupid things. Get over it! Isn’t it the core attitude that is important? Isn’t it what is being done now that is important? What are Christians doing now? What is the bad and what is the good?

·       When people are being suppressed, starved, and hurt in foreign countries, are the Christian organizations there helping at risk to their own lives? Yes!
·         In our cities, do Christians feed the poor and clothe them? Yes!
·         Is a core Christian value to “Love God and to love others as we love ourselves”? Yes!

Then why do we as Christians get such a bad rap?

Is it perhaps because organized religion is viewed in the same way as organized crime? A way of suppressing the masses?

I think this is a perception today! What do you think?

As the world we have thrown out communism as an effective political system, yet our public still believes Carl Marx’s statement thatreligion is the opiate of the masses”,(translated from the German original, "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes")

Christianity compared to a drug that distorts reality and kills? Why?

Two reasons…

Firstly, the people believing this have never experienced Holy Spirit's loving care, or understood the gift of life Jesus provides.,

Secondly, they believe what is fed to them, or their parents, from popular media. They are too busy to investigate properly!

Perhaps we need to take Jesus direction seriously when he says "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end."[1]

Disciples are not forced to follow! They are free to live how they choose, and choose to live a certain way. The challenge with this, is they need to know what is there in orderto want to follow!

The key message of Christianity is love others, even to our enemies, Jesus love!

What is wrong with that message?

Perhaps we need to have a marketing company put this out in ways that people really understand. Maybe as we feed the homeless and help our communities, we need to have a marketing company alongside, seeing and formulating sound and video bites that encapsulate this.

Maybe at the start, people will ignore the message, but if people who sell products believe this is important to do, why is the church not putting money into this?

Let’s start telling our world why we as Christian are community embracing and assisting people!

I was pleased to see a Christian youth outreach group doing this in the UK[2]. Great idea!

What can we, as individuals, do?

We can come out from our hiding behind our embarrassment, our fear of rejection, our inability to speak truth, and simply tell what we do. Broadcast it! This is not pride, it is marketing! If we don’t do this in the 1st world, fast paced setting we will get ignored.

Of course, we need to make sure we are part of a Christian group that is actually doing something worthwhile, and not just sitting on their butts in pews on Sundays. Prayer is important, but prayer must lead to changed attitudes and action. Let's get out, do good, and then let the world know!

Let's start
 being good disciples and gathering others to help us help our world. Now, isn’t that what we should be doing today?



[1] Matthew 28:18-20 NIRV
[2] http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/714786
Thu, May 17, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Misdirected thinking, or aiming for success!
  
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Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
[1]

We all know what we think is right in our own interpretation of the facts, at least we want to think that, don’t we? We are the only species that actually spends so much time in self-reflection and thinking about thinking, aren’t we? At least we think we are :) !

The reality is, that we see evidence of people getting things wrong around us all day, every day! Then, we know we are prone to doing it ourselves as well! Sometimes we try to hide our inadequacies so that others will never know but God does!

In an ancient psalm it says. . .

People make plans in their hearts.
      But the Lord controls what they say.
Everything a man does might seem right to him.
      But the Lord knows what that man is thinking.
 Commit to the Lord everything you do.
      Then your plans will succeed.
The Lord works everything out for his own purposes.
      Even those who do wrong were made for a day of trouble.
 The Lord hates all those who have proud hearts.
      You can be sure that they will be punished.
Through love and truth sin is paid for.
      People avoid evil when they have respect for the Lord.
When the way you live pleases the Lord,
      he makes even your enemies live at peace with you.[2]

 It is right to plan, but it is even better to take those plans to God and let him have final say on the plans. If we live our lives by allowing Holy Spirit to control our minds and actions, then he controls our words as well. Our lives become immersed in his love and power.

When we are in this state, and we consider what we should do, we will generally choose the path that aligns with God’s will. In this way, our success is eternal and of value. Even apparent failures are moulded and melded to God’s purpose, and so have eternal value.


That’s what it says when it says “The Lord works everything out for his own purposes.” The plans we make will build up to enable God to be honored, and that is the highest purpose of us all, honoring God. That means much of the time our plans also succeed, because they are aligned with God’s plans.

God will even use trouble makers to bless us in some way. Then as the psalmist says “It is better to have a little and do right than to have a lot and be unfair.”  

Then there is more wisdom in the words “Pleasant words are like honey. They are sweet to the spirit and bring healing to the body.”
 It pays us to deliberately try and make our words pleasant to hear. It not only blesses others but us as well. If we are continually thinking of how to put words together in happy, supportive and uplifting ways, our minds are traveling in paths that are happy, supportive and uplifting, aren’t they? If that’s the case, we are avoiding those negative thoughts that drag us down, steal our sleep and leave us worn out.

Good words, build a good life! God words a Godly life!

 Today, let’s remember Godly thoughts become God’s words leading to Godly actions. These actions develop a Godly character and that builds us into Godly men and women, with a God directed destiny.

Isn’t that a great thought for today!


[1] http://thinkexist.com/quotations/thinking/
[2] Psalm 16 NIRV
Wed, May 16, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life is not for sissy’s!
 
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"God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight."
Reggie White


 

God built us with inherent love, courage, and compassion! Using it is however, our choice! Today I was reflecting on how some of us have it easier, and some have it tougher, as we face life’s challenges.

The reason for this reflection was that I heard of how a 27 year old marine, who had left USA military to follow on in God’s army, by serving at Christian rally’s around America, died this week a hero.

There was an air crash involving a Cessna, and five young adults. Four men and a young girl!

There are two reasons that this penetrated my mind so deeply.

Firstly the young girl was Hanna Luce, daughter of Ron Luce of Teen mania a Christian organization that has helped hundreds of thousands of young teens connect with God and live life in a deeper and more significant way.

The second, was how the young marine on board that Cessna, Austin Anderson, conducted himself. All of the young people on the aircraft were Christians on their way to the next Acquire the Fire youth rally. They were on their way to serve others and God. These young people wanted to save others from their sins, and help them become spiritual warriors for God. Then their aircraft crashed and skidded into trees, exploding after a failed takeoff. The media[1] indicates that those killed at the crash were Luke Sheets the pilot, Garret Coble and Stephen Luth. God lovers died in that crash!

Yet the most amazing guy was Austin, who rescued Hanna from the fiery wreck and got her to a nearby road, where she could get help. He did this with more than 90% of his body burned, and later succumbed to this horrible devastation of his life, and died. He was a God lover too!

Why did God lovers have to experience this pain, their families this destruction of loved ones, Austin this pain?

Why?



That is one question! Another is that the most unlikely person to survive, the girl in the crew, was the one God selected to save to live.

Why?

Of course, I cannot answer those questions, but I do have a belief that Hanna was saved for a great purpose. That Satan perhaps, wanted to ensure this purpose would never happen, and that Austin was powered by Holy Spirit to save this young lady, dragging her from the crash and back into life.

Never again, can Hanna forget that both God and Austin loved her. That she is chosen! That she needs to live life to the full, to fully encompass that choice. If Ron needed to know God’s work had a leader, he should now. I trust Hanna will respond the way Austin did, and save others. Hundreds of thousands of others! Maybe that’s why this happened?

Young people need heroes, live full blooded heroes! We need to hear of heroes who die, full of love and compassion for others. True hero’s with true stories! This is a story unlike many others. It is one of the power of God and truth!

Why did it happen?

I don’t know, but perhaps it is so that hundreds of people like myself can tell others of the young man’s courage and love of God. Not a sissy love! A powerful, pain enduring, compassionate Christian love, motivating a man to continue when he should just lie down and die!

I do pray that this true story helps those of us with lesser problems to look at our problems and know that the God who helped Austin, can help us too!

May God empower and bless us all today!


[1] http://www.inquisitr.com/236244/marine-dies-after-pulling-airplane-crash-victim-from-burning-wreckage/
Tue, May 15, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, May 14, 2012

Does God have a mother?
    
Is there a mother god?



We hear so often of “mother nature” that we almost believe there is a mother god don’t we?
Yet “mother nature” is a human construct not a Godly one!

The Christian God is eternal! Here are a few verses that say so;

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he worshiped the Lord, the God who lives forever.[1]

So God lives forever! Then. . .

Lord, from the very beginning
      you have been like a home to us.
Before you created the world and the mountains were made,
      from the beginning to the end you are God.
You turn human beings back to dust.
      You say to them, "Return to dust."
To you a thousand years
      are like a day that has just gone by.
      They are like a few hours of the night.[2]

explains that God sees time very differently from us! Somehow our time and his are vastly different.

Next, the way God defines himself seems to be timeless. Here is short piece of writing that explains this aspect. . .

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the people of Israel. Suppose I say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Suppose they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"

 God said to Moses, "I am who I am. Here is what you must say to the Israelites. Tell them, 'I am has sent me to you.' "[3]

The title “I am” seems to indicate no beginning, no end!

Then God and Jesus link themselves with this title.

"What I'm about to tell you is true," Jesus answered. "Before Abraham was born, I am!"[4]

The title then is probably best explained in the last book of the bible where it says. . .

I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty[5]

Interesting! God seems to indicate he was there before any beginning and will be there after any end.

That’s eternal! Now eternal beings don’t normally get born, right? So they don’t normally have mothers.

Yet Jesus came from Mary a human girl being made pregnant by Holy Spirit. An angel is sent to tell her this . . .

"How can this happen?" Mary asked the angel. "I am a virgin."
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God.
"I serve the Lord," Mary answered. "May it happen to me just as you said it would." Then the angel left her.[6]

And then Jesus is born. . .

While Joseph and Mary were there, the time came for the child to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first baby. It was a boy.

This means that an eternal God chose to have a human mother. Amazing yet true!

Mary was a mother, but she was NOT God! She was fully human like us all. Mary was a specially chosen person, but yet no less human than anyone else!

Mary being human means we would expect that God would hardly respect a human mother. After all he has all this incredible ability and knowledge while she has feeble human knowledge.

Yet this is not so!

We know Jesus respected Mary even when he didn’t agree with her. There is a story that illustrates that that we have recorded for us.

On the third day there was a wedding. It took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

"Dear woman, why do you bring me into this?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."

His mother said to the servants, "Do what he tells you."

Six stone water jars stood nearby. The Jews used water from that kind of jar for special washings to make themselves pure. Each jar could hold 20 to 30 gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the top.

Then he told them, "Now dip some out. Take it to the person in charge of the dinner."

   They did what he said. The person in charge tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He didn't realize where it had come from. But the servants who had brought the water knew.

We see Mary wanted Jesus help and he was reluctant to give it. Yet because she expected it, he assisted.

So our great God not only was born of a woman, but respected and submitted to a woman’s direction in a culture of the day where woman we not considered to have authority.

I think that tells us as me we are to respect woman and that men should not consider them of lesser importance than men in any way. In fact, God rejected men as part of the establishment of his coming to earth, only choosing the woman of our species to be part of his earthly creation.

So, today as we interact with others, let’s be like God and show them respect.

Particularly the fairer sex!




[1] Genesis 21:33
[2] Psalm 90:1-4
[3] Exodus 3:13-14
[4] John 8:58
[5] Revelation 1:8
[6] Luke 1:34-35
Mon, May 14, 2012 | link          Comments


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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?

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