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Friday, May 25, 2012

25th of May and Space visions
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Did you know that on 25th May 1961, President Kennedy asked Congress for $531 million to help the USA put a man on the moon before the end of the decade?

Did you know that on 25th May 1977 the Star Wars movie released by 20th Century Fox, grossed nearly $800 million worldwide, and won multiple awards? Today there is huge popular following of Star Wars movies!



It seems like this is a day that opened up the potential for people to envision space and consider what it is like to be outside the commonality of life on Earth isn’t it? Yet this envisioning actually helps us here on Earth right now!

Those two events mentioned above were great movers of the human race in such very different ways. Each influenced our thinking, engendering new products and services, and made available products that up until then would have been considered unnecessary by the average person.

Here are few things that became popular and came out of this visioning[1]:

Invisible braces are made of translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA) a substance from NASA, other items from the space industry are scratch-resistant eyeglass lenses, memory foam found in Tempurpedic brand mattresses and similar brands, ear thermometer(getting rid of those nasty glass mercury ones), insoles for shoes, improved long distance communications, smoke detectors, cordless tools, water filters, and ubiquitous use of velcro.

“Vision” is important for us to recognise useful aspects of our lives. Then, working with what we know “should” be possible from the vision, we go onto to discover and make these things real and possible.

Isn’t that iPAD3, a modern day reality, simply the product of science fictions “realities” of our past? While “new” the concepts it represents were present in our collective thought for decades before they were realized.

Then, today we have software translators that we can talk to, they “hear” us and repeat we said in a different language for others who cannot understand our language to hear. Our new iPad has such an application that makes this commonplace for people who can afford this technology. Soon it will be commonplace.

We as humans need to have avision to move forward. The old King James bible puts it well when it says “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.[2]

This is an interesting saying because it says we need more than just vision. Although vision gives life, it is also important to give direction to the vision. Visions that lead us into the wrong areas of life need to be avoided!

Let us not forget that on 25th May 2006 the former Enron Corp executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted in Houston of conspiracy and fraud for the company's downfall. Their vision gave us nothing of value and hurt many!

Modern interpretations review the King James version and tend to say  “Where there is no message from God, the people don't control themselves. But blessed are those who obey the law.”

Vision that blesses us all are visions that stay within God’s will and law. They are messages from God. When we look forward, we do so most successfully when we move into the future chasing the truth of God in all avenues of life.

We need to embrace God’s plan for humankind but also keep pushing forward the envelopes of innovation in truth. By continually working to expand our knowledge of God’s creation and it’s capability, we bless others and improve our world.

That’s what God wants us to do! That’s what we each need to try and do each day. I want to do some of that today!

What new aspect or advancement are you going to expose in your experience of life today? When you do, will you give God thanks for the gifts of intelligence and enthusiasm he gives us all. After all, without him sustaining us, we would not be doing anything, would we?

Have a great future envisioning day!


[1] http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/physics-concepts-and-definitions/ten-nasa-inventions1.htm
[2] Proverbs 29:18 KJV
Fri, May 25, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Did you know the Temple was destroyed in 70A.D., and that there was another revolt 60 years later?
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For the earliest period of the history of Israel, all that precedes the building of the temple, not a trace can be found of any sanctuary of exclusive legitimacy. Julius Wellhausen

 Julius was a professor who studied the bible, particularly the Old Testament with fervour, and it is interesting that his statement about the temple is supported by archeology to today, since he died in 1918, and a lot has been discovered since then.

Israel focuses on the Temple. In fact, the Jewish people still talk about going to Temple when they worship God each week.

There were two temples. The first was Solomon’s temple and was around from about 832B.C. to 587B.C when it was destroyed by the Babylonians.

The second was built from about 516B.C. and continued to be added to and renovated right up into the time Jesus lived. In fact, by that time it was a splendid edifice.

Israel is tied to the temple even though it was destroyed in 70A.D. by the Romans, as part of suppressing the revolt started four years prior. The arguments that started this revolt were tensions between Jews and Greeks, that enflamed historical sentiments from the Inter-Testamental period (You can read my paper on this, in a different section of the blog). This however then took hold, as it turned against taxation and the Romans, who were occupying Israel.

Then, this temple was destroyed, perhaps in attempt to destroy the religion that had caused the Romans so much trouble. While this maybe set back the Jewish faith, it promoted the Christian faith.

Jesus had already stated while alive. . .

Then the Jews asked him, "What miraculous sign can you show us? Can you prove your authority to do all of this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple. I will raise it up again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken 46 years to build this temple. Are you going to raise it up in three days?"[1]

Then later at his death it is reported people shouted as he hung dying "So you are going to destroy the temple and build it again in three days? Then come down from the cross! Save yourself!"[2] It must have been tempting to do as they asked!

Jesus was not talking of the temple in Jerusalem, but rather the temple of his body. In so doing, he moved the focus of worship from the building to himself.

No wonder the Jews of the day got upset with him.

The revolt at that time was one of having him taken to the Romans, who tried to destroy his life on the cross, the execution method of the time. Jesus died, but then rose again as he predicted, three days and nights later (see another blog around this timing).

So, the destroying of the temple in 70A.D. did little to suppress Christianity, and promoted it by forcing the Jewish Christians to flee into other parts of the world.

Then to further promote this dispersion, the Jews revolted again, this time in the outlying areas in around 114A.D. and this was again suppressed by the Romans, but again further dispersed the religions.

The next Jerusalem based revolt was about 132–136 A.D. A guy by the name of Simon bar Kokhba said HE was the messiah, and led a revolt and lost. (I guess since Jesus as Messiah had already come, died, risen and returned to heaven, Simon was off to a bad start). Again, people fled and the only impact was more distribution of people who knew God and truth.

We can see from this, that sometimes what appears to be the worst of circumstances is actually a major tool in God’s hands to improve and change aspects of our world.

When we are going through tough times, or our friends are, when we cannot see sense in horrible situations, it is of value to remember that in the past, far nastier things happened, but God didn’t allow this misery caused by human sin to be wasted, but rather allowed it to become part of a global plan to save our world.

We cannot see how our lives are used, but they are! God takes everything we permit him to use, and uses it to the full. I firmly believe, we will all be astonished at how our lives were used when we get to heaven and it is revealed. (We however may be horrified by how badly we permitted our lives to be used).

God loves us and wants to make our lives count. We can be like Simon, deny the true God, and lead our own rebellions and fail, or like Jesus, lead a change that changes the world.

Today I go for the Jesus option. Which is your choice?


[1] John 2:18-20
[2] Mark 15:28-30
Thu, May 24, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How neighbourly are we? How neighbourly should we be?
   
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“Borrow trouble for yourself, if that's your nature, but don't lend it to your neighbours.”  Rudyard Kipling

 

 Maybe Mr. Kipling has a point. Perhaps we should be careful of letting our troubles spill over into our neighbour’s circumstances? Who is my neighbour? In Christian terms it is everyone that is not me. It encompasses the full extent of others and is limited only by our ability to establish contact with those others. Everyone we meet is our neighbour.

The interactions with them as Christians are governed by our faith in God and willingness to do God desire for our life. In that ancient letter by Paul to the Romans it says. . .



We who have strong faith should help the weak with their problems. We should not please only ourselves. 2 We should all please our neighbors. Let us do what is good for them. Let us build them up.[1]

Sometimes pleasing our neighbours means putting ourselves out to do so. In the matter of dealing with others whose faith is perhaps less than ourselves, we need to be very careful since what to us is something that hardly bother us, can to another be a huge hurdle and bring them down.

Typical examples Christians always think of is the area of alcohol and smoking tobacco. Now with ancient Christians had not access or understanding of tobacco as far as I know, so there is nothing in the writings to discuss that, However for alcohol there is. There are numerous verses such as

Luke 21:34  "Be careful. If you aren't, your hearts will be loaded down with wasteful living, drunkenness and the worries of life. Then the day the Son of Man returns will close on you like a trap. You will not be expecting it.

Titus 1:7 A church leader is trusted with God's work. That's why he must be without blame. He must not look after only his own interests. He must not get angry easily. He must not get drunk. He must not push people around. He must not try to get money by cheating people.

 Ephesians 5:18  Don't fill yourself up with wine. Getting drunk will lead to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Suggesting that we should steer away from alcohol. But then there is communion which uses wine (I know we often use grape juice but to think they did is nuts! Paul even points out people were doing wrong getting a drunk when they got together for communion meals e.g. 1 Corinthians 11:21 As you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anyone else. One remains hungry and another gets drunk.)

Even Paul tell’s Timothy in“1 Timothy 5:23 to “ Stop drinking only water. If your stomach is upset, drink a little wine. It can also help the other sicknesses you often have.”

It is really a matter of faith! A Christian taking some wine is not sinning unless it leads another to sin. Then we should attempt to honor our neighbour by avoiding setting an example that could damage them.

This same example applies to smoking tobacco since the principle extends to other areas in life.

It is better to avoid something than let another be damaged. That the essence of good neighbourliness. 

 Today as we interact with our neighbours, let’s look for ways to build them up.

That’s what God would want us to do!


[1] Romans 15
Wed, May 23, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Going over Niagara falls to commit suicide! Why are people desperate to die?

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  Yesterday, Victoria Day in Canada, horrified onlookers were forced to watch as a man climbed across safety walls, and jumped into the water above Niagara falls to attempt to plunge headlong to his death, the Toronto Sun reports.[1]

Why?

What drives people to take their own life?

What drives them to take their life in such a dramatic way?

Is life that uninviting, that horrible, that almost certain pain, broken bones and drowning looks better than life itself?

Hell is uninviting and horrible! It is described as burning without dying, worms eating our bodies. Yet even in this life, many people live in hell. A hell of the mind and life situation!

Satan seems to hate us humans, and entraps us using our desires into many horrible situations of life. To some life is not living but existing. The never ending strain and stress, tugs at their existence, day after day. Sin, that selfish, ignorant and nasty attribute that clings to us, seems to have it’s way with many, who then go onto maliciously hurt others.

Why?

Basically many people are puppets to sin, and the only way they feel in control is to become puppeteers, of those less able.

 
This cycle continues and somewhere at the far end, there are those who have no control, only pain. Unfortunately they think that taking their life is a way to stop that pain.

It is not!

Without God, that taking of one’s life to reduce pain will only increase it a million times!



The true relief from pain comes with that outstretched hand of Jesus, who is willing to intervene in our lives and change them. Often physical circumstances seem to stay the same (although through Holy Spirits power even these can change), but the comforter, Holy Spirit will give us the ability to deal with, and perceive, our circumstances differently. Instead of enduring a 50.9m drop over Niagara, we need to turn to Jesus and ask him to help in our lives. Handing God our lives, is far safer than handing them to the Niagara river.

God will gently take our lives, forgive us for all we have done, and place Holy Spirit in our lives in a special way.

His protection starts to take hold in our lives. People no longer drive our lives, instead God himself is the one who guides and protects.

That guy actually survived his death attempt this weekend.
 
I wonder if he will turn to God and take the true second chance he has been given?


Without it, not much will change in his future, with it his long term existence is assured.

We may not have the desperation this man was driven to!

We may not jump into bad situations as easily as he did, but we also do get into tough and difficult situations.

Let’s remember God is with us. He says. . .

1
Christ suffered in his body. So get ready as a soldier does. Prepare yourselves to think in the same way Christ did. Do it because those who have suffered in their bodies are finished with sin. 2 As a result, they don't live the rest of their lives on earth controlled by evil human longings. Instead, they live to do what God wants.

3 You have spent enough time in the past doing what ungodly people choose to do. You lived a wild life. You longed for evil things. You got drunk. You went to wild parties. You worshiped statues of gods. The Lord hates that.

4 Ungodly people think that it's strange when you no longer join them in what they do. They want you to rush into the same flood of wasteful living. So they say bad things about you.

5 But they will have to explain their actions to God. He is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 That's why the good news was preached even to people who are now dead. Human judges said they were guilty as far as their bodies were concerned. But God set their spirits free to live as he wanted them to.

7
The end of all things is near. So keep a clear mind. Control yourselves. Then you can pray. 8 Most of all, love one another deeply. Love erases many sins by forgiving them.[2]

Jesus understands suffering, but he also understands the power of love. Let us as Christians love you all! Join us in loving others!

If all we do this we can extend God’s love to a needy world and stop a few more people jumping to their demise!

Have a great day!



[1] http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/21/man-survives-suicide-bid-plunge-over-niagara-falls
[2] 1 Peter 4:1-7
Tue, May 22, 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?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
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  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
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