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Friday, October 19, 2012

Time pressure and lacking sleep, how did Jesus do it?
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Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.  ~Fran Lebowitz


 Have you ever had one of those days where they wear onwards into the little hours of the morning until you are crying out for sleep?


Most of us have right?


When we read the bible we find out Jesus seems to have many days when he was tired and people continually asked for his help. Waves upon waves of people came to listen and see and ask for help.

We get a small idea of how hard this could be was when he is with his disciples in the stormy sea in a small boat, and lying down on rough planks with the storm breaking in and wetting him, and his disciples had to wake him. He must have had a hard day to need his sleep that badly!

How many of us would sleep in a boat only about 4 ft high, with waves breaking over and flooding our rocking, hard bed, wetting us?

Exhaustion would be a good word for the conditions leading to that type of sleeping, wouldn’t it?

Here’s that story...

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him. Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke him up. They said, “Lord! Save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “Your faith is so small! Why are you so afraid?”
Then Jesus got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop. It became completely calm.
 The disciples were amazed. They asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”[1]

Then, Jesus often also got up early to pray;

It was very early in the morning and still dark. Jesus got up and left the house. He went to a place where he could be alone. There he prayed. [2]

Jesus had long days, and probably short nights. He had the advantage that the night didn’t have electricity and this probably helped him limit the late evenings somewhat, but Jesus worked real hard.

When I have hard days and lack sleep I get grumpy! How about you? 

Jesus never seemed to allow himself to become grumpy.

We never hear of that type of reaction in relation to his life do we?

How did he do it?


One thing is Jesus covered the day with prayer before it started.

It says he got up early to pray!

This is a point of failure in my life that I have to work on continually.

To help with this I write this blog in the mornings.

You, my readers, are my encouragement to get up, even when I am tried and having had tough previous day and a long night. I get up to connect with God, with Holy Spirit and hear what God wants me to provide for you. I pray, seek God’s guidance and ask Holy Spirit to guide me and lead me in the correct paths for those I am to encounter in my day.

We should all do this!

We should be up early praying for those we will come into contact with each day. We should plan a day of love and encouragement. We should let God take control, because when he does the day goes much better. The waves are calmed and we sail through in peace led by Holy Spirit. Thats a good way to live our day! I know it's straneg that gettting up when lacking sleep helps us do better...but somehow it does make a difference (of course, planning to get good sleep so that we can get up early and be successful is better)

Good thought for today right?


[1] Matt 8:23-28 NIRV
[2] Mark 1:35 NIRV
Fri, October 19, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Was Jesus married?
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Dan Brown with his popular novel The da Vinci Code, re-introduced a topic of Jesus marriage that has been of interest to men and women for thousands of years.

Was Jesus married?

Then, a short time ago, Karen King of Harvard Divinity School puts forward a scrap of papyrus that apparently says “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife’ . . .” from the fourth century A.D. and potentially a copy of a second century A.D. text.

Karen King is very careful to state that this scrap of text says nothing about Jesus marital status and comments it is possible in those times people were in discussion as to whether Jesus had a wife or not. There is insufficient evidence supporting the text to confirm this adequately.

Isn’t it interesting how a scrap of text, a mere few words, that is of unknown origin, found in an unknown location, and at an unknown time can be used to unsettle huge volumes of text, from known locations, known time and written by known people?

People want desperately to find some way of discrediting Jesus don’t they?

Professor Karen King is not one of these people. It is those who take her words out of their context, those wanting to create emotional upheaval, those who have agendas that they do not reveal their intent that do this!

Jesus is never represented as married in the bible writings. The apostles were potentially married we understand, but Jesus is mentioned as to be married to the church itself.

People say the apostles tried to hide the fact Jesus was married. I like this man’s comment about this...

Those who claim that the earliest Christians conspired to hide this information because it confirmed the fact that Jesus wasn’t divine forget that the supposed conspirators often gave their lives because they believed Jesus to have been divine. Would they have died for something they knew to be a lie? I rather doubt it.”[1]

People of the time who wrote the bible were convinced Jesus was divine. They also wanted to explain who he was to everyone, and would not have left out describing his wife. They commented on his mother and siblings didn’t they?

Now to be exact, the New Testament never says Jesus was, or wasn’t, married to a women.

It is silent on this aspect. That’s what fuels this conspiracy theory. A simple lack of comment!

Being unmarried was not unknown at the time! Both Philo and Josephus, ancient historians point out a specific group of people called Essenes who had men who didn’t get married for religious reasons.

Does this means Christians should not get married?

NO!

Jesus puts it this way when he is questioned about divorce...

Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read that in the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’? (Genesis 1:27) 5 He said, ‘That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one.’ (Genesis 2:24) 6 They are no longer two, but one. So a man must not separate what God has joined together.”

7 They asked, “Then why did Moses command that a man can give his wife a letter of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses let you divorce your wives because you were stubborn. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 Here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If that’s the way it is between a husband and wife, it is better not to get married.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept the idea of staying single. Only those who have been helped to live without getting married can accept it. 12 Some men are not able to have children because they were born that way. Some have been made that way by other people. Others have made themselves that way in order to serve the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept living that way should do it.”[2]

It seems that Jesus did not influence people one way or the other regarding marriage! It is for each to decide for themselves!

What about the people who say Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene?

This is a statement with no factual basis. I investigated Mary Magdalene in my blog Mary Magdalene, apostle or prostitute?

This investigation showed no evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. They interacted in the context that Mary was part of the group that followed Jesus around. She had no additional or special “couple” type relationship in any of the writings.

The non Christian writing (Gospel of Thomas) briefly describes Jesus and Mary Magdalene in a text that is weird, definitely not biblical and written much later. It says in section 114 “Simon Peter said to them, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.” Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

This gibberish, even if taken at face value says nothing of a married relationship.

Jesus and marriage are mentioned together in the New Testament where apostle John in Revelation comments;

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. It was coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.[3]

Jesus cannot be considered to have been married if we consider these facts.

Let’s remember this when we hear all these criticisms and discussions on ancient texts.

Have a great day!
Thu, October 18, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dealing with the sting of rejection!
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“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” ~ Sylvester Stallone

Rejection makes me think of snake bites!

Just when you think it’s safe to put your hand into a bush, there is a sharp nip that hardly draws blood, but that, if left untreated, can bring about great pain, sickness, and in some cases death.

Rejection when initially experienced is a shock, an unpleasant experience we would rather do without. It hurts, but initially the pain is small, almost unreal. It is totally unexpected!

We cannot believe what has happened, but if we let it, anger will fester up in place of the initial numb realization, and within a short time swell to a fury that evidences all the blackness and darkness the world can feed it.

Why let rejection take us from a place of peace and self-worth, to a place of torment and self-doubt? Why let the pain of life intrude on our lives? Why damage ourselves, because another has permitted life to take something of our safety and security away from us?

Our strength is in our ability to take the bite, but seek immediate help to counter the poison that wants to enter our soul.

Fortunately for us as Christians, we have some excellent examples to look at in the biblical records. This helps us to understand how others have accepted and dealt with rejection. We also have examples where others have dealt out rejection, and how it was dealt with.

I think the most significant rejection of all time was that done by us ourselves, as mankind, to the God who created us.  We read the story of Adam and Eve and how they reject God in Genesis 2. It can seem rather distant and in some ways comically childish. Yet, when we have experienced rejection ourselves, and rejection by someone we love, then we can understand how God must have felt when faced with this traitorous act of humanity.

How did God deal with rejection?

God, by subjecting himself to intensely experience everything that we are and do, understands that rejection fully. He takes the pain away from us by accepting it all onto himself.

God actually allowed us to kill his human form, so that he could truly show his immense love for us, and win us back.

God came to us in human form to experience all we are and do. To experience it, to levels we ourselves cannot even begin to fully understand.

God came, as Jesus, to a hot, Middle East world that was in great turmoil. He came to a nation under enemy occupation, to a humble occupation, and without great political support or titles. He worked in manual labour, loved many, helped many, but was rejected and murdered by those he came to love!

Notice that God doesn’t give up on us, because we rejected him! He doesn’t even allow us to give up on ourselves! God provides a way out through the circumstances!

 We are not God, but can learn that love conquers all evil, ultimately. Rejection that is unwarranted (as considered by ourselves) is evil, and must be conquered with love. Generating hate and anger, will only make the condition grow, not stop it in it’s tracks.

God has plans for our lives that we may not understand. Consider that wonderful story of Joseph, a loved son, who is hated by his brothers for being who he is. They reject him totally, sell him into slavery, and tell his father he is dead.

Should Joseph forgive them? Should he give up hope?

Many would say yes and be totally wrong. Read up on the story in Genesis chapters 37, 39-46.


Not only is Joseph re-instated, when he trusts God to guide him in his predicament, but he actually brings blessing to his whole family that rejected him as well.

We must watch that the path of unforgiveness does not take us down the same path as Joseph’s brothers. They felt the rejection of their dad when their father focussed his favor on Joseph, but unlike Joseph, they travelled the easily travelled path from shock, to annoyance, to bitterness, to anger, to jealousy and finally to deep resentment that led them into thoughts of murder!

That’s what happens if we do not deal with rejection as soon as the initial bite injects the poison into our lives. It’s not a pretty path to walk!

No, instead, we need to counter this poison with the weapons of healing that Christ gives us. Firstly with forgiveness and prayer! We forgive the perpetrator and pray to God for help to do this effectively. It’s not easy, but we grow from the moment we start to take this approach. This sucks most of the poison from that hurt in our soul.

Next, we need to be open to the guidance of Holy Spirit. Often God allows these things to happen to change our path to another,r that he wants us to walk. If we are not open to this, we miss amazing opportunities!

Let’s be humble and understand we need to learn from our experience. We do not need to think worse of ourselves, but we must also not think too much of ourselves. Sometimes our resentment is because we considered ourselves, better, or above the situation that occurred. This is a subject of prayer, and needs to be brought to God for the light of Holy Spirit to illuminate. Holy Spirit give us visibility of truth (no matter how much we would rather not know).

Next patience is important! The new path we are to walk, may not be immediately apparent. Joseph ended up in prison, before he was provided with the keys to the kingdom. We may have to endure a time of waiting, testing and preparation, before God’s gifts are poured out for us to experience.

If we can allow God to have control, not be concerned about our destiny in life because we know God loves us. Trust that God has it worked out. Then we can deal with rejection far more effectively.

The poison is totally removed, as God’s joy is allowed to expand into our life and counter the poison left by rejection. Acceptance by God counters rejection by anyone else!

That’s the real power that Jesus brought us by coming to this Earth. That’s the reason we as Christians can deal with rejection better than others (that is if we have the courage to face our fears and hopes, by handing both to God).

Hey, have a great day, and forgive someone today will you!
Wed, October 17, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Falsely declared guilty?
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“One thing I never want to be accused of is not working.” ~ Don Shula

 Ever like me, been in a situation where it is difficult to impossible to defend ourselves and where another with greater capability and authority is accusing us falsely?

 
Ever been in a situation like this where this outcome will determine our success or failure?

It’s difficult isn’t it?

The natural human response is to react against the accusation with everything we have isn’t it?

 It’s unjust, untrue and irresponsible of the person to do this we feel and many would agree.

Let’s see what the bible says about unjust accusations...here is a quote from Matthew a guy who spent a lot of time with Jesus and who is “Blessed are you when people make fun of you and hurt you because of me. You are also blessed when they tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be joyful and glad. Your reward in heaven is great. [1]

When we see him at his own trial with Pontius Pilate, Jesus is being wrongly accused of crimes that would lead to his death, but he answers with clarity and truth to all statements, and never brings to bear the enormous power he had at his disposal to exact revenge. Jesus does not say argue, shout, scream, hit back, or anything like this.

It says in Matthew 28 Jesus was standing in front of the governor. The governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Yes. It is just as you say,” Jesus replied.

But when the chief priests and the elders brought charges against him, he did not answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the charges they are bringing against you?”

But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge. The governor was really amazed.”[2]

To the truth, Jesus answers but he does not waste time defending himself when the charges were unjust.

 
He knew everyone knew that they were unjust. It was evident from his life and disposition.

That’s where we can learn isn’t it? Our lives must be so exemplary that our lives and disposition when we are accused makes it absolutely clear, to everyone who the real perpetrator of the accusations are and just how unjust they are.

Jesus even says, “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.”[3]

Wow! So does God expect us to actually love these people enough to allow them  to continue their abuse. Does he expects us to never have revenge?

No! Not at all!

God loves us dearly, and would never allow that anything to happen to us unless it somehow had enormous importance. God wants what is right and just for everyone. God sees everything and knows our abilities and strength to stand up under duress. He knows what we can do in the spiritual realm and what we need further training before encountering.

When it comes to revenge it is simply not ours to take!

God says, “My friends, don’t try to get even. Leave room for God to show his anger. It is written, “I am the One who judges people. I will pay them back,” (Deuteronomy 32:35) says the Lord.”[4]

This brings me to the question, “Do we love God enough to not react with anything but truth, to avoid any attacking comments and to let God have the control of situations where others are trying to put us down and accuse us falsely?”-Romans 12:19 NIRV

Tough question and one I find difficult to respond correctly to! I guess I am human like everyone and don’t want pain and sorry. Yet, the value of being true to God is large.

Here are some of the impacts...We sleep easier! We can move on with our lives easier! We are not as likely to sin and do the wrong thing! We have the potential opportunity of winning back an enemy as friend. Perhaps as they see God at work in us, they may actually respond to God and change their lives!

We may even end up with a soul joining us in heaven because of our endurance. God does not limit himself to our ability to think, he is far wiser than that. He sees the expanse of time and all event paths and wants to optimise them all. By simply submitting to God’s desire for our life and living we get blessed exceedingly in many ways. We bless others at the same time! Some paths are not easy to understand or see at the onset.

So today, let’s go into the world letting go of our past hurts and grudges, while facing the new ones with the strength of Holy Spirit in our lives!

Let’s embrace the worlds of love and pain with the same love as our Lord Jesus did.

Let’s be true Christians.

The type of Christian that if Ghandi were to have met while alive, he would have had to say... I respect Christ and I have now met a true Christian who lives the Christian faith!

Let’s go and continue the work today, but work at the right things, with the right attitude and in the right disposition of love with God in our hearts, praying for God to intervene and support us where we are weak.

 Be blessed today!


[1] Matthew 5:11-12 NIRV
[2] Matthew 28:11-14 NIRV
[3] Matthew 5:43&44 NIRV
[4] Romans 12:19 NIRV
Tue, October 16, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, October 15, 2012

Inability to self-sacrifice
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“Sacrifice, which is the passion of great souls, has never been the law of societies.” ~ Henri Frederic Amiel

Self-sacrifice is the act of offering oneself to a higher purpose, to God, as an act of respect, honor and love.

Ancient people took a living creature without flaw, killed it and sacrificed it to God on an altar. Why?


Because they believed that unless something died and spilt its blood, then life would not be able to continue in purity.

It seems a bit barbaric now days doesn’t it?

Reading up in the bible, I found that God seems to have only allowed man to sacrifice, simply because ancient man wanted to do so.

 It is really interesting to see that when originally Moses gave the people the law in the desert, he had a way for the people to approach God without all these sacrifices and rituals.

The bible says, “Moses used to take a tent and set it up far outside the camp. He called it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone who wanted to ask the Lord a question would go to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp. When Moses would go out to the tent, all of the people would get up and stand at the entrances to their tents. They would watch Moses until he entered the tent.

 As Moses would go into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down. It would stay at the entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. The people would see the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent. Then all of them would stand and worship at the entrances to their tents.

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face. It was like a man speaking to his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp.

But Joshua, his young helper, didn’t leave the tent. Joshua was the son of Nun.”[1]

Yet, it was the people who built a golden calf to worship. Crazy!

 They had God who wanted to meet with them directly and yet they looked around to find something that was more solid and material to worship than God who wants to be worshiped in spirit.

Today we are little better! God is still waiting to meet us in spirit. He has in fact taken away all excuses and barriers to this meeting, and yet, so many people want to see pictures of god, or handle “godly” items, or place faith in some religious object.

Today people would rather trust in the inadequate knowledge of mankind and almost revere it, rather than appreciate it as a gift from the almighty (all mighty) God and connect with Him.

Then, if we want to connect with God, we often fabricate all these rules and regulations to enable the connection when all that God really wants is to turn our hearts and minds to him and accept him for who he is.

God wants us to “pray”. That means we open our hearts and minds and “speak” to God.

Not difficult really, its just needs us to overcome self-pride and admit there is a being who has created everything and holds it together daily and for so reason which is unfathomable, actually wants to hear what we say, wants to join with us in our experiences, and wants to guide us towards a fantastic future if we would only follow the guidelines he has lovingly laid out for us to follow.

God is good! We need to simply sacrifice the negative aspects of ourselves to be removed and allow God to polish and shine up those beautiful aspects of our lives, using them for his glory and our gain.

Isn’t that a wonderful way to approach the day, by releasing our life potential for Godly use?

Have a great purposeful day!


[1] Exodus 33:7-11 NIRV
Mon, October 15, 2012 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

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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?

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