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Friday, December 14, 2012

What do atheists say about men planning to castrate and kill Justine Bieber?

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Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. ~ Wikipedia
[1]

Yesterday the news reports that “An imprisoned U.S. man whose infatuation with Canadian singer Justin Bieber included a tattoo of the pop star on his leg has told investigators in New Mexico he hatched a plot to kill him.[2] it goes on to say that two others were convinced to do the nasty deeds and were told to kill two others and castrate them, getting paid $2500 per testicle.

Atheists don’t believe in evil deities influencing people?

How about another incident a while back where “a killer scattered gay DVDs, a Bible and party popper streamers over the body of a murdered vicar.”[3]

No god’s? Nothing to generate these occurrences? No evil, only humans doing their thing in this world? How can an Atheist say this is wrong? If there is no god, what makes their view of morality different from these people who planned to kill Bieber.

Surely these killers to be have to be given space since their view of morality is okay as well?

How can we explain the depths of depravity we see all around us? How do we explain the depths of depravity we see glimmering in our own hearts and minds? Do animals have this ability to do evil?

God said he created us in his own likeness “So God created man in his own likeness.  He created him in the likeness of God. He created them as male and female.” Genesis 1:27

Soon after this according to many Abrahamic faiths we develop the ability to understand good and evil.

 Animals don’t have this ability! Yet that ability the Christian bible tells us was gained due to the influence of Satan, God’s enemy in the form of a serpent.

Humans understand there is good and evil!

Even atheists seem to agree some things are good and some evil and we understand this as humans.

The problem is that when we start questioning atheists they cannot give us a solid understanding of how we determine what is good or evil. It varies depending upon the person asked.

For Christians there is no such variance! The bible is our measure and everyone is measured against the guidelines it gives us. This act planned against Bieber would be evil according to biblical standards.

Yet, so is thinking sexual thoughts of someone who is not our spouse! That is evil as well!

The measure is clear and yet we often fail to be as taken aback by what we consider “lesser evils” that we do than the horrible deed’s others do.

All evil is evil, and we do not deal with variations of shades of it. None of it is acceptable to God.

Atheists can do horrible things and lack moral judgement because they are not constrained by any rules in their minds.

They are their own rule makers. They control their own destiny in their minds. I am not saying ALL atheists do horrible things. Many can chose very similar moral values as Christians. The difference is they cannot argue that another atheist is right or wrong by agreeing or disagreeing with them. Evil has no defined point that atheists as a group can agree to. Evil does not really exist!

Yet God knows differently! Like defying gravity is an immutable law that can never be overcome, evil cannot be used to overcome good! Evil is certain to fall down and God will ensure it.

Jesus says ““What comes out of people makes them ‘unclean.’ Evil thoughts come from the inside, from people’s hearts. So do sexual sins, stealing and murder. Adultery, greed, hate and cheating come from people’s hearts too. So do desires that are not pure, and wanting what belongs to others. And so do telling lies about others and being proud and being foolish. All those evil things come from inside a person. They make him ‘unclean.’[4] Mark 7:21

Those guys who planned to kill off Justin Bieber were part of this crowd of evil doers. Yet, so are we!

We are all sinners, every one of us! Each of us if put on the world stage and judged would be found guilty by God. Atheists who reject God exists will have no defense once they are faced with the reality of God.

God’s existence is the only true force countering evil that we as humans can subscribe to.

Today as we try to find our way through the maze of decisions of our lives, as we get buffeted by stresses and strains, enticed by evil, let’s remember that without Jesus we are lost, but with Jesus nothing can stand against us.

As we repent of our nasty, ignorant and selfish acts and turn to God, we overcome evil and at the same time make the world a little better place.

Let’s pray our atheist friends find this way to truth!

Fri, December 14, 2012 | link          Comments

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mayan Apocalypse fails to arrive on 12/12/12. Surprised?
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“One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

All year we have been hearing that the Mayan Calendar comes to an end on 12/12/12 and many predicted this to be the end of the world.

Back in Jun I read an article referring to the possibility
[1]. I have blogged before about the futility of such predictions. Jesus himself said we would not know the time when he would return to take us to heaven and that it is locked from human understandings. Yet so many people ignore this!

Here are a number of failed doomsday predictions I found on a site[2] and which I have summarised and paraphrased.

1.    In the English town of Leeds in 1806. It seems that a hen began laying eggs on which the phrase "Christ is coming" was written. It was a hoax but people believed it.

2.    A New England farmer named William Miller, after several years of very careful study of his Bible, concluded that God's chosen time to destroy the world could be divined from a strict literal interpretation of scripture. As he explained to anyone who would listen, the world would end some time between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. He was wrong!

3.    Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, called a meeting of his church leaders in February 1835 to tell them that he had spoken to God recently, and during their conversation he learned that Jesus would return within the next 56 years, after which the End Times would begin promptly. He was wrong!

4.    In 1881, an astronomer discovered through spectral analysis that comet tails include a deadly gas called cyanogen (related, as the name implies, to cyanide). This was of only passing interest until someone realized that Earth would pass through the tail of Halley's comet in 1910. This came to nothing!

5.    In May 1980, televangelist and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson startled and alarmed many when he informed his "700 Club" TV show audience around the world that he knew when the world would end. He was wrong!

6.    A San Diego UFO cult named Heaven's Gate concluded that the world would end soon. The world did indeed end for 39 of the cult members, who committed suicide on March 26, 1997. The rest of us survived!

7.    Y2K, Jan. 1, 2000 - As the last century drew to a close, many people grew concerned that computers might bring about doomsday. Heh! Heh! That was an amusing one that made a number of computer specialists a fair bit of cash. They must have thought they had made it to heaven, for the wrong reasons J

8.    Richard Noone, author of the 1997 book "5/5/2000 Ice: the Ultimate Disaster" (Three Rivers Press) predicted the Antarctic ice mass would be three miles thick by May 5, 2000 — a date in which the planets would be aligned in the heavens, somehow resulting in a global icy death. Aren’t we facing global warming?

9.    "The year 1999, seventh month / From the sky will come great king of terror." Many Nostradamus devotees grew concerned that this was the famed prognosticator's vision of Armageddon. It was not!

10.  According to God's Church minister Ronald Weinland, in his 2006 book "2008: God's Final Witness" (The-End.Com, 2006) he states that hundreds of millions of people will die, and by the end of 2006, "there will be a maximum time of two years remaining before the world will be plunged into the worst time of all human history. By the fall of 2008, the United States will have collapsed as a world power, and no longer exist as an independent nation." Really?

 

Haven’t we learned yet?

In Simple advice for end times. . . I have explained there is a direct statement in the Holy writings about end times that we need to understand and which 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.[3] Matthew 24:35-36 NIRV.

 This means that we cannot know the time of the end of the world!

Obviously the Mayan “end time” believers have found out they were wrong, but typical of human nature they will rationalise this to explain their failures away and find another time to cling to that is equally meaningless. Futile though the activity is, people seem to be incapable of reacting to this correctly.

Why can we not simply believe God and do what he tells us to do, which is to live each day as if it could be our last. Let’s make each day special! Let’s discard the inane and worthless aspects of living and focus on the eternally important aspects.

I guess the question we all need to ask is “what is eternally important?”  

Those things God teaches us to do are eternally important! We as Christians are already living an eternal life right now on this Earth. The death we face at the end of this life is simply a transition, not a finality. We have started on this eternal life already, perhaps we should work on improving our skill at living it?

We want to get to living in the joy of eternity early don’t we? That comes from living in God’s will now.

There is no need for a Christian to wait until a doomsday to find answers. We have them now. The question we have to answer is what we are going to do with what we do know right now?

What will you do?
Thu, December 13, 2012 | link          Comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Are we as Christians aware that we are adopted?
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“My life has been shaped by the decision two people made over 24 years ago. They
decided to adopt a child. They got me, and I got a chance at the kind of life
all children deserve.” ― Karen Fowler

Adopted children and teens have a great desire to see their parents!

Working as we do with some wonderful teens that live in a group home away from their parents, my wife and I see the drive these teens have to be united with their parents and even with foster parents they have been with at an earlier stage in life. Perhaps they want parenting even more than those of us that have lives with and known our parents can understand.

That drive to be re-united motivates those separated from their parents continually!

This is the context in which I was reading this verse from the holy writings;

But then the right time came. God sent his Son. A woman gave birth to him. He was born under the authority of the law. He came to set free those who were under the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have.” Galatians 4:4-5 NIRV

God wants us to be part of his family!

We are part of God’s family through that gift Jesus provided to us of eternal life! We belong! Nobody can take that away from us. Unlike those orphaned kids that we know and love, our experience of orphans is different. We continually are in contact with God, he guides and helps us by the presence of Holy Spirit who is with us continually. He tells us he loves us all the time through his bible writings and Holy Spirits quiet voice in our conscience and intuition. God is there!

If we have a tough day, Holy Spirit consoles us! If we have an amazing day he is happy for us but warns us not to become proud and always look to the welfare of others. He is with us in the saddest moments in life, reassuring us! He is with us in the happiest, encouraging us!

It’s so simple and yet so complex! We are adopted with a Father that loves us so much, we cannot even understand the level of that love.

Isn’t that a wonderful knowledge? That Jesus can to earth to give us the right to have a special adopted status!

 

What do we do with this offer of love?
We can accept or deny it!
What will you do today?
Wed, December 12, 2012 | link          Comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Who should give God praise?
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“The praise that comes from love does not make us vain, but more humble.” ~ James Matthew Barrie

 

Not everyone acknowledges God, or gives him praise and what is the purpose of doing it anyway?

“Surely God if he exists and is as powerful as Christians say he is, then he is so much above us humans that our praises don’t have much influence?” is a question asked.


Yet God does want our praises! There is a wonderful psalm that goes like this;

“Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens.
    Praise him in the heavens above.
Praise him, all his angels.
    Praise him, all his angels in heaven.
Praise him, sun and moon.
    Praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens.
    Praise him, you waters above the skies.
Let all of them praise the name of the Lord,
    because he gave a command and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever.
    He gave them laws they will always have to obey.
 Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all of the deepest parts of the ocean.
Praise him, lightning and hail, snow and clouds.
    Praise him, you stormy winds that obey him.
Praise him, all you mountains and hills.
    Praise him, all you fruit trees and cedar trees.
Praise him, all you wild animals and cattle.
    Praise him, you small creatures and flying birds.
Praise him, you kings of the earth and all nations.
    Praise him, all you princes and rulers on earth.
Praise him, young men and young women.
    Praise him, old people and children.

 Let them praise the name of the Lord.
    His name alone is honored.
    His glory is higher than the earth and the heavens.
He has given his people a strong king.
    All of his faithful people praise him for that gift.
    All of the people of Israel are close to his heart.

 Praise the Lord.

Praising God is firstly a wonderful way of teaching ourselves humility while at the same time lifting our spirits. We can see just how amazing God is and remind ourselves of this, yet, we know he specifically chose to become like us and so we are honored by this as well.

Then, we know that this God has seen fit to enable us to live with him for eternity! That is even more amazing!

Lastly, God enjoys our praises and wants them! This is incomprehensible but beautiful, isn’t it?

 Today as we stride out into the world, let’s look around at the amazing complexity and beauty around us and give God the praise he deserves.

It does all of us good! Let’s pray for those that find themselves incapable of this wonderful activity.

Tue, December 11, 2012 | link          Comments

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jesus was NOT born on December 25th , about 2012 years ago !
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But to make a holiday record that involves favorite American songs and then also get to sing about Jesus birth, it just seemed like a real easy, subtle way to combine a couple of things that I love. ~ Amy Grant

People have been using Jesus birth for their own purposes for century’s now and we have abused the original Christian records to the point of making truth almost impossible to comprehend.

I have often written about this previously, and today I have to say I am no better than anyone else, I also abused the birth date. (My apologies to you my Lord Jesus!)

Reading through a past blog, “A summary - Christmas dates, thermodynamics and a new beginning” I find that in early days of writing these blogs I screwed up the information I had at hand and today I intend to put the record straight.

When was Jesus born?

Let’s figure it out based on biblical facts and historical facts!

Let’s start with the Jewish calendar. The “holy” calendar and not the “civil” calendar of the 1st century. Here it is...

MONTH Roman  Month Number of days Civil Year month Sacred Year Month 
TISHRI Sept to Oct 301st 7th 
HESHVAN Oct to Nov 29 or 30 2nd 8th 
KISLEV Nov to Dec 29 or 30 3rd 9th 
TEBETH Dec to Jan 294th 10th 
SHEBAT Jan to Feb 305th 11th 
ADAR Feb to Mar 29 or 30 6th 12th 
NISAN Mar to Apr 307th 1st 
IYAR Apr to May 298th 2nd 
SIVAN May to Jun 309th 3rd 
TAMMAZ June to July 2910th 4th 
AB July to Aug 3011th 5th 
ELUL Aug to Sept 2912th 

6th

 
Now let’s look at the Christmas story in the bible. It’s found in Luke and Matthew’s writings.

Start with the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25). The bible states

there was a priest named Zechariah. He belonged to a group of priests named after Abijah[1] Luke 1:5

This is important because this group of priests had the eight week of temple duties. See 1 Chronicles 24:10 for a list of duties says

“The 1st lot that was drawn out was for Jehoiarib.The 2nd was for Jedaiah. The 3rd was for Harim.The 4th was for Seorim. The 5th was for Malkijah.The 6th was for Mijamin. The 7th was for Hakkoz. 8th was for Abijah. The 9th was for Jeshua. The 10th was for Shecaniah. The 11th was for Eliashib. The 12th was for Jakim. The 13th was for Huppah. The 14th was for Jeshebeab. The 15th was for Bilgah. The 16th was for Immer. The 17th was for Hezir. The 18th was for Happizzez. The 19th was for Pethahiah. The 20th was for Jehezkel. The 21st was for Jakin. The 22nd was for Gamul. The 23rd was for Delaiah. The 24th was for Maaziah.

That was their appointed order for serving when they entered the Lord’s temple. That order was based on the rules Aaron had given them long ago.”

This meant that this group would be serving in the eight week, that covers the time between the last week of Iylar and the first week of Sivan. Check the list above to see this was the second month. (The Jewish people used lunar months of 28 days and every now and then inserted an extra leap month to keep the calendar right).

Zechariah at an angels instruction, goes home, has sex with his wife, Elizabeth,  and she gets pregnant. This puts John the Baptists conception around the the feast of Pentecost.

Now, six months later the angel visits Mary, and she is told that she is getting pregnant with Jesus. We know it was six months later because it says...

In the sixth month after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee[2] Luke 1:26 and also

“Your relative Elizabeth is old. And even she is going to have a child. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now”[3] Luke 1: 36

This means Jesus was conceived around Kislev, around the of the Jewish festival of Chanukah (festival of lights). i.e around Nov to Dev time frame.

How appropriate it is for Jesus to come into human existence during the festival of lights as he is the light of the world!

Skipping back to John the Baptists birth, he would have been born around the Jewish month of Nisan. This is the month of Passover! What is really interesting is that many Jewish people even to today expect Elijah on the month of Nisan. (That is prophecy related, I will probably explain that in another blog).

Now we know Jesus was to be born six months later because of the timings given previously and that makes Jesus birth month Tishri, close to the feast of tabernacles. This was in the September/ October time frame!

Jesus was born somewhere in September or October, and probably October!

This is useful information but which year?

The bible helps again...

The YEAR: DATING BY ROMAN NAMES


·         Luke talks of Augustus and Quirinius.  See Luke 2: 1-3

·         Matthew talks of King Herod.  See Matthew  2:3-4 

Now history facts tell us

Caesar Augustus :

 ·        Lived 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14,

·         He was generally called 

         ·        Octaviaus between 63 and 44 BC, and 

         ·        Augustus between 27BC and his death.



King Herod: (Herod the great)

·         Born 74BC died 4BC

(Don’t get this guy mixed up with other Herod’s like the one that killed John the Baptist)



Quirinius :

·         Born 51 BC died AD 21

Using logic we see Jesus had to be born somewhere between 27 BC and 4BC.
 
The bible talks of Herods death while Jesus was with Mary and Joseph in Egypt. i.e. 4BC Mary and Joseph were in Egypt.

“After Herod died, Joseph had a dream while he was still in Egypt. In the dream an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother. Go to the land of Israel. Those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” Matthew 2:19 NIRV

Also, it says...

Herod realized that the Wise Men had tricked him. So he became very angry. He gave orders concerning Bethlehem and the area around it. All the boys two years old and under were to be killed. This agreed with the time when the Wise Men had seen the star.” Matthew 2:16 NIRV

Logic dictates he killed boys two years and under because the star appeared at Jesus birth and it had taken the wise men two years to get to Jerusalem and Herod wanted to be sure to kill of the potential king.

This makes Jesus birth year somewhere around 6 B.C.  (4B.C. - 2yrs = 6 B.C.) This gives us our time of Jesus birth. Somewhere around 6B.C. probably in October.

This means we need to celebrate Jesus CONCEPTION at Christmas if we want to do it properly!

What does this mean for us?

Not much!

Jesus’ exacts birth date is not as important as what he did for us and taught us. That’s what we need to focus on.

However, it is good to get our facts straightened a little isn’t it?


[1] Luke 1:5 NIRV
[2] Luke 1:26 NIRV
[3] Luke 1:36 NIRV
Mon, December 10, 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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