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Friday, January 11, 2013

Are we more than tissue, nerves and chemicals?

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“Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Over time we have discovered the source of emotion is not the heart but the brain, that life continues while the brain lives and that a brain dead person can have their bodies kept alive artificially.

Does this mean we are simply matter, bound together in an intricate manner and that once the life spark flutters out, we are no more?

Hmmm! Many think so…

Christians disagree!

Could the non-Christians be right? Could it be that the only reason we have any experiences of people who report bright lights and happy situations as they die, is due to the fact that joy filled people, as they experience the expansion of the last microseconds of consciousness, also have the “happiness” function of their brains being the last to drop into the abyss of emptiness?

On a different front, I have a colleague who firmly asks the question “whether if we remove all matter and human life force as in death, we would not all be the same?” that is whether we are not all uniform in our spiritual component. This is a different question, one which admits a spirit but discards individuality of spirit.

Christians hear the words of God from the bible such as in the statement “People have to die once. After that, God will judge them.”[1] Hebrews 9:27

This clearly indicates that as Christians we are to understand that we are individuals after death, and that there is life after death that is separate from our physical bodies, as we now understand them.

Yet, it is by faith that we accept this! Nobody goes to the other side of death and does scientific experiments. We have no way of stating anything as fact, yet those of us who live in spirit and truth, find we know this to be the fact and in our lives it is true.

Those that read my blog, may have picked up that when younger I was given knowledge of things that would happen in the environment, before they happened.

On more than one occasion, when death was imminent for friends, I knew it beforehand. Once I said goodbye to a friend who I knew was so right with God he would be called within the same evening to heaven. He died 30minutes later after dropping his daughter off at university, and then having a massive coronary before driving into a street lamp, being killed instantly.

If I were organic material with life spark, how could I know this would happen?

Or, how about the time, as another friend organized for his two children to fly home, I had an overwhelming and an all-encompassing feeling of dread.

This man was Jewish, so I felt a fool as later that day, I tried to explain the irrational instruction to cancel the flight for his children. I explained what happened with myself to him and asked him to please look after his children by cancelling their flight.

Amazingly, and not without some strange looks at myself, he did. Later he came to thank me. He had been at the airport when that flight came in. He had dropped off his girlfriend for another flight. Coming home from the airport, speeding along on the highway, a person ran in front of his car and he hit him, killing him.

He explained that his children would have been in the back of his car without seatbelts that they never wore,(South Africa didn’t require it at the time) and with the collision, they would have been catapulted into the car window and would have been killed.

How did I know?

We are more than our physical makeup, as far as I am concerned, but that is something each person needs to decide for themselves!

One aspect we need to consider, is that if as my colleague is right and we are all identical spirits after death, then Hitler and ourselves have no differences after death.

That means we need not operate with any moral value as nothing we do matters! Similarly for those who believe in oblivion.

Now, this does not mean such people do not operate morally, only that they cannot demand the same of anyone else.

Christians however know differently and know that we obey divine laws to improve our universe.

Which of these two groups do you want to be in?

One that accidentally does right, but has no basis for determining right from wrong, and those given divine leading by the God of the universe who explains truth is absolute and we are all accountable?

I know where I want to be and live!

What about you?



[1] Hebrews 9:27 NIRV

Fri, January 11, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why is the invention of writing so important?

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“Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow...” ~ Lawrence Clark Powell

Do you know that History does not go back to when the earth was created?

Are you aware the period History goes back is different in different areas of the world?

What is history?

To answer this we need to understand that archeologists talk of something called pre-history.

What is pre-history?

Type it into google and look it up and the definitions will appear…Wikipedia summarises it as “Prehistory (meaning "before history," from the Latin word for "before," præ) is the span of time before recorded history or the invention of writing systems.

Pre-history is before writing so the correct definition of history is that it starts as people start to write!

Since people started writing at different  times in different locations on the planet, history starts at different times for different cultural groups.

The Earths most ancient history is located in the near Middle East regions.

It is in these same regions that the bible and many other great books have originated. These are ancient writings! Much of the writing occurred before many countries in Europe and North America were even populated by people.

In Mesopotamia (near ancient Middle East) writing starts around 3200 BC, China about 1200 BC, whereas in America it is 600BC.

Why is writing important?

The recording of facts in a way that can be weighed, evaluated and re-used, is fundamental to building our knowledge. Dead people can still speak through writing, and so we are able to gain knowledge and instruction from them, and build upon their skills, gaining a leap forward for a subsequent generation.

Have you considered that now with the advent of the internet, that this advantage is magnified?

We are now being catapulted forward in knowledge acquisition and availability. Linkages are being forged daily to enable more and more accelerated knowledge gain.

Where is this leading us?

Can I suggest it is leading us to what Alvin Toffler coined as “future shock”. We are drowning in information, with less and less ability to integrate it within a human mind.

Time is our enemy in this regard! Time progression only makes it more difficult to understand and integrate knowledge. People spend their lives understanding small facets of knowledge without understanding that integration is critical to success.

This realization made me consider why Jesus came at a time when there were no electronic media to blast his message forth? Why did he pick a time and location that was so concise?

We know Israel was a hub region through which many world movers and shakers had to go to get around the world of the time. The Romans provided relative peace and roads for communications which was helpful. Greek was critical to success, as it was a global language of the time, enabling the message of Christianity to traverse long distances and still be understood.

Writing placed the words onto physical media that could be dated and reviewed, through the centuries, until today.

In the future, electronic media will not be trusted as much as these ancient records, because it can be easily modified without us knowing it was done. That cannot be done to messages written on ancient paper, papyrus, or scratched in ancient stone, many years ago.

God was protecting our ability to review the authenticity of his word by delivering the key message at a time when it could best be dispersed and also validated as time progresses. Today it would be distorted and manipulated for human gain!

Those ancient biblical and related writings are very important! Protecting them is supremely important, and yet all this is in vain unless we read them.

Gaining from the knowledge of those people of the past, that knew and walked with God, is critical to our future. It makes sense of the information deluge we get showered with daily. It gives us a path through the jungle of information assailing our senses throughout every day.

God’s words are a light that shows us the way to escape the inability to correctly integrate. He is above, and greater than all of this. In times where we cannot fully test everything, we need to have someone who can guide us. That’s one of the reasons I read the bible, pray and listen to Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life. It helps me deal with every day!

What helps you do the same? How reliable is that guidance?


Thu, January 10, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Self-doubt, that undermining intrusion of evil in our life

Self-doubt, that undermining intrusion of evil in our life

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11 “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. Jeremiah 29:11

Self-doubt!

It keeps us awake at night and turns day into dread.

 It flows into every movement of our bodies, and makes us tired, uncertain and tormented. Our complexion pales, and we treat each moment with distrust.

Self-doubt undermines our very life structures, and makes us unable to reach our potential.

Why do we endure self-doubt?

One reason is that we do not trust our inner guide, Holy Spirit!

Fundamentally, we all know we do not know everything, and will screw up at various times. Yet as Christians, we have an inner guide that opens doors, leads to the correct places of life, and helps us achieve our potential. We have to trust this inner guidance! Christians call this kind of  trust, faith. We need to increase our faith! Then we will be stronger, able to trust the direction of our life more. Faith powers us past uncertainty!

A second reason for self-doubt is being overly influenced by others.

This particularly applies to friends and families. What others think of us must by nature have impact on our lives, if we are to be compassionate and caring people.

Yet, where others have a lack of godly life, to that extent their opinions need to be lowered in influence on our lives.

Those with the most peace, joy and obvious alignment with God’s guidelines as he lays them out in his word, need to have higher level of influence, than those that don’t.

That doesn’t mean we don’t love them, but that we need to ensure its “agape” love that we have. “Agape” love does not expect anything in return!

Next, when we deal with people we need to treat them as individuals with their own decisions and will, and give them space to be that way.

Manipulation to get others to conform to our beliefs is different from laying out options, and letting people decide. When people decide incorrectly(as we have checked biblically), and perhaps berate us for our decisions, then we need to be careful of giving their words and actions the ability to damage us.

If they have power over us, it sometimes means simply removing ourselves from that sphere of control.

Self-doubt can arise from compassionate intentions to help others, that we believe is aligned with God’s plan, but as it executes, we find everything seems to be going wrong.

In this case we have two areas that plague us. Firstly, were we correct in hearing God in the first place, and secondly, how come if we heard God right, we are running into heavy levels of resistance?

Hearing God is not a science, it is a relationship!

We sometimes love someone and yet mistake the direction they give us simply because we do not align sufficiently with them to fully understand what they are getting at. This happens quite often in our everyday life, and happens in our spiritual life as well. The only way to check this out, is to connect at a deeper level with the person. We need to connect at a deeper level with Holy Spirit.

It is also important to check with others who are spiritually strong, and whom we trust. Often our minds can be so distorted by our drives to do something, that we do not see the facts for what they are.

A good Christian will often see damages we could incur more clearly than ourselves, and those that love us, if they give us seemingly counter intuitive advice that aligns with the bible and common sense, should be listened to, and their words held to the light of God’s purifying power in prayer, before they are acted upon. Sometimes we find we need to change direction.

Maybe we have heard God right, and yet the resistance is still high. Evil hits us from all sides!

In this case, remember that soldiers that are wounded do not stay at the front lines, as they are not much use to the defending forces. When we have injury inflicted by evil, we need to ensure we retreat to a place of compassion, love and spiritual healing. When damaged, we cannot effectively make good decisions or help others well. God says to come to him and he will lift the loads. Often he does that through good Christian’s friends advice and help. Let them help! You can return the favor if God wants you to in the future.

Lastly, remember that we are not perfect and we make mistakes, but that God sees solid eternal value in us. We need to trust God and in so doing learn to love ourselves. Remember God told us to love others as we love ourselves, not the other way around.

It is fine to love yourself, within the guidance of God’s will. It is better to realize none of us can move forward without God’s leading. It is even better to push aside false leading of evil, and step forth in confidence of God’s leading, having friends alongside who love God and agree with his direction in our lives. Strip pride, greed, selfish compassions, and worldly pressures away, and allow Holy Spirit to bathe the wounds in love and peace, giving the presence of joy a firm hold on our soul.

With that let’s go have a prayer filled, power invoking and confident day!

God bless, guide and protect us all!
Wed, January 9, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I think that Steve Jobs “probably” went to hell, and that saddens me!
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Things don't have to change the world to be important. ~ Steve Jobs

 I have finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

Here Steve Jobs is portrayed is a man that changed the technology perspective of our world and yet as one reads the book we find he was an arch-manipulator, a nasty personality that was very self-opinionated. Steve Jobs apparently had spiritual beliefs in the Buddhist side of worldviews, he also attributed some of his mental contortions and success to drugs.

Steve Jobs was adopted, and much of his focus on perfection is attributed to values taught to him by his adopted father.

Jobs was a person who didn’t so much want to use the past, but rather to forge new futures. His key drive seems to have been to leave a legacy behind him when he died. Probably this is the reason that he commissioned a biography.

The question we have to ask as Christians, is what is the spiritual value to this world that he left behind, and whether he will be in heaven in the afterlife.

Steve Jobs identified himself as a Buddist. In his treatment of people he was wildly emotional and often swore profusely. He was often abusive! Just treatment of people was not considered important, only the end goal of their work which he labelled at the extreme ends of the good / bad spectrum and could vacillate on it daily.

He did not appear to be driven by money, or greed, but fear played a large role in his life, motivating him, and he used it to motivate those around him.

Where is Steve today after all this? We know he contributed to the world technologically. That socially, he was a mover and shaker, but perhaps not the best parent. Spiritually he was a vegetarian Buddist in focus. Yet, he was baptised in the Christian faith as a child, never seeming to take up that path with any visible action.

We cannot tell for sure, as no man can judge another, but Jesus did say…

 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14 NIV

Job’s didn’t acknowledge Jesus, or live in a way that even suggests a Christian lifestyle.

Steve Jobs had a great need for stimulation, and to be appreciated, but his greatest desire was to innovate. In this was centred his desire to improve our world and make a difference.

Yet, Jesus also says “If anyone wants to come after me, he must say no to himself. He must pick up his cross and follow me. 35 If he wants to save his life, he will lose it. But if he loses his life for me and for the good news, he will save it. 36 What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses his soul? 37 Or what can anyone trade for his soul?”

Steve Job’s did not appear to follow this advice.

Isn’t it sad?

That a person can be as driven as this man was, that they can contribute as much as he did, but they can miss the spiritual mark as badly as he did?

The question we need to ask, is not what we accomplish in material form, not even how famous we will become, or how many people we will influence. The question is “What is the eternal significance of what we do?”.

How will we measure up when our life is weighed? Will we be found to be missing the fundamentals as Steve Jobs appears to have done, or will we be able to know we have the peace and joy of eternal life?

Steve never appears to have had peace and joy even in this life! I doubt he has it in eternity. How do we measure up?
Tue, January 8, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, January 7, 2013

The basic motivators of humankind’s progress
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The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

 Perhaps even more important than where we are heading as humankind, is the motivators to the direction of that progress.

There are times when one takes some time to reflect and the Christmas/ New Year period is one of those times for me.

One of the conclusions I have come to is that we can know what the basic motivators are behind the progress of humankind (at least, I have my theory) and here are the three basic concepts that I believe drive our world forward.

1.   Leveraging dead peoples knowledge,
2.   Our need to be stimulated, to innovate and be appreciated,
3.   Our innate desire to improve our world and make a difference.

I guess I could write a chapter on each of the points, but we don’t have time this right now so I will simply try to explain them briefly and move on.

From the time the first cavemen picked up pigment and scratched pictures on the walls of a cave, we as humans have been reviewing history, learning from it and using what we learn to change the course of our lives and the lives of those around us. We leverage dead people’s knowledge.

Now, being a Christian it becomes a point of interest to consider if God uses dead peoples knowledge, since we are supposedly according to the bible made in God’s image.

Jesus is God in human form, so did he leverage dead peoples knowledge?

Strangely enough, we find Jesus continually refers to the writings of scripture which includes the words of dead prophets. Jesus leveraged dead peoples knowledge!

Why?

Perhaps because we as humans need to have the context of our past to accept changes that will move us forward in life.

Perhaps by referring to the known gains of the past and building upon them, we can easier move forward into our future. Perhaps a few words referring to a past body of knowledge enables a huge context to be gained in little time, allowing the person communicating them to use this body of knowledge and extrapolate forward without having to repeat it.

I could say more, but basically we are leveraging dead peoples knowledge!

Next, I suggest we need to be stimulated, to innovate and be appreciated.

How about Jesus?

Does Jesus need to be stimulated, to innovate and be appreciated?

Can I suggest that the greatest innovation in time is this universe with all its complexity! We are told Jesus the “logos” (see John 1) created it all. That’s innovation!

Next, why create this universe if Jesus didn’t need the stimulation of interacting with human kind?

 Why come as a man if he didn’t want the stimulation of being part of the human race and understanding and experiencing the fears, loves and pains we all experience as part of life?

Yes, I do believe God wants the stimulation that comes from our presence.

We are told our prayers are incense in the throne room of heaven. It appears God wants us to stimulate him!

Does God want to be appreciated? Sure! What is worship and praise other than appreciation being demonstrated and we read in teh bible that God desires this.

We are created in God’s image and so we also want to be appreciated, don’t we?

I do believe we all want to be stimulated, to innovate and be appreciated.

Then, we all have that innate desire to improve our world and make a difference.

This is inherent in us all isn’t it?

 Some of us do better at achieving this goal than others, but it resides in all of our souls. Different people see this being done in different ways.


An atheist may chose science as a tool, a Christian my allow God to direct them(not rejecting science but not seeing it as supreme), and other worldviews have different directions, but overall I do believe everyone wants to be in a better place, and that everyone also attempts in their own way to make the world a better place.

Achieving all this is naturally up to evaluation by others. We judge the effectiveness of peoples goals and the amount they do something for the world.

Does Hugh Hefner getting married for the third time to a playgirl about a third of his age improve the world...I’m not sure!

Did Jesus improve this world? I believe so!

However, the real question is what you and I are doing in this last point. A larger question is what is humankind as a whole doing in this regard? An even larger question is what should humankind be doing in this regard?

We cannot direct humankind, but we can direct ourselves!

Each of us needs to review what we are doing with the three points that drive our future and determine what our legacy will be from our lifes work.

I know my objective, do you know yours?
Mon, January 7, 2013 | 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?

 

 

 
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