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Friday, January 18, 2013

Text is not the only means to communicate right?

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“All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgerize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.” ~ William Bernbach

"Jesus had scribes write down each word he said to the masses so that we could have ever word carefully preserved for the future",
Is this statement right?

Of course not! That statement is a total lie!

Jesus was a middle class guy in a time when carpentry was the middleclass profession of the day, and while as a Jew he would have learned to read and write, his key followers were fishermen who would rather have worked with nets than paper.

Jesus didn’t create an organization that included the scribes of the day (equivalent to our modern day publishers), but instead lived life in among people and interacted with these people directly.

To get his message out he would often have found a high spot and sat down. Then he talked, or rather almost shouted his message to the hundreds and thousands that gathered to hear him.

Jesus also knew how to work the masses. Jesus knew how to communicate so he would be remembered and talked about. Things that we now find boring, old news and gloss over as we read them were not that way when he said them.

When Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees “white washed tombs”, that was a huge insult!

Jesus was insulting and warning people at the same time when in Matthew 23:27 he said “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You are like tombs that are painted white. They look beautiful on the outside. But on the inside they are full of the bones of the dead. They are also full of other things that are not pure and clean.”

This would be like calling the pope a prostitute to his face in a Vatican mass setting with world journalists sitting around. (This analogy is rather inadequate I guess but it’s the best I can come up with on the spur of the moment. The Pope is not way like a prostitute, but I am making a point about the scandalous usage of Jesus words)

 Everyone would have found Jesus statement incredible! The word would have rapidly spread about this guy who had the audacity to expose the leaders of the day.

Jesus could send out verbal earthquakes that disturbed and rippled across the gossip highways of the local communities, getting exposure and pulling people into hear what he had to say.

How can we do this today? Today, we have many media channels. Our textual bible is incredibly important, but a huge number of people still don’t read and the modern youths can read but seem to prefer video, audio and pictorial data.

Christians need to get over the fear of media! We as Christians know it is abused to undermine and spread falsehoods, but it can be used equally to spread truth!

Simply avoiding it and the professions that manipulate this medium is like refusing to fill in a hole in roadway in front of our driveway simply because it should be done by the city. When they don’t do the job, complaining doesn’t help does it? Ignoring the hole will sooner or later cause damage. Leaving the media to non-Christians and expecting them finally realize they need to be fair and truthful is similar.

We have to get involved now! Support the modern media that deliver Christian messages. Audio bibles are one way of communicating, but now days there is the video medium as well. Internet messages need to be broadcast, Christian gaming embraced.

My wonderful wife spends time on Sundays explaining God’s messages to young people. She has over the years  found one of the most impactful ways to do this is to use video snippets and movies that are available to all of us right now. She laments that so little is available covering our bible with video!

Sadly, we often find that those who produce these items are not well supported by those of us that form part of the Christian community. After doing a few video’s, they  go out of business. This is so wrong! We need to support these brave people who risk everything to correctly introduce God’s word in the new mediums. We need to be willing to PAY for their products, promote them and not rip them off verbally or any other way! We need to encourage the artists and producers of these works. Yes, they make mistakes (don’t we all) but at least they are trying!

How about getting a few friends together and building youtube video’s of parts of the bible? It can be fun and hugely impactful at the same time!

Sometimes amateur video has more impact than sophisticated Hollywood productions when it comes to communicating simple messages.

What can we do? We can stop being negative to Christian media offerings and we can encourage our young people to move into the worlds of art and drama without fear. We can support bible distribution activities by buying the products and by distributing the audio bibles (Links to free audio bibles can be found everywhere e.g http://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/ http://www.audiotreasure.com/ and you can find more)

Try listening to the bible as you drive long distances with family and friends. Amazingly conversations get started. They can lead to interesting places using our travel time for life fulfilling activities.

Mostly, let’s pray! Pray that God’s words will become more impactful, more applicable to the modern world and that more people will use the various means of different media in discovering truth.

We can make a difference if we pull together on getting God’s word out, can’t we?

Fri, January 18, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Power living…without finding fault or arguing!
 
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“The real fault is to have faults and not to amend them” ~ Confucius

“Do everything without finding fault or arguing. Then you will be pure and without blame. You will be children of God without fault in a sinful and evil world. Among the people of the world you shine like stars in the heavens. You shine as you hold out to them the word of life. So I can brag about you on the day Christ returns. I can be happy that I didn’t run or work for nothing.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIRV

Great advice, but how can we possible do everything without finding fault or arguing?

Surely inadequate products need to be exposed to enable better ones to be produced. Surely we need to pit ideas against each other if we are to find the one that is the superior and use that concept for the greater good?

“Everything” without fault?

What does this really mean?

I guess the problem is when we take something out of context and then try to understand it! It requires us to know what the context of this discussion was and if we investigate it then we see that just prior to this Paul is saying…

“God is working in you. He wants your plans and your acts to be in keeping with his good purpose.”

This statement of not finding fault, is in relation to God’s purpose in us! We need to understand that many of the things God asks us to do are not easy, in fact they are probably the last thing we want to do sometimes.

Tired and sore, we may not want to be loving, caring and careful of our speech and actions. We may instead want to lash out at silly mistakes people make. God does not want us doing this! It is the tiresome human nature to which we are linked by our human bodies that drags us down at times.

It is at these times that the advice of those words I started this blog with come into play.

We need to avoid finding fault and arguing. Instead we need to allow Holy Spirit to work on our attitudes and enable us to rise above the squalor of the common life responses to the pure, blameless shining lives that stand out in the spirit world like stars in a black sky!

That’s the key to living well today isn't?

Thu, January 17, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Combating evil desires...can we do it...probably not!
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We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.” ~ Francois Rabelais

Francois Rabelais commented this in the 1400’s,
do we consider anything has changed since then?

Desires grip us continually and sway our intentions from the path previously chosen. We tend to want to move from our good desires to paths of uncertainty and evil where excitement is mounting, emotions tingling and anticipations increasing.

What makes one desire good and another evil?

Most people in the world have a fuzzy definition of what is morally good and what is morally wrong don't they?

From the first step in life others explain to us that love, justice, prosperity and caring for other is good, whereas evil is deliberately doing the wrong things, undermining others or their actions, harming and humiliating others, doing destructive or violent acts.

For Chrsitans Jesus took the understanding of evil into the thought world, and indicated it is not only doing, but even thinking evil that is wrong! He defined it as doing and thinking things God considers evil.  This is often a much more rigid definition, and considerably different from moral evil we learn of and get told is evil by others.

Christians are held to a higher level of what others call good morality! We are held to divine morality that is bound to absolute truth (see yesterday’s blog for an understanding of our truth).

When we think or do things that are not even impacting others, but that God does not approve of, we have taken part in evil if we are Christians.

This want to do and think these things should be relatively easy to avoid, shouldn’t it?

We should never want to have something another has...right?

But we all seem to have this urge to desire evil at times don’t we?

For istance, we know we should not want to read lust filled articles, or horoscopes, or satanic spells from the latest book on the bestsellers list, but we do have wants of these nature, don’t we? We shouldn’t want to be more popular, or more beautiful, or more intelligent than others, but these do enter our motivations don’t they? How about wanting to stand on others to reach our goals? We may not do it, but how often do we think it?

Desires spring up, and once unleashed can be very powerful! We know that young people dabbling into the pornography world find that what starts as curiosity, ends up with compulsion, and even worse. This is only one example. We can think of others related to alchohol and drugs, cant we?

How do we fight these desires, since the very thoughts seem to capture our mind as we attempt to put them aside?

There is a message from the bible, written by Paul, that helps with this...

So I say, live by the Holy Spirit’s power. Then you will not do what your sinful nature wants you to do.” Galatians 5:16 NIRV

The way to combat desire is not to fight it, but replace it with a greater desire, the desire to experience God’s power in our life. A desire to be performing life tasks with vitality and deep love. The desire to see others unleashed from evil desires and able to raise them to their full potential.

Deep love requires deep intimacy! Anyone who has loved another knows that the more intimate, the better the love. That’s why we get married as Christians, to increase that intimacy with the one person chosen for us, by God. Once dedicated to that one person, we can release concerns and fears that hold us from revealing ourselves full to the other. Our weaknesses we know will not be used against us, and our strengths will be magnified and increased. As God enters the relationship in both hearts a melding of spirits occurs that flows the lives together, so that physical intimacy is superb, but overflowed by the emotional, intellectual and pure submerging into each other’s soul and where our combined spirits dance on the winds of intuition and worship to the music of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives.

Yet, in all this we learn that the power of Holy Spirit can overcome all evil desires, replacing them with something far better. It is not the turning from evil desires which is most important (although that is of course important), it is the enabling of the deeper desires by submerging ourselves in God’s holy Spirits guidance and gaining ultimate desires that is powerful and breaks the evil spells.

God is good! When we see this, everything else dims and we step forth with confidence onto the path of life for the day.

That’s where I want to go today! What about you?
Wed, January 16, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The quality of truth, what is it?
 
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The quality of truth is recently strained, it no longer drops as a gentle rain from heaven to the earth beneath. No longer is it accepted as absolute by the giver and receiver. It was the mightiest, but has become the pauper. It used to empower, now it manipulates. It used to be honored an attribute of God himself, now it is the tool of human manipulators.

We have dissected truth and then looked at its parts and in so doing we have destroyed it’s very character.

We know truth means fact or reality, we believe it means sticking to an original idea or standard, but we have now undermined the facts and redefined the standards haven’t we?

Many of us measure truth by how accurately it ties to “things”. That linkage to reality (as seen by ourselves). Truth in this case is measurable and obtained by consensus of people. People like the ancient Plato and Socrates would subscribe to this truth. Yet this truth is influence by the power of individuals and groups. It is not absolute but follows man driven norms of understanding and politics!

Maybe we need to see if things fit together well to find truth? Truth here is the aspect that supports the completeness of a set of concepts. The problem here is that not everything is linked so we cannot really get a true grip on truth in one set of concepts compared to truth in another. We end up with many disconnected truths.

Maybe truth is built up from our history? Maybe we construct truth over time and it is a culmination of the years of struggle of the human race. What would have happened to truth if Hitler had won the war then? Surely we can agree this is the least correct of the views of truth, yet we know the victors always rewrite the history books in their favour. Are we accepting of truth that is the culmination of the worlds reinterpretation of facts over time? I certainly don’t think I can follow that definition!

How about consensus? Whatever we agree upon is true? This is a really crazy perspective but very much a modern one and one that many young people believe today. Unfortunately with the mass of information, truth is considered almost impossible to attain as an absolute and so people settle for whatever their current in group thinks is best. So vegans can be consider to have truth on vegetables by their crowd, carnivores for truth on dairy products and meat by their crowd, and both can be allowed to have truth? Really? Doesn’t that seem rather weird or odd? If it doesn’t, you are probably one of those who float on a consensus truth and really change beliefs like others change clothes. Once one wears out, the next can be found and accepted. Not where I want to go either!

Another view of truth is based on how we put ideas into practice! What we do constructs truth! As we do it people agree it’s true and so it is! Really? Truth always works is the outcome. This is closer to the truth I would want to follow, but it requires many actions to know it. What about where the action totally destroys the ability to know the truth being sought, does that mean truth of that nature can never be known. Not ideal really! An example is in the question of what remains of us that is not material when we die. Shall we die to find out?

Christians will use the tools provided to us by the world attempts to define truth, but understand truth is first of all absolute (there is only one truth), it is omniscient (that is it applies everywhere equally), it is that which is judged to be truth by God himself.

Truth is above the politicians and their ability to spin and sway the masses, it is an attribute of God enthroned in the hearts of men.

It is when we perform life activities in the way that most exactly follows Gods guidelines. It is found by plunging into God’s word and investigating our world and what it reveals with innocent awe of the eternal.

It is you and I today, walking the way God wants us to, loving others correctly, using what we have to bless others and our environment, it is our courageously taking on the wrongs and evils in the world and wrestling good from these incidents. It is the progression of God’s will over time.

We make it happen! God’s word reveals... John 8:31&32 Jesus spoke to the Jews who had believed him. “If you obey my teaching,” he said, “you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.”

He also said... John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Will you join me in getting absolute truth going for us, and trusting God?

Tue, January 15, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, January 14, 2013

We are on an emotional rollercoaster, should we jump off?

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“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” ~ John W. Gardner

“Arousal” - To stir up; excite

“habituation” - The decline of a conditioned response following repeated exposure to the conditioned stimulus. (in simple terms, continual exposure creates less of a impact each time we are exposed to something)

Two words that explain so much of human life!

Think of the last time you watched television, a movie, played a game, or met a new person that interested you.

Was arousal of emotions part of that activity? Probably!

Take a look at the headlines in the news today…

Here are some of them…

·         7 men gang rape bus passenger in India ~ IBNLive

·         Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby due in July ~ Telegraph UK

·         The cheek of it! Commuters strip down to their underwear for 'No Pants Day'~ Mirror

Notice how these are tailored to induce emotional reactions?

We are emotional junkies!

Every day we look for our next fix of emotional arousal!

That next murder on TV, that next romance in the news or from our movies, that anger at being subject to some event, that joy at receiving a surprise.

This is what flavours our lives and yet, the more we get, the more we want!

Over time our need for stimulation increases!

Those that drop into that murky evil of pornography, don’t start with the hard-core stuff, but as one thing gets less stimulating, they need their next fix of more weird and sub-normal sexual stimulation.

That business man, that manages to pull off that hard negotiation that had him in cold sweats, and makes that big deal, has an emotional high. Yet it lasts for a very short time. After doing a few similar deals he is starting to look for more difficult and complicated deals. Why?

The puppy love of the first teenager love encounter, where a stolen kiss invokes the highest emotions, soon gets bored of it, and wants to move to more and more physical contact. Right?

These are examples of habituation!

Habituation is a process that steals emotional satisfaction!

What is the remedy?

Proverbs 19:23[1] says “Having respect for the Lord leads to life.    Then you will be content and free from trouble.”

Respect!

How much do we respect ourselves and others?

This is the control that stops habituation from winding up our desires until we are in the abnormal need for emotional arousal area!

Respect for God!

Today, so much of our lives centers around ourselves, and yet God wants us to take that focus and turn it to him, and then to those around us.

God asks us to have respect for him and others!

God died to give us special abilities, one of these is the ability to communicate with Holy Spirit 24x7. This is a situation where we are continually stimulated by the living God.

This is where our emotions can be run to full arousal levels without any chance of pain.

This is where no habituation can take place because God is infinite, his love overflows to us so we can go from emotional high to a higher high!

This is where respect limits our doing evil!

We reject those pornography images since it does not allow us to respect God, the person or even ourselves. This is where we deal fairly with our business partners, not allowing them to abuse us, but giving them a fair deal. Respect governs the pillaging approach that many businessmen take in deals, limiting these to reasonable levels. Respect for our partners in love, keeps us from going too far before we reach the place God wants us to be in the relationship.

Respect enables us to love our neighbours at the right level. Respect keeps us in trim, and balanced.

We need to respect ourselves as well!

Our bodies are the temple of God, respect means we take care of them. We get exercise, we avoid being overweight, we ensure our bodies are ready for the demands the a Godly challenging life, may put on them.

Our emotions, will and mind, are protected by the respect we have for others and ourselves. We read God’s word, listen to Holy Spirit and treat others the way God wants us to. In that there is power! The power to appreciate each day! We don’t need the next movie, headline or relationship, to get our highs as we enjoy each moment and anticipate the next.

The need for arousal is no longer spinning out of control. Boredom with the last experience no longer pushes us to more extreme emotional gymnastics. Instead, we have a flow of love in our lives that activates us, motivates us, ensures we never become bored with life, as there is simply to much to do and to many to love.

We build real friends, not those who simply want to enjoy the next emotional extreme with us. Our friends become more important to us over the years. Our respect for each other grows as does our abilities to have simple solid joy in the activities of life.

Now, isn’t that a level of emotional arousal we should be going for?



[1] Proverbs 19:23 NIRV

Mon, January 14, 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.

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Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
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  • Published: September, 2010
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