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Friday, February 7, 2014

Patience and Faith, is there a relationship?
PersistencePaysOff.jpgPatience and Faith, is there a relationship?

“Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past. Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing, serene hope.” ~ Corazon Aquino quotes (Political leader and president (1986-92) of the Philippines)

James, Jesus brother says the following...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

How different is that advice to that we would give today isn’t it?

How would we do it today? Let’s see if we can write it in a contemporary way that is more like how people consider these aspects today.  Would people not rather say...

Consider it pure happiness friends whenever you can avoid troubles of any kind, because you know that these test your ability to endure and who wants to endure trouble. Avoid trouble, run away so that you can be content and find what you want another day.

Isn’t that more what people say?

 So let’s compare this to what James actually says.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds

Consider it pure happiness friends whenever you can avoid troubles of any kind

Firstly notice we are talking of joy and not happiness.

Happiness is a feeling and emotion in a range of emotions from contentment to satisfaction. Normally it results from getting what we want or things we want. It is fairly temporary depending on circumstances.

Joy is deeper. It is far stronger and causes deep caring
, coming from deep gratitude and thankfulness. It is long lasting and is generally independent of circumstances.

Which is better to have?

Next, James says brothers and sister, when we would really say friends.

Which has more deeper attachment, brothers and sisters or friends?

As Christians we are more tightly linked than friends are.

Then James says we need to face troubles and we will face them.

Notice he uses the word “when”. They will happen.

The common thinking of our everyday world is to avoid trouble isn’t it?

This is a vastly different thinking isn’t it?

Okay so the next bit says:

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

because you know that these test your ability to endure and who wants to endure trouble.

Testing is important to James and should be to us. Notice we have to already have faith, troubles are not there to produce faith but to test it. We need our Faith tested if we are to grow as Christians.

That word perseverance is difficult to translate from the original. If you check a few translations you may find it translated differently. The word is hupomoné in the original. It has parts of the meaning of remaining under, endurance; steadfastness, patience.

It seems that by facing troubles with faith and enduring them, we gain joy and learn to endure, be steadfast, patient and under God’s blessing.

That deep joy increases as we endure.

Compare that to the other version which is about escaping trouble. Ducking out of the test only enables us to stay in our same spiritual state. There is no spiritual or joy growth. Basically we shortchange ourselves simply to avoid the pain of trouble.

Pain on this earth is one of the greatest forces for change. We need to know that we should not look for it but when we come under it we need to check ourselves to see how we respond. Do we simply look for the easy way out or do we look for the right way through it?

An athlete that gets injured would never get back into their sport if they avoided the trouble and pain of retraining recovering muscles. We need to do the same don’t we?

Okay so the last bit...

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Avoid trouble, run away so that you can be content and find what you want another day.

What does this steadfast remaining under God’s will produce other than the trial itself? Well James says it increases our maturity and completes us. Physically?

Not physically! Spiritually!

We grow eternal value this way, not temporary. Which is more important, happiness for a day or two or joy for eternity?

Common wisdom is to run away from trails and pain. Firstly this isn’t always possible, and secondly people who do this instead of going through the situation with dignity, truth, endurance and patience shortchange themselves. They loose out! They fail to gain huge spiritual steps forward!

 Patience when our faith is tested produces joy that is immeasurable.

Let’s trust our God and gain through the troubles.

May today be a day of success and joy despite the circumstances you find yourself in!
Fri, February 7, 2014 | link          Comments

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Troubles, are pure joy?
Troubles, are pure joy?

ComplexityToSimplicity.jpgCrazy talk right!

Have you noticed how many times Christians are criticised in the news, media, and even at parties?

Yet, have you noticed who comes around to help those in need, who take of their own money to support needs, who take their time to look after the older and needy.

Often it is the Christians isn’t it?

 James 1:2 says “My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy.”

We all get faced with troubles, but for Christians (true Christians not those who pay it lip service Sundays), trouble is simply a means to engage the power of God in a circumstance.

A world without opposition would be a strange place for a Christian. We know that when faced with opposition, we are often facing evil in another form and we delight in our God who overcomes evil. This means when facing trouble we get excited to see just how God is going to get good out of the evil of the circumstances.

God is a master at getting good out of evil circumstances and knowing God gives us joy, and anticipating the good coming out of the circumstances and the destruction of evil adds to that joy.

So, we as Christians are a little strange in that facing trouble we are joyful and almost excited to see God at work.

Today we could be facing tremendous odds, difficult circumstances and overwhelming odds. Know that God will gain form the situation and we will gain from supporting God by being available to do his work.

To God be the Glory!

Not such crazy talk is it?

Have a great day!
Wed, February 5, 2014 | link          Comments

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What does Obesity, Alchohol and Sugar have in common?
champagneCork.jpgWhat does Obesity, Alcohol and Sugar have in common?

Answer #1: The WHO

Answer #2: ?

Today the Times of India reports: “The World Health Organisation has urged for a global drive to tackle the causes of cancer linked to lifestyle, such as alcohol abuse, sugar consumption and obesity.”

The WHO has linked these three as evils in our world.

How did that happen? Also how come those three, two seem logical but sugar consumption seems to be wrong doesn't it?

The World Cancer Report has apparently said half of the cancer cases in the next few years are preventable as they are linked to lifestyle.

In reports the Margaret Chan , WHO director said this is influenced by “increasing use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol and highly processed foods and lack of physical activity

I guess if we look at these and distil it down, these don’t happen when people are focused on Christian work, because Christians focus on helping others and not damaging themselves. Pleasure for Christians comes more from serving and helping, than from stuffing our faces and sitting in front of televisions.

God wants us to take care of our bodies. 1 Corinthians 6 says...

19 Don’t you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit is in you. You have received him from God. You do not belong to yourselves. 20 Christ has paid the price for you. So use your bodies in a way that honors God.

In simple terms, abusing your body with pleasuring yourself, is a sin. Alcohol is not evil itself but excess use damages the body, loosens the tongue and mind enabling us to hurt others. This is a sin.  

“Be careful. If you aren’t, your hearts will be loaded down with wasteful living, drunkenness and the worries of life. Then the day the Son of Man returns will close on you like a trap. You will not be expecting it. 35 That day will come upon every person who lives on the whole earth. ..says Luke 21

Sugar is not always negative, but it is listed to be as addictive as heroine.

I think it is rather amusing that Forbes, a premier magazine that is well respected would entitle one of their articles... Research Shows Cocaine And Heroin Are Less Addictive Than Oreos.

Here heroin and sugar are linked as a pair of the most addictive substances on the planet. It quotes “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” [neuroscientist Joseph] Schroeder said.”

Christians would reject crack, but how many would see high-fat/high-sugar foods in the same light.

Research says we should! We love to ignore this don’t we?

As we swallow back those sugar laden donuts, or ladle in the chocolate ice cream, or dunk those Oreos in our milk, are we giving into addictive pleasures?


This is not a popular message to hear is it?

Yet, I think if we honestly check deep down, we know it’s true.

God doesn’t want us damaging ourselves. He has setup our world with better ways of living than many of us are choosing.

Let’s ask His forgiveness and start taking the first steps to stop our addictions.

The addiction to sugar and fatty foods being the one most of us suffer from! Yes alcoholism is prevalent, but not as widespread or dangerous as gluttony and a focus on the sweet/fatty pleasures of life that will probably give us pain filled cancer later in our lives. Not only cancer can be the outcome, but also diabetes and other illnesses.

We will not escape damaging our bodies against the will of God.

Today as we reach for that candy, let’s shoot a prayer to God and ask him to put angels around us to make us aware of what we are doing, to give us Holy Spirits power within us to resist, and the joy that comes from knowing we have resisted evil.

Have a wonderful blessed day because of WHO He is, the great God in heaven who lives within us ,and loves us enough to die for us. We have an eternal destination so let’s look after the temporary bodies as best as we can on the way there.

Have a great day!
Tue, February 4, 2014 | link          Comments

Monday, February 3, 2014

If God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, how come we donít still sacrifice?
Kingdom_of_God_coming.jpg If one tries to think about history, it seems to me - it's like looking at a range of mountains.

And the first time you see them, they look one way. But then time changes, the pattern of light shifts.

Maybe you've moved slightly, your perspective has changed. The mountains are the same, but they look very different. ~ Robert Harris

When Adam and Eve were running about naked in the garden of Eden without selfish, nasty thoughts in their heads the bible says God was there…

“Then the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking in the garden.” Gen 3:8a

When Cain killed Able, God was there

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” Gen 4:9

When the first huge boat was made, God was there…

22 Noah did everything exactly as God commanded him. 

Cities got built and God was there. Towers were built God was there. Israel was taken into captivity by nations that had formed and God was there. The Israelites requested a sacrificial system of worship after making a golden idol and God was there.

Jesus came to earth and God was really there. Jesus left this Earth and Holy Spirit came and God is now always here.

When the A-bomb was dropped, God was there.

Today when the latest version iPhone hit the stores God was there.

God is here right now!

Is God the same as yesterday and in what way?

People running around in animal skins, and people in modern laboratories or behind computers are vastly different aren’t they?

God needs all groups and ages of mankind to get the same message.  

Doing that is hard, but God does it!

 Do we ever consider that God in his gentle wisdom has over the years addressed us in the way we could best understand?

At each point in mankind’s development, God adapts to our ways of worshiping him so that we can best understand his love, compassion and grace.

Simple man needed simple messages they could understand and repeat. Poetry and the form and sound of words was important. It is hardly surprizing that Genesis 1 is written the way it was.

When the world needed to interact with God through sacrifices, God reluctantly enable this form of worship. As soon as human history could accept God in flesh, Jesus came to be the ultimate communication of God to man. The temple worship was no longer necessary, and so it was destroyed to unleash mankind’s potential to interact with God.

Yet men still insisted on following leaders who guided them. God gave them these leaders. In the early days, not everyone could read and write, so in his wisdom God put people who could understand his word in place in order to reveal it to those who could not read and write. Not a pure form, but a necessary form. Through the centuries many could not read or right adequately, or could not have the education to understand God’s word, and so this was the role of church leaders.

These men often fell prey to selfish, ignorant and nasty behaviour, and this resulted in distortions of Gods message of love. It is still happening with some televangelists today.Yet in the early 1900’s and definitely after the war, more and more people started to read. God’s word could be read and partially understood, without people having to be the interpreters, so the way God revealing himself also changed.

We see the change in people as the need to have leaders diminished more, as communications got better.

Mankind’s knowledge grew greatly, and now no one person could amass sufficient knowledge to claim to become an expert in everything.

We started specializing, and only groups of people could understand everything.

Churches changed to accommodate more group input into understanding God.

Home “cell” groups popped up everywhere.

Mankind has not finished changing.

Now with the internet, everyone has ability to search and find information for themselves.

Mankind no longer has to personally know an expert to get the knowledge, and so searches as an individual for knowledge they need right now.

The internet provides a lot of this knowledge. God is the same however. He is still communicating in the way we best understand.

Have you considered that God is communicating to you through this piece of writing this morning?

God never changes, but we have to. God’s communication and church direction must change with our development as mankind. That’s perhaps why classical churches with their costly limited function, brick and mortar buildings are starting to go into disrepair.

Perhaps God is moving his communications to a more effective medium.

There’s a thought for today?

But let me say…God desires our love, he desires us to love each other deeply, and he wants us to help those who need help around us. What are we doing about that?

Chatting over the internet is helpful but doesn’t really help a starving person without shelter in Africa, South America or the Philippines. does it?

We need to help our world as God leads us.

Let’s go do it today!
Mon, February 3, 2014 | link          Comments

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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse.

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com

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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?



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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?



Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
Frugal Eating Advice
Good advice for students living on limited $'s. Click on the image!

 May you be blessed today!

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