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Friday, May 30, 2014

Crazy Christian responses
Crazy Christian responses

yourFaultPointing.JPGOn the contrary, repay evil with blessing ~ Peter the Apostle (1 Peter 3:9)

Hurt…Angry…Wanting to explode!

 
What do you do?

 Some of us swear, spewing out vicious profanities. Perhaps that could even be considered to be the norm and somewhat clever. We see it on TV all the time don't we? It's even considered entertainment(how far have we sunk?)

 Others enjoy inflicting pain as payment for evil. These approaches seem to be a common.
How often have we heard…

“How can I make the other pay for what they did?”


  How effective is this statement and attitude? How effective is it to damage another just because we have been damaged or they attempted to damage us?

Which is the better approach;

…to inflict pain on someone so that they remember it and hate forever,

…to forgive and offer love and reconciliation that causes them to regret what they did, change their lives and respect us forever

?


 Which really makes more sense?

We have been given choices in life, to improve our world, or destroy it a little more.

Every day we get faced with these choices and we get to decide. God gave us free will and made sure it was free will. He had to do that if we were to freely choose to love him. Yet that free will is not constrained and can be used whatever way we please.

We should be asking

“How much can I model God in my behaviour and improve the world for this person and those around us?”


 That will not lead to swearing and vicious attacks, but to amazingly different behaviour in the same situation.

Peter got it 2000 years ago when he explained…

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,

 “Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,

but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 1 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

Christians are not soft and weak minded but incredibly courageous and strong in mind and spirit.

Because we bless those who curse us we are not weak, but strong.

We are the super-humans in normal bodies. God’s chosen in a mediocre society. Jesus’ soldiers of peace in a war torn world.

We make our planet a better place and when attacked, we do the right thing and don’t mindlessly respond to animalistic urges. We are stronger than that through God’s power in our lives.

Today let’s try to remember that and live for Him improving our world!
Fri, May 30, 2014 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Crazy Christian attitudes
Crazy Christian attitudes

Nero.JPG“He who is brave is free.” ~ Lucas Annaeus Seneca

Seneca was a Roman philosopher and statesman. What can we learn from him?

He was the tutor and advisor of the emperor Nero in the first century and was later forced by Nero to commit suicide for being part of the Pisonian conspiracy (where the 41 people of the ruling statesmen group got annoyed with Nero and wanted to kill him). Many think he was not part of it but it didn’t make much difference. Nero got his way and Seneca died.

Seneca was born around the same time as Jesus. He grew up in Rome and at age 54 became the emperor’s advisor.

He died the year after Nero started killing Christians. That was AD 64 and it was around that time that Peter one of the guys who Jesus left to run his church wrote these words.

Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2

Don’t these words seem strange when we know how nasty the emperor was to Christians?

We as Christians are held to a higher level of conduct because God has set us free and we have an eternal future. We are children of eternity, ambassadors of the most powerful person in eternity. We are to be head and shoulders above the normal morality around us. We are to enable the power of Holy Spirit into our life’s decisions, powering our days with exceptional capabilities and miracles. Enabling us to cut into the core of the value of life instead of thrash around in the shallows of purpose.

Being a Christian is not for those lacking courage since God will build us up to the point where we can face monsters. Reading these words of Peter we see advice on how to kill the evil in this world.

Be free but respectful! How respectfully do we live each day?

How much respect do we give our governments? DO we support them in a respectful way or badmouth everything that gets done? Peter asked people to support an Emporer who was burning Christians alive in his front garden. Any of our governments do that? When we vote we make our choices as people. we should live with this in a supportive way until the next voting term. That's the correct way. Do we do this? Do we respect those in authority over us, our managers, parents and leaders?

We are to live as Jesus did. He didn't organize people to rebel against authority. he pointed them to truth. Lets do the same.

How much do we check today to see that we treat others the way they should be treated in God’s eyes?

Thu, May 29, 2014 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You canít build an arch without a keystone
You can’t build an arch without a keystone

cornerstone.jpgYou are a building that is built on the apostles and prophets. They are the foundation. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in the building. The whole building is held together by him. It rises to become a holy temple because it belongs to the Lord. And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit. Ephesians 2:20-22


Have you ever considered how we are part of the structure of humanity? Each of us is a block built upon a previous generation building towards a future, unknown for some and known for Christians.



Our lives not only have meaning in themselves, but are part of a structure of meaning. One that in the case of Christian heritage builds a glorious praising edifice to our glorious God.



The first in this structure were those who walked and talked with Jesus. Holy Spirit came initially to them and they set that fire going that would spread through the world. Not a consuming fire, but a fire that is rather like the burning bush that Moses faced and which when he walked away was left un-scorched.



Holy Spirit moves into our hearts to build us into the people of God.

Yet the keystone is Jesus. The structure of the arch does not have the ability to stand by itself, there is a keystone that tops the arch and holds it up. By its presence the whole is sustained and the whole glorifies its presence.



It’s not easy to build an arch. It takes support from outside the structure. Similarly to build the church takes support outside the structure. The grace of God provides that support, sustaining us as we are built up to glorify Christ. We are part of that glory, part of that temple of praise and worship, but each of us has an individual position and purpose. No two have the same purpose.



Consider that today as we live and work together we are constructing in eternity!

We are not alone in our struggles and we are part of structure that stretches back through the centuries to Jesus himself. It stretches further, to the start of this world, the start of the universe, to the beginning where God the “I AM” was present with the Spirit and His son.



Isn’t it a privilege to be part of this immensity?
Wed, May 28, 2014 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Are we sure Jesus rose from the dead?
Are we sure Jesus rose from the dead?

 tomb.jpgWhy are we sure?

What information do we have that this is not just a fantastic con job that has clouded the mind of millions over the centuries?
 
Is there any way we can possibly know for certain or with a little certainty?

There is, and not all of this is pure bible based. There are Jewish and Roman historians who report that it was commonly held belief at the time that Jesus rose from the dead. Also, the New Testament is quite accurate in the majority of it’s facts. It has been shown to be generally historically accurate by much study over many years.

That said, what about the story helps us have confidence in Jesus rising from the dead?

Let’s start with the fact that people of that time were buried in caves with big stones in front of the door. These were circular in nature because this made them easier to move. It took a lot of effort to move them as they weighed about a ton or two. They generally ran in a channel in the rock outside the door and it even had a slight incline down to help get the door closed. Once closed it was difficult to open. It would take a number of people, probably with levers to open it again.

Jesus was put in such a cave. A rich man’s tomb.

Then, people would have wrapped his body with spices. Maybe they didn’t have the full amount at the time (due to the late hour) but a normal body would have had about 100 lbs of spices made into a gummy mixture and spread around as they wrapped the body in linen form foot to head. This shroud would have been impossible for a normal person to take off themselves if they were alive. They would need help.

We get told in Matthew 27 that they “put a seal on the stone and placed some guards on duty.”

We need to understand things were serious in those days if they did this. The seal was an official stamp of roman authority. Mess with it and the punishment was immediate crucifixion. Quite the deterrent. Moving the stone would have broken the seal.


These guards that were trained soldier of Rome would not have abandoned their posts easily. It is know one punishment for failure was that the offender was put to death by being stripped of his clothes and burned alive in a fire that they started with his clothes. If there was a group one would be chosen by lots to have this done as a dissuasion for anyone in the group doing it again. Nasty and sure to gain focus on the duties. Those guards didn’t let anyone move that stone willingly.

Yet the tome was empty and Jesus gone. All that remained was the pieces of linen shroud and a neatly folded head piece.

Why take the time to fold the headpiece if someone was steeling the body? Why undress the body? That just doesn’t make sense does it?

Now let’s assume somehow the disciples got past the guards and got the body, do we really think they would have stayed around?

The romans were not known to be gentle in any way. They were at risk of crucifixion themselves. Why stay in the city? They did! This only makes sense if they knew they were innocent and that Jesus really rose.

The rumor that the body was stolen that was circulated didn’t take effect.

Why?

Because Jesus appeared to about 500 people after he rose from the dead.

This meant that he was recognized, seen and touched by many after he rose. So many that the delicious piece of gossip was rejected.

Our loving Lord really rose form the dead. No question about it. Eye witnesses agree!

The real question is what we do with this information.

What will you do with this information today?
Tue, May 27, 2014 | link          Comments

Monday, May 26, 2014

Leveraging or manipulating God
Leveraging or manipulating GodLevrage_God.JPG

“The greatest leverage you can create for yourself is the pain that comes from inside, not outside. Knowing that you have failed to live up to your own standards for your life is the ultimate pain. If we fail to act in accordance with our own view of ourselves, if our behaviors are inconsistent with our standards - with the identity we hold for ourselves - then the chasm between our actions and who we are drives us to make a change. One of the strongest forces in the human personality is the drive to preserve the integrity of our own identity.”~ Anoymous

“God help us, for we don’t know how to help ourselves!”


 This prayer is the opposite of many we often hear aimed in God’s direction.

I was reflecting on how so many of us seem to think we can leverage or manipulate God.

Let’s just review for a moment the principle of leverage. It is applying some force at advantage to exert a far greater force on something else, generally with the objective of getting it to do what we want it to do.

Now let’s consider this in relation to God. God is our creator and the universes creator and sustainer. That means there is nothing in this universe that can influence God to do anything. Nothing!

Now this means we have “no force” to start with. Therefore even if there was a leverage, we could not do anything with it. No influence, no effect.

I was looking at comments I saw on the internet. One read “Not tithing yet, take the 90 day challenge”

I know this person’s heart was in the right place. They are encouraging people to tithe for their own good. Yet it sounds so like a manipulation of God. We could incorrectly interpret this as “Pay money to God for the next 90 days and you will get it back with interest”

Hmmm...

Apply a force to God and he acts like a trained monkey?

Not likely!

Tithing changes us, and enables us to give back to God a little of what he has done for us. It is to bless God not us! The moment we see this as a way to generate wealth, we are out of line. (Sorry folk that believe in that prosperity gospel...you need to think carefully about what you preach).

Another item was a book title “FASTING for SPIRITUAL BREAK THROUGH”

I have not read the book, but I do believe if anyone fasts to force God to make them spiritual, they will fail. Fasting changes us, not God.

The basic truth is God is not capable of being changed by anything but our love. We should freely be offering everything to God because he is worth of everything. The fact that Jesus came to earth to give us a chance to have a personal relationship with God is amazing enough. The fact that he died for our sins, is mind blowing. The fact that if we love him he personally comforts us and walks with us through every circumstance daily is stupendous.

Nobody manipulates God!

Everybody is given a chance to meet with and love Him.

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. “ John 3:16
Mon, May 26, 2014 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

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

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