Friday, April 19, 2013
A fate worse than death
Fri, April 19, 2013 | link
“Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which
we have wasted, of all that we might have done which we did not do” ~ Gian Carlo Menotti
Tick, tock! ...Tick, tock!
Time tracks our lives on toward eternity as sure as the day is
Never in a thousand
years can we start to understand how this all works and how it progresses.
We can define how time
is bent, when it starts and how it expands. We can even measure differences in time between fast moving objects and those
objects at different distances from gravitational bodies.
we cannot stop time, ... despite the movies depiction of this capability.
Each of us, unbenown to
our concience minds moves interminably towards our destination in eternity. You, me, and the people we see today. We all move
in time, using time, consuming time second by second!
Time takes us onwards and our
destination is based on a simple decision.
Do we selfishly hold onto our lives and
do everything for ourselves, or do we release our spirit to rise with the wings of God to higher levels of existance
, perhaps starting to direct our lives to our eventual journey in heavenly places.
The choice is
ours the life is ours, the death is ours!
Where do we go, and why?
decision for Christ with all that it unfolds and enfolds ,lifts us towards God, opens the gates of heaven and leads
us to the New Jerusalem and a new life without pain.
decision for selfishness is the decision aligned with Lucifer, or the devil, where we regard
ourselves as more important than the God of the universe.
This is a downward spiral!
One that leads to a life of disallusionment, a life of pain and loneliness, of false hopes and lost
dreams. One wherein the minor rewards are followed with painful costs. It is a path into darkness and gloom.
It would be better if gloom and darkness was
all it was!
Time ticks on and death awaits.
Thereafter we see our lives for what they are in the great judgement. God sees as well, and so
do all the worlds past citizens as onlookers. We will damn ourselves by that revelation.
know we are unworthy! Naked in death with all revealed our lives are exposed. Without the covering protection and love
of Jesus Christ, the one and only, ... we are doomed!
Without a choice
for God it’s not nice!
Jesus said “If your hand causes
you to sin, cut it off. It would be better for you to enter God’s kingdom with only one hand than to go into hell with
two hands. In hell the fire never goes out.” Mark 9:43
Harsh words from a loving man! Fire that never goes out! This was supported by his revelation of hell when he talked of Lazarus.
“In hell, the rich man was suffering terribly. He looked up and saw Abraham far away. Lazarus
was by his side. So the rich man called out, ‘Father Abraham! Have pity on me! Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger
in water. Then he can cool my tongue with it. I am in terrible pain in this fire.’” Luke 16:23&24
Not a place to end up in!
Jesus continues with warnings...
“If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It would be better for you to enter God’s kingdom
with only one foot than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
“If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out. It would be better for you to enter God’s kingdom
with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. In hell,
‘The worms do not die.
fire is not put out.’ (Isaiah 66:24).
Horrible! Nasty! Unpleasant for eternity! Not a place we would ever want to go. A place of
great emptiness pain and loneliness!
We don’t want
to have to go the that place!
Those not deciding for Jesus have one option. Tick, tock! “All
we can do is to wait in fear for God to judge. His blazing fire will burn up his enemies.” Hebrews 10:27
This is the universal torture chamber!
Well described as the place the devil ends up at, Revelations 20:10 says, “The devil, who fooled them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. That is where the beast
and the false prophet had been thrown. They will all suffer day and night for ever and ever. “
What will we do? How can we escape?
31 “The Son of Man will come in all his glory. All the angels will come with him.
Then he will sit on his throne in the glory of heaven. 32 All the nations will be gathered in front of him.
He will separate the people into two groups. He will be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He
will put the sheep to his right and the goats to his left.
34 “Then the King will speak to those on his right. He will say, ‘My Father has blessed you. Come
and take what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. 35 I was hungry. And
you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in.
36 I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you
came to visit me.’
37 “Then the people who
have done what is right will answer him. ‘Lord,’ they will ask, ‘when did we see you hungry and feed you?
When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and invite
you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison
and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply,
‘What I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to
those on his left, ‘You are cursed! Go away from me into the fire that burns forever. It has been prepared for the devil
and his angels. 42 I was hungry. But you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty. But you gave me nothing to
drink. 43 I was a stranger. But you did not invite me in. I needed clothes. But you did not give me any. I
was sick and in prison. But you did not take care of me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and not help you? When did
we see you as a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘What I’m about to tell you
is true. Anything you didn’t do for one of the least important of these, you didn’t do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to be punished forever.
But those who have done what is right will receive eternal life.”
What will it be? What is your choice?
will we choose? It's a personal choice for each of us!
will you choose before that day that ends the clock?
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Simplicity in complex times
Lord, Why?” is a question asked by many concerned over how complex our lives have become.
Thu, April 18, 2013 | link
Around us it seems like the world has gone mad!
It seems like wherever we go the world is in uproar and is complaining about something
We never seem to be able to hear the quiet still voice of God when we are subject
to the constraints and complexities of life as it buffets us from place to place.
this how it should be?
Should it not be a simple existence, doing God’s work and making our lives conform to his
simple way of living requires faith! It requires an understanding that the love of God overwhelms the complexity
of life. It does not allow our minds to be the controller of our existence, but insists God’s Holy Spirit is in control.
We cannot try to take control of the reins of our life and yet at the same time allow Holy Spirit to lead us out into the
unknown in safety and truth. So often we mistake security for truth, and complexity for comprehensive coverage of our lives
with worthwhile God given tasks.
God does not need our help, and our lives do not need complexity to be fruitful and Spirit filled.
God will ensure that we are fruitful
and Spirit filled. True existence is not complex, true existence is living in the flow of the Spirit second
to second, pushing back the doubts of the day and allowing God to replace our fears with his love.
That’s how we get from
complexity to simplicity while each day.
With God in control, life
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Exercising and Christianity
Wed, April 17, 2013 | link
“In general, any form of exercise,
if pursued continuously, will help train us in perseverance. Long-distance running is particularly good training in perseverance.”
~ Mao Tse-Tung
There was a time when almost everyone
was fairly fit.
It was a time when we had to walk or ride horses to get places.
Most people didn’t have money to have or keep a horse so the simplest method
of getting around was on our own two feet. The years changed and we developed the internal combustion engine which spewed out gases and gave us an
excuse to sit and be carried around instead of using our muscles.
Then, the computer was developed and with it came a slew of professions that all used computers. Now many people spent their day in front
of machines staring at images on screen and not moving a muscles other than those controlling their fingertips.
Yet, many others still have to work physically and know the value of it. While those who
spend time in front of computers often complain of bad nights of sleep, those who do physical labour rarely do.
This is the world we live in, one very different
from the one Jesus walked around and did carpentry in.
What does God expect us to do regarding exercise and care of our body? I guess it starts with 1 Tim 4 where it states
“Everything God created is good.”
Our bodies are created good.
What is the situation of how we
are to deal with them?
1 cor 6:15 indicates “Don’t you know that your bodies belong to the body of Christ?”
Our bodies are not our own! We belong to the body of Christ. God is the one who owns our bodies once we hand
our life over to him. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we hand over ourselves to him in total. That includes our
It may seem a bit strange, but we are really
the managers but not owners of our bodies. This structure in which our life resides belongs to God.
It is for this reason we should be looking after our bodies.
We should be exercising each day. We should not be stuffing it full of unhealthy foods that make it swell up with fat. We should be ensuring
each day it gets enough exercise to keep it in good heath, to supply the oxygen to all the cells and to push away the depression
that builds up from inactivity.
Yet, we are also not to become so focused
on our bodies that we lose the truth of God and our focus of helping and loving others.
We need to remember Paul’s question, “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. Christ
has paid the price for you. So use your bodies in a way that honors God.”
We need to use our bodies in a honorable way.
Paul in the same section mentions keeping away from sexual sins. I guess this is
because this is an area of exercise that people really enjoy, and enjoy to the wrong extreme. Good sex is good exercise and
to be performed with one’s spouse. Sinful sex is outside the marriage vows and outside of God’s endorsement.
Also we need to know that true beauty is inner beauty. In proverbs it says “Charm
can fool you. Beauty fades. But a woman who has respect for the Lord should be praised.”
Our bodies do degenerate over time. They are expected to, and built to do so. We need to go to heaven
and so cannot live eternally on this earth where sin is plentiful and continually harasses us.
Yet, degeneration over time can be done while maintaining our bodies in as healthy
a form as possible.
Health in the modern 1st
world or any environment means planned exercise, not sitting in front of the TV with fast foods.
We need to ensure each day we walk, lift, carry, and do the multitude
of exercises that are needed to build our bodies up.
If we are not doing this, we are not looking after God’s belongings correctly.
Now isn’t that encouragement to do some exercise today?
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Terrorism, weapons and real war...
Tue, April 16, 2013 | link
“A people who's primary aims are driving, shopping, and television
are subject to terrorism at any time.”
~ Steven Deitz
Yesterday an atrocity against normal, life loving,
people was committed as two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston marathon.
The real question is how are we going to deal with it?
What is the aim of terrorism?
The terrorist aims to commit acts of unlawful violence and war
intended to create fear and terror, often perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal; and
deliberately aims at hurting the public.
What is the aim of terrorism?
To create fear and terror!
The question is whether they achieve this? Do they
How many people will take into
their lives the demons of fear or anxiety, after yesterday’s debacle at the Boston marathon?
Are we some of those who will?
Don’t we understand that we all stand in the way of injury
and death all our lives, and will succumb to these at some point anyhow?
Yet ,these events seem to show us how close we are to our eventual journey end don’t
Are we ready?
Do we just speak the Christian talk of life, or believe it?
How would we have reacted, if a terrorist that set that bomb off had been injured and we had seen it?
What would we have done?
Would we have dropped to the level of the terrorist, or would we have risen to where
God wants us to go, to Agape love.
Agape love is love that extends to enemies, and forgives them.
Crazy talk isn’t it?
It seems like Christians have lost their minds when we talk of love in a situation as horrible
Yet, think of this...who wins
if we drop into anger, hatred and fear?
Is it not the terrorist?
America is less loving and hates a little more, then whoever the despicable terrorist or organization is, that setup that bombing, will
This is a measure of our society!
Do we react perhaps over-react erratically or do
we apply the laws and justice that modern 1st world countries have established for the protection of the citizens?
we push fear aside, and continue with our normal activities, mindful of Satan’s intrusion in life.
Mr. Atheist, please understand that evil is alive and well!
Mr. Government please understand that evil seeks to destroy not
only Christian values, but our way of life.
How do we combat this evil? How do we effectively protect our society?
More laws will simply increase discomfort for every citizen, making people remember
the last bombing continually as the reminder is prompted by random searches of good citizens.
we have to do, is promote the one thing that combats this evil, we need to promote Christ and Christian
This is the cornerstone on which
all the 1st world nations were built. The 1st world nations have rejected Jesus and now are starting
to pay for it.
Let’s change this, and
start promoting truth, Godly values, prayer in schools, children hearing God’s word from a younger age, less violence
on television, more love and compassion for people of all races, colors and creeds.
Let’s change the world ,instead of cower from it!
That is true Christianity! That is the most powerful force on earth.
We can let the terrorist win with their fear invoking
or we can respond in powerful Christian enabling advances, and take back the lost ground we have been wimping away for years
What will it be? What will we, the public
in this world choose? How will we combat the terrorist? Will we use the terrorist’s weapons, or God’s?
Monday, April 15, 2013
That lame man story...
"Success in any endeavor requires single-minded attention to detail and total
Mon, April 15, 2013 | link
Ever notice how we can read the same
thing often and yet not really read it?
So often we do this with a cursory look at the text and miss
the real meaning. I was at a pita place yesterday after church and read an advert talking about a “Salivation”
experience. I read it as a Salvation experience.
I’m sure at some time or other you have had the same type of
experience with something else.
Here is some text to read that is the story of the
healing of the lame man in the bible...Acts 3 NIRV
One day Peter
and John were going up to the temple. It was three o’clock in the afternoon. It was the time for prayer. 2 A man unable
to walk was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. He had been that way since he was born. Every day someone put
him near the gate. There he would beg from people going into the temple courtyards.
He saw that Peter and John were about to enter. So he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, and so did John.
Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man watched them closely. He expected to get something from them.
6 Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name
of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk.” 7 Then Peter took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once the
man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. He went with Peter and John into the
temple courtyards. He walked and jumped and praised God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 They recognized
him as the same man who used to sit and beg at the temple gate called Beautiful. They were filled with wonder. They were amazed
at what had happened to him.
Now for a few questions?Where
was the lame man?
Notice that many think he was sitting at the gate
and begging but he was not!
Notice it says he was “being carried”
He was on his way
to his usual begging spot and wasn’t there already. Next, this spot he sat at...
was it in the temple or not?
Notice it says after he was healed he went with Peter and
John into the Temple courtyards.
He was obviously not in the temple courtyards
at the time of healing if he only went in afterwards.
We can conclude he was being carried
towards the temple at the time of encountering Peter and John.
notice he didn’t focus on them in the begging!
He noticed they were about to
enter and asked for money. Notice that he then turned his attention elsewhere to others.
gives them his attention when Peter says “look at us!”
that he is in a mode of generally asking for money from everyone.
These are all important parts
of understanding the full context. It’s likely some people were carrying him to his normal begging spot and he was calling
for money as he was carried there.
Now notice it was 3pm. There was three prayer times
9am, noon and 3pm. He was only arriving for the last part of the day. We don’t know why but it looks like he
missed the first two parts of the day. Perhaps he couldn’t get people to take the time to carry him there beforehand.
Next, notice he was there every day! Since he was a man, he had been doing this for
years. Jesus would have walked past this man many times, without healing him!
always assume Jesus healed every person he came across, but that is significantly incorrect. Here is
one instance where we know Jesus didn’t heal this man. There are other situations described in the bible where Jesus
left crowds in need behind him and moved on.
We as humans cannot deal with every need we come across!
We can only deal with those God leads us to deal with.
and John focus on this man. Yet, notice how it is explained. It doesn’t say “they” focused on him. It says
“Peter looked straight at him, and so did John “.
This wording suggests they independently focused on him
without conferring with each other.
This to me suggests Holy Spirit directed
them both. They knew they were going to heal him because God told them before they did it that they
were going to do it!
Only once Holy Spirit led, did the men do God’s will! If you read on, you will
find they point out it was not them that healed the lame man, but God.
Obedience to God’s leading
in our life brings a focus. It directs not only to ourselves but others as well.
all have something to give to others!
Notice that Peter and john didn’t hold back and
gave freely of ALL they had. “But I’ll give you what I have” they say. Do we hold back, avert our eyes and
lock down our purses when we walk past needy people. Do we have love and compassion if we don’t have money?
How much do we give of what we have?
Do we have time? Do we give some of it away
to hep others?
This is the challenge of true Christian living! Let’s