Thursday, February 14, 2013
Valentine’s day and Christianity
Thu, February 14, 2013 | link
Valentine’s day and Christianity
“Oh, if it be to choose and
call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine!” ~ Thomas Hood
Are you aware that
romance as we think of it today was probably only invented in the twelfth century by troubadours as mentioned by Joseph Campbell, in the Power of Myth.
that time marriages were generally arranged and agreed to between families
and were for political or economic gain.
time, and as the rights of woman were affirmed by society, the romance industry grew and today the book and film industry
makes millions every year from promotion of this relationship.
Harlequin, one of the largest book sellers of romance stories did
surveys on how romance was changing
and provided a report that gave facts like;
91% of modern-day
women surveyed believe dating rules have become
more flexible, but 59% of these women still expect a man to ask her out.
· Modesty is no longer a virtue
in contemporary society – in the news or in real life
· single women in the U.S. aged 18 to 40, 43% of all respondents admitted to "sexting" –
sending a text message containing suggestive and highly explicit sexual language. Though 65% of those women will "sext"
only while in a serious relationship, 36% of casual daters polled admit to sending a risqué message after just a few
of all respondents had sent nude photos via emails or text
The traditional charms
of a man, such as a sense of humor (82%) or a killer smile (57%), remain the most popular "turn-ons
· Respondents still believe a man should ask a woman out
(59%), hold the door for them (54%) and pay for the first date (51%).
· 56% of the respondents
reported that they feel pressure to be married or in a committed relationship
· Almost 75% of the respondents
reported that their dating life was "boring," regardless of their relationship status.
· Of the top 5 factors women respondents listed as "deal breakers,"
3 were technology-related:
Too needy (32%)
o Dependence on a BlackBerry/ iPhone (31%)
o Having too many Facebook photos with an ex-girlfriend (29%)
o Grammatically challenged (24%)
to his work/ still lives with his parents (20%)
Christian, where are we on romance and Valentine’s day?
opinion is that romance that lies within what is explained as good male to female love relationships within the bible is to
be enjoyed. The bible has a whole book written about lovers and loving called the Song of Solomon. This makes statements like...
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned. Song of Solomon 8:7 NIRV
Love is encouraged but wild romance is not!
Romance today has unfortunately
become to woman what pornography is to many men. Romance
raises the expectations of a married partners performance to unrealistic proportions making disillusionment potential
and discontent likely.
Why would 75% of dating relationships be labeled
as boring? Perhaps because it’s a “me”
focus instead of a “we” focus.
Maybe romantic expectations
are no longer reality based? Perhaps if we allowed
God’s love to grow instead the love would become more realistic, more focussed on our loves desire, more enriched by
their presence and we would become more content?
Perhaps like of ancient
times woman would be able to acknowledge of their lovers...
My love, among the young men
you are like an apple tree among the trees of the forest.
I’m happy to sit in your shade.
Your fruit tastes so sweet to me.
4 You have
taken me to the dinner hall.
Your banner of love is lifted high above me.
5 Give me
some raisins to make me strong.
Give me some apples to make me feel like new again.
Our love has made me weak.
6 Your left arm is
under my head.
Your right arm
is around me. Song of Solomon 2:3-6
Men would be responding (okay maybe the words are to old, but I
am sure you understand where I am going)...
you have stolen my heart
with one glance
of your eyes.
My sister, you have stolen my heart
with one jewel in your necklace.
10 My bride, your love is so delightful.
My sister, your love makes me happier than wine does.
Your perfume smells better than any spice.
11 Your lips are as sweet as a honeycomb, my bride.
Milk and honey are under your tongue. Song
of Solomon 4:9-11
While the bible accepts romance, it wants
it within the permitted relationships God endorses and blesses.
enjoy the thrill of romance, but keep it within the bounds of dating and marriage that enable true love and not mystical disillusionment.
great Valentine’s day!
Wild flings are not Godly or Christian! Deep committed love is Godly and Christian!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Wed, February 13, 2013 | link
“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later
in the fall.” ~ Nadine Stair
(Note: to any Arab person viewing this image it is a western representation so
please do not take it as an insult.)
Many years ago there was an Olympic
athlete that ran her races barefoot.
Zola Budd was her name.
This amazing little farm
girl twice broke the world record in the women's 5000 metres and twice was
the women's winner at the World Cross Country Championships.
She is best known for getting boo’d in a race in America where it was believed by the crowd she had tripped
the USA favourite Mary Dekker. She ran on, but slowed at the end, finishing well under her customary time with the crowd
she had tripped the favourite? No!
Mary Dekker was later to say many years after the event “The reason I fell, some people think she tripped
me deliberately. I happen to know that wasn’t the case at all. The reason I fell is because I am and was very inexperienced
in running in a pack."
Zola then slowed because she didn’t want to win with a crowd of people booing
her. She could have won but chose not to!
This was a simple farm girl who found not only she had an amazing talent, but also found she enjoyed
the freedom of running with bare feet, the way God designed us. She endured much strain and stress from the press and political
people, but she experienced great happenings the average farm girl simply dreams of experiencing and never
Have you ever taken time to experience warm
beach sand under your bare feet, the soft feel of fresh
grass, rubbed an itchy foot against the bark of a tree, dipped hot feet in cool spring water, trudged over a gritty path feeling
those tinny pebbles rolling and scattering and sometimes getting caught in between your toes?
Coming from Africa, I spent many a childhood day in the sun shoeless, running, playing, climbing (toes grip well) and swimming.
Yet, freedom to be
Broken glass needs to be avoided, rocks must not be kicked and although the soles become tough and can withstand
most simple thorns, those nasty half to one inch white thorns must not be stepped on or serious pain ensues.
Many in North America and other first world environment don’t know the joy
of running shoeless through life, and think of it as below their dignity.
They miss a great delight!
enjoy thinking that God must wryly smile at this.
The poorer people
have a joy the richer could have, but fail to respect.
How much of our lives do we spend hiding ourselves from simple truths like this one?
How much of our intellect is based on a false tradition handed down by others.
Sometimes we get a glimpse of reality in something someone says. Maybe through my description of the delights of barefoot living you can touch those joys momentarily
as you consider them. Perhaps they are not real to you, perhaps too real.
God’s word is like that for me. It is that short interval
of eye opening understanding that opens each day. Today I read...
The Lord Almighty has a day in store
for all the proud and lofty,
for all that
(and they will be humbled),
13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty,
and all the oaks of Bashan,
14 for all the towering mountains
and all the high
15 for every lofty tower
every fortified wall,
16 for every trading ship[b]
and every stately vessel.
17 The arrogance of man will be brought low
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
18 and the idols will totally disappear. Isaiah 2:12-18 NIV
We need to be less proud and mighty when it comes to opening ourselves up to God.
In my analogy, we need to take off our shoes and feel the truth of life beneath our feet.
We need to know God is real
and everything that we bring between him and ourselves is simply a covering that will one day be removed. How will we be able
to walk when this happens? Will it be joyfully, or stepping into pain?
person who never removes shoes and walks barefoot cannot enjoy the experience easily in that first day. This is simply because
they have allowed their feet to become soft, and their feet unable to perform as feet are designed to perform.
It takes walking for a while in different avenues of life to experience the joy of being able to move barefoot without
considering each step.
Similarly, a person who comes to God has much to learn in the beginning
before they become who they are in God. Then they gain ability to move and live in the Spirit the way we are born to live.
Think about it!
How about trying going barefoot?
Alternatively, and more importantly, how about letting Holy Spirit
lead you in life?
Maybe Holy Spirit will become so much part of your life you will
never ever consider walking without him. Maybe new and wonderful experiences will open up in the well-trodden paths of life.
The path may be similar but the experiences vastly different. Have a great day!
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Celebration and the Pearl of great price!
Tue, February 12, 2013 | link
Celebration and the Pearl of great price!
“Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires
makes a wise and a happy purchase” ~ John Balguy
once desired to obtain something exquisite, beautiful and that seemed beyond my abilities to have and hold.
Have you ever felt the same way?
desires can lead us astray can’t they? Something of
beauty can loose it’s attraction as the years go by.
has Jesus telling of a story about someone who wanted something precious...
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value,
he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 14:45&46 NIV
Today that story resounded in my heart because it’s the day that thirty years
ago I married the lady of my dreams.
It’s our pearl wedding anniversary!
Sometimes desires can lead us astray, but when we get led to the desires by God,
when we pray asking advice, when we spend times with others in God’s word, in worship and praise of the heavenly Father,
then it is less likely those desires will be able to deceive us.
My wife is the pearl of great price in my life!
She is precious beyond measure and perfect for me in my walk with God. We have danced through the avenues of life, swirling
past disasters and trouble spots simply by listening to the Holy Spirit as we keep in step with the heavenly beat that
urges us onward. Tough times and good times are all times of joy as we work and minister together.
The experience of moving in the Spirit as a couple has been exquisite. The times of pain and difficulty are rewarding because together we have learned great lessons that
we can now pass on to others.
The truth is that our wedding involved
more than two people getting married. We both agreed we
were getting married with Holy Spirit binding us together, Jesus in attendance and Father God administering the service.
The Anglican minister who performed the ceremony was not even considered
as the one who married us.
Father God was forefront and central in that ceremony.
We did not make promises to each other but to him and thereby to each other.
God’s power has been at evidence in our lives for more than thirty years now, and will continue to grow and get more amazing each day. Rather like my love
for my wife.
Now many would say that after thirty years the pearl would have
become less vibrant and beautiful to the beholder. With Father God polishing and bringing new light to bear upon it, this
pearl God gave me seems to me to get more beautiful each year. I am content!
This is my experience of trusting God with everything important in my life. I don’t know where you are, what pains and troubles have impacted your
life, but all I can say is let God direct you to the right desires, check them out with Him, listen to the quiet voice of
Holy Spirit, and you will never regret it! Three way marriages have a way better chance of success.
Even many Christians often fail to understand three way marriage is what should be occurring on that special day
and then miss the joy of God’s intimacy in their lives. Please don’t make that mistake! If you have, it can be
rectified by both of you coming to God and asking him to bind you together in a new way with Himself as the true leader of
the family. Let’s make sure we do everything to get the pearl of great price!
Our deep relationship with God is that pearl! Have
a wonderful blessed day!
Monday, February 11, 2013
Ever get tired of empty promises and rebellious attitudes?
Mon, February 11, 2013 | link
Ever get tired of empty promises and rebellious attitudes?
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. ~ Proverbs
Often life sends curved balls in our direction. Things are not easy and we have to deal with difficult
and onerous situations.
always want to do so! We can become tired, lacking in motivation
and distorted by the failure of life to deal with us fairly.
in times like these that we often come against the difficult situation of someone who really makes our life a misery. This is often not something that we have any control over. It is sometimes a
tiring and draining experience of having to deal with a continual drip of cruel cynical conversation that leads to empty places
and unpleasant relationships experiences.
is however something that needs to be dealt with in the paths of life.
We cannot understand everything that comes our way or even make sense of it all. Loved ones can turn against us when we least
expect it, and in so doing the pain we received is great. So many times it is our children that rebel against us. We as teenagers
may have done the same.
Vociferous words erupt from the mouths of those
we only want to help, love and protect, and we cannot understand
this attack, and despite this we need to stay the course for the sake of the person who is filling the air with their vile
attitude and comments.
What do we do as Christians? How do we react?
The simple standard answer is to love them, and yet often this is already a fact, or we would not be enduring the abuse or attempting to change
the circumstances. Yet, true love is not a soft mystical thing. It is a hard love despite pain type of thing.
It carries us into unknown territories and opens us to unexpected blows, simply to help the person attacking us. That’s
the Christian way. That’s the way of the God of the bible.
a superficial reading of bible teachings shows that God continually gets abused by rebellious humankind. We reject him, mock him, we try to hurt him, and yet despite all this his love
is unfailing. We take his greatest gift, his human life form and we torture and nail him to a tree to die horribly. Yet he
can God be so forgiving and loving?
because we hold something dear to him in our hearts. Our love of Him!
It’s a simple yet rare and beautiful gift. It is one that we can wrap in praise and worship. It is exquisite. It is
more valuable than the most valuable of jewels. More precious that the most precious of metals.
This love is what he wants to erupt from within our lives. Yet we rebel and refuse to allow it. Sometimes this refusal is because we are facing similar rebellion
and rejections from those we love. Let us learn from God and allow the love to flow despite the circumstances. In this way
we not only help those who need it, but we take a small part of God guidance in our lives and become more like him. It is
in those tough moments of love that we are more Godly than we can ever imagine. So,
next time we face that rebellious unpleasant resistance, lets remember our response if we are God like, needs to be firm and
even if it isn’t respected by the recipient!