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Friday, March 1, 2013

Be holy, because I am holy

 

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“Be holy, because I am holy” 1Peter1:16, Leviticus 11: 44, 19:2

“Holy C..” words that can be diabolically evil if completed the wrong way or sublimely beautiful if completed correctly.

Do we even understand what it means to be Holy today?

How many people are dedicated to God according to God’s purposes? How many even think it of any worth?

The modern approach is to consider oneself first and above all others and then  consider others isn’t it? Our career, our job, our home, our lover, our food, our car, our life!

Ours right?

How many of us can truly pray like this...

Lord Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work.

I give you my feet to go your way.

I give you my eyes to see as you do.

I give you my tongue to speak your words.

I give you my mind that you may think in me.

 I give you my spirit that you may pray in me.

Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me your Father and all mankind.

I give you my whole self that you may grow in me, so that it is you, Lord Jesus, who live and work and pray in me. (Grail prayer)

Sometimes we say these words but the intent is not truly to allow this to happen. If we do have the described intent then we have found holiness.

How many of us “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”. Exodus 20:8

What were you doing on your Sabbath last week? Was God front and foremost?

We all struggle with this don’t we? Our life with it’s stresses and strains gets in the way, giving us opportunity to disregard God's plans for ourselves.

We think we are better than God and can do things that will please him, without allowing Holy Spirit to guide our actions.

This is crazy! This is silly! This is the work of the devil in human skin.

It is being proud and pumped up! It is allowing the nasty, ignorant and selfish drivers of our lives to take control making us into useless servants that drive down the road towards the pit of hell.

Why do we do this? Why do we not focus on God’s glory?

When will we turn to Holy Christ and ask him?

Why do we not allow ourselves to be empowered by Holy Spirit?

God knows! If we simply submit to him, we will as well. Then we can be Holy! We can be Holy today, it just takes a decision of will.

Will you be Holy?
Fri, March 1, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mercy! A word that is falling from favour
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“The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed- It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.” ~ William Shakespeare

 

Mercy is having compassion and forgiving someone that we are entitled to punish or harm.

Those moments when we have been wronged and we are in the place to exact punishment , where in that pivotal second in time we have to judge and consider the option of mercy.

Our courts cannot use this mercy tool effectively as they are law driven, not mercy driven. The media shows more revenge than mercy because the violence that ensues jerks more emotional response than the emotion mercy unveils.

Yet to have mercy is God like as Shakespeare had Portia explain in the Merchant of Venus.

Here is Shakespeare’s plea for mercy;

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath.
It is twice blessed.
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
It is mightiest in the mightiest,
It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
An attribute to awe and majesty.
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power dost then become likest God's,
Where mercy seasons justice.

Mercy is an attribute of God that comes from God’s love.

God loves the unlovable and asks us to do the same. Out of that deep love comes a mercy that overcomes past issues with forgiveness.

 

The bible is full of statements and examples on mercy;

Luke. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

James 2 1because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

1 Chronicles 21:13 David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Mercy is not easy to give when we have been wronged. It is harder when we have lost precious possessions or relationships as a result. Vengeance is a normal response that grows in one’s heart. Yet, mercy is Gods wish!

When we fail we need to remember to ask God for mercy.

·         We need to focus on God’s all-encompassing everlasting love.

·         We need to ask God to wash away our youthful sins our immediate uncleanness and our selfish disposition.  

·         We need to ask God in light of his love and our wanting to be like his son Jesus to enable us to live a good life empowered by Holy Spirit.

·         We need to focus on what is upright, true and good.

·         We need to focus on God and let the light of his love reveal our selfish, ignorant and nasty attitudes and actions.

·         We need to ask God to show us the way of mercy and truth.

·         We need to relinquish ourselves into his paths for our lives and humbly walk them dispensing his mercy and love through our lives wherever we go.

May God’s love overflow into your life in abundance and his mercy find the world through your actions.

God bless you!
Thu, February 28, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dealing with grumbling faultfinders (the story of the grumbling lion)

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“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” Anonymous

In a faraway forest, the lion was contemplating his kingdom, its extent, and it’s beauty when one of his two sons came to him and complaining told him that he was going to leave and wanted to have half of the Kingdom for himself. The old lion was upset and tried to dissuade this grumbling angry son, who finally angrily demanded what he considered to be his birthright. He wanted half the kingdom.

Finally the old lion agreed and the son took off to be king of his own land. Within a year or two the forest inhabited by the son was overrun with predators who like the son, hunted without wisdom or care, killing other animals with abandon and soon that forest was without life. Either the animals had died, or they fled to safer places. The son went from being lauded and praised, to being despised and hated. Soon he was having to hide from the predators himself.

Eating worms that he found in rotting wood stumps, he slinked around in the shadows and hid in the marshes of the land.

Finally he came to his senses and considering his position. He decided to abandon his life and return to his Fathers land. “At least I will get some scraps from the hunt. My Fathers servants are better fed than I am,” he thought.

He crossed over into his Fathers kingdom and before he was half way home he saw his Father racing through the undergrowth towards him.

“My time is up!”  He thought,  “he will never forgive me.”

The great Lion burst out of the bush and leapt at his son, landing just  in front of him and roaring in delight.

“Father I have been selfish, ignorant and nasty”, the son said, “ I have abused your love and am no longer worthy to be called prince. May I have a place among your servants in your household?”

The lion King turned to those nearby. “Hunt, find good food, the best, bring it to us! I am taking the prince home. My son who was lost has now been found. Let us all celebrate!” he responded.

They went back to the great den where the King lives and there was much celebration and merriment.

The other prince grumbled. ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property comes home, you order wonderful food for him!’

The lion replied “Prince, you are always with me and all I have is yours as well. Let’s be happy your brother who was lost is found, and is alive”

Grumbling gets us nowhere! Love undoes this. We can look at life as cheating us, We can get distorted and angry, or we can enjoy what we have, love those around us, and treat them as God would have us treat them. We can become Kings kid’s. We can be blessed with the joy of God himself.

That’s our choice!

What is your decision?

Wed, February 27, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In electronic times is there still a place for a letter?

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“Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.” ~ Baron Lytton Richelieu

 

Texting, emailing, phoning, Skyping, facebooking, BBM, and many other forms of electronic communication grace our lives nowadays don’t they?

“Snail mail” seems outdated and seems to have almost no allure for the modern man. It is slow, it costs a lot of money and it seems to have little virtue over the faster electronic means.

Yet, there are still some components that bring favour to this medium.

The handwritten letter is more easily validated as authentic isn’t it?

Electronic bits and bytes are easily mangled and reformed in passing or in reconstitution. They attract viral infections and sometimes disappear into oblivion as power, magnetic interferences or mechanical failure, eradicate their existence.

How well will these electronic words be preserved in 100 years, 1000years, etc.?

Maybe the “standards” will have changed and they will become incapable of being read?

Anyone heard of “Wordstar”, the first real word processing package?

I wonder how many letters of those written and stored using WordStar, would be readable today? That was only a few years ago, 1979 to be exact, that this software was new. Now letters written for it are obsolete.

Can I suggest, to stand the test of time deep words cannot only be electronic, but must also be in written form? To be validated fully as having authenticity to a specific person, they need to be written by that person using a pen.

Handwriting helps lock in the authenticity of writing!

Letters written to be kept over time, are best consigned to paper and ink.

Best consigned to the reality of the readers tears that can drip on the page, the careful folding and placement, the longing retrieval and re-reading when times are tough, and the cherished revelation  at future dates are dependent on longevity of the medium onto which we transcribe our deepest thoughts and desires.

In future times, those handwritten words will become rare and valuable!

I think perhaps, that is why Jesus didn’t come to us in the modern age.

His words would have been lost, modified, distorted and reworked by our electronic mechanisms.

Instead, we have the proof of hundreds of handwritten documents that tell of great love, pain and sacrifice for us. Early Christians can still touch our hearts with their words written in letters 2000 years ago.

I was reading 3 John in the bible this morning. The simple words “The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” Speak to a wonderful relationship between writer and reader.

The words as handwritten, have been copied and re-copied to grace many archives of the ages. Yet their authenticity is vibrant as they reach out to us today.

Yet even these words are not sufficient, as John himself says. He says, “I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.”

Personal face-to-face communication is still far superior!

I guess that’s why knowing Jesus, experiencing Holy Spirits power and talking to Father God is more important than reading the word alone.

Yet, those handwritten words have incredible power.

Let’s remember that and understand that if we really want to give someone a piece of ourselves to keep for a long time, the electronic is still inferior to pen and paper.

That’s an old fashioned thought for today isn’t it?
Tue, February 26, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jewish feasts from Passover to Pentecost, and how Jesus fulfills these

Jewish feasts from Passover to Pentecost, and how Jesus fulfills these

Crackers_Salty.jpg“I feast on wine and bread, and feasts they are.” ~ Michelangelo

The day of Pentecost came. The believers all gathered in one place. Acts 2:1

·         What is this Pentecost?

·         What does it mean?

·         Where does it come from,

·         Why is it of any interest to us at all?

According to Wikipedia and I believe it, the word Pentecost is ancient Greek Πεντηκοστή [μέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], and it means  "the Fiftieth [day]"

Fifty days, from when, who used it?

Well there was fifty days between Easter and Pentecost!

Christians celebrate Easter as the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection. But Jewish people at the time Jesus was alive didn’t celebrate Easter but rather gathered to celebrate Passover.

Passover to them commemorated the story of exodus, where ancient Hebrew slaves were freed from slavery in Egypt. So on the 14th day of Nissan in the Jewish calendar they celebrated. This is spring in the Northern Hemisphere. They celebrated for seven or eight days.

Now we know that year Jesus died there was extra special Sabbath since John says “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.” John 19:31NIRV

Why is this important?

Well we know the bible had said

Mark 8:31[ Jesus Predicts His Death ] He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

Mark 9:31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”

Mark 10:33-35 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,  who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

Unfortunately most Christians falsely believe Jesus died on “good Friday” yet, this is not so. In Jewish days Jesus died on Wednesday late afternoon and the next day was a Special Sabbath. Details on this can be found in my blog There is NO WAY Jesus rose on the third day, ... or is there?

Jesus was put into a tomb on the Wednesday and lay there for Thursday (special Sabbath) Friday, Saturday(normal Sabbath) and was risen on Sunday.

Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week. He appeared first to Mary Magdalene. Mark 16:9

Three days and nights!

So what events or feast activities occurred between Passover and Pentecost (or Succoth as Jewish people labeled Pentecost)?

1.   Jesus died on Passover.

2.   Then came the Feast of Unleavened Bread the day after passover Sabbath.

3.   Then on Sunday the Jews had another feast, the Feast of First fruits.

We know Passover celebrated escaping Egypt and freedom.

Jesus dies after a sinless life on Passover and is our Passover lamb, enabling us to escape death by the judgement of God.

“‘Here are my appointed feasts. Tell the people that they must come together for these sacred feasts at their appointed times. My Passover begins when the sun goes down on the 14th day of the first month.” Leviticus 23

Unleaven bread is associated with sin in the bible. Yeast was likened to sin and yeast gets into the whole bread causing it to rise as sin gets into the whole human race causing us to get selfish, ignorant and nasty.

Yet after Jesus has paid for sin, we celebrate the fact we are no longer bound by sin as the Jewish people celebrate the feast of unleaven bread.

“‘My Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th day of that month. For seven days you must eat bread that is made without yeast. On the first day you must come together for a special service. Do not do any regular work on that day. On each of the seven days bring an offering that is made to me with fire. On the seventh day come together for a special service. Do not do any regular work on that day.’” Leviticus 23 continued

The fact that no work could be done keeps the women from going to Jesus tomb on that day.

Now the next Sabbath rest day occurs and the first day the women can go to the tomb is Sunday. They went expecting the smell of death and decay and were met with an empty tomb. Jesus had risen from being dead back to life.

Paul explains it to the Corinthians as ... But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15: 20 NIV

The reason it is important to Christians is explained a few verses previous to this  as...

If the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith doesn’t mean anything. Your sins have not been forgiven. Those who have died believing in Christ are also lost.

Do we have hope in Christ only for this life? Then people should pity us more than anyone else.

But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise.

Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.

So Jesus is a first fruit!

What is this First fruit festival about?

It is the start of the harvest season. It is the day after the Sabbath and the day a grain offering is waved in front of God.

 “‘The day you brought the grain for the wave offering was the day after the Sabbath. Count off seven full weeks from that day. Count off 50 days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath. On that day bring me an offering of your first grain. Bring two loaves of bread that are made with 16 cups of fine flour. They must be baked with yeast. Bring them to me as a wave offering from the first share of your crops. That applies no matter where you live.

 “‘Together with the bread, bring seven male lambs. Each lamb must be a year old. It must not have any flaws. Also bring one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to me. They will be offered together with their grain offerings and drink offerings. They are an offering that is made with fire. They give a pleasant smell to me.

 “‘Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering. Also sacrifice two lambs for a friendship offering. Each of the lambs must be a year old. The priest must lift the two lambs up and wave them in front of me as a wave offering. He must offer them together with the bread that is made out of the first share of your crops. They are a sacred offering to me. They will be given to the priest.

 “‘On that same day tell the people that they must come together for a special service. They must not do any regular work. That is a law that will last for all time to come. It applies no matter where you live. Leviticus 23 NIRV

Fifty days after the Sabbath is the Feast of weeks.

·         The harvest celebration starts on the feast of first fruits.

·         The harvest celebration ends fifty days later at Pentecost or Shavuot(Jewish name).

These days are called the days of the counting of the omer.

A sheaf of standing barley was taken and the grains were ground into flour. No yeast was added, and early in the morning the omer was brought to the bronze alter of the temple by a priest who would climb the ramp and stand on the east side where it was waved forward, backwards, up and down.

The priest then proceeded to the east side where a handful of flour was thrown into the fire. The priests ate the remainder of the Omer in meals, but there was many sacrifices, meal offerings and drink offerings given to God during the day.

The omer was counted for the fifty days leading to Pentecost.

In the Christian faith a great event happened on the fortieth day, Jesus ascended into heaven. This means that for ten days after this event the disciples were without Jesus. They gathered together, prayed and waited for Holy Spirit.

Then on the fiftieth day, the day of Pentecost or Shavuot, Holy Spirit came to Earth.

In the Jewish calendar Shavuot was the time of the celebration of the giving of the law and the end of the harvest.

The feast ended the counting of the omer.

On this day two leaven loaves were waved in front of the altar of God.

Notice LEAVEN!

This is the only time this bread is brought to God.

It is considered that the two loaves represent the Jews and Gentiles.

Jesus makes it possible for us to come before God even though we have sinned as his death has made us pure and so God the Father will accept this offering.

In Jewish terms this bread celebrates the independence and state of Israel. Yet as Christians, we see a deeper and more pervasive meaning in this waved bread.

This day no work is permitted, a dairy meal is eaten and the book of Ruth is read, as are the Ten Commandments.

For Jews this feast celebrated the giving of the law to Moses, and yet Holy Spirit comes on this day so we can extend this celebration to celebrating Gods coming to live with us his people on Earth.

Jesus completes the law and Holy Spirit comes to show us how to fulfill the law requirements on Earth more accurately than the Old Testament laws allow.

 

Isn’t our God great?

Mon, February 25, 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.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
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  • Published: September, 2010
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