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Friday, April 5, 2013

There was a time without teenagers...

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The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.” ~  Quentin Crisp

“Teenager” is a 20th century word. It didn’t exist prior to that time.

Why?

Why did the world have to invent this age called teenagers?

 It was really only used significantly from the 1940’s onwards.

This timing hints at a possible reason. This was the war and end of war years.

During this time men were fighting and the “almost men” had home responsibilities that were in some ways excessive resulting in disillusionment and frustrations.

Fathers not being around, these youth were perhaps more unruly than the previous generations where fast hard discipline form the father would have been the norm.

Then around that time the marketing machines of the world kicked into action to sell products developed as part of the war innovations.

They had to “target” certain sections of the human spectrum and so developed the use of words to structure the markets and focus the “wants” into perceived needs.

“Teenagers” became a common word and since this has happened we now see 12 to 19 year olds as being between kids and adults in 1st world countries.

In many parts of the world where the disposable income is less this is nonsense!

In these regions people go from being children to being adults based on ability to contribute independently to their own keep.

This is the normal human development pathway, the teenager is a modern invention to keep children from being adults so we can get them to spend more preparation years in training at school for more sophisticated life tasks. Tasks the 1st world environment need to have fulfilled.

Yet, we are our worst enemies as we build expectation of bad behaviour from teenagers instead of expecting them to be what they are, young adults with huge underdeveloped potential.

We need to demand truth over feelings instead of permitting the opposite. We need to help them understand priories, sorting out the “must haves” from the “want to haves”, we must expect them to plan their lives and start to take action early on the plan, we should allow them to experience the consequences of their decisions so that can learn good decision making skills. We shouldn’t be quick to bail them out.

We need to let them know their value is not in how they look and dress but in how they act on truth and their moral beliefs.

We need to actively involve them in society activities helping communities and respect them for the energy and strength they bring to bear and stop penalizing them for their lack of earning and monetary contribution to society.

These people are needed, and are loved by God. Personally, I believe treating them as adults benefits both them and us.

We need to challenge them to build a faith that is not silly or superficial. A faith that enables us to do great things motivated by a great God in new and unexpected spiritual ways. We need to enable them to understand other world views and be able to assess them well. They need to understand Christianity is not an individual faith but a world changing faith in God’s leading and grace.

Nobody need to apologies for Christianity as it is a vibrant, deep, well founded faith that doesn’t conflict with modern discoveries that expose truth. Teenagers need to learn how to defend their faith against those who ridicule it with solid facts and knowledge instead of flimsy feelings and selfish protectionism.

These young people need to know who they are! To full form their identity in our Lord Jesus Christ and to full follow the power and leading of Holy Spirit.

We need youthful injections of enthusiasm and energy. Let’s encourage this rather than suppress it.

When you see a young person today, let’s agree to build them up and perhaps even get the gift back of renewed energy and vigour into our own lives.

That way we all gain don’t we?

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV

Fri, April 5, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prioritizing ... power to a purpose driven life

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Priority is a function of context.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

Who’s context?

Yours?

Mine?

Our bosses?

Our mothers?

God’s?

 

Who’s context?

Time is limited in any human life!

It is something we get to use once, and then it is discarded. We can only exist in the moment and that moment fleets by so fast we cannot even seem to often grasp the contents.

Yet our lives are all different! Each person has a specific and special set of circumstances into which they are born and mature. Each of our home lives are different, and even twins have not got identical lives.

Context counts and our priorities differ considerably! Yet, if we are to fully embrace our lives, we need to understand there are strategies’ or principles that help us guide our lives to success in each moment. One of the more important ,is the selection of the task of the moment.

To do that there is a small element of planning and deciding what must come first.

The first of these is a decision to not waste the moments deciding. Long decision times squander our moments.

Next, understand we all have more opportunity and need to do more things, than we have time to do them.

Let’s look at Jesus in one biblical example...Mark 1:32-39

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”

 

Jesus here is working late into the evening to meet the needs of others. How often are we doing that?

Then he sleeps!  Note we need rest! Yet, he is up early before the crowds and sets up time to be alone with God.

There is an important aspect of planning...

Take time to spend to hear God’s voice in your life each morning ,before you take on the trials and burdens of the day.

These moments or discussing the day with God ,and understanding what God wants done, gives us perspective.

Sometimes the task at hand that seems so overwhelming is not what we are needing to do. Perhaps in order to achieve our goals that task has to be dropped and another started.

The crowds come back, but does Jesus go to them?

No!

He looks at what he must do, and finds it is not to be doctor to millions, but to save the world.

Prioritizing the important, he has to leave pain, discomfort and need of others ,to widen the expanse of his work.

Do what we MUST do, before we do what we WANT to do!

Then Jesus also does not complete what he started in that town!

This brings in another principle...we are not expected to finish each task perfectly.

Let’s do what has to be done ,before we try to do what we would like to do.

“First things first” was my mother’s ambiguous instruction. By this ,she meant do what must be done, then the rest. This clears our agenda of the strain of the must do’s, and opens up visibility to the amount of time left to do the things that I want to do.

We cannot do everything, what we can do is make our moments count!

I have written a lot over the years on this subject because it is so important to all of us.

In “I don’t have enough time”. . . or do I? the blog investigates if God gives us enough time to do what needs to be done. It discusses how to enjoy our time. This is important as not only are we expected to prioritize and do activities ,but God wants a joy in our heart and a peace while doing them. In the blog We get the exact right amount of time to get everything done! the attitude with which we select and do activities is discussed. In Time and Decisions. . . lessons learnt from the military I discuss how quick urgent decisions can be made with accuracy and Godly input.  When we get into a mess due to incorrect decisions and things seem to be going out of control we also have options. I describe some of these in Help! Panic! Time control and me! which describes how to hit the Godly reset switch.

All these are important to the moments in our life.

Our life’s work is in many ways a flow of decisions with implications. Finding the correct path through the moments requires more information than our small human minds can process. God can do this for us and more. That’s why having Holy Spirit as our guide and sponsor through the decisions of life is so good.

God will lead us to the right decisions, but we cannot be wanting to follow his leading and yet to control our lives ourselves. This is a recipe for failure. God in control, with us permitting Him to select the most valuable path in our lives, is what we truly need. The path may appear tough, or in Jesus case in the verses quoted above, unpopular, but that is not important.

What is of critical importance is doing everything in the Spirit ,and with the joy and peace of knowing the God of eternity is within us guiding us in the paths of eternity, making sure we live each moment to the fullest.

Let’s go have a wonderful, blessed and God led day!

Thu, April 4, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mobile phones are 40 years old today...wow!

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The first mobile phone call was made 40 years ago today, on 3 April 1973.~BBC[1]

Last year there were about 6 billion mobile phones operational worldwide.

We really want to have ability to communicate at any and every opportunity.

The need to communicate seems to be hardwired into our DNA and lives doesn’t it?

It is no longer even only voice that matters, so often I watch others at restaurant tables tapping away on the keyboards of their phones. Not all of these are young people either. I watched two women in their late forties sitting together at lunch and suddenly both of them stopped their conversation and started texting. Amused, I watched this continued for about 10 minutes before conversation continued. Neither thought a thing about it.

Running our youth group, I often get comments from young people who are busy talking, climbing our indoor rock wall, or playing pool saying that they have just received a text from someone. This last week, I was able to hear the texted exchange between a young women and the guy who wanted to date her. She was half way up a rock wall and another had her phone. The texting was performed by the friend and the verbal relaying of what was occurring, was conversed between climber and texter for all to hear.

Do you text? Do you use phones?

We all want to communicate, and in some ways all we seem to have done with technology is open up the myriad of ways we do this.

Yet this communication is subordinate to the immensely powerful communications we can have with God.

More pervasive than texting, and cell phones, is our ability to communicate with God anywhere under any circumstances.

Prayer is a privilege that empowers and enriches the lives of Christians.

Those who have not got this communication conduit to God are losing out in a big way!

If you don’t understand, let me explain by way of analogy. It’s like we remove the phones from the world and then watch what gets achieved each day.

Far less right?

Christians get guidance, discuss issues, and ask for help from God every second of each day.

Some of us even try to establish an ongoing open channel with God, and allow the communication to extend down to subtle sensing of where to go, and what to do.

In difficult circumstances, we often speak to God for a while before our mouth engages to speak to the others present.

These are much more subtle forms of communication! Unfortunately, with the growing belief that we need to interact with God the way we do with electronic devices, much is being lost.

I lead a church, and often encourage others to pray. Rarely is this taken up. Yet, those same young people can pass personal messages back and forth in a crowd without embarrassment.

What’s wrong about that?

Where is the comfort of knowing ourselves and our lives with God well enough that we can talk to him far easier than to our mother or father on the cell phone.

Modern conveniences are wonderful, but we need to ensure we connect with God as well. Phones and texting can be used to pray together with others.

When have we last used this medium of prayer communication?

With six billion phones, I expect it is not too difficult to do.

How about trying it sometime?

Wed, April 3, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Predict what will happen in 700 years please...difficult isnít it?

 

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Knowing where life will go on this planet earth is not something we can predict with ease, is it?

Today, with an almost mindless belief that science can predict anything, we get misled into believing we can use science and our minds to know everything.

Can we?

Is science and our minds not a limited set of tools unable to really  perform the core and critical tasks of life that we live. Is it not thwarted and curtailed in it’s extent and unable to part the mists of time.

In the bible there are many different texts that do exactly this. One that is still coming in many respects is referred to by Joel...

The Day of the Lord Is Coming

28 “After that, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will have dreams.
    Your young men will have visions.
29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
    on those who serve me, men and women alike.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth.
    There will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
31 The sun will become dark.
    The moon will turn red like blood.
    It will happen before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
32 Everyone who calls out to me will be saved.
    On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    some of my people will be left alive.
I have chosen them.
    That is what I have promised.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus referred to this at Pentecost when Holy Spirit came to all on Earth that respect and acknowledge Jesus as God and king of their lives.

He does not explain the detail and simply quotes this writing from long before he lived.

He said this after some really non-scientific things had happened. Noise of a huge wind in a room, flames appearing in mid air and settling on people without burning them, those same people suddenly being able to be undertsood in all the languages of the known world by people who’s mother tongue was those languages.

Strange in the extreme!

Then Peter explains... “Men of Israel, listen to this! Jesus of Nazareth was a man who had God’s approval.

God did miracles, wonders and signs among you through Jesus.

You yourselves know this.

Signs and wonders! Non-scientific! Yet, we know that these were accepted as having happened by the people of the time. The people of the time knew this because it was a small community compared to today and word of strange things travelled fast. (It seems to do similar today).

The interesting thing is that Jesus was predicted to be handed over to men and be killed around 700 years previously by a prophet named Isaiah.

Are you aware of what happened 700 years ago? Probably not...

Here are some events gleaned from multiple online sources;

·         Mega-tsunami hit southeast Asia 700 years ago

·         MAY: King John of England submits to Pope Innocent III, who in turn lifts the interdict of 1208. (The interdict suspended Christian services and the administration of sacraments (except baptism, confession, and last rites); the dead were denied Christian burial.)

·         MAY:Pope Innocent III issued the papal bull Quia maior, calling all of Christendom to join a new crusade,

·         SEPT: the battle of Muret. (The Toulousain and Aragonese forces of Raymond VI of Toulouse and Peter II of Aragon are defeated by the Albigensian Crusade under Simon de Montfort.)

·         Jin China is overrun by the Mongols under Genghis Khan,

·         Fifth Crusade to recapture Jerusalem

·         King John signs Magna Carta at Runnymede.

·         Venice signs a trade treaty with the Mongol Empire

Can we predict with any certainly what would happen in the year 2713?

Not likely, right?

Let’s see how Isaiah did predicting Jesus death, 700 years before it happened.

Who has believed what we’ve been saying?
    Who has seen the Lord’s saving power?
His servant grew up like a tender young plant.
    He grew like a root coming up out of dry ground.

He didn’t have any beauty or majesty that made us notice him.
    There wasn’t anything special about the way he looked that drew us to him.
Men looked down on him. They didn’t accept him.
    He knew all about sorrow and suffering.
He was like someone people turn their faces away from.
    We looked down on him. We didn’t have any respect for him.

He suffered the things we should have suffered.
    He took on himself the pain that should have been ours.
But we thought God was punishing him.
    We thought God was wounding him and making him suffer.


But the servant was pierced because we had sinned.
    He was crushed because we had done what was evil.


He was punished to make us whole again.
    His wounds have healed us.
All of us are like sheep. We have wandered away from God.
    All of us have turned to our own way.
And the Lord has placed on his servant the sins of all of us.

He was beaten down and made to suffer.
    But he didn’t open his mouth.


He was led away like a sheep to be killed.
    Lambs are silent while their wool is being cut off.
    In the same way, he didn’t open his mouth.


He was arrested and sentenced to death.
    Then he was taken away.
    He was cut off from this life.


He was punished for the sins of my people.
    Who among those who were living at that time
    could have understood those things?


He was given a grave with those who were evil.
    But his body was buried in the tomb of a rich man
.


He was killed even though he hadn’t harmed anyone.
    And he had never lied to anyone.

The Lord says, “It was my plan to crush him

    and cause him to suffer.

    I made his life a guilt offering to pay for sin.

But he will see all of his children after him.

    In fact, he will continue to live.

    My plan will be brought about through him.

11 After he suffers, he will see the light that leads to life.

    And he will be satisfied.

My godly servant will make many people godly

    because of what he will accomplish.

    He will be punished for their sins.

12 So I will give him a place of honor among those who are great.

    He will be rewarded just like others who win the battle.

That is because he was willing to give his life as a sacrifice.

    He was counted among those who had committed crimes.

He took the sins of many people on himself.

    And he gave his life for those who had done what is wrong.”

 

Could you or I have made that prediction? Could science have predicted this?

Not likely! It requires a power far greater and far more knowledgeable that our meager brains or computers.

Yet, God gave us that very power to help us be guided in our lives. We need to walk in holiness and purity, acknowledging God’s son Jesus and living our lives under God’s control to have this power.

Then we can add to the power of the human mind and science. We can have the power of the living God in our lives.

We can give God the honour and glory he is due. We can live victoriously knowing our lives count and that each moment we are in step with the heavenly power.

Isn’t that a great way to take on our day?
Tue, April 2, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, April 1, 2013

How far will governments go in abuse of their citizens

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“Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one.” ~ Mark Twain.

 

Ever notice how some bills slide into law without much press or acknowledgement of us, the citizens.

Thursday the U.S.A. government slid another into existence. Surreptitiously bill HR 933 was activated.

Now citizens have no ability to stop planting and sale of genetically modified crops.

Why worry?

Maybe because very few people are aware of the risks!

What happens when a peanut gene is spliced into a corn crop? How do the people who can die if they eat peanuts react to this?

How about soy milk?

This is what we feed to babies and children that have allergies and issues with normal milk. What happens when undisclosed genetic changes have been done to the beans?

Genes produced by humans have not had the normal time to evolve with the human digestive system and so often they do not break down well in the gut. This can also lead to unintentional impacts.

Should our governments be able to slide these laws into effect without peoples being aware.

In Canada there are other laws that have come into effect that are perhaps less obviously negative but are also not broadcast.

How about the right for Christians to pray in schools, the right to have a nativity scene in your front yard, the right to get together to pray in open areas?

These and others, get evoked by municipalities and provinces and slid into existence.

We need to keep our eyes open for changes of this nature and make them public.

The only way public figures are impacted are by the public taking offence to their surreptitious ways and telling others.

Let’s complain about the fact that while Muslims and Hindu’s are given prayer rooms and time off at business’ to pray during the day,  our children cannot promote opportunities to gather and pray in the schools!

 I think that is discrimination isn’t it?

I have been told in business by people of other religions that they cannot leave town to do business at a particular time because they are fasting and praying. Just try that as a Christian in Canada, and see the lack of mercy exhibited. Around us other religions are accommodated.  These religions get given street parades, time off, ability to practice where they want to.

I am sure in many countries, similar laws are unjustly being invoked.

What is our roles as Christians? Are we to be so meek as to never rebel?

I don’t think so. I remember a guy making a whip and overturning businesses in the area because they we abusing God’s name and holy places. His name was Jesus!

He whipped people! Yes, it’s in the bible!

Read John 2:13 onwards.

We need to protest against wrong use of power and money. Let’s be honest, many of these laws are introduced to allow people with money and power to have their way in our legal systems.

Let’s respond more as a group and more actively when we see abuse of elected power. Let’s push to have change happen, and lets bring up these issues when the next election comes around.

Christians are loving, but we are not doormats. We will not be trodden on without making it heard. We also want the best for all, and this is key. We want the best for ALL. Not for those that are making money out of genetically engineered crops.

I guess we like Jesus we need to be careful! The bible says

“Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” John 2:23-25

God knows what is in each of us. There is good and the bad. Let’s pray when the time comes he finds in us the good, the courageous, the loving and kind, and that our evil has been paid for and removed.

Have a wonderful victorious and effective day today as you consider this!

Mon, April 1, 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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