Friday, April 5, 2013
There was a time without teenagers...
Fri, April 5, 2013 | link
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 did the world have to invent this age called teenagers?
really only used significantly from the 1940’s onwards.
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
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.
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.
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
We need youthful injections of enthusiasm and
energy. Let’s encourage this rather than suppress
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
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
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Prioritizing ... power to a purpose driven life
Thu, April 4, 2013 | link
is a function of context.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
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
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.
understand we all have more opportunity and need to do more things, than we have time to
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.
5 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!”
replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have
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?
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!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Mobile phones are 40 years old today...wow!
Wed, April 3, 2013 | link
first mobile phone call was made 40 years ago today, on 3 April 1973.~BBC
Last year there were about 6 billion mobile phones
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Predict what will happen in 700 years please...difficult isnít it?
Tue, April 2, 2013 | link
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
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
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will have dreams.
Your young men will have visions.
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.
will be blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
31 The sun will
The moon will turn red like blood.
It will happen
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
who calls out to me will be saved.
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
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.
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
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.
you aware of what happened 700 years ago? Probably not...
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
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?
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
2 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.
3 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
4 He suffered the things we should have suffered.
on himself the pain that should have been ours.
But we thought God was punishing him.
thought God was wounding him and making him suffer.
5 But the servant was pierced because we had sinned.
was crushed because we had done what was evil.
He was punished to make us whole again.
His wounds have healed us.
6 All of us are like sheep. We have wandered away from God.
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.
didn’t open his mouth.
He was led away like a sheep to be killed.
are silent while their wool is being cut off.
In the same way, he didn’t open his mouth.
8 He was
arrested and sentenced to death.
Then he was taken away.
was cut off from this life.
He was punished
for the sins of my people.
Who among those who were living at that time
have understood those things?
9 He was given a grave with those who were evil.
his body was buried in the tomb of a rich man.
He was killed even though he hadn’t harmed anyone.
he had never lied to anyone.
The Lord says, “It
was my plan to crush him
and cause him to
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.
he suffers, he will see the light that leads to life.
And he will be satisfied.
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?
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?
Monday, April 1, 2013
How far will governments go in abuse of their citizens
Mon, April 1, 2013 | link
“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.
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
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
I think that is discrimination isn’t
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.
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.
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
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
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