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Friday, May 3, 2013

People twist the bible to fit their viewpoints donít they?

harassed.jpgThe basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.        ~ Philip K Dick

 I was reading an article on the internet the other day and this is what it said; 

“Contrary to popular belief, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden not because they ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but in order to prevent them from eating from the tree of life (both forbidden trees are in Genesis 2:9) which would have made them eternal. God doesn’t like competition! Here is the verse (Genesis 3:22-23): “And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken.” Found at http://listverse.com/2010/12/17/10-biblical-facts-that-everyone-gets-wrong/

Now the fact that Adam and eve were expelled from the garden is in Genesis 3:22-23

Genesis 3:22-23(NIRV) The Lord God said, “The man has become like one of us. He can now tell the difference between good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick fruit from the tree of life and eat it. If he does, he will live forever.” So the Lord God drove the man out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground he had been made out of.

Also there were two trees that were forbidden,

Genesis 2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. Their fruit was pleasing to look at and good to eat.

The tree that gives life forever was in the middle of the garden. The tree that gives the ability to tell the difference between good and evil was also there.

So it appears as if the statement made in the article is correct.

However , if I stated to a child...you  must not play with the knife and scissors on the living room table, and then if when playing with the knife (against my instructions) the child cut themselves, then if I took them out the room stating “the child must not be allowed to play with the scissors and cut themselves” would I be taking them out the room because the scissors cut, or that both the knife and scissors cut?

You judge!

I believe that to say I was taking them out the room so they would not cut themselves on the scissors and that the knife had no part in me taking them out the room is simply a stupid statement. what do you think?

That is the logic of the statement that was in that article. 

Then to say that “God doesn’t like the competition” is simply rude to God as well, isn't it?
 
Isn't it saying we know and can do everything God can do if he gives us eternal life?

Really? Are we so arrogant as to think that simply living forever puts us on par with God?

Not likely!

Is it not possible that God saw the damage mankind had inflicted on themselves and so removed us away from the way that we could make it permanent?

This article is incorrect and rude!

This is the problem I find with many people who write about God and his words without having a personal relationship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. It’s rather like a person trying to explain a persons thinking from newspaper articles about the person, when they could go next door and introduce themselves to the person and get to know them personally. Also rather an limited way of thinking right?

Perhaps we should either get to know God personally or talk to those that do rather that misinterpreting bible words, or taking them out of context.

Now, we all make mistakes so I will assume that is what the person writing that article did.

Let us also try our best to check our relationship with God when reading his words. It really makes a difference doesn’t it?

Fri, May 3, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Can God hide himself from us?

 

 OutwardOrInward.jpg

The bible says God is everywhere, yet is he?

We know God is supposed to be in heaven, (Rev 4) but that’s not here on Earth is it?

We know Jesus came, died and rose again and went to heaven and sits at God’s right hand (Hebrews 8) but that’s not here on Earth is it?

Jesus also said “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In Matthew 20:28 so how can he be here on Earth when we know he isn’t?

We also know Paul says our body is the temple of Holy Spirit 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; (1 Cor 16:19) and that is just weird right?

Then we hear that God doesn’t stay in man-made objects24 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17:24-25

Yet we know God says he is close to us always Jer 23:23 “Am I only a God nearby,
declares the Lord, and not a God far away?

Then God instructs us to go around the whole earth telling others about him and he will be with us...

Matthew 28:19-20 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

This can be confusing!

Perhaps the confusion is because we have very small understanding of the dimensions of life and try to fit God into only four dimensions summarized as space and time. (The four dimensions are length, breadth, height and time). This is a limited view of our universe. Today scientists are saying they think there could be 10 dimensions (and that is so confusing that most people have no way of conceptualizing it).

Yet we know Holy Spirit is with us in our hearts, revealing God to us every moment of every day. That while God is in heaven he is aware of and controlling everything on Earth. That Jesus is in some way upholding space and time. Col 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

If God is so intimately in and around everything, how come the bible also says “19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.” 1 Chronicles 22:19 and Isaiah 55:6Seek the Lord while he may be found;  call on him while he is near.

God promises if we look for him he will be found. His promise to Solomon describes this “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

Does God hide himself from us?

No, it is our pride, arrogance, bad behaviours, perhaps best summarized by sin that puts up a barrier between ourselves and God. This is not God not being available to us, but us locking God out of our lives.

Last night I was reading again of Richard Dawkins with his angry ravings that God does not exist and his anger at those who say he does.

To him, God does not exist! He has locked God out of his existence. He is amazed that Christians still continue to exist on Earth.

Why?

Perhaps because in God we find peace, joy, a sound mind, eternal love, compassion. With God we reach out to help those around us in love.

No angry man with personal agenda’s can compete with that! Sadly the one thing Mr Dawkins needs to see is that his unhappiness (which he would deny I think) is simply due to him locking God out of his life, not the lack of God’s presence.

Jesus is in heaven and with us and sustaining us all at the same time, as is God the Father and Holy Spirit. We cannot understand it all nor are we meant to. We are however blessed to enjoy it as it is free for everyone. Not the false free gift like we get given as humans and then find it has strings attached. This is God given free! No strings attached!

Let’s go and revel in our freedom today!

Thu, May 2, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Moses, his story read a little more carefully...

 

mosesbasket.jpg“Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own.” ~ Charles Scribner, Jr

 How often do we make mistakes when reading things?

Having just come from church and at a Pita place I read the sign that said “have a Salivation experience” as “have a Salvation experience”.

How often do we interpret what we want to read into what we actually read?

Anyone who has to edit their own writing know it’s one of the most difficult tasks we can do.

Why?

Simply because our minds see what we meant to say rather than what we ended up putting down in our text.

We read having a purpose, a knowledge and desire of what we want to get out of the text. Sometimes what we read does not meet that purpose and our mind struggles to make it fit.

We need to challenge what we read to gain the full value of it.

How many of us have heard the story of baby Moses getting put into the reeds in the Nile to later be found by Pharaohs daughter? Many of us right?

Here are some snippets from Exodus 2...

A man and a woman from the tribe of Levi got married. She became pregnant and had a son by him. She saw that her baby was a fine child. So she hid him for three months.

After that, she couldn’t hide him any longer. So she got a basket that was made out of the stems of tall grass. She coated it with tar. Then she placed the child in it. She put the basket in the tall grass that grew along the bank of the Nile River. The child’s sister wasn’t very far away. She wanted to see what would happen to him.

Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile River to take a bath. Her attendants were walking along the bank of the river. She saw the basket in the tall grass. So she sent her female slave to get it.

When she opened it, she saw the baby. He was crying. She felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Then his sister spoke to Pharaoh’s daughter. She asked, “Do you want me to go and get one of the Hebrew women? She could nurse the baby for you.”

“Yes. Go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother.

Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby. Nurse him for me. I’ll pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.

10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter. And he became her son. She named him Moses. She said, “I pulled him out of the water.”

The story seems to revolve around the retrieval of the baby from the basket.

This version says grass, but if we look at a different version it says...

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

This is a more customary interpretation.

Yet to fully understand we probably need to see what the Hebrew word says. If we investigate we find...

הַסּ֔וּף or has·suf is the word for reeds.

Herein lies our first learning moment.

Never take the surface value of words that differ in different bible versions and check more than one version.

These are translations! In other words, people read the original and write down what they believe it says. Not everyone agrees, but a few versions will tend to home in on the best meaning. Then we can use a LEXICON to get the Hebrew meaning of the words. Strong’s concordance also assists if you can find a copy and use it.

Why is it even important to know this word is reeds?

We need to know that reeds were important to Egyptian religion. They believed the most wonderful afterlife was found in a field of reeds called Aaru.

This means that finding Moses there would have influenced her more than just a baby crying, it would have appeared to her to have magical properties!

Yet, as familiar as this story is, we often miss detail. I was reading in Acts Acts 7:20-21 20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.

This caused me to go back and check Exodus because for all the years I have been reading this story I missed the simple fact that Moses was at least three months, and probably four months old when he was placed in that basket.

This unveils a whole different set of thoughts about his mother and the motivations for her doing what she did.

I am sure with the threats of punishments and death around at the time she struggled to keep her son for as long as she could. Moses was loved from birth.

Reading carefully reveals truth!

We also need to read the bible fully. Unless we read Exodus 6:20 we never learn the name of Moses mother and Father. Exodus 6:20 says

Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years

So Moses mother was Jochebed and his father was Amram.

How many of us knew this?

Isn’t it wonderful how God has provided us with simple treasures to enjoy finding in his word?

Let’s pick up our bible and read some of them today!

Have a great day!

Wed, May 1, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Intrinsic or Extrinsic motivation, which wins?

 

RobotandBoy.jpg“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” ~ Bo Benne

Let’s ask a teenager to work eight hours a day over the weekends and do an extra four hours of work each day during the week, and then to keep it up, for six weeks.

What do we expect to get?

Non-compliance, right?

Wrong!

If you think I’m kidding just read the article about the kids from two Toronto schools that competed in a science competition on robotics entitled “GTA schools bring home international robotics competition title

These young folk did exactly this! Six weeks hard labour done voluntary!

Why?

Intrinsic Motivation!

What is intrinsic motivation? The web definition is “motivation based on taking pleasure in an activity rather working towards an external reward.”

It’s those things we want to do rather than those we are forced to do. It is done without expecting something to be given to us in exchange for our effort. Returns or prize based work is extrinsic motivation.

Amazingly people often perform worse with extrinsic motivation than intrinsic motivation.

This is true of a life with God as well!

Love is an intrinsic motivator. It gets us doing things for the value of doing them, not for the reward we will receive. It is a driver to true happiness under life duress.

If you really want to enjoy life, yet work hard and help others at the same time, then love is a great intrinsic motivator. The value comes from doing with God alongside us! The joy is in seeing God’s purpose unfold!

We have the intrinsic joy of knowing God loves us deeply and our lives flow in his will.

Paul, that guy who lived in the first century when Jesus was around put it this way in Romans 8;

28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. He appointed them to be saved in keeping with his purpose.

29 God planned that those he had chosen would become like his Son. In that way, Christ will be the first and most honored among many brothers. 30 And those God has planned for, he has also appointed to be saved. Those he has appointed, he has made right with himself. To those he has made right with himself, he has given his glory.

31 What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us? 32 God did not spare his own Son. He gave him up for us all. Then won’t he also freely give us everything else?

33 Who can bring any charge against God’s chosen ones? God makes us right with himself. 34 Who can sentence us to death? Christ Jesus is at the right hand of God and is also praying for us. He died. More than that, he was raised to life.

35 Who can separate us from Christ’s love? Can trouble or hard times or harm or hunger? Can nakedness or danger or war? 36 It is written,

“Because of you, we face death all day long.
    We are considered as sheep to be killed.” (Psalm 44:22)

37 No! In all these things we will do even more than win! We owe it all to Christ, who has loved us.

We are to live like Jesus, we are connected with God now, we are connected to God after we die.

We can start the wonderful process of living with God right now, and continue it for eternity.

It makes sense and is simple to do!

Sometimes it appears too simple. Many fail to take the simple step because they want to earn it. Yet, it is not extrinsically motivated, but intrinsically motivated. The first step and the life thereafter are motivated by our decision of will to live with God in our lives.

It’s a great step to take if we haven’t done it yet, and if we have, it’s important to remember we are not doing it to win goals, but simply to experience life with God in control.

May the joy of God’s eternal presence be with you today!

Tue, April 30, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sadness is something we all face at one time or another

 

 PitOfDespair.jpg

“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.” ~ Jim Rohn

We can enjoy our experience of life and yet be sad can’t we?

Waves of life can lift us and then allow us to settle, as emotional highs and lows come our way.

I work with quite a lot of young people and so enjoy their enjoyment of life.

However, young people often go through whole ranges of emotions within short time frames. They have yet to find that subduing effect of time that evens the waves and gives us a more uniform if less imaginative path through life.

Sadness should not be embraced, but when experienced for a short time can be used to help us truly enjoy the happy times.

Fortunately, the joy of God is consistent and is with us through both emotion.

Isn’t that presence of the Almighty in our lives the great strength that pulls us through each day with progress and achievement? Is he not the one who makes the blandness of living into the adventure of life? Is he not the one who allows us to experience life to it’s fullness and we walk with him?

I really like psalm 42 (This is  the NIRV version)

A deer longs for streams of water.
    God, I long for you in the same way.
I am thirsty for God. I am thirsty for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with him?
My tears have been my food
    day and night.
All day long people say to me,
    “Where is your God?”
When I remember what has happened,
    I tell God all of my troubles.
I remember how I used to walk along with the crowd of worshipers.
    I led them to the house of God.
We shouted with joy and gave thanks
    as we went to the holy feast.

My spirit, why are you so sad?
    Why are you so upset deep down inside me?
Put your hope in God.
    Once again I will have reason to praise him.
    He is my Savior and
my God.

My spirit is very sad deep down inside me.
    So I will remember you here where the Jordan River begins.
I will remember you here on the Hermon mountains
    and on Mount Mizar.
You have sent wave upon wave of trouble over me.
    It roars down on me like a waterfall.
All of your waves and breakers have rolled over me.

During the day the Lord sends his love to me.
    During the night I sing about him.
    I say a prayer to the God who gives me life.

I say to God my Rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go around in sorrow?
    Why am I beaten down by my enemies?”
10 My body suffers deadly pain
    as my enemies make fun of me.
All day long they say to me,
    “Where is your God?”

11 My spirit, why are you so sad?
    Why are you so upset deep down inside me?
Put your hope in God.
    Once again I will have reason to praise him.
    He is my Savior and my God.

We can long for God’s presence and yet still feel joy of knowing he is there!

Our lives can divert from the path he has set for us, yet there is still joy in knowing he is there. Our souls can sin, removing us from his immediate blessing, yet the joy of his presence and impeding forgiveness is there and is a sweet blessing for tired spirits.

Mockery of others, pain and tiredness can take it’s toll in our life. We can become sad, and to change this it is often good to get away from that mockery, find ways to get pain relief and some good sleep. Yet, even these cannot do as much as the joy of God in our life.

In faith there is hope, in hope, there is prayer, in prayer there is comfort, and then comfort comes as Holy Spirit ministers to our hurt, enabling us to praise and love God.

It is not a soft love! It is not a simple love! It is a deep, complex, muti-emotional and varied love that flows with great power and strength. It drives away the sadness as time progresses and shows us how Jesus makes a difference, not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us.

God is good! Let’s trust Him and remember that!

Mon, April 29, 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?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
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