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Friday, May 24, 2013

Commitment, do we have it, or do we fake it?

 

GettingOutOfBed.jpgIt was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.~ Zig Ziglar

Promise, promise, but never deliver!

How often does that happen to us? When we are waiting on something to complete a task, be it building a piece of equipment and ordering a widget that doesn’t arrive, or waiting on someone to deliver a set of information so a report can be completed, or having someone accept an invitation to a party and then not come.

We often find this happening to us don’t we?

When this happens we feel that surge of annoyance, of the persons disrespect not only for us, but for those who we have to deliver to, don’t we?

Commitment is something we should take seriously. We should not say, “yes! I will help!” and then change our mind.

Once a promise is made as Christians it is our duty to be true to our word.

I think Charles Spurgeon put it well...

You never hear Jesus say in Pilate's judgement hall one word that would let you imagine that He was sorry that He had undertaken so costly a sacrifice for us. When His hands are pierced, when He is parched with fever, His tongue dried up like a shard of pottery, when His whole body is dissolved into the dust of death, you never hear a groan or a shriek that looks like Jesus is going back on His commitment.

Jesus stuck to his commitments totally. He also didn’t commit to what he could or should not do. John says in chapter 7...

 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He stayed away from Judea on purpose. He knew that the Jews there were waiting to kill him.

The Jewish Feast of Booths was near. Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You should leave here and go to Judea. Then your disciples will see the kinds of things you do. No one who wants to be well known does things in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” Even Jesus’ own brothers did not believe in him.

So Jesus told them, “The right time has not yet come for me. For you, any time is right. The people of the world can’t hate you. But they hate me. This is because I give witness that what they do is evil.

“You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast. For me, the right time has not yet come.”

After he said this, he stayed in Galilee.

Wisdom is knowing when to commit to something and when not to. Deep down inside we need to search out what God wants in our lives. Even if we fail to do this the first time, that does not mean we stop. Every day we should try and be more focussed and more committed to Holy Spirits guidance in our lives.

Ways we can improve our ability to commit are varied. The most powerful way we can improve our commitment is to focus on the love of Jesus. His love can overwhelm our inabilities if we let it. His love is so vast it fills every gap in our life and can motivate us to greatness.

Then, a lesser power is the knowledge that Satan will take our lack of commitment and ruin us. We need to fear this destroyer of our lives and know that alliance with him (which is being apathetic) will damage us eventually.

Then, we need to know we must be true to those who are our friends and fellow workers. This obligation should also motivate us to be true to our God given purpose in life.

Okay so how can we improve?

Firstly, in our choices. Like Jesus we need to evaluate what God would want us to do before we commit to something we should not do. If we have little choice in the matter (sometimes this happens) review teh choices that got us into the situation and decide if they were good wholesome choice made under truth and wisdom. If so we can get strength to go on through despite our difficulties. Pray for god to help us make the right decision and then commit that decision to God in prayer.

Next, let’s review what we intend. Clearly understanding what our intentions are is important to “truth”. Often we don’t follow through because we have false intentions. Basically we lie to ourselves. Not being true to ourselves is one way of screwing up our life. God wants us to be true to both ourselves and to him. Let’s keep that aspect in mind and clean up mistakes in intention. Clarify them and ask God to help us understand our intentions. If we do this before committing, then we are in good shape to follow through.

Lastly let’s be determined. We need to focus on following through and push aside our own objections to doing so. We need to ask why we are whinging and ducking out on what we ourselves have decided. This is poor behaviour to ourselves isn’t it. It will take down our self-worth. Let’s not damage ourselves.

One additional aspect is that we need to reward ourselves for following through. Let’s be proud of ourselves when despite difficulties we overcome obstacles and keep our commitment. This builds rewards that lead us to repeating being dependable. It’s a great feeling.

Today, let’s ask God to help us be more dependable people, to help us as we strive to live life as positive influence to ourselves and those around us.

Have a blessed day!
Fri, May 24, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can we grow new limbs?

timeGrowth.jpgGround breaking research in Australia has given a lead to scientists in how to establish the ability for people to regrow missing limbs and organs.

James Godwin and colleagues at Monash University's Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute[1] found that macrophages are influential in regeneration of tissue.

The name macrophage means big eater, and these cells eat and then digest, cellular debris and pathogens in the body.

So now that they know that they also help with regeneration, we are one step away from regenerating limbs.

In another breakthrough, it was announced in Toronto yesterday that a baby about to die due to inability to breathe was given an artificial splint, printed on a 3D printer of material that would later be absorbed by the body. This split was made in a few minutes and designed specifically for that child to hold it’s airways open. The success was only announced after the child was a year old and the success could be determined conclusively.

Amazing! Fantastic!

We are so blessed as humans to have brains that allow us not only to think and develop complex theories, but that enables us to learn the thoughts and discoveries of others that have passed on to eternity already. Our history, captured in writing and other methods, serves to guide us to new strengths and avoid past mistakes.

We learn and adapt!

Yet, in one area we are slow to adapt, that is spiritually.

It seems that we consider that to be spiritual is to be unscientific.

This can hardly be true as some of the greatest scientists (Note: I am not talking of people who follow the religion called Christian scientists but Christians that are scientists) were and are devout believers. Heard of Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Francis Collins?

Great scientists! So compatibility of spirituality with science has existed among the originators of sciences greatest discoveries.

God gave us brains and built a world in which we can use our brains not only delighting in our maker, but enjoying our discoveries and activities as we progress.

One of the things that points to God being amazing to me is that we continually find deeper and deeper truths, yet do not seem to exhaust the knowledge in any one area. God has built everything in our universe in such a logical but amazing way that the laws of life intertwine with immense precision and open up amazing discoveries every day.

If the strong and weak nuclear forces were slightly off the universe could not exist. If gravitation did not have the exact balance to stabilize the original big bang expulsion of matter and congeal it into the planets and stars within which we exist, we could not be here.

I am grateful for all the wonderful new discoveries we get each day.

I do however get a little sad to notice that Google news only displays good events like this momentarily, yet is willing to display the macabre and evil prominently for days. It’s such a pity! Good news should be left to mature our thankfulness and lift our collective spirits for days, not minutes.

Maybe that should be our prayer for today?

Maybe we should ask God to increase the retention time of good news on the internet so that our world becomes a more positive place. That’s my wish for today.

Thu, May 23, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Father, or our daddy?

 bible.jpg

In many places in the world, the “Lord’s prayer” of Christianity is chanted rather like an incantation. 

It is interesting that it is held to so strongly by those who use it.


Particularly when the bible gives it in two different renditions;

Mathew 6:9-13 says

“This is how you should pray.

“‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
10 May your kingdom come.
May what you want to happen be done
    on earth as it is done in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our sins,
    just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.
Save us from the evil one.’

Then Luke 11:2-4 says

 Jesus said to them, “When you pray, this is what you should say.

“‘Father,
may your name be honored.
May your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    as we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.’”

Seems like if it was important to get it exact and if it was used every day, they would be identical wouldn’t they?

Which is correct?

Is perhaps the Catholic or Anglican version used by many the correct one?

Our Father, which art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done,

in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive them that trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

[For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever.]

Amen.

This is not even fully biblical and has a piece (between brackets) added.

Maybe we should try and ask ourselves why the disciples asked to be taught to pray.

They knew many rote prayers and would have had to memorize many of these since childhood. It was not like the average Jewish boy of the time didn’t know prayers. His head was inundated with prayers for different occasions.

Yet the bible in Luke says...

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples spoke to him. “Lord,” he said, “teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

The disciples wanted to pray like JESUS did!

How does he start the prayer out?

Πάτερ  or pater which we translate as Father!

How radicle is that?

No-one of the day would have used that word in a prayer as a normal way to address God.

It was unconventional, not respectful, common, and would have been distained by those of higher priestly function.

Jewish words for God included  YHWH, Jehovah, Adonai, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.

Not “Pater”!

This was just to familial, too common, to close a relationship.

Let’s remember Jesus was showing them how to break the ritual prayer chain in his prayer. How about we approach the prayer he taught from the perspective that it was taught and not turn it into a jumble of meaningless words repeated endlessly?

Just a thought for the day!

Have a wonderful blessed day.
Wed, May 22, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Father in heaven, forgive us our sins...

 

drownin.jpg

We want to be forgiven, our lives wiped clean for things we have done that we would remain hidden.

I just read in the news  about a young girl of 18 years old who had sex with a minor of 14years of age and who is in court on sex related charges of rape[1]. They played on the same baseball team and the 14year old was a bigger girl than the 18 year old. I am sure that 18 year old wants to be forgiven. I am not so sure she is sorry for what she did however.

All of us screw up in one way or another, perhaps not as badly as that young girl, but in other ways. There are things we are just not proud of. Some things that we don’t admit to anyone but which maybe haunt us in the small hours of the odd night when we cannot sleep and the thoughts return with vengeance.

God taught us to forgive. But it is interesting how we remember the one part of the prayer and not the other as revealed in Luke 11.

Jesus said to them, “When you pray, this is what you should say.

“‘Father,
may your name be honored.
May your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    as we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.’”

The interesting part is that we need to be forgiven the way we forgive others.

Do we hold grudges? Is there someone whom we just cannot forgive? Where we hold onto our thoughts of revenge and bitterness no matter what?

In this case we are not opening up the conditions for our own forgiveness.

 

Jesus knew what he was saying! He wasn’t just saying something to make a noise!

Not forgiving, will hold us back from great spiritual growth.

Jesus taught these disciples to pray this way because it was spontaneous prayer.

The disciples of the day were taught ritual, repetitious prayer by their community of Jewish elders.

Jesus wanted prayer from the heart! He wants relational forgiveness from the heart. He wants relational love from the depth of our soul to be extended to everyone.

Our blessing and forgiveness is greatest when we forgive.

In this account I read of these young girls (18 years old is young to me), I cannot see how the parents who are pursing this prosecution will gain. Their daughter is apparently against them prosecuting the 18 year old as well and their daughter indicates she consented. That means little in the law however.

I just hope this occurrence is not mis-directed Christian anger and hate situation.

I pray for both girls and their families. I particularly pray the legal system will find a way that is just but does not lock up a young girl for 15 years of her life.

I guess I agree the law should be even handed, but even if it was an 18 year old boy I would feel the same. Law is to protect innocence. Therefore it must be implemented. But mercy is above that aspect of the law. Justice must be done, but I trust the sentence is not nasty.

We may never have broken our governments laws, but we have at some time done wrong. God knows! He forgives us as we forgive others!

I am sure glad I can forgive freely. It must suck to be the judge in this case. May we turn to our Father and be able to say with honesty in our heart...

Forgive us our sins,
    as we also forgive everyone who sins against us.


[1] http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/350522

Tue, May 21, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, May 20, 2013

Are there things God cannot do?

 

GivingKeys.jpg“What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” ~ Eleanor Powell

 

Are there things God cannot do?

I
think so!


God is good, holy, doesn’t change, impossible to know fully, infinite, loving, all powerful, present everywhere, all knowing, a unity but three in one, he care for everything in the universe and upholds everything in the universe, he is sovereign, outside time and space, always truthful, and at times gets angry but cares deeply for everyone.

Yet, despite this there are things God cannot do!

One of these is sin! God cannot go against his own self, which is sin. God allows sin, but never sins himself.

If God didn’t allow sin in this world it would be an unhappy day for you and me. We would immediately come on the anger side of a pure God and would be obliterated in a second. If God didn’t allow sin, we would never have time to come to the realization of it in our lives, to work against our nature and ask Jesus to forgive us and help us overcome it.

Then, God seems to place himself in a position to be influence by human requests and decisions.

Let’s remember the bible writing that (Mark6:4) Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not honored in his hometown. He doesn’t receive any honor among his relatives. And he doesn’t receive any in his own home.”.

Jesus laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. But he could not do any other miracles there. He was amazed because they had no faith.

Notice “But he could not do any other miracles there”, he was limited “because they had no faith”.

For some strange reason God limits himself by mankind’s faith in local contexts.

A more unusual experience is described as follows...

Mark8:22 Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man. They begged Jesus to touch him.

He took the blind man by the hand. Then he led him outside the village. He spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him. “Do you see anything?” Jesus asked.

The man looked up. He said, “I see people. They look like trees walking around.”

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened so that he could see again. He saw everything clearly.

Notice Jesus takes the guy out of town, only then he has a go at healing him, checks the success and then when it’s not full, finishes it off.

Was it perhaps that Bethsaida was again lacking faith and he had to move to a place where those with him had faith that countered those that did not in the environment.

Also Jesus exclaims at another time regarding faith of a man in a story...

 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Faith counts and limits or enables God. Is it strange then that atheists reject miracles. It is impossible for them to experience them if they have no faith! Perhaps that is how faith builds, once we have a little we see God at work which builds it up.

The polarizing prism of faith splits those who have it, from those that lack it, by the experience of God actions in life.

God limits himself to acting within our requests and faith.

Why? I do not know and perhaps never will.

The knowledge that this is the fact is a simple empirical fact.

God healed me of an incurable disease! I myself lacked faith in modern day healing, but I had a team of believers who had great faith and a wife who desperately wanted me to live and pleaded with God. I accepted their faith as sufficient for healing if God would do it. He did!

I thank those men and women of faith who made the difference in my life and I pray i will have the faith to enables others to experience God.

How about we help God out in this area? We can!
Mon, May 20, 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
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
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