Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, June 7, 2013
Christian school entry requirements: Signing a statement of faith? What is wrong with that?
Fri, June 7, 2013 | link
When things go wrong as they sometimes will. When the road your trudging seems all uphill, when the funds are low and
the debts are high and when you want to smile, but you have to sigh, when care is pressing down a bit . . . by all means pray,
but don't you quit.
Success is failure turned
inside out, God’s hidden gift in the clouds of doubt. You never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems
So trust in the Lord when
you're hardest hit . . . it's when things go wrong, that you must not quit! ~ Anonymous
Many Christian schools have admission requirements which I am using as an example of the
types of constraints my wife has been encountering (sorry folk but I had to pick on this).
Let me explain...
My wife works as an
occupational therapist as a rehabilitation consultant for children with brain injury. In simple terms, that means she tries
to get hurt kids back to the same level of functioning that they had prior to their accident, which for most of those she
helps means back to where they were prior to a brain injury.
this means she needs to get the young folk into schools that will care and love for them, and teach them good principles.
Now, one of
the constraints she comes across is
requirement of Christian schools for the parents of the kid to sign a statement of faith in Jesus Christ
is wrong with that?
Let’s take a look at the request
from Jesus before he left for heaven and sent back Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us.
Then Jesus came to them. He said, “All authority
in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.” Matthew 28
Okay, it says “all nations”
This means that we should not be limiting our Christian education
to only Christians. If we are to make disciples, we should be taking anyone in, even Satanists. We should be getting
them to sign something like...
“I hereby give permission
for my child’s teacher, and/or other members of the school staff and administration to enforce all classroom regulations
and school policies in a manner consistent with Christian principles of discipline.”
It would be fine to have the kid
acknowledge they will accept Christian teaching and stick to the upholding the principles in the school if they are to attend.
They should not have to sign that they accept Jesus as their personal saviour. That may not be
where they are when they enter the school. It’s where we hope they are after leaving, but that is God’s work not
Forcing parents to sign a statement
of faith to get their kids into a school is silly, even stupid. Let’s remember, the parent, if not a
Christian, probably will sign it anyhow. That way we have forced another sinful action out of them. So wrong!
We as Christians need to understand that God wants us to mix
with those of other faiths. We should love them and have friends in multiple faith disciplines. We need to be able
to talk freely about our beliefs and equally, listen to others.
We don’t have superior authority over others!
We are sinners like everyone else,
the difference is we have God’s
compassion for us while we are sinners and realize it!
Let’s extend God’s wonderful
love and gifts to others without setting up false fences and limitations!
Sure, we don’t
want to be limited in what we can teach about our wonderful God, but lets also not limit those who we can teach these wonderful
It’s rather worthless teaching only
Christians, they already have eternal life!
It’s those that don’t that need it right?
So, if you have influence in a Christian school, please think about
how you set those entrance criteria.
The rest of
us need to pray for those of us trying to correct this wrong!
Have a blessed and successful
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Views of eternity
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. ~Henry David Thoreau
Thu, June 6, 2013 | link
The voice calls out, angry, disappointed, a dry desert of life calling into the wind with anger that the rain of love had not fallen on the thirsty
experiences of the unhappy soul.
How many times does our anger and despair hide our true feelings?
We search for what we believe life must offer, but often fail
to see that to offer ourselves to life may end that search.
In anger we may even view life as better without our human intervention, but what
does that mean?
A teen, naming themselves as blackroseless writes this…
The wind it spins and spills upon a barren landscape
the lands with long forgotten snow.
The sounds are quiet, no technology
or life remain.
The world is at peace
and all men at rest.
The destruction is over
as is the war
Eternity has settled in
our paths are now at rest.
Inverting this poem into the life of the writer suggests that
blackroseless is finding no rest and that technology, destruction, hatred, suffering and pain haunts their life.
people from our world achieve anything?
A world with no human is a world without communication and song, without ability to explain the beauty that
is around us.
world would be incapable of understanding the incredible complexity and beauty established by it’s creator.
A world giving no glory to the God of the
However, eternity can start here and now! It can be a wonderful experience!
In Southern parts of Africa where it is very dry, in a place called
Namaqualand, the year is spent with the ground hard, brown and arid.
Yet once a year, the rains come! Then the world changes incredibly.
The whole barren landscape is changed into one huge extensive garden.
Flowers cover every inch of land from under
ones feet ... to every distant horizon.
smiles and the colors are too amazing to even start to capture with photography or video. These mediums cannot grasp the immensity
of the experience. A touch of eternity flows into the onlooker’s soul. Beauty incomparable brings out emotions that
flow into life in a way that is unforgettable.
This lasts but for a few days. Then the landscape wilts and returns to its former desolate dry state.
Our lives need no such limitation on eternity
Paul writing to the Ephesians closes with words that explain my wish for our lives...
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious
riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell
in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power,
together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within
us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
love is immeasurable!
It’s more vast than the trillions of flowers on the Namaqualand landscape. Yet this immeasurable
love is dependent on one thing for which we are responsible...
God’s gift comes at our
relinquishing of our internal control to him.
Our choice is to angrily push Him away. We may choose to experience a desolate life, with the false assumption
that it is due to having others around us, or that it is their fault, or alternatively we can accept him and become a flower in his landscape of life, blooming and seeding the world
with love!. Making life and our world an amazing place.
I think the choice is ours...
What’s your choice?
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Satan cannot get a great sin in he will let a little one in, like the thief who goes and finds shutters all coated with iron
and bolted inside. At last he sees a little window in a chamber. He cannot get in, so he puts a little boy in, that he may
go round and open the back door. So the devil has always his little sins to carry about with him to go and open back doors
for him, and we let one in and say, ‘O, it is only a little one.’ Yes, but how that little one becomes the ruin
of the entire man!” ~ Spurgeon
Wed, June 5, 2013 | link
We like to say one thing is better than another, to contrast shades of color, or intensities,
or levels in hierarchies.
I guess it’s a case us of liking to know everything has it’s place, and that we can organize
life into nice neat little packages.
life is not neat, nice and tidy!
It is full of cavorting ambiguities, difficult decisions, mislead intentions, and mis-understood communications.
Christians have a failure
that those who are not Christian don’t fully understand.
We often classify sin into levels of importance.
There are “white” lies, “small” indiscretions,
Let’s consider the sin of greed. That extra piece of cake, the want to have a “???”. Extend it a bit and we get covertness. Now
we want what others have or do or their popularity etc.
Consider that Jesus died due to this! Judas was greedy. Was it a small sin?
His turning Jesus in was based on greed for money. Have we ever
been greedy for some more money?
Do we ever think “ I’m a sinner but nothing really bad!”
By “bad” we mean things like adultery, or murder,
or injuring another.
does James say about this?
9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For
whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For
he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit
adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13
because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James
Stumbles at just one point!
Sin is not judged by level or intensity, but
whether it is or isn’t!
we sin, or not?
That is the key question. Do we do selfish, ignorant and nasty things that we know are against God’s
wishes for our life here on this earth? Do I do this? Do you?
God want’s purity and holiness! Purity is being without the blot of sin on our lives. Is a white
shirt with one blot of dirt on it considered clean. No!
Is a life with one blot of sin on it pure? No!
Turning to God
and asking forgiveness puts us through the heavenly wash cycle and we come out pure. No blots! That’s what we need to
Then we are distinctive
in a way that does make a difference.
We need to be holy, or set apart by God.
We need to have NO sin!
This means we are able to live in purity.
This is the desire of deep Christian life. To live the here and now without sin. To continually be put through
the heavenly wash cycle that Jesus provided by spilling his blood and dying to rise again in power with the keys to hells
God is king,
and is our lord supreme and we can only approach him in holiness. To do that we must not consider any sin unimportant, but
all worthy of the heavenly wash cycle that is Jesus forgiveness and the rework of Holy Spirit in our life.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Confused communication and an antidote
emerges more readily from error than from confusion.~ Francis Bacon
Tue, June 4, 2013 | link
Maybe communication failure is best described by Led Zepplin’s
words in their song communication breakdown
“Communication breakdown, it's always the same
Havin' a nervous breakdown, a-drive me insane, yeah”
It’s interesting that communication
failures were introduced originally in the original language of the earth by God
There is a biblical account of it that explains the situation…
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2
As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and
bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come,
let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise
we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The
Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will
be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all
the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel because there the Lord confused
the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
This is a real interesting story!
it says there was a common language on the earth.
I guess going back in time we can trace language to
a certain point. That’s because its written down. The time at which language is first written down is called the start
of history. The time before that is called pre-history(Just and interesting fact)
Okay, during pre-history, we have no account of
the language so we have to work on history and it does seem as if in the Middle East at one time there was a single language.
It is an extinct language written in cuneiform ( a writing made by doing triangular impressions in clay and then baking it).
the oldest known fragments is found on a bowl at Ur. It is the Akkadian language.This could be after that first language as we see it seems widespread.
confused language, introducing communication failures.
It was in response to people’s pride.
I often wonder if God had to do too much.
Surely if he simply
didn’t help the communications stay clear they would have diverged in opinions as pride filled people do?
The second interesting thing is
the word “us” in the sentence
“Come, let us go down”
I think this is God’s sense of humor at work. He is confusing us! J
When we look at the Hebrew it reads somewhat like “Come go confuse their
language so they will not understand another speech another’s”
No real mention of the “us” part is there? It is perhaps implied, so we can see
how the bible came to have that word in the modern translation.
Nevertheless it is confusing!
Whom God requested to go with him to confuse the words
is unknown, and rather interesting. Leaves space for wide guesses and good stories.One thing we do know for certain is that communicating
clearly today is a real challenge and we have many people who try to do this well. They never fully achieve
pure communication requires the removal of pride and the intervention of God.
To truly communicate requires humility, understanding of another’s circumstances fully, a perfect communication
medium, a perfect understanding of language, and a perfect intent.
Most of this cannot be attained!
do have help as Christians in the form of Holy Spirit!
There is a piece in the bible that explains how Holy Spirit enables
our communications with God to be cleaned up…
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray
for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
We need to be in the right relationship with God, then God
With Holy Spirit within us, and also within another believer, our communication is stronger as we communicate not only
with words, but our spirits connect through God’s holy Spirit and our Godly intentions.We can communicate even more clearly provided we
throw out that communication disabler, pride, and turn toward humility.
God says…“These are the ones
I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2
So Jesus overcomes sin. In this he overcomes the
sin that led to communication failures.
This means that by allowing his Holy Spirit to live and work in our lives, and
following his guidelines our communications can be made better.Isn’t that great! Have a wonderful clearly communicating day!
Monday, June 3, 2013
I get so disappointed in myself sometimes!
Mon, June 3, 2013 | link
“The size of your success
is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”
~ Robert Kiyosaki
There I was a Christian, wearing
a Christian T-Shirt at an event, and being a brat!
It was the world bouldering competition in Toronto, where the best climbers in the world
were a first come first served basis and to see the world’s best climbers one needed to see all the climbing problems (8 of them)
at the same time. That meant good seats!
We arrive at 3:00pm for the 5pm start and the crowd is starting to arrive,
but the weather is poor and they indicate doors open at 4:10pm.
We decide to stay in our car in the warmth and when we get to the doors at 3:30pm the line-up has started, we are quite
The weather had also cooled and now
the wind was blowing and fine rain started to blow in. Some of us brave staying in the line, but others take cover
against the building in a tree line.
They keep the doors
I find myself complaining about how they are
inconsiderate of the
Why am I complaining about a little
I know inside they are working like slaves, setting up new climbing problems, preparing athletes, sound systems, video equipment.
Yet complain I do!
Then the line starts to move, and I find myself racing to the front of
the line heading out in front of the rest of my group who had braved the rain and were meandering in with the rest of
Inside the building order dissolves . We
get told we cannot go to seats directly, but are only been let in to enable us to get out of the rain.
will have to stand around behind the makeshift pavilion waiting.
Everyone mills around jockeying for place next
to entrances to the pavilion and I chase after the best position. Pushing through the crowd to get to the best position, I
find myself ignoring the needs of others as I push through to find the best seats for my family and friends.
Selfishness entered my heart!
Gaining at the expense of others becomes firmly entrenched in my thinking.
These are not Christian attributes! Wearing a Christian T-shirt I find myself
mocking God’s direction in my life.
sad when we sin isn’t it?
Sin creeps in so subtly we sometimes
don’t even notice it.
I guess nobody really
felt I was doing anything wrong, as everyone was doing the same thing.
Yet, I knew I was being a brat!
How do I know this?
The bible says...
But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace.
It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against
things of that kind. Galatians
Where was my patience, kindness, gentleness? Was I really in control of myself?
What would you have done in my situation? The same? Different?
Each of us has our own challenges and failure points. Each of us is tested differently!
We need to remember Paul’s wise words...
13 My brothers and sisters, you were chosen to be free. But don’t
use your freedom as an excuse to live in sin. Instead, serve one another in love. 14 The whole law can be
found in a single command. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)
15 You must not keep on biting each other. You must not keep eating
each other up. Watch out! You might destroy each other.
16 So I say, live by the Holy Spirit’s power. Then you will not do what your sinful nature wants you to
do. Galatians 5
Today let’s not use our freedom as Christians
to live in sin, but
rather to live in glow of Holy Spirits work in our lives. Let’s love, be gentle, kind, considering others. That’s a good objective for today isn’t it?
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