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Friday, June 28, 2013

Lack of strength, exhaustion, and the unexpected cost of success!
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, 'What's in it for me?'” ~ Brian Tracy


Ever been like me with a large task looming over our day, insufficient energy to drive forward, and uncertainty in the outcome?

I guess most people have felt that way at some time. Perhaps we have had times when it’s easier to turn around and go back to bed than move on through the day, or times when just getting up to do the next thing depletes our energy reserves for the day.


Perhaps that’s how Gideon of Old Testament bible felt. His story is found in chapters 6 to 8 of the Old Testament.

Here is a guy who is a judge and needs to lead people but is very uncertain of himself. So much so that he checks and double checks what God wants him to do, never really sure he is doing the right thing.

God is real good and directs Gideon well, but one of the things Gideon has to do is stand up against some evil bully nations who come out against his people. He goes and gets a huge army of 33 thousand men assembled only to be told by God he has too many people. God whittles this down to only 300 men that Gideon is to take with him against the enemy of many thousands.

Gideon lacked the strength to win the battle, but God intervened and gave him victory despite the fact he had little strength. A good thing for those of us who feel underpowered for the tasks of our day to remember.

We then hear that the 300 guys and Gideon they chase these men and it says “Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it.”

They were exhausted!

Ever been that way?

What did these exhausted guys do?

They carried on!

It actually says a bit later ...

Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, fled, but he pursued them and captured them, routing their entire army.

So these exhausted men took on an enormously impossible task, but with God with them, although exhausted they succeeded.

What can we learn from that?


Maybe that we also need to push through, if we know our task is God given.

Despite our fatigue God will give us the victory.

So Gideon is successful. Then he makes his mistake.

22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”

23 But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)

He does everything right until he decides he wants to prosper out of God’s work. A small thing which should not be a problem, right?

Wrong!


Here’s what happens...

25 They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels,[b] not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

The very thing he was trying to avoid, that people would worship things or themselves instead of God, comes into being due to his one mistake.

Let’s learn from this event.

Let’s not make Gideon’s mistake! Let’s do what we can for God’s glory and gain, not our own. That way we will be truly successful. Think about it!

What is your aim in life and success measure? How much is it focussed towards God?
Fri, June 28, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why do some things that God allows or even does, hurt?

 

house1.JPGImagine yourself as a living house. – C.S.Lewis

Hurt, abandonment, doubt!

These are vehicles that drive us to disillusionment and anger toward God aren’t they? They can consume our soul and devastate our lives.

Some of us have grown up in less than wonderful home environments.

Why?

Some of us get diseases that cannot be healed and can be life threatening.

 Why?

Some of us have huge disappointments in personal relationships where we are abused and abandoned.

Why?

How come God allows these to happen?

We know God is supposed to be loving, but this just doesn’t feel that way.

The impacts to our life is not justice, from our perspective.

We hurt and it can feel as if God is the monster causing all this.

Even if we discern it is Satan’s pain inflicted on us, we still want to know why God doesn’t step in and do something. Maybe he just isn’t there...is a question that starts to cross our mind. Right?

I think these are many of the reasons people turn from God or reject coming near him.

Yet God writes a whole book in the bible about these types of calamities and how they are not the persons fault at all. (see Job) Some things are a result of universal eternal forces which catch us into major events of which we as mortals are not even aware. Others are to change us and prepare us for life works that can be significant in the eternal measures.

If everyone had the same idyllic circumstances, the forces for change, the innovation, the ability to react to incoming dangers would be so limited that we as a human race would probably have ceased to exist years ago. It is the hard things that build us, our world, and eternity.

The hard things must be there!

But why must they be in my life?

So that we can gain!

I really like C.S.Lewis’ comments on this from “Mere Christianity”

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

God is in the restoration business. Eternal restoration! He fixes things for eternity, not for the few hours of life only. It is better to be a palace for ever than a broken up shack for ever.

Accepting Jesus as God and saviour may be a first step, but having God build the house for eternal glory is what continues from there. While we live he builds. Let thos eof us who he chose to call early in this life understand we are God’s special creatures. Life can hurt, but God will not let it be in vain. Every knock of shock is captured in waves of eternal power that actually grows and blesses us eternally.

Maybe that can help us today as we face some of the more difficult aspects of life and death. May God bless you! May you feel the joy of his presence in whatever circumstances you find yourself today. Let’s thank Him for his love!
Thu, June 27, 2013 | link          Comments

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Advice of yesteryear, is it applicable today?
list.jpg

"He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other." ~ Francis Bacon

A deliberate action to mislead or trick a person into a belief that is not true, can be the undoing of many a man or woman.

False truths cannot be backed up with hard evidence, yet so many of us fail to ask for the evidence itself. Instead, we accept the information without testing it. Allowing ourselves to be pulled or pushed in directions which are not optimal for our lives or growth as people of integrity and love.

Sometimes it is very intelligent people who are misled and one wonders how they could have allowed the untruths to seep into their minds, and then we need to remember that Satan has been on this earth since man walked the continents. As such he has seen all the ways of diverting our attention to things that we enjoy experiencing and don’t want to investigate further.

There are also many false philosophies and religious paths offered in the world of today. Yet this is not new either, or Paul in the first century would not have said...

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2

There is a counter for false truths.

The indwelling Holy Spirit will make us uncomfortable as we experience them. If we have ensured that we have read God’s word and allowed it to settle into our soul, that feeling of discomfort will arise when falsehoods are encountered. This is the time to investigate, and not superficially. We have great tools at our disposal via internet resources now days. Let’s use them to check out the information.

Yet even here we need to be careful.

Double check and review the background resources to be sure of facts. I have even found that Wikipedia is often incorrect on small details. The internet as a whole has many falsehoods. Yet, we can gain from careful investigation and resources.

Let’s turn to God and pray for advice, it will come. Let’s beware of good sounding views and “fundamental” truths that have their source in human traditions and spirituality that rejects Jesus.  These are likely to pull us down if we fail and trust those that should be avoided.

On this site I always try to pack in as much truth as I can, but even I can make mistakes.

Always check everything that you can and as you find something useful and truthful, as God gives you that feeling that something is good, use it with care.

We only have one life, we need to make the most of it. Getting misled steals time from living fully!

Therefore let’s remember ... Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

I think that advice of Paul given in the first century is still applicable. What do you think?

Have a wonderful blessed day of joyfully living each moment in truth!

Wed, June 26, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ducking God?
heart.jpg       “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston

We hide behind so much, letting our thoughts and intellect obscure us from a world hungry for information and wanting a chance to incorporate our value into the general mainstream of life.

Why?

Why do we not want to be known for who and what we are?

Is it we are ashamed, or scared, or feel inadequate?

Sometimes!

Sometimes it can feel as if the world is too big, too loud, too popular, too interested.

We can hide, as long as we realise it is only those of this world we are hiding from.

We can never hide from God.

Unfortunately many try!

I am one who has tried this impossible activity. Deep in sin, I want to get away where God cannot see, and yet I know it’s futility.

God sees everything!

 Jeremiah 23:24

Who can hide in secret places
    so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
    “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord.

 People may think this is referring to physically hiding from God, and yet so many of us hide behind our thoughts and actions. Think of people who text to others so that they can hide their thoughts. Yet God sees even our thoughts!

Hebrews 4:13 says Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

This is preceded by words that make it clear thoughts are judged…

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

There is nowhere we can go physically, or in our minds, where God cannot and will not be. He is with us 24 x 7, 365 days a year and never leaves us to be alone.
 
God also does not intrude!

While he knows, he does not force his will onto our lives. Free will is given and never taken back. Our thoughts are ours to have and our decisions ours to make.

Yet, let’s remember God is with us through all of these. We cannot escape his presence and I for one would never really want to. Those times of sin when I try to hide are simply me being ashamed for being wrong and hurting God. Turning to him and asking for forgiveness makes all that worthless ducking of God a needless activity.

 Instead God forgives, loves, consoles and builds us up to be confident in whom we are. He takes us past out failures to eternal understanding of our and others worth.

That’s the God who I never want to go away! What about you?
Tue, June 25, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, June 24, 2013

Christians and petty differences, should not be aligned!
 foxhole.jpg“When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality” ~Henry David Thoreau

Over the last while I have had the misfortune of seeing Christians squabble over the simplest of things. Sometimes it’s over something material that one wants here and another wants there, sometimes it’s over small issues where we interpret something in the bible a bit differently to another. Sometimes it’s on likes and dislikes, or what one wears and another objects to. Sometimes it’s judging another for a decision we disagree with!

Perhaps you have heard the story of the fox who walked up to another fox lying curled up partly across the forest trail path and where others would walk.

 His arrogant cousin comes down and sees him there. “You lazy lout!” he snarls. “You are always thinking of yourself and never paying attention to what others need. Here you are again, hogging the path to yourself and showing disrespect for everyone who comes by. I don’t know why we are related. You need to get up and do something useful.”

We are so often like that cousin aren’t we?

We rant and rave, and tell others what they should and shouldn’t do. We are so preoccupied with ourselves that we fail to see the obvious. We fail to see the big picture.

The fox lying miserably in the path looked up at his cousin. “Have compassion cousin!” he pleaded.

“Why should I have compassion for a lazy lout like yourself?” came the arrogant reply.

“Because by being first I will be dying to save your life!” replied the fox struggling to stand up and revealing the trap chained into the bush and which was firmly crushing the leg he had been lying upon. “The hunter will be along soon and I will not be bothering you agin!” the unfortunate fox explained.

Some of us are like that sharp mouthed cousin!

We are so introspective we fail to see the obvious! The fact that Jesus is hurting and dying while our sharp words are causing pain to fellow Christians, and dissuading others from the true appreciation of the Christian life of service and sacrifice, hardly touches our minds.

Yet Jesus died for us all!

Perhaps we could have a little compassion, and accept a little inconvenience, for those around us with whom we so often disagree?

Didn’t Paul say …  Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ,” in Corinthians?

Did not Jesus say… “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” as reported by his apostle Matthew?

Let’s remember this story the next time we feel like giving another the sharp edge of our tongue.

Have a great day!
Mon, June 24, 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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