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Friday, February 14, 2014

Does God tempt me?
Does God tempt me?

AdamEveApple.jpg“The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.” ~ Will Rogers

“Desire!” is a force that empowers temptation.

Temptation is simply the art of putting that which another desires in front of them, in order to entice them to choose it.

Satan’s art form of temptation is to so camouflage the desire that we cannot see the rot beneath the enticing exterior presented.

We often think of temptation as only evil, and in the biblical context the word is used mainly in this way. Yet, it also has the meaning of being tested. To be tested is to be placed in a situation where we can succeed. Without overcoming desires for things that have the rot underneath them we end up sorely damaged, don't we? Without being presented with good things that have no underlying evil, we would enjoy our lives far less.

Tempting is a testing process and a teaching one if dealt with well, it is a destroying activity in evil hands!

Here is one occasion where we see God testing people…

22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.[f]) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.

There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water. Exodus 15:22-27

 Was God teaching them about temptation? How many tried that bitter water and became ill? What is more tempting than providing water to thirsty people who desperately need it for themselves and their animals. How did God’s temptation end up? Did they gain?

Can we say God was tempting them?

We read in James 1…13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Can God be tempted?  Was not Jesus tempted in the wilderness? What is this word “tempt”?

“tempted” in the orginal is “peirazomenos” which means “to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt”.

When we think of test as a meaning of tempt, we see Satan tests the work of God continually.

Yet, God has no incorrect desires, so God cannot be tempted as we are. Only us humans with our inability to know everything can be misled and “tempted” in that way.

God does test us, he tested those ancient Israelites in the desert, but it is for our own good. He is tuning our desires so that we become more like him, having no incorrect desires.

So God is not tempted by having incorrect desires, and we can overcome temptation when we address the source of temptation, which is our incorrect desires.

Today let’s desire what God wants us to desire and in that way be like God and avoid temptation leading us astray.

Have a great day!
Fri, February 14, 2014 | link          Comments

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Keeping my word...hurts!
Keeping my word...hurts! 

helpTheDrowning.jpg“Abandon Ship”

These were the last known words of Robin Walbridge, who was Captain of the Bounty a replica of the HMS bounty.  The Bounty was a reconstruction of the 1787 British Royal Navy sailing ship and it capsized off North Carolina U.S.A. during hurricane Sandy.

Many of us want to abandon ship on a promise we have made.

Normally
 due to the difficulty in keeping to the promise when times get tough. Yet God never promises us a life without difficulties, only a heavenly reward when life ends.

Christians must have integrity!

We are people who live for more than life and so should not be submerged into life troubles to the point of giving up on our promises. Sometimes it is hard to keep swimming through the difficulties and doing what we say, but we should rather be careful of promising something which we cannot deliver.

James 1 says...
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

One of these trials we need to persevere under is keeping our word.

It can be difficult and even dangerous. Robin Walbridge died in that heaving ocean as a result of ensuring his crew had the greatest chance of survival. This may have been to courage, or guilt. With us either is often the driver but for Walbridge perhaps it was guilt and making up for wrong decisions as he had directed the ship into the path of the hurricane. Whether he did this deliberately or not is difficult to know.

When we make decisions, sometimes bad ones, what do we do?

Do we look for the path of integrity and truth and follow it empowered by prayer and dedication to God, or do we give up and fold?

Asking “what will give God the glory” should be a measure of how we decide to continue.

Moses said to Joshua “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6.

This is referred to by Paul who says in Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

God is with us through good times and tough times. Let’s remember that tough times are times of spiritual growth, if we develop the ability to stick to God through them.

The winter Olympics are on right now. How many of the athletes do you think got there without huge amounts of strain, pain and struggle?

I would hazard to say...none!

True success comes from working through the troubles to the reward. The joy for us Christians is that is not only one gold medal for those who stay true to the end.

No!


God has a reward greater than any Gold medal for each and everyone who stay true to the end.

 Today is probably not going to go easy...but we should keep our word and claim our spiritual prize.



May God bless you with great riches in heaven!
Thu, February 13, 2014 | link          Comments

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In a rush
In a rush

Today is just that way.
A flurry and rush,
too much.

You do,
please do,
don't do!

Who does?

Why do we do it?

Chase our tails,
run for the initiative?

Because life is more than living!
by living we're giving,
life!

Praise God and Jesus
and Holy Ghost
from whom life comes,
and goes!
Who blows away our woes!

Amen!
Wed, February 12, 2014 | link          Comments

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Humility and pride
Humility and pride

hands_littlehands.jpgHumility is the ability to give up your pride and still retain your dignity. ~ Vanna Bonta

I was reading the web and found a story but could not find the author. Here it is…

An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. "You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the line said to the little fella. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek. "Freckles are beautiful." The boy looked up, "Really?" "Of course," said the grandmother. "Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles." The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's face and softly whispered, "Wrinkles.

Other kids had pride, the boy humility, and his grandmother wisdom and love.

Yet in this story the boy did something he shouldn’t have done
. He shouldn’t have determined his worth based on the incorrect statements of his peers.

How often do we do that?

How often do we allow our fellow workers, siblings or friends to destroy our peace or joy by a careless or nasty comment. The worst of these are those we think are true.

It is important to maintain balance in life, to keep the equilibrium between pride and humility.

James speaks about humility and pride when talking of rich and poor. How the rich often look with distain on the poor and the poor hate the rich for their comforts and excesses. Yet as Christians we are given clear instructions on how to deal with this dilemma.

James 1 says..

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

James encourages us to not to think to little of ourselves, but also to not think too much. We have value, but not that above or less than another.

God loves us all and expects us to do the same.

How do we measure up on that scale today? Do we really see ourselves as valuable to God and others? Do we acknowledge others have better skills and abilities in certain areas and do we use what we have to the fullest extent?

Do we have the metronome of joy and peace in our hearts as we do our work today, or have we allowed anxiety and stress to hide its glow.

The warmth in our hearts comes from knowing we are God’s people, blessed, protected, loved, given grace and giving of ourselves to others without thinking ourselves better than them.

Have a great day and consider your view of humility and pride!
Tue, February 11, 2014 | link          Comments

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wisdom of the simple
Wisdom of the simple

OWL.jpgIn dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”~ Lao Tzu

In western culture the wise bird is the owl and how silly is that.

The owl has a tiny brain. It’s the eyes that make it seem wise. Big eyes impress people. We like babies with big eyes and owls have big eyes as well. The people in the movie business know this as well. That’s why E.T. had such big eyes. We naturally like bigger eyes.

This is not wisdom, but gut feel interpreted as wisdom.

Real wisdom is sensible choices in daily life. It’s something we gain from living and following God’s advice. It is not easily obtained and really is the focus of making choices and learning among many choices which is the correct outcome.

This is why as Christians we have an easier path to wisdom.

Let’s assume there is a supreme God of the universe who knows everything. That means he knows all the right paths to decisions and why they should be chosen. Then, this God may be interested in letting the little created beings know the right decisions, or not. Assuming God would want to communicate the best directions, wouldn’t it be up to the little created beings to follow them or not? If they decided to ignore God’s wisdom, who is to blame? Them or God?

Jesus is God. He came to earth to give us wisdom. He enables us to learn wisdom quickly by following his words. This gives us a supercharge of wisdom. Yet, if we don’t believe he is God or listen to his words, who is to blame?

James says it this way…

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1

God gives out wisdom generously. It doesn’t depend on our IQ or the size of our eyes.

It depends on believing Jesus is the son of God and following his advice, in living his way, in enjoying his spiritual gifts for our lives.

All it takes is to ask God for wisdom. How about we ask God for wisdom today?

It may make all the difference!
Mon, February 10, 2014 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
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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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