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Friday, May 9, 2014

Why should I control myself? Thatís your job isnít it?
Why should I control myself? That’s your job isn’t it?

harassed.jpgSelf-control is the ability to control one's emotions, behavior, and desires in the face of external demands in order to function in society ~Wikipedia

F.... Y...! get the H... out of here!


 Sometimes people can just erupt don’t they? They let go of their tongues, their anger, and sometimes even their fists or objects that come to hand.

That plate which smashes against that wall, that fist that goes through that door or wall, those nails that scratc,h and those teeth biting!

Super loss of control!


It happen!. Not often, but we have all seen it happen.

Kid’s do it more often than adults, but being all grown up doesn’t exclude some of us from erupting does it?

Inability to regulate our emotions, and the choices allowing emotions to run out of control, to take over our mind and to become physical events is often a prime cause. Not only kid's have this problem, we all do!

There are ways to moderate this. Firstly we need to understand that self-control only becomes necessary when desire increases to a level that starts to interfere with normal behaviour. Our motivation to have something, someone, or some experience that gives us pleasure or helps us get away from an unpleasant situation can go beyond what normal society finds acceptable.

One way to overcome this abnormal desire is to get away from the desire that is unhealthy. Sometimes this is important.

Notice our mind is central to enabling or disabling the fulfillment of desires.

We want it, don’t we? The want increases and as we focus on the desire, the want can become overwhelming. We have to STOP focusing on the desire.

There is a way to decrease this want. We need to turn away from it.
 
The whole trick is not entertaining the want in any way, spending as LITTLE time as possible considering the options, and instead doing something else that is fulfilling or necessary. Simply trying to say “no” is often impossible. Some of the strong-willed among us can do that. The rest of us have to switch mental tracks.

Stop considering the desire, and switch attention to another of the myriad of things that demand our attention. In fact we can almost use the desire as a motivator to move deeply into something we have to do, or need to do, and do it with fervour.

While everyone has temptations, Christians are held to a higher standard that glorifies God and loves those around us. We are to control the evil aspects of our lives, and enable the good in life to rise up.

Nobody except for us, and Holy Spirit, is involved in this process.

We need to extract ourselves for areas of evil desire and switch into areas of good work.

If we catch ourselves entertaining negative or evil thoughts, we should not consider them, but instead get annoyed that we are entertaining them, and switch our mind to a pressing engagement that is of a positive nature.

We should not pray to avoid the issue, but give praise to Jesus, the Father and holy Spirit of enabling us to see the evil and avoid it. Turning to praising God and giving him glory and remembering the good things he has done. then praying for others in need. This is the first resort to fixing our problem. As we reflect on God’s glory  the evil desire will simply evaporate.

Peter who walked around with Jesus says ... So prepare your minds for action. Control yourselves. Put your hope completely in the grace that will be given to you when Jesus Christ returns.

14 You should obey. You shouldn’t give in to evil longings. They controlled your life when you didn’t know any better. 15 The one who chose you is holy. So you should be holy in all that you do. 16 It is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1)

Notice we are to control ourselves. God has given us human will for a reason. To be used!

We decide and do! God will not force his will on us. We decide! Let’s do so wisely for our decisions can build up or break down. What are we? “Destroyers” or “Creators”?

I prefer to “create” with grace, don’t you?
Fri, May 9, 2014 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The strangeness of Genesis 49:10
The strangeness of Genesis 49:10

LionLiesDownWithTheLamb.jpgThe scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

The above is the English version, another version of the translation comes from the orthodox Jewish Bible.

The shevet (sceptre) shall not depart from Yehudah, nor a Mekhokek (Lawgiver) from between his raglayim, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall be the obedience of the amim (peoples, nations).

The Hebrew is

לֹא-יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה, וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו, עַד כִּי-יָבֹא שִׁילֹה, וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים.

Whatever version we read, this is a complex piece of text unlike most other. It is obvious it is symbolic and difficult to interpret.

A scepter indicates a King or royalty. Judah was the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah that returned to the place of modern Israel after being taken into captivity. Jesus came from the tribe of Judah.

Modern translations talk of a rulers staff but the older ancient interpretations say lawgiver. Being between the feet suggests it is something of value but not of high value and is beneath the royalty. It does not have teh fullness of the rulers will but serves a purpose. We must remember God's purpose is not control and rules, but love and grace.

"Shiloh" is a strange word as it was a town in Ephraim and was also a town where the ark of the covenant was for a while, however in this sense it is used as a name. In general people consider it to mean “peace maker” or “peaceful”. “Sheloh” in Arabic means “whose it is”. Paul suggests in Galatians 3:19 “Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.referring to Shiloh as the Seed, and this referred to Jesus.

Jesus came, and reigns today.

The chapter continues…

He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk

This speaks also with a certain clarity of events in Jesus life.

Maybe Christians and Jews do look for the same messiah. Maybe he is the same. It would be great if everyone would agree, but probably that will take some time.

Yet, as Christians we are called to love and appreciate others so while we interpret this verse in the light of Jesus, we pray others would see the light.

Have a great day!
Thu, May 8, 2014 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Faith, a shield? Really?
Faith, a shield? Really?

PersistencePaysOff.jpg“He who does not walk against the arrows cannot talk about the strength of his shield!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

Okay so faith is something we think of as religious but it’s not really is it?

When you walk across a beach you expect to do it and not become stuck in quicksand do you. Mostly the faith is grounded in truth, but sometimes that quicksand is there. Almost never, … but there is a chance right?

Faith grows in stages. Small children have faith in their parents providing a safe, secure environment. It is important and this is a positive experience for them to mature correctly, isn’t it? This is a simple faith.

As the child grows up more, faith is learned through stories, images, and people encountered by the child. It is an almost intuitive process and depends also on good people being around the child. We need to be there for these children don't we?

Moving on in life, we get to the teenage years where faith can take on an almost mystical value. Justice, universal moral values, and a human based God who has human values is best understood. This is a time when our first true and deep understanding of Jesus as God can be understood. The abstract nature of the universe is much better known and dealt with at this age.

then, out of our teen years and moving into our thirties we start to see the struggles of life. Now we are forced to take responsibility for what we believe and have to deal with living our beliefs in earnest. The arrows of life start to hit the shield of faith. This is a wonderful time of growth in faith if we do it right, but if we let the shield fall, we can be mortally wounded in our spirit. I guess the sheild is important right?

Later, our mid-life brings with it a deeper understanding of the reality behind what God has shown us in life so far. A depth of spiritual growth is established. Conflicts are resolved enabling a wisdom to grow together with a deep relationship with God. We know our own imperfections and we also understand absolutes are God’s to control. We respect we live in an imperfect environment doing God’s work imperfectly, but to great purpose and with Godly attitudes.

Finally as we age, we start to see faith that allows us to treat almost anyone with compassion, love and justice.

We who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1) receive joy and peace.

The truth that “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1)  becomes central and vibrant. The prize is almost within reach!

Yet, as we walk through these paths of life, let’s remember that faith cannot live in a vacuum. To have true value it must be tested. Life with it's pains and struggles provides this test bed of experiences.

Let’s face life with courage, and keep up the shield to enable us to succeed.

Have a wonderful faith filled day!
Wed, May 7, 2014 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Changing our world one attitude at a time
Changing our world one attitude at a time

myIntegrity.JPG“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” ~ Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People


“Sometimes I hate the world! I wish I was dead when I see what we do to it and the mess we make of it. I hate the waste of time they call life. It’s pointless!”


 These words are poison because they do nothing to change the situation they show to us, right?

We cannot just spew out poisonous words and think that changes things. It doesn’t. At worst it leaves everything in the same situation, at worst it destroys someone else’s hope or our own.

Our mind is central to our being. Being positive in words influences our lives and those around us to go to a better place. We need to use those 100 billion nerves inside our heads the right way to improve our world. We are not the center of the universe, God is central to everything in our universe. Respecting this is the start of wisdom.

We need to take the internal activity of our minds and start a positive current of thought. We need to strive for clarity in thought. That means being positive but also realistic in our self-evaluations and evaluations of others. We need to know God has everything in control. Let’s realize our “self|” is what we define it to be.

What sort of “self” do we desire?


 Let’s direct our internal critic to be less cruel and more merciful. Yes, we do screw up, but generally if we have the right attitudes these are only stumbling points on a path that improves our world.

One step to changing our lives for the better, is to give God praise. He has given us the ability to start again with a clear conscience and a new heart. Jesus makes that possible, simply by our asking him to remove the guilt and accepting he does this. Then God does something even better, he models for us in Jesus a positive loving behaviour that he expects us to learn.

We can rise from our problems and move towards the new life in Jesus which is one that sees the good in those around us and in our world.

That faith is more precious than gold! Gold cannot improve our attitude to life or the attitude to life of those around us can it? It simply changes circumstances and we know that people in wonderful circumstances often are very sad and depressed. Life is rejecting the negative perspective reaching our for God in prayer and trusting him in difficult circumstances.

Trust grows from experience, and experience by doing.

Trust in God cannot be destroyed by the world around us. It doesn’t spoil or rust or fade. It is eternal.

In fact, one of those guys who walked around with Jesus says that not only does this trust build as we live, but it builds up in heaven at the same time. Our birth into god’s family builds our heavenly place.

It is alive because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He has given us new birth so that we might share in what belongs to him. It is a gift that can never be destroyed. It can never spoil or even fade away. It is kept in heaven for you. Through faith you are kept safe by God’s power. (1 Peter 1)

let’s try a few things today;

a.   Let’s re-adjust how we listen to the internal critic and make sure that instead of letting evil influence us and take us down, we let God influence us and take us onwards and upwards,

b.   Make sure we respond positively to the internal critic and not negatively,

c.   Let’s remember we are God’s people. Let’s reject negative words, and list our good, positive attributes, develop our positive attitude and take our lives to a new height.

d.   Let’s not only help ourselves but look to ways to build and help others.

e.   Let’s accept perfection is something only God has control of, not us, we can only work at making things a little better today than they were yesterday.

f.    Let’s remind ourselves we are God’s children, we are princes and princesses of a royal kingdom, bought at great price and with great love!

 Have a wonderful day!
Tue, May 6, 2014 | link          Comments

Monday, May 5, 2014

Universal suffering, who is to blame?
Universal suffering, who is to blame?

“When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.” ~ Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“Why does God allow it?”

|Have you ever heard those words spoken in relation to pain and suffering in the world.

They are universal because everyone suffers, but some seem to suffer to a greater degree.

“We must go through many hard times to enter God’s kingdom,” (Acts:14:22)

Suffering is different and varied. There is no one way or type of suffering.

We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn’t make us lose hope. Others make us suffer. But God does not desert us. We are knocked down. But we are not knocked out. (2 Cor 4:8-9)

When we think about it, we realize that the problem with suffering and evil is how it gets here into this world. The Christian bible explains this pretty simply. God initially makes mankind in his image as males and females. We have morality and spirituality. That also means that when we look around, there is no other creature that is more godlike than humans in created form, soul and spirit. Look around, evaluate, and I think you may agree.

Yet, we abused our morality and as the human race we  tried to overrule God and in this selfish action started the consequence that resulted in the fact that knowledge of good and evil are now part of our make-up. We can “tell the difference between good and evil(Gen 3:22)

Our problem is with this is we also have this ability to choose. This means we can do great good or great evil. No other creature has this level of power, right?

This world is full of suffering. Consider this, take God out and does the suffering does not go away? No! I don't think God is the problem here.

God has asked Christians to be in the world to REDUCE the suffering.

God doesn’t intervene because we are supposed to intervene.

Job shows us there are two responses to suffering. We can curse and stagnate, or we can praise God and move forward.

What is our choice?

Suffering is a tool that even prepares Christians for ministry. God “comforts us in all our troubles. Now we can comfort others when they are in trouble. We ourselves have received comfort from God.” (2 Cor 1:4)

Yes we know there are many problems in the world. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Rom8:22)

Yet…” Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles.

So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. What can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.” (2 Cor 4:17-18)

Our world needs us to step up and decrease the suffering. We must not ask why God would allow it, but why we are not doing something about it. God choses to work through our hands and only we can release them to do his work.

Will you do that today?

in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Mon, May 5, 2014 | 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
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