Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just Think About It!

If you're wondering about whether Creator God exists, well, good. That's all God asks you to do.

"For this is what the Lord says - He who created the material universe, He is God; He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, like all the other heavenly bodies, but formed it in such a way that it would be inhabited - He says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in the outer reaches of darkness; I have not said to people, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” Isaiah 45:18,19

Just think about it with an open mind. Do that, and Creator God will begin to open your mind to the truth of His existence. In reality our Creator has made it nearly impossible to not think about Him.

As stated above, He has given us a material universe that proclaims day and night the reality of His existence. For if God did not exist, nothing would exist. Matter as we know, cannot create itself.

No process that is required for our universe to exist, and for life upon this planet to exist has ever – EVER – been observed, tested or verified via the scientific method.
. matter is not eternal
. matter cannot create itself
Either matter is eternal (and it's not) or the immaterial Creator of matter is eternal. It's one or the other and it's not the former.
Just think about it!

Monday, December 30, 2013

You Wanna Be a Christian?

Ironically, this is a question that is asked, perhaps in different words, by those of us who too poorly represent the image of Jesus the Christ.

We've evangelized others even though:
. We had little idea what Jesus was like. We thought we could know Him without actually studying the documents that spoke about Him.
. We had almost no understanding of how the Old Testament related to the life of Jesus. At best we saw the Bible as a collection of unrelated stories.
. We thought that going to Church was enough to transform us into the character of Jesus. More Church = More Christian. Or so we thought.
. To say that we were ungracious and unloving toward those who believed and lived differently would have been a generous assessment of our character.
. We believed that being a follower of Jesus meant nothing more than not doing what sinners did.

If you want to evangelize, know your Saviour first.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday's Thoughts on Marriage

The 2nd in a series:

Have you got a marriage partner who doesn't treat you good? It's not all h/her fault. You cannot expect a person to treat you good, if you chose to marry someone who is not a good person. In fact, you will not attract a good person if you yourself are not a good person. Health attracts health, sickness attracts sickness. I've said these things before on so I won't go into it further here.

The reason that I love working with married couples, particularly couples in a Christian marriage, is because there is no relationship in all of humanity better suited to helping us learn to love than marriage. Of course any relationship can help, but none is better than marriage. I've long said,

We get married because we think we're in love. In reality, it's marriage that teaches us what love is.”

Marriage as the Christian paradigm intends, mimics Jesus' philosophy of life, “I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life . . .”

In the Christian paradigm, the man is the Spiritual Leader of the home. As such, he is to model for the family:
. submission
. love
. patience
. gentleness
. forgiveness
. mercy
. kindness
. faithfulness
. grace
. self-control
. servant leadership, and so on.

Ultimately husbands and wives show their love for Christ when they unconditionally love their spouse. If you are not loving your spouse unconditionally, you are not loving Jesus. This is a huge, huge difference from what marriage means to most modern day couples.

In fact, completely ignoring empirical evidence regarding longevity of marriage, today more than half of all couples live together before getting married. That may not surprise you, but consider that only 40 years ago, only those on the dysfunctional fringes of society lived common-law.

It used to be that marriage taught dedication and commitment. It used to be believed that marriage provided a safe environment for children to learn about all aspects of life, since in the absence of safety, children function less well in all areas of life. Again, studies are congruent on this conclusion. Today marriage is all about self. I purposely leave out the term “secular marriage” because more and more marriages of couples that would call themselves “Christian” copy their secular neighbour's reasons for getting married. Marriage no longer has anything to do with reflecting God's nature, or trying to better society by bettering oneself. It's no longer about “us” and has become totally about “me”. In fact, the very thought of having a spouse who helps you to change let alone expects you to change is anathema to modern marriage. Not so for Biblical marriage.

More next Friday.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

And So This Was Christmas

Jesus was the only human who ever was or ever will be totally and unequivocally committed to peace. The rest of us love violence. We watch it for entertainment. We enjoy the thrill that it gives us. Watching violence allows us to vicariously view ourselves as powerful and dangerous.

If you ever doubt the evil that resides within human nature, just consider the vile and disgusting war that rages within the human heart. Our movies, not to mention the atrocities that take place during real violence stagger the imagination.

So corrupt is our nature that we took The Prince of Peace and killed Him.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. These will be His royal titles:
Mighty God,”
Everlasting Father,”
Prince of Peace,”
His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world.” Isaiah 9:6-9

Isaiah was given the prophecy of Jesus' coming to earth. To us was given the person Who fulfilled that prophecy. Isaiah enjoyed the expectation of Jesus' coming to earth. We get to enjoy the experience of Jesus' Spirit living within us, guiding, counselling, comforting, saving, and giving to us His peace.
Who wouldn't want that?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Seeing is Not Always Believing

The early Jews believed that the coming of the Messiah would bring God's judgement against evil. They were correct. So right they couldn't see the truth of what was happening right before their very eyes.

The Jews of Jesus' time “knew” that anyone who was crucified, or “hung on a tree” was under God's curse. To be under God's curse AND to be the Messiah seemed an unresolvable conundrum.

In reality, Jesus came to our planet to bear the judgement and wrath of Creator God against evil and those on the side of evil. Jesus, our Messiah, our Saviour came to die in our place.

What kind of a person would push away, or reject that kind of an offer?

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Bible – Full of Contradictions

My nephew told me that during a family gathering. This is a man who uses these supposed contradictions to keep Jesus at arms length. Because sin makes us stupid, and because atheists are by nature spiritually dull of mind and slow of thought, this man is incapable of discerning between contradictions and different descriptions.

He really can't see that expecting four different individuals to describe any event, word for word the same, is preposterous. He can't see that having for "reporters" highlight exactly the same aspects of the account is preposterous. In reality, my nephew has only heard that the Bible contains contradictions. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but when I asked for examples, he could not give me a single one, although he thought the accounts had a differing number of angels and women at Jesus' empty tomb. Sadly, this is enough for him to justify his refusal to examine Jesus' offer of forgiveness.

In order to change the subject, he brought up the “identical story of Mithras and Jesus.” When I asked him to elaborate for the rest of the group; those who may not know what he was referring to, the dear boy did not have a clue. Again, he'd only heard that they were the same.

There was a time when I would have expended great energy in attempting to correct his faulty thinking. I now realize that until Jesus opens this person's spiritual eyes, until God begins to draw this person to Jesus, like all atheists he is incapable of understanding anything regarding his Creator and Saviour.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Married Forever?

The 1st in a series:

Woody Allen, in speaking about being “married forever,” said, “Forever is a long time, especially the bit towards the end.”

Because I'm mostly retired from marriage counselling, I think I'm going to do a number of posts on marriage as it exists from a Christian or Biblical paradigm.

When one is living in a marriage that runs by the rules and values of the world “Praying for the end of time” (Meatloaf 'Love by the dashboard light') is not at all unusual.

Marriage as set up by our Creator however is so radically counter-cultural that few people, even among those who claim to be Christians fathom the deep and personal transforming power that Christian marriage entails.

So, each Friday for a few weeks, I'm going to share some things that my own journey through marriage, as well as marriage counselling with thousands of people has taught me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty – 1984

We live in a society that watches murder, and lying and adultery and corruption in all its forms as evening entertainment. We love it. We practically worship it. We certainly pay those who live out these behaviours our highest honours.

Shows like “The Real Housewives of (pick your area) is wildly popular. That is a show that revels in the bottom feeding characteristics of human nature, and we as a society care not a bit. And then comes Duck Dynasty. I've never actually watched an episode, but apparently a lot of people do watch it on a regular basis. I think I heard it's the top rated show on that Network.

I do know this. The show does not put forth human behaviours and thoughts that we wouldn't want our children watching. Unless you're anti hunting I suppose. But let one of the characters express an unpopular thought, and the show is cancelled. Cancelled by the Network! Not because the ratings were bad, but because during an interview one of the characters was asked his opinion and when he gave his opinion people who are afraid of secular bigots, or who are themselves secular bigots decided that this character must be punished for his thoughts.

One person who represented GLADD was outraged – outraged I tell you – that the Bible compares homosexuality to bestiality. He was referring to the Duck Dynasty character's reference to a couple verses in the Bible where homosexuality and drunkenness, and idolatry and yes, bestiality are all listed as practices that will ensure the person does not spend eternity in heaven.

Well, in that passage, homosexuality and bestiality are similar the same way that jay-walking and credit card fraud are similar. The latter are both wrong in the eyes of the civil law code, while the former are both listed in the Bible as sin. 

Which, for what it's worth should not bother heathens and pagans and atheists in the least. If you don't care about God, why should you care about what He says?

This GLADD representative tried to say that the tv show's character has the right of free speech, “while we have the right to turn your show off.” Technically true, but now, because of the secular thought police, those who overlook the show's character's belief while still enjoying the show, can no longer choose to turn the show on. Secular bigots and those afraid of the power these bigots wield, have taken away the right to choose. In reality, secular bigots have made free speech a thing of the past.  

Addicts, adulterers, wife abusers, those who neglect their children or raise them in the most horrendous conditions, those people are still our Stars and tv heroes. But find out that one tv personality holds a politically incorrect belief and he's gone. Not just him but the whole show.

Amazing stuff. You got it right George Orwell. You got it right. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

That's Disgusting!

In yesterday's post, I included a famous, or perhaps infamous picture by Kevin Cartier. It's of a vulture waiting to feast upon a nearly dead child. I forget the location, although it's coming to the point where the picture could be labelled “anywhere – planet earth.”

Anyhow, I've had this same picture as the desktop background for a few weeks on the computer my eight-year-old daughter uses. I thought it appropriate as Christmas is coming and the kids are dreaming of iphones and tablets and ipads and so on.

She has said three times, “Take that down. It's disgusting.”

It certainly is. I believe that is exactly what Jesus is saying as He watches our behaviours, those of us who are wealthier than 90% of the world's people. In fact, “disgusting” hardly begins to describe the way we ignore the needy or pay token respect by donating a goat or a chicken or volunteer for a couple days at the soup kitchen.

How magnanimous of us!

We, the people of the world need to change.

A friend noticed the picture on our fridge of a little girl in South America that we're sponsoring. Our friend's response was, “Well, most of those people live in hot countries where they don't need to spend money heating their houses. Their money goes farther because of that.”

We, the people of the world need to change, because the way we are is disgusting.

Monday, December 16, 2013

“The Poor Will Always Be With You”

Photo by Kevin Cartier

This statement of Jesus is one of the most stinging condemnations of human nature in the whole Bible. “For our hearts are desperately wicked” comes close.

Regardless of atheist protestations to the contrary, a secular utopia is not something that humanity will experience at any point in the future. Today, 3.8 billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day. This despite trillions wasted on defence programs and preparations for war, as well as 100's and 100's of billions being spent on mere distractions. Our corrupt self-love will prevent any success regarding justice and mercy for all.

The concept that “all men are created equal” is distinctly Christian. It cannot possibly mesh with “taking care of number one.”

Believing the lie, accepting the great delusion that humans can improve themselves through self-effort is the cause of atheist's relentless assault on the One Whose kingdom is not of this world, and against those who follow Him.

Does that mean that we shouldn't try to help our brothers and sisters in need? Just the opposite. It's our duty to fight against the evil that rests so comfortably and securely within each of us. We must do this despite knowing all along that peace on earth will not be brought about till evil and those on the side of evil are banished forever from God's Kingdom.

The concepts of sin, freewill, conscience, eternal and divine justice, these things have no place in the atheist mind-set. On atheism, Might is Right. The end justifies the means of the atheist mind and stands in stark contrast to Objective Morality which condemns our lack of love for the needy. That is why the poor will always be with us. That is why we can and will continue to justify our greed and self-effort.

Becoming a Sobresaliente

That's what Jesus did for us. He was our substitute. A Sobresaliente is a substitute matador. He stands by, in the ring, un noticed behind a wooden barrier in case the main matador runs into trouble; the kind of trouble from which he cannot extricate himself. The Sobresaliente is willing to give his life in order to save the life of the main matador.

That's what Jesus did for us. Thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought, we abandoned God and went our own way. We broke a relationship that we could not heal. Jesus, our Sobresaliente stepped in. He sacrificed His life for ours. He died so that we might live. He not only defeated satan and his plans for our destruction, Jesus made a spectacle of satan and his rebellious hoard before all the powers of heaven.

For that we owe Jesus our deepest gratitude. For that we owe Jesus our very life.

Friday, December 13, 2013

“ ‘You,’ your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. Who you are is nothing but a pack of neurons.”

atheist scientist Francis Crick

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rules? Or Mercy?

 We’ve had this ugly, ugly thing happen in our church. A young man, early twenties has left the congregation. I’m sure he felt as though he had no choice. He’ll have felt as though he was run out of the congregation.
For what you ask?
Well, it wasn’t because of some grievous sin. It wasn’t because of gross hypocrisy. No, this young man who loves Jesus, who longs to serve Jesus was run out of the congregation because - wait for it - he was wearing sandals and bare feet. When he plays the guitar (worship team) he rocks and I mean he REALLY rocks. I love it. Some people, people in power positions complained. The kid got word of their small mindedness and he left. Which, in itself is small minded.
Oh Christians, what a nauseating group we are. While I can cut the young man some slack for his small mindedness, the atavistic behaviours of his elders makes me squeeze my eyes shut and sigh with spiritual weariness.
So what would Jesus do? How about what DID Jesus do?
Read Matthew 12:1-5. David, a man after God’s own heart broke the rules. He didn’t just break a dress-code he really screwed up. He went right into the Holy place and took something he had no business taking. And when Jesus was commenting on this grievous offence He said in both the Old and the New Testament - “I desire mercy.”
Yes rules have their place but mercy is better.
Our sanctuary needs to be exactly that - a place of safety, not attack.
Our sanctuary needs to be a place of mercy, not a place of destruction.
I attend a really, really fine congregation. One of the best I’ve been in. Sadly, even in the best of us, evil and pettiness lurks. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let’s Make A Deal

Muslims, atheists and come cults that call themselves Christian, like the Jehovah’s Witness and Mormons would like to make a deal with God. It goes something like this. You let me say that Jesus wasn’t God and I’ll say that He was a really good man, a moral teacher, a good example.
Some (read atheists) think that’s too extravagant and will only go so far as to say, You let me say that Jesus wasn’t God and I’ll agree that Jesus might have existed - He probably didn’t exist but He might have. These people think that because they’ve been so gracious in their estimation of Jesus, should the existence of God turn out to be true, He’ll overlook their vile and evil character.
Actually, those are not options. I mean, if Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, a liar is the least of names that we could call Him. If Jesus is not exactly who He said He is, there should be a crime against His words and actions for they are vile in the extreme. If He was just a man, then Jesus was an imposter, a fraud, a monster. Think about it! If Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, then:
Jesus conned people into dying for Him.
Jesus told people to worship Him.
Jesus told others to be honest, while He lived a lie.
Jesus told others to trust Him to save their souls.
If Jesus was not who He said He was then He was a blasphemer of the highest order.
If Jesus was not who He said He was then He was a megalomaniac and a psychopath.
In the account of Jesus saying, “Which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or “Get up and walk,” Jesus was NOT saying to the Pharisees, “You’re wrong to say only God can forgive sin.” They were bang on for that point. Their error was saying He was not God.
There are no deals to be cut here. Jesus left doubters with absolutely no middle ground. He’s either a fraud and blasphemer or God incarnate. Jesus was saying to them and to us, “I can do things that only God can do.”
Unlike present day fraudulent healers, Jesus healed instantly, completely, permanently. In the account just mentioned, where Jesus said, “Which is easier, to forgive this man’s sins or heal him?” the man’s atrophied muscles, brittle bones, bent and twisted arms and legs were made whole; strength and dexterity were restored in a moment of time. It WAS something that only God could do. Even with the proof walking out the door right in front of them, the Pharisee’s, as with today’s atheists, looked only for a way to deny who Jesus was.
Like holocaust deniers who live on the fringes of reality, for those who don’t want to believe that Jesus is who He says He is, no amount of evidence is enough.
And no deal with be made.
You do the crime.
You will do the time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clever? You bet!

In Luke 9:46 “An argument started among the disciples about which of them would be the greatest.”
Gee, I wonder who would tempt someone in that direction?
satan uses the same characteristics that brought about his own downfall to wreak havoc in our lives as well. Pride and striving, two things that set satan against his Creator sets us against our Creator and against each other.
President Reagan had a sign on his desk that said, “There is no limit to how high and how far a person might go, as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit.”
satan, and those who follow his lead strive for credit and applause. Sadly, those in the Church are not immune from this tendency. What led to satan's downfall will destroy us as well, unless we cease our striving and allow God to be in control.
That is after all what it means to be humble. “God opposes the proud but gives His grace to the humble.”

Monday, December 9, 2013

“We Broke the Ocean”

I remember someone saying that many years ago when there was a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

We broke the ocean.”

That's a bad thing, but we can fix the ocean if we have the will to do so. I think that our greed and corruption will prevent such action from taking place but we could fix our planet if we wanted to.

Our relationship with our Creator is another story. We broke that relationship and we are incapable of doing anything to fix it. So Jesus did what was necessary to restore that relationship. And He did that before we even knew that we needed His help.

Amazing grace!

Sadly, that's not good enough for atheists. They demand that this offer of forgiveness be imposed on everyone – even on those who don't want this forgiveness – or more importantly – upon those who believe they don't need forgiveness.

In this regard, atheists seem impossible to please. Atheists rage at a God they don't believe in for allowing good things to happen to bad people (some of them the worst humans who ever lived) by bringing them into a heaven that the atheist doesn't believe in.

AND atheists rage at a God they don't believe in for giving atheists what they want most, a life and an eternity without God. He does this by allowing the atheist to choose an eternity in hell (the complete and utter absence of God) which they also don't believe in.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

“Without God, We're All Good!”

That's a line from a recent atheist bill-board.

Without God, we're all good.”

Could there be a more puerile line of thinking?
Wishful thinking?
Psychological blindness?

Without God, we're all good.
Without the police, we're even better.
Without any external measurement of morality, without any conscience at all, we're sociopaths – I mean, atheists.

Atheism – a say anything world-view geared to appeal to those who exist on the fringes of reality. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tolerate You – OR – Exclude You

Sadly, that's a tough decision for many people – Christians included.
Sadly, many people see the solution only within this dichotomy.

The fact is, excluding those who wilfully live a sinful life lacks Jesus' kind of love. On the other hand, tolerating a sinful life lacks the kind of courage that Jesus displayed.

Jesus rejected both tolerating and excluding.
Jesus came to those who rejected Him in order to bring them safely home. He said in effect, “I'm going away to prepare a place for you and in the meantime, I'm going to purify you from your sin so that you will become the kind of people who are prepared live in that place.”

To prove that He was serious about this, Jesus came from His throne in heaven, to live among us, with us. He became one of us, identifying with us in our lost and lonely state. And He walked with us all the way to the cross, taking upon Himself a punishment that we could not bear so that we might one day spend eternity in His presence.

Can't we do that same for those who today reject His offer of love and forgiveness? Can't we go to them? Can't we show love to them? Mercy? Kindness? Compassion?

We can't do this while excluding them from our presence. Nor can we do this by excusing or merely tolerating their sin.

All that God has asked us to do is to love others. Love them. Be gentle and understanding and merciful and to point them toward the greatest love and forgiveness this universe will ever know.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

If You Have Seen Me . . .

That's what Jesus said. “If you have seen Me, if you have observed what I'm like, if you have listened to My words and understood the grace and mercy and love that I shower on those who come to Me, then you know what Creator God is like.”

We who know Jesus want others to know God as we know Him. That's part of what it means to be created in His image. We are to be image bearers so that others will want to know Him also. We are to point others to the greatness of Creator God. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Won't He Show Himself?

That's what many atheists ask. “It's God's obligation to prove His existence to me. If Jesus would only show Himself to me, then I'd believe. Why won't He do that?”

First of all, God will make His existence known to anyone who is genuinely searching for Him. Second, a materialist would not believe in Jesus if He appeared. And finally, I think we're fortunate that God hasn't and doesn't reveal Himself to us in that manner.

He will.
But we're lucky that He hasn't yet.
Here's why.

In His mercy, God has used His “hiddenness” to prevent our decision to rebel against him from have permanent consequences. Those who have experienced what atheists ask for, a pure revelation of God's existence, are now beyond redemption. An unknown number of angelic beings are now beyond redemption because unlike we humans, their rebellion took place with maximum light and maximum revelation. There are no agnostic angels. That is the type of rebellion from which there is no recovery.

Oh sure, there are utter fools who have tried to bring about the same fate in their own lives with the, um, what is it called? Right, the Blasphemy Project or something like that. But even there, what they are doing is being done out of ignorance. “If there is a God, I'm going to offend Him.” Woohoo!

In His mercy, God knows that many of us who begin life resisting His love and His offer of forgiveness will eventually decide that being loved with the greatest love in the universe is a good thing. We come to think that experiencing mercy and forgiveness for real guilt is not so bad after all. Giving us just enough evidence of Himself so that those who are looking for Him will find Him allows us time to experience the full impact of our sinful nature in comparison with His Grace. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Atheists in Community

Atheist Churches are springing up around the world. Those who attend these congregations say they miss the community that a “real” congregation provides. What's more, they assume that it's this human need to be in community that drives Christians to attend Church. I suppose that in some cases they might be right – about why some people attend Church I mean.

For those who are serious about growing in their walk with Jesus however, meeting together with other like-motivated believers is indispensable. We need their insight, their protecting, encouraging, their warning and restoring ministry to us. We simply cannot make it spiritually on our own.

The effort to be an autonomous Christian will not and cannot ever work. This is because we cannot learn to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us if we are not in contact with these people. God designed our spiritual maturing to be grown in community as a community project.

If atheists want to go an listen to poems and be inspired by good speakers, and if they want to enjoy the benefits of being with others, good for them. Let them meet where ever and whenever they want.

If those who follow Jesus want to become like Him, and they do, then we have no option but to follow Him into the throngs and learn to love others and to be loved by others.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Can I Know?

I work with a fair number of people who really aren't sure if they're “saved” or not. They're not sure because they haven't really made up their minds to leave behind what this world considers important. Of course, we're all bombarded on a daily if not hourly basis with messages telling us that things and stuff and self are important. We're all inundated with messages telling us that we get our value and worth from what we own, how we look, what our level of education is and what strata of society in which we live. We all have to fight off those lies.

A person who is saved however, a person who is a follower of Jesus should be able to recognize the lies that the world feeds us.

A Christian is someone who believes to the point of acting upon what Jesus Christ taught about Himself, about life, death, sin, forgiveness and the resurrection (His and ours). Jesus taught that a follower of His is a person who depends upon Jesus alone for salvation. He taught that a Christian is someone who depends upon what Jesus calls His Word (The Bible), and upon His Spirit for guidance and strength in daily living.

Does that mean that true Christians never sin, that they never do things contrary to the teaching’s of Jesus? 

. Obviously not because our sin loving nature is the very reason that Jesus came to “seek and to save” the lost. 
. Obviously not because Christians are told to confess their sins and to ask for forgiveness. 
. Obviously not because, ‘doing what we shouldn’t do, and not doing what we should do’ is an ongoing moral struggle that is addressed in the Bible.

In his letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul says - “. . . you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

In 1st John chapter 2 we're told, “”We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.”

You can know you are saved when you look back and realize that you desire to worship God. That would have been unthinkable, absurd in your pre salvation state. You have changed from serving yourself to serving Him. Your priorities have changed from the things of this world to the things of God's Kingdom. When you are a genuine follower of Jesus, you'll stop performing, working, striving for salvation. You'll simply relax in the knowledge that your faith in the Grace of God and what Jesus accomplished on the cross is your only requirement for a full and abundant life on this planet and for eternity in paradise on the other side.

There is no need to stumble around in fear and uncertainty. When the Holy Spirit resides within your soul, you'll know.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Will Evil Triumph?

No. It won’t. But Edmond Burke gave us the recipe for how it could. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

1. Atheists once told us that if poverty was eradicated, happiness would ensue.
2. Atheists once told us that if people accumulated wealth, happiness would ensue.
3. Atheists once told us that if people got a good education, happiness would ensue.
4. Atheists once told us that if we had more free time, happiness would ensue.
5. Atheists are now telling us that if we eradicate religion from the earth, happiness will ensue.

We in the West are proof positive that atheists have been 100% wrong in their predictions.
#’s 1-4 do not produce happiness.
In reality, in the midst of wealth and health and education and free-time, we are living in a state of psychological and spiritual poverty.
Number 5 will prove no different. The mere suggestion of number 5 shows that we are in fact living in a poverty of compassion, a poverty of purpose beyond our self-interest, and a poverty of hope in what atheists tell us is an accidental universe.

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
Mother Theresa

Atheists mock Mother Theresa while doing bugger-all to alleviate the weight of evil the is crushing people of the world. Reality is, left to ourselves, our greatest passion is for ourselves and we only work for those causes that might prolong or improve our own existence.

There are two standards by which we judge events in the world: Near or Far.”
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Once in awhile, not often, but once in awhile overused and much abused terms like, “I once was lost but now I’m found,” find their rightful place in the universe and take back their deepest and truest resonance. This is nowhere more true than when children are rescued from the claws of evil. To be in the presence of a soul that has been saved, to linger in the exquisite authenticity of spiritual / physical freedom makes me want to throw open the window and shout to the world, “See! Evil will NOT win. Yes there is bondage on this earth, but there is also freedom. With God’s help and in Jesus’ Name people can move from the former to the latter. That is worth fighting for - even – no especially - in the face of ridicule and mocking and the laughter of those who side with evil day in and day out.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rob Ford Admits to Alcoholism.

Well, not exactly. He said that he's quit drinking. That statement however is an admission of alcoholism because only alcoholics quit drinking. More on that in a bit.

People in transition are beginning to realize that their problems are somehow connected with their chemical use, but they believe they can handle the issue on their own. Working through this stage is going from "It's not my fault. Drinking/drugging isn't a problem for me. If everyone would just leave me alone everything would be fine," to "It is my problem and drinking/drugging is a major issue for me." It almost always requires assistance from family, employers, authority figures etc. to help these people work through this stage. However help may not look the way you think it looks.

The movement through transition usually looks like this:

1) People in transition begin to develop problems that motivates them to question the benefits of their chemical use - Impaired charges; Breakdown of relationships; School problems; or Employment problems. This is where others MUST NOT enable the person to continue using. It is vitally important that the consequences of using are experienced by the user. Nevertheless those who are addicted will still say, yes I've got troubles -
. I got an impaired charge because the police are out to get me
. I got fired because my boss is on some kind of power trip
. I got suspended because my teacher's wife left him and he had to take it out on someone
. My girlfriend left me because she can't stand it when I have fun
. I got asked to leave home because my parents don't understand me. They don't know what it's like to be me.

2) People in transition will attempt to fix these kind of problems without considering the role of chemicals in their lives.

3) People in transition will then attempt to control their chemical use.
. Only use on certain days
. Only use at certain times of the day
. Only take a certain amount of cash to the bar/parties
. Only drink beer not whisky. Only use pot, not cocaine
. Only use with these friends but not with those

4) People in transition will attempt controlled abstinence.
All chemically dependent people try to quit at some point. Rather than being a symptom of recovery, it's actually one more symptom of an addiction. Social drinkers don't try to see if they can quit, because there is no need to see if they can quit. Those who are chemically dependent try to quit for lots of reasons: To complete a task, or to give their bodies a rest. They quit to show their boss or teacher that they've changed. But most often the reason that chemically dependent people try to quit using is to prove to themselves and others that they can quit. At any rate -

5) People in transition accept the need to quit for good.

6) So these people accept the need for help, usually in a 12 step group after completing a time away learning about recovery. This is where they will most likely find success.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where Were You?

We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives in deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.” C.S. Lewis.
Have you ever wondered what your grandchildren will say when they review history and ask:
Where were you when many millions of children were sold into slavery and when children died by the tens of thousands EVERY DAY because they didn’t have enough to eat?”
Where were you when the weak and the voiceless and the vulnerable had no one to speak for them, to protect them, to rescue them. Where were you?”
Did you show up grandpa? Did you do what you could to protect children or did you support the very industries that sexualised kids all in the name of tolerance? Grandma, did you help the industries that make money from the sexualizing of children? Did you do nothing like most of the people, mom and dad, or did you resist evil? Did you fight it? Did you work to defeat evil or did you, like atheists, pretend that evil doesn’t exist?”
What difference might it make if each of us rejected Lewis’ description of hell as a way of life and instead gave ourselves fully to the things that matter; if we sacrificed ourselves in the service of others?
What would happen if we lived Jesus' definition of love?

I'm going in for a Total Shoulder Replacement tomorrow so this will be my last post until I can type again.

Quebec Charter of Atheist Values

The Quebec Charter of Values tips the atheist's hand to the fast-track version of an atheist utopia.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If I say ‘Suppose the Divine did really walk and talk upon the earth, what should we be likely to think of it?’ I think we should see in such a being exactly the perplexities that we see in the central figure of the Gospels: I think he would seem to us extreme and violent; because he would see some further development in virtue which would be for us untried. I think he would seem to us to contradict himself; because, looking down on life like a map, he would see a connection between things which to us are disconnected. I think, however, that he would always ring true to our own sense of right, but ring (so to speak) too loud and too clear. He would be too good but never too bad for us: ‘Be ye perfect.’ I think there would be, in the nature of things, some tragic collision between him and the humanity he had created, culminating in something that would be at once a crime and an expiation. I think he would be blamed as a hard prophet for dragging down the haughty, and blamed also as a weak sentimentalist for loving the things that cling in corners, children or beggars. I think, in short, that he would give us a sensation that he was turning all our standards upside down, and yet also a sensation that he had undeniably put them the right way up.”
G.K. Chesterton (Wisdom and Innocence, 151).

And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

“The Moth” To What End?

Just finished reading 50 stories from “The Moth.” It's a compilation of stories from thousands and thousands of stories that people have told at on-stage, stand-up story telling venues.
Many of the stories of are people who have triumphed over life's circumstances - addictions, death, many and varied types of suffering. The sadness that comes with the human condition was at times overwhelming for me. Yet, these people triumphed, succeeded, overcame their lot in life.
Sort of.
For as Jesus said, and as every Christian knows, “How can it be of any benefit to you if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?”

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm reading a really good book on marriage and came across this quote by C.S.Lewis. The context is addressing our demand for retaining freedom even as we marry another.

"Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to a pet. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable,impenetrable, irredeemable, The alternative to tragedy or at least to the risk of tragedy is self-damnation."

Our culture makes individual freedom, autonomy, and fulfillment, the very highest values, and thoughtful people know deep down that any love relationship at all means the loss of all three.

Homosexuals Ruined My Marriage

That's the fear that some people have – right? Some Christians say, "It won't ruin my marriage, exactly, but marriage in general, and the family specifically will be torn apart if homosexuals are allowed marital rights."
Truth is, the fact that we've arrived at a place where homosexual marriage is even being talked about in the way that it is means that marriage, as it was meant to be, is already ruined. It was ruined way back when common-law relationships were considered equal to marriage as instituted by our Creator. In fact by the time they're 39 years old, 60% of women will have lived in a common-law relationship. That's something when you think that prior to 1960, almost no one, only those on the criminal / addiction fringes lived common-law.
What we have before us today is a generation of children who know nothing of the kind of love that makes life-long commitment to a relationship possible.
All mammals, including humans, learn relationship by what they see while growing up. Deny those essential observations and you've emotionally and relationally handicapped that offspring for life.
Because we've turned our backs on Jesus  ("The one who loves Me is the one who will obey Me."), we've ordained temporary arrangements that are built on “Can you make me happy,” the standard by which we determine “love.”

We've sown the wind and we will indeed reap a whirlwind.