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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

 “Moral choices do not depend on personal preference and private decision but on right reason.
Basil Hume

The Gift of Faith

Atheists laugh at the credulity they imagine Christians to possess. 
Ya, atheists, 
. The same people who believe that everything material came from nothing material un caused by anything. 
 . The same people who have invented more than a dozen Atheist Origin of the Universe Mythologies. Eg. Multi verse>
A tiny minority of those billions and billions of universes have their constants set in such a way as to give rise to a universe that lasts long enough to give rise to galaxies, stars, planets, chemistry and hence the process of evolution.”
Richard Dawkins

Dawkins also defines and ridicules faith as believing something in the complete absence of evidence. 

. The same people who say, "I don't know how the material universe came into being from literally nothing material without contradicting half a dozen known and accepted laws of physics, but I'm going to believe it happened that way regardless, because the alternative is not acceptable to me."

. The same people who believe that inanimate, inorganic gases evolved into life. Hmm.

While I'm one of the most sceptical people I know, the best and most precious gift I've ever been given is the gift of faith. Taking the same evidence that is before every person on the planet, the gift of faith has allowed me to agree with the conclusion that is presented in the Bible regarding this evidence. I do not however, have enough faith to believe the world-view of atheism. 

The ability to believe God's Word, to trust my Lord and my Saviour, nothing compares in value to me.

Thank you Father for the gift of faith. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The average mind is neither liberal or enquiring, but is in the main intolerant of any attitudes except its own firmly entrenched ones. 

Why Has God Created Billions of People Who Are Destined for Eternal Separation From Him?

That's not a BAD question. It's just not the RIGHT question.
. I Am God.
. I Am before anything else.
. I Am above and beyond anything else.
. I Am perfectly Pure, Holy and Righteous. There is nothing imperfect or "wrong" in Me.
Anything that is in rebellion to My perfect Purity, Holiness and Righteousness can never come into My presence.
. I Am completely and utterly Just.
. I Am slow to anger; filled with great patience. I Am merciful and filled with grace.
. I Am Love.
. Just as there cannot be the perception of up without a down, in without an out, hot without cold and light without darkness, there cannot be real Love without the option or the free-will choice to reject that love. This rejection of love, this misuse of what is good is called evil. Evil is simply the choice to misuse our free-will. Or, if you like, evil is the choice to use our free-will in a manner that our Creator has prohibited.
This is a spiritual reality or law.
. Because I Am Love, there is evil rebellion against My love.
. This evil has been allowed to exist first in the presence of rebellious angels.
. I Am One and I Am plural with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
. In My Spirit, I love My Son.
. Love is the greatest entity to ever exist. As a gift and a blessing, I want something special for My Son to love and I want that special something to love My Son.
. That something, like the angels, must be created by Me.
. It is My right to declare and uphold the terms and conditions of My creation.. The special part of My creation will be human beings. They will be made in My image, possessing portions and degrees of My attributes and My characteristics.
. I will make My justice and mercy known in and through human beings. I am going to create beings that are intelligent, rational, free-willed and holy.
. I want humans to love (Obey) My Son because in doing so, humans will enjoy their highest, most fulfilling, most abundant state of being.
. I want to reward that love with eternity in paradise, i.e. eternity in My presence.
. For their love to be real, I know that humans must have the choice to not love My Son.
. For their love to be real, I must allow humans the chance to rebel against My love.
. If the first humans that I create love and obey Me, that love will be passed on to their offspring. That love will be inherited. It will not be a choice. “Love” will be robotic.
. If the first humans that I create, rebel against My love by disobeying Me, they will reproduce after their kind and the spirit of rebellion will be passed on to their offspring.
. In order for any humans to find fulfilment in truly loving Me, I must accept that all humans must first have the option of not loving Me.
. No one will be able to love My Son without the help of My grace and mercy.
. I will provide those of my choosing with an opportunity to love Me and to obey Me.
. Through this plan I will demonstrate that I Am Love and that I Am Just.
. Because of who I Am, I cannot create in humans a spirit of Love and then draw them to evil to create real choice. I can only allow rebellion / evil to enter the human race in order to create real choice, and then save those who wish to be delivered from evil.
. I will draw back my hand of protection and allow this course of history to unfold.
. It is My right to declare and uphold the terms and conditions of My creation.. Love causes growth. Evil and rebellion cause death and destruction.
. Because I love humans, I hate the rebellion that causes their destruction.
. Those who choose to continue in a spirit of rebellion will be objects of My anger.
. Objects of My anger cannot and will not be tolerated in My presence.
. For the very survival of the gift to My Son, My justice, mercy, grace, love and patience, MUST be clearly displayed to humans:
a) So they will know that they should repent of their rebellion
(b) To show them that they have a place to turn to for rescue from their rebellion.
Humans will know My Justice because they know in their hearts that rebellion against Me is wrong. Those who continue in their rebellion will die spiritually and eternally.
Because all will be born into a state of rebellion, it is only My Grace that will ensure that some humans get what they don’t deserve (life in eternal paradise) while My Mercy will ensure that those same humans don’t get what they do deserve (eternal separation from Me).
They will know My Patience because I will persist in blessing those who continue in evil, until all those who are going to receive My merciful salvation have turned from their rebellion.
- They will know My Love in that I, in the form of My Son, will forgive evil by taking my own punishment and suffering my own wrath for the horrible act of continued rebellion against a Creator God who is perfectly pure, holy, righteous, just, merciful, slow to anger, filled with great patience, filled with grace and abounding in Love.
. I will rescue those who are not looking for Me, love those who hate Me, and make peace with those who are My enemies.
. The rebellious cannot complain because they are in fact guilty of rebellion.
. The saved cannot boast because they have done nothing to deserve salvation.
. It is My right to declare and uphold the terms and conditions of My creation.The real question then is not, "Why did God create billions of people who are destined to be eternally separated from Him?" The real question to be asked is:
Why Did God Create and Then Save For Eternity In Paradise, Billions Of People Who Should Have Been Eternally Separated From Him.

God did not create evil. God created the opportunity to choose evil. There is no morality or virtue without a freewill choice to not be moral or virtuous. Actions have no moral value when there is no choice to do anything other than the “right” thing. Without freedom to choose right from wrong, good from bad, we cease to be human beings. It's one or the other. We are either created human, or we lose free-will. We are either created human or we lose the ability to be morally good.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You know how atheists rarely venture outside of the Old Testament lest they run into teachings of Jesus that convict them of a deep need for forgiveness? And you know how atheists accuse Christians of cherry-picking verses to make our case? Do you think atheists ever do the same thing? Do you ever see or hear an atheist ranting about this?

Do not take interest or any profit from foreigners, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit
Leviticus 25:36,37

If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.
Exodus 22:25

You may not charge a fellow Israelite interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.
Deuteronomy 23:20

Immense riches are seldom possessed by leaders of countries or corporations without the oppression of their citizens, employees or investors. Immense riches are seldom gained without the willingness to rape and plunder the earth. Unlike their neighbours, and unlike our modern industrial societies, people in ancient Israel (those who atheists call dim-witted bronze-age goat herders) were to make sure they did nothing to take advantage of each other.
Peace, Mercy and Justice were then and are today to be the hallmark of God's people.

Symptoms of Infection

Yesterday I posted "All Atheists Are Infected" regarding their apparent need to blame Christians for the world's problems.

So serious is their hatred of Christianity that atheists will even invent Christians to blame for violence that happens. Just a couple of examples:

. Do you remember Anders Breivik? He was a Norwegian goof who set off bombs and shot numerous young people. It was a horrific crime. So who do you think atheists would accuse of committing such violence? Why, Christians of course. Newspapers, Blogs, Tweets and Texts – thousands of atheist messages from across Norway and around the world claimed that Breivik was a Christian Fundamentalist.

Was there enough evidence for atheists to draw this conclusion?
More than enough.

You see, Breivik had posted two comments on a Christian Fundamentalist blog.

So what's the problem? Doesn't that make Breivik and obvious Christian? 

Mmm, no. 

For starters Breivik is a Freemason. Google the relationship between Christianity and Freemasonry. We consider it an anti-Christian cult. Freemasons can't even become members of a Christian Church. Some Fundamentalist that Breivik – eh? He was also a supporter of the gay agenda. Again, a Christian Fundamentalist? Hardly. He wasn't a member of any congregation and in fact Breivik identified himself as more of a “spiritual” person than anything resembling a follower of Jesus.

Nevertheless, within days of the attack atheists around the world had worked themselves into a frenzy about this Fundamentalist Christian bringing down yet another typical act of Christian violence on the world.

Here's another example of atheists inventing Christians to hate.
. Do you remember Timothy McVeigh? Another bomb. Almost a thousand killed or injured. Was it the act of a Christian? Apparently that conclusion depends on your world-view. Even though McVeigh self-identified as an atheist, and wrote about his hated for the Christian concept of God, the press and those on atheist blogs immediately accused “another white-supremacist Christian” of the carnage.

This, regarding the man who said, “Science is my religion.”
This, from a man who said he had no fear of hell because such a place didn't exist.

Doesn't sound like something a Christian would say, but that doesn't get in the way of rabid atheists looking to take down a group who base their lives on the most peaceful world-view to ever exist.

Since September 11, 2001, Muslims have perpetrated upon the world more than 17,000 terrorist attacks. And what do atheists say?
(Christians evangelise) like they are living herpes that have only the primal urge to spread and infect.
Atheist blogger Chelsea Hoffman

Yep, “Religion poisons everything.”

And why should we believe what atheists say? Because, if you can believe atheists, they all have IQ's over a million and intelligent people never make mistakes. Right?

Never could atheists admit that it is we - humans - who poison religion.
Never could atheists admit that it is we - humans - who poison everything. 
Never could atheists admit that it is we - humans - who bring down violence upon ourselves.

Monday, January 28, 2013

 “Jesus still chooses the lepers and the AIDS victims, the bullied kids from school, the “fools” of this world to confound the wise with hope and justice. In the company of Jesus, the ugly become beautiful and classroom cowards become the bewildered heroes of His Kingdom.”
Peter Greig and Dave Roberts in Red Moon Rising

All Atheists Are Infected

Religion poisons everything.”
 If you've ever hung around with atheists for more than one second you've no doubt heard that or something very similar.
Any unbiased person who ponders the wonders of Creation long enough and considers how the universe must have come into existence, can't help but worship the Creator. Worshipping the Creator leads to what we call religion and for one very special reason (which I'll point out later) religion has on occasion been involved with violence. So if you haven't heard an atheist say, “Religion poisons everything,” you've certainly heard an atheist say, “All the violence in the world has been caused by religion.”
Just nod if you know what I'm talking about. 
Ya, that's what I thought.
Now, to rational, logical people, such a statement sounds patently absurd, irrational, illogical and well it should. To atheists however, their thinking goes something like this:
. Religion has been involved with violence
. I hate religion
. Therefore all violence is caused by religion
Once this becomes the belief of the atheist, s/he only notices religion when it is tainted by violence. Anything good that's done in the name of religion simply does not register in the atheist's brain. Anything nasty that's been done, down through history, that has any connection to religion, is now loaded onto all of present day Christianity.
See! Religious people flew planes into the World Trade towers. Didn't I tell you Christians were dangerous?”
But is this logical thinking? Is it only religion that is associated with violence? And is it fair to label Christians as dangerous because of what purist Muslims do, or because 5 abortion doctors have been killed in the last 20 years? Is that reason enough to say that Christians poison everything? I mean, couldn't we say things like:
Politics poisons everything (Politics has been involved with violence);
Atheists poison everything (Atheists have been involved with violence);
So entrenched is the atheist bias against Christianity, that they cannot see the truth of the matter that I alluded to earlier. It isn't religion that poisons everything.
Humans poison religion!
Humans poison everything!
The degree of human corruption is so great that even the most sublime world-view to ever exist cannot wholly remove that corruption from our character. That will only be accomplished when our Creator and Saviour arrives for the second time to make all things right by removing all wrong.

Sadly, atheists can't allow themselves to accept the reality that Humans poison religion, that in fact Humans poison everything. If atheists did accept this reality, they would have to admit that they are part of the problem.
They would have to admit that they stand in need of forgiveness.
They would have to admit that they carry real and unresolved guilt.
They would have to admit that even without God in their lives, they are not good people.

Are some atheists better humans than some other humans? Sure. But good? Sadly, no. Atheists don't even live up to their own moral standard of conduct. Because atheists say they don't need God in order to be good, they must convince themselves that they are good. This is done by having a very low “good enough” threshold. On atheism, if you can identify a couple people who do worse things that you do, that makes you a good person.

This is what leads to the chronic infection from which all atheists suffer – Blaming someone else (preferably Christians) for the problems of the world.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

More Than Conquerors

"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? 

If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? 

And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? 

The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! 

Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.

They kill us in cold blood because they hate You.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. 

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Romans 8:31-39

Atheist Study Finally Explains Jesus' Teaching

I can't help but smile. Atheist blogs are declaring the amazing finding of a “study.” Here's the conclusion: Atheists are more likely to exist in those societies where our basic needs are met.

That's it.

Rich people are much more likely to ignore their need for God than are poor people. If the tone of atheist blogs is any indication, that conclusion appears to strike atheists as profound. Perhaps it is profound. It's just that the same judgement was rendered -
a) by a guy that atheists despise and desperately try to ignore, AND
b) it was recorded in what atheists mock and ridicule as a bronze age Book that was written by ignorant camel herders.

Here's what this guy said 2,000 years before atheists came to the same conclusion. “I tell you the truth, it is easier for a Camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus would say that? There are two reasons. The Study only deals with one of them in an abstract form.
First – No one comes to Jesus without God drawing that person. What's more, no one comes to heaven without first coming by way of Jesus.
Second – Our corrupt human nature compels us to look everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE except to our Creator for our sense of security and belonging, for our sense of value and worth. And the first place that we look for these things is to money and the security it pretends to give.

Those who are poor have no illusions that this world has the answer to our deepest needs. The reason that prostitutes, drunks, thieves (both street level and high rollers) and others who live on the fringes of society flock to Jesus (both then and now), is that they know without doubt that happiness is not tied up in things. They know at a fundamental level that our most important longings run much, much deeper than what possessions or power, or looks or relationships or mood altering chemicals, or intelligence or education, or (       ) can touch.

The rest of us however simply cannot shake the pseudo logic that we, on our own, can solve our innermost problems. We're even so foolish as to think that money will lead us to peace and happiness.

Well yes, I know it didn't work for those people, but for me it'll be different.”

Another thing this study shows is that declaring oneself to be a atheist has nothing at all to do with so called “evidence” or the perceived lack thereof. Evidence wasn't required thousands of years ago for people to deny the existence of Creator God and it isn't required today. Becoming an atheist has everything to do with the delusion of thinking that you are the captain of your fate, and the master of your soul. Material wealth simply allows that line of thinking to exist.

As God has warned, “I will send a great delusion to those who choose to reject Me.”

So, let the atheists go their own way. Let them live, smug in the satisfaction that a study has shown us that the fastest way to forget about our Creator is to provide ourselves with food, clothing and shelter and medical care, and boats and cars and winter vacations and houses with three or four car garages and a cabin at the lake and ATV's and tv's and computers and recreational drugs – LOTS of recreational drugs and casual sex and porn, and sporting events – LOTS of sporting events and serial marriages and mind numbing sitcoms and busyness – being busy is very important and religion and “Causes” and, well, what amounts to one distraction after another.

Image how intelligent atheists must be to figure out, 2,000 years after camel herders declared it, that those things induce us to ignore our Creator. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

If atheists felt left out during Obama's first Inauguration because he said “So help me God," and placed his hand on one Bible,” how abandoned must they feel this go-round when he said, “So help me God" and placed his hand on TWO Bibles.”
Is that just another type of shout out to atheists?

My Job Is To Be Jesus To You

As Jesus began to fill my heart with His love for people who are sick, people who were suffering. I have just had an increasing willingness to pay whatever it costs to be His hand and feet and His arms in this world, To pay whatever price it takes to serve Christ.”
AIDS activist, Kay Warren

Opposite Day

From a spiritual perspective, atheists live perpetually in opposite day.

When you seek Me with all your heart, THEN I will be found by you.” 
Jeremiah 29:13

Instead of seeking God, even to just see IF He exists, atheists demand a sign of His existence.
I can’t tell you how many atheists have said in all seriousness, “Why can’t Jesus just appear in front of me? Then I’ll believe.”
Atheists do just the opposite of what God says it will take for us to find Him.
Is this an accident? I think not.
I think atheists are terrified of finding God.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I have had a most shameful and distressing interview with poor dear Tom (T.S. Eliot), who may be called dead to us all from this day forward. He has become a Christian, believes in God and immortality, and goes to church. I was really shocked. A corpse would seem to me more credible than he is. I mean, there's something obscene in a living person sitting by the fire and believing in God.”
atheist Virginia Woolf demonstrating contempt for her Creator

Will I Ever Find A Good Person To Marry? Part 4/3

The second Trilogy in four parts.

The fact is, healthy people run from unhealthy people, and unhealthy people find healthy people boring. The two are never attracted to each other. If you are newly out of a relationship and you haven’t had a HUGE awakening to the growth that needs to take place in you and if you have not done anything to bring about that growth, then you are not nearly ready for anything but more of the same.

This of course raises the question, "How do I change my character?" For those of you who aren’t Christians, I have wonderful news. Jesus Christ loves you. He died for you and if you let Him He will transform your life. For those of you who claim to be Christians, and the negative thoughts and behaviours in this post are something that you struggle with, then it’s time to get honest with yourself about the value of trying to live a lifestyle that Jesus never sanctioned. Either join the Baha’i or get serious about the One whose name you represent. Remember that Jesus said, "The one who loves Me is the one who obeys Me." For both groups I would ask you to remember this line. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

The next thing to do is admit that you are wrong. There is no point in trying the same thing harder or longer if it isn’t working. A fact of life is, Jesus can do nothing in us as long as there is any hint of self-sufficiency. We are strangers on this earth. We don’t know the way. Virtually every decision that we make, that isn’t made with God / Bible as our road map, will take us down the wrong road. This is especially the case in the area of relationships. Look back over your life and you will see how true this is.

The next thing to remember is Hebrews 4:16 - "So now we can boldly and with confidence come to the throne of grace and receive mercy and find grace in our time of need." Jesus isn’t like your human parents. If you will simply humble yourself and tell Jesus that you are sorry for rebelling against Him, He will welcome you home with open arms. He loves you so much that He was willing to die for you. That’s the kind of love you can trust. 1st John 1:9 tells us that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Your unrighteousness is what has gotten you into all this trouble. Let Jesus get rid of it for you and you will be free to make decisions that will benefit, instead of destroying you and those around you.

So, will you find a healthy partner? It’s totally up to you. If you are serious about not repeating past mistakes, don’t look for the right person. Let Jesus change you and when you become the right kind of person, the right kind of person for you will appear. There is no other way out of this cycle unless we allow our Creator to change us from the inside out. Romans 8:29 says that God's goal for us during our time on earth is to be transformed into the character of Jesus the Christ. It's what we need and it's what He promises to do for us if we give Him full control of our lives. Good luck on your journey.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Will I Ever Find A Good Person To Marry? Part 3/3

Quality marriages don’t just happen by luck. It takes quality people to have a quality marriage. You don’t find the right person to have a good marriage. To have a good marriage each of you has to be the right person.

There are very few people who don’t know of someone, usually a woman, of whom it’s said, "if she could only find someone who would treat her right." And this is often said as she is dragging her children through the third or fourth lousy relationship with the next creep who is ready to move in with her.
I repeat, it is impossible for someone who is not good, to treat you good on a consistent long-term basis. That means that if you are not good, then even you do not know how to be good to yourself. Your character is rotting from the inside out and the stench of spiritual death hovers about you. That’s why you continue to choose self-harming behaviours, and that’s why you continue to reject healthy, life-nurturing behaviours, and beliefs; because you are unable to recognise them as such.
Consider the example of Actor / Comedian Groucho Marx. Mr. Marx recalls asking a woman, "Would you have sex with me for One Million dollars?"
She responded with, "Of Course!"
He then asked, "Would you have sex with me for One Dollar?"
To which she replied, "What kind of a person do you think I am?"
And his reply was, "We’ve already established what kind of a person you are. Now we’re just negotiating."

Who you are, counts!
Character and beliefs count!
Integrity counts!

What usually happens when two unhealthy people are attracted to each other, is that their sickness causes them to misinterpret the qualities that they think they see in the other person. As time wears on, their mistake becomes painfully obvious. What was once seen as fun-loving is now seen as irresponsible. Stable and structured becomes rigid and boring. Concerned becomes smothering. Caring becomes controlling. Outgoing becomes flirtatious. Carefree becomes undependable. What once attracted you to this person, now drives you away. But that isn’t his/her fault! When you grow tired of someone, or when that person hurts you, don’t blame that person for being the kind of person that you chose to be with. When you two met, it was your sickness that projected good qualities that were never there.

Let me give you an example that is extreme in number but typical in nature.
"I will never marry again." This was said by Barbara Hutton (who was at the time heiress to the multi million-dollar Woolworth fortune) after divorcing her second husband.

"I will never marry again. You can’t go on being a fool forever." This was said by Barbara Hutton after divorcing her third husband.

"This is positively my final marriage." This was said by Barbara Hutton after marrying her sixth husband.
"He is the composite of all my previous husbands’ good qualities, without any of their bad qualities. I have never been so happy in my life." This was said by Barbara Hutton after marrying her seventh husband. Two years later Barbara Hutton divorced her seventh husband.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Will I Ever Find A Good Person To Marry? Part 2/3

Yesterday's post listed traits of an emotionally and spiritually healthy person. And before you say anything about the above list, YES these kinds of people do exist. If you don’t know any, then you need to change your circle of friends. The reason that these points are evidence of emotional health is because I never see these kinds of people in counselling for relationship issues. There is no need for them to come for help because they have peace in their lives; they know the Giver of peace on a personal level and they obey Him out of love and appreciation for what He has done in their lives.

When looking for a future partner, instead of looking for the quality characteristics listed above, an unhealthy person might say something like, "Can she dance?" "Is s/he cute?" "Does he like to party?" "What kind of a car does he have?" "Does she make a lot of money?" "Is he popular with others?" "He’s kind of wild and dangerous, I like that." They won’t care one bit if this is a person of integrity. Instead their lives display a philosophy of "show me some attention and I’m yours."
Developing a character of integrity is extremely important IF you want a quality relationship. On the other hand, developing a character of integrity is a side-benefit of receiving a healed, forgiven, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. History is filled with examples of the worst human beings having their character being completely turned around after giving their lives to Jesus.

Regardless of all that, the facts of relationships are these: -
. As far as you are from emotional health, so too will someone be who you are attracted to.
. As far as you are from emotional health, so too will someone be who is attracted to you.
. As far as you are from spiritual health, so too that person.

. As far as you are from being ready for a healthy relationship, so too that person.

Remember - Wanting a healthy relationship is not the same as being ready to have a healthy relationship. That’s why the statement "I think he/she will be good for me" needs to be taken with a grain of salt. That person will be no better for you than you are for that person.

You might say at this point, but my boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife is worse than I am. And I will say, if that’s the case it is only because you have grown in maturity since you two met. When you met, you two were roughly the same.

And as a point of interest, let me ask you three simple questions.

(1) What do you look at when judging whether a group photograph, that you’re a part of, is good or not?
(2) Do you see yourself as being a better driver than most people you know? Or do you see yourself as being a worse driver than most people you know?
(3) Do you see yourself as being emotionally healthier and more mature than your partner or former partners? Or are you less healthy and less mature than your partner or former partners?

It is the very rare person for whom one’s perceived self-importance doesn’t show up in these questions. That is how out of touch we are with the reality of our corrupt nature. So what has this got to do with relationships? Well, it’s been my experience that most people who get a divorce are so blind to their own personality that they actually think that they’ll be good for someone else. The vast majority of divorced people think the marriage ended, not because they were miserable to live with, but that it’s the other person’s fault that the marriage ended. It’s human nature to not recognise our own corruption. I'm not being judgemental. I'm as blind to to my degree of corruption as other people are to theirs. The reason you don’t feel corrupt is the same reason a fish doesn’t feel wet. Because it is immersed. You won’t recognise your corruption until you find a way to step out of it and view it from a distance; until you view yourself from Creator God's perspective. You can’t know that you need to be rescued until you first recognise that you’re lost.

Getting back to relationships, let me give you an example of what I mean by "We are roughly the same as those we attract." I hear from clients on a fairly regular basis, "I’m not at all like my spouse. He/she had an affair and I would never do that." I can tell you that in virtually every case, with a little processing, it soon comes out that if given the opportunity to have some ‘payback sex’ soon after finding out about the affair, the person in my office would have jumped at the chance. You might counter with, "that’s different. That person had already been hurt." And I will say to you, "It is no different at all!"
What we are measuring here is the quality of character, and a healthy character is made of nothing less than emotional and spiritual health.

(1) An emotionally and spiritually healthy character is able to say "no" to emotionally damaging thoughts and behaviours no matter how badly that person wants what s/he wants.
(2) An emotionally and spiritually healthy character does not go looking for emotionally damaging thoughts and behaviours regardless of what’s happened to that person.

Let me continue with the example of sex. Lets assume that someone other than your spouse wants to have sex with you. If you are emotionally and spiritually healthy you would be asking yourself, "Why would I want to be with someone who is so cruel and so selfish that he/she would do that to my spouse?" On the other hand, if you as a married or c/l person are considering having sex with someone else (especially if that person is also married), then the question I would ask is, "Why would that person want to be with someone like you, who is so cruel that you would do that to either of your spouses?" What is it about you that is attracting such an unhealthy person to you?

If the answer for either of you is, "We find danger, cheating, and snubbing God and His desires for us appealing and exciting," or if you say that you don’t care about how your spouses feel, then I would also say that emotionally and spiritually you are both in a truly pitiful state. There is nothing in either of you from which you can build a healthy relationship. Don’t get me wrong. You may be able to have a relationship, but it will be no better than average, if that. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Will I Ever Find A Good Person To Marry? Part 1/3

That depends on you. And here’s why.
. Emotional Sickness is attracted to Emotional Sickness.
. Emotional Health is attracted to Emotional Health.
. You will not ever attract a partner who is markedly healthier than you are.
. If you want to attract an emotionally and spiritually healthy partner, then you must become an emotionally and spiritually healthy person yourself.
You might be one of those people who got out of an unhealthy marriage, and then you said, "Never again!" But it did happen again. And maybe it happened again after that. So you wonder, "How could that have happened when I was so determined to never let another person into my life who didn’t respect me? And how could that have happened, when I fully intended to find someone healthy?" The reason it happens again and again is because it doesn’t matter what you intend to happen. If your character hasn’t changed significantly, and if your values and morals haven’t changed a great deal, then nothing else will ever change and you will be with an unhealthy person again. It can’t be any other way.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have had, or that you will have the same types of problems as a former or future partner. What it means is that you are healthy or sick, to the same degree that someone who is attracted to you is healthy or sick. For example, lets say that a husband ignores his wife and is attracted to and flirts with teenage girls. I think we’d all agree that this person is emotionally unwell. However, I suggest to you, that the wife, who says nothing, rationalises away his behaviours and does nothing to protect her daughters, and their friends who have had to push off this man’s advances is just as unwell as her husband. It’s just that she is sick in a different way.

Or let’s take someone who is living with an alcoholic. People in the field of addictions have all heard that "the family gets sick along with the alcoholic." Well, the children will become sick, but the spouse of the alcoholic was sick to begin with. That is why s/he chose someone like that, usually with the goal of loving (read controlling) the alcoholic better.

I wish this could be a cheery little post that leaves you feeling all warm inside and confident about the future. But the reality of the situation is this. When you have rebelled due to sin in your life, and when you have ignored Jesus because it looked like a life without Him would be more fun, it is in your relationships that this damage, that this flaw, will show up most clearly. And the consequences can last a lifetime.

In order to keep your children from suffering any more than they already have, it’s time that you listen to Jesus’ commands about relationships, marriage and divorce, and don’t go down this road again.

The reason that I bring up divorce is that divorce and broken common-law relationships are a sign that something is terribly wrong in a person’s life. It’s a sign that there is something emotionally and spiritually wrong, certainly in one and probably in both people in the marriage. Divorce is a sign that either you have trouble judging character in others, and/or that your character isn’t suited to marriage. When God says don’t remarry after divorce, it’s because He is trying to protect you from more pain by asking you to not rely on the false god of relationships for your value, worth, security and belonging. Unfortunately, we think we know more than our Creator, and so we repeatedly try to prove that God is wrong.

By now you might be wondering what I’m talking about when I use the terms emotionally damaged, or emotional health. After all, you don’t feel damaged and you might even feel healthy. In fact some of your friends are much worse off than you are. Right? Despite how healthy you believe you are, based on the Bible and upon my observations from counselling, I view Emotional Health this way:
. You are able to have stability in relationships.
. You have honesty and integrity, ie. you don’t lie; not just ‘big’ lies, but any lie.
. You do not have to do what you want to do. In other words, you are able to say "no" to something wrong or harmful, no matter how much you want it. The opposite is just as true. Emotional health is when you’re able to make yourself do a good job at something that you don’t want to do.
. You are able to distinguish wrong, harmful, life-destroying behaviours from good, healthy, life-enhancing behaviours. For example, do you actually know whether living together before marriage is damaging or constructive for a future marriage? How about stealing a little bit from a big company? Is that always harmful or is it sometimes OK? Do you know the answer?
. Your inside matches your outside. Who you are in private is who you are in public.
. You abide by a Moral Code not of your own creation, ie. right and wrong are not relative to the situation.
. You don’t need to be in a relationship to feel whole and OK about yourself.
. You are responsible and mature in thought, word and deed.

A person with these qualities will not attract, nor will he/she be attracted to an emotionally unhealthy person. An emotionally, spiritually and psychologically unhealthy person will find the kind of person just described above to be boring and unattractive. Unhealthy people view kindness and goodness as being weak. For example, an unhealthy person will try to provoke an angry response or a rejecting response in her/his marriage partner. And when the negative response isn’t forthcoming, the unhealthy person will view the other as a wimp.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The religious impulse is summed up in the kiss of Judas
How we live our lives suggests that we are fundamentally opposed to Jesus and His teaching, but we will nevertheless use Him for financial gain and to fulfil our own agenda while externally displaying terms of endearment.”
David Hayward

No wonder the secular world gags on our witness.

. People with no personal worship life think they can teach others about worshipping God.
. People who feel little or no gratitude tell others to be thankful.
. People who are governed by pride speak of the importance of humility.
. People who have no relationship with Jesus try to tell others of salvation.

You wouldn't reject Mozart as a composer because of how I play his music. Don't be so foolish as to reject Jesus because of my behaviours.
It's almost impossible to listen to the News any day without the word “corruption” being used multiple times to describe human nature. 
To follow Jesus will never make you perfect. 
To follow Jesus will allow for the forgiveness of real sin, and free you from real guilt.
Take the offer while it's still available.

Pointless Suffering

One of the sad facts of Christian life is that we can “feel” close to God and at the same time harbour in our lives the most horrendous sin. While that is sad, it should not surprise. Sin's deceitful nature blinds us to its existence in our lives. 

It's no different for atheists who honestly believe they are good people. Witness Lance Armstrong who finally came to realize that "I'm a deeply flawed bully."

So what's to be done? How are we to become aware of that which is hidden? And if it isn't hidden, if we've had a glimpse of what we're like, how can the presence of sin become so real to us that we can no longer deny its place in our lives? Well, the answer entails one of the things that atheists say is evidence that God Himself does not exist – pain, suffering, loss and so on. We've all heard it. “How can a loving God allow pointless suffering?”
I believe with all my heart that:
  • Because we are followers of Jesus,
  • Because we want to become like Jesus
  • Because God's goal for us is to become like Jesus (Rom. 8:29),
then every single difficulty (which is often the consequence of sin) that God allows into our lives is meant to raise to the surface in us those characteristics that are in greatest need of change. Again, the Armstrong case.
. Most of us spend so much time trying to stop the discomfort that problems generate in our lives that we completely miss the learning that God is trying to instill into our hearts in the midst of our problems. If this learning is missed, if this change is missed, the eternal value of this whole process will be minimal.
. For those who are on their way to hell, suffering, loss and pain really are pointless things that randomly happen in life.
. For the rest of us, if God wants to change our character, and He does, then He will present us with exactly those challenges that at the very least give us the opportunity to grow into the character or Jesus.
I believe that no matter how long we've been disciples of Jesus, every single one of us is in desperate need of learning more mercy, more forgiveness and becoming more loving toward those who have offended us.

Returning to atheists and their hyper allergic reaction to suffering. One of Jesus' disciples, Peter, writes about suffering, “To this you were called because Jesus suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. So do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this your were called.” 1st Peter 2: 20-23,3:9.

This from the book that atheists say can be used to justify violence toward others.

. Our suffering is not an accident. Using the suffering that humans invited into the world for our growth and development is part of God's plan for us.
. Jesus didn't retaliate when insulted. We are to follow His example.
. Jesus didn't fight back when He suffered. God will make things right in the end. 

On atheism there is no ultimate justice. 
On Christianity ultimate justice is guaranteed.

. Jesus set the example we're to follow. If we love Jesus we will obey Him.

God uses difficult people and events to raise to our awareness our fears and insecurities, our irritability / anger / rage and bitterness, our dependencies / addictions, our selfishness, corrupt self-love and unwillingness to forgive.

These are the things that God wants to remove from your life! And when He does remove this crud, what's left is the ability to love others as He loves us.

Don't run from your pain. Don't try to destroy those who cause you pain. Instead, grab hold of Jesus' hand and with your eyes wide open and your chest bared to the blast of life's pain, step into your pain with the knowledge that in all things God will, if you allow Him, transform your character into that of Jesus the Christ.

Oh and for what it's worth. The only way that suffering can be pointless is if God does not exist. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just because the universe is meaningless and life is pointless is no reason to commit suicide.”
atheist Woody Allen

I Drove Right By

Have you ever done that? Before the days of GPS, at least a couple times I’ve been driving along, looking for a certain business and had to turn back because I drove right by the place. The sign was large. The claim,“You can’t miss it,” had it been made, would have been true. 
But miss it I did.
It's the same with the fact that, “The glory of God is us fully alive.”
It’s a message that's written all through Scripture.
How do we miss it?
Reality is, we’ve had help. We've been purposely distracted. Like kids fighting in the back seat, our concentration has been divided. In the same manner when we read the Bible satan is there to distract us. his main task in life is to block us from finding life.
. God offers to make us fully alive.
. satan has come to steal, kill and destroy, to maim and mangle and cripple.
It's takes steely concentration to grasp the former and avoid the latter.
Have you ever heard of original sin? Of course you have. The problem with that concept is that before sin there was original glory. Before hate, love was here first.
Jesus didn’t come to earth to bring us to glory.
Jesus came to restore us to glory.
Jesus came to take our shame and bring us safely home to the greatest love in the universe.
Don’t miss this opportunity. You may not get the chance to turn around and try again. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

 “The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.”
Distinguished Professor at Princeton University, atheist Peter Singer

The Bible Sanctions Slavery? Mmm, nope.

"all of the specific references to slavery in the Bible seem to sanction it.
This is a statement that you can read in a recent post. Either this person is Biblically illiterate and is simply throwing out statements about which he knows nothing at all. Or, I would have to suppose that he is deliberately trying to mislead those who would love to believe what he’s just said.

It’s true that slavery in New Testament times, and Old Testament times for that matter, was a fact of life. It still is a fact of life in most countries in the world. But it certainly wasn’t acceptable for Paul, Jesus or any of the other New Testament writers. So why didn’t Jesus spend His time on earth trying to rid the world of this despicable practice? Well, He did, in a way. In fact He brought freedom from the effects of slavery to any and to all who wanted that freedom. You see, Christianity is about a relationship with one’s Creator that brings freedom despite circumstance. Jesus says that a life of integrity, meaning, context and purpose can be had no matter what one’s station in life, no matter what one’s race, no matter what one’s nationality, no matter what one’s gender. In one particular passage, Paul is addressing slavery when he says, "Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you . . ."

I suppose that if you stop there, you could have the beginnings of a case that Jesus thought slavery was no big deal. However Paul goes on to say, "although if you can gain your freedom, do so" 1st Corinthians chapter 7. Paul is saying, ‘slavery is not good, escape it you can; but neither is slavery the most important thing in this life’. Paul is saying, ‘don’t be distracted from the most important thing in life, by something that is less important’.

‘There are no references in the Bible that don’t sanction slavery’? Hardly! In fact because of the way that slavery is usually carried out, Paul announces in 1st Timothy 1:10 that 'those who take part in the trading of slaves will deserve eternity in hell'. The reason I say, "The way that slavery is usually carried out," is because slavery in ancient Hebrew society served as an important social safety net. There wasn’t any welfare system. There wasn’t any unemployment insurance. Many times, the only way to feed oneself and one’s family was to sell oneself into slavery. Nevertheless, human nature led back then, and has led right up to the present day to horrendous abuses. This is the world that we have chosen to create for ourselves.

Since all people are desperately wicked, desperately wicked people are all God has to work with. That is why He laid down guidelines for the ‘given’ practice of slavery in ancient Hebrew culture. God works with us where we're at. That is why it's foolish to judge 1st century Israel through the lens of 21st century America. Jesus is saying to those who lived in a society where slavery was normal practice, "Masters, treat your slaves in the same way [with respect]. Do not threaten them, since you know that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him, Ephesians 6:9. And Colossians 4:1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Is slavery as it is usually carried out supported or sanctioned in the Bible? Absolutely not. Is it accepted as a fact of life? Yes. God has accepted, for a time, the world that we have chosen for ourselves. And to that end, just like cancer, earthquakes, war and other events that bring difficulty in our lives, God provides a means of coping in a healthy manner with things that can’t be changed.