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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Turn Toward The Truth

Jesus is Truth

Oh what I'd give to have the kind of faith,
That would let me climb out of this boat I'm in.
Onto the crashing waves.
To step out of my comfort zone into the realm of the unknown.

But the waves are calling out my name and they're laughing at me.
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed.
The waves they keep on telling me, time and time again, you'll never win, you'll never win.

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story.
The voice of Truth says, “Do not be afraid.”
The voice of Truth says, “This is for my glory.”
Out of all the voices calling out to me,
I will choose to listen and believe, the voice of Truth.

Oh what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes,
To stand before a giant, with just a sling and a stone.
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors shaking in their armour.
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand.

But the giant is calling out my name and he laughs at me.
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed.
The giant keeps on telling me, time and time again, you'll never wind, you'll never win.

But the voice of Truth tells me a different story.
The voice of Truth says, “Do not be afraid.”
The voice of Truth says, “This is for my glory.”
Out of all the voices calling out to me,
I will choose to listen and believe, the voice of Truth.
Casting Crowns

Friday, March 29, 2013

People have come to believe two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's life-style, you must fear or hate them. The second is that if you love someone, then you must agree with everything they do. Both ideas are nonsense.”
Rick Warren

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Of Atheists and Molasses

There's an old saying that goes something like, “Slower than Molasses in January,” when describing something that is, um, slow.
And it got me to thinking. After Twenty One Hundred years, a small but vocal group of atheists have decided that berating, reprimanding and more or less kindergarten type intimidation is the best way to bring kindness toward others into the sphere of atheist morality.
Twenty One Hundred years and still the majority of atheists fly into a rage at the very idea of leaving organized religion because it told them to be good to others, only to have organized atheism tell them to be good to others.
Oddly enough, it's these old farts, the most famous and totally lacking insight kind of atheists, the one's who say they don't need God in order to be good people, who are the most upset at being “forced” to be good so that normal people can think that atheism is just a wonderful world-view.
Seriously. It's embarrassing to watch. 
What kind of a personality disorder must those drawn to atheism have to take so frickin long to see, “Hey, if I'm good to someone else, it's almost like being good to myself.” What emotional psychosis must afflict a person to warrant being good to someone else, not because it's the right thing to do, rather they're good to others so that people will think more highly of those who have chosen atheism.
Seriously. I'm embarrassed for them. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Be very careful what you put into your head because it will never ever get out

Where Your Faith Lies Determines Your Priorities

They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:13-15
If we are persistent enough, God will give us what we want, even when it’s not good for us.
You’re determined to marry again after leaving your spouse? Ok
You think a dating relationship without sex will cause you to lose that person? Ok
You won’t have enough money to support your family without being dishonest? Ok
We get what we want only to find our souls have turned to ice. 
Fear is rampant. 
Doubt rules the day.
Those who refuse to be controlled by the world, those who are determined to be free (You will know the Truth and the truth will set you free) do not have those struggles. Faith that waits upon God our Creator, produces in us a peace and joy and truly is beyond human understanding.
We come to a place where we live and die without fear, without uncertainty because the One who leads us never causes us to stumble. Living by faith in our Creator's promises creates joy and exhilaration and a deep and abiding rest.
Christian faith can be described as “Choosing to believe the conclusion that the Bible and God Himself through the person of Jesus the Christ has presented regarding the evidence that we have before us.”
Faith in our Creator turns everything - hard or difficult, scary or peaceful into something awesome. Even our needs and struggles become blessings when by faith we follow Jesus.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nothing did indeed come from nothing... the universe is in fact a big confidence trick. There's truly nothing here. All there is it's a separation of opposites. 
Peter Atkins

On this chunk of sand, atheists build their world-view.

I'm Stuck! No You're Not!

Our friends Holly and Rafael used to own a bed with a metal headboard. You've perhaps seen the kind; bent tubing outer frame, with five or six vertical bars going from left to right, or right to left, depending on your preference.

As the story goes, Holly (affectionately known in her pre marriage days as horizontal Holly) and Rafael are um, how shall I say – well – they're making love. Rafael, refuses to medicate his bi-polar disorder rendering him extravagantly romantic, impractical and rashly unpredictable. Tonight he is maintaining his pattern of doing everything with great enthusiasm. The bed is rocking, his wife is squeaking, or his wife is rocking and the bed is squeaking, depending on your preference, when Holly, a woman of some intellect notices an unusual pause.
What's the matter?” she asks.
I'm stuck,” replies Rafi with a fair bit of surprise and just a hint of alarm.
No you're not,” offers a perennially sanguine Holly. She squeaks and rocks, in an attempt to get things back up to speed.
Ouch! Stop it,” cries Rafi. “I told you, I'm stuck!”
Rafael, you are not stuck. I've had three kids. It is not physically possible for you to be stuck.
Not that kind of stuck. My head. My head is stuck between the pipes.”
Sure enough. While both Rafael and Holly are atheists, the position of missionaries was chosen for this occasion. This allowed, if not precisely caused, Rafi's head to ram straight between two of the vertical aluminium pipes. Upon expanding enough to let his head through, these cheap flutes immediately closed back with vice like strength to hold him tight behind the temples.

Now, Rafael is not a small man, neither is he a man of little strength. However, the physical position of his body made it simply impossible to extricate his noggin, while holding himself up at the same time.

Dear Holly had to remove herself from under her husband. She went to the garage (a feat of some courage while naked in the winter in Saskatchewan in an unheated garage), and found a short block of 4x4 and a large pry bar. Through fits of laughter (from both parties) Holly managed to spread the pipes. As his big, bald, bean re experienced the sensation of it's own physical birthing, and while struggling to maintain consciousness through searing pain, Rafi is certain he heard a far off voice, “You're coming. Pull out! Pull out!” This triggered in Rafi a vague nostalgic memory which, Rafi says, warmed him and created sentimental feelings of love for Holly.

Later, Rafael sat on the edge of the bed, stared blankly at the wall opposite, while ruminating on the sheer strangeness of life.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Much as we wish, not one of us can bring back yesterday or shape tomorrow. Only today is ours, and it will not be ours for long, and once it is gone it will never in all time be ours again. Thou only knowest what it holds in store for us, yet even we know something of what it will hold. The chance to speak the truth, to show mercy, to ease another’s burden. The chance to resist evil, to remember all the good times and good people of our past, to be brave, to be strong, to be glad.” ― Frederick BuechnerThe Hungering Dark

"Heart Like a Wheel"

Some say the heart, is just like a wheel; once you bend it, it can’t be mended.”
Linda Ronstadt.

When our two oldest kids were 14 and 16 we lived in the country. Coming home from “the city” one day my wife an I began to notice chunks of rubber on the road. ‘Ah, some poor guy is having the retread come of one of his tires,’ I thought. As we got closer to home the chunks became more frequent and then, imagine my surprise when the path of broken tire led right up our driveway. As I pulled into the yard, there was our other car parked in front of the garage jacked up as high as the jack would go and the spare tire was on in place of the original.
It didn’t take long for my 14-year-old son to confess that he’d taken the car for a drive on one of the back roads. He’d lost control, gone into the ditch at such a speed and angle that it forced the one tire off the rear rim and trapped handfuls of grass between the rim and tire on the front.
Then he drove the three kilometres home on the flat tire. Hence the chunks of rubber that we’d seen coming up the lane.
Don’t worry dad,” he said. “I’m pretty sure the rim can be fixed.”
Well, this is about the time that Ms. Ronstadt wrote her song. "No son, steel wheels that look like a head of cauliflower cannot be mended."
The things is, Linda doesn’t know that faintest thing about what Jesus can do with a heart.
I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, a heart that is able to love, and I will put a new spirit within you, and you will walk in my laws and keep My commandments and you shall be My people and I will be your God."
There is nothing good in us that would compel Jesus to do this transplant for us. It is His love and Grace always and only that allows for this to take place. As is seen in the case of atheists, our hearts, left to themselves are absolutely inflexible against God. Any where you see a heart that is bent toward God, you can know that a stony heart no longer exists.

Sunday, March 24, 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? Now atheists incorrectly associate Southern U.S. Slavery with the safety net slavery of early Israel. That is why you will never see or hear an atheist ranting about this?

Ezekiel 36:26-27 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nothing Is “Right” or “Wrong” – Except . .

I can't remember whether atheist Richard Dawkins is working on wife #3 or #4 but when, as a marriage counsellor, I hear people saying the following, it often indicates rationalizing a behaviour that is already or soon to be put in play.
Beyond that, I have rarely seen a better example of the absurd, illogical and incoherence that beholds in the minds of those who accept the world-view of atheism. Below we find Richard Dawkins saying, “Nothing is wrong.” At the very same time, in a supercilious manner so common to the man and other “strong” atheists, he relates something he considers to be very, very wrong indeed. While he's at it, Dawkins encourages people to do their “duty” to lie when confronted with behaviours that others might consider wrong. I can see how he fits into the leadership role of atheism so easily.

“I want to raise another question that interests me. Why are we so obsessed with monogamous fidelity in the first place?
The underlying presumption — that a human being has some kind of property rights over another human being’s body — is unspoken because it is assumed to be obvious. But with what justification?
In one of the most disgusting stories to hit the British newspapers last year, the wife of a well-known television personality, Chris Tarrant, hired a private detective to spy on him. The detective reported evidence of adultery and Tarrant’s wife divorced him, in unusually vicious style. But what shocked me was the way public opinion sided with Tarrant’s horrible wife. Far from despising, as I do, anybody who would stoop so low as to hire a detective for such a purpose, large numbers of people, including even Mr. Tarrant himself, seemed to think she was fully justified. Far from concluding, as I would, that he was well rid of her, he was covered with contrition and his unfortunate mistress was ejected, covered with odium. The explanation of all these anomalous behaviour pattern is the ingrained assumption of the deep rightness and appropriateness of sexual jealousy. It is manifest all the way from Othello to the French “crime passionnel” law, down to the “love rat” language of tabloid newspapers.
Why should you deny your loved one the pleasure of sexual encounters with others, if he or she is that way inclined? I, for one, feel drawn to the idea that there is something noble and virtuous in rising above nature in this way. And why don’t we all admire — as I increasingly do — those rare free spirits confident enough to rise above jealousy, stop fretting about who is “cheating on” whom.”
For someone who eschews the concept of right and wrong, good or bad (except of course in his twisted and bigoted mind, all religion is wrong and bad), Dawkins really does make one's head spin. I suppose once you've been a raving atheist as long as Dawkins, desultory and contradictory thoughts no longer light any internal awareness that one's thought process is embarrassing and should be kept to oneself.
Lead on O Prince. Lead on!

Friday, March 22, 2013

atheist PZ Meyers and the Nut-boys

Boy, I really do hate these guys. You’ve got a discussion going, talking about why you’re an atheist, or what atheism should mean to the community, or some such topic that is dealing with our ideas and society, and some smug $@!#* comes along and announces that ‘Atheism means you lack a belief in gods. Nothing more. Quit trying to add meaning to the term.’ As if atheism can only be some platonic ideal floating in virtual space with no connections to anything else; as if atheists are people who have attained a Zen-like ideal, their minds a void, containing nothing but atheism, which itself is nothing. Dumbasses.”
PZ Myers

I couldn't agree more. The most precious part of atheists is this. They start with, “I don’t believe anything unless it’s proven by the scientific method of knowing.” But when science based knowledge strikes at the very heart of their world-view? “Well, it’s just science. Science is quite capable of being wrong.” That's why they spend years coming up with an acceptable definition of the term, “atheist.” With just the right wording an atheist can say, “You see, if I'm simply a “non believer in God” as opposed to “believing God doesn't exist,” then I don't need evidence to uphold my “non belief.”” These word games are consistently played in atheist-world to maintain equilibrium in an unbalanced belief system. 
And while these same atheists say you can't prove a negative (Creator God doesn't exist) they certainly believe this negative that can't be proven.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

“Hey Jude” - The Beatles

I was listening to that song this morning while my children regained consciousness from a good night's sleep. It took me back to a memory of Paul Keyes sitting at the back of the class singing his heart out. His self-cut hair flailing about. Dear Paul, fearing he'd go mad from the frustrations of life. Longing to burst the bonds that held him; longing to be free.
Paul lived by the motto: 
Stat sua cuique dies, breve tempus – Omnibus est vitae; sed famam extendere factis – Hoc virtutis opus.

Well, he liked to think he lived by that motto.

Paul died shortly after grad when his car interfaced with a tree.
Hmm, there goes a flake of sadness ---- loss. 

Who Wouldn't Want To Die?

As people around the world move further and further away from acknowledging the existence of their Creator, it is no accident that there is a move, similar in degree toward a rejection of life itself. As an atheist world-view becomes absorbed into the minds of young people, a desire to end one's life increases dramatically as soon as life's inevitable suffering, pain, loss and grief make their appearance.
This life that atheists say they hold so incredibly dear is given up pretty quickly once life becomes real. 
Atheist Richard Carrier give a glimpse into the reason why.
When we have exhausted all options, and still conclude there is no longer any prospect of happiness, death becomes an acceptable alternative.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don’t work for you salvation

Work OUT your salvation with fear and trembling”
All other religions except Christianity and even a couple cults that call themselves Christian, see life as a process by which we work FOR our salvation.
Not according to Jesus.
With our free-will decision making ability, anything good that we do for the glory of Jesus comes naturally with salvation. It is God who works in us to give us the disposition that will allow us to choose good over evil.
Therefore we must not boast as though those good works are from ourselves. Nor should we think we become acceptable to God because of good works.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams

Atheists and No Moral Compass

A lot of people, ignorant people, many of them Christians say that atheists, simply because they're atheists, don't have any moral code by which they live. A recent example is a case where teenagers in a small American town were partying all weekend and a 16 year old girl was sexually assaulted. It was pretty harsh. At one point during the weekend some of the men thought she was dead and laughed about it. They urinated on her supposedly dead body.
In my moral code that's just plain wrong.
But maybe it wasn't in theirs.
We can't really know.
Some have said this took place because the men didn't have a moral code. On atheism, the worst these men were doing is giving the finger to social convention and law.
But to say they lacked a moral code? Of course they have a moral code.
. Their moral code may have included drunkenness and sexual assault. This is how some people “know” they are good people. They set the bar low enough so that most of the time, not all of the time, but most of the time they adhere to their man-made code. I've said before that in my 10 years counselling in the Federal Prison system, not once did I meet a man who thought he was a bad person. He could always point to someone who he thought was a worse individual and therefore he was able to pronounce himself good.
. Their moral code may have said that what they did was wrong but they ignored it. This is what happens when Christians sexually assault someone. They know it's wrong but they ignore that code in order to get what they want in the moment. Just because someone carries a compass doesn't mean that person is going to trust it or use it. Many people, both Christians and non Christians are tripped up by, “Anything that feels this right can't be wrong. Right?”
. They may change their minds regarding right and wrong because of some new information. Another recent case sees a Senator in the United States who believed homosexuality was wrong until he found out his son is a homosexual. Then he amended his moral code to now include homosexuality.
As humans, we are capable of believing whatever it is that we want to believe. This has led us to a point where the Prosecutor in the sexual assault case has concluded,
Such incidents stem from a larger social problem -- a rampant lack of respect and human decency.”
Well, again, on atheism that's just his opinion. When one's moral code says, I won't lie unless I have to, I won't steal unless I deserve to have what I want, I'll keep my promise to love you forever until you no longer please me, I won't sexually assault someone unless me and my friends are really drunk and we meet a woman who is also really drunk, then, we might even piss on her and laugh about how she appears dead.
There are probably more variations on the moral code issue but to say that someone doesn't have a moral code is silly. What the writer meant is something like, “These men didn't adhere to MY moral code.”
Such is life in a world where moral relativity and subjectivity is the striven for norm.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

The place to which God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
Frederick Buechner

Don’t Worry So Much

I find it tiring when I listen to how much effort is made trying to figure out how to reach the lost. Schemes and planning and worrying turn into disasters like Rob Bell, where the fear that someone might not like Jesus causes Bell to contradict the very words of Jesus. All in an effort to keep people from turning away from Jesus.
Folks! Relax! Our job is to love others and to tell people about the Gospel as the opportunity presents.
Everyone who is supposed to be in heaven will be saved. The Bible tells us two main things on this subject.
. Jesus will not return until all the people who are going to be killed for being a Christian have been killed.
. Jesus will not return until all the people who are going to be saved have been saved.
No one who is suppose to be in heaven is going to miss out. There’s no such thing as someone being lost because the missionary had a flat tire.
As many as God has chosen - that’s how many will be saved
As many as Jesus has redeemed - that’s how many will be saved
As many as the Holy Spirit has sanctified - that’s how many will be saved
As many as believe in Jesus offer of salvation - that’s how many will be saved
Everyone who is supposed to make it, will make it.
Love others
Tell the Gospel to as many as God places before you
Don’t worry so much.

Sunday, March 17, 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? Now atheists incorrectly associate Southern U.S. Slavery with the safety net slavery of early Israel. That is why you will never see or hear an atheist ranting about this?

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for cancelling debts has been proclaimed. There need be no poor people among you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbour this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for cancelling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
Deuteronomy 15.

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.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sex Upside-down

I was sitting in the waiting room yesterday, waiting to see my doctor – 1.5 hours it took. The 20 something man sitting across from me read a National Geographic, Canadian Geographic and finally a People magazine – in that order – all upside-down – the magazines – were upside-down.
Being a naturally curious individual, I said, “I noticed you spent an inordinate amount of time reading the People magazine. Do you like the pictures?”
He looked at me with a look on his face. So I just asked, “Is there something wrong with your eyes? Or is it some type of insanity that causes you to hold your reading material upside-down?”
He related that a genetic anomaly had caused his eyes, the ones he was born with, to shrink to the size of peas from a pod. It got to the point, he said, where he was essentially going blind and could not see at all when he ran because his eyes would bang around in the sockets something awful. The open space around his shrunken eyes also let a lot of dust to get into his brain. So, three years ago he had an eye transplant done in India – both eyes in the same operation. Unfortunately the surgeon was a chronic practical joker. What's worse, he had, the surgeon, through copious amounts of alcoholic drinks the night before, lost his means of discerning the appropriateness of some of his practical jokes. The result was that both of this man's eyes were placed into his head – upside-down – as a joke. A practical one.
If you google this subject, you'll see that upside-down eye transplants (not entirely rare in the more comical areas of India) cannot be reversed. This is because the rods and cones, already experiencing tremendous confusion from hanging upside-down, become completely and hopelessly jumbled upon reversal, thereby rendering the patient's eyes forever wonky.
Older readers may remember CNN daytime anchor Bobbi Batista, the unfortunate recipient of an upside-down eye implant reversal. Wonkier eyes are seldom seen.
So disconcerting is this eye wonkiness that 93% of these unfortunates ask to have their now useless eyeballs taken out of their heads altogether. While not a perfect solution to his earlier dilemma of eyes the size of peas in a pod, his upside-down eyes are better than having no eyes at all.
Through anecdotal evidence only, I can tell you that this young man has adapted to reading with quite a lot of success, while sexual intercourse, he says, renders him nauseous on par with riding three metre waves in a covered dingy. Driving a car, which he is not supposed to do at all but does anyway (“How am I supposed to get to the doctor?”) is like playing “Need For Speed,” and it apparently comes with similar results.
Hence the bloody chamois from under the car's front seat, that he's holding to the side of his head. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Calling out,
Falling in,
Going right,
Swerving left,
Every which way,
Don't know where to turn,
Life is so confusing -
Without Jesus.

You never know,
He can change your life,
He's surely changed mine:
Blurry to clear,
Sadness to cheer.
Give Him a try,
He'll give you a different kind of high.

This isn't a joke,
It's a life or death situation.
You think I'm kidding,
Or there's no way you'd take me seriously.
You're tired and alone,
Nowhere to turn -
What do you have to lose?

You might turn to a beer,
Turn to a knife,
Turn to a drug -
whatever it is,
Get rid of it.
I'm showing you – There's another way . . .

Father to the fatherless,
Friend to the friendless,
Hope to the hopeless,
Happiness to the depressed.
He's God to me,
And He's so much more . . .
Shelby (15)

Go To The Source

Early in our marriage we took a trip to the Columbia Icefields. It’s in the Canadian Rockies. The good ones :-)

Big Country
Really big country.

A raging torrent poured out of a gorge. My wife and I followed the gorge up and up and up. It was stupid really, but we were young and didn’t know any better. An old avalanche forced us to climb over and around boulders bigger than most houses. The raging torrent turned into a rushing streaming and then finally we made it to the source. We reached a wall of ice that went 200 metres straight up. The source of that ragging torrent tipped over the leading edge of a glacier. It stretched a couple kilometres to either side and several dozen streams eventually joined each other 10 kms down stream.

Imagine three people standing at the gorge and the water shakes the ground beneath their feet.
One says, “I’m going up the mountain to find the source. Anybody want to come with me?”
Another says, “I don’t need to know about the source. I’m just content to enjoy what’s right before me.”
The atheist says, “Source! There isn’t any source. This is all there ever was or ever will be.” 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name….That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.”
Frederick Buechner 

Who Cares About Humility?

When I look back on all the couples with whom I’ve worked, I stand amazed at the trend toward discounting humility, a trend that is increasing as the generations roll by. Thirty years ago, Christians saw humility as something to be sought after. Young couples today, Christian couples, no longer see humility as an esteemed and cardinal value.
And yet it is the cultivation of selfish ambition and vain conceit that is tearing at the heart of young marriages. Mimicking those they watch in the movies with name calling, put-downs, an “I’m going to do what I want and you need to get used to it” attitude, young Christian couples are bringing into their relationships a failure by design. And there is only one remedy.
In humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
The Greek word translated as humility literally means “lowliness of mind,” considering others as “More significant than” ourselves. The humble person sees h/herself in right perspective before and infinite, perfect, glorious Creator God and as a servant to others. Counting others “more significant than yourselves” means not being preoccupied with the self.
It doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself. It means thinking of yourself less often.
We serve others, put their needs ahead of our own, work for their good and do not repay evil for evil, or wrong for wrong.
Jesus forbids despising and condemning others for their shortcomings while failing to see one’s own glaring sins. Seeing our own sins is what should humble us to the point of leaving others alone and working on our own issues. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

we [atheists] are entirely free—within the constraints of basic ethics,”
Greta Xtina

Atheists - You just have to love them.  

What Is This Thing Called Evil?

However you might define evil (I define it as anything that opposes God’s will) its persistent presence in humanity is forever pulling us toward self-destruction and destruction of the world itself.
We are the cause of evil (abusing our free-will), and Jesus is the cure.
Just as Israel is to play a role in the restoration of the cosmos, so too Jesus.
Just as Israel’s role in the restoration of the cosmos has led to its destruction, so too did Jesus' role lead to His physical destruction.
Just as Israel, as God’s chosen people was crushed, so too was Jesus.
The problem of evil results in the destruction of the world itself. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that we as human beings can do to restore this earth to health.
We are too greedy.
We are too self-centred.
We are too short-sighted.
In fact, we ourselves are so broken that we can’t even recognise that we no longer work as intended. Some, as with atheists, celebrate and revel in our brokenness.
Our cosmos, our earth our selves are irreparably damaged. We broke Creation by opposing our Creator.
We broke God’s Creation and only Creator God can restore it. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Small Knives On Airplanes Makes Sense" Obama

A spokesperson for U.S. Air Marshals, complaining that no passenger has been shot on board any airplane in over 12 years is saying, “If my boys don't get some action within the next six weeks, they're walking off the job – Once the planes have landed”
"Inducing “limited action” in exchange for retaining the presence of, and reducing the discontent of Air Marshals is not such a bad deal,” says President Obama. 
Taking credit for allowing weapons of limited size on board U.S. and U.S. bound planes, Mr. O explains, “The odds of these weapons actually severing a femoral artery or jugular vein are quite low. The blades on these little knives are actually quite hard to open unless you haven't cut your fingers nails for like, weeks, and it's my understanding that Muslims have to cut their finger nails every day. So I got to thinking, if these poor guys, the Marshals I mean, who are absorbing huge amounts of radiation travelling back and forth across the country actually get to shoot someone once in awhile, well, the obvious benefit of this trade-off is worth it.”

More than Conquerors

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2nd Timothy 4:7.
I grew up watching 2nd World War movies. Tough men doing tough jobs. Men who weren’t quitters. Men who could stand any amount of difficulty to achieve the victory. Watching their endurance sent my soul soaring. I’ve always been drawn to endurance. I think that’s why the apostles and Jesus Himself are so attractive to me.
But how do you do that? How do you win? It starts in the thought life. It starts with God. “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to think anything as coming from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.”
When Jesus fought the good fight he fought with God’s power. “Not by my might nor by my power but with the strength that comes from God alone.”
When he finished the race he recognised, “It does not depend on a person’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
When he kept the faith it was because faith is a free gift of God. “I have obtained mercy that I might be faithful.”
Yes we are victorious, and yes we will be more than conquerors but it is all, from beginning to end by the grace of God by which we have been saved and that not of ourselves but it is a gift o f God, not of works lest any person should boast.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

satan’s hatred for Israel

I’ve long wondered if God loves Israel because it is the most persecuted people on earth. Or, are the Jewish people the most persecuted people on earth because God loves them.
Ever since coming into existence 4,000 years ago, hatred for Jews has caused nation after nation to attempt the destruction and annihilation of the Jewish people. While satan hates all of us, his hatred for the Jewish people knows no bounds.
It appears as though satan believes that if he destroys the Jewish people, he could somehow prevent his own destruction. After all, the Saviour of the world was to come through the Jewish people. To that end, satan has used everyone, including Christians in his plan to destroy the Jewish people. Irenaeus, Tertullian, Eusebius, Origin, Augustine, Ambrose of Milan, and of course Martin Luther all allowed theirs and all humanity’s inherent tendency toward hatred to be brought to bear against the Jewish people.
Of course anti-Semitism has existed from the days of Abraham.
How has satan gone about his plan to rid the world of a Saviour?
He incited Pharaoh to order the death of all Jewish newborn males.
He incited Egypt, Amaliekites, Amorites, Philistines, Canaanites, Midianites, Ammonites, Babylonians, and the Romans to destroy the Israelites.
He incited Herod to kill males born within a two year period of Jesus
It seems as though satan has always been left guessing as to God’s plan. Perhaps even to the true identity of this Saviour. “IF you are the Son of God . . .” was the frequent phrase during the temptation of Jesus. Through storms on the Sea of Galalie and attempts to kill Him through angry mobs, satan tried to eliminate Jesus before God’s plan could be carried out. Finally, at the crucifixion, satan thought he’d won, but God “made a spectacle of satan and his demon hoard” through Christ’s resurrection.
Not satisfied, in 70AD, satan incited Rome to kill 1.1 million Jews and brought into slavery another 97,000. In about 135 AD Rome killed another 500,000 Jews. Scattered throughout the world satan incited those operating under the banner of Christ Himself in the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms in Russia and of course Hitler’s attempts to wipe out the Jewish people once and for all time. satan’s greatest effort will come in the near future in what is going to be called The Great Tribulation. At that time, two-thirds of the Jewish population will be killed along with one third of the rest of humanity. This last attempt, like all those before will end in failure for satan, while at the same time bringing greater and greater numbers of Gentiles and Jews into the Kingdom of God. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

He Never Said Goodbye

Instead Jesus went to prepare a home for us, promising to return to bring us to a place beyond time. Rather than leaving us as orphans, Jesus left His Spirit to prepare us to be the kind of people who are fit to be in that place; a people made righteous.
And then Jesus said, “I will return to gather you together as one family, My family. I Am with you always. I will never leave you. I will never give up on you. And because I began the process of change in you, I will carry it out to completion. I will never say goodbye.” 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

  “A man's heart will be seen in his walk. And the blessing will come where heart and walk are both with God.”
Charles Spurgeon


We who are followers of Jesus believe, in essence, that there is a vital principle that guides the functioning of not just organisms but the universe itself.
The Christian's focus on the unseen, the belief that there is more going on in life than what meets the eye is to “know” that just beyond the thin places there are things that exist that we cannot touch or weigh or measure. Being a follower of Jesus means taking into consideration, in every relational situation, this unseen creative force.
Being a follower of Jesus means believing that even though our physical self is moving toward death and decay, our spiritual self is even now taking part in things of eternal significance. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Memory

Lorenz says he's an official member of an American Indian religious movement. This by way of explanation for the huge “totally legal” steamer trunk filled to the brim with Peyote buttons. He doesn't have a similar explanation for the volume and variety of other drugs that seem to be in his possession in unlimited supply.
We'd spent the morning cleaning the fuzz from the centre of the buttons, all in preparation for an afternoon of serious wall-staring.
I was almost completely feral at that stage of my life. Flailing about. Hating everyone. Soul turned to ice. The only cover of normality was sitting in class learning to heal the neurotically chemically imbalanced while deliberately imbalancing my own chemicals. Learning to heal the chronically insane while inducing temporary insanity in myself, by design.
Discovering that those professors I'd admired as exuding genius were just as stupid as me led to an epiphany of sorts.
A 3.87 while terminally stoned is just as good as a straight 4.0.
And more importantly, when leaning forward, with elbows on knees to convey intense interest and compassion, from the client's chair it looks like the counsellor is struggling with chronic constipation. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

. . . my journey through the darkness has only accelerated. I have become adept at inventing counterfeit lights - bright-coloured, flashing lights. Pseudo rainbows; artificial sunsets; celluloid stars. More recently I discovered that God is dead, anyway. I am a product of organic evolution. A cosmic accident. A unique moment in a mysterious multi billion year process. It is an adventure filled with suspense and cruelty and meaninglessness. And though I do not know what is ahead, never fear, I am on my way! Even today, after the morning news and the latest issue of Time magazine, and even though I acknowledge countless gallons of human tears, the endless cycle of agonizing tragedy, I, along with the world’s majority, maintain that Adam made the right decision. Even as I swallow my tranquilizers, rush to my psychiatrist, take the extra drink, endure my third divorce, and watch my children reject all the ideals I have tried to pass on - I still say there is hope!
author unknown

How I Overcame My Hatred

I'm one of those people who actually had a life before the advent of the telephone answering machine, later known as voice-mail.

I've always hated telephones, or perhaps my hatred is for the person who uses a telephone to call me.

I find phones intrusive, noisy and annoying in every possible way. Because of that, I stand slack-jawed watching those who voluntarily condemn themselves to going through their waking hours with only one working arm; the other effectively glued to the side of their head.

A couple weeks ago I was standing outside a store, waiting for my wife to finish purchasing essential products (ya right). A woman with one hand stuck to the side of her head was telling someone, “I'm just going into WalMart.” Fifteen minutes later, the same woman passes by, her hand still stuck to the side of her head saying, “I'm just leaving WalMart.” True story!

I remember the first time I was confronted with just how much I dislike this type of communication. Another counsellor who worked at the same agency as me told me he'd just purchased an answering machine during his lunch break. My immediate response was, “An answering machine!”
Ya,” he said. “So I can get messages from people who call me when I'm not home.”
Good grief man. Why would you do that?” I cried with alarm in my voice. “I don't want to know who's called me and I certainly don't want to call them back.”

The look on his face went beyond shocked. It transmitted the thought, “One of us is insane and I don't think it's me.”

My hatred for phone-calls got to the point that if the phone rang in our house and someone else wasn't there to answer it, the phone didn't get answered. This was a little inconvenient since I have suicidal clients who I've told to “Call me any time if you need help.”

So, how have I moved beyond hatred?

Ipods and

All I have to do is compare what it's like to talk to someone on one of those devices to a regular phone and it's not so bad simply listening to someone talk at me. You see, on a regular phone I can actually pretend to be listening while typing a blog post or going to the bathroom or picking my teeth with a folded piece of paper. I can talk on a regular phone long enough to find a reason to pass the infernal contraption to my wife or one of the kids.

When you think about it that way, a phone call now and then is less horrible.