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

Friday, January 31, 2014

 “To love someone is to see him as Jesus sees him.”

Friday's Thoughts on Marriage

This is number 8 in a weekly series begun on December 21st/13 with a post called, “Married Forever?”

So which is it? Is the purpose of marriage to promote the good of family and society? Or is it to enhance the well-being of self? It might surprise you to know that Jesus didn't set marriage up as a choice between one or the other. I know, that's how the world views Biblical marriage - oppression of self-fulfillment. However, like most other things that have to do with Jesus and His teaching, the world is wrong. In reality, God brought marriage into being with the intent of showing that mutual fulfilment could only come through mutual sacrifice for one another.

To set an example for us, Jesus gave up His rights and He died to self to bring us into a healed relationship with Himself and then He said, “Follow Me, be like Me, do in your relationships what I did in My relationships. Submitting to Jesus by submitting to one another in our marriages brings personal fulfilment. A marriage where two people engage in loving surrender to each other drives away fear of abandonment, ends loneliness, and grows us into Christ-likeness. And that is the point of life (Romans 8:29). That is the “good” that God works for in all things for believers; to make us more and more like Jesus. The more you live out the Gospel of Grace toward each other, the closer you become toward each other and to Jesus. That's the secret, or the mystery of which Paul speaks.

Biblical marriage will change your heart and soul.

I heard a comedian once, who said, “No matter how smart you think you are, you're not that smart.” That's true, but so is the Bible which explains, “No matter how good you think you are, you're not that good.” We need to be changed. Society and the world at large needs us to be changed. A Biblical marriage will bring about that inner change unlike anything else. That is because Biblical marriage teaches us what it means to love.

Through expressing the enormous love that Jesus washes over us, we are truly transformed. However, this awareness of who we really are must be brought forth in an atmosphere of love. Without a loving environment, we simply will not hear the truth. In the absence of the certainty of love, men hear criticism as rejection and women hear it as a lack of love. With the certainty of love we not only hear the truth about our sin with which our partner must live, we long to repent of our sin and be changed. God's mercy and grace, freely received can then be freely given.

More on this next Friday

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm Afraid of Jesus

You wouldn't believe the number of Christians who are scared of Jesus. Sure, they've prayed a prayer asking for forgiveness, and they've maybe even been baptized. But do they “follow” Jesus? Do they do what He says regarding relationships and money and issues of integrity? Nope. And you know why? It's too scary. They're afraid of what He might ask of them.

I get that. Been there, done that, as people used to say.  If you haven't tried stepping out in faith, if you haven't trusted Jesus enough to obey Him, then you don't know from experience that He is good. Not safe, as C.S. Lewis would caution, but He is good.

You see, Jesus asks us to die to self. He asks us to turn our backs on what the world says we can't live without. He asks us to trust Him. Sadly, many, perhaps even most of those who call themselves followers of Jesus trust the world's vision of security and value rather than trusting their Saviour. But think about this!

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32

Seriously? You think we can't trust our Lord, Creator and Saviour? He's held nothing back. He's paid the price for our sins at His own expense. You don't need to doubt the love of someone whose own blood has been spilled for your good.

. So, what if you stopped worrying about whether Jesus is going to make your life difficult? Life IS difficult regardless of whether you're a Christian or not. As the saying goes, "In this life you will suffer. You will either suffer with Jesus or without Him. 
. So, what if you allowed yourself to realize that just on the other side of what Jesus asks of you lies a life that's better than you ever imagined? Jesus and the presence of His Holy Spirit changes suffering into something that cannot destroy us. 
. So, what if just on the other side of your fear lies a life that is full and abundant beyond description? 
. And then, what if you acted upon that belief? How would your life be different? I can tell you how it would be, and so can millions of others who have taken this step. Casting all your anxieties upon Jesus creates the most amazing life possible.

Jesus longs to give us a good life. He died to give us the best existence possible.
You know at a fundamental level that what the world offers stands no chance of delivering on its promises. You know that. So what are you waiting for? What have you got to lose? Take hold of Jesus' hand and with eyes wide open step into a life of obedience. To trust and obey is not a leap in the dark. Rather it's a step into the light. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If there were no obscurity, man would not feel his corruption; if there were no light, man could not hope for a cure. Thus it is not only right but useful for us that God should be partly concealed and partly revealed, since it is equally dangerous for man to know God without knowing his own wretchedness as to know his wretchedness without knowing God.”
Blaise Pascal

The Good Atheist

I haven't read any atheist blogs for a long time. However, when I left that part of the internet, there was a HUGE push for atheists to start being good people, demonstrably good, publicly good. After thousands of years of mocking and jeering those who attempt to follow God, derisively calling them do-gooders, modern atheists have declared, “For the survival and growth of atheism we have to start acting more like Christians. We have to do more for others.” The old atheist tendency, found in the comment of one atheist blogger, “Can't I just fuck around and watch tv if I want to?” is no longer acceptable to organized atheism. There are now rules to follow.

That's why atheists do good for non kin relationships. But the question then arises, what about Christians? Why are they such – well – such do-gooders?

I think the reason is, it's not the Christian who's doing it. When you see true Holiness taking place it's because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact, where there is no Holiness, there is no Holy Spirit.

For those in a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, it is His Spirit who directs and guides them toward the things that interest Him. To put it crudely, 

Christians are possessed

And as long as they obey Jesus' command to, “Abide in Me,” Christians will do what the Holy Spirit leads, directs and guides them to do. Jesus said, “Where I Am, there My servants will be also.” And where is Jesus? He's with the poor, the sick and the down-trodden and with those on the fringes of society. Jesus is serving and by extension, so are His servants. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Your skin is not paper – don't cut it
Your face isn't a mask – don't hide it
Your size isn't a book – don't judge it
Your life isn't a movie – don't end it

The Atheist View of Humanity

Atheist view – “All in all? You're just another brick in the wall.”
Pink Floyd

Bertrand Russell confirms this belief. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.”

On atheism, there can be no other view of humanity.

Christian view – You're a child of the King; a brother/sister of Jesus; created in the image of the Creator of the universe. “You are the special creation of a good and all-powerful God. You are created in His image, with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree but in kind. Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among your kind.” 
Randy Alcorn.

Because of Creator God you are loved.
Because of Creator God you were born into His love.
Because of Creator God you were born to know His love.
Because of Creator God you were born to enjoy His love for you.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Why Me?

I remember watching a scene in a movie where a mother was feeling helpless in view of her young son's terminal illness. She was angry and she was taking this anger out on a young Pastor who had come to visit. The mother wanted to know why, why was her son sick when all over the neighbourhood young boys were laughing and playing and running around without the slightest thought of someday not being able to play because of illness. The mother said to the Pastor, “When young Bradly was well, I never asked why we deserved such good fortune. Now however, you're damn right I want to know. Why would God do this to us? I want to know!”

And so too, I ask, “Why me? Why do I have so much? Why have I always had so much. Why was I destined to be born in this country at this time in history when I have so much more of everything than I need to survive.

It’s weird how we never demand an answer from God as to why He gave us hands that work perfectly, picking up, turning things off and on, fixing, adjusting, caressing, creating and exploring with exquisite dexterity. It’s mind-boggling to watch how we don’t demand an answer from God as to why He gave us mouths with the ability to sound out words, taste foods, sense temperature and texture with extraordinary sensitivity; mouths and vocal cords that can moan, cry and sing. We never seem to consider the contradiction in how we don’t demand an answer from God as to why He gave us eyes that can communicate emotion and explore the majestic beauty of Creation, yet curse Him and demand all reference to Him be removed from the public sphere. 

We use the word creation without ever considering the Creator. 

We never seem to wonder why it is that we don’t demand an answer from God as to why He has allowed us to be born in an unimaginably huge and hostile universe on this little jewel of a planet. We don’t ever consider why we don’t demand an answer from God as to why He continues to allow us to take for granted the fact that we have more food than we can eat; as much money as we need, and a health care system that the majority of humanity cannot even conceive of. 

We don’t ever seem to wonder what kind of a person would take all of these gifts and still curse the God who gave it all to us.

Atheists especially don’t ever seem to think it odd that they don’t demand an answer from God as to why He is so good to them even when they hate Him, ignore Him, reject Him and hate those who love Him. Of course if a conversation goes in this direction, atheists will immediately yell "There is no God," since it doesn’t work so well to let God exist only when you want to blame Him for something.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The problem with those who don't believe in evolution is that they don't have any imagination.”
Gail Kennedy, PhD, 
Associate Professor of Anthropology, UCLA

Friday's Thoughts on Marriage

This is the 7th in a series that began December 21st/13 with a post called, “Married Forever?”

Last week I ended with the statement, “I maintain that without knowing the secret of marriage that Paul describes for us in the New Testament, no marriage can reach the level of fulfillment for the couple, and glorification of Jesus that it was intended to attain.”

The Secret of Marriage? I read through the whole Bible once a year, every year. It's taken me nearly two decades to get what Paul is talking about. Not because it's such a difficult concept, but because I simply could not sink below the surface of what he was saying. Its kind of like -

Paul says clearly, “I'm talking about Christ and the Church.”
I blink my eyes and say “Huh?”
I'm talking about Christ and the Church (the body of believers). Husbands, love your wives just as Jesus loves the Church and gave Himself up for her.”
Oh, you're talking about Christ and the Church! . . . Huh?”

Now I get it. Then I didn't. Mostly probably because I didn't want to hear what his words meant. I've since seen that many Christian husbands don't want to get it. Paul is saying that the secret to our role in marriage is to do for our wives what Jesus did to unite all of us with Himself. He gave Himself up for us. Jesus IS the greatest Being to ever exist. He is the Creator and sustainer of life and the universe itself. And then He gave up His glory, became a human-being, died on a Roman cross and paid the penalty for our sins.

He loved us.
He served us.
He gave up His rights as Creator God so that our needs might be met.

That kind of sacrifice made possible an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Him and He says to us husbands, 'THAT is how to do marriage.' Jesus and the Church is what God had in mind when He ordained way back in Genesis that, “A man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one.”

That's the secret that Paul is talking about. That is what keeps Biblical marriage from being oppressive as the world imagines it to be. In Biblical marriage the husband, under Christ, is the Spiritual Leader of the home. As such, the husband gives himself up and models for the family:
. Submission
. Love
. Mercy
. Kindness
. Patience
. Self-control
. Faithfulness
. Forgiveness
. Gentleness and
. Servant-leadership

Because God had this picture of salvation in mind when He instituted marriage between man and woman, the marriage can only be successful when each partner loves the other in a self-giving love.

Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but serve and to give My life . . .”

I often tell people (Christians) whose marriage is struggling, “If you try to fix this marriage, you will fail. If instead, you focus solely on repairing your relationship with Jesus (not your partner's relationship but your relationship), loving Him and obeying Him, the restoration of your marriage will follow as naturally as dawn follows the dark.”

Do for your spouse, what Jesus did for you and your marriage cannot fail.

More on this next Friday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When Oh When Will The Evidence Appear?

Faith is the great cope out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and to evaluate evidence.”
Richard Dawkins

Live Science” says of Darwinian evolution, it can turn dinosaurs into birds, apes into humans and amphibious mammals into whales.”

And yet there is not one iota of observable evidence of one “kind” of animal changing or evolving into another “kind” of animal. There is lots of evidence for adaptation within a kind (micro evolution) but zero evidence of evolution of one kind of species developing into a new kind, as described in “Live Science.”

It is only the atheist presupposition, the unsupported and anti scientific presupposition that takes adaptation (micro evolution) and forces upon us a conclusion of macro evolution.

The scientific method is based upon observation, testing and verification. It allows us to draw conclusions that don't have to accepted by faith. Evolution simply cannot be observed, tested or verified.

We see nothing of these slow changes in progress.”
Charles Darwin.

In other words we have to accept the conclusion of evolution by faith. Much like believing that matter has always existed even though science and Big Bang cosmology says otherwise.

Of course atheists say, they must say, they have no choice BUT to say that there are “missing links out there. We just haven't found them yet.” Much as they say that they believe that an explanation that this is a material universe only will some day be found. Till then they believe it on blind faith. It's exactly like those atheist leaders who will grudgingly admit that it's impossible to make even one grain of sand out of nothing (let alone a whole universe). Yet they then say, unless you have “millions and billions of years. Then somehow the obviously impossible becomes possible.

When you can think of any observable, testable, verifiable (science) evidence for Darwinian evolution, i.e. a change of one kind into another kind, then you can believe in evolution based on something other than blind faith.

The most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.”
Sir Issac Newton

Marijuana Smoke = Health!

At least that's what those addicted to Pot will tell you. 'Cause we all know how healthy it is to inhale burning leaves. Especially when the smoke comes from plants that just grow naturally in the wild.

Except that we know that the smoking-related effects on the human body just keeps growing. It now includes liver and colorectal cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction and cleft pallet in those born to mothers who smoke. We already know that smoking is tied directly to lung, mouth and throat cancer as well as chronic bronchitis and coronary heart disease. So what is the solution?

Let's add marijuana smoke to agenda. That will keep down the costs of health care. Brilliant!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where Is Your Heart?

Jesus is quoted by Matthew, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

To put it another way, 'Show me where you spend your discretionary money and time, and I'll tell you what you consider most valuable.' Is it the distraction of sports? Clothes? Vehicles and recreational vehicles? How about mood altering chemicals? Vacations? Tools? Investments? 

The context of what Jesus was talking about is our human desire for more wealth than we need. “You cannot serve both God and money.” He could have added, 'Though most of you will spend your life trying.' When we are young, most of our money goes to acquiring “things.” As people age they start storing up money for when they retire. This, even though Jesus said, “How can it be of any benefit for anyone if s/he gains the whole world, yet loses h/her soul?” 

Well, there is no benefit to accumulating wealth, but that doesn't keep people from trying.

The world’s 85 richest individuals now own as much as the poorest half of the 7 billion global population (that's 3.5 billion people), according to a report released by Oxfam on Monday. One per cent of the world's families now own 46% of the world's wealth.”

I doubt that any of those people would stumble across this blog, but we regular people are no different. Any person within reach of a key-board is richer than most people in the world. And we want more! As Buddha is reported to have said, “No matter how much you have, a time will come when you will say, “this is not enough.”

Herbert Marcuse has said, “People have been seduced into a comfortable, attractive, tasteful, fully enjoyable, form of slavery. This is the worst kind of slavery.”

We are slaves to ease of living. We work feverishly to pay for things we don't need. We honestly believe that security can be found in storing up “treasures” for ourselves here on earth, where they inevitably deteriorate into junk. And by we, I am now talking about Christians. Or at least those of us who call ourselves Christians. So far is the behaviour of Christians from the teaching of Jesus the Christ that Pope Francis said today, "I ask you to ensure humanity is served by wealth, and not ruled by it." 

It can't go on. It won't go on.

Jesus came to bring a Kingdom of generosity, and fairness, and decency among humans. He expects us, as His followers, to end discrimination and present to the world a mighty river of mercy. We are to care for the poor, not blame them for their fate. We are to care for orphans, not kill them before, or in some cases (see atheist Peter Singer) even after they're are born. Any foetus is less human than an adult pig.” atheist Richard Dawkins

We are so terribly far from where we need to be, and God promises that there is going to be hell to pay because of our negligence and greed and our pure unadulterated self-love.

And for what? What exactly does an accumulation of wealth bring us? Not what we expect it to bring; that's for sure.

Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry right past it.” Kierkegaard 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Faith is the great cope out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and to evaluate evidence.”
Richard Dawkins

Absolutely bizarre coming from a man who believes, on blind faith and contrary to all scientific evidence that matter can create itself. He also believes that inanimate and inorganic chemicals "evolved" into life. Now that, like all of atheism, takes some faith.

Are You a Good Person?

If heaven existed, do you think that you should be allowed entrance based upon how good you are? Most atheists for example are adamant that they are good people. They have to believe that because their mantra is, "I don't need God to be a good person." But don't we have to ask, according to what standard should we measure ourselves to make our evaluation accurate? For example:

. How many lies have you told in your life? The average person tells at least five lies per day. What do you call someone who has told countless lies?

. Have you ever stolen something in your life? Have you taken something that doesn't belong to you? What do you call someone who steals?

. Have you ever used God's name in vain, or without respect? That's called blasphemy. What do you call someone who uses God's name lightly or in cursing?

. Jesus said, if you look at another person with lust in your heart, imagining having sex with that person, you are guilty of committing adultery. What do you call people who commits adultery?

Our Creator says that He is the standard by which we measure our level of goodness. Not Gandhi, no Hitler, not your neighbour and not yourself.

By your own admission you're a lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterous person in your own heart, and that's only reviewing four of the ten commandments. How then can you consider yourself to be a good person, good enough to be allowed into the presence of a perfectly Holy Creator God?

A good Judge must see that justice is done, that wrong is punished and that those on the side of wrong are removed from those who long and choose to do right. Because the price for your sins were paid for by Jesus (God the Son), God the Father who is perfectly Just can legally dismiss your penalty.

Jesus said, “The price of sin, the wages of sin, the consequences of sin is eternal separation from God and everything and anything that is good. We call that separation “Hell.”

Because that reality is so horrific God put in place a plan, whereby the penalty of sin would be paid at His own expense. Jesus paid the price for you sins and He said that if you would seek His forgiveness and obey Him out of gratitude for His enormous love, you can avoid hell and spend eternity in heaven with Him.

What kind of a person would ignore and/or reject that kind of offer?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday's Thoughts on Marriage

The 5th in a series -

Have you ever wondered what is the impact on marriage when the reality of God is denied? Think about it! If we used to turn to God for our source of meaning and purpose, love and redemption; those things that humans need in order to be emotionally and spiritually healthy, what do we do when the only true source of those things is ignored? Naturally we turn to another human to supply our deepest needs.

Have you ever wondered what happens to marriages when that kind of pressure is placed on one or both marriage partners? Yep. They disintegrate under the impossible load. Those who contend that traditional (Biblical) marriage is suffocating, in turn reject the only possible way to allow freedom in marriage (each person living for God) and place a truly oppressive expectation on the marriage partners. And then, after the marriage ends, they say, “Life long, monogamous, committed marriage is impossible to create.”

The fact is, society needs people who are able to sustain long-term, monogamous committed marriage. Without our ability to commit to the good of at least one other human being, we will see humanity fragment into billions of pieces. Both the children that inevitably come from sexual unions and the adults around the world desperately need this ability on the part of humans.

Sadly there is only one way to achieve these kind of relationships and those who have rejected God and His guidelines are simply not able to get the job done. I'm not talking about the longevity of marriage. The celebration of the 50th anniversary make strike a cord within, but longevity is no guarantee of quality. As was heard by a son from his dad after burying a wife of 53 years, “I never loved that woman.” For various reasons, lots of people just stick it out. That's not the kind of marriage I'm advocating.

Ironically, people long to be married; especially those who lack the skills to maintain a quality relationship. And ironically it is those who downplay the effects of sin and who ignore the divine origin of marriage who think they'll do the best at having a good marriage. And when the inevitable crash comes, it is not the people within the marriage who are blamed but the institution of marriage itself.

I maintain that without knowing the secret of marriage, that Paul describes for us in the New Testament, no marriage can reach the level of personal satisfaction and glorification of Jesus that it was intended to attain.

More on this next Friday

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jesus Goes Viral

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very centre of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
atheist historian H.G. Wells

Through a power surge of influence that knocked the socio / religious / economic and political world off it axis, Jesus wanted you know about Him and the Kingdom He came to represent. And indeed that's what happened.

When Jesus came to earth to tell about the radical social change that was God's Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven, He wanted the whole world to know about it. So He chose as His messengers those people in whom this radical change would be the most visible: mostly the poor, the outcast, those on the fringes of society, those rejected by “good society” but in some cases the most visible change occurred in those who already considered themselves good people, even holy - the religious leaders.

The doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, which was the main teaching of Jesus, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that ever stirred and changed human thought.”
atheist historian, H.G. Wells

Jesus took it to the streets and lived a Kingdom life; one of peace, and forgiveness and mercy – toward His enemies. He showed complete disdain for wealth and riches. He showed contempt for power. Pride and possessions, looks and intellectual accomplishment were ridiculed by Jesus. Jesus turned His back on nearly everything that most people consider indispensable for a “good” life.

And when His followers showed that we really can live this counter-cultural life and live it abundantly, His message went viral.

Jesus gets billions of hits, not just daily, but throughout each and every day.

In North America, many who self-identify as Christians are so culturally identical to the society around them, where Jesus is merely worn as an accessory to their worldly life-style, that Jesus is rarely recognized, and when He is acknowledged, it is often as the butt of jokes and ridicule. For example, in this video Bill Maher describes much of Christianity in North America today:

Yet, where ever a demonstration of God's Kingdom in action is being lived out, still by small bands of misfits, Jesus changes history.

The indwelling of His Spirit leads each Christian (“You will know them by how they speak and act” Jesus), to carry on that challenge. To feed the hungry, to end oppression and discrimination, to enrich the poor, to take care of orphans and widows, to clothe the naked, to heal the sick and to bring the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation to the world.

As atheists and functional atheists know today regarding followers of Jesus, those in power then (the religious elite), also knew,

It's either the death of Jesus and His message, or the end of society as we know it.”

Then as now, Christianity and the teaching of Jesus that is its source must be done away with if the pleasures of this world are to be maintained.

If you're interested in the difference between a true historian (eg. H.G. Wells) and a typical “brute beast” atheist (as G.K. would call him), check out the video at:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Many Murders Is Enough?

What do you think it does to a society when it supports the murder of almost 2 million children a year? Do you think it makes us less caring? Do you think it numbs our sensibilities which in turn allows us to ignore even greater abuse of one another?

Did you know that if only 1 person in 10 who call themselves Evangelical Christians adopted one child who needs a home, every child in North America now in care would have a home?

Did you know that?

The New Testament tells us that because of the rise of wickedness, as history winds down, “the love of many will grow cold.” The writer is talking about the diminishing love of those who self-identify as followers of Jesus.

If we who profess to be Christians won't take care of the most helpless among us, who will? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ah, The Atheist Utopia Grows

It creeps and claws its ugly tentacles into every sphere of life. In the Netherlands, a leader in Godless society, death by design has grown in popularity (almost 20%) every year for the last six years. So full of meaning and purpose (he says sarcastically) are the lives of atheists, that 5% of all deaths in the Netherlands are now people choosing to end their lives. 

That's not counting the unassisted suicides.

Mobile teams of those willing to deliver death (Levenseinde), roam the neighbourhoods, taking the lives of those whose physicians have refused to cross this line for reasons other than terminal illness. Newborns with disabilities, adults with depression, even chronic pain is enough to make atheists and functional atheists believe that this life is just not worth it.

Those who see euthanasia as the panacea to our social ills either can't see or wish to not see that our right to die today will lead directly to our Duty To Die tomorrow. As the population ages, as resources become increasingly scarce and as the fact that life without God really doesn't allow for an earthly existence of meaning and purpose, death will become the expected outcome for those requiring almost any type of extra health care.

Do you want to know what's coming to North America? Just watch the social experiment taking place in Nations where atheists lead people away from Creator God and toward human wisdom. The inevitable fascination with and longing for death goes hand in hand with atheism. 

Did I say the tentacles of atheism claw their way into every area of life? Just ask the wife of a man whose morality is based upon desire, about the atheist utopia.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm a Coward

I had this person ask me once to see his sister who was in the hospital because of a drug overdose. No one seemed to know if the overdose was intentional or not. Anyhow, this guy was certain that she was near death because of her life-style and he was hoping that a counsellor could “change her” so that she could know what it was to experience peace and kindness in the days before she died.

I was torn. My counsellor burn-out, my cynicism, my gloomy, overwhelmed, drowning-in-the-pain-of-the-world wanted to tell him to forget it. Violent, angry, bitter, broken, hopeless and helpless people tend to die exactly the way they lived. As a teenager, her attitude will have been one where, if a school counsellor had told her, "Drugs and alcohol are slowly killing you," she would have responded, "That's okay. I'm in no hurry."  And now, here she was, at the end of her journey. And instead of telling him the truth, I let both of us believe the lie that change was possible and said, “Sure. What room is she in.”

It's no wonder Jesus wept. This sinful world is so very far from what we could have had.

Yes, I'm a coward. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday's Thoughts on Marriage

The 4th in a series:

If you're kind to me, I'll be kind to you.” I heard that today, from a woman talking to her husband. Makes sense – right? Why would anyone be kind to someone who is not kind back? Well, maybe because that is the type of love that Jesus demonstrated for us and then He said, “Follow Me.” Be like Me. Do in your relationships what I did in My relationships.

Something atheists have shown me is that a radical change has taken place in our culture. Atheists tell us that monogamy isn't natural. Any marriage that is based upon monogamy is forcing an unnatural relationship upon us. That's what many of them say. Guess what? They're right. 

Faithful, committed monogamy isn't natural.

We are naturally takers and schemers and adulterers and liars and self-obsessed and self-centred, willing to sacrifice those we claim to love in order to satisfy our lusts. That's why thinking that you've found “the right one,” or that you've found your “soul mate,” is most often, at best, wishful thinking. The chances of really knowing who you've married, at the time of your marriage, is slim to none.

Modern thinking and every online dating site in existence has led us to believe that if we look hard enough, we can actually find “the right person.” The fact is we almost never marry the right person. Why? Because marriage itself changes people. The person who you marry will not be the person who you are married to a few months or years down the road. As well, we often misread the person in front of us. Or perhaps more correctly, we see what we want to see. That is why a person who seems really stable during dating becomes deadly boring later in life. The person who is outgoing and friendly turns out to be down right flirtatious. The person who is carefree and fun loving turns out to be reckless and undependable. We come to despise the things we once thought we admired and loved. And yet, we promised God that we would love this person – until the death of one of us ends the relationship.

That is what makes a Biblical marriage between two committed followers of Jesus so radical and counter cultural and light-years better than any possible secular marriage. Biblical marriage is a commitment to love the person with whom you are living – Period! It's really not about the relationship with your spouse, but your relationship with God. I will make a profound statement here, with absolute confidence. 

When two married people put their relationship with Jesus first (I'll explain in later posts what that means), their marriage will not and indeed cannot fail to become a profound, wonderful, life enhancing journey.

But what a dilemma! We simply cannot know ahead of time how our spouse will change. That's why traditional marriage vows don't say, “I love you,” but, “I WILL love you, through better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”

Now, there are some things that we must avoid at all cost when choosing a mate. A Christian should never ever marry an atheist or someone of another faith. Actually, unless you are a Christian in name only, you would never compromise your relationship with Jesus by being connected to someone who thinks your most important relationship is a farce. As well, you should never marry an addict or an abusive person expecting / hoping that your love will cause that person to change. That's just prideful delusional thinking. It's similar to marrying someone who has been married before and thinking that even though s/he treated former spouses poorly, s/he will treat you wonderful. Again, that's your pride creating delusional thinking. On the other hand, know for a fact that the person who seems so perfect on your wedding day may change a great deal, even by the time you finish your honeymoon. That's because any two people, even those who are mature Christians are and will remain broken by their sinful nature. That means that no matter how much they've grown, they are still profoundly selfish and self-centred. Immature, self-obsessed people do not change for the better just because they've taken part in some ceremony. Sooner or later the pretending will end. Remember, a major task of life in general and dating specifically is to hide who we really are.

That is why any marriage that has endured and flourished and grown into something beautiful will have done so because both partners have come to know the true meaning of love and commitment. This is something that can only be learned by an intimate, healed, forgiven and obedient relationship with Jesus.

More on this next Friday.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Isaiah 55:10-13; Read It!

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honour to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of His power and love.”

When God's Words go out into the world, they will not return without having accomplished their goal. Okay – so what is that goal, that purpose?

The second stanza of this Isaiah passage shows that the purpose of the Word is to bring forth worship in us. Our desperate situation in a broken world is a drama being played out where the end of it all is a restoration and reconciliation of our brokenness. The whole reason for our life is to come to a point where we long to give praise and worship back to our Creator. For it is when our deepest passions, thoughts, desires and motives are directed to adoration of our Saviour, that we are most fully alive.

The Word of God as contained in the Bible is a means to an end. And that end is the worship of our Creator, our Lord, our Saviour.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

You Wouldn't Do That In Real Life

Think about the person you married. How well do you know that person before you made the commitment to marry? Did you try to learn as much about that person as possible, or were you satisfied with, “Okay, so, we've met, let's get married”?

2nd Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Grow. Learn. Get to know. Become like.

Why is it that so many people think that being a follower of Jesus begins and ends with a prayer of confession and maybe baptism?

Or let me ask these questions. Do you know what a dog is? Do you know what they like to eat? What they like to do for fun? How they breed? What kinds of dogs there are? How about if they can swim? So you know a lot about dogs, right? Does that make you a dog?

Of course not. Just so, knowing a lot about Jesus does not make you a Christian. Visiting a kennel doesn't make you a dog and faithfully attending a Church doesn't make you a Christian. 

Becoming a Christian is when, after knowing and understanding the payment for sin that Jesus has made for every human on earth, knowing about what is expected of you and the cost you will bear for becoming a follower of Jesus, as well as knowing the consequences of both accepting and rejecting His offer of forgiveness, you consciously decide to turn your back on sin, humbly accept God's assessment of your thoroughly and utterly sinful nature, you ask for forgiveness and invite the very Spirit of the living God to take over your life.
Being a Christian is each and every day listening to and for and then following the guidance and correction of God's Spirit. Being a Christian is living life as Jesus would live live if He was in your circumstances. Being a Christian means that the Spirit which lives within you changes and transforms your thoughts and behaviours.

You wouldn't consider your relationship with your husband or wife a good relationship if you just skimmed the surface of human experience day after day.

Real life Christianity involves an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with the Creator of the Universe and that relationship is personal, on-going and ever growing. If your relationship with Jesus is not becoming more intimate, if you cannot look back and know that you are closer to God today than you were a year ago, then the relationship is moving toward the inevitable break that comes with pretending to be what you never were. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who Invented That?

Atheists are infamous for declaring that the idea of God is a man-made invention. Knowing what we know from science however, it's the non-existence of God that's the more likely invention. It is more likely that it's people who are terrified and weak and needy, people who are too pride filled and arrogant to follow His laws who decided to ignore the obvious – Creator God exists.

As it turns out, atheism is a crutch for those who cannot tolerate the reality of Creator God's existence. As George MacDonald wrote, “How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the only real haven.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Progressive Colorado

As they say, “Reality is for people who can't handle drugs.” And there are a lot of people who avoid reality at all cost. The solution?

Legalize Pot > Reduce Crime > Heal Society

And when the cost of avoiding reality is simply a willingness to inhale the smoke of what is essentially a health inducing plant, why would you do otherwise? In fact, smoking Pot is such a healing way to face life, even motherhood is improved while under the influence. Colorado will soon be the best State in which to be a child.

So say the State's drug addicts.

I saw four women (mothers) on CNN awhile back. These mothers were being interviewed by Piers Morgan, and they were singing the praises of smoking dope. This shouldn't surprise. Drug addicts always speak highly of their drug of choice. These women swear up and down that smoking dope makes them better mothers. And it got me to thinking. Just how crappy a mother do you have to be, that being stoned on Pot (a drug that in many ways makes you experience reality like a schizophrenic) makes you a better parent?

. Just how addicted does a person have to be to rationalize driving your child to day-care while impaired by marijuana? If you say you aren't impaired by marijuana, you're either smoking the worst weed ever grown or you're a flat out liar. 

Which leads to the age old question: How do you know if a drug addict is lying? If her lips are moving. 

. Just how addicted does a person need to be to think that ingesting all the carcinogens of tobacco plus a whole host of new ones (have you ever seen a cigarette ooze tar?) is a good idea to model for your children?

. Just how crappy does your reality have to be that you need to use drugs that turn your soul to ice.
. And just how pathetic is your emotional life that you'll believe that drug induced feelings of love are the real thing?

Nevertheless for many, Colorado is seen as a progressive state. It's ending a foolish War on Drugs that wastes money and lives. This is accomplished by simply making that which was once against the law, legal. It makes perfect sense. And as many would logically intuit, it's good as far as it goes, but it obviously doesn't go far enough. Obviously we must now legalize cocaine, and heroin, and meth. And don't forget about Ecstasy. Organized Crime makes a bunch off Ecstasy. And why should gangs make money off of prostitution and human trafficking and slavery? Legalize that crap and reap the benefits of taxation from it.

If we are to ever stand a chance of putting criminals out of business, we must decriminalize what criminals are doing. Just think of all the schools and hospitals and roads and dams that could be built if the government took control of and taxed these harmless forms of seeking pleasure.