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Showing posts from 2007

No room for pride...

Joh 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Joh 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

1 Cor 3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

2 Tim 2:25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who h…

Reincarnation and Christianity...

Can the concept of reincarnation be reconciled with Christianity? That may seem like a silly question, but there are many new-agers and other sects that think so.

The concept of reincarnation (as I understand it) is that through a virtual unlimited number of incarnations (or as many as necessary) a person would be able to work their way into a place of perfection. But the bible says:

Ep 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Heb 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

It seems to me that the basic principal of Christianity is that you are born into sin, that the base nature of man is sinful, and that the only way a person can be redeemed is through the sacrifice made …

Threats or manipulations?

As you may note, it was just a few days ago that I posted the ‘Iraq’ entry below. Since then, a video of Bin Laden that was apparently created sometime in 2002 has surfaced, and today  a report on CNN.com that goes like this has appeared: 

Report: Al Qaeda may use Iraq operatives to hit U.S.
Al Qaeda will try to tap its resources and capabilities in Iraq in its efforts to exact another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, according to a top government intelligence report released today.


I’m not sure what to make of this. I’m not sure I believe it. I want to believe it in a way, because I want to trust my country, I want to trust the current administration. On the other hand, this information could be seen as another attempt to prop up the war in Iraq and associated efforts. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that Al-Qa'ida would start with the threats just as the American people and much of the American government are leaning toward getting out of Iraq. On the other hand, our…

A global economy...

It surely started out all about the money. Companies discovered that they could farm out their product manufacturing to third world countries and by getting the cheap labor etc, could make significantly more profit. That’s capitalism. Then comes greed and the desire to sell as much as you can and make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Well, if Korea agrees to sell our products, then we are likely going to have to agree to sell theirs. Now we have international free trade and the competition is fierce. Now farming out things to be produced by other countries isn’t just for the money…it’s to survive. Now if we can’t get cheap labor…we can’t compete.

It kind of reminds me of an illicit drug user. At first, the drug maybe makes a person feel extra good. They want more. Eventually, though, they NEED the drug, and it doesn’t even feel as good anymore. They become dependent on it, and though it may become less desirable, there is no way around the fact that they are…

Iraq...

I don’t know what the best answer is concerning the ‘war’ in Iraq. I think I do know that those who are making the big decisions for al-Qa'ida may be pretty cunning. In the media, I’ve heard supporters of President Bush and proponents of the war use the fact that there have been no further attacks on USA soil as a sort of justification for continued support of the war. That’s only one angle, though. I think it’s quite likely that the primary reason we have had no other attacks on our soil is that al-Qa'ida knows that would just unify the American people and would cause them to be more committed than ever to staying the course in Iraq and wherever else necessary. You really don’t want to tick off a majority of Americans. I think the Taliban learned that lesson. So, al-Qa'ida seems to be trying to get us to lose our resolve primarily through what amounts to the murdering of innocent people. There have been many troop losses as well, but nowhere near as many as Iraqi …

The greatest gift...

Most parents love their children and want the very best for them. I once heard a preacher (Keith Daniels) ask the question…what is the greatest gift you can give your children? I found his answer to be simple logic and yet profound. Answer: That the parents have a happy marriage. Do you love your children that much?

Just how good is God?

For once in my life....I didn't ask the generic God for help...but rather...made a simple request..."Jesus, save me." Immediately I felt an infilling and knew something miraculous had just happened. That was followed by a vision. I found myself laying before a large light (100' or so tall)...shaped like a candle flame but not flickering. The light was not bright, but was an approachable light. I remember thinking...it's God. Then I thought...how do I feel...do I feel condemned? No. Don't ask me how...but at that moment I decided to reach out and touch Him. What I discovered was that God was indeed perfect love....there was no darkness in him. He was beautiful beyond words because of this love. I thought to myself...what would I do for a God like this? Anything. In His presence, my life was inconsequential. What mattered was that someone as absolutely precious as He was...would continue. I remember thinking during this vision...if God asked me t…

Musings on demon possession...

1Sa 16:14 ¶ Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
1Sa 16:15 Saul’s attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
1Sa 16:16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."

1Sa 16:23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

1Sa 18:10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand
1Sa 18:11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, "I’ll pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice.

Mt 12:43 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.
Mt 1…

Sheer speculation...

After the events of 9/11 there was a time when I was prompted to consider this scripture:

Lu 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.”

Now I realize that most biblical scholars associate this scripture with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. I do, too. I have found, though, that it may also point to another event. Depending on your exegesis of all the scriptures that relate, it would appear that other major events, including the second coming of Jesus would/could follow shortly thereafter. Those other events didn’t happen in 70 AD or soon after. Therefore, I’ve had to consider other scenarios.

After 9/11, the USA was bombing Afghanistan and going after the Taliban and al-Qa'ida. At some point, it looked as if Israel might follow the USA’s lead and start doing its own bombing of its enemies. I don’t think the USA was too thrilled by that proposition. At that point, a thought came to mind. What if I…

Chronic homelessness...

I hate to see anybody homeless. Though I have never personally experienced it, it sounds absolutely horrible to me. I don’t know what the answer for it is, though. It’s complicated because the reasons for chronic homelessness are so diverse. Some of the homeless are truly and obviously disabled and society should provide for their needs. Some of the homeless are disabled but not so obviously. Some disorders are hard to recognize/diagnose even when they exist. Some of the homeless are obvious drunks and drug addicts. How should society deal with that? Some of the homeless may just be undisciplined and lazy. The list could go on and on. The dilemma is that if the typical homeless lifestyle wasn’t pretty uncomfortable, how many more people would give up on convention (because it can be extremely hard) and jump on the wagon? I’ve heard people say that there should be government provided private housing for the homeless. I mean…if being unwilling to care for and provide for yo…

Opportunities...

When you really get down to it, life is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to invest. You can invest in the temporal and you can invest in the eternal. Self indulgence might be an example of investing in the temporal. Selflessness might be an example of investing in the eternal. Parents find themselves investing in providing for their family. This can be either temporal or eternal…depending on what they teach those children. If they teach their children the importance of investing in love and selflessness, if they teach them the importance of being a light in this dark world, then they are investing in the eternal.

Gas prices...

Caught between a rock and a hard place. Currently, we need fossil fuels. There is only so much of it and it’s located wherever it’s located. Its quantity is finite. In a capitalistic society, if you own a piece of it, you will want to make as much money as you can from it. That’s the way you do business. If the consumer uses less, the owners will just charge more for less. It’s a win/win for them. If you use lots of gas, they will make lots of money, if you use less gas, they will make even more money. Bottom line, if they can get you to conserve, they can make the most from their finite supply.

I remember the ‘energy crisis’ some years back. Lots of people cut back on electricity. Lots of people bought energy efficient lighting, heating, refrigeration, increased their insulation, etc. What happened? The cost of energy went up. Your bill went up even though you conserved. Same thing will apply with oil. For the consumer, it’s a lose/lose.

There is a balancing act, though…

A shunt in the circuitry pt2...

Okay…I believe we have established that there is a definite shunt in the collective circuitry when it comes to intercommunication (understanding one another). I have speculated that that shunt may have gone deeper than just intercommunication and affected our very thought processes and abilities to understand generally. But there is another shunt. The individual shunt. We all have limitations of one sort or another. These can be viewed as shunts in the circuitry as well. On a scientific level you might say that the DNA is the circuitry and it’s not all optimized the same for everyone. This is again…what I do best…stating the obvious. Some people are born prodigies and other people have a hard time learning how to tell time or tie their shoes. Not their fault. It’s in the circuitry. Do you ever wonder why?

A shunt in the circuitry...

I’ve spent a large portion of my life trying to understand the big questions. What is the purpose of life? Who are we? Since God knows the end from the beginning, why did He put Satan in the garden of Eden to begin with? What exactly is God’s plan for us? What happens after we die? What truly motivates human beings? The list goes on and on. What I’ve discovered is that no matter how hard I try, my little pea brain cannot fathom, cannot pierce through the veil and truly understand any of these things. I can speculate, but I can’t ‘know’ for certain. That can put a person in a place of insecurity, or it can put them in a place of faith. I find myself in a place of faith for a number of reasons. As you may have read in previous posts on this blog, the magnitude of the glory of life on this planet alone, to me, speaks volumes of a creator. My little pea brain cannot fathom how life could possibly be an accident. It’s too complex, too diverse. Personally, I think it takes mo…

Submit yourselves…

1 Peter 2:13…¶Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.Romans 13:1…¶Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.Who is our ‘authority’?Obviously, from the above scriptures…kings, governors, and governing authorities that are 'instituted' for sure.But what about your pastor, or your boss?Are we to submit to them for the Lord’s sake?And what exactly does that mean…to submit to them?What if your pastor tells you to do something that you don’t agree with?Do you have to submit to them to be a good Christian?I don’t think so.I think a good Christian is going to do what they think is right, not necessarily what their pastor tells them to do.If you find that your boss i…

A man reaps what he sows...

I used to see this as a simple and black and white concept. If you did good things, you would reap good things. If you did bad things, you would reap bad things. But, it’s really not that simple. First off, there are two occasions of reaping…the here and now, and the hereafter. Secondly, what is good in the here and now is subjective. I think Christianity is good, but if I tried preaching the gospel in a Muslim country, I might reap a beheading. I think speaking against injustice can be a good thing…but you could reap some dire consequences for that. So, ultimately, you do reap what you sow, but if you want to reap only good things in the here and now, you need to carefully consider if what you are sowing would be universally recognized as good.

Something I may have learned...

I think I’ve learned that my prayers can’t change someone else’s mind.That my prayers can’t circumvent someone else’s free will.I think I’ve learned that God doesn’t always come through.That’s a hard one for me.Sometimes, He appears to leave one to their own devices.I know I have beseeched God on a number of issues over the years and have never felt that I got a clear answer.I think I’ve learned that people put a lot of words in God’s mouth that He never uttered.I’ve seen that over and over again in my life.If it rains tomorrow, I’ll know God doesn’t want me to take that trip.  I’m going to flip a coin, and If it’s heads, that’s a ‘yes’ from God.  If I apply for this job and get it…I’ll know it’s God’s will.If she says ‘yes’, I’ll know it’s God’s will.  If I fail this test, I’ll know God wants me to quit school.I think I’ve learned that God protects us from the knowledge and full understanding and insight into the depth of our corruption.I think if we could see it, we’d be horrified.

God's will be done...

Yes!Amen to that brothers/sisters!Who wouldn’t want God’s will to be done in their lives?I know I do.The question becomes, though, how can we be sure that what is happening in our lives is actually God’s will?Where does human will, and the corruption of the flesh come into the equation?If you ask a friend for a favor and they refuse, is that necessarily God’s will?If you ask your boss for a raise and are refused, is that necessarily God’s will?If you are passed up for a promotion, is that necessarily God’s will?You get my point?I’d love to rest in God’s will…but I’m not always sure He is the one that I’m dealing with.I’ve seen corruption in high places.My observation is that just because someone is ‘in charge’ doesn’t mean they are right or fair, show good judgment, or are doing God’s will.I always think of Hitler.He was in charge, but he was a maniac.I think of King Saul, he was God’s anointed, and yet he did his best to kill David.Can God’s anointed act out of envy?Guess so.I guess …

Stating the obvious...

I know I do that a lot.I’m sure that most of my observations are not revelations to those that hear or read them.They’ve probably heard them already, and/or thought of them before themselves.Nonetheless, I have another to share. :-) Please bear with me.A couple of days ago I went to the store to buy supplies.One of the food stuffs that I purchase regularly is Newman’s Own Sockarooni sauce (I love this stuff).Once I returned home and put the bottles on my shelf I thought I noticed a difference in the size of the bottles.You see, I still had a bottle that I had purchased previously.Upon closer inspection, sure enough, though the new bottle was slightly taller…it was also narrower.The bottom line is the new bottle was 24 ounces, and the old bottle was 26 ounces.In other words, the cost went up 7+ % (if my math is correct).That’s quite a rise.That seems to be the ‘common’ practice these days.The cost of the item stays the same, but there is not as much of it.I don’t care for this pract…

Here’s a paranoid thought...

Fear can stimulate the economy.For instance, let’s just say that robbery is on the rise in your neighborhood.What would you do?Many people would buy things to help protect themselves and their belongings.Some would move.Either way, you are spending more money than you would be otherwise.If you hear that a hurricane is on it’s way…you go buy things.If you hear that a product is going to be in short supply and the price will likely be rising…you might go and stock up.If you hear that an enemy is threatening to attack, you might build a bomb shelter, purchase arms, ammunition, and other supplies.If you hear that the climate is being impacted by the use of fossil fuels, you might go out and buy a green car or a bicycle.Any time cataclysm is proclaimed, it likely stimulates the economy. I’ve also heard that war stimulates the economy.Obviously, when a country wages war it uses more war related things.That means production has to be increased.That means more people are employed.That means mo…

Judge not that ye be not judged...

I find this scripture is frequently misused these days. Many that quote it seem to do so in an attempt to neutralize any negative thought, perception, or comment one might have regarding a behavior. The problem with that, of course, is that the Bible makes it quite plain that certain behaviors are considered inappropriate and to be avoided. So, if you see a person engaging in a behavior that the Bible describes as inappropriate, you obviously can only come to that conclusion by using some ‘judgment’. Judgment is not necessarily condemnation. Just because I notice someone engaging in inappropriate behaviors does not mean I have sentenced them to hell. It just means that I have noticed that what is being done is frowned upon biblically. God is the Judge.

On another level, I see this scripture as very logical. If, indeed, you ‘judge’ someone negatively, expect them to do the same to you. If you dislike someone and they know it, expect them to dislike you. If you are loving and kind to peo…

And the hot question is....

Okay...here's a hot question that's been on everybody's mind. Can spiders be retarded? ;-) You know those little stocky fuzzy/hairy looking ones...I call them...jumping spiders? Well, I have one that keeps hanging around my desk area. He/she cruises around on the walls...and on my desk...and today...hanging by a thread under my desk. One day, a couple of weeks ago, I lofted something in it's direction. I didn't try to hit it...just give it the impression that it was in jeapardy. Did that deter it? Nah. The next day...there it was again...cruising along...halfway up the wall. This time, though, when I looked up at it...it appeared to rear up and look at me. Then it dropped straight down the wall and under my desk somewhere. The next day...there it was again. Today....on my desk....and then later...under my desk. I'm not too quick to kill things...so I captured it and took it outside and released it out there. I'm not sure it will survive long…

Be fruitful and multiply...

There was a time when I saw those words as a command…as in ‘do what I tell you to do’.Now I see them as good council.It’s obvious that we were/are built to reproduce. We are designed to be attracted to members of the opposite sex.Sex was designed to be pleasurable and therefore…desired.We were designed to multiply.That was the plan.What I have discovered is that besides all that physical stuff, the children themselves fulfill different kinds of needs in us.For example, a need for purpose.So when God said to be fruitful and multiply, He was blessing us with good council.He wasn’t just being a dictator…He was trying to help us to have the best life possible. Ignore God’s council at your own risk.

Where have all the flowers gone...

Where have all the flowers gone? For those of you who don’t know, those are lyrics from a sad song. They come to mind because I’m a little sad today myself. I had to say goodbye to someone that I cared for like a son and had invested in. No, they didn’t die, but they did move away.

It’s probably not a good day to post…I mean…I don’t want to depress anyone or cause people to feel sorry for me. There’s no value in that. On the other hand, one of the benefits of anonymous blogging is that you can be honest with the way you are feeling. Today I am feeling depressed. I’ll get over it, though. Tomorrow is a new day.

The real battle...

Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (NIV)

I’ve often pondered this scripture and find it to be very challenging. If, for instance, you are being mistreated…you might look at the one who is mistreating you as someone that is being influenced or controlled by outside forces. With this interpretation, one might feel compassion instead of loathing toward the one that is mistreating you. One might be more likely to forgive them, and possibly even pray for them and/or do good to them. This is, of course, what Jesus commanded (Luke 6:27). On the other hand, you may choose to blame the individual through whom the trial comes and fail the spiritual test/challenge completely.

For you see, it would appear that the real battle is ultimately an inner one. No matter that the fiery darts appear to originate from a physica…

Online and all alone...

Well, I have a blog and it’s online.  I’m the only one who apparently knows it’s online at this point, though.  I've built websites before and I'm familiar with the whole search engine and exposure routine.  For me, at this point, the questions become…are my opinions, perspectives, and thoughts worth the trouble of attempting to gain an audience?  And what exactly would my motive be for doing so?  To help other people?  To entertain?  To (hopefully) be encouraged/affirmed?  I do know that initially I wanted an unencumbered (anonymous) outlet for my thoughts.  I also know that I was interested in feedback.  Hmmm.  Sounds like I need something.  Probably the same thing everyone else needs, huh?

Magnificence and horror...

Some of my observations can be a little intense. I mean…as I mentioned in a previous post, this is a fantastic universe we live in. My goodness…the magnitude of its glory is beyond comprehension. The diversity of life is mind boggling. Our little pea brains really cannot fathom it. And yet we are here. We can take a stroll through Yosemite Valley and be awestruck by the sheer beauty. We can stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and be stunned. We can watch a tornado wreck havoc and be humbled by its power. We can look up into the sky at night and feel both great and insignificant at the same time as the expanse of it takes our breath away. We can peer up at the sun and be amazed that this apparent ball of fire hangs there and gives light and heat to this planet, and without which there would be no life on earth. But at the same time we are pondering the magnitude and glory of creation…millions of things are being eaten alive. There is drama here….as well as glory.  The poin…

Hidden motives...

Hidden motives. Do each of us have motives that even we aren’t completely aware of and don’t grasp? Does our ‘base nature’ have it’s own agenda, and does it work underneath of our conscious thoughts? What would make up our base nature? Selfishness? Dominance? Survival? Pride? If these are some of the traits of this base nature….just how ugly is it? Yikes! Do we have a monster within? Is our job here on planet earth to attempt to contain it? Surely we fight against it each day. Can we ever win, or is this base nature just a sparring partner…one through which we can exercise our conscious will and possibly become stronger? Does this base nature ever die while we are in this body? Is this base nature integral with the body and are we the soul that cohabitates with it? What do you think the ultimate purpose of such a plan might be?

The slings and the arrows...

Well, it’s another day in this fantastic universe and it’s almost time to head out the door to work. Soon, the challenges will begin! Am I up to it? I just never know. Some days I seem like Superman, and the slings and the arrows just bounce off. Other days, they make it through and find their mark and leave wounds. Sometimes the pain of those wounds cause me to throw an arrow or two. It’s the arrows that I throw that seem to hurt me more, though.

It's all good?

In our day and age, you hear people say “it’s all good”. But it’s not all good. Hate isn’t good. Murder isn’t good. Suicide isn’t good. Incest isn’t good. Heroin addiction isn’t good. Car accidents aren’t good. There are too many things to list that aren’t good. So, in that, we have determined that everything that happens to us, or around us…isn’t necessarily good.

Sometimes how we handle the things that happen to us or around us isn’t good either. We can become bitter, we can seek vengeance, we can hate, we can become apathetic, we can lose hope, we can lose faith, etc. There are too many things to list here as well.

So, how are we to view and understand life?

On the one hand, we aren’t in complete control of our destiny. Someone could crash into our car and it be totally their fault. We could end up maimed for life, and be totally innocent. Or, we could be born into a family that has lousy genes…and suffer with a disease that we had absolutely no choice about. We could b…