Monday, February 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
What is humiliyt?
How do we force ourselves to become humble?
Humility is near and dear to my heart. Moses is described as the most humble man on the face of the earth (Num 12:3). That's humble. Proverbs is full of commands and quips about humility and of course my all time favourite passage, the Sermon on the Mount (Matt chapters 5-7) isfull of references of humility, meekness and all round righteousness. I know it's important to be humble but I hear how do we attain such a lofty (?) position?
Monday, February 18, 2008
Do you believe in love? Do you believe in true love? There’s a loaded question. I like to listen to the local news/talk radio station. Theres a news radio show that usually covers issues related to the Maritimes. They have guests on the show, and listeners are allowed to call in. A couple of months ago they had an author on the show. I apologize that I do not recall her name or even the title of the book that she was promoting. It was the topic of the book that I found interesting. The author had followed around 9 young ladies, 3 in their last year of high school, and 6 in their early years of university. Her goal was to try to understand why the girls of our day were blatantly more promiscuous then the girls of her day. The girls gave her 2 major reasons.
First was that they all believed in equal rights as they had been taught in school. Whatever men could do, women could do. If certain activities were socially acceptable for men to do, then they should be socially acceptable for women to do. Social acceptability and equal rights are completely other posts.
What piqued my interest was the author’s second discovery: Every one of these girls confessed to looking for love, but they all said that love was not real and did not exist. They wanted to believe, but could not. This seems to be a sentiment of our society. Love is a wonderful concept, but it is not real. People are looking for love, want love, but do not believe in love. Why? I went to my two trusty sources to find out what it was that they were looking for. The first source was my trusty dictionary, which has never let me down when I needed a definition. The Oxford dictionary defines love as, “intense feeling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing”
Is this really what love is? No wonder people can’t find it. No wonder people do not believe in it. No wonder people are looking everywhere for it. Who has ever had this intense feeling of deep affection for a person, and sustained it over very long periods of time? Not me!!!! Feelings are interrupted by other feelings. Have you ever felt annoyed? Have you ever felt annoyed by the ones that you love? Family? Friends?
If you say no, you are a better person than me. Feelings of annoyance or deep anger replace the feelings of deep affection. What happens then? Is the love gone? According to Oxford dictionary---yes. No wonder people don’t believe in love. This is a kind of love that cannot be sustained. This is a kind of love that will leave you. This is a kind of love that will send you in all directions, to all different kinds of people, looking for it again and again.
The definition also says that this feeling is for a person or thing. WHAT!!! A thing can create love in another? Can a thing be loved? I love my car! Look at this ring he bought me, I love it. I loved that movie. I love turkey dinners! I love my job. I have seen people have an intense feeling of deep affection for their car. I have seen this feeling outlast the one they had for their loved ones. But eventually the feeling goes away, as a new car enters the picture.
I don’t know about you, but I have very little faith in putting hope and trust into my feelings and emotions. They have failed me too often.
I went to the second source that I have come to trust. My Bible. OK, you are saying, this should have been the first source I went to, and you are probably right. I just wanted to know what love meant, and the dictionary is always right, isn’t it? Apparently not. God’s word clarifies what love is for all of us. 1 John 4:7-21 is a passage that clearly defines what love is. 1 John 4:7-21 uses the word love 28 times.
HMMM, my dictionary was wrong. Love is not an intense feeling of deep affection. Now this intense feeling could be part of love but it definitely does not define love. Love is an action and it does not come from within, it comes from God. 4:7 says “Let us love one another for love comes from God” Through God’s grace and wonderful love, He gives us the free will to choose.
We can choose to love or not to love. “Whoever does not love, does not know God”. WOW---you get to choose whether you want to know God more! Do you want to know God more? Then choose to love, for verse 8 says God is love!! Words are meaningless without the actions to back them up. Look at how God backs up his love for us with action. Verse 9. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him”
There have been many amazing events throughout history. The great flood with Noah and his family living in a boat for a year, Moses leading millions out of Egypt, Gideon defeating tens of thousands with a handful of men, Joshua walking around a city seven times and the walls crumbling, Paul’s remarkable conversion, all amazing historical events. BUT…none of them even come close to the biggest event of them all. God allowed His Son, Jesus to be beaten, tortured, bloodied, spat on, ridiculed and humiliated for YOU and ME!!! For you and me!!!! A lot of people have done things for us, but nothing compares to this. Why did God do it? Because He loves us.
This is why we love Him! Because He did this for us. We did not love God first, He first loved us. Do you want others to know the love of God? Do you want them to come to Jesus with outstretched arms? This is more than testifying that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Verse 11 may be one of the greatest understatements of the Bible. John says, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Could you see us standing around having tea and coffee and I say, “Attention everyone, I need to share something with you all that just came to me. Do you think that maybe, since God sent His Son to die for all of us to show His love for us, do you think that maybe we should, you know, love each other? It’s just a thought, but I felt I should share it with you all."
What kind of looks would I get? Or better yet, what comments. “You are a pastor and you are just figuring this out now? C’mon pastor Freak, it’s the essence of why we are all here, to love God and each other.” Then why does John say it? Because as obvious as the statement is, we do not always do it. Look at final verses, 19-21.
Is there someone that you brood over, that you hate, that you have an intense feeling of dislike for? God gave us the model here of what to do. We love God because He first loved us. We are to love others first, before they love us. Love is an action and it is a choice. Love is something that we choose to do, not something that we feel.
You may say, “...I can never love my wife, husband, ex-wife, ex-husband, parents, children, the best friend who turned on me or my neighbors. We could all possibly come up with someone that we might say we don’t love or can’t love. In a society that focuses so much on our individual rights, realize now that God has taken away our right to say that! After all the Sins we have committed, after all that we have done to God, and knowing what He allowed his Son to go through for us, we have NO RIGHT to choose not to love someone!! Especially, and I stress especially the one who has hurt us the most! I have heard that the best way to get back at your enemies is to love them. Who knows, they just may end up loving you back---because you first loved them.
Still not convinced? Look at the two greatest commandments that God gives us in Mathew 22:36-40. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Jesus doesn’t tell us one or the other, He commands them both. Love is an action word. We love God by loving our neighbor; we love our neighbor by loving God.
Is there someone out there that you cannot love? God can teach us how to love by putting the unlovable in our paths. You may feel like you could never love them, but God tells you that you can! Not only can we, but we are commanded to.
Now here is the great news for those of us that struggle with this command. God’s love is not conditional on us loving others. He will never take his love away from you. When you stumble and fail in loving others do not beat yourself up over it! Jesus has already taken that beating for you! God loves you so much that he sacrificed his Son for you. Draw on the love of God to help you love others because this is where love comes from. Love is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. I look forward to the day when we can open our dictionary, look up the word love and see a one-word definition---God!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
JC Freak is absolutely correct that we have to love the judgemental souls who are isolating those that need Jesus. Transgression is transgressiona and we have to love unconditionally.
If I may I'd like to bend your minds a bit and venture out a little further at the risk of offending absolutely everyone who stops by this page. As always I'm open to feedback no matter whether you agree or not. I love to chew on this stuff.
The following is in response to Kathy's second comment on Sorrowful Rant about sinners flaunting their sin. I had a similar conversation with a friend last night. The point as I understood both is that we should not celebrate sinful acts such as gossiping, sexual immoratily, witchcraft, idolatry etc, etc. I agree. Here comes the mind bending part.
On January 28, I posted Camping Out, a piece about being outside of God's blessing after transgressing. Miriam was sent outside the camp for seven days after slandering Moses' wife.
When we sin we are put outside of God's blessing we find ourselves in a chaotic state. Being outside of God's blessing we are open to curses, sickness and diesease. All symptoms of chaos. Matthew 12:43-45 talks about demns returning to the orignal house and finding it swept clean and unattended returning with seven more demons more wicked than itself. We open ourslves to this attack when outside of God's blessing.
There is no joy in sinning. Walking outside of God's plan opens us to chaos. It doesn't mean we are not saved, it means we are left ot our own devices. God desires order. When we wlalk in God's plan, His teaching and insturction, keeping our eyes on Him we achieve order. But we can't achieve order without Jesus because we are human. I don't believe adulterers enjoy committing adultery. I don't believe you will ever find one child molester who feels complete within themselves.
I know the struggles I am challenged with, have been all my life. I've tried everything to overcome them and I keep coming back time and time again. It wansn't until I started to understand that I am powerless to overcome the sin in my life. I realized that's what Jesus did on the cross. I finally understood what humility is. I cry out to Jesus when temptations start eating at me. When I hear a juicy piece of gossip I hang my head and ask for power from Jesus to keep me from repeating it. Sometimes pride sneaks up on me. When I am fully under the blessing I recognize it from far off and begin my ritual of asking for strength and protection.
There is no celebration in sin. It's ugly. If people tell you they enjoy living under the chaotic state they are being dishonest with you and themselves. They are headed for destruction and they know it. If it's not apparent immediately it will become so rather quickly. You can't have an affair on you spouse and not feel repercussions from it. There is no joy in slamming someone else. There is no satisfaction in telling lies or stealing. Any satisfaction is fleeting and hollow.
Don't take my word on this, pray aobut it. Ask the LORD for the truth. I desperately want to know more abut walking in God's teaching and instruction. I want to get the word out to the church to stop the suffering. I desire more than anything to share with brothers and sisters in Christ. I desire order.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I'm very angry tonight Gentle Readers. I am once again growing disillusioned with the Church and it bothers me.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Go to the current book you are reading, on page 161, and copy down the 5th sentence
From: The Partner by John Grisham. It's a Grisham novel so it's about lawyers. This one is a tale with about a crooked partner with slow twists and a far fetched plot but nevertheless a good read.
I tag anyone who wants to join in. Let me know if you do.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Seriously, this song sums up in a dramatically effective manner as most good songs and stories do, the times I have done dumb things that at first seemed innocent but resulted in serious consequences. What I really appreciate about the song is the storyteller's reactions and remorse. He realizes he did something seriously wrong. Give it a listen and let me know if it gets you the same way it gets me.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Forty-two years old qne what have I done with my life?
Next week I will pay my last child support payment. I had planned to go out and buy a Vette when the support payments ended. After years of handing over my checks to pay for swimming pools, Volvo's , Mercedes and a handful of minivans I planned to take care of Pilgrim. Paying child support didn't bother me after the sting of the divorce wore off and the court cases stopped. I still harbour a wee bit of resentment for being pulled back into court over silly things and being put in a postion to assist lawyers with their BMW payments but after 16 years I've finally paid all that off too.
Now that child support is ending though, there will be no Corvette as I have started all over again. Having kid's fits me better anyway. I'd rather have a house full of kid's and a station wagon than a two seater anyday. Wait. I'd rather have a house full of kids a station wagon and a two seater but I know the limits.
The mid-life crisis has nothing to do with fast cars, fast women or fat cigars. I love my wife and kids and consider myself blessed. My crisis is that I've lived half my life (Lord willing and the creeks don't rise) and what have I done? I'm a corporate wonk in middle management without the talent or desire to be the top dog. I don't have the competencies to be a mover and shaker. I'm more tuned to be a farmer and Quaker.
The truth was driven home this past week. I watched the most disturbing movie I've ever seen, Trade, about the internaltional sex slave trade. (The language was alittle rough but othewise the film was very well done. I'd recommend it to those with a stronger constitution, it brings awareness to an issue that should be exposed in a tasteful but very jarring way). I was brought in to help two women in physically abusive relationships I listened to an executive who is losing control. I heard about a friend who is going through a divorce and the list goes on. I don't mind listening to or helping anyone. I love dealing with people. My crisis is that I'm 42 and I have done nothing to make the world a better place. The realization of the degree to which the LORD desires action doesn't make me feel any better.
I know the pat answer, pray about it Brother but tonight that doesn't make me feel any better. I'm having a Lamentations moment. I desire to help the world become a better place. I want to do soemthing to see the abuse stop, to see marriages healed to know that seedy, perverted, ugliness that goes on behind drawn curtains is no longer profitable. I desire to see the hearts of people change so we don't have to hold our children close to our sides. I want to see the world in a better spot than it's in.
There, my rant is out and I need to go to bed. I know that it's all in God's time. I will push forward but soemtimes it's hard and I needed to get it off my chest. Thank you for listening.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Pauchay's negligence was criminal and must be addressed. A civilized society can not tolerate his actions. Even though I'm a sworn Apolitico, I still swing way to the right. People have to be accountable for their actions and lives.
My compassion is centered on the person Christopher Pauchay. What brought him to the point of losing common sense? To be able to drink two pints of Vodka and several beers, the guy ahd to be a seasoned drinker. Even in my days as a drunk I never came close to consuming that much poison. I would have been face down on a carpet somewhere after a binge like that. . I wouldn't be able to find my feet let alone two kids. Why would someone even want to drink that much? No, there was/is something deeper than the horrendous events that saw two precious babies perish in a frozen hell. I believe the man must be punished for his crimes but I can't bring myself to judge him for his sins. That doesn't make me special, it just means that by the grace of God I didn't kill any innocent people while I was steeped in foolishness.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
I posted this on a since past site. At that time I dedicated it to Liquid. Tonight I once again dedicate it to Liquid because she means a lot to me. I also dedicate it to WIXY because he's such a genuine fella. I know they both have a spot in their hearts for this number just like I have a spot in my heart for both of them.
This award comes from a very good blogging friend who has stuck with me theough three iterations of blogs. I enhoy her posts, the e-mail I receive almost daily and her friendship on Facebook. I really appreciate the support Sindi has afforded me ove rthe past few months. This award means a lot Sindi, especially the comments that went with it.